I tend to preach that people shouldn’t mix their religion with politics. I mean that politics is just a functional thing, a structure human groups create use to carry keep order. I am not so sure my God really cares about what political systems, but he cares lots about the values of justice and fairness and respect and dignity and caring. So, as a citizen, I look for these values in the way our democracy is played out.
I suppose the question is are the values I listed above religious values? I know I first learned them in my religious upbringing but I have learned that people of other religions share these values. In fact, people who claim no religious affiliation or even a belief in God espouse them. That leads me to believe these are human values.
Having said all of the above, I want to share a passage from a book that my religion espouses as its foundaton. It is one very familiar to me, but today it wants to leak into my political views. Here it is:
(Jesus) said to the one who had invited him (to a feast), “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
So here is the question. If this is a passage presents a particular religious view, is it something my non-religious government system should be applying in some way? Or am I supposed to just accept that if I want to welcome the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, I should just do it myself and let my government off the hook? I could do that but there are so many poor, crippled, lame and blind people out there, it breaks my heart. I’d have to do what my friend John Huebsch used to say, “Take care of your little corner of the world”. But my corner is so small and my resources are so limited.
So I take back my idea that religion and politics don’t mix. I want my government to carry out my Christian values and spend money and create programs to help the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. And I don’t want my government to complain when they don’t pay back. If there is s shortage of funds, simply uninvite friends, brothers, relatives, and the rich neighbors. Let them take care of themselves.
One could argue, “That is fine for you, Judy, but I don’t want my tax dollars to be wasted in that way.” Well, for me it isn’t waste. It is a Christian imperative!
Rats! I forgot. I said religion and politics aren’t supposed to mix.