On the RedState blog Herman Cain has written a post identifying Jesus Christ as the perfect conservative. The post is filled with misinformation in an attempt to link Jesus Christ to conservatism or the Republican Party. In responding to Cain’s post I am not arguing that Jesus is a liberal or a Democrat. I don’t think Jesus fits neatly into a 21st century American political party and realize Christians can disagree over politics. This post is simply a response to a poor argument.
Cain’s post begins by asserting that Jesus “was not born into a royal family.” But Jesus was a descendant of King David and the many kings of Judah who were also of the Davidic line (Mt 1.1-17; Lk 3.21-38). More importantly he rules over the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15.24-25). It would be more accurate to say that Jesus did not rule over an earthly kingdom of the type we are familiar with from human history.
A little later Cain asserts that Jesus “never condemned what others believed – just sin, evil and corruption.” But sin, evil, and corruption are often tied up with our beliefs. For example, if I believe that divorce is permissible in nearly any circumstance, is Jesus not condemning my belief, at least in some sense, when he says, “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Mt 5.32)? Then there are the disputes between Jesus and various Jewish religious leaders. For example, Jesus preached the resurrection of the dead while the Sadducees denied the resurrection (Mt 22.23-33). The fact is that that which contradicts Jesus’ teaching is false. Some beliefs are true and some are false.
In the next paragraph Cain writes: “He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed [sic] the hungry without food stamps.” Apparently we are to conclude that since Jesus didn’t implement government programs that we shouldn’t either. This overlooks two important facts. First, Jesus was not a politician and therefore would not implement government programs. Second, Jesus could work miracles and therefore did not need to work by normal human means. I see nothing in Jesus’ example that rules out the use of government programs to help the poor, heal the sick, or feed the hungry.
A few paragraphs later Cain says: “The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12.” I’m not sure how the Sanhedrin or Pilate can be construed as a “liberal court”. Jesus was actually more liberal than many Jews of his day when it came to ritual purity. There’s hardly enough evidence to paint Pilate as either a liberal or a conservative in the 21st century American sense of the terms. Most Americans would be appalled if the average American criminal trial was like the trial of Jesus. Both conservatives and liberals should support fair trials.
The next line of the post reads, “His death reset the clock of time.” If this is a reference to the turning of the era from B.C. to A.D. then this is false. It was the birth of Christ that was supposed to coincide with A.D. 1 (Jesus was actually born around 6-4 B.C.).
Thankfully a number of commenters on the site responded negatively to Cain’s post.