J Walking

J Walking


A Christian Fast from Politics

posted by J-Walking

As I’ve been doing interviews on my book, I’ve been proposing that Christians “fast” from politics. It has been mischaracterized as a call for Christians not to vote. That’s not what I mean.

Christians like me have worked in politics for the last serveral decades with the hope that just the right president, the right Congress, and the right judge or justice would stop abortions, strengthen marriage, create a safer country for children, and unsure that our religious faith was respected. We did it because we wanted a better country with fewer divorces and better families and fewer abortions and we did so based on the spirit of Christian activists who fought against slavery and for civil rights.

But the reality is though we have had amazing political success – Republican presidents for 20 of the last 28 years, Republican control of Congress, etc. – social statistics are pretty much unchanged in the last three decades. From divorces to abortion to children in poverty, things haven’t improved a whole lot.

Spiritually, things are more troubling. As one prominent pastor has written, “What we’ve done is turn a mission field into a battlefield.” Here is what he means: By so passionately pursuing politics Christians have alienated their “opponents” by giving the sense that to be Christian means to embrace certain policies. But the reality, of course, is that Christians can disagree about virtually any policy matter. The political battle, however, has prevented relationships, fellowship, and the chance to share Jesus. In countless discussions I’ve had with people across the country and around the neighborhood, the name “Jesus” doesn’t bring to mind the things he said he wanted associated with his followers–love for one another; love for the poor, sick, and imprisoned; self-denial; and devotion to God. Instead it is associated with a set of conservative political positions. Can anything that dilutes the name of Jesus be worth it for Christians like me?

That is why I’m talking about a fast from politics – obviously a temporary thing and obviously one that includes voting.

Why a fast? Fasts help focus an individual – or a group – on the spiritual. One denies themselves of food, for instance, to free themselves up to different spiritual things. And most dramatically, it was seen as a way to reveal someone’s true spiritual condition by stripping away a basic necessity of live leading to brokenness, repentance, and transformation.

Amidst all of the dark ads and the attack politics in which Christians sometimes leads the charge there lies this opportunity for a fast. Not too long ago I attended a big Christian political event in Washington and while there and listening to speeches I heard liberals attacked as “godless” to much applause and laughter and to certain Democrats as evil and dangerous. That isn’t how Jesus wants his followers to talk about anyone. He died to take away the sins of the world so that people could be reconciled and so that people would allow him to give them a more abundant life both here and forever.

That is the heart behind the fast. For the next couple of years every Republican (and a few Democrat) candidates will be begging and pleading for the Christian vote pretty much willing to say or do anything to get it. Every politician needs evangelicals. And like a teenage boy on a date with a beautiful girl, they will say anything and everything to get what they want.

But lets make them wait. Let’s tell them we are fasting from politics for a season.

I’m not talking about a permanent retreat from politics. I’m not suggesting that current politicians leave office. I’m not suggesting that we stop voting. I’m just suggesting that voting is all that we do. Let’s take a two-year retreat. Let’s take every ounce of energy we currently expend on politics and divert them to other things. Instead of sending letters to congress and engaging in political arguments with friends and listening to political talk radio and canvassing door to door for candidates and volunteering for campaigns, let’s spend our time in different ways. We can start with the things God has commanded us to do – pray, learn, listen to him, and serve a hurting world.

What would the news media say if we ceased our nasty partisanship, ceased making political arguments, and instead just relentlessly pursued ways to serve those who are sick, needy, hungry, and hurting? What would our “enemies” at the ACLU or the gay and lesbian community or in the Democratic Party say and do? If we decided to turn off the crazy political news and spent more time with our families, what would our “opponents” have to say? I believe that it would be one of the most powerful witnesses to faith ever.

Extraordinary things would happen because of it. After all, Jesus promised “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.”

If we take a two-year (and just a two-year) break from politics, will America go to pot? Of course it won’t. The brilliance of our Founders is that they created a system where change is very, very, very, slow and very, very, very gradual. Bill Clinton’s problems couldn’t sink us, nearly four decades of Democratic congressional control didn’t sink us, and two years of Christians retreating from politics won’t sink us.



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Rachel Nguyen

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:23 pm


This post resonates deeply for me because I am coming from the exact opposite direction. I was an uber liberal lifelong Unitarian Universalist who suddenly finds herself a born again Christian… but I am often flumoxed by the whole political angle of the evangelical movement. Sometimes I wonder if Christians forget the admonission to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Building the Kingdom in our own communities, families, lives, is perhaps the most powerful witness of all. Great post.



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bucktheliberaldog

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:30 pm


David–interesting idea and certainly one that could have a powerful and positive effect on American culture.Although I understand that you were probably addressing this essay to the Christian right, your last paragraph still bothers me. “The brilliance of our Founders is that they created a system where change is very, very, very, slow and very, very, very gradual. Bill Clinton’s problems couldn’t sink us, nearly four decades of Democratic congressional control didn’t sink us, and two years of Christians retreating from politics won’t sink us.” To that I would add that the last 6 years of the bad management and poor implementation of the policies of our current administration hasn’t quite sunk us yet, but with the executive power that this president has assumed and that his Republican Congress has let him take, we are undoubtedly worse off than we were under President Clinton. Although personally the man may have many failings, he ran a much better, efficient government than anything we’ve seen in the last 6 years. I, too, am a religious person, but am further left on the belief spectrum, and I think Jesus would be horrified to see what the far right has done with him. I cannot turn away from politics at this moment in time, because I believe that to pursue “ways to serve those who are sick, needy, hungry, and hurting” also requires political action, building a government that is truly compassionate and puts the needs of the people first, not corporate interests–whether that government be liberal OR conservative. That said, I do admire what you have done, and that you have tried to faithfully live your life by helping others. For all our sakes, I truly wish Bush had delivered the “compassionate conservatism” that he promised us–all of us.



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dlw

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:31 pm


I say fast from paying attention to a lot of the media coverage for nat’l politics and elections and just vote based on simple rules like, “who among the parties that garnered at least 5% of the vote in the last election has accepted the least amount in financial contributions?” I think we can fast from “politics” without fasting from voting and that using simple rules of thumb or listening to even-handed experts like Ron Sider are a way to do that… dlw



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bj

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:37 pm


David, thank you for this post. It is a swift reminder of our need to return to the mission of Christ.



