For years the GOP has stated that there is a war on Christmas. I have never quite understood this war, but if there is a war, Christmas is winning. Just take a look around. Since as early as September, many retailers had already started playing Christmas music, and selling Christmas trees and ornaments. For all intents and purposes, I do not believe that there is a war on Christmas, but I do believe that there is a war on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the proverbial “reason for the season.”
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Translation: Man should humble himself before the Lord.
There is no need to look much further than Donald J. Trump for this one. Trump has never been someone to practice humility. In fact, he is the stark opposite of humble. He brags about everything from the appearance of his wives (and his daughter Ivanka), to how much money he allegedly has, to how intelligent he allegedly is, amidst a host of other items. One incident sticks out in my mind the most, in relation to Matthew 23:12, which took place on September 14, 2016. While campaigning in Flint, Michigan, Trump was invited to speak at a local church. During this speech, Trump took it upon himself to verbally attack Hillary Clinton on the pulpit. This is in complete contrast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. A church is not a place to attack anyone, it is a place to be tolerant. Trump’s sheer arrogance prevented him from seeing this. Thank goodness the Pastor of the congregation stepped in and halted his verbal assault before he could dish out anymore hatred on the pulpit.
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God
Translation: Being kind to the poor is being kind to God.
Jesus Christ, according to the Bible, gave to the poor and continually preached about how those who are able should give to the poor. The Republican Party, however, does not believe in giving anything of monetary value to anyone living in poverty. I should point out that many of the elected members of the Republican Party are millionaires. There is nothing wrong with being a millionaire, nor is it anything of which to be ashamed. The shame, however, should come from the lack of initiative to help impoverished people when you are in a position to do so. The Republican’s “war on the poor” has been documented for decades. Republicans have voted to cut funding for programs like the United States Agency for International Development, Meals on Wheels, the Community Development Fund, Medicaid, and a host of other social programs. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, by his own account, used to share his dreams of cutting Medicaid with his friends in college while they drank beer. It is important to note that Paul Ryan’s father died of a heart attack brought on by alcoholism. The Ryan family received Social Security Survivor’s benefits. The man who dreamt of one day cutting Medicaid received a government check to put food on his own table.
Another way the GOP harms the poor is their outright hatred for Universal Healthcare. Republicans have suggested that healthcare decisions should be made by individuals (unless said individual has a vagina, but that is another article for another day). The problem with this theory is that many people, let alone the poor, simply can’t afford private healthcare insurance. Healthcare is not cheap. The very thought that the “Christian” party of America would be the one to object to providing quality healthcare to poor Americans would be hilarious if it were not so true.
I have not come to condemn the world, but to save it.
Translation: Jesus does not condemn.
The GOP is notorious for its condemnation of various groups of people. In terms of other religions, specifically Islam, the GOP has stopped trying to hide their loathing. Ben Carson once stated the following: “I would not advocate a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” This statement was not made behind closed doors, but on national television. Meet the Press, to be exact. As Muslims attempted to flee certain death, Republican governors across the country rejected Syrian refugees. As reported by the New York Times, “Twenty-five Republican governors vowed to block the entry of Syrian refuges into their states.” This shouldn’t be surprising, as a 2012 poll by Arab American Institute found that 60% of Republicans had a negative view of Muslims.
Another favorite target of the GOP is the LGBT community. In 1981 the first cases of AIDS began to popping up. President Ronald Reagan, after learning that the mysterious disease was only affecting gay men, did absolutely nothing. Reverend Jerry Falwell, a right-wing evangelist, said, “AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals.” As AIDS-related deaths grew into an epidemic, scientists, researchers, and medical professionals expressed the need for funding, but the Reagan administration still did not act. By 1984, three short years later, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced 4,177 cases of AIDS and almost 2,000 AIDS-related deaths. The Democrats held the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco that year to attempt to bring more attention to the AIDS outbreak. As thousands were dying, President Reagan still did nothing. By the time he publicly spoke of AIDS (May 31, 1987), 36,058 Americans had been diagnosed with AIDS, and close to 21,000 had already died.
Republicans complain year after year about the war on Christmas. This war is fake news. There is a war, however, a war on the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Republican Party of today does not lead the humble, kind, and accepting lifestyle that Jesus taught his followers to lead. Jesus taught love and tolerance, while the modern day GOP teach hate and intolerance and fear. My Christmas wish this year is that the GOP will practice Christmas in the way Jesus would appreciate. Saying “Merry Christmas” self-righteously is not the way. Loving your neighbor regardless of how different they are, helping the poor, and uplifting the world is the way Jesus would want Christmas celebrated.
Contributing Editor: Ken Mejia-Beal
Ken Mejia-Beal is a concerned citizen, who cares deeply for his country. Ken wants to make the world a better place for all people. A capitalist with a heart who believes in free thinking and human rights. Ken wants to use his words in order to shine a light on political ventures in order to allow those without knowledge to form strong positions through fact based conversation. Ken resides in DuPage County, within Illinois. He has ambitions to motivate those around him to communicate differing ideas while remaining civil.