“Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you want something new. . . . There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.” Neale Donald Walsch
Jewish Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders does not talk much about religion. But his faith is firmly anchored in his sense of responsibility for those around him. More than any other politician running for office, he believes Pope Francis has been “a miracle for humanity.”
On issue after issue, this candidate is more Catholic in his positions than the Jesus-Mary-Holy Card politicians who parade their Catholic credentials, but have far more trouble agreeing with the basic call of the Gospels.
Bernie Sanders has a clear message that could have come straight out of the Gospels. It is a message of justice, fairness, and peace. Bernie Sanders
- believes that the man who has two coats should give to the man who has none.
- believes in the impact of climate change, and thinks we should do something about it– yesterday.
- loves Pope Francis and agrees with him on the care of creation, on the people-destroying excesses of capitalism, and the need to be better stewards of the earth and its people. Has no trouble saying a definitive NO to fracking. Or saying that Democratic governors who support it are wrong.
- wants the United States to join the rest of the developed world in guaranteeing healthcare as a right.
- wants the wealthiest country in the world to give people access to public colleges–tuition-free.
- wants to re-distribute wealth to the working class and the middle class.
- thinks it is an abomination, and unacceptable that the top one tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
- wants to end the cycle of perpetual warfare. Voted AGAINST the Iraq war.
- Does not believe in the death penalty, plain and simple. “I just don’t want to see government be part of killing.”
- does not want one more disastrous trade deal that ends decent-paying jobs in America as corporations pursue the cheapest labor they can find in developing countries.
- sees God in his neighbor, and expresses his faith in the act of helping those in need. He explains:
“When we talk about God, whether it is Christianity or Judaism or Islam or Buddhism, what we are talking about is what all religions hold dear, and that is to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you….Morally and ethically we do not have the right to turn our back on children in Flint who are being poisoned, or veterans who are sleeping out in the streets. . . We are in this together.”
Franciscan friar and ecumenical teacher, Richard Rohr writes in Eager to Love: “Our resistance to suffering is an entire industry now, perhaps symbolized by the total power of the gun lobby and the permanent war economy in America, the fear of any profit sharing with the poor, or the need to be constantly entertained. Maybe that is why some have said that the foundational virtue underlying all others is courage(“cor-agere”= an action of the heart). It takes immense courage to walk in solidarity with the suffering of others, and even our own.”
Bernie Sanders’ beliefs do not shift with the winds of political expediency. He keeps demonstrating through the simple clarity of his anti-establishment positions on a range of issues that touch everyone, that he has courage.
“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” Thomas Merton