By Jeff Davidson
It happens so often, that I am amazed when the contrary occurs. I am at a gathering of Republicans/Conservatives, and someone gives the benediction. This could happen at a luncheon, certainly at a dinner, and other types of gatherings. Usually, these prayers are only a couple minutes in length. Then, after all has been said, the speaker adds a final sentence, “In Jesus’ name do we pray.”
I’m not the first to observe that Republicans and Conservatives have better programs and policies, and a strong grasp of what actually helps the nation, but they have bad messaging. The Democrats have bad programs and policies but better messaging. They know how to twist and turn a phrase. Consider the difference between the terms “pro-abortion” and “pro-choice.”
When it comes to benedictions, conservatives can enhance their phrasing. Rebel all you want, but it is not necessary to cite the name of Jesus in the benediction. Once you say, “heavenly Father,” or “God,” or “the Lord,” that is more than enough for a benediction in front of a group.
I heard a benediction speaker, once, conclude by saying, “In Jesus’s name do I pray.” That, at the least, seems more appropriate than roping in the entire audience. Upon hearing such a closing statement, one might think, “Yes I’m with you,” or “Fine, that is your prerogative.” Indeed, we are all for free speech. The last thing we want to do is squelch somebody else’s speech. The Left shouts down conservative speakers, creates safe zones, and requires toeing the politically correct line. We’re bigger than that.
Concurrently, it is vital to understand and acknowledge that many people at the political gatherings which you attend are NOT Christians. When you make the blanket and wrong assumption that all are Christians, your messaging is wrong, and frankly unhelpful.
Who Might be a Republican?
For many years, I have been a greeter and foot traffic director for Wake County, NC Republican primaries. With 100% assurance, I can tell you from personal experience that a significant sliver of those arriving are of Indian descent. Most Indians are Hindu, 79.8%, so the odds are Hindus attend GOP events. Muslims account for 14.2%, while Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, and Jains largely account the remaining 6% of Indians.
A notable number of Asians also attend in Wake Country. The Chinese government recognizes five major religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam, and Protestantism. Other faiths are prohibited, while often tolerated.
The majority of Jews are still staunchly Democrats, for reasons that I’ll never understand. Right-leaning Jews are in attendance at conservation gatherings. The point is that the ties which unite us are the political views we share. We do not have to be of the same religion.
I am not a Christian, while I share many of the same values that they do. I’m not offended when a speaker, giving the benediction, ends with “In Jesus’ name do we pray.” I am, however, dumbfounded that here, past mid-2023, the speaker and possibly the meeting host still do not understand their constituency. It’s as if they are merrily proceeding along with blinders. It makes me wonder: do they seek non-Christians, vote-wise as well as ideologically, or are they pushing some kind of doctrine? Politics based on religion, bordering on theocracy, is not pretty.
To presume that everyone in the room is a Christian or a devoted follower of Jesus is to make the same kind of error that the Left makes every waking moment. The Left paints a broad brush over their constituency believing that every single one of them is pro-choice, hates Donald Trump, wants open borders around the clock, regards sexually grooming children is appropriate, and so on.
As conservatives, we should be smarter, more aware, more ready to embrace those in our ranks who are not necessarily of the same religion, but of the same politics.
I’m not spouting platitudes here, such as “diversity is our strength.” The issue is a call to fellow conservatives, everywhere, to recognize that our ranks contain people from different backgrounds and different walks of life. The sooner we embrace this notion, which soon is going to be impossible to ignore, the stronger we will be.