God's Politics

God's Politics


Bob Francis: Second Commandment Republicans

posted by gp_intern

Time‘s Joe Klein makes some interesting observations about Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (“a political inconvenience, a destroyer of stereotypes”), asking whether or not “compassionate conservatism” is dead, and if poverty has a place on the Republican agenda:

In 2000, George W. Bush successfully used “compassionate conservatism” to soften his image with independents and some conservative Democrats. But it didn’t go over so well with many Republicans: I remember Bush putting more than a few country-club-conservative audiences to sleep with his long disquisitions about “armies of compassion,” only rousing the faithful when he talked about tax cuts. (Huckabee plays this card too: he claims to be the only Governor of Arkansas to cut taxes in the past 160 years.) Bush sustained his candidacy, despite all the soft talk, because he was the eldest son of royalty in the party of primogeniture. Neither Huckabee nor Brownback has that luxury, and both are languishing in the polls. Is it because it’s early and they’re not well known? Or is it just too much talk of Darfur – Brownback’s cause – and food banks? Several weeks ago, I watched Huckabee lose an audience at the National Review’s Conservative Summit with his talk of feeding the hungry and health care. “I think he’s in the wrong party,” a gentleman from Pennsylvania told me.

Bob Francis is the Organizing and Policy Assistant for Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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Dan

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:13 pm


moderate candidates who live like liberals, or religious conservatives who talk like liberals This may have been fun to write, but it is cheap shot at liberals. The liberals I know live their lives with much more integrity and moral bearing than the conservatives I know. Living like a liberal means taking care of the whole system, and not just your own tribe. I don’t see these “moderate” conseravatives engaging in much of that.



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Doug

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:33 pm


It is a shame Mr. Francis passes along Mr. Klein’s obvious and largely unsubstantiated disdain for religious people who are politically conservative and who believe in limited government at the national level. Next time, try to be open to the possibility that true compassion in America means understanding a little about federalism and separation of powers, and could include the belief that first, one individually and in voluntary organizations needs to feed the hungry and clothe the naked before asking the federal government to do so and, two, perhaps local and state governments could do more. While it is understandable that living in DC would make one skeptical of the efficacy of local governments, it’s not that bad everywhere. Please understand a bit more about the American system. And a little open-minded reading about the real behavior and attitudes of religious persons who are political conservatives would be a good idea, too. Maybe start with Arthur Brooks’ Who Really Cares? and also look at Chris Smith’s What Evangelicals Really Want, and even Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout’s The Truth About Conservative Christians.



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Joey

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:42 pm


This makes a good point. Still, in the interests of fairness, I assume this blog will soon openly criticize the Democratic Party? :-) God bless.



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tovart

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:45 pm


What is so wrong with having a “compassionate” government?



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moderatelad

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:06 pm


Joey | 05.02.07 – 2:47 pm | #Don’t hold your breath. Later – .



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:28 pm


“Bush sustained his candidacy, despite all the soft talk, because he was the eldest son of royalty in the party of primogeniture.” Ummm… The Kennedy’s are Republican? Or is Teddy in on the merits, as they say. Patrick? Lest Klein forget, McCain voluntarily spent years in a P.O.W. camp, suffering severe injury in the process, in lieu of taking advantage of his primogeniture. And on what basis are these observations interesting? I’m sure they coalesce with Mr. Francis’ worldview, but on what basis are they not reiterating that which has been stated ad infinitum?And is this blog sincerely interested in Brownback or Huckabee? Their longshot status certainly makes them a convenient bludgeon, with which to batter the other Republicans, doesn’t it?I mean, Rick Santorum has worked on behalf of poverty, starvation in Africa, and even puppies without so much as a kudos from this blog whilst he was running for election against (speaking of primogeniture) Bob Casey Jr. But, alas, poor Rick was the #1 target of the folks paying the bills at the Sojo household. I suppose that made him a “political inconvenience”.



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bellow

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:43 pm


actually i recall reading a number of posts that praised santorum et al.’s work for the poor in africa. that doesn’t absolve him for criticism for his sins against those in his own country.



