We’re so used to deceitful politicians that sometimes it helps to remind ourselves of their enormously fertile hypocrisies
The Republican Party, particularly, loves to rant about “American” values and the close historical relationship between American government and Christianity.
Every time one turns around, one of these (usually self-righteous) people is spouting about the evils of secularism and how rudderless the United States would be without its allegedly almost universal belief in Jesus’ message. Indeed, it seems impossible for candidates to run for U.S. political office, without wearing their Christian allegiance emblazoned on their verbal outerwear.
Yet, these same people almost never act in accordance with any accepted interpretation of Christ’s overall message, no matter how watered down one might interpret it to be.
Jim Wallis, a prominent evangelical Christian, observed yesterday that House Republicans announced a plan to cut $43 billion from predominantly education, environment, food safety, police, national infrastructure and transportation — while increasing military spending by $8 billion.
He chided Republicans for misapplying Christian values:
This proposal comes just months after billions of dollars were added to the deficit with an extension of tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
And the poorer you are, the more vulnerable you become, and the more you will pay for the burdens of deficit reduction.
For example, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a program that helps provide food to hungry mothers and their children faces a $758 million cut.
Also, the proposed budget cuts $544 million in international food aid grants for organizations such as World Vision. AmeriCorps, a program that provides public service opportunities for our young adults, would be eliminated entirely.
It used to be very popular for Christians to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Taking the cutting knife to programs that benefit low-income people, while refusing to scrutinize the much larger blank checks we keep giving to defense contractors and corporate executives, is hypocritical and cruel.
It is not only bad economics, but also bad religion. The priorities we are now seeing are not consistent with Christian, Jewish, or Muslim values.
© 2011 Jim Wallis, What Would Jesus Cut?, Huffington Post (10 February 2011) (paragraphs split)
Beyond simple hypocrisy
Republican Party leadership that uses pretended Christianity to camouflage its greed and its plutocracy-supporting ways exhibits moral corruption, not simply clay-footed hypocrisy.