What do the pledge of allegiance, WWJD and Vermont have in common? It might surprise you. Read the rest and find out.

Social democracy is on the left side of the political spectrum. It seeks to reform capitalism to conform to the ethical ideals of social justice. In Canada, social democracy grew out of the social gospel tradition, whereas social democracy in other countries tended to grew out of the writing of Karl Marx.

Social democrat can be interchanged with democratic socialist. There I admitted it. I am a socialist. I believe in democracy and I believe in socialism. I would further clarify that I consider myself to be a Christian socialist. I understand socialism as a means to change society into a better place. I believe that public ownership combined with cooperative management of the means of production is necessary for a society to care for its entire people.

(Interesting aside) The American Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian Socialist, Francis Bellamy. The WWJD movement can be traced to the book In His Steps written by Charles Sheldon, also a Christian Socialist.

Back to the discussion, it was under the social democratic government of Tommy Douglas that introduced the single-payer health care system (read universal health care) to the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. And a minority federal government prompted by social democrats that brought it the rest of Canada.

It was at the prompting of JS Woodsworth, a social democrat, that Canada introduced old age pensions. Canadian socialism is rooted in a history of Christian ministers. Both Douglas and Woodsworth were ministers before the became politicians.

(Second interesting aside) There is a democratic socialist who is a member of Congress. Senator Bernie Sanders is the junior Senator from Vermont and the first person in US history to be elected to the Senate as a socialist.

Back to the discussion, I am a democratic, Christian socialist because I believe in the Scriptural mandate of “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40).

I believe that by being involved in a social democratic party, I am living the commandment of Jesus to let my shine light before others, “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

I want to be doing good works, which are to be the Christian’s way of life (according to Ephesians 2:10).

What good works do you do? Were you suprised by the link between the pledge of allegiance, WWJD and Vermont?

20110427-012826.jpg Credit: Scott McLeod