Many, many moons ago, I worked for a time for a fairly well-known local family business. They were lovely people, and I enjoyed working there for the most part. But that is not the point of this story.
Said family business was run by a pair of middle-aged brothers, Jim and Richard. Both were kind men who believed in doing right by their customers, and both were active in their respective churches, although Richard was some flavor of charismatic (possibly Pentecostal, or maybe Assembly of God, I can’t remember) and Jim was a Baptist deacon.
It was, as it so often is in Louisiana, election season.
(Really, elections are an official state pastime, second only to LSU football. We have elections all the time between city, parish, state, and national campaigns, and the ads start at least two months before and then go on for two months after election day, due to our Napoleonic system. Remember people trying to understand the French elections in 2017? Like that. The politics never seem to change very much, no matter who or what party is in power, so one can only assume that we just hold elections because we enjoy it. But I digress.)
Now, please keep in mind that this was long ago, under Bush the Second, before everything became so divisive and pervasive and insane. It was a different time.
98% of the staff at this business were staunch conservatives and those who weren’t simply kept quiet when the topic came up, so there had been no political arguments in the office and nobody expected one to spontaneously break out.
There were about five of us lowly employees gathered in the main reception area at the time, killing the last ten minutes or so before closing for a holiday. Jim and Richard had been holed up in Jim’s office for about an hour when we started hearing raised voices. We all went quiet and exchanged nervous glances as the door opened and the brothers came out, continuing their argument over which candidate was appropriate to vote for and paying no mind to the fact that they now had an audience. Richard insisted that it had nothing to do with party lines, it was just that his candidate was the only properly conservative person running.
And then it happened.
The greatest insult I can ever imagine one Christian throwing at another.
Jim looked at his brother, shook his head, and said:
“If Jesus Christ came to Earth and ran as a Democrat, you wouldn’t vote for him!”
All of us who were watching this exchange drew back slightly, in anticipation of the lightning that was sure to strike Jim. But it never came, and neither did Richard’s response, that I recall. Maybe I was in shock, but all I remember is the brothers sending us home almost immediately.
I mean, what could you say to that? Surely that’s a line guaranteed to stop any argument in its tracks. I don’t know that I’ll ever have occasion to use it, but I’ve kept it filed away in the back of my head for over 15 years just in case. I just hope it doesn’t lose something in translation.