For me when I became a Democrat in the mid 1990′s it was because I finally saw the connection between my Christian Values and my vote. It was like everything the Democrats stood for aligned with what I understood to be true from the Bible and from the life of Christ.
I saw that the Democratic Platform consistently matched with the sermons I was hearing in Church and from Jesus words in the Sermon on the Mount.
I know and love lots of people who I believe are good Christians, who are GOP followers. I just don’t think they have thought about it in the same terms as I do and I don’t think their life experience places value on the same aspects of humanity as my life experience does.
It is not a judgement. We all look at things through lenses of our own lives. It just is. It used to be a judgement though. When I was a Mormon, I was convinced that Mormon GOP voters were not rue followers of Christ. How could they be and it is well documented that only 5% of any faith actually truly understand their faith and practice it at the level of the 5%. So I left that assumption years ago that Christians actually have insight into their faiths, it is more likely they are just members of the home team.
It was readily apparent that the Gay issue was simply an issue that the GOP was using like abortion to whip extreme Christians into an non-thinking frenzy.
As a Christian-Mormon, I believed and was taught about free agency. It seemed simple to me. If I did not want gay marriage, which was a real issue for me, I could do as i was taught and stay out of one, literally and politically. I chose to be straight. Of course that did not hold water. It was the same with abortion, if I did not participate in one I was not accountable for those who do.
Maybe I was a sophisticated Christian-Mormon. I got it, I got that we should not judge others and by setting up laws we set up judgments. It seemed to me the GOP was really only interested in Christians votes and in manipulating their belief into a frenzy of unrestrained uniformed ignorance who would like lambs to slaughter do their political will with very little progress on actually making their issues laws of the land.
It dawned me many years ago that ones faith is largely a matter of ones zip code not ones true understand of their religion. If your born in a Muslim Zip Code your Muslim. In a Mormon Zip Code, your Mormon. in the USA, your some type of Christian. I was some type of Christian and I decided the Protestants approach to Jesus and politics and science fit my approach.
It does not matter where your born you are a follower of the religion of the region. In the USE we have a lot of Christian choices and few other choices.
In a nut shell, I saw in the Democrats what I saw in Jesus. They help feed the poor, help to build the schools, seek for healthcare for all, look for ways to to help the homeless, value civil rights for all populations, don’t restrict access to voting, preserves the fundamental rights of freedom for all religions, not just Christians.
Democrats were the best logical choice for me as a Mormon and a Christian who practiced what he preached.
To me they were the party that was less like to jump into conflicts without having actual reasons not tied into the exploitation. They were the party that valued science and physics and the our planet earth.
They cared for the elderly and the children. To me everything the Democrats stood for was everything Christ stood for, because those things, those were the real concerns of Christians in the Bible. I decided as a middle class American I would side with the people, not the corporations.
I viewed the GOP as the party of war, or the oil companies, of union busting, of dismantling the middle class. I never bought the claim that they were the party for Christians and Family Values when all they wanted to do was push their own idea of what those people should behave like. For me I saw the Sermon on The Mount and I saw the GOP party platform decade after decade being anything but friendly to families.
That is how I viewed it. To me as a Christian, I did not feel the need to vote with the so called Christian Party as my Mormon’s friends would say I should because I saw right through the unholy alliance of corporate interest and fringe Christians.
Prior to that I was a Rush Limbaugh ditto head and a Fox News Junkie, who jumped on every conspiracy theory like it was candy.
What I saw in the GOP was a party that was ruled by corporate interest, Democrats have special interest groups, but not ones like the corporate and church interest groups. When my church started trying to influence my vote and my views in ways that I thought were anti-Christian, ways that placed the weakest of our citizens in vulnerable places, that is when I stood up and said, as I Christian who values life and all of God’s children, I can’t be a GOP member anymore.
For me it was about being true to my real beliefs of truly understanding that people are not looking for handouts, that corporate America created this BOND with the GOP 40 years ago to bring in voters who prior to them were Christian Democrats. The 700 Club and those Churches and the GOP cooked up this alliance to go after abortion, gay rights, and all the crazy fringe (Evangelicals, Mormons-they only came to be accepted, Independent Fundamental Baptist, all the extreme Christians religions) Catholics and Protestants did not buy it. I did not buy it 25% of actual think Mormon’s don’t buy it.
But the GOP crafted the alliance with the Far Christian Right so the GOP could get more voters because they were loosing the battle for the will of American People. We the people were tired of their antics.
But the GOP got in bed with the fringe, the rest of the country moved on and the GOP and their corporate connections that are all corporate bought have never cared for the people but they roped the crazies right into them. For me it came down to who my own special interest line up with.
Does it line up with Greed? No It lines up with my initial values as a Christian. That is why I am always surprised that real Christians vote GOP whose interest are all about money, control , judging others, and have nothing to do with what Jesus taught.
When I left Christianity and a belief in God, those truths, the ones of placing humanity first, that had been imprinted on my soul. The GOP offered me nothing as a Christian.
Here is the Democratic Platform and below I will post the Sermon on the Mount:
MOVING AMERICA FORWARD
REBUILDING MIDDLE CLASS SECURITY
Putting Americans Back to Work
The Middle Class Bargain
Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
Economy Built to Last
AMERICA WORKS WHEN EVERYONE PLAYS BY THE SAME RULES
Wall Street Reform
21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform
Strengthening the American Community
Protecting Rights and Freedoms
Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life
STRONGER IN THE WORLD, SAFER AND MORE SECURE AT HOME
Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda
Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan
Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons
Countering Emerging Threats
Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
Promoting Global Prosperity and Development
Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World
Advancing Universal Values
To me this reflects the Sermon of The Mount and it reflects my desire to place Humans first I learned from Christ teachings. I may have left Jesus, but I am a Christian and a Mormon by culture and this is an imprint I can’t shake.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The Fulfillment of the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Giving to the Needy
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[j]
but deliver us from the evil one.[k]’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[l] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[m] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[n]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdomand his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.