While I must admit I am a Christian and Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior, I am just overwhelmingly proud to be a Republican and conservative in America these days. Republican and conservative leadership including all the pundits, journalists, bloggers, consultants and us rank-and-file conservatives have all demonstrated that collectively we must be smarter than Jesus. That’s an audacious thing for someone like me to say but I just feel it must be said given the way the latest negotiations for preventing going over the “fiscal cliff” have went. Most of us conservatives are Christians and we have maintained a consistent set of values for years; I am confident that our way is the righteous path. We are so smart it almost makes me want to cry and since it is the Christmas season I just could not help but point out the differences between the ways we smart conservatives are negotiating with liberals versus how Jesus might’ve done it. We truly are smarter.
We conservative Republicans have steadfastly fought any type of tax increase. Most conservative politicians have solemnly pledged to never vote for a tax increase. Very smart. When the question of raising taxes comes up you already have the answer so why should anyone even ask; no thinking required. No more tax increases truly is the most righteous position that we could possibly take. Would Jesus have taken such a strong stand if he were a Republican politician? I don’t think so based on what I read in the Bible. Jesus repeatedly did not hold a hard line like we really smart people do. Take for example the time when one of those self-righteous and sanctimonious Pharisees tried to trick him by asking if he should pay taxes to Caesar. They were trying to make him say that he didn’t need to pay taxes to Caesar because he was the Son of God; if he said he didn’t they would have thrown him jail. Jesus was tricked and instead of upholding the true and righteous position that he didn’t need to pay taxes he told the Pharisee to look at a coin and see whose picture was on it. It was Caesars’s picture and then then Jesus s said something like “render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Frankly Jesus missed the perfect chance to proudly proclaim his holiness. If he had made the righteous choice then the crucifixion and resurrection could have happened much sooner. We conservatives never miss a chance like that. When it comes to a chance for us to be crucified we always say the sooner the better.
Jesus seemed to think that not allowing others to dictate and control situations with rather small and petty issues was more important than seizing every opportunity to proclaim the righteousness and purity of his beliefs. Once again we conservatives are smarter. We know that stopping this darn tax increase on the rich is the right place to make a stand because stopping any tax increase, no matter how small, is always right. Jesus had another situation where he could have not paid taxes but he went ahead and got the money from the mouth of a fish. We Republicans would never have done that because it would have undermined our promise. Jesus was just not fighter I guess; he seemed to feel that fighting on someone else’s terms was not the right thing to do. Our conservative Republican politicians have clearly demonstrated that fighting on someone else’s terms is the smart thing to do; that’s why I feel so happy today.
Jesus also seemed to not have the perspective of us conservatives. The tax increase on the rich will fund the government for about 20 important days, it represents a tax revenue increase of 4% or 5%, and taxes on the rich will go up 10%. From a conservative’s perspective these are huge and society altering numbers. It means just as much to America today as that coin found in that fishes’ mouth did 2000 years ago. Raising taxes, no matter how small, makes our politicians break their promise. Jesus just didn’t understand – a promise is a promise and a righteous position should never be compromised. Of course I guess they also got to eat the fish with the coin its mouth so that was an added bonus for breaking a promise.
I still shudder to think about the time during the Republican presidential primaries this past year when a moderator asked a trick question. The candidates were asked if they were given a deal where spending would be cut at a ratio 10 to 1 over tax increases would they take it. I just knew a candidate would be a fool and actually answer yes – “that’s a good deal”. No candidate made that mistake because they were all too smart. See Jesus would’ve probably said sure that’s a good deal just give me the spending cuts first. Jesus just would not have understood that not raising taxes was a lot more important than making a deal which would’ve done good for the American people for a long, long time.
