To The Daily Sun,
I am tired of reading letters to this forum that paint Democrats and liberals as anti-God and anti-American and that portray conservatives Republicans as the only true Christian patriots. Despite what many right-wing "Christians" might have you believe, there are millions of Christians who refer to themselves as liberals, progressives, Democrats or any number of things other than "conservative Republicans."
The most fundamental difference between liberal progressives and conservatives is the question of which side you are on. Conservatives believe that the rich and powerful get that way because they deserve to be, that society owes its prosperity to the prosperous, and that government's job when they have to make a choices is to side with those businesspeople who are doing well because all good things trickle down from them.
Progressives on the other hand, believe it is the poor and those who are ill-treated who need the most help from their government.
When you are in the political world, decisions have to be made daily about who you will help and who you won't. These political decisions are generally not win-win. Instead one group of people wins and one group of people loses. It is the nature of politics, and you can't take politics out of politics.
Jesus was not primarily concerned with politics, but for what politics he did have, it is virtually impossible to argue that he was anything but a progressive liberal thinker. The Gospels make it clear that Jesus' main concern was for the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast. They also reveal His scorn for the wealthy and powerful.
Webster's dictionary defines a liberal as, "one who is open minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways." Jesus Christ was a pluralist liberal who taught that one need not conform to strict and orthodox views of God, religion, and life. He rejected greed, violence, the glorification of power, the amassing of wealth without social balance, and the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs. Jesus clearly sees a pure love of God and for our fellow human beings as the bottom line for being a Christian. His philosophy is embedded with the central importance of taking care of others. There is nothing in the Gospels about poor people being lazy, nothing about the undeserving poor being leeches on society, how we shouldn't help the poor because it weakens them, and nothing about charity or welfare corrupting a person's spirit.
As humans, we shouldn't have to believe in Jesus Christ to feel that it's important that we help the sick, feed the hungry, accept each other, not judge one another, and treat people with kindness, not apathy.
If we are truly a "Christian" nation, as we claim to be, and neglect the poor and the oppressed, we must either pretend that Jesus was as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy, without condition, and then admit that we just don't want to do it.
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