God's Politics

God's Politics


Tim Kumfer: A Declaration of Interdependence

posted by God's Politics

As many in the United States are gathering to celebrate Independence Day, an event I attended last week has me thinking a lot more about the necessity of interdependence…

Last week four other Sojourners staff members and I journeyed to Atlanta for the first ever U.S. Social Forum, whose motto was “Another World is Possible. Another U.S. is Necessary!” It was a gathering of activists who commit “to challenge corporate globalization, its neoliberal policies, and the growing poverty, repression, and war that increasingly defines the dominant global capitalist economic and political systems.” With somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand participants, it was a great carnival of peoples’ movements, and an invitation to learn how our government’s policies and the actions of corporations can disrupt and destroy the lives of those on the bottom.

What I found so hopeful was that the workshops were largely led by ordinary folks who cared deeply about the issues because they had been personally affected by them. For instance, veterans offered ways to build the antiwar movement, farm workers shared stories of poor wages and working conditions, and people of color being displaced by gentrification discussed strategies for achieving affordable housing in their neighborhoods.

Disinterested “experts,” a fixture inside the Washington-area beltway, were nowhere to be found. Media-savvy pundits were absent as well. Instead, there were impassioned people talking about harsh realities not up for discussion in Washington or featured in the 24-hour news cycle:

  • The unintended results of our uncritical embrace of the global free market, including illegal migration
  • Our exorbitant defense budget and military presence throughout the world
  • The torturing of detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq, and elsewhere
  • The state of the Palestinian people and the U.S.’s financial and military support of Israel
  • That with over 2.3 million prisoners, a majority of whom are people of color, the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world
  • The privatization of public goods such as water and schools
  • The toxic effects of environmental racism

Those outside the power structures—including many participants at USSF 2007—often provide the strongest critique of them, largely because their disenfranchisement leaves them with nothing to lose. They are free to speak the truth as they see it in ways that many of us are not, which can be a liberating (if slow) process for all involved.

Certainly, the forum had its problems, particularly from a Christian perspective. Some of the participants demonstrated support for violence, celebrated an “anything and everything goes” understanding of sexual expression, and practiced silly, new-age style spirituality. It made me thankful for Sojourners, and its long history of presenting a radical biblical alternative to both the Religious Right and the activist Left. That being said, these movements often do a better job than churches and faith-based groups do of letting the poor speak for themselves.

The forum was an invitation for people to look around and realize, as Marvin Gaye put it, “What’s going on” in our communities and throughout the world, and an opportunity to organize for change. I pray that the church will side with and celebrate the poor among us, and that we can work together to seek alternatives to the commodification of human life through the market and its domination through militarism.


Tim Kumfer is the executive assistant at Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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Bill Samuel

posted July 4, 2007 at 7:59 pm


I’m waiting for Sojourners to return to presenting a “radical biblical alternative” again. It seems to have gotten stuck into identifying with establishment politics.
Here, I’ll note that Tim Kumfer refers to a U.S. “defense budget.” That is not what it is at all. It is a military budget that forbodes ill not good for the future of our country. We must not buy into the attempts to call things other than what they are in order to make them palatable.
I’m waiting for Sojourners to actually campaign against the military budget and the proposals for people like Clinton, Obama and Edwards to increase it. In last year’s campaign on the budget, Sojourners failed to even mention where the bulk of the money was going.



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Brent

posted July 4, 2007 at 8:36 pm


I’m sorry, but the American military budget, the toruring of detainees, and any injustices of global capitalism are the least of the world’s problems.
How about focusing on the poorest places in the world, where capitalism is absent. How about focusing on places where the American military presence is non-existent (North Korea, Somalia, Iran) and then you will find real injustice and oppression, not some of the comparatively limited sins of America.
How about focusing on the fact that the Palenstinians, like the other Arab states, are incapable of building an oppression-free state and that their problems are self-imposed and due to their genocidal hatred of Israel?
No, I dare not dream. Sojourners, so flush that “The monologue of the religious right is over”, is only starting another monologue. And trying to hijack Christianity for their left-wing agenda, rather than fighting the real and more diabolical injustices in the world. They just won’t admit it, even though it’s obvious to anyone.



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TimR

posted July 4, 2007 at 10:36 pm


“…and the growing poverty, repression, and war that increasingly defines the dominant global capitalist economic and political systems.”
I think you spelled “decreasing” wrong. By what measurement is poverty increasing? The unfortunate truth for liberals is that the global poverty rate has dramatically decreased THANKS to globalization and capitalism.



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MadHatter07

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:22 pm


I would say a lot of things, but I found that Brent already said them.On this day of independence, Sojourners should be thankful they live in this nation which enjoys freedom and has been responsible for the liberation of millions around the world. Instead, you choose to demean the US by accusing it of being a fascist state. You have the right to say this, but it is truly pathetic.



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CADS

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:03 am


God bless our capitalistic system and the prosperity it has brought to us all. Our poor live better than any other country’s poor, and I’m sick of having to apologize for it. It would appear that Sojo would actually be for a lower standard of living for everyone as long as we were all equally miserable. Bravo to Brent, Tim and Mad for telling it like it is, and shame on those who hate the American way of life.



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Wolverine

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:07 am


Tim,
When 20,000 people gather for a political confab, you’re rarely dealing with “ordinary folks”. What you have are political activists posing as “ordinary folks”.
When your motto is “another world is possible, another US is necessary, One has to figure that the group attracted is not likely to be representative of the population at large.
Basically, you went and listened to a whole lot of angry leftists. Yippee.
Wolverine



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Jerseykid

posted July 5, 2007 at 8:36 am


Thank you for this great post! To those who would dismiss the problems that have been discussed as minor, it is obvious that they are wearing blinders and do not see beyond their noses and limited self-interest. Nobody wants to undermine the capitalistic system as they would have us believe, rather the system does need to some level of government intervention so that it does not go awry. Those same people who dismiss the content of the your post as a “whole lot of angry leftists” moan and cry when they are dismissed by others as neo-conservative reactionaries” but that is what they are.



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DHFabian

posted July 5, 2007 at 8:54 am


“Our poor live better than any other country’s poor…”
They do live better than those in, for example, Iraq or Darfur. But since 1996, conditions for America’s poor have rapidly deteriorated, and are now well below that of the poor in other modern nations. The fortunate of America’s poor increasingly share cramped apartments with one or more other families. Hunger and homelessness are common, even though a surprising percentage of the homeless are employed. And so on.
How bad are things for the poor here? The number of Americans in severe poverty continues to escalate. The rate of infant mortality among our poor, and the life expectancy of our poor, is now on par with that of Third World nations. A growing number of citizens are simply locked out of the health care system. In short, Americans are, indeed, dying as a direct result of poverty today.
What makes the depth of American poverty so astonishing is the fact that it is not the result of a Great Depression or natural disasters, but a
matter of government policy, as public funds that were once used to enable the poor to achieve a measure of stability, to move out of poverty, are now used to pay the tax debts of corporations/the richest 1% of the population.
As long as we can remain ignorant, blaming the poor for their circumstances, we don’t have to feel any sense of social responsibility, much less trouble ourselves with such things as “compassion”.



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DHFabian

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:08 am


“Our poor live better than any other country’s poor…”
They do live better than those in, for example, Iraq or Darfur. But since 1996, conditions for America’s poor have rapidly deteriorated, and are now well below that of the poor in other modern nations. The fortunate of America’s poor increasingly share cramped apartments with one or more other families. Hunger and homelessness are common, even though a surprising percentage of the homeless are employed. And so on.
How bad are things for the poor here? The number of Americans in severe poverty continues to escalate. The rate of infant mortality among our poor, and the life expectancy of our poor, is now on par with that of Third World nations. A growing number of citizens are simply locked out of the health care system. In short, Americans are, indeed, dying as a direct result of poverty today.
What makes the depth of American poverty so astonishing is the fact that it is not the result of a Great Depression or natural disasters, but a
matter of government policy, as public funds that were once used to enable the poor to achieve a measure of stability, to move out of poverty, are now used to pay the tax debts of corporations/the richest 1% of the population.
As long as we can remain ignorant, blaming the poor for their circumstances, we don’t have to feel any sense of social responsibility, much less trouble ourselves with such things as “compassion”.



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Moderatelad

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:29 am


“…Sojourners, and its long history of presenting a radical biblical alternative to both the Religious Right and the activist Left.”
So what is the difference between the activist left of a Al Gore or Hillary and Sojo? Answer – nothing. Sojo is just a more religious, Christianized version of the Dem. Party. Sojo takes and labels the Dobsons, Kennedys, Fawells of the Christian world as the ‘enemy’ and joins in lock step with Gore, Clinton(s) etc.
My father taught me that you ‘Yes’ is yes and your ‘No’ is no. In other words – let people know where you stand so that there is no confussion. In all the time that I have read the articles and postings of Sojo and the groupies, I still do not know where Sojo stands on the issue of abortion. I know – they believe that those on the other side are worng because they see them as two issue people – abortion and gay rights. We are a little more complicated than that thank you. BUT – if someone were to ask me what Sojo’s official view is on abortion – I would say I don’t know. Which is sad for all the time they have dealt with the issue over the past year. (Seriously – I do not know but the sinic in me thinks that they might be a group of closeted pro-choice people.)
Have a great day!
.



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Thomas T.

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:03 am


Brent said it well in the second post. Very well.
I have my own topic to respond to:
“gentrification”
Are you serious?
Wanting to rid my neighborhood of:
Filth, trash, empty liquor bottles, blood filled needles, drugs tossed while fleeing a rival gang member, spent and unfired bullets and shell casings . . ., not wanting thugs, prostitutes and pimps, pedophiles and homosexuals recruiting my children, not wanting husbandless women raising their multi-fathered brood of unruly and violent children, being able to call the police without a contract being issued on my life by the gang running my neighborhood . . . etc., etc., etc.
Wanting a safe and clean place for my wife, my children and I, to live is wanting is raise the standard of living so that the poor are removed?
Are you “Sojouners” that ignorant of what poor America actually looks like and actually IS? Stop listening to Jesse Jackson and his wealthy ilk.
Try sojouning somewhere other than Washington DC parties and Marxist-Leftist propaganda campaigns.
It’s time to sweep away the reasons that poor neighborhoods have plenty of Escalades and an over abundance of death. And it’s not because they lack money.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:12 am


Brent, in the writers bullet points he did not use the word capitalism so are you throwing that out as a red herring? As a Sojo member, I embrace capitalism. But I think my version with rules and regulations is not like your late 19th century robber baron vision of capitalism.
I understand the debate over the military budget. But why are you conservatives not complaining that the vast increase in the military budget is going to private businesses (contractors) that fail audits and tests of honest capitalism. Too much fraud, embezzlement, and unfulfilled agreements. You get angry over the $230 a month welfare check but you laugh or shrug your shoulders when you hear of a contractor bilking millions from taxpayers but never gets punished.
Moderatelad, you say you know “the other sides” view of abortion. But “the other side” you refer to has been in charge many years and has kept abortion legal. I will keep reminding you the U.S. Supreme Court was and is majority Republican appointed but it re-affirmed Roe vs. Wade the last time it considered it. That’s been about 14 years ago. Hate to bust your bubble on this issue but your team has been striking out. Actually, they are not even swinging the bat. You’re too smart to get snowed like that year after year. Is it OK to exclaim year after election year to be against abortion but mislead you by deciding to keep it legal?



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Wolverine

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:39 am


I understand the debate over the military budget. But why are you conservatives not complaining that the vast increase in the military budget is going to private businesses (contractors) that fail audits and tests of honest capitalism. Too much fraud, embezzlement, and unfulfilled agreements.
Do you have any specific companies in mind? Any evidence of widespread fraud to point to?
By the way, you really should get yourself a handle, just so we’ll know what to call you.
Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:47 am


I still do not know where Sojo stands on the issue of abortion. I know – they believe that those on the other side are worng because they see them as two issue people – abortion and gay rights. We are a little more complicated than that thank you. BUT – if someone were to ask me what Sojo’s official view is on abortion – I would say I don’t know. Moderatelad
SOJO believes that abortion is bad but that they are still pro-choice. They seek to reduce abortions through policies that would have the net effect of reducing the number of abortions (without legislatively banning it) and SOJO is willing to work with anybody (Democrat or Republican) who would work toward that end. I have ascertained that this is their position by reading same materials you have.
To depict Sojo as a two issue movement is clearly incorrect. On this blog, you will find entries about third world poverty, urban and rural poverty, educational policies, the unjust, illegal war in Iraq, to name a few. These articles may offend your right-wing, overly nationalistic tendencies (like when you criticized McLaren for not mentioning a color guard in a neighborhood parade) but they certainly are anything but two issues.
Your constant harping on specific Democrats is getting old. But, hey, maybe you’ll learn to spell their names correctly.



