God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Vote Out Poverty

posted by gp_intern

We’re in the homestretch for Pentecost 2007: Taking the Vision to the Streets. It promises to be an informative and inspiring event: a Sunday evening justice revival; a presidential candidates forum focusing on faith, values, and poverty; an organizing institute; and discussion on how to put poverty on the agenda of your local church. We will sing, pray, learn, and strategize together.

This conference is the next step in a vital campaign aimed at the critical presidential election year of 2008. Our plan is nothing less than to put poverty on the national agenda, and to compel candidates from both parties to present the nation with their plans for dramatic poverty reduction both at home and globally. I believe we can vote out poverty, but only if we are all in it together.

As we make the final preparations for the candidates forum, we’re excited to have our constituents playing a critical role in this history-making event – suggesting questions, voting on questions, and hosting watch parties on Monday evening. After the forum, participants in the watch parties will dial in to an exclusive conference call with Mike McCurry and Brian McLaren to react to the forum and kick off our “Vote Out Poverty” campaign to put overcoming poverty on the national agenda.

There are now more than 150 watch parties scheduled in 40 states. If you have not yet signed up to attend, click here to find one in your area. Watch the forum with other people of faith – then discuss what was said.

If there’s not one scheduled in your area, there is still time to host a gathering. We’ll give you a guide with everything you need to make your event a success. Click here to sign up. And, if you haven’t yet, you can still vote for your favorite question to be asked on Monday.

I’m looking forward to discussing putting our faith into action, building a new commitment to a society where all have genuine access to the resources needed to live a decent life. I know our time together in Washington will be filled with hope, inspiration, and ideas. And I hope you believe, as I do, that in our unity we can further the biblical imperative to overcome poverty.



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Mike Hayes

posted May 31, 2007 at 10:34 pm


Jim Wallis, Best wishes for success in this effort to encourage poverty assistance by our US government. Hand in glove with that, I think we should all consider redirecting some greater portion of our budgets for charity to poverty programs, directly.



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 31, 2007 at 10:37 pm


How do you vote out poverty without creating incentives for people not to work? This just doesn’t make sense.



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John G. Pierce

posted May 31, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Interfering with the free-market economy spells disaster. You should instead be working to shore up families by opposing abortion and homosexuality, and by converting people to Jesus. If Sojourners were truly composed of evangelicals, that’s what you’d be doing –not engaging in failed Marxist rhetoric. Instead, you buy into almost every liberal lie there is, including the junk-science of global warming.



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gary moore

posted May 31, 2007 at 11:12 pm


jim:love your passion. but a very wise man once said the poor will be with us always. expect he would have lobbied caesar, or at least pilate, had the human race been able to vote out poverty.the facts are that there were about a quarter billion people on earth when that fellow told us that. they lived on about $400 per year, on average. we can only guess how many may have been “poor.” but today, we know there are a billion people living on less than a dollar a day. so there are four times as many people we term radically poor as there were in total two thousand years ago.this old political science graduate expects the u.s. government can help improve those statistics. but this veteran investment advisor also expects even a marginal reduction in the number of the poor globally will require some transformation of the hearts of the affluent all across our world.gary moore, founder, the financial seminary, http://www.financialseminary.org



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Carolyn Bourland

posted May 31, 2007 at 11:27 pm


We are hosting a viewing party. How do we get our “guide”?



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Mick Sheldon

posted May 31, 2007 at 11:30 pm


I wonder why the Ten trillion dollars spent on Poverty since LBJ declared war on it has not been brought uo by Jim ? I mean is 11 trillion enough ? Are we not suppose to know the cost before we build the house ?The Lord wants us to use The Gospel for the Kingdom of God , not to increase the scope of governments , especially those that fail miserably at helping the poor . Helping the poor is not tithing to the Government with your taxes , our government at the best is a safety net , it catches people , it does not promote a better life . Supporting Gospel Missions has much better track records , one on one help is the message of the Cross.When the left and right figures out that the destruction of the family and the misery it has caused. Increasing alcoholism , drugs , juvenile crime, dropout rates , lower test scores , single parents , homelessness, and a host of other issues that hurt people , they might just get the fact governemtn is not the answer , nor politics. Increasing its size just means the Church is not doing its job . And we as individuals need to be more concerned about allowing the body of Christ to be the Hands of God helping the poor , this way the poor knows where that further Help can come from . The drug addict needs hope after the the rehab . Because safety nets prolong poverty , it does not stop it .



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Jsens

posted June 1, 2007 at 12:11 am


Jim Wallis, I also admire your tenacity and spirit, but continued efforts to eradicate poverty by doling out massive sums of money didn’t work with the “Great Society,” and it won’t work in Africa or anywhere else. This is largely for two reasons (1) the kleptocrat governments steal most money sent and (2)whatever gets to the people makes them dependent on, and demanding of, more handouts like the huge cohort of AFDC welfare mothers that developed starting in the 1960s. It has taken years to partially wean them off the government largess.



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owillbanks

posted June 1, 2007 at 12:28 am


Agree–lets eradicate poverty. I suggest we subsidize big business so they can offer more and higher paying jobs.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 1:09 am


You should instead be working to shore up families by opposing abortion and homosexuality, and by converting people to Jesus. If Sojourners were truly composed of evangelicals, that’s what you’d be doing — not engaging in failed Marxist rhetoric. Instead, you buy into almost every liberal lie there is, including the junk-science of global warming. That kind of rhetoric is precisely what Jim is trying to avoid because it’s, frankly, divisive. Need I remind you that the Bible says far, far more about helping the poor than about those two items (in fact, it says nothing at all about abortion). And it’s not about simply giving the poor funds; it’s about changing structures so that they can make their own way. That’s entirely Biblical, but conservatives don’t read those parts of the Scriptures.



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Preston St. Velkro

posted June 1, 2007 at 1:32 am


Do I detect in this an effort to resurrect the Institutional Church powered this time by the State? Didn t the Methodist Church almost succeed in this once upon a time, a long time ago?



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Carl Copas

posted June 1, 2007 at 1:40 am


John G. Pierce: “If Sojourners were truly composed of evangelicals, that’s what you’d be doing –not engaging in failed Marxist rhetoric.” Expressing concern over poverty is a Marxist thing? Hmmmmm.



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l'etranger

posted June 1, 2007 at 2:15 am


John G Pierce? a name I’ve not seen on these boards before Hmmmm – anyone seen him in the same room as Donny???



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Joy

posted June 1, 2007 at 3:01 am


If you really want to talk to candidates about reducing or eliminating poverty why was New Mexico governor, and presidential candidate Bill Richardson not invited? In the 5 years he has been governor New Mexico has risen to sixth in the nation for personal income growth. He has dramatically increased funding for public education and insisted it go into classrooms, not administration. Members of Congress can make all the pretty speeches and promise the moon but Bill Richardason is already delivering the goods. Last fall he was reelcted by 69% of the voters, including over 40% of Republicans. I can’t understand why Sojourners insists on ignoring this highly qualified candidate unless it is because he “isn’t a rock star”.



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moderatelad

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:10 am


I believe that it has been on the agenda several times. The US collects more than 4 times the amount of money to give every person on welfare (legit or fraud) $10,000.00 a year. That means a family of four could receive $40,000.00 a year not counting other benefits that they get – and WE STILL HAVE THE PROBLEM! Clear up the mess in DC and streamline the process and all will be better off in the long run.Blessings – .



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HASH(0x117c7d08)

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:49 am


“You should instead be working to shore up families by opposing abortion and homosexuality, and by converting people to Jesus.” John G Pierce In the New Testament I read, Jesus didn’t have much to say about the impact of abortion and/or homosexuality on families. What he did have A LOT TO SAY ABOUT was: the limited relevance of family (irrelevant in eternity) as well as the role family plays in keeping people from following and obeying him. Oh, and Jesus DID have a lot to say about practical compassion for the poor.



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canucklehead

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:51 am


I made that last post, sorry.



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Mike Hayes

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:34 am


Support for programs to assist persons in poverty is truly admirable. But is support for government sponsored programs our best use of our powers of persuasion? I think all of us who see the value of support for persons less fortunate than ourselves should do more than that. What might be at least as effective? I think we should divert more and more of our charitable contributions from support for expenses for church buildings to real charities… like Oxfam and Heifer International and Second Harvest and shelters for homeless persons.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:50 am


$40,000 a year? Rock on, where do I sign up. Since this last year my husband and I barely scraped by with our two kids while we’re in college. We can maybe get $450 worth of foodstamps if we qualify. That doesn’t include diapers, toilet paper and wipes, laundry money, soap (though food stamps will buy baking soda which can be used for a lot of cleaning and is better for the environment), utilities and car gas (wow, don’t get me started). We’d buy bicycles with kid trailers if we could afford them. And no, it wasn’t any better when I was a single mom. There is no AFDC out there, anymore, and yeah, when I was a kid and my mom was on it, it wasn’t a nice trip. I am so sick of hearing how people work the system–we hate food stamps, we hate having to use any government help and we’re DEMOCRATS. We have over $80,000 in school loans together, and haven’t even graduated yet. Yet, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful to be an American. Even though I’m “taxed” via student loans for trying to reach the proverbial “American Dream.” Will throwing money at people work?? Yes, and no. African governments are notoriously corrupt and innefficient. It would be better if we just sent our professors and teachers over there for sabaticals and handed each of them a few thousand to hand out to people on the street or at least overpay Africans for services and products rendered.As for our own country, we need universal health care and protection for women. The Bible had a lot to say about widows and orphans–HELP THEM. As for families like mine, a few more programs that would allow us to work in exchange for cancellation of our student loans would be awesome. They do it for teachers, why can’t the government do it for other service jobs. As for waiting for the church to do everything, that is such a cop-out. Do you have the authority in your church to implement anti-poverty programs? Probably not, and you’re forgetting that pastors now counsel poor people to go get government help if they’re poor. Government is supposed to serve the people–this is freaking America.As for abortion, if every town had access to a crisis pregnancy center and loving Christian women to counsel distraught pregnant women, we would be much better off. These centers provide material assistance as well as a source for Jesus’s love to be revealed. If you want to complain about abortion, go find your nearest CDC and support them.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:52 am


Oops. CPC, not CDC. My bad.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:55 am


By the way, I hope you all caught the sarcasm about the 40 thou. I wouldn’t be caught dead taking that much from my government. I’m broke; I’m not a thief.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:04 am


Rick StatedNeed I remind you that the Bible says far more about helping the poor than about those two items (in fact, it says nothing at all about abortion).Rick remember the Ten Commandments ? Something in there about taking innocent life ? Taking money from a person to give to another with out their permission is theft , not charity . Does not giving provide a blessing for the giver and the receiver. Did the use of tax software this year provide any blessings for you , were you trying to give more tax to help people or pay less? Be honest now .I suggest doing so because the government made you does much less for the giver and the receiver . Obviously from the results of government programs provide some proof of that. .



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Kevin S.

posted June 1, 2007 at 8:35 am


“In the New Testament I read, Jesus didn’t have much to say about the impact of abortion and/or homosexuality on families.” He didn’t say much about shooting people in the back of the head for no reason. Did he say he accepted abortion or homosexuality as acceptable? No. So you have no point here.



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Sarasotakid

posted June 1, 2007 at 11:41 am


I believe that it has been on the agenda several times. The US collects more than 4 times the amount of money to give every person on welfare (legit or fraud) $10,000.00 a year. That means a family of four could receive $40,000.00 a year not counting other benefits that they get – and WE STILL HAVE THE PROBLEM! Moderatelad Please cite to your source. I used to work for legal services with the welfare population and a single mom and kid would be lucky if they received $4000 a year on a welfare grant in expensive northern Jersey- one tenth of the figure you cited. It is precisely the misinformation that you’re giving that de-sensitizes people to the plight of the poor. What was that rule about “bearing false witness?” Gotta love that “compassionate conservativism.” Hmmm.



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Sarasotakid

posted June 1, 2007 at 11:45 am


He didn’t say much about shooting people in the back of the head for no reason. Did he say he accepted abortion or homosexuality as acceptable? No. So you have no point here. Kevin S.Yep, that sola scriptura thing doesn’t work out well for either side does it? Could it be “gasp” that the Bible doesn’t address every single issue in modern day life and that God left it to us to reason some things out based on biblical principles, the movement of the Spirit and even,”gasp”, human reason?



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Liz Hornbaker

posted June 1, 2007 at 2:02 pm


While the desire to eradicate poverty is laudable, Americans have become increasingly mean-spirited when it comes to actually helping out the poor in our country. We seem to have returned to the Calvinistic belief that the poor deserve to be poor and are undeserving of help. Consider the welfare reforms that have increasingly placed poor children and adults in jeopardy. When did it become a crime to be poor? What happened to the teachings of Christ to love our fellow man? While politicians regularly spout rhetoric about the future of our nation being in the hands of our children, it has become apparent that the children they are speaking of are those from wealthy families that can buy Ivy League educations, not the children of the poor or working classes. With the widening gap between those at the top income brackets and the rest of us, does anyone really believe that there will be a redistribution of money to raise the income levels of the poor? Our national philosophy is not “we are in this together,” rather, it has become “what is in it for me?”



