Blogalogue

Blogalogue


David Klinghoffer: The Bible Says Poverty and Morality are Connected

posted by nsymmonds

Biblical wisdom is all-encompassing, with something to say about every private and public concern, yet your approach, Jim, seems myopic. Your passions are aroused by poverty, the Biblical approach to which you misunderstand, and by war, which you fail to appreciate as the normal tool of statecraft that it is in the Biblical perspective. On the problem of poverty, you seem to admire some political leaders whose views are, frankly, fantastic. In my book, I cite the transcript of the Sojourners Presidential Forum in June of last year. You questioned John Edwards about what he’d do to address poverty, and he responded with the claim that an Edwards Administration would “eliminat[e] poverty over the next 30 years.”


You decry President Bush as being in danger of committing “idolatry or blasphemy” for wanting to eliminate grotesque evildoers like Saddam Hussein, yet you offered no rebuke or correction to Edwards, when the Bible is clear that “destitute people will not cease to exist in the land” (Deuteronomy 15:11), which is why God commands us to be charitable. Why the free pass to Edwards?
It’s true that the Bible, in the very same chapter in Deuteronomy, seems to offer the hope of a future time when “there will be no needy among you, for the Lord will surely bless you in the land the Lord, your God, is giving you” (15:4). But notice that the medium for this transformation of society is God’s blessing, not policies aimed at confiscating wealth from its creators. And God’s blessing comes when we obey Him comprehensively.
Time and again, the Bible presents societal wealth as a function of society’s moral health. Please don’t associate me with the cartoon in your mind of what a religious conservative believes, i.e. that if children are poor in America, “it is all their fault.” No, it’s all our fault, but not for the reason you think.
“And it will be, if you hearken to My commandments that I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give the rain of your land at its time, the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil. And I will give grass in your field for your livestock, and you will eat and be sated. Beware, lest your heart be misled, and you turn away and worship strange gods and prostrate yourselves before them. And the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will close off the heavens, and there will be no rain, and the ground will not give its produce, and you will perish quickly from upon the good land that the Lord gives you” (Deuteronomy 11:13-17).
In the Bible’s picture of reality, God’s blessing comes to the culture that will “hearken to [His] commandments,” the culture that loves God and serves Him. The Edwards formula would seek to evade this Scriptural logic by force of law.
Again, I don’t discount the need to provide some kind of governmental safety net for the needy. But if we respect Biblical wisdom, then the best hope for minimizing the suffering that goes along with neediness is to nurture a society-wide respect for Godly values as they pertain to every aspect of our public and private lives.
Instead, while your feelings are very much aroused for the poor, you find the murder of millions of unborn babies merely “alarming.” That’s the sort of bland adjective I would feel comfortable applying to, let’s say, a spike in the number of car thefts. (“It’s so alarming! I had to start putting my car in a garage instead of leaving it on the street!”) You object to sanctioning abortion doctors with possible criminal penalties, and would use only moral persuasion to reduce abortion rates. Tell me, Jim, do you support criminal penalties for repeated acts of drunk driving? I assume so. Now, most drunk drivers do not end up taking a life, although they put themselves at risk of doing so. Simply as a matter of justice, how can you defend letting an abortionist off lightly when every Christian and Jew should be able to agree that deliberately taking a life, or many lives, is exactly what such a doctor has done?
For that matter, if I fail to pay the massively increased taxes that would be imposed by an Edwards-style anti-poverty program, you would also support using the power of the state against me, I guess. But not against an abortion doctor, Jim?
You miss the connection the Bible makes between poverty and social morality. Frankly, for this very reason, you should be much more up at arms about the California Supreme Court’s installation of homosexual matrimony as the law of that state. You are against tampering with the “sacrament” of marriage. I guess that means you wouldn’t marry two men in a church ceremony. But that says nothing about the state giving its legal stamp of approval to gay unions. No one is urging that the state offer a “sacrament” (at least not yet).
What you say about same-sex marriage in your last post doesn’t address the actual situation in California (and elsewhere), with its moral implications that will affect the rest of us too, whether in Washington, D.C., where you live, or here in Washington State. The point here is not about Bible-thumping. It’s about the moral message that’s being sent, to the effect that moral tradition no longer has the authority to decide values or behavior, whether among homosexuals or heterosexuals. That will undercut all of us in our personal daily struggles to choose right over wrong.
Judicial activists seek to overturn a great American tradition of respecting Biblical morals in our laws, a tradition that prevailed till less than 40 years ago. Where is your “prophetic” outrage, Jim?
As for the Biblical laws you allude to that would provide relief for the impoverished – leaving the corner of a field for the poor, for example – please notice that, as they appear in the Scriptural text, not one of those laws comes with any kind of legal consequence if the farmer fails to comply. Those commandments are addressed by God to the individual believer, not to the government. The only apparent enforcement is provided by one’s conscience. You’ve unintentionally made my point for me.
The Bible wants to teach us to be righteous for love of God and for love of other human being, not because the IRS will punish us if we neglect to help pay for government programs.
I can’t close without addressing your point about the supposedly massive number of poor people in our country. The existence of even one child who goes to sleep hungry should tear at our heart. But let’s not cut ourselves loose from reality, Jim. Readers may want to take a look at some of the statistics on poverty I discuss in the chapter on that subject in my book. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2002, 89 percent of the American poor reported they had “enough food to eat” year-round. If we assume this figure of 37 million “poor,” then about 4 million did not always know where their next meal was coming from. And so on. As one commenter pointed out to you under a recent post, this is a situation worlds away from the poverty known in Biblical times.
Thanks, in any event, for considering my views. It’s evident that many of the readers of our posts, or rather those who left comments, don’t regard the Bible as authoritative; or if they do, it’s only in the narrow field of our personal lives, not that of our public laws and institutions. They draw an arbitrary, totally un-Biblical, line against granting a voice to God’s eternal wisdom in politics. At least you and I agree that the Bible addresses all of life, not a mere fraction.
I wish you well, and congratulations again for the important and valuable work you’ve done in opening up a conversation about faith and policy on the Left.



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Andy

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:36 pm


“The point here is…about the moral message that’s being sent, to the effect that moral tradition no longer has the authority to decide values or behavior, whether among homosexuals or heterosexuals. That will undercut all of us in our personal daily struggles to choose right over wrong.”
How? How will what happened in California re. same sex marriage undercut me in my “personal daily struggles to choose right over wrong”? What does any decision from the Cali Supreme Court, or any court for that matter, have to do with the moral choices I make? If someone can tell me that, in a way that makes sense, fine–seriously–please explain that.



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Andy

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm


“…about 4 million did not always know where their next meal was coming from.”
And that’s morally acceptable? In a nation in which obesity has passed up smoking as the #1 preventable cause of health problems? Please!



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eastcoastlady

posted June 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm


“supposedly” massive number of poor people in our country.
Well, if you’re going to dismiss the premise of a huge number of hungry and poor people from the start, then it somehow hardly seems worth holding the discussion.
If someone is literally starving to death, versus having “enough” to eat, would that be a better definition of “hungry” to you? How would you define “hungry”? One meal a week? One meal a day? Does it depend on what kind of food is being eaten? Maybe enough veggies but not enough protein?
It seems there are too many reliable sources of information on the state of poverty and hunger in our country to question it at all, unless you’re prepared not to believe it no matter what you’re told or shown to back it up. Maybe a visit to a food kitchen or a food bank with bare shelves would help.



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eastcoastlady

posted June 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm


And this Jew finds your arguments against abortion UNcompelling.



