Christian and Progressive: Yes, Franklin Graham, I Can Be Both
Hey Christians- you do know they think we’re assholes, right? Yes, they: the rest of the people in this country just trying to live their lives, but who are constantly berated because their lifestyle, political views, or religion don’t fit in the box labeled “Christian”. They want nothing to do with a belief system that preaches love thy neighbor, but in practice, only if that neighbor looks like us, lives like us, agrees with us and worships the same God as we do.
Franklin Graham, one of the loudest and most recognized evangelical voices and unapologetic Trump supporters, boldly declared on Thursday that someone with a “progressive” label cannot also wear the label of Christian.
Excuse me, what?
I’m a Christian. For my entire life, I have been taught a Christian is a person who accepts the gift of grace given to to them by Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, and therefore lives their life according to the teachings of Jesus.
Did I miss something? Is there a verse in the Bible that voids my ticket to Heaven if I vote for a “Progressive”? Maybe it’s in Two Corinthians; I need to check.
But seriously, I consider myself progressive and vote for progressive candidates not despite being a Christian, but because of it.
I vote for politically Pro-Choice candidates because protecting life should be about so much more than being pro-birth. How is criminally punishing a woman because of a choice she made for her body spreading the good news of Jesus and his message of forgiveness and mercy?
I vote for candidates in favor of healthcare for all, because of Jesus’ example of healing the sick and disabled, and touching and ministering to lepers. How is denying human beings lifesaving and preventative medical care simply because of their inability to pay in line with what Jesus would do?
I vote for candidates in favor of common sense gun laws and regulations, because Jesus said Blessed are the Peacemakers. Jesus never said to arm yourself with an assault weapon thats only purpose is to kill.
I do not vote for candidates just because they are Christian, because Christians aren’t the only people who do good and make positive change in this country. Jesus himself told the story of The Good Samaritan, and spoiler alert, it wasn’t the religious leaders who were the good guys.
If calling myself a Progressive gets me kicked out of the Christian Club, then consider this my resignation. I am fed up with professed Christ-followers using Jesus and their moral beliefs to continue the toxic othering of their neighbors.
I have to believe that although Franklin Graham may be one of the loudest (and most obnoxious) “Christian” voices spouting off the nonsense that Progressive and Christian are mutually exclusive, there are plenty of people shouting just the opposite. May our voices collectively drown out all the bigotry, exclusiveness and falsities that are ruining the reputation of Jesus Christ.
Come on Christians, let’s not be assholes anymore.