J Walking

J Walking


Brownback – “pro life and whole life” and a GOP church

posted by David Kuo

Sen. Sam Brownback has an oped in the Washington Post today on what Republicans should be focusing on in order to win:

I believe the biggest threat to our future as a movement is a negative public face, when we don’t project a welcoming and hopeful message based on an authentic faith. The future of the conservative movement in our country will be strong if we can be moved by genuine faith and love for mankind, but not by political power.
On the campaign trail I talked about being pro-life and whole-life. This is, first and foremost, recognition of the fundamental dignity of every human person. It says that every person, at every stage and in every place, is a beautiful and unique child of God. It says that every life, everywhere, has value and is worth fighting for.

He goes on to say that being “pro-life and whole-life” means dealing with poverty and homelessness and Darfur and other issues of social justice.

The conservative movement in America will succeed to the degree that it is faith-filled. We must exude the virtues of authentic faith: joy, hope and love. Our movement must be more compassionate, loving and welcoming.

A few thoughts:
– The McCain camp can’t be thrilled. First, there isn’t any mention of John McCain’s name. Given Brownback’s endorsement of McCain last week, that is just a little odd. Second, what Brownback is describing isn’t exactly McCain’s platform. Oops.
– But if the McCain camp isn’t thrilled, the rest of the Republican field – save Mike Huckabee – has to be pretty pissed. Brownback’s oped is jab to nose and a moral indictment of the GOP field. No one, save Huckabee, is talking about compassion for prisoners or the poor or matters of social justice.
– Brownback is scaring me. The GOP will succeed to the “the degree that it is faith-filled.” Hello? The GOP will win if it is religious? What a terrifying, terrifying thought. If anyone needs further proof as to what the GOP will become if it tries to become a church, look no further than the current White House.
That is exactly and precisely wrong. America doesn’t need the GOP to be more faith-filled. It needs our churches to be more faith-filled. It needs individuals and families to be more faith-filled. It needs priests and pastors to be more faith-filled. It does not need a political party to be more faith-filled.
It is this fusion of faith and politics that is destroying both faith AND politics. We need our politicians to focus on being great political leaders who can run the ship of state. If they are faith-filled terrific. Great. If they aren’t but can do the job, great. But this notion that the two must be fused is one of the most noxious and frightening notions. Enough said.



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Larry Parker

posted November 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm


What is it that you said … if you combine faith and politics, you get politics.
Classic example, Pat Robertson and Rudy Giuliani this week.



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Thinker

posted November 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm


Brownback has been a work in progress. His faith deepens in a manner that teaches us all. I disagree with him on many issues, but feel he is one who “walks the walk” of pro-life.



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Rachel Farer

posted November 12, 2007 at 1:30 pm


Brownback is certainly sincere, and the causes he wants us to fight for are all good causes. However, the problem is that once the government has all the money and power to do good, it can just as easily do evil. The Bush administration is Exhibit A.
The Constitution says that the government will neither establish a religion nor restrict the free exercise thereof. Neoconservatives and a few secularists want to establish their views as the official government position. Many liberals want to restrict the free exercise of religion by banning it from public view and from the workplace.
The only candidate who will neither twist religion into an extension of the state as Bush has done, nor repress it altogether as many Democrats would do is Ron Paul. Religious people who want to see religion thrive rather than morph into another government program will vote for Ron Paul. Or they will if they know who he is.



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Doug

posted November 12, 2007 at 2:14 pm


I pretty much agree with both sides in this post. Let’s say for saying it’s sake that what Brownback means is also what you said, David, that we need authentic faith by grace of God and born in the individual, nurtured in the community and carried out into the world, committed to Godly causes some of which are taken up by the people in government. Couldn’t that be consistent with both messages?
There’s this, though, that c*****tism when it is authentic has to be a secular political philosophy, although not a contradiction with religious faith.



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PatientWitness

posted November 12, 2007 at 3:19 pm


“But this notion that the two must be fused is one of the most noxious and frightening notions. Enough said.”
Very true, but it’s still not been said enough. This should be stated clearly and often because too many still don’t understand it.



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SkipChurch

posted November 12, 2007 at 4:14 pm


Rachel,
I’d be interested in concrete examples of legislative or administrative efforts to repress religion “altogether as many Democrats would do”. Additionally, what is it you want people to be able to do in the workplace that they can’t do? I’m assuming it’s okay with you if they actually do their work at the workplace.
If I’m the employer and it’s a private enterprise I’m supposing Rep. Paul would go pretty far in affirming my right to set the terms and conditions of employment. If you want to wear your “Wicca is Wonderful” cap and the job requires you to wear a Dunkin’ Donuts cap, I think it is pretty obvious that Rep. Paul would support this sort of employer restriction on religious expression.
For federal workplaces see “Guidelines for Religious Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace” for pretty thorough policy protecting relgious expression.



