Granted there are some issues that God embraces in both agendas, but in general does God lean more one way than the other? And if so, which one?
What political agenda the mind of God leans toward, or which agenda better reflects the attributes of the mind of God, is an extraordinarily complicated question, in my mind. It helps me when addressing the question to explore two fundamental realities. The first is that each political party has positive characteristics that we can imagine God supporting, but that those attributes within each given party can be lost or overshadowed by negative aspects found at the extreme ends of each party’s agenda. The second reality is that evidence about God’s nature can be gleamed from the entire political spectrum because this spectrum reflects the workings of the evolving governments God’s most advanced species known to date, human beings. If one believes that nature for the most part reflects the attributes of God, like I do, then one can see God’s hand in the best that politics has to offer.
Now as for the positive characteristics of each agenda, The Republican agenda embraces freedom, the freedom to live your life unencumbered by the long arm of the Government with its regulations and taxes. The Republican Party says, “Leave us alone. We can perform much better in the free market without your assistance, thank you.” The Republican agenda emphasizes a strong work ethic, with a special emphasis on self-reliance. And it champions ownership. To the Republican Party, ownership is the ticket to success. And they are willing to defend this freedom and right to ownership to the death, finding honor in the defense of their country and their country’s interests. In its purer forms, I can see God valuing such an agenda.
Unfortunately, like everything else in this world, The Republican agenda can be corrupted. Too much individual freedom can lead to extreme greed – an insatiable thirst for more money, power, property, and prestige. This greed can lead to the oppression of the rights of persons that those of the Republican persuasion sometimes view as under them, either as their employees or as marginalized people in general – such as minorities and undocumented immigrants. The freedoms that the Republicans espouse are no longer extended to these groups of people, because they fear losing control over them or over the situation in general. The “status quo” is now defended to the death, and virtually no progress is made in the way of providing equal rights and equal opportunities to everyone. I believe that this mentality is far from the mind-set of God.
The Democratic agenda places a heavy emphasis on equality. It promotes the belief that these freedoms the Republicans hold so dear should be extended to every citizen – regardless of their race, religion, gender, national origin, and (as of late) sexual orientation. The Democrats are quick to recognize institutionalized systems, whether at the grass-roots or corporate level, that put up obstacles to the recognition of the fundamental dignity within each person. It is this fundamental dignity that leads the Democratic Party to turn to the Government to provide assistance to the most vulnerable of its citizens, its elderly, unemployed, impoverished, and disabled. This assistance is currently being extended to the populace at large in the form of a watered-down version of Universal Health Care. However, this is the closest our government has ever gotten to enforcing the Democratic Party’s belief that health care is a basic right for all of its citizens, and not just a privilege – and that it should be affordable and assured for everyone in any situation. It seems that God has made it clear in many faith traditions that Spirit has a special regard for such vulnerable people, and would be in favor of the Democratic agenda in its purer forms.
But like the Republican agenda, the Democratic agenda can be corrupted when taken to extremes. That regard for the fundamental equality of each person can morph into the belief that this somehow forms a collective equality that can produce a society that is entitled to the goods, services, and taxes of the individual, thus infringing on the basic freedoms of that individual. It becomes obvious here that the Republican Party doesn’t have a monopoly on being greedy for too much power. The Democratic Party can become power-hungry as well through the expansion of government, with a diminishing regard for some of the rights of individuals.
Now to the second fundamental reality that helps me when trying to sort out which political agenda is better supported by the mind of God. That reality is that evidence of God’s nature can be gleaned from the full political spectrum because this spectrum reflects the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the most advanced species yet known in God’s universe. Being a believer in the doctrine that we are made (or have evolved) in the image of God, I also believe that much can be deduced about God from human nature and the natural world at large. An important part of human nature is its adherence to the political process as a way of governing societies. So the political spectrum in general could throw some light on just where God most supports it.
I like to envision the political spectrum as a football field – as in American football – where the Democratic Party occupies the half of the field on the left and the Republican Party occupies half of the field on the right. The end zones of each party hold the most extreme elements of those particular parties. It’s these extremes of each party that are the most easily criticized by the opposing party. As a result, more “points” are made in each party’s end zone by the opposing party than elsewhere on the field. On this political spectrum football field the most moderate positions of each party are found huddled around the 50 yard line. If we could imagine humans being perfectly divided between the two parties, they would stand smack dab in the middle of the field – on the 50 yard line. I suspect that such creatures are as mythological as unicorns! But where would we find the heart and mind of God on this field?
Personally I’m a Christian, so I look for clues of God’s character in the personality of Jesus. Much of what Jesus advocated for does indeed seem otherworldly; it encompasses a love rarely seen among ordinary human beings. Teachings like “turn the other cheek”, “pray for those who despitefully use you”, and “those who live by the sword shall die by the sword” seem to undercut the basic notions of defense that the Republican Party holds so dear. But was Jesus really saying to stand by and let an aggressive nation or terrorist cell attack our country and our country’s interest?
Jesus said to care for the sick, the poor, and the disenfranchised. But was he really talking about taxing citizens and paying for this care indirectly through the Government, like the Democratic Party advocates? Or is Jesus advocating a more personal approach – like what a private charity attempts to accomplish? After all, Jesus did say, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” But are private charities enough to deal with the real and present problems of want in this country? What do we do if they aren’t?
And finally, what about those sensitive life issues? I can easily see Jesus standing beside an incarcerated, unarmed man or woman who has been sentenced to death by the State and saying, “The Government has the right to take away this person’s freedom, but not to take their life. The Government didn’t create that life, and it has no right to take it away, no matter what this person has done.” But what about the Pro-Life cause? Would Jesus advocate for abortion-on-demand, or would he seek to extend human rights into the womb before birth, maybe all the way back to conception? Where does Jesus stand on the privacy issues of the mother?
Many of these questions remain unanswerable, but we can come to some conclusions about where Jesus, and in my mind, God might be found on the political spectrum football field. We might be able to deduce HWJV – How Would Jesus Vote?
Jesus valued people above everything – above power, property, and prestige. He always favored the working class over the privileged class, the so-called “sinners” over the self-righteous. But there were those individuals in the privileged class, like Nicodemus and the Centurion, who did find favor with Jesus – not because he conformed to their teachings, but because they conformed to his. So we have to ask ourselves, “In general, what party’s agenda best encompasses the values that Jesus espoused?” For me the answer is the Democratic Party, but with some elements of the Republican Party. I envision Jesus on the 40 yard line of the Democratic Party side of the political spectrum football field, give or take a few yards.
But then again, that’s about where I would be.
I think neither; God is not one of us, but he is with us. We all fall short no matter what we might say, as is say in Romans 3:4 "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." This tells me that God is far above and beyond the affairs of men because every man heart is evil, no matter how religious or spiritual we might seem on the outside appearance as the Holy Bible say in Ecclesiastes 9:3 |
"This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead." We are so little and God is so big; to me, His love is so hard to fathom.