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Dear reader

posted by J-Walking

A reader writes in response to my short post on Darfur:

Rage?

Why isn’t “Allah” doing anything about the suffering in Darfur?

It is his Muslims causing it.

This reader has posted frequently in the past about how liberals are destroying the country, about how Democrats are Godless, about how true Christian faith must oppose abortion and gay marriage – about how those are the litmus tests of true faith. Now, when confronted by gang rape, by torture, by 200,000 dead in Darfur, by a president who bravely called what was happening in Darfur genocide but has done little more, by the chance to do something – however small – himself, he tries to wash his hands. He brings to mind another man. His name was Pontius Pilate – he too washed his hands and passed on responsibility. I don’t think Pilate is the model for Christian behavior.



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Thinker

posted May 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm


Sometimes I think that with all the stimulus that comes into our lives minute by minute, we simply cannot take in the painful – we like the heroic, the tragic with a happy ending, the nostalgic, the fascinatiing lives of the demi-gods we call celebrities. We fear the truly painful – the suffering of others, our own inevitable ends and those of our children. It is a character flaw among us and then something happens – a cancer diagnosis, a child’s cancer, a heart attack, the loss of a career, the loss of a parent or spouse and suddenly we understand in a way we did not before. Oh, it really is about the mercy and love of God. It really is. Someone once told me that there are only two choices in life – bitterness and cynicism or transformation and transcendence. We go back and forth on those two. Gos calls us out of bitterness and toward God;s merciful self.



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chris in ny

posted May 28, 2007 at 7:40 pm


the interesting thing is (not that this matters, but for the sake of engaging donny’s apparent line-of-thinking that only things that affect christians really matter), aren’t the majority of the genocide victims in darfur christian? i thought that the conflict mainly had to do with arab muslims brutalizing black christians. why would not care about other christians, donny? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3211002.stm there is so much darkness in the arab world right now. yes, we are all responsible, we all need to do our part to end injustice. but i do wonder about the silence of fellow arab muslims on this issue.



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canucklehead

posted May 28, 2007 at 8:53 pm


I think it was the Red Baron who was the Pilot. Was not Pontius PILATE’s statement “What is truth?” asked in a spirit of cynicism? I suggest that religious fundamentalism is the ultimate cynicism in that what with its dualistic worldview, its black/white thinking, its fear-invoking worldview, it attempts to demand easy answers to complex matters.



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Doug

posted May 28, 2007 at 9:40 pm


Canucklehead, and I sure hope that’s your real name, it’s interesting that Europe considered and rejected Manicheism to become Christian and the middle east did the same zoroastriansim to become muslim. It’s a funny syncretism that we reject religions with black and white world views and just keep the bichromatism (if that’s not a word yet then tm)



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canucklehead

posted May 28, 2007 at 10:37 pm


So, Doug, fundamentalism for you is a religion? Is that a monochromatism?



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Pacific231

posted May 28, 2007 at 11:00 pm


I suggest that religious fundamentalism is the ultimate cynicism in that what with its dualistic worldview, its black/white thinking, its fear-invoking worldview, it attempts to demand easy answers to complex matters. (Bold emphasis added) Yes, I completely agree. And fear indeed plays a very central role in the global enemy of humanity that is fundamentalism. I found this powerful quote on the subject some time ago: No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. — Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)



