November 9, 2012
Some Brief Reflections on Christianity and Politics

Jesus did not come to make you popular in high school or to help your kid be good in soccer. He is not a secret password to help you with networking. Christianity is not supposed to be convenient.

Jesus is not on the record anywhere (as far as I can tell) for being pro-business. The only time he mentioned taxes was in reference to paying them. The only time Jesus mentioned material wealth was in reference to giving it all away.

America is for the individual, Christianity is for the loss of self.

Christian politics and Christian fundamentalism both started at around the same time and for the same reasons. They were a response to the theory of evolution and modernism.

"In God We Trust" on our money, and "One Nation Under God" in our pledge, are both due due to a fearful reaction against the threat of communism.

During the civil rights movement, many (mostly white) pastors fervently argued that the church had no place in politics. These same pastors and speakers—most notably Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson—changed their tune in the late 70’s when it came to the issues of abortion and homosexuality.

Ronald Reagan, a man never interested in church, co-opted these above mentioned ministers and used them to coerce the fine people who became known as “The Moral Majority” into a political tool. He seduced them the way any sleazy guy would: He told them they were important to him and then he took what he wanted. And after he got elected twice? Well, abortion is still legal isn’t it?

And George W. Bush, the true “born-again” president; he was clearly elected by politicized believers. And what do Christians have to show for that? Dare I suggest the possibility that Christians are just being manipulated and used for their vote? Dare I suggest that the Republican party is not actually full of believers, but to use a term of Jesus, actually just wolves in sheep’s clothing?

If you believe in small government and big business, that’s fine. And if you believe in more regulation and greater governmental responsibility, that’s okay too. But remember that neither of these things have anything to do with Jesus. He didn’t seem to be interested in government one way or the other. And he lived in the Roman Empire during its occupation. There was a lot he could have said if he wanted to.

The president has little to do with the fate of abortion. The house and senate even less. All a president can do is select judges that favor his beliefs, and that is no guarantee of an outcome. This cannot be made more clear: a vote for a congressman, senator, or president based solely on this one issue is a wasted vote.

According to strict fundamentalist dogma:

gay marriage becomes legal=gays go to hell.

gay marriage remains illegal=gays go to hell.

If you really believe this is true, shouldn’t you be more concerned with loving and reaching out to the homosexual community? Aren’t you forsaking your own mission for a political cause that has no spiritual merit? Think about it.

Religious pluralism is a part of America and will always be so. Requiring that children pray to one specific God of one specific religion is unfair and unconstitutional. If you disagree, consider this:  prayer in school becomes not only allowed but enforced. Your child must pray every morning before class or they will be expelled. All of the prayers will be Islamic in nature and towards Allah. Would you still want mandatory prayer?

There is no argument that the social issue Jesus cared most about was poverty. There is also no argument that this is the social issue one probably hears the least about from the Christian right. Does this strike anyone else as problematic? But you might say that Jesus meant this to be a cause for the individual and not for the government. Fine. But the argument can’t stop there. If the government shouldn’t be responsible then the church and the individual should step up.

Perhaps less time should be spent waving signs outside gay pride rallies and more times spent feeding the hungry.

Perhaps some of those campaign donations should go to widows, orphans and the very poor.

Perhaps Christians should remember why they say they exist on this earth.

Perhaps it is time to reevaluate their role in the political sphere.

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