[Note: It was very difficult to type this entire post without talking about Trump. But somehow I did it.]
Our views as a society continue to and should evolve. I believe that civil rights in the near future will center around robots and artificial intelligence. Before we get there, we continue to have drastic technological advancements that completely change the fabric of society. We take for granted the ability to analyze DNA, genetically engineering food and communicate instantly with people all over the world. With technological advancement comes negative consequences, such as phone addiction or more advanced weaponry. The Bible was written two thousand years ago. The Constitution was written over two hundred years ago. That doesn't mean that they're both completely obsolete, but it would also be ignorant to take either of these completely out of the context of what society was like at the time. The teenagers now were born after the year 2000 and don't know a world without cell phones and the internet.
Think about the history of the United States when it comes to civil rights. We've had battles over women's rights, black rights, and now gay rights. Again, I believe that all life has equal value. Male or female. Born or unborn. Straight or gay. I don't believe that Jesus would've wanted less rights for any people, regardless of their sexual orientation. It becomes very simple at that point.
I get it. You're a pro-life Christian with conservative values. The Republican Party has historically branded itself as the party that supports these values. And you're torn. You don't think it's OK for you to be Christian and not vote Republican. Republicans say things like "God wanted Trump to be President," etc.
Democrats are completely wrong about abortion. There was a time in my life where I thought being pro-choice made sense. But if you value all life and you believe that one of our core purposes of existence is to help each other, how can we ignore the immorality of abortion? There's no validity to arguing that a baby only becomes alive when it enters the world. I don't believe that abortion is an acceptable answer when a woman doesn't want a child. There's simply no justifying it.
On the other hand, unfortunately the Republican stance is hypocritical, particularly when centered around valuing life and helping others. How can a Christian have the following positions?
Pro-Life + For the Death Penalty + Against Universal Healthcare + For Eliminating DACA + Pro-Corporation [i.e. tax cuts for wealthy + businesses]
Even if you vote Republican and don't agree with all of those stances, how can you agree with any of them beyond being Pro-Life? And how can you argue that the Republicans in power are fighting for the common man?
One of the key components of Christianity as I understand it is empathy. Would a Christian have the attitude that universal health care is a privilege and not a basic human right? If a Christian sees value in all life no matter how destructive or broken , how can they support the death penalty? When a Christian sees innocent people killed in mass shootings, would they default to "The 2nd amendment gives me the right to own all these weapons?" or would they do whatever it took to reduce the chance that people will die unnecessarily? Or at least be willing to sacrifice something for the greater good?
Another key characteristic of a Christian is telling the truth. Now I'm not here to argue that one side on the political aisle has always told the truth and the other always lies. Or to tell you that I've never lied. But an objective truth and fact-based evidence have taken a back seat to fake news and seeing who can yell louder, whether what they're yelling is true or not. Finally, when someone in politics gets caught in a lie, they often yell louder still instead of admitting their mistake. People want to find something to believe in. And once they do, they believe their source or their candidate can do no wrong, regardless of contrary evidence.
In our two-party system, we are very restricted. Republicans find themselves at a true crossroads in which they have to be willing to continue to lower their moral standard if they'll support the party indefinitely. Democrats are the party that embraces scientific logic instead of denying it [please see global warming]. They fight for a higher living wage and opportunities that help the middle-class like free community college. Nevertheless, they're hypocritical in that they take pride in going to bat for the oppressed [women / African-Americans / LGBTQ] but not a completely helpless unborn child. The Democratic Party is less associated with Christianity, but that doesn't mean they're mutually exclusive.
To the Christians out there, if you're still reading this, you might need to hear that it's OK not to agree with every part of the Republican platform. It's even OK to not vote Republican at all. The Republican Party controls the White House, the Senate and the House and they're still not able to truly move our country forward. Rather, it feels like we're taking steps back on the world stage. And it's embarrassing.
If the Democrats take back control in 2018 and win the Presidency in 2020 the government isn't going to knock down your door and take all of your guns. We also won't tell coal miners that they have the jobs of the future. It's time for society to continue to evolve and to base policy on scientific research and evidence, not on the pressure of companies and lobbyists. Let's make the world better and move forward.