BY: ROBERT SOBEL examiner.com
"In American politics today, religion has seemed to find its way into the conversation more than it's intended to. Somehow over the years the Republican party has hijacked the Christian faith, the most popular religion in American, and has used the religion when they see the need in order to fit their political ideology. The biggest problem with what the Republican party has done is that the message they praise is not the message they preach.
Whether you believe in the story of Jesus Christ or not, it's irrelevant. If you take the story literally, metaphorically or if you think of the story as nothing more than a fable told by uneducated men a few thousand years ago, the message is the same. Jesus Christ, fact or fiction, is a man who cared for the least fortunate, would give the clothes off of his back to take care of them. He was a man who believed we are all equal, should all take care of each other and that in the end you must be true to your heart.
The story of Jesus Christ is an interesting one, a man raised by a single mother, a carpenter, a community organizer and a man who had a vision of how the world should be and spoke up. Jesus prayed alone, told his followers to love their enemies and helped people who were most sick, without turning the away. Jesus never preached hate, didn't preached violence and knew what it took for people to come together. What is so interesting about the story of Jesus is that it conflicts with the message coming from the conservative right.
Republicans hold Jesus Christ up high on a mantel as they claim to be the party of religious liberty and family values. The issue is that while conservatives claim to lead politically through the message of Jesus, they very rarely do. On the other side of the political spectrum is President Obama. President Obama is a Christian, but doesn't talk too much about his faith when dealing with the job at hand. The United States was founded on the freedom to believe what you want, but in return the government wouldn't make any laws based on a religious belief system. President Obama chooses to worship in his own way, often in private, just like Jesus when he prayed alone. President Obama talks about getting health care to families who can't afford it now and Republicans are against this at every turn. Would Jesus prevent those who didn't have the financial ability to just die in the streets?
The financial system that the United States operates on is capitalism. The ability to maximize your profit even at the expense of others. In the famous board game Monopoly, there are a lot of losers and very limited winners. One person, or group, ends up with everything while the rest struggle. One could find it hard to believe that through the story of Jesus that he would favor a system that shuts off the majority of people from being successful. Throughout the Bible it often talks about the lack of love towards the wealthy especially when dealing with those who have little.
Matthew 19:21 - "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Luke 14:12-14- He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
The talk of taking care of the poor continues throughout the book."