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‘Jesus’ according to @GlennBeck

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posted July 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

You do not talk about James Cone that way.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

That’s a lot of heavy stuff and as I listened I was conflicted and didn’t know where exactly to fall on this. As it ended, though, I realized that although I heard Mr. Beck speak about grace I never once heard him speak of love. I think anyone who speaks of being a Christian and ignores John 13:35 and Galatians 5:13 is just blowing smoke.

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The Diaper Diaries

posted July 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I am not a Glenn Beck fan and am less than thrilled he is speaking on behalf of Christians. That being said, I was SO beyond disturbed at Jesus being portrayed as a victim that I couldn’t really get past that to hear anything else. To call him a victim negates everything he did on the cross. He could have come down from the cross at any moment but made a choice not to. That is not a victim. Ugh, that whole clip was upsetting on a whole lot of levels.

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    posted July 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I do NOT agree with Glenn Beck or anything he said but he made it quite clear that Jesus was NOT a victim. He said he’s a victOR, not a victim. But there’s plenty of other things to be disturbed about in this clip.

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      posted July 17, 2010 at 7:50 am

      I think you missed what DD was saying. James Cone called Jesus a victim, not Beck.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Has Glenn Beck “earned” his salvation? All the good in Glenn Becks life is a gift of God – just as it is in all of our lives.

Also, James Cone, does not speak for Jim Wallis or myself or Obama.

For me to say the God is not concerned with Social Justice contracts the entire narrative of the Bible
I simply mention Luke 11v42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

May God help us all!

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Brad Titus

posted July 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

It’s worth pointing out that Mr. Beck is a Mormon, not a traditional Christian. According to my religion professors in college, it’s a different religion because it has a different holy book.

Christians who look to Beck as a theological compass (or a political one :-/ ) are gravely mistaken.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Glen Beck is trying to accomplish the exact opposite of what Christ did for us on the cross by defining it in terms of victim vs victor. To deny that Christ suffered, and was wronged in every way (by the religious, by his own countrymen, by the judicial system, by the political power, and obviously by the spiritual powers of evil at work in the world). Reducing His redemptive work to simply providing victory over death for a few select individuals is a very fundy/baptist theology, and it’s not surprising he cherry picked a Baptist to espouse it. Also the story of the good samaritan has nothing to do w/ defining the difference between public & private acts of charity. It’s a biting critcism of the theologically obsessesed of his time, that the people of God are the ones that are doing God’s work for victims are far more so than the ones who can recite all the “correct” theological positions. Glen Beck Fail. I hate watching/listening to this guy.

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Adam Ellis

posted July 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

And THAT, boys and girls, is an excellent example of propaganda…and irony.

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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted July 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you. :)

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    posted July 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    So true! ;-)

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Fr. Allen Peyton

posted July 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Mormoms have already distorted Christianity. Beck has some other agenda here.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

So I can’t stand Glenn Beck either, and no Christian I know looks to him as a leader of Christianity…everyone knows he’s a Mormon. That being said, I agree wholeheartedly with Diaper Diaries on this one…James Cone is so off on his idea of Jesus as a victim that I could not get past that. Of course, I don’t buy Glenn Beck’s underlying point that the “social justice” message is some kind of evil perversion that’s not in the Bible, but I also don’t agree with the message of James Cone…at all.

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    Adam Ellis

    posted July 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I will also say that if the edited clips of James Cone that Beck shows on his program are your only exposure to him, you don’t have a very clear picture. Big surprise, but its more than a little misleading.

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    posted July 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Please don’t judge Dr. Cone, Black theology, or liberation theology based on what you see on The Glenn Beck Show.

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      posted July 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree. Judging the works of James Cone by the Beck filter is like asking a 3rd grader to explain string theory.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Mr. Beck is a great entertainer – nothing more – but at least he is using his podium to talk about God’s grace.

