I received a call from a lovely young man volunteering with Ted Cruz’s campaign today asking if he could count on my vote for Ted next week. I thanked him for his call and let them know that I will be voting for Bernie Sanders. The young man asked me if I would mind sharing why I am voting for Bernie and why I wasn’t considering supporting Cruz. I explained that as a Christian I feel that Bernie’s stance on the issues most closely align with how Christ called his followers to treat people of every faith, race, economic class, etc. And while I know that Bernie is a non-practicing Jew, in my opinion he is the only candidate proposing changes and policy that align with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I also let him know that the seemingly fear based platform of Cruz in regards to immigration, the Muslim community, and the LBGT community, among other things, feels to me to be very contradictory to the way that Christ has called his followers to live. I let him know that I was very disappointed that none of the Christians in the Presidential race have platforms that are Christlike as Bernie’s. He then asked me if I knew what Bernie’s stance on Israel and I told him that I didn’t but that I really didn’t want to debate each point with him. I thanked him for calling and for listening and ended the conversation cordially.
Once I was off the phone I decided that I had better check out Bernie’s stance on Israel. My immediate fear was that he would be a supporter of the single Israeli state. But alas Bernie supports a two state state solution. Now I am not here to debate this issue, because it is a big one and over the last 25 years my position on it has completely transformed. It is just too big to get into an internet debate over. Suffice it to say that I also support a two state solution. If you want to know how and why I came to this viewpoint you can check out Red Letter Revolution: What if Jesus Really Meant What He Said? by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo.
What I will say is that at every turn I find that Bernie Sanders hold viewpoints that are more aligned with the loving way that Christ called his followers to live. More so than any other candidate running. And this is why he will get my vote.
Another great resource that will help explain my choice of political candidate to back is Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. And no, they don’t suggest who you should support. In fact, this book was written in 2008.