Does the Right Own Religion?

Did you know that in Europe, most Christians are on the left. Well that is at least how the parties are established. If you hold all other things constant it makes sense, Jesus was about helping the poor and disadvantaged so it would make sense to support the side that believes in welfare programs for the poor. This is another interesting cultural difference with the US, generally speaking Europeans tend to believe that society at large is responsible for the welfare of the impoverished. While in the US, we generally believe private operations and individuals at churches and nonprofits should administer welfare to the impoverished, not the Government or society at large. Interestingly our priorities are extremely apparent when you get off any interstate exit in a city and see all the homeless people, very possibly veterans, begging for money despite the fact that there are more empty homes than there are homeless in the US. The most important questions for today are, why do Christians overwhelmingly support Republicans and do progressives have something to offer them? 

To address why Christians support the right, lets examine all the topics outside of abortion, even though it appears to be the driving force, similar to Racial Justice and LGBT rights on the left. So, how have we come to the place where the Christians in America truly believe that Democrats and liberals have been waging a war against them for ages? First let’s look at all the areas where they are correct and how Dems constantly barraid them. Then let’s start to dissect where there is serious overlap with the progressive movement and the Christian faith. 

If you did not grow up in a church you probably haven’t heard many of their arguments other than the extremely political fights that make the news. One message echoed repeatedly is that the church and faith writ large is always “under attack”. Now if you are a protesting BLM activist you likely feel the exact opposite, make sure to check out our Cancel Culture and lack of meaning post if you missed it. While this message of attack is as old as the bible itself, it has become almost exclusively political. It is hard to tell when exactly it happened, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s people didn’t completely assume that if you are a Christian you had to be a Republican. Now we are led to believe that faith and Conservatism are not separable. While this is hard to pin down, it’s a safe bet that social media helped wedge this gap. However this defensive posture from people of faith is a move out of self defense. It might be hard for some of the ultra woke to swallow this but imagine you are raising a family in a small rural area. You are a farmer, a Christian, a great member of the community who gives back. However any time you turn the Television on, all you see are extremely liberal people writing extremely liberal shows for extremely liberal actors. Every time you watch sports you are blasted with a political message. Take a step back from whose right technically on those issues, we have someone who is contributing to society and chooses to live a rural life, taking care of his family and paying taxes. Yet everywhere he looks at a screen, liberals are screaming that he and his neighbors are the problem. Imagine keeping to yourself and doing all the things our culture tells us we should do, work hard, take care of your family, etc. and all of a sudden you are “evil and obstructive”. 

“The Left has won the culture wars, now they are just riding around shooting the survivors.”

Funny how the Left is the party of tolerance, just not Christian tolerance, unless you are Joe Biden pandering to religious Black voters. While the church has a penchant for forcing their flavor on other religions or the non-religious in public places, the Dems never defend freedom of religion or speech when it comes to Christianity. However they fight tooth and nail for any member of the Muslim faith. While they probably do need more legal and moral support, if Vegas were placing odds, I would bet the Democrats are exclusively pandering to the woke crowd and don’t have a genuine interest in helping the Muslim faith. 

Let’s call for a cease-fire. From a purely political perspective, with the Dems ramping up the cultural war on Christians, the Republicans are able to guarantee victory across the south and the midwest. From the left’s perspective it is a dumb strategic move to further this narative by constant attacks on the rural religious lifestyle. Who knows, maybe Texas would already be blue? Before your next attack on “some dumb republican I grew up with” try to find overlap.

How exactly we find common ground is a tall order, but not an impossible one. Let’s start with Eugene Debbs, the legendary Christian-Socialist. Yes, you read that correctly, Christian-Socialist! Debbs grew up in Indiana the son of a small business owner. For context, during Debbs lifetime American Cities and factories flourished, leading to many Americans seeking employment from someone else for the first time in their lives, for more on this check our piece on American Entrepreneurship. Growing up and even into adulthood Debbs did not even consider himself a left wing or liberal person, he was fairly centrist. He was however extremely religious, his faith came before all else. His political views started to change when he became head of a rail union, this is what led Debbs to his lifetime of organizing and agitating. 

In light of today’s politics, Debbs’ ability to tie american kitchen table values to socialism(and he really said it, no democratic socialism) highlights the complete failure of imagination we see in today’s corporate democratic party. Really try to clear your mind of any knowledge of Debbs and image this line coming from the pulpit of a church or a town square of a small town(it did!)-

“ It matters little whether Jesus was born at Nazareth or Bethlehem. The accounts conflict, but the point is of no consequence.

