Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Beliefs

I've had a lot of time to think about my beliefs this past two years. Today I stumbled across the term "Christian Left". I went to Wikipedia to research it and decided that the following description fitted a lot of my personal beliefs.

Definition of Christian Left

As with any division inside the left- and right- wings of the political spectrum, such a label is an approximation, including within it groups and persons holding diverse viewpoints. The term left-wing might encompass a number of values which may or may not be held by different Christian movements and individuals.
As the unofficial title of a loose association of believers, it does provide a clear distinction from the more commonly known "Christian Right" or "Religious Right" and its key leaders and political views.
The most common religious viewpoint which might be described as 'left wing' is social justice, or care for the poor and the oppressed (see Minority groups). Supporters of this might encourage universal health care, welfare provision, subsidized education, foreign aid, and Affirmative Action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged. Stemming from egalitarian values, adherents of the Christian left consider it part of their religious duty to take actions on behalf of the oppressed. As nearly all major religions contain some kind of requirement to help others, social justice has been cited by various religions as in line with their faith.
The Christian Left holds that social justice, renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness, and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publicly mandated prayer), are mandated by the Gospel (Matthew 6:5-6). The Bible contains accounts of Jesus repeatedly advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy, powerful, and religious. The Christian Left maintains that such a stance is relevant and important. Adhering to the standard of "turning the other cheek", which they believe supersedes the Old Testament law of "an eye for an eye", the Christian Left often hearkens towards pacifism in opposition to policies advancing militarism.
While non-religious socialists sometimes find support for socialism in the Gospels (for example Mikhail Gorbachev citing Jesus as "the first socialist"),[1] the Christian Left does not find that socialism alone as an adequate end or means. Christian faith is the core of their belief which in turn demands social justice.