However, the question she was asking wasn’t if there are liberal Christians, but how one can reconcile Christian principles with things such as abortion, homosexual marriage, soldier bashing, forced redistribution of wealth, and other seeming precepts of the left?
As best I can tell, there are three categories of “Liberal Christians”.
1) The Politically Ignorant.
These are those Christians who are unaware of some of the positions of the political left and/or do not have a clear understanding of the options available.
These Christians are usually those who are especially concerned about issues of social justice: aid to the poor, infirm, and vulnerable, as well as concerned about peace. These Christians often are, or are associated with, those who have spent time in field (mission) work with the impoverished, starving, and/or war-torn. They have seen the results, first-hand (or are friends with those who have) of corrupt governments, gangs, warlords, or religions and want to do what they can to prevent such sad events from occurring.
These good hearted individuals are usually ignorant on two counts. The first is a lack of knowledge of some of the positions of the left. Consider: in the Catholic church, issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage are not even negotiable. It is likely that they are seldom, if ever, discussed by church leaders in a forum which emphasizes the different positions of the political parties on these kinds of issues. Conversely, the needs for social justice are often discussed and emphasized there. Helping those in need is a duty of the Christian – one that is, unfortunately, not emphasized enough in many churches. Because these issues are emphasized, and because one political party paints itself as the “party of the poor”, these good-intentioned Christians reflexively support that party and its liberal agenda.
The other political ignorance is the easiest to understand – these Christians think that the government should be the source of help for the poor. They have never considered that the poor were helped before the New Deal and the Great Society, they have never considered whether it is more helpful to a homeless person to offer them charity with some work required or a hand-out, and they have never examined the brutal honesty that taking money from person A and giving to person B, by force, is theft. Instead, they see and hear the anecdotal and individual successes that come of people doing what they would have done without governmental intervention – working hard to overcome their circumstances – and assume that the only solution is through the government. Hence, they are liberal.
Two more categories to go…they are here and here.