OPINION: Republicans are not as religious as they claim to be


The Appalachian Online


For some reason, the Republican Party is often conflated with Christianity, a confusing sentiment considering the majority of stances Republican policymakers take on social issues.

Take, for example, Rep. Matt Shea, a state lawmaker in Washington who released a document called the “Biblical Basis for War.” A rather bare-bones outline, the document details Shea’s take on how a biblical “holy war” should be conducted.

The document is as appalling as it sounds. A prime example is Shea detailing the demands his army would make before declaring war. These include: “Stop all abortions,” “No same-sex marriage,” “No idolatry or occultism,” “No communism” and “Must obey all Biblical law.” If the opposition does not yield, Shea’s holy army will “kill all males.” The implications of the statement are disturbing at best.

Shea is a paragon of Christian morality. There isn’t a single Christian out there with as paralleled an understanding of Christian doctrine. Except, Shea is actually an awful Christian. See, a big part of Christianity is loving thy neighbor and not trying to force others to act a certain way.

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 says: “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

While Shea is an extreme example, most so-called Republican and conservative “evangelicals” are rather poor examples of the faith. Consider some of the preachers on Sanford Mall.

Standing out there, preaching about fire and damnation, they say that everyone is going to hell no matter what, especially the LGBTQ community and people who engage in premarital sex. They stand and look down on the students of App State because they are saved and we are not. But that kind of behavior is exactly what Jesus condemns.

Luke 18:9-14 says: “A Pharisee and a tax collector went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like others—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

President Trump is a so-called “Christian” president and he’s inexplicably supported by evangelical voters. In the 2016 election, 81 percent of white, born-again, evangelical Christians voted for him, according to the Pew Research Center. It’s confusing that Trump, who has been married multiple times, cheated on his wives  and gave the order to separate thousands of children from their parents, got the majority of the Christian vote.

Many Republicans claim to be God-fearing individuals in the same breath that they condemn the LGBTQ community and support oppressive, regressive policies such as cutting social security and Medicare, which, again, Jesus condemns.

James 1:26-27 says: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

It’s hard to imagine Trump, or many Republican “Christians” for that matter, holding their tongues and taking the time to look after orphans and widows. No, they’re too busy passing multi-million dollar tax cuts for the wealthy, the exact opposite of who they are charged to help.

The Republican Party is not the Christian party. Instead, they seem to be the exact false prophets Jesus warned against. They pat themselves on the back, fully believing their actions are justified. True paragons of Christianity indeed. The Bible, however, says otherwise.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

Written by: Q Russell, Opinion Editor