We all know that the Republican party likes to champion itself the “party for Christian values” – though as I’ve pointed out many times before, I don’t see a whole lot of Christ-like values within the GOP. It’s never made sense to me how a gun-loving, poor-hating judgmental clan of people who proudly embrace greed while demonizing the needy can call themselves followers of Christ.
Honestly, aside from citing the Bible to support their stances against gay rights and abortion, there’s really not a whole lot of anything biblically related to the Republican party. Seeing as how Jesus Christ never once spoke of gay rights or abortion. using those as cornerstones of your “Christian values” is rather ironic.
Either way, since so many Republicans seem to struggle with understanding actual Christianity, I thought I’d provide a simple five-step guide for explaining Christianity in terms they can hopefully comprehend (probably not, but hey, at least I tried).
1. Help the helpless, provide for the needy: While it’s popular within the Republican party and the conservative media to vilify the poor as lazy moochers looking for a handout, the majority of Americans who rely on government programs are actually children. Furthermore, the majority of households receiving some form of government assistance are headed by a working adult. While we should all do our best to address those who might abuse the programs we have to help the poorest among us, they are a small fraction of the people who actually receive these government benefits. To be more Christ-like you should ask yourself how can you help someone in need – not why.
2. Be kind to others and don’t judge those who are different from you: Considering that Jesus Christ literally said “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” I think it would be good practice to start doing that in our society. Instead of judging anyone and everyone who isn’t just like you – embrace and love them as you would yourself. If you encounter someone who is different from you, don’t reject who they are – seek them out and learn about them. It’s our ignorance of one another that seems to divide us the most.
3. Be hopeful: Republicans are nothing if not paranoid and afraid of damn near everything. From immigrants invading the United States, to Muslims enacting Sharia law to President Obama confiscating guns – I could spend hours dissecting how many conspiracies I’ve seen Republicans perpetuate over the years and how none of them actually came true. Besides, as people of faith, what’s there to be so scared of? If you truly have faith that God’s in control, shouldn’t your faith always be that blanket of hope that guides you through life? I’m not quite sure how someone can say they have the utmost faith in their God – while seemingly having no faith in that same God’s “plan.”
4. Don’t be a hypocrite: All Christians cherry-pick the parts of the Bible that they want to follow while ignoring the rest. So, not only is it hypocritical to judge others for not following the parts you think are important – when you might be ignoring parts that they think are important – but it doesn’t make any sense. That’s why freedom of religion and the separation of church and state are such great things in this country. Nobody can legally have another person’s religious views forced upon their private lives. Unless you’re someone who follows every single word of the Bible literally word for word you have no right to tell someone else how they should live their life – and even if you did follow every single word in the Bible, you still wouldn’t have the right to force others to live by your religious views.
5. Stop being driven by greed: The entire GOP economic platform is driven by greed. It’s predicated upon the notion that the more we feed greed (tax cuts for the rich) the better it will be for everyone else (trickle-down economics). We know damn well that isn’t true after living through the past 30+ years. In fact, the Bible specifically warns against greed and trickle-down economics:
- Once the greed-driven have acquired and protected, they begin to covet. They are not satisfied with all they have; their eye is on all that they don’t have. (Luke 12:15)
- This coveting begets more greed, the greed begets more selfishness, and the selfishness begets more coveting and so on to madness. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12)
Both quotes tell the true story of greed; it’s perpetual and never-ending. The more you feed greed, the more it wants. It doesn’t matter how rich we make the wealthiest among us, or how much we cut their taxes, they’re always going to want more.
A Christ-like economic platform would focus on providing for the poor and middle class, not the richest among us. A true Christian-based economic platform would build an economy where everyone had more than enough instead of just a few having most of everything.
Alright, well I hope this “guide” helps explain things for those who seem to be a bit confused as to what real Christian values look like.
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