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timR

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:00 pm


Conservatives will never be as compassionate as liberals because conservatives do not view the human race so pathetically. We recognize the ability for humans to give to the poor without government mandate or bureaucratic fondling. We understand that a few elitists in power do not know more than the other billions of people that make trillions of decisions that shape our free economy. If the measure for compassion is the number of people removed from poverty the most passionate ideology is conservatism. How did the hundreds of millions of people in southeast Asia rise out of extreme poverty? Was it from rubber bracelets, UN aid, or celebrity press conferences? No. These countries began to embrace the free market economic model. They realized that their citizens were not too pathetic to run their economy. It is difficult to teach a man to fish if you assume he is incapable of learning. Liberals do not like to look at results when it comes to poverty. They simply enjoy the empathy that comes from making someone pathetic. It s much more self-gratifying.



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Doug7504

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:47 pm


timR-Interesting that “millions of people in southeast Asia rose out of poverty by embracing the free market model”….which we don’t have, and haven’t had in this country, since the Forties. What the Republican Party doesn’t talk about, is that they DO want government intervention….the kind of under-the-table, back-room intervention which has given Haliburtion millions in no-bid contracts, which condones and promotes Blackwater and similar merc organizations, which lavishes tax cuts to a tiny group of wealthy, heavy-contributor Republican pocketbooks, and claims this stimulates the economy. The “free market” model has removed a few from poverty, but millions in Asia (and closer to home) languish under the rule of a wealthy elitist society which values clothes, SUVs and technology over the lives of millions. The “free market” model is just so much rhetoric and nothing more.The old saying was “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day… Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.” The liberals don’t have all the answers by any means, but the Republicans have handed the man a hollow reed and told him it’s a fishing pole. Jesus asked us to help those around us who are the “least of my brothers”. Do parties and ideologies REALLY matter in the face of so much agony around us?Peace.



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Mara Lynch

posted May 3, 2007 at 1:32 am


I’m curious why this particular ‘Time” column was only brought up now. IIRC, it’s about two months old.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:17 am


This posting appears to be a pretty accurate reflection of the present status of the Republican party.



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timR

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:40 am


It s not interesting that hundreds of millions of people have risen out of poverty. It s great! Economists do classify our economy as a free market capitalist economy, but obviously it s not entirely free. The government intervention you speak of is not a Republican thing. It s not a Democrat thing. It s a big government thing, and not unique to this administration or political party. When you say, languish under the rule of a wealthy elitist you, mean that there are rich people that are probably getting richer. This is what upsets me when evangelical liberals claim they care the most about helping the least of these. Your response to hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty was pretty much, yeah maybe a few, but . There are rich people with material possessions! This is what I was talking about in my previous comment. This line of thinking shows that the liberal ideology has no room for the results of actually curing poverty. Liberals don t like to face the fact that the only cure for poverty is wealth. It might feel better, but hating the rich isn t going to cure poverty anytime soon. The poor that are fortunate enough to live in capitalist counties do not enjoy a better standard of living now than they did a generation ago because the rich are less greedy and sharing a larger slice of the pie. They are doing better because the pie got a whole lot bigger. Oh, and the Southeast Asians seem to be fishing pretty well with whatever pole they are using.



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Mike Hayes

posted May 3, 2007 at 12:17 pm


May Huckabee and Brownback have some no small success at inspiring conservatives who do see value in providing care for “thirsty”, “hungry”, and “naked” persons, here and in parts of the world in extreme poverty. The politics of who does that isn’t relevant.



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Pacific231

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:08 pm


This makes a good point. Still, in the interests of fairness, I assume this blog will soon openly criticize the Democratic Party? Sure bud, as soon as the Democratic Party shows the Republican Party’s same active disdain, disinterest, and barely hidden disgust in even talking about Darfur, hunger and healthcare.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:13 pm


The commentary about Bush’s compassionate conservatism makes little sense. He won the primary and general election, with full throated support from conservatives. Whether or not he abandoned the principle of compassionate conservatism is another debate. Klein brings up the obvious reason why Huckabee and Brownback are behind in the polls, which is lack of name recognition, and then dismisses is out of hand. Brownback in particular is seen as a strong VP candidate precisely because he appeals to conservatives, but his conservative politics and lack of recognition, especially compared to (de facto primogenitor) Hillary Clinton.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:27 pm


timR–do you really believe the only solution liberals are proposing with regards to the problem of poverty is “more taxes”? Seems to me this is the conservative knee-jerk response, which shuts down any actual conversation about finding solutions. Both sides need to knock it off and stop playing politics with the poor. It is not helping anyone. And whether it is liberal, conservative, or big government who gets the credit with regards to government bail-out or corporate welfare to the “most of these”, I never hear any conservative opposition to our taxes helping the rich.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:33 pm


