Saturday, July 31, 2004

Would Jesus Be Republican or Democrat?

A woman in our Friday Family Fellowship group shook her head in disgust, "Why are all those Democrats mad at George Bush? What do they have to be mad about?"

" he's some villain," another nodded in angry assent. "Did you hear that speech last night? Don't get me started...." Many sighed in more disgust. Some were strangely silent.

" everyone here Republican? Aren't there Democrats here too?" asked a puzzled first-time visitor last night to our group. "Isn't it Republicans and Democrats here?"

Two women looked around, "No Democrats least none that would admit to it." They laughed and laughed. They failed to notice embarrassed discomfort on several faces. It's a family church group.....people don't want to cause a fuss, even in the face of ideological bullying and prejudice.

Besides....... it sounds like they have inside info that Jesus is a Republican, and that all real Christians are Republicans.

I vote both sides of the political party aisle, depending on the candidate and the issues. I've been known to switch parties merely to vote in particular primaries. Political affiliation is certainly not my identity. I believe that automatic voting strictly along party lines is an abrogation of our civic duties, and sad disrespect for the precious right to vote. It's lazy, too. Like giving your brain a permanent vacation.

So after the two women's self-assured remarks last night, I started wondering....would Jesus choose to be a Republican or Democrat?

Here is my heartfelt conclusion...if our Savior had to choose, he would join the Democratic Party. The party of compassion and mercy....the party that champions the downtrodden....the party that actively fights poverty, racism and lack of health insurance...the party that pushes for peace, not war.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth....Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy....Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God...."
--- excerpts from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5

But of course, it's outrageously selfish and silly to imagine that Jesus would join a particular political party. Jesus, son of God, part of the Holy Trinity, is far bigger than trivial human matters.

Initially, my feelings were hurt last night by the arrogant remarks of a few. I pulled the first-time visitor aside, and assured him that Democrats also attend our group...that this is not a group with a proscribed political agenda.

I hope it's not, anyway. I was always taught, and teach, that God loves us all.

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