Which party is more like Jesus?

Published 3:21 pm Saturday, October 30, 2010

Following Jesus is what I live for. Jesus was a liberal, an extraordinary one for his time; even for ours. Defending women, supporting children, confronting those who would judge or condemn minorities, fighting for equality and respect for all human beings, loving all, and forgiving everyone, Jesus presents for us a challenging calling.

I have noticed one political party seems to live out these values more readily than the other. One stands up for the disadvantaged, protecting the less fortunate from the more powerful, encouraging sharing wealth rather than hording it individually, seeks to provide better education for our children, providing homes to the homeless, food to the hungry and medical care to those who need it, and confront abusers of minorities.

The other often fights against these causes, supporting and defending the well-off at the expense of the middle class and poor, works to defeat education funding, supports big oil, fights against environmental concerns and promotes prejudice and attack against minorities, especially if they come from another country or have a different sexual orientation than their own.

Email newsletter signup

I want truth instead of cover-up, peace instead of war, freedom from verbal, emotional or physical attack instead of self-righteousness, and a caring for God’s great creation of the earth and our fellow human beings. I want consideration for others instead of “looking out for No. 1,” compassion toward others instead of judgment, looking to needs of our neighbors instead of keeping our riches to ourselves. I want sensitivity to one another’s circumstances, striving to help rather than excluding others, to be welcoming instead of rejecting, to give people freedom to be as God created them, to believe what makes sense to them instead of needing them to be like me.

There is an openness in one party that attracts me, in the same way I am attracted to Jesus. There is a harshness and coldness in the other major party that seems quite unlike Jesus. It often confuses me when Christians of one party attack Christians of the other party as if they are on the wrong side. Is it possible God loves both Democrats and Republicans equally?

There is a hymn that exhorts, “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” — of our fellowman (Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela). We will not be recognized as followers of Jesus by how we hate our fellowman (Beck, Limbaugh).

Jesus made his message as clear as he could when he told us the most important things in life are, “Love the Lord your God — and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt:22:36-39)

Mudslinging against gracious politicians, destroying the land, polluting the air, misrepresenting facts, abusing power, condemning — even killing — gays, blacks, Muslims, Jews, hispanics, instead of responding to their need, is diametrically opposed to following Jesus.

Loving, forgiving, responding to, welcoming, praying for, serving, fighting for, speaking out to protect, giving to, and wishing everyone the blessings we have ourselves — IS following Jesus.

Which party reflects that for you?

David Larson

Albert Lea