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Tom Pruitt

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:41 pm


Sorry, but I will NOT fast from politics. I will NOT sit out this important an election. The democrats are anti-Christian and they stand against everything I stand for. Are the Republicans much better, no. But I cannot sit out this election and allow Nancy Pelosi become Speaker. Plus, how do I know you are not working for the dems. They would love nothing better than to have believers sit out the election. I will vote my faith and my faith says the best party we have to choose from is the GOP. I have given my financial support to the GOP and I have worked to help ensure our majority.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:45 pm


This is a powerful proposal. I, for one, like the idea very much. It would give us new eyes to see with. I think the 24 months is just about the right time to reconcile the brokenness, repentance, and transformation that David Kuo writes about. I’m concerned though with how the middle-aged people in our country would respond. The fast would be like a political statement in itself. Would these folks be willing to commit alongside their peers of their own age range? It’s a lot easier for them to be pessimistic than it is younger generations, which could stifle everything. I m just trying to be realistic about everything. Any other takes on this? I m a few years below the middle-age range, which starts at about 30 something, no?



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Sue

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:52 pm


I don’t know the author of this post, but it sounds suspicious to me. Why on earth would he call for Christians to sit at home and allow the far left of this country to take over? Unless, of course, that was his intention? Color me not convinced that someone who worked for Ted Kennedy and Gary Hart should be telling Christians to stay away from the voting booth.Urging people of any faith to sit out an election is wrongheaded. Vote! It is not only your right, it is your duty.



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:53 pm


Why draw the line at voting? Why suggest that “that voting is all that we do”? On the one hand, this fast would have incredible consequences! “Extraordinary things would happen because of it.” On the other hand, it would have no consequences. “The brilliance of our Founders is that they created a system where change is very, very, very, slow and very, very, very gradual.” Which is it? Will its consequences be extraordinary only if those consequences are positive? It’s tempting to think you have an agenda, David. You wrote that your 60 Minutes interview gave you this hope, “that people who think of Jesus only in a Republican way left thinking that maybe there is more to him than that…” What, your interview has nothing to say to Al Sharpton? To those who believe that Christian faith requires Democratic policies like a large social welfare system? To those who peddle books proclaiming Jesus Rode a Donkey? It’s easy to give in to that temptation, but the possibility of an agenda is beside the point: You may be sincere in your faith and otherwise an intelligent individual, BUT THIS IDEA IS IDIOTIC. You can call for civility in politics without calling for Christians’ withdrawl from it. You can point out that government can’t solve every problem without insisting that, as such, our involvement in it isn’t thus redundant.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:57 pm


Sue, you may be the one who is wrongheaded, I don’t know. The author does not suggest “not voting” whatsoever. If you actually read the piece first, you’ll find that he explains this. And it starts here, “I’m not talking about a permanent retreat from politics. I’m not suggesting…”



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Pauli

posted October 17, 2006 at 9:59 pm


I’m a Catholic, so I can only claim to speak for Catholics on the topic of a religious observance such as fasting. But I don’t believe my understanding of the concept will be to far off in this context. The concept of a fast is that you give up something you personally enjoy which can be done without. Maybe it’s chocolate dessert or golf or sailing or reading the paper out on the veranda on Sunday morning. On the other hand, I might enjoy playing with my kids, but to “give up” playing with them might disappoint them even more than it does myself. And my “fasting” from mowing my lawn might be a greater mortification for my neighbors than my own sensual appetites, regardless of how relaxing I might find it. Likewise, if a proposed fast from politics is giving up reading the New Republic or the Weekly Standard or arguing with your single Aunt Susie about the marriage penalty, it would appear to be a valid idea. But if it means foregoing the civic duty of informing oneself and voting for the best candidate, I would deem the enterprise of “fasting from politics” counter-productive at best. That would seem to me to represent the disregarding of Christ’s command in the Sermon on the Mount to be the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” in the sphere of politics which at all times desperately needs Christian influence.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:02 pm


Bubba, that’s your opinion. Let’s see who else thinks “THIS IDEA IS IDIOTIC.”



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Dean

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:05 pm


I think it is folly to think of sitting out elections will have any positive impact on a Christian agenda. What would our “enemies” say? The same thing that they said from the formation of their movement about “Christian” actions: nothing, so long as we didn’t get in the way of their campaign to enact an areligous socialist utopia. Christ had lots of things to say about personal behavior. I don’t think He spoke to national governance, other than rendering unto Caesar. Think of Edmund Burke’s famous quotation and Pearl S. Buck more direectly applicable remark: “When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.” I think your book and continuing campaign to have Christians “sit out” elections is both counter-productive in the short term and damaging in the long run. Think of the direction and of the culture in the 1960′s and 70′s and how it stands today. Where we would we be without the positive influence the Christian Right has exterted on public policy? Think about the direction the country could take should the Christian community return to abstaining from politics. I think continued engagment is the only sensible and responsible path to take.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:08 pm


Pauli writes, “That would seem to me to represent the disregarding of Christ’s command in the Sermon on the Mount to be the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” in the sphere of politics which at all times desperately needs Christian influence.” I think Christian influence is exactly Kuo’s aim here, Pauli. I think it’s also very safe to say David Kuo knows quite well the sphere of politics and civic duty.



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:10 pm


Frank: Bubba, that’s your opinion. Let’s see who else thinks “THIS IDEA IS IDIOTIC.” “That’s your opinion” is hardly a substantive rebuttal, and the validity of an opinion doesn’t rely on a roll call or a vote. The man is suggesting a “fast” from politics because it will be simultaneously extraordinary and of little consequence. The man can’t decide whether the effect of this fast will be large or negligible, and he’s decided to guess that it’s both. Pardon me if I offend you for stating the obvious.



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Mary evans

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:11 pm


This is the best that the media wing of the Democrat party can come up with? Sure we Christians know you libs have our best interests at heart. We “fast” from voting, & we get gay marriage, cut& run from the war on terror, protecting terrorists, illegal alien amnesty etc. But we will finally realize that those are christian precepts. Please excuse me while I laugh myself silly at the incompetence of the media & the dems. You are helping to assure that we Christians are going to turn out in droves to vote for the GOP. We simply will not let te satanic leftists win this election.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:14 pm


Dean,I don’t want to put words in David Kuo’s mouth, but I think he would say that today’s continued engagement is the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result). I think we should carefully read what Kuo says in this blog post. It’s not an end all be all proposal. His comments and call to action is quite thorough and responsible.



