Looking at the teachings of Jesus changed my worldview drastically, and it was the teachings of Jesus that, in the end, made me change my political beliefs as well. I’m not totally on the left side of politics either, I identify as a moderate that leans left because when it comes right down to it, on some issues I’m conservative and on some issues I’m liberal, I just happen to be liberal on more issues than I am conservative.
When President Obama got elected, I was severely disappointed, and I “just knew” that it was a huge mistake and that the problem was that the American people had rejected God. I myself had worked with my church to promote Ron Paul’s campaign, something which now embarrasses me but is part of my journey. During the period of the Obama administration, I have gone from the extreme right, from believing conspiracy theories, from extreme conservatism and fundamentalism, to a position I believe is more balanced. Now I claim to be just Christian, definitely not a fundamentalist, and to being a moderate that leans left. Looking back, I’m glad Obama was elected, although sometimes I wonder if I might not have preferred Hillary Clinton for president. I personally believe Bill Clinton was a pretty good president. Anyway, the main thing that changed my mind on my political views is the teachings of Jesus.
Evans, R 2010, Evolving in Monkey Town, Zondervan, Grand Rapids
Harris, A 2011, Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics, Water Brook Press, Colorado Springs.
This is a re-post from the old blog since I plan to continue the series on here. 🙂
Most of the time, I actually identify as “moderate” with leftist leanings because I really don’t subscribe to the entire leftist agenda either, I just happen to currently agree with them on a lot more political issues than I agree with the right on.
I totally get that our faith influences our political decisions (it’s why I choose to be a moderate that currently leans left), what I don’t understand is that people who trust in Jesus for their eternal destiny would suddenly not trust that he cares and knows about what is going on in the country and that he can handle it. If Jesus can save us from our sins, can’t he be working behind the scenes in America despite which political party is in power? It troubles me to see how devastated some Christians get when the right is not in power. It troubles me to see how ugly and disrespectful some conservative Christians can be to government they disagree with, it troubles me to see what extremes some conservative Christians will go to. After all, I thought Christians believed that God was ultimately in control, so why all the panic? A big part of me wonders if all the panic comes from maybe we say one thing and believe another? We claim to believe that God is in control but we really believe that man is in control.
I don’t believe, if Jesus was walking this earth today, that he’d be a conservative. I don’t really think he’d be completely liberal either, in fact, I doubt we could put him in a political box. From my understanding of Scripture and his teachings, though, I doubt there would be much about current conservative politics in America that Jesus would be happy with. But I totally understand that many people disagree with me. I am going to spend some time explaining the social issues and what I believe Jesus taught on those subjects. I’m not claiming to be right, I’m just giving a “justification” I suppose for why I believe what I do, because quite honestly, I feel misunderstood, and because of that, I have had many conservatives be downright rude and ugly to me about what I believe. I don’t want to be mean and ugly back so I am trying to present this in a cool, calm manner. I am not angry at conservatives, like I said in the first post, I’d wager a pretty good guess that most of my friends are political conservatives. It’s ok, I love them anyway. :p
I’m going to be exploring this topic with two books (as well as the Bible), the first one is “Red Letter Christians” by Tony Campolo, and the second is “Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics” by Alisa Harris. Both are very good books and I look forward to presenting some of their material here. I probably won’t post these posts every day, I will probably post about some other topics in between, but I do intend to keep posting them over the following weeks. 🙂
And remember, I don’t even vote because I’m not a US citizen yet. I’m just a woman with opinions. :p
Today, I “liked” a page on Facebook called “The Christian Left” and shared two of its pictures on my own personal Facebook page. The very first comment I got was from a tea party conservative which simply said the “Christian” Left? insinuating that one could not be Christian and politically left. I know of good Christian people who are liberal and good Christian people who are conservative, and while I would never indicate that you can’t be Christian and liberal, or can’t be Christian and conservative, for me it is harder to imagine being conservative and being able to live by Christian values. However, it appears that many Christian conservatives don’t believe one can be both a Christian and liberal, so I thought I would write some posts on why I, as a Christian, choose to be a liberal rather than a conservative.
When I first moved to the USA, I was told that in this country, all Christians were republicans. If someone wasn’t a republican they weren’t a Christian. A while later I found out some were even more conservative than the republicans, and some of those people thought that the Christians who were republicans were “selling out” their convictions and instead should be constitutionalists or libertarians or tea partiers. I, in fact, helped my church at the time in 2008 campaign for Ron Paul, even though I wasn’t then nor am I yet a US citizen. Although I’m not a citizen yet, I plan to be one day. My husband and my four children are all citizens, and I live here, so yes I care very much about US politics. We even had a Ron Paul yard sign right next to our church yard sign (someone stole the Ron Paul one). Now, I want to put an Obama bumper sticker on my car except that it’s my husband’s car too and I don’t think he’d appreciate it, because he’s still fairly conservative. 🙂
Yesterday, I was glad to see the individual mandate of the health care bill upheld. I believe that health care is a basic human right, and I suppose that Jesus did too because he was always healing people. The reason I believe health care is a basic human right is because of how much Jesus cared about the sick. Honestly, I don’t understand what people are so upset about. Since I’ve moved here I have heard many complaints from conservatives that “they” have to pay for other people’s health care. Well, now that the individual mandate passed, individuals will have to pay for their own health care, or else their own tax dollars will go to paying for it. This means that the individual mandate is a good thing, because now people will be responsible to pay for their own health insurance. Of course, I don’t believe it will solve all the health care issues and ultimately I’d like to see the US adopt a socialized system like other first world countries have with great success.
Conservative politics to me seem very selfish and completely unChristlike, although I want to be careful when I say that to make sure that I DON’T say that all conservative Christians are unChristlike, because that is not true. I know many awesome, conservative Christians, in fact I believe that most of my friends are conservatives and they are amazing people. I’m not trying to tear down individuals; it’s the conservative political system that I have a problem with. The goal of these posts is simply to talk about how and why someone would be a Christian and be left, and I will do my best to keep to that issue rather than bashing conservatives. 🙂