Christopher Cross from Legal XXX has a great explanation of why he is a conservative and a Republican. His defense is based on the autonomy of the individual as a core of GOP philosophy. (Absolute agreement there.)
Some argue that the prevalence of Christians in the GOP belies the notion that the GOP cares about individuality (stemming from an attempt to get non-Christians to believe as they do I suppose)–I think the prevalence of religious people in the GOP is a function of the respect for tradition I was talking about. Most religious people come from the notion that man is not perfectable (at least here on earth)–they view the values of self-reliance, protestant work ethic, etc as being paramount to a preferable life. For them, the GOP permits them to order their lives in accordance with those values and most respects those values. The Dems, by contrast, tend to take a more “trendy” approach to norms and values which is troubling for those that think that American norms and values are worth retaining.
I see no real threat to religious liberty from Christians in the GOP though the party would do well to remember that the occasional Jew, Muslim or “other” does vote when they run around invoking Jesus at every opportunity. Why is there no threat? Because I’ve found that most Republican Christians well recognize that a government which can enforce their religion today can enforce its persecution tomorrow. They also understand, for the most part, that a faith which is practiced solely because it is required by government is awfully hollow. Or as Roger Williams put it more eloquently…
True it is, the sword may make a whole nation of hypocrites. But to recover a soul from Satan by repentance. . .that only works the all-powerful God by the sword of the Spirit in the hand of his spiritual officers.
. . . the civil state is bound before God to take off that bond and yoke of soul oppression and to proclaim free and impartial liberty to all the people…to choose and maintain what worship and ministry their souls and consciences are persuaded of. . . .
In vain have English Parliaments permitted English Bibles in the poorest English houses, and the simplest man or woman to search the Scriptures, if yet against their soul’s persuasion from the Scripture, they should be forced (as if they lived in Spain or Rome itself without the sight of a Bible) to believe as the Church believes.