Full disclosure: I consider myself a Republican. I don’t delude myself into thinking that the Republican party is by any means infallible, but their emphasis on fiscal responsibility and smaller government is the best hope to save America from the entitlement/welfare state that will bankrupt us in my lifetime. But I digress.
More than being a Republican, I am a Christian. I should be a perfect candidate for the Religious Right, a political faction built on conservative/biblical values. But I never have considered myself a part of that voting demographic. Why? I truly think the Religious Right would have hated Jesus if he lived today. Now, I am the first to admit that I might be wrong (and those in the Religious Right will be quick to point out faults because that is one of their less than desirable calling cards). If I’m a Christian, then I’m supposed to vote Republican. And not just Republican, but conservative Republican. Surely Jesus would have been a Republican. He probably would have been a card-carrying Tea Partier as well. I just received a card in the mail from my religious denomination subtly telling me who I should vote for by ranking the candidates “conservativeness.” Surprisingly enough I’m supposed to vote all Tea Party candidates. I’m most likely going to vote for the other guy just because the Religious Right is attempting to dictate my vote.
The premise behind the Religious Right is to legislate morality. Vote the right people into office and they will enact laws that will dictate a biblical culture on the entire country. Think of it as a Christianized version of Sharia law. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a conservative that espouses conservative values, but the idea of legislating morality on others misses the entire point of the gospel. Our Kingdom is not of this world. Our mission is to make disciples, not control the legislature.
Where do I get the audacity to make this assumption that today’s Religious Right would have hated Jesus? The Religious Right existed in Jesus’ day. They were known as the Pharisees. They were the ultra-religious who enforced their version of spirituality on the populace at large. It was suffocating. When you look in the gospels, you’ll find Jesus fighting with the Religious Right of his day more than anyone else.
I think if Jesus lived today he would infuriate the Religious Right. He’d be too unpredictable. He’d advocate conservative values but then you’d see him hanging out with liberals and homosexuals (the ‘sinners’ and ‘tax collectors’ of his day). Some his disciples would even be Democrats (gasp!). The Religious Right would attempt to dictate his beliefs and he’d refuse to be manipulated by a narrative looking for power. At the end of the day, he would refuse to help them gain political control, because his Kingdom is not of this world. And they would try and take him down for not being ‘conservative’ enough.
QUESTIONS: Thoughts? Let’s get the debate going!