This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

One Jesus for liberals, another for conservatives

The abstract of the original study can be found here.


alt text
Creating God in our own image: a poster shows Jesus in an Argentinian football shirt. Photograph: Arnaldo Pampillon/AP

Love thy neighbour, so long as he is not an illegal immigrant. Blessed are the poor, so long as they are deserving. And, though it may be harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than to pass through the eye of a needle, multimillionaires should have no problem passing through the door of the Oval Office.

Religion and politics have always made uneasy bedfellows; yet how can Christians from all shades of the political spectrum reconcile their diverse views with the teachings of a single man?

A study led by Lee Ross of Stanford University in California has found that the Jesus of liberal Christians is very different from the one envisaged by conservatives. The researchers asked respondents to imagine what Jesus would have thought about contemporary issues such as taxation, immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion. Perhaps not surprisingly, Christian Republicans imagined a Jesus who tended to be against wealth redistribution, illegal immigrants, abortion and same-sex marriage; whereas the Jesus of Democrat-voting Christians would have had far more liberal opinions. The Bible may claim that God created man in his own image, but the study suggests man creates God in his own image.

Yet both groups recognised that their own views were not always identical to those of Jesus. The researchers divided issues into those concerned with fellowship (wealth distribution, immigration), and those concerned with morality (gay rights, abortion). Conservatives envisaged a Jesus with views close to their own on morality issues; but they recognised that the man who gave all his possessions to the poor would probably have advocated more progressive taxation policies than those of the Republican party. Conversely, liberals saw Jesus as having similar views as themselves on fellowship issues but they believed his views on gay rights would be to the right of their own.

Read on

TAGGED: POLITICS, RELIGION


RELATED CONTENT

Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and...

Sarah Kliff - The Washington Post Comments

Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he’s not alone

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk...

Peter Singer - The Scotsman Comments

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk women’s lives for the sake of the unborn

Pussy Riot's closing statement

Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted abstinence-only sex education

How would Jesus vote?

Paula Kirby - The Washington Post Comments

How would Jesus vote?

Religion’s fair game if it motivates...

Lawrence Martin - The Globe and Mail Comments

The evangelical movement is not a typical religion when it comes to politics

MORE

MORE BY JOHNJOE MCFADDEN

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment