Who Took Jesus Christ Into the Voting Booth?
As I write this, I have not yet cast my vote because it’s Monday night and my polling place is a coffee shop and it would be awkward if I were over there in the dining room right now, demanding that someone ask me for ID though they don’t actually need to see it. No matter what Alec Baldwin’s most recent personal email to me might suggest, the Dems haven’t had to worry about my vote for a while: I’ve known who I was going to vote for in this election for years now—because though I’m willing to be open-minded about party affiliation, the Tea Party has ruined the GOP for me.
It’s now impossible for me to understand why, if a person is reasonable, kind-hearted and wants each of us to have the same opportunity in life, he would embrace what the GOP has become. I simply can’t vote for someone who’s comfortable with the social and domestic positions the GOP takes.
And I’m certain Jesus would feel the same way.
Now, it’s true, I’m not a religion scholar. Nor am I religious. Nor am I Christian. In fact, I’m Jewish. I’m really the last person who should be talking about what Jesus would or wouldn’t think about politics. But as CNN.com‘s John Blake points out, Jesus is like Silly Putty:
Some liberals see Jesus as a champion of the poor who would support raising taxes on the wealthy, while some conservatives think Jesus would be more concerned with opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.
As Blake so keenly notes, no matter who wins today (or a week from now, or when the Supreme Court waves its magic wand), people on both sides will invoke Jesus’s name when they hear the election results. But which Jesus will it be? Red-state Jesus or blue-state Jesus?
In case you’re torn about which Jesus is yours, CNN offers an online quiz, the kind you take because it’s easier than doing laundry or dishes or cognitive processes beyond a third-grade level. There’s something unquestionably satisfying about clicking on a “button” and feeling you’ve actually accomplished a task that involves manual dexterity—or at least a pulse.
The first question in the quiz goes like this:
Do you believe Jesus was crucified because he was the Son of God who took upon himself the sins of mankind to save the world from God’s wrath? Or do you believe Jesus was crucified because he preached radical social change that threatened the powerful and the wealthy?
Subsequent questions suggest that the more religious you are—the more into Jesus—the more likely it is that you’re a red stater. If you’re more into the symbolism Jesus represents, you’re probably a liberal. If you believe that the Bible is to be taken literally, you’re likely to be a conservative.
Perhaps the funniest thing about the quiz is this question about Mel Gibson:
Were you inspired by watching Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” because you thought it showed how much Jesus was willing to suffer to save mankind? Or were you revolted by Gibson’s film and thought its long and bloody depiction of Jesus’s death reflected Gibson’s obsession?
Something tells me quizmaster Blake is not a Mel Gibson fan.
Somehow, between Matthew and John and good and evil and prophet vs. prophetic, the quiz reveals Jesus’s positions on big government and universal health care—and your own. In my case, unsurprisingly, I “worship” a blue-state Jesus, even though I recognize that the quiz wasn’t really designed for me. If it were, the questions would be more like this:
Do you believe Elijah never shows up to Passover because he gets lost on the Turnpike? Or do you believe Elijah never shows up to Passover because he’s had it already with the nagging about getting married? It’s the shmendrick Elijah vs. the shmuck Elijah.
I have to admit that if the GOP drafted Elijah and not only made him show up to Passover, but had him run for president, I might be swayed to shift my party affiliation. In the meantime, I don’t need a quiz to tell me who I admire.