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More Christians Should Vote NDP

knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

I am reading this book Armaggedon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada by Marci McDonald, an I am frustrated by how many Christians (Almost All Denominations) vote for Harper and the Conservatives. 

There are many quotes from the New Testament where Jesus addresses economic inequality. The most condemning is James 5: 1-5, "

1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

 

What happened to the Christian Left and the Social Gospel?

What do you folks think?

 


Comments

Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Some members of the Christian left and Social Gospel are on Babble.


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Caissa wrote:

Some members of the Christian left and Social Gospel are on Babble.

 

I would sure like it if one of them would help me understand this contradiction between voting Conservative and being Christian.


SRB
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Joined: May 27 2004

knownothing wrote:

What happened to the Christian Left and the Social Gospel?

What do you folks think?

I know that some progressive Christians do vote NDP.  There was even a conscious initiative to attract them a few years back within the NDP.  See this document: http://www.ndp-faith-justice-foi-npd.ca/archives/000150.html

Does anyone know if this Faith and Social Justice Caucus is still in operation?

However,  I must add that it would be easier for the Christian left to support the NDP if they weren't apparently abandoning some long-held peace positions and supporting high levels of military spending.


Le T
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Joined: Oct 17 2004

I'm not of the Christian left but "stereotype" would be one way of helping you understand it.

It's kinda like this guy that was telling me how all the "ethnic communities" voted for Harper.


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Le T wrote:

I'm not of the Christian left but "stereotype" would be one way of helping you understand it.

It's kinda like this guy that was telling me how all the "ethnic communities" voted for Harper.

I'm not stereotyping, in this book it says 64% of Protestants and 74% of Evangelicals and 49% of Catholics outside of Quebec voted for Harper in 2006.

 

And this book also breaks down how Harper fixed Kenney on the "ethnic" vote.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

One of the candidates in the recent NB provicial election from Saint John is a baptist Minister.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Once upon a time, the Anglican Church was known as the Conservative Party at prayer - but no more. I've known a few Anglican clergy who were NDP activists or MPs. I think the NDP is actually the best fit for all Christians, not just for those who adhere to the social gospel.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

And just to complicate things- I know a number of evangelical Christians who are NDP supporters. Including some riding exec members.

They are a definite minority among evangelicals. But not surprisingly, they in turn know a number more who are NDP supporters.

And what do mean by "more Christians should"  .... ?

Do you mean that they just should- as in whats wrong with you?

Or do you mean that the NDP should do more to reach them ?

Or.... ?


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

KenS wrote:

And just to complicate things- I know a number of evangelical Christians who are NDP supporters. Including some riding exec members.

They are a definite minority among evangelicals. But not surprisingly, they in turn know a number more who are NDP supporters.

And what do mean by "more Christians should"  .... ?

Do you mean that they just should- as in whats wrong with you?

Or do you mean that the NDP should do more to reach them ?

Or.... ?

I mean the logic of the social gospel is in line with that of the NDP philosophy so they should Vote NDP.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

In the 'world view' of the left there is ironically a moralism that has a lot in common with the faith based moralism of Christians.

And let alone left or social gospel Christians, I know no small number of evangelicals who can see beyond their moralism better than most lefties.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

You should read former provincial NDP cabinet minister Richard Allen's book on the Social Gospel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Allen_(politician)


Le T
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Joined: Oct 17 2004

What i meant was who is considered a Christian? Who is considered an Anglican? I was raised in a "non-religious" family but our worldview is for sure secular christian. We wouldn't be considered Christian by a pollster's measure.

 

Also, if you've read the New Teste you would know that Jesus was a prefigurative anarchist, not a social democrat! Wink


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Like Bakunin!


knownothing
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Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

I think Christianity is versatile enough to embrace many human virtues, vices, and viewpoints:

Jesus was a capitalist

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

No one in the ancient world would have been a social democrat.


SRB
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Joined: May 27 2004

KenS wrote:

No one in the ancient world would have been a social democrat.

Well, they wouldn't have been capitalists either.

As for Bryan Fischer's use of the parables to make an argument about Jesus's supposed political opinions, it's nonsensical.  It rather resembles the arguments that long ago were made from pulpits in the South in favour of slavery. (No need to revisit them, as they were thoroughly debunked by abolitionists at the time). Better to look at Jesus' actions, such as the cleansing of the Temple (in Mark 11), to understand his attitude to power, capital and the establishment.

Anyway, back on topic, it's my view that churches which are socially conservative can and do encourage their members to vote along those lines, and the Conservatives have successfully attracted those votes.  I wish that churches would be equally successful at encouraging their members to vote for the party that had the most peace-oriented, and active poverty-fighting agenda, as these sorts of goals are most prevalent in Christianity.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Le T wrote:

What i meant was who is considered a Christian? Who is considered an Anglican? I was raised in a "non-religious" family but our worldview is for sure secular christian. We wouldn't be considered Christian by a pollster's measure.

Also, if you've read the New Teste you would know that Jesus was a prefigurative anarchist, not a social democrat! Wink

I was raised by a Christian Scientist and an Atheist.  I'm am so confused Undecided

Anyway, I know a number of church-going Christians who vote NDP and a few atheists who don't.  I think there are certain core values that transcend organized religion and have deeper spiritual or intellectual meaning.