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nich

posted June 24, 2008 at 1:43 pm


Could somebody please tell me why Mr. K and the many on the religious right always seem to end up debating abortion and gay marriage in nearly every conversation that they have, no matter what the original topic of the debate was? It seems that those are the only issues that matter to the right, which is exactly what Jim Wallis is attempting to move away from, and I say thank God for that.
The religious right grossly oversimplifies the abortion debate. Outlawing abortion will by no means help the situation. Let’s face it, even if abortion were outlawed, there would still be women who want to have abortions, which could possibly lead to them attempting to perform the procedure on themselves. This is what happened before Roe vs. Wade, and it would still happen if the decision were reversed. Obviously, potential mothers could end up taking both there life and the child’s if they performed their procedure incorrectly, and possibly creating health problems for these women. Allowing the death and decrease of health of women is not looking out for the “sacredness of life” that the religious right claims to be attempting to protect.



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Janet

posted June 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm


Mr. K. states that the blessings of God come only when we obey Him comprehensively.
“In the Bible’s picture of reality, God’s blessing comes to the culture that will “hearken to [His] commandments,” the culture that loves God and serves Him.”
First of all, you can obey God comprehensively and still suffer lots of stuff, including poverty (e.g. Job, Paul, the faithful mentioned in Hebrews 11). If the government legislated a moral code that met the approval of Mr. Klinghoffer, it would still not create a culture that loves God and serves Him. We are not living in a theocracy. You may get people to act the way you want out of fear of punishment or imprisonment, but you can’t legislate love for God. Would God be impressed with our ability to follow the rules if in our hearts we hate Him? Is attitude not His primary concern?
I agree with a previous comment that so often the religious right beats the same old drum of abortion and homosexuality, as if these are the sole problems plagueing society. Adultery is incredibly destructive to marriages and families, but you don’t hear anyone calling for the imprisonment of adulterers, do you? I’ll repeat what I said in another post. Legislation is not the answer to these problems. We should be living out our call to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus ministered among the people, helped them, rescued them, forgave them, taught them, loved them. Nothing Mr. Klinghoffer says sounds like Jesus to me.
Janet



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Andy

posted June 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm


“Time and again, the Bible presents societal wealth as a function of society’s moral health.”
The Bible also, time and again, in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels, has some pretty harsh things to say to the wealthy who ignore and oppress the poor.
“You miss the connection the Bible makes between poverty and social morality.”
So, the reason there are poor people in the US is because of gay marriage and legal abortion? If you want to put the discussion of “social morality” in terms of idolatry, especially the idolatry of wealth and materialism in the way Jim talked about it, OK, then we might be getting somewhere. But that doesn’t seem to be what David means. Again, there are numerous passages, especially in the prophets and the Gospels, that make it clear how immoral it is for the wealthy to oppress the poor. Try what I just did: Go to http://www.crosswalk.com, type the word “poor” in the Bible search space, click “find”, and take a look. I found passages in Deuteronomy, which David refered to, to be especially interesting. Those passage seem to suggest that the poor might be poor at least in part because the rich tend to take advantage of them. (Gee–ya think?) See also Proverbs 14:31, 19:17 and 21:13.
The Rev. Dr. James Forbes of Riverside Church in NYC says it quite well: “No one will get into heaven without a letter of recommendation from the poor.”



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D. Thomas

posted June 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm


Mr. Klinghoffer is right on the mark when he talks about the strong connection between a nation’s economic status and its collective morality. What’s so difficult to understand here? In general, people who work hard, deal honestly, respect their property and that of their neighbors, and save their money tend to accumulate wealth. Those who are slothful or deceitful or double-dealing tend to lose in the long run. By the same token, a society that ignores crime, however petty, and tolerates sexual immorality will degenerate over time (see “Roman Empire”). New York City was fast slipping into third-world status before Rudy Giuliani restored order and prosperity through the now famous “Broken Windows” strategy. The Big Apple is once again a safe, thriving metropolis, proving the strong connection between moral rectitude and material blessing. When biblical morality undergirds our individual and corporate lives, the material and cultural benefits redound to all in some measure or another. Take away the moral foundation and we all fall together.



