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Jesus the Socialist

From a friend

(My response at the bottom)

Which political party would most merit Jesus vote, either in Australia or America? Both Howard and Bush have now won – claiming a higher moral ground and a basis of faith than their opponents – and strong faith in the case of Bush.

Who would win Jesus vote, is an interesting and provocative question. I suggest many Christians would raise their hands for the conservatives, when most of them would agree that Jesus was anything but conservative as he challenged the status quo of his day. He spoke up for the morally, spiritually and physically outcast in society. His outspoken criticism was reserved for the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. I wonder where his voice would be raised today?

Did a quick search on the internet and was amazed to find this quote.

“Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” “http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mikhail_s_gorbachev.html”Mikhai l S. Gorbachev

And from this other references to Jesus the Socialist

“Francis Bellamy was a member of this movement and a vice president of its auxiliary group, the Society of Christian Socialists. As a minister, he preached on the virtues of socialism and the evils of capitalism. He gave an obviously warped speech on “Jesus the Socialist” and a series of sermons on “The Socialism of the Primitive Church.” Because of such socialist sermons, in 1892 he was forced to resign from his Boston church, the Bethany Baptist church. “

The authorship of the US Pledge of Allegiance is officially attributed to Bellamy and this socialist manifesto is used in schools, universities, military establishments and anywhere that flag loving Americans gather.

Our own (Australian) Rev Alan Walker, referred to as “the conscience of the nation”, often spoke against capitalism even though he held barons of industry as some of his strongest financial supporters.

So, as regards politics, was Jesus right of centre, left of centre, on the fence, a conservative, a radical, a wet, or a dry?

In Australia, would Jesus only vote with the Christian Democrats? Some would say “of course”! Or Family First? Or one of the major parties? At least we can know for certain he wouldn’t vote Green or Democrat, now would he?

Any thoughts?


I am the only person I know who gave a primary vote for the Australian House of Representatives to the Greens, and preferences first to the Liberals (Conservatives here in Oz) – mainly because like most swinging voters here I couldn’t trust Mark Latham’s Labor Party not to foul up the economic system like Mark’s mentor Gough Whitlam did. Voting for the Greens sends the message that I care for the environment, (and the survival of our children’s children). I don’t like the Greens’ humanism, (and other planks in their platform). And in the Senate I gave the vote to Family First, because I’m impressed with the idea of giving a ‘family impact analysis’ to all legislation. I’m not homophobic – see the many articles on our website on this topic – but I fear for our children in terms of the garbage they view in movies and on the Net. The last party I would vote for is a ‘Christian right’ party – we have one here led by Rev. Fred Nile (affiliated with Festival of Light).

For you non-Australians, Family First is generally right of centre, a Christian-based party, but not quite like the evangelical right in America (they have a strong social justice emphasis, and their chairperson (?) is a single Aboriginal lady, a lawyer, who’s in favour of reconciliaiton with aboriginal people etc. The Greens are the ‘Ralph Nader-type’ party in Australia.

Generally my political stance is pretty close to that of Jim Wallis of Sojourners in the U.S. However on some matters (social policy) I’m left of centre; on others (abortion, but not stem cell research or euthanasia) I’m right… Generally I’m politically ‘wingless’…

Rowland Croucher November 2004.


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