Snert
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Joined: Nov 4 2008

Quote:

I mean the logic of the social gospel is in line with that of the NDP philosophy so they should Vote NDP.

 

But among other things, the "logic" of "one man and one woman" is in line with the Conservative philosophy, so they should vote Conservative.

 

Depends on what's more important to you. Personally, I think that analyzing voter behaviour primarily in terms of economic interest neglects some very powerful motivators.


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

Maybe it is a function of my age and geographical location (tail-end baby boomer and Alberta) - but I find the OP kind of neglects to take into account the relationship between the United Church and the NDP. I would be hard-pressed to think of a provincial conference out here where I could swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting someone who was affiliated with both.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Or as a friend says,

 

The United Church is my political party.

The NDP is my religion.


milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

the idea that christians should vote NDP is also making a big assumption:  that people who identify as "christian" actually are aware of, or really put front and center the teaching of their religion.  I think most christians or religious people don't actually know what their books say in the first place, or have much more of a moral stance on issues than anyone else.

they're religious for completely different reasons: it was taught to them as kids, to be part of the "community" or social reasons, etc.

also, religion means different things to different people, not what is set in stone in religious books.  so for some it's about justice and being good, for others it's an excuse to hate and kill.


absentia
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Joined: Jun 5 2010

Milo204 has got it.

Real Christians do vote socialist - and march in protests and picket lines and Pride parades and dig wells and deliver books and badages to the victims of human and natural disaster and stare down tanks...

Those are the Christians i used to fight Dr. Conway over. The ones who hold political - and, unfortunately, overweaning legal and moral - power in North America now are barely acquainted with the teaching of the man they profess to follow. They like the mean, bullying father; have no use for the tolerant son.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

In case I haven't made it clear, I think the thesis expressed in the thread topic is stupid. But go ahead and lecture Christians (and Muslims and Jews and...) that their "God" wants them to be social democrats. Good luck with that. Thank God religion no longer plays that kind of role in Canada.

 

 

 


SRB
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Joined: May 27 2004

Unionist wrote:

In case I haven't made it clear, I think the thesis expressed in the thread topic is stupid. But go ahead and lecture Christians (and Muslims and Jews and...) that their "God" wants them to be social democrats. Good luck with that. Thank God religion no longer plays that kind of role in Canada.

So people of faith should not be expected to "practice what they preach" in their political lives?  Or is the problem that no one should tell others how to live out their beliefs? Just wondering...


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

SRB wrote:

Unionist wrote:

In case I haven't made it clear, I think the thesis expressed in the thread topic is stupid. But go ahead and lecture Christians (and Muslims and Jews and...) that their "God" wants them to be social democrats. Good luck with that. Thank God religion no longer plays that kind of role in Canada.

So people of faith should not be expected to "practice what they preach" in their political lives?  Or is the problem that no one should tell others how to live out their beliefs? Just wondering...

 

This is what I was trying to get at. Jesus was not a capitalist despite Unioninst's pathetic attempt to link it through biblical parables. In fact Jesus condemned wealth and priviledge. Any one who lives their life by Jesus' teachings and actions should not vote Conservative as they stand for individual wealth and economic inequality.


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001


I think the reason we have Christianity more identified with the right is because of the prosperity gospel, the idea that god rewards the righteous in this life with material wealth.   Hand in glove fit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

The wiki article gives a quick over view.  It says Oral Roberts founded the idea in the U.S. after WWII, but I seem to recall from other readings that it was a popular idea amoung Boers in South Africa, and when you think about it, it's such a handy rationalization that it would be hard to believe it hasn't come and gone a few times in the last 1500 years.

Edited to add that I find it curious that no one has really tackled this evil little idea head on from a secular or religious point of view.

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I don't think the question of whether a god wants people to vote a  certain way is relevant either. That is more of a question for a thread about whether you believe in a god.

Now the question of whether there is material in the bible, particularly the new testament, from which someome might draw a message of social justice and act accordingly? Absolutely. On the other hand, there is a lot of stuff in there that can be interpreted in exactly the opposite way.

I think the message of Christ was more compassion and conscience than any particular political bent (after all he, or at least the character, was clearly not one of the zealots, was he?). And aside from his overwhelming number of references to relief of suffering and poverty, I think it was on a competely different level from any party platform.

On the other hand, I think his deliberate contradictions were part of his exercise to make you think - setting up example after example of how Mosaic Law is not the whole truth, and can be worked around, and yet maintaining that every word of the law stands as written.

First thing, knownothing, I wouldn't assume that all christians are the same or think the same. They are not. Not even in in the same church, they are not. 

I think you pose a good question, actually, if a naive one. Naive because if you actually look for examples of peoples' faith in progressive politics, there are plenty there already.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Tommy_Paine wrote:


Edited to add that I find it curious that no one has really tackled this evil little idea head on from a secular or religious point of view.

It's discussed in this thread beginning with post #5.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Quote:

Maybe it is a function of my age and geographical location (tail-end baby boomer and Alberta) - but I find the OP kind of neglects to take into account the relationship between the United Church and the NDP.

 

Yeah, as one of our ministers at good ol' Ingleside United (it's in Saskatchewan, and you can see the east bank of the Assiniboine River from its front step) said, "God loves Liberals and Conservatives too."


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