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Steven Kippel

posted June 24, 2008 at 6:30 pm


Here’s a challenge to Mr. Klinghoffer:
What passage in all of the Bible demands the government should not allow gay people to marry?
On a non-spiritual argument, you can’t even say gay marriage would ruin society. Gay marriage doesn’t ruin society, it’s the heterosexual marriages that end in divorce resulting in fatherless children. Or heterosexual relationships without marriage that end with the same. Now we have a true burden on society with single-parents, and troubled children without parents.
You’re talking about personal responsibility, once again. You leave it up to the individual’s conscience to follow God’s law regarding poverty, yet you are adamant the government legislate against “sins” which don’t appear in the Bible.



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Phil

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:20 am


Where is Jesus in any of his arguments? It seems to me that Mr. Klinghoffer has entirely forgotten about the New Testament! Not ONCE in ANY of these blogs has he even invoked Jesus’ name! For all intents and purposes, someone unfamiliar with Mr. Klinghoffer or this debate could just as easily assume that he was Jewish and not Christian at all. While his blog entries give me no reason to believe this, I would be interested to see if the chapters in his book on war, the death penalty, etc. ever mention Jesus’ explicit command to LOVE your enemies, or, for that matter, mention anything from the sermon on the mount!
What about Jesus’ arrest at Gethsemani where he rebukes his own disciple for violently defending him – is this not a VERY clear message from God Himself that we are not to live “by the sword” and are instead called to live nonviolently? The Old Testament may say otherwise, but Jesus came to fulfill the OT, and ultimately, as Christians, aren’t we compelled to give Jesus the last say on the matter? And, as Christians, aren’t we compelled to read the Old Testament through the eyes of Christ, who we profess to be our teacher and perfect example?
Please, Mr. Klinghoffer, address the sermon on the mount and the rest of Jesus’ teachings and explain how his views are pro-war and pro-rich. In the end, as a Christian, I’m bound to Jesus’ teachings, so if you can show me how HE supports gov’t apathy towards the poor, supports favoring the rich, and supports his followers acting violently, vengefully, and hatefully, then perhaps I’d be more compelled to adopt your views. Until then, I will be following the radically nonviolent gospel of Jesus that people such as Jim Wallis live and preach. For that gospel, unlike yours, is indeed goodnews that fulfills Isiah’s prophecy of the messiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”



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nich

posted June 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm


Amen Phil!
I believe the reason that Jesus is not mentioned in any of Mr. K’s argument is because he is Jewish, which is why this debate between Mr. Wallis and Mr. K is bound to go nowhere. It leaves Mr. Wallis handicapped in that he can’t make the points that Phil just made because they have no meaning to Mr. K.



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suz

posted June 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm


David,
How dare you insult the readers of this blog? “It’s evident that many of the readers of our posts, or rather those who left comments, don’t regard the Bible as authoritative; or if they do, it’s only in the narrow field of our personal lives, not that of our public laws and institutions.” I’m sorry that you are bothered by so many not agreeing with you cherry-picking verses which fit your political agenda. I’m sorry that it is inconvenient for you to acknowledge the Prophets and their warnings of God’s wrath given because the people of Israel had oppressed the poor and ignored the plight of the widow and orphan. But most of all I’m sorry that you don’t know Jesus, the Prince of Peace who embodied God’s love and compassion for the world.



