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Christianity: The Issue Republicans Really Don’t Get

christianI’m a Christian.  I’m not afraid to admit that.  Many Republicans would have you believe Democrats and liberals are a bunch of Godless individuals seeking to destroy faith-based Christian principles.  It makes for a good marketing ploy, but it simply isn’t true.

The way I see it, Republicans are the biggest enemy to Christian principles and the Christian faith.  They simply don’t get it—none of it.

Does the Bible contain a lot of passages condemning certain acts?  Of course it does.  Would Jesus support abortions or homosexuality?  Who knows.  We are in fact all sinners (if you’re a Christian), that much is without question.  The Bible carries with it a plethora of inspiring events and ridiculous contradictions.  I’ve never viewed the Bible as a word for word true story.  To me it’s more a tool for those who need it at certain points in their life to use it.  I believe many of the stories within the Bible are metaphors written for those seeking answers.

Now, what you believe isn’t of concern to me.  I’ve never met someone of another faith and tried to convert them.  When I meet someone without faith at all (actually, the main person I work with in this business is an atheist) I never try to convince them to believe in anything.  If people ask me what or how I believe I’ll gladly tell them and answer any questions they ask the best I can.

My problem lies when people use faith, God and Jesus as a staging tool to push their own agenda.  It’s essentially the Republican social policy.  Since the Reagan years, Republicans have built up this PR mission of “We are the party of good moral Christian values.”  Ironically, as this was launched, they also started what most people refer to as “Reaganomics” or Trickle-down/Supply Side Economics.  The notion of giving the rich and powerful as much as possible, then the rest of us will reap the windfall of their generosity.

Presently, this idea has morphed into a disgusting monster supported by Republicans and highly influenced by the Tea Party.  While claiming to be great Christians, and the “moral majority,” they’ve attacked homosexuals, other religions (specifically Muslims), the poor, the sick and the needy.  They’ve done this all while doing what they can to ensure those who have the most—keep the most.

Just in the past year or so they’ve:

  • Booed a gay solider brought on TV after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
  • Cheered letting a hypothetical man die who had no insurance.
  • Gave a loud applause to the high execution numbers by Rick Perry while governor of Texas.
  • Condemned poor people who need government assistance.
  • Voted against FEMA that helps people after they’ve faced disasters, then requested help from FEMA when they faced disaster.
  • Turned breast cancer research and the Boy/Girl Scouts into political issues.
  • Tried to block funds to Planned Parenthood, attacking women’s health for poor women.
  • Used the mass murders by gun of 26 people in an elementary school to try and promote the need for more guns.

Are these what they think Christian principles are?  Judgement.  Anger.  Fear.  Hate.  Greed.  Violence.  This is the “moral Christian majority?”

Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit.  I’m a Christian and these people damn sure don’t represent Christianity.  They represent what I call Republicanity.  A mix of political ideology and some perversion of faith.

What the hell makes these people “Christian”?

Because they’re anti-abortion?  Guess what, I’m anti-abortion.  Roe vs Wade isn’t about whether abortions are morally acceptable, what it is about is a woman’s right to choose for herself–and I’m in support for that right for the woman to choose.

Because they’re against homosexuality?

Because many of them have good “church attendance”?

Are these narrow minded, simple ideas what define Christianity and being a “good Christian”?

Not even close.  And it’s why I say—they simply don’t get it.

Being your run of the mill Christian the Bible is the book that tells us what is or isn’t acceptable, is a sin or isn’t and whatever commandments or rules inside are guidelines we are personally supposed to live by.  Keyword in that sentence being personally.  Just like our man-made laws, judges and jury determine our crimes and punishments while alive, God is the one who judges Christians for what we do while we’re on earth (again if you are a Christian or believe in God).

This isn’t a Republican’s job, or anyone’s job, to cast judgment upon another person because they disagree with their lifestyle.  If you disagree, fine, that’s your right, but do so in the name of yourself—not the name of God or Jesus.  You’re neither one of them, and it’s time these people stop using Christianity as a means to wage wars of personal agendas on our society.

Jesus taught tolerance and giving.  To help your fellow man. To give more than you take.  To not judge others.

How do Republicans represent any of this?

They condemn social programs that help the poor.  They call every American having health care socialism and complain that it isn’t our responsibility to pay for those who don’t wish to pay for themselves.  They support the rights of the rich to keep more because the poor don’t really pay that much, if any, and they should pay more before the rich.  They slash education programs and entitlements that mostly benefit the needy, all to avoid eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars given freely to big (billion dollar) oil companies, corporate tax breaks and to ensure people making a million (or more) keep as much as possible.

Their attempts to reduce our deficits and balance our budgets have come at the expense of those who have less, all for the benefit of those who have more.  Their attempts to manipulate faith-based followers to achieve this political goal is the largest catalyst to many in this country turning away from Christianity.

I often reference another Bible saying we’ve all heard, that came from Jesus,  “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

This phrase is meant to show people it isn’t about being right or wrong.  It isn’t about being fair or unfair.

The point is to simply give, love, help and strive to be the best person you can—to all people at all times.  Jesus never once said he approved of the woman’s sins who was going to be stoned for her adultery, but his message was ‘how can any of you judge if you yourself aren’t free of sin.’

Why is your sin less damning than hers?  The reality is we all do things in our lives others can judge.  We all do things that aren’t exactly “Christian.”  Jesus was a man who never asked that we be perfect, just that we work to be the best we can be.  If there’s judgment to be made, that’s between that person and God.

We aren’t infallible.  We were never meant to be.

The “it” I referred to is simply that.  It isn’t our place to judge anyone for the choices they make.  For Christians there’s one ultimate judge, God, and that’s who matters in determining what kind of individuals we are.  By passing our own flawed judgments upon others for situations we may disagree with, how does that make us better Christians?

Did Jesus help the sick, but first ask why they were sick?

Did Jesus help the poor, but only the poor that helped themselves?

Did Jesus help the woman about to be stoned, but on condition she never sin again?

Did Jesus say to his people, “Why should I have to die for your sins?”

The answer is no.

The more Republicans push feelings of judgement, hate, fear and manipulate Christianity (and the Bible) for their selfish political agendas—the more Republicans prove that they simply don’t get it. 

About Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.

  • langranny

    The Republicans are simply using religion – in this case – Christianity, to lead their “sheep” to the slaughter. Religion was created to control the masses and it has worked throughout history. Until we realize that and stop following along, it will never change. The stupid and feeble-minded need someone and something to tell them how to behave and to keep them in fear of hell if they don’t. If you want to actually abide by Jesus’ teachings from the Bible, then do so, he actually had a lot of good ideas. But Jesus never said to hate and kill in his name…

  • JanS

    The problem with fundamentalists is it’s easier for them to think in simplistic terms because it feels safe to have everything in a nice tidy box. The bible teaches against “scripture worship” in several places. (John 5:39, for one). Because of this they are confused about their contribution in government and think they can legislate morality which does not work. With politics we will never find perfection.There is no Christian party and no party should market itself as such. We will always be choosing the lesser of evils. As Christians the focus should certainly be to legislate MORALLY which is a whole different thing. If rather than trying to control outcomes in their human thinking, they would actually focus on love and trusting in God, they could freely give themselves to the spirit of the law – not the letter of the law, as taught in Romans 7:6, ” But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Their inability to get this shows a basic misunderstanding of the conversion experience and life of a Christian.

  • [email protected]

    I no longer go to church for this very reason. It is filled with hateful, fear mongering, spiteful people. They judge you by what you wear, where you live and what you drive.