Left resurrects Herman Cain’s claim that Jesus was “the perfect conservative”

posted at 7:15 pm on October 20, 2011 by Tina Korbe

A nearly year-old blog post authored by Herman Cain has lately drawn ire from several liberal outlets, including The Daily Kos, ThinkProgress and the left-leaning Faith in Public Life. The post is interesting and provocative, to say the least. In it, Cain claims Jesus Christ was “the perfect conservative,” condemned by a “liberal court”:

He led without a mandate. He taught without a script. His common sense parables filled people with promise and compassion, His words forever inspiring.

He never condemned what others believed – just sin, evil and corruption.

He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed the hungry without food stamps. And everywhere He went, it turned into a rally, attracting large crowds, and giving them hope, encouragement and inspiration.

For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done. He didn’t travel by private jet. He walked and sailed, and sometimes traveled on a donkey.

That’s all true, as far as it goes. But I have to say I agree with the lefties when they point out that many of Jesus’ teachings amount to anything but common sense.

And, more broadly speaking, I can’t help but think it’s a mistake for a Christian to call Jesus either “conservative” or “liberal,” even if certain of His principles could be labeled as such and even though Christians must necessarily decide for themselves what political ideology squares best with their religious views. To reduce Christ to a 21st-century political label is to forget that Jesus reminded His followers regularly that His kingdom is not here in this world, that He reminded them to work for what lasts, to store up treasure in heaven.

When Jesus speaks of a kingdom outside of this world — what St. Augustine called the “City of God,” as opposed to a “City of Man” — He is not saying that a Christian’s religious beliefs shouldn’t inform his life in this world. On the contrary, the Christian is to carry those beliefs into every avenue of his existence. But Jesus is reminding His followers of the transcendence of the eternal, reminding them that, on some level, who wins what political battle (among other things) will someday matter not at all. For a Christian to use Jesus as a political tool (whether by claiming Him for a particular ideology or by pouncing on someone else who did so) is to sacrifice a greater good for a lesser — the very height of foolishness. If calling Jesus “conservative” or “liberal” costs Him a convert of the opposing ideology, then, for a Christian, labeling Him is a mistake — even if it wins political converts. But as it’s doubtful to do that, either, seems better to just avoid IDing Jesus with political adjectives entirely.


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And? If you come to a RR crossing and a train’s coming you can either wait and stay safe or cross in front of the train and get hit…some choice. No one says both choices have to be acceptable or pleasant. But they are still choices.

Total freedom! Do what I say or I torture you forever.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Total freedom! Do what I say or I torture you forever.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Actually, no. But you know that, you simply like to misconstrue.

Deanna on October 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM

callingallcomets on October 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Teh awesome!

lovingmyUSA on October 20, 2011 at 8:42 PM

“Jesus” would have NOTHING to do with politicians or politics…nor would he have ANYTHING to do with the world’s Religions.

Politics, nope. Religions, nope.
Not going to find it.

bridgetown on October 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Not saying you’re right or wrong. Just asking; how did you arrive at those conclusions?

listens2glenn on October 20, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Total freedom! Do what I say or I torture you forever.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I’ve always done everything he’s said for me to do, so I guess I’ll be missing out on the fiery lake, huh?

Woohoo!

Do you honestly think I believe that about myself?

listens2glenn on October 20, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Not saying you’re right or wrong. Just asking; how did you arrive at those conclusions?

listens2glenn on October 20, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Studying The Word, Scripture, whatever ya wanna call it. Years of study….quite easy to come to these conclusions.

bridgetown on October 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM

It’s the economy stupid. Why indulge lefty distractions? Cain’s religious convictions are irrelevant in a country where freedom of religious choice is a right.

exdeadhead on October 20, 2011 at 9:35 PM

bridgetown on October 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM

The Only thing I would call you on there is Politicians.

Politicians are people (inspite of themselves), and Jesus would interact with them privately, at their invite.

On the other hand, some politicians tried to engage him very publically in the most obnoxious of ways. Those, he ‘blew off’.

listens2glenn on October 20, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Luke 17

22 And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 “They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them.

———————————-

Perhaps Cain was remarking in reference to the Left’s errata that claims “Jesus was a LIberal” or even “Jesus was a homosexual” and similar affronts of Christ for the Left’s socio-political desires.

Maybe that’s what Cain was remarking about, trying to clarify Christ’s views, certainly not Liberal or Leftwing and clearly above in exceptionally profound sense these polarizations of possessiveness by Man, trying continually to use Christ for vanity’s purposes (which is offensive to Christ and Christ’s divinity).

Otherwise, it’s as wrong for Cain to try to politicize Christ as it is wrong for the Left to do so, but I note that the Left continues to do so while they also continue to blasphemy Jesus Christ and His message.

