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Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category

I know, I know…since the dawn of the Obama Era, irony has become as ubiquitous as the sunrise, and through its cumulative effect, toxic to the Republic, which I’m sure is all part of the plan.  Nonetheless, after a week like this one, I can only conclude that our self-appointed betters and “thought leaders (now there’s an irony for you)” have decided that they have succeeded in creating a climate of apathy and ignorance so strong that no statement, and no circumstance is too outrageous to tumble from their lips.  The sad thing is, I think that they might be right, as this week seems to prove…

First on this week is the “Reverend” Al Sharpton.  Yes, the “drug informant” Al Sharpton, who brought us this spectacularly polished turd:

“I think that the message is, no matter what the world may do to unfairly, no matter how your crucified, nailed to the cross at home, or in your personal relationships, or on the job that you can rise if you don’t lose yourself during the hard times and the challenges.[“]

Put aside the garbage where he’s trying to link the meaning of Easter to Barack Obama.

This is really, really bad theology.  Easter is about sin, a price that mankind would never be able to pay for redemption, and the willing sacrifice of God’s son to pay that price for ALL OF US, and to conquer death.  That doesn’t happen without Christ, no matter how much those who worship government try to convince us that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  An awful lot of rhetorical sulphur he’s preaching.  I think he might want to study up on what the book says about that kind of behavior.

Next up are the usual suspects with regard to Chelsea Clinton’s announcement  at the “Girls No Ceilings Conversation” event in New York City:

“One more thing to say very quickly,” the 34-year-old addressed the crowd. “Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year. I certainly feel all the better whether it’s a girl or a boy that they’ll grow up in a world with so many strong female leaders…”

Now, given the positive reaction from the crowd, one can only assume that they believe that she will be going to a store and purchasing a baby when she thinks that the time is right, because otherwise, she would be referring to a lump of cells that she has a sacrosanct right to terminate at anytime because it isn’t a “child” or “baby”…at least that’s what wymyn’s groups and blood money grubbers like Planned Parenthood keep telling us.

Hillary couldn’t help but to also chime in:

“I’m expecting a grand child which I’m very excited about. We’re very excited about what’s happening in our family but we’re also very excited about what we’re doing.”

Congratulations, kid.  Grams needs a political prop, so you get to be born!

And our final entry on this week’s hit parade.  Fresh off of questions regarding his son’s motivations for wanting the land that Clive Bundy ranches on in Nevada, and scrutiny of the connections between himself and the head of the Bureau of Land Management (and after previously being in the news for diverting campaign funds to his grand-daughter), Harry had this to say about the Federal Government’s aborted attempt to “shock and awe” the prickly rancher in to submission to his Federal betters:

 “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.

Given Harry’s misappropriation of campaign money and his apparent intimate knowledge of private citizen’s Federal tax returns, such as Mitt Romney, the Koch Brothers, and Clive Bundy, I guess that means that we’ll soon be treated to the sight of Harry “I-Never-Met-A-Budget-I’d-Pass” Reid being marched out of the Senate in handcuffs.

Yeah, I know.  The law is only for little people, and those who happen to not be Democrats.   Yea for “fundamental change”.

 

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A friend of mine posted a link to an article this morning he prefaced with the question “Is sacrificing your religious liberty the price of market participation?”  The article, by Benjamin Wiker, entitled “The Religious-Liberty Quagmire to Come” discusses a recent Slate article sympathetic with the current HHS mandate overreach in which government attempts to abrogate the rights of people to exercise their religious liberty with their property, specifically duly chartered legal business entities.

The article’s author opposes the viewpoints expressed in the Slate article, by author Dalia Lithwick.  I oppose them also, but on grounds originating not just in my studies, but also by practical experience and logic.

The first point raised is this:

Lithwick argues, first of all, that corporations are distinct entities from individuals.