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Steve-a-Reno

posted July 5, 2007 at 11:45 am


Wolverine, if I could would it change your mind? I know, but I’ll do it anyway. I hope someday you will challenge your conservative leaders about their promises of “elect me for a smaller, more limited government”. Here’s the bare tip of the iceberg you wanted:
Darlene Druyun, a senior executive with DoD who obtained jobs with Boeing for her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, and herself while negotiating a contract with Boeing on behalf of the Air Force. Druyun gave Boeing a “parting gift” by agreeing to a higher price than she believed appropriate for Boeing’s tanker aircraft. Boeing’s chief financial officer, Michael Sears, also pleaded guilty for his role in this scandal.
Robert Lee Neal, Jr., and Francis Delano Jones, Jr., were convicted of extortion, bribery, money laundering, and other crimes in 2003. Neal and Jones were DOD officials who used their official positions to obtain bribes, extortion payments, and gratuities.
Kevin Hawkins, who accepted over $47,000 in bribes for his participation in a scheme to use DOD “IMPAC” credit cards to make over $200,000 in fictitious purchases for the Pentagon.
Bobby Gilchrist, who received over $200,000 in bribes for his participation in a credit card scheme, resulting in $400,000 in government losses.
The Ebersole dog case, which focused on fraudulent procurements involving untrained bomb detection dogs used by IRS, State, Federal Reserve, and FEMA.
The case against Jeffrey Bochesa and several others that involved $300,000 in gratuities and a $1.33 million fraud committed by Bochesa and his company in connection with a National Reconnaissance Office subcontract.
The Dutta case involving more than $800,000 in overcharging on USAID contracts.
The Photogrammetrics case that involved more than $500,000 of overcharges on major DOT road projects in Northern Virginia.
Northrop Grumman paid $60 million in connection with defective pricing on a major DoD contract in Norfolk.



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Wolverine

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Now notice something: in the very first case you listed there were several people who pled guilty or were convected of crimes. And in the last item you listed Northrop Grumman apparently paid a pretty hefty financial penalty.
Graft and corruption are inevitable in any large organization, government included. We do not, as a policy, encourage graft, and are pleased when those who engage in it are held accountable.
This is a seperate issue from the cost of poorly designed and poorly executed government entitlement programs, in which millions are intentially spent in ways that harm the people we are supposed to be helping.
Wolverine



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Tom

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:54 pm


By reviewing the posts on this thread I have to ask myself if I should believe that “The dialogue of the religious right is over.” I don’t think it is. Or, at best it seems the dialogue of the religious right is waning and its first cousin, the conservative-nationalist, is picking up the slack.



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carl copas

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:29 pm


Tim,
thank you for the report on the meeting of the U.S. Social Forum. It’s exciting to see these kinds of things happening, and it’s important that the Christian perspective be represented.
Ignore the naysayers, most of whom are on here every day bellyaching incessantly. One wonders why they bother with Sojourners, because they complain about every posting. One labors in vain to detect even a smidgen of Christian love or Christian spirit of generosity and tolerance.
Truly, “what comes out of your mouth [keyboard in this case] defiles you.”



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Pam

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm


Amen to carl copas’ posting. I so appreciate the thoughtful, faithful essays and reflections that Sojourners posts (I certainly don’t always agree with everything…that’s part of what makes it both intellectually thought-provoking and spiritually challenging – good stuff!). Every now and then I decide to try checking out readers’ comments again…and then wonder, When am I going to learn?? For I’m always disappointed or even disgusted by the abundance of snide, often rude, “oppose them at every turn” postings (and so often it’s the same people over and over again), that I then stay away for days or weeks at a time.
But then, silly me, I try again, because conversation and debate between people with differing perspectives and experiences and opinions can be very enriching and eye-opening…
But that hardly ever seems to happen to any great degree here. Far too much of the time the postings are heavily dominated by disrespectful, confrontational, rude comments by people who don’t seem to have any real interest in true dialogue – just making pronouncements, often rudely. This blog is neither productive nor respectful; I’ll go back to limiting myself to the essays again.
(And there’s no real point in someone now posting some kind of “good riddance” response to this, as some may be tempted to do…I’ve not been one to contribute postings, so it’s not like you even know what my stances are to know whether or not you’ll be glad I’m not going to be sharing them here. I’m just sad and tired about the hatefulness so often expressed here. And I won’t be reading here anymore, anyway…until the next time some weeks from now that I, silly me, may try once again, with wan hope, to see if there’s some thought-provoking, spiritually challenging, respectful conversation.)
Peace,
Pam



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Sarasotakid

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm


“Graft and corruption are inevitable in any large organization, government included. We do not, as a policy, encourage graft, and are pleased when those who engage in it are held accountable.” Wolverine
Which is shorthand for I am in agreement with the entities engaging in the misconduct so I won’t get outraged by it as I would if a liberal or progressive had engaged in the same or similar misconduct.
Ignore the naysayers, most of whom are on here every day bellyaching incessantly. One wonders why they bother with Sojourners, because they complain about every posting. One labors in vain to detect even a smidgen of Christian love or Christian spirit of generosity and tolerance. Carl Copas
Oh so true!



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Sarasotakid

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:20 pm


“Graft and corruption are inevitable in any large organization, government included. We do not, as a policy, encourage graft, and are pleased when those who engage in it are held accountable.” Wolverine
Which is shorthand for I am in agreement with the entities engaging in the misconduct so I won’t get outraged by it as I would if a liberal or progressive had engaged in the same or similar misconduct.
“Ignore the naysayers, most of whom are on here every day bellyaching incessantly. One wonders why they bother with Sojourners, because they complain about every posting. One labors in vain to detect even a smidgen of Christian love or Christian spirit of generosity and tolerance.” Carl Copas
Oh so true!