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Andy

posted June 26, 2008 at 10:06 am


So, D. Thomas, those hundreds of people who worked for Enron and lost their jobs, investments and pensions–in other words, everything–they were “slothful, deceitful and double-dealing”, and the execs who walked away from that debacle with gajillions were not? And, well, anyone who is poor, it’s because they’re “slothful, deceitful and double-dealing”? In other words, poverty is poor people’s fault? Oh, that’s right, you did say “in general”, didn’t you?
Suggestion: Do a word search in the Bible, using an exhaustive concordance (Strong’s or Young’s), print or on line (www.crosswalk.com is pretty good; there may be others), read every passage where the words “poor”, “poverty” and “rich” appear (just for starters), and see if the Bible agrees “in general” with what you say. Yes, there are passages that talk of the rewards of diligence and hard work and the bad consequences of slothfulness, mostly in the Proverbs, but I think you’ll find that the lion’s share of passages (not just individual verses, but whole passages, for context) have a somewhat different take on the issue. Besides, from what I can gather, David wasn’t saying that slothfulness was to blame for poverty, rather he was blaming abortion and gay marriage.



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toddh

posted June 26, 2008 at 5:05 pm


Unfortunately for D. Thomas, it was actually with the rise of Christianity that the Roman Empire fell. The empire was probably at its height when it was at its most immoral. It’s actually pretty tough in reality to draw causal connections between economic prosperity and adherence to some set of moral standards. The world just isn’t that black and white. For every Deuteronomy and Proverbs, there is also an Ecclesiastes.
That brings me to my other point, which I won’t belabor, but Klinghoffer’s hermeneutic is clearly compromised by his adherence to conservative ideology. It’s pretty obvious that he starts first with his political biases, and then unashamedly reads the biblical text into them. A little critical distance could go a long ways here.



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Andy

posted June 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm


Well-said, toddh.
In all fairness, everyone’s hermeneutic is at least flavored, if not guided, by their a priori assumptions. We all have a lense through which we interpret things, including the Bible. We do well if we realize that, so we can allow things that don’t fit our assumptions to make it through our lense. You nail it, though, when you accuse David of fitting the text to his biases, and I would add, to his agenda. It’s like the old saying: If the only tool you have is a hammer, pretty soon all you see is nails. Again, in all fairness, liberals do that too. I’ve seen it quite often. I’m probably showing my own biases here, but I think Jim does a better job of looking for what the Bible says and finding his agenda in that, rather than bringing his agenda to the text.



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Chuck

posted June 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm


Do I smell some anti-Semites out there hiding under the mantle of Progressive-supposedly-open-and-loving Christians? So what if D. Klinghoffer is Jewish. Jesus was a Jew! Israel was God’s chosen people, for crying out loud. Read your Bibles! The Gospel was preached, according to Paul, to the Jews first, as was available Salvation.
Thank God its available to all who accept Jesus, especially us Gentiles!
Now onto other matters. I am amazed, but in no way surprised, that many so-called Christians responding here are so un-Christlike in their attitudes towards conservatives and D. Klinghoffer. Whether you agree with JW or DK, please, be courteous and kind. Remember the Fruits of the Spirit? Look em up…



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Steven Kippel

posted June 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm


I don’t see any antisemitism. What I do see is people saying the argument is on an uneven playing field because Wallis and Klinghoffer have different canons (rulebooks).



