Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Major Annoyance or Oxymoron--Christian Democrats

My church magazine has an article this month suggesting ever so subltly, without naming the parties, that the Democratic party is more Christian in its views/agenda than the Republicans --whose main agenda of importance to conservative Christians, the article says, is family values, i.e. abortion and homosexuality. I deny that charge.

The writer reminds us, unnecessarily, that the Bible champions charity, compassion, social justice, and care for the poor, etc. implying that the Democratic party is the party of THESE virtues and the other party is not. Care for the environment and belief in global warming was emphasized in another article --without mention of the also credible opposition to the global warming ideologues and their theories and remedies.

Listen, it's Bill Clinton who tax-deducted a dollar for every pair of used underwear he gave to charity --before he was president. I suppose he can deduct a much higher value now, especially if they're unwashed. It was Al Gore whose taxes revealed he'd given a pittance to charity as vice-president, as I recall. It was George Bush who saw the value of faith-based institutions (including schools, prisons, re-hab and homeless programs) and their work among the disenfranchised, disadvantaged, etc. and said they should be as elegible for government aid as secularistic/atheistic (a-religious) groups whose track records tend to be less effective --or even destructive like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

As for the super rich democrats, like celebrities, if they give away 50% or more of their fortunes in taxes they won't miss it --so they think the modestly, moderately well- off entrepreneurs and job-creators should be taxed to their eyeteeth, too --for the sake of the poor and Big Government redistribution of wealth. When you own an energy-guzzling house like Al Gore's or John Edwards', you can (apparently) afford to tell everyone else to tighten their belts, pay higher taxes to give raises to gov't employees and to support those who goofed off in school, made multiple babies with people to whom they weren't married, got addicted to meth, nicotine and alcohol, and now are suffering the consequences.

The social conservatives give more per capita to charity and religious institutions (which are always charitable) than any other group in the nation. They work with countless people who are the poor for reasons described above. They see transformation of lives harmed by drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality. They have ministries to everyone's children, youth and the poor. And we DO believe in government help to the needy. We just don't like this class warfare exacerbated by Democratic Party rhetoric --this sense of entitlement.

A friend of ours was seeing a young lady with great financial needs. He gave her a large sum of money specifically to help her pay her bills and get on her feet--and she went out and bought a fancy TV with it--though she already had a decent, working TV. He asked her why she used the money that way and she said, "I felt I deserved it --I deserve nice things." He's not seeing her any more--i.e. not to date her.

Lack of compassion is not the reason why conservatives advocate social policies which encourage responsibility and initiative. Many of the welfare-dependents acquired self-respect with jobs and education because of welfare reform led by social conservatives in the early 90's. Social conservatives did lead the abolition movement in England and U.S. Social conservatives are the ones wanting the church to be the agency that helps the poor --instead of the gov't --because the church deals with the root problems of so much poverty in America. Most poverty in our country IS rooted in our family life/sex life --and the lack of effort in education for many --the lack of family support, encouragement, structure, discipline, good priorities for money, etc.

It was Bush that advocated mega-bucks for AIDS meds and abstinence education in Africa. He's the one wanting to be lenient (merciful) to the illegal immigrants who have been here contributing to the economy, whose descendents are legally here by birth. I've been interested in this debate and don't think full citizenship with voting rights SHOULD be granted to the illegals--but the workers' permits might be a good idea. We shouldn't completely exonerate illegal immigrants letting them vote and determine the social policy in this nation. It's enough that we've been educating their kids and treating them in our hospitals. Bush is a realist, however, in visualizing how it would look for millions of Hispanic residents to be forced to evacuate the country. The majority may clamor for that now, but when it started to happen the media would highlight the sadness of families having to send Grandpa back to Mexico for his crime of illegal entry.

No more time to rant today.

The nation on this 3rd of July needs to remember the Lord and petition to bring our hearts into conformity with His. That includes a recognition that social justice (compassion, equal opportunity and hand-ups for the needy--REAL help) and family values are both important. And I think the conservatives realize this --whereas the democrats still believe gay and abortion wrongs are right.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life." "God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it." --the Bible


Yankee Doodle said...

Happy Independence Day! Remember this is "Independence Day", not "Dependence (on govt.) Day."

Check out my Fourth of July post on TYC.


steve said...

My favorite 4th of july happened in 1988. I was in the USMC and was stationed aboard the USS Peleliu. On that 4th of July we were cruising past the Island of Iwo Jima on our way to Korea. All the ships of the taskforce converged and fired their guns as sort of a fireworks display. We manned the rails in dress uniform and paid our respects to the Marine dead from the battle of Iwo Jima. Today, the fourth of July celebration seems sort of garish to me, since the ideas that all those men died for seems to be evaporating in our modern United States. It seems now a days we've become a nation of fearfull cowards, ready to give up our liberties in the name of a little safety. We readily condone torture, we allow the Bush administration to subvert the rule of law, and then hypocritically challenge other nations to champion the rule of law. Oh whats the use... blah blah blah blah... What a depressing 4th...

I've been thinking of making custom bumper stickers. Here's my latest.. what do you think?

