For 30 years we have seen the growing domination of the radical right wing evangelicals on TV, on the radio and in the news, newspapers and magazines and in politics - claiming to own a virtual monopoly on Jesus. They have redefined what He meant and used His name to advance their radical right wing social, business, governmental, political and military agenda - or as President George W. Bush called it their just and righteous Crusade. We strongly object and disagree.
We reject the radical right wing Republican evangelicals' claims that they alone represent the will, expression and blessing of Jesus Christ. We believe it is high time someone stand up for the Liberal, Progressive, Tolerant and Independent thinking majority's position that any plain reading of His words, any genuine interpretation of His intent, outline a Liberal, Progressive, Tolerant, and Loving world view.
Why is Jesus a Liberal?
Webster's dictionary defines a Liberal as one who is open minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways. Jesus was a pluralist Liberal who taught that one need not conform to strict and orthodox views of God, religion, and life. He rejected greed, violence, the glorification of power, the amassing of wealth without social balance, and the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs.
Over and over again, He taught us to believe in and live a spiritual and ethical life based in our essential, inherent goodness. What Jesus promoted was succinct set of spiritual principals and a way of life based upon the of love, compassion, tolerance, and a strong belief in the importance in giving and of generosity to those in need.
While not Biblical scholars, our common sense understanding of His lessons as philosophically and politically Liberal is founded upon Jesus' own words (see quotes below), modern interpretations of Theology, and in the positive, loving and compassionate application of His teachings - from the many early Saints to Mother Theresa.
Certainly, Jesus brought a radically Liberal theology to the Orthodox believers of his time. Jesus IS a Liberal even today because now more than ever, His principals align with the very core of Liberal Beliefs.
Biblical Quotes Supporting the Belief that Jesus Is A Liberal
Peacemaking, not War Making: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [Matthew 5:9] Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39] I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you; [Matthew 5:44]
The Death Penalty: Thou shalt not kill [Matthew 5:21]
Crime and Punishment: If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7] Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]
Justice: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. [Matthew 5:6] Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Matthew 5:7] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Matthew 6:15]
Corporate Greed and the Religion of Wealth: In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. [John 2:14 & 15.] Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12.15.] Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23] You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]
Paying Taxes & Separation of Church & State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. [Matthew 22:21]
Community: Love your neighbor as yourself. .[Matthew 22:39] So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you. [Matthew 7:12.] If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. [Matthew 19:21]
Equality & Social Programs: But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 &14.]
Public Prayer & Displays of Faith: And when thou pray, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret… [Matthew 6:6 & 7]
Strict Enforcement of Religious Laws: If any of you has a son or a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? [Matthew 12:11] The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. [Mark 2:27.]
Individuality & Personal Spiritual Experience: Ye are the light of the world. [Matthew 5:14]
I bet you think of him as a nice, clean, long-haired Republican; Nah, he'd be all locked up in Guantanamo Bay if he were alive today; He'd be a revolutionary wanted by the CIA; I picture him in all the wrong places, finding diamonds in the dirt; Star of David tattoo and a Che t-shirt; Jesus was a left-wing radical Jew; Murdered by people like you (and me).
The above was reproduced from the now seemingly abandoned website, Jesus Is A Liberal. We tried to contact the owner using the e-mail provided but our e-mails were returned as undeliverable.
The painting of Jesus used above is called "Mystical Jesus," by artist Tahnja. Prints can be purchased here.