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Wolverine

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm


Sarasotakid,
No, I am not “in agreement” with misconduct, but I do not see this as a reason we cannot argue against counterproductive entitlement programs.
Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted July 5, 2007 at 5:11 pm


“Thank you for this great post! To those who would dismiss the problems that have been discussed as minor, it is obvious that they are wearing blinders and do not see beyond their noses and limited self-interest.”
The problems facing our citizens are relatively minor, compared to other nations. Do you disagree? Tone down your rhetoric and have a discussion.
“Nobody wants to undermine the capitalistic system as they would have us believe,”
Oh, there are plenty of people who want to underming the capitalistic system. Sojourners has toned down their ideology in favor of a more media savvy message, but I can guarantee you there were plenty of socialists at the rally. Che and Hugo Chavez shirts abound in those circles.
“rather the system does need to some level of government intervention so that it does not go awry.”
Nobody argued otherwise.
“Those same people who dismiss the content of the your post as a “whole lot of angry leftists” moan and cry when they are dismissed by others as neo-conservative reactionaries” but that is what they are.”
I just think the personal attacks don’t do anything to add to the dicussion. I neither moan nor cry. At any rate, Wolverine said that the event discussed was a whole lot of angry lefitsts. How can you deny that when there a number of people there who support the use of violence?



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kevin s.

posted July 5, 2007 at 5:38 pm


“Hunger and homelessness are common, even though a surprising percentage of the homeless are employed. And so on.”
Define common.
“The rate of infant mortality among our poor, and the life expectancy of our poor, is now on par with that of Third World nations.”
Our standard for measuring infant mortality is very liberal. Many nations only count babies who have the greates chance of survival.
“but it re-affirmed Roe vs. Wade the last time it considered it. That’s been about 14 years ago. Hate to bust your bubble on this issue but your team has been striking out.”
I will agree that the 70s and 80s saw some disappointing nominations.
John Roberts and Samuel Alito were home runs (not just on the abortion issue). Bork would have been a home run, but he was thrown out at the plate by your team. If it weren’t for Democrats, abortion would be illegal. So any discussion of fault as it relates to Republicans on this issue is largely meaningless.
“By reviewing the posts on this thread I have to ask myself if I should believe that “The dialogue of the religious right is over.””
Wallis states that the monologue is over. To silence the dialogue is to suggest that conservatives simply not offer their opinions. I’m sure you would like that, but I am unwilling to comply.
“Ignore the naysayers, most of whom are on here every day bellyaching incessantly. One wonders why they bother with Sojourners, because they complain about every posting. One labors in vain to detect even a smidgen of Christian love or Christian spirit of generosity and tolerance.”
Disagreement and complaint are not the same thing. If we agreed with your worldview, you would not have a problem with our dissent. Same with Pam. Pam wants a spiritual discussion, which (for her) is code for a discussion in which all parties largely agree with her.
This blog is entitled “God’s Politics”, not the “Official Blog of the Left-Wing Christian Alliance”. If it is the latter, then your comments are appropriate. But if you are going to claim to represent God’s Politics, expect to be challenged.
“(And there’s no real point in someone now posting some kind of “good riddance” response to this, as some may be tempted to do..”
This is awfully presumptuous. Nobody on the conservative end of things is writing in such a manner.



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Shawn

posted July 5, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Sojourners certainly does seem to me to be part of the activist left, though if only the fringes of it. In other words, it’s not exactly “moonbat” central, though many other attendees at that conference certainly belong in the “mentally convalescent” category.



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Pam

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:40 pm


“…I won’t be reading here anymore…” I (Pam)wrote earlier today. Well-ll-ll, I confess that my curiosity got the best of me, and I went back to check out the discussion; yes, I was curious if anyone would have any response to what I chose to post, it’s true…
So I did read, among subsequent comments, a post which, among other things, responded with: “Disagreement and complaint are not the same thing. If we agreed with your [carl copas'] worldview, you would not have a problem with our dissent. Same with Pam. Pam wants a spiritual discussion, which (for her) is code for a discussion in which all parties largely agree with her.” – Kevin S.
To which I am moved to respond:
EXCUSE ME?? Did you even read what I wrote? I have a hard time understanding how the inference can be made from my post that I am seeking agreement, or that agreement equals challenge (“spiritual discussion,” whatever that means, is your phrase; “spiritual challenge,” which is what I wrote and I intended, may mean different things to different people, but it certainly does not mean “agreement” – what’s challenging about that?). I suggest re-reading my earlier post, including these direct quotes I excerpt here:
“I certainly don’t always agree with everything…that’s part of what makes it both intellectually thought-provoking and spiritually challenging – good stuff!”
“…conversation and debate between people with differing perspectives and experiences and opinions can be very enriching and eye-opening…”
The point of my earlier entry (I guess I should have included a “topic sentence”…) is that *respectful* disagreement, dialogue and debate is enriching, can be eye-and-heart-opening, and is what I seek – but it’s too hard to find it here in this blog.
Truly, peace,
Pam



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Brent

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:49 pm


“Brent, in the writers bullet points he did not use the word capitalism so are you throwing that out as a red herring?”
He used “global free market”. Good enough.
To those who responded to me, I never said that America, the military budget, or “the global free market” was perfect. True conservatives hate government waste in all forms.
There are a lot bigger fish to fry. And I wish SoJo would devote at least a reasonable portion of it’s time and ink to those.
“But since 1996, conditions for America’s poor have rapidly deteriorated, and are now well below that of the poor in other modern nations. The fortunate of America’s poor increasingly share cramped apartments with one or more other families. Hunger and homelessness are common, even though a surprising percentage of the homeless are employed. And so on.
How bad are things for the poor here? The number of Americans in severe poverty continues to escalate.”
Oh, how I love this topic. I’ve done the research. You could hardly be more wrong!
http://www.tektonics.org/guest/bhcap04.htm



