I have zero tolerance for people who attempt to turn Jesus into some sort of secular political leader in order to further their own political agenda. It’s reprehensible when done by social justice types on the religious left, and equally reprehensible when done by social conservatives. So it saddened me to see this blog journal on Red State written by presidential aspirant Herman Cain titled “The Perfect Conservative.” I’ll give you three guesses as to who he is talking about, and the first two don’t count. Here’s a taste of his post:
He was not born into a royal family, but He left a royal impression on the world.
For 30 years, He learned the ways of the world without becoming of the world. He then changed the world for the better.
He led without a mandate. He taught without a script. His common sense parables filled people with promise and compassion, His words forever inspiring.
He never condemned what others believed – just sin, evil and corruption.
He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed the hungry without food stamps. And everywhere He went, it turned into a rally, attracting large crowds, and giving them hope, encouragement and inspiration.
For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done. He didn’t travel by private jet. He walked and sailed, and sometimes traveled on a donkey.
But they made Him walk when He was arrested and taken to jail, and no, He was not read any Miranda Rights. He was arrested for just being who He was and doing nothing wrong. And when they tried Him in court, He never said a mumbling word.
He didn’t have a lawyer, nor did He care about who judged Him.
His judge was a higher power.
The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12.
The last point seems particularly odd. Did the Sanhedrin cite penumbras and emanations in order to convict Jesus and hand him over to Pilate?
One defense of Cain in the comments is that he’s reacting to the left’s categorization of Jesus as some sort of Marxist revolutionary (like the idiotic New Stateman piece mentioned in the above link). I think the appropriate reaction to that attitude is mockery, not mimicry. Besides, to even engage in the game of “Was Jesus a conservative or a liberal” is to completely miss the point of Christ’s ministry.
Now, sentiments like those expressed by this commenter in reaction to Cain’s journal are also absurd. We cannot divorce religious ideals from our political discourse. Of course our religious faith should inform our political choices. But when we debate how to put our faith into practice, let’s avoid the trap of putting Jesus into some ideological bubble.