Ted Williams III
February 22, 2016
Does Bernie Sanders combine moral conviction with social compassion in a way that might appeal to Christians?
As I'm rereading Jesus in the Gospels, I doubt you can produce another candidate as closely aligned with Jesus' messages.
Jesus, as a scripture-aware Jew, believed solidly in the protection of the widow, orphan, and alien. Judaic law demanded that the alien be loved as oneself in the laws of Leviticus (19:33-34).
It shouldn't take a message from the Pope to tell us that all this anti-immigration stuff is antithetical to Christ's own message.
I'm really tired of the purportedly Christian Right standing on abortion as their moral high ground when they work to provide AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE for the already-born.
Most of our current leadership is happy to help business make a buck of the backs of the poor as they line their own campaign funds. This doesn't follow the teachings of our faith, yet election after election people keep voting for them.
If you carefully read the life of Jesus in the Gospels, making sure to tend to the footnotes so you understand the Old Testament references, it might be hard to see any of the other candidates in a better light than Sanders.
All the other candidates seem to be the rich working to enhance the lives of the rich.
Jesus was undoubtedly a deeply compassionate populist who disrupted traditions and expectations enough that people murdered him for it.
Why do we allow ourselves to vote based on cultural abstracts like perceived electability or the pragmatics of our own tax implications? These self-centered concepts rule the day in American politics, and show us to be serving two masters.
The Conservative stance on abortion doesn't sway me to the right partly because of what Adrienne says, that they simply don't try and help those who would struggle to raise a child. But to me, the even bigger issue is that many of the Republican candidates are willing, some eager, to bomb civilian areas in the Middle East. They were directly asked in one debate if they were okay with doing so if it meant that innocent children would die, and only Jeb Bush and I believe Rand Paul opposed it. That makes the Right no better than the Left, in my opinion. It means you then have to go looking at other issues,of which I personally find the Left to be more loving.
I hear what you are saying and many of his concepts are very compassionate and some are things that I would want to do if I were POTUS. However, often the "devil is in the details". (Just realized how polarizing the idiom is) Two big questions. How do we get these things done? Bernie stated publicly that if congress does not go along "we will take to the streets". So much for the constitution or the rule of law. Second the details of health care and college tuition if not tied to income becomes a big gift to the rich and even with progressive taxes makes for a uneven benefit. As to Jesus voting for Sanders? I think Jesus is in favor of leadership appointed by God, so maybe a one man - one vote might be a little hard for him. So would he appoint Sanders? Maybe, someone like Mr. Williams? Whoever, I am convinced it would be a better choice than a uniformed and self centered population could pick.
Before we start comparing Bernie to Jesus let's try to keep in mind that Jesus tols US to care for widows and orphans. At no time did he ever encourage Government to take what we earn, at the point of a gun by the way, and give it to widows and orphans. Granted if the people of God were doing all they were supposed to do government would not need to be in the business of caring for the poor. Shame on us for not doing the right thing, but don't give me a bunch of junk about how this politician is going to help these folk, they only help themselves. If we were to do what Jesus said there would be no need for half of the programs for the poor.
I can't agree that Sander's and Trump's popularity means people are looking outside "the establishment." Trump is as angry-white-republican as you can get, and Sanders is as pure-left-socialist as you can get. Neither is anti-establishment at all. They are popular BECAUSE they appeal to their parties. Neither of them is picking up independent or undecided voters.
I think a solid Christian worldview can include a healthy skepticism of candidates like Sanders. No president is able to accomplish half of what he/she claims as a candidate, so there's more to the question than just asking "whose policies would Jesus support." The ideas have to actually work, too.
I find the comment that Liberals are more loving to be amazingly presumptuous. What you do with other people's money is no measure of your loving nature. It's what you do with your own money that really counts. Conservatives are by far the greater givers to charity.
In Reply to Marilyn (comment #27924)
Completely agree with you, Marilyn.
I'm sure that by now we've all noticed this election cycle the Liberal-left implying the notion that being a good Christian equates with socialism.
Socialism perverts the biblical teachings of person to person charity, using it as tool in which to "guilt" or "bully" Christians and conservatives into abandoning their political and religious views.
I refuse to buy into the notion that being a good Christian means being a Socialist.
Perhaps a few more election cycles from now, we will be told that full on Communism equates with being the most like Jesus.
One thing I never see brought up is the debt factor.
What does the Bible say about debt???
We are now at about 20 trillion in National debt. Up from about 6 trillion just 10 years ago. The Congressional Budget Office projects the national debt to be near 30 trillion in 10 years at the current trajectory.
Bernie Sanders' "compassionate" social programs are conservatively estimated to cost at least 18 trillion alone.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves – Matthew 7:15
Let's not talk about government as if it was only government spending.
We have a national financial system that actively preys on the poor. We have leadership that would rather send people to prison than school.
We have a huge increase in childhood poverty and education.
We have legal system that provides very different outcomes for the wealthy than anyone else.
We have so many problems with race and bias that people are literally rioting in the streets.
This is a result of laws in place, not simply the benefits systems.
If one keeps choosing leadership that allows the wealthy to build more wealth on the backs of the poor, what that person doing to help their neighbor?
Reread the gospels focusing on Jesus. See who is endorsing policies that reflect Jesus' concern for the downtrodden. See what the Bible says and not just the contemporary interpretation of demagogues.
If we don't consider the impact on those who Christ loved when we vote for our leadership, how can believe we are serving him?
(Joe, the following is also Jesus in the gospels.)
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
I think it is disappointing that you spend the whole article building on Sanders social credentials, only to dismiss him with three words: Abortion, Marriage, Marijuana. I felt like it was a bit of a bait and switch article - all that time on the upside, and then nothing but innuendo to dismiss him.
I'm Canadian. I don't get a vote. But I can tell you this - I am not going to go bankrupt this year because I needed two major surgeries and 6 weeks in the ICU. The Medicare-For-All plan that Sanders promotes is similar (though not identical) to the Canadiam system. If only my American friends could have the confidence to go see their doctor without worry that they'll have to sell their house.
As a result of those surgeries, I have been in a lot of pain - let me tell you this - my prescription for medical marijuana has meant that I could get off opioids. It's provided me with help for nausea when I can't keep anything down, and has made my pain bearable again.
By the way, I'm a Jesus follower - I wonder - would my marijuana use and support of medicare-for-all cost me Jesus blessing to seek public office?
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