This is true in a literal sense.  Corporations have a legal identity that are separate from their owners in the same way that I have a legal identity that is separate from my oldest son.  You’ll note that I did not use my wife in that example.  It was not an accident.  While she is indeed an entity that is distinct from myself, we happen to live in a community property state, so we “enjoy” the dual status of having distinct legal identities, while legally being considered as having the same legal identity for legal, and more to the point, commercial, purposes.  This reality is imposed upon us by the state, which applies this status based upon an action we took based on a shared religious conviction, and retain based upon that same shared religious conviction.  We are each “owners” of that resultant fictional legal entity known as a “marital community”, which, at least in our case, exists and acts in both personal and commercial transactions in ways that express or are the result of our individual religious beliefs.

While individuals can have religious beliefs, corporations can’t. Once you establish a corporation, it is automatically a secular corporation.

This is what we called in law school a “false starting premise”.  The reason is simple.  The state’s blessing to act as a corporate entity does not automatically confer a “secular” (like the author of the piece, I also object to the common use of the word “secular”, and for the same reasons, however, for the purpose of this essay, I will use it in the context of the incorrectly presumed “neutrality” in which it is often used) status on the resulting entity.  The reason for this is simple.  State enabling statutes almost always permit corporations and limited liability companies to be established “for any lawful purpose”, which by its nature would include the conducting of any lawful business in a manner consistent with the religious faith of the owners of the entity in question.  In fact, thanks to the First Amendment, and its extension to the individual states, the states would be legally prohibited from restricting individuals from forming entities for such purposes.

The other obvious weakness in this rather remarkable assertion from Ms. Lithwick would be the fact that churches often incorporate as non-profit corporations in order to apply for Section 501(c)(3) status so that donations, gifts, and tithes maybe tax deductible to the donor. (Contrary to popular opinion, churches do not have to apply for this status to be tax-free.  They are already tax-free, as they should be, as a result of the First Amendment.)

Wiker states that Lithwick’s assertion is rooted in the decision in the Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. decision.  The corporation is owned by a Mennonite Family which employs 950 people.  The family opposes the HHS mandates regarding abortion on religious grounds.  The Federal Judge hearing the case concluded:

“We simply cannot understand how a for-profit, secular corporation — apart from its owners — can exercise religion,” circuit Judge Robert Cowen wrote. “A holding to the contrary … would eviscerate the fundamental principle that a corporation is a legally distinct entity from its owners.”

Aside from the naked and unsupported (and unsupportable) conclusion that a corporation is secular, there are a few other weaknesses.  State law would rightfully permit me to draft and file for a client Articles of Incorporation or a Certificate of Formation establishing that the entity is “being formed for the express purpose of selling ice cream, and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, and any other lawful purpose,”, and there is nothing that the state or the Federal government could Constitutionally do to prevent me from doing so. Being a distinct legal entity doesn’t mean that a corporation cannot express or conduct itself based upon a specific political or religious viewpoint.  And while there are instances in which government may lawfully restrict what an owner does with its private property in certain balancing of the equities situations, at this time, I can think of none which directly conflict with the right of conscience.

The assertion of an automatic secular nature of corporations based on a theory of complete segregation between a legal entity and those that own them faces other philosophical and logical difficulties aside from being an assumption of a fact not in evidence.  First among them is the fact that one of the pillars the good Judge rests his opinion on is the notion that that an individual can exercise religious freedom, but a corporation cannot.  This point ignores the fact that corporations ARE allowed to exercise other First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech, and Freedom of Association, which is the main principle underlying the freedom to enter into contracts with people of your choosing, or the freedom to hire people who you think make a good fit with your corporation, and will make a good employee.  Recognizing this, there is no logical or legal basis to presume that these freedoms can be exercised by a corporation or an LLC, but that those same entities can or should be barred from exercising religious freedom to act in a manner consistent with the religious beliefs of its owner.

The second weakness with this assertion is the fact that the income from many of these “separate, distinct legal entities” is reported not on a separate tax form for that entity, but on the personal tax forms for those who own those entities, which would hardly make sense if these were indeed separate and distinct from their owners.