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Rachel Farer

posted November 12, 2007 at 5:36 pm


There have been efforts to remove “In God We Trust” from the currency and to remove “under God” from the the Pledge of Allegience. Numerous religious monuments have been removed from state grounds because some people can’t stand to see anything with which they do not agree.
A Ron Paul Presidency would not be perfect, and although I do not know Ron Paul’s position on this subject, I imagine he would leave it up to the states and local governments to enforce fair employment practices. Observant Jews absolutely cannot work after sunset on Fridays or at all on Saturdays. Traditional Muslims absolutely must pray at very specific times of the day. Some religious groups require beards on men, or head coverings on men and/or women.
The U.S. President now has the power to do whatever it wants in the world, and even if Congress were to cut off funding for Iraq, I imagine Bush would say in his signing statement that he will stop the funding at his discretion. We need to preserve democracy and stop the gradual move towards dictatorship. We won’t be able to worry about anything else if people do not reclaim their power by refusing to support candidates that will continue on the present course. Shrink the government in 2008, and we can decide what we want back in 2012. Continue growing the government in 2008, then we may not be able to decide much of anything in 2012.



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gb

posted November 12, 2007 at 10:57 pm

Jillian

posted November 13, 2007 at 12:27 am


I doubt that the de facto mandatory bible study hours in the workplace, which a lot of people have to live with, are “free expression of religion”, Rachel.



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Donny

posted November 13, 2007 at 7:40 am


Christians (of today’s era) got into politics because they saw that they could not fight the Progressive-Secular Humanist movement from outside of it. So similar a story is represented in the Bible, as to why God’s people got into politics then. Our schools and our perverted and violent youth culture are proof that apathy is a graet and grave sin. Paul used the politics of his day. Daniel was put into a place of political influence. Joseph – a sort of Christ figure – was put into a powerful political position. Esther was also a person put into a political position. The Prophets went to politicians on a regular basis. “The Judges” of God’s people were political positions.
Both John (the baptist) and Jesus (The Messiah) were given places of political influence. Jesus remained silent before Herod, but certainly not Pilate, the representative of the Roman government.
All, helped the people of God. All used the political positions they had to do it. There were Prophets that were placed in positions of political influence by God, for a reason.
It is safe to say that “the people of God” were to be involved in the political happenings of the nation “if” we are to use the Biblical record to guide us. That is fought incessantly by the Godless in political power.
Christians are not the uneducated goofs that the leftist “Liberal Elite” dominated media machine paints us to be. We have seen what it, and they, have done to our children and our culture. Watching a whore house in your neighborhood, grow larger and more influential and doing nothing about it, and sooner or later you have the effects of what goes on “over there” right in your own house.
Now granted, you cannot change the minds of the decadent and hedonistic hordes by just telling them what they can and cannot do. But allowing them to be the leaders of society and they will never do the right thing until the carnage and horror they support strikes them where it hurts. And yet, we do not see “The Left” fighting HIV/AIDS, STD’s and violence, by “doing the right thing,” you see “The Left” fight immorality and its cause and effect, by changing the name of it to something less truthful, but more comfy to the perpetrator and victims to live with. There are no role models saying “no” or “stop” or, “don’t do it,” on The Left. There are role models on The Left trying to find cures for diseases, but not in the curtailing of behaviors that bring them, no way. The cures sought are to stop disease that interferes with an unfettered lascivious and licentious lifestyle. It’s an age-old assertion and the Bible is full of those. Read any book of the Prophets as the charge one political leader after another with the charge. Even, dear old David. Though Daivid acted like a conservative when confronted with his sins. He certainly didn’t look for relief in neologism as do all dedicated Liberals and progressives of days past and our own.
We need faith-based politics and God believing politicians working side by side with those following God as explained in the Gospels and throughout the Old Testament. We need moral and decent people creating our laws. Not relativism and political correctness taking us backwards to a time were hedonsim was the main goal of politics. A time, we are being returned to in the hypocrital word and world of “Progressive” politics.
For far too long the people of God were silent. That fast is over.



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SkipChurch

posted November 13, 2007 at 9:17 am


So Rachel, the unsuccessful effort to remove “In God We Trust” from the currency and the removal of religious monuments from government land –that’s all you got? That hardly adds up to an effort to “repress religion altogether.” Needless to say, there should not be (for instance) the Ten Commandments on a courtroom wall, nor quotations from Sharia Law, or anything of the sort. Specific public buildings such as courts, fire houses, city halls, etc. should be free of this sort religious monument for one simple reason: government under our system is supposed to be neutral. End of story. Now whether religious language is permissible on monuments on public land but not connected with some specific public function — for instance language on a memorial in a public park to war dead of WWI or something– that is a matter the courts have sorted out reasonably and pretty well.
Typically when Christians moan about religion being banished from the public square, what they really want is a restoration of the official and privileged position of their brand of Christianity. That’s not going to happen. The public square they typically mean is not, ironically, the actual public square where they can pass out tracts to their heart’s content, but some more sensitive venue such as a public school with it’s capitive audience of impressionable children. And as the laughable outrage at the “War on Christmas” demonstrates, the examples adduced to show how Christianity is being attacked, and put under seige, and so on– these examples are typically anecdotal, shallow, fail to make any case at all, nevermind the case that Christianity is under attack in America.