Lourdes on October 20, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Total freedom! Do what I say or I torture you forever.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM

That’s satan’s message, not Christ’s.

Lourdes on October 20, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Cain, God bless him, is unelectable.

Bugler on October 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM

For a Christian to use Jesus as a political tool (whether by claiming Him for a particular ideology or by pouncing on someone else who did so) is to sacrifice a greater good for a lesser — the very height of foolishness.

One thing is certain…Jesus was never swayed, or gave a second thought to non christian who judge christians…he knew them a fools. And he even threw out a few pearls at the pigs…
I laugh at how futile atheist or agnostic, is at judging Christian…but I alway at wonder how perverse a christian has to be to do the same.
Tina, I have said it before…it’s a good thing you are good looking, I am sure that is your most valuable asset, it certainly is not analysis.
By your “analysis” a politician could never mention the name Jesus, since it raises the question whether he is doing it as a political tool, or defining his beliefs.
Try this, try not to judge a persons heart, their intent…but judge them by their fruits. Cain is not a person with a reputation of exploitation, stepping on people, or having a “hard heart”.
In other words, try to be a Christian when judging other Christians…if you are one.

right2bright on October 20, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Tina, I have said it before…it’s a good thing you are good looking, I am sure that is your most valuable asset, it certainly is not analysis.

right2bright on October 20, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I often disagree with Tina Korbe. I would never stoop to remarking on her appearance in doing so. Do you know why? Because I’m not friggin’ unhinged, that’s why.

Bugler on October 20, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Turn the other cheek is not common sense, it is its antithesis. The meek inheriting the Earth is not common sense, it is a moral excuse for mediocrity. The whole canard about rich men and a needle’s eye? It’s been used by the unproductive to judge the productive for centuries even though its point has nothing to do with wealth and everything to do with moral living.

I don’t mock Christians or your beliefs – if you don’t get what Tina’s saying about Christ and common sense, then you haven’t thought critically about your own creed. That’s your loss, not her job to explain what is patently obvious to anyone not washed in the blood, so to speak.

Also – HotAir how about growing some nutz and just come out opposing Cain instead of all the shallow sniping? Callingcomets was dead-on earlier – is your tank filled with Newtjuice, Perry gravy or some other unpalatable fqntasy brew or are you going to continue tearing conservatives down until we have no one with a shred of conviction left to support? Granted, your disappointment with Perrys mortal status has been handled better than Ace’s or Erik’s but all i sense at this site is the reveling in mistakes of whichever candidate threatens the pulseless Perry.

I still support Cain – if you want your candidtes to be infallible demigods just get a grip and register Donkey.

/nickelinthephuketbucket

elcapt on October 20, 2011 at 11:30 PM

The debt is 14 trillion and cheduled to double over ten years. Capital will not be invested, and the economy will not recover, until the next Presidency.

The importance of a candidate’s religious beliefs is debatable in the best of times. Now, it is completely irrelevant. Ticktock, ticktock.

HitNRun on October 21, 2011 at 12:52 AM

For a Christian to use Jesus as a political tool (whether by claiming Him for a particular ideology or by pouncing on someone else who did so) is to sacrifice a greater good for a lesser — the very height of foolishness.

My open letter to Christians:

This is some dangerous ground.

I will note that religion, in general, is a proto-political construct. Moving on. . . .

You claim the superiority of Christianity, because you are a Christian. You wish to hold Christianity above the political fray both as an appeal to authority and as protection from the attacks Christianity would inevitably encounter should it be brought into the political sphere.

I think that this is the very reason that Founders were careful to divorce Religion from Governance in a way they thought could withstand the test of time.

Whether Cain was wrong or right is immaterial. I would suggest that Christians on both sides avoid opening their faith up to the sort of scrutiny that politics could give it. I also think that both partisan sides would lose in such a battle, and further, Christianity itself would lose if it does battle with the modern American democratic-republic state.

Europe started playing this game in the late fifties through the late 80′s, Pope John Paul II was very prescient in squashing the battle, but the damage was done. Christianity in Europe lost the battle, it’s still fighting the war, but outside of the partisan political sphere. It is yet to be determined if European Reformed Christianity will survive the damage it did itself.

I’d rather not see Christians and Christianity in general shoot itself in the foot when it still has a major theological and ideological struggle ahead of it. I’d like to have Reformed American Christianity around for a while longer because I don’t think we can make it through the looming world war without it. If Reformed American Christianity breaks, and politicization could break it, the atheists will fight the war. I can pretty well say I’m not that big of a fan of how the atheists would fight it.

Stick around guys. Don’t fight this fight, we’ve got bigger ones ahead.

Sincerely,

An Atheist.