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David Southworth

posted June 28, 2008 at 9:24 am


We are the children of “empire;” a consciousness which is deeply ingrained, so deeply ingrained that it is nearly impossible for us to imagine an alternative reality. In light of this, the role of prophecy is to give us the imagery for a God who does not serve empire, a God free enough to keep his covenants.
It is the consciousness of empire that leads us to numbness, especially with regard to death. Empire is committed to preserving a numbness about death since its very existence hangs on creating a fixation with eternity. An eternity where ‘they’ will be eternally empowered and ‘we’ will be eternally powerless. An eternity ruled eternally by a god in their service – a god blessing the rule of empire and its emperors. Facing this, the task of the prophet is to bring the people to a place where they can honestly and openly engage their experiences of suffering even the suffering of death itself.
Ultimately under empire, we become incapable of facing our failures and our own death. We dissolve into the eternally forever numbness of not wanting to know what we are really facing. A numbness that comes from the eternal fiction of believing that the empire will keep us safe from all out fears and anxieties, even death.
The task of the prophet is to cut through the numbness, to penetrate the self-deception. They must find symbols that are adequate to confront the horrors and the massiveness denied by the numbness of empire. They must find language to demonstrate, as Moses did, that the apparent power of Pharaoh is just an empty shell. To do this, they must bring to public expression fears and terrors that have long been denied. The people must be able to turn from the false promises of Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s gods. The prophet must speak poetically and concretely about the fear and of the real death that hovers and gnaws at us all. The proper idiom of the prophet then, is the language of grief.
The prophet is engaged in a battle of language, framing a paradigm out of which a different community can emerge. His only hope is that the ache for and of God can penetrate the numbness of empire’s seemingly eternal history. The prophet must engage the people in a yearning that grows with and out of pain.
Tears are the prophet’s weapon to break the barriers of our own pain and hurt and loneliness like no harshness or anger can. Tears provide a solidarity with pain when no other solidarity exists. They enable us to address the numbness bravely when anger, abrasiveness and indignation seek to drive the numbness even deeper. It is this downward journey through numbness and into grief that forces the people into new behaviors necessary to cope with the terrible realities they have so long denied. Only by embracing the negative truths of our situation can this numbness be broken. The people must be able to publicly articulate that they are ashamed and fearful of the path and future they have chosen through empire.
Our faith tradition knows that anguish is the door to our existence; that only by embracing endings do we permit beginnings. The riddle of our faith is the awareness that only anguish leads to life, only grieving leads to joy and only by embracing endings do we permit new beginnings.
Jesus understands that grief is the ultimate criticism of God. It is a grief that we must share with God and with each other. Jesus sees that only those who morn can be comforted; that only those who can embrace the reality of death can receive new life. Implicit in this is the understanding that those who do not morn will not be comforted, that those who do not face endings will never receive beginnings.
God’s alternative community, the Kingdom of God, stands in solidarity with the dying and not with those in denial of death. In the final analysis, only those who are truly facing death are capable of hope. Those within God’s community know that only those who grieve can experience their experiences… and move on.
Jesus knows that mourning must be real because endings are real; that only mourning permits newness, permits his kingdom to come. This mourning is a radical criticism to our current culture because it means an end of empire. Mourning is something that kings cannot do without loosing their thrones. And that is precisely God’s point… and most assuredly not David Klinghoffer’s.



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iorek

posted July 1, 2008 at 3:52 pm


Mr. Klinghoffer, these arguments make my blood run cold. It seems inevitable that once someone outsources his moral code to the Bible, he feels he is acting in accordance with divine instruction and is justified pursuing any means to his divine end. He becomes willing to takes steps that someone guided by simple human decency and pity would not. Virtue in that sense is far more dangerous than vice,because virtue is not constrained by the bounds of conscience. You can see that creeping in around the edges of Mr. Klinghoffer’s positions… he is just a little too easy to serve as the sword of an avenging angel. It gives me the creeps. The world is getting too small for fundamentalists who purport to have a pipeline to absolute truth– whether that fundamentalist is Christian or Muslim.



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Michael Dack

posted July 1, 2008 at 5:42 pm


War is a “normal tool of statecraft” in the biblical perspective? And we should appreciate that? We should appreciate war, or the fact that many biblical characters failed to understand that a God who loved all the people of God’s creation could not possibly love warfare?
Warfare is human sinfulness at its worst!



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Steve

posted July 1, 2008 at 10:45 pm


Conservatives really seem to hate the government, taxes, and social programs. They blame the liberals for all these things. Yet, the Republicans themselves have been in charge of making all the laws from 1994 to early 2007! Wow! Conservative George Bush has been in charge almost eight years! They have been the government! Talk about contradictions!
Why does the conservative get so angry about a welfare queen with kids getting $280 a month but not get upset over the ongoing military procurement corruption costing taxpayers billions of dollars?



