God's Politics

God's Politics


Ryan Rodrick Beiler: Tell Us the Mission

posted by gp_intern

Four years after George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared victory in Iraq in front of a banner that said, “Mission Accomplished,” spoken word artist Steven Connell asks what has and hasn’t been accomplished. Steven has teamed up with Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices and Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers) to produce a video promoting both a contest to decide what should go on that infamous banner, as well as reminding Americans about the cost of this war in soldiers’ lives. Watch it:



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Wolverine

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:20 pm


He’s cheesed off and rhyming. Got anything else? Wolverine



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jesse

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:45 pm


I’ve never been a fan of spoken word, though I guess it’s a matter of personal taste. When you’re listening to poetry slams, you can’t really talk to your friends cuz you have to be quiet. It’s not that social of an activity (like seeing a band). Also, when applied to heavy topics like politics it just tends to reduce complicated matters to (seemingly) clever rhymes.This guy kind of scares me, too.



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Blake

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:59 pm


I think this is totally insulting and inappropriate. I’m disappointed that Wallis allows this type of polarizing, vitriolic material to be posted on this website. This does nothing to further conversation.It is for this reason that Sojourners is in danger of being grouped with MoveOn, MediaMatters, etc. I know this pleases some, but if Sojo is honestly trying to build bridges, this doesn’t help. This type of attitude breaks my heart. I’m not in love with an administration or policy that hasn’t been successful in Iraq. But at the same time, it’s disgusting to watch a Christian group that tends to be hateful and malicious, which is where I feel this post went. I do feel like an apology is in order from Sojourners. One cannot call for integrity and character, then display virtually none.



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Wolverine

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:34 pm


Or, for you poetry afficionados: He’s the kind of man who likes to slam what he can’t understand. D**n, what a ham! Wolverine



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:47 pm


well Sojo – Another try – really insulting. What was the ‘hat act’ cowboy singer that was tried a few months back… This is where you really show your true colors Mr Wallis – you have any say about what is posted on your site? (personally I believe you do and this is typical of what you like to promote) Next time you should find someone that really has tallent and not just able to put CNN retoric to a beat. Really lame Later – .



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Will

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:00 pm


Sojourners, the website, the people, the blog, the magazine is a community where I come to find stimulation and inspiration, challenging, sometimes even prophetic voices that call me to pray deeper and live more faithfully. As a young adult I appreciate this post. Try reading Micah, Jeremiah or another prophetic text to find other harsh words for the powerful.I also appreciated Sojo’s links to the Bill Moyers Journal in which we find a strong, articulate, careful discussion of the news media’s complicity in this immoral war. Here’s the link in case you missed it:http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html Thank you Sojo for keeping us all awake to the injustice all around us. Peace



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Payshun

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:32 pm


I am so glad the conservatives were the first to comment on this. You all give me a laugh and I personally thought he had skills but then I like spoken word, underground hip hop and all that stuff. But yah I thought it was good and we (our society) needs more creative expression like that. p



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Blake

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Payshun, I always appreciate what you have to say, although I don’t always agree. I find your last comment calloused and disrespectful. This type of rhetoric is polarizing and self-serving, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that. Do you think that this helps bring others that disagree to the table. Instead, it feels more like taunting. Sojo should be held accountable, just as they should hold others accountable. Respectfully, Blake



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Payshun

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:11 pm


Blake, I have a question. How is it self serving? They make no money off of this and I am sorry you feel disrespected but he is talking about the death of innocent Iraqi’s. All he is asking is what is the mission? Do you know it? I don’t. That’s what I really want to know. It’s no longer training and getting the Iraqi troops to stand up. There are going to be things on both sides that are going to be polarizing and sometimes hurtful. I like what he’s talking about and I agree w/ it. You don’t. You feel insulted and to that I want to know why? Not only that but there are plenty of posts on this blog where people can come to some type of agreement. This may be one post where that may not be possible and that’s ok. But then again I don’t know, we really haven’t had a conversation about what he is talking about. p



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:17 pm


Will–interesting point… Was it the message or the messenger? It’s not like the points he was making haven’t been made before by bloggers or by people responding to blogs here…we’ve discussed all those topics before. He certainly wasn’t saying anything new. Sometimes brash opinions expressed can spark good conversation. I’d like to see that happen here. So far detractors have not said what about what he was saying they disagree with–seems they have more of a problem with his bravado than anything else.



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Carl Copas

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:22 pm


Wonderful stuff. Thank you Sojo. Always fascinated by all the ways in which African American culture manifests itself in USA.



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Annie (UK)

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:22 pm


Excellent. We in the UK are used to far more hard hitting assessments of our politicians and don’t believe that being a PM (Blair) or President (Bush) makes our leaders beyond criticism and accountability, which appears to be the way of the American Right.You should watch our TV programme “Bremner, Bird and Fortune” for some in-depth satirical analysis of the flawed logic behind the illegal invasion of Iraq, all that went before and the subsequent atrocities committed by various Coalition forces afterwards towards Iraqui civilians. Isn’t calling to account the evil done in the name of God, the suffering of widows and children in the tradition of the OT prophets or do some American Evangelicals read a different Bible from the rest of us?



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Wolverine

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:03 pm


Payshun wrote: All he is asking is what is the mission? Do you know it? I don’t. That’s what I really want to know. It’s no longer training and getting the Iraqi troops to stand up. If our friend doesn’t know the mission is by now he’s … not terribly bright. There have been two. The first mission was to bring down Saddam Hussein’s regime. This much has undeniably been done, hence “mission accomplished”. The second mission is to establish a stable, reasonably just government in Iraq. This has undeniably proved much more difficult than expected and ultimate success is not guaranteed. But the fact that the “mission” has evolved as the military and political situation in Iraq changed is not so mysterious or sinister. One does not have to agree with the Bush administration’s policies to understand what the “mission” is currently. Oh, and the Vietnam allusions? Total banalities; we’ve heard it all before. Ignorance and anger are not attractive traits. Setting them to rhyme doesn’t make them any more attractive, it only makes rhyme uglier. Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:12 pm


Annie – The problem is that left-wing Christians in the US are used to having their positions mocked and the integrity of their faith questioned. Those on the right aren’t. That doesn’t mean it’s time to start returning the favor, but it does explain a lot of the intensity of the reaction here.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:14 pm


Great post. It needed to be said in this way. To those who are offended by it, I can only say two words- Rush Limbaugh.



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm


True Sarasotakid–I never understood why Rush’s books were sold (are they still?) in Christian bookstores.



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Payshun

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Wolverine said: There have been two. The first mission was to bring down Saddam Hussein’s regime. This much has undeniably been done, hence “mission accomplished”. Me: Umm I wish this part were accurate let alone true. Bush said that all “major combat operations” were over hence mission accomplished. I hope that helps. His actual words are a matter of public record. we could look them up if you want. You: The second mission is to establish a stable, reasonably just government in Iraq. This has undeniably proved much more difficult than expected and ultimate success is not guaranteed. Me: That’s bs. First off they knew it was going to be extremely difficult, they botched the post war planning going off of assumptions that have proven to be false. Also if we listen to the president (he happens to be the only one- maybe cheney and few other hawks) he still believes that ultimate success is still possible. Also rhyme should sometimes be a little ugly to our tastes. War is an ugly business. There is nothing wrong w/ seeing writing that challenges our political assumptions.p



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Payshun, I’m not sure they did know it was going to be extremely difficult–or at least, they sold it as if the whole thing would be a piece of cake. I think they maybe really believed their own rhetoric and have been surprised because it hasn’t been nearly as easy as they thought.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:11 am


I think they maybe really believed their own rhetoric and have been surprised because it hasn’t been nearly as easy as they thought. squeaky Yeah, that’s what I believe. They believed their own rhetoric. If it had gone well and Iraq immediately stablized, there would have been no talk of MWDs.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:12 am


Correction- MWDs should have been WMDs. Peace.



