In reference to the Antichrist from the Bible’s Book of Revelations, perhaps today’s anti-Christs are those people who reject the teaching of Christ while asserting they are Christians. In this presidential election cycle, the Republican Party and the majority of its members proclaim themselves to be fundamentalist Christians and are intent on selecting a candidate who espouses their “Christian values.”
Let us assume for one magical moment that Republicans could have their ultimate candidate — Jesus Christ. Let’s further assume that he could run for and be elected president. Within the first 100 days of Jesus Christ’s presidency, what would he — who asked everyone to always “love thy neighbor as thyself” — want to accomplish?
Would he immediately end Obamacare? Probably not, since he was a healer and a champion of the poor.
Would he take the United States into another war? Probably not, since he followed the Ten Commandments, including “thou shall not kill.”
Would he join the National Rifle Association and advocate for “open carry,” even in schools? Probably not, since about 33,000 Americans are killed each year as a result of gun violence. Instead, he would most likely use his newfound presidential powers to limit the use of weapons of profound destruction like assault rifles.
Would he build a fence between the United States and Mexico? Probably not, since he sought to include — and not exclude — all people. The pope recently noted that it is more Christlike to build bridges, not walls.
Would he be concerned about climate change and recognize the scientific basis for it? Most likely yes, since stewardship is emphasized repeatedly in the Bible.
Would he want to rezone voting districts in order to gain advantage for one political party over another and deny fair democratic representation for the population in the process? Probably not.
Would he want to maintain the enormous disparity of income between the billionaire class and the vast majority of Americans? Probably not, since he was clear about the issue of amassing wealth. According to the Bible, “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Matthew 19:21) and “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” (Proverbs 29:7) and “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God’” (Matthew 19:23-24).
By reading the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, you can get a clear sense of Jesus Christ’s life and teachings. Simply put, if you are willing to dedicate your life to living as he did, as best you can, then you are a Christian. If not, then you are not a Christian, and that is OK. However, if you purport to be a Christian, then act like one. If you disagree with the teachings of Christ, please stop saying you are a Christian.
If sinning is a lapse in staying true to Christ’s teachings, we only have to ask for forgiveness and do the right thing the next time. However, some of the Republican Party’s ideas are not simply “lapses” from Christ’s teachings. Instead, they have become institutionalized and the doctrine that flies in the face of true Christianity.
Although many Republicans maintain that they have “lost liberty” under President Obama, they offer no concrete examples. Our collective, true liberty is dependent on ensuring equality and the dignity, health and welfare of all citizens.
One of my favorite bumper stickers states, “Jesus is coming, and boy is he pissed!”
— Bryant Poole