I don’t know about you but often I will notice that it’s quite common for the GOP to argue that if you’re Christian you have a responsibility to vote Republican. That the Republican Party better represents Christianity both theologically and sociologically than the Democratic Party does. That either pure Capitalism is the economic policy espoused by Jesus or that the model put forth by the early church found in the book of Acts (Acts 2: 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.) should be discounted. That while charity is an extremely important and key aspect of Christianity and the Bible in general, there is a difference of being charitable voluntarily and the government taking more out of your paycheck in order to support those who are lacking. I find this distinction incorrect and simply an effort to have one’s cake (to be Christian is to be Republican) and eat it too (not being responsible for helping those who are in need).
In the late 1970’s with the creation and growth of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, there was a deep conversion between Christianity — Evangelicalism in particular — and the Republican Party. For the first time the U.S. had a President who considered himself an Evangelical in Jimmy Carter. As his first term came to a close, the evangelical community became disenchanted that Carter wasn’t implementing the type of social policy that it desired. When his reelection came up, this group decided to throw it’s support behind then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan. From Reagan’s response to the Soviet Union and the Cold War to 9/11, the GOP has wrapped itself with the U.S. flag and the cross. This conjoining at the hip has had terrible repercussions on all aspects of our society. From the classroom, to our economic and foreign policies, and even to the growth of the NRA. The GOP becoming the party of God has led to:
- An alternative version of reality from creationism to denial of global warming (Here)
- The notion that America was founded on Christianity and is a Christian nation (Here)
- The America must always defend Israel regardless of the situation (Here)
- The refusal to embrace gay rights (Here)
- The odd alliance with the NRA and “gun rights” by Christians who’s Jesus argued turning the cheek (Mt 5:39)
- The demonizing of the poor as being ‘takers’, ‘lazy’, ‘47%’, ‘leeches’ on the system
- The push to allow employers deny coverage and physicians & pharmacists deny an abortion or birth control to women if it goes against their conscience (Here)
- The belief that Barack Obama is not American nor Christian (Here)
The fact is that neither party has a legitimate claim on Christianity. Jesus is very clear about this when he says “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). In fact the N.T. commands believers to honor government officials regardless of religious affiliation. An example being when Peter exhorts his Roman readers who were being heavily persecuted and were seen as threats to the Empire to “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). Throughout human history we have examples of political parties who choose to wrap itself in the flag of a particular religion and what ends up happening is that anybody who isn’t a member of said religion is treated as a pariah who’s needs and opinions are ignored altogether. It’s vital for the good of our country that both the GOP and the Evangelical community that the best thing to do for both groups is to regain independence from the other.