Aaron Miller: a horrible blend of religion and politics

Michigan had a primary election yesterday. Aaron Miller was one of the Republican winners (that means he could become a state lawmaker depending on the November election). Before I rant about Aaron Miller, to be fair, I am only critiquing one thing that he said. I did browse his website, which I found laughable, but I know little about him as a person. Anyway, he said this to the Kalamazoo Gazette in a questionnaire:

“Gas taxes need to go toward funding roads 100%.”

Okay, he sounds reasonable, right? Wrong:

“My belief in Jesus Christ directs all my other beliefs. Therefore, I’m pro-life, for personal responsibility, for fiscal responsibility, and for freedom. That’s why I’m a member of the Republican Party.”

Translation:

“I call myself Christian, and when I read the Gospels, which I clearly don’t understand, Jesus had political beliefs, and they were Republican. I hate abortion so much that it should be illegal regardless of rape, regardless of the consequences to poor people. In fact we should have a Constitutional Amendment that applies personhood to the bundle of cells after conception. Let’s eliminate Planned Parenthood because they are associated with abortion. Personal responsibility = I think black people are lazy and dependent on the government. We should not only stop giving them food stamps and unemployment, but we should insult their intelligence by paternalistically telling them to pull themselves up from their bootstraps and transcend all the enormous impossible forces bearing down on them (and Affirmative Action is “discrimination”). We should let Detroit rot – no “bail outs” – and let’s take away hard working peoples’ pensions (and let’s stop having pensions because, you know, they are so outdated). Fiscal responsibility = cut social programs for poor people and, instead, liberate “job creators” from taxes and regulations; that will fix poverty. Freedom: I’m very skeptical of Muslim/Arab/Terrorists and other anti-American things, I am pro-war in the name of spreading “freedom” because, you know, freedom is not free support our troops. It’s amazing how Jesus preached about all of these things.”

I only slightly exaggerated. Words like “personal responsibility” and “fiscal responsibility” are loaded terms. They are coded. They have a hint of positivity – who doesn’t like freedom and fiscal responsibility? – but, in effect, they are mostly negative. We know what they mean.

The politics of Jesus?
Since Jesus identified his ministry as apolitical (“give to Caesar what is Caesars”), it’s nearly impossible to tell what he would think about modern day political matters, especially the political issues that Mr. Aaron Miller cares so deeply about. He certainly didn’t talk about abortion, getting people off welfare, government spending, and freedom as defined by America. One thing we can say with confidence: Jesus would be anti-war. By speculating, you could perhaps make the argument that Jesus would have been pro-life, meaning he would not want pregnancies to be terminated. Other than that, we must stick to what Jesus taught in the Gospels–love, forgiveness, non-violence, and non-judgment. That Jesus is way beyond the democrat/republican spectrum.

Aaron Miller: a horrible blend of religion and politics