By Bill Hansen
Everyday the news is littered with stories from the family value/religious right protesting the actions of the “religion-less” nature of the Democratic left. I am often times left wondering, how would Jesus feel about their protests. Would Jesus be a Republican, or a Democrat?
First of all, I must admit that although being raised Catholic, I have become more skeptical of religion and as of late have found that religion plays no role in my daily life. Generally speaking, I cannot get over the scientific contradictions, but more importantly, the hypocrisy, which is currently embedded on all religions, is too much for me to ignore.
Fiscal Ideology: I guess I should begin with the fiscal ideology of the right v. the left. I know this is a broad generalization, however, the thought from the right is, I got mine, you get yours. Despite the fact that Republican Administrations are responsible for the highest tax increases in recent history, they continue to preach about lower taxes, minimal welfare, and small government.
Meanwhile, Democrats have been consistent with their message: the people who have, should help the people who have-not. Not in a communist or socialist kind of way, but generally, they like seeing the government provide for the poor or temporarily impaired, and don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes to do so.
What would Jesus do? My guess is he would not vote to cut back funding to programs that provide housing, food, medical services, and other important services to the poor. I would also guess he would not be opposed to paying slightly higher taxes if it meant the net effect was good.
Gay Rights/Social Issues: Republicans believe that gays should not be allowed to marry. They are not for funding programs like Planned Parenthood, and generally, would not support anything, which is prohibited in the bible; except divorce, pre-marital sex, adultery, profanity, and a number of things they deem “more forgivable.”
Democrats do believe gays should be allowed to marry. They also belive programs like Planned Parenthood are useful despite the fact that 3% of what they do is related to abortions, and they are more concerned about doing what is right and best for society.
What would Jesus say about gay marriage? Would he call for gays to be set aside and labeled as outcasts with less rights than everyone else, or would he embrace them and allow them to have the ability to solidify their love like straight couples? My guess is the latter. I also suspect Jesus would want to keep programs like Planned Parenthood funded because of the extraordinary amount of good they provide to people who fall as much as 125% below the poverty level.
Healthcare: Healthcare in my opinion is the most important and biggest issue Republicans fall short on.
Republicans believe healthcare is privilege, not a right. They have opposed every single attempt to provide healthcare to those who cannot afford it, citing that it is too costly relieving them of their obligation to ensure everyone.
Democrats however, believe healthcare is not a question of money; it’s a question of morality. To keep it brief, Democrats believe the US should not (and does not) allow the uninsured to die after car accidents, that we should not allow people to die from diseases we could otherwise cure if money was not the deciding factor, and our current methods are inefficient and often leave hospitals unpaid for services provided to people without insurance. Democrats understand that we can do better for cheaper, even if that means looking to our European allies and improving a system they already have in place.
What would Jesus do about healthcare? Would he vote to let people die? Would he vote to deny treatment to those who need it? My guess is this: If Jesus was an elected official, listening to Republicans speak about healthcare, he’d reach across the aisle (because he’d obviously be seated with the Democrats) and bitch-slap any Republican preaching for reduced services of any kind.
The Bible is clear about very few things. One thing the Bible is clear about: SIN WILL HAPPEN; which is why you are given the opportunity to repent and subsequently forgiven.
I think it’s time for the Republicans to examine their message and really ask themselves, “what would Jesus do?” I think they’ll find that the “religion-less” left isn’t as religion-less as they thought.