Deconstructing the Myth of the Conservative “Christian”

food-stamps-jesusI’ve made no secret of my feelings that I don’t believe many conservatives who consider themselves Christians are in fact actual Christians. It’s just never made much sense to me how a party that loves guns and greed while simultaneously vilifying the poor and the needy could call themselves “Christians.”

It’s like I’ve said plenty of times, even if you view Christ as a fictional character instead of an actual person who lived over 2,000 years ago, it’s without question that he symbolizes hope, love, acceptance, giving and emphasizing an importance on helping the poor and the needy.


But where are any of those values represented in the Republican party? I just don’t see them.

The Republican:

  • Media is driven by fear.
  • Economic ideology is based on feeding greed.
  • Stance on health care is that it’s only for those who can afford it.
  • Social platform outright treats homosexuals as second class citizens.
  • Stance on immigration is to treat illegal immigrants more like animals than actual human beings.
  • Party constantly props up big business as the “good guys” while attacking the poor as “lazy moochers.”

Again, where are Christ-like values found in any of that?

No matter what issue it is, Republicans are almost always on the side of every issue that seems to be almost the complete opposite of where Jesus Christ would stand on these issues if he were alive today.

They have no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a massively bloated national defense budget, yet scoff at the idea of spending a few million so that children living in poverty have more food to eat. This country “can’t afford” to provide health care for every single one of its citizens – but it needs to continue to build a super military to “protect its citizens.”

Well, tell me, what kills more Americans each year:

  • Heart disease and cancer – or –
  • Terrorists

I won’t spoil the answer for you, but I think most sane people can figure out which one claims more American lives every year.

So what’s the point of building this “super military” if the society we’re defending has a crumbling infrastructure, tens of millions of Americans without basic health care and millions more living in poverty? (Most of whom are children, by the way.)


Republicans seem to believe Jesus Christ would be some gun-loving “good ol’ boy” who’d pose for pictures straddling a missile, wearing a flag for a bandana with an AR-15 strapped to his back. They seem to believe that because many of them have a solid attendance record at church and blindly follow a few handpicked excerpts from the Bible, that they’re suddenly “closer to Christ.” Except, being a Christian and following the Bible are not mutually exclusive. It’s very possible to believe in the Bible – without actually being a Christian. And most of what right-wing ideology is based on comes from the Old Testament, which was before Jesus Christ.

The Republican party’s claim that they’re the “party for Christian values” is an absolute myth.

If someone is pressed to label a party that most represents “Christian values,” it’s Democrats. They’re the party that wants to see that every American has access to health care; that poor people have food on their table; that our elderly have programs that help them survive; that our students have access to a quality education; and that our economic polices are built upon helping the poor and the middle class instead of giving more to the richest among us.

But I know the right-wing response to that: Yeah, and they also support abortion and gay marriage.

Well, guess what two issues Jesus Christ never spoke about? If you guessed abortion and homosexuality you would be absolutely correct. So you can’t really claim “Christian” values based on two topics on which Jesus Christ never spoke.

You can claim Biblical beliefs, but as I said earlier, it’s possible to follow the Bible without being a Christian.

So the next time anyone reading this encounters a conservative who goes on endlessly about how Republicans are the party for “Christian values,” I would highly encourage them to ask that individual to please point to specific examples within the policies that the GOP supports that represent actual values for which Jesus Christ spoke and lived.

I’ve done it several times and almost always the results are quite comical.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • The Democrats also turn the other cheek a lot too. The GOP slaps them in the face and they take it.

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  • Jim Bean

    Either that or,

    * Media is driven by ratings (greed)

    * Economic ideology is based on promoting prosperity (greed)

    * Stance on healthcare is based on pulling your own weight.

    * Social platform recognizes homosexuals as a unique and separate class.

    * Stance on illegal immigrants is to treat them like people engaged in illegal activities.

    * Party constantly refuses to withhold representation from big business on a presumption that they are the ‘bad guys.’ Party constantly emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and contribution toward the realization of ones own well being.

    • Yogini

      You just proved it Jim. All you did was put the conservative spin on it.

      • Jim Bean

        I unwound it from the liberal spin and made it straight again.

      • Airea

        No, you proved the point. But you did prove your programming.

        How the hell is a chronically sick person supposed to “pull their weight”. We all need help in those times, and it needs to be given. Any true christian would know that.