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Donny

posted November 13, 2007 at 9:53 am


SkipChurch,
You got what you wanted in our public arena. No virgins in school anymore and oral sex aplenty in the hallways, playgrounds and bathrooms.
Gotta love those that don’t want religion in the public square. Of course though, they’re the first to cryout in the public square for the cures of the STD’s garnered there once the Christians are shoved out.
Oh, oh, I forgot, no one ventures into the public square after dark. And believe me, it’s NOT for fear of hearing the Gospel preached.
Welcome to Secular “Progess” huh?
Sorry Skip ol’ buddy, when Christians moan about religion being banished from the public square, it’s because we hear all of the moans of the diseasesd, infected people that got what they got FROM the public square, when they come to us for help. Which they always do. For now anyway. I’m sure that too will be outlawed by the tolerance and diversity crowd when they get a whiff of what we “say” as we help thye sick, diseased and dying FROM the public square life they are forced to live by.
Wonder why they aren’t calling out for help IN the public square? It’s scary thought, getting robbed, beaten and raped when your sick.



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Donny

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:25 am


How many people died in the public square last night? How many didn’t in Christian Churches and Christian outreach programs?



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SkipChurch

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:50 am


So life continues on for you in Sodom-by-the-Sea, Donny, where the sick are robbed, beaten and raped in public and every middle school hallway features oral sex.
Far from being banished from the public square, you can hardly move in America without encountering an expression of religious faith. Whether it’s the churches on every third corner, the pervasive Christian fish and bumper stickers, or the billboards (as I saw on the interstate in PA) with exhortations to salavation, religious freedom is everywhere in evidence. That’s fine with me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Take beliefnet. That’s the public square. I don’t see religious expression being quashed at all. On the contrary, it is encouraged, and I would say valued and esteemed in the United States.
But I live in the USA, whereas you live in Sodom, where no doubt different perceptions operate.



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Larry Parker

posted November 13, 2007 at 12:16 pm


Donny:
Where on earth do you live — Folsom Street in San Francisco?!



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The Populist

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm


Uhhh, Donny…
Stop exaggerating. I know many born agains and full on Christians whose kids are getting blow jobs and other stuff like that. Nobody is saying you can’t preach the word. What many of us find annoying is you want to remake the constitution and our government into some Christian version of the Middle East.
Sorry bud, I raise my kids to be honorable people. I don’t need you telling me what religion means to us. Christ is a HUGE figure in my life. He is everything but I accept this IS NOT a “Christian Nation” and tolerance is very important.
I live in the USA but you apparently want it to be something else. You cannot force morality on others. You CAN LEAD by example. Last I checked, my former party (the GOP) thinks that neverending war, win at any cost type thinking where politicians will cheat the system, cheat on their families, wives and the American people is somehow acceptable.
Sorry bud, if you think what we are living in today is America, you are living in a very troubled world. America is dying and many who claim to be compassionate and Christian aren’t doing a darned thing to fix it. Shame on anybody who doesn’t adhere to Christ’s beautiful message.
If you call me a liberal or un-American for having this opinion, you lose the debate…it makes YOU the un-American one since when did debate and discussion become anti-America?



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The Populist

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm


So life continues on for you in Sodom-by-the-Sea, Donny, where the sick are robbed, beaten and raped in public and every middle school hallway features oral sex.
Where is this supposedly happening? You seem to know a lot about this, is it happening in YOUR community? It’s not happening in mine. If it is, it’s because we don’t TALK to our kids.



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Roger Bixley

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm


What’s with this public square crap? Read your damn bible:
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”



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The Populist

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm


God bless you David Kuo. I’ve been waiting for folks like you to say what the majority of us loving Christians feel about the mess we are in.



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dewey_m

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:25 pm


Larry,
I am with Donny on this one. It doesn’t have to be Folsom St., It could be in any town in any city, even in Italy. Just pop into any town square, real or virtual and you may bump into the likes of Bob Allen, Larry Craig, Jeff Gannon, Dr. David Hager, Mark Folley, the Vatican priest, etc. etc. etc I believe they espoused the same views as Donny at one time or another.



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dewey_m

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:27 pm


I also agree with The Populist, David Kuo is probably the only “Chritian Celebrity” who I actually respect.



