If Jesus ran for president

I want to note first that Jesus would never run for President of the United States. It wasn’t his thing. He didn’t come as a great political savior, and often he seemed ambivalent to the pressing debates of the day. He rose above national concerns to care for people of every race and background.

But wouldn’t the bumper stickers be great?

Jesus: Can Your Candidate Walk On The Water?

Jesus: He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.

Jesus: The Original Comeback Kid.

As so many presidential candidates have expressed faith in him, I have wondered what his place on the debate stage would be and how he would field questions in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses.

I believe that he would keep reminding people about the needs of the marginalized. He would speak up for the poor and for policies that help people to have basic necessities. He would talk about the need for personal responsibility and the responsibility to help others, including the way that a society helps those on whom hard times have fallen. He would especially call on people of faith to care for the poor and invite everyone to take part in looking after their fellow citizens, faith or no faith, because that’s what neighbors do.

He would reiterate some of the things he said when he walked the earth. That we can not only get along, but even learn to love our enemies. That telling the truth is simpler than what we make it out to be. That we worry too much as a society, and that we work too much.

On occasion we would see tears from Jesus as he listened, some shed in sadness from the way that people can be so ugly to one another, some shed in laughter by just how ridiculous the whole political process can be.

I believe that Jesus would talk more about the meaningful things of everyday life that all people have in common — weddings, births, loss, disappointment, a good meal, work — rather than perpetuate the notion that life revolves around politics and policy-making.

Most of the time he would likely stay silent rather than defend his views, or share a simple story when he was accused
or questioned.

He would be gentle, not brash, bringing more light and less heat. But sometimes he would be angry as he discussed things like incarceration rates and inequalities in the justice system and the self-centeredness that blinds us to the needs of children, the elderly and those with mental illness.

He would call us to be the best people we could be, because that’s what he sees in us. He would inspire us to be servants. He would invite us to rise above the current political atmosphere to another level of thinking about what it means to be fully human and fully alive.

That’s what I think it would be like if Jesus ran for president.

And I don’t think he would make it past Iowa.