I am a progressive.

I am a progressive.  Immediately this word can spark flags on both sides.  On one side people might peg me a liberal with no regard for traditional – “conservative” – values, and on the other side that because I don’t agree with certain liberal agendas that I’m not really a “progressive.”

When I say progressive, I mean, I believe in the furthering development of new technologies, better more efficient energy, prosperity for businesses, increasing employment, thriving social services, equal rights for all races, gender, sexual orientations, and religious affiliation…BUT…doing all of this with little governmental involvement.  It seems Democrats are disgusted by the greed of the rich, and republicans are disgusted with the greed of the poor.  Greed is a reality of humanity as it always has been and always will be, there is no hope of that not being in the equation.  But we have to figure out what ACTUALLY works to thrive mankind.

A society thrives best where they are free.  Free to choose, free to dream, free to live, free to succeed, free to fail, and free to get back up again.  BUT people are only as free as they allow themselves to be.  A government who can give everything to their people, can also take everything away.  People receiving “free” money, services, and programs from the government are not free, they have made themselves dependent slaves to the government, and for many Uncle Sam has become their baby daddy.  I’ve heard the argument for democratic ideals “Do you not like your roads?  Do you not like public education?  Do you not like special programs/facilities?  Do you not like…_fill in the blank_  ?”  The question is not “do I like them?” the question is “who is going to pay for them?”  How much?  Are we borrowing it?  Are we raising it?  Is there a better way to get it?  If America goes bankrupt, we will lose them and if we are dependent upon them, we’re sunk.

“Democrats” presently like to accuse Republicans of being “Traditionalist, conservatives, holding America back from progress, from moving forward, and holding people back from true freedom”…however, historically and in the present reality this is not the case.  During the time of slavery, democrats made up a large majority of slave owners in the South, were at the forefront of opposition to the rights of women to vote, Civil Rights, and Equality in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Then and now they desire to hinder economic growth by putting penalties on the successes of businesses, taxing them until the only choice left IS to take their business overseas in order to not go bankrupt.  This does not sound like the “liberal progressive” movement that we are told about today.  Something is oddly distorted.  Liberals are saying Republicans are traditional and conservative, yet they are the ones historically who have desired to remain more traditional and “do things the way we’ve always done them.”  But this is not who American Republicans are.  Historically, we have been progressive, fighting for REAL social justice, equality in the work place, and freedom for the American people to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by restricting the TRUE enemy to freedom…government.

In a new statement, Obama boasted “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” insinuating that no business made itself, successful, but that it was the government who made them successful by their programs, roads, etc.  This type of logic would be like Fed Ex or UPS taking responsibility for the success of the iPhone.  Sorry US Government you’re not that special.  If you didn’t regulate the building of these roads a more efficient private company could probably do it quicker, cheaper, and with more advanced technology.

So why say “I am a progressive”?  Because I believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, for ALL people, even if I don’t agree with the way they choose to pursue these things in lifestyles I do not agree with nor approve of;  however, I believe you ought to be free to do so as an American.”

Theologically, as Christians, we must consider our lives and our government theologically.  A government who says “let’s take care of all of the poor people” sounds loving and may even sound like “Jesus,” but do not be deceived, no government can replace the church and charity organizations who work to devote their lives and businesses for the good of the poor, homeless, and destitute.  Christian, it is not the government’s job to do YOUR job!  Love radically, don’t rely on government programs like Ebeneezer Scrooge, “I help to support the establishments (poor houses, government subsidized “care” facilities); those who are badly off must go there…If they’d rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”  This inevitably becomes the reality of socialistic ideals (the direction democrats desire America to go) lived out.  An extreme view of socialism is when a human being becomes a “leech” upon society, they are no longer a viable source for the social good, they are no longer looked at with compassion, but as a virus.  This is why European socialism is trying to irradiate people with disabilities at birth.  If a baby has signs of mental or physical disability, they will simply abort it to not create a human who will only be a “taker” and not a “contributor” to social life.  The hyper-dramatic view of this is fascism, deciding on who is good enough to be the “survival of the fittest” by weighing them against opinion of what a human should be based upon genetics.

