Jesus was a Republican

Since I left Facebook (best decision I’ve made since quitting smoking, both were bad for my health), I generally get my news from Twitter where I follow several news organizations on all sides of the globe and all sides of the political fence. Wait, a globe is round, therefore it doesn’t have sides… and a fence only has 2 sides… never mind.

I don’t follow any extremist websites of any kind because I don’t drink Kool-Aid unless I mix it myself.

Jesus Kool Aid

I wouldn’t call myself a devoted religious person. I attended church when I was very little for a brief time. It was the Episcopal Church. I remember it as welcoming, friendly and open minded. In Sunday school we discussed general principles like The Golden Rule and, what we would refer to today as, Global Citizenship. I also remember them giving us lilacs on Easter Sunday which I thought was pretty amazing. Someone would just GIVE me a flower! For free! To this day I plant lilacs outside of my window wherever I live. I never thought about why until this very minute, but there seems to be a connection there.

Jesus Episcopalians

I find religion fascinating for many reasons. I’ve mentioned before that I recently started teaching an Arabic Business Strategy class and have learned a great deal about Islam and the Muslim philosophies in that endeavor. It’s truly intriguing. I’m equally fascinated by Catholicism and all other world religions. I’m interested in how/when they formed. What their basic principles are. How their members view the religion. How outsiders view the religion. How religion brings peace as often as it brings conflict. That last part is the most compelling to me. The more I learn about world religions, the more I want to know.

I also find “Faith” in general to be one of the most interesting things about religion. I don’t have faith in anything. That’s not an attempt to be shocking; it’s just the reality of how I live my life. I do believe that everything happens for a reason (even though it’s REALLY annoying when something bad happens to you and someone says that). I do believe there is more to existence than what we see, physically, in front of us. But, if I see someone with a “faith” tattoo, it’s a good general clue that we will likely never drink bourbon and watch Netflix together. Unrelated: I also really like Faith Hill’s music, but I don’t think that counts.

Jesus Faith MLK

What fascinates me is the blind “faith” of devout religious people. Over the years I’ve found MANY people who will tell me that they have complete faith in Jesus, or whoever their god is. That they trust in “his” judgment and direction. These people seem much happier than I ever will be, to be honest. If I’m being really honest, I’m generally not what I’d call a happy person. I think temporary bouts of contentment are probably my best case scenario. Hence, my interest in those with “faith” because this seems to make them very happy.

That said, in 100% of the times I’ve asked, those same faithful people have always disagreed with at least one portion of their Bible or their Koran etc. I find it hard to understand how you can have blind faith in “the word” and then have well BUT not ABC because XYZ.

The XYZ is many things. Well, I don’t believe in stoning children when they speak out of turn because that portion was written in a different time. A different time? Don’t the rules of god apply at all times? If not, how do we know when to let stoning children drop off the list? How do we know it’s cool to use birth control now without going to hell? Was there a memo? In my experience the general response is that “the church” has decided…

Jesus Cool Story Bro

I’ve asked these questions of Pastors and Rabbis and students. As always, there is no definite answer. Cafeteria Catholics seem to be a symptom of our evolution. I’ll get in line for Jesus. I’ll slide my tray down the line and grab The Golden Rule with a side of Not Laying with my Neighbors Wife, but I’ll leave the stoning children and no birth control on the shelf. Jesus won’t mind because XYZ. Talked to my minister and he’s all… it’s cool it’s just birth control, but don’t be gay because that one is still hell-worthy. I’ll let you know if it gets dropped off the list.

Jesus cafeteria

Jesus H. Christ, what was my point?! (I obviously left blasphemy on the shelf today too… my bad). I can’t find anything in 27 years of religious philosophical conversation and research that indicates that Jesus was a Republican. The Republican claim on Christianity is entirely confusing. There is this sense in the current political climate that the GOP upholds Christian values, with an undertone that the Dems are trying to destroy it.  Huh?

So for the sake of argument, let’s say that Jesus doesn’t mind now if you don’t stone your kids or if you let your wife speak before she’s spoken too… he’s all good with that now because XYZ. Let’s say he cares about the big stuff like abortion, divorce, sex before marriage, using birth control and being gay.

I would argue that Republicans get divorced, have sex before marriage and use birth control. In theory I suppose they are less likely to have an abortion, and perhaps are more likely to oppose gay rights/gay marriage. Republicans also seem more likely to oppose immigration from Middle Eastern countries and to oppose Islam/Muslim religion.