"They're troops, not Referees, bring them home.."

John Foust said...

There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around. I think this criticism of today's conservatism is essentially correct.

They claim to adhere to the Bible but they sure have strange ways of doing it. They walk right past the main messages of the New Testament - love one another, forgive, the Golden Rule, help the poor and the needy - but sift the dust of the Bible to find ambiguous sentence fragments that become imperatives they want to hammer into law.

So it's not as if they're against government action on principle. They're happy to pick up God's hammer to smack all sorts of issues with laws and spending: sexuality, contraception, gay marriage, morality, drugs, and any educational issues connected to those. Certainly there's plenty of government spending associated with those government programs. As you point out, they're eager to use government money to support faith-based initiatives. This seems like a clever way to mask "pork" spending. They're happy to use government money to spread their message of religion.

And then there's war. Do you think Jesus would recommend diplomacy or bombs? Which innocent Iraq would Jesus recommend killing, in the name of dismantling Saddam's regime? Would Jesus have recommended selling arms to Saddam as we did not that many years ago? Would Jesus recommend a budget that spends half on defense and a much much smaller fraction on helping the poor?

I don't think it's as relevant to scrutinize the personal charitable contributions of each candidate. Fussing that one gave every so slightly more than the other doesn't make much sense, when in either case, it's still a tiny percentage of their holdings. We're not talking about ten-percent tithes in any case. (Maybe Mitt Romney is better about that; many Mormons are.) Certainly they're all rich beyond the wildest dreams of most of their constituents. You think the Republicans and their campaign contributors don't have huge, energy-guzzling homes? You're just upset about your perception of Gore's hypocrisy about energy conservation when it seemed like he wasn't practicing what he preached? It isn't hard to find Republican hypocrisy, either.

As for your friend - if he's handing his money to his girlfriend without understanding her character - well, yes, he might lose his money and she might be happy to spend it. I'd say they both are making mistakes. I could be slightly more cynical and suggest that he was thinking about some other form of return on his investment.

steve said...

Conservitive christians(tm) hate the poor. Otherwise, why would they build their huge big box mega churches out on farmland past the suberbs where there isn't any poor people to minister to?

My parents go to that one baptist church.. you know the one that wants to build ANOTHER huge complex like a 1/4 mile from the huge complex they already have been BLESSED with. How many Millions of dollars will this new complex cost? Money that could buy an awful lot of poor Toledoans a hot meal or pay some poor intercity retirees heating bill this winter.

Jesus said in Luke 18:22 - Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

I guess Jesus's words are not on the mind of the good baptists in Monclova as they build their OTHER huge campus. I think when Jesus comes back with you know, the double edged sword in his mouth thing... He's probably going to send a lightning bolt their way for their upside down priorities. Just my Opinion.

Barb said...

Gentlemen: thanks for visiting the blog

I'll get back to answering in more detail later.

I just spent too much time on another blog and am whooped!

And am going away for the weekend.

Steve, I know the church you mean--and their very fine pastor. We are amazed at his ambition and the vision for growth he has.

I think when it comes to churches in the inner city, we white folks don't always have the music and style of preaching and so on that appeals to blacks --and so such churches end up being white churches anyway --like the First Alliance which stayed down town and all the suburbanites come in to attend it. Is there any reason to stay there if you don't have the style of ministry that reaches the people around the church? It's not like we can suddenly be HIP and COOL just because we want to be. Of course, there can be good works and children's ministries, free meals, and maybe even after school tutoring programs, etc. that would reach the community --at least serve it.

Monclova has quite a radio outreach and probably brings in people from all over who want to hear their minister preach his straight from the hip basic Biblical messages. I understand they probably wanted the larger lot so they could expand their school sports programs --they let all the kids be on teams if they want --so far. That sure does grow the school because our mega public schools have too many students and competition for the precious team slots. If you believe sports are good for kids, then you see the value of helping them all have a team experience.

Anonymous said...

What is good to know, folks, is that there are watch towers out there which are manned by 'good' Christians who can easily sniff out the 'bad' Christians.

Didn't Jesus have some problems with these kinds of Jews?

I wonder: if Jesus came back today, would he attend a Christian Church or a Hebrew Temple?

Barb said...

steve wrote It seems now a days we've become a nation of fearfull cowards, ready to give up our liberties in the name of a little safety.

Steve --that's the democrats you're talking about --more concerned about 100% safety of military (also an oxymoron) than about safety and liberty in this country which the military is trying to protect by engaging alkaida in their own territory --and fighting the radical muslim mindset --with western presence. With us comes more openness to our western ideologies --including Christianity, friendliness instead of scariness of soldiers, and freedom of religion and the goal of opportunity for all, including the right to life (which various european nations also had forgotten in the last century (Italy and Germany, e.g.in WWII)--which all of Europe has abandoned in their abortion policies --if you listen to the reports of satellite Christian TV and others representing Christ in the middle east we are opening the middle east to the Gospel and our ideal of religious liberty through our presence there -

We could never have stayed out of the middle east and expected them to get it together without any understanding of Yankee ideals.

