One of the reasons I made the previous post is because of the following: I recognize that sincere, believing Christians can vote for, or favor, one or another political party, or favor various political solutions or non-solutions to problems. Believe in universal single-payer health care, believe in a mandatory minimum income for all people, believe in libertarian near-anarchy - really, I don't doubt you can come to such conclusions for one reason or another. I do not doubt your *motivations*, not necessarily your intellect, just for favoring these things, voting for one party over another, etc. Even if it's fairly extreme.
There's some exceptions to this. If you believe in the legality of abortion, very much unrestricted, after the second trimester? If you support punishing people with fines for refusing to partake in or express approval of gay marriage or same-sex relationships? If you support bombing a country into a state of de-islamification and democracy? If you support unrestricted illegal immigration? Then you've gone too far afield for me, Christian or not. I think the number of sincere Christians who accept any one of these things are thankfully low in number, however, so it's rare that actual political views are going to remove common ground between myself and someone of a different political persuasion.
There's one exception. If you're a Proud and Loyal Democrat? If you think it's a bragging point that you've voted Republican in practically every election you've taken part in? The moment I pick up that you have extreme party loyalty going on - not merely a pragmatic decision, but a full belief that yours is the party filled with good people and the other party must be filled with monsters and people deluded by monsters? That's the moment I realize I'm dealing with a political idiot who's going to be largely immune to reason when it comes to anything that has any obvious political ramifications. When your political party loyalty defines a good part of who you are, you have - willingly or not - decided at some point that calm, reflective thought is a dangerous thing, and is best holstered when it comes to anything related to society or politics. Which, nowadays, is pretty well everything.
I can count on the following from a party loyalist:
* Whether bombing a nation that has neither attacked us and has no capability to attack us will be justified almost entirely based on the political party leader ordering the bombing.
* Whether a case of sexual harassment is a terrible thing that one must immediately resign over, or an incident of some lying bitch trying to make a name for herself, or a simple mistake that one should apologize and be allowed to move on from, will be determined by the party of the perpetrator.
* In the case of the diehard Democrat Christian, the legality of abortion until and quite possibly moments after birth is just the law of the land and will never, ever change, and trying to change it is a waste of time, so you should just get used to it, even if you're pro-life and pay lip service to the claim that life begins at conception. In the case of a diehard Republican Christian, tax breaks on the wealthy are practically sacrosanct. There is no such thing as too large of a tax break, tax breaks always lead to more tax revenue, and even if they don't taxes are always too high as they now stand and should be vastly lower.
* Christians in the other party are, as a rule - and without exception - either monsters, or complete dupes. It is impossible for them to have a different opinion, to have different but reasonable priorities, or to want to solve the same problem a different way. Either they are heartless monsters, or they are incredibly stupid to disagree with Your Party. The idea that this is even potentially a terrible attitude to take will sound mystifying. After all, if one disagrees with another, one automatically thinks the other is wrong - they have made a mistake. And if they made a mistake knowingly, they're a monster. Unknowingly, and they're stupid. That's what stupid means, after all - being the person who is wrong, or who disagrees with what is right.
This isn't every person who votes primarily Republican or Democrat. You can do that, you can believe one party is largely better than the other, without stooping to this level. But once you're at this level - once the world divides into the categories of 'People on my party's side - good.', 'People opposing my party - evil or fooled.' and 'People who don't support either party yet - potential converts', you've stopped being someone who anyone can have a reasonable conversation with, and become a person who only responds to the most brute carrots and sticks.
What's particularly sad about people like this is that they've elevated their party over their religion. Instead of having common ground first and foremost with fellow Christians, they only have common ground with other people of their party. The Cult of Gnu atheist who wants all religion stamped out and quite possibly push to place belief in God on the DSM? Hey, you both vote Democrat - he's an ally at the end of the day, you guys just don't see eye to eye on some things. But oh, the pro-life believer in God and the resurrection of Christ who votes Republican? Idiot or devil-monster. Try to change this person's mind, maybe - primarily by telling them how horrible their beliefs are - but be careful, because they may say their party is right on a particular issue, and you'll have to be ready to fight such heresy the moment it leaves their sinning lips.
I think people like these pose a problem to American Christianity, and probably Christianity in general. I would like to believe this is a divide that can be crossed over - not with every person, but with many, even most. Some days, unfortunately, I believe this more than others.