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Wolverine

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:43 am


Payshun wrote: Also rhyme should sometimes be a little ugly to our tastes. I disagree. “Truth is beauty and beauty is truth.” That doesn’t mean that artists have to agree with me — I happen to like Coldplay and Lord knows we don’t have a lot in common on politics. That doesn’t mean that “beauty” can’t be tough and gritty either. I enjoy the blues and I think Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” (“I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”) might be the best three minutes in the history of American music. But to work art has to be honest and it has to reach beyond oneself. I can’t explain exactly how, but this guy strikes me as not only angry but self-absorbed. Wolverine



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:20 am


But he doesn’t rhyme about himself. He smiles a lot and portray an image of frustration and annoyance, and anger…That smile is designed to hide his growing resentment about the war, about the president and about everything. I admit that is self-absorbed. I give him credit for not ranting. If I were him I would be ranting and cussing and screaming at the top of my lungs. This man has led us into a war for no clear cut reason. I mean we caught Sadam, bombed/liberated a country, helped them start a puppet/elected government and… We have done a lot and none of it seems to be enough to fix the problems there because surprise surprise we can’t fix it.p



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:23 am


Isn’t calling to account the evil done in the name of God, the suffering of widows and children in the tradition of the OT prophets or do some American Evangelicals read a different Bible from the rest of us? Annie (UK) Those who would defend this war are very selective in quoting their scriptures. They tend to ignore the ones to which you are citing.



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Don

posted May 2, 2007 at 3:02 am


Well, I have to admit I’m not a big fan of hip-hop. And I’ve never been very comfortable with much of the satire directed against Pres. Bush. (You know, the stuff that portrays him as a bumbling idiot.) But I honestly have to scratch my head in wonder at the animus directed against Sojourners for posting the link to this video. I didn’t find it offensive in the least. If the truth offends some, maybe they need to be offended. After all, what was said here needs to be said, most especially for those who still are unable comprehend the magnitude of the Bush administration’s folly. Regarding the prophets, if you have a problem with this video, try reading Amos, substituting “America” for “Israel.” You might be equally shocked and offended. Thanks, Sojourners.



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Wolverine

posted May 2, 2007 at 3:52 am


Don wrote: Regarding the prophets, if you have a problem with this video, try reading Amos, substituting “America” for “Israel.” You might be equally shocked and offended. Look, the Bible isn’t Mad Libs — I can get a cheap thrill by plugging anyone I don’t like — terrorists, liberals, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, what have you — into any OT hellfire-and-brimstone passage but that doesn’t make for good theology. As for being offended, I’m not. I’m just very unimpressed and I’m trying to get through to Sojo that if they want to persuade anyone that the war in Iraq is a bad idea this isn’t gonna get it done. Then again, maybe you just want to vent your spleens, in which case, knock yourselves out; I’m moving on to the next thread. Wolverine



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jesse

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:36 am


the Bible isn’t Mad Libs –This would make for the best sermon title ever.I’m snapping my fingers for you, Brother Wolverine.



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moderatelad

posted May 2, 2007 at 5:51 am


You know – it takes a lot to offend me and I will never be surprized anymore as to what Sojo will put on their site. The ‘hat act’ country guy was a little over the top for me with his use of profanity. This guy – modest talent but agenda driven lyrics – whatever. Go for it Mr. “W” – Later – .



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Canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:01 am


Did somebody say “reasonable” and “Iraq” in the same sentence?



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Canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:04 am


Bush-basher or not, I still say it’s Pierce Brosnan in that clip.



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:46 am


Look, the Bible isn’t Mad LibsNo it’s not but the principles revealed in Amos are timeless and true for any powerful nation. One doesn’t have to be a theoctratic state to see that.p



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:27 pm


Let’s face it, the war is a travesty and it is indefensible. If those who support the President on this war are offended by this clip, well too bad. We too are offended by unjust and unjustified war, statements of “Mission Accomplished” and pejorative terms like “Old Europe” and the the insurgency being in its “Last throes”. We are offended by the graft and corruption of private armies (Blackwater) and corrupt contractor (Haliburton). We are saddened by the death of U.S. soldiers and we too are saddened by the heavy death toll of Iraqi civilians. We see couch potato generals and eleventh hour prognosticators rationalizing this conflict. So if it is the apparent lack of sophistication or some perceived profanity that bothers you, all I can say is- feel the love from our side. We have have felt your “love” loud and clear since the beginning of this conflict.



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Don

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:53 pm


Sarasota–amen, and amen! Wolverine–watch what you say about those Buckeyes!! –Don, in COLUMBUS, OHIO! FWIW, I wrote this about a month ago to family members who were still struggling over why I never supported the Iraq invasion. Though it’s all been said before, it’s probably worth repeating. Our rap artist in this video clip put some of these ideas in his rhymes: The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror. The neocons were planning to invade Iraq before George W. Bush even was thinking of running for president. They were just waiting for the opportunity. The terrorist attack of 9/11 furnished that opportunity, and it became a convenient excuse for them to push for the invasion. In other words, they shamelessly took advantage of America s outrage and fear and then manipulated it to their own advantage. (Shouldn t that upset us?) The neocons had rejected containment out of hand from the beginning and did everything they could to circumvent the containment policies already in place. And Bush didn t have the backbone (or the knowledge of military strategy) to stand up to them. The festering problem in Iraq that Bush inherited from his predecessors was completely unrelated to the terrorist threat and should have been dealt with separately. The invasion of Iraq has *strengthened*, not weakened the Islamists. In fact, Bush s reckless invasion of Iraq played right into their hands it gave them the clash of civilizations that they were hoping we would give them. Iraq was never a terrorist haven until we made it one by destabilizing the country. Saddam s government was not Islamist; it was secular. (The Ba ath Party, by the way, was founded by Arab Christians, not Muslims.) Now, thanks to our invasion and occupation of Iraq, we ve given the Islamists recruiters an excellent selling point, along with a whole new generation of desperate Muslims that will be all too willing to respond to their call. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, America forfeited the moral high ground. This was perhaps the most damaging result of Bush s invasion. And then, to add insult to injury, the immorality of launching the invasion was augmented by the abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, unauthorized wiretaps, suspension of habeas corpus, etc., ad nauseum. To much of the world, we have become no better than the terrorists we claim to be fighting. And in a war of ideas, that is a major, major defeat for us. It will take years to recover from this loss, if we ever do. The invasion of Iraq diverted our attention from the real terrorist fight in Afghanistan, and we are in danger of losing what we achieved there five years ago. Just check the news reports to find out what is going on there. Osama bin Laden is still holed up in a cave somewhere in or near there, apparently, and so is Taliban leader Mohammed Omar. Have we forgotten about him? We essentially left the job in Afghanistan unfinished in order to head off to Iraq. Apparently the administration thought Afghanistan would take care of itself. Bush was warned about the collapse of Iraq and the resulting insurgency if we invaded, but he refused to listen. And even today, Bush continues to dismiss any information he doesn t want to hear. Peace,



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Donny

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:06 pm


How does it escape Leftists, that “The Mission,” was accomplished? The military was called on to remove Saddan Hussein and his government from ruling Iraq. That mission was accomplished. Again, how does that fact escape the Democrats like Jim Wallis et al? Now, claiming that we should NOT have our military be policemen in Muslim genocidal political, social and religious WAR, now that makes sense. No western and/or civilized country should have anything to do with Islam in the first place. That culture and religion has been at war with someone or something, since Mohammad slaughtered the Meccans and subjugated its population back at the founding of this most violent of religions. Now if the Leftists want to get to the truth about the warring aspect of Islamic world affairs, then maybe they’ll look less apathic and complicit in world terror. There is nothing funny about this.



