God's Politics

God's Politics


Soong-Chan Rah: Who Gets to Define America?

posted by gp_intern

Over this past weekend, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education with learning “the language of living in a ghetto,” and said, “Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that’s true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English.” While the merits of bilingual education may be a topic of ongoing discussion, it is Gingrich’s apparent fear of a majority non-white America that reveals his jingoism. If the words of Congressman Tancredo and even the writings of Harvard Professor Sam Huntington are any indication, Gingrich’s attitude regarding America’s multi-ethnic future is not an isolated one. A central question and issue may be: Who gets to define what America looks like in the 21st century? Should every effort be made to maintain a white majority that reflects the current Western European culture and ethos of American society?

The unavoidable reality is that by the year 2050, projections point to a nation without an ethnic majority. In other words, the majority of Americans will be made up of current ethnic minorities. America will no longer be a Euro-centric, white nation. Furthermore, the trends seem to indicate that the non-white population among Christians is growing at a disproportional rate. In other words, American Christianity will become non-white before the rest of American society. Even now, most denominations are faced with the reality that unless they see growth among the ethnic minority population within their denomination, they will experience steady decline.

The problem of immigration presents an interesting dilemma for majority-culture Christians. Immigrants and ethnic minorities are saving American Christianity. Immigrants and ethnic minorities tend to be socially and morally conservative. Immigrant and ethnic minority churches are restoring spiritual vitality and fervor oftentimes missing in many white evangelical churches. Too often, the future of American evangelicalism is viewed as a battle over the heart and soul of middle-America (i.e. – white America), when the restoration of faith in American culture may actually depend on the ongoing growth of immigrant and ethnic minority Christian communities. So what is the response of the white evangelical community to the changing face of America? So far, it has been one of conspicuous silence on the issue of immigration. Many Christian leaders have been hesitant to support genuine immigration reform – maybe reflecting the fear of a non-white America and a non-white American Christianity.

As an evangelical Christian, I look towards scripture for my guidance. In my study of scripture, I have yet to find a single passage which supports the right to bear arms. (I’m not arguing against the right to bear arms, I’m just saying I can’t find a biblical reference regarding the right to bear arms). I have, however, found numerous references (50+ and still counting) calling believers to care for the alien among them. Why is it then that I am more likely to find members of the NRA in a typical American evangelical church than I will find those who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion for the immigrant among us? How much of our view on immigration is driven by a political and social agenda rather than a biblical one?

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary and a member of the Sojourners/Call to Renewal Board.



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 3, 2007 at 5:30 pm


Excellent post. To my understanding, much of the jingoism is related to the frame we understand our institutions to exist within. Gingrich and company subscribe to a belief that Western society has produced superior institutions, and they may be right, though by no fault of their own. There is an argument to be made that Christianity has had a greater influence on the development of western institutions than on other frameworks, and to the extent that this is true it is worthwhile to protect those institutions. Speaking the English language, or having a particular pigmentation are not important factors in this discussion. What is more important is respect for individual liberty and protection of property rights. In other words, each institution ought to be examined individually and defended or rejected based on whether there is a clear Biblical and traditional-rational justification for its existence. Western civ proponents fail to see the trees for the forest because careful attention to the actual strengths of certain institutions might reveal inconsistencies in the policy agendas. Multicultural proponents may easily fall into the same trap if they fail to identify those strengths within each framework which make peace and commerce possible while limiting the use of force. No system is to be accepted or rejected carte blanche, neither is any interpretation of scripture. We must be Bereans in all things and we must be intellectually honest with ourselves and others. I find self-defense to be something I cannot deny to my fellow man under common grace, though I expect my fellow Christian to reserve use of force for the protection of innocents, and then to only use the least possible amount to halt any aggressor. Nathanael Snow



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jesse

posted April 3, 2007 at 5:57 pm


So, is there any other reason why one would support a common language for all Americans besides “jingoism” and fear of a “majority non-white America”? Think hard. And don’t automatically assume that all who support such things are racist.



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Wolverine

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:19 pm


I think the reason that one is likely to find more members of the NRA in a typical evangelical church than advocates for immigration is because up until recently gun control legislation was far more likely to be passed than legislation that would severely hinder immigrants. It is a sign of how welcoming this country to immigrants that we currently have one of the world’s more generous laws for asylum and immigration, and the question of whether or not we should actually enforce that is itself controversial. Dr. Soong strikes me as a reasonable man not given to making wild accusations, so the following isn’t necessarily meant as a criticism of him. But it’s fascinating that, after publishing an article about Iran that doesn’t mention nuclear weapons, Sojourners publishes an article about immigrants that doesn’t mention over 10 million illegals. For such a small room there seem to be an awful lot of elephants running around. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:20 pm


Whoops! reposting to fix formatting screwup: I think the reason that one is likely to find more members of the NRA in a typical evangelical church than advocates for immigration is because up until recently gun control legislation was far more likely to be passed than legislation that would severely hinder immigrants. It is a sign of how welcoming this country to immigrants that we currently have one of the world’s more generous laws for asylum and immigration, and the question of whether or not we should actually enforce that is itself controversial. Dr. Soong strikes me as a reasonable man not given to making wild accusations, so the following isn’t necessarily meant as a criticism of him. But it’s fascinating that, after publishing an article about Iran that doesn’t mention nuclear weapons, Sojourners publishes an article about immigrants that doesn’t mention over 10 million illegals. For such a small room there seem to be an awful lot of elephants running around. Wolverine



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squeaky

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:22 pm


Sure–there are a lot of advantages, Jesse. but there are also significant advantages to people knowing more than one language and having greater cultural awareness. Gingrich’s tone shows he sees no value in that whatsoever.



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Regarding immigration: What prevents us from admitting any and all individuals willing to pay their own way here? With 10 million illegals unemployment is below 5%. Take away those illegals and I would expect unemployment to go up as well. What actual threat do they pose to naturalized citizens? Its a bad protectionist law that parallels with the growth of government which treats immigration in this fashion. Nathanael Snow



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:39 pm


There are no reasons for a single language that do not regress away if we severely restrict the scope of government. Most arguments for a single language have to do efficiency in education, law, and political involvement. If we get rid of public education, simplify legal procedures, and limit the impact of politics on everyday life the need for a single language fades away. Nathanael Snow



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TLB

posted April 3, 2007 at 7:30 pm


jurisnaturalist: Of course, our current employment rate doesn’t say anything about the quality of the jobs, nor does it say anything about those who are permanently unemployed. I’d also suggest looking into the work of Andrew Sum. Here’s a fun question for Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah: tell us how we could have “reform” and also prevent the Mexican government from gaining even more political power inside the U.S. (If he – like Wallis – is not familiar with all the aspects of this issue, he should provide a disclaimer noting his ignorance.)



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moderatelad

posted April 3, 2007 at 7:57 pm


While the merits of bilingual education may be a topic of ongoing discussion, it is Gingrich’s apparent fear of a majority non-white America that reveals his jingoism. So – concern about people not knowing the English language makes one fearful of a ‘non-white’ America? What a crazy leap of logic. Working in the education field – non English speaking students take 3 to 5 times longer to teach them the basics in any subject. If they knew English they could track with the rest of the class better and the teacher could really ‘teach’ the whole class at one time.non-white population among Christians is growing at a disproportional rate. In other words, American Christianity will become non-white before the rest of American society. SO – this is a bad thing or something that I as a conservative, evangelical white male should be concerned about? Please – when did we start defining it as American or White Christianity? The Bible that I read tells me that the Good News is for all. That we are to being the Good News to anyone who will listen. (and we don’t kill them if they do not believe) Our little church is growing at a faster rate in the past two years than it did the previous 12 to 15 years. It is a wonder group of people that have joined our fellowship. I guess I was in error that I need to label them as Black, Asian, and Native Christians. I do not fear that someday I might be attending a church where the congregation is no longer Swedish, we are all believers. Thank God for the Swedes that came and established a church in a little town 100+ years ago and the God has blessed us over the years and now we have great potlucks with a wonderful array of foods from all around the world. Immigrants and ethnic minorities tend to be socially and morally conservative. Something we agree about – drives my liberal friends crazy. Why is it then that I am more likely to find members of the NRA in a typical American evangelical church than I will find those who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion for the immigrant among us? Great – so NRA members are not for immigration? Please – we are all immigrants and our fore fathers and mothers care to this country looking for a better life – legally. Let us define immigration or an immigrant. It is one that comes to this country and respects our laws and learns our language so that they can do business here in the US. That is what my family did – the kids taught the parents English – what a concept. My family had to find a sponsor so that they could come to this country. Just because we are white, evangelicals dose not mean that we are against people from other countries coming here. My parent s congregation assisted several families coming to this country ‘legally’. Taught them the language – found them jobs – etc. Sorry – Newt and others like me do not fear a ‘non-white’ America.I think that you see the church and America more ‘black and white’ than I ever have. I see them as brothers and sisters in Christ and just think what a wonderful color heaven is going to be with all of us there.One color thread makes a boring tapestry. Later – .