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moderatelad

posted June 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm


Tasiyagnunpa DuBray | Homepage | 06.01.07 – 12:55 am | #enjoyed the sarcasm – but sorry, you and your family do not qualify. Now if you husband will move out of the house (as I was counseled to do by a state employee when I was looking for a little help for my family after a forced resignation from a job) you might get some money.be blessed – .



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Steven Riggs

posted June 1, 2007 at 3:38 pm


Remember, conservatives love to blame the government for everything. Then they run for office, get elected, become in charge of the government, and only made it bigger and more in the red! Don’t forget, the Republicans were in charge of ALL branches of government for quite some time and the cost of living went up for everyone except the top 2% of income because they got the lion’s share of the tax reductions. Even corruption went up!So let’s get back to reducing abortions. The top reason for women wanting abortions is they don’t have enough money to raise a family alone. That’s called poverty. Reduce poverty to reduce abortion! It seems like some of you who want to stop abortion have no game. Hot air but not really addressing the root causes.



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Rob Draper

posted June 1, 2007 at 3:39 pm


Jim Wondered if you had seen this article by Johan Hari of The Independent in the UK on yourself and Gordon Brown. Any comments? Rob http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/johann_hari/article2588941.ece



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Steven Riggs

posted June 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm


I forgot to mention: put me in the camp that believes it is not fair to exclude Governor Bill Richardson a Democratic candidate for President, from the event. Should I take a pass on the event if this legitimate candidate is cast aside by Sojourners?



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:13 pm


Rick remember the Ten Commandments? Something in there about taking innocent life? One, I no longer follow the “Ten Commandments” — the two Jesus mentioned suffice for me (and explain the Ten). Two, even today most Orthodox Jews are “pro-choice” on abortion. Taking money from a person to give to another with out their permission is theft, not charity. We’re not talking about charity here. The important issue is justice, and allowing the rich to keep theirs so that they simply can buy more power at the expense of everyone else isn’t at all just. And BTW, that’s addressed in Scripture — but conservatives don’t heed those passages.



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Ben

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:47 pm


If we are Christians, we worship Almighty God and get our sustenance, solutions and solace from Him. Why go, then, to government, whose only tool is coercive force (that is, to steal, kill and destroy) in order to solve society’s problems? No one was forced in the early church to give. They simply gave. The operation was 100% voluntary. Why take ourselves beneath that and coerce non-Christians to provide for the poor, when the Church could do it all on its own if people simply tithed voluntarily?



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Peter

posted June 1, 2007 at 4:57 pm


I read the stuff from Sojourners regularly and personally like Jim a lot. After starting out as a conservative evangelical I have drifted steadily leftward toward the center over the years. But I must say I have this nagging problem in that I don’t really trust Jim (or his counterparts on the right for that matter). In my gut I see them as slick politicians pushing a political agenda in religious garb. I don’t want to feel that way, but it is a visceral reaction. Is Jim a Democrat in sheep’s clothing. Is he just a left wing version of Ralph Reed? Does anyone else feel this way out there?



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Why take ourselves beneath that and coerce non-Christians to provide for the poor, when the Church could do it all on its own if people simply tithed voluntarily? Because that’s not the only issue. Sometimes laws do need to be changed and customs addressed for the poor to be helped. The real issue is that people want to hang on to their power of self-determination — that is, WE want to make those decisions when it’s convenient for us — and that doesn’t usually work. Take the civil-rights movement, for example (which wasn’t strictly about the poor). Now, the conservative approach was “in due time” but “not [necessarily] now.” But Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” And another thing: God’s intent, with ancient Israel then and the church today, always was to show the world how things are to be done. We need to model that in all our relationships, not just “giving to the poor” but changing some fundamental structures so that the poor not only are not exploited but so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. Resentment toward the poor and their advocates — and let’s call it by its name — does nothing to glorify God.



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canucklehead

posted June 1, 2007 at 5:11 pm


“In the New Testament I read, Jesus didn’t have much to say about the impact of abortion and/or homosexuality on families.” He didn’t say much about shooting people in the back of the head for no reason. Did he say he accepted abortion or homosexuality as acceptable? No. So you have no point here. Kevin S. | Homepage | 06.01.07 – 2:40 am | #Kevin, you read posts the way some people read Scripture. Grabba line here or there and attach whatever spin you wish. The point I was making requires integration with the whole paragraph that it is a part of, i.e. “In the New Testament I read, Jesus didn’t have much to say about the impact of abortion and/or homosexuality on families. What he did have A LOT TO SAY ABOUT was: the limited relevance of family (irrelevant in eternity) as well as the role family plays in keeping people from following and obeying him. Oh, and Jesus DID have a lot to say about practical compassion for the poor.” Do you read the newspaper this way? Do you interpret conversations with your wife this way? Do you cheer for the Pistons this way?



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Peter

posted June 1, 2007 at 5:18 pm


In Houston I see tons of homeless people, usually (not always) drinking a beer or smoking cigarettes, which are now over $5 a pack). It is tempting to give them money when they ask, and I often do. I don’t know whether it is out of guilt or compassion. Then there are the illegal Mexicans. They are poor too. They hang out on street corners but are not usually smoking or drinking. They flock to any van that slows down, not to sell crack, but to ask for a JOB. When they get one they often are very hard workers. They work 7 days a week and live 12 to a house. We can’t seem to find a way to craft a policy for providing these folks with a means of legal entry to the US. But we want to spend Billions on indigenous poor who have no desire to work or educate themselves to improve their condition. I am mainly addressing able-bodied men, not single mothers, widows, orphans, the sick and the elderly. All the money in the world will not solve this problem because the problem is spiritual.



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Peter

posted June 1, 2007 at 5:26 pm


“And another thing: God’s intent, with ancient Israel then and the church today, always was to show the world how things are to be done.” That may be God’s intention but frankly I don’t see that worked out very convincingly in reality. I stick with the Church because I am part of it by birth (new Birth). I try do do my part to evoke change withing my spiritual family. But honestly, I experience more authentic and effective community at Burning Man than I do in most Churches.



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Tom

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Thanks for the link, Rob. I second that canucklehead. Sarasotakid said: “Yep, that sola scriptura thing doesn’t work out well for either side does it? Could it be “gasp” that the Bible doesn’t address every single issue in modern day life and that God left it to us to reason some things out based on biblical principles, the movement of the Spirit and even,”gasp”, human reason?” Well said Sarasotakid. This is the kind of infantile vigilance we can do without in the course of constructive debate. Just pull out the pocket Bible and voila, there’s the evidence, the whole truth. The conservative psyche, not to mention the religiously conservative mind, is very interesting.



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Robert Doell

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:16 pm


Jim: This idea reminds me of something Lucy Parsons said at the founding convention of the IWW: Do not be deceived. The ruling classes will never allow you to vote away their wealth. As Christians, we are prohibited in Romans from armed revolution, but, the only way making change in this dessicated system is through large volumes of civil disobedience. I have to go with Thoreau on this one: stop voting for them, it just encourages ‘em (paraphrase). Robert



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:00 pm


But we want to spend Billions on indigenous poor who have no desire to work or educate themselves to improve their condition. I am mainly addressing able-bodied men, not single mothers, widows, orphans, the sick and the elderly. All the money in the world will not solve this problem because the problem is spiritual. True, because those people need hope for the future before anything else. A lot of them have been told all of their lives that they’re criminals (and many of them were), no good, shiftless etc., and when that’s all you hear you internalize it; we see that all the time at my church. They need encouragement to change, that the LORD intended so much more for them. I don’t see that worked out very convincingly in reality. I stick with the Church because I am part of it by birth (new Birth). I try do do my part to evoke change within my spiritual family. But honestly, I experience more authentic and effective community at Burning Man than I do in most Churches. I can’t at all argue with that, and part of the reason is that “church” is institutionalized in American society — going to the local house of worship is no longer viewed as a subversive act the way it was when the church was founded. We need to get that back somehow.



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Kevin S.

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:09 pm


“Yep, that sola scriptura thing doesn’t work out well for either side does it?” Not if our if the sola scriptura you are using is the gospels. However, several books of the Bible speaks to the question of homosexuality. For pro-life advocates, an embryo constitutes a human being. As such, it is an ethical question, as the scriptural question of whether it is acceptable to kill a human being is settled. The only way to argue the pro-choice side is to argue that the embryo is not a person. So you are correct that we are left with human reason. Therefore, it adds nothing to note that Jesus was silent on the question of abortion, regardless of the context. Did Jesus go on and on about whether murder is acceptable? No. Why would he? This would not be illuminating at all, but rather redundant.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:25 pm


Not if our if the sola scriptura you are using is the gospels. However, several books of the Bible speak to the question of homosexuality. But not in the way most people think. In every Scriptural reference to homoseuxual conduct, the context is that it is something that God’s people are to abstain from because it reflects the “world” — in other words, it demonstrates outright rebellion against God, but of course you don’t need to be gay to do that. For pro-life advocates, an embryo constitutes a human being. As such, it is an ethical question, as the scriptural question of whether it is acceptable to kill a human being is settled. The only way to argue the pro-choice side is to argue that the embryo is not a person. But that opens another can of worms which most “pro-life” people I know don’t want to address, how men and women treat each other. Ultimately, it’s an issue of community, not just one of ethics.



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Ross

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:51 pm


Question for the group: If you won $1 million and wanted to use that money to fight poverty which would you choose 1) to give it to your favorite charity that assists the poor; 2) start your own charity or foundation to assist the poor; or 3) give it to the government for it to spend on social programs for the poor? I’d bet very few people would choose number 3 when it came to their money, yet some are constantly advocating this for public policy (and therefore other people’s money). Why is this? I’ll tell you. It’s because it’s so much easier to push a button in a voting booth and send an email to a Congressman and say “I did my duty” than to actually try to go out and win hearts and minds for Jesus so that the people with the real means in this country will change their ways and help the poor.



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canucklehead

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:53 pm


Kevin, follow closely, b/c this is complicated: 1) in the context of responding to an article on Sojo’s plans, Mr. Pierce said:”Interfering with the free-market economy spells disaster. You should instead be working to shore up families by opposing abortion and homosexuality, and by converting people to Jesus. If Sojourners were truly composed of evangelicals, that’s what you’d be doing –not engaging in failed Marxist rhetoric.IMPLICATION: You’re not evangelical unless you’re banging the drum re abortion and homosexuality – talk about economics/money is Marxist. Thot: Since Mr. Pierce identifies homosexuality/abortion as the “be all/end all” definition of what it means to be evangelical and “converting people to Jesus,” how does he account for Christ’s comparative silence on the topics HE suggests constitute orthodoxy for evangelicals vs. CHRIST’S comparative voluminous commentary on what he labels MARXISM? Agreed; noting Christ’s silence on homosexuality/abortion is not the SOLE argument that some want to make of it in terms of the Christian view on those matters My point was to simply challenge Mr. Pierce’s implication that homosexuality/abortion are at the heart of the “evangel” (gospel)that Jesus introduced whereas talk re poverty/money is purely “Marxist” in orientation.Not so! Accordingly, Kevin: a) may the Pistons lose the series with the Cavs and may that d’vpment bring heretofore unknown grief into your life b) may your lawnmower run out of gas several times this weekend and the corner station reject your credit card c) may your BBQ malfunction and scorch your T-bones into OT sacrificial material d) may your car stall late at night in St. Louis Park thereby giving you a opportunity to share the Four Spiritual Flaws w/ local ruffians cruisin’ the ‘hood e) may your car stall on the Interstate en route to worship this weekend confining you to 4 hours of leading your children in “The Joy of the Lord is my strength” and other associated ditties as you wait for the tow truck Love, in Christ, 5)



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 9:20 pm


It’s because it’s so much easier to push a button in a voting booth and send an email to a Congressman and say “I did my duty” than to actually try to go out and win hearts and minds for Jesus so that the people with the real means in this country will change their ways and help the poor. I would choose another option: I would give it to or start an advocacy group that attempted to cause political and social change so that the poor can help themselves. The issue to me should be self-determination, not necessarily or primarily charity, which when all is said and done does nothing to improve their access to institutions.



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Ross

posted June 1, 2007 at 9:42 pm


Sounds good to me Rick, but my point was that you wouldn’t give it to the government. Nobody would, because the government doesn’t do social change very well. Yet for some reason we continue to expect it to and people advocate for more money for the government to change the situation of poverty.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 10:58 pm


Sounds good to me Rick, but my point was that you wouldn’t give it to the government. Nobody would, because the government doesn’t do social change very well. Yet for some reason we continue to expect it to and people advocate for more money for the government to change the situation of poverty. I think you miss the point. What people often forget is that much of that “Great Society” money went to educational and employment opportunities, such as college grants, that actually did work (the kind of “structural change” I’m talking about). People need opportunities, and if even the government can foster them I’m all for it. Much of that got cut under Reagan, BTW, because wealthier, better-educated people tend to vote and the conservatives knew they wouldn’t get those votes, thus the excuse of “welfare.”



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neuro_nurse

posted June 1, 2007 at 11:01 pm


it won’t work in Africa or anywhere else. This is largely for two reasons (1) the kleptocrat governments steal most money sent and (2)whatever gets to the people makes them dependent on, and demanding of, more handouts Jsens 05.31.07 – 6:16 pm That sounds like a straw man argument or an unfounded opinion to me what s your source? Peace!



