Opposing Viewpoints: Can Christians be Democrats? [Part Two]

According to Bagwell, Christianity goes hand in hand with liberalism and Democratic beliefs.

Shaefer Bagwell, Writer

Let me be clear: I love the Lord my God with all my mind, heart, soul and strength. I believe his son Jesus the Christ died, sinless but in a sinful fashion, thereby taking my sins upon his shoulders. I have been saved by the grace of God and I will spend eternity with him in heaven.

That being said … I am a registered Democrat.

Bigger government is better for the U.S.

I believe in a large and powerful federal government with a strong executive. This is not in contradiction to my faith. I believe an empowered federal government can more effectively govern over a nation as large and diverse as ours. I am aware of the fact that a large government necessitates higher federal taxes. This is a sacrifice I, as an American taxpayer, am willing to make. It is my civic duty, and I am proud to do it.

Fiscal liberalism is not the basis of Christian objection to the Democratic Party. Social liberalism — a popular euphemism for being pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and pro-social justice — is the political thorn in the side of most American Christians.

Equal rights for everyone

I am pro-choice. I am in favor of giving gay couples the right to marry. I am in favor of fighting for social justice. I am these things because it is mandated by my faith.

I am not in favor of abortion. It is difficult to find someone who believes that abortion is a wonderful thing. However, the basis of my objection to abortion is my faith and my adherence to the teachings of Jesus. I believe that it is a sin. However, we do not live in an exclusively Christian nation. The minute we, as voters or legislators, begin to legislate our faith, it stops being faith, and becomes human law. It forces our beliefs on other people. When Christ came on this Earth, he asked people to follow him. He did not kidnap them and drag them along behind him in chains. When we legislate our faith, it does just that. As a result, I recognize that abortion should be safe, clean and legal, and a lot less common than it is today. I strive to witness to women who want abortions. I attempt to show them the love of Christ, and to show them how unnecessary abortions are. I love and support them, and promise to love and support their child. Beyond that, it is their choice, just as it is with any sin. We all will face the consequences of our sin on the day we stand before God.

I do not believe gay marriage is blessed by God. I also do not believe it is the place of the state to regulate and legislate religious institutions such as marriage, in the same manner that I would object to a state making a law regulating who could or couldn’t take communion. I think, legally, all marriages should be civil unions. We live in America, and it is difficult to reconcile the American ideals of equal justice and equal protection with the stripping of rights from certain minority groups. Once a couple has gained a civil union, they can find a pastor to marry them in the eyes of God. If a gay couple can find a pastor who is willing to marry them, that is between that pastor, that couple and God. It is none of the government’s business.

Spreading the gospel through loving others

Matthew 5:14 calls us to be lights of the world. In the first part of this series, it was asserted that that means that our first priority as Christians should be to fight for the gospel and righteousness. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I think, however, that we are called to do more than that. We are called to exhibit our faith and our love through works, for, as James said, faith without works is dead. After all, isn’t the exhibition of love a wonderful way to spread the gospel? If we show love to those who are downtrodden, how many of them can we bring to Christ? How many of their lives and walks with the Lord will be edified through our good works and our practical, day-to-day applications of the love of Christ? I cannot, and would not, argue that we are not called to be lights of the world. Fighting for social justice is just one way the light manifests.

My Christianity goes hand in hand with my liberalism. As a Christian Democrat, my faith has never come in conflict with my political beliefs. I replace legislating Christ’s teachings with living them out in my daily life and in my interactions with people. This affirms my Democratic tendencies.

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