I was sitting in Church Sunday listening to our minister lay the ground work for his upcoming Easter sermon. I attend what many in my community view as a liberal Church. We were one of the first Churches in our city to have a female minister and women on our board of elders. We support the ordination of LGBTQ ministers and have a gay person on our session. I view this as progressive but many of the more “conservative” churches in our area view us a heretics and I know have openly prayed for us to right our wrongs.
As it always happens during the sermon my mind began to wonder as I doodled on the cover of the bulletin. I have been thinking a lot about what is dividing this country, these labels we are so insistent on using, Republican and Democrat, Liberals and Conservatives. And if that wasn’t enough, within each of these categories are more labels, ultra, progressives and moderates.
I hate to throw religion into the political mix but in the life of the Christian Church they are coming up on a very big event, the Super Bowl of Christianity if you will. No matter what you think about all the other stories and myths that surround Jesus, if you consider yourself a “Christian” His death and Resurrection is the biggie, the one decree you better not only believe in but grasp as well.
So for all you Jesus followers out there I thought I would list a few of the subjects and the differing views of Liberals and Conservatives on those subjects we are currently battling over. Here is my question, which side would Jesus take and why?
Really think about this. Don’t just pull a response out of your but as so many on the right and left are prone to do. Where would Jesus stand on Abortion, Affirmative Action, the Economy, Education, Energy, Global Warming and Gun Control?
Liberal – A woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights.
Conservative – Human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human being.
Liberal – Due to racism in the past, minorities were deprived of the same education and employment opportunities as whites. America is still a racist society, therefore a federal affirmative action law is necessary.
Conservative – Some individuals in society are racist, but American society as a whole is not. Preferential treatment of certain races through affirmative action is wrong.
Liberal – A market system in which government regulates the economy is best. Government must protect citizens from the greed of big business.
Conservative – The free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise create the greatest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all.
Liberal –Public schools are the best way to educate students. Vouchers take money away from public schools.
Conservative – School vouchers create competition and therefore encourage schools to improve performance.
Liberal – Oil is a depleting resource. Other sources of energy must be explored.
Conservative – Oil, gas and coal are all good sources of energy and are abundant in the U.S.
Global Warming/Climate Change
Liberal – Global warming is caused by an increased production of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).
Conservative – Change in global temperature is natural over long periods of time. Science has not shown that humans can affect permanent change to the earth’s temperature.
Liberal – The Second Amendment does not give citizens the right to keep and bear arms, but only allows for the state to keep a militia (National Guard).
Conservative – The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Individuals have the right to defend themselves.
Many of you view Jesus as a religious leader, I on the other hand view Jesus as a social activist. Sadly, that view is part of the divide between us. Same book, stories, and lessons but a much different interruption. Sound familiar?
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Jesus