      • chrisgogh

        This dude is just clueless. Maybe he doesn’t grasp the fact that all of these greedy people he mentions are also Republicans who call themselves Christians. As you said, he proves the point.

    • BB-Mystic

      Stance on healthcare is based on your pulling your own weight.

      Well, that’s fine if you have one or more of several societal advantages that allow you to do that (i.e., class/racial privilege, more money and connections).

      If you don’t have those, in ideal conservative healthcare land, you’re shit out of luck and you suffer and die. Which circles right back to Allen’s original point.

      • Jim Bean

        You are talking about health insurance, not health care. While Obamacare has made insurance available to more people, most of the newly covered (Medicaid excepted) still do not have access to healthCARE because they can’t afford the co-pays. That inability to pay will lead us back to the Emergency Department care situation we had before.

      • BB-Mystic

        Then what exactly do you mean by “pulling your own weight”?

        Because I’m talking about the philosophical idea that if a person can’t afford to get treated, either by purchasing health insurance or paying for said treatment yourself, then society is not going to provide treatment for you. I.e. the complaint I’ve seen so many conservatives utter on this and other boards: “I don’t want to pay for other people’s healthcare.”

      • Jim Bean

        Some people want a solution where everyone is contributing at least in proportion to their consumption. The Democratic Party buys votes by promising to provide for the consumption (at other people’s expense) and promising to excuse their faithful from the contribution. Those people think that because they observe that the Dems never propose anything to the contrary. (Remember the old Democratic party where “Ask not . . . . . was their philosophy?)

      • BB-Mystic

        Some people want a solution where everyone is contributing at least in proportion to their consumption.

        Well, that’s fine if, as I said earlier, you’re able to do that.

        If you’re not, then what? You don’t seem to want to answer that question.

        And there’s the words, “at other people’s expense.” Sounds just like “I don’t want to pay for other people’s healthcare,” doesn’t it?

      • Jim Bean

        Nobody want to pay more towards someone else’s healthcare than that person is paying towards theirs. Not even you.

      • BB-Mystic

        And that’s where your whole philosophy reveals itself to be cruel and bankrupt. Because if you follow it through to the end, if people can’t afford to pay for their own healthcare and society refuses to help them (because it’s “at other people’s expense”), then they suffer and die.

        Sorry, I cannot and will not get behind that. If that means that through my taxes I end up helping pay for livesaving healthcare to a person who will never be able to pay me back, or contribute anywhere near in proportion to their consumption, then so be it. That’s what the collective power of society/civilization is for, to help people who cannot help themselves. Anything else is selfish and inhumane.

        Especially since not only me personally, but you (and I mean you specifically, the individual Jim Bean) could at any time have a series of bad breaks and end up needing that societal/collective help you so despise.

      • Jim Bean

        I agree with you. You are clearly a compassionate and thoughtful person. Emotionally, I am with you. Intellectually, I’m convinced Obamacare does not deliver.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Obamacare does not deliver enough.

        Most people in this country favor national health care. Where the right gets away with claiming most people oppose Obamacare is by lumping those who don’t think Obamacare goes far enough in with those who think it should not exist at all.

      • Jim Bean

        That is true. That poll number is misrepresented in the manner you describe. Conversely, the Liberals who point to all the people helped never point to all the people hurt with higher premiums and, more importantly, the higher deductibles. And they don’t point out that though more people are insured, the newly insured, (Medicaid excepted) can’t afford the copays and deductibles and therefore can not use it to obtain healthcare even though they have to pay something for it.

        Without exception, everyone who believes it will cost them (personally) nothing favors national healthcare.

      • John Juge

        I don’t think Jim has a clear understanding on how insurance works… By being part of an insured pool, you are spreading out the risk. That means that everyone is paying for everyone else’s health care…

      • Jim Bean

        If everyone is paying in the same as I am, I’m fine with it. In fact, I am fine with any kind of universal health care plan as long as health care dollars are NOT flowing through the hands of politicians.

      • BobJThompson

        There’s the crux of conservative arguments, no government for anything. Never mind that if the government used a Medicare for all platform to distribute health insurance the rates should stay steady with inflation, because the profit motive is gone. With private sector health insurance you have to pay for advertising, exorbitant salaries for do nothing “visionary” CEOs, and the rates can change without ANY input from the public. Add those circumstances along with the same administrative costs to actually run the insurance.

