You cannot be a Christian and a Republican. Here’s Why.

Dear conservative Christian,

You’ve been tricked. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled.

Sold a bag of goods by snake oil salesmen in sheep’s clothing.

I’m sorry you have to find out this way. In a blog post. By a writer you’ve never heard of.

If it’s any consolation, I was once in the same position; conflating my Christianity with my capitalism. Perceiving the big bad government as intrusive to the pursuit of my God-ordained liberty. Assuming that individual merit in both life and the heavenly pursuit were two sides of the same coin.

And I recall the ever-calcifying echo chamber of my conservatism. My fundamentalist thoughts and meanderings, sometimes voiced by others, bouncing around unimpeded until affirmation was achieved.

Thank you, Sean Hannity, for bravely hanging up on those who dared challenge your point! Thank you, Rush Limbaugh, for diligently shouting over opposing views! Thank you, Matt Walsh, for your condescending snark and enduring refusal to acknowledge both sides! Thank you, Fox News, for always playing to your audience! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You collectively relieved me of the need to think for myself. Whew!

As you can imagine, my exodus from conservatism and as a staunch Republican has been a quite sobering journey, though I suppose stranger things have happened when one follows Jesus instead of Donald Trump. When actually studying the Bible instead of Breitbart. Or reading the commands of Jesus instead of those issued by Steve Bannon.

The individual reasons you cannot be a Christian and a Republican are various and exhaustive. They wouldn’t all fit onto a blog post, though the premise is quite simple: conservative ideology, as personified by Republicans, is an individualistic pursuit. Christian theology, as personified by Jesus, is precisely the opposite.

Take a minute, and read that again. It has pretty severe and far-reaching implications. Feel free to grab your Bible to follow along.

At this point, you’re either infuriated or concerned. Maybe a little of both. How dare I question your patriotic allegiance to God and Country, amirite? But I hope there’s some daylight, because if you keep reading, perhaps the smallest part of you will become the thorn that provokes some deeper thought.

All it takes is a mustard seed, or so I’ve heard.

Most of your life, you’ve casually referred to yourself as a Christian. You identify as “Pro Life,” and you’re a proud Republican. But those are little more than labels; a collection of words and symbols that you’ve heard repeated from likeminded people in your circles, family and friends, etc., and naturally, applied to yourself.

Because you’ve repeated them over and over again, they’ve stuck.

Let’s address “Pro Life,” since when I ask the hard questions, it’s what most conservative Christians point to. Hell, it’s what I used to point to. But did you know that Roe v. Wade, the (pretty damn recent) 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, was supported by Republican appointees? Or that the only Democrat appointee voted against it?

Republicans are responsible for legalized abortion. There’s no way around it.

Not-So-Fun Fact: Even before the legalization of abortion, many thousands of women received “back alley” abortions. Even if we made it illegal, abortions would likely still occur, with deadly consequences. Plenty of data has suggested that access to contraceptives and education actually lower the abortion rate.

At some point, I realized I’d rather pay more in taxes that support education proven to lower abortion, than lower taxes that leads to more abortion.

All things being equal, “Pro Life” is also a pretty crappy misnomer. Fetuses and life are hardly mutually exclusive. In the aftermath of the war in Iraq, which like you, I supported, tens of thousands of innocent children have died. The media and military casually refer to these dead children as “collateral damage.”

But are they not “life?”

And if you’re “Pro” Life, shouldn’t that extend to them?

Are they not also Children of God? 

We don’t need to look a world away, either. I don’t see many “Pro Life” signs being waved near the Flint, Michigan water treatment plant. And the anti-refugee stance held by so many Republican Christians is literally anti-Jesus (Jesus was a refugee. No, seriously. That’s sort of central to the nativity story).

It’s a fair question ask how we’ve arrived at this point in American Christianity. And, certainly, there’s answers to that question that I really, really recommend reading (hint: it’s not because Jesus was a Republican). But for me, it’s more important to look forward, and reshape what it means to be a Christian in America.

What is “Christlike”? Is it to defend someone accused of being a pedophile despite insurmountable evidence, simply because they identify as a Republican?

What does it mean to be your Brother’s Keeper? Is it to accrue as much income as possible while others go hungry or cannot afford their medical bills?

What does it mean to love your neighbor and enemy? Is it to stereotype Muslims, blacks, and glorify the military?

Was Jesus actually serious about his commands about wealth and possessions? Or would he heartily endorse of the accumulation of stuff – the nice car, the walk-in closet, the gold-trimmed everything?

When people are suffering in this country and abroad, do we cast judgment and bombs, or love and inclusion?

And when we’re ultimately confronted with the Creator, will we point to an American flag and our success in life, or to those on the margins that we helped to lift?

10 responses to “You cannot be a Christian and a Republican. Here’s Why.”

  1. LOL! Love this post. Well said. All our labels and political tribes can become really idolatrous and interfere with our faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes, symbology, group identity, etc. can all disrupt the faith — and they have for quite some time. Yet we’re called to something even higher, something beyond that ‘worldly’ way of living. Maybe part two will be, “You cannot be a Christian and a Democrat,” but one nightmare at a time …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If what you say is true why not refer to some contextual Bible study with what you do say?


    1. because he can’t


  3. Allen Hoekstra Avatar
    Allen Hoekstra

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this to my friends and congregation. You saved me the footwork. Now to work this using scripture. It would be EXTREMELY helpful if you could update this with scripture for the only truth is with God’s word. And no Christian can deny God’s word without denying God himself.


  4. The problem is the words ‘Republican’ nor ‘Democrat’ are found in Scripture. However, I do say that Christians cannot be found to be Democrats because the DNC calls for the murder of the unborn and for the support of deviate sexual behavior. Paul tells us in his letter to the church in Galatia chapter 5 those who practice such will not enter into the Kingdom of God. Plain enough. Jesus is Lord.


    1. Should you decide to read the entire Bible you’ll find your judgment of others (whom you state are outside the church) is wrong and not Christ-like.


  5. 2 Timothy 2:4
    A general exclusion for Christians from civilian affairs. No need to be a Republican or a Democrat if you follow God.
    1 Corinthians 5:12
    Judging the unsaved forbidden. Whoever wants to get abortion if they’re not claiming Christ as their Master is none of my business.
    I think if you wish to question God’s word you should read the Bible First.
    He clearly states as reference above not to judge people outside the church and don’t get yourself involved in civilian affairs. Very clear?
    I could go on and point out your worldly thinking but I realize you’re not focused on God this question would not come up. How’s the Bible that you haven’t read States you don’t know the scriptures of the power of God.


  6. I am not certain as to why you may think I have not read the Word of God. This inerrant Text clearly states murder is sin and anyone who lives in or practices sin will not enter Heaven because their names are not found in the Book of Life.


  7. The Text of the Word of God must be read and studied within the context of His truth. However, God’s solid foundation remains bearing this expressed truth: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.” I am a conservative because I am a Follower of the Christ. I find it curious that Roe has now been reversed by the Supreme Court and has returned this choice to the States; the people of this great land. Many will choose to abort babies and many will not, but that is an evil choice to be made. And I do not judge anyone on the outside of the Church for they have already been judge by the Judge himself; an obvious review of what they do.


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