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Alexandra Lynch

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:15 pm


I can respect and honor your position on faith and politics as a person of another religion. In a way, I am fortunate to be a minority; no one is courting us, tempting us from our faith in order to “better” accomplish what we are called to do by God. Of course, we deal with the uninformed and the prejudiced…a tradeoff, I suspect.A fast might give people time to truly think about what it is Jesus calls THEM to do…it might not be active politics, but help with the local food pantry or battered woman’s shelter, or perhaps fostering animals, or making their communities a better place to live in the thousand ways that’s possible. That speaks better of religious faith than any amount of preaching.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:20 pm


Mary evans, that’s a little too odd of a statement, in my opinion, even for a blog. Bubba, “the man” has thought about this for years. This is not a willy-nilly thought. Again, if you disagree that’s fine. But, pay him the respect he is due. I’m sure he would do the same.



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Paula S.

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:22 pm


Tom Pruitt–I am a Democrat and a Christian. There are LOTS of us. We are not the enemy. We’re Americans who care as much about the fate of this nation as you do. When you demonize us, you are talking with your emotions, not your head and your heart. I think you’re a better man than that. In Christ, Paula S.



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:22 pm


Frank, why haven’t you started your fast yet? Why are you still here? That isn’t just a flippant remark, as it has an obvious answer: you desire to persuade people that your position is reasonable and perhaps even to persuade them to join the cause. There’s nothing wrong with that, is it? And yet, you and Kuo want people to do precisely the opposite of what you’re doing now: engaging people, discussing important issues of the day, and trying to promote or defend within the arene of ideas what they believe are good ideas. If fasting from persuasion was so incredibly effective, why do you have so little faith in it? Why not fast from persuading people to fast?



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:23 pm


Bubba, “the man” has thought about this for years. This is not a willy-nilly thought. Again, if you disagree that’s fine. But, pay him the respect he is due. I’m sure he would do the same. I did: I said that I’m sure he’s sincere and perhaps even intelligent. But that doesn’t mean this long-considered idea is a good one. After all, some people have spent years pondering socialism, and some still think it’s workable in the real world.



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HASH(0x9155128)

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:27 pm


My instinct was to dismiss this proposal as well-meaning but misguided. It’s interesting, though, that most of those who disagree with David on this thread are mischaracterizing what he said– he did not, repeat did NOT, advocate refraining from voting. So, stop saying that he did. I would advocate, rather than a 24-month fast from politics, a 24-second period of contemplation before engaging in politics. That is, pausing to ask, “how does this reflect the teachings and example of [fill in name of prophet/deity here]?” before making a comment or proposal. The real shame of the example of the past few years is to see the corruption of Christianity into just another identity label. You see it on these threads all the time– “David said something I disagree with, so he must be working for Nancy Pelosi!” Maybe a little less demonization of Nancy Pelosi would be a little closer to WJWD. By denigrating Christianity into a partisan touchstone, people like the posters Dean and Tom Pruitt guarantee that their words won’t be taken seriously by about 50% of the electorate. And delivering a message rooted in love just shouldn’t do that. I think John Danforth has written about this. I just don’t agree, David K, that most religious people who’ve entered politics have done so in the anticipation of bringing about the Kingdom of God in the US government. I think your opening paragraphs overstate the expectations of the average religiously driven politics participant.



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George

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:38 pm


Good time for you to have started your fast was prior to last Sunday and maybe even prior to writing your book.



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Cato

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:40 pm


David Kuo may be trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the Christian right. His biography on this site and his book emphasizes his Republican associations, but curiously leaves out his Democratic past. Did you know that he worked for Ted Kennedy? I didn’t, until I went digging through the Internet. (His book flap bio says he worked “for a US senator,” without naming him. Cute, huh?) He also was a campaign worker for former Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.). One doesn’t leave off such information by accident. Moreoever, Kuo hasn’t worked in the White House since 2003, so he missed the entire 2004 campaign. It’s clear that Kuo isn’t so much interested in the souls of his readers as he is in the fortunes of his party. P.S. – bucktheliberaldog, you don’t have to worry. Kuo only meant that the religious right should butt out of politics. I’m sure he has no problem with the religious left.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:40 pm


I’ll respond to your last post because I haven’t read the first one yet, which seems to be trying to incite me in some way. I happen to think it’s a good idea. This is as much of the real world to me as it is to anyone, including those who disagree, like you. I think it would be a breath of fresh air for regular people. I don’t know of anyone who has thrown up the slogans of socialism just quite yet. I’d rather not label anything, again, that’s the point. But you can keep greasing the wheels if you want. That’s just not what it’s about. Can you accept my position without conjuring up fear and chaos? Or, do you think 24 months of this would do just that? I think there is enough diversity with 300 million people in the U.S. without the need to tell someone their spiritual expression will cause doom. Think about it.



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A. M.

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:45 pm


I do not know David Kuo, but I met him shortly after he left the White House and I can tell you that he is as honest and as sincere as a human being can be. I lived and worked in D.C. conservative cirles around the same time that David was in the White House and I am so saddened to see leaders of organizations that I used to be involved with reacting with such knee-jerk animosity towards him and his book (which none, I’m sure, have read). Although David focuses his critique on the Faith-Based Intitiative, where he was based, a virtually identical account could be written about the administration’s approach to AIDS in Africa or the blind eye that the U.S. has turned to the human rights abuses committed by various “allies” around the world.I, like David, am a disappointed conservative who happens to care about the needy and suffering around the world. That doesn’t mean I am drifiting towards liberalism. I hope it means I am drifting towards the heart of Jesus. A.M.



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Sue

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:46 pm


Frank, I did read it. That you think he isn’t calling for a fast from voting ignores his final sentence”and two years of Christians retreating from politics won’t sink us.”



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:47 pm


I guess I can address your first comment, Bubba. “If fasting from persuasion was so incredibly effective, why do you have so little faith in it? Why not fast from persuading people to fast?” The art of persuasion is a class I took in college. Persuasion is an art and thus effective in a myriad of ways. Why would I want to fast from persuading people to participate in this Kuo’s proposal? I hope we’re done with this beaten path because I’d like to stay on point.



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Alice Venturi

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:50 pm


Bubba: If fasting from persuasion was so incredibly effective, why do you have so little faith in it? Why not fast from persuading people to fast? If I’m understanding David Kuo correctly, the point of the fast is not to “persuade” anyone; it’s to take stock of our spiritual direction.Twenty-five years of work in the political fields have not offered the harvest that conservative Christians have hoped for. So, should Christians keep doing the same thing they’ve been doing for years now – the thing that hasn’t gotten the wished-for results? Or maybe there can be different way to solve the problems, if we fast and pray about it? Are you more interested in actually solving the problems, or are you too invested in “fighting” the other side to try anything new?



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:51 pm


Sue, “and two years of Christians retreating from politics won’t sink us.” I’m sorry, I just don’t take this statement by Kuo to mean that Christian’s will be unengaged when we well know of the past mistakes. If things begin to change during these 24 months, then maybe some people will vote based on what they’ve learned.



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CB

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:52 pm


David,The short answer to your request is “no.” Just because you’re disillusioned in regards to your own political experience does not mean that Christians should cease to speak up on issues of moral and ethical importance, much less lobby for them. There’s a very fine line between protest and petulance. The problem with calling for a “fast” from politics is that the thing that should be accomplished, a greater focus on Christ and his Kingdom, can be accomplished just as well through action and committment. Fasting is about the denial of self to focus on God. So, with all due respect, why does your plea seem to me so focused on self? Some consistency would be appreciated here as well, such as not subtly altering the title of Colson and Dobson’s conference to imply an unforgiving spirit, or perhaps recognizing that Colson, for example, despite his political involvement, continues to run one of the most effective prison ministries in the U.S. It’s also important to realize that for some “nasty partisanship” is a code word for strong disagreement. Some called Jesus a troublemaker and a rabble-rouser and protested the words and suggestions he made. Jesus had some pretty strong things to say about the Pharisees and the moneychangers. The Bible warns us to be as gentle as lambs but as discrening as serpents. I’m all for more constructive dialogue, but you won’t get that by starting a movement to remove Christians from the political scene. All you’ll get is more boldness from those trying to remove any influence of the church from political and public life. My suggestion: If you personally feel the need to take a break, then do so. Instead, you’ve turned your own disgust into just another political campaign; one that is not only quite counterproductive to the social goals of many Christians, but also to your own stated goals here. One does not retreat from political life by starting a campaign.



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Sue

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:56 pm


Frank, You stay home. You disengage. I don’t think I will. I don’t want to find out what could happen in 24 months should other Christians follow suit. Like another justice retiring and democrats in control because Christians fasted. And I do take the statement to mean exactly that. If Christians stay home then we will have 24 months of secularism controlling the country. And why would Mr. Kuo leave out the liberal senator he worked for? Don’t you think that is an important piece of information when you are asking a Christian nation to fast from politics?



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:56 pm


Frank, I see we’re back to arguing that the fast will have a negligible effect: Can you accept my position without conjuring up fear and chaos? Or, do you think 24 months of this would do just that? I think there is enough diversity with 300 million people in the U.S. without the need to tell someone their spiritual expression will cause doom. Think about it. You write: The art of persuasion is a class I took in college. Persuasion is an art and thus effective in a myriad of ways. Why would I want to fast from persuading people to participate in this Kuo’s proposal? I hope we’re done with this beaten path because I’d like to stay on point. This “beaten path” is precisely on point: Mark Kuo is arguing that fasting from political persuasion will itself be persuasive: “I believe that it would be one of the most powerful witnesses to faith ever,” and, “Extraordinary things would happen because of it.” But he doesn’t trust the idea enough to fast from persuading people to fast, does he? And I see that neither do you.



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 10:59 pm


Let me try this a little more simply: You ask, “Why would I want to fast from persuading people to participate in this Kuo’s proposal?” Because Kuo’s proposal hinges on the premise that fasting from persuasion is more effective.



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Reverend Girlfriend

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:00 pm


I must clarify that Democrats are not anti-christians. Many of us our good solid Christians. We go to church every Sunday and sometimes every day. We pray. We support the poor by feeding and not judging them. In fact I know some conservative Christians who were surprised we had many more church services that they did. They thought they were the slackers in the faith department. So a supposed Christian president that has taken food and money from the poor, lied through his teeth and condones war and torture is better then the Democrats? We deserve everything we get for our utter arrogance in thinking we are following God’s way. Shame on us all.



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R Flowers

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:01 pm


I hope you will be good enough to take your own advice, and stay out of politics for a couple of years. Let me know how it turns out.



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Sue

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:02 pm


Attending church makes you a better Christian? Judging someone’s Christianity makes you a better Christian? The Reverend maybe needs a new girlfriend. You won’t last long in his profession passing judgments.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:10 pm


Sue,I’m still bothered by your satanic comment, frankly. Plus, this isn’t quite the time or place to go into the geo-political realm that you seem to be plunging into.”But he doesn’t trust the idea enough to fast from persuading people to fast, does he? And I see that neither do you.” Bubba, give him some time, maybe he will. Even God took 7 days to create the World. I can’t speak for him but I don’t think he’s acting as the Pope quite yet. Let’s be reasonable, at the very least, please.



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Carlos

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:12 pm


I am a former liberal who has become deeply disillusioned by the left’s tendency to demonize Christians. I was privy to many private conservations where liberals would gleefully bash Christians, expressing their deepest possible contempt. In fact, they frequently said they feared a Christian “theocratic” takeover of the U.S. more than anything Islamic radicals could dish out. Never mind that whereever Islamic fundamentalists rule, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities are not only systematically violated, but they are frequently executed merely for existing. The lack of concern by liberals for the rights of people in these countries just sickened me. Meanwhile, the left myopically and obsessively focus all of their ire on President Bush, whom they demonize and villify for attempting to liberate more than 50 million people from two of the most terrible dictatorships in world history. I am convinced that many of the same people who today heap scorn on Bush would embrace a Democratic president who pursued exactly the same foreign policy and invaded the same countries. A.M., how do you expect Bush to clean up human rights abuses by our “allies,” when he is hated by the world for trying to do something about the violations of human rights that were rampant in Afghanistan and Iraq? What do you want him to do, exactly? As for AIDS in Africa, Bush has spent far more of our coin on that problem than Clinton (or any previous president) ever did. Even Bono gave Bush kudos for that.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:14 pm


Again, bubba, the “art” of persuasion is so because it has a myriad of results. Ever heard of the expression, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” ?