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Don

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:10 pm


Donny: Read the paragraph in my posting above yours that begins: “The invasion of Iraq has *strengthened*, not weakened the Islamists.” Moreover, as was pointed out earlier on this thread, when Bush said “mission accomplished,” he was referring to major combat operations, not just the removal of Saddam Hussein. Later,



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Mike Hayes

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm


May the leaders of the congress find some way to change the course our country is on, and may there never again be another instance of the decision that was made to invade the country of Iraq. We can hope…



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DABX

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:27 pm


Music in this country has always served to raise social consciousness on countless issues(e.g., Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Marvin Gaye, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Kris Kristofferon, Paul Simon, etc., etc., etc.)just to name a few of a particular era. The prophetic imagination is also given to conscientization or raising the level of awareness within the community of faith. In this case, “spoken word” seems to be a synthesis of the two…perhaps. There are many subtle ideological and economic elements of war that we are not fully aware of as a people. The church cannot and should not let itself be a passive ideological apparatus of the powers. The “mission” of this country is not synonymous with the “mission” of the church. We must be more discerning. Jesus loves the world, which includes Iraq. Who has bewitched the church into an uncritical, unbiblical, and unspiritual state of hating people she does not know. Yea, I know, there are those who would say, “We don’t hate them.” To those I say, “Yea, I know, you just want to see them bombed…in love, of course.” How is that done? Do we tie copies of the NIV (New Iraqi Version on missles? Or better yet, maybe a picture of Jesus? You know the one. It’s the one that those in religious power have fashioned in their own image. The blond, blue-eyed, euro-looking one. You get and got the picture; it’s hanging on your wall.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:46 pm


“Great post. It needed to be said in this way. To those who are offended by it, I can only say two words- Rush Limbaugh.” I would say this guy veers into Fred Phelps territory in terms of abandoning all reason, but we can go with Rush. This is pretty pedantic. I’ve seen some quality spoken word used to political ends with which I disagree, but this isn’t penetrating, insightful, or well written at all. To compare this with the Biblical prophets? Suffice to say, I’m rolling my eyes. “Look, the Bible isn’t Mad Libs — I can get a cheap thrill by plugging anyone I don’t like — terrorists, liberals, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, what have you — into any OT hellfire-and-brimstone passage but that doesn’t make for good theology.” Exactly. And if we are going to hold this country up to the standards of, say, the prophet Jeremiah, our government had better turn it’s eyes to Christ immediately. Not Allah, not Buddah, none of those false Gods (prophets didn’t like those)… But Christ.We could justify all manner of belligerent nonsense under the guise of emulating the prophets. God did not come down to tell this guy to warn us that Iraq is a briar patch and Bush is a Byatch.If this is the level of political discourse Sojourners wants to engage in, they will become irrelevant quickly enough.



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squeaky

posted May 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm


Donny, “No western and/or civilized country should have anything to do with Islam in the first place.” I hate to tell you this, but without Islamic oil, our economy would collapse. Well, in truth, it wouldn’t have to if we develop an economic strategy to move to other energy resources. I agree we should move away from our dependence on these nations, but it will only come as the result of a great energy upheaval in this nation. In any case, to say we can easily cut ties with those who fuel our economy is pretty short-sighted.By the way, you give away your xenophobia and prejudice by insiunating Islamic countries are not civilized. Where does such prejudice have a place in Christianity?



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:17 pm


Kevin: If this is the level of political discourse Sojourners wants to engage in, they will become irrelevant quickly enough. ME: Yah only to people like you. What kind of hubris do some of you all live under? Do you honestly think that God won’t judge this nation for many of it’s greedy policies for it’s corporate exploitation of the world at large, for it’s unjust wars, slavery? In case you did not know there are independent American contractors that have no accountability structure. They are bringing in slaves from around the world and forcing them to work in Iraq.This is being payed for by our tax dollars. I am not Ok w/ that are you? Not only that but the western mercenaries that are there can engage in any number of evil behavior and face virtually no opposition as they are only starting to engage in prosecuting some of these people.If you think I am lying check out http://www.warslavery.org/ Our beautiful nation does horrible things from time to time and unless we heed the message of the prophets like Amos then we are doomed to the same fate of ancient Israel. Remember God does not play favorities w/ nations. Any nation that engages in evil practices will be judged. That’s an old testament principle that translated very well into the new, look at Revelation if you doubt that. p



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:25 pm


“Yah only to people like you.” Or moderates, or to anyone else whose mind they might be interested in changing. “What kind of hubris do some of you all live under? Do you honestly think that God won’t judge this nation for many of it’s greedy policies for it’s corporate exploitation of the world at large, for it’s unjust wars, slavery?” Abortion, murder, sexual sin… The list doesn’t stop at your pet issues. It depends on how you anticipate God’s judgment with regard to the actions of individuals.



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:43 pm


You said: Abortion, murder, sexual sin… The list doesn’t stop at your pet issues. It depends on how you anticipate God’s judgment with regard to the actions of individuals. Me: or nations or people groups. The funny thing is Kevin the poles reveal that the majority share the opinion of the above. They don’t think this country is going in the right direction or that Bush has any idea about what he is doing. So the question is will people like you change? Because every day the loyal bushie count seems to be dropping. It may be for different reasons but you all are loosing support every day. p



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:48 pm


I see the troll has crawled out from under the stone.



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:57 pm


Sarasotakid: Kevin is not a troll, he is a conservative. There is a difference. p



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:58 pm


Our beautiful nation does horrible things from time to time and unless we heed the message of the prophets like Amos then we are doomed to the same fate of ancient Israel. Remember God does not play favorities w/ nations. Any nation that engages in evil practices will be judged. That’s an old testament principle that translated very well into the new, look at Revelation if you doubt that. p PayshunAmen Payshun. I can tell that you really have a heart after God!