 It is of consequence, however, that He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger. This fact of itself, about which there is no question, certifies conclusively the proletarian character of Jesus Christ. Had His parents been other than poor working people — money-changers, usurers, merchants, lawyers, scribes, priests, or other parasites — He would not have been delivered from His mother’s womb on a bed of straw in a stable among asses and other animals.

 Was Jesus divinely begotten? Yes, the same as every other babe eve born into the world. He was of miraculous origin the same as all the rest of mankind. The scriptural account of his “immaculate conception” is a beautiful myth, but scarcely more of a miracle than the conception of all other babes. 

Jesus was not divine because he was less human than his fellowmen but for the opposite reason that he was supremely human, and it is this of which his divinity consists, the fullness and perfection of him as an intellectual, moral, and spiritual being”

That is an excerpt from his 1914 essay Jesus The Supreme Ruler. Before you get concerned this is not some radical religious left hook or something, it is just to highlight that the conservative right does not own religion. They are however appealing to and defending Christian voters, meanwhile the Democrats are actively disrespecting them at all turns. 

Trump won in 2016 as a result of 1% of inner city voters that were not highly motivated to show up. To win you don’t have to win a whole group, sometimes you just have to give them less of a reason to hate you. Oh yeah, and maybe we should be trying to share some common values with our fellow Americans!

No-Legislation Attached

If you ask most of your Democratic friends about the state of America and the culture wars, most would say the battle against oppression has never been more grave. The right is at our throats. What’s strange is there is a paradox here – The left believes they are losing the culture wars, even though they control 90% of the media(look at major endorsements of Trump v Hillary), the messaging on every television channel,  and the film industry. Yet the right has dominated legislatively since Reagan(de-unionizing, placing judges, repealing labor laws) and they believe they are losing their country more than ever. 

First lets highlight that panic and fear are powerful motivators, even when your status doesn’t warrant panic. Anecdotally I hear Republican voters say “this is the most important election of our lifetime, no matter if you like Trump or not we have to get those supreme court judges, because if the other side gets them we will lose the presidency for the next 50 years.” OFF TOPIC- of course we lose to them, our language is weak and passive. On the left you only see this kind of language used towards celebrities that have tweeted something racist or homophobic. The big difference is where Republican and Democratic leadership direct the energy and anger of their voters. 

So what are the results of each of these strategies? The Republicans have run the table on placing judges, stopping dem judges, passing tax cuts, killing unions through labor laws, and generally any economic legislation. The Democrats have succeeded at keeping their voters permanently on the hook with No-Legislation Attached Issues. Whether intentional or not, our voters don’t attach organization and legislation with change. We keep fighting stupid games with stupid prizes. And rest assured the class that funds the republicans, they don’t play stupid games- they play the most important games with the most important prizes. They use legislation to shape the economy in their favor as we argue. 

Why does the left take up this strategy? The same reason as the right, their donors. How many corporations have run racial inclusion, BLM, social justice ads since George Floyd? The is a complete perversion for many reasons. This is capitalism rotting just causes from the inside out. We are seeing companies that engage in near slave labor overseas, yet also claiming to stand for racial justice in the USA just to sell more sneakers, hamburgers, and purses. Talk about delegitimizing a cause, make the whole fight nothing but lip service via tv ads that include no solutions. The second reason businesses are so keen to take up these social justice narratives is specifically because there is No-Legislation Attached! Why is the CEO of Citigroup, one of the major banks that no doubt plays a role in racist policies that make it more difficult and expensive for African Americans to buy a home, now being highlighted by the left!? It is much more affordable to shoot out a tweet and cash in on a hot marketing fad than to actually help Black Lives in America. 

There is a lot of talk, but how much do Black Lives Matter when we cripple so many hard working black women with a stagnant starvation wage that we refer to as minimum wage? How much do Black Lives Matter when we let predatory lenders prey on the impoverished and unbanked in their community? How much could a Black Life matter when we let them die in the street if they do not have insurance? Those questions require legislation, the kind MLK and Bernie Sanders fought for, and it is going to cost. This is were our supposed “friends” at the DNC stop agreeing with us and take up their donors position that we must be destroyed. MLK told many around him that once he started down the road for economic justice for workers, he wouldn’t be around much longer. He told those around him, his white allies will soon abandon him on his next fight – the fight for economic justice would cost them, literally. While his white allies might have taken some risk backing him, they had plenty to gain, they seemed like heroes for not being racist. Yet he knew they only wanted the image or “checked box” of helping, and when it came to making this system fair on economic grounds, they had no intention of seeing Black Lives prosper. 

“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” – Martin Luther King Jr.