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Let’s talk about Christianity and Conservatism
What good is it if Conservatism wins political power but loses its Christian soul?
In Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, troops in Iraq start running away leaving behind an American flag, a bible and a machine gun. Such has become the trinity of the American Conservative movement. But how did Jesus, the most peaceful of icons in world history, become a symbol of an increasingly militarized society that elevates guns over government?
Jesus never said “carry your AR15” and follow me. He said carry your cross, the sign of spiritual salvation, which was designed for the poor, for it “is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus did not like businesses either. He “poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” He preached against What-About-ism, the practice of pointing out that “others do it too.” Jesus berated he who sees a “speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.”
One would be hard pressed to find similarities between America’s Conservative movement and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Conservatives prefer guns over peace, millionaires over social justice, and judge their rivals — the Liberals — instead of self-criticism.
As America’s Conservatives stretched Christianity to mean the opposite of what it teaches, it was no wonder that a playboy rich man — who has nothing nice to say about others, who does not live by Christian teachings, and who has taken three wives and many other porn mistresses — emerged as the movement’s hero.
Donald Trump is the opposite of a Christian role model. He is everything that Christians would not want their children to grow up to look like. Arguing that a Christian alliance with Trump is justified by its end — appointing Conservative judges to the US Supreme Court — is an argument that fails by the standards of Jesus, who preached against opportunism and expediency, and sacrificed his life rather than compromise over his principles.
I was born and raised Muslim, but was always impressed by the peace and love that Christianity preaches. History teaches us that Christian practices sometimes go awry, like in Europe’s dark Medieval Ages. But it was the Age of Enlightenment that put an end to European darkness and elevated reformists and independent thinkers. From the thought of Enlightenment were born the American revolution and Republic.
Perhaps America’s Conservative movement has to always ask itself: What good is to win political power, but lose its Christian soul?