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:24 pm


“The funny thing is Kevin the poles reveal that the majority share the opinion of the above. They don’t think this country is going in the right direction or that Bush has any idea about what he is doing. So the question is will people like you change?” Change to what? If I cede your point, and my particular political viewpoints are actively oppressing the poor, then I am simply misguided with respect to poliics. I do not believe my political views deprive the poor of justice. Rather the opposite… So if my intention is to support policies that help the poor (and I make individual sacrifices on their behalf) it seems a bit much to say that what the biblical prophets had to say about Israel is true of me.”Because every day the loyal bushie count seems to be dropping. It may be for different reasons but you all are loosing support every day.” It’s been between 34-38 for almost a year now. Bush has not been able to rally conservative behind his economic policies, and I think his base is disparate because he is a PR nightmare (obviously). That said, if you are looking at poll data, wouldn’t Bush have been better served had he nailed Saddam, declared “mission accomplished” and simply headed home, leaving the international press to cover the sorry plight of the Iraqi people?



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:35 pm


Kevin: Change to what? If I cede your point, and my particular political viewpoints are actively oppressing the poor, then I am simply misguided with respect to poliics. I do not believe my political views deprive the poor of justice. Rather the opposite… Me: If you think this is merely about oppressing the poor then you are missing the point. The reason why God judges nations is because they wage unjust wars, enslave people, comitt genocide and do really bad things. That causes God to judge nations. Also apathy is another cause, basically not caring for the people.My point is that your support of this war and blind adherence to Bush’s preemptive war strategy is something that the Old Testament prophets warned against. Jeremiah cautioned against putting your hope into the rulers of the land. Amos railed against greed and opulence at the expense of the poor. Ezekiel was provoked to great anger by seeing the idolatry in the temple, not to mention the destruction heeped on by unjust policy.This preemptive war policy is unjust and wrong. It is illegal and immoral.You don’t have to cede my point but you do have to listen to the prophets for wise man lives by their counsel. God doesn’t usually judge people for sexualy immorality but when that sin is pronounced and used to oppress people then it becomes something God judges. p



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:39 pm


I forgot to answer your question but how about ceding the point that preemptive war is wrong unless a true threat is there. Another thing, how about admitting or coming over to our side and not endorsing this really bad war? How about writing your leaders and condemning their poor decisions? How about… that’s what the prophets did and they were not afraid to do it. p



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Annie (UK)

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:42 pm


Donny, “No western and/or civilized country should have anything to do with Islam in the first place.” What a narrow minded ridiculous statement. Jesus had dealings with the brutal Roman conquerors of Israel and treated the Roman individuals he came into contact with the same as he did his fellow Jews.Does having no dealings with Islam include the US friendly Islam states like Saudi Arabia and the secular Moslem State of Turkey where the US has military bases? After all Saddam himself was once supported by the US and sold chemical weapons by Rumsfeld.How do you define “civilised”? Surely the treatment of native American Indians, the Atlantic Slave Trade or the massacre of Iraqui civilians hardly classifies the US as any more civilised than any other Nation.Islam scholars and doctors during the Medievil Dark Ages in Europe, (when the Christian Church was at it’s most reactionary and conservative), were responsible for most academic progress and medical advances. In Spain prior to the extremism of Ferninand and Isabella and the introduction of the “Christian ” Inquisition Christians, Jews and Moslems lived together in relative harmony as did Christians and Moslems in Iraq for many years. Interestingly Islam was once considered a Christian heresy rather than a seperate religion and Christians and Moslems in part of Asia Minor sometimes worshipped together.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Another thing, how about admitting or coming over to our side and not endorsing this really bad war? How about writing your leaders and condemning their poor decisions? How about… that’s what the prophets did and they were not afraid to do it. PayshunPayshun, I respect your opinion. The day Kevin in good faith admits the he is wrong on one point, I will gladly change my opinion the troll issue. Until then, you have your opinion. I have mine.



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Don

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:00 pm


Kevin: Change to what? “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them [or those three thousand, who perished when the twin towers fell], think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem [New York]? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” –Luke 13: 1-4 “UNLESS YOU REPENT you will all likewise perish.” Isn’t that saying about the same thing as Amos’ “Prepare to meet your God”? America needs first and foremost to repent. Not to repent of specific sins, but to repent. The word means to turn around. It means, you’re going the wrong way, America, and you need to acknowledge that and turn back to God. Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of repentance in March 1863. We haven’t done anything similar since. America’s problem is the same one the Pharisees had: they didn’t really think they were sinners, and didn’t think they needed any repentance. If we don’t repent as a nation, God will indeed visit our own sins on our heads. And one of those sins is the presumption that we knew what was best for the Iraqis and how best to make things better for them. Sorry, Kevin. You can’t get yourself off this hook. God is the ultimate terrorist, and He will terrorize our nation unless we turn around. Substituting “America” for “Israel” in a reading of Amos isn’t mad libs; it’s a brush with reality. It’s seeing America the way God sees us. Later,



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canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:17 pm


Sarasotakid: the only fundamentalist I ever heard of to admit “I was wrong” was Jim Bakker, and that was after several years at Abu Ghraib in Minnesota.



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canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:18 pm


Good stuff, Don!



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:49 pm


Very funny, canuckelhead! I was once a fundamentalist. I guess I need to chill out a bit, so my apologies to Kevin S. as well. Yes, Don, I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Your credentials as a Republican (or former Republican, I don’t know how you would view yourself) lend further credence to your comments. Peace.



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Another nonymous

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:22 pm


Perhaps it should be pointed out that “repent,” which is derived from the Latin word for pain, is not a particularly good translation of the Greek “metanoiete,” based on the roots “meta” beyond and “nous” mind. An idiomatic translation might be “change your way of thinking,” or even “think outside the box.” Understood this way, it becomes an appeal to the imagination, not just a call for breast beating.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:43 pm


“My point is that your support of this war and blind adherence to Bush’s preemptive war strategy is something that the Old Testament prophets warned against” My support isn’t blind. I’ve given my reasons for supporting it. You just don’t agree with them. Doesn’t make me blind. You are not the only one who is able to come to a conclusion. ” Jeremiah cautioned against putting your hope into the rulers of the land.” I place my hope in neither Bush nor Obama.”Amos railed against greed and opulence at the expense of the poor.” I don’t support this, either. “Ezekiel was provoked to great anger by seeing the idolatry in the temple, not to mention the destruction heeped on by unjust policy.” Here is where I’m not sure we agree. Now, those who do not embrace Christ will, in fact, receive God’s wrath. However, will our country receive God’s wrath for embracing other religions and cultures? If your parallel is as precise as you make it out to be, we are in big trouble for granting rights to Muslims, yes?”You don’t have to cede my point but you do have to listen to the prophets for wise man lives by their counsel.” I don’t consider you to be a prophet, and I certainly don’t consider this dude to be a prophet. Is he even a Christian? Or does being a Democrat suffice?”God doesn’t usually judge people for sexualy immorality” The hell he doesn’t. “How about… that’s what the prophets did and they were not afraid to do it.” If I agreed with your perspective, that is what I would do. I believe that, if we were to leave, more people would be oppressed. I also believe the president has an obligation to ensure that we are not oppressed.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:53 pm


