Political and Religious Labels

Lately we've had a number of discussions about political and religious labels and how unhelpful they may or may not be. Generally, these things discussions are initiated by conservatives who are uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus may be a liberal.

Some folks have made good points about labels. We've had discussions about how it is that the "pro-life" or "anti gay-marriage" positions are considered "conservative" when those holding them are asking the government to restrict individual liberty -- which seems antithetical to conservatism.

The response of the conservatives has been to say that their views on those issues are based on their moral and religious beliefs and that those beliefs take precedence over any political theory. Somehow, conservatives say this makes the position "conservative." I guess they are simply saying that any position taken for moral and religious reasons is per-se conservative.

My response has been, ok, then when I base my views of just taxation, universal health care, and creation care on my moral and religious convictions -- then I am doing that for "conservative" reasons.

So, I think these discussions have shown the weaknesses of labels. You really have look beyond the label to find out what someone is really saying.

I think there's little doubt that in todays social and political culture, one who truly favors doing things to achieve universal health care, creation care, and higher taxes for the rich -- is certainly considered a "liberal."

Therefore, if we are honest and reasonable -- it really seems the label "liberal" best fits what Jesus has revealed about himself. To deny that, based on semantic arguments, seems disingenous and misleading.

Let's just tell it like it is and not play pretend games. As long as being a liberal means being for social and economic justice, environmentalism, and basic health care for all; as long as it means putting the common good over individualism -- then, undoubtedly, Jesus was, and is, a liberal.

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