Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jesus Christ: Republican or Democrat?

I’ve seen and heard lots of arguments—from both sides—about whether Jesus would have been a Republican or a Democrat. I’d like to examine the issue, then I’ll tell you what I think.

During his ministry (we don’t know about his life before his ministry, other than his birth and an incident when he was about 12), Jesus spent most of his time with the down-trodden, the poor, the sick, the sinful, and the unpopular. He reached out to cripples, prostitutes, tax collectors (who were considered about as reputable as prostitutes in those days), the blind, the dying, and even the dead. In His own words, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (also see Mark). So, Jesus didn’t work with the people who already had what they needed—those people didn’t need Him (at least, they didn't realize that they needed Him).

What does that have to do with political parties? Well, mostly that I don’t think Jesus would have been either a Democrat or a Republican. He probably wouldn’t get involved in politics at all; he’d be out on the street helping and healing people and telling them about His Father.

Another reason that I don’t think Jesus would be a Dem or a Rep is that he’d actually be a king. The Bible doesn’t ever mention democracy (I’ve read it, and nowhere does the good book talk about democracy or even mention the word); it’s all about kingdoms. Please don’t jump on me here—I’m not saying that I think democracy is wrong or that I don’t like democracy or anything even remotely like that. I do believe in democracy, and I think that the U.S. is an amazing and wonderful country, and I’m blessed and proud to be a citizen. I think that democracy is the best human political system. But the truth is, the Kingdom of God is just that—a kingdom. God is the King, not the president or the speaker of the house or the school board chair. We don't get to vote for who the president of the Kingdom of Heaven is. He's already been chosen. And I think Jesus would have counted any of our votes in our earth-bound elections well-cast (after all, it’s a pretty freaking amazing privilege to be able to choose your government! Jesus didn’t have that option) as long as we spend our time outside the polling booth serving others.

So as to those arguments saying that Jesus would vote this way or that way, that he'd definitely be a democrat or absolutely be a republican? I disagree with them all.

I'd very much like to hear what you think about this subject; please leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ was the victim of Capital Punishment. Jesus most certainly is Pro-Life. Democrats are for "choice" and Republicans are for "Life"

Kate said...

to Anonymous: if Jesus hadn't died on the cross, he wouldn't have been able to rise again three days later. If he hadn't died & risen, we wouldn't have access to salvation & eternal life. He willingly suffered & died for us.

I would also like to point out that it's mostly Republicans who are pro-death penalty.

I'd really like to see everyone stop using Jesus as an excuse for their politics. Vote as your conscience tells you, and spend your life helping others.

Heidi said...

Really interesting post! I really like what you have to say about a kingdom versus a democracy. That's interesting to think about.

For what it's worth, Jesus would be a member of the "party of being good to each other." Sadly, I don't think we have any version of that party in the US--just flawed human beings doing their best (we hope) to try to get there.

Kelly said...

Good point Kate. A priest at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Potomac Falls told his parishioners last week that if they voted for Obama they were committing mortal sin, meaning with the issues that Obama is for/against. Most particularly abortion.

I made my political choice based on numerous issues and which ones would most affect me, such as Veteran's affairs. And which issues I disagree with, such as abortion rights, and socialism. I personally am a McCain supporter. I could go on and on about why Obama is bad for this country and why McCain has the experience and knowledge we need. But that's besides the point. The point is that you are correct in what you said about Jesus and with whom he spent his time. He would not have gotten involved in politics at all. he would have spent his time helping those who truly need it rather than mudslinging against the other candidate.

Kate said...

Thank you for the comments! I'm really glad to get others' input on this.

Heidi--I like the idea of "the party of being good to each other"! I also agree that we're human and flawed, though, so we have to do our best we can.

Tom said...

I'll start of by saying that I am a conservative more than I am Republican. The recent (in political terms) perversion of the Republican party by the religious right is wholly disconcerting to me.

Jesus would form his own party and tell Fallwell and Graham's political machine to stick it. People would turn out for him in droves, and not because they are Christians, but because he would be the first honest politican on a ticket ever.

It is remarkable to me that the people who the media have anointed the leaders of the Protestant/Evangelical movements in the US are some of the least Christian people going.

FYI, people that are pro-life and pro-death penalty are terrible people. Dante put them in the 8th circle of Hell for good reason.

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