The Ugly Side of Social Justice

It’s amazing that some clerics still believe in the socialist teachings of the communist-socialist sympathizer, Rev. Walter Rauschenbusch. I don’t think it’s the government’s right to tell me I HAVE to donate or how much I should donate. It’s my right to give to who I want, how much I want, and when I want. ‘course, that’s just me. The Ugly Side of Social Justice.

by Mr.G

att. to American Thinker

45 responses to “The Ugly Side of Social Justice

  1. That’s a really good article you linked, thanks.

  2. To a Christian, it’s obvious the writer in “The American Thinker” (I presume they give themSELVES the name) and Glenn Beck don’t know what they’re talking about.
    Jim Wallis gets it exactly right: the Bible is THE authority for what Christians believe and do. Looking at what the Bible says is standard operating procedure for Christians.

    Beck’s idea of scripture is the Book of Mormon, and the only church he recognizes is Mormonism. But I’ll give him this: he bases his “authority” to tell Christians what they should believe, and what they should do, on the one thing he DOES know about, and truly believe…Glenn Beck’s opinions.

    The writer for “The American Thinker” is little better. He cites one Bible verse (two, if you count the fact that Jesus is quoting Isaiah’s prophecy) which, HE says, “liberals” misconstrue to mean governmentally-coerced charity. (We also have HIS word that that is “liberals’ ” perversion of what “social justice” means). He cites another Bible verse HE says supports the “conservative” view.

    Setting one Bible verse against another is deliberately deceptive structuring: normative Christianity doesn’t perceive the Bible as at war with itself. It’s deceptive as well to UNstack the deck against his single (perceived) “conservative” verse. He admits there are “countless” other verses that counter his single (perceived) “conservative” verse: but (we have HIS word for it) only because “liberals” would pervert scripture’s meaning. Come down to it, the writer, like Glenn Beck, presumes to dictate Christian belief to Christians on no authority but his own opinions.

    Jim Wallis is a Christian, who knows the Bible and what it teaches. When he talks about what scripture says, and what it teaches Christians should do and should believe, he knows what he’s talking about. He handled the controversy honestly, pointing to the authority of the Bible.

    Neither “conservative” knows what he’s talking about. Neither is honest. Both presume to tell Christians what they should do and should believe, on no authority but their own opinions.

    The choice couldn’t be clearer.

    Best, Steve

  3. From what little I know about Beck and what Sojourners believe, I gotta side with Beck. The Biblical passages that teach us to give to the poor and look after the lowly are NOT directed at the government. Jesus did not teach to steal from the rich in order to give to the poor. His teaching was directed at individuals. Persons are to give out of a cheerful heart, not at the point of a bayonet, on penalty of being jailed for tax evasion. To attempt to use the scriptures to justify having the government take away a person’s hard earned money in order to give some of it to “the poor” is a gross perversion of the intent of the words.

    Just reviewing the Sojourner’s website tells me all I need to know. Pictures of stupid asses standing around with placards exhorting citizens to “Vote out poverty.” I have no problem if those idiots want to use their own money, or any donated money, to attempt to end poverty (good luck with that–I thought LBJ’s “War on Poverty” was supposed to do that 50 years ago!). But when they seek to “vote” to take my money then I have a problem with them.

    Let me type this slowly so that it sinks in: IT’S MY MONEY. It’s not your damn money. It’s not some poor person’s money. Just because you dress it up in flowery language and try to use Bible verses to justify taking it does not mean it is your money or their money. Beck is correct, and anybody who attempts to use the Bible to justify taking personal property from some in order to redistribute it to others is DEAD WRONG.

  4. Hi, JD:

    Congratulations on the son’s graduation ! (Make you feel old ? LOL)

    This is where Christianity diverges absolutely from “conservatism.” The Church doesn’t accept that its beliefs and practices are governed by politics’ narrow view. The opposite is the reality.

    Even less is Christianity subject to any individual’s definition. The Church’ mandate for its beliefs and actions come from its Head, Christ. The Church measures its efforts against the Bible’s teaching. Inserting himself as the one who authoritatively defines Christianity, tells Christians what they should believe and should do, and sets himself as the measure of their right-doing, Glenn Beck attempts to supplant every spiritual authority Christians accept.

    Glenn Beck’s high opinion of Glenn Beck’s opinion is not shared by Christians. Christians’ opinion is that Glenn Beck is a damned (theologically speaking) wannabe usurper of God’s prerogatives, and best REPENT immediately and fervently. Same for any who stand with him: it’s a dangerous place to stand.

    I’m surprised you buy that Christians’ idea of social justice is “taking personal property from some in order to redistribute it to others.” You realize that’s Beck’s “straw-man” manipulation, don’t you ? His formulation of what HE says his opponents think ? Proud to be one of his opponents, I can tell you it’s a lie: it’s not what scripture teaches, and not what Christians believe. But don’t get angry at Beck’s lie: that makes his manipulation succeed, and makes you manipulated.

    Or if you want to look at it as a matter of personalities: Jim Wallis challenged Beck to look at what the Bible says about social justice. That’s exactly what any Christian should do: bring the question back to the definitive authority. Wallis focused on the real issue, handled it the Christian way, and handled it fairly (using the same standard he asks Beck to use).

    Wallis has acted honestly, fairly, and as a Christian in this matter: Beck has acted the opposite in each regard. If you want to decide it on the basis of personalities, give it a re-think: you’re not stuck with a bad decision if you give yourself another chance at it.

    Best, Steve

  5. Steve, I know in the Bible it reads; ” Render unto Ceasar’s what are Ceasar’s and unto God what is God’s.”

    I’m not a Bible scholar so can you explain this passage to me. Or tell me where I’m wrong.

    Since taxes have been around since the cavemen, almost, I read this as saying to pay your taxes, what is due and give God his due, which I reckon is 10%. ( before or after taxes? j/k)

    I don’t mind paying God his tithe, and if everybody did, we might not have so much poverty. Although, doesn’t it also say in the Bible that the poor will always be with us?

    Render unto Caesar…What if Caesar’s demanding too much?

    Anybody else’s thoughts on this?

    • Hi, Mr.:

      Yeah, Jesus had these people who wanted to USE Him in their agitation against the Roman government. So when they asked Him “Should we pay taxes ?” to the Romans, they thought they had Him. If He answered “yes,” the Jews would turn against Him; if He answered “no” the Romans would arrest Him for promoting revolution.

      He asked for a coin, and showed it to them and asked “Whose face is on this ?” They said “Caesar.” He said “Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give God what belongs to God.”

      The way we look at that is that government has just claims on us, which are mostly superficial: taxes, for example. God’s just claims on us are more profound. Life and everything that pertains to it is from Him: so He has a right to ANYthing He asks for.

      The 10% tithe is more symbolic than anything: of our recognition that even Caesar’s money we live on is ultimately God’s gift, and that we recognize His right to that as well.

      But God says He doesn’t NEED our wealth: it’s all His anyway. He doesn’t delight in tons of our possessions (Micah 6:6-7). “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

      What He wants from us…and has every right to ask for…is that we be honest (with Him and other people), and treat people with fairness and mercy.

      That’s the Old Testament verse that sums it up. In the New Testament, Jesus says it’s all summed up in two commands: Love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your strength: and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. (Luke 10:25-29, which leads into the parable of the good Samaritan).

      I’d estimate there are THOUSANDS more verses that serve as commentary on those. (Although I think those 2 short sections give us enough to keep busy with. LOL) In that further fine-tuning, there are some verses that deal specifically with our relationship to human governments. But there too, God’s government (if we do what He says to do, because He says to, He GOVERNS us) is the thing that matters, more than human governments.

      In general, we are supposed to obey even human governments (like Caesar’s coin for taxes, as you mentioned). Not because human governments are good: they aren’t. For Christians it’s a matter of recognizing that God’s in charge “out there” (even of the Roman government), and that a rebellious attitude is the essence of sin “in here.” (Micah 6:7 above, and Isaiah 53:6, “turned to our OWN way.”)

      To a Christian perception, it’s not surprising Glenn Beck tries to redefine “social justice” (which God defined above) in Glenn Beck’s OWN way; or that he’s looked to by rebelliousness people. It’s pretty much all of a piece. Likewise, the lies, deceit, factionalism and manipulation characteristic of “conservative” discourse are part of the same package.

      Thing is, the spiritual aspects aren’t SEPARATE matters: they’re all-encompassing, so they have repercussions even at the mundane level of earthly nations. Divisiveness and rebelliousness are sin: sin kills the human soul. Rebellion and divisiveness also kills human nations. That’s probably my main concern as regards the “conservative” movement.

