In a democratic system, people’s votes generally reflect their values. Many base their philosophies on those of religious doctrine, thus it comes as no surprise when people push for their religion’s principles to be reflected in legislature.
In America, we see this especially with Christianity, which has, for many, become entangled with our two-party system. Throughout the last half-century, we have seen a conflation between the values of evangelical Christianity and the moral backbone of the modern Republican party.
Ronald Reagan, preaching self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, drew parallels between the need to bear one’s cross and fiscal conservatism. Reaganomics managed to pave a road between Christianity and conservatism (despite all the tax cuts to public infrastructure). Later representatives of the conservative movement in America have sought to follow Reagan’s example.
Touting their orthodoxy and individualism while praising the free market, it is safe to say that these ideas have struck a heavy chord with traditionalist Christians. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, over 70 percent of evangelical Christians have voted Republican in every mid-term election since at least 2006. This raises the question: HWJV? (How Would Jesus Vote)?
When asking this question, it is important to acknowledge that a.) Jesus did not vote per Rome’s tyranny, and b.) our two-party system is hardly capable of fairly representing American values, let alone those of a flawless Middle Eastern messiah.
That being said, he would probably vote his conscience and go independent. Since voting independent doesn’t count (a joke), we can assess how conservative policies on specific issues would align with the goals and actions of the Begotten Son.
The big one: abortion. All life being held sacred, it is probably safe to assume that Jesus would be pro-life. For many politically active Christians, this issue alone is enough to earn a vote for the Republican party. Unfortunately, it is not the only issue.
Dying for everyone’s sins and all, it is fair to say that Jesus was a strong believer in forgiveness, redemption and acceptance. Killing someone due to past transgressions, as much as they may “deserve it” strips them of the opportunity to rehabilitate and redeem themselves in the eyes both of God and society.
Also, technically still being a living person, convicts of whatever stripe should be assumed to hold the same value as those fetuses that weigh so heavy on the Christian conscious. People are in no place to place value on one another, as only God can do that. So, Jesus would probably be anti-death penalty.
For those who are post-utero and pre-death row, healthcare is one of the biggest concerns. In America, our individualistic health-care system results in millions of uninsured Americans avoiding healthcare treatment for monetary reasons. For those without the means to pay for either sufficient healthcare or outright hospital bills, there is often an ultimatum between crippling debt and quality-of-life.
Conservatives are often skeptical of the viability of such a healthcare system and fearful of “Big Government” becoming involved. In countries where the government has resorted to a universal healthcare system, healthcare is much more accessible, and more people can physically prosper, but there have been some efficiency sacrifices for those with enough for personal care.
Given Jesus’ willingness to give his life for everybody— regardless of their ability to pay for it—I think it’s safe to say that he would be willing to give a fraction of his income to ensure healthcare availability for whoever is most in need of it. This despite any long wait times or “restricted freedoms” that may result.
The actual economic viability of universal healthcare need-not be a hang-up for evangelical voters; however, as evidenced by their overwhelming support for one of the least economically sound movements since our nation’s conception: the “war on drugs”.
America’s favorite economist of the late 20th century and one of Reagan’s own unofficial advisers, Milton Friedman, attested to the absurdity of waging “war” against a class of products with inelastic demand and no single source. He correctly claimed that criminalizing drugs would result in more deaths and more money in the hands of black-market criminals.
This along with the “Big Government” nature of telling individuals what they can’t put into their own body would make one think that the Republican Party would be eager to reject the entire premise. Jesus drank alcohol (a drug), so he wouldn’t ban drugs outright, but it’s hard to say to what extent his acceptance of drug usage would span.
I think that this is all speculation made at the hands of a college kid with too many opinions. There is a debate to be had, but these are conclusions that I’ve drawn based on my understanding of the base values of New Testament Christianity and what Jesus represented.