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Julie

posted June 1, 2007 at 11:43 pm


It’s impossible to “vote out” poverty, but we can promote fiscal policies that enable struggling wage-earners to keep more of what they earn and that encourage the creation of wealth. Jesus said we will always have the poor among us. Speaking as someone who has been destitute and homeless in the past, I understand that there are a myriad of factors that contribute to poverty, including single parenthood, drug abuse, indolence, debt, and a host of situations that are often beyond our control. There are also times when poverty is caused by injustice and corrupt government policies, and the government is seldom, if ever, held to account in such instances. I’ve known people who lost their homes and life savings because of IRS levies, all without a court order or due process of law. At the same time, I have known others who lived in poverty because they refused to take any responsibility for their lives, preferring handouts to an honest day’s work. The causes of poverty are many and complex, so it’s rather simplistic to think such a problem can be ended by throwing money or votes at it.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 1, 2007 at 11:54 pm


The causes of poverty are many and complex, so it’s rather simplistic to think such a problem can be ended by throwing money or votes at it. Absolutely true, all of it — the answer, really, is to build voluntary community so that people can be accountable to each other, and this is where churches can shine (but often get caught up in ideological malaise). Government can do some things but only so much; building relationships is the key.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 12:23 am


One, I no longer follow the “Ten Commandments” — the two Jesus mentioned suffice for me (and explain the Ten). Two, even today most Orthodox Jews are “pro-choice” on abortion. I think the Ten Commandments are pretty important Rick , and the point was they were in the Bible . So your point is that Jesus would support abortion ? Also Jesus assumed if you understoof those two Commandments , you would not be playing this game about abortion being wrong ,that God is the creator of life . At least respect most people who have read the Bible , believe it is the word of God , also believe God is the creator life . Not Planned Parenthood . ===================================== Taking money from a person to give to another with out their permission is theft, not charity. We’re not talking about charity here. The important issue is justice, and allowing the rich to keep theirs so that they simply can buy more power at the expense of everyone else isn’t at all just. ==================== If they worked harder then you and I are willing to I would say it is . If they sacrificed and hired people and suppulied them with incomes to support their families I would say it was just . To leave it to you or me to say what is just seems a little extreme , is killing innocent life in the womb just . See the problem when government becomes god. And BTW, that’s addressed in Scripture — but conservatives don’t heed those passages. ———————————– I am a conservative and I try to understand all scriptures , so forgive me if I am not the superior Chritstian you are Rick , but my main focuus is actually just trying to get closer to God , the good part of scripture I understand is He loves me as much as you , even if I am a boob in your eyes . Even in the Lord’s eyes . You see , I don’t have to rely on your idea of Justice .Thank God .



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 1:05 am


INDIGENOUS POOR not working because they’re criminals!!!!! What?????? After Diana Butler Bass’s op about that freak show of a pageant, I think this “progressive” website is more racist and alienating than any conservative rant I’ve read and rolled my eyes at. You have got to be kidding me. These comments always end up back to homosexuality and abortion–what about the racial stereotypes you people throw around so easily. Colonialism is alive and well today folks, all you should hop off your freaking high horses and mingle with the natives for awhile.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 1:23 am


Hmm, I wonder how in the world American Indians internalized we were crap. Wherever would this idea come from? I just can’t figure it out.” ‘But we want to spend Billions on indigenous poor who have no desire to work or educate themselves to improve their condition. I am mainly addressing able-bodied men, not single mothers, widows, orphans, the sick and the elderly. All the money in the world will not solve this problem because the problem is spiritual.’ True, because those people need hope for the future before anything else. A lot of them have been told all of their lives that they’re criminals (and many of them were), no good, shiftless etc., and when that’s all you hear you internalize it; we see that all the time at my church. They need encouragement to change, that the LORD intended so much more for them.” You are right, He has awesome plans for every individual on Earth, but as long as people like you are running around my job as an American Indian parent is a lot harder–my children aren’t only unsafe from racism in society, but we have to watch our backs in the church too.Thank you so much, brother.



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Bill Samuel

posted June 2, 2007 at 2:17 am


I don’t admire Jim Wallis’ passion, because these days it seems to be a passion to be the establishment’s preacher and to be a shill for politicians whose lives and policies are in opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is Wallis so deluded that he actually thinks we can “vote out poverty” by voting for one of the rich candidates of the monied special interests he is hosting? Does he really think that when the poor are being starved because over half of the controllable portion of the U.S. budget goes for the instruments of death, we are going to solve the problem by voting for a candidate who wants to increase the size of the military and the amount going to the machinery of death (a position of Clinton, Obama and Edwards)? Does he think the answer to poverty is aborting poor children, as all his favored candidates favor abortion under all circumstances? Perhaps killing them directly is the answer, as all his favored candidates favor the death penalty, used almost exclusively against the poor? Christ appeared to have thought that the greatest real enemies of the gospel were religious leaders who were self righteous and allied with those in worldly power. People like today’s Jim Wallis. Lovers of the Gospel of Christ must work against Wallis and his ilk.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 2, 2007 at 4:41 am


I think the Ten Commandments are pretty important Rick, and the point was they were in the Bible. So your point is that Jesus would support abortion? Also Jesus assumed if you understoof those two Commandments, you would not be playing this game about abortion being wrong, that God is the creator of life. At least respect most people who have read the Bible, believe it is the word of God, also believe God is the creator life . What did Jesus actually say were the two commandments? “Love the LORD your God with all you heart, soul, strength and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. On these hang all the Law and the Prophets.” I thus rest my case. Merely focusing on abortion won’t cut it here. If they worked harder then you and I are willing to I would say it is . If they sacrificed and hired people and suppulied them with incomes to support their families I would say it was just . But when they use their wealth to subvert the system, which was happening even in Bible times, I wouldn’t say that. Christ appeared to have thought that the greatest real enemies of the gospel were religious leaders who were self righteous and allied with those in worldly power. Lovers of the Gospel of Christ must work against Wallis and his ilk. No, the religious people who Christ criticized were those who turned their up noses at everyone, who claimed they were maintaining the “traditions of Moses” while violating the very laws of God. To call Wallis, who has consistently called people from all sides to come together and work on solutions that benefit everyone, “self righteous and allied with those in worldly power” is simply beyond the pale.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 4:58 am


Much of that got cut under Reagan, BTW, because wealthier, better-educated people tend to vote and the conservatives knew they wouldn’t get those votes, thus the excuse of “welfare.” ————————————- Interesting , since the incomes of minorities , especially African Americans went up during those years . You can have your opinion Rick , but you can’t have your facts . To assume liberalism is more concerned for the poor then a conservative is just a basis for ending an intellelectual exchange .I suggest you stop reading minds and motives to make them appear less then noble to support your opinions . Your opinions should have enough basis to stand on their own ?



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 2, 2007 at 5:21 am


You are right, He has awesome plans for every individual on Earth, but as long as people like you are running around my job as an American Indian parent is a lot harder–my children aren’t only unsafe from racism in society, but we have to watch our backs in the church too. I hope you weren’t calling me out — I’m African-American and I was referring to what many of those same people say about blacks, especially black men. Interesting, since the incomes of minorities, especially African Americans went up during those years. Not where I live they didn’t, and certainly not in comparison to everyone else (which should be the real issue). If what you said were the case you’d have a lot more black conservatives and conservatives than you actually do. Besides, those folks were already established before the programs got cut.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 2, 2007 at 5:23 am


A typo — I meant to say “you’d have a lot more black Republicans and conservatives than you actually do.”



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 7:01 am


Thanks Rick , I see now where you are coming from now .You don’t blame the liberal welfare system either ? The fact it actually rewarded Mothers without a male in the house with income ? It promoted a system where more money was given even if the person was on welfare to start with based on children and no male in the house . If I was a racist , that would be a government program I would support .. I assume you know what I mean if ask you if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior ?Because if you are , you are my brother . And would it not make sense to assume I am willing to listen , and would it not be better for you to do also ? I do know African American Conservatives , and because they don’t believe government is the answer does not make their opinion less valuable or important . As it does yours . But I would not defend a system that apparently has not made matters better ?Or would you rather go on quoting the following , and choosing who your neigbor is , so far when it is to your advantage ? “Love the LORD your God with all you heart, soul, strength and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. On these hang all the Law and the Prophets ”



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 2, 2007 at 2:20 pm


You don’t blame the liberal welfare system either? No, I don’t — it was always a stopgap measure, as much of the economic vitality within cities was already being compromised. If I was a racist, that would be a government program I would support. Until the Clinton years, the majority of “welfare” recipients were white. This is a fact — look it up. I assume you know what I mean if ask you if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? I did that 28 years ago last month. I do know African American Conservatives, and because they don’t believe government is the answer does not make their opinion less valuable or important. Except that they were actually bought, basically to sell poison to the black community, and most blacks understand this. That’s why not one conservative of any race has any serious pull in the black community. I’m not even a conservative and I was considered a pariah for challenging black “orthodoxy.”



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Donn Anderson

posted June 2, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Jim, I just finished reading God’s Politics (at last!) and your proposals are unbelievable. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I am going to get more involvrf. All I do is volunteer at a non-profit food and computer center four das aa week. I intend to take a louder role in the public debate. Thanks for all you do.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 7:26 pm


Rick, The comment made in response to another post was thus, ” ‘But we want to spend Billions on indigenous poor who have no desire to work or educate themselves to improve their condition. I am mainly addressing able-bodied men, not single mothers, widows, orphans, the sick and the elderly. All the money in the world will not solve this problem because the problem is spiritual.’ True, because those people need hope for the future before anything else. A lot of them have been told all of their lives that they’re criminals (and many of them were), no good, shiftless etc., and when that’s all you hear you internalize it; we see that all the time at my church. They need encouragement to change, that the LORD intended so much more for them.” It is true this is a stereotype of black men, but the commment was about “indigenous”. (Unless the person that made the comment was just trying to talk about America’s poor not people of other countries. If so, try the county I was born in–Shannon County, South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation overlaps it. Google it.) If you want to say all that about black men as a black man, I guess go for it, but it just gives too many people too much amo against minorities. Why give them an inch when all they’ll do is take a couple yards and hang all of us with it. As for people on welfare being the highest percentage white, you are correct. People need to do the research. As for Mick,”The fact it actually rewarded Mothers without a male in the house with income ? It promoted a system where more money was given even if the person was on welfare to start with based on children and no male in the house . If I was a racist , that would be a government program I would support .. ” Rewarding women who don’t have a “male” in the home? Couple of issues with this statement: “Male”???? What, because you consider most people on welfare programs to be a minority (which, Rick, most people think black so we’ll just go with that for now, though what I’m saying would apply for American Indians as well)you don’t even use the word “man”? If he’s black he’s not a “man,” he’s a “male.” Sounds like you’re talking about an animal. Freudian slip? Looks like the Civil Rights movement didn’t make it to your doorstep. And so what if a woman who accidently gets pregnant and ends up on welfare ends up having another baby, or 10??? If you’re conservative then you’re probably pro-life. SHE GAVE BIRTH TO THAT CHILD; GIVE HER A BREAK. She could have had an abortion, but she didn’t and now she needs assistance. Who are you to judge that? And don’t tell me she shouldn’t be having sex–even God doesn’t punish those who are fornicators (since the worst punishment would be infertility. Check your Bible–all through the OT God gave babies to women (Leah, Tamar, Hagar) especially when the men they were with were hateful or spiteful to them. It’s God way of passing the love around).



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm


Tasiyagnunpa, Most people on welfare are white . What makes you think I am white ? Looks like The message of King appealing to our better Angels never got to your heart .I was having a discussion with some one who assumed my political beliefs meant I had a lack of concern . Some females have babies for the extra income , the system promoted it . Illegal Immigrints have babies at times , the system promotes it , they are called anchor babies in certain areas . The state did change the policies to stop some of this . With many peoploe getting off wel fare rolls and in the work force . The KKK would have have us be dependent on the hopeless poverty of the state . Now you may have proved why some may be right with that thinking , using racism as a means to make your opinion more meaningful I suggest shows the lack of your own ability to have an idea , but I still have hope for the body of Christ to get past that and learn from each other .You also obviously have never been poor and know little of it . When a 10 year living in poverty sees a policeman , he does not see someone there to help him . If the child is lost , he will not see that officer as someone to go to for help . If you have kids would you not teach your child that officers are there to help . The poors life style for the most part causes friction between law officers and the family of the poor . I know of thei one youth who everyday got himself out of the car he was living in with his Dad to get to school . Cleaned himself , got up and off to school on his own . He got in trouble for being late , here is a teacher discipling a kid for accomplishing what most kids could never even attempt to do , go to school on his own , Many poor people are generational , all their peers , family members are poor , all their contacts are poor . Like so many of us who get jobs from a friend who knows a friend , they have NO ONE who has a friend who knows a friend . They know government agencies that they play leap frog with ..Thanks for your input . i have heard it before , It closes conversations , but I am hoping others may see . The poor have more problems then not , they have people such as yourself having all the answers when none of do .Please skip the racist jargon when the issues are so deep and so complicated the very fact that our public schools , agencies , and churches for the most part are so ill equiped and without understanding of the issues and culture the poor faces . Being poor is living in another country and culture. As I said before , the KKK could not have provided better methods of helping the poor .