The third weakness of this viewpoint is that our economy would be in much worse shape without corporations and LLCs because they make it possible for more people to provide goods and services at prices and in quantities that the risk that they would necessarily have to bear individually would either make prohibitively expensive, or practically impossible to provide.  While the very word “corporation” often evokes the image of boardrooms filled with grey suits making decisions that impact the livelihood of hundreds or thousands, or more, the fact is that the majority of corporations are closely-held businesses, where the ownership consists of a individuals, or small numbers of people, often members of the same family, or of one or two families. And in some instances, this is also true of those large corporations that I previously spoke of.  Ford is one example that comes to mind.  However, even if it wasn’t for the fact that a majority of these entities are small, closely held corporations or LLCs that permit individuals to offer products or services because of the risk management that the law permits through the use of these entities, there is also the fact that the law DOES allow certain individuals who offer goods and services through corporations and LLCs to refuse to offer those goods and services based on the individual owner’s right of conscience and/or religious beliefs, among other factors.  Doctors, who can refuse to perform abortions, and attorneys, who can refuse representation based on any factor at all, are two that come to mind.  While competence or having the requisite skill are among the reasons for these rights of refusal, they are not the ONLY ones.  And while it might be tempting to say that the personal nature of services rendered by these professions support such an exemption, the fact is that for nearly all closely-held business entities, the nature of what those individuals do is personal.  For such individuals, their business is at the forefront of their thinking.  It is the first thing they think of in the morning, it is what they contemplate as they drift off to sleep at night.  Their businesses ARE an expression of who they are, and  that “separate legal entity” invariably becomes associated with the individuals who own them.  The manner in which they conduct their business often expresses an opinion or a philosophy held dear to the owner of that business.  It is not reasonable or logical to suggest or expect that these individuals segregate their religious and spiritual identity and activity from the profession or career that they otherwise breathe and eat; to do so would be a denial of the very essence of the person that the law and society would find morally objectionable and repugnant if any other belief or activity was being discussed instead of the free exercise of religion. This is no less true for a baker of wedding cakes, or a photographer than it is for a doctor or a lawyer who has incorporated so they can ply their trade without risking the loss of everything they own and have worked for to one lawsuit.

Another logical weakness in this assertion is that many of these entities often are operated day-to-day in accordance with various codes of ethics voluntarily committed to by the owners and employees of the corporations and LLCs.  For an entity to be, even indirectly, conducted according to such a code of ethics, but presumably not capable of exercising a religious point of view is facially absurd.

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I’d like to think that things will get better, but the current prevailing prejudice against religion in some of the most litigious groups in our society leads me to believe that we’re in for a lengthy fight to preserve our first liberties.  Especially if examples such as the New Mexico photographer, and the pink swastika philosophy that seeks to punish those who do not wish to participate in their activities, regardless of whether not it makes any logical sense to compel those who object with their beliefs to provide a personal service or product is any indication.  But then, with a federal government that is engaging in similar unconstitutional behavior as a guide, there really is no reason to be surprised at the bold entitlement demonstrated in this strategy, which is why legal interest groups such as the ADF are going to become increasingly important and need our help in the coming years.

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“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that just aren’t so.” —Ronald Reagan

Sadly, when it comes to liberals’ idiot cousins, progressives, this no longer holds true, which is why there are few things packed with more “FAIL!” than sites like “The Christian Left” and “Forward Progressives”, which publish childlike indictments of the evvvvvvvvvvviiiiiillll Republicans and conservatives, which often claim that both groups are hypocritical for their profession of Christianity, which these not-clever-by-half artists and authors repeatedly claim doesn’t match up with their facile understanding of Christ and Christianity. They usually root this claim in the fact that Republicans and conservatives do not favor, and are often openly opposed to “compassion by government”, which these deep thinkers somehow believe is supported by the Bible and would have been favored by Christ, who, in no translation of the Bible I have ever read once openly stated, implied, or in any way led anyone to believe that we can or should fulfill our duties and obligations to others by being compelled to “give” the fruits of our labors to government, so that it may decide who may be “helped”, what “help” should be given, or how much “help” will be rendered.

But truth, and the utter lack of any evidentiary support for such remarkable propositions are not something that these learned scholars will let get in the way of their wishcasting, as displayed in this simple-minded dreck “imagining” (no doubt in the fine and storied tradition of John Lennon) about a “Republican Jesus”.