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Peter Nichols

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:04 am


I surmise that in order to feel flush with patriotism and to be offended when our government and runaway capitalism is called into question must mean that you also swallow alot of myths, lies, and propaganda.To become a Christian, red-letter variety, requires daily soul-searching and dealing with uncomfortable truths.For myself,the idea of becoming “born again” means to return to innocence and to reconsider all the conventional wisdom that society forces on a person and to hold on to what is honest and sacred, and to regard the rest with great skepticism.
Over the past few years I’ve been seeking God.In doing so, I’ve had to come to terms with alot of unpleasant personal issues. I’ve also tried to make sense of the times we live in and what contemporary American life is all about.I’ve come to the following conclusions:
-Power corrupts;absolute power corrupts absolutely.
-The business of America is business. Money interests control America and democracy is a fast-fading illusion.
-America is an empire.It has its tentacles everywhere and its foreign policies have been a source of widespread suffering. Our nation was built on racist ideals, and exploits racism and xenophobia to manufacture consent for its policies.(Note to Mad Hatter 07:Post- WW2, your country has liberated practically nobody, has slaughtered millions, and has aided repressive and murderous tyrannies throughout the third world).
-I don’t like to dwell on the idea of Satan, but it seems he must be alive and thriving in the corruption of organized religion, Christian institutions in particular. Consider the current list of “Christian’ heavyweights:Pope Ratzinger, who undermined the liberation theologists,who baited the Muslims; plus all the power-mad pastors who are wired into Washington (James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley, Ted Haggard,Donald Wildmon, Richard Land, Tim Lahaye, John Hagee, etc.).Is the Republican party the”Party of God?” Perhaps-if God is a demon.All of the above mentioned seem to want to play God. What we need are religious leaders who are willing to wear the crown of thorns.
-There are close to 3000 verses in the bible critical of wealth and power and demanding justice for the poor. Jesus made no specific mention of homosexuality in the gospels.So who catches all the hell from the bully-pulpit for societies ills? Why, the queers, of course!That our leaders continue to commit crimes against humanity to increase their profit and power, and that our standard of living has been made possible by exploiting people and resources in third world-read:poor-countries is somehow of no concern to the Reverend Dobson and Pope Rat.
-There is a lot of hysteria in the media about “Islamo-fascism.”What should be of more concern is the Christo-fascist movement in this nation (I believe it was refered to in an above post as “Christian nationalism”).Lying for Jesus.
Killing for Jesus.
-I long for a Christian leader to speak up a little louder and with a lttle more force about the issues I’ve discussed. Where are the Berrigans of this millenium?I’m afraid Jim Wallis has become too polite, maybe for fear of becoming a pariah in the mainstream media.
-I feel that if you’re supportive of our goverment and are either gullible or ignorant(yes,IGNORANT. If you are not willing to investigate the facts of what this nation is about, then you are ignoring the facts and are therefore being ignorant) enough to accept the conventional wisdom that America is the world’s good guy, then you are a very poor witness for Christ.
-It was mentioned in an above post by Brent that we should focus on the problems of Iran, Somalia, and North Korea rather than Americas.I believe that when America gets the plank out of it’s eye, then it can be concerned with what’s in Iran’s eye. Here is a case of ignorance. It doesn’t take alot of research to understand that America’s problems with Iran are of their own making. Why has the US meddled in Iran for 60-70 years? Oh maybe oil, proximity to the USSR oil, Israel,oil, Israel, oil… Do you know why the suffering of the masses in Somalia and North Korea (among other places) are of little concern to Washington?
They have no resources that Uncle Sam covets and are no “threat” to Israel.
-To be Christian would seem to be aware of the faults of “Christians” ans to realize the damage that we have perpretated in the world. Our persecution of the Jews has led to the Zionist movement, the establishment of a European colony in Palestine at the expense of the Arabs who were living there. Once again, the history of Zionism and the events taking place in Palestine today are not widely known in their totality; that is, we in America are being fed a biased view, tilted in favor of the Israelis.Some would say that at this moment, the Israelis are practicing genocide against the Arabs in the occupied territories. It’s a very complex issue, but without Christian persecution of Jews and our disregard and contempt for Arabs, this apocalyptic situation would not exist.
-If your faith does not make you feel at peace, if you are full of judgement and hostility like some of the bloggers here (hello, Wolverine), then you might consider a more contemplative approach to worship. You might want to change your place of worship.
-Of course, I’m probably just talking out of my arse until I sell all my worldly goods and join a mission like Shaine Claiborne’s or the Catholic Workers, or go to Gaza and stand in front of a bulldozer or something.
Peace, Y’all!
Peter



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:12 am


The problems facing our citizens are relatively minor, compared to other nations. Do you disagree? S. Nevik
I do. To do otherwise would be to give individuals of your ideological bent a free hand to further undermine our social programs and hard-fought rights.
Tone down your rhetoric and have a discussion. S. Nevik
Physician heal thyself.

Disagreement and complaint are not the same thing. Nevik S.
Agreed. You do nothing but complain.
But if you are going to claim to represent God’s Politics, expect to be challenged. Nevik S.
Address your complaints to management,please. I did not name the blog. Or let’s have a “real conversation”
This is awfully presumptuous. Nobody on the conservative end of things is writing in such a manner.”
Except you.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 6, 2007 at 4:02 am


Does a person feel better when they blame America for all the grief in the world ? Does it make a person feel better inside , like they are philsophical and morally superior then another who considers the United States a privildge to live in .?



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Steve-a-Reno

posted July 6, 2007 at 10:45 am


Pam, I am not being disrespectful to Republicans when I point out why I sometimes believe them to be wrong or not moving us in the best direction for our country. As a moderate/centrist middle class citizen I have grown weary of them blaming liberals for everything wrong when true liberals have not been in charge of hardly anything since President Johnson’s time. THEY are in charge of the powerful financial institutions, the media (yes it is owned by Wall Street), the federal government (until Jan 07), U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, and most Governors. They only have themselves to blame but won’t take personal responsibility like they claim the poor should in order to just solve all their problems.
Gee whiz, one conservative challenged me to provide any examples of military contractor corruption and when I provided a tiny fraction he seemed to yawn. The corruption is rampant! These are also very “counterproductive entitlement programs” that waste far more taxpayers money. But as long as we are protecting the privileged and powerful, they don’t seem to mind much.
One conservative poster exclaims how much they hate government waste. By that statement, he infers no else does. Baloney! I know liberals who can’t stand government waste. Liberals also dislike waste of energy, waste of resources, waste of time, or any fraud or abuse. In my state, a Republican Governor got elected with that same “Stop the Waste and Fraud” campaign theme and it seems like we’ve never had more corruption and cronyism. The Governors satisfaction ratings are about where Pres. Bush’s is – very low and he won’t be reelected.
Pam, if you only want to hear one sided views and techniques commonly used in elementary brainwashing then don’t do blogs and instead listen to ultra conservative shock talk radio.
The monologue is over! And it angers them so! The freedom to disagree is precious! While I don’t always agree with the liberals, I am not going to allow the conservatives to get away with what they’ve gotten away with for about the last 15 years-blaming everybody but themselves when they were in charge all along. Someday the middle class will learn this.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:11 am