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 9:52 pm


That sounds like a straw man argument or an unfounded opinion to me what s your source? Peace! neuro_nurseThe governments in Africa are quite corrupt . America has given over three trillon dollars to Africa . The money has not been used effectively . I have a child I sponsor , he planeted a tree with my name on it a few years ago. Brought a tear to my eye ,talk about doing something small but yet changing the life of another human being and helping that person so much to have a better life . Praise God ! He is 18 now , his education has been part of a organizations outside of government . I could not give you percentages , but I believe if you investigated the poverty over there , and what has happened in the past . You would be wanting accountability for the help we give .The countries need their own people equiped to teach their own people . I think thats the name of the game . Whats your plan ?



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 2, 2007 at 10:10 pm


I do know African American Conservatives, and because they don’t believe government is the answer does not make their opinion less valuable or important. Except that they were actually bought, basically to sell poison to the black community, and most blacks understand this. I was talking about people in my church Rick , who have no political concerns at all , like most of the people in the church I go to . They are not used by either side . Gathering from you said , I can see why being in politics would be a drag from either side .28 years . Thats a long time . I have 21 years . If you ask me , neither of us have the answers , but we both have the Lord . Thanks for the conversation . I was hoping we could reach somewhere beyond this , but you do have a very strong belief here . I do see things differently scripturely also , most likey stemming from our different perceptions . But the Lord does talk about Murder being wrong , I originally brought up the Ten Commandments. I try and put the whole written word in context , and fail to see using it as anything but a love story does much for anyone . Jesus when discusssing murder also brings up that if we have something against our neigbor we are committing murder . Whcih goes with the scripture you brought up , see we are closer then you think . So I apologize , I was wrong in the manner I brought my opinion forward. I wish you well , God Bless .



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 10:41 pm


Mick, I don’t know what it’s like to be poor like people in Africa. I don’t know poor like people in India or another third-world country. But here? Try scrolling up and reading my story–it’s the nice version, you might be able to handle it. I didn’t add the part where I started working in 7th grade mopping up urine and soiled clothes at the local nursing home to pay for my own school supplies (when I wasn’t getting up at 4:30 a.m. to work at a local donut shop), because my mom could only afford the basics, which in society is not enough, I would have been ostracized. I learned that early, probably the first day of Kindergarten. I know what’s it like to be judged for simply being poor (not to mention for my nationality). Also, I don’t care what color you are, your conservative bent makes you scary. As for thinking I have all the answers, I never said I did. You did with your butchering of welfare programs meant to help people who need it because of your focus on the ones who worked the system.I don’t plan on being poor forever, in fact I refuse to think of myself as poor, just broke. But the harder I struggle, leaning on God, the more I realize how hard it is, and the more I realize I better be helping those who don’t know to trust in God or even though they do they just don’t have it in them to do what I’m doing. Jesus said the poor will always be with us; we need to stop condemning them and start helping them practically. I’m wide open for suggestions on how to do that. As for a few ideas, (I never said I had all the answers) scroll up and read the ones I gave. As for the only poor people are those who only know poor people? I’m sure this is sometimes true, but there are plenty of us whose families do not help practically even though they could and our churches don’t either. It proves why the government needs to be ready to step up for people when all else fails. In fact in a democracy I think it is important that the government doesn’t force the poor on their own families and religions–it protects our equality with others (the little we have left) to let walk into a government office and request some help, instead of making us beggers at the street corners or at our family’s front step or at pastor’s door. As for me using racist jargon, I was simply answering what others had put out there.I do agree with you that the white establishment would like to see minorities begging forever, because it would mean they had the control. I don’t know how to get around that except to make the government as balanced as possible (meaning getting different nationalities as workers and elected officials in government), and get programs so people can lift themselves up. That is the goal. But there is also always going to be the segment of the population that will always be poor. Do we judge them? Or love them? I know what Jesus would do. Thank you for spelling my name right, I know it must have been hard since you don’t think I have any ideas of my own though I supposedly think I have all the answers. And you think my comments close conversations?



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neuro_nurse

posted June 2, 2007 at 10:53 pm


Mick Sheldon The governments in Africa are quite corrupt . America has given over three trillon dollars to Africa, The money has not been used effectively.I am very well aware of that. The amount of money that the U.S. gives away in international aid is less than 1% of our GNP. Jsens wrote, (1) the kleptocrat governments steal **most** money sent and (2)whatever gets to the people makes them dependent on, and demanding of, more handouts I asked for her source on for those statements. What s your source for $3 trillion to aid in Africa? The U.S. and Soviet Union fought proxy wars and supported petty dictators in the promotion of our ideologies. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Africa, I ve seen some of the results of the rewards that were doled out to these brutal pawns Mobutu s Zaire and post-Dergue Ethiopia, for example. I also lived in Iran in 1978 under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Do you have a figure for the amount of money the U.S. spent propping up our dictators? I don t deny that aid money is misused. Much has been written on that subject. See Graham Hancock s book The Lords of Poverty. Hancock points primarily to people within the aid agencies themselves who benefit from our well-intentioned donations.Whats your plan ? (kevin s. & canucklehead rolling their eyes, here we go again! ) Thanks for asking. I became a nurse to work in Africa. I spent a year volunteering in Ethiopia and am currently working on a masters in public health and tropical medicine so I can go back to Africa, get my feet on the ground and get my hands dirty. I also sponsor a child in Malawi and tithe to a number of organizations working in Africa. Peace!



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 2, 2007 at 11:18 pm


I was talking about people in my church Rick, who have no political concerns at all, like most of the people in the church I go to. They are not used by either side. Gathering from you said, I can see why being in politics would be a drag from either side. Based on what you said, you don’t really know how blacks in your congregation vote (I bet they’re mostly Democrats). In fact, almost every African-American, myself included, has those same concerns, but that doesn’t make us doctrinaire conservatives. I was hoping we could reach somewhere beyond this, but you do have a very strong belief here. I do see things differently scripturely also, most likely stemming from our different perceptions. Then it is up to you to learn about those perceptions and the history behind them, which in my experience conservatives have never wanted to do. You see, we know how conservatives think — heck, in the 1980s that view was practically in every evangelical church in this country and still dominates most Christian media — and now it’s time for another view.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 11:26 pm


In the 1980s Rick? Geez, well it’s alive and well in SD here still. God help us. It is PAST time for another view. lilililililili



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 2, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Jim Wallis, I applaud everything Sojourners is trying to accomplish with getting poverty into the public square and having people work together to bring comfort to those afflicted. What about better higher education programs?? What do you think about that?



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Payshun

posted June 3, 2007 at 12:03 am


The governments in Africa are quite corrupt . America has given over three trillon dollars to Africa . The money has not been used effectively .ME: This is not entirely correct. Most of our monies to africa have been thru loans which work to impoverish the continent and I can back that up. But you are right that there is a lot of corruption in the continent. But if you think all governments in Africa are corrupt then you would be wrong. There are many that aren’t. Oh and I am black and a green party hippy. I can tell you that: Interesting , since the incomes of minorities , especially African Americans went up during those years . You can have your opinion Rick , but you can’t have your facts . To assume liberalism is more concerned for the poor then a conservative is just a basis for ending an intellelectual exchange .I suggest you stop reading minds and motives to make them appear less then noble to support your opinions . Your opinions should have enough basis to stand on their own? Me: was false. In actuality the poor got poorer under reagan. He created a powerful underclass that he refused to acknowledge and barely helped. p



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neuro_nurse

posted June 3, 2007 at 1:07 am


Payshun “Most of our monies to africa have been thru loans which work to impoverish the continent and I can back that up. ” Thanks, that was one of the points Graham Hancock made in The Lords of Poverty. Many of those programs benefited industries in the donor countries, while wreaking environmental havoc on the recipients. The recipients have to use the monies that were loaned to buy materials and services from the donor countries. The classic example is hydroelectric dams. Sounds like a great idea, right? Except that people living by the rivers that were dammed had to be relocated, and the lakes created by the dams became breeding grounds for secondary hosts of vector borne diseases and schistosomiasis (mosquitoes and snails). Meanwhile, the electricity generated by the dam is transmitted to cities miles away with no benefit to the people whose lives were disrupted by this brilliant idea. Oh yes, then the recipient country spends decades just trying to keep up with the interest payment on the loan. Peace!



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letjusticerolldown

posted June 3, 2007 at 2:21 am


testing>



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John G. Pierce

posted June 3, 2007 at 3:19 am


The root problem of mankind is sin, not poverty. While I apologize for doubting that Mr. Wallis and company are truly evangelicals, my own thought is that the first task of an evangelical is to fulfill the Great Commission, not to eradicate poverty. And the spreading of the Gospel has enormous side-benefits, including economic. The family may have negligible value in Eternity, but we’re not there yet. Both the Torah and the Apostle Paul had plenty to say about homosexuality. Jesus never addressed the issue because it didn’t exist in Israel. That’s why this so-called “Red Letter Christianity” doesn’t work. Jesus addressed Israel; Paul and the other Apostles wrote directly for the Church. In any event, it’s all still the Word of God, which needs to be “rightly divided.”



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neuro_nurse

posted June 3, 2007 at 4:08 am


John G. Pierce, What is the relationship between evangelism, as you define it, and homosexuality? I’m pretty sure that there are more divorced Christian parents in the U.S. than there are homosexuals. Why should Christians be so worried about what other people are doing in their bedrooms when they don t even have their own sins under control? (presuming, of course, that you consider divorce to be a sin it s in those red letters, you know) Which has a more profound effect on children in this country; the gay couple that lives down the street, or the fact that mommy and daddy aren t married to each other any more? http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=95 As far as poverty and evangelism, my wife repeated a quote to me: They won t care how much you know until they know how much you care.Peace!



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 3, 2007 at 4:26 am


The root problem of mankind is sin, not poverty. While I apologize for doubting that Mr. Wallis and company are truly evangelicals, my own thought is that the first task of an evangelical is to fulfill the Great Commission, not to eradicate poverty. And the spreading of the Gospel has enormous side-benefits, including economic. You just contradicted yourself. I would agree with your premise that sin is the problem, but as my pastor often says, “God is a good provider but man is a poor divider.” Anyway, did you ever read the book “God’s Politics”? In it Wallis tells about a reconciliation with the late Bill Bright, who founded Campus Crusade, and Bright — who always considered himself a “Great Commission guy” — confessed to Wallis that “caring for the poor” is part of said Great Commission and for that reason he supported Sojourners. You see, Jesus told them to teach “everything I have commanded you,” and it wasn’t just, or even primarily, about getting people “saved.”



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TimR

posted June 3, 2007 at 9:18 am


Consider the welfare reforms that have increasingly placed poor children and adults in jeopardy. Liz Hornbaker | 06.01.07 – 8:07 am Are you serious? The child poverty rate has fallen from 20.8 percent in 1995 to 17.8 percent in 2004. Though liberals predicted that welfare reform would throw more than 1 million additional children into poverty, there are some 1.6 million fewer children living in poverty today than there were when welfare reform was enacted. Until the Clinton years, the majority of “welfare” recipients were white. This is a fact — look it up. Rick Nowlin | 06.02.07 – 8:25 am This is true because the majority of people that live in America are white. For clarification, proportionally non-Asian minorities are the largest recipients of welfare.Tasiyagnunpa DuBray: First, it s good to have another SoDak on the comment board. I am greatly disheartened by your comments because they really make me wonder if you are serious or you are just building a resume to be on the cover of Societal Victim Monthly. Since the social victim has been oppressed by society, he comes to feel that his individual life will be improved more by changes in society than by his own initiative. Without realizing it, he makes society rather than himself the agent of change. The power he finds in his victimization may lead him to collective action against society, but it also encourages passivity within the sphere of his personal life. -Shelby Steele



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3D

posted June 3, 2007 at 2:38 pm


Jim – I just wonder how you square ending poverty with your own trans-Atlantic flights and what looks to me like significant personal weight gain over the past decade? Looks to me like you’re using up a lot of the world’s vanashing resources.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 3, 2007 at 4:54 pm


TimR,Dude, did you miss the part where I said how thankful I was to be an American? Or the reason I feel it neccessary to help the poor, is because I don’t consider myself poor, just broke and as my husband and I fight our way out of this, I feel we should be helping others? As for societal victim monthly, I believe a person is a victim if they choose to believe it. When Jesus was crucified, was He a victim?? NO. Because He knew better things were ahead of Him. Through the victory of Jesus Christ, I know I’m not a victim. Did you miss the part where I said we’re trying to get through school to help ourselves??So though I don’t plan on being “poor” forever, that does not mean I don’t care about those who are. And just because my family, by the grace of God, will claw our way out of this pit, doesn’t mean we should judge those who couldn’t. I know that the agent of change needs to be the individual–why else would I fight every single day to make my family a better future, to give my boys a better chance and to someday have the resources to take care of my mother when she becomes elderly. My husband’s life goal is the same, but he is desparate to return to his reservation to make things better, too, I support him on that) But there are those who can’t (and sometimes won’t because of fears, etc.) do what we’re doing, and instead of judging them I want to help them. Don’t be so quick to judge. I write about social injustice, because God has called me to political science as my major. I also write about it, because Jesus refused to let society dictate Him, and as His follower I can do no less. I also do it, because I have hope in the American way of doing things, and believe I can in some small way affect positive change. Also, there are some on this post (or one of the other ones lately) who said I’ve never been poor and shouldn’t talk because I don’t know what it’s like. It’s ridiculous to have to come back and yeah, like make a resume of how hard my life has been. lol. Because though it has been in many ways, I don’t sit around thinking about it. I just know God has an awesome plan for my life and has given me gifts and talents and I need to use them. If we focus on the negative in our own lives, we become so selfish we can’t see to help someone else. So, if you objected to my “resume”, lol, I don’t really blame you. But it was in response to criticism. As for my blog and other articles I’ve written, I don’t write them for myself but for others who I know are going through the same things I have. Just because I’m making it through doesn’t mean I don’t want to make a difference for others.



