There’s a myth among many conservatives that liberals are “godless heathens.” Many of the Republicans I encounter here in Texas really see Democrats and liberals as the “anti-Christian” party, mostly because that’s what they’ve been told by the GOP and conservative talking heads.
Of course, that’s not true at all. Granted, there are many non-Christian liberals, but there are also tens of millions of liberal Christians like myself. And to be honest with you, I think we’re absolutely awesome.
You see, liberal Christians are actually more “Christ-like” than conservative Christians. We’re the people who support political policies that:
- Help the poor and elderly.
- Want to give all Americans access to health care.
- Oppose war unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Teach acceptance, not discrimination.
- Think every person should have access to an education.
- Embrace hope, love and forgiveness.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We are the Christians who look at Jesus Christ and see a man who dedicated his life to defending the needy, the impoverished and the sick. And those are the kind of values we think our government should share as well, although we don’t think our religion should be mixed with our government. After all, this is a nation built on the freedom of religion – the antithesis to a theocracy.
Oh, and we also don’t believe that the best way to help the poor is by making the rich even richer. And the truth is, neither did Jesus.
But even within our own beliefs, guess what? We don’t care what someone else believes. If someone wants to be an atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or whatever – that’s fine. As long as those people aren’t trying to force their religious views on us, just like we don’t try to force our religious views on other people, it’s nobody’s business what faith another person might choose (or not choose) to follow.
I’ll give you a real world example; take myself and my editor for instance. I’m a Christian and he’s an atheist. Can you guess how many arguments we’ve had over religion? Zero. You know why? Because I don’t care what he chooses to believe nor does he care what I choose to believe. Our own personal choices to have faith, or have no faith, have absolutely no impact on either one of us. Outside of a few philosophical debates about things where our differences in beliefs intertwined a bit, we’ve rarely spoken about religion at all. That is, unless it’s about Republicans and their continued attempt to force their views on everyone else.
And that’s why so many liberals seem “godless” – because we’re not out there trying to force our religion down other people’s throats like Republicans do almost constantly. For the most part, we keep our views to ourselves, our churches, and our families where they belong.
Liberal Christians often base our devotion to our beliefs on our actions or on how we live our lives. Conservative Christians often base their devotion to their faith on church attendance, how much they oppose homosexuality and how often they try to force people to conform to their set of religious principles. Liberals understand that people must come to faith, not have it forced upon them. In fact, if you’re supporting laws that require someone to adhere to a certain faith-based belief, then that’s not faith at all – it’s force. That defeats the whole purpose of “faith” to begin with. It’s not “willingly coming to Jesus” if the law requires you to do so.
But at the end of the day, despite what conservatives may say or think, there are tens of millions of liberal Christians out there and in many ways we’re much more closer to following the actual teachings of Jesus Christ than they are. Because our version of Jesus is a man who stood for love, forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance and devoted his life to helping the needy, the poor and the elderly. Meanwhile, Republicans seem to think Jesus would be a gun-loving, gay-hating bigot who vilified the poor and endorsed greed.
And that’s just absolutely ridiculous.
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