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For at least the last three decades, conservative Christians (known collectively as the Religious Right), have allowed themselves to become wedded to Republican politicians. They have done this to the detriment of the very principles they seek to advance.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with preachers and Christians supporting those political figures that are willing to faithfully discharge their duties to protect and defend the Constitution and historic American principles. However, instead of faithfully championing constitutional principles, conservative Christians (as a whole) have become little more than political pawns for Republican politicos.
Perhaps conservative Christians have forgotten (or never learned) the sage advice of President Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican), who said, "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else."
Instead of standing by the country (meaning our country's constitution and historic principles) Christians and ministers have chosen to stand by the politician-no matter what. However, what most Christians and ministers have yet to learn is that politicians do not share the same spirit of loyalty, either to our principles or to us.
A prime example of the way politicians use and then discard ministers for their own purposes can be seen in the life of one minister, the Rev. O'Neal Dozier of Pompano Beach, Florida.
First, a little background: Rev. Dozier is a former NFL football player (who played for the Chicago Bears and New York Jets). He served two terms in the U.S. Army. He is a former bodybuilding champion and football coach. He earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (Law) degree and was a Professor of Law. O'Neal Dozier is also a licensed minister of the Gospel and is the founder and pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Governor Jeb Bush appointed Rev. Dozier to the 17th Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. Bush also appointed Dozier to the Board of Directors of One Church, One Child of Florida, Inc., which is an adoption program. In January of 2005, Rev. Dozier received an invitation to attend a private meeting with President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and 23 other African-American leaders. Rev. Dozier received a second invitation to meet with President Bush in July of that same year. In addition, Republican gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist asked Rev. Dozier to sit on his "Strengthening Florida's Families" advisory panel.
As one can easily see, O'Neal Dozier has an established record as a friend and supporter of Republican candidates and causes.
Just this past week, Rev. Dozier was booted off Crist's advisory council and removed from Governor Bush's Judicial Nominating Commission. What was the egregious sin that cost Dozier the favor of these top Republicans? Rev. Dozier dared to voice his opposition to Islam. Specifically, Pastor Dozier distributed a Gospel tract published by Chick Publications of California, which points out the fallacies and potential dangers of the Muslim religion.
Defending his actions, Rev. Dozier said, "I'm just simply doing what I think any true pastor would do."
Regarding the fact that both Bush and Crist gave him the boot, Pastor Dozier said, "I am really hurt about it. There's no place for those who want to do the work of God in politics. Politicians want you to support them, but they are not going to support you."
Pastor Dozier learned a valuable lesson the hard way. This is a lesson all conservative Christians and pastors need to learn: for the most part, Republican bigwigs use the Religious Right for their own purposes, then dump them for the same reasons.
It is a truism that most politicians demonstrate little commitment to conservative principles. The only principle to which they are truly committed is the principle of trying to win elections!
Because Rev. Dozier refused to compromise his convictions and bow the knee to political correctness, he was swiftly sacked. However, more pastors need to heed his example.
If the leaders of the Religious Right (especially at the national level) would be willing to stand firm and uncompromising for our principles, if they would be willing to risk their seat at the king's table for a principle, perhaps our nation's politicians would come to honestly respect our principles (or at least fear the fallout). More importantly, they might even come to respect us.
As it is, politicians know that they can use their conservative toadies to further their own personal agendas-agendas that do not remotely reflect the desired goals of the Christians who allow themselves to be used.
Obviously, Pastor O'Neal Dozier is not any politician's toady. He appears to be what all of us who call ourselves pastors are supposed to be: God's man. We need more like him.