taking the words of Jesus seriously

Red Letter Christianity tries to maintain a non-partisan posture because we believe that Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican.  We believe that to cast Jesus in the guise of either political party is idolatry.  Therefore, it becomes difficult for me to state categorically that the Republican political leadership in the state of Pennsylvania has made me angry because this gives evidence that I am not as non-partisan as I claim to be.

Recently, the Republican governor of the state proposed a bill that would require persons to present government-approved photo identification at polling places in order to vote.  One of the following must be presented on Election Day: a driver’s license, a passport, or a birth certificate.  There is evidence that those who are poor and least likely to present such documentation are going to be disfranchised.  This bill, consequently, will discriminate against elderly people and certain ethnic minorities, which groups are most likely to vote the Democratic ticket.  The bill passed the state legislature along party lines, with Republicans voting 100 percent in favor of the bill.

The justification given by the governor for promoting this bill is to prevent further fraud.  That sounds very reasonable until one finds that there is almost no evidence that voter fraud has taken place anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania; not even in the big cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  Studies to substantiate that claim were conducted by the League of Women Voters.

I am reminded of what was written by the prophet Isaiah, who said, “Woe unto you legislators who pass unjust laws to oppress widows and orphans.  What will you say on the Day of Judgment?  What will you do on the Day of the Lord?” (paraphrased from Isaiah 10 New Jerusalem Bible).

Tony Campolo is the Founder and President of EAPE and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. Look for Tony in your area and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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