The problem I have with his religious spin on a political issue is that the Bible does in fact talk about redistribution of wealth. Jesus told his discipes to leave everything and follow him… He told the very wealthy young man to sell everything he had (Mat 19:21)… In Acts (2:45), the converts sold all their possessions to support the needy… There are countless other verses.

The Christian faith is not about hanging onto everything we’ve “earned”. God commands us to take care of the widow, the orphans, visit those in prison, etc. Does this make me a Marxist?

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    posted July 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    It’s all Marxism to Beck! :)

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    Joe Crenshaw

    posted July 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Giving of conscience is one thing, giving by government mandate is another.

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    posted July 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    To Beck’s point though, the scripture you quote mentions a personal choice. Nobody took the rich young ruler’s possessions. The converts in Acts 2:45 made the choice to sell there things.

    The problem with redistribution is that the government comes along and forces individuals, under penalty of prison, to give up their money so that it can, in part, be given to others. No personal choice there. To be just, it must be a free choice.

    No, Beck is correct. Redistribution of wealth is not in the Bible.

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Kurt Willems

posted July 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm

This is simply disturbing! How does a Mormon have the authority to speak to Christians and their beliefs? Let alone to expound Scripture? Or maybe i should say: Why does Beck have more authority to speak into the lives of Christians about their worldview than theologians or Jesus himself? So many Christians have let hyper conservative, nationalistic, idolatrous views of American politics dictate the paradigm from which they choose to order reality… and by which they measure Christian practice. RIDICULOUS! I am thankful for Sojourners and the leadership of Jim Wallis for demonstrating to our generation that all of justice is indeed “social” and when a nation ignores this and causes social injustice, the church’s role is to prophetically speak out against such evil and to give compassionately to those in need. If we all followed Beck’s view of politics, social Darwinism would have the last word as many more people would be marginalized, victimized, and ultimately dehumanized. Bottom line: Government is not the ‘answer’ but it should be held accountable to not be a source of injustice, since in the current political situation we have been given a voice. Our question as Christians that should motivate our politics should be: “What will alleviate the most suffering?” Beck misses this mark completely.

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    posted July 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    It really is social Darwinism, which would be ironically funny (that the ones who say they hate Darwin practice Darwinism), if it weren’t so despicable & a perversion of the faith.

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      Kurt Willems

      posted July 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Rob… agreed. Its hilarious/sad like you say that fundamentalist Christians hate Darwin but love his applied social ethic. Both sides of this coin are sad.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Even more despicable (and unsurprising) is where Beck implies it was “the Jews” that sentenced Jesus to die, and Jesus would’ve enacted his vengeance against them if anyone. UN-FREAKING-REAL.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I try to watch Beck every so often. At the beginning of one the last shows I watched, he spoke against generalizations and large sweeping terminology. Then he goes on tirades like this about social justice being about the redistribution of wealth or liberation theology being all about “Jesus as Victim”. Neither of those issues describe social justice or liberation theology. While I do not believe everything liberation theology holds to, this theology has a lot to speak into our view of God and experience of God. Social Justice in the simplest understanding is getting to the root causes of poverty and eliminate them, seeking justice to rain down like a waterfall. Beck needs to read Amos where God blasts Israel because the rich live in ivory homes, take advantage of the poor, look forward to the end of holy festivals so they can get back to making money, while the orphans and widows and poor starve. Social Justice seeks for the Church to do what She is called to do but also realizes that there are laws and practices by governments which keep people in the cycle of poverty so social justice calls the government to better practices.
When we cannot find any value in the opposing view but can only demonize those who hold the view, that is when we lose the Republic, Mr. Beck.

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posted July 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

He’s a lot more than a “great entertainer,” he’s one of the most influential people alive. Granted, all that qualifies him is his ability to “entertain” by way of stirring stuff up, but I’ve been informed by multiple Republicans that Glenn Beck is a “hero.”

Maybe, in some way, he’s “talking about God’s grace,” but I see him doing so for the sake of advancing an earthly kingdom, rather than the Kingdom of Heaven.