The stereotypes are right out of pot-fueled “OCCUPY!” drum circle (either that, or read verbatim from a Democratic caucus meeting), and are layered with all the cleverness and care of a 3-year-old trying to be nonchalant about a pathetic attempt to be clever, only the 3-year-old would be more self-aware about their utter failure to achieve their objective. I was introduced to this rhetorical snot sample when it was posted in a Facebook group I frequent. I won’t waste your time talking about the crayon-rendered one-dimensional caricature the ham-fisted propagandist treats the reader to. Anyone who has been reading its like for very long could probably write it themselves, cover each of the major bullet points, and do so more convincingly.

Instead, I’d like to talk about the “theology” (I’m being generous…work with me here) leading into the clichéd portrait offer up for our edification. Specifically, this pull quote, interspersed with my responses to each point, which I find missed by a whole lot more than “that much“.

“The Jesus I’ve learned about throughout my life was a man who stood against greed.”

And maybe if you did some more reading, you’d understand that he wouldn’t be in favor of the greed that makes government steal on your behalf either. (Or with you believing not only that it is ok for government to do so, but that anyone, let alone those you deem “worthy” of such redistribution should feel entitled to such largesse. But don’t take my word for it. That book that you’ve either read or didn’t grok was pretty clear about the generosity of others not being a hammock for the recipient in both the Old Testament [Deuteronomy 24:19—a concept put into practice by a young widow struggling to provide for herself and her bitter mother-in-law in the book of Ruth], and the New Testament [2 Thessalonians 3:8, 3:10].

“He was someone who helped the helpless, cared for the sick and needy and didn’t judge others.”

He helped and cured the sick not so he could point to himself, but because it was what he expected of us and because it made people LISTEN to what he was saying. His example was INDIVIDUAL and VOLUNTARY collective aid (i.e. the church), not that compelled by government, which also determines WHO to help, HOW to help them, and in WHAT degree, in a manner that removes all accountability for what is done with your “contribution”.

And as for the “judging”, it might be instructive to read ALL that he said on the matter in each of the gospels, and consider his actions as well. I doubt the adulteress at the well would conclude that there was no judgement in what he said. Or the man he cured and told to take up his bed and walk. But then, “Go forth, and sin no more.” doesn’t count, because he didn’t use the word “judgement”, amirite?

“He taught compassion, forgiveness, love, hope, giving and kindness.”

Yes, but he didn’t check his brain at the door when he did it. Freely giving of yourself with the heart of a servant is not the same thing as being a doormat or a sucker, nor is it a license to be a sponge, or to continually avoid making changes to yourself, so you can always be taking what others give.

“He spoke out against those who manipulate God for their own selfish purposes”

Close. It was more about those who thought that they could be holy and righteous based upon the law alone, without the other characteristics he demonstrated, and without understanding that none of us could ever meet the requirements of the law without the grace he brought with his sacrifice at Calvary.

Still, I wonder how exactly he would have addressed Fauxahontas Warren for her dubious use of scripture at the last DNC convention, or Barack Obama claiming a “partnership” with him in his efforts to get the Great Healthcare Takeover passed.

and never once spoke about abortion or homosexuality

Both of which were against the law (abortion indirectly, as you read references to “womb” in the Old Testament, and Luke 1:44 make it clear that they did not question that what was in the womb was indeed an actual person, and murder was frowned upon)…the same law that he told us that he did not come to change…not a jot or a tittle, but he came to fulfill. Seriously, this is the single dumbest argument these spiritual pettifoggers can propagate. Why would he talk about homosexuality? He was a RABBI for crying out loud. It was condemned under jewish law. He had a limited time here, why would he spend anytime speaking about something like that?

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What this boils down to is the author’s stunning lack of self-awareness, railing against people “manipulating God for their own selfish purposes” as he is either unaware, or dishonest about the contents of the Bible being contrary to his own shallow and politically motivated invocation of a God that he clearly has never taken the time to get to know himself, preferring to either be content with what others have told him, or simply to assume and expertise untainted by the burden of evidence to support his assumptions and the knowledge that his “truth”, isn’t. It was never clever, only amusing for a short-time, and has grown to become very tiresome.

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I hope each of you get to consider the meaning of this day.

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No, really.  Once you substitute “taxpayer” for “human”, it all makes sense.  And the part about “passing laws more beneficial to the community”…yeah.  “Exit” taxes on the wealthy who don’t want to put up with this nonsense, taxes on “the rich”…you get the point.

Of course, I’m not the first to see this.

The Vampire State needs blood. It can never have enough. The deal it cuts with the victim is simple enough. “You are weak,” says the Vampire State. “You are needy. You will soon die. I can help you. I can make you last forever. But you must give me your blood: your initiative, your moral strength, your independence, your manhood and womanhood, your folkways, and your self-government. I have the money—my business with other of my, er, clients. I will give this to you. The gift involves a little transfusion. Kindly loosen your shirt collar, and it will be over in a moment.”

The Vampire State must have victims, whom it “helps” in this way. Its prime directive is to survive as it is, upon the blood of false charity. The Amish govern themselves, and keep the Vampire State at bay. The Vampire State will encourage none of the habits and the virtues that would make the victims of its benevolence more like the Amish.

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Healthy people seek solutions to problems. The Vampire seeks problems. The Vampire State must, however, appear to be attacking crime, and will therefore multiply crimes to attack. This it will do in two ways. It will criminalize perfectly ordinary things, like spanking a child or drinking soda; and it will permit and encourage pathological things that help to destroy those institutions that provide for genuine life, genuine community, and genuine law. After it has reduced the churches to rubble, the Vampire expresses astonishment and grave concern when rogues rule the streets; which gives the Vampire cause to “intervene,” with canines.

Kind of like watching a crummy little 12 inch TV with poor antenna signal in the 70s, and suddenly having an 80 inch High Def signal snap into focus before your eyes. 

Time to stock up on garlic.

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…is that the members often can’t realize just how stupid they sound.

A professor at FAMU and a faculty member in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation named Barbara Thompson has authored a book called ‘ The Gospel According to Apostle Barack – In Search of a More Perfect Political Union as Heaven Here on Earth’.

The absurd premise it is based on is this :

She provided a complete breakdown of the good that has happened during the President’s 4-year term. Healthcare, the economy, education and federal initiatives interests are the “Good news” from the apostle.

Government interference. Usurpation of power. Centralized Planning.  And all the failure that inevitably comes with it.  If this is “gospel”, then we live on Bizarro World.

Jesus never preached about “collective salvation” or having government taking care of “the least of us”.  That duty was specifically delegated to us.  And there are many reasons for this.

If she knows the gospel, then she should be ashamed for insinuating that this ersatz messiah is anything like the real thing.  But then, she is a professor, and she obviously believes that government can and should be involved in our lives the way that the President advocates for, so clearly, education doesn’t really mean what it used to when the most educated among us know so much that is not so.

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Predictably, Rutherford, a typical progressive, decided to demonstrate why they need to just leave references to Christianity alone in his response to my previous post on the inherent illogic of the Democrats’ social gospel.   Let’s look a little closer, shall we?

At first blush, your accusation of double standard hits home.

As it should.  You reject the source of that which you think you invoke, then imagine that you know what you’re talking about when you think it supports your agenda.

How can we, on the one hand, try to keep religion out of government and in the next breath use religion as a reason for government action.

Exactly.

To understand this is to engage a bit of nuance which you and your fellow “rightists” have proven incapable of doing.

The only people who believe this are you and Fauxahontas.  Oh, and rabid Progressives who feel rather than think, largely because its easier than thinking.

Those who quote scripture to justify public policy do so because scripture DOES apply to personal choices.

Sometimes.  And sometimes they do so out of an inherent recognition that its teachings and precepts are the basis of our nation’s laws and morals.  We’ve had this conversation before, and the truth, being truth, hasn’t changed.  If you spent more time reading Blackstone, Locke, and the personal papers and correspondence of the Founders and Framers, as well as histories that reference actual source documents and not the incestuous citations between progressive historians who fabricated biographies and studies, instead of Mother Jones, the New York Times, Salon, and other wishcasting publications, it might become clearer to even you.