ANONYMOUS: Hoot in derision, if you must, Anonymous, at the statement I just made about yank ideals --you are probably unaware of missionary progress in the middle east and wouldn't recognize it as the good thing it is. As for the torture, GITMO, etc. the propaganda machine works both ways --The democrat party, the liberals, are frantic to say anything and augment any problem and call it GOP policy instead of bipartisan human sin --which it is.

Barb said...

Anonymous --I think Jesus would go into both the synagogues and the churches --as the Bible says to preach the Gospel --first to the Jews and then the Gentiles. However, it says when He returns He is coming for HIS CHURCH --which will include Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles.

As for the good Christians sniffing out the bad Christians --as you said --wrong terminology.

The issue is "wolves in sheep's clothing" --teachers telling the church that homosexual acts and abortion, cohabitation without marriage, etc. (all the sex morals) are obscure cultural taboos --

Then we have the liberal "christians" who go about saying that the church that DOES teach the WHOLE BIble and include abortion and gay wrongs -- doesn't pay any attention to issues of social justice regarding the poor and downtrodden, etc. Who's being judgmental here??? Considering that the Bible believers are the biggest givers to charity of any other group. Liberals want to take the charity money out of everyone else's pockets, not their own.(Exceptions being the super-rich Dems who couldn't spend all they make in a lifetime if they tried and don't miss the higher confiscatory taxes.) One of which is property tax, by the way --which is getting out of sight for retired Americans, making them lose homes and farms that they OWN outright because taxes have replaced mortgages in size compared to the limited incomes of retirement.

Barb said...

Steve says "We're troops not referrees."

Yes, but if our bringing down Sadam precipitated their Civil War --with the outside influences coming in like ravaging dogs, then we need to be referees and peace keepers until they stabilize again. we stayed in Germany forever --and in Korea --we need to be there until we wear out their enemies --as was happening with the Viet Cong --but they knew if they could just hang on a little longer , the liberal forces and elections with all the Jane Fondas riding tanks would restrain our efforts to win and make us leave.

steve said...

"safety and liberty in this country"

You said it Barb!!

"engaging alkaida in their own territory"

No members of Al queada were in Iraq until we invaded and destabilized Iraq. Now they are there thick as flies. Heck of a Job on that one.


"if you listen to the reports of satellite Christian TV and others representing Christ in the middle east we are opening the middle east to the Gospel and our ideal of religious liberty through our presence there"

Hasn't christianity already tried that a number of times with the great crusades? We saw how well that went... Can you say Ottoman Empire?


"We could never have stayed out of the middle east and expected them to get it together without any understanding of Yankee ideals."

White Mans Burdon by Rudyard Kipling:

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!


"We could never have stayed out of the middle east and expected them to get it together without any understanding of Yankee ideals."

Who put us in charge of the world?

General Smedley Butler (Hero of the Marine Corpse - double medal of honor winner) Said this about war in an address to congress in 1933:

"I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."


Anonymous said...

I think Jesus would go into both the synagogues and the churches --as the Bible says to preach the Gospel --first to the Jews and then the Gentiles. However, it says when He returns He is coming for HIS CHURCH --which will include Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles.

What a load of crock! Jesus never founded a 'church.' He died a Jew, pure and simple.

Such hypocrisy among the Watch Tower people.

Barb said...

How can you say what you say with any authority? You speak only from your skepticism and unbelief --no authority. I gather you are back from your trip to Germany?

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He said "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also."
The Bible says He is coming back for His "church." He puts it in humble laymen's terms for first century people --He is the shepherd and he will divide the sheep from the goats for eternity --the sheep for everlasting abundant life and the goats (unbelievers and evil-doers) to everlasting punishment. the sheep are his followers, His church.

We start our destination for eternity NOW --the Church of Jesus Christ consists of all who believe in Him as the Son of God, resurrected Savior from sin and death and miracle worker.

Where are you going, anonymous???

with the goats or the sheep?

Anonymous said...

with the goats or the sheep?

Sheep? Have you ever heard the new phrase, 'sheeple?'


Imagine that: a person has to choose between a cute, cuddly sheep or a spindly, and rather homely goat.

I bet that was a great parable those thousands of years ago when animal husbandry was the way of life for the people.

The stupid shepherds weren't smart enough to figure out that the goat is the smarter animal, the one that wouldn't follow the others over the cliff. The one that can't be rounded-up by a barking dog.

Goats. Clever animals, they.

Barb said...

Yes, I 've heard "sheeple" --and I don't mind being one.

Anonymous said...

and I don't mind being one.

...being led around by barking dogs, no imagination, no individualism, no personal space, following blindly the ass of the sheep in front

Yea, me too!

Barb said...

It does help if the sheep in front of me are also following the Shepherd --the importance of being in a Biblically-grounded church with good local shepherds.

Be a goat if you want to be! I wouldn't wish the consequences on anyone, however.

I truly hope you MEET the Good Shepherd of Psalms 23 --while you still have choices.

Anonymous said...

I truly hope you MEET the Good Shepherd of Psalms 23 --while you still have choices.

Choices? I have had/made plenty in my life including rejecting the babble called christianity.

Man with the Muck-rake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.