“America needs first and foremost to repent.” Again, it is an open question as to whether we should live as a Christian nation. I am open to this discussion, but it will require a major overhaul that goes beyong embracing ideology A or B. It will mean embracing Christ. Can a government do that? Should they? “Not to repent of specific sins, but to repent. The word means to turn around. It means, you’re going the wrong way, America, and you need to acknowledge that and turn back to God.” Okay. I think you are going to have disagreements as to what this entails, for this and for future wars. And what if the majority decides the minority is out of step with Christ with regard to a particular conflict? How should the government act? If you are proposing a theocracy, the onus is upon you to explain how it would work, I think. “America’s problem is the same one the Pharisees had: they didn’t really think they were sinners, and didn’t think they needed any repentance.” This is a category error. You have taken your personification of America too far. And, I repeat, we disagree as to whether the Iraq war would necessitate repentance even if America were a person. “If we don’t repent as a nation, God will indeed visit our own sins on our heads. And one of those sins is the presumption that we knew what was best for the Iraqis and how best to make things better for them.” Was that a sin? Is all foreign policy error a sin?”Sorry, Kevin. You can’t get yourself off this hook. God is the ultimate terrorist, and He will terrorize our nation unless we turn around.” If what you are saying is true, he will terrorize us for our permission to abort fetuses, for our allowance of prostitution, for murder, thievery, lust, our creation of mosques, Buddhist shrines, all that noise. Shall I repent on behalf of Buddhists? “Substituting “America” for “Israel” in a reading of Amos isn’t mad libs;” It is, if you do not wish to deal with all the ramifications and consequences therein.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:57 pm


The Conservatives arrive at a different conclusion about the war and see no moral responsibility for all of the damage done by it. The liberals don’t view sin exactly as the conservatives see it and in the eyes of the conservatives are not true Christians because they’re not orthodox enough.Can anyone say “hypocrisy” three times fast?



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 9:59 pm


Oh, and by the way, why relate Bible truths to America (like reading America instead of Israel in Amos)? That might convince us that we have a moral responsibility to something other than a free market- absolute heresy!



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:13 pm


Kevin: Here is where I’m not sure we agree. Now, those who do not embrace Christ will, in fact, receive God’s wrath. However, will our country receive God’s wrath for embracing other religions and cultures? If your parallel is as precise as you make it out to be, we are in big trouble for granting rights to Muslims, yes? Me: I don’t know who will and will not recieve God’s wrath so I will leave that to him and him alone. But this nation is not a Christian nation, never has been, never will be. The temple is us, the body of believers if we go by New Testament theology. So if we do not honor and respect the principle Ezekiel laid down which was to honor the temple and worship God alone then that should be our focus. If God judged all sexual immorality all the time this planet would have been destroyed along time ago. He says that sexual sin is different from other types of sin (discounting rape.) When we sin sexually we sin against ourselves at least that’s what the scriptures teach. Now what that means is up to interpretation. But to say that he condemns all to immediate death for sexual sin is ludicrous.If that were true all the molestors and rapists in the land would already be dead. God defers judgement more than you are acknowledging. p



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Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:14 pm


Correction: Me: I don’t know who will and will not recieve God’s wrath so I will leave that to him and him alone. But this nation is not a Christian nation, never has been, never will be. The temple is us, the body of believers if we go by New Testament theology. So if we do not honor and respect the principle Ezekiel laid down which was to honor the temple and worship God alone then we the body will recieve God’s wrath not the unbelievers. p



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Don

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:21 pm


“Was that a sin? Is all foreign policy error a sin?” Didn’t Jesus say something to the effect that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without his knowing it? Well, Kevin, do you think He just might know how many Iraqis have been killed by what our military euphemistically calls ‘collateral damage’? Since we invaded Iraq without moral justification, I wonder whether God may just hold us accountable for all the “innocent” Iraqi men, women, and children who perished at our hands. (To clarify, I’m not here speaking of those who are dying at the hands of insurgents.) I believe God will hold us accountable for these deaths. How many are there? Only God knows. But unjustified killing is called murder. And God promises to avenge murder, doesn’t He? He told Cain that Abel’s blood was crying out for vengeance. And John sees a vision in his Revelation of the saints who were slain for their tesimony. They too are crying out to God for vengeance. Watch out America. And that is only one example. “This is a category error. You have taken your personification of America too far.” How, Kevin? What is there about the attitudes of Americans toward themselves that’s categorically any different from the attitudes the Pharisess had toward themselves? President Bush keeps portraying our struggle aginst terrorism in good vs. evil terms: obviously, they’re the evil ones, we’re the good ones. Isn’t that what the Pharisees thought about themselves? We sing “God Bless America.” (I don’t think it is very wise to use the imperative mood in addressing God I refuse to sing those words. A quite dangerous thing to do, wouldn’t you say?) But didn’t the so-called ‘righteous’ Pharisee pray that he was glad he wasn’t like that sinner praying next to him? And who did Jesus say went away justified? And since you brought it up, isn’t much of our foreign policy based on the notion that we know better than others how to manage their affairs? Isn’t that the kind of arrogance the Pharisees displayed? So please tell me how it’s any different. And another thing: didn’t Jesus identify the Pharisees’ biggest sin as pride? Don’t tell me you’ve never seen the “Power of Pride” bumper stickers? Pride is the surest way to invite God to deal with us, because He loves to humble the proud, doesn’t He? “He scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” “God resists the pride and gives grace to the humble.” If we refuse to humble ourselves, God will surely step in and do it for us. I’m not going to try and categorize which sins are more serious than others, and which ones are more likely to provoke God’s wrath. Certainly sexual immorality, abortion, and similar sins are of concern as well. But this thread is about war, so that’s what I’m going to comment on here. Peace,



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canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:36 pm


“Perhaps it should be pointed out that “repent,” which is derived from the Latin word for pain, is not a particularly good translation of the Greek “metanoiete,” based on the roots “meta” beyond and “nous” mind. An idiomatic translation might be “change your way of thinking…” Another nonymous | 05.02.07 – 3:27 pmI think the noted American theologian, Bob Dylan, summed it up best on his album Slow Train Coming when he sang: “changed my way of thinkin’, gonna stop being influenced by fools”



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canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:44 pm


“I also believe the president has an obligation to ensure that we are not oppressed.” Kevin S by high fuel prices/shortages and what else? don’t forget, some of the very same goofballs who were (formerly) Bush’s right-hand men were just a few years ago supporting Saddam; if the once-comrade Saddam can morph into the great-Satan Saddam, what’s to say Bush’s original good intentions haven’t turned into stubborn bullheadedness?



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:59 pm


“But to say that he condemns all to immediate death for sexual sin is ludicrous. ” No more or less ludicrous than saying he will condemn to death on the basis of foreign policy.”If that were true all the molestors and rapists in the land would already be dead. God defers judgement more than you are acknowledging.” That does not mean he will not judge.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:25 pm


Guys, you’re never going to convince these neo-cons that the war was wrong. I see a pattern here. Those against the war lay out in great (and accurate) detail why the war is unconscionable. Then the neocon(s), one in particular, come(s) back and nitpicks at the minor details of what was said for some perceived (or perhaps actual) logical flaw, fully ignoring the crux of the argument made and not responding to it any meaningful way. I am truly beginning to wonder whether we worship the same God as the neocon/war supporters? My God is a God of peace and shalom. If war is at all an option, then it it the last option. Should the neocon war supporters even be classified as Christians or are they idolotrous state worshipers? Help me on this because the more I participate in this blog and the more I hear the callous position taken by the neocons, the less I am inclined to think of them as Christians.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:26 pm


