I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
The above quote was posted by Anne Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles, on her Facebook account. Continuing my series of posts in reaction to this quote, today I will write about Rice’s fourth complaint — that Christianity is anti-Democrat.
I am going to assume that since Rice capitalized the word “Democrat” that she is referring to the political party, as opposed to the form of government. In either case, Christianity has always had an intriguing relationship with civil power. On one hand, we are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matt 22:21). This can be seen in both the liturgical practice of praying for our civic leaders — even those Roman emperors who were actively persecuting the Church. In the Apostolic Constitutions, it implores Christians to “Be subject to all royal power and dominion;” however, it does qualify this statement with these very important words: “in things pleasing to God.” Thus, when faced with the prospect of sacrificing to the idol of the Emperor, early Christians were compelled to refuse, thus breaking the law and choosing, in most cases, to be tortured and killed as martyrs.
Thus, in a Christian world-view, politics always play second fiddle to Christ. Indeed, Christ Himself demonstrated this in the sixth chapter of John:
Jesus, as He realized they were about to come and take Him by force and make Him king, fled back to His hills alone. (John 6:15)
Christ did not come to play politics. Thus, as Christians we should always be wary of politics and political parties and ultimately be willing to rise above them in order to be what God wants us to be.
Case in point, let us examine some very unChristian aspects of each political party here in the United States:
- Republicans tend to defend the death penalty for violent criminals. As Christians, we need to understand that even these vile examples of humanity are still made in the image and likeness of God and that they should be afforded every opportunity to repent and turn back towards God. The death penalty denies them this chance.
- Democrats tend to defend abortion. As Christians we see even the unborn as fully human, unique and unrepeatable. To destroy them inside the womb is murder, dehumanizes the unborn and ultimately denies humanity to an entire segment of the human family.
Thus, both parties fail to uphold a Christian world-view. That isn’t to say that they do not have redeeming factors, but we are called to transcend politics and do what is right in the sight of God. When we place our loyalty to any political entity — whether it be a party, a nation or an ideology — above God, disaster follows. One need only look at the early 20th century in places like Germany, Russia and China to see the outcome of party above God. It cost the world millions of lives.
For an excellent example of a Christian transcending politics, see St. Paul’s letter to Philemon. He is obedient to the law of the land — he sends back the run away slave Onesimus to his master Philemon; however, he calls Philemon to welcome back his run away slave, not as a slave, but as a brother. Thus, Paul, while obeying the law moves beyond the law to something greater — a vision of the world where:
by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (1Cor 12:13)
Indeed, according to tradition, Philemon does welcome back Onesimus as a brother. Not only is Onesimus freed, but is eventually ordained as a bishop.
Thus, Christianity is not anti-Democrat. Rather it is beyond Democrat (or Republican).