In the general election just past, as in several earlier ones, some voters had questions about the relationship between the Democratic Party and the Christian religion. Certainly, not all Republicans are Christians, and neither are all Democrats; but many of both parties do hold to the Christian faith.
However, numbers are not the point of my letter, and I am not comparing the two political parties or discussing the basic Christian requirement of belief in Jesus Christ.
Instead, I want to address the topic of principles to live by.
While it is necessary for any society to judge murderers, rapists, and thieves, there are millions of Christians who try to live their daily lives according to Christ’s commandment, the first verse of Matthew 7, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and so try not to judge other people’s private lives and beliefs. And they understand that, in contrast, many people believe it is important to disapprove of some of the beliefs and behaviors of others. But the many Christian Democrats hope not to be judged un-Christian for differing on these issues.
They believe, instead of judging others, that they should attempt to live their lives by other of Christ’s commandments.
The basic commitment of members of the Democratic Party is to use government, insofar as possible, to make life better for all human beings. This is the driving force of such Democratic efforts as Social Security and Medicare, and numerous others.
Similarly, time and again, Jesus Christ is quoted in the New Testament defining the Christian principle of loving “thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39), which he terms the Second Great Commandment (after loving God). Throughout the gospels, he seeks to demonstrate that accepting this commandment as the guideline of our lives entails kindness, charity, and hospitality.
I do not suggest that either of our two major political parties is a religious organization, and I do not imply anything at all about Republicans. I am simply pointing out that the principles of the Democratic Party and Christianity are very much alike. There are in this great nation millions of good Christians who are also good Democrats—New Deal Democrats who are New Testament Christians.