Would Jesus Be a Republican?

Rapture ReadyI found an amusing little article over at the vile website Rapture Ready, Would Jesus Vote Republican? The answer: Jesus would not have been a Democrat or a Republican, but clearly the Republican Party is far more godly so you better vote Republican. Fun times!

The section that discusses why Jesus would not be a Republican only gives one reason: the Democratic Party charge that the Republicans are the party of the greed is not “without a degree of legitimacy.” That’s it. It then goes on about original sin and the fact that men are greedy. And ends with an argument for why the Republican Party is the “sound” choice. And note: this is before they even get to the section on voting Republican!

I can come up with some other reasons why Jesus might not be a Republican. It isn’t just a question of greed. The Republican Party makes idols out of money and those who have money. That goes against Commandments one and two, and Jesus said we needed to follow the Jewish law. The Republican Party is very much interested in mocking and abusing the poor. Jesus didn’t dig on that. And the Republican Party is a jingoist group, which is thus idolatrous and violent. But those at Rapture Ready don’t care about any of this. That’s because they are too busy focusing on the Democratic Party.

According to these evil, heartless, bigots, Jesus would not be a Democrat because of abortion, gay rights, and (I love this one!) “a general hostility to Bible-believing Christians.” I think it is fascinating how a religious issue that has only been around for decades, abortion, is thrown onto Jesus. It also strikes me as absurd that the vast majority of anti-abortion Christians have no problem with birth control, when every argument you can make against abortion can also be made against the use of condoms. (And male masturbation!)

As for gay right: okay, I’ll accept that Jesus hated fags. He never said he liked them, the Old Testament said they should be killed, and he said to follow Jewish law. But there is another way to look at the gay rights issue. It could be that the Bible was written by a bunch of bigots and that it has nothing to do with God. Shocking, I know. But just imagine!

As for the Democratic Party having a hostility toward Bible-believing Christians, this completely exposes Rapture Ready for what it is: cultural Christian. The vast majority of Democrats are Christians. But they aren’t the right kind of Christians; they aren’t conservative Christians. So why doesn’t Rapture Ready just come out and say it? It would be a lot easier: conservative Christians should vote Republican because it is the conservative party. I’d accept that.

What is so offensive about Rapture Ready (and the conservative Christian movement generally), is that it claims to speak for all Christians. But of course it doesn’t. Conservative Christians are only spouting what their pastors have told them—what everyone they know believes. It doesn’t come from a close study of the Bible. And that’s why it all degenerates into cultural feuds and “serious” discussions of how God wants you to vote Republican. Pathetic.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Would Jesus Be a Republican?

  1. OK — that’s sort of a kooky piece. It’s just rather deluded, it’s not rife with the sort of hate-vomited-venom many such sites are (stuff I loathe adding to my browser history, even when others say "you’ve gotta read this!" No I don’t; I’m pretty aware of what it says.)

    The persecution complex of right-wing Christians has always disturbed me. They are, and they have been for decades, the fastest-growing faith group in America. (Recently, Hispanic Catholics are challenging them on that front, and Mormons are always making more babies, but the old moderate Protestant groups are disappearing rapidly.)

    Feeling their power, right-wing Christians have attempted, with considerable success, to make their sexual codes and totalitarian need for symbolic dominance (think "Ten Commandments"-inscribed plaques in courtrooms) into the law of the land. Because they are occasionally thwarted in these efforts, they perceive a (literally) diabolical conspiracy allied against their democratic rights.

    Nobody that I know of has ever suggested Christians should be forced to marry gays, abort babies, mainline smack into their children’s scrotal veins or any such depravity. What they imagine as persecution, and a rabid controlling Magog state intending to strip away all freedom, is when anyone says "believe whatever you want, but don’t tell me I can’t believe and act the way I want just because it contradicts your interpretation of a Bronze Age holy book."

    I am less scared by right-wing Christian fascists than I was a few years ago. I think, as you note in your post, that they do not speak for the majority of Christians. A few years back more Christians identified with the kooks than do now; the rabid anti-gay paranoia has really woken some Christians up to how batshit that outer fringe is (and it’s helped, hugely, that the LGBT community has embraced reaching out to less-batshit Christians and showing them they want nothing more than decent human respect.)

    Still, when a rapidly-growing, politically powerful movement imagines itself to be "persecuted" by unseen cabals of dark forces (for the crime of not letting it take complete power over everyone) — that’s a totalitarian ideology.

    It’s important, I think, to avoid pushing moderate or even mildly conservative Christians into the nutjob-right-wing camp by mocking their beliefs. I don’t agree with those beliefs and neither do you. Moderate and mildly conservative Christians, however, can be talked to. They won’t agree with us, but we can convince them our principles are reasonably well-thought out, making them less angry if the democratic process passes this law or elects that representative they don’t support.

    The loony birds regard any policy or politician opposed to their agenda as part of a plot to eliminate them. Painting all Christians with the same brush makes them side with the loony birds.

    Rant ending: I’m glad you are angry that kookburgers claim to speak for all Christians. I’m by no means a Christian, but I grew up among them (my Mom attended speaking-in-tongues Beaverton basement seminars held by the now-huge South American fundamentalist icon Luis Palau. Incidentally, she regarded him as a conman even way-back-when.) They are hypersensitive to imagined insults. We needn’t feed the beast.

  2. @JMF – I think you are forgetting SB 666: The Smack Injection into Christian Children’s Testicles and Free Gay Porn Distribution Act of 2009.

