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Christ Consciousness in our Political Context

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October 2004

 
Sojourners created a www.takebackourfaith.org and ran a "God is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat" petition Monday, August 30th, as a full-page ad in The New York Times. It was an excellent and well-written ad and I supported it fully.
 
The election campaign seems to be further mired in slime as we move toward our own November day of judgment in this country. Recently I watched one of the talking-heads shows and heard one individual assert that George Bush is not representing or advocating for the extreme religious right - George Bush IS the religious right.
 
Six weeks ago Reverend Jerry Falwell declared ""It is the responsibility of...every evangelical Christian, every pro-life Catholic, every traditional Jew...to get serious about re-electing President Bush." - Jerry Falwell, The New York Times July 16, 2004
 
Why is that Reverend Falwell? I think that such an exhortation to ALL Christians in this country needs more than that kind of dumbed-down statement.
 
Knowing that Mr. Falwell does not speak for God to the American people ...
Knowing that Mr. Robertson does not speak for God to the American people ...
Knowing that Christian Dominionists do not speak for God to the American people ...
Knowing that Christian Reconstructionists do not speak for God to the American people ...
 
In fact, knowing that no one evangelical, no one pro-life or pro-choice proponent, no traditional Jew speaks for God to the American people, I choose to insist on my own personal Christ consciousness in how I'm going to get serious about who best can serve as the leader of a nation predominantly Christian in religious belief.
 
No individual, no Christian church and no Christian alliance of like-minded evangelicals, fundamentalists, traditionalist or liberals has any right or responsibility to define for me how I should exercise my consciousness of Christ in how I vote.
 
However, I'm willing to listen for more clarity on how Mr. Bush's personal Christianity might be reconciled to my own. Not believing that my own Christian outlook is absolute and inerrant, I'm willing to be more informed. So to Brother George, Brother Jerry and all of you born-again politicians, if you want my vote please elaborate on the following:
 
Do you openly declare that God wants me to vote for you because you have been divinely appointed? My own experience is that God gives us to understand why more often than He says,  "just do it!" So why does God want me to vote for you?
 
Are ALL of your policies divinely inspired? Are they based on and do they include the precepts taught by Christ as written in the Bible, which you and Brother Jerry insist is inerrant? Based on the Christian roots of my faith, why is a vote for Mr. Kerry a vote against God's will?
 
Do ALL of your policies enhance human life? Has God endorsed your labeling of everyone against you as aligned with evil-doers? In that regard, do the families of the evil-doers, parents, spouses and children fall into the category of deserving the sword? As a matter of fact, if God has placed you at the head of this country, what is God's position on collateral damage?
 
Jesus was outspoken in advocacy of human dignity in clear and unambiguous terms. How does God justify your ambivalence about torture as a means of exporting righteous American freedom worldwide? What does God say about the justifications from your administration ministers that sexual debasement is justified in pursuit of said exportation?
 
Does God sustain the sacred institution of marriage by commanding you to get into the business of trying to control one gender’s right to chose? Has God declared that our processes of education and scientific study are of the devil and that to encourage responsibility around human sexuality is sinful and displeasing to Him?
 
Is social justice important to God? Is it God's will that we as a people leave close to 20% of our citizens vulnerable to illness and accident without adequate access to medical care while the rest of the population has something better? Is that how Jesus approached the problem of sickness and injury?
 
Did Jesus believe that profit was more important than compassion? Has God repudiated Jesus' declaration that the laborer is worthy of his hire? Is it God's will that working against gay marriage is more important than working to put people back to work? Is it God's will that Republican economics - voodoo or otherwise - is the one and only sacred economic approach to sustaining the people?
 
Does God support deception as a political tool? Does God endorse a policy of political mud-slinging rather than reaching agreement with those who disagree with you? What about yea yea and nay nay?
 
Does God want our politicians to put our elderly at economic and health risk? Does God believe that generating massive profits to drug companies is a greater good than relieving human suffering? How does that align with honoring father and mother?
 
And finally, is Jesus really going to come as a thief in the night? Or has he revealed to you and the rest of the Christian Right that He cannot come until American Christians maneuver Israel into a circumstance that unlocks the Key to the End Times?
 
Christian practice as taught and exemplified by Christ is not something complex nor is it something that requires convoluted logic and ideological twisting in order to ponder treasure in Heaven.
 
Christ said directly, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."
 
He did not say that Caesar and God are one and the same.

Arthur Ruger 2004

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.

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