A discussion ensued recently on AT&T regarding whether Jesus was a liberal or a conservative. My contention was that he was neither or both, and that Liberal/Conservative is much too simplistic a picture of how an enlightened being would look at the world. Here are a few examples of Jesus fitting into both categories:
The Liberal Jesus:
1. Saw his mission as primarily to the poor, the oppressed and the disenfranchised.
2. Taught that it was difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom, and urged the rich to sell their goods and give to the poor.
3. Was a homeless vagabond.
4. Urged non-judgmentalism and ultra-pacifism.
The Conservative Jesus
1. Taught a very strict moral code (lust is as bad as adultery, for example)
2. Refused to endorse revolution, even against the Romans
3. Was frequently the dinner guest of the rich and powerful
4. Urged non-judgmentalism and ultra-pacifism
Why is non-judgmentalism and pacifism on both the liberal AND conservative lists? First of all, both liberals and conservatives are judgmental against each other. Imagine a conservative being non-judgmental of Barbara Streisand or a liberal being non-judgmental of Rush Limbaugh.
And while military pacifism may be "liberal", many who would think of themselves as liberal are quite ready to endorse involuntary taxation for wealth redistribution and increased government regulation. All government is basically FORCE. Can one really imagine Jesus not simply urging the wealthy to give to the poor… but enforcing it at the point of a gun?