Who Would Jesus Vote For?

Via Zoe Schiffer
on Apr 30, 2012
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(Photo: Tumblr)

If Jesus were alive today, he’d be a Democrat.

I don’t mean to be biased and frankly, I’m not even religious. I’d have a hard time saying Jesus is my homeboy, and if we’re being completely honest here I’d have to admit he’s more like the angsty preteen son of my boss’s ex wife who added me on Facebook and now thinks we’re friends.

And yet, in reading up on the Holy One’s unabashed teachings of service and acceptance, I can’t help but think that were he living in today’s society, he’d follow in the statistical footsteps of today’s young adults and females, and vote for social welfare programs and say, some cuts on student loans?

I also think he’d probably oppose the blatant involvement of interest groups in electoral campaigns, and most likely would have protested outside the Supreme Court for allowing officers of the peace to strip search anyone, for any crime, anytime (God bless America), but that’s just me.

To go one step further, I have to say I think he would have loved Occupy. In fact, I think he would have started it. He would have been right at home there, sitting cross-legged on the grass in Zuccotti park, with angry and passionate protesters all around him, listening in awe as he eloquently waxed on about the merits of peaceful protest, political efficacy and true change.

Most likely, the right-wing groups that vehemently denounce our (admittedly flawed) President would have disliked Jesus.

“Can’t he just get a job?” they would ask “instead of sitting out on the grass and talking shit on other peoples?”

“This is my job,” Jesus would say, and they’d roll their eyes, happy only in knowing at least their children would never turn out like this “Jesus” character.

Jesus would have struggled with the dilemma over whether to start his own political party (as a matter of principle) or vote on the Democratic candidate he thought might actually win. Knowing that without his own Super PAC his party could never be taken seriously, and would probably end up hurting the Democrats by taking away some much-needed votes, he’d sadly decline. In the end, he’d vote Obama.

And come November, as I fill out my voting ballot for the first time ever, you know I’ll be asking myself the much needed question: What would Jesus do?


Editor: Brianna Bemel


About Zoe Schiffer

Zoe Schiffer grew up in the lush southern coast of California, where she began writing and reading voraciously at an early age. Her love of traveling has brought her all over the world, and it is a passion she still obtains, though currently tethered down in the Washington area by Seattle University, where she is in her second year. A student of yoga, she takes her practice on the road as often as possible, always trying to gain new experience (and writing material) through travel and adventure.


20 Responses to “Who Would Jesus Vote For?”

  1. peter says:

    Democrats support the same corporate capitalist model as the republicans. This author seems to assume that the right-wing critique (completely idiotic) of obama being a socialist is true. hahaha nothing could be farther from the truth. Obama is a pro-corporate capitalist, child bombing imperialist president. Jesus would not vote for him. grow a brain.

  2. Brian Culkin says:

    I have to admit .. this is extremely unmindful … Not only in the serious lack of political understanding and context the author has but also in a weird way almost disrespect of Christ in a joking, trying to be cool way.

    Even as a non Christian … not impressed with this post

  3. you are blinded by your passion Peter. I understand that it comes from a place of compassion, which is beautiful, but in order to truly manifest peace I suggest you connect with that compassion and generate some for the capitalists, as it's the only thing that has the power to change hearts and minds for the better. Hatred for them or anyone else can only generate more hate, whether it seems to be justified or not. While I agree that both sides of the aisle are crippled by greed, fear, and ignorance, the right side is engaged in much more harm at the moment. I will vote for Obama because I have LGBT, Muslim, and Latino friends and I am concerned about their right to live in this country without being demonized. Obama has a long way to go in that regard, yet he is exponentially preferable to anyone in the GOP in the same regard.

  4. Mark Ledbetter says:

    There's a similar thread up now that essentially states Buddha would be a Democrat. Any truly enlightened person would think just me! (We all think)

    Liberals/Democrats just know that Jesus/Buddha would be a Democrat too. Conservatives/Republicans know they would be Republican. I have news for you. They would be Libertarian! (Of course, it's pure coincidence if that happens to be what I am.)

  5. Terry Post says:

    A thoughtful, good-hearted posting. Keep singing your song Zoe.

  6. Bonnie says:

    While only Jesus knows what Jesus would do, I am appreciative of the post despite the vicious comments at the end. I particularly like:

    “Can’t he just get a job?” they would ask “instead of sitting out on the grass and talking shit on other peoples?”

    “This is my job,” Jesus would say, and they’d roll their eyes, happy only in knowing at least their children would never turn out like this “Jesus” character.