“Well, Kevin, do you think He just might know how many Iraqis have been killed by what our military euphemistically calls ‘collateral damage’?” That doesn’t answer my question. “Since we invaded Iraq without moral justification,” I disagree.”I wonder whether God may just hold us accountable for all the “innocent” Iraqi men,” Hold whom accountable? “(To clarify, I’m not here speaking of those who are dying at the hands of insurgents.)” Are we, then, going to be held accountable for the deaths of those our nation went to lengths not to kill? “How many are there? Only God knows. But unjustified killing is called murder. ” Fine. I don’t agree that our troops are murderers. “What is there about the attitudes of Americans toward themselves that’s categorically any different from the attitudes the Pharisess had toward themselves?” You are toggling between the attitudes of Americans and “America”. Christians have a different responsbility from countries. Hence, category error.At any rate, I think many Americans do emulate pharisees in a variety of ways. However, I don’t see where God will punish the entire nation on their behalf. ” they’re the evil ones, we’re the good ones. Isn’t that what the Pharisees thought about themselves?” Kind of, but that does not make any distinction between good and evil inherently immoral. Hitler was evil, and I am not a Pharisee for labelling him as such. “And since you brought it up, isn’t much of our foreign policy based on the notion that we know better than others how to manage their affairs? ” That is different from saying one is sinful and the other is not. We knew how to manage Germany’s affairs better than they, which is why we got rid of that Hitler guy. Your thesis cannot be applied consistently, and so the only way to agree with you is to concede that you are right about the war, which brings us to our central impasse. “If we refuse to humble ourselves, God will surely step in and do it for us.” We humble ourselves before God. One can be proud of their family, or proud of their achievments without being arrogant. Pride is a multi-faceted word.”I’m not going to try and categorize which sins are more serious than others, and which ones are more likely to provoke God’s wrath. Certainly sexual immorality, abortion, and similar sins are of concern as well. But this thread is about war, so that’s what I’m going to comment on here.” The thread became about God’s wrath. God’s wrath is God’s wrath, whether it be against our sin of abortion (again, presuming you think he will hold our nation accountable) our sin against Iraq, or what have you. That said, I think reasonable people can and will disagree about whether this war was right, and why that was so. To hold people accountable for murder when they intended to help is not something for which I find a lot of scriptural support.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:28 pm


“fully ignoring the crux of the argument made and not responding to it any meaningful way.” The crux of the argument at hand is whether this guy has license to be, well, whatever he is, on the basis of the prophets’ willingness to be blunt in their assessment of Israel.”Help me on this because the more I participate in this blog and the more I hear the callous position taken by the neocons, the less I am inclined to think of them as Christians.” Translation: When people disagree with me, I question whether they are saved.



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Another nonymous

posted May 2, 2007 at 11:55 pm


Sarasotakid, let’s not go there. I’m on your side, but I don’t think it does any good to say that those whose positions we don’t like aren’t Christians. If there’s a purpose to a blog like this, it’s for us all to learn from each other. You’re absolutely right that many of the posts don’t really address the core argument of the other side, and yes, it annoys the heck out of me. We should just be thankful, though, if real dialogue ever happens.



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 12:15 am


kudos to don for you most recent post – well said. the timing of the last posts from sarasotakid & kevin was also quite amusing, one minunte apart, which i imagine in my head as a splitscreen in which sarasotakid is predicting kevin’s classic response to a ‘t’ precisely as kevin is pecking it away spot-on to what sarasota predicted. comedic/ironic timing at its best.sarasota, as one who kevin regularly has rendered a non-christian, i would exercise some restraint in going down that path.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 12:19 am


Kevin, I had said in the past that I would not address you but I don’t think that is fair or Christian. It was wrong on my part.I will no longer ignore you or address you indirectly. I resolve to address you in the most charitable way I can. Moreover, I have no right to question your relationship to God. That is between you and Him. Having said that, I do see you picking at minor details of arguments that are put forth and ignoring the overall issue. I get the impression that you are posting your comments just to prove you’re right. I see you as bowing to the god of nationalism in the way you defend the U.S. right or wrong. I believe that that is a form of idolatry. It is your right to do that but I see precious little charity in your comments.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 2:50 am


“sarasota, as one who kevin regularly has rendered a non-christian, i would exercise some restraint in going down that path.” I have never rendered you a non-Christian, other than to say that Christ died for our sins, and that this is the central tenet of Christianity. Wallis believes this, as do Dallas Willard, Phillip Yancey, Rick Warren, Marc Driscoll, Diana Butler Bass… Any number of people across the theological spectrum. You found this point controversial.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 2:58 am


“Having said that, I do see you picking at minor details of arguments that are put forth and ignoring the overall issue.” What is the overall issue? I think the question of whether this guy is eschewing prophecy in the vein of Jeremiah is pretty relevant, given that it speaks to whether his spoken word is simply a childish rant (which is precisely what it is). “I get the impression that you are posting your comments just to prove you’re right.” That’s condescending. “I see you as bowing to the god of nationalism in the way you defend the U.S. right or wrong.” I think our abortion policy is tragic and disturbing. I just disagree with you on foreign policy. “I believe that that is a form of idolatry. It is your right to do that but I see precious little charity in your comments.” How so? I take the arguments seriously, without casting aspersions on the motives of the poster, and relay my point of view. Others see fit to reply in kind. If your point is so compelling that I simply MUST acquiesce to your worldview (lest I incur the wrath of the prophecies, no less), they shouldn’t require a litany of pejoratives coupled with condescension. But they do seem to require it, and so forgive me if I am unconvinced.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:12 am


I don’t care if you acquiesce to my world view, Kevin. I know that I would not acquiesce to yours. There is a saying in Spanish- No hay peor ciego que aquel que no quiere ver. There is no one more blind than one who does not want to see. You have been rude, snide and snotty. I too have been that way at times. The difference is that I can admit it. Apparently you haven’t gotten to that point yet.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:38 am


“You have been rude, snide and snotty.” Not particularly, no.



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Anonymous

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:21 am

Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:21 pm


Sarasotakid wrote: “Yes, Don, I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Your credentials as a Republican (or former Republican, I don’t know how you would view yourself) lend further credence to your comments.” Thanks, Sarasota, though I don’t think I should be given credit for anything. I guess I’m still a Republican, because I always pick the Republican ballot for primaries. But I’ve become very careful about which candidates I support in the general election. I don’t like supporting idealogues on either end of the political spectrum, but the right-wing ones have done considerable damage to our nation over the last several years, IMO. I am simply very disillusioned, disappointed, and disgusted with this war mentality, the invasion of Iraq in particular. I wish I could say something positive about these matters, but I just cannot from what I see and hear. I can only hope and pray that things will change. Later,



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:27 pm


Don, You are proof that these issues cut accross party lines. I too believe that there should be a balance- personal morality issues and global macro issues. Having traveled quite a bit, I come unraveled over this America right or wrong mentality that I see. I sense that Iraq will serve to humble us as a country since our national ego had become over-inflated. Peace.