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McE

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm


Sonny Purdue’s (Georgia’s Governor) solution to the drought currently gripping the south was to officially pray for rain.
Faith-based politicians provide faith-based solutions. While prayer is recommended, God helps those who helped themselves. Sonny is not helping.
This sort of behavior is one example of why I couldn’t agree more with Mr Kuo.



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Howard Mandel

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:45 pm


“If they are faith-filled terrific. Great. If they aren’t but can do the job, great.”
Finally, a prominent person of faith acknowledges the intent of the framers regarding our “Christian” nation. Kuo’s disillusionment with the Bush regime’s pandering exploitation to theocratic instincts has got to be a model for religious leaders all over the country on how to win back their moral authority.



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Youbetcha

posted November 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm


Yes, blind faith in anything has no place in politics. Logic and reason do. Oh, and that goes for life in general too.



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Larry Parker

posted November 13, 2007 at 7:00 pm


dewey_m:
(smile)



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MikeF

posted November 13, 2007 at 7:09 pm


Rachel and Donny, can you please give me ONE example from the Bible where Jesus forced someone to listen to Him or do anything against their will?



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Billy

posted November 13, 2007 at 7:30 pm


Rachel, does it matter to you that “in god we trust” on our money, and “under god” in our pledge of allegiance was added in the 1950’s as a reactionary response to the Soviet Union? The framers of our constitution didn’t specify that our currency should rest on trust in god. Nor did they specify that our country was indivisible “under god.”
Read up on the people that lead the movement on incorporating those two deist ornaments to our system of government. I don’t think you will find these people worthy of emulation.



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Donny

posted November 13, 2007 at 7:50 pm


Mike F.
Here ya go, John 21:
I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
///
But I think what you are referring to is that Jesus was explicit to not go after the proud and haughty (reminds me of a certain parade I saw on TV once) and those willingly rejecting the Gospel. It’s a consistent message throughout the Bible. It rings true for what we now call Liberal and Progressive ideology. And certainly (also) those that think they can get rich and ignore the poor and needy are in for a big surprise on judgment day.
The blind leading the blind. Both of course falling into a pit. Not a very warm and fuzzy Jesus there. Certainly Jesus walked the public square a time or two. And certainly Jesus threatening the peoples that rejected the Gospel message of the Apostles. . . makes it perfectly clear that what would come to be called Christianity, was NOT to be forced on people.
If you care to do the research (which is Christian advice to Christians), even some Sodomites will be better off than secular progressives.



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Donny

posted November 13, 2007 at 9:23 pm


Billy,
I have issues with a lot of what “The Left” has wrought onto this world. BTW, it took Google 0.22 seconds to find these articles. Part of the Bill Clinton legacy: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2212986/detail.html and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/features/students070899.htm



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PatientWitness

posted November 13, 2007 at 9:58 pm


David’s blog got a nice reference on Crooks and Liars, a site I highly recommend: crooksandliars dot com



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David Kuo

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:10 pm


NOTE – My blog tool is down and has been the last day – I apologize. I hope to be back soon. David



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:14 pm


Mr Kuo
it’s good to see you finding your way into REALITY when it comes to religion in public life. I dont have to tell you that you were played for a fool by the littleweasel in the whitehouse who doesn’t care if he does or doesn’t, or who knows about it.
The quality of discourse represented by the postings here shows the pathetic poverty in the quality of religious discourse in this country.
I am an Anglican Christian myself, and don’t go in for all this supposing that we can speak for Jesus–or any-other-goddam-body. One of the beauties of our Constitution is that such nonsense is (supposed to be) kept OUT of public life.
I hope, Mr Kuo, that you can continue to learn the lesson.



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:19 pm


…and will spread the good news that you DON’T HAVE TO BE A CHRISTIAN to be a GOOD AMERICAN.
Enough of that s***, already.
All the best, Mr Kuo. I mean it sincerely. I ached for you when it all fell apart, and was thrilled when I heard Welton Gaddy interview you. He’s a great American AND a great Christian–good company for believers of any stripe. I hope you and he are friends.



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PBI

posted November 13, 2007 at 10:46 pm


I’ll keep it very short: Very well said.



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kiva

posted November 13, 2007 at 11:42 pm


Donny:
are you serious? You think that’s what that passage means? of course, you pick John – much of which likely wasn’t anything Jesus really said anyway. How ’bout something from the synoptics.
Check out M. Scott Peck’s “Stages of Spiritual Development” (google it). You are stage II all the way, baby. Rule-based and legalistic…it’s the only way your life has any structure and doesn’t fall apart at the seams. You are lost without it. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. Now stop trying to make everybody else like you.
Why would god make us all so different, then provide only one way to serve him (or relate to her)?