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    posted July 16, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Oops, that was supposed to be in reply to Mariah’s comment above. Sorry for the misplacement!

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Ryan VanderHelm

posted July 16, 2010 at 12:14 am

to paraphrase Victor Hugo,

First problem: Produce wealth. Second problem: To distribute it…[capitalism] solves the first of these two problems. She creates wealth admirably; she distributes it badly…Communism and Agrarian law think they have solved the second problem. They are mistaken. Their distribution kills production. Equal partition abolishes emulation. And consequently labor. It is a distribution made by the butcher, who kills what he divides…The two problems must be solved together to be well solved.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 12:53 am

I particularly enjoyed the quick turn from talking about “the job I earned, the money I’ve earned, etc.” to how you can’t “earn” God’s grace. Methinks he needs to take the “can’t earn” concept a little bit further.

What I really, truly bristled at was his implication that salvation is only ever individual.

I guess 2000 years of having a Church so that members could have an edifying body to be a part of and to be saved within makes no difference at all.

I guess countless verses and the central message of the gospel being to “love thy neighbor,” which fundamentally means you need a neighbor to love and therefore CANNOT do things individual…matters not.

I guess all of Paul’s verses about us being the Body of Christ and working together because each has been given gifts that we need others to work with in order to fully enact our work as a church…it’s all crap to him, eh?

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Adam Whitley

posted July 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

Beck can have and spew his wrong politics all he wants and I don’t care, but when Rev. Glenn moves to his wrong theology, I get so outraged. He is stripping the gospel of justice and turning God into a Capitalist not just monetarily, but with Salvation.

Jesus was a victor AND A VICTIM! Taking Jesus’ passion from the theology of the cross turns God into an impassible, unmoved and ultimately unloving God. In Jesus’ victory, He forgives the oppressors, but in Jesus’ suffering He identifies with the oppressed. Read Jurgen Moltmann’s “The Crucified God”.

Jeez… It’s bad enough that Glenn desecrates MLK with his stupid rally.


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posted July 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

I just had this big speil that i was going to leave on here concerning Mormonism but I forgot to enter my name and email. Matt, maybe you should see if somebody forgets to enter those vitals that the next page doesn’t make them lose all their stuff….just sayin.

Anywho, there is prophesy from the founder of Mormonism that talks about the great Mormon savior that will save the country’s constitution.

Check it out here.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

It’s cute how the Prophet Glenn interchanges all of these words: blacks, liberation, theology, Jesus, Jews, whites, victim, victor, institution, oppressor, Obama, Marxism, redistribution, reparations, etc.

Honestly, it’s just a word soup with him. He’s being very selective with Cone’s remarks, as has been mentioned above, but he’s also WAY off with his history and trajectory of liberation theology or, as he so conveniently describes it “black” liberation theology.

Whatever. I’m sure that the Father of the Old Testament said something like “Woe to the asshat who interpreteth my words to mean something stupid and use illogical conventions to draweth connections between things wherefore there should existeth no connections.

I’d ask all my friends to watch this video if it wasn’t 17:50 of pain and lies and fear.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

There is no redistribution of wealth is the gospels. No, no of course there isn’t.

Is it cheap to laugh at this?

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posted July 16, 2010 at 11:46 am

For those who are uncomfortable with the image of Jesus as victim – victim on the cross, (victor when God raised him overcoming death):
The “suffering servant” verses in Isaiah are understood in Christian theology as describing Jesus Christ:
Isaiah 53:5 ff
“but he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our initquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. v. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to ouw own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. v. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and a like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” – it continues, but you get the idea.

Mr. B (of whom I am definitely NOT fan) apparently is not familiar with that imagry.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Glenn Beck shows here that he has no understanding whatsoever about Liberation Theology. He should read Gutierrez, or Boff. What he describes is a misinterpreted form of Liberation Theology that suits his out of touch argument about social justice. To those who say Jesus wasn’t a victim but a victor, you are missing the point. Jesus came to experience human suffering. Jesus was a victim of an oppressive system, killed for being a radical and was then victorious over that system. Without being a victim, Jesus could not have been a victor.

