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Christian Evangel. Minister Lambasts Christian Right Jesus Was a Liberal [View All]

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-05 05:38 PM
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I am not a Christian probably because I was not brought up as one. Yet, because I was brought up in a country that is composed mostly of Christians, I have long been very interested in the subject and have read many books on it.

In my PERSONAL experience it seems that on average, those who claim to be Christian actually follow the tenets of that religion LESS than most of those who do not claim to be Christian. I find this observation not only interesting, but also very important, because millions of real Christians (who actually follow the teachings of Jesus) are being told by their hypocrite Christian leaders (who simply use Christianity to attain their own worldly ends) to vote Republican and many or most of them are doing just that. In other words, we are losing a huge voting block that is voting against their own moral values because they are simply too uninformed to know any better.

Yet, I have never felt confident arguing this point, since I am not a Christian myself, and since I have less familiarity with the Bible than the good majority of Christians. That is why I felt very gratified when I found this article, Wasnt Jesus a Liberal?, written by an evangelical Christian minister (Gary Vance), which expresses my views on this subject much better than I could ever express them myself, and with much more authority:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1019-24.htm


Most important, Vance makes the case that Jesus was a liberal:

Jesus was the ultimate liberal progressive revolutionary of all history. The conservative religious and social structure that He defied hated and crucified Him. They examined His life and did not like what they saw. He aligned Himself with the poor and the oppressed. He challenged the religious orthodoxy of His day. He advocated pacifism and loving our enemies. He liberated women and minorities from oppression. Jesus was the original Liberal. He was a progressive, and He was judged and hated for it.



Vance defends liberals against the onslaught of the Christian Right:

Liberalism has been under assault for years now. The battering of this grand political philosophy has altered the contemporary definition of liberal to the point that Conservatives use it as a profane word.


Then he goes on to define liberal right from Websters dictionary as:

a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of man, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for tolerance and freedom for the individual from arbitrary authority in all spheres of life


And then he documents the great achievements of progressive movements in our country

The labor movement of the early twentieth century was aided significantly when major Christian denominations got behind it. No average American would have a fair wage today if it werent for liberal Christians and labor activists. Liberal Christians and civil rights activists fought and still fight against conservative America for racial equality. Child labor laws were enacted because liberals fought for them. Medicare and Social Security exist today because of Liberalism. Bleeding heart liberals have long advocated for the homeless, the hungry, the less fortunate, and the disenfranchised. The women of America owe liberals a big thank you for their almost equal rights. Tree hugging liberals fight for clean air and water standards instead of favoring industrial polluters and short term profiteering that destroy Gods green earth.



Then he rebukes the Christian Right for their failure to live up to Christian ideals and for their hypocrisy first by noting that they:

refuse to acknowledge the long history of liberals who have labored for the betterment of society and the furthering of Gods Kingdom.


Then on conservative Republican policy:

Conservative Republican policies generally favor the wealthy and ignore the needs of the poor. Their policies are so often greed-driven, with no concern for the environmental or societal consequences for their exploitive actions.


And on Jesus response to the Christian Right of his day:

He rebuked the religious right of His day because they embraced the letter of the law instead of the Spirit. He loved sinners and called them to Himself. It was the self-righteous religionists that He rebuked and He called them hypocrites


And on Christian hypocrisy

I am glad that conservative Republican candidates advocate for the family and a few Christian issues, but we must quit pretending that they are the only ones that Christians should consider voting for. People should not call themselves pro-life if they are only anti-abortion and yet feel no twinge of conscience over the unfair application of capital punishment or wars fought for dubious motives. A true pro-life position cares just as passionately for the born as the un-born and views war as a last resort when all other options are exhausted.



Then, on the responsibilities of Christian voters

It has gotten to the point that moderate and liberal Christians are afraid to be open about their political leanings. Sadly, it even affects their conscience and choices as they enter the voting booth

Christian voters need to see that Gods heart breaks over more than just a few political and moral issues. It is time to take off our blinders and mourn for the sorry state of affairs that is American politics
Christians should look for candidates that will work for issues that are of importance to Christ and that can be tackled legislatively. Sadly, most of those causes have historically been opposed, ignored, and minimized by conservative Republican policy makers. They seem to dangle the moral issues carrot around election time. Then, even with a Republican controlled White House and Congress, prove themselves powerless to do anything about those issues when they convene to legislate. Issues such as eliminating poverty and homelessness in America, true equal rights for all citizens, environmental protection, a fair minimum wage, affordable health care, and lowering our infant mortality rate all go unattended. Thats just to name a few
I have some questions for the Christian Right. Why have you not held our current elected majority officials accountable for their failure to address the full spectrum of Christian issues? Why would you vote for them again? It is time for Christians of conscience to stand up to religious and political hypocrisy.



I feel that I can and should use the views expressed in this wonderful article when I argue this subject with the Christian right, and I think that they should be used by our political leaders as well. The DU and almost all Democrats are much more in line with real Christian values than is the Christian right. This point needs to be pounded home so that we can reclaim those Christian voters who share our values.
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