I am a Catholic, which means I am a Christian, which means I find the teachings of Christ to be worthy of a role in determining my morals, values, etc.
As a Catholic, I believe that Christ loved all people, condemned nobody, comforted the poor, the sick, and the troubled, fed the hungry, and clothed the naked. I do not believe he had any desire to change the laws of the land, or invent a hierarchy in which some men could tell other men how to live their lives.
I believe that being a Christian isn't so much about obeying commandments, as it is about being Christlike: being charitable, loving, helpful, caring, graceful, sober and moderate, generous, humble, and hard-working. I am expected to embrace life, live it to its fullest, and use my resources to make the world a better place for everyone.
I am certain that Christ would have me treat the mentally-ill with dignity and respect, and to help them adjust to life in a complicated world.
I am certain that Christ would frown on my choosing to spend my days and nights loaded on dope; but he would not condemn me for it.
I am certain that Christ would expect me to comfort those troubled by life's decisions and the difficulty of making some choices that hurt our hearts so very much.
I am certain Christ would not want me to carry a gun, just because I have the right to carry a gun.
I know that when I am boastful, I am not Christ-like.
I believe that Christ would expect me to embrace modernization, technology, and change; and I believe he would, too.
I know that Christ would consider a decision to change my appearance with elective plastic surgery to be a poor choice.
I know that when angry, I need to temper my tongue and act like a man of dignity, as Christ might.
I know that while Christ would be very happy for my financial success, he would frown on the notion that I would simply hoard my wealth and use it to isolate myself from the world.
I know that when my stomach aches from over-eating I am not eating in a sane, sober, moderate and graceful manner -- the manner in which Christ would eat and drink.
I know that when I am jealous of my neighbors' possessions or station in life, instead of being happy for him or her, I am being selfish and not Christlike.
I know that when I use my free time to lay around the house, I am not doing the work of Christ.
None of this means that I do not do some of those things, and I think when I do these things it is a sign of my humanity, my human-ness, not inherent evilness. And I believe that Jesus would not recommend we be punished, but that we take these experiences, learn from them, and rise to the challenge that is being a better person.
I believe that Christ was politically active in his community and that I must be politically active, too.
I believe Jesus Christ was open-minded and forward-thinking, not conservative and reactionary.
I believe Christ's public displays of defiance were revolutionary and make him worthy of my admiration.
I believe Christ would not make public displays of condemning individuals for their life decisions, and would never suggest the passage of laws that isolated one group of people.
I believe Christ knew homosexuals and foreigners and prostitutes and drunkards and tax collectors, and that they were part of his social circle, that they were his friends, that he loved them and treated them with dignity and respect.
I think Christ knew people who had children and that he loved them as much as the people who had no children.
I believe Christ wept when his friends were in pain, when he could not relieve their personal burden, or their emotional strife, and I believe he cried with them and comforted them.
I believe that Christ would never presume to dictate who his friends and neighbors could love.
I believe Christ would never make a public display of preventing someone in need from getting the help they needed.
I believe Christ respected all life, including the surrounding plants, water, and animals.
I believe that Christ would comfort, not condemn, a woman who lost a child in pregnancy, whether through biology, sickness, or choice.
I believe that Christ would be very disappointed in the society in which I live.
I believe Christ would be distressed to see his image associated with people or organizations that promote carrying guns.
I believe Christ would be disappointed not in the decision of a woman to have an abortion, but that we were a society that places so little value on child-rearing and health care, that the choice to terminate a pregnancy is more sensible than embarking on the journey of parenting.
I believe Christ would support the marriage of any two people in a loving relationship, and encourage them to build a family - no matter their race, creed, sex, financial station, or religious beliefs.
I believe Christ would expect a wealthy society to use its resources to eradicate hunger, homelessness, and all forms of poverty. I do not believe Christ would blame those in need for their needs.
I believe that Christ would make a public display of his opposition to war.
I believe Christ would consider any cognizant, breathing human being to be a person.
I believe that Christ would never entertain a discussion about whether or not an egg or a sperm was a person. He might even laugh at me for suggesting such a thing.
I believe that Christ would respect the personal freedom of all people.
I believe Christ would be pro-choice, anti-war, and oppose the death penalty.
I believe Christ would be a liberal in today's America, and I believe he would be dismayed to see his image associated with the hate, fear-mongering, and unbridled avarice of American "conservatives."