“Pam, if you only want to hear one sided views and techniques commonly used in elementary brainwashing then don’t do blogs and instead listen to ultra conservative shock talk radio.” – Steve-a-Reno
Did anybody actually read what Pam wrote???
Quote:
“I certainly don’t always agree with everything…that’s part of what makes it both intellectually thought-provoking and spiritually challenging – good stuff!
“…conversation and debate between people with differing perspectives and experiences and opinions can be very enriching and eye-opening…
“…respectful disagreement, dialogue and debate is enriching, can be eye-and-heart-opening, and is what I seek”
How could what she expressed be more different from “one sided views and techniques commonly used in elementary brainwashing” – ??



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carl copas

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:39 am


Peter Nichols, thank you and Amen.



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Wolverine

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:55 am


Steve-a-Reno wrote:
Gee whiz, one conservative challenged me to provide any examples of military contractor corruption and when I provided a tiny fraction he seemed to yawn. The corruption is rampant! These are also very “counterproductive entitlement programs” that waste far more taxpayers money. But as long as we are protecting the privileged and powerful, they don’t seem to mind much. (emphasis added)
I suppose that would be me yawning. But you yourself admit that counterproductive entitlement programs waste more money. And you are surprised that we are more concerned with the problem that does more direct damage?
Look, I can understand why you don’t share our priorities, what I don’t get is the extent to which you are discombobulated by the fact that there are folks out there who don’t share yours.
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:58 am


On further review, I probably misread Steve-a-Reno’s earlier post. Please cosider my 11:55 am post withdrawn.
Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:02 pm


“This is awfully presumptuous. Nobody on the conservative end of things is writing in such a manner.”
Except you.”
Example? Have I said good riddance to anyone here?
“As a moderate/centrist middle class citizen I have grown weary of them blaming liberals for everything wrong when true liberals have not been in charge of hardly anything since President Johnson’s time. ”
Do you have an example of blaming liberals for everything? The last 25 years have seen unprecedented opportunities in this country, in my view. There are a lot of areas where liberals are still in control however. Public education, for example, which is obviously a mess. Liberals are responsible for abortion being legal, which is a travesty. But I don’t think things are that bad in this country.
“Gee whiz, one conservative challenged me to provide any examples of military contractor corruption and when I provided a tiny fraction he seemed to yawn”
He didn’t yawn. He stated that you made his point for him, which is that our government doesn’t tolerate the illegal activity.
“But as long as we are protecting the privileged and powerful, they don’t seem to mind much.”
We certainly mind, and we said so. You are disrespectful to Republicans when you presume that we only care about the rich and the powerful. And you are free to be disrespectful, but it doesn’t make your case for you.
“One conservative poster exclaims how much they hate government waste. By that statement, he infers no else does. ”
He implies, you infer, and that is not a necessary inference.
“The Governors satisfaction ratings are about where Pres. Bush’s is – very low and he won’t be reelected.”
The democratic congress is lower, I would point out.
“The monologue is over! And it angers them so!”
I’m not angry. You’re the one using exclamation points and inferring insults where none were intended.



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Wolverine

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm


Steve-a-Reno,
I misread your earlier comments, for which I apologize, but what you actually wrote neglects an important distinction: Graft is not a program, it is an unfortunate side-effect of human nature.
In several of the cases of defense department graft you youself mentioned that the perpetrators were pleading guilty or convicted of crimes, or were paying some sort of restitution. That tells me that the authorities are at least trying to keep graft at a minimum. Hence the response that you interpreted as a “yawn”.
By contrast, when a badly designed entitlement program backfires, great damage is done by bureaucrats who are protected as they ruin lives and may, in fact, incur legal difficulties if they try to limit the damage. Correcting the problems will require policy changes from higher up in the administration or even legislative changes by Congress.
Wherever there are sizeable sums of money there will be thieves trying to steal it, and government is no exception. As long as the government is pursuing the thieves, and the overall program remains sound, there is no need for a drastic change in policy.
(If you disagree with the Iraq War for larger strategic moral or strategic reasons, that’s understandable, but that’s a whole other issue.)
But counterproductive government programs should not be allowed to continue unreformed, even if the money involved is relatively modest.
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:23 pm


“The monologue is over! And it angers them so!”
There always was a secular left that we had to debate. Now there’s a new religious left as well, but there never was a monologue. We always had to debate somebody.
And I’m not mad, I’m disappointed by how little this new voice of the religious left has to add that is original or insightful.
Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm


And I’m not mad, I’m disappointed by how little this new voice of the religious left has to add that is original or insightful.Wolverine
I seriously doubt that anyone on the “religious left” is very upset about you being disappointed.



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Cindy Fischer

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:18 pm


Amen, Peter.



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Jim Allyn

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Tim, by using euphemisms like “defense budget” you’ve fallen into the trap of accepting the terminology of those who waste our money on military adventures. We do not have a “defense budget”; for decades, our military has been used strictly offensively. Call it what it is: an “offense budget”, or a “military budget”, but don’t buy into the euphemisms assigned to it by those who profit from it. The only thing our military is defending is exploitative capitalism.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 4:28 pm


