In his book Render Unto Caesar, Archbishop Charles Chaput notes that neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties are comfortable political homes for American Catholics. His insight is correct and applies to all Christians who take their faith’s public policy implications seriously.

Indeed, today the Republican and Democratic parties are not merely uncomfortable, imperfect, homes for people of faith; they are prisons that artificially divide us and prevent us from coming together as a community to advance the common good.

The Republican Party portrays itself as the political home for people of faith – in its imagery, the Bible and the flag often go hand-in-hand. The GOP is also, ostensibly, America’s “pro-life” party. And given the primacy of the abortion issue for many Christians, it’s not surprising that it has attracted the support of large numbers of evangelicals and conservative Catholic voters.

However, the policies advocated by the Republican Party today, and the ideology animating them, do not comport with Christian teaching on a range of issues. Its support for torture as an interrogation technique, capital punishment as a criminal penal sanction, and the dehumanizing rhetoric it directs towards immigrants, for example, do not reflect a Christian vision of the world.

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