Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is Politics Your Religion?

With the election season in full swing and campaign rhetoric raging, allow me to make a few comments. Your politics are not identical to your religion. Allow me to say that again: your politics are not identical to your religion. Now some may not believe me, but this is nonetheless true. Jesus did not say, “I did not come to call the Republicans, but Democrats to repentance,” did he?

First, let me address conservatives. I am doing so because I am one, and because it is largely the culture in which I live. You should be able to worship with people of other political beliefs in the same body of believers without obnoxiously conflating good and evil with conservative and liberal. The attitude of moral superiority and “anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-is-my-enemy” is not at all Christ-like. 

I have found that, rather than being evil, liberals and conservatives often agree on the social ills of society and that they must be fixed (especially when these liberals and conservatives are both true Christians); they simply disagree on what must be done or how to do it. No one thinks American children should be uneducated dolts. However, people disagree on the role of public education, private education, and homeschooling. If you divide religiously over these types of political issues, then you are causing a schism in the body of Christ and you are sinning.

“But wait!” I hear you say. “There really are moral issues that are also political!” Fair enough. Abortion, murder, stealing, etc. are all things which are morally incorrect and all Christians should oppose. However, there are other moral things (such as a friend lying to another friend) that many people do not think should be illegal, yet conservatives may. Gay marriage is one such issue. I know some Christians, very conservative theologically and good people, who oppose gay marriage morally, but not politically. That is, just as they do not want divorce nor promiscuity, neither do they want homosexual marriage. But they think all of these should be allowed legally. 

The big issue over the last four years has really been socialism. Inherently, there is nothing evil about a community sharing resources for its own advancement. However, as conservatives like to point out, socialism routinely fails at its goals of bettering the community, instead enslaving them to poverty. Now it can be argued doing this amounts to a great evil. But it doesn’t then follow every advocate of socialism is advocating evil. Remember: people do not always rationally follow every conclusion; simply because something is logically entailed by X and someone is asserting X, it does not follow that someone is asserting the something! So stop demonizing your brothers and sisters for disagreeing with your (admittedly advanced ;) ) political ideology and get right with God about it!

Liberals: your section will be much shorter. You’re welcome. Stop pretending as though conservatives have no heart. It’s just not true that conservatives do not care about the poor and the downtrodden in life. As I stated above, most people really do want the poor to succeed; conservatives just think these things ought to be done by the churches and the charities more than the government. You’ve got to give your brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt and seek to work with them, not demand they convert to your ideology if they want to be considered to be like Jesus.

Next, politically-liberal Christians should refrain from class warfare. It is far too common, even among conservatives, to demonize the “fat cats” and the wealthy. This is an unscriptural practice, especially when it comes to our brethren in the faith. Paul said in Galatians 2:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Stop making a class system the basis of how you treat people. Instead of hating the 1%, try thinking of the 100% for whom Christ died.

Conservative or liberal, what unites us is not our politics. It is our Savior. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . . For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:12, 14) “. . . What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15) Amen to that.


  1. Thanks for this post, it was helpful.

    I think I may do a podcast on the topic.


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