7.2 ‘God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican’
While visiting the States I was shocked to observe that the majority of Evangelical Christians traditionally voted for the Republicans and accused those who voted for the Democrats of being liberals and crypto-socialists. Now it may be true that the Republican Party in the US is closer to the conservative values that are so dear to Evangelicals; yet at the same time I was astonished to observe that:
- this party has traditionally represented the interests of the rich, whereas Christ was primarily concerned with the poor;
- although Republicans are very pro-life, they care very little about the well-being of the children concerned once they have been born, especially if they are the children of the poor;
- at the centre of the so-called Christian Right is the Puritan ideal of the ‘city on the hill’ (Matt. 5:14), worked out in terms more in line with Old Testament ideas of theocracy and the creation of a Christian society, while the New Testament prefers the view of Christians as being like pilgrims who do not have permanent roots in this world;
- this ideal is often pursued by the use of very militaristic metaphors (warfare, conflict, cultural war, crusade etc.), while Christ seems to have preferred more peaceful and subtle metaphors like those of salt and light;
- in terms of world affairs, the Republicans have always promoted the politics of force that has now been perfected into the perverted sophistication of the ‘pre-emptive strike’ theory.
These and many other things made me agree wholeheartedly with the slogan promoted by Sojourners, a publication of Evangelicals for Social Action, who argued that ‘God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican’. He is neither on the right nor on the left but always on the side of the poor and the oppressed and against the strong and proud. So, make your own choice.