Ron Paul 2012: The Clear Progressive Christian Choice
Writing an article about Christianity and politics seems in many ways a fool’s errand. Evangelical Republican politicians have effectively poisoned the well when it comes to intelligent discussions of how Christian faith could (or should) influence citizenry and public policy. Who wants to get thrown in with folks who want to establish an American theocracy or think that homosexuality can be cured by prayer? But Christianity is something we need to address because it is a significant force in American life—to the extent that over 75% of Americans call themselves Christians.
Of course, calling oneself a Christian often means little when it comes to how we behave in daily life. The myriad of ways that professed Christians act contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ is self-evident. We regularly are quick to judge and condemn; we turn a blind eye to the suffering of others; we hold petty grudges and are slow to forgive—all of which feeds a discontent that nags at us but we try to suppress with conspicuous consumption, pharmaceutical drugs, or Johnny Walker, as though our unhappiness were beyond our control.
The disconnect between what we Christians profess to believe and what we actually do is similar to our relationship with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Most of us profess a strong belief in the precepts of these documents, yet we have watched silently (due o fear or apathy) as our politicians and courts have willfully ignored their dictates and waged war on our civil liberties, while placing the power of the citizenry into the hands of corporations.
Furthermore, we have permitted our government to wage needless wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and children in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now more Libya. That blood is on the hands of every American taxpayer and citizen. And for those of us who claim to be Christians, that blood is no different than that of our own family members. That we have allowed our government to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of innocent people under the guise of fighting terrorism is another disconnect between what we profess to believe in and value (the sanctity of human life) and what we do–not to mention it is a horrible insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11.
There is a word for this disconnect between our beliefs and our actions. Hypocrisy. That’s a harsh word. A hypocrite is not something that anyone wants to be called. But there is no getting around the fact that we are hypocrites and that it is hypocrisy which drove Jesus to anger above all else. In our SBNR book the Lord’s Prayer, we deal with how all people, regardless of their faith, can be less hypocritical and live more joyful lives on a day to day basis. The book does not however deal with political decision making, which is the main subject of this article.
How are we to be less hypocritical when it comes to our role as American citizens, and in particular, our role as voters in the 2012 presidential election? Among all the potential candidates, congressman Ron Paul is the clear choice for Progressive Christians and those concerned with the erosion of our civil rights. Why is he such a clear choice? Because he is the only candidate who (for decades) has consistently voted against spilling the blood of American soldiers and innocent civilians abroad in military adventures; who has consistently defended the rights and freedoms of citizens; and who has consistently voted against corporate subsidies and bailouts. In other words, Ron Paul is the only candidate whose political actions are always in line with what he professes to believe—and what so many of us profess to believe too.
Read the next article in our series on Ron Paul, Christianity, Ethics, & Politics: “Why Democrats Should Register Republican & Vote Ron Paul”.
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