I’ve been working on a post about the political obligations of liberal and progressive Christians for a while, but I just can’t get it right. I can’t say what I want to say. Lucky for me, Gary Vance did get it right. This was written back in October 2004 in the context of the last election, but it is even more relevant today:
Jesus was the ultimate liberal progressive revolutionary of all history…. He aligned Himself with the poor and the oppressed. He challenged the religious orthodoxy of His day. He advocated pacifism and loving our enemies. He liberated women and minorities from oppression. He healed on the Sabbath and forgave adulterers and prostitutes. He associated with drunks and other social outcasts. He rebuked the religious right of His day because they embraced the letter of the law instead of the Spirit. He loved sinners and called them to Himself. Jesus was the original Liberal. He was a progressive, and He was judged and hated for it. It was the self-righteous religionists that He rebuked and He called them hypocrites.
Liberalism isn’t a dirty word. It was part of the Word and should be trumpeted by lefty religious folk loudly. The right doesn’t own Christianity, and it doesn’t own Jesus.
I am glad that conservative Republican candidates advocate for the family and a few Christian issues, but we must quit pretending that they are the only ones that Christians should consider voting for. People should not call themselves pro-life if they are only anti-abortion and yet feel no twinge of conscience over the unfair application of capital punishment or wars fought for dubious motives. A true pro-life position cares just as passionately for the born as the un-born and views war as a last resort when all other options are exhausted.
Christians should look for candidates that will work for issues that are of importance to Christ and that can be tackled legislatively…. Issues such as eliminating poverty and homelessness in America, true equal rights for all citizens, environmental protection, a fair minimum wage, affordable health care, and lowering our infant mortality rate….
I have some questions for the Christian Right. Why have you not held our current elected majority officials accountable for their failure to address the full spectrum of Christian issues? Why would you vote for them again?
Why, indeed [Link via Holy Weblog!].