Jason Coleman on October 21, 2011 at 1:37 AM

’ve never understood how religious people who claim to follow the ways of Christ can get involved with politics.

ButterflyDragon on October 20, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Because if we don’t the people who get involved in politics will invariably try to silence us, prohibit our religious expression, and in generally implement laws that take ever more power away from religious people who just want to worship in peace and not be subjected to a state that devolves into a moral busybody.

BKennedy on October 21, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Not to be mean to Tina, but the post is poorly constructed in it’s thoughts.

whatcat on October 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM

No it isn’t.

What is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 8:17 AM

But I have to say I agree with the lefties when they point out that many of Jesus’ teachings amount to anything but common sense.

That’s very true about Jesus’ teachings. Many fail to grasp that. The website you linked to illustrates that well. Here are some other examples.

God told Noah to build an ark. – Genesis 6

God told Abram to leave his family and country. – Gen 12

Circumcision. – Gen 17

God promised an aged Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son. – Gen 17

God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. – Gen 22
And some verses expaining wisdom and foolishness.

Romans 1:22
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

1 Corinthians 3:18
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 8:47 AM

HondaV65 on October 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

+1

shick on October 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM

I’d rather say true conservatives are the perfect imitation of Jesus.

JellyToast on October 21, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I’d like to have Reformed American Christianity around for a while longer because I don’t think we can make it through the looming world war without it.

Jason Coleman on October 21, 2011 at 1:37 AM

I can’t imagine how an atheist could come to that conclusion without properly understanding American Reformed Christianity. But I might not be grasping what you mean by “Reformed American Christianity”. Are you referring to Reformed Theology? Though it is possible that an atheist can come to understand the worldview from outside of it I find it very uncommon and unlikely. Were you once Reformed in your theology?

It’s interesting what you quoted in contrast.

I can pretty well say I’m not that big of a fan of how the atheists would fight it.</blockquote>

In your own words the wisdom of Reformed American Christianity seems to be trumping the wisdom of atheism.

I’d suggest that this demonstrated difference of wisdom comes from the difference of the designers of those worldviews; i.e., God vs. man.

Interested to know more of your thoughts.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I’d rather say true conservatives are the perfect imitation of Jesus.

JellyToast on October 21, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Why this cant be true.

Is Allahpundit a perfect imitation of Jesus?

shick on October 21, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Never read where he like the Tax Collectors. (Which is the Liberals favorite hero).

Herb on October 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Wait. Haven’t there been a rash of articles over the last couple of years – by various and sundry lefty reporters, pundits, etc – claiming that Jesus was in fact the perfect Liberal?

catmman on October 20, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Indeed. Cain simply wrote bluntly to counter the numerous leftist claims that Jesus was a liberal.

I have to take Tina’s age into consideration that she hasn’t been on earth long enough to witness the growing claims that Jesus was a lib. In fact, LaShawn Barber – right there on the HA blogroll has a whole archive on “Jesus=Liberal meme”. Go check it out.

Jesse Jackson, bless his heart was relatively conservative back in the 60s & 70s. He made a complete left turn when he entertain running for POTUS. To wit, that was about the same time that he changed from Pro-life to Pro-Abortion.

Time and time again, lefties tried to tell us that Jesus was on their side when what they cited was a) wishful thinking and or b) outright lies & distortions. What? you don’t remember Teddy (hic) Kennedy & Nancy Peloser asking the Pope to endorse their worldview. Or what of that awful “I love the Word” crap that dribbled out of Nancy last year during the HC jamdown?

AH_C on October 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Never read where he like the Tax Collectors. (Which is the Liberals favorite hero).

Herb on October 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I know you are joking but also note that Levi the tax collector returned any defrauded money fourfold. If only liberals would learn this lesson.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I meant Zacchaeus.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I meant Zacchaeus.

shick on October 21, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Don’t forget that Matthew, who had been a Tax Collector, left his job to follow Jesus. In fact, he may have been instrumental in getting Zaccheus interested in Jesus’ ministry.

You know, Levi called Matthew who wrote one of the Gospels?

So while Jesus hated corruption, He was more interested in Redemption than condemnation–but it takes condemnation to get redemption.

Many people know John 3:16, but vv. 17-18 are also significant:
“God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Libs believe in self-justification, not redemption.

Hence, conservatives may not always emulate Jesus, but libs never do.

rwenger43 on October 21, 2011 at 3:22 PM

shick on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I’m referring to Christianity post-reformation, in a simple sense.

I’m also referring to the clash coming between Reformed Christianity and unReformed Islam, I see what we are experiencing now as just pre-cursors to a larger conflict.

In your own words the wisdom of Reformed American Christianity seems to be trumping the wisdom of atheism.

