This is a difficult time for me, when it comes to politics. I have had a hard time having discussions with people in my circle about politics and similar issues because I realize I’m a minority as a liberal Christian, and most people (myself included) have a hard time having an open mind when it comes to opposing views. I know that many people will not agree with this article, and that is okay with me. My point of this is not to change your mind, but to get you to think. Also, a disclaimer: I’m not trying to get you to vote for Hillary, I’m talking about the Christian argument for liberalism. What’s interesting is that Jesus Christ was so radical and counter-cultural, yet Christians are so uncomfortable speaking out about things that go against the Christian majority. The church needs to be a place of healthy, open, respectful conversation, no matter which side is right. The church needs to be able to have functional conversations and be a place where people can experience peace and acceptance through different views.
The following issues are some of the central issues of each party:
Liberals call for liveable minimum wages and progressive taxation (higher taxes for higher incomes). If we really want to help the poor, we should be giving to them, helping them, volunteering with them, etc. But we’re not. They’re still suffering. There’s still a huge gap between the rich and poor. There are many, many people in poverty. So if we’re not giving from our own accord, the government should help. Doesn’t Christ call us to give away all of our possessions to follow Him (Matthew 19)? Doesn’t Christ bless the poor and the merciful (Matthew 5)? Doesn’t Christ call us to render what is the nation’s to the nation, and what is Christ’s to Christ? The goal of our life should not be to climb the ladder, but to love others without holding back. The problem is that we don’t like to be told by the government to be generous, but that’s really what this is about. Paying higher taxes to support the government that provides services to us (especially the poor) should be something Christians are in favor of. We should be supporting sacrifice for the good of others, but that’s not what it’s about.
Why shouldn’t those who cannot afford education be able to have a livable minimum wage? Many of these people have been oppressed by social inequality through sub-par schools, isolation in certain neighborhoods (suburbs originally excluded non-whites and forced others into cities), etc. Many of these people are immigrants who are here to support their families, often in jobs Americans don’t want anyway, and also pay taxes. Many of these people’s life choices have affected their opportunities, but it is not our job to judge, it is our job to be generous. Yes, it would strain our businesses a little bit, but most of these businesses are large and corporate businesses and should be willing to sacrifice a little profit for human needs. Christ, again, calls us to sacrifice.
“The gospel will always be an offense to the rich and powerful, because it is the death of their riches and power” (God of the Oppressed, James Cone).
Social and Human Ideas
I will always be on the side of those who do all they can to support the less fortunate and the marginalized. People who cannot afford health care or food or shelter need to be supported. **I fully admit Obamacare is not working well at the time and needs to be improved.** As Christians, we are to support our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Christ, we are all one as well. We should absolutely be supporting candidates who support equality. We deserve equality, and we should be treating each other with unwavering love. The only way to do that is to see people the way God sees them– worthy of love through Christ’s sacrifice. No matter what their sin is, no matter how different from yourself they are, they deserve to be treated well. There needs to be equality and equal treatment of men and women, all races and ethnicities, all lifestyle choices, etc. We are all one in Christ and we are to love all others, even our enemies (not saying men and women are enemies of each other, and whites and blacks are enemies– mostly saying to love those who have hurt you).
Reconciliation cannot happen without justice (James Cone), and justice cannot happen without equality. Just because it may be better now than it was 50 years ago does not mean it was the way it was intended. The gospel message isn’t about saving us from sin, it’s about restoring us to the relationship with God that was intended in the Garden of Eden. We must push for equality and justice and be people who recognize that we are all oppressed if one is oppressed. We are connected and we are one, and we need to stand in that truth together.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
This piece of scripture below is an example of what the early Church did. What would our world look like if Christians lived sacrificially? Would the Church be growing? Our biggest tool of evangelism is service.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Liberals call for a decrease in military spending. I believe this is the right thing to do because we should be people of peace, not war. The amount we spend on war is more than enough to be able to defend ourselves in an emergency, and I appreciate those who are willing to protect our country– I truly do. But our military focus should be on being prepared. We should be seeking peace-making strategies that do not include occupying countries, attacking others, and causing deaths of innocent citizens. Matthew 26:52 says, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'”
Military conquests that are selfish and in the name of becoming a more powerful country is not what the Lord calls us to do. We absolutely are to stand up for those who need our help, but war should not be the answer. We should seek other solutions extensively first– providing relief to those who need it, offer a place of freedom for those who need it, and work with the oppressing nations. We are to give to those who beg from us and treat others with God’s love no matter what. We should be giving everything we can to those who need help and taking them in. Christ takes us in and helps us when we don’t deserve it, so why won’t we take in and help those who do need help?
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
MOST democrats agree with allowing gay marriage. Ooh, this one is tough. Stick with me. The problem isn’t that gay people are creating lifetime commitments, the problem is the American view of marriage is not the biblical view of marriage. Biblical marriage should be viewed separately from legal marriage. In fact, legal marriage shouldn’t be called marriage. I believe everyone, hetero or homosexual have the rights to tax breaks and other legal rights obtained through legal marriage. I do not believe everyone should have the right to biblical marriage, including many heterosexual relationships. In my opinion, you cannot be biblically married without following the meaning of marriage in scripture. It is a covenant, not a contract. It is a commitment, not something that can be easily ended.
