Election 2012, Jesus v Darwin

Posted on May 1, 2012

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Let’s get ready to rumble!  In this corner we have the “Grand Ol’ Party”, the people who brought you Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.  The party responsible for preserving the Union and shifting all the money and power to the top of it.  Representing them is the richest man to ever run for president and the first Mormon to ever make it to this stage of the election, Mitt Romney.  In the opposite corner we have the Democrats.  The people who brought you FDR and and JFK.  Yes, they are the more hip party, hence the 3 letter acronyms for their POTUSes (for some reason it feels like that the plural should be “POTI”). Representing them is the first, the one, and the only, foreign-born-socialist-muslim-sleeper-cell incumbent president Mr. Barack Hussein Obama.

What’s more important than the combatants in this duel, is their respective philosophical corner men, represented by Darwin and Jesus.  That’s right, Charles Darwin, the scientist who authored the theory of evolution and Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, the Jewish Rabbi who Christians believe is the Son of God and whose death freed mankind from their sins.  Their philosophies, on science and religion respectively, have been transposed to fit any and every ethical and financial situation in daily American life, but you’d be surprised at which party leans more towards one of these timeless icons over the other!  Republicans seem to believe in Jesus and practice “Economic Darwinism” while Democrats believe in Darwin and a “What Would Jesus Do” economic system.

It’s been over 40 years since Jerry Fallwell “…Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right” as Michael Sean Winters so aptly titled his book on the subject.  Since then the Republicans have claimed to be God’s lobbyist in the halls of congress, but if we go issue by issue on what they believe, they stand more firmly with, what an economist would call “economic Darwinism”, than anything a man who fed thousands with just 2 fishes and 5 loaves.  Let’s go issue by issue.

Republicans believe the poor need to get up off their asses and rise out of poverty through their own hard work.  I don’t think Democrats would disagree with that position, but they also seem to try to understand an individuals extenuating circumstances.  At the very least they take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to helping the poor, much in the same thing Jesus did.  He didn’t ask why you were poor or sick, and you didn’t have to tell him, he just fed and healed you.  Conservatives blatantly want the country to be more “Christ like”, yet they don’t want the government to follow the verses in the New Testament that admonish us to feed the poor, and only quote the scriptures where Jesus talks about homosexuality and abortion (I’ll give you a few moments to hunt those down).

Let’s talk about universal health care.  The conservatives run the party that literally cheered the hypothetical question of an uninsured man dying, from a disease or injury that he did not have the foresight to prepare for, in a Republican debate.  They seem to be okay with people not being cured from injuries and sicknesses that modern medicine has allowed us to alleviate.  As much as I understand the need to champion wise decision making, how can you in one breath scream about how the nations laws should closely match how the bible feels about homosexuality, and literally advocate against healing the sick?  It is the height of Darwinistic “natural selection” to leave fellow humans alone to die in misery from curable or preventable sickness and disease.

Darwinism is all about natural selection.  The idea that over time, the weak and ineffective species (and when applied to society and economics replace “species” with “norms” and “business”) will die out and make room for the better.  Conservatives take that philosophy to heart when discussing the economy.  Mitt Romney had no qualms with letting the auto-workers suffer through a world changing flood of layoffs.  It is evidently what the market called for, and who are we to stand in the way of economic evolution?  You would think that at some point the conservative penchant towards economic Darwinism and it’s rampant jingoism and xenophobia would collide to make this country better.  As much as they see the world as  “us” vs “them” internationally, why don’t they make all of our countries citizens stronger both economically and physically?  The disconnect is amazing.

Now, while the conservatives believe that natural selection is a true phenomena when it comes to economics, they fight it tooth and nail when it comes to what should be taught to our children.  Instead of making observation about the harsh reality of the world (Darwinism in a nutshell) they want us to have faith and believe in something we have no physical evidence of.  Trust me, I understand some of the push back against scientific findings.  Scientists have a knack of stating theory as fact, which can be incredibly annoying.  But that’s only because they understand that every statement of fact is open to being challenged and investigated.  You don’t believe the sky is blue? Prove it isn’t!  Religious people, on the other hand, brag about their lack of evidence as proof of their righteousness, a position that is much more confusing.

Saying Liberals believe in Darwin and “What Would Jesus Do” Economics doesn’t mean that most liberals in the political arena aren’t Christians.  I’m positive that the majority of them would identify themselves as Christians, and maybe close to half of them really mean it.  I suspect many just don’t want to have that fight, and remain politically and culturally Christian.

In the end, however, liberals are very Darwinian.  Their views are the result of trail and error.  It is a result of knowing that the health, well-being and education of all in our community is in our best interest.  Feeding, healing and educating your neighbors isn’t the act of some other world altruism.  It comes from a basic, almost scientific, understanding of how the world works.  We depend on each other, and any one suffering will eventually bring that suffering to others around them.  Jesus of the bible didn’t need the empirical evidence that we have now, to know that the well being of all is in everyone’s self interest.  He just did what Jesus would do.