Image hosted by To read the tribute to SFC Marcus Muralles, please click here Image hosted by

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

How Would Jesus Vote?

Ok, here's my first attempt at a Fisk. Or a semi-fisk, at least. Be patient, I am a newbie. But this one is just screaming for some rant...

From the Texas Faith Network, we have this at a conference yesterday in (guess where?) Austin. Go, figure.

AUSTIN, Texas - Just a few miles from George W. Bush's former office at the state Capitol, a panel of religious experts weighed a question with relevance to many people of faith: How would Jesus vote?

Well, I don't want to ruin the surprise just yet, but suffice it to say that I don't quite share the opinions of those at the conference.

It's a complex topic that can't be boiled down to simple political terms, said religious leaders who attended a Texas Faith Network conference in Austin on Tuesday.
Hmmm... can't be boiled down to simple terms? Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah... Lurch keeps saying that about foreign policy.
Many at the conference voiced concerns that the religious right dominates discussions of faith and morality in politics. They complained that issues such as abortion and gay marriage seem to take priority over hunger, corporate crime and even the war in Iraq.
Obviously the many at the conference spend most of their time paying heed to the mainstream media. The Media is responsible for abortion and gay marriage being at the center of discussion. They need real issues- things that cause tension between political parties. I mean, really. Everyone is saddened by children going hungry. I doubt anyone except those committing corporate crime believe that skimming off the top is ethical or moral. And the war in Iraq... I'll get to that later.

James C. Moore, co-author of "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George Bush Presidential," drew laughter and applause when he offered his view to the moderate to left-leaning crowd of about 250 clergy and lay leaders.
Wow, with a last name like "Moore," what more could expect from this guy?
"If ever there were a bleeding-heart liberal, it was Jesus Christ," Moore said at Congregation Agudas Achim synagogue.
According to, some of the definitions of liberal include:

    1. Tending to give freely; generous
    2. Generous in amount; ample
  1. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate
With those definitions, I totally agree with Mr. Moore. Jesus was a radical- he was a liberal in the best sense of the term, not the horrific abomination the Left has made it. In a way, Jesus invented "politically incorrect"- he didn't care if it sounded "right" or looked "proper"- He did what was needed when it was needed and called it like He saw it. If He happened to offend someone (usually one of the religious leaders), I can't help but imagine that they needed to be offended, if for no other reason than to shake things up and make them think.

"I think the carpenter from Galilee was the original Democrat."

He has got to be joking me! Right?Jesus was apolitical- remember the "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to G-d what is G-d's. ( my paraphrase)? But let's get back to the article- I'll fill in my blanks as I go.

Some research has found that white Christians who attend worship services at least once a week are far more likely to vote Republican, while less frequent worshippers and those who are not religious tend to lean Democratic. Many analysts have criticized Democrats for failing to more effectively reach religious voters.

"The sound bites and the headlines have co-opted people of faith," said the Rev. Tom Heger, pastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church in Manchaca, south of Austin. "It would be a surprise to a lot of folks to discover that there are some very faithful, regular church attendees who aren't going to vote for Bush."

Nope, it wouldn't surprise us much at all. A majority of Catholics tend to vote Dem. So do most Jews. I realize that there is a generational component to it- decades ago, it was the Dems who (supposedly) supported Israel, and J.F. Kennedy was a Catholic. I've never understood either of those groups endorsing liberal candidates in recent years, but, then again, my Catholic aunt and uncle can't understand me being a conservative.

Conservative pastors such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "would have us believe that morality is all about where you stand on abortion, how you treat homosexuals. I think that is simply wrong," said John D. Moyers, senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain to people that Falwell and Robertson don't speak for me. While I believe that they are true men of faith, they don't represent me anymore than NOW does. And no, where you stand on abortion and how you treat homosexuals (which is TOTALLY different than how you feel about homosexuality) is not all that encompasses morality, where you stand on those issues tend to be indicators of where you are on other moral issues.

The presidential race pits President Bush , a Republican who openly professes his evangelical Christian beliefs, against Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, a Roman Catholic who is more hesitant to discuss his faith publicly.

And it's quite sad to think that the Media, this late in the race, still feel the need to point this out. Either you know this already or you don't really care.

The Rev. Timothy Tutt, pastor of United Christian Church in Austin, declined to say whom he will support in November, but balked at the perception that Bush is the only choice for people of faith.

