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Conservative Christian Life Abroad

A reader writes:

I live in New Zealand, a country where religion is completely washed out of political discourse and out of the public square all together. Our Human Rights Commission decided in favour of a transgender students rights to use the girls bathroom in the single sex girls school he/she attends last month. It was our first. You get the picture.

We have a state funded broadcaster called National Radio that I was listening to earlier this week. They were covering the Democratic convention and had a Democrat spokeswoman and a Republican observer / commentator.

The interviewer was enthusing about Hillary, as was the Democrat (as you would expect) and then they brought the Republican in and asked somewhat incredulously if he would be voting for Trump.

He equivocated a bit, and then said (and I paraphrase) “I am a conservative Christian, and I cannot bring myself to vote for a man who claims to have been a Christian for 70 years but has never once asked God for forgiveness.”

I enjoyed it because he unknowingly broke an important social taboo here in NZ by mentioning God on National Radio, and worse still, introduced the idea that we might need forgiveness from him on public radio! – it was the closest thing we get to an ‘evangelical moment’ from our public broadcaster, and it came totally out of ‘left field’ taking both the interviewer and the nation by surprise!

The interviewer quickly recovered and moved passed the awkward moment, but it was a reminder to me (if I needed it) just how different the religious and political landscape is in the USA compared to, well probably the rest of the Western world.

You may think conservative Christianity is in retreat (and it is) but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Voting for the ‘least worst option’ has become a way of life for conservative Christians here in New Zealand, and I suspect other parts of the Western world. I appreciate that even then you have very little to choose from, and voting for stability, albeit ideological fraught is ‘not nothing’ as you say.

Still, it would be hard to do.

I invite conservative Christian readers in other Western countries and continents (Europe, Canada, Australia, South America) to share here their experiences of what political life is like for their tribe. Tell us Americans what we have to, um, look forward to.

(Hey readers, I want to apologize to you if your comments have been caught in the spam filter. Uncle Chuckie told me his weren’t posting. I checked, and found about 10 or 12 of you regular commenters were losing comments in the spam filter. I restored them all, and you shouldn’t have problems. No idea why this happens. The J.D. Vance interview walloped our servers, so maybe that had something to do with it.)

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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