Jesus had this long history of compromising his values. I’m reminded of the time when he healed a Samaritan woman’s daughter. At the time Jews were not supposed to have anything to do with Samaritans; Samaritans were considered outcasts from the Jewish religion. Yes Jesus was a Jew and maybe that explains why he was so willing to compromise and work with outside groups. God forbid he might even have been a Democrat today since it seems most Jews today are liberals. Compromising your morals and standards just to help one person, much less the whole country, is just not something smart Republicans and conservatives would do today. Those Pharisees back in Jesus’s time sure knew how to deal with Samaritans. Jesus even told a story about a good Samaritan who helped someone in distress while other good law-abiding Pharisees correctly refused to help that person. Once again Jesus taught helping someone and doing the right thing was more important than being true to your policy and dogma. The Pharisees didn’t make those mistakes of compromise of morals. If Jesus was negotiating for the Republicans today he might even have found some good points in the proposals coming from the other side. Let’s face it Jesus just sometimes wanted to get along with people who didn’t always see eye to eye with him. But we conservatives are smarter than that thank God.
Jesus was also not focused like a laser beam on his maintaining his religious dogma like our Republican leaders are focused on our promise today. His goal was to save the world but he had many diversions in his three years of ministry. He traveled all around performing miracles, healing people, and preaching the gospel so that he could convince people his position was right and that he was the true Son of God. If only he was smart like our leaders and understood that the righteousness of our positions, the forcefulness of our arguments, and the persuasiveness of our words are all that are needed to let everyone know that we are doing the right things for everyone. Jesus thought people needed convincing for some reason; he just did not understand that when you’re right you’re right and you don’t have to explain it to anybody. He even wasted his time trying to explain God’s plan to other people like sinners and Pharisees. If he just understood that “a sinner is a sinner” just like we understand that “a liberal is a liberal” he wouldn’t have tried explaining anything.
Of course everyone understands and believes that if we never raise taxes then the Democrats and liberals will eventually stop spending because they don’t have any more money. I know the Democrats are not smart like us but they surely understand this. Democrats have clearly demonstrated that they understand that the money will eventually run out. For example California has been run by liberals for years and they clearly demonstrated spending restraint since the “no raising taxes” Republicans in the state have prevented new revenues; maybe that is a bad example but you smart conservatives get my point. Our conservative efforts have slowed spending and reduced the size of government; at least they have compared to what might have happened. We have been successful, right? Jesus had a parable about how you can tell a good tree from a bad; it’s by its fruit. A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit. Our effort to reduce the size of government clearly demonstrates the fruit of our conservative tree is good; right? Why didn’t Jesus just let his miracles speak for themselves just like we conservatives do with all of our spending miracles that we’ve worked over the last few years?
Finally for some reason Jesus seemed to think that it was important to have a plan as well as a promise. Of course Jesus’s plan came from God which I guess is a pretty important point. But today we know all that is needed is the promise; the promise of no “new taxes “and then government will get smaller. After all a smaller government will eventually lead to more economic prosperity for all and everyone wants that. We smart conservatives know that having a promise means that you don’t really have to have a plan. Why worry about a long-term plan to accomplish your goals when you can let every opportunity and situation dictate what you’re going to do; it’s so much simpler than all that complex thinking and planning. Now Jesus is the Son of God so naturally He would have a really had a complex plan to change the world forever. If Jesus were a modern-day conservative Republican politician in a leadership position he might have done something like develop a long-term plan. He would’ve probably tried to get people and constituents involved in the plan to help them understand the plan. He was always meeting and talking with people from every walk of life. But our leaders are smart and they know that long term plans never work. Overall they waste a whole a lot of time and must be changed and adjusted constantly to achieve its goal. Plans also take up valuable time and resources but keeping a promise just requires focus and determination; no thought required. Jesus had many opportunities to show his convictions to his Hebrew faith but he avoided those confrontations just to stick to God’s plan. He even “flip flopped” from time to time. Once he said “whoever is not against us is for us” when some people were healing is his name; another time he said” whoever is not with us is against us” when the crucifixion was near. This goes to show that plans can’t be trusted. Of course Jesus had God’s plan to save the world which was important. Some people might think the economic viability of America is important. I agree with our leadership that the economic viability of America does not come up to the level of having a plan which might make us violate promises and compromise. Those Pharisees, like us conservatives, never compromised and look where they are today. Are we smarter than Jesus? No.