      Best, Steve

  6. Crap. I spent 20 minutes on a long response, and my puter cut off midsentence. I’ll respond to your post tomorrow Steve. Been a long day…

  7. LOL !! I though that only happened to ME !! I sympathize, JD.

    But whenever you get a chance to re-trace your thoughts, it’ll be doubly appreciated, knowing you had to do it twice. LOL.

    Best, Steve

  8. I get the strong impression that Steve doesn’t have a clue about what Beck really believes. I believe you do not and have not ever listened to him yourself, but are attacking what you believe he believes, as told to you by liberals. I challenge you to really listen to him. I think you would agree with him.

    That said, I don’t know much about proponents of social justice. I just went to the website in the article, and read for 10 minutes. So I might get their beliefs wrong, too, but from what I saw, they are nothing but a bunch of liberals who are trying to use scripture to justify their liberal beliefs. That’s a gross simplification, and it needs a caveat: I agree with them on some issues–can’t remember what right now, but I think they are correct on the homosexual issue.

    My biggest problem with “social justice” is that it claims to have biblical support but it does not. Liberals are using “social justice” with its claimed support in scripture to essentially use force (of the government) to take from those who produce in order to give to those who don’t. Jesus never taught to steal from the rich in order to give to the poor. Jesus taught people to give with a grateful heart. Taking peoples’ money at the point of a bayonet, with the force of the IRS code, does not further any goals mentioned in the Bible. NOWHERE in the scripture is there support for forcefully taking the money from some to give it to the poor. Show me that, and I’ll completely change my mind and agree with them. But I know it isn’t there.

    Another problem I have is waste and inefficiency. I believe that I know better where to spend my charitable dollars than some bureaucrat in Washington.

    Which brings up another problem. Liberals use the cloak of “social justice” to hide what they are really doing: using “other peoples’ money” to get themselves and their cohorts cushy jobs and/or re-elected. That is immoral, deplorable and dead wrong. Yet liberals pat themselves on the back and say what wonderful people they are for “helping the poor.”

    And “helping the poor” is really a bunch of bullshit anyway. Those who are truly undable to work are one thing, but liberal policies that were supposed to HELP the poor actually made them dependent on the government rather than learning to be self-sufficient. Conservatives believe in teaching the poor to fish; liberals believe in giving them a fish every day (paid for by Other Peoples’ Money) so they don’t have to fish, and so that they will perpetually vote for liberals.

    The “good intentions” of proponents of “social justice” enslaved entire generations of black families into welfare. They paid children to have children, the more children, the more payments. And they encouraged unwed mothers to have babies. After all, if a husband could work, they would not get AFDC or welfare or Medicaid. As babies grew up, the girls had babies to get their own subsidized housing and their own government checks. Sons learned to hit the streets and to have kids out of wedlock. Look in any inner city in America and see what a hell has been created by years of LBJ’s “War on Poverty” and other do-gooder idiotic ideas. Anybody who think such programs work is either an idiot or a liar.

    So, yeah, in short, I agree with (what I’ve heard) Beck say about “social justice.” And from what I know about it, I DESPISE “social justice.” I’m not even going to say they mean well, because I’m not convinced that they do. I did note that they have a budget of almost $5 million a year. That’s a lot of reasons to try to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes.

  9. “I get the strong impression that Steve doesn’t have a clue about what Beck really believes. I believe you do not and have not ever listened to him yourself, but are attacking what you believe he believes, as told to you by liberals. I challenge you to really listen to him.”

    You’re right. Beck was not even on my radar until he presumed to tell Christians what to believe and what to do.

    I went to see what he’d said. Unless the “conservatives” who posted his “run from churches teaching social justice” segment on YouTube edited him to give his words a “liberal” slant, I heard and saw exactly what he said. Exactly what he said originally, and his follow-up (the next day, I believe) when he helpfully wrote on his blackboard (teacher wants to make sure the kiddies copy it exactly right): “My definition of social justice is the forced redistribution of wealth, with a hostility to individual property, under the guise of charity and/or justice.”

    I gave him a fair hearing. I read his definition verbatim. (Even copied it down myself, to make sure I got it right…definitely NOT so my thoughts could be guided by his, however).

    Glenn Beck’s “definition” is just that: Glenn Beck’s definition. The only authority for it is that Glenn Beck says so. That’s sufficient for Glenn Beck. whose arrogant self-satisfaction convinces him he has standing to define Christianity for Christians, tell them what they should believe and should do, and pass judgement on how well Christians measure up to his empyrean standards.

    God’s so merciful, He’d even forgive Glenn Beck his imperious pretences, if Glenn Beck repents. I hope he does.

    EVERYbody screws up, willfully, or in ignorance, or inadvertently (or any combination thereof). In Jesus’ life, death and resurrection God gave us a Way to be forgiven our screw-ups, and actually change from that entire way of life…if we will. None of our screw-ups need be final if we recognize them for what they are, admit what they are, and honestly want to not do that again.

    I doubt Beck will repent. Rule of thumb observation: everybody screws up. Those who can’t admit it: either denying they screwed up, or arguing their screw-up was RIGHT: have to lie to themselves that they don’t NEED to be forgiven. Carrying through their self-deception, they couldn’t ask God for forgiveness…and that’s the one requirement HE puts on it.

    Liars have to start by lying to themself. Those like Beck who lie professionally have to start there too…and they get very skilled at it. At this point, Beck’s seems to have convinced himself he’s God.

    “My biggest problem with ‘social justice’ is that it claims to have biblical support but it does not. ”

    JD, don’t make me fill up your site with a selection of hundreds of verses what the Bible says about social justice ! LOL.

    Social justice has TONS of biblical support. What you probably meant to say is that Glenn Beck’s definition of “social justice” (above) has absolutely no biblical support.

    “NOWHERE in the scripture is there support for forcefully taking the money from some to give it to the poor.”

    Absolutely right. Again, that’s Glenn Beck’s definition you’re quoting (compare above), and as you say, there’s no scripture that teaches that at all. Glenn Beck doesn’t know what he’s talking about: with neither the honesty to admit his ignorance, nor the commonsense to not pontificate on things he’s ignorant of.

    “Another problem I have is waste and inefficiency.”

    That’s certainly true too. I’d add plain ol’ “stupidity” as well. Those (and others we could add) are endemic to large human organizations, whether governments, businesses, churches, clubs, etc., etc. That’s one place “conservative” ideas are (IMHO) actually conservative, and to the country’s benefit.

    “And ‘helping the poor’ is really a bunch of bullshit anyway. ” Nope, disagree. That’s an absolute of biblical social justice. The question is actually (as I take you to be saying between the lines) how (and I’d add, “why”).

    But that’s a whole other discussion. LOL. And as Mr. pointed out, the Bible says the poor are always with us, so we have plenty of time to get back to that later.

    Thanks for your thoughts, JD. Always thought-provoking and worthwhile, as is the input from many other people who post here.

    Best, Steve

  10. Steve, I am patient with you because I can tell you have a good heart and are a genuinely nice guy. But you are engaging in (honestly) misguided mushy liberal thinking.

    First, you need to give up this bad ‘tude towards Glen Beck and how he has an opinion about the Bible. Isn’t he entitled to his opinion? You don’t deny Wallis his right to an opinion. Beck’s not somehow a bad person because he has an opinion. Wallis has an opinion and tries to persuade people that he is correct. Just because Beck is a Morman doesn’t mean he is automatically wrong in his opinion. A dead clock is correct twice a day. I have not heard you say WHY he is wrong. You just seem to want to attack him and to assume that he is wrong. The devil is in the details.

    “Helping the poor” is bull shit if you define “helping” them the way that liberals do. You do not help them by making them dependent upon welfare. You do not help them by motivating them to avoid work. Have you ever read the passage by Paul “If a man shall not work, he shall not eat?” We have bred a cottage industry of people who make up ways to scam unemployment insurance, welfare and/or social security disability.

    I’m a lawyer, perhaps that explains why I get nit-picky about details and semantics. That is one problem I have with the phrase “social justice.” Social justice sounds great, who couldn’t be for that?! Ugh, exactly what is it? If it means helping widows and orphans, great. If it means stealing from the rich and giving to those who don’t deserve it, I’m violently against it.

    And just exactly how can the bible have hundreds of versus in support of “social justice” if we don’t even define what the heck it means? I suspect it is just a phrase, like “do it for the childrent”, that is meant to camoflage their true intentions, and give the false appearance that they are doing good and have good intentions. Call me a skeptic, because I know how liberals operate.

    You quoted me:

    “NOWHERE in the scripture is there support for forcefully taking the money from some to give it to the poor.”

    And then you wrote:

    “Absolutely right. Again, that’s Glenn Beck’s definition you’re quoting (compare above), and as you say, there’s no scripture that teaches that at all. Glenn Beck doesn’t know what he’s talking about: with neither the honesty to admit his ignorance, nor the commonsense to not pontificate on things he’s ignorant of.”

