The core tenets of the Republican Party are at such odds with the core tenets of the Bible that Christians can no longer subscribe to both, wrote a former State Department analyst in a recent op-ed.
Marik von Rennenkampff, who was also an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense, said the GOP’s obsession with wealth and disdain for the poor disqualify any prior marriage between the Republican Party and America’s “Christian right.”
“Over the last four decades, few priorities have consumed the Republican Party more than economic policies that benefit the ultra-wealthy,” Rennenkampff wrote. “The Ronald Reagan presidency, in particular, ushered in an era where corporate bottom lines took precedence over fair wages for American workers.”
He continued: “The rise of the Reagan-Republican ethos, which preaches the elevation of shareholder profit over virtually all other considerations, directly influenced decades of outsourcing of American jobs to countries with vast pools of cheap labor. Ditto for union-busting and the adoption of job-killing automation in pursuit of maximum profit.”
Together with tax policies that have overwhelmingly benefited America’s wealthy at the expense of the country’s lower classes, this Republican economic ideology has run entirely afoul of Scripture, which preaches condemnation of the accumulation of worldly riches.
“According to scripture, ‘those who want to get rich’ fall into a trap of ‘ruin and destruction,’ making for quite the biblical rebuke to capitalist philosophy. The Bible further warns that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” while Christians are instructed not to ‘store up treasures on earth.’”
And of course there is Jesus’ parable asserting that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter” heaven.
For the earliest Christians, the notion of pursuing material possessions was a no brainer: “Clement of Alexandria, an influential Christian writer, held that ‘all possessions are by nature unrighteous when a man possesses them for personal advantage ... and does not bring them into the common stock for those in need.’”
Likewise, when it comes to immigration Rennenkampff noted that the “scriptures make clear that only those who provide comfort to tired, hungry, sick or imprisoned ‘strangers’ will ascend to heaven,” while “those who deny aid to strangers in need are doomed to ‘eternal punishment.’”
In the same way that Jesus said his followers cannot serve both God and money, Rennenkampff said that “Christian Republicans must choose between their political inclinations and their faith.”