        Government isn’t always evil, just as business isn’t always evil. Government has to get voted in to keep their jobs. Business just has to keep turning an ever bigger profit. That works in some industries, but is awful for keeping people healthy in an economical manner.

      • Jim Bean

        That isn’t what Jim Bean said. Government involvement is fine with me – as long as they have no access to any of the money associated with healthcare. Because the instant they DO have access to the money, its corruption run wild.

      • BobJThompson

        Because private companies have done a much less corrupt job over the past few decades? Lol I’m done.

      • Jim Bean

        And it was Social Security that did you in.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Social security is the most successful retirement plan this country has ever seen, for the vast majority of people. Further, it will continue to be for as far into the future that the republicans will be prevented from sabotaging it.

      • Jim Bean

        All the surplus money that should have been created by the 1983 payroll tax hike has been embezzled by corrupt politicians – Dems and Pubs alike – spent on other things, and replaced with promissory notes. $2.7 Trillion is the amount the government owes the fund, if I remember correctly. Can you think of any way for the government to come up with that money without borrowing it from some one and incurring interest costs, thus inflating the shortfall even further?

      • BobFromDistrict9

        You never did understand it did you? The plan all along was to increase payroll taxes, which went into trust funds, which went into T-Bills, which made the deficit look smaller.

        That was not embezzling the money, that was the plan all along. It was completely legal, and completely deceptive.

        Your number is pretty close to correct.

        I can think of a plan to come up with the money, easily and with great benefit to the country, without borrowing and with reducing the deficit and the debt to GDP ratio.

        End free trade, Drop out of NAFTA, the WTO, and GATT. Inform the IMF and the World bank the only US involvement with them will be to aid poor countries in actually improving the lot of the poor. Anything else we walk.

        Restore tariffs against imports from low wage countries, and esp dictatorships. Also any country that tries to screw us on trade. Establish counter tariffs for countries that subsidize exports to this country, including VAT rebates.

        Restore taxes on the very rich to what they were before Reagan, or close to it. Set the top income tax rate where the Laffer curve really did set it, about 50%. Push the taxes on capital gains up there, as well as dividends being taxed as income, at the full rate.
        Move social security and medicare taxes to a national sales tax. (Yes, that is a good idea.)

        Restore medical bills and student loans to the bankruptcy process, and encourage it’s use.

        Establish a full national health care system. The system in Sweden, the most expensive in the developed world, or near to it, would save this country $1 trillion a year, with everyone covered with Cadillac level coverage.

        That’s $1 trillion each and every year. They like to give 10 year savings or costs, so that’s $10 trillion over 10 years. Some of the lower cost plans would up that to $15 trillion, with full Cadillac level coverage, but I went conservative.

        Cut wasteful military programs. The F-35 is probably of no value, and the Osprey is too damn expensive and taking two damn many decades to put in full operation. It should not take decades to develop any weapons system.

        INCREASE military personnel levels, and get rid of a lot of the contractors.

        That should be a damn good start.

        The theme behind all of this is, bring back high paid manufacturing jobs. Cut corporate bleeding of the country.

      • BobJThompson

        How did that do me in? If anything if conservative plans go though I’ll be taking care of my mothers finances for the foreseeable future, as she is unable to work anymore? How does that promote freedom?

      • BobFromDistrict9

        There is not “universal” health care plan that does not go through the government.

        However, many if not most in the developed world work through private insurers, who are heavily regulated.

      • Jim Bean

        In those other countries, does any of the money filter through an account where politicians can snatch it and spend it for other things?

      • BobFromDistrict9

        They probably don’t pretend to have trust funds, or not to fund it for the next 50 years. The expect to pay for it, and if the cost goes up they pay it. One way or another it will be.

        The money was not snatched, it was put in T-Bills just like the original plan. That’s what you do with a surplus. Either that or buy a real big mattress to stuff it under.

      • Jim Bean

        The money was spent and replaced with IOU’s. That’s T-Bills are. And ‘spend it” is not what should have been done with this surplus.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        What else would you do with it? The alternative is to let is just sit in a bank vault.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        IOW, those too poor to make the co-pays still don’t get health care.

      • Jim Bean

        Don’t know what IOW means.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        IOW, IOW means In Other Words.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Your first sentence puts you right back in the “can’t afford the co-pays”.

      • John Juge

        Jim, when was the last time you tried to get non emergency care without health insurance? You don’t get any. That’s why we need Medicare for all.

    • David F.

      Jim, could you please explain how wanting to give gays and lesbians equal treatment is creating a unique and separate class?