"As I read the Scriptures and as I understand faith, God's side is the group that's feeding the poor, caring about children, making sure that people have enough food to eat — not killing others," said Tutt, who opposes the war in Iraq.

Uh, Rev., have you ever talked to a Republican? Have you ever asked them how they feel about hunger? How they feel about children? Hate to break the bad news to you, but we're on G-d's side. We, the "evil" wealthy Republicans, give more to charitable organizations than any other group in the US, or the world, for that matter. We want to see the poor treated with dignity and helped in tangible ways.We care so much that we want them to lose their dependency on others and be able to care for themselves and then help others as they were helped.

And we care about children in ways I think the Left had forgotten- teaching them, not only in the classroom where they learn math and reading and science (hopefully), but outside the classroom, at home and in church, in scouts and in sports, about responsibility and dignity, loyalty and faithfulness, about what character means and that character counts. We strive to teach them that hard work and determination reaps rewards that are far more important than anything the government could ever hand you. I want my children to know that, when the day is done, if you need help to get back on your feet, fine, but get back on your feet and repay the favor as soon as possible. Nothing worthwhile is handed out, because, by being free, it ceases to have value. That is how we care about our children.

And as for killing others, reverend Tutt, we didn't start this war. 19 men hijacked 4 planes on the orders of one man. That man started this war. And that man had ties to another man, who gave him money to fund his campaigns. Those men, who killed others for sport are not on G-d's side. We are the people with the army that has liberated 50 million people in the last 3 years and rescued countless people from the torture chambers, rape rooms, and brutal executions of Saddam Hussein's regime. We, the people who are trying to stop this evil from taking over the world, are on G-d's side.

Juan Galvan, Texas president of the Latino American Dawah Organization, a group of Hispanic Muslims, said he's certain Jesus would not vote strictly for Republicans or Democrats.

"Prophet Jesus, or Isa as Muslims call him, would look at the stance of politicians on various issues before voting," Galvan said. "He would weigh in the good and bad of each individual."

You're right, Mr. Galvan, Jesus would weigh the good and bad of each individual. But, as a Christian, I believe that all have sinned and fallen short. Therefore, no one is good. Jesus would only see His good in those who have accepted him as Lord and Savior. He would only vote for devoted Christians, in my mindset (and that of most evangelical Christians).

Michael Jinkins, a pastoral theology professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, said: "Based on my reading of the Gospels, I think Jesus might surprise us all on his voting record. He was far less 'religious' than the people who criticized him most."

That depends on your definition of "religious." If you mean "overtly preachy; wearing your faith on your sleeve," then Mr. Jinkins is correct. If you mean faithful, devout, in relationship with G-d, then Mr. Jinkins is dead wrong. Jesus was intensely religious- he obeyed Jewish religious law whenever possible (and whenever it didn't interfere with the Higher purpose of the Law.) It is my prayer that someday I can be religious as Jesus was (and is) religious- simply living my faith for all to see.

In fact, Jesus might not support Bush or Kerry — or anyone else, for that matter.

"Jesus was not one to take sides on political issues," said Derek Davis, director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University in Waco.

While there were obviously no Democrats or Republicans during the time of Jesus, different groups vied for attention, including the fundamentalist Pharisees, the aristocratic Sadducees, the spiritually devout Essenes and the revolutionist Zealots.

"Interestingly, Jesus never sided with any of these groups but remained above such earthly disputes," Davis said. "This does not mean we should do the same. He was God. We are mere humans."

Finally, at the end, something I can completely embrace. Jesus was looking to a Higher Kingdom, not the petty politics of this world. And, to the opposite extreme, He was looking at the Kingdom of each individual's heart. Who is the ruler? Where does their loyalty lie? Are they good managers of the resources given them? Are they faithful?That's what He cared about, and that's what we should care about. We shouldn't concern ourselves with "How would Jesus vote?" I doubt He would. He would pray fervently for those in power, and for wisdom for those who are voting. And He would ask that each of us, as we prepare for the election, search for the answers to these questions: Where is the candidate's heart? Where is their loyalty? Are they good managers of all they've been given? Are they faithful?

And, I think He would ask us to answer that questions of ourselves, no matter what our religious belief system. Who or what rules us? Where is our loyalty? Are we good managers of what we've been given? Are we faithful? Once we're sure of where we are, then we can decide who we think Jesus might have voted for.

Comments: Anything you'd like to add?

<< Home
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?