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kevin s.

posted April 3, 2007 at 8:35 pm


” it is Gingrich’s apparent fear of a majority non-white America that reveals his jingoism.” Apparent is a sneaky word. It prevents you from having to say that Gingrich fears a non-white majority without seeming to say it. There is nothing that suggests that Gingrich fears a non-white majority.The question is whether we can function as a society if we do not speak the same language, or whether our language differences will partition us (hence the use of the term ghetto). “The problem of immigration presents an interesting dilemma for majority-culture Christians. Immigrants and ethnic minorities are saving American Christianity. Immigrants and ethnic minorities tend to be socially and morally conservative” In what manner is this a dilemma? this would rather seem to be a dilemma for the left, which counts on nearly unanimous support from minorities in order to maintain any political relevance.”Too often, the future of American evangelicalism is viewed as a battle over the heart and soul of middle-America (i.e. white America), ” By whom? I don’t doubt that there are some racist Christians, but a large number of major (and politically conservative) churches are reaching out to minorities. Saddleback Church, for example, has entire services devoted to growing minority culture. “So what is the response of the white evangelical community to the changing face of America? So far, it has been one of conspicuous silence on the issue of immigration.” No it hasn’t. The President actively supports amnesty. Other conservatives adamantly oppose it. Nobody is consipicuously silent. “As an evangelical Christian, I look towards scripture for my guidance. In my study of scripture, I have yet to find a single passage which supports the right to bear arms… I have, however, found numerous references (50+ and still counting) calling believers to care for the alien among them.” Still counting? Are you not finished reading the Bible yet?”Why is it then that I am more likely to find members of the NRA in a typical American evangelical church than I will find those who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion for the immigrant among us?” Because you hold to the belief that only your point of view reflects compassion. Others believe that what you advocate (presumably amnesty) will have an affect that perpetuates a nasty cycle of illegal immigration.The argument that, if you don’t support amnesty, you must be a racist, has as much gravity and nuance as an argument for white majority. You have become the mirror of the straw man you created.



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Joseph T

posted April 3, 2007 at 8:58 pm


“the language of living in a ghetto” N Gingrich What is nasty about Gingrich’s statement is the open denigration of non English speaking cultures. His seedy personal moral history does not put him in a very good position to criticize a language and culture he doesn’t know. What did he do to end the culture of prostitution in Congress?English speakers are relative newcomers to the Southwest preceded by a long history of native tribes and more recently by Hispanic society. Having traveled and lived briefly in the southwest I personally find the culture of McDonalds and living in automobiles inferior to the culture of the town plaza, or the Hispanic family based community life. That is far from a fair comparison and there is no fair and reasonable comparison, since cultures are complex and multilayered. My best friend is a Mexican American sculptor/ teacher with dual citizenship. He is flawlessly fluent and erudite in English, Spanish and French(he studied and worked in Paris). When He lives in Mexico with his Parents or attends family gatherings is he speaking the language of living in a ghetto? What disgusting nonsense Mr Gingrich puts in the public discourse. The real problem is that the bizarro branded culture of TV commercials, College students who can’t identify the continents on a map but know the details of Annna Nicole Smith’s life, and that is consuming an inordinate percentage of the worlds resource is fundamentally immoral and practically unsustainable. Instead of coming to terms with this reality and re-examining the premises, values and practices of mass consumerism we are blaming other countries and cultures. often using those lies of blame and fear to justify stealing the resources of those peoples and places for our own lusts. Part of the problem is that Gingrich’s statements feed a vast movement of thinly disguised racism and the demagogery of scapegoat politics.



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Kristopher

posted April 3, 2007 at 9:05 pm


Well said Moderatelad. I don’t know if I could agree with you more. I don’t understand this “fear” of having people learn the language of the country that they want to live in. All of our ancestors were immigrants, and they all assimilated to the culture. What is wrong with that? Why does America become the country, that if you move there, you shouldn’t have to assimilate? I also don’t understand why speaking English is considered a white thing, and not an American thing.



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Kristopher

posted April 3, 2007 at 9:20 pm


Well said Kevin S. also, sorry I missed you.



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Kristopher

posted April 3, 2007 at 9:21 pm


People that try to turn this into a race issue, are more racist then those they are accusing.



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Carl Copas

posted April 3, 2007 at 9:58 pm


I am a thorough-going multiculturalist. But this is a very simplistic article.



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Erin

posted April 3, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Ah Kevin… your love of the term “straw man” always brings a smile to my face…



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Erin

posted April 3, 2007 at 10:19 pm


I do agree that people should speak English, and learn it when they come to this country (because if I moved permanently to say Germany, for example, I would learn German) but I also think we should encourage more bilingual education (more than is currently available, especially in elementary education). It just makes us better players in world affairs (especially considering we have one of the worst educational system in the world)… many countries around the world encourage and/or require their citizens to learn other languages.It is not a racist issue. It is a pragmatic issue.



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Wolverine

posted April 3, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Joseph T. The problem with the Gingrich quote is that we have none of the context. It may sound at first blush like he’s denigrating other cultures, but there’s more than one interpretation. There is a concern that de-emphasizing English will leave people with limited English language skills, and those people will be cut off from much of what is going on in American life — stuck in a linguistic ghetto. My guess is that this is what Gingrich was talking about. As for Gingrich’s personal life, he certainly has some things to answer for, as do all of us. I don’t see what relevance that has to questions of language and assimilation. Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 3, 2007 at 11:25 pm


Part of the problem is that Gingrich’s statements feed a vast movement of thinly-disguised racism and the demagogery of scapegoat politics. And one that is more so than most people believe — Gingrich represented a suburban Atlanta district that has (at least since 1979) fought to keep city bus service out of his area because it would bring “what kind” of people out there. It’s still the South, of course, and old habits die hard.



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kevin s.

posted April 3, 2007 at 11:50 pm


“Having traveled and lived briefly in the southwest I personally find the culture of McDonalds and living in automobiles inferior to the culture of the town plaza, or the Hispanic family based community life.” I am inclined to agree. However, if we do nothing to permeate a language barrier, than we prevent other cultures from contributing to ours. I lived in Hispanic neighborhood for a few years. Great food, great culture, wonderful stuff.If you don’t speak spanish (I could), you can’t enjoy any of it, and they can’t profit from you, experientially or fiscally. Language barriers do not contribute to cultural understanding.If you want an example of the importance of learning english, look at the way mortgage brokers have exploited spanish speakers to trick them into predatory loans. So we have two choice. The first is to learn many languages, the second is to have everyone learn one. Which makes more sense?Regardless of how you answer the question, it hardly seems racist to ask it.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 3, 2007 at 11:55 pm


SO – this is a bad thing or something that I as a conservative, evangelical white male should be concerned about? Please – when did we start defining it as American or White Christianity? It’s been defined that way ever since the Reformation, really, whether we like it or not. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who some (thankfully not a majority) of those same evangelical white Christians despise to this day. My own church is becoming more racially and culturally diverse, and it’s actually a draw — in fact, I recently heard about a white suburban man who treks down to our church just to make sure his children don’t live in a mono-cultural world. Besides, the Europeans who came here eventually (for the most part) cast off their ethnicity; people of other racial groups still cannot for the most part.



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Mark

posted April 4, 2007 at 1:21 am


In Finland, they teach kids to read and write in Finnish at age 6 or 7. Then they teach them to read and write in Swedish at age 8 or 9. Then they add in two more languages (usually 2 of English, German and Russian) by age 11. The result is that Finns can communicate adequately – and usually fluently – in four languages by the time they reach high school age. In Switzerland, virtually everyone is fluent in German, French and Italian, and usually English as well. In the Netherlands and Belgium, throughout Scandinavia, and in most of Germany, most adults under about 55 speak fluent English. In the Welsh-speaking parts of Wales, I’ve frequently had people change language in mid-sentence when I’ve come into the room so that I can understand what they’re saying (because my Welsh is rather rudimentary). [Meanwhile here in Canada, a country with two official languages and built by numerous cultures, I find that I know substantially more German and Dutch than any of the local ethnic Mennonites; and my wife is in the next room taking time to teach my daughter French at home because the village school does not offer any "foreign" languages at all.] I do not understand: what is the problem with immigrant kids learning both English and their mother tongue? – and becoming fluent in both. If the majority of Europeans can be effectively multilingual, I don’t see why North Americans should expect to limit themselves to one language. (Or does arrival in North America render people so stupid that they can only speak the local variant of English?) Multilingual ability is a benefit, not a disadvantage – not just to the individual concerned but to the whole society. Cultures which speak only one language tend to be deeply ignorant about the world around them. And while we’re at it, why not make Arabic and Mandarin compulsory subjects at high school? – then we might end up with populations that can learn how to coexist with the rest of the world in the 21st century…. Mark



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jerry

posted April 4, 2007 at 1:30 am


sorry folks. but dr. rah seems to me to be a bit white-man phobic. and how in the world he can tie in white evangelical christians to all the “stuff” he attributes to them is a mystery. again i see the intolerance of the leftist leaning sojo mentality, uable to accept a simple pragmatic idea that a common language may have good benefits. here in tucson, non english speaking mexicans do not get the jobs they need and want. and they do live in linguistic qhettos that are often worse than where they came from. how in the world can rah get the NRA into this letter?????? (assistant professor of church growth and evangilism)??? hello, someone help me please.



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 4, 2007 at 1:40 am


TLB, Of course, our current employment rate doesn’t say anything about the quality of the jobs, nor does it say anything about those who are permanently unemployed. If they are willing to take the job, then it must be better than the one (or lack of one) they left behind. If they are more competitive than some native born individuals, hopefully that would spurn those who don t get jobs to work harder. Take away minimum wage laws and a lot more people would be employable right now. I took a look at Dr. Sum s work, and while he is eminently more qualified than I am, he approaches economics from an entirely different standpoint. He believes in the government. I don t.



