I tend to spend more time in the basement of churches than the Sanctuary, so perhaps my view is more pragmatic than dogmatic, but I’d like to relate a couple of anecdotes for what it’s worth:
To begin with, my dad worked in construction, mostly around New York and Philadelphia. As you can imagine, neither the region nor the industry were conducive to maintaining a moral code. For him at the time, it was a moot point. He could deal with sharks, he loved the power, and over time, he became as bad as any of them. I don’t know if he was a good guy that got sucked in, or if he was meant to do it, but he nearly lost his family and he still has to consciously choose his new life over his old habits on a daily basis.
I hated him for a long time, but I have come to forgive, and now I understand that he did what he needed to do. His parents’ education ended at eighth grade, and his high school counselor told him that he would never go to college. So he went to Vietnam, then used the GI Bill to become an engineer. He went to work with thieves and thugs every day, so that I could eat, get an education, and not have to make the lose-lose choices he did. Whatever sacrifices he made, I feel that my future conduct will atone for his compromises ten-fold. Furthermore, after decades of being apolitical, he is leaning my way more and more, and his insight regarding the opposition is invaluable.
Because of my experiences in Philadelphia in the 90’s, I found myself in a unique position to comment on the race for Wisconsin’s US Senate seat in 2012. The primary was a tight three-way race and without going into too much detail, Thompson was the big government ‘RINO’, Hovde was the fiscal conservative, and Neumann was the social conservative. During the course of the campaign, Neumann discovered that in 2004, Hovde donated $500 to Andrew Hohns, a candidate who openly supported gay privilege, abortion, needle exchange, and condoms in schools. This caused serious damage to the Hovde campaign. What Neumann failed to mention and what Hovde failed to rebut is that this was a district in which Republicans don’t even bother contesting the general election, and Hohns’ opponent was, guess what? An open supporter of gay privilege, abortion, needle exchange, and condoms in school! Hohns was an equity manager at an investment bank and Hovde was a real estate investor. He gave $500 to a business associate who was a dark horse candidate and the lesser of two evils. He got down and dirty in Philadelphia construction, but he now uses some of his millions to support conservatism.
How did it end? Well, the supposed man-of-faith Neumann continued to exploit this. He still finished third, but siphoned off enough of the Tea Party vote so that Hovde finished second and Thompson won the primary. Thompson had full coffers and the moderate vote, but no grassroots passionate enough to go out there and fight for him. In a state that had just maintained a Republican judiciary, increased their Republican lead in the state legislature, and defeated a recall attempt on their Republican governor, they elected a Tammy Baldwin, a pro-abortion, gun-grabbing lesbian, and sent her to the US Senate for 6 years, where even Nancy Pelosi has to give her the old ‘ixnay on the extremism’ from time to time.
I’m all for standing on one’s principles. I avoid companies that use Chinese slave labor, I avoid entertainment that does not reflect my values, and I boycott stores that posts signs prohibiting my right to self-defense. Today, I chose to purchase my domain name and server hosting from LambHost. Not because they have the volume to compete with GoDaddy rates, but because I believe the profits will go toward a greater good, and I trust they won’t throw me under the bus if my legal, moral content is deemed politically incorrect.
Still, when it comes to fretting over your culpability, I think you go too far. You can accomplish a lot of good with this venture and parlay it’s success into promoting your beliefs. You can’t do that with a defunct business. That’s what purists did in Wisconsin, and instead of a pretty darn good man in Hovde, they have an abhorrent individual in Baldwin. Sometimes, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.