When I say I want separation of church and state, I’m saying that I don’t want any religion forced on me but I recognize your right to be religious …

When you say it, you embrace a mendacious fallacy introduced in the American consciousness by a Supreme Court Justice with a big chip on his shoulder, ties to the Klan, and a willingness to deny the history that he couldn’t HELP but to be aware of as a lawyer and Justice of the Court.  And because you want to deny that same history, you agree with him.

AND I am also aware of the lessons your religion teaches you.

No.  You’re dimly aware of what a few passages of the Bible say, and you continually demonstrate that you have no understanding of the context, or why it is that the whole book is actually cohesive, because you’d rather cry hypocrite for us not acting the way that you believe that we should, based on your thimbleful of knowledge of a subject that represents an ocean of wisdom for those who study it carefully.

I have a right to expect you to participate in this American civic experiment in a way consistent with your Christian belief system. Your refusal to do so makes you a hypocrite.

First of all, seeing as it has lasted more than 200 years, it is safe to say that it is more than an “experiment”, although, seeing as Progressives keep trying to find new ways to break the system, I can understand your confusion.  As for my “hypocrisy”, as I have already pointed out, staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night doesn’t mean that you actually have a clue what you’re talking about.  You wouldn’t tell a brain surgeon that he’s doing it wrong based on the fact that you once saw a half-hour show on brain surgeons, yet you know a few verses from the Bible and how people who want nothing to do with it any other time will use it support them using force to fund their purchases of votes.  Yes, I’m laughing at you, not with you.

As has been proven time and time again, the Bible can be cherry picked to death.

Yes, people who read something they like and stop frequently do cherry pick from it.  And yes, people of all stripes do it.  The difference is that Christians who read the next part will try to correct those who neglected to do the same. 

But when Progressives do it, they have no interest in hearing the parts they don’t like.  Usually because it would make it harder to pretend that the way they want to live conforms with what they want to pretend Christianity is.

 It is all things to all people. The notion that Matthew is contradicted by Corinthians, Thessalonians and Acts only goes to show that the Bible is not a cohesive book but a potpourri thrown together by a bunch of different people who didn’t coordinate the message.

This is where your lack of knowledge of the subject material makes you look like an idiot.  There is no “contradiction”, except in the imagination which you have substituted in place of an actual command of the subject material.  First, we could start with the verse Fauxahontas used to sell her redistributionist snake oil, only in the context of the ENTIRE section.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feedYou, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

A few things should stand out to you in reading that entire section.  First, Jesus wasn’t talking about government programs taking care of people; he was talking about individuals, and groups of individuals.  This is consistent with the commands he made elsewhere in the Bible.  But at the same time, there was an expectation that those who receive the charity would STILL contribute something toward their well-being.  How do I know this?  Because those “different people” who “didn’t coordinate the message” coordinated the message…something that you’d know if you actually read the book, and contemplated on what you read.

From the Old Testament:

Leviticus 19:9-10:

‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

Gleaning was the act of following after the threshers, and picking up the grain that had fallen to ground, and leaving the corners of the field allowed the poor to come and harvest for themselves their sustenance.

This is consistent with the New Testament, and the previously mentioned 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12:

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he[a] received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

And just in case you want to believe that while Moses and Paul, while consistent with each other, didn’t see it the same way Jesus did, I will call your attention to Mark 12:41-44:

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites,[a] which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

This puts a very different spin on the specious “skin in the game” argument We’ve heard over the last three years from the President.  But then, if the people who received the most of the taxpayer largesse actually had to contribute to it, then the “urgent priorities” of those so eager to spend other people’s money would probably become a LOT less urgent.

That’s why any non-believer quoting the Bible is engaging in a fool’s errand. I’ve done it a few times myself and have finally learned my lesson. I can say one book says WHITE and you will find me a passage in another book that says BLACK. It’s a foolish method of debate.

No, you haven’t learned anything, because you still presume you understand more than those who have actually done the reading, and have expended the effort understanding the context.  You disappoint me not because you continually get it wrong and then call others “Hypocrite!”, but because you pretend that you can understand it without making the effort to actually learn about it yourself.  Its kind of like someone who complains that the water someone else draws and sets before him isn’t fresh when the well is three steps away, and he is perfectly capable of drawing his own.

