My friend was outed the other day as a Democrat. “Really?” a man nearby reacted, “But I thought you were a Christian.” Yes. He really believes that Democrats are not Christians. Wow! Is my reaction.
And I’m a Democrat BECAUSE I strive to be a follower of Jesus (who, remember, was a practicing Jew.) Unlike that man, I don’t assume that all members of any political party think alike. I know many Republicans who choose that party because they feel they have a home there for their Christian beliefs, just as I feel the Democratic Party supports more of mine. So why am I a Democrat? (except when I vote for a Reublican.)
I think that with the Democrats I have a better chance for freedom to follow my beliefs without government interference. I do understand that there are those who see things differently – who are sure that a true believer would want to impose the “right” religion by way of government action. You know what? I think they have their right to believe that. That’s why we have discussions, debates, and even elections.
I choose the side of the Democrats, though, because I believe I have a moral/ religious home there. I’ll vote for life every time. That’s right: I’m pro-life; therefore I’m pro-choice. I believe all life is valuable – not just the life of the newly implanted fertilized ovum. In fact, I have a hard time understanding the belief that God somehow loves that embryo so much that it would be worth it to sacrifice the life of the woman He once thought so valuable when she was in the form of an embryo. And have no doubt. A woman’s body is not an inactive box. Pregnancy is a hazard. I’ll stop myself from the rant I want to start about the complexities of pregnancies and choices.
By the way, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. I prefer the Democratic position of supporting options for women to gain access to reproductive information and pregnancy prevention. For poor women, that means I’m in favor of supporting Planned Parenthood whose function is to promote the life of both mother and child through prenatal care and health maintenance.
I’m in favor of life for physicians who practice perfectly legal abortions.
Oh, and even if they were illegal, because I am opposed to the death penalty, I’m still in favor of life. I could rant about that too.
I’m opposed to locking people away in privately owned prisons where each inmate represents a profit. I’m in favor of doing all possible to encourage the productive life of those who are or have been inmates.
I believe in an education that encourages creativity, not only for those who can afford it, but for those in poverty whose schools and families need help.
I believe in recognizing the humanity and value of all immigrants.
I’m opposed to war as anything but a very last resort for solving problems.
I believe in maintaining the life of the earth – even the universe — and the scientists who study its health.
I favor an atmosphere that encourages forgiveness and help with forgiveness. Oh, not making excuses for wrongdoing. I said I try to be a follower of Jesus. I don’t believe he ever said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. Just do what feels right to you.” I think he was more likely to say “Go and sin no more.” He was big, I believe, on promoting justice for all, rich or poor, even Samaritans.
OK, there’s more. It seems to me his list of what to do to attain the Kingdom was not to follow a whole bunch of rules. Wasn’t it more like “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself?” See the lessons of Job
Well, anyway. That’s why I feel more at home as a Democrat. And I get it. Not all Republicans identify as Christian and not all Democrats are non-Christians. I like it that way (These days I rarely use the word Christian, now that it’s been so politicized.). There’s room for all of us under the big umbrella that is the United States that brought my parents here as immigrants. That includes Sikhs, Muslims, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, atheists, agnostics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists … I know, the list isn’t complete. That’s the point. That’s the America I love.