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Donny

posted May 29, 2007 at 4:36 am


There is no call or writing in the New Testament to kill those that reject Christ Jesus or that refuse to be followers. That is to say “Christianity,” ANYWHERE in the written records of Christians that wrote the New Testament. I find the following a bit dishonest and typically political tricks. You failed to quote me saying that we should gather 25,000 (or more) “Christians” to go to Darfur. If we die we die. Notice our martyrdom will not be in killing others. It will NOT be with an AK-47 or a machete in our hands. Our martyrdom will not come in cruising bars or pushing a Marxist society to enslave the poor. Your hypocrisy David, is typical of comfy litle blog pros.Your faith without works.And making money writing an anti-GOP book doesn’t qualify as working for the faith. Selling political propaganda to leftist bobbleheads is not a mission worty of disciple contending for the faith. Liberals plague our Church. They are anti-Christian by their actions and doctrines. Too bad if that bit of factual truth stings your buddies. Jettison those that promote these things with the dust from your shoes, JUST AS Jesus said to. And, this is not just happening in Darfur. Do you write a blog when some Christian Nurse or Doctor or simple man or woman, is slaughtered just for being a Christian. Millins and millions of Christians are dying all over the world David. While you blog your political dribble. You dare to compare me to Pontius Pilate? How sadly laughable. I have never washed my hands in any response to your blog that I have offered. I stand with the Gospel firmly gripped in my hands and offer the exact same message as the Apostles, taken FROM their writings. The Gospel that THEY died for. I am going to sit by and watch Liberals re-write Christianity for gay marriage, unfettered promiscuity and Marxist aims. Muslims, Liberals and Progressives are in complete opposition to the New Testament writings that those that wrote it DIED FOR. Muslims do not believe Jesus is God, nor do they believe that He died for our sins, nor do they believe that He was the Son of God. Liberals and Progressives (the power base of the Democrat party) work without fasting to criminalize Christian speech and beliefs and re-write whatever disapproves of their choices and lifestyles. You David Kuo, have washed your hands of preaching the Gospel the way it was delivered. You David Kuo have turned the Gospel into a political game of cat and mouse with the Church. You David Kuo are far closer to Pontius Pilate (who really existed by the way) in the choices you represent in your blog. Why not let a modern day Nero respond to my positions? Andrew Sullivan looks far more like a Roman Prefect than I or you do.I present the position that Christians should actually live like Christians the way Christians (the Apostles) wrote that they should, and you compare “that” to me being like Pontius Pilate? David,What is (the) truth? You are proving that a good education doesn’t necessarily promote good knowledge.I’ll repent to YOU and/or anyone else here at Beliefnet, when I err in presenting the Gospel and the New Testament the way it is written.One thing I’ll say for you in the positive, you do allow for dissent of your positions without editing them. And I do always hope that God will Bless you with a long life and a solid Christian family. donnyresponse@yahoo.com



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Pacific231

posted May 29, 2007 at 4:47 am


David, I believe you asked your readers to do some very little simple things to help end the atrocities in Darfur, pointing to the savedarfur.org website. I completed the petition to be sent to UN Secretary-General Ki Moon Ban and [cough] our White House Napoleon. I agree that was a simple (and very small) thing to do. Shame on me for not doing this and much more ahead sooner.



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Marlene

posted May 29, 2007 at 5:44 am


It does not take a lot of discernment to see that David Kuo is an authentic Christian, who is informed and guided by Jesus’ message from the Gospels — especially as it relates to the “least of these” — those powerless individuals who do not attract the attention of the rich and powerful. Donny uses HIS interpretation of Scripture — (and make no mistake, we all read the Scripture through our own particular interpretive lenses) — to promulgate his own agenda. I came to this blog to escape tirades.



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PatD

posted May 29, 2007 at 6:46 am


Muslims do not believe Jesus is God, nor do they believe that He died for our sins, nor do they believe that He was the Son of God. Neither do we Jews. Are we your enemies as well?



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Donny

posted May 29, 2007 at 6:52 am


Marlene, How come you didn’t refer me to Dailykos.com?The Leftians want our troops home to become Leftians. Nothing more noble than that. This is not a game these leftists are playing. They are playing for keeps. Keeping the populace under their heels. Venezuela sound familiar?And lying about Christianity and rewriting it to serve their purposes is reality in Liberal/Progressive social politics.But let’s give the typical political power grab a rest and see communication in action. I talked with some teenagers today about Democrats and Republicans and how they felt about each political party.I asked them how much of the money that they earn from working at their jobs should they be allowed to keep? “It’s my money,” said one of them, “I should be able to get my money that I work for.” That caused all heads to nod in agreement. I told them that Democrats – the Liberal-Progressives – take money from them by law and want to take the majority of it with new laws, before they even see a penny of it. I mentioned the word “taxes.” I told them that Republicans want them to be able to keep the vast majority of their hard-earned money and do with it what they wanted, and as they spend money, or invest it, that spending and using their money in turn puts their money to use in buying things from other people that in turn get those people jobs and actually helps others. They can even give their money to help others like people do at Churches. “Why would anyone vote for a Democrat?” I didn’t ask that question. One of the youth did. But I did go on to mention the similarities between a Marxist society and a free market economy. All of them recognized that the Democrats (Liberals and Progressives) sounded like Marxists.And yes, I did talk about what pays to fix roads and pay for fire departments and police. What, maybe five-percent in taxes? Now, When thinking about the incredible seriousness of Darfur, our Democrat/Liberal/Progressive politicians see Christians that live the Christian faith, as right-wing fundamentalists nutballs.I think of them as having a “purse like the Samaritan” mentioned in the Gospel, and that Christians are the ones that actually go to places like Darfur (historical fact) and actually help.Facts no?



