How a member of the “Christian Left” Thinks

I try, I really do. I really try to give an open mind to people who claim to be “Christian Left,” “pro-life Democrats,” etc., but it just doesn’t work. To be a part of the Christian Left, it seems that one must:

1. Turn a blind eye towards, if not condone, all the moral filth promoted by the Left in general, while condemning members of the Christian Right for being political allies of some people who are greedy or racist.
2. Support Socialism, even though the Popes have unequivocally and consistently condemned it.
3. Repeatedly insist, “Judge not lest ye be judged” when it comes to abortion, contraception, homosexuality or divorce yet simultaneously (and at the same time) insist that everyone who supports a conservative position is secretly racist, sexist or greedy, even if the latter’s words give no indication of those positions.
4. Clairvoyantly insist that all who profess to be pro-life or pro-family are just covering up deep-seated hatred for women, gays, or humanity in general.
5. See “racism” in any political cartoon, joke or photoshopped image regarding Barack Obama, yet say that even the most offensive depictions of George W. Bush or Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum are excusable because “rich white guys deserve it.”
6. Ignore statements like, “It’s Constitutional, m*****f****s” or even defend such statements as acceptable political speech yet say that “You’d have to be an idiot to think Obamacare’s giving you anything for free” is offensive and crosses the line.
7. Ignore if not support horribly sexist comments about Sarah Palin, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Ann Romney, etc., but say that Rush Limbaugh crossed the line by saying an unmarried girl who claimed to spend $1000 a year on birth control is a “slut.”
8. Again, while supporting “freedom of choice,” “same sex marriage,” etc., you insist on condemning “hate speech” and labelling any statement of traditional Christian morality, even from the Bible itself, as “hate.”
9. Make no comment when liberals say, “Republicans are nothing but a bunch of hatemongers,” but when a conservative friend quotes Russell Kirk or Dietrich von Hildebrand and tries to philosophically explain his position, and the liberals just jump in and say, “See? Another hate-monger,” you tell the conservative to cool it.
10. Most of all, to be a member of the “Christian Left,” you must support the notion of “progress,” even though if you’re truly a believing Christian you’ll know there’s no such thing: the only “progress” in human history happened 2000 years ago, and there is only the choice between accepting Christ’s grace through the Church and the Sacraments and not accepting that grace. There is individual progress in holiness, but the world can never have “progress,” especially when “progress” is defined as moving *away* from the principles of Christendom.
“Progressives” condemn the Christian Civilization of ca. 400-ca. 1800 as “the Dark Ages,” by definition condemning the Christianity that informed those times, so how could any Christian be a “progressive”?
“Progressives” ascribe to a false Marxist view of history, or at least to the Hegelian system upon which Marxism was based, which runs contrary to the Christian view of history elucidated by St. Augustine, so how can any Christian be a “progressive”?

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26 responses to “How a member of the “Christian Left” Thinks

  1. Being a Liberal and a Christian Are Not Mutually Exclusive

    I work as a manager at a pawnshop in Great falls, MT, and because of my position I am required to work alternating Sundays with another one of our managers. I was a half an hour away from finishing my shift when a customer came to the counter to buy some DVD’s, and said to me in an accusatory tone, “I thought you were a good Christian.”

    I was confused, thinking maybe in conversation that I’d said something flippant and unchristian like. I looked at him, answered with a confused, “I am,” as I scoured my brain to think of what I’d said in the past ten minutes or so that was a violation of my faith.

    His explained that the reason why he’d asked was because he saw me make a sour face earlier in the week when he was in talking up Mitt Romney and deriding President Obama. I explained to him that I was a proud liberal, voting Democrat, and dutifully practicing Christian, none of which was mutually exclusive.

    He was shocked at my assertion and seemingly a little angry. I explained to him that I believed that of the two parties, the Democrats more closely aligned with matters that are important to my faith; the protection of the poor and disadvantaged, the idea that everyone needs to pitch in and help each other, and general social justice. I cited scripture, like Matthew 25:40 (40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”) and the tale of the rich man and Jesus (Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, and Luke 18:18-30).

    Alas, it was to no avail, and the man treated me like I my politics were in direct opposition with my faith. This isn’t the first time this has happened, of course. After a spirited but polite discourse on the issues of the day, my mother-in-law said she would be praying for me to “see the light” as if being a liberal was a stain on my faith. Other members of my church have looked at me with the kind of shock reserved for revealing an extra arm when I told them that I am a Democrat or that I wholly support the President.

