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It is not typically my style to write editorials or news stories about religion. Religion typically inspires people to emotional reactions rather than intellectual thought, however this time I have a point about America's political and corporate leadership that requires me to examine what the Bible said and how loyally the Republicans and Right-Wingers have followed the dictates of Jesus Christ.
You see, the Republicans of my lifetime (1966 up until present day) have been very fond of claiming that the Christian God is on their side and that they're doing the Lord's work. George W. Bush even went so far as to claim that his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ. But really, when you read the words of Jesus Christ how well do the Republicans walk the walk? What would Jesus Christ say about Republicans such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush or Rush Limbaugh?
In our search for answers, let us look to the book of Matthew. In chapter 19 we see a rich man ask Jesus what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus advised the rich man that he would need to sell all of his possessions, give his money to the poor and then follow Jesus.
The rich man refused to do this and Jesus indicated that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, making his famous quote that it easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. In Matthew Chapter 26 Jesus's disciples indicate that they have a a habit of raising money so that they can give it to the poor. What does this all tell us so far? Well, obviously Jesus was very concerned about the welfare of the poor and the less fortunate. He encouraged those who wanted to be his followers to recognize their obligation to assist the poor and needy people in society.
When the rich man in Matthew Chapter 29 refused to give money to the poor, Jesus indicated that his chances of getting into heaven were either slim or non-existent. However the most famous leaders of the Republican party take the opposite view. According to them, giving money or assistance to the poor is "socialism" or "communism". And even pointing out the disparity between the rich and poor is "class warfare". While liberals, Democrats and labor unions work hard to help the poor and the unfortunate, the Republicans and the Right-Wingers have worked hard to protect the wealthy and worked hard to keep the poor voiceless, powerless, exploited and unprotected. So, the Republicans do the OPPOSITE of what Jesus said to do, and yet the Republicans take credit for being the party of Jesus Christ and Christianity. How do they get away with that? It gets worse when we look at the book of John. In John Chapter 2 we see that a group of greedy capitalists is in the Jewish Temple selling oxen, sheep, doves and changing money.
This pissed Jesus off and he chased the greedy capitalists out of the temple with a scourge of small cords (a whip basically), overturned their tables, spilled their money out onto the floor and screamed at them for turning a house or worship into a place for making money. And ... isn't that really what Republicans like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have done? Taking advantage of the tax breaks that churches receive in America, Pat Robertson has bought up real estate, a law school, invested in diamond mines and gold mines, sold books and health drinks on his TV show and (of course) begged his viewing audience for money.
Jerry Falwell has used his preaching to become a millionaire and Pat Robertson is said (he won't release his financial information) to be a billionaire. What would Jesus (who angrily chased greedy capitalists out of the temple) have to say about Falwell and Robertson using Christianity to get rich? 2000 years ago people like Falwell and Robertson were described as "money lovers", who "devoured the houses of the widows" and were more concerned about keeping their traditions than caring for the aged or the needy. Jesus had no respect for men like Falwell or Robertson. He would have gladly chased either one of them with a whip and banned them from any house of worship. If the Jesus of the gospels were to come to America today, the Republican Party would label him as a "liberal" and a "socialist" and a "communist". He would be insulted and attacked by Fox News and the White House Press Secretary. Rush Limbaugh would accuse him of "class warfare" for Jesus's attempts to act as an advocate for the poor and would call Jesus a "communist" and "un-American".
Jesus was never an advocate for the rich. He was an advocate for the poor, the unfortunate and the voiceless. So why do people like George W. Bush (advocates for the millionaires and billionaires) get away with claiming that Jesus guides them in everything they do?