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Marlene

posted May 29, 2007 at 9:34 am


The reason I didn’t refer you to the Daily Kos, is because your viewpoint is conservative, while the Daily Kos is liberal. I no longer visit TownHall or the Daily Kos because of their tendency to extreme and mean-spirited postings, but rather prefer David Kuo’s approach to religion and politics. My main problem with you is the way you paint with such a broad brush. As David has pointed out, all Democrats are not bad and all Republicans are not necessarily good. A wise person can take good ideas from liberals and conservatives and blend them into a patchwork quilt of understanding and cooperation. I, as an Independent certainly do. The world is not black and white — there are many gray areas in which God can work to bring us together.



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maxcat06

posted May 29, 2007 at 11:59 am


David, I have to agree with you… if we fail to recognize any human suffering, it diminishes us all. It shouldn’t matter if those humans are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or athiest; they are all God’s creatures.



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David Kuo

posted May 29, 2007 at 2:35 pm


Donny – May I give you a single example from your last post: “…even you Leftists out there can help me out.” Just take a look at that and consider how arrogant and offensive even that snippet is. You need not go away – as I’ve made clear – just consider the tone and the nature of your remarks. As to my email to you asking you to tone it done, here it is so that you might see that I said I had no problems with you critiquing me: Hey there – Donny, I value your passion and your interest and your thoughts. I am also getting a lot of comments from people – as are others at Beliefnet – about your posts. I really, really want to encourage you to tone down things that others may take as personal attacks. This is supposed to be a friendly forum and a welcoming one. Attack me, fine. But please, please I ask you to town down the posts. Otherwise Beliefnet will be forced by their terms of use policy to cut off your posts and I don’t want that to happen. I’m serious. David



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Peter Ahlstrom

posted May 29, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Donny, we’ve all done a lot of talking here, but I just want to ask you one question. If Jesus lised in Darfur today; if his father, his mother, his brothers, the rest of his family and relatives lived there, how much would you try to help them? Wouldn’t you pitch in a lot more willingly, and do a lot more, than you are now? Because I hope you remember that in the passage David quoted in Matthew 25, Jesus said “as you didn’t do it to the least of these my brothers, you didn’t do it to me.” So when we ignore the hurting – in Darfur or in our own families, or right next door, or within our own church or town -we ARE failing to help Jesus himself. We should be responding as if it was Jesus himself we were “loving and helping.” Because, he himself says, it is. Pete A.



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Donny nicer (resubmit by staff

posted May 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm


(The post below has been resubmitted by request of Mr Kuo. Original submission was made earlier this morning prior to Mr Kuo’s response. – staff @ Beliefnet.com) I have been asked by a powerful political Christian to tone down my “personal attacks” here on beliefnet.com. Or else be eliminated from posting. Yet, I have used no cursing in any blog response to date. “Personal” references to actual blog professionals should not be seen as attacks, any more than any OP/ED in any newspaprer in the United States. After all, this is not Venezuela, where dissent of the ruler is outlawed. How do you tell someone that they are misrepresenting the Gospel on purpose for evil reasons “toned down?”I am really asking for advice here. And if you do not present altered New Testament scripture, to show me how a Christian should behave against adversaries of the Church, even you Leftists out there can help me out. I realize that David Kuo is a Christian, but are we not told, in the Gospel, to confront our brother when he is clearly wrong? “I” (actually my postings) have been equated to Pontius Pilate, the very man that sentenced Jesus to death. No greater personal insult could ever be applied to any man. Yet, I view this obvious violation of Beliefnet’s ROC as nothing more than David’s right to free speech and to challenge his opposition with a strong and passionate voice. That should never be silenced. On Beliefnet or anywhere else. I will go away for a time and just read along to see what is happening to the world by those in the positions of power to actually affect it. donnyresponse@yahoo.com



