That’s what a Facebook friend of mine asked the other day. It’s no secret that there are lots of liberal Christians but in recent years they’ve been loath to use the Bible to make political points. The reasons are many, ranging from a strong belief in the separation of Church and State all the way to simply being on the side of an issue that Scripture doesn’t support (which is why faith should transcend party for Catholics, just saying).
But in the present heady moment the “liberals” have all the Scripture on their side, and pretty explicitly too. Conservative Christians suddenly find themselves in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of being targeted by the very pointed words of Christ when they try to defend the recent Executive Order.
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” ~ Matthew 25:41-45
So perhaps it’s very natural that religious folks who lean liberal politically are excited to be able to demonstrate that they read the Bible too, and that they’ve taken these parts of it to heart. Many American religious leaders have been quick to speak out against the Executive Order, which actually violates the religious freedom of American Christians who are called to welcome the stranger and are being prevented from doing so.
I grew up in a house were scripture was always quoted in their extreme liberal views. My parental unit and her friends were really into “Liberation Theology” and the work of Leonardo Boff, The church we went to had some priests that were into it. It was big in Latin America in the 60’s and 70’s.
Liberation Theology is an interpretation of Christian theology with an emphasis a concern for the liberation of the oppressed. In the early 80’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) objected that the spiritual concept of the Church as “People of God” is transformed into a “Marxist myth” and pretty much put a stop to it.
The interesting thing is that the church I go to now (St.Columba in Oakland) practices Liberation Theology but will not call it that. The church has some pretty liberal attitudes about things (they have crosses in front of the church for every one who is murdered in Oakland) and use scripture to back up their teachings.