Lately, I am reminded a great deal of the words attributed to Ghandi’, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
It seems a great description of the current GOP. They claim to be Christians, but their actions are definitively not in line with the Gospel of their God.
For the record, I believe in a FIRM separation of Church and State. Our founders enshrined this principle in our Constitution (the other text the GOP claims to follow and yet tramples at every turn). But let us for a moment accept the oft cited proposition that we are a Judeo-Christian nation (with an emphasis always on Christian). If this is the case, I would love to see it modeled off the teachings of Jesus himself, and not the self-proclaimed guardians of the tradition.
Let us take a moment and contrast the teachings of Christianity with the actions of the GOP.
On the subject of caring for the sick, Matthew 14:14 states the following “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”
Contrast this if you will to the decision of the GOP to repeal the ACA without offering anything in its place. Jesus, who cared for the sick, would hardly support an action that jeopardized the health of so many people. He would not abandon them to sickness, destitution and death. And yet, that is what the GOP would do- all to benefit the rich. You will recall that in Matthew 19:24, Jesus told his disciples “Again I say to 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.” Perhaps they are hoping Donald Trump will build them a large golden needle as a gate to heaven. I do not think that gate leads where they think it does.
On the matter of the poor, Jesus was consistent. In Matthew 5:3 it is written “Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In Luke 3:10-11, we are told “And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
Contrast this to the House GOP’s 2017 budget plan that would slash SNAP funding by over 150 Billion over ten years. Yes- that’s food stamps. Rather than feed the poor, the GOP would rather line the pockets of the wealthy.
On the matter of the elderly, Jesus understood the importance of honoring one’s elders. In Peter 5:5, it is written “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Contrast this to Republican plans to privitize Medicare and cut Social Security benefits. These programs are vastly popular. These programs are a commitment to our grandparents and parents that they will not be left destitute. They are a pledge to families that they will be able to care for their children AND their parents at the same time. This is not a trivial matter. And yet again, in the name of tax cuts, Republicans would abandon the old for the sake of the rich.
On the matter of the poor, Jesus saw in them the future. In Matthew 19:13-14, it is written, Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Contrast this with the callous and craven acts of the GOP. They refused to protect children’s access to healthcare through CHIP and Medicaid. With the nomination of Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education, the Republicans continue their assault on public education- denying children access to a quality free education while funneling money to for profit charter schools.
Thus, I urge Republican lawmakers who insist that they are Christians, to open their bibles and read what Jesus actually said. You seem to have subscribed to the gospel of Social Darwinism and mistaken Adam Smith’s invisible hand, for the hand of God.
I must agree with Ghandi, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”