Jesus: A Democrat?

Would Jesus vote Democrat?  An article in the Stanford Daily written in December would suggest so.  The author, Miles Unterreiner, argues that conservatives are “taking the Christ out of Christianity” while the political Left knows that Jesus was “so profoundly liberal a figure.”

As a fellow Christian, I find the pride and naïveté of this statement hard to stomach, and I feel obliged to address these harsh claims to try to provide an alternative view.

Would Jesus be an American Liberal?  The article claims that the Right has an “ideology that so blatantly favors the rich.”  On the contrary, conservatives know that their economic policies would be far better for the poor than those policies of the Liberals.

Free-market economics is based on the growth of businesses, especially small-businesses, which are obliged to grow and hire more people in order to compete with other businesses.  Jobs are created and the poor can make a living.  Regulations and government hindrances, of which the Liberals are so fond, only serve to disrupt the natural flow of economic growth and, as history has shown, create higher unemployment rates.  Fortunately, here at Stanford and  across the country the general trend is an increased interest in fiscal conservatism.  We see it in voting results and political agendas regarding economics in both parties.

The Daily article states that “Jesus was no trickle-down economist, no free-marketeer; he harbored no sympathy with or allegiance to the wealthy.  ‘It is easier,’ he said, ‘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).”

Are we not supposed to work for money, to have ambitions, to try to be successful, to try to grow wealthy, for love of our children at least?  Do we not want the poor to be wealthy?  Or should we all try to be poor and allow our nation to fall into complete decay?  By his logic, the author seems to be suggesting that, since the rich will not be going to heaven, it would be better for us all to be impoverished; helping the poor become richer must be an atrocity.  As a fellow Christian I love the words of Christ, and it is our duty to try and understand and follow His precious Word as well as we can.  This involves interpreting it correctly.

I do agree with the Daily article about the issue of war.  However, Jesus did say, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).  Jesus would not support war, unless it be a just war, but Christians must be careful about using certain lines from the Gospel, taken out of context, to support their political claims.

Also, this point about war does not fit with the Democratic stance, because President Obama, our commander-in-chief, until recently of course, initially beefed up the war effort in Afghanistan, and he was behind the drones, and much of the recent war efforts.  Jesus would not approve of either Republicans or Democrats regarding the issue of war

And here I would agree again with the article in that Governor Perry’s use of Christian principles and prayer is not in its proper medium.  As Christians we must allow our beliefs to help us choose what and who to vote for, but we must not get carried away and find ourselves simply quoting passages from the Bible instead of applying them correctly.

Most importantly of all, however, was the fact that the author of the Daily article failed to address the social side of the spectrum. Here is where his argument really runs into trouble.  Liberals are the advocates for such practices as abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research and human cloning; they orchestrated the Obamacare fiasco and are completely irresponsible with other people’s money, with crazy spending despite the incomprehensible debt.

Sadly, the only Americans nowadays who seem to be socially conservative are Catholics who stand by the church’s teaching, and devout Christians who know their Bible, as well as many of the Mormons and some other people both religious and non-religious.  For the most part, as at Stanford and across the country, social conservatism is hard to come by.  And this makes sense: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18).

Christians must expect to be supporting things that the world does not; it is a thoroughly Christian idea and a pretty sure sign that one is following in the footsteps of Christ.  Jesus was much more invested in social work; all he had to say about economics was “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Mark 12:17).  And so if one were to try and decide how Jesus would vote, it would be likely that He would choose a candidate that followed His social teachings the closest.

Finally, the idea of Jesus voting Democrat becomes especially laughable when we take into account the growing movement of Liberals to remove Christian symbols and words from all aspects of public life.  Every few days we hear about a judge ruling that a certain Christian symbol in a school is unconstitutional, or we hear that the recitation of the pledge of allegiance is offensive because it has “God” in its text.  Does this sound like Jesus?  No, He died because He stood up to a culture that rejected Him.  Christians have a duty to follow Jesus, not to conform to the godless ideology supported by the Democrats.

Christians should absolutely form their political stances based on their beliefs, just as secular people base theirs off their beliefs.  But they should be wary of associating too much with the beliefs of popular culture and be ready to bring the change that society needs, through Christ our Lord.

Kenneth Capps is a Junior majoring in History. Please email him with questions or comments at

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