    I do not understand. First you said “absolutely right” as though you agreed, then you went on to say it was wrong and Beck is ignorant. First, I am not “ignorant” about the Bible. I graduated from a Bible college, having majored in the Bible and minored in koine Greek. [Before I learned how strong my sin nature was I had designs on being a pastor, or a bible college professor.] I AM THE ONE SAYING Beck is correct.

    So your argument is not with whatever he thinks, but with what I think. Besides, you are miscontruing what he is saying: He is saying they are liberals and commies who are dressing themselves up as concerned Christians, and using the bible versus as cover to sway the hearts and minds of good people (such as you) who get duped into following them because they sound like they only want what is best for this country.

    I’m not this self-professed know-it-all about the Bible. But I am not afraid to discuss it, to read what it says, and to try to understand it. So if you have specific versus that you believe back up your point of view, by all means share them. I will keep an open mind and listen to reason. But I won’t be swayed by generalities, and vague references to alleged versus, somewhere unknown within the bible, that supposedly support this or that point of view.

    Too long, shoulda just said, go ahead, quote the versus or cite to them. Let’s see if they REALLY support this social justice, whatever that is.

    John

  11. Hi, JD:

    Lots (as usual) of good points.

    Yeah, Beck twists the whole thing, making it hard to straighten out. Try this.

    What Beck does is equivalent to someone saying that being a “good Samaritan” is illegitimate when the phrase is used to mean…HIS definition…”kicking the shit out of any wounded foreigner you find lying on the street.” Then he warns people to “Run !! from any church that teaches you should be a good Samaritan !!”

    In that circumstance, I’d absolutely agree when you objected that scripture NOWHERE says “being a good Samaritan” means kicking the shit out of foreigners.

    Meanwhile, the guy has deviously hi-jacked a core Christian idea, and muddied biblical clarity of its definition. He’s injected his personal bias, by disavowing a counter-definition he’s constructed, as though it were of equal value.

    Beck makes no reference to the biblical defintion of the Christian idea of “social justice.” That too is devious: how can you define…or even perceive…what ILLEGITIMATE “social justice” is, absent the standard of what real social justice is ?

    Not saying either that Beck is WRONG because he’s a Mormon. But being a Mormon certainly means he’s coming from ideas other than Christian ones of what “scripture” is, and what “the Church” is. It’s an additional reason Beck has no standing to pontificate about Christianity and what Christian churches should teach.

    Hopw that’s a bit clearer.

    Best, Steve

  12. Steve, forgive me, but that last comment made NO sense to me. I think you were saying that Beck constructed something totally different from what the Bible teaches about social justice, and then attacks that fake definition.

    I assume you are making up the example: “kicking the shit out of any wounded foreigner you find lying on the street.” He would never say that, imho, unless he was making a point, or showing what not to do, or it was out of context.

    You are still not defining your terms. Since the Bible never uses the phrase “social justice” we are still discussing something about which I have no clue what you mean by it. Define your terms.

    Be more specific. If you want to discuss a specific issue, what is the issue. I can’t say whether Beck, or anybody else, is right or wrong unless I know what the issue is. After days of discussion I still do not know one specific issue where you disagree with him. The gist of what I’ve learned is that you think that the Bible teaches “social justice” (whatever that means) and that Beck is wrong when he tells Christians to run from churchs that believe in “social justice.” It’s frustrating not knowing what the heck you mean by “social justice.”

    Do you mean taxing the rich and giving to the poor? Do you mean allowing all illegal aliens to enter and stay in the country? Do you mean nationalizing every big business?

  13. Hi, JD:

    Quick and rough definition: “social justice” means acting toward other people justly/righteously. Not an idiosyncratic definition, I hope: more or less what we understand those words to mean in normative English…?

    Yes, Beck constructs a false definition, which he then attacks as a “straw man.” With that, I’d say “good-bye, Glenn:” he’s clueless, and deliberately misleading, as regards a true definition.

    The question what “justice” or “righteousness” mean as regards our actions toward other people requires the biblical definition. Short Christian definition: Jesus’ “love your neighbor the same way you love yourself.” (When His questioner asked “who’s my neighbor ?,” He told him the parable of the good Samaritan: so it has equal authority in this connection, as illustration.)

    You’re right: that’s where I need to let the Bible do the further talking. LOL. I’ll try to keep the selections short, maybe do them in categories one at a time (“toward aliens,” “toward the poor,” “toward workers,” or something).

    Meanwhile, will look forward to hearing your thoughts, as always.

    Best, Steve

  14. Steve,

    You admitted that you have never listened to Glen Beck, so I’m wondering why you keep slandering him? Listen to him, then let’s talk about what a bad guy he is…

    Ummm, tell me again how “loving your neighbor” includes making him pay for everybody else’s free lunch? Let’s make this personal. How about if I brought the law over to YOUR house and started taking your stuff? There are “poor people” out there who really need it! And you have soooo much stuff, anyway. And if you don’t like it, the law will put you in jail. And if you don’t give as much as is demanded, your house and land and your belongings can be sold to get the money. Don’t blame us, we are just looking out for “social justice!” It’s for the poor! So we must be doing the right thing. Right?

    This is really a crucial point. If you miss this, you are doomed to wallow in the mushy limp brained pig sty that constitutes liberal thinking. The Good Samaratan didn’t work for the government. His money that he paid to care for the dude didn’t come from tax dollars. He was a private citizen, giving his own money. And he did it voluntarily.

    The Bible does not justify taking from the rich and giving to the poor. PERIOD. The Bible speaks to the hearts of individuals. You and I are on the same team, with the same goals. It’s the means that we disagree over. I want people to voluntarily help the poor. You want to use the power of the state to force people to help the poor. I’ll oppose the latter until my dying day.

    The fact that liberals have “good intentions” when they steal from those who have to give to those in need does not transform the nature of the transaction. It is still theft.

  15. Hi, JD:

    Beck’s clueless what “social justice” IS. He presumes to define what it ISN’T…but you only get a true “isn’t” if you start from a true “is.” Since we’re talking about what “social justice” IS, I’d say Beck’s irrelevant.

    Are we agreed too that the term “social justice”…as words having inherent and generally-recognized MEANING in normative English discourse…denote something like “acting toward other people justly/righteously” ?

    “You and I are on the same team, with the same goals.”

    True, both as to recognizing the Bible’s authority for defining “social justice,” and wanting this country’s well-being.

    I’m not sure that we necessarily disagree about means, either: at least I’d agree that helping the poor must be voluntary. That’s solidly scriptural.

    The “power of the state” forcing people to help the poor I consider Beck’s red herring characterization. (Understanding it’s your view too, independent of Beck.) I’m not convinced that view has any reality or relevance. That’s probably the point of disagreement. I’ll be interested to see what we develop here as we talk.

    Best, Steve

  16. Duet. 15-11 says;
    “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’

    Matthew 26-11;

    “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

    Mark 14-7;

    For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always

    Proverbs 28-19
    Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

    All these verses say that we should help the poor if we can. They also say if you’re a worthless, lazy do-nothing, that you will not receive anything.

    The first verse, Dueteronomy, also says that we will ALWAYS have the poor with us.

    I put “Social Justice in the Bible” into Google and this is what it came up with. Of course, further down the page, there was a link to Glen Beck and also a link to that Jim Wallis.

    There are all kinds of verses on Justice and “doing what is right”, but they are all voluntary, it seems to me. We do have a covenant with God to do what is right and good. Sad to say, not all of us fullfill our end of the contract with God. Be that as it may, nowhere does it say to take from the rich and give to the poor. God would LIKE you to give to the widow and the orphan and help the needy, but there is NO passage where it says we have to support the able-bodied. It also says we should treat foreigners with respect, but nowhere does it say we have to suborn our own culture to appease these people. It seems to me these foreigners could have some respect when they “visit” our country. After all, when we go to their countries, we HAVE to obey their laws.

    What it boils down to is the government wants to dictate what we give and how much we should give. That is wrong no matter if it’s Glen Beck saying it or the Reverend Billy Graham saying it.

    There seems to be a plethora of preachers preaching the redistribution of wealth through gov. control. That is socialist thinking, not Biblical thinking.

  17. I think MrG has it exactly right. I STILL don’t get the hostility that Steve has for Beck.

    To me Beck seems like a really nice guy, and I can’t think of anything right now that I disagree upon with him. Yes, he sometimes says dumb things, and is not a real deep thinker, he’s overly emotional, but he is fearless when it comes to saying things that need to be said.

    Steve, Beck believes most of what you believe. He just hates the socialists who are infesting our country and trying to destroy it. Instead of aiming your misdirected ire at him, you ought to join him and forget the lies that the Mainstream Media say about him.

