Can the American people have Easter off from partisan rhetoric? Christian Science Monitor outlined the contrast in the approach of the GOP and President Barack Obama in their messages Saturday, April 19.
In a brief message linked in the article, Obama said nothing political but was broad enough to cover over 90 percent of Americans. It was not a Christian message spoken by a religious leader like the Easter mass given by Pope Francis, but one of a political leader that stuck to a spiritual message. He specifically mentioned this as a day in alignment with values held by Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and even mentioned Sikhs.
There should be no mistaking the intent of that inclusion: Obama is sending a political message of diversity and acceptance—good things to be sure but calculated nonetheless.
The Republican leaders chose Easter to attack Obama and the Affordable Care Act often called Obamacare that he pushed through in his first term. Flawed though it is, the GOP failed to come up with any alternative but the current system that literally leads to the death of Americans without insurance.
On a philosophical scale, the issue comes down to who one represents and how one represents oneself. The facade of patriotism and family values is stripped away by many policies outside of the abortion issue.
This hypocrisy and others like the "family values" senator whose adultery with his friend's wife was caught on camera or Republicans screaming about protecting civil liberties after supporting the administration with the most abuses of power ever do not dispel the myth that the GOP is patriotic or Christian.
This is neither to say that all Republicans are neither—most are surely both—nor that Democrats are any better in personal affairs or partisan double-standards. However, the GOP is the primary party portraying itself as Christian while failing to represent Him—on the Easter weekend while the faith celebrates His resurrection.
Some Republican policies that are in conflict with the nation's or faith's best interests warrant closer examination...
Education is a patriotic family value. It is as great an investment in a fellow citizen as it is in oneself. If there is a better economist, engineer or doctor out there without a good enough primary education, it is in our best interests to give them access to good enough education to live to their potential for the nation.
Ongoing efforts by Republican governors to strip education funding in Wisconsin and Michigan are despicable, not patriotic or Christian. Schools cannot afford supplies and teachers are among the lowest-paid professionals in this nation.
Could anyone imagine Kamala Harris getting less as Attorney General of California because she is a woman? Of course not, nor are there any arguments that justify paying a woman less for doing the same job.
Equal pay is a patriotic family value. Maybe the single mother does not fit the proper image of a family to Republicans, but it is the reality for many families that should be given equal earning ability.
Blocking this only lends credence to liberal claims on every abortion issue that the GOP is anti-woman. Injustice is unpatriotic and ungodly.
More importantly, the Obamacare that remains a target of the GOP is attempting to address a patriotic family value. It is certainly not off to a good start nor was passed in a manner keeping with great pieces of legislation.
This was precipitated by Republican obstruction, but it is completely within the spirit of the system to take that action. If a sizable minority disagrees with something so severely as to prevent legislation from being passed, that is their right.
The only thing is that with this battle continuing through a mid-term and presidential election, it is unreasonable to expect a majority party might not make moves like threatening to vote out filibusters and using executive orders. After all, the same thing happened with the Republican president before Obama.
Moreover, they are not in line with pro-life, Christian values on this issue. The richest nation in the world can certainly afford to give all its citizens proper medical care. The party so often claiming adherence to Christianity is choosing to keep some money in the hands of the wealthy to keep potentially life-saving medical attention from over 10 percent of its citizenry because some of them may not be doing all they can to get themselves out of the situation?
There are hundreds of scriptures about caring for the poor and none about keeping higher percentages of one's already substantial wealth. It would also be difficult to use scriptures to justify blocking something designed to help someone without offering an alternative.
It is time for Christians to start demanding leaders touting their values be accountable. The day Christ rose to heaven is the perfect time to reclaim His name and revoke the free pass many have given the GOP mostly because of political rather than spiritual reasons.