Here’s the bottom line …. if your religion obligates you to be charitable, as you have said it does, then there is no need to compel you. When your government says it needs your help, your charitable nature will lead you to cooperate. No conflict at all. But the truth is your charitable nature only goes so far. Your willingness to participate in a cooperative society only goes so far.

No, the bottom line is that you make several false assumptions.  The first is that welfare is synonymous with charity.  Welfare is when government takes money in the form of taxes, and decides who to “help” with it, how to “help” them, and to what degree it extends this “help”.  Charity is when individuals, acting alone, or in groups, such as churches, contribute their own time, their own effort, and their own money to help those that they believe are worthy, in the manner and degree that they see fit.  And they make this determination in the fashion as  they apprehend that their faith requires.  Government cannot fulfill this obligation, because it is a personal one, and it is a personal one, because Christians are expected to be accountable, as the Parable of the Talents illustrates.  This accountability cannot be achieved by paying taxes to welfare.  Anyone capable of reading a Congressional Budget (yes, I know that they are rare as hen’s teeth for the last three years thanks to Harry Reid) knows that once government decides it needs to spend money on something, it rarely stops spending money on that thing, even when there is no need for it anymore (like Mohair subsidies), or when it doesn’t achieve its goals (Head Start, which has only a negligible effect on the academic achievement for children participating, and then only through the Second Grade).  But when what you do as an individual, or as a church isn’t working, you can do something different, without battling entrenched interests who have every incentive to continue doing what isn’t needed or isn’t working.  

Second, welfare is very public.  So public in fact, that it is starting to advertise, which would make people truly question the priorities of government, and its “War on Poverty”.  If government was serious about winning this “war”, it would be actively working to get people to self-sufficiency, not recruiting people to sign up and accept whatever the government deems adequate for their needs.  As individuals and small groups, we are better able to assess the needs of those we help, and tailor our help in a way that also helps them do for themselves.  But more pointedly, Jesus was very clear about wanting sincere charity, and not a show put on by those attempting to be more pious than their peers (or those who want to be public to show that they care more than you).  From Matthew 6:1-4:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.[a]

Third, government’s “War on Poverty” ignores something that Christians know, and Progressives refuse to acknowledge, despite 50-odd years of this “war” without a single “victory”; the poor will always be among us.  This is something that is actually stated plainly in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testament (so much for those “different authors” not “coordinating the message”):

Deuteronomy 15:11

11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’

[YOU…not the government, not give to the government so it does it for you…YOU.]

And from Jesus himself, in Matthew 26:11:

11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

For a Christian to believe that government can win a “War on Poverty” (that it has no interest in winning) isn’t consistent with Christianity, because doing so presumes that man knows more than the Son of God.

What we got from Elizabeth Warren was a civics lesson. In fact that was an implicit theme of the entire convention.

What we got from Fauxahontas (and the entire convention)was an attempt to justify government’s refusal to live within OUR means, government’s refusal to even consider the idea that destroying families with perverse incentives that have led to third and fourth generations living on welfare is not compassionate, doesn’t provide hope, and consigning even more people to it, rather than an economy that permits people to work and provide for themselves, and to foment envy with the idea that your salvation is found by government rooting around in your neighbor’s pocket and giving you the change.

 We’ve gotten away from viewing ourselves as part of a larger enterprise.

Nonsense.  Progressives and their practice of defining people by their economic status, by the color of their skin, by their nationality, by their gender, and by their sexual preference has done more to destroy the notion of being an American first and foremost, than concept of government having very specific spheres of influence, and allowing individuals pursue happiness not by having “it” given to them by government, but pursuing it and earning it for themselves.

As long as we pay OUR mortgage, and get OUR kids through school, we’re happy. If we choose to give to a charity or two, that’s OUR business.

Paying our bills and raising our children are our responsibilities. Not the taxpayers’.  Not the government’s. OURS.   And yes, as I have pointed out, charity is OUR business.  Welfare isn’t.  The difference is accountability.  And because there is accountability, there are also good results, or we do something different, which is far more compassionate than teaching generation after generation that subsistence is all that can be hoped for, because that is all they are capable of…because government tells them so.