It is a shame Mr. Francis passes along Mr. Klein’s obvious and largely unsubstantiated disdain for religious people who are politically conservative and who believe in limited government at the national level. That has nothing to do with it — the problem with the excuse of “limited government” is that they want all the power and authority for themselves. The Scripture does not blindly support this view, as any Orthodox Jew knows. I mean, Rick Santorum has worked on behalf of poverty, starvation in Africa, and even puppies without so much as a kudos from this blog whilst he was running for election against (speaking of primogeniture) Bob Casey Jr. Excuse me, but Rick Santorum used to represent my state, and he got his butt kicked here because he always expected everyone to kiss his heinie. During the campaign he said many very nasty and inaccurate things about Bob Casey Jr. (I know, because I saw his campaign faxes). I for one am glad he’s gone. Liberals don t like to face the fact that the only cure for poverty is wealth. It might feel better, but hating the rich isn t going to cure poverty anytime soon. Not entirely accurate. “Liberals” don’t have anything against wealth per se, but even the Scripture warns about focusing too much upon it. The real problem is that most of the poor have no access to gaining some of that wealth for themselves because they have no contact with people of means (they live in different neighborhoods, for example). And in fact, many of the wealthy, especially the newly-wealthy, have a true disdain for the poor simply because they need someone to look down upon.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:11 pm


“timR–do you really believe the only solution liberals are proposing with regards to the problem of poverty is “more taxes”? ” The only thing I hear from the left is that we need to roll back tax cuts for the rich, which is a focus-grouped way of saying we need to raise taxes. Either way, I think that Tim is getting at the idea that everything must require increased governmental intervention.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:15 pm


“everything must require increased governmental ” as is true of corporate welfare, and yet that’s ok.



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:28 pm


this is going to be an interesting election because of the rise of a ‘get dirty doing god’s work’ group of envangelicals with more on its mind than signing souls up for a ticket to heaven. both sides are going to be challenged by this at their base – the dems who think god has no place in the public sphere as well as those who cling mightily to the ideal of an unfettered right to choice concerning abortion; the repubs who think the government of its people has no place doing god’s work (caring for the least of these), that individual wealth is self-made & privilege is earned, and those whose ‘ethic of life’ has the consistency of half-cooked mashed potatoes. who will bend to let in those looking for a place to put faith into action, to let us collectively get dirty doing god’s work & making the world a better place? the debacle that is the war in iraq & the war on terror has to give dems a clear edge in foreign policy which is going to be very important, but it will be interesting to see who opens up to this group of folks taking seriously the call to actually care for the least of these. as a disillusioned former supporter of the bush ‘compassionate conservatism’ and ‘freedom on the march’ bill of goods, i have found much more embrace of my faith in action in the democratic party than i received as a republican. i truly do wish both would move toward where this ‘let’s get busy saving the world’ group is going w/ some courage and conviction rather than pandering to their bases. john edwards is doing it, sounds like huckabee is trying as well. let’s be a receptive and consuming market for these visions so they will get more focus!



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:28 pm


“as is true of corporate welfare, and yet that’s ok.” I don’t like corporate welfare either.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm


nad2, There is a difference between getting our hands dirty and advocating governmental policy that actually releaves us of the obligation to do same. You can get your hands dirty while supporting small government.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:55 pm


You can get your hands dirty while supporting small government. The problem with “small government” is that it implicitly trusts people to do the right thing by others. I’ve seen too much sin in this world to believe that.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:26 pm


“The problem with “small government” is that it implicitly trusts people to do the right thing by others. I’ve seen too much sin in this world to believe that.” And big government trusts the government to do the right thing by others. I have seen too many tyrannical regimes to believe that. So you concede, then, that you support big government because you do not trust people?



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:39 pm


The interesting problem is that although conservatives apparently trust people to do the right thing with regards to helping the poor, etc, they do not trust people to do the right thing with regards to the morality involving sexual issues. If government should be small, then shouldn’t it also allow people to marry whoever they want or do what they want with their bodies? I’m not advocating for those last point–I’m just pointing out the inconsistency in the logic. If government should be small, then it should be small in all aspects of human life. In that respect, it seems the Libertarian approach is the more consistent viewpoint. If people can be trusted to do the right thing with regards to some issues, shouldn’t they be trusted to do the right thing in the other issues as well?