  18. Hi, JD:

    You don’t have to persuade me on the biblical aspects of how we treat the poor (or that we’ll always have the poor with us, or that “he who will not work, neither shall he eat”). I’ll also agree again that the Bible NOWHERE teaches compulsory (by government or otherwise) giving to the poor.

    What I’m unpersuaded of is that “preaching the redistribution of wealth through gov. control” has much objective reality. I don’t doubt somebody somewhere teaches that: I doubt there are a plethora of them. Whatever the numbers, we’re agreed the Bible nowhere teaches that. It’s an aberrant doctrine. People following aberrant doctrines are by definition a fringe group.

    Attacking a group because of what a disavowed fringe group teaches is dishonest, don’t you think ? But attacking a core teaching of the group on the basis of a fringe group’s corruption of that teaching goes beyond dishonest.

    When such an attack must insist on (and has validity for) ONLY the corrupted version of the idea it’s attacking (“social justice,” in this case: but “liberal” is the prime example), its purposes are manifestly manipulative. That, fed through its standard attitudes (factionalism and conspiracy-mindedness), is pretty much the “conservative” stance here, I’d say.

    Treating other people right (again, that’s roughly what the words “social justice” MEAN in normative English usage, right ?) is a core biblical teaching. “Redistribution of wealth through gov. control” is NOT what the Bible means by “social justice,” and NOT what the English language means by those words. I take it we’re agreed that far, right ?

    The question is why “conservatives” mean by that by “social justice;” and why they must insist everyone else use their idiosyncratic definition ?
    I’m fully persuaded the Bible means what it says: I’m fully persuaded English words mean what they say. I’m just not persuaded “conservatives’ ” definitions are either straight, honest or well-intentioned.

    Best, Steve

    • You do a good job getting your point across Steve. Thanks for sticking with us.

      Just because someone identifies themselves as a Conservative, doesn’t mean they’re “birther’s” or conspiracy theorists. And Conservatives don’t take everything Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity says as the complete “gospel”. Conservatives may watch or listen to the content put out by these gentlemen, but a discerning Conservative gleans the good stuff from what they say and discards the rest. Hell, even Lou Dobbs comes up with a kernal of “truth” every once in a while and believe me, I only listen to Dobbs by accident. He’s a nut!😉

      I think you agree with us on principle, but you don’t particularily like some of our “messengers”. All these “conservative” radio hosts and tv hosts are doing is bringing a different message than the MSM, who it seems, are asleep at the wheel. The MSM panders to the administration and completely overlooks all the unseemly behavior coming out of this President and Democratically controled house and Senate.

      We don’t like what this administration is doing and trying to do. I had heard Ron Paul in an interview say that; “Obama wasn’t a Socialist, but a Corporatist.”

      “{However fascism’s corporatism was a top-down model of state control over the economy while the Roman Catholic Church’s corporatism favoured a bottom-up corporatism, whereby groups such as families and professional groups would voluntarily work together.”

      Two different views of “Corporatism”. The Current administration is practising the “top down” model of state control over the economy as seen by the “bailouts” of the banks, Wall Street and the auto companies. This administration has “taken over” the health care industry in this country trying to emulate the Europeans and Canadiens even though it’s been proven that those systems lead to rationing and long waits for care. These policies hurt the middle class and the poor.

      This administration is pushing more financial “reform”, but it’s not going to hurt the big banks or Wall Street. It’s going to hurt the middle class and the poor.

      This administration is trying to push the jobs killer, Cap and Trade, again, hurting the middle class and the poor. People like Al Gore, George Soros and others of their ilk are going to very very rich if this gets passed. I believe even our President has some stock in one of these carbon trading companies. ( just because a person’s stock is put into a trust, doesn’t mean it can’t still make money from dividends and stock splits. Lawyer?)

      I think Obama has taken parts of Corporatism, Socialism, and yes, communism, and tried to meld the “good” points from each into a new kind of political theory. So far, it aint working. Unfortunately, each of these forms of political theory don’t take into account Man’s desire for power over another.

      The founders knew this. That is why they gave us the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They, the founders, delineated what the Federal government could not do. They gave all of the rights to the people and to the individual states. Over the last century, the government during times of crisis, has usurped power from that which was given to the states. The federal government extorted more power from the states by withholding Federal funds until they “toe the line”.

      What we know as “Social Justice” and the normative English translation of “Social Justice” and what Progressives mean as “Social Justice” are two completely different animals.

      There may not be a plethora of preachers, but the ones you hear about, seem to have the loudest voices and the MSM glorifies them. I’m talking about the Reverends Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Jermiah Wright, plus all the people who listened to the poison preached by these ” Men of God”, and are continuing to teach hate to the next generation.

      I’ve already stated my position on immigration in a previous post. It boils down to lawful behavior.This administration is using the age old classic political ploy of class and ethnic warfare. It used to be the whites against the blacks and the rich against the poor. Now it’s the rest of the country against the illegal immigrant, whereby if we want them to obey our laws and have respect for our way of life, we’re racist. In a microcosim of this class warfare, we’re also pitting the homosexuals against heteorsexuals.

      What we have in the White House and House of Representatives right now is a “perfect storm” of radical political thinking that has a good chance of destroying the America We once knew.

  19. P.S. (LOL) That’s why I wouldn’t “join” people like that (even the ones who don’t presume to usurp God’s authority over the Church). My question is why you guys identify with transparent deceptions like theirs ?

    Best, Steve

  20. Hi, Dave:

    Good post, and good points: thinking on several of those. (Slowly: I’m STILL musing on your “positive beliefs of conservatives” post…but some of those seem to tie in here as well: maybe a twofer soon ?)

    Quick thought on one point however:

    “This administration is using the age old classic political ploy of class and ethnic warfare. It used to be the whites against the blacks and the rich against the poor. Now it’s the rest of the country against the illegal immigrant, whereby if we want them to obey our laws and have respect for our way of life, we’re racist. In a microcosim of this class warfare, we’re also pitting the homosexuals against heteorsexuals.”

    You put your finger on what I call “factionalism”…the operative idea that “it’s us against them.” To your characterization of that mindset as “poison:” AMEN !!

    I think we’d agree that unified nations are strong…and divided nations are weak. Those who promote factionalism do this country profound harm. The national motto states the positive ideal: “E Pluribus Unum:” (Red Green has a good rough translation: “we’re all in this together.”)

    I find it false to operate entirely from an either/or mindset: the reality of human opinions, especially, NEVER fits that schema. But some matters (I’d say, particularly, MORAL matters) are absolutely two-sided. In those we choose to operate from a GOOD version of that mindset or a bad one. Viewing things in terms of the benefit or harm they do the country is an entirely valid either/or mindset, because its criteria is the common good. Factionalism is a bad one: its criteria is self-interest, AGAINST the common good.

    I’d disagree with you that factionalim is the administration’s ploy. It’s been “conservative” politicians’ central strategy for 30 years or more to get voters to view “liberals” as bad. The target is not “liberalism,” a political philosophy whose ideas can be evaluated and critiqued: but “liberals,” people who are (by “conservatives’ “ definition) BAD, and should be hated and feared.

    It was, and is, a cynical manipulative ploy: selling voters a factional mindset, for the politicians’ own purposes. We were used to being AGAINST, and hating and fearing, Communists (who at least actually intended America harm: though some politicians used even that real threat to their own purposes). Robbed of that long-time bugaboo, unprincipled politicians substituted “liberals:” you could watch it happen in front of our eyes in the ’80s.

    (And if “liberal” doesn’t mean one who believes in the principles of “liberalsm,” how do you know who’s a “liberal” ? Simple: it’s anyone who “conservatives” SAY is a “liberal.” LOL. A perfectly closed, self-referential, system of factionalism…and entirely of “conservatives’” making.)

    “Conservative” politicians made their factional interests more than political: they made it the criteria for truth itself. Any organ of society whose job is to tell the truth: journalism, the Church, science, education: is measured by “conservatives” on how much it reflects their factional interests. That’s always a recipe for perverting truth. And the idea that ANY political view measures truth, instead of the other way around, is morally corrupt.

    Beyond that, “conservatism” promotes other deeply harmful factionalisms: that government is the enemy of the people (so WHY do “conservative” politicians want to be part of government…?), “states’ rights,” etc.

    I’d consider that the “perfect storm” of false political thinking destructive to America is divisiveness: which is a central characteristic of “conservatism” more than any other faction. In the end, “conservatives” purpose is manifestly the self-interests of their faction, and not the common good.

    Best, Steve

    • Hi Steve,… Dave’s not here.

      I like the Red Green show too. One of the few shows on PBS I liked.

      It’s never been a ploy of Conservatives to view Liberals personally as bad. I have Liberal friends as I’m sure you do. Conservatives just don’t like some of the Liberal agenda. The really big differences between true Liberals and true Conservatives are things like abortion and Gay rights as pertains to marriage. They have some minor differences on government also.

