Six Big Lies from the Christian Right Debunked by a Former Member

patrobertsonSpeaking as a former member of the Christian Right, I can say that there is conservative American Christianity, and then there is the GOP. Both of these large labels are diverse and have many movements within them. They encapsulate a variety of thoughts and practices, and you can find the most thoughtful, compassionate, and sweet people in either group. But mix them together – as Republican strategists got together with famous Christian culture warriors like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Francis Schaeffer, Phyllis Schafly, and of course Pat Robertson in the late 70’s to welcome the so-called Reagan Revolution — and you have a very toxic combination, far more dangerous than the sum of its parts. The formation of the Christian Right served a type of looper ideological bias confirmation synced with a ready-made distribution and mobilization corps, and fueled by fire-branding and fear-as-motivation rhetoric. All of a sudden, being a conservative Christian (and, because the conservative Christian tag was the most ardent and media-friendly one, any type of devout Christian was lumped in with the Religious Right in the popular imagination) meant not just cultural dominionism like opposing abortion rights, supporting prayer at school, and teaching about the Jesus Dinosaurs — it also came to mean more obviously anti-Jesus efforts, like fiscal conservatism and supporting holy war. This unholy marriage also introduced a whole new level of lying as a means of survival, including lying about others and themselves in ways that would give the Devil a hard-on.

The following are a few doozies, in no particular order, from the Religious Right:

  • That taking care of the poor should be left to churches:

This point is a double-blind: First, destroy chances for a just society by attacking the poor while simultaneously denying them government aid, then claim that your church can and should be the ones taking care of the poor. This feeds into politicians like Congressman Stephen Fincher who argue that Jesus wants the government to get out of the way of taking care of the poor — by starving them. Similar arguments are made about health care — that it’s the job of the Christian church to take care of the poor. This is either misanthropy or just plain ol’ delusionism. It surely doesn’t have an understanding of what Jesus had to say about the poor, or the fact that the earliest Christians helped to take care of the poor where they found them, in light of the fact that the Roman Empire wouldn’t. Not because they were cocky and delusional enough to believe they could handle all the poor and sick on their own — they couldn’t, and we can’t right now. If the Christian Right truly wants to take care of the poor, it could start right now.

  • That Muslims are supposed to lie:

If there’s one area where the Christian Right and New Atheism may converge, it’s in Islamophobia. Islamophobia in the US and Europe is a pretty big and horrible legacy of a supposedly multicultural and tolerant West that is not willing to quite yet look at all people as being simultaneously different and yet as human as them. The circular logic loop of Taqqiya — as it’s misunderstood by conservatives — is probably one of the myths most responsible for a breakdown in communication between the East and the West (which is convenient for those who want to picture Muslims as a scary Other in order to convert and/or bomb a group of over one billion people into submission). According to Christian Right apologists, Taqqiya allows Muslims to lie about anything doing with Islam in order for them to spread Islam. It is a Protocols of Zion-level of nutty conspiracy, but you’ll hear it propagated by all types of Evangelicals. But the very fact that Taqqiya would be used in such a way (rather than how it is actually practiced — as a means of protecting life under duress of death for deconversion) is itself a lie. It’s not the only time that conservative Christians actually spread falsehoods about non-conservative Christians lying as a matter-of-fact. Take, for instance, the insistence that relativism basically means lying. It’s a centrally demonizing tactic that conservatism forces on its adherents.

Of course, the Taqqiya myth isn’t the only anti-Muslim lie from the Christian Right. The idea that “the Muslim World” (another myth — that there is a uniform way of being Muslim, that all Muslims are alike, that all majority-Muslim countries are alike, etc) is unified in an unprovoked attack against “Christian” countries in the West is another huge lie in itself. All such lies should not have a place with a people that claim to follow The Truth. If that is how Christians communicate truthfully and honestly, why would anyone want to convert?

Unless they are forced… Oh, but the Religious Right would never coerce anyone to accept their beliefs, would they? (Oh, nevermind…)

  • That Christian Right policies are not racist:

It would be a bit naive to claim that conservative Christianity in the US is — taken as a whole or in many of its parts — particularly racist. Sure, the majority of congregations are composed mostly of one race, but so are most neighborhoods and areas in the US. In some ways, many congregations are actually less racist and more race-conscious than much of mainstream America. Additionally, conservative Christianity isn’t just the domain of White Americans — many Black and Latino congregations are theologically conservative and the most ethnically-diverse churches I went to were Evangelical. On the other hand, in not quite a few churches of the evangelical and fundamentalist variety, there is an open demonization of black bodies and people (quite literally. Ever hear the one about how rock and roll music is evil because some missionaries went to Africa and heard the same beats being used to summon demons? Yeah) and an open Other-ization and Orientalism of other non-White peoples.

However, merge conservative American Christianity with conservative American politics and you have a recipe for unmitigated racial disaster. We see this propagated in how the Religious Right frames abortion as “the New Slavery,” where the pre-born are rhetorically linked to full-grown enslaved human beings, furthering rather than challenging myths of racial inferiority and Black infantilism – while depicting women making incredibly hard choices as evil slave holders. We see it also in the myths that abortion doctors are specifically targeting African Americans in a continuing effort to commit genocide of inner city African Americans — rather than the fact that the poor disproportionately seek abortions because they do not have access to birth control and have limited financial options due to engrossing racist economic policies often embraced by the Religious Right. It is easier to demonize black women and men as careless, highly sexualized and irresponsible than it is to take initiative in alleviating racial and economic circumstances that disproportionately draw African American women to abortion. We see it in the anti-crime, anti-poor people, and pro-jail stances they connect with. We see it in the demonization of Trayvon Martin by Southern Baptist honcho Richard Land. And we see it in the politicians they end up sleeping with. The last presidential election, and their support for the birther candidates and pseudo-candidates (whether Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, or Newt Gingrich), was particularly hurtful. Gingrich, the serial adulterer, was making racist comments every turn and yet Christian Right support for him never waned.

  • That non-Christians (and specifically Atheists) don’t have morals:

Odd, that charge. Especially in light of some of the other charges. But this idea derives from the piss-poor apologetic reasoning that all morals come from God and the Bible. Yet the definition of morals here is warped — the individual morals understood through a codified context is considered (through the magic of a Bible and a God that are thought to be unchanging) to be completely and eternally static — and to be the only true morals. All others are suspect, erroneous, perversions. Hence the idea that the Religious Right knows what True Marriage is, and same sex marriage threatens to destroy that. The idea that atheists are ethically-challenged leads to the charge that science is a lie — especially in areas that converge with Christian Dominionism (Obviously, secular scientists made evolution up and are perverting our children with that lie.) and ways that dovetail with conservative fiscal politics (Obviously, they are lying about climate change. We’re just flying closer to hell!).

Try to deny it and you’re obviously lying.

  • That the Christian Right isn’t categorically sexist:

Much of the Christian Right antagonism towards Women’s Rights (and LGBTi Rights as well) is based on and/or supported by the patriarchal doctrine of the conservative Christian church. This teaching says that there is a standard way to be a man and there is a standard role (read: place) for a woman. Though it is common in all but the most fundamentalist and patriarchal circles to find women working outside the home, even that is discouraged by Christian He-Man preachers like Mark Driscoll (who shames stay-at-home dads) and Christian Right Washington lobbyists like Beverly LaHaye (who spent her fancy budgets and room overlooking the Washington Monument trying to persuade legislators that a woman’s place was in the home — and thus sought out to destroy the Equal Rights Amendment). This insistence on natural gender roles fuels much of the anti-abortion movement. Even as it prefers to call itself “pro-life,” much of the movement is as pro-war as your card-carrying Neo-Con (and CR standard-bearers like WORLD Magazine and Southern Baptist Convention leaders  are both fervently anti-abortion rights and yet have never seen a war against brown people they couldn’t get stimulated about).

Conservative Christianity usually limits women from entering the priesthood, arguing that their vaginas disqualify them from that service (you know, it makes them weaker. amirite?). And their more political brothers tend to argue that women should be barred from the military for similar reasons. If there are rapes, they argue, it is largely because women are in the wrong place — which isn’t too different an argument than what conservative Christianity says about women and their bodies. From Christian dating books to anti-abortion arguments to purity culture (much of which is reminiscent of the purity myth of the Southern, White, Christian woman whose “purity” needed to be protected from the ravages of work and the Black Savage before the Civil War), the Christian Right is very much about controlling women’s bodies in an effort to enforce  strict gender roles even as it claims there is no “War on Women.” After all, the Christian Right believes that it is liberating women from their sexuality and into a better sexuality — one where women are free to be docile recipients of masculine agency and virility.

Yeah, it’s warped sexual fantasy as policy…

  • That you can’t follow Jesus and be a liberal/progressive/communist/socialist/radical:

Ok. There really isn’t much to be said with this No True Scotsman fallacy. Jesus supported an inclusive, radical, anti-war policy that would make most Democrats furious. And as much as I’d love to say that one can’t be a Christian and support war or oppress women and People of Color, I recognize that Christianity has many, many strains — not just the Kingdom-living Francis of Assissi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr, but also the Christendom-building Emperor Constantine, Richard Land, and Michele Bachmann (for more on the Kingdom V Christendom divide, please read here). But Christianity has never been solely about my interpretation or your interpretation of the Bible. That is the realm of Holy Wars.

I would prefer Christians look to Jesus and ask: What Would Jesus Do?  That is, after all, one of the legacies of the Christian Socialist movement.

Or, at the very least, we should stop lying while hurting others.

jasdye

When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!

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  • Ed Rudy

    Generally excellent commentary that points out that aiding the poor and hungry is certainly a legitimate function of our government and it is surely more Christian and “What would Jesus do” than turning your back on needy American families as regressive conservative doctrine overtly dictates.

    • Charles Vincent

      Aiding the poor is a legitimate function of society not government.

      • Ed Rudy

        Aiding the poor is really a legitimate function of any fair and just American government.
        It is not possible to substitute needed government aid to American families by outsourcing to private faith based or general emergency help organizations, who render only discretionary acts of charity.
        This privatization would result in having many otherwise qualified needy American families and individual Americans fall through the cracks of prejudice or favoritism.

      • Charles Vincent

        “It is not possible to substitute needed government aid to American families by outsourcing to private faith based or general emergency help organizations, who render only discretionary acts of charity.”

        I didn’t mention private charities I mentioned society they are a much larger an more capable of rendering aid than any government or private institution. Governments role is to provide citizens with laws, adjudication and domestic safety/security, all other things fall to the citizenry. We are a charitable people there is no doubt about that but we need to put more focus on our own needy and take care of them first before rendering aide to other people and countries. Not saying aiding other people in other countries isn’t a worthy endeavor just that we Needto stop over looking the ones in our own back yard.

      • Ed Rudy

        ” We are a charitable people there is no doubt about that but we need to put more focus on our own needy and take care of them first”
        We are in agreement! US Government funds should be used to help Americans in need at a much higher priority than foreign citizens in other countries.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not government. our government is already over burdened wi the entitlements already on the budget now. In fact just the mandatory spending we have which only includes entitlements and net interest on the national debt is already costing more than we bring in in revenue every year and that doesn’t include discretionary spending which includes national defense and all the other things people consider government like the post office the FDA the dept of education etcetera. Lets take 2011 for example the governments mandatory spending was ~2.5trillion dollars, and another ~1.3 trillion dollars in discretionary spending, not contrast that against the ~2.2 trillion dollars they the US economy generated in revenue, even if you eliminate the entirety of the discretionary spending which is government and only paid for the mandatory things there was still a budget short fall of ~300 billion dollars. Please explain to me where you think the government is going to get the money to do the things you are proposing given that our budget for 2012 and 2013 are in the exact same place as it was in 2011?

