Sunday, March 2, 2008

Jesus Was A Democrat

Jesus was a Democrat. That’s the secret that the Religious Right doesn’t want you to know. Jesus preached fairness, tolerance, peace and responsibility, all of which are Democratic principles. Republicans have continuously acted in the name of war, greed, fear and hatred, none of which are supported by the teachings of Jesus.

Here are some of the tenants of the Democratic Party: An honest, open and accountable government, fair trade and corporate responsibility, government responsibility to all its citizens, separation of church and state, and equal opportunity and equal justice for all. Democrats believe that the government exists for the benefit of all and that the government should adopt policies that enable all people to succeed. Democrats also believe that war should be used as a last resort, and only to protect America.

So what does the Bible teach us about these principles?

Honest, open and accountable government: Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:2-3)

Fair trade and corporate responsibility: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. ... For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6: 19, 21) 

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt. 6:24) 

Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15).

Government aid to all: I was hungred and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.... Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt. 25:35-40)
If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Matt. 19:21).

Separation of church and state: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. (Matt. 22-21).

Equal opportunity and justice: Ye have heard that it hath it said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matt. 5: 43-44);
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (Matt. 5:7).

War: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt. 5:9).

So, how can the right be religious? One idea is that the leaders of the right focus on personal behavior instead of social behaviors, sin versus injustice. Of course, when you look at the personal behavior of Republicans, sins abound. Extortion, money laundering, drugs and sex are all scandals that have tainted Republican leaders (check out Republican Sex Offenders for continuously updated examples). A better argument is that the conservative leaders know that they can mobilize the “single issue” voters. The GOP rails against progressive positions on gay rights, gun rights, and abortion in order to attract Christian fundamentalists. They manipulate the teachings of Jesus for the sole purpose gaining votes.

What I don’t understand is how people could be so willing to ignore the book that they live by. I don’t see how people can cast aside the very phrases that they use to shape their existence. And I certainly can’t excuse the fact that they are willing to forgive those leaders who claim to live by the Bible but are then caught doing just the opposite.

Maybe we should challenge the leaders of the religious right to live by the teachings of Jesus. We should challenge them to tolerate, help and pay their taxes. I’ll tell you one thing, if this country were run by the teachings of Jesus, it would be a very liberal nation.

So, I’ll leave you with one last teaching, and maybe it is the one that the religious right should be most concerned about:

Hypocrisy: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith, these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.... 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ... ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matt. 23: 23-28).


Justin said...

"Corinne: Didn't you heard what he said? Marx says we're all brothers!
Roland: Marx didn't said that. Some other communist said that. Jesus said that."

Danny said...

How true! I couldn't agree more.
We used a poster during the 2004 election that showed exactly this. I'll try to find it for you. Jesus wasn't just a Democrat... he was a progressive Democrat. I can't believe the greedy, hateful, war-mongering Republicans have hi-jacked Jesus. Thanks for standing up!
Jesus loves YOU! So do I! ;-)