Therefore, based on America’s definition of marriage, anyone should be allowed to be legally married. The problem really is that few are truly biblically married. Another problem is that Christ defines biblical marriage as between a man and a woman. Any sexual activity outside of biblical marriage is a sin– which includes so many heterosexual relationships that practice pre-marital sex. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but it’s no worse than two heterosexual people having sex outside of biblical marriage. So here’s the point: based on what legal marriage means (contract, governmental benefits, etc.), gay people should absolutely have the right to this commitment. The Lord is the judge of each and every one of us, we are merely his hands and feet to deliver His light and love to all people on this planet.
Liberals tend to support Roe v. Wade. IMPORTANT: pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. I do not support abortion. Repeat: I do not support abortion. But I don’t think the government or a religious proportion of the nation has the right to tell others that they cannot have control over their own body. It’s their choice. And unless you’re willing to help those who have children unplanned and cannot afford it with food stamps, welfare, equality, etc., you have no right to say they must have that child. Until pro-life is truly pro-life, meaning they support lives not just births, I cannot get on that train. Christians should not expect non-Christians to live the same way as them, and should not force them to do so since they do not share their faith (1 Cor. 5:9-11). Also isn’t it interesting that those who want less government regulation prefer to control women’s choices about abortion, and those who want more government regulation want the government to step out of this issue? Ironic, in my opinion (for both sides).
Check this out: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/planned-parenthood-means-fewer-abortions
Planned parenthood has decreased the abortion rate from 62/1000 births in 1991 to 27/1000 births in 2013 because of access to birth control and sex education (and most planned parenthood sites do NOT perform abortion). The best thing we can do as Christians to stop abortion is to (1) evangelize and (2) to try to provide resources to prevent unplanned pregnancies. We honestly cannot expect this world to not have sex out of marriage (in fact, lots of Christians do too), and when we push our views on others, that does more harm than good in the name of the Lord.
I don’t know, quite honestly, why any Christian is okay with the death penalty. This argument will be short. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6). Does Christ call us to murder murderers? Does He say to rob the robbers? No–He says to treat people the way we desire to be treated. He asks us to forgive. Yes, people must pay for their actions, but we absolutely should not be taking their lives from them. It is hypocritical, and not what Christ would call us to do.
Liberals argue that government regulations are needed to protect citizens. Maybe my view on this reflects my view of humanity. We are a broken world, and without being led, many people won’t do the right thing. We need government regulation to provide for those who need help. We need government regulation to incentivize people to treat others well despite traits they were born with or lifestyles they live. We need government regulation to make sure businesses and people are ethical. We need government regulation to protect peoples’ freedoms and promote a high quality of life. Because of the way so many people live today and who they serve, we need more than morals to help our country live well.
Government regulation keeps people safe from industrial chemicals (Love Canal). It helps control food prices. It protects consumers who don’t know any better from the forces of big business who function to make a profit. It protects our bank accounts and gives us many services. It creates and enforces laws of a better life. The problem here isn’t that government provides good things, it’s that people don’t like being told what to do, even if they agree with it. People would rather make the wrong choice than be told to make the right choice. Remember that God is ultimately in charge, and He is in control of our government. We are to follow our government (as long as they do not force us to deny our faith)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Romans 13:1-2)
I guess I’ll just say two things:
This is a nation of immigrants, and we are called to love our neighbor as ourself (other neighbors meaning humans, not Americans). We are lucky to be born here, but many others are suffering because of where they were born–we need to be sacrificially welcoming and helpful to these people.
Here’s my recent blog about immigration: What You’re Missing About Immigration
I agree with Hillary Clinton’s statement in the last debate when she said she supports the second amendment, but would like to close the loopholes in gun shows and online gun shopping. I feel like it’s straightforward to want a safer country by doing thorough work with people buying guns, no matter where they buy one. If conservatives are okay with background checks for those who buy guns in a store, they should be okay with background checks for those who buy guns at a gun show. This one really isn’t a Christian argument, I guess.
The Environment (I added this one for fun– Envi Sci Major here…)
Nature displays the glory of God, provides us many resources, and is a place that supports all of creation (not just humans). Of course, humans are the only ones made in the image of God, but God cares about all of creation. Creation worships the Lord and displays His majesty. We need to care for our earth so that it continues to run as intended, so future generations have resources and can enjoy its benefits, and so that we can fulfill our duties as earth’s overseers. God created Adam to care for His creation, and we must continue this command of the Lord’s. So, yes, the government should limit destructive activities, especially the ones that affect human health (such as Superfund sites with chemical leaks, water pollution, and air pollution).
This is my passion, and I could discuss it forever, but since this blog is already super long, I’ll control myself.
In the end, here’s the main point: Christian does not mean conservative. You may disagree with me. All I ask is that you open your mind and realize that there is not one road and that you should not judge Christians with different political views– they have reasons for them and have probably thought things through deeply, like I have. What it comes down to for me is that our Constitution is different from the Bible and I cannot push my faith into a document and into a country that is not biblically based. When we see other humans as the enemy (whether it’s Republicans, Democrats, Hillary, or Trump) we are distracted from fighting the real enemy, which is Satan.
I guess I believe in the separation of church and state and see the way to apply my faith to politics different than many Christians.
Again, any questions can be directed to me personally through a message. I will have an open mind with anyone who has an open mind.