The Religious Right?

The Religious Right or the “Christian Right” is a political group which advocates for socially conservative policies, believed to be aligned with Christian values and/or doctrine depending on the particular denomination. However, in a nation with a two party political system, the integration of Christian values in political discourse is somewhat of a double edged sword. This is especially true in light of the vast differences in beliefs between denominations within Christianity itself. Although one can certainly understand why there isn’t a “religious left” it seems ironic that this group has aligned itself with a political party that advocates policies directly contradictory to the teachings of Jesus Christ himself, the very man from which the word, “Christianity” was derived.”

As most people are aware the two main issues that have dominated headlines regarding the views of this group include gay marriage and abortion. If you were to ask most people in the “Christian Right” about their voting habits, nine times out of ten they will say that they cast their votes based on these two specific issues resulting in more republican votes. Many political analysts have said that this played a big role in the election and subsequent re-election of George W. Bush. Although few could argue against the logic behind the group’s stance on these issues with regard to Christ’s teachings, the prevailing assumptions and attitudes towards homosexuals among this group is contradictory to it. Obviously in Jesus’ time marriage between a man and a woman was the only kind of marriage that existed or that was recognized. In Mathew 19:12 Jesus explains to the Pharisees, “There are many reasons why men cannot marry; some because they were born that way, others, because men made them that way, and others do not marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him who can except this teaching do so.” Jesus clearly recognized that there were men who were not attracted to women and therefore could not marry. Despite this many Christians still insist that homosexuality is a choice and that it can be fixed through some kind of reparative aversion therapy. More importantly Jesus was known for associating with the outcasts of society during that time including the tax collectors, lepers and even prostitutes. He instructs us to “love thy neighbor as thyself” yet so many Christians in reference to homosexuals will say, “God loves the sinner but hates the sin”. But wait a minute if Jesus acknowledges that a man can be born to be adverse to any kind of attraction to women and also instructs us to, “love thy neighbor as thyself” how can it be said that God loves them but hates their homosexuality if in fact that is part of who they are. Isn’t that like saying to a person with Turret’s syndrome, God loves you but hates the words that you utter from your mouth.

In the book of Mathew Jesus says, “Blessed are poor for theirs is the kingdom of God”. He also says, “It is harder for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”. Jesus was clearly speaking about how money and riches in abundance can corrupt the soul preventing the kind of humility that is necessary to have a relationship with God. And despite this, the Republican Party or “the Right” insists that we should cut taxes for the rich because they are the, “job creators”. Jesus was also known for healing the sick (without a co-pay or valid health insurance policy) and feeding the multitudes. Yet Conservatives Republicans are consistently against “big government” entitlement programs or any sort of universal healthcare system. Likewise, many from this group also support the death penalty, usually quoting from the Old Testament scripture, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” However when asked about a woman who had committed adultery which according to Jewish law at that time was punishable by death, Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The truth is Jesus was not some kind of political revolutionary (although many of his followers may have viewed him as such) but rather a spiritual teacher. He was not concerned with popularity among the masses like a presidential candidate running for office but rather with instructing others on how to live a godly life and prepare for God’s kingdom on earth. If Christians want to form a political party to advocate Christian principles, it should not be “right” or “left” it should just be Christian.