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A Non-partisan Approach to Understanding Politics

Jesus Was a Liberal

Politics by Jerry is a non-partisan site that deals with politics. However, when politics crosses the line into religion, we must deal with that, too – in a proper and respectful way.

Bumper stickers proclaim “Jesus Was a Liberal.” Why would anybody say something like that? Why not “Joe Bzerkski was a liberal”? The answer is both obvious and two-fold. First, Jesus is/was a well-known religious leader. The United States was founded on the Jesus religion (Christianity), using the Bible as the basis for its laws. Second, the person proclaiming that Jesus was a liberal is himself a liberal who wants people to believe that Jesus is – or would have been – on his side.

To some people, Jesus is God who created the heavens and the earth, who brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage. To other people, Jesus was a man who was a religious leader. In the first instance, it’s proper to refer to Jesus in the present tense – “is” – because God is still alive. In the other instance, it’s proper to refer to Jesus in the past tense – “was” – because he would be long dead if he was only a man. To avoid religious debate and distraction, I’ll use the past tense, regardless of who Jesus is.

Christianity’s doctrine – or Jesus’ doctrine – is this:

  1. There is only one God, creator of the universe and savior of mankind.
  2. Mankind is separated from God because of their sins.
  3. The penalty of sin (disobedience to God) is spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God.
  4. God who came to earth in human form – Jesus – lived a sinless life and paid the penalty of our sins by himself dying on the cross in our place and on our behalf.
  5. God is accessible and receives anyone who rejects the practice of living without God and turns to Him for salvation.
  6. After turning to God for salvation, we are bound to obey him in all things. His command to us is to Love our Neighbors as Ourselves. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Visit the sick and imprisoned. Preach the gospel of salvation.

There are two types of Christians:
1) Nominal Christian (those who are born into the religion and embraced it) and
2) Personal Christians (those who have embrace Jesus as their own personal God in an ongoing daily personal commitment).

Many Personal Christians are known for their outspoken commitment to Jesus and conservative politics. The implication is that non-conservatives (i.e. liberals) are not Christian and have nothing to do with Jesus.

But Liberals see it differently. Liberals see Jesus in the Jesus-doctrine to love your neighbor as yourself, to feed the hungry, to clothe the poor, to visit the sick, and so on. Because these are the characteristics that Liberals claim, they adopt Jesus as one of their own.

All that would be all right, except for the fact that Jesus is now a political issue. So, let’s examine the facts. Would Jesus really have been a liberal?

First of all, would Jesus have been a conservative? I think not, because Jesus was on a religious mission, not a political mission. Jesus was immensely successful because he accomplished what he set out to do. Therefore, this examination will focus only on the political statement, “Jesus Was a Liberal.”

Let’s examine some of the Liberal issues and see if Jesus would indeed be part of that political group.

  1. Abortion. A chief liberal doctrine is that women should have “the right to their own bodies.” That is, they have the right to murder their own children before the child is born. This includes the right to murder up to one second in time before the child’s first breath. Few liberals would allow this doctrine to be set aside.

    What would Jesus do? Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill1” (Matthew 5:17)

    So, what does the Law say?

    “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)
    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”
    (Leviticus 19:18)
    (Murdering your children is not loving them.)

    Jesus would not condone murdering a child or anyone without just and godly cause.

  2. Prayer in Schools. Liberals have taken extraordinary steps to remove prayer and Christian religious practice from public schools. No Bible studies on school grounds. No prayers at the start of the school day, or giving thanks in the lunch room. No prayers at all – not one led by the principal nor one done in private with head bowed and eyes closed.

    What would Jesus do? The Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:5-9:
    "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
    These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
    You shall teach them diligently to your [children] and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up
    You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your
    You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

    1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says,
    Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

    Jesus would not condone the practice of forbidding people to pray or to read the Bible, especially in school and also at political gatherings.

  3. Love Your Neighbor. What about this great commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"? Murdering your children is not “loving your neighbor.” Forbidding your children to pray and study the Bible in school is neither loving your neighbor nor loving God. But what about feeding, clothing and visiting the poor?

    First, let’s examine how liberals give to the poor. Is it by using their own money, or by using other people’s money by tax dollars? Studies of that very thing have been made. Here are some of the references:

    International Business Times:

    Occasional Planet Progressive Voices Speaking Out


    Clearly, study after study show that conservatives give to the poor out of their own pockets at a rate much, much higher than liberals. These studies have been made by both liberal and conservative organizations.

    The great liberal achievement has been to force other people to give to the poor by taking money away from them through taxes and giving it to those people they define as needy.

    Before you say, “Republicans do the same thing,” let me add, it’s not Republicans posting bumper stickers saying “Jesus was a conservative.” Yes, Republicans do the same thing, but not to the degree of liberals. And you should remember, being a Republican is not the same thing as being a conservative. Conservatives can be Republican, Democratic, Libertarian or Independent.

    We should also remember that giving tax dollars to poor people has a very valuable side effect: the poor vote for those people who give them money. This is effectively buying people's votes to stay in power by grabbing other people’s money and giving it away.

    Jesus would not have condoned taking away other people’s money, giving it away and then claiming the credit for generosity. That is both stealing and lying.

My personal conclusion then is that Jesus would have been neither liberal nor conservative, because he was on a religious mission, not a political one.

No, Jesus would not have been a Liberal.


1All Bible quotes are taken from New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 5:17). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Copyright © 2015 by Jerald L. Brown