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canucklehead

posted May 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Even though I disagree with almost everything Donny writes, I say “let him blaze away!!” As one of my seminary professors used to tell us, “even a stopped clock is right twice a day!” and that’s not really intended as a slur on you, Donny. I’ve been a journalist and I’ve been a pastor. Both roles require skins of a hippopotamus and frequent glances in the mirror to remind one’s self that perhaps we are indeed really little more than noisy bags of wind.



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PatientWitness

posted May 29, 2007 at 9:01 pm


I’m one of those liberals whom Donny paints as evil with his broad brush. His views seem to be based on a fundamentalist and literal interpretation of the Bible. However, his passion and zeal cannot be denied. Norman Rockwell painted his series “The Four Freedoms.” Of those 4, the 2 freedoms he felt most important were freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I say let Donny write. I take no offense at his remarks because he is not my judge.



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Shannon

posted May 29, 2007 at 9:25 pm


I am a born again Evangelical who doesn’t 100% allign with any party. When I read Donny’s comments and then those of you who lean left I start to think that maybe I read David’s book wrong. The jist I got from Kuo was not his frustration at the Right Winged Christian movement for being Conservative. 90-95% of Conservative ideas you can believe without being religious.I interpreted Kuo’s frustration at the Religious Right for making politics an Idol and using it as a vessel to change people’s hearts. Which only the Holy Spirit can do. I also saw David’s book as a expose of how political parties use Christians for their own gain and then ignore what they promised. I never thought after reading the book that Kuo advocated the Democratic party as the solver for any of this county’s problems. Or slandered Christians who voted GOP as contributers to the problems of health care and poverty. After all, when Katrina hit, who gave the most helpful aid immediately and up to now? Mostly Faith Based Organizations with volunteers acting out Jesus’ teachings. Wow…this post got too long!



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PatientWitness

posted May 29, 2007 at 10:16 pm


Hi Shannon, I think most folks here know that David is conservative, and we don’t wish to turn this into a forum for Republican vs Democrat because, as you said, David’s book carries the message that politicians have used Christians for their own ends and then discarded them once elected. However, most of us here, whether right or left, believe strongly in the message of Matthew 25 and appreciate the urgency of that message. That is why we, conservative and liberal, like what David is trying to do. So even though politics is brought up in these discussions, it’s really more in the context of a policy discussion. As for Donny, even though I disagree with his narrow-minded viewpoints, I’d work beside him helping the poor anytime. But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that only conservatives have the one true and correct take on religion, or Democrats are all godless sodomites. That simply is not true.



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Shannon

posted May 30, 2007 at 12:16 am


PatientWitness, Agreed and Amen.



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matt

posted May 30, 2007 at 2:38 am


I don’t agree with Donny almost ever. I don’t recall ever complaining about him in any official sense. I believe all speech should be free so bad ideas can be challenged in the open instead of the shadows where they fester.Donny, I have read your comments for months. You conflate issues that have no connection. To illustrate this point, I have two specific questions for you. If you get the opportunity, please respond. 1) Where in the Bible does it discuss taxation as being un-Christian? When you speak of the Democrats/Progressives, you lead off with how they tax you, but that isn’t evil, is it? In my worldview, it is less evil to tax and spend than spend and not tax.2) If you’re so concerned about taxes, why aren’t you a Libertarian? The Libertarian Party wants to repeal the income tax, while the GOP doesn’t. I think I know why you don’t and I think it has nothing to do with taxes.



