COMMENTARY: What would Jesus cut?

By Blogger David Scott
Politics + Religion

American Christianity is wrestling with its conscience.

Recent polls taken of the evangelical community show the majority approving of torture and increasing military spending. They have also aligned themselves politically with a movement favoring drastic reductions in the social safety net while extending tax cuts for the richest among us.

These same Christians proudly go to church each Sunday and hear their ministers preach “Jesus said, ‘when you do it unto the least of these you do it unto me.’” Throughout the New Testament, Jesus urges time after time to feed the poor, heal the sick and clothe the naked. He admonishes the rich warning them with the “camel and the eye of the needle” metaphor for getting into heaven.

Is the evangelical flock on the pews asleep or simply victims of “selective hearing?”

Jim Wallis, world-respected evangelical, author, and editor of “Sojourner Magazine” is one of my personal heroes. Wallis both preaches and practices.

Speaking recently before Congress on spending and deficits, Wallis made the bold statement: “The Federal Budget is a moral document.” By this, he meant a nation’s budget reflects its values and its priorities and what it considers important and unimportant.

He then posed this question to the wide-eyed politicians: “What Would Jesus Cut?” Quoting Wallis, he said “House Republicans focused in on only 12 percent of federal spending, and targeted things like education, the environment, food safety, law enforcement, infrastructure, and transportation — programs that benefit or protect most Americans, especially the poor.”

Wallis continued saying, “The moral test of any society is how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens. And that is exactly what the Bible says, over and over again.”

As Christians, shouldn’t our actions always reflect the values and example we see in the life of Jesus? Or do corporations, the ultra wealthy, and the defense industry now speak for us?

Every intelligent and patriotic American with at least a third grade education knows we face a staggering national debt.

History proved once again that the wealthy are no more willing to share than the rest of us. With only a few notable exceptions, they have chosen to insulate themselves from our national financial disaster behind security gates and Wall Street, thumbing their noses at the rest of us.

Regardless of your religion, Judgment Day is coming, either spiritually or financially for us as individuals and as a nation. Unless they’ve changed the rules, many of us Christians are going to be sorely disappointed.

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