      And to be honest, what we have is not a Liberal administration, but a Progressive one. There’s a big difference. Liberals have an interest in smaller government like Conservatives, just differences in opinion on how it should be done.
      Progressives on the other hand, think that if there is a problem, another government agency will solve it. ( Like throwing good money after bad.)

      Factionalism IS this administration’s ploy. THE biggest problem right now, amongst the other big problems we have, is illegal immigration. The people like Reverend Al Sharpton and others who supposedly were representing Black folks and leveling the playing field, instead found out that they could line their pockets while promising their Black brothers and sisters a brighter future. How well is that working out for them? In most cases, not too good. Now, Sharpton has thrown his Black brothers and sisters under the bus. He’s found a new gig. Sharpton and others are now fomenting more unrest amongst the illegal immigrant population. Think about it. Black folks are finally waking up and seeing what kind of life these charlatans have bought for them and it hasn’t been pretty. We now have what, 30 million?, potential new voters out there. This Progressive administration sees the writing on the wall. They’re losing their voting block and they need to come up with another plan. It’s called amnesty for illegal immigrants. Voila!…30 million new voters, hopefully voting the Progressive agenda.

      No Steve, I don’t hate Liberals and most Conservatives I know don’t hate Liberals, we just have a difference of opinion.😉

      Good Conservatives believe, as our founding fathers did, that smaller government is good and that the states and the people had inherent rights that the federal government shouldn’t have. Our founding fathers also knew that people weren’t supposed to make a career out of politics. There are a few Conservatives and yes, a few Liberals out there who still believe that. I think eight years in Congress and twelve years in the Senate are long enough. If you can’t help your constituents, state and country in that amount of time, you’re just in it for the money and position.

      By the by, we also need to limit the benefits these politicians have voted for themselves. A lifetime of benefits for a few years of government service? If only we had those kind of benefits, eh? http://www.fa-ir.org/alabama/corrupt/Congressional%20Retirement%20Benefits.htm

      Best, Mike

  21. Hi, Mike:

  22. So Steve, did you read the article “Rep. Weiner is an un-American POS?” Sorry for the offensive title. Basically, Weiner is attacking a company because they sponsor conservative talk-radio programs. You don’t have to be a conservative to hate such behavior. You just have to be an American.

    • Hi, JD:

      Glanced at it, but haven’t read it entirely yet.

      THAT’S YOUR FAULT !! A person gets into some good discussions here, and can’t keep up on all the NEW posts when following an older one. LOL

      But hope to get to the Rep. Weiner post soon.

      Meanwhile, hope the week’s off to a good start for you. (Any chance court may be cancelled 2 weeks in a row ? LOL.)

      Best, Steve

  23. Hi, Mike:

    Entirely agree conservatives don’t hate liberals: and that we recognize our differences with them as a normative part of the debate towards a common goal; doing what’s best for this country.

    That debate is currently dominated by “conservatives,” whose contribution is primarily attitude, lies and decibels. It’s that faction: with its emphasis on personalities (knee-jerk Obama-bashing), partisanship (“it’s us against them”), demonization (all things “liberal” are evil and must be destroyed), conspiracy-thinking (socialists/Trilateralists/U.N./Rotary Club/(whoever) are trying to take away our rights): that crowds conservative ideas out of the public debate, making conservatism look like nothing but mindless demagoguery.

    Don’t buy your analysis of immigration. It’s one place factionalism is being used, for sure: “us against them.” So who manipulates immigration into an “us vs. immigrants” pattern ? That’s generally a tactic of “conservatives,” rather than the administration, don’t you think ?

    (As to the actuality of the immigration problem, I think commonsense is basically as you say: we have laws dealing with that process, and the laws should be enforced. If the laws are not adequate, they should nonetheless be enforced until they are changed. The only real issue is whether the laws should be changed; and if so, in what ways.

    For that debate, “conservatives’ ” fabrications intended to stir up anger and fear are a red herring: worse, cynical manipulation; worst of all, detrimental to making a decision that’s good for the country.)

    Not sure I buy your definition of “progressive” either. We had a self-declared “progressive” president, Teddy Roosevelt. He’d probably fit your definition: he created government agencies that (among other things) regulated the purity of food-processing, created and ran national parks, cracked down on “malefactors of great wealth,” etc. I doubt you’d consider those harmed the nation; rather, did America good in myriad ways ?

    Not saying Obama is any Teddy Roosevelt. If I characterized Obama in any way, to this point, I’d term him a pragmatist: trying to find what will work. And I don’t think there’s evidence (contrary “conservatives”) that his intent toward the country is evil. (Doesn’t mean his UNDERSTANDING of what will do it good, or his EXECUTION thereof, is right…just that his intent is honest.)

    But whether Obama’s “progressive” or not is beside the point. I’d question your definition in this wise: don’t you consider there are absolutely place and times when government regulation is what government SHOULD do for the country’s good ? That it’s not a question of accepting or rejecting “regulation” wholesale, but of using it wisely ? (We all expect that government will regulate the individual’s right to commit crime, for example.)

    What’s your thinking there ?

    Best, Steve

    • Steve; That debate is currently dominated by “conservatives,” whose contribution is primarily attitude, lies and decibels.

      Kind of hard to hear what Conservatives have to say when all you see in the Media is another press release by Obama or another person in his administration. The only “conservatives I see in the news that are as you say, loud and lying, are the RINO’s who are afraid of losing their gravy train as well they should.

      Steve; Don’t buy your analysis of immigration. It’s one place factionalism is being used, for sure: “us against them.” So who manipulates immigration into an “us vs. immigrants” pattern ? That’s generally a tactic of “conservatives,” rather than the administration, don’t you think ?

      No, I don’t think so. All Conservatives want is for the laws on immigration to be obeyed and enforced. The administration is over-hyping the Arizona Immigration Reform law, which as you know, is just about verbatim from the federal law which has been the law of the land for several decades. This administration also allowed a third rate tinpot leader from south of the border to come into OUR House and slam our immigration laws. You know as well as I do that we, the United states of America, has the most lenient immigration laws in the world. This administration sent the Reverend Al Sharpton out to foment unrest amongst the illegal immigration population.

      Steve; Not sure I buy your definition of “progressive” either. We had a self-declared “progressive” president, Teddy Roosevelt. He’d probably fit your definition: he created government agencies that (among other things) regulated the purity of food-processing, created and ran national parks, cracked down on “malefactors of great wealth,” etc. I doubt you’d consider those harmed the nation; rather, did America good in myriad ways ?

      Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.😉 Teddy Roosevelt had a few progressive tendencies, but he was still by and large, a conservative at heart. He was the one who said;” Speak softly, but carry a big stick”, unlike our current president who speaks loudly and bows to foreign leaders and espouses a universal government.

      Bill Clinton was a pragmatist…Ronald Reagan was a pragmatist…Barack Obama IS NO pragmatist. He’s a “my way or the highway” president. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word compromise.

      That’s my thinking.

      Regards, Mike

      • Hi, Mike:

        “…all you see in the Media is another press release by Obama or another person in his administration. The only conservatives I see in the news that are as you say, loud and lying, are the RINO’s who are afraid of losing their gravy train as well they should.”

        If you live in a world with no Limbaugh, Fox News, O’Reilly, Beck, etc., etc., I envy you. As I mentioned in another post, News Corp’s deliberately “conservative” skew of the news (and its “commentators”) reach 96% of Americans. I don’t see how you could have missed that: much less the congressional “conservatives” (for example) that honest media include in every story because their job is to give both sides a chance to have their say.

        “All Conservatives want is for the laws on immigration to be obeyed and enforced.”

        I’d buy that; and not “conservatives” only.

        “This administration sent the Reverend Al Sharpton out to foment unrest amongst the illegal immigration population.”

        I don’t buy that. Illegal immigrants have been capable of perceiving their own gripes with the immigration system (whether or not their perceptions are legitimate) without having to be stirred up.

        “Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.” LOL (In this neck of the woods, we say “a blind pig” and “an acorn.” Just curious: where does the “squirrel” version come from ?)

        “Teddy Roosevelt had a few progressive tendencies, but he was still by and large, a conservative at heart.”

        Political identities have an extremely short shelf-life (probably from politicians’ continual moving the line to keep themselves where the votes are): but I’d agree TR had some beliefs we’d consider conservative in today’s terms.

        But his dedication to conservation (same root as “conservative”) wouldn’t be. In that regard, I’d hold current “conservatives’ ” ideas (“Drill, Baby, Drill;” and Reagan’s PARAPHRASED “You see one Redwood, you’ve seen ’em all”) are the aberration (rather, perversion), and not Roosevelt’s ideas.

        Roosevelt was also a firm believer in the muscular power of the federal government to take a direct hand in correcting what was wrong: again, regulation of food-processing, and his “trust-busting” are examples: moreso than any President before him. In that no current “conservative” would claim him.

        A better measure is simply that Roosevelt did a lot of things that contributed to America’s strength, and its citizens’ well-being. I think that’s still the appropriate measure for a President.

        Best, Steve

        • If you live in a world with no Limbaugh, Fox News, O’Reilly, Beck, etc., etc., I envy you. As I mentioned in another post, News Corp’s deliberately “conservative” skew of the news (and its “commentators”) reach 96% of Americans. I don’t see how you could have missed that: much less the congressional “conservatives” (for example) that honest media include in every story because their job is to give both sides a chance to have their say.

          O’Rielly is a pompous ass and I haven’t listened to or watched Beck in I don’t know how long. Limbaugh, every once in a while, I might catch a few minutes on talk radio waiting for the next news show.

          And I couldn’t agree or disagree with you as pertains to the MSM because I don’t watch them either.

  24. Lipton T. Bagg

    Steve:

    A more thoughtful post to come as time permits, but a question regarding you last post:

    “..If I characterized Obama in any way, to this point, I’d term him a pragmatist: trying to find what will work. And I don’t think there’s evidence (contrary “conservatives”) that his intent toward the country is evil. (Doesn’t mean his UNDERSTANDING of what will do it good, or his EXECUTION thereof, is right…just that his intent is honest.)…”

    I disagree. Strongly.

    Let me preface by saying that governing a nation is not analogous to a high-school dating experience. You know, the time when you copped a feel of a set of breasts that didn’t belong to your girlfriend, and she was supposed to understand?

    There is far too much empirical evidence that Obama is doing what HE wants for the country – with total regard for the consequences. He is governing as a spoiled child who wants what he wants, and he wants it now. If he doesn’t get it, he will force his will upon you. And I’m sorry to say that is NOT an honest effort to do what’s right. It’s the notion of a narcissist.

    The heath care passage is a great point. Without debating the merits for or against; the fact that legislation of this magnitude was forced with no support from the opposite side of the aisle – AND against the documented opinion of the societal majority is evidence of this. A truly pragmatic leader would have taken more pause to understand and acknowledge the concerns of the people – and of his opposition.

    Obama’s pronouncement of satisfaction with being a one-term president – as long as his will is enacted – also signals his motivation to be internal, and hardly benevolent.

    Sometimes, your political opposite is right. Or at least partially right. Failing to acknowledge that in something as epic as health care epic is tragic. And while I certainly understand there is political grandstanding present in the debate, there are also genuine fears not addressed.

    I do not dislike Mr. Obama as a person as much as I abhor his beliefs. Such is true of many Progressives/Liberals as well. However as I visualize the road Obama leads America down, I don’t see the road Pragmatic – I see something far worse.

    One man’s opinion – YMMV
    -LTB

  25. Lipton T. Bagg

    Bill Clinton was a pragmatist. When Congress was bitch-slapped in 1994, Clinton turned from quasi-activist to Centrist and achieved what were arguably his best years leading the country.

    Now what I want to see is if Mr. Obama has the same chops. If I were a betting man, I know what color I’d place my money on. And oh, BTW, for the sake of America I’d be glad to lose that bet.

    -LTB

  26. Hi, LTB:

    You’re right: the healthcare debate is an excellent example of what Obama’s doing and what “conservatives” are doing.

    “There is far too much empirical evidence that Obama is doing what HE wants for the country – with total regard for the consequences.” (I’m presuming “total disregard.”)

    No, the empirical evidence shows the constitutional check on presidential power, Congress, was operating: operating in its most illegitimate way (see below), but certainly operating.

    “…the fact that [healthcare] legislation of this magnitude was forced with no support from the opposite side of the aisle – AND against the documented opinion of the societal majority is evidence of this.”

    Most people recognized healthcare was a mess and needed to be addressed. Gallup poll of November 2008: 73% considered it either “in crisis” (14%) or a “serious problem” (59%). (“Minor problem,” 26%; “no problem,” 1%.) The day after the healthcare-reform bill passed, 49% rated the final bill a “good thing,” 40% a “bad thing.” (Gallup poll, 23 March 2010). Hardly evidence healthcare reform was legislated against the will of the people.

    The majority of people saw healthcare as a problem, and wanted something done. That’s Congress’ job. “Conservatives” were invited to dance, but didn’t like the tune (probably fearing that compromise, a normative part of legislative process, would alienate their “base”). They chose to sit out the dance. Quite the opposite of Obama “forcing” his will on the country.

    “Conservatives” only contribution to an important and necessary debate was to poison the well with lies. It was (and is) a deliberate attack on Americans’ ability to know the truth and make a good decision. Not coincidentally, poisoned debate served their partisan purposes. It was more than the normal and incidental lying that can be expected from all politicians. It was deliberate onslaught.

    Examples (rated “false” or “Pants On Fire”… egregiously false… by a fact-checking website, politifact.com), from the Gallup poll of November 2008 until the healthcare bill was signed into law 30 March 2010. (Claims about “the healthcare bill” should be taken to refer to some working version of the legislation.)

    all American healthcare will eventually be run by the government. Sen. Tim Coburn

    Obama’s healthcare plan will deprive 120 million Americans of their current healthcare. Rep. Mike Pence

    Under a public-healthcare option, 120 million Americans will lose their coverage by private companies. Karl Rove

    The healthcare reform bill outlaws private insurance. Investors Business Daily

    Under the healthcare bill, Medicare recipients would be required to receive counseling every 5 years how to end their life. Betsy McCaughey

    Under the healthcare bill, a “Health Choices Commissioner” will decide your coverage; you get no choice. Chain e-mail

    Non-citizens, legal or illegal, will receive free healthcare. Chain e-mail.

    Obama said under the healthcare bill “government will decide” whether you get a pacemaker or just a pain-pill. Rep Dan Lundgren

    The healthcare bill will set limits, and people will be allowed to die if their healthcare costs more than $22,000. Club for Growth

    Under the healthcare bill, there will “likely” be free sex-change operations. J. Matt Barber, Liberty Lobby

    The healthcare bill will establish school-based clinics to indoctrinate children and do abortions. Liberty Counsel

    The healthcare bill will include tax-subsidized abortions. Rep. John Boehner

    The healthcare bill will institute “death panels” to decide if elderly and disabled get medical care. Sarah Palin
    (Voted “Lie of the Year” by the website’s users.)

    An Obama adviser said medical care should only go to the non-disabled. Rep. Michele Bachman

    The healthcare bill’s “end-of-life” provisions for the elderly are not entirely voluntary. Sarah Palin

    At 59, one would not qualify for a hip-replacement in Canada or England. Rep. Roy Blunt

    Government research on the healthcare bill’s effectiveness would be used to ration healthcare. Rep. John Boehner

    The healthcare bill, like VA healthcare, would urge recipients to commit suicide. Michael Steele

    Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisers says 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if healthcare passes. Rep. John Carter

    Obama lies when he says the healthcare bill will not cover illegal aliens. Rep. Joe Wilson (shouted during the State of the Union speech)

    The healthcare bill will make Congress exempt from its provisions. Chain e-mail

    A Democratic version of the healthcare bill will include public funding for elective abortions. National Right To Life Committee

    Forty-five percent of doctors say they’ll quit if the healthcare bill passes. Glenn Beck

    A Democratic version of the healthcare bill will ban the use of guns for “home self-defense.” Gun Owners of America

    The Democrats’ version of the healthcare bill will force Americans off their current coverage. Rep. John Boehner

    The healthcare bill will forbid purchase of private coverage after a certain date. Rep. Michele Bachmann

    The healthcare bill will establish a board of bureaucrats to “dictate the health plans that all individuals must purchase.” House Republican Conference

    The healthcare bill will offer insurance for dogs. Glenn Beck

    A data-storing microchip will be implanted in most people who choose a public healthcare option. Chain e-mail

    The healthcare bill will “raise costs, raise taxes and lower the quality of health care.” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

    The healthcare bill will provide free abotions, and “probably” force medical personnel to perform abortions. Chain e-mail

    The healthcare bill will provide free healthcare for illegal immigrants. Chain e-mail

    The healthcare bill will cause most Americans’ premiums to increase, and make “hundreds of millions” lose their coverage. Nancy Photenhauer

    The Democatic healthcare bill is “government takeover of our health programs.” Rep. C. W. “Bill” Young

    The healthcare bill will not lower the cost of healthcare, or only for “very few” Americans. Rep Michele Bachmann

    The healthcare bill will require every government employee to pay monthly fees to fund abortions. Rep. Bart Stupak

    “If government takes over health care, recommendations [by government panels] like [no mammograms for women over 50] could become the law for all kinds of diseases.” Americans for Prosperity

    The Democratic healthcare bill is “government takeover of nearly 20 percent of our economy.” Republican Party of Florida

    The healthcare bill is the largest tax-increase in U.S. history. Joe Scarborough (former Congressman and talkshow host)

    The healthcare bill “provides full federal funding for abortions.” Rep. John Carter

    A new England Journal of Medicine survey found that over 30% of doctors will quit because of “Obamacare.” Rep. Michele Bachmann

    Holders of student-loans would pay $1700-$1800 more interest because of a surcharge in the healthcare bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham

    (I’ve left out inferential attacks which didn’t specifically make claims about the healthcare legislation. Limbaugh for example opined that “…circumcision…is a family’s decision. Leave our penises alone, too, Obama!”, without directly claiming the healthcare bill would mandate circumcision.)