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Ray Radlein

posted November 13, 2007 at 11:44 pm


One thing history has shown again and again — and one thing which the founders of our country knew only too well — is that when you try to combine Church and State, you do not get wise rule by godly men; you get a corrupted and temporal church. The separation of Church and State is a vital bulwark of protection FOR THE CHURCH, as well as for the State.



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AnotherBruce

posted November 14, 2007 at 1:03 am


Donny wants to take us back to times when the Christian Church ruled the land and kids were all well educated, virginal and disease free.
Medieval times.



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betty elder

posted November 14, 2007 at 2:48 am


What exactly is wrong with what Brownback is saying!? You heathens will NEVER be satisfied. But never fear silly heathens. What Brownback is proposing can never happen. Most of the Republican party is just as heathen as you. What Brownback is proposing requires obedience to what Christ Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You MUST be born again.” The Republican party would have to get saved to obey Brownback. And don’t jump with glee heathens, you too MUST be born again. Good luck.



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MikeInSanJose

posted November 14, 2007 at 4:05 am


Jesus… Jesus…
OH YEAH!! He’s the guy that cursed a fig tree and caused it to wither and die simply because Jesus didn’t know when figs were in season. (Matt.21:17-20, NKJV)
Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!



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Donny

posted November 14, 2007 at 5:57 am


Kiva,
All I did was answer a question. Don’t freak. John’s Gospel is the most rational of the bunch. He showed why Jesus is God. Great thinker John. Using Greek contemplations for God (Logos) is as open-minded as it gets. BTW, I’m not trying to take us back to anytime in the past. The Liberals, Progressives and other anti-Christians are doing that. With every stroke of their political/secular pen, they continue to rebuild Rome, Sodom and Gomorrah. One debauched child at a time. Certainly nothing in their politics is progressing much further than that. All I’m doing is pointing out who is doing what.
And please, keep your closet-psychology where it belongs. In the myth and fantasy sections. I live in the real world.
MikeInSanJose,
Own a home bud in your lefty/progressive Bay Area? Only if your filthy rich now huh? So much for the Left and helping the poor. Jesus knew what He was doing. It was an example to be ready in season and out. The Fig tree represented something that wasn’t a mindless plant. Jesus was (and is) looking for those that can think a bit deeper than Darwinian.



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Donny

posted November 14, 2007 at 6:04 am


“Donny wants to take us back to times when the Christian Church ruled the land and kids were all well educated, virginal and disease free.
Medieval times.”
Posted by: AnotherBruce
///
How about just a time when they could be children. When gay meant happy about playing with friends and not sex acts to define a whole culture and community. When abort meant not alunching a rocket instead of murdering your unborn child for the convenience of promiscuos people. When communism was bad and not the hidden agenda of the Democrats
Yeah, let’s have a conversation about good times and bad times. Shall we?



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Donny

posted November 14, 2007 at 6:59 am


Here’s a perfect place to see the Humanist judging others: Donny:
are you serious? You think that’s what that passage means? of course, you pick John – much of which likely wasn’t anything Jesus really said anyway. How ’bout something from the synoptics.
Check out M. Scott Peck’s “Stages of Spiritual Development” (google it). You are stage II all the way, baby. Rule-based and legalistic…it’s the only way your life has any structure and doesn’t fall apart at the seams. You are lost without it. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. Now stop trying to make everybody else like you.
Why would god make us all so different, then provide only one way to serve him (or relate to her)?
Posted by: kiva | November 13, 2007 11:42 PM
///
The above judgment of Kiva is fascinating. Which is fine, which is fine, BUT, I’ll take King David in Psalm 51 over a whacky universalist/humanist psychiatrist’s personal revelations, anytime of the day or night.
I’m not comfortable in the comfy little boxes that psychobabblers put everyone into. Ever wonder what “psyche” meant before it was a product to be bought and sold?



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Redford

posted November 14, 2007 at 8:21 am


God’s calling…he thinks you’re all weak and whiney and for His sake, think critically, be honest, don’t suffer fools, take care of those less fortunate and don’t rationalize your mistakes. Evaluate and correct your mistakes and move on!
The Republican party is so far removed from “Joy, hope, love, compassion, welcoming” the terms should never be in the same sentence. The party of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Malkin, Bill Bennett, Gingerich, Beck, Melanie Morgan, DeLay, Abramoff, Cheney, Lott…yeh, those are your mouth pieces for joy, hope love, compassion, welcoming?
Just because you call the war a success, doesn’t mean it is. Just because you say you want joy, hope, love, compassion, doesn’t mean you do.
Until you can think critically, until you can be honest, until you stop suffering fools, until you take care of everyone and until you stop rationalizing why you are a Republican, not only will you be less for it, we all will be.



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 14, 2007 at 8:55 am


this preoccupation of blowjobs as an issue of morality when Cheney facilitates through his grand lies the slaughter of our children and the pillaging of the public treasury. Jesus called that STRAINING OUT A GNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL.



