How would Jesus vote? For my candidate of course. So there. Now that we all know that the Divine One supports my way of thinking, you all better get in line, or else.
Seriously though, how would Jesus vote in 2016 America?
That’s a fun game isn’t it? I usually see this type of post as we approach elections — this year is no different. I have read theologians make arguments as to why their preferred candidate is the morally superior choice.
I hear arguments that state that Jesus would vote for the Democrat because that party has supposedly cared for the poor through their policies and Jesus had a special place in his heart for the poor. He preached about people doing things for the poor. Democrats are typically opposed to the death penalty — Jesus would be too. Yes, Jesus would be a good liberal Democrat.
Then I hear arguments that state that Jesus would vote for the Republican because that party is opposed to abortion and Jesus would be against abortion because abortion is killing an innocent person. Republicans are for “family values” — however you want to define that murky term. Clearly Jesus would be for love of family over government any day right? Yes, Jesus would be a good conservative Republican.
Oy vey! Enough already. Stop trying to make Jesus something that he never was — An American in the 21st century. He was a Middle Eastern poor guy (and yes, still the Son of God) that never had the opportunity to vote and wouldn’t have understood the concept. His entire life was lived in a region that was under occupation by a ruthless empire. No one in that region had a concept of rights as we understand them, had a say in who was to rule over them, or had any legal way to express their opinions directly about the rulers of the times (unless they didn’t mind being killed for expressing their displeasure).
So can we stop kidding ourselves into believing that Jesus would vote for either a Democrat or Republican.
If anything, Jesus would look at government with suspicion. Government in Jesus’ time was oppressive — pay your taxes or else suffer the consequences. Stay out-of-the-way of the soldiers or suffer the consequences. Careful what you say about those in charge or suffer the consequences. Remember Jesus was crucified by the Roman empire as a threat to their stability — a political execution.
There was no welfare state for the masses — government was not about serving their needs. Government existed for the benefit of the emperor. It existed to keep order. It existed as an efficient means of collecting taxes.
Jesus spent a great deal of time preaching an alternative government — the Kingdom of God. Whereas the Roman empire and its government was based on worship of the emperor and war and strength, the Kingdom of God was based on the worship of God and peace. The Roman empire and its government was interested in obtaining and keeping power, while the Kingdom of God was interested in empowering the powerless.
How would Jesus vote? No one has any idea what so ever. And you are kidding yourself if you think you do. I have a feeling though that Jesus wouldn’t be voting — ever. He’d be more concerned with implementing the Kingdom of God in place of all human governments — including the US government. He’d be more concerned with preaching a message of peace, mercy, forgiveness, and helping the poor — not worrying about what government policies were in place. Because government policies are concerned with one thing — the physical nature of poverty. Jesus would go beyond that, recognizing something government never would — the spiritual poverty that exists.
I have a feeling he’d be more concerned with changing and replacing the culture of consumerism and the enthrallment with violence that we are stuck on — we have made these into our idols. Just question either one and see what I mean — “why aren’t you buying this or that? What do you mean you don’t think we should kill our enemies?”
How would Jesus vote? I’m guessing that he wouldn’t. He’d do the same thing he did with parables. He’d be offered two options by someone trying to trap him and he would propose an alternative that was completely different. Choosing between the two options would be endorsing a broken system that he never bought in to. I’m guessing that’s what Jesus would do. And just like the Pharisees who wanted Jesus to endorse their view of the world and were sorely disappointed and then angry at him, I have a feeling there would be a lot of Democrats and Republicans would be just as disappointed and maybe even extremely angry that Jesus not only dismissed their party loyalties, but would want to change the governing structure of the nation completely. I have a feeling he wouldn’t be invited to their party conventions, not even to offer the prayer. What a party pooper!