Skip to main content

I do not claim to be Christian. But the Republicans do. I do take Jesus's teachings seriously. But the Republicans don't.

The story of the adulteress about to be stoned to death by a crowd is a case in point. As the scene begins, the focus of attention is the woman who has sinned, but Jesus immediately shifts the focus onto the crowd. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

What concerns Jesus here, evidently, is much less the misdeeds of the woman than the spirit of the crowd. They are filled with a righteous wrath that's driving them toward brutally killing the adulteress. By his words --"Let him who is without sin...."-- Jesus is saying, "There's something amiss with you who are so ready to kill someone for going astray when you yourselves, in your own ways, also go astray."

The spirit of punitive righteousness is NOT what Jesus wants a human community to express.

How does that jibe with the spirit that the Republicans of our times bring into our national community?

How much does a Newt Gingrich reflect this teaching when he denounces Bill Clinton's dalliance with an intern at the very time, as we later learn, that he himself is engaging in sexual misconduct far more damaging to his own marriage?

How much is this Christian spirit shown by a Rush Limbaugh who denounces drug users, while he has his own problems with using his improperly acquired stash of painkillers?

Where in the whole panoply of Republican stands on the issues --immigration, gay marriage, unemployment compensation, prisons, etc. -- do we NOT find the stain of that spirit of punitive self-righteousness that, this story shows, is NOT what Jesus wanted a community to express?

With respect to the sinner, in addition to saving the woman's life, Jesus parts from her with the words, "Go and sin no more." It is not that he is indifferent to sin, to people straying from the right path. But he addresses that problem in a spirit of love for the sinner. The words with which he sends her off provide an impetus to help her yet again be rescued to life, to leave behind what has separated her from wholeness and get her life together.

This is how a political force animated by the Christian spirit would deal with those in our nation whose lives have strayed from the path that makes life more whole.

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District.  He is the author of various books including Out of Weakness: Healing the Wounds that Drive Us to War.  

Originally posted to AndySchmookler on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site