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Redford

posted November 14, 2007 at 9:06 am


Danny:
Hang in there! Processing the mess created in BushWorld can be overwhelming and I too suffer from it. Living in Indiana, I am surrounded by Bushies, not to mention having legislators (Bayh, Pence, Buyer)who are drinking the Kool-Aid.
Let’s remember to hold our values, keep our standards high and never, ever forget the damage Reagan caused as president. Once again, just because they say Reagan was a great president, it doesn’t make it so. Facts and accuracy matter.



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SkipChurch

posted November 14, 2007 at 9:40 am


I’ve often tried to determine when the turning point was, in the rightwing Christian view: the moment when America began what they generally agree has been a long slide into moral degeneracy and decay as exemplified (they would say) by what you see outside your window. Usually, it’s either 1960 or 1964. 1960: Kennedy, a liberal Catholic from Massachusetts, elected. Civil rights agitation. 1964: Goldwater defeated;American coins stopped being 90% silver; Great Society social programs; Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed; hippies; 1963 school prayer decision (Abington School District vs Schempp). So the turning point was in that era, the period of the end of innocence as a nation, the loss of ideals in Viet Nam, the tragedy of the racial conflict and riots, the beginnings of a radical feminism, the first real surfacing of a wide-spread drug culture, the opening conflicts of what later came to be called the Culture Wars.
Needless to say, what began in the 1960s was a complex phenomenon and was neither caused, nor could be controlled, by any political party. It had a life of its own, and still does.
When the public schools were integrated in the South in the 60s, the immediate result was the creation of hundreds of all white Christian academies. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a shameful legacy, and one whose echoes are still with us. The horror and disgust in the 1960s over the prospect of racial integration was the wedge that the GOP needed to bring the South into their camp. Believe me, prior to that the very idea of touching the Republican lever was unthinkable in the South. The Republicans– party of Lincoln, William Tecumseh Sherman, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Reconstruction. Unthinkable. But as is so often the case in America, race is a key (if often unstated) issue.
There is a Utopian strain in the Christian right, a longing for the imagined Golden Age of the past. In that Golden Age there were no blacks in the local high school, nobody ever mentioned homosexuality or abortion, divorce was a social death sentence, environmental degradation was not yet an issue, and all the children prayed every morning in school. There were plenty of good jobs for working class white folks, and every car was American-made. ‘Career girls’ were a novelty, associated with screwball comedies set in places like New York. Smoking was probably not that great for you, but not that bad either. America was mighty, and Christian, and good.
It was a more innocent age, in spite of the Cold War. But it was no Utopia, especially for the poor of either race.
And you can’t get there from here.



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Redford

posted November 14, 2007 at 10:06 am


Skip: Thanks for the well-written missive. Regarding turning points, I would consider Gingerich’s all-out verbal attack on Democrats in the 80s to be of significance, not to mention Henry Hyde, Gingerich, et al who were schtupping-at-will (perhaps Wilma)all the while pushing for impeachment, directly relating to infidelity.
Also, on a recent note, when Al Gonzales told Arlen Specter that the Constitution did not grant citizens, habeas corpus, it was a huge flare that something was very wrong with this administration. I’ll never forget the look on Specter’s face when Gonzales said that.
Turning points. You don’t always know when it’s happening, but I feel certain we are entering one and I hope for my kid’s sake, intelligence prevails. Good ‘ole boy mentality and saying your a Christian won’t cut it any longer.



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Buddy

posted November 14, 2007 at 10:36 am


It is interesting to read all these comments and interpretations on a book written 2000 years ago by sheep herders, translated poorly into various languages, and applied to the 21st century!



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SkipChurch

posted November 14, 2007 at 10:50 am


What I remember along those lines was Sen Robert Byrd in 2002, ancient as he is, brandishing a small booklet– The Constitution of the United States– and saying “The president is using the Oval Office as a bully pulpit to sound the call to arms. But it is from Capitol Hill that such orders must flow. The people, through their elected representatives, must make that decision.”
Quoting Roman historian Titus Livius, Byrd called Bush “blind and improvident….
“As sure as the sun rises in the east, we are embarking on a course of action with regard to Iraq that, in its haste, is both blind and improvident. We are rushing into war without fully discussing why, without thoroughly considering the consequences, or without making any attempt to explore what steps we might take to avert conflict.”
Now Robert Byrd certainly has faults, and may have done things in the past that are deplorable and which he regrets– but on that day, hearing those words, I thought the wisdom of the Founders was clearly evident, that the voices of the wise might be heeded.
But it was not to be.
To see that old man holding the Constitution, trying to stop a colossal and tragic blunder, standing there like a Roman senator of old quoting Livy, and being ignored, steamrolled, as our Constitution was dragged through the mud by these madmen: that was heartbreaking.