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Don’t you know, everyone who is equal is unique and separate.

    • chrisgogh

      Yes, let’s treat a 5-year-old like a criminal. Could you look a 5-year-old in the eye and tell them you’re sending them back to their home country so they can be murdered? Screw you, you heartless bastard.

    • BobFromDistrict9

      If that actually said something it would be worth discussing.

      • Jim Bean

        If it doesn’t say something to you, you have nothing to contribute worth reviewing.

  • John Mark DiMichele

    I think there is a semantic error in your premise in that you confuse conservative Christian with Christian conservative. The former, which I consider myself, follows a fairly literal translation of Scripture, that all people are equal and in need of the love and forgiveness of Christ, that the primary reflection of Jesus is compassion and the giving up of your rights in order to serve others, that judging others is God’s business as we all fail in some area of our life. What has infected American Christianity is the Christian conservative, which really is an oxymoron. That is the political corruption of Biblically based moral ideas for the purpose of promoting a party ideology. Christian conservatives start off with political ideology, and then use craftily manipulated Scripture to substantiate their beliefs no matter how ludicrous. Bottom line is that a conservative Christian starts with the Bible and then reflects on how a political position best reflects the truth. A Christian conservative starts with a political ideology and then finds how to shoehorn Christian teachings to support that viewpoint.

    • chrisgogh

      When you vote (assuming you vote), are you more likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican?

      • John Mark DiMichele

        Democrat.

      • chrisgogh

        Just making sure, because there are a lot of people out there who call themselves Christians, vote Republican, and seem to actually believe that they’re the ones who are following the Bible. It’s amazing how many times I have nodded my head in agreement while reading a comment like “I’m sick of people trying to indoctrinate our children in public schools,” only to find out that teaching actual science in science class is their idea of indoctrination. Every day is backwards day with them. They persecute others while claiming they’re persecuted, they call liberals racist because we point out racism, they claim they want to help the poor while trying to get rid of welfare because it will supposedly make them dependent, etc.

        I like your differentiation between conservative Christian and Christian conservative, and I agree that the latter is an oxymoron, at least in the USA. I know there are Conservative parties in other countries that might have different ideologies, so I can’t comment on them.

      • Jennifer

        Racism, like race baiting about a case of a thug from a family of thugs charging a police officer? Like ignoring the fact that our precious leader was indoctrinated by one of the most racist creeps of all time for 20 years or thinking Planned Parenthood is a good way to teach middle school kids about sex? While trying to ban school prayer and confiscate sermons, of course.

      • chrisgogh

        And Jennifer here is a perfect example of the kind of morons we’ve been talking about. Or would that be ‘morans’?

      • Jennifer

        Honey, you walk so easily into Conservative descriptions of liberals, it’s sad.

      • BB-Mystic

        Huh?? What’s stopping you from praying, whether there’s any official “school prayer” or not?? I always thought that was the great thing about God…s/he can hear your very thoughts. I also believe God’s Son said, in the Sermon on the Mount:

        “But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

        Why would you need to parade your prayer in front of everyone in school?

      • Jennifer

        Why would you be forbidden to pray out loud?

      • Odd Jørgensen

        Who is?

      • chrisgogh

        Don’t ask BB-Mystic. Ask Jesus. See the verses I quoted above.

      • bohemio

        You are free to pray to your precious little heart out in your own home as the bible instructs.

      • chrisgogh

        All of Matthew 6:1-6 is pertinent here.

        Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

        So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

        But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

        so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

        And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

        But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

      • Judy Rae Jackson

        Because people like Jennifer are NOT secure in their faith. A person who is truly secure in their faith would NOT need to parade their prayer & to shove their religion down other people’s throats.

      • Odd Jørgensen

        Let me guess, you are one of those that think planned Parenthood is all about abortion right?
        What do you think the Parenthood means, if not actually being a parent?

      • Jennifer

        Let me guess, you know nothing of Margaret Sanger?

      • Odd Jørgensen

        Should I? Who is she? Living in Norway I can`t be up to date on every little thing happening in “The New World”

      • Jennifer

        Sanger, my friend, was a racist bisexual who set up Planned Parenthood near black neighborhoods to lower their population. And the bitch’s silent holocaust is still going strong..