    I used to have a roommate who was the ultimate cultural Christian. He never went to church, knew nothing about the Bible, and generally didn’t live a Christian life (he hired two Vietnamese prostitutes often). And yet he would get violent at the mention that Christianity was not the one and only truth faith.

    I think that Christianity is a beautiful religion for Bronze Age Arabs. It is a silly religion for people today, but I will allow that it still has much to teach modern man. But my problem is how the religion for most people is devoid of theology. Let’s face it: politics is easy, theology is hard.

    Another [i]big[/i] problem I have is that every cultural Christian I know (and it is the vast majority of them) thinks that their reading of the Bible is the right one. Of course, it isn’t [i]their[/i] reading. It is their pastor’s reading. And [i]his[/i] reading is probably [i]his[/i] pastors.

    I love discussing the Bible with Christians. Unfortunately, most of them are not interested in doing it twice. What’s more, none of them (!) enter into a dialog honestly. I explicitly do [i]not[/i] want to destroy their faith, but they (usually without saying so) are trying to convert me. But there is a big difference in approach. I look for God in the Bible and generally find him absent. They look for rules to get into heaven. (I call this paint-by-numbers religion.) Like I said: silly.

    But I have little tolerance for people telling me that they know God hates abortion when the very idea would make no sense to the first Christians. Or that all of the obvious Bronze Age bigotry is really what God thought. But my biggest problem is with fundamentalism. I can take anything but that.

  3. Well, SB 666 was covered up by the liberal media. What else would you expect?

    As my mom went through the process of turning from a good, Christian, subservient Wisconsin girl into a fiery liberal (it took years, and ended when she died from our glorious health-care system) we would have endless debates about religion. One night in particular I remember. Mom was adamant that the Bible prohibited sex before marriage. I and a brother of mine (not the Bain one — he WAS having sex with his girlfriend at age 15, and Mom wondered if she should stop it) got out our Bibles, and Mom did hers, and we flipped through relevant passages. (I knew ’em by heart, back then, this was, like, 18 years ago.)

    Well, the Bible has NOTHING against premarital sex. Zilch. Nada. It bans sex with another man’s wife, and sex with another man’s slave. Paul just hates sex, period. No mention of teenagers doing the deed. Because Mom was raised by Jesuits (the intellectual wing of Catholicism) she took our hours-long research session as proof that she shouldn’t interfere in our brother’s sex life. He eventually married his high-school fuckbuddy and now she raises rugrats and farts around with charities while hubby rakes in the dough at Bain. Hope they’re happy.

    I don’t know what the point of that anecdote was, except to show that with patience and persistence, you can get through to Christians (of the theological variety, not the "pastor done told me" ilk.) Plus, it’s a fun memory to share. I used to have long battles with Christians on the phone over Bible points. The people I once did so with are either hardened right-wingers now or barely Christian at all. I enjoyed those battles; it’s fun to exercise your wits against people when there’s mutual respect.

    As to abortion — I don’t know what the first Christians thought about it, but in America’s pre-Comstock era it was pretty common for women to use homespun remedies for terminating pregnancies. Before the "quickening" (when a woman can feel a baby kicking) it was not considered a big deal, as long as it was done on the sly. (Can’t deprive the hubby of a possible male heir.)

    As to homosexuality, the Old Testament hatred of it makes perfect sense. The Jews were always a minority, and needed to breed more Jewish males capable of holding a sharp stick. That’s why jerking off was prohibited, too; same-sex and whacking it don’t create no more warriors.

    Here’s a sacred commandment you won’t find right-wing Christians demanding we follow today. If your brother dies without producing a male heir, then, according to the Bible, you should bone his widow as often as necessary until she pops out a boy baby. Again — a very logical rule for a persecuted minority tribe. Makes as much sense as banning the Sins of Onan and Sodom.

    Should I be worried? My Bain brother has procreated only two weak girling babies, and, as you know, those financial-rich types are oh-so-stressed and work oh-so-hard. What if he dies? His wife is a boring cheerleader, "Mad Men" complacent accessory. Do I have to have sex with her? And how often? Do I have to get her into the mood by watching Disney cartoons and listening to awful modern country music? What if that prevents me from getting a boner?

    It’s all very confusing; I’ll pray on it.

  4. @JMF – I’m afraid I can’t help you with your brother’s wife problem. But given you are not a believer, I guess you can just ignore the issue…

    The problem with talking to religious people is the same as the problem with talking to anyone who is not part of your tribe: they don’t trust you. And why should they? But there is such an apologetic industry that there is always an answer for problems in the Bible. And if you want to believe, they are compelling. Otherwise not so much (that is, not at all).

    But I am of the opinion that the church is more than the Bible. I go along with the Catholics: it is the Bible and the traditions that went before and after it. Sticking only to the Bible is fundamentalist crap. Of course, the only Christians I really have a problem with are the fundamentalists. And they are so inconsistent that it makes my brain hurt.

  5. I am a Christian and never vote Republican because what ever party that oppresses the poor is not christian. Both party love money, Both parties are greedy and liars. But Republican outdone Democrats

  6. @yj – Yeah, it’s kind of hard to think that Jesus would be too keen on the culture at all. But we have improved in many ways. It’s all about what you want to focus on. Conservative Christians seem to want to focus on abortion and homosexuality. As I often point out, Thomas Aquinas would have been fine with first term abortions. There is no iron clad theological reason to believe the soul enters the egg with the sperm. As for homosexuality, Jesus was pretty quiet about that.

    To me, compassion, forgiveness, mercy–these are what most matter. Christianity is at its best when it focuses on these things. We all are, and Christianity has the added benefit of recognizing that we all fall short.

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