I grew up believing that Christians voted Republican. No one said those exact words to me, but still it was deeply implanted in my beliefs. I still struggle with this concept and not wanting to tell people I vote Democrat. I am immediately labelled as Godless or a baby killer … of which I am neither. I can’t imagine I am the only one feeling this. I am sure there are other Christian Democrats just like me out there who are fearful of the response of their fellow Christians. I bet there are even some Republicans who cannot stomach voting for Trump again who are also struggling with similar feelings. How can a Christian vote for a Democrat?
There are so many tenets of Christianity that help support my Democratic vote. I take seriously Mark 12:30 and 31 that tell us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 25 also helps me as its words condemn people who neglected the hungry or sick because what we have done to the “least of these” we have done to Jesus. Because of these, I support Democratic policies like requiring employers to provide a living wage, universal healthcare, and assistance programs.
To me and other Christian Democrats these policies help us to live out our human interconnectedness that Jesus showed us was so important. There are so many reasons beyond these as well. I would love to sit down to a socially distanced coffee and chat in more depth about them one day, but for now let’s talk about the big issue most Christians have with voting Democrat.
What about abortion? This is the one issue that is making many of my non-Trump supporting Republican friends still struggle with voting Democrat. I am not going to lie and say this is an easy issue. But I do want to ask you step back with me and look at the bigger picture for a minute. Let’s look at the history of the church and the issue of abortion.
In 1971, 1974, and 1978 (both before AND after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision), the Southern Baptist Convention passed a Resolution for the Legalization of Abortion. Prior to this in 1968, Christianity Today and the Christian Medical Society came out with a statement saying they could not decide whether abortion was morally wrong and therefore wanted abortions to be available to people.
Then in a very drastic turn in 1979, Paul Weyrich pushed members of the “Religious Right” to take up abortion as their issue to get evangelicals to vote Republican again after they voted for Jimmy Carter in droves in 1976.
Abortion is being used as a political tool to keep Christian’s voting for Republicans. It is being used to keep us from paying attention to one of the two most important commandments Jesus tells us to follow in Mark. It is keeping us from voting out people with questionable morals who mocked disabled people, who made disparaging comments about women, who put economy and his power over people’s lives, who separated families at the border, who shows none of the fruits of the spirit we are supposed to express. Those things are all antithetical to Christianity.
So, I write this for Christian Democrats who hide their political beliefs for fear of retribution. I write this for Christian Republicans who cannot support or stand for another 4 years of the current administration. Christianity and Democratic principles are not in conflict with one another. You can vote with your conscience and still know that so many of Democratic policies can be supported by Biblical truths like caring for the least of these and loving your neighbors.
You are not alone. You are not un-Christian.
Jennifer Mongold is the Treasurer for the Washington County Democratic Party.