Some have said this November’s presidential election is the mostimportant election of our lifetime. I know why it’s important for me- I want Bush out of office. But for many supporting him, thestakes surely seem just as important.
Many people fervently support him because of the supposedChristian values he brings to the White House. But does Bush reallyuphold the Christian values many people hold so dear? I tend todisagree.
I will not claim to be an expert on the Bible, and I haven’t beena practicing Christian since I was a child. Yet, I know enough to seethat going to church and saying you’re a Christian doesn’t make youone. Wearing your religion on your sleeve doesn’t make you areligious leader.
One of the most common themes referenced from the Bible is “an eyefor an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Many conservatives may use thisidea to defend going into war and defending our country againstterrorist threats. This idea cannot be used to explain pre-emptivestrikes. An “eye for an eye” notion only allows enactment for apunishment on someone that matches the crime.
The death of thousands of innocent people not involved in harmingour nation cannot be seen as a Christian way of thinking – notto mention the more than 1,000 Americans who’ve died defending thisway of thinking. Isaiah 1:10 states, “Woe to those who enact evilstatutes, and those who constantly record unjust decisions.”
Jesus went even further in Matthew 5:38 to say, “You have heard itsaid, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say untoyou, do not resist him who is evil.” So if one were to follow theteachings of Jesus, violence would not be used as a response toviolence. Love would be the answer.
A common catch-phrase for Christians is, “What would Jesus do?” Iwonder if Bush asks himself this question before he makes politicaldecisions that will affect the lives of millions, or even billions,of people. I wonder if Jesus would have believed in tax breaks forthe wealthy and a health care system too expensive for the poor toafford.
Many Christians support George Bush because his administrationdoes not support stem-cell research, abortion or teaching about birthcontrol methods in schools. Conclusions on what the writers of theBible intended people to do in these areas are questionable andhighly debated. Does Dubya’s conservative outlook on these issuesmake him a Christian? I would certainly hope for more than traditionto prove so.
Should this be the only reason to support a president known mostlyfor sending his troops into a questionable war? What about all thesoldiers who have died because of his reckless decisions? What aboutthe women who might die in back alley abortions if Roe v. Wade isreversed? Does the sanctity of life not apply in those situations?
The religious right also stands behind defending marriage from thedangerous threat of same-sex couples, as Bush has made perfectlyclear. Rather than focusing on strengthening their own marriages,these so-called Christians choose to focus on restricting the rightsof homosexuals. I continue to wonder how hostility and oppression ofa huge group is the most Christian way of thinking, rather thanreaching out with love to reach a compromise.
I know there are many Christians who do not agree with Bush. Ican’t sit here and tell Christians that Kerry should be their choicebecause I think Bush is a hypocrite. However, I do think anyonebasing his or her political affiliations on faith should look deeperthan the surface to decide – anyone can go to church and claimto follow the word of God. Making a positive impact on the world in atruly selfless way takes more than faith. Big time, religiouspoliticians making these impacts are hard to find, and they are theones with the most power to do so.
– Gaia Veenis is a journalism senior. – This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion ofThe Daily Aztec. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Anonymous letters will not be printed – include your fullname, major and year in school.