Rumor has it that a fellow Greendale resident posted a blog on Patch that questioned a Christian’s dedication to Scott Walker. At the end of his blog he directed our attention to Walker’s policy changes that appear to take money from those less fortunate. To my amazement, it would appear that President Obama must have read his blog. In his address at the National Prayer Breakfast he quoted Jesus, “For unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” Prior to that he had also said, “love thy neighbor as thyself”, all to describe his policy of fairness. The apparent fairness Christ expects of Christians, the taking from others and giving to those you feel worthy.
Reading and quoting the Bible is very different then actually understanding the meaning that it imparts. I am by no means a biblical scholar, nor am I priest, minister or pastor. I have however, given much thought to my ability to vote for specific individuals and how that reflects on my religion.
No one can argue that Christ spread the message of loving your neighbor. I will also agree that he expects the blessings we have been given to be shared. Yet, this is a very simplistic view of Christ’s message. For instance, in the first passage used by Obama, the surrounding text not only reflects on the material but also on the spiritual. As much as Christ expected us to help the poor, those blessings he has given us should be used for the greater purpose of expanding his Church of believers here on earth.
The same could be said for ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. If, as a Christian, I strive for eternal life through faith in Christ, the truest love I could therefore share with my neighbor is that saving faith. It is not enough to assume Christ expected us to simply feed and cloth people. He expected us to baptize all nations.
The problem that I have with quoting Christ as Obama has and as my fellow blogger paraphrased, is that they are not speaking of personal interaction. They are attempting to impart the words of Christ into the role of a government. This was never the intent. In fact, when faced with question regarding the government, Christ differed. For example, Christ was confronted with whether it was right to pay taxes, he famously said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” He drew a strict distinction between the earthly and spiritual world. Christ was not on this earth to establish a political system. Christians understand that he came as our Savior and to establish his heavenly kingdom.
In a simple Google search, I found sites for all sides of the political spectrum that attempt to claim Christ was on their side. The truth is, He would have been on no one’s side. He had no role in politics and He didn’t want one.
How then do I justify my conservative beliefs against my Christianity?
First, I know that no one is perfect and we have all done wrong. I will judge a politician based on his overall life and the acts he has committed or acts proven to be committed under his direction. For instance, I was never a Clinton supporter; however, I didn’t care much about what he did in the oval office as long it didn’t compromise the country (God can judge him for that). When he lied under oath and broke the laws of our country, then he deserved to be punished like everyone else. If this John Doe investigation turns up proof that Walker had committed crimes during his political tenure in Milwaukee he will lose my vote. Not because he did something wrong, but because he actively concealed his crime. Like I tell my kids, if you do something wrong come clean, covering it will only get you in more trouble.
Second, I don’t believe the role of the government should be caring for the sick. There is nothing un-Christian about that. Instead, I believe that as a nation on a personal level we aught to help each other. I have seen many good and community beneficial things come out of religious organization. I have also seen that with every dollar you pay in tax, it must be balanced against the money going in the offering basket or charity organization. My money is better spent the way I wish and not at the hands of a bureaucrat building a bridge, library or a welfare system corrupt from top to bottom. If I have not been a good steward of my money, God will judge me for that. The government can not make an objective claim as to how I can, should or will spend my money in a way that is most Christian.
I do not view conservatives as being more Christian then liberals or vice versa. I believe that even within a single congregation (let alone a country) the diversity between cons. and libs. can help to create the stronger organization. In the end I vote conservative not because God said so; but because I feel it offers the best ability for me to express my Christian faith.