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 14, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Redford, thanks for your words. It’s great to hear about somebody like you in Indiana–the state where they’re getting just what they voted for. It’s sometimes called Cornholing.
I’m always tempted to call down my mightiest curse upon them: May you get what you deserve. But may you get what you vote for seems at least as bad.
But God help ANY of us if we get what we deserve.



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm


If you think Brownback is sincere, you haven’t looked into his background enough.
How about the lie he told week before last that the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were clergymen?
How about your bud Tom Delay? How about all your anti-gay fundie preachers who get busted in motel parking lots, truck stops, park rest rooms, etc, etc, etc…propositioining cops for (*gasp*) blowjobs?
if you freakin’ hypocrites weren’t so busy minding other people’s sex lives, maybe guys like your gay christian preachers wouldn’t live in such deep shame and could be who they are–proudly, not sneaking around in notorious motel parking lots, getting busted, and then claiming they were out there bringing souls to Christ.
and when are you guys gonna get off this s*** that this is (supposed to be) a “Christian” nation?
the more you talk that garbage, the more you expose your ignorance.
And I dont give a s*** about what’s written on the g******* money. I care about how the g***** money’s being spent. And how much Cheney and his boys are stealing. DO YOU NOT CARE THAT MOST OF OUR TREASURY IS BEING SPENT ON HI-TECH KILLING MACHINES? Where the f*** is your Jesus in all of that??
Do you not care what your pseudo-christian thugs are doing to your children–and WITH YOUR MONEY?
open you freakin’ eyes.



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Jillian

posted November 14, 2007 at 9:20 pm


That’s an interesting question, SkipChurch.
In American religious circles, I think the assassination of MLK- also 1968- tore a hole that liberal religious groups were unable to close. A lot of wise leaders attempting to peacefully bridge their Agrarian Age-anchored religions to Modernity- MLK, Niebuhr, A.J. Heschel, John XXIII among them- died over a span of a few years. Liberal religious groups declined. The conservative religious groups prospered, enlarged their numbers as conservatives left mainline groups, and their leaders took the political space left open.
By 1980 we had Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as the most politically important religious leaders in the country. Denominations with some of the least morally upstanding histories and doctrines formed groups that deliberately sought to monopolize the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘moral’ for themselves.



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maxcat06

posted November 14, 2007 at 9:50 pm


Jillian, I think you’re correct (I typed right, then changed it!). There has never been a monopoly on “ethical living” or “morality”, despite what some posters here might believe, and I actually think that the pendulum swings more towards the left when it comes to overall ‘Christian’ beliefs, but the right has been able to package it better, and sell it wholesale.
For myself, I have no dog in the hunt. I was raised Jewish, and for some here, that’s one step above or below secular, I don’t know. I’m not actively practicing, but feel that I have a code I believe in, and a set of ethics and values and “lines” that I refuse to cross. I may not be as pure as some claim to be, and don’t claim to hold the high ground on any issues, but I don’t believe in murder, don’t practice it, try to treat my fellow humans as myself, I’m kind to animals, I try to not lie or steal, and I loved my mother and father, when they were alive. For a Democrat, I don’t think that’s all that bad.



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Unsympathetic reader

posted November 14, 2007 at 10:50 pm


No one, save Huckabee, is talking about compassion for prisoners or the poor or matters of social justice.
Of course not, because any intelligent, thoughtful dialog along those lines would be ripped into 5-second sound bites and interpreted as coddling rapists & murderers or providing hand-outs to welfare queens. I think Bush might have pardoned more Thanksgiving day turkeys than death-row inmates.



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Anonymous

posted November 15, 2007 at 2:19 am


“The only candidate who will neither twist religion into an extension of the state as Bush has done, nor repress it altogether as many Democrats would do is Ron Paul. Religious people who want to see religion thrive rather than morph into another government program will vote for Ron Paul. Or they will if they know who he is.”
Ha, that’s funny. He wants to ban same-sex marriage, and the only reason anyone possibly would comes from a religious position that that it’s morally wrong (since it is in no sense unethical).
He also wants to ban abortion at all stages, presumably because he believes zygotes are haunted by spirits/ghosts/souls.
He’s also an anti-semite and a racist.