      • BB-Mystic

        Try Margaret’s Wikipedia entry, which is actually rather good:

        en DOT wikipedia DOT org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger

        But whatever you do, ignore this Jennifer person. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

      • Teapubliturd Hater

        Exactly what they are talking about here, Jennifer. And, exactly why you are a moron.

      • Jennifer

        Way to make no sense.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        The very fact that you had to divert so far exposes your true intent, which has nothing to do with Christianity.

        That plus you lied.

      • Jennifer

        Amazong, I just got done talking to some moron conservs and now here’s a liberal, just like them. Guess fools come in all colors.

    • BobFromDistrict9

      Now, reread Matthew 25:31-45.

      The most important part of Jesus’ teachings. Now tell me how that directs your political choices.

      • John Mark DiMichele

        I think your reference is at the core of my politics. I can pray and go to church all I want, but if I support politics that vilify the poor, oppress the foreigner, and degrade the downtrodden my Christianity is vacant. I believe that government reflects the spirit of a nation, and I vehemently believe that the richest, most powerful country in the world has morally failed when it cannot defend it’s most disadvantaged residents. If Jesus were president would He defend the Koch brothers instead of the foreign day laborer? Would He worry about corporate taxes over access to healthcare? Would He worry about the unborn more than the born? Would He defend the unbridled arming of citizens while ignoring the tens of thousands of people who die every year from bullets? Compassion and charity say more about the concept of a “Christian nation” than prayer in schools or gay marriage ever will.

      • Sky Forge

        jesus wouldn’t be president, try again.

      • John Mark DiMichele

        Every genuine Christian action is viewed through the lens of Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian, that is the standard. Period. If you are not, then the argument is irrelevant. The point is not whether Jesus would be president or not, but how the presidency would be carried out through the lens of Jesus Christ.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        So it’s a fantasy. If Jesus came today many of those who so fervently shout his name would be the ones to crucify him.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        You hit it right on.

        As to the born vs the unborn, caring for the born would remove the need for most abortions right off the bat.

      • John Mark DiMichele

        Bingo! The United States is one of the most “Pro-life” countries in the world yet sports one of the worse abortion rates because access to birth control is considered a moral issue that should be restricted. Ridiculous events like the Supreme court Hobby-Lobby decision just perpetuate the stupidity and exacerbate the problem. We are unfortunately bent on protecting the unborn at all costs while we leave those who need the most support out to dry.

  • over50_think

    I’ll say it again,
    Church and Politics are supposed to be separate-Thus-
    “Separation of Church and State”.
    Do your religious worship in YOUR Church.

    • Dawn Gaye

      where is this “Separation of Church and State”? Where does that phrase come from? Do you know?

      • John Mark DiMichele

        Thomas Jefferson in letter reflecting on the First Amendment.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Common sense.

        Without separation of Church and State the govt either supports every religion equally, or gets to pick the “right” church.

        And I refuse to allow my money to go to Scientology or the Moonies.

      • Al Johnson

        This is Jefferson explaining the 1st Amendment to the Christians of Danbury Conn.

        “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

  • David

    When you learn that giving someone a job is better than giving them welfare, the wisdom of conservatism will hit you over the head like an enormous beach ball. My question is why are you trying to convince people that liberals are the true Christians when everyone knows the hostility the Left has toward Christianity. There is no one left to fool.

    • BobFromDistrict9

      “When you learn that giving someone a job is better than giving them welfare”

      That’s exactly what we democrats want.

      Look at the records, welfare expands as a treatment for republican economic policies.

      The right is hostile to Christianity, the left make up the true Christians.

      The difference you see it, the right cries out the name of Jesus, and rejects what He taught. The left lets people decide for themselves what to believe, but promotes what Jesus wanted.

  • Jennifer

    “Well, guess what two issues Jesus Christ never spoke about?”

    Yeah, the Bible speaks more than once about what marriage is defined as and what God does not consider good sexual practice, plus He’s very defensive of small children. We believe more in the right to defend ourselves from criminals and terrorists, including those who could have crossed our borders in floods, than the right to kill pesky fetuses. Typical strong-liberal..fail.

  • Angela Monger

    I think we all know that the super military is needed to protect the assets of the super rich and is to deploy wherever the super rich want to exploit. And we are supposed to be used to do their dirty work. I also think that people are twisting Christianity into whatever they want it to be hence Republican Jesus. It seems to me that a lot of these so-called Christians prefer the Old Testament over the new and the only way they can identify as Christians is to give a nod to J.C. at Easter and Christmas.