Miroslav Volf on Why Christians Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

volf

Volf is the Henry B. Wright professor of theology at Yale Divinity School.  (Yes, Yale does have Christian theologians on the payroll).  Check out his interview with journalist Jonathan Merritt that is currently running at Religion News Service.

A taste:

RNS: In a given election, is there ever a “Christian” candidate?

MV: With just a bit of facetiousness, we could say that Jesus Christ is the only Christian candidate. Short of him, just as, strictly speaking, there are no Christian nations, so there are also no Christian candidates for the public office. Candidates can be more or less aligned with the commitments, convictions, and character that we see displayed in Christ, in the New Testament as interpreted in the context of the entire Scripture and taking into account the changed economic, political and cultural conditions under which we all live.

RNS: Who, in your opinion, is a more “Christian” candidate in this presidential election?

MV: It seems clear to me that Hillary Clinton is not only the more competent of the two major party presidential candidates running for office now, but that the kind of vision she stands for is more in line with the Christian faith than is Donald Trump’s. It is important to keep in mind the whole range of convictions and virtues when making an assessment, rather than zeroing in on just one or two. In Public Faith in Action, we discuss some 25 of them, ranging from positions on wealth and education, though positions on abortion and euthanasia to positions on war, policing and religious freedom.

RNS: I want to get to these issues. But first, make your best case for the candidate you think Christians should vote for.

MV: The best case to be made for Hillary Clinton is that on balance she better represents the convictions and character that should concern Christian citizens. No candidate is perfect. There are certainly areas where Secretary Clinton’s policies and record might give Christians pause. But she takes the threat posed by climate change seriously. Her policies, such as paid family leave, would actually strengthen American families. She is committed to a just and welcoming approach to immigration that does not unduly compromise the legitimate good of security. She supports major reforms to America’s overly retributive and racially-biased criminal justice system. And, perhaps most importantly, she has demonstrated much deeper commitment to supporting the disadvantaged and the vulnerable than her opponent has, his grandiose rhetoric notwithstanding.

RNS: What about the traditionally conservative issue of abortion? How should Christians think about this?

MV: Human life should be inviolable. That follows from the fact that human beings were created in the image of God and that God is attached to them in love. No matter who we are — how underdeveloped, incapacitated, and unproductive or how brilliant, diligent, and productive – we all have equal dignity before God and equal worth. That holds true for the new one in the mother’s womb, for the dying, and for everyone in between. The debates about the point that life in a mother’s womb becomes human life should not obscure that basic conviction.

Some food for thought.  Read the entire interview here.

One thought on “Miroslav Volf on Why Christians Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

  1. A Yale theology prof essentially makes the argument that Jesus supports Big Government. No surprise there, John. Slap a Jesus fish on Big Government and call it Christian. 🙂

    Any time I read of one of these guys making the “Christian” case for Big Government, I would like to ask: “So, what does Christian theology tell us about how much one person can claim of the labors of another person(s)?”

    For instance – paid family leave. He says it would benefit the family. Probably so. If I had had paid family leave when each of our 3 children were born, it would have been grand to have 3-6 months of paid time off. Who wouldn’t want that? Six months off work with someone else doing your work and paying for your upkeep. Sounds like a great scheme.

    However, there are no solutions in life, only trade-offs. Having someone else pay my mortgage or grocery bill while I play around with an infant for 6 months means either I will be paid less by my employer or I will taxed more to fund that playtime. There is no free lunch. And if government mandates such a policy, then that means that money will be taken from each employee and they will not have that available to spend on other things that they may give a priority higher than getting to take a 3 or 6 month paid leave.

    Inequality? Would you rather have the lower inequality of the 1950s or the inequality of the 2000s? Tell everyone to stop buying iPhones and iPads and all the other gadgets of the world. There is too much inequality between us and the late Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates. Stop buying music and contributing to the inequality that Bruce Springsteen has over us. Or stop going to movies. Will Tom Hanks only be allowed to make no more than seven times what the lowest paid person at a movie studio makes? Will the presidential salary be cut to the no more than 7 times the lowest paid government employee?

    One of your goals in this blog is to encourage people to think more deeply about history. Posts like this make me think more people need to think more deeply about economics and the implications of some stupid beliefs (such as a 7:1 pay ratio). Just about anybody can dream up a wish list and make a decent argument for how it meets the “common good”. Free cars, free housing, free food, free electricity, cell phones, free gas.

    Where is the “Christian” line between what one person should expect to pay for himself and what he can rightfully expect someone else to pay for? Food, clothing and shelter are the basic necessities of life. Why do we not – in the name of Jesus – seek to have “single payer” for these? There are much more necessary than health care, and according to many folks who think like Volf, Jesus would be all-in for single-payer health care.

    At some point you run out of other people’s money to pay for things. I would truly love to see the tax revenue all these lefties think they will get if they ever get to tax the “1%” at the rate they want versus the total bill of every item they have ever promised the ‘99%” would get as a result of that money. I imagine they have spent that money many times over.

    I am reminded of a quote by the 19th century philosopher-economist Frederic Bastiat: “”The State is the great fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” In America, everyone is trying to live at the expense of the “1%”.

    If you’ll excuse me, I shall step down from my soap box for the day. All this rambling and I barely scratched the surface of some of Volf’s comments. Certainly a very shallow interview that doesn’t do much more than trot out some of the standard political rhetoric with a bit of a “Christian” spin on it.

    Signed,
    A #NeverTrumpNeverHillary guy

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