“What Would Jesus Do” has increasingly become more than an evangelical movement, equipped with wrist bands, urging young people to exercise better ethical choices. Some conservative Republicans have previously suggested that they know Jesus would be a card-carrying Republican and thus support things like opposition to labor unions and certain liberal government programs designed to assist the poor. (I also oppose some of these same programs but not because I know what Jesus would do in this case. My views are rooted in a political philosophy that I believe is the best one; thus I believe my views are the ones that best offer a reasonable opportunity for the poor to actually succeed.) Many on the political left have justly criticized this iconic use of the name Jesus by the Republican right. I strongly agree with this criticism.

I wonder, however, what these same folks on the left will now do since Hillary Clinton has made it clear that Jesus would favor illegal immigrants flooding into America as a demonstration of real compassion. She told a press gathering today that she thinks the recently introduced bill in the House of Representatives, which seeks to limit illegal entry into the United States in several ways, is further evidence that those who sponsored it would have to reject the truth of the parable of the Good Samaritan and thus the teaching of Jesus. (She very explicitly stated this, to my surprise, as I heard it twice this evening with my own ears!) What’s good for the goose, in this case, is also good for the gander. This is political pandering of the worst sort! 

Look, illegal immigration is a complex issue and there are a hundred different ideas, good and bad, about how to deal with it. But one thing is for sure, invoking Jesus into this debate is tantamount to playing “the religion card” big time. I hope the liberals are as aghast at Hillary Clinton’s comments as they are at those of the Republicans. We shall very soon see. I for one find both ways of using Jesus as a political mascot for partisan views reprehensible. Someone with major influence ought to say to say so since I am sure that I am not alone in my response.

And where is the conservative church when an honest and faithful prophetic word is truly in order? The silence is deafening.

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  1. Matt March 27, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    Amen. As a Christian I am insulted by exactly that religious pandering. Jesus was not a Repubican or a Democrat, and neither party is endorsed by heaven.

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