Tom Krattinmaker has an article in Monday’s USA Today criticising the use of religion to favor political goals.
He criticizes both parties, but focuses a lot on the Republicans, although I imagine he focuses like this because the Republicans are in power now and not the Democrats.
He opines that all the religious grandstanding on the part of the Republican party has only served to make it look very foolish, and I would add that it makes those on the religious right who have fallen in behind their Republican leaders look foolish as well.
One of the letters to the editor struck me as odd to say the least.
The use of Old Testament biblical scripture to justify a “moral agenda” for America is clearly wrong. … Christianity began with and flows through the words, actions and life of Jesus of Nazareth,
not Leviticus and Exodus. … any reading and interpretation of the New Testament will show that Jesus of Nazareth was most assuredly not conservative, nor Republican.
So how conservative was Jesus?
In the very famous, if not familiar Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 5:1 FF), Jesus states:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Here we have Jesus upholding the Torah, (contained in the first five books of the Christian scriptures), in no uncertain terms.
That covers precepts like those against homosexuality.
The New Testament also condemns homosexuality at I Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:24-27, I Timothy 1:10 and Jude 7.
Admittedly, this is just one example, and just as admittedly, Jesus would fit into neither party, because Torah law and New Testament law contain elemts that are embraced by both Republicans and Democrats.
But to say that Christianity isn’t filtered through Exodus and Leviticus, and that Jesus wasn’t conservative is just plain wrong when you consider that Jesus’ entire outlook was filtered through Torah, even if he didn’t agree with all of it.