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Sue

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:17 pm


I’m still bothered by your satanic comment, frankly. I’m leaving. I won’t even bother to ask what was satanic, I don’t care. I hope you take the advice of Mr. Kuo. You definitely need a fast from politics.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:23 pm


I would be happy to see other bloggers respond to the actual blog post instead of the discussion devolving into the same old negativity. Disagreement is not negative in my book but persistent attacks are never artistic, nor persuasive. Would we kick and scream like this in church? I refuse to, I m sorry.



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Karen

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:25 pm


I am not a church goer anymore, but I do know a Judas and fool when I read and see one, and this guy is a total lunatic. Is he for real? Telling people to not vote? Shame on him. He is a pathetic slug, and Jesus would upend his table and call him the money changer he is. Selling his soul through book sales, lying on TV, betraying friends, and bearing false witness. You may get invited to a couple of parties in the Hampton, but for you to not criticize Barbra Streisand yelling and cursing at her audience unless they agree with her, to Harry Reid using campaign money for Christmas (yes, Jesus’s birthday) bonuses and cheating the “little guy” when he didn’t report $1.1 million dollars. Grow up, dude. You are not a religious person, you are not an American. Any real AMerican would urge anyone who is legally allowed to vote to rush to the election box. You are the worst of the worst. I hope they keep you away from teenage boys.



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:25 pm


You’re missing my point, Frank, but I don’t think you’ll grasp its meaning with another reiteration of it. But I’ll try. Yes, Frank, there is more than one way either to skin a cat or to persuade. But some ways are more effective than others, and David’s arguing that a two-year fast from political engagement is more effective than actual engagement. But if he really believed that, what is he doing publishing a book and going on 60 Minutes? It’s clear he doesn’t really believe that you persuade people by abstaining from active persuasion. You write, “give him some time, maybe he will.” I’ll grant that he might one day believe his own transparently foolish ideas so much that he’ll act on them himself, but that doesn’t make them any less foolish.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:26 pm


My mistake Sue. Mary evans’ comment was who I meant to attribute that response to, not you. Let this correction be known. I’m trying to ward off y’awl and got you two confused.



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Elvis America III

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:28 pm


Give up now? Why? We’re getting close on the Supreme Court, dude. You must be a secret Democrat.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:32 pm


to your comment about Kuo being “transparently foolish”I’ve never met David Kuo, but personally, I praise him for what he’s doing. Nobody can walk in his shoes except for him. He’s following HIS faith and heart, which ever way that leads.



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Reverend Boyfriend

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:35 pm


Reverend Girlfriend- Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Keep giving him fish and he becomes dependent upon you and then has to vote for you. Teach a man to fish and he can be an independent person.



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HASH(0x916c35c)

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:38 pm


How Christian of you. You’re saying that everyone who is not an evangelical Christian is wrong. You need to fast from judgments, not just politics. Jerome



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Bubba

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:41 pm


Frank, you were right to point out that people mistakenly though David was encouraging people not to vote. I would ask you to read what *I* wrote a little more carefully: I called this particular IDEA transparently foolish, not David Kuo. You write, “Nobody can walk in his shoes except for him. He’s following HIS faith and heart, which ever way that leads.” Good for him; but especially since he’s encouraging others to follow him, it’s entirely fair game to evaluate the intelligence or rank stupidity of the path being laid out for him by his faith and his heart. My faith and my heart tells me that David’s idea is suspect and almost certainly ineffective. Are you telling me I can’t follow my heart, and my dreams, and the true rainbow to happiness?



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Frank

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:51 pm


I wish I could quote you some elegant line of poetry, maybe Alexander Pope, I don’t know. But you’ve yet to explain your hopes, your dreams even what merely satisfies YOU, Bubba. I think about 45 minutes ago I explained quite clearly your entitlement to a fair game. You seem to want people to know how dangerously irresponsible Kuo’s proposal is but I just don’t see it that way.



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David Byrd

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:54 pm


There is no shame in admitting that a direction taken or a mode of operation employed is no longer working.Furthermore, there is no shame in taking some time to go apart from others and to regroup to determine the next step to take.Jesus set this example many times in the Bible when he would go apart from his followers and be alone to pray. I agree with David Kuo that maybe it is time to go back to the core message that Jesus was teaching: that of caring for the poor, the sick, the shut-in, the downtrodden.After all, Jesus did not turn to the political leaders of his time to accomplish his aims, nor did he turn to the religious leaders. In fact, he rebuked the religious leaders for selling themselves out to the political leaders of the time. Jesus knew that mixing politics and a spiritual message was risky, and he did not go there. Maybe if everybody took some time to pray and open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then the next step would become more clear. Nobody ever said don’t vote. Nobody ever said don’t support the candidate of your choice. All that has been said is to take some time to focus on what is really important: one’s own family and one’s own situation. Who knows? You might just start a greater revolution than you ever thought possible.



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aaron

posted October 17, 2006 at 11:59 pm


I will never know your intentions, the Word of God is the Critic of Thoughts and Intents of the Heart. If I had to guess, I would say that you are having serious personal issues with your own faith and life. I can already see by the comments on this site that your only purpose with your book is to provide an “assist” to the Democrats. Isn’t that “politicizing God?” Aren’t you asking religious people to do something political? Choosing not to vote is also a political decision. I suggest that you fast. Before you arrogantly tell what others of faith should do with their freedom to vote, why don’t you go to the middle east and ask people who were starved of freedom for decades if they are ready to fast from determining their own future. You are a sensitive, religious, and childish man. Please point us where in the Bible you draw your doctrine of “fasting from politics” from. Please explain to me where in the Bible that Jesus said that it is the responsibility of government to care for the poor. Please explain to me where it says that the government should confiscate property and give it to the poor. If you support such things as government charity, then you remove the will of people to do good themselves, personally.