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Tasiyagnunpa DuBray

posted June 3, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Psalm 82: 3 Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. 4 Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. Isaiah 1 16 Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. 17 Learn to do good. Seek justice.Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm


This is true because the majority of people that live in America are white. For clarification, proportionally non-Asian minorities are the largest recipients of welfare. And why, pray tell, would that be? Would that be about economic vitality being removed or kept out of those communities? You also quoted Shelby Steele. He’s a black conservative who would not be where he is were he not supported by the right-wing apparatus.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 3, 2007 at 8:39 pm


Hi neuro_nurseI really don’t have a source of money spent on proping up dictators in Africa, but is that not just you adding to my view about how government is less accountable and efficient . The the trillion I received in a newspaper article , was it wrong ? I do see your point of giving aid to Africa on a large scale , they are in dire need over there . I have heard problems with the Red Cross and the 9/11 families also . So charities are not always as efficient , but I do not see government being more then a tempory solution for those in need .Wow Eithopia , that is where I sponsor a child . I commend you on your dedication . Our church has many Missionaries throughout Africa. Also Africa is starting to send Missionaries here. Its where I really miss out on this fear of the religious right , politically they are basically stuck in their own group , you are pro life or your not , and all the moral so called laws they push get repealed or really have no effect on our culture . In fact from living in the state of Washington , a very left leaning state , I see little difference from who is in power . Not that civic duty is not important. We have near friends who daughter went to Africa to help a village , it was tragic in this case , she got what was thought the flu, the second day it was obvious it was getting much wrose , the third day they flew her out to get to a hospital and she died that day . Three days after getting a slight fever . Her parents were one of the first people I met when I accepted Jesus Christ in my life . That is a conversation I never want to have with the Lord .



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Kevin S.

posted June 3, 2007 at 10:02 pm


“You also quoted Shelby Steele. He’s a black conservative who would not be where he is were he not supported by the right-wing apparatus.” This is ridiculous reasoning. We cannot cite any black conservative source because any black conservative supports the conservative apparatus. By this definition, we may no longer quote anyone who makes their living by performng any function related to politics.Unless you are suggesting that this scholar, writer, and filmmaker has earned a living solely by being conservative, which is an absurd position.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 3, 2007 at 10:10 pm


You see, we know how conservatives think — heck, in the 1980s that view was practically in every evangelical church in this country and still dominates most Christian media — and now it’s time for another view. Rick Nowlin | 06.02.07 – 5:23 pmThats a little humorous from my view . Me taking the views of the Council of Churches and all the wars and programs that 40 years of democrat control caused and failed since FDR , putting those programs in a negative light , then saying I know how you think . Rick that view of socialism being the cure all has never gone away , nor will it . You go to a Bible believing church . It it not basically the Bible all about families , our dysfunctional families , reaching out to God or running away from Him . Then examples of Israel doing it from a community perspective . . If your understanding of the Bible teaches that closeness to God is what it is all about , that honoring commitments , covenants to God , wife , children to Fathers , Fathers to children , wife to husband , men to treat their wives like Jesus served the Church , etc , the social aspects of the programs being pushed by governemnt will always be the issue among many of us . Why would you expect them to go away ? What you need is to convince me that those programs will do more good then harm .. Thats what politics is about . True , what I need to do is try to understand better , which is why I am writing you . I vote republican almost always , I am also aware that the corporations care less about this country then those who march for moveon.org . I just happen to disagree with the moveon.org tactics and politics. Corporations care about the dollar , The kids at my school learned about flavored condoms , anal , vaginal and oral sex all in a healthy commitment relationship , marriage was never mentioned . If I complained , what would you bet some person would not blast me for being against scientifically based learning for the kids . Told me to go back to my prehistoric flat earth , put me in a box as you have tried , and I bet you as dad and me having a cup of coffee and I shared you those brochures and about the school class I sat in on you would just be shocked . Our kids do not not look at things as you and I do Rick , and you I do not even get close it appears to understanding each other . The Political Christian right did not effect our culture positively . As does this religious left organization . But I see bigger control to your democratic party as more government programs that promote flavored condoms mentality . I belong to a Union , and receive a decent wage . I guess lower middle class , blended family . When our kids were younger and all in our home , we qualified for the free lunch food program at school , then as my wages went up somehwt it was put on a percentage. I never thought we were poor , weird , maybe because got a good deal on our home . I guess that justs crazy to you ? Or does that make any sense . You see I think the left dangles their bait before minorities just like the corporations dangle their family value stuff before the right .Separates us , I believe God wants one church , yes different styles of worship and such , but one church . .Politically I think you and I see may be more in tuned then to see things the same way , of course differences , but based on our indivudality , not on our race . Minorities would be helped at a greater level . Maybe too idealistic I guess. But the church needs unity , Just think a block in America calling for School Choice in the Urban Areas , and say programs where Mortgages were affordable and interest rates low for married couples in certain areas. Instead of corporate welfare , we would have real care , instead of government schools , we would have public education ; Just a thought .. Would you be appossed to that ?Here are some stats . Here are some stats , is this un important to you ? And do you see the left politics dealing with it . Maybe explain it to me because I see the left not even concerned with it .The poverty rate for all children in married-couple families is 8.2 percent. By contrast, the poverty rate for all children in single-parent families is four times higher at 35.2 percent.3Even a swedish surveysaid children in single homes are more likely to kill themselves by three times .Increase in the proportion of female-headed households in the community was associated with high rates of violent crime and drug trafficking, welfare dependency, infant mortality, high-school dropouts, and unemployment among young adults. To me this a major problem that effects all of us . I guess I don;t undertand why you do not consider this a major problem that effects all of us .Non-Hispanic White 23%Black or African American 65%American Indian 49%Asian and Pacific Islander 17%Hispanic or Latino 36%Total 32%



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TimR

posted June 3, 2007 at 10:45 pm


And why, pray tell, would that be? Would that be about economic vitality being removed or kept out of those communities? You also quoted Shelby Steele. He’s a black conservative who would not be where he is were he not supported by the right-wing apparatus. Rick Nowlin | 06.03.07 – 2:29 pm I was just clarifying your statistics. If you want to know why I would say: white guilt/social victimization, globalization/white flight, and racism in that order. You can t just say that poverty and welfare are primarily determined by economic vitality being removed or kept out of those communities. How do Asian immigrants move into these same communities and thrive? How is it that every black conservative that succeeds is an Uncle Tom to the right-wing apparatus?



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neuro_nurse

posted June 4, 2007 at 12:29 am


Mick Sheldon,The [3] trillion I received in a newspaper article , was it wrong ?I don t know. A lot of people throw numbers and alleged facts around on here without citing a source. I ll take your word for it that it came out of the paper. The Lord gave each of us different gifts understanding economics and finances is NOT one of mine. The Lord gave me a different set of skills and the passion to use them for His glory. The U.S. census bureau is probably the best source of data on poverty in this country. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty.html I scanned some of the data on poverty on the census website, and it doesn t really contradict some of the statements made on this thread. I m not accusing anyone here of implying this, but I reject the notion of blaming the poor for being poor. Perhaps I m even more sensitive about that issue when it comes to Africa. There are social issues other than personal responsibility that keep people in poverty. I live in New Orleans, where after white-flight in the 1960 s, the school system deteriorated, and the African-American children coming out of those schools became a steady supply of poorly educated, unskilled laborers. ( Desire Street, Jed Horne, 2005) For all I know, I m preaching to the choir, but in general, most Africans do not have access to the resources that we do in the industrialized nations. It is very true that there have been many despotic African rulers, but keep in mind that in comparison to most European countries, most African governments are relatively young. The current government of Ethiopia is less than a decade old. The borders of modern-day African countries have nothing to do with the ethnicity of people living there or historic African nations the borders of African countries were drawn by the Belgians, British, French, Germans, and Portuguese. Most African countries did not gain independence until the 1950 s & 60 s and in many cases the colonist left those countries in utter chaos. In terms of health care, Africa has historically been ignored, which has proved to be not only an embarrassing legacy, but disastrous as well. The health of the rest of the world is directly linked to the health of Africa. Compared to other wealthy industrialized countries, the U.S. is near the bottom in government aid, but near the top in private donations. http://usinfo.state.gov/ei/Archive/2006/Apr/11-160471.html http://gpr.hudson.org/ I don t conclude from that that the U.S. government should get out of the aid business, or that non-governmental organizations are more effective than government programs. I agree that there is a lot of room for improvement in the efficacy and accountability of aid programs, but I reject the notion of futility; that Africa is a lost cause that is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophesy and not what I consider to be a Christian attitude. Again, I m not implying that this is your attitude, but I ve heard it from people in my own family when the subject of my working in Africa comes up. So, where does your sponsored child live (kebele, region)? My wife and I moved to New Orleans from Seattle in December. She s Northwest born and raised, the daughter of a Baptist pastor. I ve heard plenty about the un-churched Northwest.I m very sorry to hear about your friend s daughter. It sounds like she died from falciparum malaria, but that s complete speculation on my part. I ve had it, it nearly killed me, but there are plenty of pathogens endemic to Africa that can kill non-immunes very quickly. Do you know where she was? Peace!



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 4, 2007 at 1:57 am


neuro_nurseYou said”I m not accusing anyone here of implying this, but I reject the notion of blaming the poor for being poor. Perhaps I m even more sensitive about that issue when it comes to Africa.” Oh I agree . But there are so many things liberals say that is given in political discourse that promote negative stereotypes also of them . I already have seen some here being new , I mean implied bigotry if a view is given that does agree with theirs . Look at the current republican Adminstration, now calling those who do not agree with His Immigration policy, prejudice is implied . Patriotism if you were against the Iraq War is questioned , he claimed to be a conservative , yet has increased the size of government , started a war using loyalist people in his administration in stead of the conservative view of the best qualified for the job . He used preference hiring himself .. You seem more aware of the stupidity and acts of conservatives , or proclaimed conservatism then what the real intent of is . You see I just used it in a fashion that I bet does not bother you , because I put those values on a republican . Am I tricky or what ? ;0) One who I do believe is a descent man , a Believer in Christ . I just happen to think he was a lousy President. . But you see the techiques in politics cause us to defend and attack . I tend to believe conservatism helps the poor in the long run . Freedom does so in the long run . Democratic socialism I see as only short term for the common good , long term dangerous to our freedoms and a reduced quality of life in the long term for the majority . I would rather give money to your organization because just from listening to your heart , then allowing a government bureacracy distribute it . Does that makes sense to you ? But the problem is individually we do not give enough , and separation of church and state stops our government from giving aid through the church in a way that would help solve problems , instead of band aid them .. “here are social issues other than personal responsibility that keep people in poverty. I live in New Orleans, where after white-flight in the 1960 s, the school system deteriorated, and the African-American children coming out of those schools became a steady supply of poorly educated, unskilled laborers. ( Desire Street, Jed Horne, 2005)” Oh exactly my points . Public Education in inner cities especially , but school choice is a right sided view point , and the left demonizes it quite well . Many in the cities want it , but not enough to promote it politically I guess. Thats why I am confused why you have so much in faith in government , look how government handled Katrina ? I understand your points about African countries being used by European countries , but so were we in this nation . The young man I sponsor , he was 8 when I started , shared with me some of the history of his nation . “n terms of health care, Africa has historically been ignored, which has proved to be not only an embarrassing legacy, but disastrous as well. The health of the rest of the world is directly linked to the health of Africa.” Yes , it is in the National Interest of our country to help them , its not only the right thing to do , its in our best interest . My denomination has seen great progress in Africa. The people are so open to God in many parts . They have been treated so unfairly by Europe as you stated , so once trust is won , wow they step up to the plate . And are they open to God !!!!!! “My wife and I moved to New Orleans from Seattle in December. She s Northwest born and raised, the daughter of a Baptist pastor. I ve heard plenty about the un-churched Northwest.Wow , Ilive in Kingston Washington and will be working on BI this summer . I workfor WSF . We are a friendly place , but the NW is quite under churched your right . I m very sorry to hear about your friend s daughter. It sounds like she died from falciparum malaria, but that s complete speculation on my part. I ve had it, it nearly killed me, but there are plenty of pathogens endemic to Africa that can kill non-immunes very quickly. Do you know where she was? I will ask my wife . That was such a hard time for all of us , she was such a good kid . She grew up in our church . I had a real problem talking to them about it , I guess sometimes all you can do is be quiet but be there . My wifehas the gift of mercy and was there for them . They since moved to Oympia , and we still keep in touch but not as much. My biggest problem from liberalism in this part of the country is they do appear to be anti Christian and side with organizations that appear to really have a problem with anything outside their liberal perspective . Does it not bother you when liberal churches denounce even the Divinty of Christ as being important ? The Schools , and most institutions of the government are without Christian influence . The kids on my street know where to get meth easier then a book . And the religious right is the threat to the nation ? I do not even believe in using religion in politics , but yes how can you separate that from your being is true . And I will vote the same way as a James Dobson I am sure . Our kids are growing up in a culture that is pretty harsh from my perspective , and listen to people speaking about fear of me here is extradionary . As is people who see homosexuality as the end of the world . Anyway , please write back .. I am learning . Excuse my gramar and spelling . Its not out of lack of respect for your opinion . Love in Christ Mick