      • Ed Rudy

        Giving aid and comfort to deserving American families and individuals, in need of help, must take precedence over all other expenditures.
        THAT IS THE KIND, JUST, & AMERICAN WAY!
        It also happens to be the way of all legitimate Judeo-Christian teaching, and the word of Christ!

      • Charles Vincent

        That doesn’t tell me where you plan to get the money for it. You do understand that entitlements are things like Medicare, Medicaid, social security, food stamps, child nutrition, unemployment, disability, all the things you want to provide for the needy right? And what happens when the US defaults on the interest and loan payments? All that good intention you had goes out the window because china who holds ~7.3% of our national debt will not take ooh we spent it on our needy as an answer and they might want to take other collateral in place of the money we owe which by law they would have a right to do.

      • Ed Rudy

        The simple progressive patriotic non-paranoid answer is “Giving aid and comfort to deserving American families and individuals, in need of help, must take precedence over all other expenditures.THAT IS THE KIND, JUST, & AMERICAN WAY!”
        Surely anyone can understand that solution requires proper priorities and appropriate taxation of those who can afford to help their fellow Americans in need of assistance.

      • Charles Vincent

        appropriate taxation of those who can afford to help their fellow Americans in need of assistance.
        Define appropriate taxation.
        Even if you taxed the ones whom you say can afford it our government would still be in the red so taxing won’t solve the problem. FYI the number of people that can “afford” it happens to be shrinking. I will use Jesus as an example since you’re fond of the Christian thing, Jesus said “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Translation instead of giving hand outs give a hand up, you know teach people to do for themselves. Govenment isn’t needed to give a hand up to our fellow man what’s needed is our collective donation of time.

      • Ed Rudy

        The Pope Sounds Like Elizabeth Warren

        June 27, 2013

        By Bill Maher

        Last month Pope Frank made a speech criticizing income inequality and the immorality of the one percent.

        “While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation.”

        “Widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion have taken on worldwide dimensions.”

        “There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone.”

        Good thing Frank’s got a job for life, because talking like that he’d never get elected anywhere other than Massachusetts.

        Now it’s nothing new to point out that Jesus bitched about the rich a lot more than he bitched about abortion (never) or the gays (never). But it’s rare to see a Pope talking like one of the hippies camped out in Zuccotti Park.

        I just wonder, what goes through a Christian Conservative’s mind when they hear this? How do they square their support for Republican fiscal policies when the Pope is telling them those policies are evil?

      • Charles Vincent

        It still doesn’t explain where your going o get the money because taxing those that have to help those that don’t have will put us all in the don have category when the government can’t meet it’s debt obligations in an even bigger way than they can’t now and you fail to grasp the concept of our debt being so large that it’s bigger than the entire GDP of every nation on earth. I don’t think abortion or gay marriage were issues during Jesus’ time. Are you proposing that the government order the fed to print money so that the needy can get by?

      • Ed Rudy

        Of course, it is the function of progressive compassionate American democratic government in our marvelous republic to provide for the needy.
        WE ARE NOT A SELFISH REGRESSIVE PLUTOCRATIC COUNTRY IN THE USA!

      • Deborah Levey

        How about we take some from our bloated military budget.

      • Turner Jones

        Amen!

      • Kevin Trask

        Charles, In the past the needy would revolt and eat the rich. Imagine if you were starving before long everything is palitible. Including your rich people.

      • TAX AND EAT THE RICH they paid their share at one time and knew that by doing so they could hire and pay a American

        Now American’s are to stupid thanks to THE REAGAN REVOLUTION of GREED to starve government of the funds needed to do so.

      • Charles Vincent

        Taxing the rich doesn’t work. It never has and it never will. Why you ask… Well because there aren’t numerically enough of them to even come close to balancing the budget. And even if there were congress would spend all of it and more just like they are doing now.

      • lz4evermore

        Funny, worked fine throughout the 50’s and early 60’s when the top marginal rates were as high as 90%. You are either ignorant of US economic history or are choosing to ignore numerous indicators which show that cutting taxes does not infact boost the economy, nor does raising taxes to reasonable levels (39.6 top margin for individuals, 20% effective rate for corporations, 20-25% for capital gains) prevent economic growth.

      • Charles Vincent

        Top marginal rate and actual rate are two different things. Yes the marginal rate was 90% but after all the deductions the top income earners was 50% currently all earners above 100k a year pay 39% and those in the 35k-99k pay ~ 18% in taxes.

        “Funny, worked fine throughout the 50’s and early 60’s when the top marginal rates were as high as 90%”
        Government spending was also much smaller as a percent of GDP that’s why it worked. There were also fewer cost prohibitive regulations on business.

        “…show that cutting taxes does not infact boost the economy,”
        Only a buffoon would say that, is reducing taxes a component of boosting the economy, yes but it has never been the only one trimming regulation(especial cost prohibitive regulation)and implementing austerity in government are also factors .

      • Have you any idea of the millions of dollars that are not taxed off shore? social security is not an entitlement. we worked for it and gave that money up at the time of earning it so that we could have it later in life. Have you any idea how much money is wasted on the bloated military budget? Have you any idea how many millions the GOP has wasted on repeated attempts to repeal and defund healthcare? Have you any idea how many billions go to subsidize big oil and big pharm and big ag? we don’t have to print money. we have to have a fair share of taxation and we have to raise the minimum wage. when big companies pay their employees so little that they need food stamps and Medicaid, the big companies are the takers of the nation. not the needy.

      • Charles Vincent

        The ACA is a colossal train wreck that’s going to dig this country into an even deeper economic grave. Congress(both parties) have stolen every cent people have paid into social security since the mid 1980’s. All that money we pay to Medicare Medicaid and social security isn’t squirreled away for us until we retire to get it back like a normal retirement fund its turned around and payed out to those who are receiving benefits now. The CBO has a report on theses entitlements and they estimate that social-security will be bankrupt by 2023 I believe.
        The government spends more money on entitlements than it does on traditional government which includes military spending.

      • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

        Quit giving corporations welfare?

      • Charles Vincent

        Now your going somewhere because corporate cronyism is a big problem that is distorting our economy.

      • Deborah Levey

        Actually Jesus never said that. If you think he did, then please go find the verse in the Bible where he said that.

      • Jerry Stoneburner

        One way to tax appropriately is set a percentage for everyone that is the same. I.e. 10% from everyone whether you earn $50 a year or $50 million. Everyone contributes their fair share that way. Also; that would keep someone who has not contributed to taxes during the year (or very little) from profiting on IRS returns every year. Ex…Man works minimum wage job for 1 month of the year and quits. He has less than $25 deducted for taxes because he claims his spouse and 5 children as dependents. Files for Federal Taxes at the end of the year and gets back $15000.00 plus as a refund! What??? This is a real scenario. I do not care if we were to give this man back every penny he paid in but why must he be given this inflated return? Plug leaks like this at the IRS and we would see allot of extra money in our government coffers to be used fairly among all our people.

      • Dianne Hornick

        This is NOT a real scenario! And it’s totally absurd!

      • Brian

        Yes that is real. I have in laws who make low income money, then claim themselves and their many kids with different moms and have gotten 11,000$ refunds. You cant tell me a person making less then 20K paid half their paycheck in taxes in a given year.

      • Charles Vincent

        A flat tax would be a train wreck. And even a consumption tax is dubious.

      • Brian

        Charles, as long as we have the mess we have that is our tax system then accept the fact that we are going to spend forever and ever (or other people) arguing over one guy’s deduction or credit and the next guy’s uses of the tax laws. Or we can eliminate the bickering by both sides and make it simple. If we are going to have an income based tax system make it simple you make X you pay Y and be done with it. You want to make a “floor” so you have to earn a min income before pay income taxes fine, but Unless we eliminate all the loopholes your never going to erase the bickering. Someone is going to find an excuse to say “thats not fair” for this or that deduction or credit. So either extremely simplify the tax code or eliminate the income tax for a consumption tax.

      • Charles Vincent

        I think that a simple tax code or a consumption tax are workable concepts. The problem is getting from where we are now to either of those destinations.

      • Brian

        I agree thats the hard part. The real reason the tax codes are such a mess is that the lobbyists who get the laws made do it to support their agenda. Like the mortgage interest deduction for example. they did that to encourage people to take out long loans and take their time to pay it off, thus mroe profits for the finance companies. Esp if people take out home equity lines to pay off car & credit card loans with traditionally higher interest rates. And it empowers gov to have people obsessed with their spring refunds instead of realizing how much taxes are actually paid and the bickering by people over deductions just divides the people as the gov takes more control of our lives day by day. So the lobbyists get their way and the gov keeps people in the dark arguing over stupid crap while getting away with lots of crap.

        As now retired talk show host Neal Boortz stated in his books about the Fair Tax, That power is returned to the people.

      • 10 % of your income is not the same as 10% of the CAPITALIST income.

        He is paying his share he is just not taking it all with each paycheck instead he lets the government play with the money during the year then gets a tax return at the end of the year.

        WE ALL PAY TAXES some give the government the money during the year to have a savings come April 15th

        IF you work and get a return then you OVER PAID YOUR TAXES and why you get a return.

      • Bobbi

        @Jerry Stoneburner Gosh, could you get me the name of that Man’s tax preparer? I could really use an extra $15,000 for Medical Bills. Thanks!

      • zobva

        Actually a flat tax rate is not appropriate at all; it’s considered to be a regressive tax that affects the poor much more than the middle class or the rich. To a Senior or disabled person living on a $12K/year social security check, 10% of their income makes the difference between them having housing, food or medicine. To a U.S. Congressman or a doctor it might only make the difference between flying coach rather than first class once in a while. And to the very wealthy, well, I guess having only $ 4.5 billion instead of $5 billion doesn’t really affect them one way or the other.
        A progressive tax is the fairest, graduated into income brackets. Either that, or even better: exempt the first, say, $25K of income for everyone, both rich and poor, to allow for basic living costs of food, shelter and healthcare…. then have the flat rate with absolutely NO loopholes or exemptions applied beyond the first $25K (just an arbitrary number, this could be set annually according to the same cost of living calculations used to decide the social security “raises” each year).

      • Nungwa

        That is a Chinese proverb, not a bible verse.

      • Charles Vincent

        You are correct it’s my mistake.

      • sally

        Jesus didn’t ever say that – it is a Chinese proverb

      • Charles Vincent

        You’re a month late Sally please learn to read all the comments and replies before you post. In fact just two posts down I conceded my mistake.

      • “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. ”

        Yes boomers we all were taught to fish for ourselves then once we all got through the door

        THE REAGAN REVOLUTION of GREED starve the beast of Government to fund education and give it to the 1% instead.

        Well then tell us how we are to teach them to fish when THE PARTY keeps taking from the education funds that teach them to fish for themselves.

      • Charles Vincent

        Are you incapable of teaching those around you how to fish? Education has been a joke for a long time. They aren’t taking from education government is not funding it because they have to divert those funds to things like social security, Medicare, and Medicaid because congress has borrowed every cent that the taxpayers have paid into them since the mid 1980’s.

