Last week I wrote an article about Steve Deace and his show on WHO Radio. I chose to email Deace to give him a heads up that I posted the article. He thanked me for the heads up and asked that I allow him to respond on this site. That’s what I love about this site…we definately get the dialogue going!
So, here it is.
By: Steve Deace
Recently, the author of this blog wrote what I considered to be a more than fair piece about me and my program, which airs each weekday on 1040-WHO in Des Moines from 4-7 p.m. I was so impressed with the fairness of the piece, I asked the author if I could write a reply and he graciously agreed.
I was really blown away the author considered me “the second most popular radio personality” in Iowa, because I was pretty convinced we were 7th or 8th at best. Since I don’t know who the author of this blog is, thus we don’t have a personal relationship that I know of, I’ll consider his opinion rather objective and thank him for the props.
I believe whoever the blogger in this space is really gets my radio show, and I appreciate it. However, I also wanted to take this opportunity to clarify one major misconception about me and my show. I know that won’t stop the vast majority of anonymous Internet tough guys from doing what they do from the keyboard in their mom’s basement, but if just one reasonable person who previously had doubts about our show chooses to look at it more objectively the effort is worth it.
So here goes…
I am not so much trying to get you to agree with my conclusions as much as I’m trying to get the audience to critically think through the facts. I’m a natural-born contrarian who just has an endemic hostility for conventional wisdom. And I get real nervous when that conventional wisdom becomes its own dogma. I’ve always been this way, but this aspect of my personality has become even more dominant since I became a Christian, because the Christian life includes so many contrarian notions to the world’s conventional wisdom (i.e. die to live, lose to win, share one another’s burdens, etc.). Therefore, sometimes I’ll aggressively question what I already believe to be true, because that’s just the way that I am.
I really like to look at all angles of an issue, and that’s why I’ve probably spent as much time studying non-Christian beliefs as I have Christian ones. Each broadcast day we open the show by telling you what my agenda is: fear God, tell the truth, and make money.
You’ll notice there’s nothing in there about persuading people, changing minds, advancing an agenda, or pursuing prominence in a political party. My agenda is pretty transparent and not exactly subtle, which is why it never ceases to amaze me when detractors attempt to decipher what I’m about and what I really mean. From my perspective I can’t possibly be more blunt, but some folks just can’t resist the temptation to hear what they want to hear I suppose.
That’s not to say that I don’t want to persuade people, change minds, or don’t want to advance an agenda because I do. However, those are the results I believe of accomplishing our priorities. One thing you’ll find about me and our show is we’re not so much about the results as much as we are about the premise. Founding Father John Adams articulated my own belief when he said, “Duty is ours but outcomes belong to God.” As a Christian, I don’t believe the ends justify the means. That’s a Machiavellian concept, not a Biblical one.
Thus, my goal isn’t to create legions of listeners who want to emulate me as numerous predecessors in my position have successfully done. That’s why I don’t give you the “Tao of Steve” but tell you what I believe as a Christian whose conscience is supposed to be guided by the Bible. If I really wanted this to be about me, believe me I would do this show a lot differently. And one thing I wouldn’t do is make my Christian faith such an integral part of my program because it doesn’t win me any friends on the Left or the Right nowadays.
However, I could no more leave my Christian faith out of my program about the issues of the day then I could refuse to breathe and still expect to live, because it is my Christian faith that drives what I think about the issues of the day.
And if there’s one thing that separates me from many of my contemporaries on the radio, other than my age, it’s that from day one I have refused to use tired clichés of the past generation like “moral” or “traditional” and instead based the truth discussed on my show on right where it comes from—the Bible.
See, I am not a conservative because I believe it’s some American panacea. If I thought liberalism best matched up with Biblical teaching I’d be a liberal. I am a conservative because in this country I believe it is the political philosophy that best lines up with the Biblical standard. Which I believe is the standard nations rise and fall by. Since in recent history the Republican Party has been the home of American conservatism, I have typically voted Republican.
Yet make no mistake that my first priority will always be God’s Word. I won’t water it down or overlook its pre-eminence for any cause, because there is no greater cause. I won’t accept multiple perspectives of truth because there is no other truth. I don’t believe it’s my duty as a Christian to alter or reduce the centrality of God’s Word for political power. In fact, I don’t even think I have the right to do that.
As a Christian I have no right to negotiate between God’s Word and the political system in order to form some winning coalition. The Bible doesn’t call that sellout a win for the Christian. It calls it sin.
