My heart sank when I heard Mitt Romney’s videotaped comments to a group of wealthy campaign donors. I so wanted to believe that he’s a good, kind, spiritual man – even though I disagree with his politics. I think Jesus’ heart must have sunk, too, to hear such cold, condemning words from the lips of someone who professes to be a Christian. But apparently Romney prefers to just worship Jesus, rather than follow Him.
I understand. Every Christian knows it’s much easier to worship than follow. It’s easy to say “God bless America” – it’s hard to go into the military and put your life on the line for her. It’s easy to write checks to your church – it’s hard to extend your generosity to the thousands of people whose jobs you outsourced. It’s easy to help out friends and neighbors in times of need – it’s hard to be compassionate to the millions of needy people you don’t know personally. It’s easy to act pious in public – it’s hard to really be Christ-like when you’re hanging out with your über-rich friends behind closed doors.
What would Jesus say? I’m not a biblical scholar … but I do know that Jesus had a lot to say about the poor, hungry, and needy … and about those who seek power. Jesus tells me that I AM brother’s keeper – it is my job to help those who may have lost their way and ended up homeless, hopeless, and poverty-stricken, no matter how they got there. Jesus tells me to judge not, lest I be judged – it is my job to help others, not judge them as “victims” who refuse to take responsibility for their lives. Jesus tells me to love my neighbor as myself – and He doesn’t just mean my literal neighbors – He means everyone. Jesus tells me that the meek shall inherit the earth – it is my job to be humble, not arrogant. Jesus tells me that if I seek to lead people, I must serve them. And Jesus cautions me against personal, ego-driven ambition: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?”
Alas, Mitt, the more you talk – in public and in private – the more we see who you really are. Makes me sad. I want to cry when I hear your cold, cruel comments. I think Jesus must be crying, too. Mitt, Mitt, oh Mitt, have you learned nothing from all your years in church?
When I was traveling in North Carolina some years ago, I noticed the marquee in front of a little white church, and its message has stuck with me ever since: “Those who deserve love least, need it the most.” So I’m trying to love you, Mitt, I’m really trying … even though you don’t seem to love the 47% of Americans who need it the most.
I love you, Mitt, because Jesus tells me to love you as my brother … but I’m praying you never make it to the White House.