“Example? Have I said good riddance to anyone here? S. Nevik (a, Modlad spelling)
Your record speaks for itself. The record is replete with examples of your gratuitous nastiness.”
Again. Example? I called Sarasotakid a twit once. Is that what you are talking about? I think what you are trying to say is “I disagree with a lot of what you say.”
“I surmise that in order to feel flush with patriotism and to be offended when our government and runaway capitalism is called into question must mean that you also swallow alot of myths, lies, and propaganda.”
I’m not offended. There are a lot of things wrong with this country. I suspect that I simply disagree with you about what they are.
“To become a Christian, red-letter variety, requires daily soul-searching and dealing with uncomfortable truths.”
Yes. That is fine. I live in a country where it is legal to kill an unborn infant. That sucks.
“For myself,the idea of becoming “born again” means to return to innocence and to reconsider all the conventional wisdom that society forces on a person and to hold on to what is honest and sacred, and to regard the rest with great skepticism.”
In America, there are essentially two conventional wisdoms encompassed by two different ideologies. I see no problem in siding with one or the other.
“-Power corrupts;absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Depends on how you define power. Is it leadership? True leadership means servitude. With that perspective in hand, power is less corrupting.
“-The business of America is business. Money interests control America and democracy is a fast-fading illusion.”
While I support important reforms (earmark and tort reform in particular), I do not think that Democracy is any more illusory than it was decades ago. We have plenty of choices in terms of who to vote for. To the extent that money does determine electoral victory, there is an extent to which we are perpetuating the problem by voting for nominees with larger campaign coffers.
“-America is an empire.”
I disagree.
“Our nation was built on racist ideals, and exploits racism and xenophobia to manufacture consent for its policies.(Note to Mad Hatter 07:Post- WW2, your country has liberated practically nobody, has slaughtered millions, and has aided repressive and murderous tyrannies throughout the third world).”
Tell me more about our slaughtering millions? Which millions did we slaughter?
“-I don’t like to dwell on the idea of Satan,”
Why?
“but it seems he must be alive and thriving in the corruption of organized religion, Christian institutions in particular.”
Which institutions? This is a grave charge to make. Are you saying that Pope Ratzinger (who is Catholic, btw) is a tool of Satan? On what grounds?
“plus all the power-mad pastors who are wired into Washington (James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley, Ted Haggard,Donald Wildmon, Richard Land, Tim Lahaye, John Hagee, etc.)”
Not sure how wired in Haggard is these days. Richard Land is a tool of Satan? He has been praised by Sojourners for his work before. There are liberal pastors who are wired into Washington as well. There are also conservatives such as Richard Cizik, who has advocated on behalf of stronger governmental policy related to the environment. Perhaps your real problem with the list above is that you disagree with their politics.
I don’t agree with everything Dobson has to say, and he has been largely ineffective in the political realm, but calling him and agent of Satan isn’t right.
“Is the Republican party the”Party of God?”
No. Who says it is?
“All of the above mentioned seem to want to play God.”
Does wanting to change policy amount to playing God? Would it amount to playing God if they advocated something you agree with?
“What we need are religious leaders who are willing to wear the crown of thorns.”
Well, they are certainly the recipients of quite a bit of scorn. Are you wearing thorns?
“Jesus made no specific mention of homosexuality in the gospels.”
He made no specific mention of pedophilia either (not comparing the two, just making a point). Jesus does not alter the law. He comes to offer grace, which we should in turn offer to homosexuals, and which is offered by many of the men you mention.
“So who catches all the hell from the bully-pulpit for societies ills? Why, the queers, of course!”
That is a drastic oversimplification.
“exploiting people and resources in third world-read:poor-countries is somehow of no concern to the Reverend Dobson and Pope Rat.”
Pope Rat? Neuro_nurse, he just called your pope a rat. Smite him, please.
“”What should be of more concern is the Christo-fascist movement in this nation (I believe it was refered to in an above post as “Christian nationalism”).Lying for Jesus.”
Christo-fascism. Well, now I know you’ve ventured over from Dailykos territory. What is a Christo-fascist, in your words? And if you’re going to tell me to look in the mirror, I’m a step ahead of you on that particular wisecrack.
“Killing for Jesus.”
Woohoo!
“I’m afraid Jim Wallis has become too polite,”
Well, he’s not siding with the Khmer Rouge anymore, that’s for sure.
“maybe for fear of becoming a pariah in the mainstream media.”
Yeah, cause he’s really on the precipice.
“I feel that if you’re supportive of our goverment and are either gullible or ignorant enough to accept the conventional wisdom that America is the world’s good guy, then you are a very poor witness for Christ.”
I think its more complicated than that, personally, as does every conservative here.
“It was mentioned in an above post by Brent that we should focus on the problems of Iran, Somalia, and North Korea rather than Americas.I believe that when America gets the plank out of it’s eye, then it can be concerned with what’s in Iran’s eye.”
This implies that we have a plank to Iran’s splinter. Is that what you mean to say?
“Here is a case of ignorance. It doesn’t take alot of research to understand that America’s problems with Iran are of their own making.”
No, but it does take a certain worldview that I do not share.
“Why has the US meddled in Iran for 60-70 years? Oh maybe oil, proximity to the USSR oil, Israel,oil, Israel, oil…”
Israel, the USSR and oil (and the control of same) are pretty major concerns (well, the USSR was…) So, yes, that had quite a bit to do with it.
“They have no resources that Uncle Sam covets and are no “threat” to Israel.”
Wait, why the scare quotes around “threat”.
“Our persecution of the Jews has led to the Zionist movement”
To the extent that I cede your argument that Christians were solely responsible for oppressing Jews, the worst thing that has resulted is the Zionist movement? Not the killing of millions of people, but Zionism? that tells me a lot about exactly how critically you approach these issues yourself.
“Some would say that at this moment, the Israelis are practicing genocide against the Arabs in the occupied territories.”
That would be the biased view, and I personally hear it all the time.
“this apocalyptic situation would not exist.”
Are you a dispy? I thought you didn’t like LaHaye.
“If your faith does not make you feel at peace, if you are full of judgement and hostility like some of the bloggers here (hello, Wolverine)”
You have been far more hostile than he has been. I think, again, that your primary problem is that you are a liberal who disagrees with conservatives. You don’t understand why anyone would disagree with you, so you cast these sort of aspersions.
“then you might consider a more contemplative approach to worship. You might want to change your place of worship.”
Wolverine is Episcopalian, so that would be highly recommended, in my view. I have no interest in changing my place of worship, which, by the way, you know precisely nothing about.