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Mark

posted April 4, 2007 at 1:45 am


Yes, Jerry, a common language has benefits. But so can being able to communicate with your grandparents – and being able do so intelligently, with a full vocabulary and an understanding of the nuances of the language. I repeat: what is wrong with being fluent in more than one language? If the educational resources are made available, it can be achieved. Or are you assuming that immigrants are so stupid they can only speak one language? Mark



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 4, 2007 at 1:53 am


Moteratelad, If they could learn in Spanish it might be easier for them. However, if you control for their frequently transient lifestyle and income levels they fare nearly as well as native speakers. I speak from 8 years experience as a teacher. Kevin, In what aspects does functioning as a society require a common language? If individuals want to restrict their access to others by refusing to learn another language, that is their business. It may be foolish, but it is their prerogative. There is a reason that America had no official language. What would a nasty cycle of illegal immigration look like? It what ways would it be different from what we are now experiencing? Again, get rid of the ways immigrants might take advantage of our welfare state and what threat is there? Kristopher, I don’t understand this “fear” of having people learn the language of the country that they want to live in. I only fear the use of force in compelling people to learn a new language when it is not necessary for living and working. Leave people alone. If they can pay their way let them in. Shut down the state. Nathanael Snow



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 2:00 am


“Ah Kevin… your love of the term “straw man” always brings a smile to my face…” It is a readily identifiable tactic in this case, and throughout this blog. I agree that it is an overused term, but you might note Joseph T’s (mis)use of the term demagoguery. “but I also think we should encourage more bilingual education (more than is currently available, especially in elementary education).” I wholeheartedly agree. That our public schools hardly even bother with learning other languages is absurd. In fact, if you want to take the tax money designated for public school and use it for an immersion school, you have my full support, just not the NEA’s.



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squeaky

posted April 4, 2007 at 2:19 am


If the issue is whether we should enable people NOT to learn English, I agree that English should be required. However, if we go back to the history of the European migration to this country, I believe it is safe to say that many first generation Europeans weren’t too fluent in English, either. To expect fluency of any first generation immigrants then seems disengenuous. However, the children need to be required to learn English fluently and should not be enabled to NOT be fluent. At the same time, they should be STRONGLY encouraged to remain fluent and to use their native tongue. That has a distinct advantage. And kids pick up languages as easily as they catch the latest virus going around.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 2:31 am


Juris, You advocate the elimination of public provisions such as education. However, if the aforementioned provisions are still provided, you must concede my point, yes?



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:43 am


Joseph T | Homepage | 04.03.07 – 3:03 pm | #His seedy personal moral history doesPlease let us not delve into the personal lives of people. It has already been established that the left in this country don’t care about the personal morals of their leaders. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:47 am


jurisnaturalist | Homepage | 04.03.07 – 7:58 pm | #But learning in Spanish or any other language will not help them get a job and deal with people here. Just because some of us think that if you want to live in America and create a lifestyle here – one should know how to read, write and speak english does not make us racist. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:52 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.03.07 – 5:30 pm | #suburban Atlanta district that has (at least since 1979) fought to keep city bus service out of his area because it would bring “what kind” of peopleKinda sounds like Edina MN only there it is a bunch of Democrats that what to keep them ‘out of there’ but still able to hire them to clean their houses and maintain their lawns. During the last Pres. election, the Kerry signs out numbered the Bush signs in Edina about 9 to 1. E – every D – day I – I N – need A – attention Later – .



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:13 am


Her post speaks truth. I know many of you don’t really think about white privelege. Why would you? It would not be privelege in todays world if you did.I am all for multilingual education where children are required to learn english and continue growing in their own unique heritages.I find it absolutely fascinating that she only mentions things that are not gender specific and yet the conservative evangelical white men have jumped up in unison to decry something that is esentially spiritual in nature. She is talking about challenging the evangelical church to deal w/ immigration. She is challenging the evangelical church to love them. Yet none of you Moderatelad, Kevin, or whomever else has even stepped up to the plate and said this is how we as evangelicals are using our voices to love. You all prove her point w/o even being aware of it.p



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:18 am


Moderatelad, Actually it really does depend on where you live. Knowing Spanish in southern California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona can actually help you get jobs depending on the occupation. You are right. We really don’t care who get’s what blowjob when. We do care about people cheating on their spouses but hey according to you we don’t so what do I know? We know that many conservatives give lip service to caring for the poor of this country but the same could be said for many on my side of the aisle. I guess making blanket statments about one political leaning is kind of foolish. p



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:22 am


I agree w/ Rick. Christianity has been portrayed historically (by whites) as the white man’s religion. Then the people that they kidnapped, stole, enslaved, conquered, butchered and crushed agreed w/ them. That’s the problem. We should never have agreed w/ them or better yet maybe we should have because that religion was the white man’s religion.I know that the rest of you don’t believe as our early American ancestors did. I know that you don’t support or agree w/ the warped idea of Christianity in that form. But to deny it is there is to forget history. p



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:24 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.03.07 – 6:00 pm | #It’s been defined that way ever since the Reformation,I’m sorry – I must have been sick that day of Confirmation when that was discussed. I was taught that ‘all are precious in His sight’ and that we are all God’s Children. I don’t remember hearing the decons talking about how we have to keep our church a ‘white’ church. We were not intentional in keeping the ‘non-whites’ out of our congregation. I sorry if your church was like that. We helped start a church in the black community of our city because we thought people should be able to attend a church of their choice in their neighborhood. White people put the money up so that land could be purchased and a building erected for all the people in that community. They were welcomed to our church put it was a drive to get there and many did not have a car. Many people of our congregation went down and helped them start a day-care center there so that parents had a safe place for the children to be when they were at work. also – not a lot of minorities in Germany when Martin Luther was doing his thing – so how can you say it started there? pathetic… Later – .



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:32 am


Because Germany actually had a sizable jewish minority. So much so that the racist and antisemitic Luther ranted and encouraged their deaths. That’s not pathetic. It’s history, here read something and become educated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_the_Jews http://www.sullivan-county.com/identity/reformers.htm http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/Luther_on_Jews.html I hope you don’t want more. p



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:35 am


Payshun | Homepage | 04.03.07 – 11:18 pm | #Yet none of you Moderatelad, Kevin, or whomever else has even stepped up to the plate and said this is how we as evangelicals are using our voices to love. Guess you have not read a lot of what I have posted in the past. But I say little about what I personally do so not to ‘show-off’. Sorta the Right Hand = Left Hand thing. I am not into the ‘tit-for-tat’ discussion about what I personally do. Just for the record – I do a lot in a few areas rather than doing a little in a lot of areas.’using our voices for love?’Since when has love been in the picture? If you are a conservatice evangelical on this site – you are garbage to most of the people that post. (republic-Nazi for one) Now add in white male – you are demonized. I could live with a little less love and a little more respect. Later – .



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:47 am


How are white men being demonized? Okay that is seriously in your head. In case you have not noticed ummm white men are the majority posters, the majority responders, the majority opinion. No one on this site has said you all are evil.I agree w/ your choice to not brag about what you do but I also see the need for the evanglical church to rise up and do public acts that start to show they care. I am not talking about doing press conferences w/ no substance. I am talking about presenting a public statement that says you immigrant (illegal or not) matter.The evangelical church is oddly silent on that. That’s the problem when I dealt w/ my mainly Mexican student population. They all felt ignored. they felt like they really did not matter to white people, or Christians for that matter. When over 30 students in two different classes feel that way then something public should be done. It’s the whole breaking the racism, classism principality thing.p



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:52 am


A better idea is a public act of forgiveness w/ the hard work of encouraging members to reach out across city lines… I commend what your church was doing but I also find it slightly misguided because of the command for us to invite all into the house and to serve the people. Paul spoke quite eloquently in saying he was a jew to a jew and… I have yet to see many evangelical churches adopt that when it comes to the growing “minority” in their midst. p



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:04 am


Oh and btw that was a white man that called some of you a republinazi. I have never used that term and won’t. Many of us have said something publicly about it. Why are you using one or possibly two people to point out how you have been treated disrespectfully when the majority of the leftist posters (neuro_nurse, myeself, Hali, Curiouser and others) have not disrespected you at all? p



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:12 am


I must have been sick that day of Confirmation when that was discussed. I was taught that ‘all are precious in His sight’ and that we are all God’s Children. I don’t remember hearing the deacons talking about how we have to keep our church a ‘white’ church. We were not intentional in keeping the ‘non-whites’ out of our congregation. I sorry if your church was like that. We helped start a church in the black community of our city because we thought people should be able to attend a church of their choice in their neighborhood. White people put the money up so that land could be purchased and a building erected for all the people in that community. They were welcomed to our church put it was a drive to get there and many did not have a car. Many people of our congregation went down and helped them start a day-care center there so that parents had a safe place for the children to be when they were at work. That’s good — but why is there a “black” neighborhood to begin with? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with neighborhood churches as such, but why can’t we all be together in ONE body? That will mean the asking of some very hard questions about politics, economics and the like. My church is one of the few that actually does that, and for that I’m grateful. And as for my comment about the Reformation, I said it in the context that the Reformation was always as much about power politics as it was about defining the faith. You especially saw those dynamics when the theological wars that raged in Europe were transplanted here, which was also when racism became part and parcel of the church.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:37 am


“I know many of you don’t really think about white privelege. Why would you?” I don’t, because I haven’t experienced it.”Yet none of you Moderatelad, Kevin, or whomever else has even stepped up to the plate and said this is how we as evangelicals are using our voices to love.” We should love illegal immigrants. However, what Rev. Dr. (good grief these Sojo types pimp their credentials) Rah is stating is that we have not shown our love through policy. I disagree.”You all prove her point w/o even being aware of it. ” Ugh. Taking issue with a central argument proves that the argument is true. How convenient. How does this bolster the pro-amnesty argument? “Christianity has been portrayed historically (by whites) as the white man’s religion.” Which whites? Why does this matter in terms of immigration policy? “In case you have not noticed ummm white men are the majority posters, the majority responders, the majority opinion. No one on this site has said you all are evil” No, but it has been insinuated that we are racist. If that is not demonizing, well, then, being a racist is not being a demon. But come on… ” I am not talking about doing press conferences w/ no substance. ” Do you really think that press conferences constitute all the church has done to reach out to other races in America? That is ridiculous. ” I am talking about presenting a public statement that says you immigrant (illegal or not) matter. ” I can’t make heads or tails of this sentence. “The evangelical church is oddly silent on that.” On what? Statements? I thought press conferences were discouraged.”Oh and btw that was a white man that called some of you a republinazi.” And kind of a crazy one at that… He reminds me of my parents. Where has he been, anyway? “Many of us have said something publicly about it.” Payshun largely has a point here. However, a number of people have voiced their approval of Butch’s absurdities. That said, it is best to try to focus on the substantive arguments, and bugger the rest.



