In terms of ideology, progressivism is more Christian than many may think.
Progressives are sometimes associated with atheism and anti-religious sentiment, especially toward Christianity. Despite this, progressives hold many views that tend to be in line with the religion’s teachings.
It is this fact that progressives need to be referencing more often, certainly when attempting to approach those of the Christian faith with their beliefs.
I have had a long religious journey that has taken me from Christianity, to Atheism, and back to Christianity. Recently, I have come to realize that Christianity and American progressivism are not contradictory ideas, but rather harmonious ones. This has led me back to my faith.
Christian ideals are based on principles of tolerance, humanitarian spiritual growth and the promotion of equality. It is my belief that the progressive ideology most closely resembles the teachings of Jesus and the Word of God.
Studying the Bible delivers a couple of clear, impactful messages. The first is that Jesus was the Son of God. The second is that his message is one of acceptance, forgiveness and responsibility to the rest of humanity. It is these messages that Christians are intended to deliver to the world.
As an example, a passage reads, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” - Leviticus 19:33-34.
Applying this verse to the immigration issue, it seems clear that treatment of immigrants should not only be humane but identical to the treatment of native citizens. There is no distinction made between immigrant and illegal immigrant. The message is simply to treat foreigners like they are citizens and to care for them in the same manner as you would any other neighbor.
Another issue that plagues our country, which many progressives are adamantly against, is war.
Particularly, progressives disagree with the seemingly endless wars that the United States have become involved in. Jesus preached nonviolence, but perhaps one of his most famous statements comes from the Sermon on the Mount:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” - Matthew 5:38-40.
Jesus made it adamantly clear that one should never seek revenge but rather an end to conflict. Peace and prosperity for all of humanity is what he wanted us to seek. Acceptance of those who hated him is how Jesus lived his entire life.
Wealth inequality is also a hot topic in the United States. What does Jesus have to say about excesses of wealth?
“When Jesus heard this, he said unto him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” - Luke 18:22.
This was a comment he made to a wealthy man. It is clear that Jesus was against the idea of excessive wealth.
There are other topics that could be mentioned and defended from a Biblical perspective, like abortion. However, that is a topic best left to women to discuss, as women are most harshly affected by the pro-choice/pro-life debate.
Jesus, as he who fulfilled the Old Testament and brought about the New Testament, is quite progressive, all things considered.
Progressives have championed immigration reform and anti-interventionism and have argued for a wealth tax. These policies would benefit millions of Americans.
Progressives should be aware that the Bible supports their beliefs, and that simply criticizing Christianity is a missed opportunity to highlight that support.