    The truth is neither party aligns itself perfectly with the tenants of Christianity. There are portions of the Democratic platform that I don’t completely agree with, just as there are portions of the Republican platform that I do agree with. But in the end, on so many issues, the Democratic Party does line up with what I believe. And that isn’t in spite of my faith, but largely because of it.

    I believe that as a society, we have an obligation to help the poor. Even more so, as a Christian I know we have an obligation to help the poor. And the church alone is not up to that task. I’ve seen the books at my church, and while we are a generous middle class church, what we do contribute to those in need is a drop in the bucket compared to what is actually needed. While the government programs championed by the Democratic Party aren’t perfect, they do go much further towards caring for the people on the bottom than the policies of the Republican Party.

    Looking at my church’s books, I can also tell you that people do not give as willingly as they should. According to our staff, only about 10% of our membership tithes. That is 10% of people committed to the church enough to call themselves members. The level of giving in society isn’t much better. We need a central authority like the government to make people live up to their responsibilities. Over the past 30 years, we seem to have gotten less willing to sacrifice and contribute. I support the Democrats because of the two parties, they are the only one who has the courage to make those who have much contribute much. After all, it is written in Luke 12:48 “…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

    Even on the subject of marriage equality, I belief the Democrats hold the moral and Biblical high ground. I won’t reiterate it now, but you can find my position on that in An Open Letter to Dan Savage and The Fallacy of the Biblical Argument Against Gay Marriage. Even on the issue of abortion, if you are truly pro-life, than I don’t know how you cannot be behind Democratic initiatives to provide more funding for education and childcare, seeing as how the ability to care for a child plays a large role in many people’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.

    This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. I do not begrudge anyone who is a Christian and a Republican. There is nothing about being a Christian that would exclude also being a Republican. The same is true for being a Democrat. But what I do hate is the idea that because I am a man of faith, somehow that means I must spite that faith in order to be a liberal. The Right and by extension the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on the faithful. My faith fortifies my political beliefs. My faith informs my political beliefs. My faith defines who I am as a person, as a citizen, and as a voter.

    • A common assumption of every response is that I’m saying that, as you put it, the Republican party “has a monopoly.” I don’t think so, nor do I think the GOP is perfect. And personally I can’t stand the Romneys, but I’ve merely pointed them out as examples of a double-standard.
      No, I’m just saying that the Demonocrats cannot be an option:
      Not when they “boo” God at their convention.
      Not when Barack Obama declares open war on the Catholic Church.
      Not when they support abortion and contraception on demand and forcing those who who oppose these abominations to pay for them.
      Not when they oppose the BIBLICAL principle, taught by Jesus Christ Himself, that God intended us male and female FOR LIFE, and that “anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

  2. I Left my Christian morality at the Vatican with the pope and all his golden crowns. I was more interested in feeding the starving mother and children at the gates who were not allowed in to pray for not being dressed well enough. I still am.

    • The Church does not turn anyone away for being “not well dressed enough.” We do (or ought to) turn people away for being immodestly dressed, which in this society is most often the “well-dressed.”
      And the Catholic Church does more for the poor than any other institution on earth, so you’re the real hypocrite.

  3. you miss the point me thinks

  4. I’d like to adderss each of these points if I may:

    1. ” Turn a blind eye towards, if not condone, all the moral filth promoted by the Left in general” Wasn’t it Pat Robertson who condoned the D.I.C.’s affair because in his words…”he’s just man, and far away and lonely” This man was married, this is adultary and is ok? Or a supporter of Pro-life who has his wife and two mistresses getting abortions, while telling the country how sacred life is.

    2. ” Support Socialism, even though the Popes have unequivocally and consistently condemned it.” The first we need to remember is what a Pope thinks, doesn’t matter, unless you are R.C. But my response would be, that the 1% that control the wealth have shown that, through Corp America, the middle class should be done away with, the poor do not matter.

    3. “Repeatedly insist, “Judge not lest ye be judged” when it comes to abortion, contraception, homosexuality or divorce…” When I see someone carrying a sign, or making a comment about the color of our President, to the point of how he should be assassinated, or the monkey’s back in office…yes I take in the context that it’s given, and it’s racist. On MEN feel they have the right to determine whether or not a woman should have control over her own body and they get up and tell the nation their feelings…I call them sexist. When an employer will systematicly reduce the hours of his/her workers, just to make sure that they don’t have to pay for adaquate health insurance, yes I call them greedy.

