Me – circa 1999-2000
If you tell people you are a Christian Republican these days there are many assumptions made about you. You are immediately stereotyped to fit into some small bubble that they perceived that you must be in. For the most part I don’t fit into those bubbles, yet I still identity myself with those ideals.
Five years ago during the first online “we all love Ron Paul” internet support happened, I would have considered a tea party member. In those five years it has switched from being limited government with reduced spending to being a pro-ultra conservative bible thumping cult. Seriously I am very angry that was stolen away from me. I’m angry that Ron Paul pandered to this group for support. He did believe in a separation of church and state. To the current tea party members the church should be the state.
People assume just because I am a Christian that I believe people doing X, Y, or Z are going to hell. I don’t. I believe everyone will find their own redemption in life. I am more New Testament than Old Testament. I believe in the mantra of love, forgiveness, and sometimes turning the other cheek. Too many Christians hang onto the anger in the Old Testament. They prefer that if someone doesn’t believe like they do, that a fiery after life is what’s coming.
This of course appeals to mankind’s carnal lust and violent impulse. Instead of acknowledging that the are embracing that part of themselves, they use “its in the bible” as an excuse. The bible was not written verbatim. It is a collection of parables that show us a way to peacefully co-exist. Jesus never wanted us to condemn those around us, he preferred to embrace and conquer through love. Hate and anger is not a Christian thing. Being a Christian means you follow the teachings of Christ. Jesus did not teach hatred or anger.
Since the Christian view have so muddled politics it’s hard to point where I differ from the norm in religion or party line. There are some things that Republicans are against because they can’t separate church and state in their own head. Let’s go over some of my beliefs.
I am pro-choice. If it was my child I would be pro-life, but I don’t get to make that decision. I do believe every woman has the right to make that choice herself. This one goes against many Christian organizations and flies in the face of conservative Republicans everywhere.
I believe in stricter gun control laws. Yes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Unfortunately access to guns makes it easier for people to kill people. We can say it could be that I have never been involved in the gun culture. Sure, I loved Doom when I was a teenager – but I’ve never had an interest in them. I don’t believe in banning guns either. I just don’t want everyone and their brother to have a personal armory that can take out a small town. Is that really too much to ask?
In every sense of the word I believe in equality. I believe laws need to be put in place where it is illegal to discriminate against an individual. I don’t believe the market will sort it. I do not believe in any separate but equal solution. I believe in true and honest equality. This means gay marriage and all the rights it entails. It means you can’t fire someone because they are Muslim. It means you can’t pay a woman less for doing the same job.
I believe in a true nationalized health care so we can stay as competitive with the rest of the world. Our health system shouldn’t be ranked 37th in the world when every other country that is better than us has nationalized health care. There is no way you can convince me to chant “We’re Number One!” when it comes to our broken backward health care system. I don’t like Obamacare because it is a broken promise to a hopeful mass.
I don’t believe in the death penalty. This falls under the teachings of the bible. We are taught forgiveness and we shouldn’t kill our fellow-man. While we can point to an eye for an eye – I believe in forgiveness. That doesn’t mean if something happened to me or my family I would go up and forgive the person. I just wouldn’t wish death upon him.
While we are on the killing and retribution section, I think the military budget needs to be slashed. We outspend any threat we could come up against without much to show for it. Most the discretionary budget and the interest budget goes towards military spending. This gives the military almost forty-five percent of the budget. I’m not asking to get rid of the military, but could we please downsize so that it is under thirty percent?
While we are at it, can we stop being a police officer for the world? We spent trillions to chase after one man? Was this worth it to everyone? Maybe you received retribution for 9/11, but it came at a great cost. The economy was destroyed. Underprivileged families lost their jobs and could have used a bailout over the banks. Instead we spend trillions to chase a blood feud instead of taking care of our own people.
I believe in tax equality. Everyone should pay the same fair tax percentage. Ideally this would be done via a sales tax, but barring that everyone should pat the same percentage. Whether the equality is over gay rights or taxes I believe in a true equality for everyone. This is regardless if I make more or less to put into my bank account at the end of the day.
For the most part everyone assumes when I say that I’m a Christian Republican, that I must believe the opposite. I don’t fit into some cookie cutter design that the people think I should fit into. I have strong beliefs that I will defend and argue. I want a better world for my son. One that includes mountains of debt, threat of death, or social inequality is not a better one.
Watching the utltra-conservatives around me, I cringe. They stole the political party I believed in away from me. They turned it into a bible thumping whackofest instead of a group that can get things done. They are even worse than the Puritans. Ask some of the townsfolk from Salem, Massachusetts how the Puritans worked for them.
I know because of what is happening and how everyone else makes me feel. Within ten years I will be an atheist. I’m not ready to let go of my religion just yet. If I have to act a certain way to be considered a Christian, well I guess I’ll just drop out and practice the way I feel it should be. That is literally my cross to bear with my soul searching that needs to be done.
In the same vein I am now considered a moderate. Many of my beliefs thirty-years ago would have made me a hard-core Republican. The lines however get moved beneath my feet. I’m not even the one changing. The party will eventually pull the rug out from under me. One day I’ll notice that they have moved the line so far right that I’ll be on the left side of it.
What I’ll be left with is that I will no longer be a Republican Christian. With the rug pulled out and being chased away from the church, I’ll be an Atheist Democrat. I don’t even know if I’m happy with that scenario either. Republicans stop being crazy! Christians stop trying adjust laws to maintain control and telling everyone they are going to Hell – embrace and love! Perhaps if those two orders are followed, I can stay a Christian Republican. Here’s to hoping.