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October 28, 2012
The Myth of the Christian Right
By Mary Shaw
"Let's compare the teachings of Jesus with the actions of his so-called followers in the GOP..."
::::::::GOP politicians and their followers love to play the Christianity card. They wave their bibles and wag their fingers at anyone whose behavior doesn't pass their sanctimonious moral judgment.
They call themselves Christians, but in Catholic school I was taught that Christians adore and follow Jesus Christ. These holier-than-thou Republicans don't reflect the Jesus that I read about in the New Testament.
To illustrate this point, let's compare the teachings of Jesus with the actions of his so-called followers in the GOP.
flickr image by boris.rasin
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)
The "Christian" Republicans, on the other hand, attacked Iraq for no good reason, and now are beating the war drums over Iran. And their corporate overlords in the war profiteering business are making a fortune. (See Halliburton.)
Jesus said, "Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes', and your 'No' mean 'No'. Anything more is from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37)
But GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney changes his opinions on the issues from 'yes' to 'no' and back again as much as needed to achieve his immediate political goals. And the "Christian" Republicans will vote for him.
Jesus said, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)
But the GOP has in recent decades become the Greedy Old Party, working to cut social services for the underprivileged in order to give unneeded tax breaks to the very wealthy.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the [temple] treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything -- all she had to live on." (Mark 12:43)
And so the "Christian" Republicans will call her a welfare queen.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)
But GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about his car elevator and professes his disdain for the 47 percent while on the campaign trail. And the "Christian" Republicans will vote for him.
Jesus said, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me... Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:40-45)
See above re: tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the needy.
Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's." (Matthew 22:21)
But GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hides his wealth in overseas tax havens to avoid rendering unto Uncle Sam. And the "Christian" Republicans will vote for him.
Jesus said, "Watch out that you are not deceived." (Luke 21:8)
So how can we tell when GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is telling the truth, since his official positions change so frequently? Still, the "Christian" Republicans will vote for him.
Jesus said, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:5-6)
But the "Christian" Republicans have to drag their "religion" not only into the public square but into our political process as well, despite the First Amendment's separation of church and state.
Jesus said, "Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matthew 7:1)
But that doesn't stop GOP mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh from judging everyone he disagrees with. (See Sandra Fluke.)
And so on.
But, sadly, many voters who most need to recognize this hypocrisy are either too complacent, too apathetic, or too willfully ignorant to see it.
I just hope enough eyes - and minds - can open before Election Day to save us.
Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated.