March 14, 2011

Because I need to distract my mind

I am reading twitter and FB and other feeds. I am waiting for a call back from my vet about Streak's condition. Just not sure what to expect.

But I saw a couple of news items in the last few days that deserve comment, and by comment I mean outrage. I am still peeved at the Republicans for threatening to force a catastrophic credit default out of purely political reasons, and because they really hate our social safety net. Let me say it very clearly. If you are not willing to consider taxing Warren Buffett and his colleagues a little more (no one is talking about 60% taxation--not even close) but only want to cut programs for the poor--you are not a serious person and should not be involved in a democracy. We can talk about cuts. Hell, there are many programs that I would love to see cut--like sugar and oil subsidies. But if we are going to talk cuts, we have to talk tax increase as well.

Speaking of cuts, check out this NH GOP State Congressman who says that mentally ill and disabled people are "defective" and should be shipped to Siberia. Of course this is an extreme position, and one that undoubtedly will get criticism from the left and right. But we should note that while most Republicans certainly would not say this, their policies are essentially stating it. When you refuse to raise Warren Buffett's taxes even by 3% but are more than willing to cut programs for the disabled and mentally ill, you are demonstrating your priorities. And those priorities demonstrate little concern for the neediest of our society. And great value for those who are already very comfortable.

And this poll that suggests that I am not completely wrong when I suggest that many conservative Christians are far more "conservative" than "Christian." Turns out that despite serial adultery and abandoning a wife struggling with cancer and then saying that he was so focussed on serving his country that he had affairs, Newt Gingrich is still more popular among conservative evangelicals than Obama. Don't ever tell me again that they vote by "the book," or that they vote "moral values." That is an out and out lie. Perhaps they truly believe that they are voting for morality, but this demonstrates that the polling showing support for torture is not an outlier. People who read the Bible on a daily basis (according to them) can still support torture and favor Gingrich? Of course you can, if what you really value is lower taxes and reduced funding for programs that serve the poor. But don't dare tell me that the impulse comes from anything remotely Christian.


Ken Summerlin said...

Like you, I struggle with my Christian brothers and sisters who claim to match their political positions with their faith when they support the likes of Gingrich, cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and cutting services to the poorest among us. I completely agree with your suggestion that "many conservative Christians are far more 'conservative' than 'Christian'."

Streak said...

Thanks for the comment, Ken. What is your explanation for this phenomenon?

steves said...

I don't know if it is possible to completely reconcile Christianity with either major political party. I think people generally focus in on a few key issues or just focus on the religious texts that support what the already believed politically. I occasionally post on a Christian forum that is fairly diverse, though mostly conservative. Gingrich came up in a post. I fully expected to see some defenders, but there was not a single person that said they would vote for him. Most seemed to feel his excuse was weak.

I noticed that the NH congressman has resigned.

Streak said...

Actually, Steve, I am not sure the question is whether or not Christianity can be reconciled completely with either party, but the fact that the Christians we are talking about support and defend issues that are clearly against their own faith.

I think Gingrich is sunk too, and actually think that he and Palin and Huckabee have discovered that hovering around as a possible candidate is a very lucrative job. Not sure either one of them actually wants the actual "job." And many Christians might look through him now, but still prefer him to Obama. Why? Clearly not because of morality.

And I am glad that NH congressman has resigned. Now if the rest of the GOP would explain why they are doing the same thing he defended.

Ken Summerlin said...

Streak, I don't have a good answer for why some conservative Christians are more conservative than Christian. I sometimes wonder if they think that their Christianity somehow validates or justifies their conservatism when they can't otherwise justify or validate their positions. I also think that that we have allowed our American patriotism to morph into some kind of pseudo-Christianity, blurring the lines between what is our faith and what are our core beliefs. The scriptures are challenging to interpret, no doubt but I have never heard a scriptural justification for some of the political positions of some of my Christian friends. As a committed Christian myself, I, too struggle with applying some of Jesus' teaching in my life. What he calls us to is sometimes contradictory to the American values of independence and fair play. It's a good thing that God did not stop with simply being a God of justice, else all of us would be doomed to separation from him. I, for one, am thankful that he is also a loving, forgiving and compassionate God. If he were not, you and I would be hopeless and helpless.