It never ceases to amaze me how Democrats can allow conservative Republicans—a group whose only reason for being is to undermine the poor—to co-opt the love of God as a political issue. I once read a bumper sticker that said, “The Christian Right is neither Christian, nor Right.” I remember thinking at the time, what a profoundly concise statement of fact—Shakespeare couldn’t have done any better. And every Democratic candidate in America should promote that position every time they open their mouths to address the Christian community. Instead of caving in to the conservative theft of Christianity, they should use every opportunity to educate the people to the facts, and the fact is, Jesus Christ was a liberal—and according to his teachings, to be anything else is less than Christian. It’s unbelievable. These thugs didn’t just steal Christmas—they stole the Messiah himself.
Ok, I know—that sounds like a ridiculously partisan statement, and admittedly, I’m far from a Biblical scholar. In fact, I’m not even truly what most people would call a Christian—that is, unless they examined my heart. But I can read, and all the supernatural stuff notwithstanding, I am a great admirer of Jesus as a progressive, a teacher, and philosopher. So I stand my position—Jesus was a liberal, and I challenge any Biblical scholar in the world to prove me wrong.
Let’s take a look at the facts. The American Heritage Dictionary defines liberal as follows:
lib-er-al adj. Abbr. lib. 1.
a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
The only thing missing from that definition is a picture of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus was broad minded, free of bigotry, and tolerant of the ideas of others. He was also good-natured, and like any true liberal, he had compassion for the poor and an eye towards reforming the status quo. On the other hand, the Christian Right tends to base their theology on the condemnation of those with whom they disagree. Where Jesus’ position was what can we do to make this a better world, the conservative position is what can we do to destroy those who refuse to love our world or leave it; and where Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” Pat Robertson says, pass me a rock. Jesus was focused on feeding the hungry and heeling the sick, where Bush, on the other hand, vetoed child healthcare in one breath, while demanding $192 billion for his war machine in the next.
Christians? I don’t think so. True Christians recognize that Jesus is interested in how we treat our fellow man. He could care less about whether we put “In God We Trust” on our money, or whether or not we put a nativity scene on the town square. That has nothing to do with Christianity. God doesn’t need commercials—that’s more about hypocrites trying to fool God, and man, into believing that they’re Christians. But while they may fool man, they can’t fool God, because he knows them by their deeds, or lack thereof. True Christians recognize that. They also recognize that the issue of prayer in school is also a non-issue—an issue promoted by chauvinistic personalities trying to force their will down the throats of others. After all, how can you prevent a person from praying in school? And any thinking Christian knows that while they may not agree with same-sex unions, it is God, not they, who will judge whether or not gays have the right to love. True Christians recognize that all of these issues are designed to promote anger, dissension, and division, the very antithesis of Jesus’ message to “Love thy neighbor.”
The people who promote these sort of issues are chauvinist personalities who have become expert at hiding their bigoted proclivities within the Christian community. They pretend to be Christians so they can hide their prejudice, and penchant for demonizing others within a protective cocoon of respectability. Claiming to be Christians allow them to say, “Oh, it’s not me who hates Blacks, liberals, gays, Democrats, and everybody from Hollywood and San Francisco, it’s God. I can’t help it if God hates everybody who don’t look and think like I do.”
These kind of people have absolutely saturated the Christian community—that’s why the very same part of the country that we refer to as the Bible Belt, just happens to also be the most racist, narrow-minded, and under-educated area in the entire United States. These people who refer to those who want to think for themselves as secular elitist—and if there’s any doubt about my contention, just ask yourself, how was it at all possible for Christianity and rabid racism to exist in the very same environment. Then ask yourself, what group is most supportive of the murder and mayhem currently taking place in Iraq.
Thus, the Democrats should point out to the Christian community with every opportunity that there are demons among them. Liberals shouldn’t be at all shy about pointing out that while the Christian Right are thumping the Bible, they are preaching and promoting policies that would be repulsive to Jesus Christ. Liberals also shouldn’t be shy about pointing out any scandal that show these people for what they are, because the Christian community needs to recognize that the demons among them are undermining their mission, and everything that Jesus Christ stood for. They’re giving all of Christians a bad name. Many who might otherwise come to church are embarrassed to be seen in the company of these demons.
In preparing this article it has become immediately clear to me why conservatives are less than supportive of funding public education. Just a cursory glance through the Bible by any educated person—at least, any educated person who hasn’t been scared to death that he’ll go to hell for thinking—will show that the Bible just has one theme, a theme that it repeats over and over again. The Ten Commandments says just about everything the Bible has to say. Demagogues take its many verses, however, and twist them out of context to make them say whatever they want them to say. But for anyone who wants the definitive word on how to be saved, you simply turn to Matthew 25:34—it lays it all out, plain and simple:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” They then asked Jesus, When did we do all of that for you? And he replied, when you did it for the least of my brothers, you did it for me.”
Then he turned to the conservatives at his left hand and said: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” Then the conservatives asked, When did we refuse to feed, clothe, or visit you in the joint? He then pointed to the people on his right and said, when you failed to help the least of these, you failed to help me. Now the righteous will go into life eternal, and you will go into everlasting punishment.
So I guess that just about says it all, Brother Bush. You may be able to live in comfort after vetoing child healthcare in the shadow of Christmas, but let’s see if you can die in comfort, in the shadow of our Lord.
Thank you, Lord—it’s been my pleasure. He didn’t know Mary’s donkey was blue.
Eric L. Wattree
Eric L. Wattree, Sr. n can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.