    4) “Clairvoyantly insist that all who profess to be pro-life or pro-family are just covering up deep-seated hatred for women, gays, or humanity in general.”
    My belief is you say are pro-life, but what after the child is born? We are all pro-family, we just believe in the family. I came from a “tradional” family and lived with abuse my whole chidhood. There are thousands of children today, living the same way I did, if not worse. A family is having two loving parents who love their kids, and will do whatever it takes to make them happy… notice I said two parents.

    5. “See “racism” in any political cartoon, joke or photoshopped image regarding Barack Obama, yet say that even the most offensive depictions of George W. Bush or Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum are excusable because “rich white guys deserve it.” IMO, both are wrong, but to split the difference, let’s use Romney as an example. How can a Morman go from being a cult, to being ok, and then back to a cult again? Romney shot his own self in the foot, and just refused to admit when he was caught in lies.

    6. ” Ignore statements like, “It’s Constitutional, m*****f****s” or even defend such statements as acceptable political speech yet say that “You’d have to be an idiot to think Obamacare’s giving you anything for free” is offensive and crosses the line…” I remember a president who made the statement “The Constitutuon is nothing but a f****g piece of paper!” As far as Obamacare it has it’s good point and some I’m not crazy about. But it is doing a lot of good for a lot of people…like me and my wife.

    7. ” Ignore if not support horribly sexist comments about Sarah Palin, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Ann Romney, etc., but say that Rush Limbaugh crossed the line by saying an unmarried girl who claimed to spend $1000 a year on birth control is a “slut.” Ok, Sarah Palin…a bridge to nowhere to her credit. Laura Ingraham… has been a longtime spokesperson for the Koch-funded astroturf group, Americans For Prosperity. Among other things, AFP has been involved with a push to segregate our public schools. Ann Coulter…she approved of “Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” Ann Romney…I just wonder as the wife of a Presidental candidate, why she didn’t voice what her husband was running on, when she talked to Barbra Walters.

    8. “Again, while supporting “freedom of choice,” “same sex marriage,” etc., you insist on condemning “hate speech” and labelling any statement of traditional Christian morality, even from the Bible itself, as “hate.”. As far as Christian morality…who’s morality are we talking about? The reason I ask is because I’ve seen a lot of “Christian morality” and quite frankly, it doesn’t show me much. Adultery, incest, child molestion, and in the same breath they tell me how I should live my life? As for the Bible…when Jesus died on the cross we entered into a new covenate. But all of the quotes that people want to use come from the Old Testiment. If we use that, then shouldn’t women be killed for not being a virgin when they marry? Shouldn’t we still be offering blood sacrifies to God?

    9. Russell Kirk quote: said that Christianity and Western Civilization are “unimaginable apart from one another.” and that “all culture arises out of religion. When religious faith decays, culture must decline, though often seeming to flourish for a space after the religion which has nourished it has sunk into disbelief.” The problem here, religion is man made…hence man puts his influence into it, along with his prejudices. Faith is what is inside each of each us. As far as Hildebrand, is views are from the R.C.C. side, so no, a lot of people would find any statement as words from the Pope.

    10. Most of all, to be a member of the “Christian Left,” you must support the notion of “progress,” And I do, I live my life the best I can, the way Jesus would do. And since I am moving TOWARD Jesus and God, IMO, this is progress.

    Thank You for your time.

  5. Glad you’re keeping an open mind then Hate ot see what you would say wiht a closed one.

  6. Now read what The Christian Left REALLY believe… http://www.thechristianleft.org/

  7. Yep, you really got us all figured out there buddy. (sarcasm, by the way) Blanket statements and misinterpretation much? Let me correct your thinking, by the way. I don’t listen to any pope. I listen to Jesus. That’s what makes you a Christian. Jesus told me to take care people and love them. He didn’t preach this hatred today’s “Christians” have. And he also didn’t tolerate the money changers in the temple, which is what today’s “Christians” have become. So you can take your lousy interpretation and stick it right back in your own version of the Bible, which seems to be different than mine.

  8. I consider myself a Progressive, and I think that is distinct from “Left”. I, too, have been frustrated with others who have referred to all conservative viewpoints as “hate”.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “moral filth”. Could you be more specific? To me, that’s pornography, greed, deceit, materialism. I don’t condone that or turn a blind eye toward it. Nor do I caricature all conservatives as greedy, sexist, or racist. But in my personal experience, there are more greedy, sexist, and racist people on the right than on the left. And I have been on both sides. I was a conservative Christian for 15 years before I started finding too many discrepancies in the ideology.

