In his Nov. 11 Washington Forum commentary, “Moving beyond the ‘religious right,’ ” the Rev. Richard Cizik wrote, “Whether the Christian duty to love our neighbors is compatible with a political movement that embraces radical individualism and rejects the ethic of collective responsibility is a central question as the GOP attempts to cement the Tea Party and the religious right into a cohesive base.” Surely a Christian with Mr. Cizik’s theological education would concede that individual responsibility, an individual relationship with Christ and individual salvation are at the core of Christian theology.

“Government/collective responsibility” is a secular tenet of the modernist left; it’s not part of Christian theology. For this reason, voluntary charitable giving is a recognized Christian virtue, as exemplified in the biblical story of the poor woman who gave her last coin in offering. Compulsory government taxation is relegated in the Gospel to the status of “giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” 

I agree with Mr. Cizik that “the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on moral values.” Rather, I believe that God, through His revealed word, does. Registering millions of new Christian voters can be nothing but a good thing. If churchgoing Christians tend to vote Republican, perhaps Mr. Cizik ought to reflect on why that is.  

Gary A. Marx, Duluth, Ga.

The writer is executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

●The Rev. Richard Cizik speaks for me. One can indeed be an orthodox Christian and reject the conservative agenda that cuts government programs to the poor and needy and abandons the health-care needs of financially strapped Americans.

A reading of the Hebrew prophets suggests that U.S. capitalism (like mercantilism and communism before it) stands under divine judgment when it pursues profit and power at the expense of communal welfare. Jesus’s parable on Lazarus and Dives speaks the same message.

John D. Rockefeller may have taught Sunday school in a Baptist church. That does not mean the God he worshiped was blind to his ruthless destruction of competitors and his obsession with building an exploitative monopoly. 

Gordon Lindsey, Scottsville, Va.

The writer is pastor of Scottsville Presbyterian Church.