Back in the Bush years, the Republican Party hijacked many American Christians by persuading them that Republicans are the party of family values. In particular, they used the abortion issue to rally Christians around their political cause.

I know many good-hearted Christians who vote on this one issue alone.

The Republican Party could do just about anything, and as long as it is anti-abortion, they will continue to vote for it.

Now the Republican Party has also taken up the mantle of opposition to gay marriage, claiming that legalizing it will destroy the institution of marriage in our country. Many Christians think that the very social fabric of our society is at stake, and so they are choosing to support the Republican Party on this issue as well.

My husband and I are Christians, too, and we've been getting phone calls reminding us to "vote the Bible." This troubles us greatly, because we are convinced that there is much more to the Bible than the commandment not to murder and admonitions against gay relationships.

I do not know of anywhere in the Bible where it says murder is the very worst of all sins, and we must ignore all other evils in order to oppose it.

As for gay marriage, many Christians disregard Biblical teachings regarding divorce, adultery and fornication. I believe the institution of marriage has already declined in the United States because Christians themselves have often not upheld its sanctity. Gay marriage isn't going to damage it any worse than it has already been damaged.

Looking at a bigger picture, the Bible has plenty to say about defending the weak and vulnerable, welcoming foreigners, seeking justice and truth, seeking the good of others before the good of self and the corruption of wealth.

If the Republican Party was truly the party of family values, wouldn't it be promoting the full range of Biblical teachings rather than just a few that further its political agenda?

The truth is that Republicans aren't going to be able to do anything about abortion, and gay marriage is not going to damage an institution that is already on the wane among both Christians and non-Christians.

As Catholic Christians, we voted Tuesday according to our own understanding of Biblical principles, and we voted for Democrats.

Judy Hake

Union Bridge

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