    I’m not Catholic, so what the pope says is of little concern to me. Socialism has some good ideas in theory, and some socialist countries have stronger economies than the US has now. It was how the early church functioned: everyone owning all things in common, and contributing toward the well-being of all. Communism–which is different–doesn’t work in practice.

    I would never have an abortion unless it could be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that my life was in danger. I don’t think a fetus is more important than someone who’s already here. But pro-life often seems to be pro-birth. Are there support systems for women who have children they can’t afford? That question always seems to lead to judging unmarried women who get pregnant. But I don’t know anyone who made it to the altar as a virgin, including myself. It’s impractical to tell people to wait. Most can’t–and never have. In tracing my family history back to the 1600s, I’ve found plenty of Puritans who married 6 or 7 months before the birth of their first child. Wouldn’t it be better to have easy access to birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

    I don’t think it’s fair to characterize anyone as racist or to make sexist jokes or speak evil of others. I couldn’t stand George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh… But I don’t wish them harm. If they say something sexist or racist–and those last two have on many occasions, then I call them out on that. The other two had dangerously stupid ideas about how a nation should be run and what their role as commander-in-chief should be. But I have owned that as my opinion, not fact.

    As far as your last point: I don’t even know where to begin. The progressive view of scripture is entirely different. We respect the Bible, but don’t take it literally and don’t believe it is God’s only word to humankind. The current conservative expression of Christianity and current conservative doctrine do not represent ancient history; it dates back only a couple of hundred years. Orthodoxy is a human idea. The selection of scriptures in the bible were a human idea. Our treasured doctrines were only what were chosen among the myriad of possibilities. As the world has changed, Christianity has changed with it. I believe a dynamic, changeable faith is the best way to work out God’s will in the world.

    • Glad to see I’ve hit some nerves. Well, I notice most of the responses contain contempt for the Holy Father and the Holy Scriptures, which proves my point entirely.
      Being Christian is not some subjective thing that you can say, “I’m a Christian!” and make it up as you go. St. Augustine addressed that question a long time ago. No, being a Christian means assenting to the Apostolic Faith as handed down by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, period.

      As for so-called marriage equality, Jesus answered that when He said, “From the beginning, God intended them male and female.” You know, the verse where He says that any one who gets divorced and remarried commits adultery. It’s the foundation of the Theology of the Body, and you ought to read that book.
      In short, all the responses on this thread have merely proven my point.
      I believe in social justice. The Democratic Party does not stand for helping the poor, and it does nothing to help the poor, not when the richest people in America are all Democrats (Gates, Buffett, Soros, the Waltons, etc).

    • Rap and rock music, which lead to demonic possession; occultism (“wicca,” etc.); pornography; abortion; contraception; homosexuality; fornication; “sex education”; adultery; divorce; profanity (read any liberal website, and their comments are full of it); commerce on the Lord’s Day; immodest clothing. . . . Need I go on?

  9. I actually don’t recall my bible saying being Christan means assenting to the Catholic and Orthodox tradition. That is your (and presumably their) take on how the church evolved. Faith, and how it is lived out, evolves through the bible and should evolve through life. Protestant denominations are part of that and are just as Christian.

    • The Bible is meaningless without the Church. The Church came first. The Bible came second. Protestantism came dead last, and is a heresy.

      • Two thirds of the Bible was written centuries before the church and what we call Christianity. The frist followers of Jesus were reforming Jews. The church did not officially become recogbised until the fourth century, by which time the New Testament was pretty well written. AS for Protestantism being a heresy, that is a matter of opinion.

      • To paraphrase Bl. John Henry Newman, you need to learn some history. The Church existed from the beginning. The line of Popes goes straight back to Peter, and all the core teachings which Protestants would identify as “Catholic” (the Eucharist, Papal primacy, veneration of the Blessed Mother) can be found in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.

      • Thank you for the history lesson, but as I read the bible in Hebrew and Greek, and have several degrees, I think I can manage. The line of popes does not go back unbroken to Peter. This piece of ‘history’ is complete mythology. The Old Testament was written centuries before the church, and does form two thirds of the canon of scripture, so it is fact to say it preceded the church. The Apostolic Fathers whose writings are extant were mostly writing after the bulk of the New Testament was written down. They had far more to say than the limited llst you give, though I don’t see why they knew more than anyone else either then or now.

