Four Reasons the GOP Would Not Nominate Jesus
Christian Iconography displays Jesus embodying compassion.
Jesus and the GOP
Religion and historicity aside, Jesus is an important figure in the development of western culture. It can be debated that Jesus never existed. It could be more hotly contested that there is no reason to believe he was divine. But, that is not ultimately important when calculating social impact. Consider that Jesus’ teachings are central to both Christianity and Islam (a religion in which Jesus is regarded as a prophet of Allah). Then, pair that with the fact that there are approximately, 2 billion Muslims, 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million Protestants globally. That is a rough figure of 4 billion out of 7 billion people who consider the words of Jesus important. Those are impressive poll numbers, and in the United States Jesus and poll numbers are inextricably connected. This is especially true in the conservative factions of the citizenry. The dilemma, however, is that based on what is recorded about Jesus, he wouldn’t stand a chance in a GOP debate. Here are four reasons the Republican Party would not nominate Jesus:
Jesus Advocated Subsidized Food Programs
In the United States, SNAP, previously known as food stamps, is one of several so-called “entitlement programs” designed to stabilize the impoverished. And while this measure to prevent Americans from starving gets bipartisan lip service, there are still loud cries from conservatives to cut funding from budgetary allocations for food security. Any GOP candidate unwilling to connect governmental waste and entitlement programs is labeled “establishment” and blackballed as a “Moderate”. Jesus, on the other hand, made it a point to give out free food as part of his ministry. In fact, the gospels record two separate miracles whose only intention was to give people free food. Now, I suppose it could be argued that food multiplication was just a neat trick Messiahs do to impress their twelve closest friends, but wait. The actions of Jesus are explained throughout the gospels as having the purpose of demonstrating something significant about the nature of the Kingdom of God (the model Government according to Jesus). In John chapter 6, Jesus is looking at a hungry mass of men, women and children and asks his disciples if there is any food to give them. One speaks up and tells Jesus that there is a boy in the crowd who has five loaves of bread and two fish. So, Jesus takes the kid’s lunch (his wealth) and gives it (redistributes it) to other people. That’s kind of socialist if you ask me. And, that’s political suicide if you ask a Republican.
Jesus Was Not a Fan of the Rich
The GOP fawns over the wealth the way a tween is star-struck by whatever high-pitched, heart-broken pre-pubescent boy is singing about unrequited love at the moment. That’s why the world was recently treated to the spectacle of middle-aged men squealing and going weak in the knees when real estate mogul and living hairpiece Donald Trump announced his self-funded bid for presidency. The Republican Party knows that rich guys, especially those rich from industry, appeal to the deeply engrained yearning for the American Dream. The Donald is just the latest in a long line of rich white guys that the average white American man wants to be. It’s a simple formula. It’s just that the GOP’s favorite name to drop other than Ronald Reagan (blessings and peace be upon him) is Jesus. You cannot be a Republican nominee without being a Christian. Mitt Romney almost didn’t get it because his brand of Christianity had one too many characters for the rest of Christendom to be comfortable. So, surely the Republican nominees, in all of their wealthy glory, would get the Jesus seal of approval. Unfortunately, Jesus shoots himself in the foot again in Mark 10:25 when he says that a camel has a better chance walking through the eye of a needle than a rich guy has getting into Heaven. I’m not sure if that is better or worse than a snowball’s chance in Hell, but it ain’t good. Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, Jesus, lay off the job creators. What do you want them to do, sell their stuff and give it away?” Funny you should ask. In Matthew chapter 19 Jesus meets a very pious rich guy. This dude is an excellent Christian who would give the Donald a run for his money in terms of superlatives used to describe his Christianity. But, Jesus has a quibble- property ownership. Yup, Jesus sounds like a commie and tells this industrious man who clearly had worked hard for his inheritance that property ownership is bad news. It’s better to instead sell off your property and give the proceeds to charity so that all men can be equal. I honestly don’t think Jesus’ campaign could get much worse, but let’s see…
Jesus Was Anti-War
War is good for the economy. You find a country with a vast reserve of oil buried beneath its wasteland of desert and poverty. You forcibly take that oil by dropping sarin gas on all of their orphanages. Then, when the media starts to complain about the duration of the conflict, you board a jet, parachute onto a waiting aircraft carrier while Lynyrd Skynyrd plays Free Bird and announce, “Mission accomplished.” Strangely, the GOP has been accused of being warmongers. That could have something to do with the fact that the Republican Party has been advocating for Middle Eastern conflict in one form or another since early in the Bush administration. So, it is no surprise that current GOP contenders prove their conservatism by enumerating the groups they will battle as the POTUS. Incidentally, Jesus wasn’t very warlike. In fact, he lost some fans when they realized that Jesus wasn’t going to mount an insurrection against the Roman Empire. The messiah was supposed to be a war hero. Maybe if Jesus lived up to that hype, he would have been a little more popular. He would certainly stand a better chance of a nomination. But Jesus had sissy advice like, “Whosoever shall strike you on the right cheek, offer to him the other also (Matthew 5:39). He also cowardly said, “All that take the sword perish by the sword.” And you thought Obama’s call for tolerance of Muslims was outrageous.
Jesus Approved of High Taxes
We all know the adage. Only two things are certain in life: taxes and conservatives complaining about taxes. The idea of a high tax rate runs counter to the Republican ideology in so much that candidates who are able to skirt taxes through legal loopholes are praised by their party and admired by their constituency. Besides, who needs taxes when you have job creators stimulating the economy with all of the high-quality menial labor jobs they’re creating. Jesus had to get this one right. The government stinks, and if they want my money they can pry it from a cold dead fish. At least, that’s what Peter figured. He and Jesus had a dialogue in Matthew chapter 17 about taxes. The tribute collectors came to get money that was an additional tax on top of the already high Roman tax. The Jewish leaders, approved by the Roman government, collected this money to support the upkeep of the temple. Jesus asks Peter, “What do you think, should you have to pay this tax?” Peter responds with hope that he’s about to get a Heavenly tax exemption. Then Jesus tells Peter to pay it anyway and performs a miracle to prevent tax evasion. The appropriate amount of money is in the mouth of the first fish Peter catches after talking to Jesus so that Peter can come back and perform his civic duty.
If that were the only mention of Jesus and discussion of tax law in the gospel, one might be forgiven for thinking that Jesus had no particular opinion on taxation. However, in Mark chapter 12, a sneaky Pharisee figures that a radical like Jesus who wanders around redistributing wealth and bashing rich people probably hates the Romans enough to suggest that they don’t deserve the taxes they charge. So, the Pharisee asks Jesus, “Should we pay taxes?” Seems a stupid question considering that tax money paid for the Pharisee’s job, but we’ll assume he was a libertarian government employee. Jesus of course tells him to pay his taxes but does so in an interesting way. Pointing to the fact that Caesar has his face on the money; Jesus tells the people that this indicates that money belongs to the government. That’s right. Jesus said your hard earned money is the prerogative of the government that mints it. Take that Obama and your “You didn’t build that!” comments.