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Paula

posted October 18, 2006 at 12:05 am


This is the most specious, and quite frankly defeatist, piece of commentary I have ever read of to date. One, politics is for government not saving anyone. David, Christ is for saving people, the government is for protecting them and maintianing order. Involvement in politics is about politics and representation. Two, my great-uncle covered the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. He watch friends die and risked his life for this country and my freedoms. I’ll not belittle that sacrifice and shirk my civic duty out of frustration because I don’t see the results that I want. Three, we can love our neighbor, care for the sick, etc., and still be active in politics. Four, if you want to stop politicians from manipulating Christians stop voting for people just because they talk about faith and tell you what your want to here. Try doing your home work. Check out their voting records! Five, you can be passionate about politics and still show respect and Christian love to those who disagree with you. It’s easy. It’s like the whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” idea, only you don’t treat being a democrat like it’s a sin. After all, free will is one of God’s greatest gifts, so when you disagree with someone do so respectfully. The problems with Christians and politics are mostly our own making. Maybe instead of “fasting” from politics we should start seeing the forest instead of the trees and stop handing our detractors the sticks to beat us with. Just an idea.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 12:09 am


Thanks, David Byrd. What do you suppose provokes people like aaron to direct so much animosity towards someone who is obviously grappling with every move he makes. I mean, David Kuo seems to be genuinely searching for a loving world where one doesn’t live amidst so much turmoil. Why do people want to disparage this living spirit that dwells inside their fellow man?



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Tom Pruitt

posted October 18, 2006 at 12:15 am


Paula S., I am sorry, but I am not speaking of Christians who are registered dems, I know there are lots of them. Half of my church are dems. I am speaking purely of the dem elected officials, I cannot find a single one (with the exception of Zell Miller) who seems to respect believers. I am very suspect of Kuo’s motivations. He claims to be conservative, but I do not believe him for a second. I think the timing of his book and how he speaks of “friends” do not reflect Christian character. He is actively trying to help the dems obtain a majority, that is not fasting. Also, he only seems to speak of Conservative Christians, where is the call to liberal Christians to do the same. Why not call the Rev Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for how the openly support abortion. I cannot support a party who’s platform calls for abortion on demand. And honestly, I don’t know how other Christians can either. But I do not consider Christians who vote dem to be my enemy.



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Bubba

posted October 18, 2006 at 12:20 am


Frank, get a grip. It is possible to be critical of someone’s ideas without having to “disparage this living spirit that dwells inside their fellow man.” At one point you wanted to stay “on track” with the discussion, now you’re writing touchy-feely nonsense like this: I wish I could quote you some elegant line of poetry, maybe Alexander Pope, I don’t know. But you’ve yet to explain your hopes, your dreams even what merely satisfies YOU, Bubba. Oh, dear, I haven’t explained my hopes and dreams to our dearest Frank! How awful of me. How dreadful.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 12:28 am


Tom, I’m sorry if I’m jumping in on your discussion, but I have to ask you something. Do you think anyone wants to stop life in the type of euthanasia that is characterized by “abortion on demand”? Should we reduce this issue to blaming people for seeking sound resolutions to an epidemic that goes along with the reason for abortions in the first place? Some women simply can’t produce life when their lives are lost. There’s no easy answer here except to try and lift the culture up so that these souls aren’t in that position to begin with.



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David Blakeslee

posted October 18, 2006 at 1:00 am


There are several odd pieces to this book and its current prominence in the debate. First, I remember most in the popular press being highly skeptical of “compassionate conservatism” and even more skeptical of merging government with religion in service of the needy. Maybe skepticism is to mild a word: lets try “cynical.” Now, apparently, we are to shift and take KUO seriously (since he is discrediting his own movement). Let me ask this question: “Was he correct when he was saying government and religion should mix or is he right that religion should take a ‘fast’ from government?” It seems that the second agenda (“fasting”) is getting a more positive response from the press than the first agenda. The press is consistent, KUO is not. I think KUO could have written a better book (not a fair criticism, as I have not read this book ;)) around the topic: “WHY WE VOTE: A CHRISTIAN DEFENSE OF CIVIC DUTY.” This is a rich topic, which he has much to say about, I am sure. I think he is currently feeling defeated and cynical (a biproduct of his “slow moving government”) and is coming to the wrong conclusion. Christians have fought long and hard for hundreds of years prior to the existence of the USA to improve the human condition in a variety of ways. We should never “fast” from that mission in all its variations: helping the poor, healing the sick, spreading the good news and creating a government that protects the weak and vulnerable.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 1:08 am


Haven’t we fasted long enough so that now we can try something different?



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leah

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:11 am


You are false. I don’t believe anything about you. I will continue to vote my conscience and disregard you and all those like you. Silly man. You’ll see how very inconsequential your efforts are. You are transparent as glass. Your falsity is like footprints in the snow.



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HASH(0x9177c88)

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:13 am


David, Fast if you want. God doesn’t tell us often to stand still in the face of our enemies. He does sometimes and grants perfect peace in those matyr moments. However, there is a ideology, not political, but fanatical out there that wants to kill me, my children and my friends as many of us in one place as possible because we are A. American and B. Christian. There is one, one political party that has decided that killing as many of these facists in their place of choosing is alot better than having it happen in Walmart in Woodstock, GA. That’s why I’ll vote and continue to vote because there are big issues ou there. I don’t have any grand delusions about one party EVER embracing Christianity as their platform, that goes against the ideals of our founding as a country. My allegience is to Christ and he told us to be good stewards of what he as given us. He’s given us the freedom as Americans to be able to vote or not vote. I urge all Christians to look at the large issues in our country and vote.



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Bubba

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:42 am


To echo the Anonymous poster, who is apparently (like me) from the Atlanta area, I’d like to reiterate one thing:History moves. “Bill Clinton’s problems couldn’t sink us,” true, but Islamic terrorists got increasingly bold under his watch and agreements made with North Korea didn’t stop them from continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. The world doesn’t stand still while we let things degrade in this country for even a couple years. Now, in particular, our enemies are watching to see if we can stand to see our soldiers killed even at historically low levels, and to see if we mean what we say about North Korea’s getting nukes being unacceptible. Not being active in the political process — allowing others to determine our fate — when our enemies are watching to see if we flinch in an age of jihad, increasing globalization, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons is so irresponsible it defies description. Thomas Sowell recently noted that, “the question for this year’s elections is not whether you or your candidate is a Democrat or a Republican but whether you are serious or frivolous.” It’s perfectly clear that David Kuo is not at all serious.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:49 am


“History Moves” OK, Bubba, now move on and do your serious work instead of trying to rack up as many disparaging comments on here as you can. Your point is certainly taken.



