God is Not a Republican
by Christina Forrester
1/08/2013 6:00 am EST
Although there are many who have tried to label the Almighty as such, he is NOT of the GOP persuasion. I am speaking as one who would typically be labeled a Republican because of my faith. However, in this last year of the election cycle and all the ideological debates and action (or non-action) since, it has never been clearer why Jesus is not a Republican.
To God, it is not about your party preference, your gender, ethnicity or race…it is all about values. The values you believe and live. Even though we may not hear about it much on the media circuit, there are a substantial amount of Christians in the United States who believe their values are better supported by the Democratic platform than the GOP. Is the Democratic platform the perfect Christian values platform? Of course not! But since we do not live in a theocracy, we of the Christian faith must choose which party platform we believe most encompasses the values The Word of God speaks of most and tells us to care about most…and to millions of Americans, that is the Democratic Party.
The difference between how Democratic Christians carry themselves and what we’ve seen with the GOP is Democrats generally have no false illusion that we have a monopoly on Christian values. You don’t hear Christian Democrats labeling the GOP as Godless, Anti-God, or without values as you hear from the Right, or as we do at CDA every day. For example, believing that a woman has a right to choose isn’t an endorsement for abortion. Christian Democrats and Republicans are not really as far apart on this issue as is often presented – we have a mutual goal of reduction in the number of abortions that take place. We simply disagree on what type of policies will best bring about that reduction. The Republicans utilizing the term Pro-life, suggest others would be anti-life; which is not the case. I cannot find any scripture that suggests government should infringe upon free will.
God cares about a lot more than one or two social issues that continually are used to develop political wedges. If we are following scripture in our values, we as Christians should be pro-ALL-life, for all people in all stages of life, in all social classes, races, ethnicities, etc .. Is it any wonder why David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Thinks of Christianity… And Why it Matters found in polling that younger people’s view of Christians is hypocritical, anti-homosexual, sheltered, too political, and judgmental? Is this how we want Christians to be viewed? This impacts all Christians on both sides. We can disagree respectively without claiming a monopoly on God. One of God’s primary social and political concerns, according to the Old Testament and the New Testament, is how are we treating the “least of these” among us? Are we defending and standing up for the rights of the poor, abused, weak, marginalized…those who have no voice? That’s what true Christian values are all about. Yet, every time we get to a budget debate such as the recent Fiscal Cliff fiasco, or the upcoming debt ceiling debate, the first place Republicans want to cut is services for those who are least in means among us. Everyone in this country understands that tough choices have to be made, including Christian Democrats. However; let’s take a look at what guidance the Bible gives us on this issue.
In Proverbs 22:16 it says “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.” Jesus himself unequivocally expresses it in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31-46, when he tells God will separate who is on his side based on how we have responded, and how much mercy we have shown, the prisoner, the poor, the homeless, immigrants (no specification on “legal” or “illegal”) and the sick (no specification on “insured” or “uninsured”). Of course, nobody in America is expecting the rich to part completely with their wealth, as Jesus suggested to many of the rich followers he encountered. We are only expecting them to do their fair share, as shared sacrifice has been a foundational part of America since the beginning…and if you are a Christian, that is what our faith has been about since Jesus first spoke those words (and truly since the beginning of God establishing a moral values system in the days of Moses).
Americans recognize this – when asked, “Who cares more about you?” Democrats poll significantly better. Additionally, anyone with a cursory knowledge of our political landscape believes Democrats care more about the poor.
I’m calling both sides to recognize, God is not a Republican or a Democrat, but he is a champion of the down-and-out. Let’s stop purely cherry picking verses of scripture to drive wedges and instead stand on the entire Word. Our Lord does not care if you are Red or Blue, but Jesus prayed for unity in the Body – and if Christians could get past the divisive rhetoric long enough to look at the human suffering in our own backyards, can you imagine what honor and glory that would bring to our loving and Independent God?
Christina Forrester is the Executive Director for Christian Democrats of America.