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David Leonardo

posted July 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Due to my ignorance in regards to liberation theology, I will say only this: if, the short and cut video “clips” of Cone hold the truth we are possibly being manipulated into believing, then it is a disturbing perversion of Jesus’ truth.

In regards to Beck, though, I do not see any problems in what he “preached” about with respect to Jesus’ death and resurrection. His continual description of “social justice” does not seem to be social justice at all but a reference more in line with “social charity.” With this perspective I understand why he is saying what he is saying. This is what he is saying:

“We should not be relying on the government to take over what we, ourselves, can do. It is not the governments fault that there is social injustice, it is the people’s fault; hence why it is “social” injustice and not “governmental” injustice. The government is not some magical force that is there for people to use and abuse and then turn its back on once it falters, cursing it and blaming it even though we could have done something.”

See now why he used the parable? The Samaritan, when needed for help, did not turn looking for some government and when there was none, shake his fist against the lack thereof but instead, helped the Samaritan, himself.

In essence, Beck is trying to get individuals to act instead of waiting for the collective to act outside of the individual help, which, of course, is nearly impossible.

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    posted July 17, 2010 at 6:41 am

    One can see why he uses the parable of the Good Samaritan but his interpretation is faulty. He is using Scripture to back his position. He is not allowing Scripture to speak into his world. As soon as we go to Scripture to back our position, we are misusing God’s Word. Exegetically this parable is about so much more than individuals treating their neighbor well. In one way, it tells the Jewish people at that time, “if you can’t see the Samaritans and those outside your circle as your neighbor and accept their help, you may find yourself injured, dying on the roadside of life.” It also has a lot to do with the fact the lawyer is trying to trap Jesus by using Scripture to beat Jesus up instead of allowing the Law speak into his own life. Jesus turns it around on the lawyer and lets the Law speak into the lawyer’s life. This is kind of ironic since Beck tries to use the Samaritan to boost himself up and tear down social justice supporters.

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    posted July 20, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Take all these references of beck and use a subtext of his often repeated comment of “making the Poor uncomfortable”.This is a clever way to promote disquest for the poor.While espousing individual effort.HE is a clever social darwinist.Question:is it just for bankers to make 135 times that of under employees.I suppose they are special in God’s eyes.American christian’s “many,not all” don’t know how to even address this question.

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Jess P

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm

So Jesus wasn’t a victim, but Beck plays one on TV?

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Al Frank

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

All I can say is, Thank God that I have someone to filter God’s meaning for me. I guess I’ll have to admit that I’m too stupid to do it for myself.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Beck and Kone are both extremist. Each trying to dictate and define how God is viewed and who God is in order to elevate their own agenda. To use God’s name as a political platform in either case is blasphemous. Maybe we should pray for our own individual relationship wih Christ to be strengthened in order to be a light to others. I am sick of people using the Holy name of Jesus Christ to push an agenda. In my opinion it is dangerous to even attempt to define what Christ was on the cross and what he in our political world. He was a victim and a victor. He suffered and he conquered, He probably experienced so much more than we can comprehend. He died for us, He has compassion on us he gives us the freedom of choice.
The Government cannot play the role of God. They should not obligate us to be socialy just or redistribute wealth. Charity is a matter of the heart. Giving out of true love is a gift from God.

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    Joe Crenshaw

    posted July 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Solid post, Amen!

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Jon Trott

posted July 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

First, let me say that hearing Glenn Beck talk about heresy is a bit like hearing Mel Gibson talk about the virtues of sobriety. Mormonism, to any Orthodox Christian, is a heresy and not considered part of the Christian Faith.

Second, Beck’s claim that James Cone is the “father of liberation theology” is wrong. Liberation theology has roots in 1950s Central American Catholicism, and arguably farther back than that.