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Sue

posted October 18, 2006 at 3:20 am


Frank, Are you the moderator here?



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Bubba

posted October 18, 2006 at 3:23 am


Apparently Frank is no longer interested in my hopes and dreams.



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Sue

posted October 18, 2006 at 3:27 am


I’m just trying to figure out why Frank is “…trying to ward off y’awl…”. So much so he confuses posters. Seems he has his own agenda and it isn’t allowing dissenting discussion. Which is why I asked if he was a moderator here.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 4:17 am


Nope, not the moderator here, not even close to it. I was responding to you, Sue and I got you confused w/ the other person (mary evans I think was the name) that was upset with me defending David Kuo. Bubba, unless you care to tell me what those hopes are I don’t think there’s anything else to say to one another.



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jn

posted October 18, 2006 at 7:48 am


I spent several months in intensive Bible study recently and noticed that the “downfallen culture issues” were not mentioned nearly as much in my NIV Bible as by the powerful poltical preachers on TV.Here are some rough numbers: Verses in the Bible: 31,000 + Verses about homosexuality: 5 Verses about abortion: 15 Verses about activist judges: 0 Verses about illegal aliens/strangers: 20 I’m sure someone can find more verses than me and I welcome correction on this.Even if you are the most fundamental of fundamentalists, its hard to say that these isuues were mentioned much in the Bible. I did notice many verses on something rarely discussed by the powerful poltical preachers: Verses about helping the poor, the powerless, the outcasts: 3000 + Also, all of the verses I read about the illegal aliens were about how it is our duty as Christians to offer food (a precious commodity in those days) and shelter. As a Christian, I’m very frustrated by the narrow definition of Christianity as defined by these powerful poltical preachers. They have used their position to promote an American, Republican, Capitalistic God that doesn’t exist in my NIV Bible. If they are clear that these are their personal beliefs and not Biblical Truths, I have no problem with their behavior. People who do not seek and find the Truth are easily misled to feel that these powerful poltical preachers have a hotline to God and only they truly know the will of God. These men use their position to control rather than guide.In my studies of the Bible, I only remember one instance where Jesus was incredibly angry. When He saw the moneychangers at the Temple using God to make a profit, He flew into a rage pushing over tables and running them away. Makes me wonder who He would consider to be the moneychangers of present day? I long for the day when the powerful poltical preachers take a backseat to people like David. I believe that God is working through David to reach Christians distracted by worldly goals. His personal testimony of surviving a life threatening brain tumor and refocusing his life on the Truth of the Bible instead of the spin of talking point memos is incredibly powerful. I will be praying for David as he delivers his prophetic message in the coming days.



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Bubba

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:49 pm


Frank: Bubba, unless you care to tell me what those hopes are I don’t think there’s anything else to say to one another. If you noticed, my comment about David being (I believe) frivolous in his political beliefs was not directed to you. I already had stopped addressing you, but I ain’t going nowhere. If you want to ignore me, feel free. There’s another thing that bothers me about David’s supposedly brilliant idea: Instead of sending letters to congress and engaging in political arguments with friends and listening to political talk radio and canvassing door to door for candidates and volunteering for campaigns, let’s spend our time in different ways. Why mention “political talk radio” in particular? Nothing about fasting from the NY Times and its regular habit of leaking national secrets, nothing about fasting from Newsweek despite it’s publishing the false story about korans being flushed in Gitmo, and nothing about fasting from 60 Minutes despite its attempt to affect a presidential election by running a story based on a obvious forgery. (Where was David interviewed again?) But we should fast from Rush Limbaugh, that much is clear from Kuo.



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David Byrd

posted October 18, 2006 at 2:57 pm


Frank said: [i]Thanks, David Byrd. What do you suppose provokes people like aaron to direct so much animosity towards someone who is obviously grappling with every move he makes. I mean, David Kuo seems to be genuinely searching for a loving world where one doesn’t live amidst so much turmoil. Why do people want to disparage this living spirit that dwells inside their fellow man?[/i] David responds: You’re welcome, Frank. On the subject of what motivates somebody to strike out, I can only speak of my own experience when I was in a more mainstream Christian church. Most of mainstream Christianity teaches a message that humans are inherently sinful, born into sin, and it is only because of God’s mercy that they are not immediately zapped from the Earth and sent straight to Hell. The message goes on to say that for God to have granted this mercy required the intense suffering and death of an innocent to quench the bloodthirst and vengeful nature of God. But, even with this redemption, it is still possible to do something that puts one back into that sinful state again, dooming oneself to eternal torture and punishment. That’s quite a bit of emotional baggage to carry around, and I believe that at some level, we don’t really accept that this is true. We struggle with the idea that we were created in the image of God, and that God looks in the mirror and hates the reflection he sees. At some level, it doesn’t make sense, and we are hard pressed to reconcile the contradictory thoughts. We are also taught that the very act of struggling with and questioning this set of beliefs makes us just as evil as somebody who doesn’t question it and just goes against “God’s Will”. The result of all of this is an internalized self-hatred that I do not believe was [i]ever[/i] intended by God. We prefer not to think about it, and when we see somebody else point out the contradictions, we are forced to think about it, and we lash out at that person for reminding us that it doesn’t make sense. Everything else in life has to make sense, we think, yet God is able to live outside of human common sense–something God created, incidentally–and, again, to question that “truth” makes us evil. Just based upon the book excerpt and the blog entries I have read, David Kuo is dealing with a major amount of disillusionment. Many people who have done what they considered the “right thing” to do, only to find out that they were being used to further a cause that contradicts their values would experience the same feelings. David Kuo has exposed what some of us already knew: a political party is very willing to leverage the influence of a group of people if it gives them the numbers they seek at the ballot box. This is just as true for Democrats as it is for Republicans, Greens, Right to Lifers, Communists, Libertarians, and whoever else there is out there. David Kuo is also pointing out a valuable lesson: if you find yourself beating your head against a wall, the first thing to do is not blame the wall for your headache, but to stop moving your head toward the wall and keep moving away. Take a few steps back, recouperate, and you might just find that a door was there all the time, or you won’t feel like going through the wall again. Another point that most people seem to have missed is this one: taking a vacation from politics would send a much stronger message than continually screaming and shouting. No party likes to see its support fall away, and if enough conservative Christians pulled their verbal–and financial–support from the Republican party, they would get the message, and get it quickly. Think about it. God gave us the mind to think, so I don’t believe God would mind if we used it every once in a while.