  7. CeeCee54 says:

    While proposing that Jesus would support the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party for that matter, is utterly ludicrous and insanity…He is God and would not lend His acceptance for abortion (innocent blood), homosexuality in all forms, violence, a life of alcohol and drug abuse, unlawfulness, injury to others for the sake of their own selfish desires, condemnation of any man whether wealthy or poor, mob rule, stealing and lying to further an agenda- I guess you could go on and on…while He is a loving God, He is also Just, Sinless, Holy and would stand for the Truth lending justice to those who judge a man not by the color of his skin but by the content of their CHARACTER.

  8. oz_ says:

    A whimsical article, but hard nosed analysis indicates it's based on at least two flawed, and apparently unexamined assumptions. I find this to almost always be true in articles about politics – the unexamined assumptions are the killers.

    Point of fact – Jesus would have chosen, on ethical grounds, to NOT vote – just as Henry David Thoreau did, and for the same reason. To vote is to lend legitimacy to a political system wholly grounded in violence and coercion, both domestically and extending into other nations. By voting, you become party to the wars and murders and drone stries and violence carried on unabated by Obama and the other murderers in office, for example. Here's an article that demonstrates this logic – it's well worth reading – in fact, for any would-be voter who professes to be ETHICAL (don't bother reading if ethics do not concern you), it is truly a must-read:

    "Various war crime tribunal decisions since World War II have established that both elected officials and dictatorial heads of state are legally responsible for the commission of crimes that are committed under their orders, but not by their own hands. In other words, those giving the instructions to soldiers to kill innocent civilians are responsible, even though they do not personally hold the weapons or pull the triggers. Although this principle of liability has never been extended backwards from political leaders to those who participate in elections, it should be clear from this analysis that the chain of responsibility extends from those who exercise the actual violence, to those who give the orders that the violence be used, to those who participate in elections which result in those political leaders being elected."

    I don't think Americans – and this somehow includes most supposedly anti-war liberals – grasp just how violent a nation we are. Or perhaps I should say, these folk seem wholly unwilling to confront the simple reality that we've remained extremely violent even under Obama – I've posted the following article (authored by a well respected liberal, Glenn Greenwald) at least a dozen times here on EJ and not once – not a single time – has an Obama supporter responded. This seems to represent either flat out denial, or a fundamental unwillingness to face the fact that by supporting Obama and the Democrats, as much as Republicans supporters, they are supporting a policy of visiting murder upon people far from our shores who have done us no wrong:

    Now, with these FACTS exposed, do you honestly think Jesus would be voting for Democrats and their drone murder campaign?!?! I mean, seriously…whimsy is all well and good, but when the mass murder of mostly innocents enters the picture, I have to admit, my taste for whimsy drops considerably.

  9. oz_ says:

    Mark, great post – shows real insight and a willingness to reflect. There's such a strong tendency to self-identify with our ideals via projection, isn't there? This tells us a lot more about ourselves than it does about Jesus, or Buddha. In fact, I think this is a path we can use to come to better know ourselves through knowing the Other, because this path includes the opportunity to bring to light and examine those unexamined assumptions we carry around with us. For example, if we can earnestly, humbly seek to understand *how* that "evil" individual of the Religious Right could possibly think Jesus would support their cause, then we have ceased to objectify them, ceased to demonize them, and begun to at least try to see them as a real person – a real human being like us. And that's the beginning of true human understanding. But this process is soooooo rarely followed in today's world, and certainly I don't recall ever seeing – not once – on EJ a hint of this. The liberals are *obviously* right, and the conservatives are *obviously* wrong – and morally inferior and hard hearted to boot. You would think an e-mag concerned with enlightenment would do better – would reach out with humanity – would seek to honestly *understand*.

    It's interesting, because I see the liberals/democrats unwittingly acting in *precisely* the same ways as the conservatives/republicans while condemning them for it – and vice versa. We are mirrors to each other if only we would open our minds to the possibility and humbly seek to understand ourselves rather than being caught in reactivity. But, obliviousness reigns…

    Interestingly, this is what led me to explore Buddhism in the first place, because the goal of Buddhist practice is to see things are they truly are. And yet, I see so many Buddhist liberals who remain as caught in their delusions of politics as the conservative Christians.

    But at least the Buddhists have the notion of 'don't now mind' to guide them – I feel badly for the Christians who have no such explicit model. Finding their way to reality will this prove more difficult, methinks…

  10. Waylon says:

    I think Jesus is about love: not your kind of judgment.

    Check this, friend: via a famous reverend: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/03/real-chris
    Via another reverend, Roger Wolsey: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/poet-slams
    Watch this: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/do-you-bel
    Listen to this: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/09/the-only-v
    Check this: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/do-you-bel

    Would you sanction slavery? The Bible did.

    Read this, via a devout Christian: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/01/when-scrip
    The Bible tells us to love our earth: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/07/book-revie
    Directly from the Bible: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/09/bible-forb

    PS: Abortion isn't mentioned in the Bible. Compassion is, and frequently.