For instance, I’ve seen the question about whether or not I’m good for the Republican Party discussed and debated in various forums online. You’re welcome to have an opinion on this either way, but the question is moot from my perspective because you’re debating a point I’m not even trying to participate in. I don’t even consider it before I go on the air and give an opinion, because the question is irrelevant. My standard is whether or not what I’m saying is true, and I don’t determine what is true based on what the potential or real consequences are.
As a Christian I fail to see how God’s Word allows for “the lesser of two evils.” In fact, I can’t find a single example of it in all of Scripture. If others can, please point me to it and I’d be glad to change my beliefs in accordance to what the Bible says.
For instance, recently on my program Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family asserted he’d vote for a candidate that is 99% pro-life, with exceptions for rape and incest. Well, back in the 1950s a young girl was raped and taken to a back alley abortionist to have her baby aborted. The conditions weren’t good for the abortion to be performed successfully, and Planned Parenthood was being subsidized to make killing babies legal and sanitary, so the baby lived. That baby was later adopted by a Christian physician and his wife in Michigan and given the name Mary. Mary later married and had one child, and her name was Amy.
Amy is now my wife and we now have three other children named Ana, Zoe, and Noah. So while Mr. Minnery’s pragmatic compromise seems reasonable on the surface, the inconvenient truth is that if he had gotten his way his 99% solution would’ve resulted in an entire family line – mine – being destroyed.
I fail to see how that’s a Biblical solution at all. In fact, that’s actually the same worldview the American Left has when it justifies killing babies in the first place, just dialed down several notches.
As a Christian I don’t believe that God is not sovereign in history. I believe what Benjamin Franklin said when he noted, “God governs in the affairs of men.” I believe Jesus when he said after his resurrection, “All authority under Heaven and Earth has been given to me.” Therefore, I don’t believe there are jurisdictional limits to God’s sovereignty or His law, or that God’s will on earth isn’t accomplished until after some fantastical Rapture occurs in the near future beginning the seven-year tribulation and the end times.
I hold firm to the theology that those Christians who first founded this country had. And had they not had that theology, and instead taken their theology from Hal Lindsey, they would’ve never founded this country in the first place.
Therefore, whenever debates occur on the Right about whether or not Christians should compromise their principles – which they sadly and clearly already have to the Republican Party’s own detriment – I don’t even accept the premise of the question. For me, as a Christian, it’s not even a debatable point. It’s not about won’t as much as it’s about can’t. Only the government believes it can give away something that doesn’t belong to them.
What all this means is that when candidates or politicians share my Biblical convictions, I believe the record clearly shows I have done everything I could by the grace of God to help and support them. When they haven’t, I believe the record clearly shows that I haven’t. And that standard will remain a constant. Its application doesn’t change based who the current candidates are in any given election. That’s a sliding scale of moral relativism the Left usually embraces, and it saddens me to see that too many on the Right now want to as well.
God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I understand that for those of you that don’t share my convictions this is difficult to understand and accept, and I want you to know that I don’t expect you to. Before I became a Christian, the Republican Party was the only mechanism I had to advance and maintain the values I believe are best for this country. Under that worldview, pragmatism and “the lesser of two evils” doesn’t just make perfect sense, it’s probably justified because it’s the best you can hope for. Therefore, a non-Christian conservative is going to struggle coming to grips with what they view as a hard-line standard, and it is a hard-line standard because the Christian is to hold himself and his fellow Christians to a higher standard than the unbelieving world.
I respect that, and have never asked non-Christians to hold to a Christian standard. All I ask in return is that you respect my Christian conscience in kind. That includes the Republican Party, by the way. It is not a Christian institution, but nevertheless Christians operating within its framework are still to place their first loyalty to Christ above the party. And if you non-Christians want their God to bless their efforts you should hope they do that, otherwise the Bible says God won’t.
As a Christian I serve a God that throughout history has performed great miracles, the greatest of which we’ll commemorate soon on Easter. I believe that often God has shown up the most in our lives when we’re the most faithful to Him above all else.
However, like Daniel’s three friends said when they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s chocolate bunny and were thrown in the fiery furnace as a result, even if God chooses not to perform a great miracle I’m going to do my best to do hold true to His Word anyway because Hell is a lot hotter and a lot more forever than any fiery furnace.
Finally, if I have said anything that is not true, please let me know and I’ll be happy to correct the record. I’ve made this offer countless times already, and so far no one has taken me up on it. I’m guessing that’s because it’s not about whether or not what I’m saying is true, it’s really about the fact some of you just don’t want to hear it.
And that’s the saddest truth of them all.
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