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Frank

posted October 18, 2006 at 7:23 pm


David B. thanks for reaffirming my thoughts. I’m secure enough to acknowledge that it feels good to hear mirrored sentiment. I m right there with you in terms of how you lay out Kuo s view of fasting. I wish more people would speak up like this.



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Linda Johnson

posted October 19, 2006 at 3:41 am


I read your comment about how things hadn’t improved much in the past 28 years; well, I just had to think how bad they could have gotten if it weren’t for the conservative voice of America. I believe that during this time, God gave us one more chance to prove that we can’t make it on our own. Will we now, once and for all, give it all over to Him? This may be our last chance!!!



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Colin

posted October 19, 2006 at 9:45 pm


I am very sad at reading the comments on this page. They are quick to knee-jerk and fall into ideological reflexes. You cannot give up the GOP, you cannot give up politics for even a moment. You have created a new idol to worship. You are not Christians but political puppets. You are paranoid and see conspiracy around every corner as the ‘enemy’ or the words you choose to use await to destroy everything you hold dear. There are no enemies out there looking to destroy you. People do not hate you, yet you hate them. Why is it that your “enemies” are more compassionate and kind than you? Christianity and Jesus means nothing to you. The GOP vision of the ‘Christian’ religion is what is important to you, and you will continue slaving for them as long as they define your faith and dangle the carrot in front of your mouth. Please disengage yourself on both an emotional and intellectual level and take another look at the world.



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dovid

posted October 20, 2006 at 7:00 pm


Good for you, Colin!



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Jonathan Massey

posted October 21, 2006 at 6:52 am


I don’t know about the timing of your fast, David. . . .Whether it’s you, the publisher, God, or the Devil, it does work serendipitously to further discourage evangelicals from voting for Republican candidates in the midst of the Foley mess, etc., and Republican candidates are most-likely to be pro-life. (Fortunately, there are some pro-life Democrats on Capitol Hill.) The stakes are high; the moment may be close when the abortion holocaust can be stopped. Can you imagine someone asking evangelical abolitionists to fast from politics before the 1860 election?



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Jonathan Massey

posted October 21, 2006 at 7:05 am


I hope everyone reads Cato’s comment from 10-17-06. First, it may help us understand a bit more of where David is coming from politically, and also help us understand more about the timing of this book. Second, since Karl Rove and crew are not exactly uninformed, they must have known about David’s background. Yet, they welcomed him in to the White House. I think this says a lot about George Bush’s political breadth, as opposed the the far-left, which always wants to make this generations’s LBJ look like a far-right-winger.



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mlyons619

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:23 am


I hear what Mr. Kuo is saying. I respect his opinion. I just don’t necessarily agree with it. Should Christians take a “fast” from politics? Should we withdraw from our society, wait for everything to go to Hell, and call upon God to bring forth the Second Coming? That’s really the choice, isn’t it? Remain part of this society, or withdraw from it. Yet if we are to remain a part of this society, how can we tolerate the slaughter of the unborn (as the Democrats would have us do), or allow anyone and his children to go without decent healthcare because he can’t afford it (as the Republicans would have us do)? Instead, we should be “gentle as dove” but “wise as serpents.” Maybe Christians shouldn’t be voting straight Republican, because, quite frankly, i believe the Republocans to be just as wrong on Christian issues as democrats are. Maybe we should be looking at INDIVIDUALS and not what party they are with. And if NEITHER candidate is worthy, then give that particular vote to God (instead of voting the “lessor of two evils”), and vote on another candidate or issue worthy of us. For example, although I participated in the 200 and 2004 elections, I DID NOT VOTE FOR PRESIDENT. I saw BOTH candidates as severely flawed. I gave who should be President to God, and voted on other candidates and issues. But “fasting” and allowing the Godless to run the next two-to-four years? Only if I believe the end-times are around the corner, and no, I don’t believe we’re there yet…



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Susan

posted November 22, 2006 at 10:50 pm


I am continually astounded at the amount of people who ignore David’s words i.e. “As I’ve been doing interviews on my book, I’ve been proposing that Christians “fast” from politics. It has been mischaracterized as a call for Christians not to vote. That’s not what I mean.”It was in the first three sentences, people! He’s not advocating staying at home on election day. That’s what the man said and I, for one, think he can be taken at his word. What, then, does he mean? I think (and I realize some will not agree with my understanding; please when you rebutt, use the man’s words) Kuo advocates a redirection of our energies. He wrote: ” Let’s take every ounce of energy we currently expend on politics and divert them to other things. Instead of sending letters to congress and engaging in political arguments with friends and listening to political talk radio and canvassing door to door for candidates and volunteering for campaigns, let’s spend our time in different ways. We can start with the things God has commanded us to do pray, learn, listen to him, and serve a hurting world.” He’s asking us to seek the Kingdom of Christ instead of the Kingdom of Whatever Political Party You Like.And let us not forget, there are many different ways to fast. We can abstain from only certain types of food, or all food, or water as well. We can abstain from sunup to sundown, all day and night, or between two set hours. Perhaps that principle could be applied to each person’s personal ‘political’ fast. We can all ask God to show us what changes, if any, need to make in our spiritual and political lives. Perhaps Kuo’s community fast is overreaching; the Christian community in this country has, sadly, not been the parragon of unity we strive to emulate in the book of Acts. But each person can still “Give to America what belongs to America,” to paraphrase the words of Jesus. And what America deserves is thoughtful and informed citizens who participate not blindly, but with care and concern for all of their fellow citizens. And a sidenote, I, too am a liberal, Democrat Christian, and it hurts my heart to hear my brothers and sisters decide my agenda is evil and/or dangerous. Democrats aren’t some faceless crowd on the other side of the aisle. We are people who love this country and love that this country allows us to disagree and live in peace, at least theoretically. Who will start the praying for one another that we are commanded to do? It’s really, really hard to pray for President Bush for a myriad of reasons, but I still feel it’s my duty as a Christian and as an American. When I think about it, that man needs all the prayer he can get. Thanks to anyone who read this far. I hope Kuo’s suggestion sparked serious thought and contemplation instead of knee-jerk, emotional reactions that are neither logical nor Christlike. I know it did for me.



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