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:50 pm


big or small, ours is a government limited & ultimately controlled by the will of the governed, size of government within this framework has no direct bearing on its propensity toward tyrrany (though as a lawyer & constitutional amatuer historian, the rise of autonomous power of executive agencies to make policy is alarming, something i hope our congress will begin to reign in). what other vehicle do we have to effectively ensure the well-being of the greatest number of people than government? should we do away w/ medicare, medicaid, social security disability? do we not trust ourselves collectively enough to provide a collective safety net for us all through government programs? what about tragedy throughout the world, aids & genocide in africa? what better way do we have than through our government to handle things of such magnitude? sure government aid is wasteful, inefficient, and corruptable, but what is better and what will guarantee aid to the least among us? i don’t think a government that tries to guarantee the minimum for all in any way abrogates our obligation to get our hands dirty, but neither does individually getting our hands dirty abrogate our duty to push for a more complete collective good.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:00 pm


“The interesting problem is that although conservatives apparently trust people to do the right thing with regards to helping the poor, etc, they do not trust people to do the right thing with regards to the morality involving sexual issues.” Well, there is a common framework of with respect to the trust both ideologies put in the people. For example, only an anarchist would legalize murder, in the name of trusting people.That said, to which sexual issues do you refer? The only real limitations on sex involve minors (for reasons of consent).



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:12 pm


lack of sexual limitations – not for a lack of trying. not in our too distant past it was illegal to interracially marry or buy condoms in some states (the supremes had to strike those down). it has only been a couple of years since lawrence v texas struck down anti-sodomy laws – clearly a limited government decision that outraged the repubs.



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timR

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:17 pm


Squeaky- Why did you put quotes around more taxes? Is that something I said anywhere in my comments? In my earlier comment I mentioned other liberal solutions to ending poverty: rubber bracelets and celebrity press conferences to go along with government programs and aid (which comes from taxes as you mentioned). ” Liberals don’t have anything against wealth per se, but even the Scripture warns about focusing too much upon it..” First, why is liberals in quotes? Did I make that word up or something? The rest of this quote is very telling. Evangelical Liberals should be honest when they talk about helping the least of these. What the movement really focuses on is a guilt-ridden attack on the rich. “The real problem is that most of the poor have no access to gaining some of that wealth for themselves because they have no contact with people of means (they live in different neighborhoods, for example)” You demonstrate my point about liberals turning the poor into helpless social victims nicely. Again, conservatives cannot compete with liberals in compassion because we do not view the human as pathetically. I understand it is more difficult for a poor person to become rich than a rich person to stay rich. But, poor people often become rich in America. There are even more in poverty that rise to the middle class. Statistics show that if you graduate high school, don t have children out of wedlock, and work any job fulltime it is virtually impossible for you to be beneath the poverty line. This does not mean we should forget about those that don t follow this easy formula, but government programs that subsidize this poverty and destructive behaviors that are keeping them there, are certainly not the answers.”I’m just pointing out the inconsistency in the logic. If government should be small, then it should be small in all aspects of human life.” A government should not have policy that discourages people from doing good (giving to charity, creating wealth, working hard, ect.) This type of behavior is what many domestic government programs discourage. Governments, however, SHOULD have policy that discourages people from doing bad. We call these policies laws. Marriage for example is a privilege. Governments recognize that a man and woman that engaged in a relationship that is committed enough to seek government sponsorship should be encouraged more than others. The government also recognizes the benefit of children raised by their biological parents. The government doesn t give these same privileges to polygamists, incestuous persons, or homosexuals because these relationships do not provide the same societal good.



