I’m (Obviously Not Really But Yeah Mostly) Democrat
In light of Bryan Magaña’s recent confessions, I begged The Two Cities to let me confess my own “struggles”. Yes, it’s true, I sometimes vote for Democrats. I confess, I did donate money to Obama’s campaign at the chance of winning a trip to meet the Commander-in-Chief and Beyoncé. I do idolize Michelle Obama for her passion to fight for healthy eating in America. And yes, I’m in love with Obamacare. Some may think I’m not a Christian for having these feelings (trust me, some do). But in reality, I blame the Bible for making me this way!
I grew up a pagan Republican in the middle class of South Orange County. My parents loved the Bush family. And when I met Jesus at age 19, I knew I would fit right into this GOP-loving club. But as I started to read my Bible and see so many passages about helping the poor, my eyes were opened. Wait, you mean you want me to sell all my belongings and give them to the poor? I started realizing Jesus was serious about this social justice stuff, so I too became serious about it. The next thing you know, I was spending my spare time throwing benefit concerts, chaining myself to fences, and making my friends watch Invisible Children. I pursued a degree in biblical studies so I could learn more about this people-loving Jesus, and my parents thought I’d gone crazy.
Over time, I became ostracized from my Christian brothers and sisters who called me a “liberal” and questioned me about the equality and justice issues I stood for. So I went to Fuller—a big no-no for some Evangelicals, though I do consider myself pretty theologically conservative—and then the real storm hit when I decided to attend UC Berkeley to get a master’s degree in social welfare. Yes, by the end of this school year I’ll have a degree with the word “welfare” in it. I’ve hit the deep end of the muddy waters of politics and religion, and I’m still perplexing people to this day.
The other day I found myself trying to tell a non-Christian friend that Jesus was awesome, and a Christian friend that I really was pro-life. I often find myself in the middle. As someone who was never wanted by her birth mother, and put in foster care to be adopted one month later, I know I almost didn’t make it out of the womb. I’m thankful for my life—a life that started at conception—so yeah, of course I’m pro-life. I love all unborn babies and want justice for them too. But I also love their mothers, their fathers, their cousins and neighbors. I am, and not really, a democrat because I am pro-life: pro-life for every life. This means I hate war, the death penalty, guns, the rising cost of education, poverty, awful insurance companies, global warming, a life without FEMA and capitalism. Oh wait… capitalism might go under a different category. Yes, it’s a tragedy that there are 1.5 million abortions every year in America, but there are more than 300 million living people in America that we must be concerned about as well.
As much as I want to believe that smaller government and more generous Church donations would work in America, I do not think this reality is possible. I think that even if all the churches in America were very generous in reaching out to the poor, the costs from this capitalistic society would make it impossible to cover most costs needed by the truly impoverished. Choosing a social work career has forced me into the trenches of these realities. When a homeless family walks through my doors and watches their child get diagnosed with cancer, am I supposed to call up a church and ask for a $50,000 check to cover one week of a hospital stay? Or do I call Medicaid? Everyday I watch hated government programs save lives. I could go on with many examples but the point is, the majority of Democrat policies favor more pro-life issues than the Republican policies. It’s just the facts. Ironically for me (just like Republicans) it’s a human life issue.
As Christians, and as a Church, we are responsible for loving others, but nations will also be held responsible. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus reminds us that “nations will be gathered before him,” and God will separate the nations by focusing on five things: feeding the hungry, housing strangers, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned. These things are so important to God. And until all Christians can put their energy into meeting the needs of the needy so the government doesn’t have to, I’m going to be obviously, not really, but yeah, mostly Democrat.
Side Note: As we are only one day away from the 2012 election, there is no doubt in my mind that many of you are anxious over this election (as am I). Sometimes anxiety can turn into anger, and so you are aware in advance, any hateful comments will be deleted. I want to be clear in the fact that I do not 100% agree with every Obama policy, and my hope does not lie in him or government, but in the Cross of Christ. No political party will ever completely fulfill Matthew 25. My priorities remain to lead others to the truth of the gospel, and to do that by showing God’s love and light to this dark world. But I do believe that it is important for Christians to think seriously about the affairs of this country and vote. This can be difficult for people for many reasons, but I do not believe God wants us to be passive about exercising our freedoms in this way. So whatever party you line up with, I hope to see you at the polls on Tuesday!
Carrie Allen is currently a student at the University of California at Berkeley where she is studying for a Masters in Social Welfare. Before coming to the Bay Area she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where she studied Theology at Biola University and Fuller Theological Seminary. Carrie is currently interning in the inner-city of Oakland working as a medical social worker. Some of her interests are public health and the prevention of disease in inner-cities, and how the Christian church should be responding to social justice issues. Carrie likes to spend her free time reading, watching PBS, attending Cal football games, and hassling the Two Cities bloggers about letting a female writer join the club. Carrie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out her personal blog here.