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The Populist

posted November 15, 2007 at 3:39 pm


What exactly is wrong with what Brownback is saying!? You heathens will NEVER be satisfied. But never fear silly heathens. What Brownback is proposing can never happen. Most of the Republican party is just as heathen as you. What Brownback is proposing requires obedience to what Christ Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You MUST be born again.” The Republican party would have to get saved to obey Brownback. And don’t jump with glee heathens, you too MUST be born again. Good luck.
He who casts the first stone…ah forget it. You people are lost. Who are you to call me or anybody else a “heathen?” Do you know me?
When Katrina hit, did you give to those poor folks who lost their homes?
When earthquakes happen, did you provide any money or relief items to the people who lost their homes?
Do you support the troops in words only or do you care about their well being? I sure do and support any law that says these brave souls are taken care of for life.
Sure, you can name call all you want but it doesn’t change one thing….you like to cast the first stone when you know NOTHING about any of us.
Go away little wannabe…



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The Populist

posted November 15, 2007 at 3:42 pm


And we wouldn’t have to deal with HOMOSEXUALS and THEIR SEXUALITY IF they didn’t deamnd to spread it to every corner of earth. Keep it in the public bathrooms and bath Houses late, late, at night and away from us and our children) where it belongs.
If God made them that way, why do you deny them their humanity? Why are you so hateful? Jesus taught tolerance. The only person who can decide anything is the Almighty, right?
Uh huh…go ahead and cast some more stones. I live a good life and I care for people. THAT is what Jesus wanted.



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Jillian

posted November 15, 2007 at 5:16 pm


http://www.yourdictionary.com/chauvinism
chau·vin·ism· (s?h??v? niz??m)
noun
1. militant, unreasoning, and boastful devotion to one’s country; jingoism
2. unreasoning devotion to one’s race, sex, etc. with contempt for other races, the opposite sex, etc.



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 15, 2007 at 8:43 pm


just when I thought you couldn’t pull any more shit out of your ass..WTF is this krap about churches and bathhouses? what are you reading? what are you DRINKING, there, donnyboy?



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DannyEastVillage

posted November 15, 2007 at 8:46 pm


i dont think donnyboy’s gonna like it when he sees who’s at the Lord’s Table.



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted November 16, 2007 at 11:15 am


“a GOP church”???
Forgive my naivete but I never knew American political parties had their own churches. Since when? And, since America is such a great ‘melting pot’, are there GOP mosques too? Synagogues? Temples? Ashrams?
No wonder America is in such a conundrum. It has forgotten HOW to separate Church and State.
Sad. Just sad.



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted November 16, 2007 at 11:19 am


“There have been efforts to remove “In God We Trust” from the currency and to remove “under God” from the the Pledge of Allegience. Numerous religious monuments have been removed from state grounds because some people can’t stand to see anything with which they do not agree.”
No Rachel. The reason they were (and should be) removed is that they have no business being there in the first place. Courts are not religious places. They are to be impartial (you know, the “Justice is blind” concept), and are not seen to be impartial when the trappings of one particular faith get ‘pride of place’ treatment over other religions.
It has nothting to do with “agreement” and EVERYTHING to do with freedom of (and FROM) religion.
Do feel free to try again, but if you do, you’ll need better arguments.



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted November 16, 2007 at 11:26 am


Rachel,
“Many liberals want to restrict the free exercise of religion by banning it from public view and from the workplace.”
Worship belongs in a house of worship, not the workplace.
The “free exercise of religion” is PREVENTED for people who are not of the ‘majority’s religion’. Explain why quotes from the Christian Bible ought to have precedence in ‘public displays’ (AND at public expense, btw) over the religions of OTHER members of the public, say Buddhists. You want your tax dollars to go to the erecting of shrines to Buddha? Or how about having a bronze statue of the Quran on your courthouse steps??? That, too, would encompass the “free exercise of religion” you tout for ‘your side’.
Oh, and what about atheist citizens and their right NOT to have another’s religion ‘shoved down their throats’ (to borrow an expression from the ‘right’) and paid for by their tax dollars?



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted November 16, 2007 at 11:33 am


“You got what you wanted in our public arena. No virgins in school anymore and oral sex aplenty in the hallways, playgrounds and bathrooms.
Gotta love those that don’t want religion in the public square.”
I’m not sure how positing preposterous, unbelievable and false reports of “oral sex aplenty in the hallways” of our schools adds a modicum of believability to your rantings, donny.
And how does either (false) example have a thing to do with “religion in the public square” or lack thereof?
Do you wonder why you are not believed? It is because you continue to bear false witness.



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Anonymous

posted November 20, 2007 at 9:41 am


Faith informs everything that you do that is how I was brought up.
Faith is not something that you practice only on Sunday or Saturday or on any OTHER day of the week to leave it their in your Church or Synagogue or Mosque.
As a practicing Catholic Christian I know full well that Christ expects us to LIVE OUR FAITH EVERYDAY!
There is nothing wrong at all by letting those in public KNOW we are Christian by living our faith!



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ds0490

posted November 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm


“There is nothing wrong at all by letting those in public KNOW we are Christian by living our faith!”
Please explain why having religious displays in public facilities helps you live out your religious faith? Also, what did Jesus mean in the following passage?
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
How does this play out with regards to conservative Christian’s attitudes to moderate and liberal Christians? Also, how does having a nativity scene in the courthouse lawn as opposed to your own lawn evidence what Jesus was teaching?



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