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Donny nicer

posted May 30, 2007 at 4:02 am


I’ll take a fast from David’s blog for awhile after this response. Naming names is the honest thing to do when you nneed to point out someone’s position. C’mon now calling someone a Liberal or Progressive in derisive terms will heurt no one. Now to answer David, whose blog this is . . ., Thank you. To Peter Ahlstrom, Jesus would have been hacked to death in Darfur. To Canucklehead,No slur taken. I am right on the New Testament I present without editing. To Patient Witness, I do not paint with a broad brush. Just the opposite. And if you are willing to preach the Gospel the way the Apostles in the New Testament did, then realize that “if” we went to darfur “as Christians” we would more than likely be rotting there. Your take on Democrats and Conservatives, I think I could prove you wrong in one long conversation. To Matt, Taxation the way the Democrats promote is Marxism. Marxism is anti-Christian. “Some” taxes pay for roads and schools. All we need is good roads. The schools have become Marxist indoctrination centers. I am registered Independent because the GOP has “people” like Mark Foley, still doing what they do. I could never be a Democrat for obvious reasons. I am a Christian. To them, I am a hate crimes perpetrator when they passed HR 1592, on the National Day of Prayer. You gotta hand it to their Gay Activists and Ted Kennedy. Nothing like a good old slap in tha face to the entire Christian community. Ever wonder why the term “out” and the use of the Rainbow have been ceased by LGBTers? Look up the word “Ekklesia,” and the promise God made to Noah. It seems slapping Christians has always been a Gay right, protected by law. This is David Kuo’s blog and I’ll sit back and watch for some awhile like I said. Thanks David and those of you that support free speech. After all it was the first constitutional right granted to the Church by the founders of these rather questionably United States.



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Gone fishin'

posted May 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm


The word “ceased” should have been “seized.”



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Susie

posted May 30, 2007 at 8:37 pm


I can’t tell you the number of times I go to post something and just delete it. At this point when I read something from Donny or like him on another site I just want to cry. I don’t know how to express that sorrow without making him wrong. But I feel he is wrong. There is the rub for me.



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PatientWitness

posted May 30, 2007 at 9:04 pm


You’re a sensitive soul, Susie, and if something moves you to write then you should write. If someone replies with a nasty remark, well, shame on them. The world is full of people who have made up their minds about something and no amount of logic or prose will change their thinking. See the comments under the conservative companion blog right next door to witness sharks eating their own. And if it helps, try doing what I do, and look for the humor in the nasty posts. They can be quite entertaining.



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canucklehead

posted May 30, 2007 at 9:18 pm


“And if it helps, try doing what I do, and look for the humor in the nasty posts. They can be quite entertaining.” PatientWitness | 05.30.07 – 3:09 pmRight on. I think religion/faith talk brings out the best in people, the worst in people and the funniest stuff imagineable. i.e. See all the hoopla currently being generated over Chuck Swindoll using words like “crap” and “heck.” Are the people at VCY America or whatever it’s called for real or what?



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Susie

posted May 31, 2007 at 4:14 am


Thank you for kind words.I went to the chiropractor tonight and I think I am now well adjusted. One can only hope.



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Proletariat

posted July 6, 2007 at 5:17 pm


According to the Bible, Jesus lived among sinners. His followers were prostitutes, adulteres, tax collectors, cowards.
Liberals are not trying to rewrite Christianity. In fact, they have no relationship with Christianity or any other religion, neither do conservatives. Government and religion are seperate for a good reason because, unfortunately, religion too often creates prejudice and alienation.
Still, if either liberals or conservatives embody Christianity, liberals do. They understand the spirit of caring for the small and the needy. It is a historical fact that is true in the present that the liberal party has always been the party for the poor. Jesus, if the Bible is historically acurate, was a man for the poor.



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Proletariat

posted July 6, 2007 at 5:31 pm


Another thing,
Donny wrote, “But I did go on to mention the similarities between a Marxist society and a free market economy.”
I think he is confused because free market economy is synonymous with capitalism which bears little resembalance to marxist society. I think the term he was searching for was controlled economy which many economists associate with communism. Liberals are for a more controlled economy in that they support the public school system, a more universal health care, and wellfare. All of the following have socialistic roots. As the robber barons such as Rockefeller proved, pure capitalism is a very scary thing.



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