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Joseph T

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:50 am


demagogue |ˈdeməˌg g| noun a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument. This is exactly what I meant Kevin. What do you think the term means. As for the context of Gingrich’s statement. “The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,” Sounds like he was saying what it sounds like he’s saying.This is a sneering denigration of a language group. There are many prosperous Spanish speakers in the world.This is just plain ugly. There is very little bilingual education remaining and no state requires it that I know, So Gingrich is stirring people up to tilt at a straw man posing as a windmill, and appealing the current influx of Hispanics and the xenophobia that stirs up. So why shouldn’t bilingual education be up to local communities?In my experience American Spanish speakers are far more likely to speak English than English speakers are to speak Spanish. Besides,where are all these multiple language ballots? Wasn’t this one of the sales pitches to sell touch screen voting? What exactly is he talking about? I think we’re definitely talking demagoguery. Still not exactly likely to attract the fastest growing population of Americans to Republicans. The boy genius does it again. So all-in-all I ‘d say go ahead Newt; throw your big mouth in the ring.



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Joseph T

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:52 am


Some linguistic screw up in there, but you’ll figure it out.



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Payshun

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:18 am


Kevin you are so missing the point. She never brought up amnesty. You did. She is dealing w/ fear and the apparent lack of any type of theology or practice in helping immigrants. She doesn’t encourage amnesty and was strangely silent on it. I personally support amnesty as it is justice issue for me but that has nothing to do w/ her arguments. Also there are letters to papers, letters from congregations… that can be public w/o having press conferences.They can sometimes carry more weight, sometimes not it really depends on the sincerity of the group and the writer. People from various congregations can start grass roots movements in cities that break the cultural divide. Well some people are but again by and large the church is not.Kevin don’t be silly. The church has done some small things to reach out to minorities in this country but that’s not really what this is about. It’s about dealing w/ the changing demographics of American Christianity and how the majority culture can’t deal w/ it. You Kevin are not dealing w/ that issue instead you brought up amnesty and other things that have little do w/ what she is trying to get the church to look at. Kevin don’t be silly. No where in my comment did I say that was all whites have done to reach out to “minorities.” This language we are using is so freakingly antiquated. There is better dialogue to talk about the complexity of this issue. p



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 4, 2007 at 12:06 pm


kevin, If the aforementioned provisions are still provided, you must concede my point, yes.?It depends. If efficiency is our objective, sure. But when we criminalize an action that has no victim we are in error. Immigrants absorb disproportionate quantities of public goods, and have not contributed to the funds providing those goods. Yet, the provision of public goods often acts as an incentive for immigration. Hold out a cookie and spank the child for taking it? No! The immigrant is not in the wrong, those individuals who desire absolution from the responsibility for caring for the least and hand that responsibility over to the state are in the wrong. The worst thing we can say is that the state ought to help care for immigrants because it is the Christian thing to do! Because it is a Christian thing to do, and the state is pagan, caring for immigrants is something the state explicitly ought NOT to do, but that the church ought to do exclusively, regardless of the legal structure the pagans around us adopt. moteratelad, does not make us racist I apologize if I labeled you a racist. You are a statist, however, which is a form of paganism, if you believe that individuals ought to be compelled to learn English to become citizens or to domicile in this country. Nathanael Snow



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Payshun | Homepage | 04.03.07 – 11:57 pm | #there’s nothing wrong with neighborhood churches as such, but why can’t we all be together in ONE body? So – we did invite them in to our fellowship but they were getting up and taking two busses to get to church and it was a hardship on them. So – we made the decision to go out on faith and find land and network with other congregations in our denomination to build them a church in the neighborhood so that it was closer for them to get there and it could be used for other gatherings in their community. This was not an ‘us vs them’ it was helping brothers and sisters in Christ to have a church of their own in their area. If this is wrong – then shoot me now. Our children go to the same bible camp – attend the same youth gatherings during the year, etc.You know – when I was in high school, I did not see the ‘color’ of the person as much as I saw the ‘person’. Our society – educational system – and Sojo are teaching me that the ‘color’ is more important than the person. Sad. Later – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 4, 2007 at 3:03 pm


Kevin S: “As an evangelical Christian, I look towards scripture for my guidance. In my study of scripture, I have yet to find a single passage which supports the right to bear arms… I have, however, found numerous references (50+ and still counting) calling believers to care for the alien among them.” Still counting? Are you not finished reading the Bible yet?” Response: You are just nitpicking and your comment lacks any substance. Maybe you could address those verses and how you would interpret and implement them. It would be more useful and less irksome.



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 3:26 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 12:17 am | # which was also when racism became part and parcel of the church. “…of SOME churches.” Please stop with the glittering generalities. There have been people through the ages that have not been caught up in what the ‘popular political’ issues were of that day. Yes – yes – yes I know that churches used the bible to justify many things – we’re human and make mistakes. Later – .



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liz

posted April 4, 2007 at 3:33 pm


Too many people expect their definition of “America” to be the only valid one. As if your world is any more of less real than someone else’s.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:26 pm


This was not an ‘us vs them’ it was helping brothers and sisters in Christ to have a church of their own in their area. If this is wrong – then shoot me now. Our children go to the same bible camp – attend the same youth gatherings during the year, etc. You missed my point — why do you not live in the same neighborhood NOW? I would think that being together on a daily basis would do far more to cause change than simply offering help from far away — which does start to get old. “…of SOME churches.” Please stop with the glittering generalities. There have been people through the ages that have not been caught up in what the ‘popular political’ issues were of that day. Yes – yes – yes I know that churches used the bible to justify many things – we’re human and make mistakes. With 97 percent of churches, according to a Christianity Today article published a couple of years ago, still being racially segregated, we’re not talking about “glittering generalities.” And as I mentioned, some white evangelicals still hate Martin Luther King Jr.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm


Joseph T. Demagoguery is, almost by definition, designed not to be controversial, or cause political tumult, as this phrase has done.”This is a sneering denigration of a language group. ” A language group? I guess it is a sneering denigration if you want to call it that. I don’t see support for that idea in his speech.”There is very little bilingual education remaining and no state requires it that I know” Only a handful of states have ended the practice. Plenty remains. “Besides,where are all these multiple language ballots? Wasn’t this one of the sales pitches to sell touch screen voting? What exactly is he talking about?” We had them where I voted. Given that touch screen voting seems on its way out, this is a relevant question. And ballots are just the tip of the iceberg.You don’t want to contend with Gingrich’s point, and would rather focus on what you see as prejudicial overtones. By your rules, we aren’t even allowed to discuss these issues, lest we be considered prejudiced against “language groups”. It’s an old trick, and a dishonest one.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 4:47 pm


Payshun “Kevin you are so missing the point. She never brought up amnesty. You did” Correct, but absent any policy declarations, i will go ahead and assume this is what she supports. If she is opposed to amnesty, and thinks we should increase enforcement, then I am gravely mistaken. Either way, it is untrue that conservative Christians do not have an opinion on this issue.”She doesn’t encourage amnesty and was strangely silent on it.” So she is doing precisely what she criticizes others for doing?”Yet, the provision of public goods often acts as an incentive for immigration.” I agree with this. But your solution seems to be “more cookies”. I say, if you offer a cookie to your son or daughter for a good deed, and some other kid takes the cookie, you get your cookie back, if we need to extend this analogy.”You Kevin are not dealing w/ that issue instead you brought up amnesty and other things that have little do w/ what she is trying to get the church to look at.” Well, if we can’t discuss policy, then I will simply say that I do not accept the premise of her agrument, which is that Christians do not care about this issue. I support greater enforcement of existing laws, which will facilitate streamlined legal immigration, and help ensure that immigrants are not exploited. The majority of Christian conservatives feel the same way, and I believe it is the most compassionate response.



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ds0490

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:09 pm


I find it pathetic and quite laughable that Newt Gingrich would say we only need ballots in English. Perhaps he should inform his political party, the Republicans, that they only need their website to be in English. http://www.gop.org/espanol/ Here they have information about candidates, party platform, and releases from the White House…all in Spanish. They even link to voter registration forms in the Spanish language. I guess the only question left for Gingrich, Tancredo and the rest of the opportunistic jingoists out there is this: is the GOP preparing to register illegal immigrants in an attempt to steal the election in 2008?



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Mark

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Just a question from an outsider. Is Gingrich still actually taken seriously in US politics? In Britain – and probably in Canada – any politician who had discredited himself like Gingrich has would just be a running gag for the satirists. Mark



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:41 pm


Just a question from an outsider. Is Gingrich still actually taken seriously in US politics? In Britain – and probably in Canada – any politician who had discredited himself like Gingrich has would just be a running gag for the satirists. Unfortunately, yes, especially among conservatives so convinced they are right that anyone who supports their ideals is still legitimate — in fact, there’s talk about him (and even the equally-discredited Rick Santorum) running for president. I just heard, I think elsewhere on this blog, that Tom DeLay was recently featured on “Focus on the Family” magazine.



