Election 2012: A victory for Christian values

Some religious conservatives have been near-apocalyptic in their predictions of a second Obama term, insisting that he’s leading the country away from Christian principles and down the road to perdition. But from my perspective, last night’s election was a triumph (albeit a partial one) for Christian values.

–In rejecting the Romney-Ryan plan to dismantle the welfare state and repeal Obamacare, voters reaffirmed the principle that the government has an indispensable role in caring for the most vulnerable members of society and ensuring universal access for basic goods necessary to a flourishing life.

Victories for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and, hopefully, the state of Washington suggest that Americans are coming around to the idea that all God’s children deserve equal rights and respect.

–The “Maryland Dream Act” will allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities and access financial aid,  upholding the principle of “welcoming the alien and the stranger.”

–Although it barely rated a mention during the campaign, a second term for Obama opens the possibility for meaningful action on climate change, an urgent part of our calling to care for God’s creation (not to mention our survival as a species).

–President Obama has reaffirmed that we’re in this together and that we are each other’s keeper, in contrast to the rhetoric of economic individualism from the Right.

I admit this is a partial and somewhat one-sided list. The election didn’t allow for a dramatic choice against a hyper-militarized foreign policy, for instance. And religious conservatives would likely take issue with how I’ve characterized these election outcomes. But as far as I’m concerned, care and respect for the vulnerable fellow citizen, the immigrant, and the earth are core Christian values, and they gained some significant headway last night.

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