During my sophomore year, one of my classmates asked me,”what is that drives your politics?” I thought about itfor a couple seconds and replied, “My faith.”
Looking back on that conversation got me thinking about the wayDemocrats and Republicans talk about their religious beliefs.Republicans do not hesitate to talk about their faith and the wayit affects their politics.
Yet, why are Democrats so hesitant to talk about theirs? We holdmany political perspectives that have strong biblical grounding. Ontop of that, there are strong contingencies of Catholics,Protestants, and Jews within our party whose political views arevery much reinforced by their religious values.
Perhaps it is not a matter of ‘why’ Democrats do nottalk about their faith, because our party has plenty of people thatare religious, but more of a matter of ‘how’ to talkabout faith. We need to think about how religion can furthersolidify the foundation of our political views.
A good starting place is the issue of social justice. Democratsbelieve that injustice to one is an injustice to all. That if oneperson is in need, it is in the best interest of the state (i.e.the people) to help meet those needs.
Consider Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance orbear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love yourneighbor as yourself.”
Loving your neighbor is not just a good idea biblically, but isalso prudent politics. Consider that your neighbor is in need, andif they are without help, they will eventually find a way to meetthose needs, by turning to crime (or sin).
When the community helps their neighbor get back on their feet,thus makes it easier for them to turn away from sin (or crime). Asa result, the whole community benefits, because they are safer, andthe ‘neighbor’ can get their life back on track and bea contributing member of society.
Another viewpoint that Democrats have that has solid groundingin biblical principles is stewardship, specifically towards theenvironment. Consider the words of Genesis 1:28:”…fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion overthe fish of the sea…” Human dominion must bebenevolent towards God’s creation, because to show disrespectto the living things of the planet is to show disrespect towardsits maker.
A good way to reinforce our politics with faith is by looking atthe religious role models in our party. The Republican Party oftencites Ronald Reagan. However, we as Democrats also have someexamples that are not too shabby either.
While many would argue that Jimmy Carter was not a”great” president, they cannot deny the way his faithdrives his politics. Today, he is a staunch advocate for worldpeace and human rights. His activism has helped him to win theNobel Peace Prize, and worldwide admiration.
As Democrats, we shouldn’t shirk our religiousconvictions, we should be proud of them. This pride cannot simplybe spoken; it must be lived. Thus we must remember the words ofMicah 6:8: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and whatdoes the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to lovekindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Amen.