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Letter to the Editor: Jesus would have been a socialist

Dear Editor,

The Republican party boasts it holds the market on Christianity. It should own up and embrace - “What would Jesus do?” On almost any political issue whether its immigration, gun violence, crime, or social issues, including care for the – destitute, homeless, sick, mentally ill or climate change…etc., republicans hate the question and pivot to “What about abortion?”

Noteworthy, there is no mention of abortion in the Bible, but love for and how we should treat our neighbors, including immigrants and needy is mentioned many times throughout. I don’t know of anybody “for” abortion. Yet, republicans demonize pro-choicers that believe what a woman does with her body, reproductive organs or abortion a personal decision between her and God as “baby killers.” Pro-choicers support counseling and adoption as alternatives and more accessible.

When asked, “What would Jesus do at our border?” conservatives counter with extreme responses like “Would you let them into your home?” That’s literally a “devil’s advocate” response, but Jesus would.

With respect to the immigration problem and the needy, there is no better parable than Mathew 25: 35-40 - “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; …”

Republicans fear compassion and letting immigrants into our country will make it weaker and is naïve. There’s no evidence, but that’s where Christian faith comes in. Throughout the Bible God rewarded kingdoms and individuals that practiced his teachings, guidance and instructions with faith and punished those that didn’t.

Had the word socialist existed during Jesus’s ministry, Pharisees no doubt would have called him and followers socialists for administering and advocating for the out-casted, oppressed and needy.

According to Gallup 47% of Americans attend church. In the last two decades I’ve witnessed a large drop in attendance. I can’t help contribute people being less accountable for their actions and how they treat people, especially immigrants, to the decline.

My church service opens: “Here we love God, love our neighbor…” In respect to the problem at our border, “love our neighbor” as Jesus taught should resonate within the heart and souls of all Christians. Churches conduct ministries overseas, but where’s their presence at the border? How can we turn our back on those trying to survive, escape violence and persecution, when our country is the wealthiest in the world?

Because of all the Internet hate filled chatter, threats of violence, dog whistling, the coup attempt on January 6th seemed possible. When Obama was elected, moderate republican think tanks stated that to win an election their party had to garnish the vote of people of color. After Obama was re-elected republicans consisting of a growing number of white supremacists and violent militia recognized that their party couldn’t win fairly and were willing to win at any cost even if it meant storming the capitol, stopping the electoral vote count and overturning the election. Bullied by extremists, moderate republicans have cowardly stood back and allowed the hijack of their party and assault on our democracy.

Republicans fear whites becoming the minority, as trend indicates, and immigrants gaining citizenship and right to vote will reduce chances of winning elections. By demonizing and stereotyping immigrants as gang members, drug traffickers, rapists, stoking fear and greed saying they are going to take jobs and material resources, believe they can stop or delay the inevitable.

The federal government administers over 80 programs that address specific needs of the poor, destitute, homeless, sick, physically and mentally disabled, under un-and-under educated and disadvantaged. In the past decade practically all of these programs and bills below passed by democrats were opposed by republicans along partisan lines.

The Covid pandemic reaped havoc in hundreds of millions of deaths and on the world economy, resulting in worldwide inflation. In response congress passed: American Rescue Plan providing economic relief and saving millions from eviction; and Inflation Reduction Act that makes urgent investments to lower - prescription drug, health care, and energy costs, takes most aggressive action to confront the climate crisis and shifts the tax burden from lower and middle income to the super wealthy. By executive order the President made hearing aids available over the counter and much more affordable.

Nowhere greater is the opportunity to show compassion than in this election. Which candidate and platform best mirrors in answer to “What would Jesus do?” I invite and encourage you to attend church, pray for our country and right decision as to how you vote.

Bill Young
Pensacola, Florida

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