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Old 10-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
TonyR
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Default Christian, Not Conservative

Or, put another way, Jesus Wasn’t A Republican...

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Well, what is a Christian, after all? Can we say that most of us are defined by the belief that Jesus Christ made the most gracious gift of his life and death for our redemption? Then what does he deserve from us? He said we are to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek. Granted, these are difficult teachings. But does our most gracious Lord deserve to have his name associated with concealed weapons and stand-your-ground laws, things that fly in the face of his teaching and example? Does he say anywhere that we exist primarily to drive an economy and flourish in it? He says precisely the opposite. Surely we all know this. I suspect that the association of Christianity with positions that would not survive a glance at the Gospels or the Epistles is opportunistic, and that if the actual Christians raised these questions those whose real commitments are to money and hostility and potential violence would drop the pretense and walk away.
...

Skepticism is appropriate in all cases, especially where money is involved. There should always be checks and balances. We all know of non-government charities whose CEO’s have done very well for themselves. As Christians, we must be concerned with outcomes—are the hungry fed, are the naked clothed, are the sick visited. The more strategies that are brought to bear on the problem—which current policy or lack there of has made a pressing problem—the greater the likelihood that it will be dealt with as Christ, who identifies himself unambiguously with those in need, tells us it must be. There is no analogy to be drawn between a beleaguered community governed, in effect, by a hostile and alien occupation and a modern society that can indeed govern itself and care for its own as it chooses. If we were indeed a Christian country I think we would be making other choices than many self-proclaimed Christians are trying to impose on us now. No talk of compassion impresses me when the tone of all reference to those who are struggling is hostile and judgmental. And of course anyone can be open-handed. But, as an American, I want to be able to help an American child in Detroit, an American family in Alaska, because they are as much my own as my dear Iowans. The national government is without question the most efficient means for this kind of ‘redistribution,’ a word that distracts from the deeper fact that one naturally wishes to share one’s blessings with one’s own.
http://www.theamericanconservative.c...-conservative/
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Or, put another way, Jesus Wasn’t A Republican...

http://www.theamericanconservative.c...-conservative/
Yet the word "sacrifice" is nowhere to be found. Pretty good evidence of a fundamental ignorance of Christian (or even definitional) charity

I've yet to find one who can reconcile their preference for campaign-to-ballot-box charity with Matthew 6.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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If Jesus had had his own conceal carry, that whole event at Gethsemane might have turned out a bit different.

That would be a cool video game. Armed Jesus vs. the Romans! Jesus whips out his AK on the legionaries! Chaos ensues!
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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If Jesus had had his own conceal carry, that whole event at Gethsemane might have turned out a bit different.

That would be a cool video game. Armed Jesus vs. the Romans! Jesus whips out his AK on the legionaries! Chaos ensues!
I think the quote was right along those lines. Christ wouldn't consider himself a Republican (or Democrat)

In the political realm it's all politics and bedfellows stuff. That's all it is.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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I've yet to find one who can reconcile their preference for campaign-to-ballot-box charity with Matthew 6.
Which part?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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Which part?
Just start at 1. That's the meat of it.

Although an argument could be made for most of it.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Just start at 1. That's the meat of it.

Although an argument could be made for most of it.
Indeed. Like these parts:

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19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
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25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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Indeed. Like these parts:
Leave it to Wagsy to ignore the one part I said I specifically had in mind.

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“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Regardless to say, this doesn't reconcile well with the whole "Us Libruls Care More because we vote the help to go from those Rich people over there to the Poor"

As for the rest, I should've figured that a passage mostly about Trusting God for his providence would automatically make you assume that really means The Government.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
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Leave it to Wagsy to ignore the one part I said I specifically had in mind.
Leave it to you to ignore the other parts that go against modern conservative dogma - more and more and more money, ostentation, and conspicuous consumption.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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Regardless to say, this doesn't reconcile well with the whole "Us Libruls Care More because we vote the help to go from those Rich people over there to the Poor"...
Just want to make sure you don't think this was the point of the article I posted.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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Leave it to you to ignore the other parts that go against modern conservative dogma - more and more and more money, ostentation, and conspicuous consumption.
Conspicuous consumption is a human weakness, not necessarily a political one.

I'd love for you to tell me the rich and famous trend Republican. Nothing could be further from the truth. And then even when it comes to wealth...

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/10/...support-obama/
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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Just want to make sure you don't think this was the point of the article I posted.
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But, as an American, I want to be able to help an American child in Detroit, an American family in Alaska, because they are as much my own as my dear Iowans. The national government is without question the most efficient means for this kind of ‘redistribution,’ a word that distracts from the deeper fact that one naturally wishes to share one’s blessings with one’s own.
Here when they say "efficient" they really mean "coercive"

There's no definition of "efficient" that could in any way include the nationalization of charity.

The usual answer is "Well, you can't just count on people to help their neighbors" and to some extent that may be true. But once you cross the threshold against free will, there can no longer be anything Christian about it. The motive is more important than the work. As Christ was talking about at the beginning of Matthew 6.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #13
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Conspicuous consumption is a human weakness, not necessarily a political one.
Showing off is a conservative weakness.

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I'd love for you to tell me the rich and famous trend Republican. Nothing could be further from the truth. And then even when it comes to wealth...
You've missed the point, and changed subjects, as usual, when you're caught in a corner.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:53 AM   #14
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I'm having a hard time keeping up with this forum. Last week Jesus never existed. This week, the guy who didn't exist wasn't even Republican. Next week, I'm going to find out the guy who didn't exist last week, and isn't a Republican this week, was actually gay.

Of course, that's all nonsense. The person who the New Testament chronicles wasn't political in any conventional sense. If anything, he was a Classical Liberal in that he was very individualistic, preaching that people get their souls right with God, neglecting matters of state and religion (which were more or less joined at the hip) to the degree that people should render unto them what is required in order to peacefully exist.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:49 AM   #15
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Showing off is a conservative weakness.
Lolz. Take that line to Hollywood. See how it plays.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #16
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The person who the New Testament chronicles wasn't political in any conventional sense.
Exactly right. And yet the GOP and "Christian right" have crowned themselves as the religious and moral authority of the country. The GOP has all but declared itself the Christian party and uses religion as a political tool and weapon. And Christian churches, probably most notably the Catholic church, have inserted themselves into politics far too much (although Pope Francis appears to be pushing back on this). And the point of Marilynne Robinson, the woman quoted in the American Conservative article I posted in the OP, is to question the too frequent identification of Christianity with the religious right in America.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:25 AM   #17
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Exactly right. And yet the GOP and "Christian right" have crowned themselves as the religious and moral authority of the country. The GOP has all but declared itself the Christian party and uses religion as a political tool and weapon. And Christian churches, probably most notably the Catholic church, have inserted themselves into politics far too much (although Pope Francis appears to be pushing back on this). And the point of Marilynne Robinson, the woman quoted in the American Conservative article I posted in the OP, is to question the too frequent identification of Christianity with the religious right in America.
You're right in a lot of what you say. Although there's a flip side to that coin. Outright hostility to the church is much more common on the left side of the fence. Which makes any kind of coalition-building that much more difficult.

And the left tends to be far more likely to see the centralized government as an imparter or at least arbiter of morality. Which will always lead to conflict with people who see God (and by extension the church) as the real authority on that stuff.

But what the Holier-than-thou Christian Right sometimes does is exactly in line with what we're talking about. All for show. Then again, the liberal side of the church arguing that "No, our Party should be the Party of the Church instead, because we care more" is simply one wrong trying to correct the other.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:34 AM   #18
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I'm having a hard time keeping up with this forum. Last week Jesus never existed. This week, the guy who didn't exist wasn't even Republican. Next week, I'm going to find out the guy who didn't exist last week, and isn't a Republican this week, was actually gay.

Of course, that's all nonsense. The person who the New Testament chronicles wasn't political in any conventional sense. If anything, he was a Classical Liberal in that he was very individualistic, preaching that people get their souls right with God, neglecting matters of state and religion (which were more or less joined at the hip) to the degree that people should render unto them what is required in order to peacefully exist.
Christ was a direct person-to-person minister. He had no use for the political machinations of his day. And those machinations weren't all that different from those we deal with today. Sure, some of the names and structures have changed, but the personal motives really haven't.

In reality, he'd be shaking his head at us even wasting our time on this kind of conflict when we should be out living our lives for other people.
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