All well and good, but each author interprets "independent" from a partisan perspective. Not one mentions registering as an independent or adopting a genuine independent perspective on politics.
I've tried not to become dogmatic about my own political independence; I've been careful not to suggest that my way is the only way. While I believe that each person needs to follow her conscience, I'm baffled when I hear someone urging people to become independent but never once suggesting that they sever ties with the major parties.
Here are a few reasons why I believe all politically minded, thoughtful Christians should at the very least consider becoming true independents:
- Registering as an independent makes a clear statement that you have distanced yourself from the two major parties.
- The mere act of declaring yourself to be an independent works on you in subtle but significant ways. You begin to think more critically about the issues and the candidates because you've begun to shed your long-held partisan biases.
- By remaining a party member, people who know that you are a Democrat or a Republican immediately assume — whether you like it or not — that you agree with your party's entire platform. You are automatically pegged as pro gay marriage or anti abortion, pro war or anti family values, and so on. It's not fair, but it's reality.
- The major parties covet the independent vote. We have an opportunity to be heard like never before. You may end up having more influence as an independent than you would if you were a party member.
- Jesus said no one can serve two masters. We've seen what happens when Christians try to serve both God and party, and it isn't pretty. When the party wins that contest, everyone loses.
What do you think? Are there valid reasons for remaining a party member (other than being allowed to vote in primaries)? Are there other reasons why Christians in particular should register as independents and adopt a genuine independent perspective?