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:11 pm


kevin, you just lied, you have said i was not a christian on several occassions – show some guts & admit it, even when it’s incovenient. i’m sure i could dig through the archive a bit more & find several other places you said i wasn’t a christian, but we can go w/ the two below where you said that you must belive in the physical resurrection & substitutionary atonement to be a christian, these came from a much larger dialogue about the jesus family tomb & DBB’s easter resurrection post if you want to go back & read the many different ways you found to say i was not a christian. i, like sarasotakid, can admit that i have been rude & snide, provoked and unprovoked, which is not a good way to respond. i will seek to be more cordial, hopefully respectfully disagreeing w/ others, but it is difficult to have a conversation when someone takes things line by line, as though thoughts cannot encompass more than that. i think it is disingenuous and i share a concern for trying to dialogue w/ someone in this manner because the essence of dialogue is not reciprocated. granted, the last thing any of us need is to just listen to people who play the same notes we do, but deconstructing another’s post line by line is (to keep the music analogy going) like responding note by note to a song, which is no way to engage the music. ” At any rate, if you find the concept of substitutionary atonement repugnant, then you are not at all a Christian. If you don’t like the “language” that surrounds it, well use different terms, but to reject the concept outright is to reject God. kevin s. | Homepage | 04.06.07 – 11:08 am | #To disbelieve the resurrection is to disbelieve the Bible. If you disbelieve the Bible, then you have no particular cause to be a Christian, and are allowed to fashion a religion of your own making. This is your perogative, but it is not Christianity. kevin s. | Homepage | 03.12.07 – 11:03 am | # 1. When I said belief in the resurrection, I meant belief in the physical resurrection. kevin s. | Homepage | 03.12.07 – 1:36 pm | # ”



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm


Blake, “this type of polarizing, vitriolic material to be posted on this website. This does nothing to further conversation” First of all, the ‘right’ doesn’t seem interested in a “conversation”. They want their policies and their policies ONLY. Secondly, the “left” has no monopoly on “polarizing, vitriolic” rhetoric. Ann Coulter anyone? Fred Phelps? Jerry Falsewell? ETC.!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:34 pm


“This type of rhetoric is polarizing and self-serving, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that.” Um, care to take a look in the mirror??? Oh, and btw, the “mission” (whatever the heck it was/is) is/was NOT “accomplished”. DUH!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:38 pm


“The second mission is to establish a stable, reasonably just government in Iraq. This has undeniably proved much more difficult than expected and ultimate success is not guaranteed.” Oh? What about “cake walk”? (Or was it “Piece of cake” or “Walk in the park”? – The cliches from the “right” are just about as stupid and annoying as the “rhyme” seems to bother you!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:42 pm


“I think Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” (“I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”) might be the best three minutes in the history of American music.” What a truly ugly sentiment. What if it were “Columbine High School Blues”: ‘I shot 12 kids and a teacher, just to watch them die!’ “the best three minutes in the history of American musci”??? THAT tells us a lot about your values, Wolverine. Isn’t this the “culture of death” the Pope warns us about so often? UGH! (imnsho)



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:43 pm


“I’ve never been very comfortable with much of the satire directed against Pres. Bush. (You know, the stuff that portrays him as a bumbling idiot.)” Um, he IS “a bumbling idiot”! Visibly so. And, sadly, repeatedly so. WORST “president” ever.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:47 pm


” How does it escape Leftists, that “The Mission,” was accomplished?” Easy, Donny. Because if the “mission” were3 actually “accomplished” (in the “president’s” words: major combat operations have ceased) then WHY, four years later, are they still in combat?



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:19 pm


nad2, First of all, the replying line-by-line thing is hardly my invention. i think it helps make it clear as to which statement I am referring. I never called you a non-Christian, as I have been unable to ascertain whether you believe in a physical ressurection and whether you believe that Christ died in our place, and that our sins are washed away with his blood. However, if you do not believe those things, then I have indirectly labelled you a non-Christian, yes… But then so have a lot of people, by virtue of declaring what I said above to be true. So can we eschew the “gotcha” games, or are we going to proceed in this manner?



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Curiouser: “Um, he IS “a bumbling idiot”! Visibly so. And, sadly, repeatedly so. WORST “president” ever.” Since I made the comment about not liking much of the Bush satire, I think I should respond to your characterization. I’ve never liked George W. Bush, as I’ve written repeatedly on this blog. But I cannot agree with you or with others who repeat this “Bush is an idiot” canard. Most of these characterizations stem from his inability to be articulate and his fumbling for vocabulary words (and often getting it wrong). Curiouser, I have ADD. I don’t know if Bush has ADD, but some of his behavior suggests he might, or perhaps something similar. One problem I have is with being articulate on the spot. I have a very hard time finding the right words to say at the right time, especially when I need to produce it immediately. Later, when given the chance to think about it, I can come up with the response I wish I could have given. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened. (This is why I prefer writing–I usually have plenty of time to gather my thoughts before putting them down. And then I can revise what I wrote to make it better.) George W Bush acts much the same way. He sounds like he’s bumbling when he’s given a tough question that demands an immediate answer. But that doesn’t mean he lacks intelligence. Interestingly, much of the “Bush is an idiot” nonsense is perpetrated by media types who as a matter of their profession HAVE to be quick on their feet. They can’t understand how someone can be so inarticulate, unless it be lack of innate intelligence. Easily misled, wrongheaded, incredibly stubborn, incurious, yes. But not stupid. As far as your second charge, I would probably be willing to say he’s the worst president in my lifetime (and I was born three months after Eisenhower took office and 4 1/2 years after my Cleveland Indians won their last World Series). But worst president ever? It will take a distance of at least a generation before historians can analyze his terms in anything like an unbiased way and before we could make that pronouncement for sure. So far, James Buchanan gets the dubious honor of worst president ever, mostly because he was so inept in preventing the nation’s slide into civil war. But that was long before my time. ;-) Peace,



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:52 pm


don, gwb stupid? i agree, probably not. nice guy, honestly believes he is doing what is right? probably so. out of his league, surrounded by dangerous idealogues, tragically & blindly obedient to a dillusional might-makes-right foreign policy, inept at leadership & the worst president in recent history? absolutely (& this is coming from someone who supported him in 2000).



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canuckelhead

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:03 pm


IMHO, having been a reporter who’s interviewed politicians, I am astounded (in this media savvy era) that W has been able to win two U.S. presidencies given his less than stellar performances in front of a camera. So I have to look to other explanations to account for his success at the polls.Enter the religious right and the God card. The God card has always fascinated me about U.S. politics. I grew up w/ numerous American chums and recall the hubbub in the early ’60s over JFK being Catholic. Wuzzat? Here in Canada, most of our Prime Ministers have been either Catholic or alcoholics, sometimes both. In any event, seldom does any politician publicly play the God card in the course of seeking election, if for no other reason than they know they’ll be skewered by both the media and the general public. Liberal media? Maybe or maybe we just have minimal respect for people who would prostitute the sacred by using that component of their identity to succeed in an arena that is demonstrably controlled by what is popular w/ voters at any particular point in history. Would Jesus have been elected President of anything? This is not, of course, to suggest that Christians shouldn’t run for public office, merely that a good case might be built to argue that the democratic process – or any political process short of theocracy (can I be Theo?) for that matter – is somewhat antithetical to Christian values of humility, honesty and integrity. Can you win the White House w/o being a millionaire or a part of capitalist royalty? Would Jesus have had the dough to put together a serious run for any American primary? why or why not?



