The Plight of the Christian Democrat

By Deane Barker tags: politics

I enjoyed this post and agree with it in large part.

Why I am a Beautiful Christian Democrat

At some point – the 1964 Republican Convention, say some – the Republican Party established itself as the Christian face of American politics. What followed was a general ostracizing of Christian Democrats, which has bothered me for years. It’s only gotten worse as American politics has polarized over the last decade.

I am a Democrat because I understand that theological conservatism and political conservatism are two different things. I am theologically conservative, meaning that I believe all that stuff in the Nicene Creed about the virgin birth and the resurrection. Especially the resurrection. But theological conservatism and political/social conservatism are entirely different things. Jesus was not conservative or liberal, and the idea that Jesus would identify wholly with either of our political parties is ludicrous.

I am a Democrat, and many people from my church have expressed surprise at this, some even wondering if this situation is even possible. In many churches, it’s simply assumed that you’re a Republican.

This manifests itself most often when I’m with a group of Christian friends and one of them just launches into a diatribe against the President (who I’m not a huge fan of, incidentally) or some other aspect of Democratic politics (or the strawman they’ve created in their heads, at least). I’m always mildly perturbed that they just assumed they were “safe” because, in their mind, no one from their church could possibly be anything but a right-wing conservative.

When this happens, I want to ask, “Since you cannot conceive of a Christian Democrat, tell me: am I not a Christian, or am I not a Democrat?”

(Note that when I say “I am a Democrat” that shouldn’t be automatically translated to “I agree with everything Obama and Pelosi do,” though that’s a favorite strawman that the Right like to attack. In my case what it means is that I evaluate every situation on its merits, but more often than not, I find my answers agreeing with the Democratic Party. Sometimes I don’t. I delegate my political opinions to no one. That’s called discernment.)

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