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neuro_nurse

posted June 4, 2007 at 3:21 am


Mick Sheldon, I think you and I share some common concerns. I do not trust our government, no matter who is in the Oval Office. I believe our government is paralyzed by politics, partisan politics to be sure, but the politics of staying in office as well. I don t deny that I have very harsh feelings regarding our current president, but the question is, what am I going to do about it? (I feel that same way about matters of faith you can talk the talk all you like, but what are you doing?) I don t have a lot of hope for the 2008 presidential election either. I haven t been following it as closely as I probably should, but I have not been impressed with anyone regardless of party affiliation. I agree that there is a lot of airtime, paper, and bandwidth wasted on partisanship and finger pointing. Some of the people who post on this blog at both ends of the political spectrum are guilty of it. I can understand that people, myself included, feel very passionate about those things that they perceive as injustices. There is a middle ground with plenty of room for dialog. I entered into this discussion with you with an aggressive stance, but have found that you are open to dialog. There are some people who post here with whom I have very strong disagreements, but frequently find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with something they have written. Paul tells us that we each have different gifts, that we are all part of one body, and that we need each other. I m not advocating a wishy-washy watered down version of Christianity at all. I think some of those who are most outspoken about the lack of morality of others have the dirtiest laundry of all and should examine their own hearts before they point their fingers at other people. Matthew 5:21-32 Christians are just as sinful as everyone else as far as I can see. Some on the left demonize the right and some on the right demonize the left, in the meantime, we get nowhere. The Lord has shown me many things in my life that have given me a perspective that is probably uncommon among my peers. Saying that there were very good reasons for the revolution in Iran that overthrew the Shah is not very popular in this country, but I was there and I heard the other side of the story. At the time, I could not tell you why I saved up my money and spent 10 months hitch hiking around Africa, but in retrospect, it makes perfect sense to me now. (I also see that the Lord protected me and kept me from harm while I was traveling) I am a liberal because of the things the Lord has shown me. I don t tow the party line completely, just as I doubt most conservatives agree completely with the agenda of the Republican Party. I resent being lumped into the godless, new age, anything-goes stereotype that some conservatives have of people who identify themselves as liberals, just as conservatives resent being stereotyped. That reduces people to labels, robs them of individuality, and is completely counterproductive. I may not agree with you all the time, but perhaps that s because God has not shown me the things that He has shown you. Matthew 7:15-20. I do think however, there are a lot of people out there who call themselves Christians but are producing bad fruit (present company excluded). We all know of one person who posts here who repeatedly points his finger at liberals as the source of all evil in the world, but where is the fruit in his life? My wife says, your morality determines your theology. Isn t it funny how God always takes our side even when we re wrong? Peace!



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 4, 2007 at 3:43 am


I was just clarifying your statistics. If you want to know why I would say: white guilt/social victimization, globalization/white flight, and racism in that order. You can t just say that poverty and welfare are primarily determined by economic vitality being removed or kept out of those communities. How do Asian immigrants move into these same communities and thrive? Because many of the Asians who come over here were the “upper class” in their home countries and were willing to take more menial positions just to be here. And besides (and this is especially the case with Korean immigrants) they already had their own informal banking system — if you needed a loan you went to your people instead of a bank, and since they already had the money it didn’t take them long to get established. How is it that every black conservative that succeeds is an Uncle Tom to the right-wing apparatus? I know from personal experience how the system works — in fact, such apparatus even tried to recruit me about a decade ago when I wrote an op-ed that actually leaned toward the conservative position on a certain issue. Conservatives know full well their positions are offensive to most blacks, so they put out feelers to blacks who might — MIGHT — agree with them so they can put a black face to their socially regressive programs. And since they have the money and network already in place they can easily promote black conservatives as speaking truth. That is how Clarence Thomas ended up on the U.S. Supreme Court — he wasn’t particularly distingushed as a lawyer or bureaucrat, but he belonged to the Federalist Society, which meant that he was “in the pipeline.”



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 4, 2007 at 5:15 am


Unless you are suggesting that this scholar, writer and filmmaker has earned a living solely by being conservative, which is an absurd position. Most do. That’s a little humorous from my view. Me taking the views of the Council of Churches and all the wars and programs that 40 years of democrat control caused and failed since FDR, putting those programs in a negative light, then saying I know how you think. Except that there was indeed a conservative campaign beginning in the 1950s, conceived by some intellectuals and funded by some multi-millionaires (one of which in lives in my city) to subvert the political process in this country; it founded think tanks, media and student groups to spread propaganda. There have been several books and articles written about this campaign. Knowing how conservatives think, if you do the research, is pretty easy to figure out. There is no such “liberal” network. If your understanding of the Bible teaches that closeness to God is what it is all about, that honoring commitments, covenants to God, wife, children to Fathers, Fathers to children, wife to husband, men to treat their wives like Jesus served the Church, etc, the social aspects of the programs being pushed by governemnt will always be the issue among many of us. Why would you expect them to go away? What you need is to convince me that those programs will do more good then harm. The issue is not so much social programs but access to the power and authority, which is what really left with “white flight.” Going further, I attend an interracial, multicultural yet Bible-believing church that belongs to an extremely conservative denomination. But you would be very uncomfortable if you came here because you will not hear right-wing ideology preached from the pulpit — at times you might think that our pastor is a socialist! (And people have left our church because of that.) You see, since we’re right in the middle of the inner city we know precisely what the problems are, and that’s why we say that, when it comes to problems of poverty, the right wing doesn’t know squat.



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Kevin S.

posted June 4, 2007 at 5:27 am


“in fact, such apparatus even tried to recruit me about a decade ago when I wrote an op-ed that actually leaned toward the conservative position on a certain issue.” Which portion of “the apparatus” were you offered a position at the Hoover Institute? With all do respect, you are know Shelby Steele or Thomas Sowell. At any rate, both parties recruit people of color, as do most colleges and universities. “Conservatives know full well their positions are offensive to most blacks,” No. They know that they are not popular with blacks. There is a difference. “And since they have the money and network already in place they can easily promote black conservatives as speaking truth.” I will not deny that the conservative movement has money and a network in place. Most major movements do. “That is how Clarence Thomas ended up on the U.S. Supreme Court– he wasn’t particularly distingushed as a lawyer or bureaucrat,” Sure he was. Read his bio. “but he belonged to the Federalist Society, which meant that he was “in the pipeline” This has nothing to do with your argument. Most conservative jurors who are nominated to the Supreme Court belong to the Federalist Society, and the organization. The more simplistic solution to what you describe is that some black people are actually conservative, and therefore act, you know, conservative.You have developed a convoluted, borderline paranoid fantasy to counteract a rather obvious explanation.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 4, 2007 at 7:11 am


neuro_nurse said”I think you and I share some common concerns. I do not trust our government, no matter who is in the Oval Office. I believe our government is paralyzed by politics, partisan politics to be sure, but the politics of staying in office as well.” Yes , it is frustrating . I was always for term limits , but the opponents always stated elections were term limits . I don’t even see the call for term limits anymore . I don’t share the harshness for Bush , I always figured he was in a bubble , his advisors were all loyaltist , I don’t think he gets criticized in his inner circles . If Iwas in leadership , I would want critical thinkers of policy all the time at my side . I noticed your stances were based in concern , nothing wrong with that in my book . . “Paul tells us that we each have different gifts, that we are all part of one body, and that we need each other. I m not advocating a wishy-washy watered down version of Christianity at all. I think some of those who are most outspoken about the lack of morality of others have the dirtiest laundry of all and should examine their own hearts before they point their fingers at other people. Matthew 5:21-32 Christians are just as sinful as everyone else as far as I can see.” I love that example of the different parts Of the church . This is my take on some of the current social issues . In the denomination I am affiliated with, divorced men and women who remarried are not allowed to be elders , which in our church are elected every two years . There are three elders and three trustees on the church board . Divorced folks can be elected to trustee. Every once in a while our denomination has a big debate over it , even been debated in our church . Very passionate , people get angry , many reasons for divorce , and examples that people who are married could be beating their spouses , or cheating on them , and yet be an elder . I have been divorced and a single Dad , I always thought The Bible was a love story to us . Being happy that I can be even a toe in the body of Christ , I see things differently I guess. But those traditional Requirements for leadership found in Paul’s writings are not met to say you are better then me or point a finger at someone like me . . They are meant to be a standard , the way to a happy and fulfilling life . Of course things happen , and sometimes beyond our control . But being a single parent hurts the chances on a statistical basis of better lives for kids . And I recall those days . I was tired all the time . Having a standard of an A in school is not meant to hurt the C student , but direct him or her to try better . Setting standards of a man and women in marriage , committed are important to folks in my culture . Its hard because homosexuals have been mistreated terribly in our culture and most cultures I bet . , They do have a in your fact political method . Bibical standards use to be part of our culture . I think part of that hostile rhetoric you hear is fear , it is from folks who feel like we are loosing our culture , most of us use to all figure was the right way to go .. I was very involved in volunteering for our school district for a while , I was kind of amazed what was taught in sex education and such . I mean at one time that would have been considered immoral , not now . Its more like do not judge , we are all different , do what you believe in your mind is right , and practice safe sex . … I always get perplexed why liberal Christians are not bothered by that . I mean the standards of the Bible are also meant to protect our hearts . Its like does it not bother you kids are being sold a bill of goods that eventually will hurt them , hurt us all . “Saying that there were very good reasons for the revolution in Iran that overthrew the Shah is not very popular in this country, but I was there and I heard the other side of the story.”I was always under the impression he was quite the ruthless dictator , just that he was replaced with just as ruthless regime but different targets . But I did not follow that closely , was quite unaware of the Middle East politics and such till the first war with Iraq . . We Americans think everything revolves us , that I believe is the lesson in this war that I hope sticks . We are not that important , and there are different cultures out there that don’t think or ever will think we are all that great . I figured Vietnam taught us not to go into a conflict without knowing for sure how to get out , and obviously that was forgotten about .”At the time, I could not tell you why I saved up my money and spent 10 months hitch hiking around Africa, but in retrospect, it makes perfect sense to me now. (I also see that the Lord protected me and kept me from harm while I was traveling)” That is INCREDIBLE . When I was 18 I hitched hiked around the United States , and I thought that was an adventure . Were you not concerned for your safety , how did you survive ? “I am a liberal because of the things the Lord has shown me. I don t tow the party line completely, just as I doubt most conservatives agree completely with the agenda of the Republican Party. ” I think most conservatives feel let down . Maybe a little like you might have felt when the Senate appeared to cave in to Bush on the spending bill for the war . But WORSE … Many of the conservatives feel much went into getting Bush elected , he had both houses and the White House . When he leaves , I am guessing Hillary as President , and both branches of Congress will be democrat . Excessive debt , a much bigger government that will continue to grow , and a stigma of corruption and corporate welfare running the GOP . And much of that is true from whatI have read. “I resent being lumped into the godless, new age, anything-goes stereotype that some conservatives have of people who identify themselves as liberals, just as conservatives resent being stereotyped. That reduces people to labels, robs them of individuality, and is completely counterproductive.” I know we do that don’t we . I do that I am ashamed to say . Do you notice some of those stereo types , I have been at meeting where some guy stood up and quoted scripture and just tore into homosexuals . . The newspaper stated the meeting was more like a Revival meeting . The Revival meetings I have been to no one gets condemned , its pretty much a celebration . Do you think Christianity is looked upon badly by the media , or do you think just Conservative Christianity is looked upon negatively , or do you think I am just paranoid and am misreading things ? I am firmly in belief liberals and conservatives should be sitting in the same church . I am as against this emphasis of do not judge on the liberals side , as the right sort of judging what you wore that day . Maybe a balanced church is in order! I may not agree with you all the time, but perhaps that s because God has not shown me the things that He has shown you. Matthew 7:15-20. I do think however, there are a lot of people out there who call themselves Christians but are producing bad fruit (present company excluded). We all know of one person who posts here who repeatedly points his finger at liberals as the source of all evil in the world, but where is the fruit in his life? Maybe we should pray for Him . I noticed the other side doing it , funny how that works on us ? I think being on line also tends to change how we converse with people .Your wife is a smart lady , obviously you have potential because you realized it and married her . ;o) In Christ, Mick ——————————————————————————–



