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What would Jesus do?


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What would Jesus do? Why, vote Republican

Sunday, June 06, 2004

N ear as Tony Campolo can tell, it was sometime in the late Eighties when Jesus switched political parties and registered as a Republican.

 

 

True, the official voter registration form has never surfaced, but the word on the street is that Jesus apparently wearied of those evangelicals for social action and the liberal church's preoccupation with poverty, racism and injustice.

 

Whatever his issues, we're told Jesus spent the early Nineties helping Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed pull the GOP farther and farther to the right. He was credited with rigid opinions on abortion and homosexuality, issues he barely (if at all) addressed in his apolitical youth. He became a hard-liner on capital punishment and individual responsibility, even as he lost interest in those silly verses in the Gospels that are fixated on serving the poor or suggest "from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded."

 

The Republicans, not surprisingly, were delighted to find Jesus on board and lost no opportunity to declare that the interests of the party and Christ's church were identical. As Campolo -- an evangelical Baptist minister -- wrote in 1995, "There is no better way for a political party to establish the legitimacy of its political point of view than to declare that Jesus is one of its members."

 

It's a little harder to understand what the church gained in all of this. I've always thought the church should be a thorn in the side of the power brokers --conservatives and liberals alike -- because the meek, the mourners and the peacemakers require its advocacy.

 

I've assumed the church needed to keep its distance from the body politic, if only to remind us that Jesus -- the original, at least -- made a distinction between giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.

 

And I've hoped the church was above allowing itself to be fashioned into a partisan weapon, a role various hypocritical Catholic bishops have embraced while selectively disqualifying pro-choice politicians from a place at the Lord's Supper.

 

I guess I'm not grounded in Scripture. Clearly, I was wrong.

 

The Christian church, however, now has a rare opportunity to rethink its political goals, courtesy of the president's re-election team. Five days ago, a campaign e-mail revealed that Bush-Cheney '04 wants to "identify 1,600 'Friendly Congregations' in Pennsylvania where voters friendly to President Bush might gather on a regular basis."

 

As reported by The New York Times, the campaign wants to select a volunteer in each church body "who can help distribute general information to other supporters." This plan to turn "friendly" Pennsylvania church sanctuaries into campaign field offices, a Bush spokesman confirmed, is part of an extensive national grass-roots crusade.

 

Onward, Christian soldiers. Given Jesus' current party affiliation, I trust hundreds of congregations will step forward, the separation of church and state be damned.

 

But I do hope these churches aren't willing to sell out too cheaply. The Bush campaign's quest to make sure born-agains vote Republican again is so relentless that the church should be able to demand a little more than the usual lip service to the "sanctity of marriage" amendment and stem-cell research.

 

Why not insist on universal health care and cheaper drug prices for the elderly so middle-class Republicans can focus on immediate family needs? Why not order the administration to replace John Ashcroft at the Justice Department with Eliot Spitzer so the White House can train its guns on white-collar criminals rather than septuagenarians seeking autonomy at their own end times?

 

Why not trade tax-exempt space in those church lobbies for sincere tax relief for Christians whose tithe goes to their church rather than congressional incumbents?

 

Anything less is crumbs from the table. Anything less and you'd have to conclude church leaders, like tired Hollywood celebrities sitting courtside at the Laker games, want nothing more than to rub shoulders with the power elite.

 

 

One of the best articles on this subject in a long time. I know what FF opinion on this is, but what about the other god-fearing Republicans like capefish and cfdodge? Tell what you think about the ideas in this article.

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although I don't see anything wrong with having church goers actively support a given candidate outside of church, I'll admit that I'm a staunch opposer of mixing politics/religion. In Puerto Rico, the Catholic church has aligned itself with the left, and they've gone as far as encouraging churchgoers to assist an anti U.S. Navy rally (right in the middle of the sermon, made compulsory by the Archbishop). This, obviously pisses me off, so therefore I don't support any initiative that would intervene with any of the church's religious functions.

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IMO....

 

 

Any political position, arguement, personality, institution, organization, effort and/or movement that intones religion automatically becomes suspect.

 

Granted, being religious isn't the Hammartia that kills political credibility, but it does goes along way towards that end......

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The reason is simple in my opinion.

 

The abortion issue is why some conservatives have decided that Jesus is certainly a Republican.

 

I can't tell you how many people I know who vote Republican for this issue and this issue ALONE. They could disagree with virtually every other policy of a candidate & it wouldn't make any difference.

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We are all children of god and so he doesn't pick between us, but our actions make us what we are and he would look upon the Republican party a tad bit better than the Democrats, but I doubt he would be registered to either. Jesus would be like Washington, no party.

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Well, I can't speak for Jesus Christ...

 

But, BIG BABY Jesus currently remains unaffiliated.

 

If it came down to it, I think Big Baby Jesus (AKA Joe Bananas, AKA Dirt McGirt Lift Up Your Underskirt, AKA the Old Dirty Bastard, AKA Mr. Russel Jones) would vote for Shaprton. Or himself.

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In all seriousness, I highly doubt Jesus himself cares about American politics.

Why would Jesus care about American Politics? He's not even American. Jesus cares about what is good and hates what is evil. Liberals and Conservatives are not the evil ones, they're the healthy debaters who both want to do good for their people and both want peace for their people, they just have different opinions of what is the way to bring the peace. So don't bring up Jesus and what side of a party he is on. He doesn't hate either party, he's on the sides which want good for the world. He hates the Terrorists in all honesty, they're the closest thing to the Devil here in this world.

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If he were to live in these crazy times, he would probably be aprehended, tortured and killed again. No one likes a free-spirit stirring up the masses and going against the church's silly rules.

 

You alluded well to a chapter in Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. If Jesus came back to earth, he would be locked up and put in a prison cell by a lot of modern Christian leaders. The threat he poses to them and the hold they have is too immense.

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Guest marlins02

in my opinion this is all idiotic. Neither God nor Jesus would affiliate with ANY political party or government. theyre all corrupt and led by imperfect humans and therefore neither would affiliate with them. they wouldnt affiliate with any terrorist group, political party, or ANY government (that includes ours).

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in my opinion this is all idiotic. Neither God nor Jesus would affiliate with ANY political party or government. theyre all corrupt and led by imperfect humans and therefore neither would affiliate with them. they wouldnt affiliate with any terrorist group, political party, or ANY government (that includes ours).

:thumbup

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