Friday, September 25, 2009

Washington Independent: Christian Right embraces libertarian conservative ideals, oddly enough

The Christian Right in the U.S. recently held the Values Voter Summit, featuring Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Mike Pence. The latter is the governor of Texas.

The Washington Independent reports that the conference took a heavily libertarian conservative stance. The Christian Right is reportedly looking to the national debt and the economy as issues for 2010. Romney said that "big government activists" were “substitut[ing] their ideology for the wisdom and good sense of the American people.” Even the moral issues folks at the conference apparently connected their concerns to the economy and government control.

Jesus did not speak directly to the governance of nation states. He claimed his own kingdom was not of this world, and sought to bring about the reign of God on earth. He said that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. He was a member of an indigenous people who suffered oppression at the hands of a really big government. He was tortured and killed at the hands of that government. So, the conservatives may be right to think he would be opposed to big government.

However, the Washington Independent reports that Gov. Perry said "as far as I'm concerned, you can't not legislate morality". And money was the moral issue that Jesus spoke the most about. He was deeply concerned about money, calling it the root of all evil. He said to the rich man, sell all you have. Give the money to the poor. Only then will you enter the kingdom. Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality. As to the family in general, he had only a few choice commands: don't get divorced, and whoever doesn't hate his father and mother has no place as my disciple.

If Jesus were to endorse legislating morality, I have a feeling the values voters would not like what he had to say. I somehow doubt he would come down on the side of the libertarians and their beloved free market economy that doesn't truly serve the needs of the poor. Jesus might well say to Gov. Perry and the values voters, if you don't like the government redistributing your wealth, then you must do it yourselves. Go, sell all you have. Give the money to the poor. Only then will you enter the kingdom.

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