Is Bernie Sanders The Most ‘Christian’ Candidate?

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate, Democratic or Republican, who does not subscribe to the Christian faith. Hillary Clinton is Methodist, Donald Trump is a Presbyterian, John Kasich is an American Anglican, and Ted Cruz, the son of a preacher, is Southern Baptist.

Bernie Sanders is Jewish and refers to himself as “not particularly religious.” Yet many believe that Sanders may be the most Christian candidate of them all.

Of course, by “Christian,” no one means that Sanders subscribes to the actual Christian belief in faith and salvation or that he believes that Jesus was the Messiah.

But when it comes to working the fundamental beliefs about helping the “least of these” — the poor, the sick, and the needy — into actual policy, there is little doubt that, in this aspect, Bernie Sanders is the most Christian candidate, according to the Week.

Sanders is the candidate who speaks often about the government having an actual moral obligation to help those in need and to place focus on the vulnerable in society.

As Peter Weber wrote, “In promoting the deeply Christian principles that are actually germane to governing a country, Sanders is talking the Jesus talk better than his Christian rivals.”

Sanders is often referred to as the “Pope Francis” candidate, and he seems to like the comparison, often invoking the Pope by name in speeches and social media posts. In an interview with the Washington Post, Sanders openly admitted that he believes his views and the views of the Pope are similar.

“I think the Vatican has been aware of the fact that, in many respects, the pope’s views and my views are very much related. He has talked in an almost unprecedented way about the need to address income and wealth inequality, poverty, and to combat the greed that we’re seeing all over this world, which is doing so much harm to so many people.”

During an interview with the Canadian Catholic network Salt and Light, Sanders called Pope Francis a “socialist,” saying that the pope has raised the issue of “idolatry of money” and advocated tirelessly for society’s most vulnerable “in a very bold way.”

And it is Bernie Sanders, the “not very religious” Jew from Vermont, who has been invited to the Vatican in order to make an address at a conference on social, economic, and environmental issues.

Sanders, like the pope, often puts his concern for man-made climate change in terms of morality. Sanders is, along with Hillary Clinton, one of only two candidates who publicly believes that climate change is real. When he addresses the Vatican, Sanders states that he plans to speak about “the planetary crisis of climate change and the moral imperative to make sure we leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for future generations.”

Sanders also appears as the most Christian candidate when he invokes morality, blasting the greed of major banks and corporations for “destroying the fabric of America.”

During the interview with the New York Daily News, Bernie Sanders made it clear that he believes greed and a lack of morality have led to the destruction of the middle class.

“If you are a corporation and the only damn thing you are concerned about is your profits…. that is destroying the moral fabric of this country. That is saying that I don’t care that the workers here have worked for decades. It doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters is that I can make a little bit more money. That the dollar is all that is almighty. And I think that is the moral fabric. To me, what moral is, I’ve got to be concerned about you. You’ve got to be concerned about my wife. That’s moral to me. That’s what I believe in.”

His words echoed a passionate statement he made during a CNN Town Hall, when asked about his “spirituality.” His response was, perhaps, the most telling moment in Sander’s entire campaign.

Sanders explained first that he basically believes in the Golden Rule and that the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is what every major religion in the world consists of in its essence. But Sanders went beyond that, delivering an impassioned speech that may very well have summed up his entire candidacy.

“[…] We are in this together — not just, not words. The truth is at some level when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt. And it’s very easy to turn our backs on kids who are hungry, or veterans who are sleeping out on the street, and we can develop a psyche, a psychology which is ‘I don’t have to worry about them; all I’m gonna worry about is myself; I need to make another 5 billion dollars.’

“But I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing.

“So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child…I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say ‘hey, this whole world, I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.’ That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in. And I think most people around the world, whatever their religion, their color — share that belief. That we are in it together as human beings.”

Bernie Sanders is a “not particularly religious” Jewish man in a field of candidates who belong to various Christian faiths and backgrounds, but to many, Sanders is the most Christian candidate in the race.

[Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images]

Share this article: Is Bernie Sanders The Most ‘Christian’ Candidate?
More from Inquisitr