James A. Haught of The The Charleston Gazette had an article today published in the Dallas-Forthworth Star-Telegram applauding the new Clergy Leadership Network and questioning why Christians would ever vote for the policies endorsed by the Bush Administration:
Everything that Jesus stood for seems opposed by Republicans now in control of Washington.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers" -- yet the Bush administration was hell-bent for war in Iraq, using fictitious alarms to rouse public support.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor" and lived among the lowly -- yet the Bush administration has showered trillion-dollar tax giveaways on the wealthy, causing record deficits. The White House ignores 45 million "working poor" Americans who lack health insurance.
Jesus opposed the death penalty, saying, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" -- yet President Bush set an all-time execution record when he was governor of Texas, and boasted of it.
Good questions. The answer is that the religious "left" hasn’t done enough in recent years to organize during election years around Biblical principles. The danger is making the false argument that God would endorse one candidate or another. We cannot say that (though some on the religious right are willing to make that claim). What we can argue is that Jesus stood for the poor, against war, and in opposition to the death penalty (Jesus himself was killed by the state). Then the voters can make their own decisions about where their faith leads them to cast their vote.