Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Christianity and Conservatism in the US

Andrew Sullivan posted this picture of a bumper sticker a reader sent in:







That prompted me to ask what those two people have in common? Or, what is the point in comparing the two? Jesus was a moral philosopher. He didn't speak on political issues such as gov't spending (news flash, every politician spends). Obama on the other hand obviously is a politician who only deals with moral issues some of the time. And he does so in a way that is different than someone like Jesus or other religious leaders do.

So aside from the two subjects not being all that related I'm not sure how being a Christian coincides with being a conservative. Jesus was very much about helping people. Not only that, he was about helping the people that need it the most, and those who were not generally being helped; think leapers and prostitutes. And he was very much against violence.

Yet conservatives in the US are on the opposite ends of those spectrums. They would prefer to have people fend for themselves. Or at best they want to help those who need it a lot less than liberals do. They also take a hostile attitude towards people who aren't white males. They don't think gay people should have equal rights. They don't like people of other religions, even going as far as wanting to outlaw Islam. They don't care if minorities are discriminated against. In fact they are more concerned about white men being discriminated against despite a huge lack of evidence it is happening. They don't care about women's right to do what they want with their own bodies. Call me crazy, but I have a hard time believing Jesus would support treating those people like conservatives do.

On the violence thing, conservatives love it. They think the 2nd amendment is as important as any right there is. They favor the death penalty. They have no problem whatsoever going to war. And they support torture, some of them just because they want to hurt non-white people. Again, I'm not sure how Jesus would be on board with any of those policies. So I fail to see how Christian beliefs and conservatives beliefs can exist under the same political philosophy.

I think politics and religion should be kept as far apart as possible. I think you violate the first amendment by making policy based on religious belief. But if our gov't governed according to Jesus' teachings I think we would have a pretty decent society. And it would be one that is very similar to what liberals want, not one that looks a lot like what conservatives want. I find it odd that as an agnostic my political beliefs more closely mirror true Christian beliefs more than most conservatives' do. But that just shows you how far the Christian religion has diverged from what Jesus actually taught.

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