Would Jesus be a Republican?

February 18, 2008 at 7:11 pm 1 comment

The American political dialogue irks me in several different ways. Among the most needling is the debate among conservative Christians about which Presidential candidate to support and has led me down some interesting thought experiments. While they presume many of their beliefs, they likewise might presume that were Jesus here today, he would definitely be a Republican. But, would he? And, more importantly to my readers, how does this relate to sustainability?

First, for the purpose of full disclosure, this is not my first trip down this particular thought experiment. A couple of years ago I wrote a screenplay investigating a similar idea. If a modern day prophet lived among us with all the answers to our problems, would anyone pay attention to him or his message? While I gave the story a happy ending because people like happy endings and that’s generally what Hollywood buys, we have a real-life example from which we can draw a more rational conclusion.

As I understand the situation, Jesus and most prophets were problem-solvers of their time and culture, so likewise he would be concerned with today’s problems in the context of today’s culture. Being pragmatic, he would not have any party loyalty, but support the one which best tackles the problems he believes most pressing. In a way, the prophet does exist through the concept of sustainability – it explains to us dispassionately the problems humanity faces as well as the solutions, but no one is paying attention – particularly conservatives.

Growing political will for sustainable alternatives is a factor of time and we are at the start of that change in consciousness. While our biggest obstacle to change lies in our culture of presumptions and assumptions, there are signs of hope. For example, among young, conservative Christians, “creation care” is a movement gaining ground that prioritizes the issues of social justice and environmental care before politicized concerns. Pragmatism is reaching solutions and requires everyone to start sleeping with strange bedfellows by crossing political, religious and philosophical lines — democrats with conservatives, conservatives with democrats, and most likely both democrats and republicans with some out of the box ideas that are hard to identify where they fit on the political spectrum.

So, would Jesus be a Republican? No, he would be as apolitical as is the concept of sustainability. And, like a concept, the prophet has no power to change anything. It’s through the billions of choices we collectively make every day that we create our own fate. And, when will we mature as a society to achieve this solution-oriented ideal? I don’t know, but from this perspective it feels like we are not changing fast enough. One thing is true, if we are to find sustainable solutions, change is inevitable.


Entry filed under: Leadership, Life, People, Philosophy, Politics, Sustainability, Thoughts.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Harrison  |  February 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Very well put. I hope many read this post…


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