Attempting to revive his faltering campaign, presidential hopeful Steven Clifford yesterday proclaimed himself "the candidate of Jesus."
"Evangelicals, born-agains, and fundamentalist Christians don't want policies based on secular humanism. I am the candidate addressing their concerns," Clifford asserted.
"My policies are based directly upon the words of Jesus Christ. Good Christian voters will endorse them," Clifford predicted.
"I have designed a 14-point program to implement the teachings of Jesus Christ. My Jesus Based Legislative Program (JBLP):
- Quadruple the capital gains tax. Increase the top marginal income tax rate to 80 percent: "Happy you who are poor, for heaven's reign is yours. ... But dire your plight, you who are rich, for your time of comfort is over." (Luke 6.20-24)
- Raise the estate tax (death tax) rate to 95 percent: "It is easier for a camel to get through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into God's reign." (Matthew 19.24)
- Use the additional tax proceeds to fund massive welfare programs: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. ... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25.35-40)
- Increase tax credits for charitable gifts: "Sell all you own and give what it yields to the poor" (Luke 12.34)
- Outlaw private equity and hedge funds: "You cannot serve both God and Greed" (Luke. 16.13)
- Reduce interest rates to zero: "If you lend only where you calculate a return, what mark of virtue have you? Sinners, too, lend to sinners, calculating an exact return. No, rather love your foes, treat them well, and lend without any calculation of return." (Luke 6.27 - 38)
- Abolish the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, and Labor: "Look at the birds in the sky – they do to plant seed, or harvest crops, or collect the harvest in barns. You Father in heaven tends them. ... Take a lesson from the lilies, how they spread over the field. They do not toil at, they do not spin their own fabric. But I tell you that Solomon in all his splendor did not outshine them." (Matthew. 6.24-34)
- Continue to ban prayer in schools: "When you pray, be not like the pretenders, who prefer to pray in the synagogues and in the public square, in the sight of others. In truth I tell you, that is all the profit they will have. But you, when you pray, go into your inner chamber and, locking the door, pray there in hiding to your Father, and your Father who sees you in hiding will reward you" (Matthew 6:5-6).
- Terminate Social Security: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?'" (Luke 12:22-26.)
- Introduce more lenient criminal sentences. Repeal "Three Strikes, You're Out" laws: "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38-42)
- Adopt a compassionate, understanding foreign policy: "I say to all you who can hear me: Love your foes, help those who hate you, praise those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." (Luke 6.27-30)
- Limit jury awards: "Dire is your plight, Scribes and Pharisees, since you ... seal up men's access to the heaven's reign ... devour the inheritance of widows ... scour sea and land to acquire on adherent and then make him twice as fit for hell as you are." (Matthew 32.1 -16)
- Make every home a homeless shelter: "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors ... invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. And you will be blessed because they cannot repay you." (Luke 14:1, 7-14)
- Radically invert America's socio-economic structure: "Whoever would be first must become the last of all and the servant of all." (Mark 9.35) "For everyone lifting himself up will be abased, and anyone abasing himself will be lifted up." (Luke 14.11) "Whosoever shall humble himself and be like this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18.4)
Asked about his position on stem cell research, gun control, abortion, the pledge of allegiance, and gay marriage, Clifford responded that Jesus had never addressed these issues.
Accused of flip-flopping and abandoning his "nine god" strategy, Clifford revealed that he had had "an epiphany" after seeing recent polls, similar to the epiphany that Mitt Romney experienced regarding abortion.
Clifford's advisers believe his Jesus Based Legislative Program will win him most of the votes of the 40 percent of Americans who are born again, evangelical, charismatic, Pentecostal, and fundamentalist.
Next week Clifford will unveil his "Truth About Aliens" program to target the 37 percent of American who believe that aliens have contacted the U.S. government.