I’m not speaking at all of “wisdom” but rather methodology. Modern Christians will beat down their opponent and then relent, in the hopes of using the Christian conversion devices on them. Atheists won’t do that, if we wind up facing Islam, I doubt we’ll stop and let them up for air or give them the chance to join in with a more modern interpretation of their religion.

I just feel that atheists alone would be quite harsh in our prosecution of our enemies, whereas a strong Christian influence might offer a slightly less drastic approach, or perhaps “tempered” is a better word.

In my experience, Atheists and Christians can get along just fine. Atheists and Islam don’t play nearly as well together. Perhaps if Islam could experience a Reformation, things might change, but if current atheism winds up clashing directly with Islam, I’m fairly certain that vast swaths of planet Earth would be uninhabitable for quite some time.

I’d suggest that this demonstrated difference of wisdom comes from the difference of the designers of those worldviews; i.e., God vs. man.

It’s not that at all. . . the Christians stopped chopping our heads off a long time ago. Islam still does it quite regularly.

We won’t give them a second chance, ya’ll will.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with not giving them a second chance, it’s just I’m not willing to give it to them. Ya’ll are.

The reasons I’d tolerate giving Islam a second chance have more to do with practicality and economics, not morality or wisdom.

Jason Coleman on October 21, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Never…they give all their possessions to the poor and love all their enemies.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Jesus only told one person to give all his possessions to the poor (the ‘rich, young ruler’). It was a test for that individual;it wasn’t a blanket commandment to all humanity. There were only two such commandments from Him.

As for loving one’s enemies, one might be tempted to say that Jesus didn’t always do that (his continuous rebuke of the Pharisees, driving the money-changers out of the temple, telling Satan to, ahem, flock off). However, there is the concept of tough love.

I do so wish that wannabe Bible commentarians and critics would actually read the book before commenting on it.

baldilocks on October 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

God is a cnutty character…quite impulsive at times, never know what he’s thinking.

Pablo Honey on October 20, 2011 at 8:30 PM

You have God confused with Allah not-pundit.

baldilocks on October 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Meh.

True, people should not try to enlist Jesus as a conservative or liberal. Not because He’s not closer to one position or the other, but just because He transcends either.

It’s more accurate to say that conservatives follow more of the teachings of Jesus than liberals do.

But this blog post was hardly a big deal. It was more an attempt to draw parallels than anything else, in my view.

I don’t really find this sort of thing to be offensive until they start misquoting Jesus to try to push their point of view. In the case of liberals, they usually key in on cases where Jesus talks about or demonstrates compassion for the poor, while skipping over the fact that all funds for the poor were voluntary donations, not government mandates.

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 21, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Wasn’t it Jesus who said …

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Not exactly a “Conservative” thought that.

As I recall, it was Jesus who said in a parable

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them
equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye
evil, because I am good?

Hmmm. a) Hold laborers to their contract rather than some notion of “fairness.” b) Appeal to the law c) Standing for the right of the property owner to do whatever he wants with his own money

Sounds pretty conservative to me.

The problem is that Jesus is more than conservative. You can be conservative just from believing the right principles. But Jesus was righteous, which required actually living up to those principles.

And … I might add … that Jesus wasn’t exactly a “free trader” if you look at what he did to the money changers in the temple.

The money changers were operating in the temple itself, where they had no right to be, and were widely known to be cheating the people there.

Jesus drove them out physically and personally. Sounds like a Law and Order conservative to me.

I would say “Pontius Pilate” was a big more “Conservative” …
1. “PP” stood for law and order.
2. “PP” was a Roman patriot, believed strongly in Roman exceptionalism and believed strongly that Rome should be the major influence in world affairs. He also believed in a strong defense.
3. “PP” believed in, and ran a balanced budget.
4. “PP” was PRO-Death penalty for criminals. Okay – well he was a little overboard on this too … heh.
5. “PP” even had the idiosyncrasies of a Conservative … he didn’t want to execute Jesus – but got “bullied” by the crowd and backed down off his plan to release Jesus. This is exactly how Conservatives buckled to Dimmocrit pressure in cutting the budget last year. Like Conservatives – Pilate feared the “meme” of the Lame Stream Media.

I think you’re right that Pontius Pilate was indistinguishable from many conservatives. That is, the principles were there, if not the courage of his convictions, and his lust for power was obvious.

But again, there’s that difference between having the right principles and actually living up to them.

The teachings of Jesus weren’t political – they were meant for every man – not any government or political party or movement.

I guess we chalk this up to one more thing Cain doesn’t know.

Then again – I’m sure all his cultist followers will point at this as evidence of how great a President he’d be.

Whatevs.

HondaV65 on October 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

I’d chalk it up to an overblown analogy that’s not worth all the attention, myself.

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 21, 2011 at 7:51 PM

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