There are politicians and pundits who profess the Christian religion, and declare that the US is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. They claim that this means that Christian rules for living should control the law of the land instead of allowing law to remain secular. In response, many people have already pointed out that the behavior – and the rhetoric – and the goals – of the contemporary American “conservative” movement is deeply un-Christian. In the bad way.
I’m not Christian either! But then, I don’t pretend to be one. What’s more, I can read and understand a text. Again, I wouldn’t be the first to point out that many high-profile members of the current GOP have blinded and deafened themselves to Jesus’ message; that if they met him in person they would hate and fear him and try to have him punished, jailed, exiled, even executed for his actions and his words.
These powerful people are zealous about the law and about their ideological orthodoxy. Sometimes they are even sometimes knowledgeable… but they utterly reject the spirit of the law in favor of short-sighted, earthly goals. They hate and fear others who are not like themselves. They glorify wealth and violence. They seek control and domination over the laws of man for the sake of their own glory and power while mouthing empty catch-phrases about the Law of God.
In Christian terms, the GOP is the party of the Pharisees.
And in that spirit, I present the following possibly-familiar-sounding tales.
The Widow’s Offering
Jesus watched the people filing their taxes. Many rich people paid large sums. Meanwhile, a poor widow received a refund, and donated a few dollars to the local soup kitchen.
Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “Truly, this poor widow has contributed more than all those who are in much higher tax brackets. For they gave money that they could spare out of their abundance, and they have enough remaining to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. But she lives in poverty, and has given up one of her own meals to help others.”
The Grand Old Pharisees sneered at Jesus. “Socialist!,” they said. “By allowing this widow to pay a lower tax rate than we do, you only encourage a culture of dependency. If we cut off her public support, then she would surely become an entrepreneur and become rich enough to donate more.” And they flew home in their private jets, plotting strategies to reduce their tax payments.