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 4, 2007 at 8:06 am


Rick said”Except that there was indeed a conservative campaign beginning in the 1950s, conceived by some intellectuals and funded by some multi-millionaires (one of which in lives in my city) to subvert the political process in this country; it founded think tanks, media and student groups to spread propaganda. There have been several books and articles written about this campaign. Knowing how conservatives think, if you do the research, is pretty easy to figure out. There is no such “liberal” network.” Are you saying the issues that are important to me have nothing to do with my life lessons and my value system of right and wrong . Is this common knowledge or have you some literature that has led you to this belief ? The Corporate aspect of the republican party is what we conservatives always called the country club republicans . Actually that aspect of the party is the one that is always making the deals with the democrats. NAFTA etc . To them it was more about power and the good life , to us it more about freedom and what would help our country stay free and prosperous .Just like the Left has its connections that hurt , Teachers Union stopping school choice for inner city Kids , the corporations aspect , ya think Hillary is not linked to corporations ? The slime of Hollywood makes you glad they are connected with democrats ? “The issue is not so much social programs but access to the power and authority, which is what really left with “white flight.” I am not sure I follow you , but I do under stand the access part of what your saying . Having 30 percent of your employees a minority sounds good on paper , but none in positions of authority is not something to write home about or promote real change of the haves and have nots . Why do you blame conservatives like me for that ?I can hardly afford to give to local candidates . And I am the political active one at my right winged blathering church . WE got God , they got shareholders Rick , I think you and I are ahead . But go ahead , I am listening , how do we change this via the democratic party . I mean you really think the part cares about your concerns or staying in power ? Going further, I attend an interracial, multicultural yet Bible-believing church that belongs to an extremely conservative denomination. But you would be very uncomfortable if you came here because you will not hear right-wing ideology preached from the pulpit — at times you might think that our pastor is a socialist! (And people have left our church because of that.) You see, since we’re right in the middle of the inner city we know precisely what the problems are, and that’s why we say that, when it comes to problems of poverty, the right wing doesn’t know squat”. The socialist aspect would bother me , unless it was within the church , basically the book of Acts appears to be more communistic .Just when governments go that way is where I get uncomfortable , so maybe your right . I still go if I was invited . I can’t sing very well , but I love to Praise God . My wife is the worship leader at our church , and its the best time of the service for me . To be honest , sometimes it is hard to get through sermons . Maybe I should pay attention and get more republican ideas ? I think you need to work on your communicating part Rick . I mean keep your zeal , keep your positions , but lighten up , I think I would be more prone to support you if I could figure out why you can’t stand me , scared of me , or just could not care less of my positions . Some of our differences are based on our culture , I suggest you respect mine in as much as I have respected yours. Perhaps the Lord put you in this position to have a promote a change in my understanding , which in turn could change others . You don’t want to get to heaven and have to explain why you turned away the influental political guy from Kitsap County from understanding about the concerns of so many of God’s people do you ? You see He might just have it in mind that I am attending the right church at the right time in my life and not appreciate your comments . Ever wonder about things like that ?



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 4, 2007 at 5:12 pm


Which portion of “the apparatus” were you offered a position at the Hoover Institute? With all do respect, you are know Shelby Steele or Thomas Sowell. At any rate, both parties recruit people of color, as do most colleges and universities. I am a writer, not an academic — I was sent a black conservative newsletter for potential contribution, and that’s how I would have gotten in. However, believe me, if I were an academic writing what I did I certainly would have been recruited by those institutions you mentioned. And as for “recruiting people of color,” the conservatives have a special reason to do so and will pay handsomely (which is the reason most black conservatives are referred to as “sellouts”). Ask Glenn Loury sometime. No. They know that they are not popular with blacks. There is a difference. No, there isn’t, for all practical purposes. It is no accident, for example, that any major black leader who does not answer to the conservative movement will be denounced or insulted, as Dick Armey did with Kweisi Mfume after the 2000 general election — because the NAACP sponsored a voter-registration drive. “That is how Clarence Thomas ended up on the U.S. Supreme Court– he wasn’t particularly distingushed as a lawyer or bureaucrat,” Sure he was. Read his bio. I know his bio. Truth be told, there are tons of black lawyers who could run rings around Thomas when it came to background and qualifications, but Thomas is right-wing and that’s all that mattered. You have developed a convoluted, borderline paranoid fantasy to counteract a rather obvious explanation. Wrong, Kevin — I did years of research, and I’m telling the gospel truth. If you choose to dismiss me because it doesn’t fit what you believe, it’s not my problem. I think you need to work on your communicating part Rick. I mean keep your zeal, keep your positions, but lighten up, I think I would be more prone to support you if I could figure out why you can’t stand me, scared of me or just could not care less of my positions. It’s very simple. You see, in my quarter-century of dealing with conservatives, I have yet to hear one say that he or she was fundamentally wrong about what he or she believed and sought change or at least adjustment. Even when anyone presents clear evidence that contradicts that worldview they try to explain it away, almost as if conservatism itself was God, and that’s why the Republican Party is in a quandary right now with even conservative Christians rethinking the whole process. That’s also why Jim Wallis has taken a lot of crap, especially on this blog, for speaking out. That is not so much a problem with ideology itself but pride — when you can’t admit that what you believe might be wrong you have a problem. You see, I have myself undergone such a transformation. I was taught to resent white people growing up, but God, through the white Christians I was with at the time, showed me that I was woefully uninformed (and I eventually apologized to that congregation). At that time I discovered Martin Luther King Jr., and I found that what I was learning in church he did in the street.



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Kevin S.

posted June 4, 2007 at 11:30 pm


“I am a writer, not an academic — I was sent a black conservative newsletter for potential contribution, and that’s how I would have gotten in.” No, that is how you would have submitted to a newsletter. I have submitted to newsletters. I am not “in” anything. “I know his bio. Truth be told, there are tons of black lawyers who could run rings around Thomas when it came to background and qualifications, but Thomas is right-wing and that’s all that mattered.” You just went from saying he was nominated because he was black to saying he was nominated for his ideology. “Wrong, Kevin — I did years of research, and I’m telling the gospel truth. If you choose to dismiss me because it doesn’t fit what you believe, it’s not my problem.” I disagree with you. That is not the same as dismissal. I would never deign to call my political opinions “gospel truth”. That is the height of arrogance. With a handful of exceptions, this blog is full of left-wingers who presume they are right, and consider any dissent to be forged of malice, rather than simply another interpretation of the facts.Jim Wallis’ movement caters to such individuals, and seems to religiousize their anger. Or maybe his more reasoned followers simply opt not to respond. But if any attempt to discuss the merits of an issue is met with the presumption that I am not only incorrect, but that I am stupid, racist, ignorant or otherwise, I am forced to conclude that you have not done so much research as you claim, or that your research is inordinately one-sided.You believe that the Democratic party is only looking out for the best interests of the people, and that they are the only ones doing so. I guess, then, that we are largely at an impasse, yes?Jim Wallis doesn’t take crap on this blog for “speaking out”. By and large he takes crap for making the assumption that he and those who agree with him are the only ones who care about the poor. It seems that such entitlement is infectious, but any movement forged of such hubris is bound to collapse on itself (see: Robertson, Pat).



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John G. Pierce

posted June 5, 2007 at 1:57 am


Homosexuals want the rest of us to consider their activity as normal and healthy, rather than sinful and destructive. In some places (Canada among them), they have succeeded in convincing government authorities to have anything which speaks of homosexuality considered as “hate speech” (a favorite tactic of liberals for squelching dissent), so that pastors may now be jailed simply for teaching the Bible, and the Bible itself can be declared “hate speech.” Divorce is terrible, and condemned in the Bible, certainly. But it is not a supposedly inborn condition whose practitioners demand that others accept it. The Gospel has the power to transform lives, including lifting people out of poverty. My own (non-political) church is supporting inner-city ministries which operate houses for released female felons, teaching them how to budget and be homeowners, so that perhaps someday they can be independent. This is a better way to combat poverty than petitioning the government, or raising the minimum wage (which hurts, not helps, workers and businesses), etc. But simply lifting someone out of poverty by itself will not qualify that person for eternal life. Only the saving power of Christ can do that. It doesn’t have to be “either-or” , but can be “both-and.” In any event, the bottom line is salvation. And this is where I feel that Sojourners is out of balance, putting the cart before the horse (or neglecting the horse altogether!).



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neuro_nurse

posted June 5, 2007 at 2:34 am


I m starting to see the wisdom of term limits. many reasons for divorce I don t have a problem with divorce per se. I think many people get married too young and for bad reasons and absolutely should get out of abusive relationships. My Grandmother was one of the most deeply spiritual and committed Christians I have ever known, but she divorced my alcoholic Grandfather. While I was courting my wife we talked about our beliefs and values around marriage and agreed that divorce would never be an option for us. For her it was because of her Christian beliefs, for me it was more my very profound desire to never have an ex-wife. My problem with divorce is that Christ specifically mentions it as a sin, equivalent to adultery, and yet in the United States, the divorce rate among Christians is no better, and perhaps even higher than among non-Christians. Meanwhile, so many Christians point to homosexuality and being one of the things about which Christians should be most concerned.Being happy that I can be even a toe in the body of Christ , I see things differently I guess.It s hard to walk without all of your toes. Paul wrote, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty 1 Corinthians 12:23 Think about the least honorable, least presentable part of your body yeah, that one. I ve taken care of people who didn t have that part I guarantee you, it s more important that most people realize! Whatever part of the body I represent (some consider me to be that part that gets sat upon), I have my sins lots of them. How do other people s sins become my concern? If I expect God to forgive me, then how can I hold other people s sins against them?Do you think Christianity is looked upon badly by the media , or do you think just Conservative Christianity is looked upon negatively , or do you think I am just paranoid and am misreading things ?I suspect most liberals and secular people (those are not synonymous terms) see some of the values of Christianity, but many of them have been repulsed by the vocal minority. I know that many of those people generalize their feelings about the bad behavior of the minority to all Christians, or even religion entirely. I think Christians need to look at themselves and try to determine the effect their behavior has on other people before they start pointing to the media as the reason some people have negative opinions about Christianity. I think the self-righteous do more damage to the Body of Christ than any attack from outside the church. I know plenty of people who reject Christianity because of the behavior of some Christians in fact; I was one of those people myself. No, that s not a valid reason to reject Christ, but if all they ever see is the ugly side of religion, who can blame them? I may not like where my neighbor is, and I may not want to go where he is, but if I want to reach him, I have to go where he is. My wife s father talks about china cabinet Christians and everyday Christians. China cabinet Christians are those who look so nice but stay in the china cabinet because they don t want to get dirty, while everyday Christians are the ones who get out there and serve. Sure, they get dirty, and maybe even get some chips around the edges, but they do the work for which God made them.I think part of that hostile rhetoric you hear is fear , it is from folks who feel like we are loosing our cultureYou nailed that one listen to some of the complaints about immigration commonly voiced on this blog. There are some very disturbing trends in our society. I usually don t watch TV at home, but I have been appalled at some of the things I have seen on TV when I m in a patient s room. I think one of the most disturbing things I see is the sexualization of prepubescent girls. I know the Donnys of the world will say that s because of the liberal influence in our society, but I see it coming from nothing other than the idolatrous worship of money. Women are branded, packaged, sold as commodities, and I know it s not just liberals who are doing the buying and selling. Look at the statistics of Christians who consume pornography: http://www.blazinggrace.org/pornstatistics.htm http://www.1wayout.org/pages/internet-pornography-statistics.aspx http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php http://www.crosswalk.com/1224639/ ad infinitum (Yeah, Christians get all steamed up about homosexuality in public, but what do we get steamed up about in private?) Look at Brittany Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Ann Coulter these are women who behave badly because they are rewarded for their bad behavior. Is it any wonder they are so self-destructive?I was kind of amazed what was taught in sex education and such . I mean at one time that would have been considered immoral , not now . Its more like do not judge , we are all different , do what you believe in your mind is right , and practice safe sex . … I always get perplexed why liberal Christians are not bothered by that .I don t know what gets taught in schools, but as a nurse and, more importantly, as a public health student, I am a strong advocate for comprehensive sex education (and immunizations, but that s a topic for another time). I believe that abstinence should be taught and that it is an integral part of a comprehensive sex education program. Regardless of one s religious views, there are serious psychological consequences of sex for people who are too young to understand its meaning. We can say that sex should be taught at home, but I don t believe that is happening. We have to consider the cost to our society of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy and act accordingly. I know that some people believe that sex ed increases sexual activity and actually promotes promiscuity in adolescents, but I can cite studies that contradict that belief. Nonetheless, we have a long way to go in preventing teen pregnancy and the transmission of HIV. We need to look at what works and what doesn t and not dig our heals in when there is evidence that demonstrates that we are wrong.I was always under the impression [the Shah] was quite the ruthless dictator We Americans think everything revolves usIn 1953 a CIA-backed coup overthrew the democratically elected president of Iran and reinstated the Shah. Yes, he was a brutal dictator, and by meddling in middle-eastern politics, we created many of the problems we are facing today. An unpopular statement, but if we are such strong advocates of personal responsibility, shouldn t we assume responsibility for our own actions?When I was 18 I hitched hiked around the United States , and I thought that was an adventure . Were you not concerned for your safety , how did you survive ?IMHO, you are even braver for hitch hiking around the U.S.! I did have a few frightening experiences, but in general, I didn t have much trouble. I still have my dust-and-sweat-stained copy of Africa on a Shoestring (somewhere, Geoffrey Crowther is paying penance for all of the misinformation in that book!) It s a long story maybe someday we ll sit down and swap hitch hiking stories.I am firmly in belief liberals and conservatives should be sitting in the same church Your wife is a smart ladyMy wife is a conservative who voted for bush twice (and regrets it and not because I ve ever given her a hard time about it). Our core values are essentially the same, but we have very different backgrounds and I treasure her perspective. Peace!



