As we know, the Christian Right has a conservative bias when it comes to politics. That bias does not often line up with the words of Jesus Christ. As an evangelical Christian who is also a progressive, I want to show how the progressive movement does follow the path that Jesus set for us.
Jesus Christ was all about helping the poor. There are many stories in the New Testament that show His commitment to those that are needy. If the Christian Right wanted to show the goodness of Christ, they would focus on helping others more (and not just tax-deductible charitable contributions either), like progressives do with laws that help the homeless, poor, mentally ill, etc. Any Christian who believes that the downtrodden deserve their fate needs to more carefully read His words.
What Jesus never said: “Feed the hungry only if they have papers.” “Clothe the naked only if they’re from your country.” “Welcome the stranger only if there’s zero risk.” “Help the poor only if it’s convenient.” “Love your neighbor only if they look like you.” #CaravanaMigrante
” James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) October 26, 2018
Jesus had a problem with authority figures that follow the rule of the law without following the spirit of the law. There are several occasions where he had to correct the Pharisees and Sadducees in this regard. He considered them hypocrites when they questioned His spiritual authority over mortal laws:
‘Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ Matthew 15:7-9
In that regard, you could consider the right’s obsession with law and order over justice and equality hypocritical as well. As Dr. King said in his letter from a Birmingham Jail, those that favor law and order over justice are holding back the rights of those different than they are. Progressives understand that freedom means justice for all (legally, economically, environmentally, and socially).
Most importantly, Jesus Christ was all about love. He preached it constantly; not love of money or love of those just like you, but love of all humanity. Progressives show this love by looking to make life better for all humans, not just the rich, business owners, or other Christians. It is a trait that the Christian Right can learn from.
‘This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ John 15:12
We can see that Jesus Christ lived a life that revolved around helping others and letting His inner love flow outwards to others. That is what makes even non-believers respect His path. As long as progressives keep working to show their inner love of humanity outwardly, others will be able to respect their journey as well.