How Would Jesus Vote?

I rarely put up bible verses on this blog (I'm afraid it might burst into flames or something...) but this has been really bothering me of late. The following is the New International Version of Matthew 25:34-40.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40 The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

This passage is part of the bit about "the Sheep and the Goats." Jesus is hanging out on the Mount of Olives with his crew, talking about "the end of the age" (Matthew 24:3). He makes a clear statement about compassion and charity when he tells them that in order to be among the sheep who go to heaven, you have to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those imprisoned.

Given that bit in bold, why is it that the Republicans, the party that most often invokes Jesus as it's guiding influence, is so dead set against a public option? I think many of these so-called Christians need remedial Bible study. Notice that it doesn't say "...I was sick and you told me to get off my ass and find a job with health insurance for myself..." It also doesn't say, "...whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, it must reduce the deficit and not increase taxes..."

As usual, it appears that the teachings of Jesus are embraced when profitable and ignored when inconvenient. The greed, selfishness, and overall discompassion of their positions is appalling. I believe Christ would be saddened by all this, and the number of goats would just keep rising...

Would some conservative Christian please explain these verses to me in light of recent events?


Tessa K. said...

greed has no logic other than "mine!"

Unknown said...

Sorry to say it but the GOP isn't about the teachings of Jesus as much as it is about fighting godless communists or launching a crusade on the holy land. The GOP uses religious rhetoric as a way of getting in touch with its base. In the 1950's and 60's it was your parents and grandparents who just happened to go to church on Sunday. Now there are churches that are built around the idea of political activism. In either model, the coincidental or the active theocrat, the teaching of the bible aren't as important as what the politician says.

Ducky said...

How many conservative Christians read this blog, I wonder? May be hard to get a hold of one... luckily you live in a place with Mormons aplenty, and God know THEY'RE not hard to get a hold of.

Linus said...

It's true - not too many Fundies amongst the cyber-Flock.

Rebecca said...

This isn't something new. In my almost-wholly uneducated opinion, Christianity hasn't been about the teachings of Christ since about thirty seconds after the poor guy died. Fuckin' Paul.

Meg Lanker said...

In "Capitalism: A Love Story" Michael Moore made this same point. It was his best film, but the man is now such a caricature of himself that it was a cinematic flop.

Was this inspired by the long, long conversation I sent you, or was this coincidence? Those two obviously couldn't explain it.

Linus said...

I've been pondering this for some time now, but that convo was the last straw.

Crow Jane said...

The only conservative I know, besides my dad is a hardcore atheist. He said that it was the job of people, not they state to take care of their fellow humans. I think that a lot of conservative Christians would agree with him.

Linus said...


Thanks for sharing. At least that's an attempt at reason. I think it's incredibly inhumane, but it's an attempt.

Tessa K. said...

@ MsEmJ -
My issue with that is if the Christians (or anyone else) really believed that then there would be no need for health care reform, because those people would be taken care of. So if they want the state to stay out of it, maybe they should make sure their charities are doing what they don't want the state to do. Until then - let people who need to be taken care of have the help they need.

Linus said...

Ok, I've thought about it some more, and the idea that health care is the responsibility of the people leads to a number of other problems. For example:

If the people are responsible for the care of the sick, why aren't they responsible for other things too, like the punishment of crimes? If Samaritanism is good, why isn't vigilanteism good too? In fact, this raises the question of what the state IS responsible for... if the people are actually responsible for the sick, we might as well be responsible for everything. DISBAND the STATE!

Meg Lanker said...

I think it's trying to embrace Objectivism and Jesus - which is an inherent paradox. The objectivist wouldn't want to come near a leper.

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