Much can be said about Christianity’s influence in today’s political world. Politicians wear their religion on their sleeve, the Republican Party has hijacked Christianity, Christianity has hijacked the Republican Party and Democrats are always fighting to prove themselves to be focused, faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
I give no hardline opinion here, but I do think it is hard for most people to separate their religious beliefs from their political beliefs. If you are agnostic and find Christians contemptible, you may have a difficult time pulling the lever for a politician who ran a pretty strong campaign on his Christian beliefs. And, if you’re a strong-willed Christian with little room for change, there’s no way you’re going to vote for a liberal Democrat who finds late term abortions as a positive procedure for women who decide having their child is something less than desirable.
Having said all this, I do believe being a Christian is a magnet to being a political conservative. Superficially, I think this is why many Christians are Republican and many Republicans are Christians. The traditional Republican Party more or less reflected conservative Christian values. However, in today’s world, I do not think many Christians or conservatives scratch below the surface. This is a dangerous precedent because if a Christian were to investigate their faith and their political leanings just a tad deeper, they would find specific reasons and better arguments for their case as to why they lean Conservative.
As a conservative I do not believe in government as God. I believe in God as God. The United States Federal Government has taken on a father figure for many of its “children” by providing whatever its children need. There is a reason why the Democratic Party is made up of more agnostics, “atheists” and faithless people, because those people look to the government as their savior, if you will. I’m not chastising them by any means, however when you have no faith in a high power, humans, in general, naturally develop a faith in something higher than themselves. For many, it’s Father Government.
I read once that the government wastes approximately 70 percent of every dollar collected in taxes. Compare that to most reputable non-profits, including churches, that use at least 80 percent, some more than 90 percent of every dollar donated for a specific cause. Of the many mandates Jesus gave us, to love our neighbors as ourselves was one of them. Loving your neighbors means caring for your neighbors. Caring for your neighbors means providing for them. Enabling them. Helping them. You know everything the government is doing by taking your money, wasting 70 percent of it and then blindly handing it out to people who may or may not need it. The government is slowly reducing the more than necessary need for the church by being the church.
In the United States, I don’t see how one can be a Christian, not a “Christian” but one who has actually made conscious decision to follow Christ, and be a liberal. If the magnet comparison works for being a Christian and Conservative, then being a Christian and a liberal is like turning one of those magnets around and trying to get them to attract each other. In fact, they repel each other. Why?
I heard a statistic recently that the richest 1 percent of this country pays more in taxes than the bottom 95 percent pay in taxes COMBINED. You may be of the opinion that rich people need and should pay more than the rest of us. (OK, so what’s wrong with a flat tax?) Regardless, let me break this out based on my own experience in paying taxes.
I do not make $100,000 but for simplicity let’s use $100,000 which puts someone in the 28 percent tax rate. If I’ve done my homework and calculations correctly, a person making $100,000 loses nearly 22 percent in federal taxes. In Oregon I add 10 percent for state tax, another 5 percent in property taxes and of course 7.5 percent in social security tax. I’m already at almost 45 percent of my income taken in taxes. If I am self-employed I have to add another 7.5 in Social Security tax. There are other payroll taxes I don’t even understand on my pay check and feel free to argue all of the deductions I can add but I’ll just throw back in your face all the other taxes I am paying on my water bill, electric bill, natural gas bill, gasoline taxes, phone bill….should I continue?
God asks for 10 percent of your income. So if God, in His infinite wisdom asks you to give 10 percent of your income back to Him, meaning the church, don’t you think He’s done the calculations that only 10 percent is needed to take care of all his people who cannot care for themselves?
Yet the government takes nearly 50 percent in taxes, wastes most of it and uses that money to play God and provide for people who, in many cases, can very well provide for themselves.(Churches and non-profits do a much better job of vetting out who actually needs help.) If you think Jesus is not a limited government kind of guy then how do you get around the fact that Jesus says to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. I would interpret this in today’s language as “follow the Constitution as it was written by the forefathers of your country.”
The United States Constitution has been obliterated by special interests and power hungry politicians who want to play God. Man is naturally corrupt. If I may steal a little from John Dalberg-Acton, when you have naturally corrupt men and women in power, absolute power corrupts absolutely. A liberal gives the government absolute power because government is the god that provides for the common good.
Unfortunately, the United States Constitution only gives the federal government the authority to provide for the common defense and only promote the general welfare. The difference between providing and promoting is staggering.
I don’t think most Christians realize this is why they are Conservative. They should.