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Wolverine

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm


Rick, Would you care to elaborate as to how Rick Santorum “expected everyone to kiss his heinie”? Wolverine



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:37 pm


“The government doesn t give these same privileges to polygamists, incestuous persons, or homosexuals because these relationships do not provide the same societal good. timR | 05.03.07 – 3:22 pm | # ” tim, if you have not yet met curiouser and curiouser, i imagine you soon will.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:39 pm


“it has only been a couple of years since lawrence v texas struck down anti-sodomy laws – clearly a limited government decision that outraged the repubs.” Most of the conservatives I know were irked at lack of a limited judiciary. Ditto w/r/t the Griswold decision, which laid the groundwork for Roe v. Wade.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm


First, why is liberals in quotes? Did I make that word up or something? Because everyone who is not a conservative isn’t necessarily a liberal. The problem is that conservatives over the years have taken the tack, “If you disagree with me you must be one of them” — which may or may not be accurate and is thus unfair. I consider myself a social conservative but an economic and political liberal; libertarians tend just the opposite. You demonstrate my point about liberals turning the poor into helpless social victims nicely. I did no such thing. You obviously never lived in a center city, otherwise you would have never made such an ill-informed and arrogant remark. Have you ever heard of something called “white flight” from most cities into the suburbs and the economic devastation that came from that because all the well-to-do folks left and took their financial resources with them? Would you care to elaborate as to how Rick Santorum “expected everyone to kiss his heinie”? Two examples. Among other things, Santorum first campaigned for Congress by complaining that the congressman he was running against actually lived in Virginia — and then eventually moved to Virginia himself. Years later, he said he owned a two-bedroom house in the same suburb where my brother lives, but he illegally charged the home school district for cyber-school expenses. That was typical of how he operated during his 16 years as part of official Washington, two terms each in the House and Senate, and because of that he was already a bit vulnerable even before the war started. The old saying that “all politics is local”? That’s what happened and the real reason he lost. (Interestingly enough, Santorum would have never gotten to the Senate in the first place had Bob Casey Sr. not refused in 1994 to campaign for Harris Wofford, who waffled on the abortion issue.)



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:03 pm


so it’s ok for government to tell consenting adults what they can do w/ their private parts, but not ok for government telling us we have to give some of our $ society helped us make to ensure those less fortunate among us can survive? what is a limited judiciary anyway? one that interprets the constitution the way you want it to, that is where the circular logic always comes back to. yes, the libertarians & the repubs always part company when we start talking about folks’ private parts, the libertarians dont want any of it, the repubs can’t get enought of it.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 4, 2007 at 5:43 am


So you concede, then, that you support big government because you do not trust people? I’m not exactly saying that. But you see, more political power is in private hands in the U. S. A. than in any other country — specifically, lobbyists, who are there to get something for themselves and often at the expense of others. That’s the way our system was built.



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:46 am


“so it’s ok for government to tell consenting adults what they can do w/ their private parts, but not ok for government telling us we have to give some of our $ society helped us make to ensure those less fortunate among us can survive?” If I cede your argument here, I would then have to point out that what people do with their private parts has quite a bit to do with the production of those less fortunate. “what is a limited judiciary anyway? one that interprets the constitution the way you want it to, that is where the circular logic always comes back to.” I want the judiciary to interpret the constitution as written. There is nothing circular about that. “yes, the libertarians & the repubs always part company when we start talking about folks’ private parts,” Not always. There are plenty of libertarians who argue for (among other things) tying the tubes of crack addicts. Not arguing for this, but there is overlap. “the libertarians dont want any of it, the repubs can’t get enought of it.” Can’t get enough? How so? How do you feel about pornography? Is it destructive? Does government have a role in curtailing its prevalence? Does this constitute controlling what people do with their genitals? What about prostitution? Are all thing genital-related off limits to government control? How does this relate to incest, polygamy, bestiality?



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 4, 2007 at 1:56 pm


I want the judiciary to interpret the constitution as written. You can’t always do that, because things change over time. Slavery and racism, to give examples, were not covered under the Constitution and thus were justified under the law. Even a constitution doesn’t guarantee justice.



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm


“You can’t always do that, because things change over time. Slavery and racism, to give examples, were not covered under the Constitution and thus were justified under the law. Even a constitution doesn’t guarantee justice.” So we banned slavery. Racism is allowed by the Constitution, and I don’t think there will ever me a law against being racist. We can still amend the constitution, but that should be done by elected officials.