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John Beens

posted July 2, 2008 at 7:21 am


The trouble is that Americans think that God and Jesus are Americans so every American looks at this World with biased eyes.
Please wake up.



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Percy Saul

posted July 2, 2008 at 7:25 am


This article makes me ask two (2) questions:
1. What does the Bible call the Sabath day?
2. Show me in the Bible when it was changed?



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Melanie Menge

posted July 3, 2008 at 9:10 am


It’s just remarkable. I have most of my adult life trying to reverse the damage this kind of rhetoric causes to those who don’t know Christ. This is an embarrassment to the entire Christian community and I shudder to think how comments like this grieve the heart of God.



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Phil

posted July 4, 2008 at 11:20 am


Without wealth creation there is poverty. Why isn’t this self evident? Wealth creation is not the proof that a person is highly moral or poverty a proof of immorality. But a reasonably moral culture is necessary for broad based wealth creation and the reduction of poverty. Individually and collectively our immorality does have consequences and our suffering is not always the fault of others.



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John

posted July 6, 2008 at 8:15 pm


Man, you didn’t mention your book this time…disappointing.



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james curtis

posted August 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm


Define “enough to eat.” They eat high fat, high sugar, low nutrition “cheap food” they are overcharged for in the poor neighborhood. They don’t get fresh vegetables, whole weat bread, olive oil to cook with. President Reagan classified ketchup as a vegetable for the school lunch program for children(that’s right, sugar water, with cornstarch and a dollop of tomato juice is a “vegetable” for the poor.
The diet the “let them eat cake” rich have created for them, at higher cost because they have not the trans to go to better markets, is killing them. When they go for medical care, they get minimal to none. They cannot afford meds.
An you, the “compassionate conservative christian” have the unmitigated gall to blame them for it…its their fault due to immorality. Maybe, maybe not in a few cases, but who are you to judge them. Jesus warned us…whatever you do to the least, you do also unto me. You’ll have a lot to answer for when you meet Jesus, but again, I will not be your judge, he will.



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Undefined

posted September 19, 2008 at 1:18 am


Take it from an atheist, you guys are funny! Thank’s for the good laugh. If any of you want to pray for me, please do. I like it when people give me spiritual hugs. Now hug one another and make up.



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Charles Cosimano

posted October 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm


If a letter of recommendation from the poor is required to enter heaven, I will gladly choose hell. It will have a much more interesting class of people.



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Dan

posted October 26, 2008 at 4:38 am


If you don’t think there is a hidden agenda in this country, then why can I buy a greasy unhealthy Double Cheeseburger at McDonalds for $1.00, but if I want to eat their healthy Grilled Chicken sandwich it costs $3.69 The poor are being steered away from eating healthy because healthy food costs so much more. Not to mention healthy Organic foods and their high prices that only the rich and comfortable can afford.



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posted 3:46:50pm Nov. 17, 2008 | read full post »

Do You Wonder About the Source of Meaning?
Dear Heather, I really enjoy the way you conduct a path through our disagreements. You are tough, but open to differences. As we have agreed from the first, to achieve real disagreement is a long-term task; it takes a lot of brandies sipped slowly together (so to speak) to get past the misunderstan

posted 10:51:30am Nov. 14, 2008 | read full post »

What About Other Religions?
Dear Michael: Thank you so much for your candid and probing response; it is most illuminating. Before addressing your final question, I am going to risk characterizing your presentation of religious faith. Some of our readers, if not you yourself, may find this presumptuous; if so, I accept their c

posted 4:21:02pm Nov. 13, 2008 | read full post »

Faith Is Not Just Belief
Dear Heather: There are many aspects of popular Catholic faith that have sometimes shocked me and turned me away. Yet I well remember visiting the great Catholic shrine at Czestechowa, in Poland, where once almost a million people turned out for Pope John Paul II when he first pierced the Iron Curta

posted 3:48:33pm Nov. 12, 2008 | read full post »




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