Here are a few Jesus GOP related spoilers for you:

  • Jesus was not Republican
  • Jesus was Middle Eastern. Yup, not only was Jesus brown, but if he were alive today he would be under the U.S. travel ban. Just a reminder, the people that the GOP doesn’t want in the country are the same nationality as Jesus, who is the person that you say you will follow faithfully. (Hint: You aren’t following Jesus and you’re not hiding it well)
  • Jesus was a Jew. Wait… what? Now that’s a head scratcher.
  • One of Jesus’s main jams was that the worse a person’s situation, the more important that it is to help that person. Americans love to act as if HOW the person got into a bad situation matters. You know who it doesn’t matter to? You guessed it, your buddy Jesus. Turn away the poor, the sick, those in need and you are telling Jesus… Nope! Sorry dude I’ll follow you in theory but this actual following you is SO HARD! By the way do you know where the cafeteria is?

Jesus Carter

Here’s my point (yes I’m FINALLY getting to what might be a coherent point…) Republicans do not hold the Christianity Card. If the basic premise of the Christian religion is to sacrifice for those in need… I would argue that Christianity is a bipartisan concept.

—————–

The opposite of Jesus’s message, is Nationalism. I repeat, the opposite of Jesus’s message… is Nationalism.

—————–

Jesus Nationalism

 

14 thoughts on “Jesus was a Republican”

  1. Wow, this is the kind of topic that calls for an entire evening of conversation (and a Manhattan or three). Up-front disclosure: Catholic converted from Lutheran and a conservative.

    I agree that Jesus was not a Republican. Neither was he a Democrat, Libertarian or Green. I think that the reason these “Christianity Wars” are so common here in the US is from a combination of our background as a free nation *and* this free nation being largely the product of a protestant culture that allowed a slew of different (but equally acceptable) congregations that essentially allowed everyone to stitch together a bespoke faith. The liberal Calvinists and the conservative Fundamentalists agree on nothing except that the Bible is the basis for their very dissimilar faiths.

    We see this in the Catholic Church here in this country as well with the liberal “Social Justice” Catholics (give more to the poor!) fighting with the “Traditionalist” Catholics (He’s God in the flesh, now act like it!). There is too much of a “Have it your way” mentality in this country where we are not used to embracing a faith because it is true and then tailoring our politics to fit it. And it is a struggle. I will admit to being less rigidly conservative than I was 25 years ago, particularly in becoming less enamored of the death penalty – solely because of my faith. If you are doing Christianity properly, I don’t believe that any single political party will be a natural fit for you.

    I think the only one of your points I have a real quibble with your premise is the one on Muslim immigration. Whether someone is or is not of Jesus’ nationality is quite irrelevant, something he said more than once. The question to me is whether Islamic refugees coming here in great numbers aim to assimilate into our pluralistic culture and grow into our values. There is a realistic concern that Islam and its culture is a uniquely one-way system where people can come in to it but can never go back out. Where that system (which seems a hybrid of faith and politics) has been in the majority has often not been a hospitable place for for women, gays and those who practice other faiths.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the comments! I hadn’t thought about the point that the two different religions are based on the same bible but are so different from each other. I suppose that’s what’s so odd? To play devil’s advocate on the muslim commentary, I note your comment about them “growing into our values”… aren’t “our values” the same as theirs, if they are Americans? 😉 I agree that religion doesn’t fit into a particular party. Watching the news lately has been a struggle. As a Democrat (a conservative democrat) it feels like we’re being told we are ruining conservatism and betraying the bible. I don’t believe that’s true… I suppose that most of the things we see are just to sell advertisements at this point. “Extra extra read all about it! Every race and religion belongs here and we can be in whichever political party we want to!”…. isn’t the most exciting news story. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great read!

    One of my favorite quotes is one from To Kill a Mockingbird when Miss Maudie says, “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of, oh your father… There are just some kind of men who are so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

    It seems that organized religion has become a platform for people to validate their own prejudices and narrow minded worldview by interpreting the bible to fit their own agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goddamnit! (see what I may or may not have done there?), I really enjoyed reading this one – which is not to discount your previous works, but the arrival of this one timed out perfectly with the storm of concussive ranting I’ve had bouncing around my own head as of late. While my views/opinions of just about everything dogmatic are quite dim and even a bit violently monochromatic, this one had me all ears (or eyes if that what counts on the internet). My folks attempted to raise me Episcopalian, and all my extended family was either Catholic or Born-Again Christian, and I’ve pretty much shunned all of it while taking unfair cheap-shots at those that find it all endearing. Regardless, I totally dug the way you approached this one; this post made me ponder, guffaw, and even throw a bit of side-eye (in a good way – I’m quite fucked off by the fact that I hadn’t thought of the cafeteria metaphor first!)… on that note, I’m off to drown myself in videos of Eddie Izzard discussing religion! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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