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:30 pm


Canuckelhead: “most of our Prime Ministers have been either Catholic or alcoholics, sometimes both.” We were in Toronto a few years ago and were able to watch a PM candidates’ debate on TV in our hotel room. It was fun to watch–and our first reaction was that the presidential debates here in the USA are quite tame by comparison. And later, my wife visited the Ontario Parliament while it was in session (and while I was in conference sessions) and there witnessed some more verbal fireworks. It has been said (and I don’t know where I heard this) that Abraham Lincoln probably couldn’t be elected today because of his lack of physically telegenic qualities, so it does make one wonder how someone like Bush, who does tend to look bad under the lights, could be elected. His handlers surely know what the’re doing, though. I don’t have any answer to your last questions. Peace,



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:07 pm


i forget where i heard it so my apologies to whoever said it, but i recently heard it said that had there been reporters around the time of jesus, they would have been staked out around herod’s temple & probably wouldn’t have cared much for the execution of a lowly peasant theological seditionist. makes you wonder if we are really focusing our attention in the right places today. jesus the man couldn’t get elected dog catcher today. the first will be last, the last will be first? no way, those who are currently first would just point to any one of his relationships w/ unsavory types & he would be gone. :(



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:06 pm


Nad2, Thank you for your kind words. Part of the problem of apologizing, I have heard, is that the other person may not reciprocate. The fact that you or I can openly apologize speaks well of our character. The fact that the other party can never apologize or recognize wrong-doing bespeaks volumes of theirs. It is good will versus bad faith.As I said before, No hay peor ciego que aquel que no quiere ver. There is no one more blind than one who does not want to see.



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Carl Copas

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Payshun, have you read Gregory Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church?



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:26 pm


humility is the most underappreciated virtue, though i don’t think many even consider it a virtue anymore.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm


” The fact that you or I can openly apologize speaks well of our character.” Saying “I’m sorry, but your snide remarks caused me to be snide myself” is not an apology. It is false humility accompanied by a back-handed insult. I never personally insulted you. You have done it to me repeatedly. That is why I am not apologizing. It would be insincere.



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:19 pm


what reason does someone never wrong have to apologize or concede anything?



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:20 pm


humility is the most underappreciated virtue, though i don’t think many even consider it a virtue anymore. nad2 So true! Res Ipsa Loquitor. Thing speaks for itself.



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nad2

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:27 pm


ah, res ipsa loquitor, a lost form in this over-commentaried world, as well as in this industry-protected legal system that is steadily being eroded.



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 12:11 am


“what reason does someone never wrong have to apologize or concede anything?” I may be wrong, but I’m not going to apologize for presenting my point of view, which is all I have done on this board. Some people can do that without getting frustrated and some can’t.



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Canuckelhead

posted May 4, 2007 at 1:35 am


Res Ipsa Loquitor ah, res ipsa loquitor could someone please interpret Swahili for those of us ingrates who understand only English or (non-Parisian) French (as garnered from the back of cereal boxes?)



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 1:46 am


Cancuklehead, res ipsa loquitor is Latin for: The thing speaks for itself.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 1:49 am


Nad2, You are truly a kindred spirit. I don’t know your views on the resurrection but I have come to realize that “orthodoxy doth not the Christian make.” Peace to you brother.



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Canuckelhead

posted May 4, 2007 at 3:26 am


thx, and can I join the group hug? :)



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:58 am


kindred spirits within this faith are much easier to find if we continue to speak up (even among people who don’t yet realize it because they have not been exposed to the fullness of this faith tradition but don’t find orthodoxy as defined by the insistent compelling or compatable w/ their experience of a loving and mysterious god).



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 3:05 pm


Canucklehead, you’re funny. I really appreciate your posts! Keep their feet to the fire, man! Or should we reserve that phrase for our “loyal opposition” to use exclusively given their mitigated reaction to Abu Gharib?!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:22 pm


Don, Your comments are appreciated. I am dyslexic, so i can sort of empathize with ADD. But you aren’t the “leader” of the “free” world. Bush is. Used to be we EXPECTED our “presidents” to be “articulate on the spot”. Used to be we EXPECTED the person who sets foreign policy to actually have been to another country in his lifetime. Used to be we EXPECTED someone who is called the “Commander in Chief” to have served his country, rather than actively avoiding service. Although YOU may “have a very hard time finding the right words to say at the right time especially when I need to produce it immediately”, most of what Bush says is scripted, and he can’t even reat THAT off the teleprompters. “I usually have plenty of time to gather my thoughts before putting them down.” Presidents DON’T. “[Bush] sounds like he’s bumbling when he’s given a tough question that demands an immediate answer. But that doesn’t mean he lacks intelligence.” I think intelligence is a combination of learnedness, articulateness, insight, reason and thoughtfulness. Bush shows NONE of that. EVER! Sorry, but on this we will have to agree to disagree. Bush sux and thousands and thousands have died because his incompetencies (not to mention his lies).



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Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:48 pm


Curiouser: Fair enough. And you’re probably right about agreeing to disagree. But nothing that you have said proves Bush really is STUPID. And I don’t think anyone gave a thought to whether the president was (or should be) articulate on the spot before television came around. And lots of people have died at the hands of some very intelligent people, too: Hitler comes to mind. Like I said, I have lots of problems with him and with the things he has done. But that doesn’t make him an idiot. Signing off,



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Payshun

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:12 pm


Don, I agree w/ Curiouser. I think he is as dumb as a rock. Yes I could argue that he lacks good speaking skills but that’s not my point. The reason I find him to be stupid is because he is unable to learn from his mistakes when he has had eight years to do so. That strikes me as stupid. Mind you I do go back and forth on this. Sometimes I am more like the lot of you and then other times (espeically lately) I really think he lacks the intelligence to change. p



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:14 pm


a dear friend of mine in response to chavez calling bush the devil wrote a letter to the editor of his paper saying basically: “i take offense to what chavez said about bush being the devil. he is clearly wrong, bush is not the devil – eveyone knows the devil is no idiot.” i thought it was funny.



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:23 pm


watch yourself sarasotakid, such talk about orthodoxy can get you branded a non-christian, or at the very least a heretic!



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Payshun

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:00 pm


Nads, That was awesome. p



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Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:23 pm


nad2: See the “Feeding the Wolves” thread above. They’re talking about taking the torch to me–though I’m not sure why. I just asked them to make sure the wood is dry and well-seasoned so it will burn hotter and faster–that way it will all be over more quickly. ;-) Later?



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:43 pm


watch yourself sarasotakid, such talk about orthodoxy can get you branded a non-christian, or at the very least a heretic! nad2With the brand of “orthodoxy” I’ve seen peddled by some people here, I would be proud to be labeled a heretic.



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:48 pm


i see they are upping the ante on us – go one better & propose to roshambo (urbandictionary.com has the definition) the accuser w/ god deciding who the real sinner is by the first to go down, a new-age twist on an older version of a witch trial (or, eric cartman’s version of ‘he who is without sin, cast the first stone’). just be sure you go first. if not, happy trails my friend!



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:50 pm


yes, heretic has become quite complimentary hasn’t it?! i too appreciate the flattery!



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 8:22 pm


“They’re talking about taking the torch to me–though I’m not sure why.” Um. Donny is. I wouldn’t break out the martyr crown just yet.



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Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 9:00 pm


Well, being branded a heretic by Donny is probably a good thing, whether it leads to martyrdom or not. But it probably wouldn’t earn a gem in that crown, would it? Peace,



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Payshun

posted May 5, 2007 at 7:12 am


Nads, Sweet considering I have been called an antichrist and your a heretic we should throw a party. p



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