I don’t normally do this. I don’t normally comment on politics publicly, though I’m interested and somewhat informed privately. I don’t comment on politics publicly because of where I live and who many of my friends are. I live in the South, in a very red state, and many of my friends are very vocal Republicans/Libertarians/Tea Party members. Frankly, I don’t feel comfortable voicing my opinions. I feel confident that I will be ganged up on. I have listened and said nothing while people I consider friends have characterized Democrats and liberals as baby-killing, freeloaders who hate America. I have been called socialist, a communist, akin to a Nazi for my political beliefs, which are informed by my religious beliefs, by the way. I read Facebook comments weekly, if not daily, about how awful social justice led by government is, sometimes written by people I know to be in favor of social justice as an idea. In the last couple of days, I’ve read Facebook and internet comments that make clear the writers’ disapproval and hatred of any sort of social justice, their apparent belief that any people who would benefit from the health care exchange set for 2014 are “lazy and worthless.”
Worthless. That one word is EXACTLY why I’m breaking my silence. Too many Christians are tossing that word around. No doubt, there is fraud on our welfare system and Medicare. It’s wrong, but I would rather err on the side of giving someone grace than deny people help. If you are a believer and feel free to call God’s creation worthless without apology, then you are not compassionate or gracious or loving. I try not to make blanket statements like that often. This post is full of qualifying statements. But I am sick of the people who claim Christianity disparaging their fellow men, whom God created and loves. You have differing views on the role of government? Fine. You think that social justice, charity, helping those in need of food and health care should be done by the private sector and by churches in particular? I disagree somewhat, but I don’t have to call you a murderous aristocrat. Although, let’s face it. It is NOT getting done by churches. It isn’t. Your church may be doing something, and that is awesome. I think that churches and the government should BOTH be working to help American citizens. As a whole, however? Churches ARE NOT taking care of the widows and the orphans, the sick and the poor. I’ve heard too many Christians state that exact fact to expect much of an opposition on that point. Too many kids and adults are sick and are going to DIE because they cannot get access to affordable health care, many through no fault of their own.
Ultimately, as you may have guessed, I am quite in favor of the health care reform. In fact, I would have like it to have gone much farther. Personally, I am in favor of universal health care. This blog, however, is not about convincing you of my position. I probably won’t. (Side note: I do wish that more people were better informed, on both sides. Not everything that Glenn Beck or Fox News or Keith Olbermann or MSNBC claims is truth.)
What I want to do is proclaim that calling someone worthless is not loving. It seems outrageous that I even have to make that distinction. Trust me, if a husband called his wife worthless, the very same people who throw that adjective around would be outraged. You may find someone’s actions reprehensible, but calling someone worthless is actually a pretty serious statement. Your words mean something. God is not amused by your rants calling someone he loves worthless.
What I want to do is say that I can be a Christian and not a Republican. God does not belong to the Republicans, the Democrats, or the Libertarians. He is not a political party. Pastors, please stop telling me that my political views are sin simply because I identify with the Democratic party. You don’t know all of them, for one, and it is not sin to believe in a stronger national government. It simply is not. I don’t trust it for my salvation, therefore it is not a sin.
On that note, you can be a Democrat and be pro-life. Moreover, you can be anti-abortion and not be pro-life. There is a difference. Pro-life encompasses more than the abortion battle. For instance, it does not demonstrate high esteem of life to want every child to be born at the same time you battle against making sure they have health care and food. It is not reverent of life to expect a mother to keep her unborn child and leave her/want to leave her without resources, medically and otherwise. You cannot claim to be completely pro-life and stop caring (in terms of real action) for people after they are born, sometimes into terrible situations. That just makes you anti-abortion. I am not saying that every Christian Republican is like this, ; many people unfortunately are. I am also aware of the semantic war over the labels I’m using. Make no mistake, I believe abortion is wrong. I also believe valuing human life so little as to deny health care to everyone, particularly children, is just as wrong.
As you can see, another reason I don’t normally write about political issues is that I’m not good at it. I’m too passionate, I guess, and yet I must restrain myself, for I don’t believe that every Republican/Libertarian/No Party Alignment out there calling me and people like me idiots responsible for the end of civilization (melodramatic!) is a bad person. Personally, I think they are wrong (as they do me) and that perhaps some are misguided, but I would never want to lump all Republicans/opponents of the health care reform together. If you feel that I am doing that, I apologize. That was not my intent. My goal was to call attention to a specific group of Christian Republicans (or Independents, etc.) who are not displaying Christ in their words and attitudes. I expect that I might get a couple of comments, so please keep it civil, or I will moderate your comment.