Jesus On Politics: Why Conservative Isn't Christian « Just The …
Yet the Death Penalty is overwhelmingly supported by Christian Conservatives.Nearly three in four presided over 149 executions as governor of Texas and even mocked one of the women he put to death. Some may attempt to fall back on the classic claim of an “eye for an eye.” This old testament adage has been refuted by Jesus, however, in Matthew 5:38-39 when he says “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
As we can see, the old-testament concept of revenge is not reconcilable with the teachings of Christ, as he has personally discredited them. Yet even when Jesus has given us an indisputable example of how to treat Capital Punishment, when he has told us in plain words that none of us are worthy of taking life, conservatives still pull the switch. And they are still supported by Christians. Why?
Welfare, Healthcare and Money:
One of Jesus’ strongest teachings is a love for the poor and disenfranchised.
In Matthew 19, Jesus is approached by a ruler who wants to get into heaven. When the ruler asks Jesus what he lacks, Jesus in verse 21 tells him “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
In Luke 14, verses 13-14, Jesus gives this instruction to all who would follow Him, ”But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
And yet, as of 2004 “nearly 18 percent of American children lived in poverty (compared with, say, 8 percent in Sweden). In fact, by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose-childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool-we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin…[and] the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last year that the number of households that were “food insecure with hunger” had climbed more than 26 percent between 1999 and 2003.”
Despite statistics like these, Conservative politicians continue to decry any public assistance as a handout. Conservatives continue to consistently cut federal spending in social welfare programs, preferring to instead send your tax money overseas to fund a seemingly pointless war in Iraq. God has clearly told us to help the needy, but Conservatives do not support legislation enacted to do just this. Conservatives promise tax cuts, but that money you’re getting back is taking food off the table of an impoverished family. Conservatives don’t believe the poor in America deserve help. Popular Conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly shows his Christian Compassion when he discusses the “moral difficulties” of cutting welfare, saying ”It’s hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell ‘em they’re irresponsible and lazy…Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen”
Meanwhile, healthcarecosts are spiraling out of control in America. We are the richest nation in history, yet approximately 46 million Americans, or 15.7 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2004. The number of uninsured children in 2004 was 8.3 million – or 11.2 percent of all children in the U.S. The United States’ amazing wealth and prosperity is the biggest “banquet” in world history, but obviously the poor and the crippled are not invited. Our own people are suffering, yet conservatives do not support any kind of comprehensive Healthcare reform. Conservatives do not support Universal Healthcare, a proposal that 62% of Americans firmly believe in. And yet it’s affordable. So affordable, in fact, that Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting office show that single payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.
Conservatives shy away from Universal Healthcare because they believe in corporate freedom. They value corporate success over the health of our own citizens. The reason ultimately is, in a word; money. Conservatives are afraid Universal Healthcare might cost the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry profits, which would mean a loss in campaign funds. But is saving a doctor’s Mercedes Benz worth wasting the life of a child whose parents can not afford healthcare? Is it not our responsibility, as Christians, to provide for the needy?
When Conservatives need votes, they always tempt the masses with promises of money. But always, this money is coming from social programs that help people. Social programs that active Christians should support and seek to make better. When greed gets the best of you, when tax cuts seem appealing, when it becomes easy to blame the poor for their predicament, remember 1 Timothy 6:9-10; “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Abortion, Gay Marriage and Judgment:
Conservatives want to outlaw Gay Marriage and Abortion because they’re sins? Ok, while we’re at it, let’s outlaw lying, lusting, coveting and parental disrespect…THEN let’s see how many Americans are not in jail…
Although the Bible tells us what is wrong to do, it clearly instructs us in how to deal with those who do wrong nonetheless; with tolerance and forgiveness. In 1 Samuel 24, David is presented an opportunity where he could have killed his enemy Saul. Instead he spared his life, and in verses 11-13 said “May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.” Saul praises David’s righteousness, and the Lord rewards him.
These words are later echoed in one of the Bible’s most well known lines, Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Conservative stances on Gay Marriage and Abortion are their two strongest positions, and in truth, some of their theological opinions hold water with the Christian faith. The Bible does, in several instances, cite homosexuality as against God’s will. Also, the sixth commandment states that we shall not kill, so abortion is breaking a commandment and therefore condemned by God (just like the Death Penalty). However, a very important part of being a Christian is submission to God’s will, and the acceptance of God as judge and jury. The two quotes above illustrate that we are not intended to pass judgment. Jesus gives us an example in John 8:15 when he says “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.” In Luke 6:27-37 , Jesus says these words,
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. ”If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Homosexuals and abortionists may be sinners, as are we all, but we have here a clear example of how we should treat them; with the utmost love and compassion. We should show them the tender, accepting love that can only come from a Christian. We are ordered by God not to pass judgment, but to love them as we love ourselves. Should we be trying so fervently to outlaw Gay Marriage, to deny Homosexuals American rights, when Gays are sinners and Jesus has told us to “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back?” Do you suggest that gays aren’t included in this quote? I say all people are, for we are all sinners! Are we doing to others as we would have them do to us? Are we being an example that invites imitation?
And Conservatives bomb abortion clinics in the name of God. They ignorantly shed blood in the name of the lamb. They are hateful and angry, and not at all living life as Jesus has asked. Judgment is not ours to pass, but God’s! If there were a Christian community willing to accept and care for unwanted babies, would there still be abortions? If there was a compassionate and loving environment, fostered by Christians, available for teen mothers, would there still be abortions? If teen mothers had somewhere to go, wouldn’t things be better? And who better to spread this love but Christians? Is acceptance not what Jesus preached?
Christians will never save sinners as long as they foster hate in their hearts. Hate and judgment are the polar opposites of what Jesus taught. Christians are supposed to be pillars of love and acceptance, welcoming the sinner and showing them compassion. Jesus didn’t say to shove religion down sinners throats. Jesus did not say to make the ten commandments laws, or ask us to “protect the sanctity of marriage.” Jesus told us to be like Him, to spread the Word through example; an example of ultimate love and compassion for the sinner. When sinners see the light of the Son through our love, they will want to come to God, but that is the work of the Holy Ghost and God alone. Our only requirement is to love the sinner. That means loving the homosexual, and the abortionists, and the murderers. If you can’t cope with that, you can not live as jesus did.
Conservatives that foster hate and wish to condemn sinners, both in word and legislation, are not living the example set by Christ in Luke 6. They are not doing unto others, as Jesus taught. They are pushing more and more people away from God with their fiery words and anger. They are making Christians look like barbaric zealots. Contrast this quote from Christian activist Randal Terry with the above words of Christ;
“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”
I believe this speaks for itself.
Religious Right Quotes that Prove Them Wrong
And Links to some Darn Nice Sites: http://www.freewebs.com/jesusonpolitics/#badlinks
On Christian Fellowship: You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don’t have to be nice to them. — Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, January 14, 1991
On Love For Fellow Man: It is interesting, that termites don’t build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have…. The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation. — Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986
On History: Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals — the two things seem to go together. — Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, January 21, 1993, ignoring the facts that the Nazis killed homosexuals as ruthlessly as they did Jews and that Satanim emerged with Anton Szandor LaVey