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neuro_nurse

posted June 5, 2007 at 2:47 am


John G. Pierce I believe that it is hypocrisy for Christians to concern themselves with homosexuality when we can t even keep our own houses in order, e.g. divorce and pornography. Are we really supposed to worry about the effect homosexuality has on our children and our society when so many Christian parents divorce? And yes, practitioners of divorce do demand others accept it, especially their children! I am very glad to hear that you are personally involved with a ministry that helps women released from prison get back on their feet, but if homosexuality is such a huge concern for evangelicals, how many people are no longer homosexuals because you brought the gospel to them? I ll give you the credit you deserve: your ministry with women released from prison is highly laudable, but Paul said you need to honor those of us whom God has given gifts different from yours. Peace!



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 5, 2007 at 5:37 am


You just went from saying he was nominated because he was black to saying he was nominated for his ideology. In fact, both were true. The conservatives wanted a Robert Bork-type whom they hoped would be acceptable to the black community for Thurgood Marshall’s seat. Well, Thomas is still anathema in the black community because it knows that he’s there to preserve conservative power at its expense. disagree with you. I don’t care how you feel. I’m talking about facts. With a handful of exceptions, this blog is full of left-wingers who presume they are right, and consider any dissent to be forged of malice, rather than simply another interpretation of the facts. And there’s good reason for that — the conservatives have done just that since the 1980s. Today, most people, especially on the left, know for a fact what I just mentioned, that secular conservatives have been on a propaganda campaign for decades to eliminate any dissenting voices, and they’re tired of it. But if any attempt to discuss the merits of an issue is met with the presumption that I am not only incorrect, but that I am stupid, racist, ignorant or otherwise, I am forced to conclude that you have not done so much research as you claim, or that your research is inordinately one-sided. You refuse to acknowledge that YOUR research has been proven one-sided and thus, frankly, defective. Your continued subscription to an ideology that is quickly being discredited in almost every area only serves to isolate you, just like the Republican presidential candidates with nothing to sell. And that has absolutely nothing to do with me.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 5, 2007 at 5:45 am


In some places (Canada among them), they have succeeded in convincing government authorities to have anything which speaks of homosexuality considered as “hate speech” (a favorite tactic of liberals for squelching dissent), so that pastors may now be jailed simply for teaching the Bible, and the Bible itself can be declared “hate speech.” That’s not exactly true, at least in Canada. If you condemn homosexuality but mention it as part of a litany of other sins, that’s fine. But if you use the Bible specifically to crusade against homosexual conduct, you can indeed get in trouble with the law — and that’s not even Biblical anyway. The Gospel has the power to transform lives, including lifting people out of poverty. My own (non-political) church is supporting inner-city ministries which operate houses for released female felons, teaching them how to budget and be homeowners, so that perhaps someday they can be independent. This is a better way to combat poverty than petitioning the government, or raising the minimum wage (which hurts, not helps, workers and businesses), etc. My church does many of these things, too — in fact, as I write we’re setting up a credit union to put those check-cashing firms out of business. But some of the problems with the poor are political as well, and I’ve noticed that conservatives never encourage the poor to vote, run for office or become community activists, all of which my church does.



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canucklehead

posted June 5, 2007 at 6:08 am


Homosexuals want the rest of us to consider their activity as normal and healthy, rather than sinful and destructive. In some places (Canada among them), they have succeeded in convincing government authorities to have anything which speaks of homosexuality considered as “hate speech” (a favorite tactic of liberals for squelching dissent), so that pastors may now be jailed simply for teaching the Bible, and the Bible itself can be declared “hate speech.” John G. Pierce I hate to intrude by introducing an element of reality here but might I say, as a Canadian pastor, that Mr. Pierce’s representation of the situation in Canada is simply a classic example of the tendency of many conservatives to cite a bogeyman argument to squelch dissent. To my knowledge, no Canadian pastor has been challenged, threatened or prosecuted on the basis of Canadian “hate” legislation for anything said or done in preaching against homosexuality. Conversely, a pastor in one of our large churches has recently been in the news for his insistence on repeatedly using an amplified system in preaching on the street in a residential area…this despite the fact that he is in violation of a city noise bylaw. He has attempted to milk the publicity for all its worth in an effort to portray the gov’t as “the great Satan” out to hasten the dawning of the end times. He is routinely given a wide berth by the churches of that city as someone who fails to understand that “the scandalon” of the gospel has nothing to do w/ being offensive in one’s presentation of same. I have pastored in Canada for 20 years – all the way thru the culture wars that prevailed over hate legislation, the legalization of gay marriage, et al – and I wouldn’t hesitate to preach any Scripture today in the same way I preached it 15 years ago before all this stuff took place – boldly, respectfully, legally and lovingly. Please, trying to use the situation in Canada to fan the flames of the “slippery slope” or bogeyman” argument on hate speech or gay marriage is, to date, an illegitimate pursuit. Sure, we have our share of “the sky is falling” preachers and teachers here as well but the situation is nowhere near the way Mr. Pierce insinuates it to be. grace to all,



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Kevin S.

posted June 5, 2007 at 6:21 am


Rick, Okay, then, you’ve joined the legions of the perpetually offended. So have those who believe (as you do) that homosexuality and abortion are sins. So have those who believe (as you do) that acceptance of the grace of Christ is paramount to our eternal existence. So what? They are offended and angry. Why? Because they have been disagreed with. Some people can handle that (Neuronurse, Daniel and Squeaky are examples). Some cannot. Those who cannot are unwilling to accept that they are limited in this regard, and thus contruct a narrative in which those who disagree with them are some sort of menace.In a sense, this is a waste of time. I have tried to simply argue the conservative point of view in a manner that inidicates that conservatives do, in fact, care about God’s politics. I should probably simply engage the handful of people who are interested in honest debate, but I lack the self control to do that, obviously. So have at it. I concede. All conservatives are evil. All liberals are advocates of Jesus. Only Democrats go to heaven.



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 5, 2007 at 6:57 am


They are offended and angry. Why? Because they have been disagreed with. Some people can handle that (Neuronurse, Daniel and Squeaky are examples). Some cannot. No, the problem is that YOUR side cannot be disagreed with; if we do we’re less than Christian; I’m tired of that myself and have been for two decades. Now we’re on a blog that the conservatives cannot control and all of a sudden people get huffy — did it ever hit them that they created the conflict in the first place? And now they want to say, “You just don’t understand us.” Well, in fact we do — that view has been shoved down our throats for a long time, and it has done nothing but cause division in the Body and sabotaged our witness in the world. I should probably simply engage the handful of people who are interested in honest debate, but I lack the self control to do that, obviously. Sound-bite ideology devoid of historical context does not equal debate.



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canucklehead

posted June 5, 2007 at 7:07 pm


Kevin – Rick: guys, guys, get some sleep!I’ll have the Truth for you later today!



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neuro_nurse

posted June 5, 2007 at 10:41 pm


Let s see, homosexuals want to be accepted for who they are and that s a bad thing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that homosexual acts are sinful. It does not say that homosexuality is a sin. It says that homosexual tendencies constitutes for most of them a trial. and goes on, Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357-2358, http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art6.htm So, according to the extremely liberal Catholic Church, being homosexual is not a sin, and it is quite possible to be both a homosexual and a Christian. I m so glad to be Catholic! How did we get on this subject anyway? When I m standing before the Lord and He s deciding whether to put me with the sheep or with the goats, I really don t think He would take it very well if I said, Hey, look at the horns on that guy!Peace!



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Payshun

posted June 6, 2007 at 12:56 am


and here we are again, back to gospel of exclusion and hate instead of the gospel of healing and restoration.Man this discussion about homosexuality is pathetic. Again conservatives are scared of the big bad homosexual when they have no reason to be, pathetic. p



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Darrell

posted June 6, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Here’s the question I’m hoping Rev. Wallis can still ask, given his connections: ___Senator, what will you do to reduce and even eliminate the unjst suffering of children consequential to divorce? Easy divorce causes poverty and mental distress to the only truly faultless parties in “no fault” divorce. Will you appint a Presidential commission, chaired by an independent thinker such as Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, to make recommendations for action during your first term? To be independent, every option must be “on the table” including the virtual elimination of no fault divorce for families with children. Although legally a state matter, federal leadership is desperately needed in the form of a model reform bill. States should no longer be unjustly divided into “dad gets the money, mom gets the kids” states or “mom gets everything” states (Massachusetts), with the children always the losers. Or, to be more brief, are you willing to anger the self styled feminists on this issue, who see divorce as truly sacrosanct, and for the “fulfilment” of adults. Children are “adaptable” and “resilient” we are told, and they’ll get used to life with a single parent. The material and mental poverty of our children, the least of these, cry out for an answer from a courageous leader.



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neuro_nurse

posted June 6, 2007 at 5:45 pm


Darrell, That sounds like a sticky question for two reasons I can think of off the top of my head: 1) how many congressmen are divorced? 2) how much influence do the country’s lawyers have on congress? Peace!



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neuro_nurse

posted June 6, 2007 at 10:02 pm


Darrell, Please go back and look at the statistics on divorce in this country. Christians, including born-agains, are just as likely to divorce as non-Christians. http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=170 So how is it that you can blame the divorce rates in this country on feminism? Have born-again churches been infiltrated by NOW members? Or, is feminism just another Christian boogeyman (boogeywoman?), used to divert attention away from the sins Christians commit themselves? Peace!



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Darrell

posted June 7, 2007 at 12:26 am


Hi neuro_nurse, I love your first two questions about congresspersons and lawyers. They will provide as much opposition as NOW, if not more. As for divorce statistics, I’m familiar with them. Christians don’t have to be perfect, or even better, before we speak out on public policy; if so, we would be utterly mute. I don’t think NOW members have “infiltrated” churches; rather the influence of individualism on American Christiany is obvious and pervasive. Robert Bellah’s book on this is a bit old, but probably truer now than when he wrote “Habits of the Heart.” Since Obama, Clinton and Edwards are all Senators, my Dear Senator question was directed precisely at them. I hope they won’t duck it by saying “Don’t talk to me; you aren’t perfect yourself” Peace, in the name of our Savior, who makes ALL THINGS new, Darrell



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neuro_nurse

posted June 7, 2007 at 12:46 am


Darrell, Great response! I think individualism is, in general, a trait of many Americans and is not specifically limited to feminists. Historically, I believe our culture has required a strong degree of individualism. What would industry and capitalism be without individualism? In my school there is a large percentage of students from countries outside the U.S. In the new student orientation handbook, there is a section on what Americans are like, which begins with a paragraph on our individualism. In all honesty, do you think that feminism has had any positive effects on our society? I m not talking about radical feminism whatever that is, but simply the empowerment of women. Peace!



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Darrell

posted June 7, 2007 at 4:04 am


Thanks, N, I agree that positive things have happened for women. More churches allow women to preach, spouse abuse is now illegal, employers can’t demand sex from their subordinates. I could go on and on. I brought up “self-proclaimed” feminists because in the matter of divorce (not ones where the mom needs physical protection, but where she feels “stifled” and “unfulfilled”) they are just individualists hiding behind a group identity. (Half of the children that are harmed by divorce are female, after all, so how is NOW an organization FOR women?) And, NOW seems to think they are the only voice of women. Except that Concerned Women of America has a much larger membership, and that’s not because their husbands made them join! I’ve met plenty of women who are intelligent, independent, opinionated, and wouldn’t dream of letting NOW speak for them. The late Eliz. Fox Genovese wrote a whole book about it. I confess I haven’t finished “Feminism is not the story of my life” but it gets off to a great start. Another good book is “Reviving Ophelia” about how hard it is for teen-aged girls in America. Mostly it’s the boys who have been “liberated” to expect more sex; the girls are made to feel guilty or weird if they say no! This point is made more directly in a book by Wendy Shallit (sp?). What’s interesting is that Shallit is Jewish and Pipher, of “Ophelia” is a secular liberal. Pipher describes cases from actual families, and Asians and conservative Christians seem to do best on her scale of balancing structure with acceptance to create a healthy environment for girls. She all but admits that nice liberals like herself do a good job of acceptance, but don’t provide enough structure. [Disclosure: I'm a single father of two girls.] In the matter of treatment of women, as with divorce, Christians have a less than perfect record. On the other hand, if you look at Jesus and even Paul, we ought to have done a lot better with the teaching we have been given. Individualism definitely breeds creativity; I’m quite the unique person myself. However, creativity works best within rules. For example, music needs structure, and at least a little bit of melody and tonality. We’ve come a long way from the “Music that sounds so ugly it must be good” era of the 70′s and 80′s. Engineers’ creations only work if we follow the laws of physics. God created us as unique and individually valuable persons. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for us to pick our favorite 3 commandments and ignore the other seven. Whew!! Thanks for listening; I appreciate your thoughtful questions. More peace, Darrell



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