Third, and perhaps most important, Beck is doing the classic “bait and switch” he and other Right wing ranters excel in. With no real justification, he starts with “social justice,” moves to Jim Wallis, then links Wallis with James Cone. He next caricatures Cone. Then, with a flourish, he makes the unspoken assumption necessary in all such logical malfeasance: all “social justice” Christians are really into liberation theology.

The fact this isn’t true doesn’t bother Beck — or many of his listeners — at all. Nor does the mangled mess Beck makes of crucifixion theology, apparently. He spends an inordinate amount of time on how wrong Cone (who actually sounds quite orthodox in the clip Beck chose) is to say Jesus was “a victim.” The lack of comprehension Beck shows on that point alone proves one thing for certain.

Glenn Beck should stay away from any discussion on theology; the biggest heretic in the whole discussion is Beck himself.

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posted July 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

Without being a victim, Jesus could not have been a victor.

Isn’t part of the confusion found in underlying definitions and implications of “victim”?

I looked it up… in general, a victim is anyone who is “injured, destroyed… subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.” In that sense, I think of course Jesus was a victim, just as anyone who is hurt. Even a criminal being punished is a “victim.”

Yet what are the implications of His victimhood?
1) Who oppressed him? Was it physical–people… or spiritual–Satan? [My thought: The Bible is clear that our battle is spiritual, not physical.]
2) Do people owe this victim-Jesus “reparations”? “Liberation”? “Social justice”? [My thought: I can’t find any suggestion of any of these.]
3) What did victim-Jesus do about his oppressors? I think He loved them.

Now consider what is said about modern-day victims. If you examine the Bible, is there anything about “owing” to victims and oppressed? YES, sight for the blind and freedom for the oppressed… yet isn’t it far more a SPIRITUAL message than physical? Throughout the Bible, are not people called to endure physical suffering with grace? Are they called to lash out, or to insist on repayment when wronged? I see exactly the opposite… Heap “burning coals” on your oppressor through your love.

GB said “social justice isn’t in the Bible.” Again, I think this depends on your definition!

If I have it right, today many define social justice as redistributing all resources to ensure everyone receives a “fair” amount. I can’t find this in scripture. I find the exact opposite is taught: he who will not work should not eat (Prov 14:23, 2 Thes 3:10, etc).

I don’t think this means the Bible condones greed. We’re called to be cheerful givers (which is NOT the same as being a lawful taxpayer!).

If anything, what I see today is a very sad economic split, along FOUR lines:

– Extreme economic liberals, who want to use others’ resources to solve problems. Individually, they are as greedy as anyone.

– Mild economic liberals, who willingly pay more taxes to be used by government to solve problems.

– Mild economic conservatives, who willingly contribute their own funds toward private efforts to solve problems.

– Extreme economic conservatives, who think everyone should solve their own problems. Individually, they are as greedy as anyone.

I see the extremes as a problem. Personally, I see the value of economic conservatism because it is sustainable in the long run. But in a selfish, greed-driven society, it’s hard no matter what you choose. We’ve not had a government that works this way for almost 100 years.

Enough ranting, time for real life :0

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    posted July 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

    (My first sentence was a quote — blockquote doesn’t work here? Oh well…)

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posted July 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm

God of Nature, God of Natural Law?

If you believe that God exists fine, but my God is a personal God, not some economic system.

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Joe Crenshaw

posted July 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Again, I understand where folks in the GOP (Like myself are coming from)

1. Social Justice is not biblical as Conservatism is not biblical. Politics and Religion must remain separate, mixing them only creates the mud we have had the last 1,700 years that has not benefited Christianity but created a continent of Agnostics in Europe.

2. As a black man, I can honestly say Rev. Jeremiah Wright was and is a racist idiot. He’s filled with hate and venom and Obama should have dropped out of the race of President as a white candidate would have been forced to drop out of the race if he/she attended a white racist church for over 20 years and called the Pastor a mentor and family friend.

3. I’m tired of Beck, he’s a loon, someone put him and Bill Maher in a cage match and let the rest of us get on with our lives.

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