 As for the country as a whole … it can go to hell in a handbasket. Being a citizen in meaningless. We never signed up to care for our country.

That’s exactly where it will go if you have your way.  When you put a yoke and harness on those who still have the drive and ambition to strive and achieve, and to even exceed what they only dreamt of in prior days, months, and years, you kill that drive and ambition.  When the government perverts equality of opportunity into equality of result, it sets the bar low, and takes away the incentive for anyone to do better.  You need look no farther than the old Soviet Union to see that this is true.  In a society where people pretend to work because government pretends to pay them, there is hunger, deprivation, squalor, and hopelessness. 

As for citizenship being meaningless, it wasn’t the Republicans who had an illegal alien as a guest speaker, and it isn’t the GOP that continues to push to give all the benefits of citizenship to people who disrespect our laws so much that they are willing to come here and steal them, with the full knowledge that someone else is paying for them.  If you want to talk about people not caring about our country, I suggest that you, and other Progressives spend some time considering your reflections in the mirror.

BiW, I’m sorry dude but your party comes off as selfish and petty.

Coming from someone who believes that there is nothing wrong with attempting justify rooting around in our pockets with a belief system you don’t understand and don’t want anything to do with in any other governmental context, that statement isn’t just ironic, it is mendacious.  I’m not seeking for you or anyone else to give me stuff; it’s you that demands it from us.  And when we dare to suggest the answer to this is “No.”, you start using words like “selfish and petty”.  My autistic 8-year-old has a more developed sense of self-awareness than that.

The two conventions made the contrast so vivid.

It is vivid.  One featured people who are angry, people who think that others have to give until it hurts to make their own lives easier, those who believe that government can and should use other people’s money to pay for what happens between their legs, regardless of the conscience and religious-based objections of those who would be compelled to pay for it, and those who consistently deliver excuses why you can’t succeed without government, and why government can’t succeed in without punishing those who do.

The other featured people who are proud to be Americans, and who recognize that when government is confined to the limitations it was given by people who would have been horrified and repulsed by the idea that government can and should engage in the kind of activities that Progressives seek to expand.  It featured people who don’t define themselves first by color or gender.  It featured people who don’t look for ways to justify failure or lower expectations for individuals, or for the country.

To circle back to the beginning, at first blush you’re right.

And at all the other blushes too.

There is a seeming contradiction in the resistance to religion and the appeal to religious principles. But I submit that appeal is simply an attempt to play the game in your arena … to get you at a level you understand.

And as I have demonstrated, it is cynical, and either rooted in Progressive ignorance, or the hope of our own.  Heck, even just thinking before speaking should prompt people like Fauxahontas to consider prefacing her remarks with a recognition that talking about God in a forum where people sputter with rage at the mere idea of mentioning God in connection with government, or at least making an attempt, however futile, to address the startling incongruity of saying

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

From the same podium where NARAL and Klanned Parenthood extolled the virtues of the Left’s Only High Holy Sacrifice, which kills the least of us under cover of a made up and illogical legal justification.  God considers the unborn to be people.  This is clear.

Isaiah 44:1-2

“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Jerimiah1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

The folly is that you and your fellow conservatives will dig through scripture to justify your selfishness. So ultimately, the liberals attempt to appeal to your religious conscience fails.

The folly is that you and your fellow Progressives presume to tell us that we don’t understand our own Scripture and the faith that it creates.  You presume based on your limited exposure that it contradicts itself, when it does nothing of the sort.  You presume that you can read a verse, and know that someone who has read the whole thing is a hypocrite.  It is a special kind of hubris, and it isn’t the first time even this year that Progressives have engaged in it.   Frankly, it doesn’t make sense.  I’ve “known” you long enough to know that you wouldn’t dare to tell a mechanic how to fix your car, an electrician how to wire your home, or a plumber how to fix your pipes, but you pitch an argument to me to meet your agenda, pretending to base it in my deeply held beliefs, without doing the work required to understand those beliefs, or what forms them, despite that knowledge being readily available.  When we can tell you’re phoning it in, you get angry and call us names, while ascribing all kinds of poor character traits to me, and those like me.
As long as you and other Progressives play it this way, you have no hope of making the sale.

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