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:08 pm


“If I cede your argument here, I would then have to point out that what people do with their private parts has quite a bit to do with the production of those less fortunate.” this is either indecipherable or somehow suggests poor people’s sexual immorality is somehow responsible for their economic status in life which moves beyond indecipherable to offensive. i am all for a textualist hugo black type reading of the constitution, (though hugo & i part company on privacy & substantive due process, i don’t see the basic right to privacy as being offensive to the text – that 9th amendment i think makes clear the rights enumerated in the constitution are not exhaustive, and basic human privacy seems to be one i think all reasonable minds would agree on, unless you want mitch mcconnell & co legislating which sexual positions you & your spouse can do it in), though i don’t think that is what most of the right is looking for. they want someone like scalia who looks for the ‘original intent’ which is dubious because such a finding is impossible in a document that is the result of numerous minds w/ numerous meanings & numerous compromises, though conservatives eat it up because it inevitably leads to a restrictive view of what is allowable because long ago women wore long dresses & gay people weren’t so demanding about their rights to be treated equally.then you have the problem of brown v. board of education – clearly the 14th amendment didn’t mean schools can’t be segregated when it was passed because schools were segregated when it was passed, & were for another 100 years, so a plain reading of the text won out over an ‘originalist’ view, thank god.if you concede then a textualist view is the way to go, then that 14th amendment that says black & white kids can’t be treated differently ultimately has to mean gay & straight couples can’t be treated differently, though i somehow don’t think the right-leaning textualists would agree w/ that & then they are left in the uncomfortable position of saying either brown was wrongly decided or gay folks should get to marry. i must get back to work, if i have time i’d love to say more about the right & private parts, though i think it is ground well worn & gets away from the point of this post, getting both parties to actively care about the least of these amongst us.



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:33 pm


http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/03/who-doesnt-believe-in-evolution/ looks like huckabee & brownback are trying to make up that ground in the polls (& also for their offenses of taking seriously the gospel & prophetic call to care for the least of these) by saying they don’t think evolution exists. interesting, also interesting is that the 7 other re-pub candidtates didn’t raise their hands. oh the delicate dance of politcal primaries!!!



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 9:39 pm


“this is either indecipherable or somehow suggests poor people’s sexual immorality is somehow responsible for their economic status in life which moves beyond indecipherable to offensive. ” Simply the observation that children out of wedlock are much more likely to be impoverished, which hardly seems controversial.”that 9th amendment i think makes clear the rights enumerated in the constitution are not exhaustive, and basic human privacy seems to be one i think all reasonable minds would agree on,” The right to privacy is not provided in the Constitution. The idea that the 9th amendment provides an open door for the judiciary to create rights is precisely the point of disagreement. Your interpretation allows unelected judges to decide what is and is not a right. Disastrous decisions like Roe v. Wade eminate from this judicial outlook.”unless you want mitch mcconnell & co legislating which sexual positions you & your spouse can do it in),” If my congressman wants to prevent me from utilizing certain sexual positions, I will weigh that fact when I am voting for or against my congressman.”‘original intent’ which is dubious because such a finding is impossible in a document that is the result of numerous minds w/ numerous meanings & numerous compromises,” Why is that impossible? I disagree that there are numerous meanings. If there are numerous meanings, then there is really no meaning, and we can simply dispense with the Constitution entirely. In this case, we really don’t need a judiciary at all.”then you have the problem of brown v. board of education” There is a saying that bad cases make for bad law. This is something that should have been addressed (and might well have been) by legislature. The Griswold decision is another quintessential example, wherein the courts used lousy reasoning to make the “right” decision. But that is not the role of the judiciary.”black & white kids can’t be treated differently ultimately has to mean gay & straight couples can’t be treated differently,” Ditto for polygamist couples, incestuous couples, etc… That’s the problem with legislating by judicial fiat. “then they are left in the uncomfortable position of saying either brown was wrongly decided ” I should note that there is a case that Brown was correctly decided, insofar as the even the Plessy v. Ferguson case notes that the 14th amendment demands that both races be treated equally under the law. Any objective assessment of public schools would reveal that this was not occurring. Thus, one could make a reasonable assumption that it would not occur, and that separate but equal necessarily violated the 14th amendment.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 4, 2007 at 9:48 pm


So we banned slavery. Racism is allowed by the Constitution, and I don’t think there will ever be a law against being racist. We can still amend the constitution, but that should be done by elected officials. And any law can still be invalidated by judges. So this is a circular argument. I should note that there is a case that Brown was correctly decided, insofar as the even the Plessy v. Ferguson case notes that the 14th amendment demands that both races be treated equally under the law. Well, the Brown case was not so much about segregation (although it certainly was) as it was about a black girl attending a school closer to home but that was “assigned” to whites. That said, segregation was always a bit expensive to maintain.



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When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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