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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.

  • ceci

    They should read the BIBLE more often
    And practice what they are preaching and always seek the Lord to help them decide what is right Jeremiah: 22- 23

  • Frank Need

    Seems like a lot of judging happening in this article.

  • Paula Kate Mez

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. Not all
    people either Democrats or Republicans can be categorized as you have
    done here.

    To answer some of your questions, Jesus would not support
    homosexuality or abortion because he is God the Son and God the
    Father said no murder at all.
    As far as homosexuality, he would
    not support that because He is God the Son and God says that
    homosexuality is an abomination to Him.

    Jesus would not be a
    supporter of the actions of liars, backbiters, (gossipers), haughty
    people, murderers, adulterers, homosexuals,or anyone else who is
    engaged in sin.

    However….
    He (Jesus) would NOT support
    treating anyone badly. He died on the cross for all of our sins and
    there are people in every walk of life that are included in of the
    groups mentioned above.

    First Corinthians 6: 9-11 states:

    “9: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit
    the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor
    idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
    10:
    nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
    extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
    11: And such were
    some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you
    were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our
    God.”

    Yet NOWHERE in the Bible will you ever find Jesus
    saying that we should be treating anyone badly …for any reason,
    whatsoever.

    Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be
    treated and above all to love one another. That means to put someone
    else’s welfare above your own.

    And He means what He said.

    When anyone who purports to be a Christian, gives grief to
    someone else or treats anyone badly/disrespectfully, then we are not
    following His command.

    What is going on though is that when
    people are engaging in that kind of destructive behavior, we are not
    acting in love or concern for someone else, and that goes against
    everything Jesus teaches us.

    If and when a Christian makes the mistake of choosing to act in a way that is contrary to what Jesus says, means to demonstrate the actions that eventually will lead to the destruction of our very souls if we do not stop, repent(not do it anymore) and ask forgiveness from God and the person or people we have wronged.

    I believe in what Jesus teaches and I try to act on those teachings
    every day.

    I don’t always make the mark because, I am a sinner like everyone
    else and am the first to say that I am far from perfection yet I can still be encouraged because I know that God isn’t done with me.
    “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good wok in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6).

    However I do try to treat others well no matter what their beliefs, politics
    or anything else, because every person on this earth is created by
    God and therefore we all have such intrinsic value….such great
    value to God that He sent His only begotten Son(Jesus) who never knew
    sin to die for the sins of all humanity…because Jesus( the
    only begotten Son Of God) was the only acceptable sacrifice God would
    accept as the “propitiation” for our sins.

    That tells me how much God loves all of us regardless of where we are in our lives.
    He is also the Standard that I will and have always looked to for instruction and guidance through this often difficult world.

    John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world
    that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him
    shall not perish but have everlasting life.” That’s love. That is
    what it looks like.

    When we hurt others, when we disrespect others, we are not aspiring to act in the way that Jesus taught us to act towards each other.

    It’s wrong to put people in a category of any kind, because we all have something wonderful to offer humanity.

    Instead of fighting and arguing about who is right,
    wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone on this planet realized the
    value we all are to each other and to see the benefits of what God
    has gifted each of us with, poured out on all of humanity?

    Food for thought from an old Republican lady.

  • K_Ann

    Mr. Clifton, you claim to be a Christian; I think one good definition of Christian was given by the Lord himself “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:16) Based on your article, would a Christian?

    1. Distort facts?
    2. Puff himself up as an example
    3. Promote hatred and use religion as an excuse to do so?

    Let’s talk some facts:
    1. FEMA – you posit a Christian would support FEMA because that is the only way to serve people in a disaster.
    a. Outside local newspapers there is little attention given to all the Christians who aid disaster victims; like those churches that prepared food the next morning after Katrina, that turned their buildings into camping areas, that sent food and supplies, that were still sending chainsaw brigades a year after the disaster. Or all of those funds and personnel that send aid throughout the world. Oh those selfish Christians.
    b. I live in Florida – yes, some genuinely deserving people were helped, but it was absolutely nauseating the waste FEMA exhibited during the 2004 storms. Oh, and one co-worker couldn’t recover the hundreds of dollars of lost food because they rented instead of owned. On the other hand, anyone in my county could recover even if they lost nothing.
    c. And, I guess you’ve forgotten all these designer handbags being bought with FEMA cards.
    d. So, I leave it to your readers, would a Christian donate their time and resources or vote to have a government agency waste millions in resources by taking other people’s money

    2. Government assistance – it’s time someone admits there is more than one reason for poverty. Some people suffer misfortune, some people get their by choice. Any government program that ignores the latter will never conquer the problem. Besides, most Christians are already donating their own money and/or time in soup kitchens, shelters, food drives etc., or donating to reputable charities. They do not have to wait on corrupt government programs funded by other people’s money.

    3. Cheering a hypothetical man dying – if we’re talking about the same incident that was at the presidential debate sponsored by the tea party – not a Christian convention. And while some of those people may have been Christian there’s no way of knowing the faith or non-faith of the cheering. I found that disturbing too.

    4. Turned Sandy Hook into a political issue – whoa on that one. I believe it was Mr. Obama who used taxpayer funds to fly those families around, trotting those suffering families out for his own dog and pony show in order to ban guns in America. Even though he and Sen. Reid admit his proposed regs would do nothing to prevent that type of violence. And the American people are booed and called paranoid because we wonder what his true agenda is!

    5. Same sex attraction – the Progressives have successfully equated disagreement with hatred, so genuine discourse on the subject is no longer required or even possible. Anyone interested in truth would recognize that there are two sides to an issue and not supporting same-sex marriage is not the same as promoting hatred or abuse towards gays. What Progressives and Democrats wish to do is eliminate faith based disagreement; wow, blatant violation of the First Amendment. On a more serious note, this would prevent parents from being able to teach their children the necessary truths to obtain salvation in the next life. It isn’t about what you believe but what they believe. You’d respond in outrage if someone poured pork blood on a Muslim grave but have no qualms about keeping Christians from Heaven? Tell me, who is the true hater in the most vile expression of the word? And that is what Christians are fighting for – the right to save their children from both temporal and spiritual death.

    Mr. Clifton, you are certainly free to interpret your Christianity anyway you choose; I just wish you didn’t choose to use your talents to promote discord and ill will when there are so many genuine issues facing our country today.

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