Republicans love to pretend that they are the party of Jesus. They work tirelessly at pandering to the Christian-right vote. They believe we should be a nation of laws based upon Christian principles. However, there’s just one thing missing — the Christian principles.
If we, as a nation, were to abide by the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Bible, we would have health care for all, no death penalty, the wealthy would help pay for the poor, and everyone would love their neighbor as themselves. Pretty much everything Republicans adamantly stand against.
So when a Republican like Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina comes out and says:
“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do.”
This is of course in reference to Pope Francis recently coming out in favor of Palestine becoming its own state. And heaven forbid, anyone, especially the Pope come out in favor of something that may actually work, let alone something that isn’t just pro-Israel all the time. Republicans pretty much consider Israel the 51st state of the Union. The Vatican’s statement wasn’t even anti-Israel, it was pro-peace — you know, another Christian principle, so of course Republicans are against it.
The biggest foes to the teachings of Jesus in the United States are Republicans. They boast his name, but know nothing of his teachings. For them, it’s pretty much just a means to get votes and try to make excuses as to why they are discriminatory bigots.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said of the Pope’s views:
“He’s a religious figure and he has every right to have his political viewpoint, but someone of that profile should have strong scriptural foundation for whatever positions he takes that are extensively representing the head of the Catholic Church. I think this is probably one he should not have expressed.”
So wait, someone with strong religious principles should keep their opinions to themselves regarding politics? Let me make sure to write that one down for later the next time a Republican tries to say that the United States is a Christian nation. Maybe they should just keep those opinions to themselves — which, might I add, actually is the correct thing to do.
The Pope however, is more than just someone with strong religious principles, he is, in fact, a world leader. One who can promote change where change can seem impossible. So was it correct for the Pontiff to insert himself into this matter? Perhaps so. He could have a direct impact on the region and potentially help broker long-awaited change.
However, Republicans are not wrong in asserting that religious opinions should stay out of politics.
Now, if only they could realize this about themselves.