  11. oz_ says:

    BTW, for those who are interested in the psychological underpinnings of the liberal vs conservative worldviews, and WHY liberals and conservatives have such a difficult time understanding each other, check out this brilliant and on-point talk by Jonathan Haidt on TED:

    One of several key ideas expressed:

    "When people all share values…they become a team, and once you engage the psychology of teams, it shuts down open minded thinking."

    This is as true on the left as on the right…

  12. yogasamurai says:

    Jesus didn't "do" politics. He was a spiritual radical, not a political one. In fact, he resisted the efforts of those in his midst that wanted to launch a revolutionary movement to overthrow the Roman empire.

    They were known as the "Zealots" – and the pejorative meaning of that term endures today.

    Of course Jesus preached compassion, especially for the poor, in part because "the poor will always be with us." He wasn't trying to overturn the social order, though, or even to reform it.

    He advised leaving what belonged to Caesar – Rome, the Empire – to Caesar.

    When he sat down at the same table with prostitutes and tax-collectors, it was a radical act – of LOVE.

    Tax collectors were reviled – the ENEMY, according to most Jews. The equivalent today for many progressives would be sitting down with representatives of Exxon or the Tea Party.

    Any takers?

    The same, I would say, is true of yoga. Link it to your favorite political cause, if you like, but yoga, like any good asana, is extremely flexible, even when it comes to politics.

    The yamas and niyamas are very broad, and can be interpreted in just about any way that you want.

  13. yogasamurai says:

    AHA, "Peter" always was the most passionate and outspoken of Jesus' disciples. Ego-driven and imperious, and anxious to lead. "Upon this rock I shall build my church."

    Jesus knew that the fledgling movement in his name needed someone head-strong and stubborn if it were to have any chance of surviving.

    That said, Peter did fall asleep in the garden at the time of Christ's agony at Gesthamane, and for all his heady bravado, he denied Jesus "three times before the cock crowed " – just as Jesus predicted – to save his own skin.

    But of course, Jesus forgave Peter, and this terrible burden of guilt was lifted when Jesus returned after the Resurrection and gave his disciple an opportunity to say – three times – how much he truly loved Him.

    Hail, Peter!. :o))))

  14. Mark Ledbetter says:

    A few quotes I like from this discussion…

    a strong tendency to self-identify with our ideals via projection
    (Jesus would certainly think like me!)

    The liberals are *obviously* right, and the conservatives are *obviously* wrong – and morally inferior and hard hearted to boot.
    (group-think inevitable among like-minded people)

    liberals/democrats unwittingly acting in *precisely* the same ways as the conservatives/republicans while condemning them for it – and vice versa. We are mirrors to each

    Tax collectors were reviled – the ENEMY, according to most Jews. The equivalent today for many progressives would be sitting down with representatives of Exxon or the Tea Party.
    (Puts me in mind of one of the great moments in all of movie history, from Gandhi. Continued in comment below…)

  15. Mark Ledbetter says:

    A Hindu, after bashing in the head of a child during anti-Muslim riots, asks Gandhi how to achieve redemption. Gandhi: “Find a Muslim orphan. Raise him lovingly. And RAISE HIM AS A MUSLIM.”

    Sublime. And the true road to forgiveness and understanding, two words which mean the same thing.

    Puts me in mind of an upcoming movie: “Waylon” (Hope the proprietors of Ele don’t mind me revealing this!). My favorite scene is described in next comment.

  16. Mark Ledbetter says:

    An Ele reader, a Democrat, asks Waylon how to achieve Enlightenment. Waylon explains,

    “My child, find an orphan. Raise her as a Republican. Teach admiration for G. Bush, that abortion and same-sex marriages are sins, that all humans are children of God, and that America must police the world and drop bombs with the warnings of a stern father.

    Another Ele reader, a Republican, asks Waylon the same question. Waylon replies,

    My child, find an orphan, raise him as a Democrat. Teach admiration for B. Obama, that universal health care is the only compassionate choice, that all humans are children of God, and that America must police the world and drop bombs with the kind admonitions of a caring mother.

  17. Mark Ledbetter says:

    What Waylon is asking is child’s play compared to what Gandhi asked. And, if raised lovingly, both orphans will be just fine, and might even switch parties. The great beneficiary will be the two parents, who learn to see the Godliness in the other side by teaching it.

  18. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Damn. This wasn't meant to be a separate posting but a comment. So I've re-posted it to where it was intended to be, as one of a series of replies to the "few quotes I like" comment above.

    Btw, is there a technique I don't know about for getting long comments to go up? My long ones are always rejected with the message that "it's too long, break it up." Which diligently do, but it would flow better if I could keep it as a single post, and I notice others ARE able to put up long ones.

    G' day all!

  19. […] at him. And, whether conscious of it or not, he is quietly following the principles I find in the Bible. Photo: Doug […]