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 10:31 am | #why do you not live in the same neighborhood NOW? Because I have a job in the burbs and most of them have jobs in the city. I don’t want to drive that far anymore. Most of my extended family lives in the area too as I believe that their families live around them also. They could move out here, my area of the burbs is very diverse anyway you look at it. I believe people like to live near family for the most part – but they could move out here if they would like to do so. still being racially segregated, But it is not a forced segregation. Anyone and everyone is welcomed in our church. We are sorta ‘traditional’ in our worship style if they enjoy that format in worship. I know that I could go and be welcomed in their church also. But I do not care for the organ punctuating the pastor’s sermon. I am not overly expressive in my worship so I do not clap and raise my hands a lot. There is nothing wrong with that – it is just not me. So I have saught out a congregation that I can relate to in worship. I believe the faithful seek out churches that fit their likes and desires in worship not if it with black or white. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Mark | 04.04.07 – 11:30 am | #…”politician who had discredited himself”… what is your definition of ‘discredited’? and how or what did he do to discredit himself. Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:16 pm


They could move out here, my area of the burbs is very diverse anyway you look at it. I believe people like to live near family for the most part – but they could move out here if they would like to do so. But can they afford to move where you are? That makes a big difference. If they could I’d say they should consider it; if not, that’s another situation. But it is not a forced segregation. Anyone and everyone is welcomed in our church. We are sorta ‘traditional’ in our worship style if they enjoy that format in worship. I know that I could go and be welcomed in their church also. But I do not care for the organ punctuating the pastor’s sermon. I am not overly expressive in my worship so I do not clap and raise my hands a lot. There is nothing wrong with that – it is just not me. So I have saught out a congregation that I can relate to in worship. I believe the faithful seek out churches that fit their likes and desires in worship not if it with black or white. Still no excuse, as far as I’m concerned. Nearly 20 years ago I wrote an op-ed for my newspaper — though I wasn’t working for it then — endorsing worship that combined numerous traditions (and at the time I was a very staid Presbyterian). The church I attend today does exactly that, and God has blessed us not only with numbers but also with opportunities for ministry not available to other assemblies. And isn’t that what the church is about?



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:24 pm


what is your definition of ‘discredited’? and how or what did he do to discredit himself. Gingrich tried to outfox Bill Clinton. If you remember, he lost a showdown on the 1995 budget, which made Clinton a shoo-in for reelection. Three years later, during the midterm campaign, Gingrich tried to tie the upcoming impeachment to Democratic congressional candidates, but the Democrats actually gained seats and he ended up resigning from Congress as a result.



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moderatelad

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:04 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 12:21 pm | # But can they afford to move where you are? Some maybe some no. I can’t afford to purchase a house in EDINA MN. (although I would not want to live there with all those ‘cake-eaters’) Good grief – I could not afford to buy my house today with the way housing has gone up and a change of employment that pays 17% less than what I was making.Still no excuse… Bull – it is the same reason that I don’t go to a church that has ‘high worship’ with the candles, chants, etc. Nothing against them…it is just not how I want to express myself in worship. In the past 5 years our church has gained several members the majority being ‘non-white’. It is not because we went out looking for them because we needed more ‘non-white’ people. They came and were welcomed as brothers and sisters in Christ. They like our ‘style’ of worship.Yes – there are people out there that hate MLK Jr. If they were Muslim, Hindu, etc they would still hate him. Hate knows no faith restrictions. Later – . I am looking for ‘Marks’ definition – thanks anyway. .



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:13 pm


It seems our working definition of discredited is “having suffered political defeat”. So, yes, those who have been “discredited” can resurrect their political image. Gingrich’s resurgence stems from the idea that he stands for ideas. There is a feeling amongst conservatives that Republicans have lost their way, and Newt brings strong ideological principle to the table. Insofar as liberals don’t like him, well, that’s kinda the point. But he also brings a lot of baggage to the table, and his straight-talking nature creates fertile ground for attack by his opponents, a trait he shares with Joe Biden.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:20 pm


“I find it pathetic and quite laughable that Newt Gingrich would say we only need ballots in English. Perhaps he should inform his political party, the Republicans, that they only need their website to be in English.” Actually, I’m sure he would gladly do that. However, the GOP is not required to have a spanish website. I don’t think Gingrich is opposed to voluntary action in this regard. “I guess the only question left for Gingrich, Tancredo and the rest of the opportunistic jingoists out there is this: is the GOP preparing to register illegal immigrants in an attempt to steal the election in 2008?” The only reason our leaders are even considering amnesty is because both parties are looking for a majority of soon-to-be-legal votes.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:30 pm


“Kinda sounds like Edina MN only there it is a bunch of Democrats that what to keep them ‘out of there’ but still able to hire them to clean their houses and maintain their lawns.” Ah yes, the “lakey liberals” of SW Minneapolis. Lots of rapes? Who cares, as long as its your daughter and not mine? High taxes? My trust-fund is tax sheltered. More trollies? Why, great grandpa Dayton loved trollies, so why don’t you plebs just go ahead and build one for my amusement? Now get off my property. I have to drive my son to Blake in an SUV with a “critical habit” license plate on it. I am so caring!!!!!



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Sarasotakid

posted April 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm


The only reason our leaders are even considering amnesty is because both parties are looking for a majority of soon-to-be-legal votes. kevin s.Or, an alternatve explanation would be that with all their faults and foibles, their position is far more charitable and christian than the one you are advocating. ;-)



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Mark

posted April 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm


Moderatelad – Sorry I didn’t respond instantaneously – some of us have work to do… Here are excerpts from the wikipedia entry on the events to which I was alluding: “[Gingrich and his wife] divorced in 1999, the same year Gingrich had an affair with a then 33-year old member Congressional staffer, Callista Bisek, whom he married the next year.[16] Gingrich’s affair was taking place at the same time that he was condemning President Bill Clinton for lying (under oath) about his own affair with staffer Monica Lewinsky.” Lots of politicians have affairs, but not all while very publicly affecting to take the moral high ground in attacks on other politicians (including on their sexual behaviour). In Britain, such hypocrisy would have been the end of his political career. Mark



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 8:41 pm


Yes – there are people out there that hate MLK Jr. If they were Muslim, Hindu, etc they would still hate him. Hate knows no faith restrictions. I doubt that. First of all, King borrowed his philosophy of non-violence from Mohandas Gandhi, who of course was a Hindu who nevertheless knew the Bible (and who even said that it would be shown as effective if African-Americans ever used it in the South — he didn’t live to see that, of course, but he was proven right). But many Christians called him a Communist, and some still do. And as for Newt Gingrich, there’s more to the story. He left his first wife — his high-school English teacher — for his second just because he wanted a “newer model” to take to Washington, as he was running or had just won his first race for Congress; while she was coming out a cancer surgery he came into her hospital room to talk about the settlement.



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kevin s.

posted April 4, 2007 at 9:22 pm


I think ultimately, that Gingrich’s affairs will make him unelectable, and do quite a bit to discredit him. If Delay is not found guilty, I think his political career has some legs, and I don’t see where Santorum has been discredited.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 9:32 pm


In the past 5 years our church has gained several members the majority being ‘non-white’. It is not because we went out looking for them because we needed more ‘non-white’ people. They came and were welcomed as brothers and sisters in Christ. They like our ‘style’ of worship. Are you sure of that? And just what you mean by “non-white”? I say that for two reasons: 1) It could be that, if they are black, they were looking to fellowship with whites because, like a lot of people today, they were willing to cross cultures. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they actually like your style of worship — depending on their background, it is an acquired taste. (Services in black churches often go long, too.) 2) If they’re not that may be what they know, and Asians (like the writer of the original article) tend to adapt. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up Presbyterian, so when I began attending my present church, whose services are more contemporary (and I play in its orchestra), it was a stretch for me. But we’ve always done a lot of the old hymns because the theology is good. Now, folks do raise their hands in my church; I generally don’t but that’s fine. I’m saying that churches should make room for other cultures and styles so that people can hear the Gospel in their “heart language” and thus be able to respond appropriately. I no longer subscribe to the “we do it this way” mentality because that sabotages real Christian unity, not to mention that it killed a bunch of churches in my childhood neighborhood.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 4, 2007 at 9:45 pm


If Delay is not found guilty, I think his political career has some legs, and I don’t see where Santorum has been discredited. I don’t know about DeLay, but I do know that Santorum lost badly primarily because of his arrogance — that had to do, really, with local/state issues, maybe even more than his ties to President Bush.



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Carl Copas

posted April 4, 2007 at 9:45 pm


kevin s quotes: “I know many of you don’t really think about white privelege. Why would you?” kevin s: “I don’t, because I haven’t experienced it.” You experience it everyday my friend, when you’re not followed around a convenience store by a clerk who is sure you will shoplift, when you’re not stopped by a cop for failing to fitthe profile of a particular neighborhood, when a white woman doesn’t refuse to get on an elevator with you when you’re the only other person using it, when you’re sitting in a university class and the instructor doesn’t ask you to speak for your entire race.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 4, 2007 at 10:05 pm


kevin s quotes: “I know many of you don’t really think about white privelege. Why would you?” kevin s: “I don’t, because I haven’t experienced it.” You experience it everyday my friend, when you’re not followed around a convenience store by a clerk who is sure you will shoplift, when you’re not stopped by a cop for failing to fitthe profile of a particular neighborhood, when a white woman doesn’t refuse to get on an elevator with you when you’re the only other person using it, when you’re sitting in a university class and the instructor doesn’t ask you to speak for your entire race. Carl Copas Answer: Carl, don’t you see that for those who never experience such things, those “perks” don’t count. That is why some can say (and of course fool themselves into believing) that they have no privileges. Just another example of a lack of empathy and compassion.