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peter nichols

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:25 pm


My reply to posted by….(?) For some reason, he gave no name.
Let me be clear that I expected my long-winded post to cause dissent, but it was not written to inflame or insult. I don’t do arguments anymore. I’m getting over the need to “win” to be right, to get the last word, whatever. To be victorious in the verbal jousting match is actually a form of violence and of needing to bolster one’s ego.I’m trying hard to evolve and to get away from that mindset.
I understand that the tone of what I wrote was a bit strident. There were some oversimplifications, as well.So it may have read, to some of you, that I was just shooting from the
hip. I can assure you, however, that I’ve read extensively and have given alot of consideration to the motivation and validity of my sources.
Readers, I’m flat out panicked about our future.
I’m 51 and I guess I’ve done pretty well because, as a child of the nuclear age, I never expected to live this long.But you know, it ain’t all about me. For instance, I have three brilliant and gorgeous little grandchildren that deserve a chance to grow up and maybe get to be at least middle-aged like their grand-dad.I believe that God has given us the means to extend the life of this planet indefinitely. The resources have always been available for all of earth’s citizens
to live comfortably, if we truly gave a shiite about one another. Instead, greed and hubris and indifference (if not outright hatred) towards our
neighbors, both local and global, has us hurtling towards extinction. America, the most powerful (and the most gluttonous) nation seems to be leading the rush into the abyss.
My detractor has referred to me as a liberal. To me, liberals are as useful as a flat tire, and about as moral. Liberal politicians have proven to be just as ruthless as conservatives in preserving the American Empire.You label me, you negate me. I’m for fair play, period. Fair play for all, right across the board. I would throw my lot with whatever political affiliation that can deliver world peace, fair distribution of resources, and egalitarianism, meaning transparent government with real average-citizen involvement and oversight.If the U.S. is indeed a Christian nation, we’d be governed along those lines.Do you think either one of our reigning political parties can provide that?
I don’t understand the bickering on this website;it’s certainly not why I log on.I wonder if the intent of some of the contributors is to be disruptive. I didn’t fully expect to be given the Bill O’Reilly treatment for my piece. My intention was to link up with people of faith who share my concerns, who may view the world beyond the nationalistic and Christo-centric focus.



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keivn s.

posted July 6, 2007 at 10:42 pm


“My reply to posted by….(?) For some reason, he gave no name.”
That was me.
“To be victorious in the verbal jousting match is actually a form of violence and of needing to bolster one’s ego.”
Well, calling someone out personally, and calling on people to change their place of worship in general is a bit jousty, if you ask me. You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too here. You respond to other posters, but when they respond to you, you are suddenly above such violence. Maybe your ideas to stand up so well to scrutiny, eh?
“If the U.S. is indeed a Christian nation, we’d be governed along those lines.Do you think either one of our reigning political parties can provide that?”
Nope, and I don’t expect it. Whether you call yourself a liberal, that seems to be your ideological bent, and it’s hardly unreasonable to make that discussion. My point was that you seem to only have problem with the “bickering” from the conservatives. Are you equally discouraged by the posters here.
“I don’t understand the bickering on this website;it’s certainly not why I log on.I wonder if the intent of some of the contributors is to be disruptive. I didn’t fully expect to be given the Bill O’Reilly treatment for my piece”
You weren’t given the Bill O’Reilly treatment for your piece. You made comments and I responded by quoting you exaclty and responding to your ideas.



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Peter Nichols

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:31 pm


I continue to wonder what are the purposes of conservatives like Kevin S. who contribute to this website. Excuse me if if I’m off-target here,but it was my assumption that Sojourners bloggers would share a common doubt if not outright disgust in regards in regards to our governmental and religious hierarchy. I expected to exchange ideas with with open-minded people of faith who would have a compassionate worldview and who would never misuse the crucifix as a flagpole for waving the stars and stripes. Does anybody else wonder if there is an intent here to sabotage non-mainstream or “subversive” discussion?
I have nothing more to contribute in this format. However, for the peacemakers among you, I welcome you to chat me up anytime, if you wish.
PeterANichols1@aol.com



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Anonymous

posted July 7, 2007 at 11:43 am


Peter,
What Kevin does is take a phrase or sentence and pick it apart. It does seem like little more than a diversionary tactic. He doesn’t discuss, he just attacks, with snide remarks whenever possible. Like many on the far right or far left, he thinks he is right about everything and thus we should just accept what he says as the ultimate truth and thus any dissent is not worthy of respect or consideration. I also find this often is a characteristic of little kids on the playground. The unfortunate thing is that he may very well be right on some issues, but the paternalistic and disrespectful attitude makes one want to flee and not even consider the substance of his remarks.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 7, 2007 at 12:40 pm


Well, he’s not siding with the Khmer Rouge anymore, that’s for sure. Kevin S?
We’ve had our disagreements, Kevin, but that was pretty funny!
Yours truly,
Sarasotakid a/k/a “the twit”



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jerry

posted July 7, 2007 at 1:38 pm


tim kumfer has clearly outlined the sojo mojo. “we can work together to seek alternatives to the commodification of human life and its domination through the market and militarism.” WHAT? was Jesus there? i wonder if kumfer set up a “t” shirt concession and magazine sign up booth? wallis was probably attending the obama/clinton rally in iowa. sojourners is a political company with christian roots. their democrat friends must surely disappoint them with their list of campaign contributors. the issue of u s and world poverty belongs to the politicians. the politicians belong to satan.
i think we need a revival meeting for congress to see who comes forward.



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kevin s.

posted July 8, 2007 at 2:07 am


“I continue to wonder what are the purposes of conservatives like Kevin S. who contribute to this website”
Oh, good. Now I have no purpose.
“Excuse me if if I’m off-target here,but it was my assumption that Sojourners bloggers would share a common doubt if not outright disgust in regards in regards to our governmental and religious hierarchy.”
That is not really the case. You do know that Wallis is a Democratic consultant, right? That is not meant to be deragatory, but only to point out that Sojo is a “work within the system” type of organization, which is fine.
“What Kevin does is take a phrase or sentence and pick it apart.”
Agreed. I would note that I borrowed this style from someone else on this blog. I find it eliminates confusion to know that to which I am responding.
“He doesn’t discuss, he just attacks, with snide remarks whenever possible. ”
Oh, I could add quite a few more snide remarks. What is the difference between discussing and attacking? Could you point to an example here that highlights the difference?
“Like many on the far right or far left, he thinks he is right about everything and thus we should just accept what he says as the ultimate truth and thus any dissent is not worthy of respect or consideration.”
I treat the arguments for what they are. Arguments. I consider them (which is why I quote them specifically), and respond. Am I snarky sometimes? Of course. However, I suspect you would not have a problem with the timbre of my posts if you agreed with them.
” I also find this often is a characteristic of little kids on the playground. ”
I think calling someone (indirectly) a little kid is an adult version of what you describe here.
“paternalistic and disrespectful attitude”
Example?



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