In part 1 of this series, I showed that whatever your position is on republican versus democratic policy, the unequivocal cheering support of the Christian right for republican leadership or policies is inconsistent with scripture. In part 2 and part 3, I contrasted the main themes of the GOP platform versus scripture, and showed that while those themes may be “pro-prosperity” or “pro-America”, they are not consistent with scriptural values. In this article, I want to take time to examine not the GOP platform, but to look at attitudes that seem to be stereotypical of the right wing. Here, as in previous articles, I chose quotes from the King James version, although I replaced the archaic thee/thou/ye with current forms, and changed the “eth” on verbs for readability. I added definition in parenthesis where I felt it necessary.
Before going to this analysis, one more thing: this article is targeted to the Republican Christian right wing. While Democratic leadership or individual democrats may be guilty of the same wrong doing, the point of this article is to show that cheerleading for the Republican Party is not scriptural. Attitudes on the right are not scriptural. I will examine the Democratic Party later, but for now, since the Christian right has tied itself to Republican Party, I have started there.
Listening to the election campaigning, one heard the following ideas consistently from republicans on the street:
- National security is our highest priority.
- Immigration needs to be much more severely controlled, even stopped.
- People having jobs is more important than just about anything except national security.
- Owning guns is a terribly important freedom that must be protected aggressively.
- Being LGBT is bad.
National security is not a Christian concern, it is an American concern. For a Christian, it should take a back seat to Christian values. Immigration is being sold as a way to help ensure national security. Whether this is true (and recent reports from the intelligence community indicate it is not), restricting immigration is not helping those in distress. Christians should be trying to help all those in distress, whether they are fleeing from oppressive governments, or oppressive poverty.
Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you? And the King shall answer and say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.
While people having jobs is important, there is no specific Biblical reference on it. However, in light of Jesus’ contention that we are all to be neighbors and to “Love your neighbor as yourself”, it is hard to see that getting jobs is less important for one segment of population than another. Looking at the republican approach to this issue, it is clear that some groups do better than others. If you’re an out-of-work West Virginia miner, Republicans view you as a member of “a noble demographic that has been terribly affected by government regulations”, and deserve better. If you’re a person of color in an urban economically depressed area, republicans view you as if you’re either a “thug” or a “welfare queen”, and you’ve already take too much from “us noble folk doing all the work”. I have seen no Biblical texts to justify this kind of rhetoric.
The issue of gun ownership is so far from anything recommended by scripture that I should have no need to address this issue. Establishment or preservation of your preferred form of government was not supported in the Bible. Even the appointing of kings in the Old Testament was done by God as a request of the people, and was not God’s way.
1 Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
Using the second amendment to justify preserving freedom and American government as we know it should also take a back seat to Christian values. For example, see:
Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
To hear right wing Christians cheer for free or unrestricted gun ownership and not take responsibility for the people shot by that ownership seems exceptionally inconsistent, when they feel they shouldn’t sell a wedding cake to homosexuals because it will “enable” them. Promoting gun ownership enables anyone who uses that gun to kill or wound.
In my last article, I included several links on LGBT about the Pope’s views on this subject, which are certainly Christian views. In case you missed that article, here they are:
While the Christian right is busy telling everyone else how to lead their lives, and how the country should be governed, consider the number of sex scandals amongst Republican representatives. These scandals have not even drawn condemnation from their own party of “family values”. This should keep any evangelical Christian American from seeing the Republican Party as anything but a hypocritical group of power seeking manipulators, who tell you what you want to hear to get your vote, and then ignore scripture.
The GOP has been responsible for more hypocrisy then the Democratic Party; since while both democratic and republican leadership have demonstrated the same behaviors, the democrats don’t go about proclaiming their Godliness, and aligning themselves with Christ. While Democrats have their own issues, many Democratic Party goals are for helping people. You can rail against out of control spending, but at least the goals are for helping poor and disadvantaged people. The Republican Party’s goal is that everyone should help themselves.