A close friend just sent me this. I thought it was well said and wanted to pass it along. By the way, we both think people have a right to their beliefs and convictions, just sometimes they seem to conflict. That's what my friend's writing about here.
I Don't Get it
There's a problem that's been bothering me, and, I have to presume, others over here on the left, for some time: how do the Republicans manage to get so many Christian supporters when they are so obviously not Christian in so many of their views and actions?
I've been attacking this from many angles and apparently not getting much traction on the “other” side, so I keep picking at the scab. This time I will try to go at it more directly, not trying to point out that they're lying (an un-Christian sin, ain't it?) but looking at Christian values versus Republican values and actions.
First, I think it's important to notice that Jesus wasn't interested in Government. He seems to have taken great pains to differentiate the spiritual life from the world of politics and finance and law. For example, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and render unto God that which is God's.” Or, ”It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.” I don't know that he necessarily was against government; I think he saw these concerns as distractions from the important stuff, and didn't want to get sidetracked into the mire of politics.
However, the more dense the population, the more we need rules to help us get along. The more people you see in a day, the more interactions you have with others, the more we use the limited resources the planet has, the more we need to individually be responsible for the consequences of our actions. And the more important it is to agree on what the rules should be; laws, or regulations. And everyone benefits from good government. I only have to look at Somalia for an example of what anarchism brings. Government is necessary, so long as its power rests with the people, and its purpose is primarily to safeguard their well-being and regulate commerce for the best economic outcome for everyone.
I would also propose that one of the purposes of government should be to protect us from any religion gaining ascendance over government itself, and using that power to control or eliminate other religions. Some of us would certainly like to see our moral values turned into law, but I think most of us would agree that we don't want to see the other guy's moral values being imposed on us. Christians would like to see a Christian government here, but the Taliban in Afghanistan, that was bad.
Perhaps, and I certainly believe this, there's some sort of reciprocal relationship here: religion should not be involved in politics, and politics should not be involved in religion. Indeed, I've always thought that to be one of the founding principles of this country. That's freedom, isn't it?
But the warping of Christian ideals to make them fit the Republican agenda has me thoroughly confused.
So I ask the Christian Republicans among you. - Would Jesus -
Have the largest Army in the world, and use it to invade other countries?
Tell the poor, sick, old and young that they're “on their own”?
Advocate for the rich to get richer, while the poor and sick have nothing?
Think healthcare should be a profit-making endeavor?
Preach against unions?
Fight social safety net programs?
Want corporations to be powerful and run by greed?
Hate a black President?
Want to reduce religious freedoms? For anyone?
Think it's a good idea for all of us to carry guns?
Send children to work instead of school because they're poor?
Disregard the fact that we're destroying the environment for profit?
Believe Americans are better than anyone else?
Believe that you are not your brother's keeper?
Or that some men are not your brothers?
Now, I'd like to expand for a moment on the “hate a black President” question above. I personally have no objection to Mitt Romney because he's Mormon. I think if I investigated the LDS I'd probably conclude that it is a wacky religion; but I think most religions are wacky, and many of our Presidents have been religious. I have objections to him for many reasons aside from that.
But how can Christians want to back him, as opposed to an Evangelical Christian President already in office? Yes, Obama's a Democrat; but the amount of derision and hatred being fomented against him is far too intense for that to be an explanation. And I clearly remember, only months ago, some Christian leaders bluntly stating that they felt Mormonism was a cult, and definitely not Christian.
Do you really believe he is going to bring about your image of How Things Ought To Be? Or his?
Do you begin to see how the Republicans have twisted you? You may be Republican, but I don't think you can call yourselves Christians anymore. I think the Democrats live up to Christian ideals better than Republicans.
They just don't call it that.