  10. We’ve all shown that not a republicans believe this and not all democrats believe that. We’re all a little different.It’s the extremists in the parties that cause most of the problems and also those who lump a certain group into one big bag. That’s what this article did by saying “to be a part of the Christian Left, one must…”. I am Christian, Liberal, a feminist, I love Jesus with all of my heart, and I will continue to march for sep of church and state along with women’s right to choose because no matter what I believe or my church believes, another person has the same right to their religion, church, or lack of one. Wish the persecution Christians went through in the past, we should be the 1st people to stand up and fight for peoples right to worship and believe how they want along with political views. I Can Be Christian AND Liberal! I’m proud of it. I’m also proud of my Chrisian conservative friends. We are blessed to live in a country where we can be like this and do this. Thank you GOD!

  11. No, you can’t. You can’t just call yourself a Christian and believe whatever you want, and that’s my point. You can’t be a Christian and “pro-choice.” You can’t be a Christian and pro-contraception. You can’t be a Christian and pro-“marriage equality” or other privileges for Sodomites. You can’t be a Christian and despise the Holy Father. You can’t be a Christian and deny the necessity of the Sacraments for transmission of Christ’s grace.

  12. Sorry, Gadfly, but I don”t sense much ‘grace’ at all in what you write, nor how you express it. Lots oif dogma, lots of judgemental assertion, very little of empathic consideration of the other’s point of view, scarcely any sign of open-hearted consideration of other views. ‘By their fruits you will know them.’ Your words, tone, and attitude show nothing of grace to me.

    • Yes, exactly. “By their fruits you shall know them.” 50 million murdered babies; 50%+ divorce rate; near 100% contraception rate; underpopulation; rampant promiscuity and adultery; profanity spewing out of everyone’s mouths; movies and television: these are the fruits of the “Christian” Left.
      And your disdain for dogma, again, merely proves my point. As for your comment about “grace,” you’re confusing grace with worldly politeness. Jesus Himself called His own Apostles a “wicked and perverse generation” and a “brood of vipers.” The modernist “nice Jesus” promulgated by Schweitzer and others is one of the most Satanic heresies of them all.
      “This Church, thus marvelously founded, assuredly could not cease with the death of its Founder, nor of the Apostles who led the way in its propagation, for to it the commission was given of bringing all men to eternal salvation: all men, without distinction of time or place … Now, no one is in this One Church, and no one perseveres in it unless he acknowledges and obediently accepts the power and authority of Peter and his legitimate successors. ” -Pope Leo XII
      “Those wretches tainted with the error of Indifferentism and Modernism hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute, but relative: that is, that it must adapt itself to the varying necessities of the times and the varying dispositions of souls, since it is not contained in an unchangeable revelation, but is, by its very nature, meant to accommodate itself to the life of man. ” -Pope Paul VI
      “The faith by which we live shall never vary in any age . . . for one is the faith which sanctifies the Just of all ages. ” – Pope St. Leo the Great

  13. I would suggest you can’t be a Christian and rely on doctrine and dogma to the exclusion of grace and the good news or gospel. Thereis fa rmore to the gospel than you are allowing.

    • No one is excluding grace. I *am* excluding personal interpretation and subjectivity. And these are not my opinions. They are the teachings of the Church. I don’t believe in the Church because of the Bible. I believe in the Bible because of the Church. The Bible is just a meaningless book without the Church. The historical verification of the Church gives the Church her authority and, in turn, the Bible gets its authority from the Church.
      I’ll tell you what’s *clearly* stated in the Bible: a) one cannot read the Bible without the Church’s guidance; b) Jesus talks frequently of establishing a Church but never a Bible, and when He does speak of the “New Testament,” He’s holding a chalice.
      In any case, these are not opinions (and opinions are not personal tastes but informed judgements); they are the teachings of the Church, solidified by the Ecumenical Councils. One cannot be a Christian without excepting all the dogmae established by the Ecumenical Councils.

  14. Morally liberal people (I dare not even call them Christians, because they are not) simply follow the same flawed theology that Paul for all his talk of justification by faith alone tried nonetheless to avoid, namely that mentioned at the beginning of Romans 6, the idea that we should sin that grace may abound. Although Paul taught justification by faith rather than works in Romans 3-5, he was not willing to concede to the theology that this means sin is OK, and so he begins chapter 6 with, “What? Shall we sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! For how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer in it? Don’t you know we were crucified with Christ?” Morally Liberal people who claim to be Christians read Romans 3-5 and stop short, and don’t ever read Romans 6. They choose to remain willfully ignorant of the truth because they want to live the life of the devil rather than of God. They are those John speaks of in the first chapter who do not come to the light because their deeds are evil.

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