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 12:25 am


Mark | 04.04.07 – 2:21 pm | #His career has come to an end in some ways – but he is guite versed on the constitution and history. I believe that he would better serve his country as an advisor.So – sexual misconduct should end a career – not in DC if you are a liberal. Packwood, (R) from OR did the ‘Clinton’ to a few women and had to leave office. Teddy Kennedy condemned him from the Senate floor. (sorta like the pot calling the kettle black) Foley (R) from FL, inapproiate e-mails and text messages to young male interns. Out of office – but there was never any ‘sex’ in all of his situations. Senator from Hawaii (D) had sex with a 16 year old girl – still in office. Senator from Nevada (D) had sex with a 17 year old capital male page – kept his seat in office. Clinton – please…yes Monica has proven to the American people that she can swallow anything. But Wyllie, Broderick and others were harassed or raped. He stayed in office. Clinton was not against sex – he just wanted to do it with other peoples wives. The House of Lords is peppered with men like Clinton and they still have their place in gov’t.There seems to be a double standard going in favor of the liberals. I will trump your Gingrich with a Clinton and a Senator from Nevada; maybe throw in Teddy just for good measure.So why don’t we all agree that we don’t care about the sexual conduct of elected people in DC and get on with making the nation a better place. And while we are at it – lets just throw our the impeachment clause in the constitution as it will never happen. As long as Senators are elected and not appointed like the founding fathers established – I don’t think it is going to happen.Now let close with all of us singing ‘Devil in a Blue Dress’ Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 12:34 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 3:37 pm | #And just what you mean by “non-white”?Non-white, Non European. From Africa, Asia, Native American, etc. services are more contemporarySo our have changed to reflect what is more current. We now have drums in the worship center. Yes – some people do raise their hands. But it is happening not because of any ‘race’ issue – it reflects where the people are and how they want to express themselves. “we do it this way” We do it His way I believe would be the better way of saying it. Freedom of expression for the individual allows us as a whole to worship how ‘we’ want to. I hate worship wars so I don’t participate in them. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 12:42 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 2:46 pm | #But many Christians called him a… Can we just say that ‘many people and some of them call themselves christians…’ whatever. You seem to lump all of us into your dung heap and some of us don’t think that all of us deserve to be there. It would be like me saying that ‘all liberals are Clintons – %^&* anything that stands still long enough’. That is a false statement as I have great friends and relatives that are liberal and not a bit like the former Pres. Got to go – some of us have jobs and volunteer too. Later – .



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Carl Copas

posted April 5, 2007 at 1:40 am


“Now let close with all of us singing ‘Devil in a Blue Dress’” LOL. It beats “Kumbayah”



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 5, 2007 at 2:51 am


Clinton – please…yes Monica has proven to the American people that she can swallow anything. But Wyllie, Broderick and others were harassed or raped. He stayed in office. Clinton was not against sex – he just wanted to do it with other peoples wives. Hate to tell you, but much of that stuff you heard about Clinton was just plain false. I’ve done a lot of research on the Clinton “scandals,” and there actually was a campaign going on to destroy him. When Hillary complained about a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” she was exaggerating only a little bit — she got the information, albeit second-hand, from someone who was directly involved. And did you notice that the “scandals” stopped with the impeachment? That’s because the mechanism was exposed in the process. We do it His way I believe would be the better way of saying it. Freedom of expression for the individual allows us as a whole to worship how ‘we’ want to. No, I won’t say that, because the Scripture says very little about worship. Can we just say that ‘many people and some of them call themselves christians…’ Absolutely not. King was a Christian himself, remember, and when his own people reject him because he wanted to effect change, that says a lot about the spiriutal condition of the Body.



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John T. Dale Jr.

posted April 5, 2007 at 3:02 am


The United Nations is ultimately all of us on Earth working together for a sustainable and better future. It excludes nobody. It accepts everyone from any faith or non-faith background.Over 45 years ago, the Unitarian Universalist Association decided that theological creeds were no longer necessary for a religion. The word ‘religion’ in fact comes from the Latin “religare,” which has no inherent reference to a deity. We UUs support the United Nations and the globasl public religion of inclusivity which the United Nations fully exemplifies.We must see ourselves as one soul in one global body. If anyone is interested, I an writing a book called “The Ark: Global Self-Government, Sustainability, and What the Next US President Must Do to Get Us All on Board.” Thanks, John Dale



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Paul

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:00 am


I am pleased to read one of my own pastors post on Sojourners and find his thoughts to be on target. It is amazing to me that many of the posts have strayed away from the central issues presented in the original post. I think that we as Christians need to face up to the racist past and seek out racial reconciliation. I think partnering with people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds to start new churches, as Moderatlad has done, is a good first step. Having grown up in MN I think some of the racial tensions in this country were not as clear to me as they have become having moved to Chicago. Racial reconciliation needs to be a true effort to accept and work along side and even modify our own behaviors. It requires repentance and forgiveness. On the topic of Immigration, Pastor Soong-Chan, says little of what the solution might be, but that whatever the solution, it must take into account the biblical call for justice and caring for the alien among us. btw, Soong-Chan is a man. Thanks, Soong-Chan.



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Payshun

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:00 am


Welcome John, Just had to say hi and I want to hear your opinion as a unitarian. I am a contemplative and I am dedicated to that ancient path of spirituality. Others. You work for a living and then there are twenty or so posts to come back to. I am the only black person currently on this post.Kevin, “Well, if we can’t discuss policy, then I will simply say that I do not accept the premise of her agrument, which is that Christians do not care about this issue.” No we can discuss policy but we can only do that if we are not talking about her post which mentioned no policy.”I support greater enforcement of existing laws, which will facilitate streamlined legal immigration, and help ensure that immigrants are not exploited. The majority of Christian conservatives feel the same way, and I believe it is the most compassionate response.” I am sure you do think it’s the most compassionate response. We green party folks would say you all are full of #$@!. We know that this economy can take in the excess migrants and it is the only just option available to us. But I digress. Let’s get back to the article. p



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Payshun

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:04 am


Moderatelad, It’s really sad that that is the lesson you are taking from this. I was hoping that you would take another lesson and see all the different parts that make a person and honor those as much as the sacred idea of personhood. I am a person that happens to be black, I understand not really worrying much about my skin. (It is just melanin, the sacred temple of God and the part of the vehicle thru which the Holy Spirit shows himself.) But in the end it is just skin. My question is can you love my culture and look at a redeemed discussion of race w/o loosing your value for personhood? p



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Payshun

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:10 am


Thanks Paul for the correction. I did not know Pastor was a man. I especially loved reading his words. They were well written. Carl, Thanks for explaining some of white privelege I appreciate that. p



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Payshun

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:36 am


Moderatelad, You just brought up a great point. We go where we feel comfortable. Church should not be one of those places. We should be part of churches that seek some form of multiethnicity if we are going to actually obey the words of Christ and make disciples world wide.We live in major ciites w/ so many different ethnic groups living w/n a fifteen minute driving radius and yet our churches cater to people that live in their immediate area. I personally think that’s wrong. It feeds into the notion that we have to be comfortable in church.That’s not the church Christ came to establish. That’s not the church Paul, Peter, John, Mary, Martha, Doris and others died to build. they understood the struggle of fighting for a church where all people could come in and dine together regardless of how comfortable they felt. I go to a Vineyard church in part because I am not comfortable. i am one of 3 black people. I am not used to that and quite honestly I don’t like all of it much. But I really love being expressive and having the gift of dance and prophecy encouraged. I like the fact that they love me even though it is not in the way that I might like. I embrace the issue of having to work out my faith in fear in trembling in this issue of multiethnicity. It’s too important to ignore. So for now I stay. I would encourage you or anyone else to really go somewhere else where you are uncomfortable and stay there. p



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.04.07 – 8:56 pm | #Please – what color is the sky in your world. He paid Jones off. The Clintons’ silence on Brodrick was deafining. Wylie when public and several people backed her story. I was waiting for Hilary to start singing “Stand By Your Man”. Go ahead Rick – keep blaming ‘all the white guys’ cause every movement needs their scape goat.Not all of us caused the problem(s). Some of us in our own little way have tried to make the world a better place. NO – we do not want the recoginition or public praise. We just want to do what we feel God has called us to do and that is it! So – go ahead – continue to lump all of us on the same dung heap you are building – it is really helping us do our work – NOT! Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm


Payshun | Homepage | 04.04.07 – 10:41 pm | #Not in total agreement with you. I believe that the church should be a place where one is comfortable in coming and being ‘real’. Where you are among friends and those that so will be your friends. Where you could laugh and cry and be authentic in every way. Worship is about God not us – but it is a two edged sword. Worship needs to allow the family to worship an Almighty God and to challenge us to work with each other and the greater community around us. If when we are in heaven we are going to sing praises – shouldn’t we on Sunday morning at least try to get to the steps of heaven? Yes – our messages that we hear should in many ways comfort the aflicted and aflict the comfortable. Even Christ when asked a question or given an issue that could have caused people to become upset with a direct answer told a story that answered the question without always pointing the finger at someone. They got the answer that they needed – not always the answer they wanted or expected, but what they needed to hear. Have a great Easter – He has Risen – Indeed! Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 3:28 pm


Payshun | Homepage | 04.04.07 – 10:09 pm | #can you love my culture and look at a redeemed discussion of race Yes – I love learning and understanding about all cultures. The bigger part of my family is becoming more inclusive as members get married of adopt children. Our holiday and summer picnics and not the ‘traditional scandahoovian’ fare like in years past. The dishes include items that my great grandparents would have never known about…and I like it! Only the Sweds could come up with ‘potatoe sausage’ – you figure. But – Christianity is not exclusive to any one culture. It is one of the few religions that transends cultures. So I do celebrate in worship – 60+ years ago a lot of our churches still worshipped in swedish – now it is english. Last year we had a member of our congregation read scripture like happens almost every Sunday. (we always read – just most of the time it is a staff member) We put the text on the screen so that all can read along. Theo read from his bible in French as we read off the screen in english. It was wonderful and reminded a lot of us that all around the world – brothers and sisters are worshipping just like we are. Theo is one of us – we did not go out and seek a person to read in “fill in the blank’ because we might not have anyone that would understand. So – as God adds to our church family – we will be adding to our worship experience. Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:22 pm


He paid Jones off. The Clintons’ silence on Brodrick was deafining. Wylie when public and several people backed her story. I was waiting for Hilary to start singing “Stand By Your Man”. He paid Jones off because that’s what she was after — in fact, her original lawyers left the case because they saw no way they would get anything; she later hired attorneys from the right-wing-backed Rutherford Institute. The sexual harassment charge, BTW, was as phony as a $3 bill; it did not affect her status as a state employee in any way, which is why the original lawyers quit. As for Juanita Broaddrick, the word is that she actually did have consensual sex with Clinton but was afraid of her then-boyfriend, later-husband, so she made up the rape charge. Go ahead Rick – keep blaming ‘all the white guys’ cause every movement needs their scape goat. What are you talking about? I just gave you a historical fact that King had a ton of enemies within the church; white evangelicalism in those either ignored or opposed him. That said, it does not have a lot of pull in the black community, especially when it comes to race relations in the church in general.



