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A Rational Advocate
"The most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason"

Why take it out on Jesus Christ?
By Ben Cerruti

Why do so many seemingly good people with a liberal bent become pent up with rage when they read or hear the word "Christian" in a conservative context.  In their diatribe they invariably relate the word to their villainous foe "the religious right", or as it is sometimes called, "the Christian right".  Regardless of the possible merits to be found in the presented material, they lose rationality when they see the word "Christian" even though it may only be referencing the most positive moral virtues and perspective.
The word "Christian" derives from the name of Jesus Christ.  A philosopher, teacher and ethicist, Jesus Christ was around well before the advent of organized religion, the Reformation and the evolvement of their despised "religious right".  His teachings encompass the morals upon which civilization is based such as loving your neighbor as yourself.  In the act of expressing their distaste for this categorized foe these good liberals appear to be condemning the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Why take it out on Jesus Christ?  Does anyone really know if he would approve of the actions of those associated with the "religious right"?   Do these good liberals acknowledge that there may be Christians who do not necessarily approve of the positions that others, who also call themselves Christians, take on issues of the day?  Christians in fact are not homogeneous in their practices.  There are many who follow his teachings and call themselves Christians but do not belong to any organized religion.
It is also apparent that good liberals do not seem to recognize that many in organized Christian religions have liberal views similar to their own.  Liberals criticizing Christian religions should recognize that these religions frequently preach a liberal philosophy.  For instance, their followers are told they must dutifully give up a specific portion of their hard-earned wealth for distribution to others as it is sinful not to do so.
It is also evident that most of these good liberals do not understand the basic tenet of conservatism, that personal responsibility is supreme.  This means that a person (family) should do as much as they possibly can for themselves before asking for help from others.  When individuals requires further help they should ask of their most intimate circle of associates before turning to others: neighbor, then city, then county, then state and only, if necessary, the federal government.  They should not move to the next level until help at the previous level is not sustainable.  It then follows that those believing in this basic tenet can be expected to have divergent views on other societal issues such as immigration, right to abortion, foreign policy, trade etc.  Religious overtones can only be attached to the concept of personal responsibility by those who attempt to use it as a tool to meet their own self serving interests.
Therefore, placing the Conservative label on the "religious right" is unjustified even though those identified with it may actively do so.  In fact, the "religious right" is cause oriented utilizing the political arena for fundamental beliefs that may or may not be in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Positions taken on issues such as abortion rights, homosexuality and separation of church and state are labeled as conservative even though they may have no relation to the true meaning of the word in context.   Thus, in truth, those considered as members of the "religious right" should not be identified with any specific ideology, nor should they be held up as an example of what is "Christian".
I sincerely hope that I may have had some success in getting through to those who allow their anger to cloud their rational thinking process.   Taking it out on Jesus Christ just doesn't make sense. 

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