What's Wrong with the Democrats (and Republicans) and "The American Dream"
by Rich DeemIntroductionDemocrats or Republicans?
A common assumption is that Christians are all Republicans and that the Democrats are out-of-step with religious people. However, if Jesus were preaching to day, I think He would have some things to say to both political parties.
I am sure I will get lots of email about this page, since neither Democrats nor Republicans are going to like it very much. It's okay with me, since Christianity is not about being popular. Even so, the Bible does lay down some specific moral principles that apply to our attitudes and behaviors. So, in this page, we are going to examine the moral principles that are violated by Democratic and Republican platforms and what Jesus Had to say about that cherished concept of "The American Dream."Democrats
Until a few years ago, the Democrats tended to ignore morality in their appeal to voters, instead emphasizing personal rights and liberties. However, recently, Democrats have begun to appeal to people's concern for the poor, in terms of basic needs (food, shelter, health care, etc.), along with education and training. Of course, the Bible does encourage us to care for the poor and provide for their needs.1
Democrats have always been supportive of "free speech," even saying that people have a right to produce pornography that has "artistic merit." However, Jesus said that looking at a woman with lust is a sin equal to committing adultery.2 Obviously, supporting "rights" that encourage sin is not within the realm of Christian principles.Sexual sins
The Democratic party has been a strong supporter of freedom of sexual expression. Therefore, any prohibitions against such "victimless" conduct such as adultery and consensual sex between minors have been removed from legal statutes. As a result, sexually-transmitted diseases are at epidemic levels, despite an appeal to "safe sex" through condom use. The Bible indicates that sexual relationships are to be between husband and wife.3Abortion
Despite political comments that the determination of the beginning of human life is "above one's pay grade," the Bible makes no bones about when human life begins. In fact, numerous prophets were called by God to serve him from the womb.4 Today, such a call could likely be answered by a choice to kill God's messenger. Killing one of God's creatures in the name of personal choice is one of the most egregious "acceptable" sins allowed in the United States (and most parts of the world).Republicans
Republicans emphasize moral responsibility more than democrats. Although they often think of themselves as being part of "God's party," their platform is not without its own moral problems.Immigration
Illegal immigration is a big issue for Republicans as they seek to keep Mexican nationals from crossing the border and living in the United States. Although often framed as a national security issue since September 11, 2001, the main purpose of closed borders is to keep outsiders from taking "American jobs." However, the Bible says that God's people are not to despise the aliens in their land,5 but provide food, shelter, and clothing for them.6 In addition, the Bible says that all laws are to apply to equally to natives and aliens7 and that judges are to apply those laws equally.8 God Himself warned His people not to turn aside the alien or they could be subject to judgment.9 And Republicans thought that America would only be judged for her sexual sins!The poor
Republicans are often perceived as being for big business at the expense of the poor. In general, Democrats believe that government should care for the poor, whereas Republicans believe that the private sector can do a more efficient job. In a less selfish world individuals would willingly provide for those who are in need. The Bible talks about the poor and encourages people to give alms to them. However, at the time, all able-bodied individuals were expected to work. Those who refused to work were not to be given food to encourage them in their laziness.10 In instances where the poor are described in the Bible, they were begging for alms because they had physical disabilities that prevented them from working.11 So, providing for the poor was never intended as a welfare system for lazy people. Since there was no government system for providing for the day laborer, he could seek to be hired to work on a daily basis or offer to become a slave. The term slave has extremely negative connotations today, because of abuses carried out against those who were forced to work for others. However, under Old Testament law, the kidnapping of a person for enslavement was a capital offense.12 In addition, voluntary slavery was not a lifetime commitment, since the slave was to be released in the year of jubilee (which occurred every seven years).13 Since we don't want to go back to a system of slavery, it is reasonable for a government by the people to provide for the needs of those who are unable to work.The American Dream
Although there is no one unified perception of what "The American Dream" entails, both political parties throw around the idea as the goal of being prosperous and well-off financially. Accordingly, the American Dream comprises the pursuit of wealth, leisure, and comfortable living. Because people prefer comfort to suffering, appeals to providing all Americans the opportunity to pursue the American Dream are well-received. However, Jesus had a different idea of how a person would be blessed. Accordingly, those who are poor, hungry, weeping, and hated because they followed Him are the ones who are blessed and will inherit the kingdom of heaven.14-17 However, Jesus pronounced woes to those who were rich, well-fed, laughing, and popular with the people.
This is the American Dream turned on its head! It is not that one should seek to be poor, hungry and hated. However, one should not pursue "The American Dream" as one's primary purpose in life. According to the Bible, the most important things are to love God and love one's neighbor.21 Accordingly, all of God's laws are fulfilled when one practices love.Americans vs. "them"
It is a common campaign rhetoric to put more value on American lives compared to peoples from other areas of the world. What politicians don't seem to understand is that God is not a United States citizen. In fact, the Bible says that God does not show partiality based upon social, financial, or ethnic status,22 so that we can confidently say that God loves non-Americans as much as He does Americans. Likewise, the Bible commands people to act without partiality, and warns those who judge with partiality will be judged as being transgressors of the law.23Conclusion
Neither major political party has a completely biblical party platform. Democrats tend to emphasize personal rights (including "rights" to sin and kill God's pre-born creations) to the detriment of personal responsibility. Republicans stress personal responsibility to the detriment of caring for those who are less well off. You can be sure that the economy will be a major topic of discussion during the 2012
presidential election campaigning. It is likely that the candidate who appeals best to the greed of the electorate will win the presidency as we pursue the American Dream of wealth and leisure as the rest of the world suffers in poverty and sickness. No, I won't be running this election, so you won't be able to vote for me (not that you would probably want to, anyway!). Choose wisely!http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/democrats_republicans.html