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Carl Copas

posted April 5, 2007 at 5:42 pm


Payshun, you’re welcome of course. Hang in there.



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Carl Copas

posted April 5, 2007 at 5:44 pm


moderatelad: “Have a great Easter – He has Risen – Indeed!” Amen brother.



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moderatelad

posted April 5, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.05.07 – 10:27 am | #Did you get your Clinton info from Moore or O’Frankin?The evidence is overwhelming about the women he abused. According to NOW – any sexual experience in the workplace is harassment – unless you are a liberal. The guy is a sexual preditor, would you like for your daughter to work in an office where he would be her boss? If you are married – would your wife be happy if you hired Monica as your personal assistant? If a conservative would have pulled half of what Clinton has – I believe that liberals would have stoned him like Baldwin has called for some to do on someone else.You are allowed to your opinion. If what has been written about Clinton was false – I believe that he would have taken them to court in a heart beat. He lied ‘under oath’ over something as small as ‘Monica’. If he can lie about that – he will lie about the big stuff too. First item of impeachment against Nixon was that ‘he lied to the American people.’ But he was not under oath. Have a great Easter if you celebrate it. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 6, 2007 at 1:16 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.05.07 – 10:27 am | #“…white evangelicalism in those either ignored or opposed him.” So – all white evangelicalism/evangelists either ignored or opposed MLK Jr. – Correct? NOT! Graham was a supporter of King and it is part of the public record. Graham was one that refused to hold a Crusade in Alabama usless the crowd could sit anywhere they wanted to in the stadium.Go see the movie Amazing Grace and see that even back then there were people that spoke out against the slave trade – white people. Your lumping everyone into one big heap is more than a little disturbing. I think that we agree on several items – as individuals, some more than others.Happy Easter – Later – .



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Payshun

posted April 6, 2007 at 3:03 am


Mod, I didn’t know being real was ever comfortable. If anything truly being real is oftentimes difficult. I make it easy for others but it is not always easy for me. Even in church the minute you, me or anyone is real is the minute you run the risk of condemnation, shame… That’s church. It can sometimes be easy but in reality it seldom is at least if it’s done right. You are right too about King, Graham did support him but most evangelicals (whites and even some blacks) did not and they did that because they were cowards and racists or a mix of the two.Oh please, sexual harrassment is sexual harrassment.Oh there were a lot of white people in this country that opposed the slave trade and like the guy in amazing grace they were still racists.My friend gave me some really good quotes about how he felt about equality for black people. It was not very nice.But there were people like the Grimke sisters (white women whose father was a slave owner) that rebelled and embraced total equality. Then there were other whites that helped to fight in other ways like William Lloyd Garrison. So yes you are absolutely right there are great white evangelicals out there. But during that time they were the exception more than the rule.I wonder how much things have really changed in the hearts of evangelicals. p



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 6, 2007 at 4:45 am


Did you get your Clinton info from Moore or O’Frankin? No, from David Brock, who was there for most of it — he was the guy who wrote the story that Clinton was using state troopers to get women but later retracted it because he realized he was being lied to. He wrote a book about the whole shebang called “Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative” that was published in 2002 that no conservative touched because they knew he was telling the truth. It was he who, second-hand, gave Hillary the information about the “vast right-wing conspiracy”; due to his revelations, among other things, one of the conspirators, who lives in my city, was hauled into federal court in Arkansas and questioned about witness tampering. Basically, I’m on solid journalistic and historical ground — much of what you believe about the Clinton scandals was and is just plain false. Graham was a supporter of King and it is part of the public record. Graham was one that refused to hold a Crusade in Alabama usless the crowd could sit anywhere they wanted to in the stadium. I can go even further — he hired a black man to join his staff in 1957, invited King to join his for his New York City crusade in 1958 and for many years refused to go to South Africa because of apartheid; when he did make it there he said in no uncertain terms, “Your system has got to go.” But he was virtually alone among evangelicals; he lost a lot of his support and Christianity Today magazine took a lot of heat when it supported the movement. So my statement basically stands. Go see the movie Amazing Grace and see that even back then there were people that spoke out against the slave trade – white people. Your lumping everyone into one big heap is more than a little disturbing. Just because people opposed the slave trade doesn’t mean they believed in equality for black and white — as any Southerner knows. Most abolitionists believed that blacks should be shipped back to Africa, and even Abraham Lincoln said publicly while campaigning that blacks comprised an inferior race.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 6, 2007 at 4:55 am


moderatelad — I forgot to mention: As for Graham and King, the latter’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was in part a response to the concerns of Graham and other sympathetic white clergymen that he was “moving too quickly” with the civil-rights movement.



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UncannyAvenger

posted April 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm


This is a pretty good conversation, and after reading a lot of the comments, I am encouraged at how people stick to their convictions. When it comes to the article, I believe that Rev. Dr. Rah is a little too simplistic in his outlook. As a biracial man living in the American Southeast and being raised in a black Baptist church, I can definitely say that not supporting immigration reform does not categorically reflect fear, jingoism, or racism in a demographic of believers. Many churches and denominations outside of the “white middle America” group struggle with reaching out to local immigrants from both logistic and spiritual standpoints, but that doesn’t mean that they are callous or uncaring. I see nothing wrong with wanting immigrants to assimilate into American society legally while affirming their ethnic and cultural identity, but I also believe that it should be done with respect and a servant’s heart. Using words like “ghetto” can draw harmful divisions and counteract the aforementioned attitude and sentiment. While I wouldn’t call Gingrich’s speech “jingoistic” (as that implies foreign policy most times), I would call it negatively provocative and slanderous as it suggests that English is the only true language of America and anyone who doesn’t speak it must be from a “ghetto”. I sincerely hope that is not what he meant to say or imply, as it would only reaffirm the prevalent (even if inaccurate)thought of all rich, white, Republicans being out of touch with the people they supposedly wish to represent and govern. My thought is that the Church should be very much involved and committed to helping and caring for immigrants and aliens as it is commanded in Scripture. This also means that we obey the laws of our country as long as they do not challenge God’s authority. To my mind, this means aiding and advising immigrants and aliens to have legal status and greater facility in accessing the rights we also enjoy. If being both an American and a follower of Jesus means that I cannot or will not see the very necessary need for that to happen, then nationality has impeded the expression of the Gospel. Fortunately, the two are not mutually exclusive as some parties would have us believe.



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PhilipH

posted April 7, 2007 at 2:55 am


Rick Nowlin Why do you say Dr Kings Letter was in response to Dr Graham and not just to the Alabama clergy’s letter?



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 7, 2007 at 4:39 am


Why do you say Dr King’s Letter was in response to Dr Graham and not just to the Alabama clergy’s letter? Oh, it wasn’t specifically directed toward Graham; it may have been, as you suggested, that it was directed to sympathetic clergy in Alabama. Yet the broader audience was to anyone who believed that it wasn’t time to be so confrontational, which Graham certainly was.



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moderatelad

posted April 7, 2007 at 5:01 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.05.07 – 11:00 pm | #Sorry – I do not remember where King mentioned anyone specific in that letter – will have to google it and read it again. But for someone to express that they think things might be moving too fast and express caution – that is a bad thing? Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 7, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Sorry – I do not remember where King mentioned anyone specific in that letter – will have to google it and read it again. I haven’t actually read it, but it wasn’t directed toward any person in particular — just people who thought he was taking on too much. But for someone to express that they think things might be moving too fast and express caution – that is a bad thing? You did not live in the South during segregation — however, my mom did — and thus cannot fully comprehend just what they were up against. Most people don’t realize that in one of those Southern cities (I wish I could remember which; it may have been Birmingham) where they had planned demonstrations authorities had consistently sought court orders to block marches. King and his groups faithfully complied until it dawned on them that they would never receive official permission, so in one instance they went ahead anyway, committing civil disobedience and opening themselves up to arrest. It was in this context that he wrote the “Letter” because he understood that the authorities were hell-bent on preserving segregation BAMN, just what he wanted to destroy. Besides, as we saw in Montgomery seven years earlier, blacks were simply fed up.



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moderatelad

posted April 7, 2007 at 7:45 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.07.07 – 12:36 pm | #King did a wonderful work. But think about it…had he gone a little slower, (not saying that he should have) might he not been able to get more ‘Grahams’ to public speak in support of him and had a greater impact and gotten more done in a shorter period of time?Happy Easter – .



