Tim Keller Explains Why He’s a Registered Democrat: It’s ‘Smart Voting’ and Strategic


Prominent New York City pastor and author Tim Keller is defending his political registration as a Democrat, saying it’s a strategic way to influence elections in a region where left-leaning politics dominate.

Keller’s registration was debated on Twitter this week when a user posted a screenshot of Keller’s registration as a Democrat and criticized him for acting as if he was “not a part of any party affiliation.”

Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the co-founder of Redeemer City to City, is pro-life on abortion and opposes same-sex marriage – two positions that place him at odds with the Democratic Party platform.

Keller explained his registration in a series of tweets this week.

“My party registration in NYC reflects the fact that the winner of the Democratic primary is nearly always the winner of the election,” he tweeted, referencing elections in New York. “If you can’t vote in that primary you have no say over who your representatives will be. Vote smart.”

In another tweet, he added, “You have a greater influence if you get to vote in the primaries of the party that is most likely to win. This is fairly standard.”

He called it “smart voting practices.”

On Oct. 31, Keller posted a link to a 2018 New York Times op-ed about politics he authored. Keller quoted from his column on Twitter: “Nevertheless, while believers can register under a party affiliation and be active in politics, they should not identify the Christian church or faith with a political party as the only Christian one.”

“As anyone knows who has listened to my preaching over the years, I have always, incessantly,  equally critiqued the positions of the Left and the Right, not one more than the other,” Keller tweeted. “To claim that I am mainly a proponent of one side or the other is amply refuted by looking at my books and sermons.

“… Biblically,” he added, “Christians ought to be equally and energetically concerned about guarding the life of the unborn, about racial injustice, about the plight of the poor, and about promoting sexual morality and the health of the family. We should not have to choose among these. We should not have to play down about some of them in order to promote others.

“But across the West, the dominant political parties call its members to do just that. Nevertheless, since Christians can & must work for the good of society as our biblically informed consciences direct us, they will often have to work in or support others in the dominant political parties,” Keller concluded. “But because of the ideological nature of politics & the ‘package deals’ we must not identify Christian faith closely with any of them nor insist there is only one truly Christian way to vote.”

Keller retired as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 2017 and now chairs Redeemer City to City, a non-profit that recruits and trains Christian leaders.

Photo courtesy: Pexels


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.





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