Republicans want true freedom.  Freedom to work, freedom to live, freedom FROM government, freedom to worship, freedom for Americans who love humanity to care for humanity, freedom for there to be competition, so there will always be technological advancements and real societal progress.

*UPDATE (March 2017): I do not believe this about our current republican branch of American government.  I believe the only party that truly had a balanced political platform is the majority of Libertarians.  Small government involvement, free markets, and more freedom for the everyday American.

Democratic policy is oppressive to freedom, even though they promise the moon, remember, the moon is a large mass of material floating in outer space…democrats can’t give you the moon, it’s impossible to lasso and give it to you (no matter what you see in the movies)…so before someone promises you the moon, do your research.  Do not reap belief in false promises and sow destruction for our nation.

Politics and Theology

This is not an exhaustive dissertation on the subject of politics and theology, but a brief blog based solely on my thoughts at a Coffee Shop.  Don’t overanalyze…

If you are a Christian, saved by the grace of Christ and given the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then you have a political bent based upon theological presuppositions.  Politics and theology is a conversation that has been the core of much theological conversation for thousands of years.

YHWH’s (God) people, have been political either as a unified group or individuals scattered across the world since the time of Abraham.  They had to make decisions based upon their knowledge of who YHWH desired for them to be and what He wanted for them to be about.

During the time of Christ, this was the pivotal point of argument, Jesus upsetting not only the religious, but because the religious and political were so intimately intertwined, He was upsetting the political atmosphere of the 1st Century Roman World.  The accusations brought against Him during His trial before Pilate at the beginning were religious, but then turned political, claiming “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”  Even their religiously damning phrase they yelled out showed what side they rested politically “We have no king but Caesar.”  They at this point abandoned the covenant in order to condemn a man of breaking the covenant.

Paul and Peter were both martyred under not strictly religious charges, but political.  Their deaths were political statements.  The boiling of John alive was a political statement.  The state of the Roman church, after being given credence as the state religion took on a mix and mesh of political affiliations and assertions.  The church became the state and the authority of the church, and essentially “Christ” took over the governing authorities to make Jesus the state and the state the proprietor of faith.  Thus began a union that has raged these last 1500 years.  We have seen massive struggles, reformations, revolutions, crusades, and “enlightenments” along the road of religious political discovery.

So it boils down to this…2012, or whatever year you are reading this in, the current day, having thousands of years of history, experience, blood, tears, wars, cultural development, and religious reformation to shape and influence who you are today.  There is much discussion of Obama vs. republicans, and the very prominent potential for the fall of capitalism and reform to socialism.  Yet in the midst of constant and ever present change, YHWH is still the same.  He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.  The Word of God is true no matter what culture, no matter time, no matter the political, social, or economic state we are in…we (humanity) are dead in our sins, and the grace of God has desired to pursue people for His name’s sake bringing dead people to life, filling them with His Holy Spirit who will rise with Him in the last day and be resurrected unto eternal life with Him in His glory.  It doesn’t matter what country or culture, political, economic, or social context we live in…we will live in eternity with the ultimate “Libertarian” of them all needing of nothing but YHWH.  Let us live like this now…eyes captivated by and fixed upon the reality of eternity with our Saviour.

All this to say…America…democrats…republicans…libertarians…constitutionalist…green …independent…does it matter which one you are if you are a Christian?  What are your theological foundations for choosing which party to be aligned with, if indeed you are or feel theologically inclined to be politically aligned.  Is Jesus a socialist/marxist?  Is Jesus a capitalist?  Is Jesus an anarchist?  Is Jesus a communist?  Is Jesus any “ist” at all?  How has Christ called us to live within our context with the power of the gospel through the Holy Spirit?  That ought be our greatest question…