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Wolverine

posted April 7, 2007 at 8:05 pm


Here’s an op-ed that Newt Gingrich wrote recently. I’m not certain, but it looks like he expresses regret for the “ghetto” remark. Wolverine —– I’VE BEEN TAKING lessons to learn Spanish for a while now, and it’s given me a new understanding of how difficult it is to learn a new language. And there’s no question that if I lived in a Spanish-speaking country and had to study and work and shop in Spanish as I struggled to learn the language, the challenges would be greater. But there’s also no doubt that the rewards would be greater too. Mastering the language of a country opens doors of opportunity, plain and simple.In the United States, English is by no means our only language, but it is the language of economic success and upward mobility. More important, it is the language of our national unity and political discourse. And just as opportunity is the birthright of all native-born Americans, it becomes the inheritance of all new Americans. But this is nothing more than a nice sentiment if we don’t do all we can to encourage and help new Americans learn English. Among the ways we can do this as quickly as possible is to replace bilingual education programs in our public schools with intensive English instruction and abolish the federal mandates requiring multilingual ballots and government documents.Passions sometimes run high when the topic is English. I learned that firsthand last weekend because of a poor choice of words when talking about this subject. That’s understandable. After all, there are 31 million Spanish speakers in the United States. There are also millions of Americans whose first language is Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Hindi or Farsi, to name just a few. They are all justifiably proud of their language and their cultural heritage. Still, it’s important that we not allow passion to rule the debate. Too often, sincere expressions of support for English as our unifying language are interpreted as a lack of support for welcoming and respecting new Americans. For example, those who support “English-first” are often mistakenly portrayed as supporters of “English-only.” English-first supporters believe that English should be the official language of the government but that other languages are fine in communities and commerce. In contrast, English-only advocates want to outlaw all languages other than English. Clearly, these two positions are very different. Promoting English-first is not and should not be disrespectful of other languages. In fact, supporting English instruction for immigrants demonstrates our confidence in their ability to pursue happiness here and contribute to their families, communities and new country.As a part of any comprehensive immigration reform, we should renew our commitment to making sure that all new immigrants have the opportunity to learn English. In public schools, children should have intensive English instruction rather than bilingual classes. For adults, we can adopt something similar to a program Israel has for its new immigrants. There, every new resident is entitled to 500 hours of intensive Hebrew language instruction paid for by the government. And along with intensive English language instruction, they could receive U.S. history and civics training. Equally important, we must abolish federal rules requiring that government documents including ballots be printed in multiple languages. These multilingual documents discourage immigrants from learning English as rapidly as possible, limiting their ability to engage in a truly common political culture. Rather than expanding opportunities for new Americans, these mandates help limit them.We must never lose sight of the self-evident truths affirmed at our founding: that we are all created equal citizen and noncitizen alike and that we are each endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we are to live out these truths, new immigrants deserve our respect, not our condescension. They deserve the opportunity to pursue happiness in the U.S. that comes with speaking English. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep working on my Spanish. It’s hard, but I’m making progress poco a poco.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 8, 2007 at 1:10 am


King did a wonderful work. But think about it…had he gone a little slower, (not saying that he should have) might he not been able to get more ‘Grahams’ to public speak in support of him and had a greater impact and gotten more done in a shorter period of time? History suggests not. In an interview with Time magazine a few years ago, for example, William F. Buckley admitted that he had changed his mind about the civil-rights movement, which he opposed at the time not because of any racism on his part but because he felt that the Federal government was way too involved — he even said that, in that case, “Federal involvement was necessary.” My point is that King was actually proven right in the long run but few saw that then. Besides, in those days the majority of white Southern clergymen, probably mostly Baptist, not to mention evangelicals of other theological stripes, were culturally averse to political involvement of any sort, and segregation was actually preached from white Southern pulpits. (I know that last statement sounds like a contradiction, but that was the reality.) Anyway, by ’66 the civil rights movement was being supplanted among whites by the anti-war movement (which, of course, he always agreed with) and among blacks by the “black power” movement. That said, he took a lot of heat from blacks because he “expanded” his ministry, and by the time he spoke in my city that year practically no one came to hear him. We got on this track in the first place because too many evangelicals don’t want to “rock the boat” and experience trouble — they think of Christianity as only simply “getting saved” and “doing the best you can to obey God” on a personal level without considering any social implications of the Gospel. On the other hand, there’s a move in my city, centered largely in my church, to do exactly that, considering what neighborhoods we live in, what jobs we take and other things that can make a real impact for Christ in that we don’t do things like everyone else — the actual term for that is “holiness.” We’re getting away from a “white evangelicalism” that tries to impose its cultural standard on, in our case, a mostly-black neighborhood, and as a result God has blessed us with not only numbers but commitment. We don’t have a whole lot of Hispanics or Asians in this city, but should they come to my church in large numbers we know to make room. That’s what Rah was getting at, I believe.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 8, 2007 at 3:27 am


Wolverine — I actually agree with him.



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dan

posted April 8, 2007 at 4:03 am


Why is it then that I am more likely to find members of the NRA in a typical American evangelical church than I will find those who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion for the immigrant among us? How much of our view on immigration is driven by a political and social agenda rather than a biblical one? A better question might be how much is “evangelical Christianity” an oxymoron. My relatives who fall into the evangelical mindset have attitudes that would never be considered Christian. They are good Amurkans from the word go and fall into the strict parent model that seems to define the majority of evangelical “Christians.”



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moderatelad

posted April 9, 2007 at 3:08 pm


dan | 04.07.07 – 10:08 pm | #‘…who advocate for an immigration policy that shows compassion…’ We do, it is called ‘legal immigration’ like most of our fore-fathers and mothers did and what others from countries that do not border ours do for the most part. This ‘open border’ policy with our neighbors to the south has to stop! I do not believe that we should be splitting families up so – send them back across the border and keep the families together. The other thing that needs to be changed is the ‘anchor baby’ policy that we have here in the US. Just because you pushed the little tyke out in the US should not give them citizenship. There should be some other criteria when people from other countries come here and have a baby while in the US. Later – .Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 9, 2007 at 7:20 pm


Just because you pushed the little tyke out in the US should not give them citizenship. Sorry, but that’s in the Constitution.



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moderatelad

posted April 9, 2007 at 7:42 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.09.07 – 1:25 pm | #Sorry, but that’s in the Constitution. So we are not allowed to change it?What are we going to do when in a few years to a decade these people come back to the US, having contributed nothing and demand all of the all the benefits that are available to them because they are a ‘citizen’? Talk about spending our children s legacy.Later – .



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Payshun

posted April 9, 2007 at 8:29 pm


Moderatelad This nothing that you speak of feeds the southwest, cleans our buildings, cuts our yards and raises some of our kids. So please don’t be so cavilier about the work these people are doing. They are not lazy and they do contribute more than you know.p



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 9, 2007 at 9:15 pm


What are we going to do when in a few years to a decade these people come back to the US, having contributed nothing and demand all of the all the benefits that are available to them because they are a ‘citizen’? Talk about spending our children s legacy. You assume that they go back — bet few of them do. And “contributed nothing”? Excuse me, but most of them come here due to the lack of work where they are — they may actually subsidize that “legacy,” such that it is.



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moderatelad

posted April 9, 2007 at 9:37 pm


Payshun | Homepage | 04.09.07 – 2:34 pm | #I think that you are missing the point. There is a great number of people that come here and have their children born here. They go back to their own country and live there. Their children are US citizens because of their birth in the US. At a later date they can return to the US and demand their benefits. They can bring their now elderly parents and put them into nursing homes at state expense.That is not fair to our children. Later -ps. off topic but scientist are finding out that Mars and other planets and some of their moons are experiencing ‘global warming’. Might it be that it is something to do with the whole ‘solar system’ and not just humans?



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 9, 2007 at 11:42 pm


There is a great number of people that come here and have their children born here. They go back to their own country and live there. Their children are US citizens because of their birth in the US. At a later date they can return to the US and demand their benefits. They can bring their now elderly parents and put them into nursing homes at state expense. Do you know for a fact that this actually is happening, or is this only a hypothetical? For openers, it costs something just to get here in the first place, and bringing elderly parents here as you suggest is hardly a walk in the park (bureaucracy the way it is, you know) because I’m sure they would need green cards. Also, most nursing homes are privately-owned and -run, and you need insurance to get those, which they may not have.



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Payshun

posted April 10, 2007 at 1:55 am


Moderatelad Most people that have their children born here don’t leave. I used to work w/ a few of these families when I would volunteer to teach their kids.How does your scenario work? Most Latin families take care of their elderly unless they are extremely sick. There is a huge cultural value for family. I just don’t understand how your scenario works out because when I visit my friends houses I oftentimes meet their grandparents. p



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moderatelad

posted April 10, 2007 at 2:59 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.09.07 – 5:47 pm | #most nursing homes are privately-owned and -run, And the majority of them take state assistance residents. The state pays for them but their rates are about 10 years behind the current rates that the homes have to charge to make ends meet.Yes – it is happening and I believe it will only get worse. If the child is a US citizen, they can bring their parent in with little trouble.Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 10, 2007 at 5:56 am


Yes – it is happening and I believe it will only get worse. If the child is a US citizen, they can bring their parent in with little trouble. I don’t believe this, partly because of what Payshun said. I need some proof.



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Paul

posted April 11, 2007 at 2:30 am


Moderatelad:I work with many immigrants, most of them latinos, and have not yet known of a family that left the US only to return when the US citizen child became of age where he or she could apply for citizenship for his parents and/or grandparents. A child cannot apply for his/her relatives until he or she is 18 or 21. Most of the immigrant families I know are here to give their children a better opportunity than they would have in their own countries. They are not thinking about their own retirement or possible future benefits they might receive. In the mean time, they are working and paying taxes and most of them will never qualify for the social security benefits for which they are contributing. Just some insights from experience.



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Apple Good Sale

posted November 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm


Fascinating subject for just about any weblog. i experienced been just surfing the internet for enjoyment when I found your internet site. Fabulous post.



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