    With the flood of lies, it seems certain that some of the 40% of Americans who thought the final healthcare legislation was “a bad thing” thought so on the basis of a false idea what the bill actually said, don’t you imagine ?

    Best, Steve

  27. Here’s my paraphrase of the usual format that Steve’s comments contain: 1. Says something nice. 2 Then jabs conservatives and says in his own nice way what shitheads they are on whatever topic is being discussed. 3. Then signs off, Best, Steve.

    Sorry, Steve, I think you are a nice guy, but that’s still a knife you routinely stick in our gizzards. Smiling while you do it does not ease the pain.

    Ignoring facts to suit your argument doesn’t work at this blog. A latest poll shows 67% favor repealing the health care bill.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/04/14/repeal-public-option/

    That is a progressive blog that I linked to. Sure, they argue that the public wants an even more liberal bill. But when 67% oppose ANY legislation, that is some serious disregard for the will of the people going on.

    Best, John

    • Hi, JD:

      LOL. As far as there’s a usual format, I’d say my considerations are:

      I have no personal animosity toward anybody here. Personal attacks are an illegitimate form of discourse, at any rate. And (the over-all topic is, after all, “social justice”) that’s simply not the right way to treat people…the governing consideration. No intention to be nice as a means of getting close enough to slip in the knife.

      The knife is (I hope) always for lies, bad logic, partisanship, conspiracy-thinking, etc.: none of which, I think, anyone here would champion as GOOD ways of carrying on the discussion; and all of which corrupt sound thinking, and the ability to make good decisions. The latter I take as our common purpose, since we have the responsibility (to some extent) of helping shape American government policies.

      Unquestionably I consider those manipulative tactics characteristic of current “conservatism,” to the extent that worthwhile conservative viewpoints are drowned out, and the promotion of the country’s “general Welfare” is sacrificed to factional self-interest. (But “promote the general Welfare” sounds kinda “socialist” anyway, doesn’t it ?)

      Don’t have any problems with the poll you cite above. You seem to consider it provides worthwhile information: and is honest and unbiased to the extent human productions can be. I’d tend to agree. (At least I’m not aware anybody thinks University of Indiana researchers are promoting a “conservative” or “liberal” agenda.)

      Two considerations on my end. Polls’ numbers will always vary (honest polls indeed note their own margin of error). Gallup is a standard, well-established, poll: but I wouldn’t consider it’s the only honest one, or that it’s numbers are absolute.

      “Bottom Line” of the Indiana poll was interesting: “It may be that the repeal question is more of a surrogate for whether people support the platform of the Republican party, rather than it being indicative of how they want Congress to devote its time.” Hope that’s not the case: would hope the healthcare debate is more about doing something about healthcare, than just more politics.

      Do you see some validity to that “bottom line” ?

      Best, Steve

      • Steve, I did not express myself well; let me try again. And thanks for not taking offense. You are always polite to all here, and I applaud that. But you do attack other faceless, nameless conservatives who believe much the same as we do. And you attack other named individuals, such as Beck and Limbaugh, who believe much the same as we (or at least as I) do. So when you attack them, you attack my beliefs as well. Perhaps I am overly sensitive, but I do (and always have) taken offense when anybody attacks others who believe the same as I do.

        Perhaps it would be better if we stuck to issues instead of attacking other personalities who are not here to defend themselves, especially when such attacks or criticism will not further the conversation.

        As to your remark about the “General Welfare Clause” in the Constitution, you probably mean well, but again you are just wrong about it.

        The “general welfare” had a different meaning from “welfare” as we know it today. General welfare meant roads, bridges, dams, general defense, etc. that helped everyone. Giving a particular widow other peoples’ money is not in furtherance of the “general welfare” but rather only specifically furthers that particular widow’s welfare.

        Also, if you note the exact wording in the Constitution, it does not talk of welfare of the people but of the states. … “general Welfare of the United States.”

        This country was instituted as having a Federal LIMITED Government. Each state was meant to be free to do what it wanted. I have no problem with much of what is done by the Federal Government today if what was being done by it was being done by each state or any individual state. I have no problem if the citizens of a state want to have socialized medicine, or welfare or food stamps or whatever. I do have a major problem if the federal government tries to force my state to do something that it does not want to do.

        If you expand the meaning of “general welfare” as far as you want it to expand, there is virtually no limit to the power of the Federal Government. That SOUNDS wonderful, so long as your particular pet policies are enacted. But it won’t sound so wonderful when policies which you dislike and in fact violently disapprove of are jammed down your throat because people in other states wanted it but yours did not.

        If Virginia enacts a law of which I disapprove, it is easier for me to influence the voters and legislators to repeal the law. I have no chance, however, to influence those in other states.

        The Federal legislators who enacted “welfare” were aware of these problems, and it was no accident that they called their new (unconstitutional) misguided power grab “welfare.” They also knew that many kind-hearted souls would be duped into supporting “welfare” because it sounds so nice and good.

        Here is a good article on the dangers of allowing our Constitution to be amended by merely changing the meaning of certain words and phrases.

        http://constitutionalawareness.org/genwelf.html

        This is not some arcane historical dispute that means nothing to us in modern society. THIS IS THE REASON we are where we are today–deep in debt with the federal government involved in most areas of our lives. We allowed those dirty bastards to usurp power that was never granted them in the Constitution. Feds dole our Other Peoples’ Money to fix every problem. Those receiving it don’t complain, because it is OPM. Those paying can’t complain, because the laws were passed by people with whom they do not have a vote.

        • Hi, JD:

          Well, I probably didn’t express myself well either. I understand “promote the general Welfare” in the broader terms you do: which I think was the founders’ intended meaning.

          “…you attack other named individuals, such as Beck and Limbaugh, who believe much the same as we (or at least as I) do. So when you attack them, you attack my beliefs as well. Perhaps I am overly sensitive, but I do (and always have) taken offense when anybody attacks others who believe the same as I do.”

          Beck and Limbaugh (Obama, Palin, Pelosi, et al) are fair targets in that they are (by their own choice) public figures. But unless one of them makes himSELF the issue (and they are first and foremost SELF-promoters), sniping at them is pretty pointless: personal sniping, totally pointless (“Beck has a big nose”).

          It’s their beliefs I think deserve to be attacked. Bad and harmful ideas SHOULD be attacked: and public figures who promote those ideas (“poisoning the well,” etc.) have it coming.

          But all of us (you, I, Mike, LTB, et al) are accountable for what we ourselves believe. You’re absolutely right that I intend to “attack [your] beliefs,” where I consider those beliefs false. I’d expect likewise. Good level of back-and-forth here, which is probably beneficial both ways: but definitely about the beliefs rather than anything personal.

          Best, Steve

  28. Lipton T. Bagg

    Steve:

    You are unfathomably dense if you believe half what you wrote. So, allow me to take a moment to Fisk the diatribe you left above.

    (Steve) “Hardly evidence healthcare reform was legislated against the will of the people.”
    In fact, a March 18, 2010 Rasmussen Poll shows support for the health care reform bill at its highest level since mid-November. 45% now favor the bill’s passage while 52% now oppose it.” That’s 52% AGAINST IT – AT THE PEAK OF ITS SUPPORT! That is against the will of the people, Steve.

    (Steve) “The majority of people saw healthcare as a problem…”
    Many Americans agree (as I do) that parts of our health care system need repair. These issues are primarily fiscal – cost and availability of coverage, and costs of drugs and medical equipment. Your broad-brush portrayal does nothing but echo Democratic hyperbole – you don’t accurately represent what poll responses represent. And not a single part of your argument successfully supports the necessity for Governmental control of Health Care. In fact, history shows that anytime the tentacles of Government into the private sector; business suffers. Government control of health care will do NOTHING but diminish the quality of care while driving up prices.

    (Steve) “…Conservatives were invited to dance, but didn’t like the tune (probably fearing that compromise, a normative part of legislative process, would alienate their “base”). They chose to sit out the dance. Quite the opposite of Obama “forcing” his will on the country…”
    Steve, nothing could be farther from the truth. Democrats never honestly engage Republican lawmakers, except to offer “Trojan horses” in an attempt to bring them across the aisle. Or bribes (See Cornhusker Kickback, et al.). Republicans were offered no more than token photo ops/booby traps (such as the so-called “summit” in February 2010). Again, you quote Democratic rhetoric, not fact.

    To contrast, when Lyndon Johnson offered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he remained mindful of how Democrat opposition had forced the Republicans to weaken (in GOP eyes) the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. President Johnson warned Democrats in Congress that this time it was all or nothing. To ensure support from Republicans, Johnson promised he would not accept any weakening of the 1964 bill. He also ensured Republicans their contributions in passing the bill would be recognized by his Administration. Johnson played no direct role in the legislative fight, so that it would not be perceived as a partisan struggle. And while there was little doubt the House would pass the legislation (it passed 289 to 126, a vote in which 79% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats voted yes), the Senate was a different matter where more Segregationist sentiment remained. The bill did pass in the Senate, 73 to 27, with 21 Democrats and only 6 Republicans voting no. Mr. Obama showed NO SUCH REGARD for the genuine concerns coming from Republicans. He made it abundantly clear the debate would be “his way or the highway”; and steadfastly kept that position all the way through.

    (Steve): “… a fact-checking website, politifact.com…”
    Are you kidding me? Politifact.com is little more than a talking point site. Let’s look at some of the most recent “promises kept” politifact reports”: Obama has promoted “cultural diplomacy” (#328); Expand small business access to capital (#16); Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk (#182). Hey Steve, why not just tell us you’re a Liberal talking head and be done with it?

    (Steve): “…“Conservatives” only contribution to an important and necessary debate was to poison the well with lies…”
    Steve, many of the quotes you label “lies” above are in fact quite true. Not being supported by Liberals do not make them lies, just (if you’ll pardon the use) “an inconvenient truth”. Among the TRUTHS above:
    Non-citizens, legal or illegal, will receive free healthcare.

    Obama said under the healthcare bill “government will decide” whether you get a pacemaker or just a pain-pill. (See Zeke Emmanuel)

    Under the healthcare bill, there will “likely” be free sex-change operations.

    The healthcare bill will include tax-subsidized abortions.

    The healthcare bill will institute “death panels” to decide if elderly and disabled get medical care. (See Zeke Emmanuel)

    The healthcare bill’s “end-of-life” provisions for the elderly are not entirely voluntary. (See Health care Advisory Panel established by ObamaCare)

    The healthcare bill, like VA healthcare, would urge recipients to commit suicide. (I am a VA patient and can tell you this is absolutely true)

    Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisers says 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if healthcare passes. (If not more)

    Obama lies when he says the healthcare bill will not cover illegal aliens.

    The healthcare bill will make Congress exempt from its provisions.

    A Democratic version of the healthcare bill will include public funding for elective abortions.

    Forty-five percent of doctors say they’ll quit if the healthcare bill passes. (The number is actually closer to 16%)

    The Democrats’ version of the healthcare bill will force Americans off their current coverage.

    The healthcare bill will forbid purchase of private coverage after a certain date. (or pay a fine)

    The healthcare bill will establish a board of bureaucrats to “dictate the health plans that all individuals must purchase.” (or pay a fine)

    The healthcare bill will “raise costs, raise taxes and lower the quality of health care.”

    The healthcare bill will provide free abortions, and “probably” force medical personnel to perform abortions. (or be fired)

    The healthcare bill will provide free healthcare for illegal immigrants.

    The healthcare bill will cause most Americans’ premiums to increase.

    The Democratic healthcare bill is “government takeover of our health programs.”

    The healthcare bill will not lower the cost of healthcare, or only for “very few” Americans.

    The Democratic healthcare bill is “government takeover of nearly 20 percent of our economy.”

    The healthcare bill is the largest tax-increase in U.S. history.

    The healthcare bill “provides full federal funding for abortions.” (as soon as Obama quietly retracts his Executive order during implementation of the “Doctor Fix”)

    More than half of your so-called “lies” are more based in truth than you admit. This is why more than 60% of potential voters recently polled want this bill unwound.

    Might I suggest you opine at mediamatters or moveon.org when you desire edification for Liberal lies?

    Best, LTB

    • Hi, LTB:

      Can’t argue with your perception of the VA healthcare you received: you were there. But are you arguing from your personal experience that VA policy is to urge patients to commit suicide ? That I find unbelievable: and, if true to ANY extent, deserves to be exposed, penalized, and corrected.

      In terms of the healthcare debate, however, Steele’s assertion doesn’t even rise to the level of anecdotal. If arbitrary, authoritarian healthcare is what nobody wants, the worst possible course would be to formulate it according to what an individual or faction SAYS the facts are.

      That’s why the fact-checking sites are necessary. If politifact isn’t to your taste, try factcheck, snopes, truthorfiction, or one of the other honest ones. They’ve all dealt with many of the healthcare assertions.

      To convince me, as you say, that “many of the quotes [I] label ‘lies’ above are in fact quite true” I’d need some evidence. But no fact-check of which I’m aware verifies that the healthcare bill sets up “death panels,” or provides free healthcare for illegal aliens (for two major examples). They show their research on which they judge those to be lies: I’ve looked at their research, and consider they got it right.

      The only possible conclusions are that all fact-checks are secretly pursuing a “liberal” agenda, or that “conservatives” are spreading lies.

      Reality is the huge counter-balance here: lies falsify reality, so reality is their measure. Fact-checking (like journalism) uses that measure to do its job. We use the same measure to evaluate if fact-checks (or journalism) are doing THEIR job honestly. These instances of “conservative” rhetoric against healthcare fail all the way around.

      “…history shows that anytime the tentacles of Government into the private sector; business suffers. ”

      That doesn’t wash AT ALL. Stimulating and promoting American “commerce” has always been a major purpose of government. Tariff provisions, tax-breaks, government contracts, government involvement in banking and monetary policy, all intended to benefit American business, have been with us from early on.

      Many of government’s initiatives for individuals: the Homestead Act, the 8-hour day, the interstate-highway system: were also deemed to have benefits for American commerce. I doubt railroads suffered from free grants of western land for their roadbeds, and adjacent land they could sell to settlers who would use their trains.

      What you’re calling the “tentacles of Government” is Big Business’ characterization of any regulation of its self-interest. If that’s not part of government’s job, whose is it ?

      Again, none of us would argue it’s an illegitimate function of government to restrain crime: businesses, as well as individuals, need that restraint. Making restraint a matter of “big” (or federal) vs. “small” (or state) government just opens the possibility that teenage shoplifters will be prosecuted for what multinationals (on a vastly more destructive scale) can get away with.

      Best, Steve

      • Howdy Steve, you said;

        That doesn’t wash AT ALL. Stimulating and promoting American “commerce” has always been a major purpose of government. Tariff provisions, tax-breaks, government contracts, government involvement in banking and monetary policy, all intended to benefit American business, have been with us from early on. ”

        All the federal government was supposed to do was regulate commerce, meaning make commerce “regular” between all the states. Making commerce “regular” has nothing to do with promoting it. The only purpose of the regulation of commerce was to make it a level playing field for all states.

        Tax breaks…that’s a whole ‘nother kettle o’ fish. That’s akin to blackmail where a manufacturing company comes in and says…”you give me a big tax break for 5 years and I might be interested in building my plant in your town. Basically what they’re doing is through the town or county, getting the tax payers to pay for their land and infrastructure.

        Government involvement in banking and monetary policy…oh jeez!…Alexander Hamilton wanted a central bank. Thomas Jefferson didn’t. Jefferson said that a central bank or banking system would be the ruination of this new republic. Think he might have been right?

        I don’t see how the fed involved in monetary policy is a benefit to the American public or business. I believe the fed is the problem and not the solution. We have a crisis…I know, lets print some more money. Pretty soon what you have is inflation and once it starts it’s hard to stop until everything you have is worth nothing. Probably why folks are into fungible assets now instead of stocks and bonds.

        You’re talking a good game Steve, but you aren’t scoring many points.

        Best, Mike.

  29. And I will chime in on the issues of civility as well:

    Steve, for the record I both appreciate your candor and civility. As while, as you have gathered, I do not share many of your views, I do respect for the vehicle you employ to express them.

    As a former Army guy (raised by a Jarhead), I constantly fight the internal battle between candor and civility. In some cases, it’s easy to forgo the civility aspect due to the provocative tone of a particular message or poster. I can say I have never read such from you.

    So while I reserve the right to tell anyone I profoundly disagree with their views, or “angle of attack” regarding presentation, I also reserve the right to tell you I enjoy your input and hope it continues.

    That’s as close to “man-hugs” as I get, so….

    -LTB
    (Gramps: that goes for you too, ol’ soldier…)

  30. LTB, this is a man-hug free zone. We encourage instead internet high fives.

    http://www.ihighfive.com/

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