      • Ed Rudy

        Social Security and Medicare are self-supporting through American workers’ FICA payroll deductions.
        The would be financially secure forever if our ridiculous “T” Party controlled conservatives in the US Congress would remove the cap on contributions and the luckiest and richest American earners would no longer be exempt from paying FICA on the majority of their bloated earnings.
        WHY SHOULD ONLY THE RICHEST EXECUTIVES BE EXCUSED FROM FICA TAXES?
        ‘T’aint fair and ‘T’aint right for working American families!

      • BlooSoxx

        You can read the Bible all you want, but you will never find Jesus saying that in any translation. Period.

      • Charles Vincent

        hey blindsoxx read all my posts I already acknowledged my mistake like a month ago
        Charles Vincent > Nungwa
        • a month ago △ ▽

        You are correct it’s my mistake.

        △ 1 ▽

        ✏Edit

        <Reply

        ⥅Share ›

      • Sarah

        Another way to solve the problem. Raise minimum wage! Please don’t tell me some bull about how the cost of everything will go up, because it won’t. I will tell you what will happen. Please will be able to provide for themselves and will not need food stamps or medicaid. The biggest problem is Walmart. The can afford to pay their employees well, and provide them with basic health care, but don’t because they know the government will come in and pick up some of the slack. Well, it is time we stand up to mega-corporations like Walmart and tell them they better start paying their employees a liveable wage or we will not shop there.

      • Charles Vincent

        When you raise minimum wage you end up hurting those workers who are les productive. You also have businesses that pass that extra cost on to consumers.

      • Sarah

        No you don’t. The CEOs will end up taking home a little less profit. We should also create a law that states that a CEO of a company that has more than 1000 employees cannot make more than 50x the lowest waged worker. I do not care if that impedes on the CEOs freedom, they are acting like unelected officials right now and need to be put in their place.

      • Charles Vincent

        Learn how economics works Sarah because when you look at the raw data that’s the pattern that emerges I am not asking you to like it but tithe fact is that’s how the data falls

      • Sarah

        Why don’t you tell me how to fix the problem then? Since apparently you are such a fucking expert.

      • Charles Vincent

        First of all there is absolutely no reason to be vulgar or profane it contributes nothing to the debate.
        The biggest thing we can do to help reduce the deficit and our debt is to reduce government spending and shrink the bloated government Bureaucracy. You want to see the numbers look up the CBO reports on our budget, economy etcetera. If you want to see a small scale version of what’s going to happen to the US if we don’t stop the spending look at the Detroit bankruptcy it has a lot of parallels.

      • Sarah

        Ok, so what you are proposing is to let people starve and die in poverty? Why don’t we just get rid of SS, since it did not help prevent elderly people dying in poverty. In fact, let’s get rid of all government programs, or just get rid of government altogether since we don’t really need it. Because when you let everyone fend for themselves we will have a prosperous nation, if it is even a nation anymore. Let’s just go back to medieval times when women were property and people of color were animals. In fact, let’s just give rich people more money because they give it to everyone! That so clearly worked over the last decade! I think you are an idiot that doesn’t understand economics or how the government works. Detroit went bankrupt because they lost their democracy with the stupid emergency manager, who cut everything and look what it did to the city!

      • Charles Vincent

        “Ok, so what you are proposing is to let people starve and die in poverty?”
        This is an absurd notion and something I never directly stated nor have I ever implied such an idea.

        “Why don’t we just get rid of SS, since it did not help prevent elderly people dying in poverty. In fact, let’s get rid of all government programs, or just get rid of government altogether since we don’t really need it.”

        To just go and stop SS is shear folly every economist I’ve ever read whom talks about this entitlement has stated that it would have to be phased out gradually over time and be replaced by something that the government could not use as a personal slush fund like they have done with SS since the mid 1980’s.

        Government is a necessary evil it has grown far larger that the people whom founded this country ever intended it to be.

        People have been fending for them selves for quite a long time why is it that people think we need government to mother us.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Detroit went bankrupt because they lost their democracy with the stupid emergency manager, who cut everything and look what it did to the city!”

        Detroit’s bankruptcy didn’t happen over night it has been a series of democrats since the 1950’s who have mismanaged the city and run it into the ground. The link I provided is a video that sums up Detroit’s slow disintegration over the last several decades.

        http://www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=y9sTiB6JAiQ

      • Greg Roberts

        Vulgar or profane…. grow up, Charles. An adult complaining about the ‘F’ word? Idiot.

      • Charles Vincent

        It isn’t a complaint it’s a fact that it adds nothing to the debate don’t be so daft

      • Brian

        Wrong. A business will look at the total labor budget and say If my company pays XXXXXX dollars for total labor and the gov raises the min wage then the company will say instead of paying X amount of employees the old wage the company will lay off a couple of employees and keep the same budget in the cash flow/balance sheet statements. OR to keep the budget the same, give the employees the raise in dollars per hour but then cut the hours for employees so the overall labor budget stays the same. So in the long run, wont help many people.

      • Greg

        Yeah. We might have to also stop starting wars just to give money to Haliburton and arms manufacturers.

      • Charles Vincent

        Tell that to Obama and I sincerely doubt that the new conflict Obama has in valves us or is trying to get us involved in have zero to do with Halliburton.

      • zobva

        Is there an English translation of that?

      • zandra

        now halliburton is moving in to be sure that the southern border is a war zone and they get the goodies. by the way-our tax rate-federal is now the same as it was in the 50’s (adjusted for inflation,etc.)

      • Charles Vincent

        No our tax rate isn’t the top marginal rate in the 1950-60’s was 91% after deductions it was ~50%, that rate now is ~39%. Obama is the force behind the impending conflict with Syria.

      • Daniel Rooney

        If you are going to quote the Bible at least make it a real quote , not something you made up

      • Charles Vincent

        Hey dumbo I already acknowledged that I quoted incorrectly a month ago read my posts before you reply.

      • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

        Chinese proverb! Not Christian!

      • Charles Vincent

        Hey dumbo I already acknowledged that I quoted incorrectly a month ago read my posts before you reply

      • Greg Roberts

        No need to get vulgar or profane, even if dumbo is as far as your masculinity will allow you to stretch. Grow up, idiot.

      • Charles Vincent

        Mmmm nomnomnom ad hominem attacks are yummy keep crying your tears fuel my happiness machine.

      • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

        Just because your tired of correcting yourself doesn’t give you the right to save your vitriol for me! Here’s the problem…the link was just shared with me! And while I agree that I should have noted your response was a month ago, we always assume its current. Having said that, once you replied that you were mistaken, you didn’t need to repeat over and over getting angrier every time! I apologize for the correction but I was not rude to you and don’t warrant said rudeness back!

      • Charles Vincent

        You are correct just irritating when A) people don’t pay attention to details and B) four people just to day failed to read all my posts including the one in question here. Again apologies for my rudeness.

      • Jerry Stoneburner

        Social Security is by definition not an entitlement. I don’t know who your employer is but mine has been deducting Social Security taxes from my checks since I have been working. Drawing my social security at retirement is not a handout as you apply the word entitlement; rather I am entitled too it as I paid it my entire career!

      • Charles Vincent

        Tell that to the Harvard professor and the Nobel prize winning economists that disagree with you as well as the CBO who list social security as an entitlement. CBO is the congressional budget office FYI.

      • I’d like to know who these Harvard profs and Nobel winning economists are that don’t understand how Social Security works, Charles.

      • Charles Vincent

        Milton Friedman( university of Chicago)and Thomas Sowell(had tenure at Harvard and also went to Harvard)are two economists, in addition the CBO(congressional budget office) also lists Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as entitlements that are in the mandatory spending portion of our budget. I didn’t say they don’t understand it I said they call SS, Medicare, and Medicaid entitlements.

      • Friedman and Sowell???

        hahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaah

        Idiot ideologues. That’s all you got?

        Also, listing as an entitlement by the CBO and what the term means in the popular lexicon are entirely separate things. I don’t have the time, energy or patience to read all your trolling, Charles (though I thank you for the increase in page views, I guess), so I have no idea what your point in bringing that up is – but you’re wrong about how SS works. Or about how anything else works.

      • Charles Vincent

        Well here’s the basics Friedman is a Nobel laureate that helped design the IRS tax code. You don’t like that he subscribes to Austrian economics fine that’s your choice.
        SS works like this I pay in so people that are retired have the SS check in the mail every month. My kids or grand kids will be paying in so I can get mine if the program is still around by the time I retire. Even the CBO estimates that SS will be bankrupt if the system isn’t fixed so that congress stops taking money from it and the Medicare/Medicaid funds. You really want a treat take a look at Detroit and how unfunded liabilities will tank our national economy if we do not take steps now. And before you blame republicans for the Detroit mess the democrats have been running Detroit since the 1950’s
        Here is a break down on the Detroit problems.
        ~2.9 billion in general government debt
        ~5.9 billion in Detroit water and sewage department debt
        ~3.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities
        ~5.7 billion in unfunded healthcare liabilities
        The city of Detroit also owes money to some 100,000 creditors.
        38% of Detroit’s budget is currently spent on legacy costs such as pension and debt service.
        Some key parallels in the national economy are clear with the unfunded liabilities like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and soon the ACA. These liabilities will increase markedly when the baby boomer generation starts to retire. The CBO report show this and if I could post links to those reports with out my reply being deleted I most certainly would.

      • Charles Vincent

        Here are the numbers from the CBO for 2011 they are the most recent final numbers and the preliminary 2012 numbers are similar.
        Total revenue generated in 2011 2.3 trillion dollars.
        Total spending in 2011 3.6 trillion dollars
        Total budget deficit in 2011 1.3 trillion dollars.
        Now lets break down total spending, there are two categories here. Mandatory spending( Social Security, medicaid, Medicare and debt service and other spending) this spending totaled 2.3 trillion dollars.
        Then there is discretionary spending which consists of traditional government(defense, and non defense) this spending totaled 1.3 trillion dollars
        Public debt as a percent of GDP for 2011 67%.
        Historically this number is usually ~38%.

      • oooh, you convinced me! Where do I go pick up my Capitalism Is God card?

      • Charles Vincent

        This isn’t about capitalism stop deflecting. You also seem to have a distorted view of what capitalism really is. I am also not asking you to buy into it.

      • Charles Vincent

        Republicans embrace Obama’s offer to trim Social Security benefits
        By Lori Montgomery,April 15, 2013
        That article in the Washington Post is saying some important things about how SS is in trouble.

      • Charles Vincent

        Also the money you’re currently paying in to the SS fund goes to current people drawing SS. Yours will com from your and my children if its still around.

      • Pepe Pechugas

        I’d propose we take it from Israel’s foreign aid, from Big Oil subsidies, from Big Pharma subsidies, and we restore taxes to Ronald Reagan’s era levels. How’s that?

      • DavidDuffey

        speaking of food stamps-don’t forget the other side of that bill- millions more for millionaire ‘farmers’. everyone is sucking at the teat. and keep the death(military) industry going, lest we put more folks out of work. it’s complicated!

      • Charles Vincent

        Those entitlements spent almost every red cent of the revenue generated by the government in 2011. Even if you cuts the entirety of traditional government and only kept the mandatory spending would have still run a deficit.

      • Sarah

        Social Security is not an entitlement!!!! People work their whole lives and contribute money to social security just to get screwed when they retire. What to help fix SS, then raise the contribution gap to 250k instead of 110k. Want to save some money, tax the super rich at a rate that is fair and stop spending so much money on the military. Problem solved!

      • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

        It is an “entitlement” in as much as we are Entitled to it because we paid into the system in order to collect it! They have bastardized the term in order to fit their “makers vs. takers” model. Hell yeah I’m going to take it…..it’s effing mine! And I AM ENTITLED TO IT! 🙂

      • Charles Vincent

        You have no idea how the economy works. Social security is an entitlement the CBO calls it an entitlement and its in mandatory spending . Taxing the rich doesn’t work and never has. The government spent more money on entitlements than it does on the entirety of traditional government which includes the military.

      • Kjjkema

        Social Security is very much an entitlement. The first recipients never had a dime taken out of their paychecks; their benefits were paid by those who were currently working. Likewise, your taxes pay for those who are currently retired, and your benefits will be paid by the next generation. You do not pay for your SS; you pay for the generation before you.

      • Greg

        Raise taxes on the wealthy to the levels they were in the 50’s. Simple.

      • Charles Vincent

        That doesn’t work to balance the budget.

      • Greg

        Maybe we could also stop starting wars so a few greedy companies can profit. Start rebuilding our infrastructure and create jobs. Switch to a single payer healthcare system so we don’t pay more for less. Basically, do everything Republicans hate. Also, if we want to balance the budget, we should never elect another Republican to office. It always ends up costing us in the long run.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yeah the democrats running the country now are doing a great job just like they did in Detroit.

      • bshaw

        how bout we cut your fucking Medicaid and social security asshole because that’s basically what you are prescribing on the youth and the poor. If we work full time and can’t receive affordable health care or a decent wage, why do you old fucks get to reap those benefits? Either make it fair for everybody or get fucked. When generation grows up 20 years from now and realize they have been fucked by the selfishness, greed, and irresponsibility of the baby boomer generation while simultaneously they have continued to reap in the benefits of health insurance and social security, we will rise up and take that shit away from you and yall will have no one to blame but yourselves. Then you can spend a couple decades as a Wal-Mart greeter and see how we have been living for the past 16 years, and we will all just sit back and laugh while you die alone, poor and uninsured. fucker.

      • Charles Vincent

        I doubt I will die alone. You are making assumptions about my post and we all know how assumptions work. Second you might want to read all my posts before you say anything else that makes you look ignorant.

      • lz4evermore

        the revenue is a function of taxation. surely that is a discretionary collection which could increase. Using 2011 is also a straw man argument, your point would be better made using averages across a decade so as to incorporate both economic boom and bust.

        But since you asked the question, the place the government gets the money is by reducing Defense spending to the pre 2001 levels and increasing taxes back to the 1998 levels. Done and done. Thanks for asking.

      • Laurette

        Cut military contracts and we will all be richer than the dreams of Avarice.

      • Charles Vincent

        No we won’t we were running a deficit before we got past paying for mandatory spending.

      • zobva

        All easily fixed with a simple overhaul of the tax system to force the wealthiest Americans and the corporations to pay their fair share. Q.E.D.

      • Charles Vincent

        Taxing the rich doesn’t work and never has base data shows this.

      • Cecilia B.

        Sorry to tell you this Charles, but the average person walking down the street doesn’t give a hoot to the suffering of his fellow man. “I have my own problems” is something I have heard a lot. Society is “much larger and more capable” but are they willing? Just the fact that they say “I don’t want my tax dollars going to…” proves that even the average Joe would be exclusive if not miserly to a fellow needy human being.
        Rome wouldn’t help the poor, and there was a lot of poor back in the day dying from starvation and disease. You want to go back to that? You want to condone that?
        By cutting government funding for programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and Low Income housing, you are punishing people that need it.
        Honestly, there’s nothing stopping Society and Faith based organizations from helping those in need. Why haven’t they picked up the slack already? Prooven that they don’t need the government because the needy are being taken care of already by them?As far as I can tell, there is still a lot of people needing the help. Society and Religious communities seem have failed to take up the slack so far. Should government aid be taken away, they will not be able to help more than they already do.
        I would love to live in such a Utopia where the people that have, gave to those that needed. Where people that have more than enough to eat, more than enough wealth gave happily to those that don’t without calling them lazy and telling them to get a job. You and I don’t live in that world, and it is a long time in coming.

      • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

        I like you Cecilia…! 😉

      • Thank you, Cecilia. So tired of this argument (which I feel I spend 5% of my blogging time arguing against).

      • zobva

        Sorry, Bubba, but you are incorrect. The U.S. Constitution mentions in two different places that the federal government is responsible for the “general welfare” of the people. Spin it, twist it and turn it if you like, but you can’t change the facts that were specified and immortalized by our founding fathers in the document upon which the American ideals are built.

      • Charles Vincent

        Wrong.

        “The United States Constitution contains two references to “the General Welfare”, one occurring in the Preamble and the other in the Taxing and Spending Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution “has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments.”[2][3]
        Moreover, the Supreme Court held the understanding of the General Welfare Clause contained in the Taxing and Spending Clause adheres to the construction given it by Associate Justice Joseph Story in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.[4][5] Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not a grant of general legislative power,[4][6] but a qualification on the taxing power[4][7][8] which includes within it a federal power to spend federal revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government.[4][9][10] The Court described Justice Story’s view as the “Hamiltonian position”,[4] as Alexander Hamilton had elaborated his view of the taxing and spending powers in his 1791 Report on Manufactures. Story, however, attributes the position’s initial appearance to Thomas Jefferson, in his Opinion on the Bank of the United States.[11]
        As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.[12]”

      • jeczaja

        Even colonists used taxes for poor relief. This is legitimate function of government. Stalin and Mao are criticized for citizens starving under their watch-for failure of government taking action. Or perhaps you think that was fine.

      • Charles Vincent

        Entitlements are not traditional government, and as of 2011 the government spent ~2.7 trillion dollars on entitlements, contrast that with the ~2.5 trillion in total revenue. That leaves the US government with ~200 billion dollars in deficit. Now add in what is traditional government spending that was ~2.5 trillion which leaves us with ~2.7 trillion in debt for the fiscal year 2011. So where again was it you were saying we should get the money?

      • Charles Vincent

        I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much; I observed in different countries that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves and became richer.
        Benjamin Franklin circa ~1760’s

      • Charles Vincent

        Also the indentured servitude you talk about isn’t welfare it was selling yourself or your children into the service of another person for money for a period of time. Secondly almshouses were community or church funded not federally funded, this is evidenced by your own article in the case of the almshouse in New Netherlands which was bankrolled by the new Dutch reform church not a national government.

      • Evelyn

        Aiding the poor is a function of government in so much as it is a function of keeping the peace and providing for the well being of the populace. A family who is placated by an aid check is not stealing bread or food to eat, getting arrested and jailed on taxpayer money. A family placated on aid is not rioting in the streets demanding more jobs or better wages. Children receiving aid have the opportunity to do better than their parents and to succeed. I rather pay the percentage of my taxes that cares for the poor to them than have my house robbed by someone. And I feel caring for the children of our nation is more constructive than bombing Middle Eastern nations.

      • Charles Vincent

        Aid for the poor you’re talking about is also tax payer money.

      • Adam

        You want to limit the government’s role in aiding the needy and want the poor to stand for themselves, why aren’t you and others like you pressuring companies to pay fair wages and provide healthcare for their workers? Until that is done, government has to play a role in providing aid to the poor.

      • Charles Vincent

        It’s not the employers job to play parent to its workers. Define fair wage I am sure your idea of that and others I idea of what that is varies greatly. Learn some personal responsibility and stop acting like a child who things they are entitled to what someone else earned through hard work.

      • Ann

        Fair wages is when someone work for 10 years like my husband and only got 2 raises in those years, fair wages are that cost of living goes up wages go up also, fair wage is that minimum wage is more than $7,30 and hour and parents don’t have to work 2 or three jobs to make ends meat, this is why we haven all that social problem crimes and other things mother and father can’t spend no time together their always working, fair wage means I don’t have to get food stamps to feed my family I cant take to the Dr. because their sick, capitalism is just as bad as communism, anybody what put their money outside the state should pay more taxes and not get credits, these millionares and billionares should all loose their citizenship here if you can’t pay taxes like you should you don’t belong here we the little people need to pay it

        ks

      • Charles Vincent

        You seem to have a problem differentiating between capitalism/free market economy and corporatism/cronyism.

      • Adam

        Funny that you say that. I know first-hand what it’s like to be poor, since there were times growing up when the only reason my mom kept a roof over our heads and food on our plate was because of government assistance, since the two jobs she worked didn’t pay enough to house and feed herself and four kids. She worked her ass off and hated getting help from anyone, but when we were in a crunch, it was there. My siblings and I learned from that experience, we all work, and none of us ever want to be in a position like that again.

        My point isn’t that I think we just need to throw money at the problem, because that doesn’t solve anything. Instead, we need to do something about why so many people need assistance from the government. I think it’s crazy that a woman who worked two jobs still required help to feed and house her kids because she wasn’t getting paid enough for the work she was doing, and that is a problem that desperately needs to be addressed.

      • Charles Vincent

        “I know first-hand what it’s like to be poor…”
        You are assuming that I don’t know what it’s like to be poor. So you have a clear picture here is some background on my income level.
        Since 2008 my annual income has been below the national poverty level that level is 23,050 dollars a year. And there have been many instances where I have worked a full time job and a part time job and done odd jobs on the side to insure my children had things I didn’t have while growing up. I have scrimped and sacrificed inorder to provide my family with better opportunities than were afforded to me. Furthermore I have been providing for myself since I was 16, and you nor anyone else are entitled to anything my hard work has earned me. You want more then get off your laurels and earn it for yourself and stop expecting me or anyone else to provide it for you.

        Now lets us touch on how bad the democratic fiscal policy Truely is, in 2008 my states economy was number two in the nation we had a republican governor he was replaced by a democrat, who policy was to tax the business’s that were primarily responsible for driving our economic prosperity despite the fact that our country was sinking in to this recession were are now still in. Needless to say that company pack up its business and the revenue it was generating here and moved on. We now have yet another democrat in office and he is passing legislation from our democratically controlled legislature that is running more revenue generating businesses out of the state, and now our states economy isn’t even in the top twenty and is barely in the top twenty five.
        So please don’t condecend to or patronize me about how liberal democrat fiscal policy works for the betterment of our population or how I don’t know what it’s like to be poor.

      • Adam

        Did I ever say that you didn’t know what it was like? Did I ever attack you? Why are you so defensive and insulting?

        Never mind, I don’t care why. Just do me and everyone else on this site a favor and please stop talking.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Funny that you say that. I know first-hand what it’s like to be poor, since there were times growing up when the only reason my mom kept a roof over our heads and food on our plate was because of government assistance, since the two jobs she worked didn’t pay enough to house and feed herself and four kids. She worked her ass off and hated getting help from anyone, but when we were in a crunch, it was there. My siblings and I learned from that experience, we all work, and none of us ever want to be in a position like that again.”

        This whole paragraph implies that you think I don’t know what it’s like to be poor. My post wasn’t defensive it was information needed to address your implication that I don’t know what it’s like to be poor.

        “Just do me and everyone else on this site a favor and please stop talking.”

        Hmmm let me consider that….. Yeah no I’ll keep posting here as much as I want. If you don’t like it tough, grow your skin a bit thicker or ignore my posts. But I most certainly will not stop talking because you or anyone else doesn’t like what I have to say.

      • mmaynard119

        Government is part of a civilized society, moron.

      • Charles Vincent

        I never said they weren’t. I said government needs to be far smaller than it is now. If your only argument is to call me names please stop posting you’re giving actual intelligent liberals a bad name.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Which the US has never done or would never do, except for the Republican House members who want to do it to punish Obama. If the US defaults, the world economy is in big trouble. And who holds the majority of Us. Debt? The U.S. Government.”

        They don’t allow links on this site so o reposted everything but the link. I get my numbers from the CBO not Wikipedia.
        You made my case the government needs to stop spending period.

      • Yet the churches have been failing the poor for centuries and why WE THE PEOPLE had to set up a system that does. WE THE PEOPLE call it SSI and MEDICARE

        THE CHURCH is more worried about getting the message out and building the pretty places of worship.

        You know like the CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL.

        Hell the Catholic church has it’s own banking system.

      • lz4evermore

        Attempting to separate society from government is yet another right wing trope. Our society is reflected in our government, they are part and parcel and cannot be separated.

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s off topic no where did I say any such thing.

      • DavidDuffey

        isn’t government part of society?

      • Charles Vincent

        Government is a construct of a civilized, moral and lawful society.

      • Russ Williams

        And aiding the Big Corporations should be a function of society by purchasing their products and NOT by the government which is what the right wing House of Representatives and Republican/Tea Party members of the Senate are doing every day.

      • glebec

        Government is society.

      • Charles Vincent

        “The word society may also refer to an organized voluntary association of people for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes. A “society” may even, though more by means of metaphor, refer to a social organism such as an ant colony or any cooperative aggregate such as, for example, in some formulations of artificial intelligence.”

      • Mr. Vincent: If “aiding the poor is a legitimate function of society” but NOT of “government,” how exactly do you propose society should aid the poor? Through churches? We’ve already seen how inadequate the results of that are…and that aid also comes with a heaping helping of judgmental shaming and religious indoctrination. Through private organizations? They do what they can already, but again, their aid by itself is inadequate to address the full size and scope of the problem. Individual donations or volunteering? Yet again, the sheer number of people and families needing help dwarfs the number individuals can help, even if every single individual, family, business and institution capable of helping did so at all times…which we all know is far from the case.

        Contrary to what you’ve probably been taught all your life (we are now in the second generation – at least – of children being indoctrinated by Reaganite “government is the problem” rhetoric and policies, taught to hate and fear government), the government – local, county/parish, state or federal – is not some alien “other” out to strip you, your family and/or your business of wealth and freedom. Government – at least as it’s practiced in what we naïvely like to call “the Western democracies” – is simply how we as a people (or any people in any nation-state) come together to achieve that which none of us solely, nor any smaller group or institution, can achieve. We can debate legitimately on which things constitute a “social good” that we should work toward via government, and which ones do not…but aiding the poor, if we agree that that must be done, cannot be done in anything like the scale needed to adequately address the problem of poverty in the US (or elsewhere) without the involvement of government. That means we elect leaders based on what we agree needs doing and who can best do it, and we pay taxes to fund doing it. At its best (and I have direct knowledge that it doesn’t always work at its best; my wife and her sister are both Federal employees, and so are many of my friends), government is US – “We, the People” – reaching out to make the world better, even if only a little bit.

      • Charles Vincent

        As to the first paragraph perhaps if the government wasn’t engaging in the legal plunder of the citizenry of this country communities on a local scale could better help those in their communities.

        “Contrary to what you’ve probably been taught all your life”
        This is a gross assumption of something you know nothing about.
        As to the rest of the second paragraph I suggest you read The law by Frédéric Bastiat this might give you a clue about me.

        “taught to hate and fear”
        The founding fathers were also naturally cautious of the destructive power of government.

      • DavidDuffey

        isn’t govt. part of society?

  • GM Jordan

    New Atheism? There is a group for atheists now, I thought it was all about free thinking, not buying into the religion con trick way of life. Not sure as an atheist I would join a group, especially one called ‘New Atheism’ just as I never bought into ‘New Coke’.

    • Sylvain MBR

      Technically speaking there are some Atheist groups that are popping up to demand a place (politically speaking). The problem with Atheism is that it is overlooked by most even though it represents such a big part of America.

      I believe that 10-15% (If I remember well) of people declare themselves Atheists, and that a big chunk of ‘religious’ people have trouble openly admitting that they do not believe in gods (since being of no faith can be a problem in some parts of the nation).

      Ergo a huge chunk of people do not actually believe in Religion and yet they do not have any political say (15% is actually more then most religions).

      Personally I am not a fan of ‘organised Atheism’ but I do get their point of view. It is logical and actually decently well proposed. The issue with ‘Organised Atheism’ (Calling it that way for lack of a better term) is that there must never be any sort of indoctrination. Granted Atheists will on average be more critical then their religious counterparts, but it can be easy to fall into a preach trap, such as;

      ‘We must bring critical thinking and science to all of the religious people’

      This would be contrary to the principal ideas of an Anti-Clerical point of view (It is true that not all Atheists are Anti-clerical, but most can be seen as being this way).

      Im blabering now -.-

      Basically I think that organised Atheism is fine as long as someone does not dictate actions out of people such as what is done with most religious organisations.

      • Pepe

        Sylvain, according to a study entitled “The Global Religious Landscape” issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, it’s about 16%, of the population, or 1.1 billion.

  • joanzimmerman

    As a Deist, I believe that most organized religions are corporations more interested in power and money than in helping the needy. It would be a sad day in this country if the government took away the safety net.

    • Sylvain MBR

      As an Atheist, I agree with you and I would hug you right now.

      I wish we had more critical thinkers such as yourself in this country, both Deists and Atheists.

      • Aimee Barfield

        I’m a Theist who agrees with joanzimmerman. I also think the Old Testament is story telling, not words from God (wherever the myth came from that the Bible was handed down from the Heavens and made so, is illogical on so many levels, especially since the writings are attributed to men).

        There are many Theists who are not members of organized religion, myself included. More and more of us are speaking up, we believe in evolution, the earth’s age is not thousands of years old. Morality is a choice and doesn’t come religion at all. Christ was a great teacher, philosopher, and I believe a Deity. His words along with the neglected Book of Mary, are powerful statements of what is right and just, not that you have to be a believer to support social justice and advocate for the poor. These are all things Christ did and are forgotten by the religious right where they cherry pick the Bible, ignoring the parts and words of Christ in favor of the Old Testament. Even the New Testament was written by men (and a woman-somehow lost to the current Bible written from the King David interpretation).

  • mfidelman

    Re. “Jesus supported an inclusive, radical, anti-war policy that would make most Democrats furious – let’s not forget that Jesus wan’t a Christian – he was a Jew 🙂

    • Sylvain MBR

      Although his faith is not the point 😉
      The fact that people go to war in his name, or murder innocents in his name is the main idea here. Such an Irony 🙂

      • Var Enyo

        And have done so for centuries. It didn’t take them long to simply use this new religion for their own gains and to justify murder.

  • robert

    I always thought it was interesting that conservative Christians always insist that America is a Christian nation and should be governed according to Christian principles. UNTIL, that is, you mentioned how Jesus preached selling what you have and giving the money to the poor, or laying up your treasure in heaven rather than on earth, etc. Then they can’t separate church and state fast enough.

    • YES, that! Then they have to talk about “practicalities” and how Jesus didn’t really mean that…

    • slideguy

      If Jesus actually did come back, preaching that give-your-money-to-the-poor shit, they’d kill him again. And it would be a Christian wielding the hammer.

      • Brian

        Both sides use Jesus for political gain. 1 Jesus would tell the rich to help the poor. 2 But he would also tell the Ds that people should follow the laws on the books (that pesky thing about illegal immigrants & the borders of the US) so he would tell illegals to go home or immigrate to the US legally. (remember that render unto Caesar quote? 3 Jesus mission on earth was not earthly politics but spiritual to get to heaven. Yes help the poor but the poor to sop doing the sins that make them poor to begin with. No one is perfect and all are sinners needing saved.

      • IAmindala

        Render unto caeser what is is caeser’s essentially means ‘pay your taxes’. No way Jesus would rebuke someone for disregarding an unjust law, do you really think he would have rebuked MLK Jr. for his ‘illegal actions/protests’

      • Brian

        Most liberals who use Jesus for their political agenda do so for either healthcare or illegal immigrants. Since when is it “unjust law” that the US asks immigrants to come to the US legally, with proper criminal or medical background checks? Since the US was created in 1776 there have been laws for people who immigrate to the US. Esp when Ellis Island and other similar stations around the US were in service. My ancestors immigrated with the proper paperwork and inspected by Drs when they went through the process. But when modern day people sneak across the border its suddenly racist to ask them to follow the same rules that all immigrants had to follow since day 1. From the original 13 states, to the railroad builders of the old west, Ellis Island stations to the Boat people of the fall of Viet Nam and other SE Asia nations in the late 70s. All had background criminal and medical checks. Good enough for them it should be good enough for today’s immigrants.

      • IAmindala

        I 100% agree with everything you said, (except for the sweeping generalization but I don’t think that was your main point). I do think that we should have checks for immigrants and know who is coming into our country, my ancestors immigrated the same way you described (and not that long ago, ie 2 generations). The issue i think being debated, or at least worth debating, is if that process is fair and functional right now and I would say that an average of 7-10 years to immigrate is not fair or functional and fast tracking people from certain countries (i.e. none central/south american) IS racist. And beyond that there are A LOT of people who are here now who call America home, whether they got here legally or not, that is just a fact and how we deal with this group of people who are already down trodden, or they wouldn’t have snuck into the country, is worth a serious discussion that involves compassion and grace as well as responsibility and rationality.

      • Brian

        I do agree that 7-10 years for a legal immigrant to US citizenship is too much of a wait for anyone. But at the same time that does not mean its right for people to sneak in either. Remember also that many illegal aliens who do sneak in come in without ID from banana republics or parts of Mexico that are not Modernized or organized as say Europe or China/India where technology is up to date. Sure there are the main cities like Mexico City or other areas that tourists flock too that are totally modern and things are in decent shape even if not up to Modern US/European standards of life. But there are also backwater areas in Mexico, Latin America, ect where people still live like its 100 years ago with no running water, electricity, or modern medicine like birth control. So are heavily populated. And its these areas that most of the illegals with no hope of escaping the poverty or afraid of the drug cartels who try to go to the US. I dont blame them for wanting to escape, but at the same time To have these people sneak in, break our laws and act like we are the bad guy racists for not giving them life on a silver platter with welfare benefits when our nation is in debt and trying to take care of our own citizens. People who defend illegals love to say that the US freedoms should be to anyone and thats fine in spirit but we dont have the wide open unsettled areas like the 1800s. Also the world population is closing in on 7 Billion. If the American Dream is a goal for as many or anyone, how many of those 7 Billion around the world can the US fit and still have the ability to have jobs, living space, food, health care, water, ect? I am not going to argue R V D politics for a moment, but the real reason the unemployment in the US is stubbornly high no matter what any political party may do or bicker about is simple math. Between outsourcing of jobs, ( a CORPORATE culture situation, not a R or D political situation), the baby boomers putting off retirement, spring graduations HS or College looking for jobs and all the illegals entering the workforce, there are simply not enough jobs to fill for those looking for work. But if an R/conservative points out the jobs taken by illegals the Ds cant yell racism fast enough. Also because the illegals are willing to work for far lower wages then US citizens the wage scale is lowered for everyone, including US legal citizens still with jobs. Its not about race, its supply & demand. Sure certain jobs are immune, the “professional” jobs like Healthcare, College professors and their systems, Accounting, Banking, Finance, lawyers, and extreme science like Pharmaceuticals, rocket science. (basic technology like the local IT guys with computers has been somewhat watered down with every community or online college throwing out high numbers of IT graduates has created more IT guys then demanded thus watering down that job line as well. Its easy for political parties to play the blame game but I dont think either party has the solution to the unemployment issue regardless of how high the DOW climbs. Dont get me wrong I like a high DOW better then a low DOW like everyone else but while it makes people feel better looking at their 401K plans, it does not do much for unemployment rates.

      • IAmindala

        I think you made some really good points in particular the idea that ALL of this stuff is tied together from social welfare programs, to immigration reform to the health of the economy and job creation. As a nation we really need to think about what it is that we want, who we want to be, and the best path to get there. And then realize that our political foes are often on the same side of the line on those two questions, most everyone who has the health of our nation in mind wants us to remain powerful, influential and wealthy and I don’t think doing things the way we have always done them is necessarily the way to go, just because it worked in the past doesn’t mean it will work in the future. This puts a hit on both sides of the aisle, because we not only need to take a look at the screening evaluating process we also need to take a look at how many people we are willing to accept. I am not and will never be one to advocate for keeping people born into unfortunate circumstances from doing whatever it takes to make a better life for them or their families. But maybe it would be a good investment for us as Americans to get some of our close by, less fortunate, neighbors on their feet and in the 21st century, particularly Mexico. Making their home countries a more viable, attractive place to live seems like a bit of a more humane productive way of dealing with this issue. As opposed to just locking up the gates and saying ‘sorry you were born on the wrong side of the desert’ or making life for them so miserable here that they want to leave, that just doesn’t sit well with my conscience.

      • Brian

        I do agree that what may have worked in the past will no longer work today. The world changed from 25 years ago that was the end of the cold war. Instead of the West & communist nations each having their own sphere of influence in their half of the world and competing for whats left, we now have a global economy. The people who express compassion for the illegals sneaking in the country are the same people criticizing outsourced jobs overseas to former Cold war opponents cheap labor need to remember that those benefiting from the new jobs in China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe are getting their share of the American dream without sneaking across the border into the US. I do agree that if there is a way the US can help Mexico or others we should. But its also a two way street. The US cannot play police man or nation building and invade Mexico to get rid of the drug Cartels. And many big shots in the Cartells also have “legitimate” business that they use to laundry drug money and to hide the involvement of the Cartels. the corruption even goes into the Mexican gov and police forces and anyone who tries to expose it ends up dead in a very bad way with body parts left in places as “messages” for those left behind. Its very entrenched. THe US has helped through Wall st. When GM was bailed out, some of that billions of bail out money went to keep auto factories in Canada and Mexico going thus keeping jobs for those in those cities. (one could argue that if the GM is using taxpayer dollars to keep GM alive then the jobs saved should have been American rather then across the border. So once again back to same square 1. More people then jobs available.) Somehow Mexico has to get the Drug Cartels either eliminated or some how marginalized. How they can do with with so much corruption is beyond me. But Mexico has to do their part as well. We buy oil from Mexico, We built factories. NAFTA treaty in the early 90s opened up US markets for more Mexican produced products. Any ideas from anyone else can be put out there.

      • Dianne Hornick

        So…sinning makes people poor? Are you serious?

      • Brian

        Depends. If a person pisses away their paycheck getting drunk, or gambling the rent money and the utilities gets shut off then Yes in those type of cases the “sin” of abusing a vice is making them poor. Most religions view sex before a marriage as a “sin”. So if a teenager has sex with another teen and no birth control is used and they make a baby so the female drops out of HS and is forced to live in poverty to raise the baby and since she is a HS drop out accepting that the best she will get without a HS diploma is flipping burgers instead of staying in school, and even better finishing college then it could also logically be argued that the “sin” of pre-marital sex made her poor.

      • Dianne Hornick

        Oh, come on. Rich people sin just as much as poor people. If you believe that’s what makes people poor, you are a nut-job. Keep waiting for your little make-believe “guy in the sky” to come and rescue you…I think I’d rather help feed hungry children!

      • Brian

        1. I never said that the rich don’t sin. that’s not the point. Rich poor Middle are all human, and all humans “sin”. However the poor dont have the financial room to overcome what society calls bad decisions also what religious people call a sin. the results are the same. IF a child grows up in a religious family he/she are taught that pre-marriatal sex is a sin. So if that 16 year old teenager has sex (a sin according to most organized religions) on homecoming dance night and ends up pregnant, drops out of HS and ends up forcing her and her baby to live in poverty and gov assistance since HS drop outs cant get decent jobs, then YES it could be said if your religious that the sin of pre-marriage sex caused the female and her baby to grow up in poverty. However if a rich guy “sins” like politician John Edwards or Bill Clinton, they have the economic power to overcome their sin of outside the marriage sex but the teenager on homecoming night cant. I never said that ALL poor people are poor because of various “sins” but a lot of them are. If you are poor because you abused street drugs, booze, gambling then YEs you are poor because most organized religeons call the “Abusive/Addictive” lines or beyond a sin. No having a beer with a buddy after work is not a sin. But being an alcoholic that causes you to not hold a job, waste your rent money or water/electricity bill money on booze, ect so you become homeless considers that a sin. Society now days calls that an illness but in the world I grew up in it was called a character fault and bad behavior.

      • Dianne Hornick

        I guess brainwashing your own child is okay as long as you do it in your own home, but keep your religious nonsense out of our schools and far away from me and mine!

      • Brian

        1. While I am a christian, (Not brainwashing as you liberal haters say), I dont go forcing it down people’s throats like some do. Christian is NOT one belief as their are many different ideas (denominations) of the same core belief about Jesus. 2 i was taught right out of HS to argue politics without using Jesus by a Jew who agreed with me politically but not due to religion obviously. 3. I commented on this article because it was slamming religion. I dont deny that some people twist their religious ideals most do not. they go to church on Sunday, and try to raise their family and live life and hope to bounce their grand kids or even great grand kids on their knee before kicking the bucket. Going to weddings & funerals like any other middle class people. But you never hear about those because they are boring and the media wont get any ratings because of them. Those are 90% of all Christians in the US but no one hears about them. No one is holding a gun to you and making you go to a church. And you are choosing to comment on this article instead of just ignoring it and going on about your life. No one is holding a gun to you to argue on this webpage either. Bottom line is that many of society problem solutions can be found in the bible and I am not forcing anyone to read the bible, (as they are the same solutions without the bible) but the minute someone says “the bible says” you lefties go ape shit without even hearing what was said. 1 Teenage pregnancy epidemic would end if people would either use birth control or dont put out until adults. (the bible would say no sex before marriage) 2. People bitch about the bad economy and evil bankers. Secular solution is to teach people how to stick to a budget and be “street smart” with their money. Dont run up debt with Credit cards or take on bad loans or over spend. Create a budget including putting money away for emergencies. Religious people in the Judea-Christian beliefs could point out bible passages that basically say be wise with your finances as well and a Jesus parable where he praised servants who were wise with money. Not forcing you to read the bible but just pointing out that solutions to many modern day problems were addressed in the bible if one chose to look. Should people be forced by the police power of the gov to read the bible? HELL NO. But if someone asks me to point something out in the bible, if I did not know where to find it I would point them out to where it could be found. But NO I do not force someone to be a christian. Everything I said in any of my comments here in this webpage are just my opinions and my own and I am in no way forcing my private beliefs on anyone.

      • jeczaja

        That’s the old Jewish law-do this and I will prosper you. If you’re rich, God must love you. If you’re poor you must have sinned. But the Book of Job says otherwise and so does Jesus. Did the tower of Siloam fall on the worst sinners in town? Stuff happens and humans are poor judges of why. He never said figure out why-he said help the poor.

      • Mike Lawson

        If you have to tell us you’re a Christian, and we can’t tell all on our own, you’re not much of one. And no, we couldn’t tell all on our own.

      • Brian

        Part of that comes down to what we would call a “stereotype” of what society thinks are christian people. You probably expect Christians to drive around with Jesus bumper stickers on their cars or clothes. You probably expect someone to scream “the bible says” on every topic out there when a discussion comes up. To be honest I am a christian, but I dont discuss it unless someone else brings it up like this page. In life I go to work, hang out with my family, freinds hobbies like any other person. but outside of church on a Sunday morning i dont discuss religion. In fact the only reason I am writing this comment now is because I got an e-mail telling me your reply and I am replying to your reply. lol

      • Mike Lawson

        I expect somebody to exude the qualities of the Sermon on the Mount, to demand the compassion for the poor, the hungry, the sick, those in prison, and others less fortunate in all they do, so that I can guess they are a Christian. The Christian you think I probably expect couldn’t be anything close to the Christians I respect. Jesus gave a great stereotype on that mount. So again, don’t tell me you are a Christian, let me guess.

      • Brian

        I dont disagree with your ideas on a “christian” that you stated above in your last comment. However you need to keep in mind that many times when a Christian does those things its through their local church or in privacy or otherwise not in public for everyone to see. For example. During my first marriage in the 90s, my X/W & I were pen pals with a prisoner on Death Row in Nebraska. But we never announced it publicly. So only our immediate family knew about it. Many churches have food drives or volunteer work for the elderly or needy on a regular basis. But once again its at the local level so you would not be aware of it since its not announced on CNN. So many of the things you listed in your post re being done its just not publicly announced.

      • Yeah, nothing Jesus loved more than turning back migrants, unwelcoming the visitors, and following the rules.

      • Brian

        No R is against LEGAL immigration. Funny thing. All nations in the world have borders and are allowed to set laws regarding medical & criminal background checks plus determining how many total people can immigrate in a given fiscal or calendar year. But God forbid the US wants to have the same right as any other nation and the liberals go ape shit because the US does not just open the borders and let anyone immigrate no questions asked and no laws on the books about immigration. as for Jesus, his mission on earth was spiritual- to teach people how to get into heaven when their time on earth was done. Not worry about the petty political bickering that goes on between the Rs & Ds. Jesus loved all people. If he were on earth today as a human, he would tell illegals to render under Cesar implying immigrate legally if you want to do so. But he would also tell the drug cartels & corrupt Gov officials to “sin no more” and to fix their nation instead of telling their citizens to run for the US border. Be Honest, the US is trillions in debt and its not going away anytime soon. We are not the rich nation in the world we used to be. We cannot afford to give the 6-7 billion people in the world a big welfare check and I dont care what color you are, the US has 315 million people already. How many more people do you think we can just let in and still find jobs, health care, food, water. shelter ect?

    • Brian

      Robert, no one is saying that the poor not be helped. Jesus did say help the poor but he also told people to “sin no more” which also meant that if people are making bad choices that leads them to poverty ie abusing drugs, booze, gambling, or making a bunch of babies as a teenager with different fathers are the main examples,. then that same bad behavior should be stopped. But the democrats who love to slam the religious right always seem to leave that part out. Conservatives Do help the poor and would give the poor the shirt off their back. But in return we conservatives also ask for accountability, be grateful & humble for the help instead of claiming they deserve it simply because its not fair someone else has more wealth then they do. And then want to bust their guts to get out of poverty and in return desire to help the next person struggling needing help. We dont see those type of people any more. Just liberals with the victim mentality demanding wealth redistribution as the solution to all the worlds problems.

      • IAmindala

        So what you are saying is there are no hard working liberals? And poor people are poor because they sin?
        And rich people don’t sin?

      • Brian

        Rich people sin. Everyone does. But 1 rich people sin without begging for welfare to cover their sin. A poor person who is poor because they wasted their paycheck gambling or abusing alcohol needs the gov safety nets to help them out. 2 I never said there are no hard working liberals, but all the people I know on gov assistance (NOT RETIRED or MEDICALLY DISABLED) are there because they chose not to work or did things that made them unable to work. Like losing their job because they got drunk & got a DUI lost their Drivers license and their job.

      • Pepe Pechugas

        Brian, how many people on gov assistance DO you know? I hear this bullshit all the time, about “all the homeless I’ve talked to…” The fact of the matter is that most of people on government assistance do have jobs (sometimes 2 and 3), and they are not drunk or high. The guy who lost his license due to a DUI is very well known in the conservative circles, but he’s not the norm.

      • Brian

        Actually Pepe, In the 27 years since I graduated HS, I have known many people who at different times were on gov assistance for different reasons. Many of them got on as teenagers who got pregnant and not married. Some lost their jobs but got lazy and found it was easier to get that gov check rather then look for work and mess up their benefits. I am not talking about Senior citizens who are on meidcare or SS who cant work, but people ranging from teens to middle age adults under 55 who are all healthy enough to go find work if they truly wanted too. I am not going to violate their privacy here. In the past 27 years I have associated with different groups of people, different backgrounds and some moved to the area after living in different parts of the nation. In fact one guy I am freinds with, when I met him he was making almost triple what i made at the time. Then he broke the law, got arrested & fired, cashed out his 401K money to pay for his lawyer & got probation. But no one would hire him. He literally ended up in a homeless shelter 24 months after I met him and then he slowly rebuilt his life. Now 10 years later he has been re-married for 8 of those years and bought a home and at least a middle class life now. Riches to rags to at least middle class. So life can be that way. He is just one example how not only “sin” but what society called crime lead to poverty.

  • fed up

    Oh Holy God, absolutely nothing you wrote is remotely true or even makes any logical sense. ALL I SEE WRITTEN HERE ARE ATTITUDES ABOUT CONSERVATIVES AND NONE OF YOUR OWN PRINCIPLES BECAUSE LIBERALS DON’T HAVE PRINCIPALS, JUST SELF SERVING ATTITUDES…..What you are is adult children with warped thought processes. Scary shit.

    • Landran

      Is this a serious statement? Everything written in this article can be backed by reliable sources. It may be based upon opinion, but it is still true. You bash the Liberals as if we are something terrible in this country, but you fail to realize that being a Liberal is about thinking for yourself, advancing science and technology, improving education, having the country PROGRESS (capped for a reason, think about it) through the modern times, and the government being more or less a safety net for when things go wrong or to improve the way of life within the country. How is any of this a bad thing? Wouldn’t improving life be the best damned principal to follow? Or should I break out my Bible, call myself a Christian, and become a racist, self-righteous, warmongering, unfortunate-person-hating, bigotry trash?

    • lindylou

      Curious :”warped thought processes” in light of the fact that many Southern School Boards, who purport themselves to be Christian-directed have defunded subject matter that teaches critical thinking. Now, kiddo, THAT IS SCARY!

    • KyanaBelle

      I have lived on both sides of the ideological spectrum. I consider the gradual evolution of my position to be an example of a willingness to consider other points of view with an open mind and to grow as a result of that willingness.

      You seem to be confusing having principals with having YOUR principals. Just because Liberals may not share all of your principals does not mean they do not have any.

      As one who has been on both sides of the ideological divide at points in my life, I can say that there is much truth to what the author has written. Many of us who outgrew and moved on from Christian Conservatism did so for precisely the reasons outlined by the author. We saw the marginalization of groups of “others”, the demonization of other faiths and of agnostics and atheists, the suppression of gender-equality and equal civil rights for the LGBT community, the negative stereotyping of the poor, smugness toward immigrants (legal or not), the war-mongering and flag-waving, and the growing push to subject all Americans, Christian or not, to biblical law. We saw these things and could not, in good conscience, continue to look the other way. Additionally, as people who really do respect most of the founding principals of America, we knew, we KNEW that denying rights to certain groups was un-American. We knew that marginalization of other belief systems and subjecting all Americans to laws dictated by the Christian Bible was wrong and equally against our founding principals of separation of church and state.

      Now I don’t paint all Christian Conservatives with this negative characterization, but, unfortunately those who do not fit this characterization are not screaming loud enough to drown out those who do. They are not taking a stand when their extreme brethren publicly espouse these positions as “the” position of all “real” Christians. Isn’t that ironic? I have heard several Conservative Christian pundits, in their denouncement of all Muslims, defend that position by saying that moderate, peace-loving Muslims deserve to be grouped in with the radicals on the basis that they are not doing enough to shut them down or shout them down.

    • slideguy

      That, Mr. fed up, is what people who study logic call an assertion. A statement of opinion backed with no facts or proof. In other words, you’re guilty of what you falsely accused this writer of. Try again, please.

    • JTaylor184

      “Warped thought processes”? Really? Do you recognize any of your own comment in the aforementioned article? Just asking…

    • Var Enyo

      It’s extremely true and in the case of Pat Robertson, anyone who follows him is following a false prophet(for profit). He is continually saying that God told him this or that and it doesn’t come true. The Bible talks a lot more about false prophets than it does about being gay for instance.

  • fed up

    Poor people are nit taken care of by the government. Single, childless women are nit covered by any government aid except $200/month food stamps which doesn’t put a roof over her head or gas in her car. What poor people need is for the government to stop paying young black, yellow, white, brown women for having kids. What poor people need are better jobs and a better economy and less big government. What poor people need is a society that values marriage between men and women who produce families that are the basis for a functional society instead of immorality and irresponsible behavior from adult children called Liberals. What poor people need is religion and faith in something bigger than themselves and Dancing With the Stars. Liberals have ruined this country and Obummer is turning us into a totalitarian police controlled state where freedom of religion and speech no longer exists, only the State controlled ideology of creeping Sharia Law, and
    homosexuality crammed down our throats as a form of population control, starting with five your old school children’s indoctrination into the homosexual choice and forced sexualization of young children.

    • What poor people need is less helpless shaming and wagging the finger, thank you very much.

    • fredsteaman

      Upi sir are a gigantic asshat.

      We give more money to private corporations than all the so called entitlement programs combined.

      You have no idea what you are talking about.. I suspect you are simply racist and hate Obama for that reason.. Obama is a corporatist and not very liberal at all. Reagan was more liberal then Obama you gargantuan neophyte

      What has ruined this country is all of the money being shifted into a very few pockets. There is no consumer base left to purchase on the level needed to maintain and industrialized nation.

      What has ruined this country is the corporations that have bought and sold out government and changed all of the rules and laws.

      You have got to be the stupidest mother fucker I have ever seen..

    • mjsocal

      Your sir have just proven the point of the story!

    • KyanaBelle

      Who is to define these morals? Many religions have similar moral codes but there are differences to be found from one to another. Who gets to decide?

      You do realize that if freedom of speech no longer existed, you’d be sitting in a cell right now, right? I think you might also want to look up the definition of “totalitarian.” If Obama was running a totalitarian regime, we’d have a blasted job bill passed, the Guantanamo Bay prison would be empty, the Sequester would not have happened, and we would not be spending tax dollars building Abrams tanks the military doesn’t even want.

      Also, I would hope that you would know that under this “creeping Sharia law” you speak of, both homosexuality and having children out of wedlock would be punishable by death. So which one is it that Obama is allegedly guilty of – an unbridled, oversexed society, homosexuality, and paying women to get pregnant out of wedlock or imposing Sharia Law? You can’t have it both ways. Also, your allegation that homosexuality is being pushed as population control, while also alleging that the government is paying women to have babies is just ridiculous. This sounds like you are engaging in the “kitchen sink” strategy – just start throwing everything but the kitchen sink and maybe something will stick.

    • JTaylor184

      Remove religion, faith and homosexuality from your list of requirements and prohibitions and you’ve really got a decent argument. Families, in whatever form they assemble will keep our Nation strong, not religion, “faith” or ridiculous assertions of a non-secular Nation.

    • rixie

      In what universe can sharia law and encouraging homosexuality go together? It’s obvious you’ve just picked up some catch phrases, mashed them all together and parroted it back without applying any critical thought whatsoever. Scary.

  • agr8wrld

    The hatred and intolerance taught by these so-called “men of God” is beyond the pale. If there is a God, they are going to have a lot of explaining to do when they get to the pearly gates. A LOT.

    I thought this was a pretty good article. Thanks for posting it.

    • Yes, right now I picture God as an angry Desi Arnaz.

  • Tax the churches – if they want to muck about in the government, they can bloody well PAY for the privilege!

    • Brian

      You want to tax the churches, fine but then you lose the right to bitch about people using the bible to pass laws. Dont like the Rs using Jesus for topics like abortion or gay rights too bad. Dont like the Ds using Jesus for healthcare, gov assistance, or illegal immigrant amnesty, cant complain either. IF you tax the churches you lose the right to complain about mixing religion & laws.

      • Viv Arney

        They’re doing it already, Brian. How much biblical bullshit is in the laws now? How much more are they doing their best to ram down our throats. They should have to PAY for they privilege and not under the table the way they are now. You want to believe in invisible sky gods, then do it, but don’t shove your fairy tales in the faces of people who know religion for the corrupting influence it is. Religion was fine in the days of the caveman, but we’ve evolved – well SOME of us have – to the point that we don’t need to kowtow to some bloodthirsty demon who hurls thunderbolts whenever he has a tantrum. When my 2 year old niece throws a tantrum, she gets time in the corner. Your “god” is a tyrannical, egotistical pile of garbage. Live with THAT.

      • Brian

        1. I do not use Jesus to argue my political goals. I keep my religious views to my self unless someone asks me how I feel on a given topic. I know there are those that do but I am not one of them.2. I am “pro-Choice” but that does not mean I want women to go around getting pregnant just to have abortions for political gain by the left. My solution to the abortion issue is to keep it legal but teach people to use personal responsibility to NOT get preg in the first place. so the economic demand for abortion goes away like 8 track tapes of the 1970s and no woman loses their right to choose. Both sides are happy. As for the poverty issue you cant deny that if a teenage mom is an athiest and gets knocked up and a christian teen gets knocked up and both drop out of school to have the baby both will live in poverty even though 1 will believe it was a sin of pre-marriage sex and 1 wont. Both are entitled to their beliefs & opinions.

      • Viv Arney

        MY point being – that if they want to shove those “moralities” into the government – they can damned well PAY their fair share. If these mega churches, the Vatican and disgusting fools like Part Robertson REALLY wanted to follow the teaching of their “savior” they’d be feeding, clothing and educating the poor instead of running them down rather than having golden toilets, limos and helicopters. It’s all a money making scam – keep ’em poor, keep ’em scared, give them a scapegoat (racism, sexism, liberalism, global warming, etc.) and rake in the profits.

      • Brian

        Also VIV if you want to get technical. most laws on the books people agree with already had a moral/biblical foundation to begin with. Ever watch Jerry Springer? I would bet that if a wife found out her husband had an affair it would not matter if they prayed to Jesus or were an athiest couple, the wife would be pissed at the cheating husband. You dont need Jesus to go to divorce court. Same if i broke into your home and stole property. You would not need Jesus to be mad that I stole your stuff. What if Some criminal mugged your sibling and pulled a knife and killed them. You would want them arrested. Killing, cheating, stealing were first declared morally wrong by society through religion long before the US was ever a nation.

  • Amen , well spoken.

  • Asnee Llygedyn

    Because as a Druid, I adore stirring the hornet’s nest of silliness to see if it stings itself to death – I would only offer the following to your lovely piece:

    The mythic hero Jesus offers the following: “A New Covenant I give unto you; Love One Another.” Last time I did the research into this, a covenant is a legal contract. There are no exceptions, exclusions, or amendments to this contract, further with the stating of this as being “a New Covenant” this means that it supersedes all the other commandments, laws, edicts, etc. You can’t picket funerals, you can’t blow up abortion clinics, you can’t demand drug testing of the indigent, and starving indigenous peoples is a huge no-no, too. No beating of children, women or gays. No hating of fat people, geeks or pagans. Gee, y’all….being Christian, REALLY Christian means you’d have to embrace your better angels….Lemme make some popcorn – this I GOTTA see.

    • Rev. Run

      As a conservative Christian, I agree 100% with what you added.

  • Gary Markle

    The greatest threat to America, and indeed to the rest of world, at this point in history, comes from the staunch advocates of right wing ideology, and I must submit this warning to you: There is a grave problem with the right wing movement, in that; they seem to possess a distorted sense of entitlement. They’ve set themselves apart, and seem to think that their faith gives them the right to view the world from a platitude of conceit, through condescending eyes, and with a false sense of superiority. They actually believe themselves to be superior beings, with a manifest destiny and some strange notion that God is on their side. A people with a desire to conquer, under the false guise of Christianity, seeking to dominate in the name of Christ, their view of humanity being reduced to nothing more than a matter of “us” and “them”.

    What they fail to realize is; if the Christ you believe in leads you to view other humans as lesser beings, then you are a follower of the anti-Christ. The plain
    truth is; God doesn’t have a religion and God doesn’t discriminate. Any religion that professes to be the only true religion, or that they‘re special in the eyes of God preaches false doctrine. If the Spirit of God is truly with you, it will only be known by acts of “unconditional” love and charity. No religion can claim exclusive rights to God. He belongs to all that He has created, and to foster a belief in “us” and “them” is to divide humanity, not unite it.

    And so it will be, in The End, that those who have set themselves apart from their fellow man will find that they have set themselves apart from God. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more, nothing less. Woe to those who have taken the widow’s mite and built castles and empires in His name. They have incurred a great accountability, their suffering will be unending.

    Even Jesus will not claim to be Christian, but will only proclaim the glory of the Father. And when He returns they will shout: “Here we are Lord!” And He will respond: “I never knew you”. They have forsaken the Word and have become prisoners of the Numbers.

    Those who have put themselves first will be last.

  • Suzi

    The problem with this article is that the responses are themselves lies. And they show a total misunderstanding of what true Christians stand for.

    • JTaylor184

      Well, Suzi, what do “true Christians” stand for? In my experience, money, power and control of the mindless have been what most Christians and their organizations stand for.

      • Brian

        JT, I live in a small rural farm town in the Midwest. the people I know dont run around trying to get power or money ect. they are mostly farmers who volunteer their time running the local church and helping their neighbors when needed. I dont deny there are those who abuse the christian religeon for power or greed, but there are bad apples in any demographic including atheists in the D party. You cant tell me the jack ass that went around suing the US wasting tax dollars over the phrase “under God” in the pledge of Allegiance or “in god we trust” on pocket change truly had his life hurt because of those things and more likely was being a dick because he could do so legally.

      • JTaylor184

        Great for rural America. I’m glad they’ve found something to make them happy. However, Under God and In God We Trust has no place in America. We are Secular, we are free to practice and free from others’ religions. So, no, it isn’t a waste of money to protect the rights of people that are good without a “god”. It’s appalling and offensive to make my family adhere to a biblical code of ethics when we don’t believe in the bible to begin with.

      • Brian

        JT, So you dont agree with “under God” or “in god we trust”. That is perfectly fine. Nothing wrong with that. But to go to court and waste god knows how many tax dollars and time in a clogged up court system for this frivolous lawsuit does harm America. Dont like those words, dont say it during the pledge of Allegiance. People rarely say it anymore anyway. I have not said it since I was in Grade school more then 30 years ago, As for it being on currency, most financial transactions are with debit/credit cards, or checks which dont have those phrases unless the user specifically requests those words for them themselves. As for the rare user of currency like tipping a waitress, throw the cash down and ignore it. No one pays attention to the serial numbers on a federal reserve note anyway so why pay attention in God we trust. By the way, IF you want to get technical, in modern world the currency of the US is printed/Coined by the Federal reserve which is actually a private organization and federal in name only. So suing the gov for the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” on coins or Fed Reserve notes is even more ridiculous. The Constitutional requirement that Congress only prints US money was thrown out the window in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve System. By the way, if you athiests are so offended by anyone using God, then you should be the first in line to volunteer to be at your jobs on Christmas day or thanksgiving so tell your bosses to not close on those days. (Just so you know I work on a Dairy Farm with livestock that need to be taken care of 7 days a week 365 days a year so I do work on those alleged holidays determined by some sort of religious motivation.)

      • JTaylor184

        My problem, Brian, is that those phrases were afterthoughts. They were not in the original draft of the pledge or on our money. They were added in 59, which means just 55 short years ago.

        The issue remains that many (not all) zealots are willing to trample on others rights in the name of “religious freedom”. When someone calls them out on it, they cry persecution and claim that we are being mean to them for their beliefs. That’s not true. I’m glad someone has something to believe in. Great! I do not and will not begrudge anyone for that; but please do not force that upon my children, my family or me.

        Incidentally, as a military household, we work every holiday.

      • Brian

        I understand what you are saying. And thank you very much for your military service. I truly appreciate it. However, I respectfully disagree with you that just because the word “GOD” is on a coin or a pledge of allegiance that someone is forcing it down your throat. Also and in the case where you feel someone is forcing it down your throat, then ignore it and move on. A lot of “zealouts” out there of which I am not one. Do have one point. Sometimes the gov will allow an organization to meet on public grounds like a school room for a gay or lesbian organization then turn around and deny a bible class in the same school in a different room. And they may feel that’s unfair whether you agree or disagree with gay marriage. Or when a school will allow Muslims to bring prayer rugs to school then freak out when a valedictorian says a prayer at a graduation exercise meant for Christians. I agree we are a secular country as compared to a theocracy like some middle eastern banana republic. But at the same time people need to understand that just because someone puts up a nativity scene in a park does not mean they are shoving it down people’s throats. As for Coins having the word God in it II still think its a waste ot tax dollars bringing to court for law suits.

  • The above mentioned names (AKA hypocrites) wouldn’t know God if he sat next to them inside a Church…

    • Brian

      Christians never claimed to be perfect. Just forgiven for their sins or faults .

  • BeeSeer

    Great article. Well said. What isn’t said enough is that the so-called Sanctity of Life only perpetuates starvation and poverty along with the crime and substance abuse that claims rights to it. So in reality the very people who scream the loudest about the great sucking sound of tax dollars are the very ones creating it. Until we DEFY the religious right and get sex education into the 6th grade we can only expect more of the same, especially since fathers, grandfathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, and coaches refuse to instill responsibility teaching in male youth, but rather instead pat them on the back and say..Atta Boy…away from mothers and young girls. The secret code “Old enough to bleed??? Old enough to breed” still dominates male hormones. But one day the MAN is going to have to answer for the mess He’s created in this world….under his SOLITARY rule.

  • Wow…the only thing that I can add to this discussion as a Christian:

    2 Peter 2

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    Destructive Doctrines

    1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

    Doom of False Teachers

    4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and deliveredthem into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

    Depravity of False Teachers

    12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

    17 These are wells without water, clouds[b] carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

    Deceptions of False Teachers

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped[d] from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,”[e] and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

    Within the church, there are the faithful. Those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Any who truly believe this will truly seek God first. If that is the case, you will hear none of the above non-sense from them. Their purpose is to seek perfection (a perfection that offends no one except those who will contradict themselves). As for the rest that you do hear weak and troubled dialog from, understand, that their OWN profession of faith involves them in a relationship that is personal, all-consuming and eternal. Someone here posted about answering at the Pearly Gates. That they will. But, not to you. We are all at different points in our path to that reality and should be left alone to pursue it, as any of you would assert that you are also entitled to pursue yours. That being said, whether you agree with the definition and application or not, this is what is given as good advice to believers: ”

    Revelation 22:11

    “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

    The operative idea here is obvious…”Let him be…”

  • Ed Rudy

    file://localhost/Users/erudy/Desktop/Conservative%20Myths.jpg

  • Lynn

    Where is the money supposed to come from when they say leave it up to the churches to feed the poor??? Even after closing 2 of the 3 parishes in my town, we still only make enough to barely keep the place going. Now we’re supposed to feed the poor, too???

    • JTaylor184

      Stop giving to the church and volunteer your time and resources. I am by no means independently wealthy, but I always find the time and a few dollars to help feed the innocently poor in San Antonio.

  • Jessie Dobbs

    There is a major falacy there in the aspect of abortion; more young caucasian women get abortions that any other racial or cultural group. There is a huge church influence on these young women, one that says that even IF abortion is not murder, what harm is there in another mouth to feed if ‘we’ (the community at large) can care for the child in question.

  • tomjohnson

    Speaking as an extremely well-read atheist, I would say the so-called Modern Christians on the far right fringe have actually gotten “THE BOOK” correct 9 times out of 10. Mostly their errors are ones of OMISSION that allow them their newer, and actually wildly interpreted “beliefs.” The biggest problem is Religion itself; moderate and liberal religion status does nothing about their fringe; sad thing is they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. I do not envy them.

  • sugarglitz

    i see people discussing the “american way” which way are you talking about.. there is a section of society that wants to follow the rule of ” what would jesus do” (which that ideal died quickly , when it was pointed out that WWJD meant caring for the poor, needy ,downtrodden, etc.)… or the form of “we are allowed to lie, cheat, do any act that furthers the ==christian nation==” point of view. Having been a member and married to a minister of the latter, i know how chilling and unchristlike it becomes.. i am often amazed at how those who claim to follow a christ-centered point of view will use the old testament for all kinds of repressive laws and wars, but want the new testament to apply to them when they sin .. and finally.. the american way ..if you look at the historical heritage.. is bound up in slavery, the subjugation and killing of anyone who challenged the idea “empire” of america

  • Russ Williams

    Proud to be in one of the groups that they say cannot follow jesus and are immoral

  • Jean Donahue

    When Jesus commissioned us to care for the poor, he was referring to individuals, communities, churches, states countries, all of us, and that includes governments. This is how I understand it.

  • tygr500

    Ancient Israel and the law of Moses taught that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of it’s people who came from all walks of life, so to those who claim America is a Christian nations are not following the tenets of the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament Church. Read the Scriptures and study the history instead relying on false teachers who are Wolves in Shepherds Clothing.

  • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

    Maybe people could stop hurting others and still keep on lying? I see no hope for the cessation of lying. Life is full of;choices.

  • Michael David Barber Moghul

    So how do we kill all of them again? The US has become a third world country because of these yahoos.

  • Discodan2727

    yeah all of this is true.

  • Goober

    It is journalists like you that propagate hate. When you stop spewing the differences between conservative right and religious right and pitting factions against each other, you will continue to breed hate. Obviously the Liberals only know how to breed hate and not any understanding.