It sounds eerily like what Hitler's government said about the Jews–"Christkillers." Herman Cain's loaded statement targeted towards liberals in his RedState diary in December of last year is now making the rounds, and ending with "separation of church and state doesn't really mean separation of church and state." Here are some snippets:
For 30 years, He learned the ways of the world without becoming of the world. He then changed the world for the better.
He led without a mandate. He taught without a script. His common sense parables filled people with promise and compassion, His words forever inspiring.
He never condemned what others believed – just sin, evil and corruption.
He helped the poor without one government program. He healed the sick without a government health care system. He feed the hungry without food stamps. And everywhere He went, it turned into a rally, attracting large crowds, and giving them hope, encouragement and inspiration.
For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done. He didn’t travel by private jet. He walked and sailed, and sometimes traveled on a donkey.
But they made Him walk when He was arrested and taken to jail, and no, He was not read any Miranda Rights. He was arrested for just being who He was and doing nothing wrong. And when they tried Him in court, He never said a mumbling word.
He didn’t have a lawyer, nor did He care about who judged Him.
His judge was a higher power.
The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12. (emphasis ours)
His death reset the clock of time.
Never before and not since has there ever been such a perfect conservative.
The attacks are disguised as political correctness, or a misunderstanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Separation of Church and State does not mean Separation of Church from State. The State cannot impose Church on the people, but the people can display and say as much Church in the public square as they desire. (emphasis ours)
Our Founders recognized that distinction, which helped to inspire the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the founding of this nation – The United States of America!
We must be the Defending Fathers and the defenders of the perfect conservative.
And so the cherry picking of Scripture begins to fit one's political outlook. Is it right to mold someone who lived 2,000 years ago into our modern political terminology? For one thing, Jesus didn't live in a democracy; he lived during Roman occupation. For another, does Herman Cain mean to say that if Jesus didn't have Miranda rights read to him, nobody else should either? To keep things fair and balanced, as it were, we can play Cain's game and also say that Jesus was a liberal killed by a conservative court, who were the orthodox religious leaders of their day, because he preached a new gospel that was not based on literalism, or explicitly on Mosaic laws, which the orthodox leaders and Roman authorities saw as a threat to their political aspirations. This is a dangerous game to play; flirting with anti-semitism on the one hand, and flatly blaming the Romans on the other hand, when scholars are in major disagreement as to exactly why Jesus had to die.
In this absurd game of conservative vs. liberal, Herman Cain plays a dangerous game of labeling one group as the enemy of society, and we all know where that went in Germany in 1933.
Reasons we could say Jesus was a liberal:
Jesus gave free healthcare to those who believed in Him.
Jesus gave free food to people who showed up to see him.
Jesus never endorsed any political party in the New Testament, thus, we can also say he was apolitical.
Jesus was a pacifist: He emphasized the “Kingdom of God” over the kingdom of man, and heaven over earth, and his central message was to love God and to love one another. When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40). In the next chapter in Matthew (23:9-12) Jesus punctuated the point by comparing earthly fathers to the heavenly father: “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Michael Shermer of True/ Slant demonstrates the absurdity of cherry picking when he says:
Even on the current hot-button issue driving the Tea Party train—taxes—when asked if it was proper to pay taxes, Jesus famously said (Matthew 22:21): “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
There are many ways to make Jesus fit us, as William Blake's famous statement goes:
The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my vision’s greatest enemy.
Thine has a great hook nose like thine;
Mine has a snub nose like to mine.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates.
Socrates taught what Meletus
Loath’d as a nation’s bitterest curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own mind
A benefactor to mankind.
Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou read’st black where I read white.
Cain's statement got a lot of comments, some agreeing, most disagreeing with his vision of a "conservative" Christ. We'll end with Colbert, who made memorable remarks about this very issue: