Strange Things From The Mouths Of Evangelicals

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven…So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

—Jesus of Nazareth

 

As a former evangelical Christian I know that evangelical Christians sometimes say strange things.

For instance, after the St. Louis Cardinals’ heart-stopping victory in Game Six of the World Series, Josh Hamilton, who had hit for the Texas Rangers what appeared to be a series-clinching two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning, told reporters about the dramatic hit:

I would tell y’all something, but y’all wouldn’t believe me. The Lord told me it was going to happen before it happened.

Hamilton said the Lord’s words were: “You hadn’t hit a home run in a while. You’re about to right now.”

Now, it’s not unusual that people like Josh Hamilton—who very publicly claims the Lord helped him with a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol—believe the God of the Universe speaks to them and tells them things before they actually happen.

What is unusual in Josh Hamilton’s case is that God chose that particular time and that particular game to get all chatty with the talented outfielder. You see, in July at another Texas Rangers game, when God could have done some real good in the world, he didn’t have much to say.

Everyone remembers that on that sad day a fireman named Shannon Stone, 39-years-old, was at the Rangers game with his little boy, six-year-old Cooper. Cooper’s favorite baseball player is Josh Hamilton and his dad was trying to get Hamilton to toss him a foul ball to give to his son.

Hamilton said that he heard the father shout, “Hey, Hamilton, how about the next one?” after Hamilton had tossed a foul ball to the ball girl. “I just gave him a nod,” Hamilton said, “When I got it, I found them again.”

He tossed the ball to Shannon Stone who reached for it over the railing and fell 20 feet to his death.

This tragedy was not Josh Hamilton’s fault and he was obviously distraught over it.  But that’s not the point. My question for Mr. Hamilton is this: If you honestly believe that God would give you a heads-up on a tie-breaking home run and you felt it necessary to tell the world about it, then you owe the world an explanation as to why God did not whisper in your mind, just before you tossed that ball to Shannon Stone, to throw it somewhere else, or give it to the ball girl.

What must Shannon Stone’s family have thought upon hearing that the Almighty is on speaking terms with Josh Hamilton?

If he can go public with the homer revelation from God in October, Hamilton can also go public about God’s stunning and deadly silence in July. He should tell us how God has the time and inclination to talk baseball with Hamilton in a World Series game but apparently not the time and inclination to issue a warning to save a little boy’s dad at a regular season contest.

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Michele Bachmann, who says she gave her heart to Christ and “wept before the Lord” when she was in high school, believes she is “pro-life.”  She said so, just last week:

I want you to know quite firmly, I stand for life – from conception to natural death.

Quite firmly,” she said, she stands “for life.”  “From conception to natural death.” We know this all-inclusive statement means she believes that just-fertilized eggs are deserving of the full protection of the U.S. Constitution, which, no doubt, her followers find quite charitable and godly.

By Saturday, however, her all-inclusive statement about firmly standing for life had been subjected to what appears to me to be a rather uncharitable and ungodly revision. MSNBC reported:

A 19 year-old college student, identifying himself as Latino, asked what Bachmann would “do to” the children of illegal immigrants.

Bachmann responded that she is “not doing anything to them,” and described why she is against the federal government rewarding citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

“Their parents are the ones who brought them here,” Bachmann said.

“They did not have the legal right to come to the United States,” Bachmann added, of the parents.  “We do not owe people who broke our laws to come into the country.  We don’t owe them anything.”

Bachmann is right of course. We don’t “owe them anything” in a frosty technical sense. Their parents did bring them here illegally, obviously for a better life, and the children have no legal claim to stay and no legal claim on our American stuff.

But all that Arctic Christian hair-splitting is not exactly what most people understand someone to mean when they say, again:

I want you to know quite firmly, I stand for life – from conception to natural death.

And neither is it all that spirtually becoming for someone who says she “wept before the Lord” and gave her heart to Jesus so long ago, to harden her heart toward kids brought here to live.  That same Jesus who allegedly witnessed a weeping Bachmann told a famous little story that went sort of like this:

A certain family with children was going up from Juarez to El Paso to escape poverty and drug dealers, who were destroying their homeland.

By chance a certain conservative evangelical Christian presidential candidate was going up that way.  When she saw them, she passed by on the other side.  She said, “We don’t owe these people or their children anything.We need to build a secure double fence because they are burdening taxpayers in America.”

In the same way, a conservative Mormon presidential candidate also, when he came to the place and saw them, passed by on the other side. “These folks are just here for the in-state tuition,” he said. “It’s like a magnet.”

But a certain liberal, as he traveled, came where the family was.  When he saw them, he was moved with compassion, came to them and told them: “Look, we’ll let your kids go to school, we’ll get them some food and make sure they have health care. After all, this is supposed to be a Christian nation.”

Which now of these three, do you think, was neighbor to him that came to America for a better life?

For someone who has made her Christianity a very public matter, it seems to me an answer to Jesus’ updated question is in order.

 

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39 Comments

  1. J D Hight

     /  October 31, 2011

    I find it very difficult that such “Christians” as Rick Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, and others can shun the poor while catering to the rich. Who was it that said it would be easier for a camel to travel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to reach the gates of heaven? Who was it that said greed is one of the seven deadly sins? These so-called Christians need to take a little time off the campaign trail and reacquaint themselves with the book that is supposed to guide their lives.

    Along the same line, I wonder how your conservative, Christian readers can justify the current positions of the Republican Party, who so many of them belong to (I left a church that I attended for 13 years because I was shunned for being a Democrat. One of the wives of a local Republican leader asked me “How can you call yourself a Christian and a Democrat?” I believe the same question could be asked of Republicans now). They seek to pad the pockets of those who will have a harder time getting to heaven that a camel going through the eye of a needle and support the greed of this same bunch. The Christian Republicans seek to take from the poor and give to the rich, which isn’t quite what the New Testament of Good Book says. I wonder how long these so-called “Christians” will have to use their deceptive talk on St. Peter when they are trying to enter the gates of heaven?

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    • Jim,

      You wrote,

      These so-called Christians need to take a little time off the campaign trail and reacquaint themselves with the book that is supposed to guide their lives.

      I wish it were that simple. But the Bible itself is full of ambiguities and outright moral contradictions so as to confuse anyone seeking a coherent message there. Plus, there is an entire industry devoted to explaining the Bible in ways that fit into one’s particular worldview. I have read many commentaries and could find just about any interpretation of a passage in Scripture that I am looking for.

      Your point about the Pearly Gates reminds me of a joke:

      Albert Einstein dies and goes to heaven.

      At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter tells him, “You look like Einstein, but you have no idea the lengths some people will go to sneak into Heaven. Can you prove you’re Albert Einstein?”

      Einstein ponders for a few seconds and then asks, “Can I have a blackboard and some chalk?”

      Saint Peter snaps his fingers and a blackboard and chalk instantly
      appear. Einstein proceeds to describe, in arcane mathematics and
      symbols, his theory of relativity.

      Saint Peter is suitably impressed. “You really ARE Einstein!” he says. “Welcome to heaven!”

      The next to arrive is Picasso. Once again, Saint Peter asks for
      credentials.

      Picasso asks, “Mind if I use that blackboard and chalk?”

      Saint Peter says, “Go ahead.”

      Picasso erases Einstein’s equations and sketches a truly stunning mural with just a few strokes of chalk.

      Saint Peter claps. “You are definitely the great artist you claim to
      be!” he says. “Come on in!”

      Then Saint Peter looks up and sees George W. Bush.

      Saint Peter scratches his head and says, “Einstein and Picasso both
      managed to prove their identity. How can you prove yours?”

      Dubya looks bewildered and says, “Who are Einstein and Picasso?”

      Saint Peter sighs and says, “Come on in, George.”

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  2. janereaction

     /  October 31, 2011

    Excellent post Duane.
    Good Samaritans have always been as hard to find as honest men.
    Thanks.

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  3. Troy

     /  October 31, 2011

    BRAVO! My Brotha! Well stated and so very true. I still haven’t figured out how anyone can be a Republican with the platform that they have;especially those who are poor in spirit and those whoe are just plain poor…….

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    • Troy,

      Welcome to the fray. I know first hand that you know a lot about being “plain poor,” don’t ya?

      Anyway, I don’t think a lot of folks even think about what some of the stuff in the Republican platform would mean for their lives. A good many people who may vote for GOP candidates next year will do so because of a knee-jerk reaction to the crawling economic recovery.

      And at least part of the reason the economy is crawling is because the Republicans broke its legs and now refuse to provide a wheelchair.

      Crawl on, bro

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  4. I believe religious tenets may be instinctively treated as tribal in the human brain. I will attempt to insert a couple of pictures to illustrate, but if they don’t come through, they are of Saddam Hussein and Adolph Hitler enjoying the company of children.

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    • Jim,

      You know, I sometimes imagine what obviously horrible people are like at home with their wives and kids. I am reminded of the guy in Wichita, known as the BTK killer (he was born in Pittsburg, Ks.), who was a Cub Scout leader and president of his Church’s Congregation Council.

      He managed to kill ten people over several years, all the while living an otherwise relatively normal life.

      Duane

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  5. bildad

     /  October 31, 2011

    How about we change your story to say, “A certain career criminal was going up from Juarez to El Paso to avoid prosecuition in Mexico”. The truth of the matter is, we don’t know who is in our country because of our porus border. We haven’t had a president in a long time that had an interest in securing our border with Mexico.

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    • The U.S. – Mexican border is no simple thing to secure, bildad. It is over 1,000 miles long and most accounts speak of “billions” of dollars spent so far on trying to secure it. But the truth that I perceive is that business interests are the principle reason for the failure. Big Ag has a vested interest in having Latinos come up to harvest crops, particularly those too fragile to be gathered by machines, like tomatoes for example. USA Today carried a report a week or two ago about tomatoes rotting in the fields across Georgia for lack of pickers – Americans weren’t interested in such back-breaking work.

      If we really wanted to discourage illegal immigration, IMO, all we need is for all the states to act like Georgia just did. Hispanics are packing up and leaving all over the state. Politically speaking, we are a nation of hypocrites.

      Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico–United_States_barrier#Controversy

      Link: http://www.alternet.org/rights/35733/

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    • Bildad,

      Obama is on pace to deport more folks in his first term (more than a million so far) than George Bush did in his two terms. Here is a quote from a Reuter’s article:

      In fiscal year 2010, the last full year of data, ICE removed nearly 393,000 undocumented immigrants — a record, and almost 24,000 more than in FY2008, Bush’s last full fiscal year in office.

      Over two-thirds of the non-criminals removed in FY2010 were caught as they crossed the border, were recent arrivals, or were repeat violators previously deported, the White House says.

      So, other than building a ridiculous fence and spending a zillion dollars, I don’t know what else a president is supposed to do.

      But the point of the Bachmann story is to note the incongruence between what folks like her say they believe in and what the policies they support actually reveal.

      Duane

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  6. Randy

     /  October 31, 2011

    I fear you people have serious issues… and I know that your ears and eyes are completely closed. How many times must we tell and show you that we help the poor and needy MORE than liberals. It has been shown time and again in various studies. The difference between you and us is that we give our OWN money, time, and talents to help the needy – and you guys just want to take money from “the rich” and give it to the needy (not understanding how unfruitful, comparatively speaking, this is). We put our money where our mouth is, while you are just full of hot air. Speaking of hot air – Duane, you never cease to amaze me with your constant attack on all people who love Jesus, while at the same time claiming that *they* are the intolerant and prejudiced ones. Look, we know you hate all those who love and follow Jesus, must you remind us twice a week???

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    • Well said, and passionately said Randy. But….
      how about some facts? Numbers? Reliable journalism and articles in support of your claims?

      Okay, how about just a simple link or two.

      Also, your statement
      “we know you hate all those who love and follow Jesus…”
      is completely over the top- ridiculous.

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    • 1. The post was not about which group, liberals or conservatives, help the needy more. I have seen first-hand right here in Joplin these past several months how much good religious faith can do. It’s just that the good that is done is not the entire story.

      2. You don’t have the slightest idea what my personal charitable habits are.

      3. I don’t “hate all those who love and follow Jesus,” as I have told you before, several times. Just because I point out the strange fact that someone famous claims God communicated with him about a homerun but didn’t communicate with him about an impending death doesn’t mean I hate that famous person or anyone else that claims—only “claims”—to “love” Jesus.

      And just because I also find it strange that someone who claims to be “pro-life” doesn’t mind one bit if the children of illegal immigrants suffer here in America or will suffer if they are deported doesn’t mean I hate her or people like her. We all have our little inconsistencies, Randy, but that appears to be a big one to me.

      4. My question for you is, why don’t such things seem to bother you one bit? I would respect conservative Christians “who love Jesus” a lot more if they actually acted like the Jesus of the Gospels a lot more than they do. Can you honestly say that Jesus would have said something like Michele Bachmann said or would, like Baptist minister Herman Cain, advocate for an electrified border fence posted with a sign that said, “This fence will kill you”?

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  7. I’m not a famous ANYTHING.
    However, I too sat in the AA halls. I was around AA for ten years before I finally quit for good.
    That actually happened when I quit attending AA meetings. I’m not bashing AA, God, Christians, or anybody else. Just telling my own experience.
    I saw some people getting much sicker in their own grandiose ways with their new-found sobriety/religion. (one old guy there always said the only think worse than a reformed whore is a reformed drunk with God in his pocket)
    I sat there and listened, for ten years, mind you. I read the Big Book, the 12 steps, The Bible, and so many theologists and philosophers that it made my head spin. I searched and I struggled.
    I saw people claim that God (only through Jesus) saved them from a painful alcoholic death. When their friends in AA died, they didn’t mention where/what God was doing usually. Some were sick enough to believe that God sacrificed their best friend to convince and ‘save’ them. “Everything happens for a reason”, they would say.
    Towards the end of my AA attendance, my Dad was helping one of his brothers roof a house. He fell 10 feet, broke his neck and has been paralyzed (worse than Chris Reeves) ever since.
    I went back 1 or 2 times after Dad’s accident. The very last time, somebody directed this: “Everything happens for a reason”, at my Father’s situation. That was absolutely too much for me. I left, AND sobered up for good. Thirteen years and one month TODAY!
    This happened because I took responsibility, not because God loved me and let my neighbor die. Not because of anything God did, but because of something I did not do; drink another drop of booze, ever.

    After all my pain, searching and experience, I have come to a conclusion.
    This is just my thinking, I don’t push it or evangelize;
    > There IS a God. (science convinced me)
    > God does not intervene in our lives and world.
    > The only thing we can do to prove the existence of God is this, and not a natural act for most humans, – “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Amen.

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    • Yours is a powerful and moving story, sekanblogger. I commend you for having the will to control your addiction, something very few are able to do. I see it as a testament to the existence of “free will”.

      These pages are the only place I have experienced such candid exposure to people’s real-life experiences like yours. Some struggle to reason and eventually come to terms with reality in their own way, like you. But others, like Randy, cling stubbornly to their own version of faith, something that contains elements of wisdom but the basis of which is fundamentally irrational. No amount of reading or conversation can move them from whatever vision they have decided to embrace, and they view attempts to present other views as “attacks”.

      So, why do Duane and others bother to post on issues of faith? It seems, well, irrational. I imagine that very few minds have been changed this way, but then, maybe a few. Your own 10-year journey shows that change is possible.

      There is something in our evolutionary nature that loves a challenge. In fact, that may be the nugget at the core of the conundrum – the capacity to endure in the face of terrible odds. It likely explains, I think, the whole continuum of human endeavor: Mother Teresa’s long struggle in the slums of Calcutta; Adolph Hitler’s kampf to remake his nation to his own distorted vision; Henry VIII’s refusal to bow to the pope; a political party’s determination to place a single goal above all others; an alcoholic’s determination to rise above his addiction. We are a stubborn species, are we not?

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      • Thanks for your kind words Jim.
        Sometimes I worry that I share too much personal experience, but then again, I’m not famous or noteworthy. I see more value in sharing as a mediocre nobody. I hope people can relate to an average guy, as opposed to a mega-millionaire from the sports world.
        I do make one solid claim; I am living proof that people can, and do change.

        To me, this piece is the bottom line on the subject of religion:

        http://kansasmediocrity.wordpress.com/a-challenge/

        “I am a Muslim, and a Hindu, and a Christian, and a Jew, and so are all of you.” – Ghandi

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    • Tracy,

      I am moved by your own story of salvation. Thanks for the insight about how some, but only some, are able to overcome the grips of addiction. I just lost a family member, 40 years old, who was not able to overcome.

      I want to comment on something you wrote:

      Some were sick enough to believe that God sacrificed their best friend to convince and ‘save’ them. “Everything happens for a reason”, they would say.

      I cringe every time I hear that rationale because, as you point out in the case of your own father, it simply means God is one crule SOB for finding no better way to get a message across than killing a loved one. It’s absurd and it cries out for reasonable people to ridicule it.

      As for belief in God, I, too, have such a belief that I call, really, a “wild and speculative hope.” Sometimes I see things in my science reading that bolsters such a belief, but more often I see things that do not. The bottom line is that when I imagine why there is something rather than nothing I am faced with a stunning fact: There is something here—I exist—and I hope against hope that behind that something there is a meaning, as I find it rather sad that all that you and I see and experience will amount to absolutely nothing with the death of our sun.

      Duane

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  8. Awesome post, man!

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  9. ansonburlingame

     /  November 2, 2011

    Sekan and others,

    Every person’s journey throught recovery (there is never an end to that journey in my view) is unique in many ways.

    But one thing that I have observed over the years in such matters, as many years as Sekan’s, is the I have never met anyone that was an alcoholic that did it ALL BY HIMSELF, relying only on his or her own will power. I doubt that Sekan would claim such strength as well.

    Some folks along the way provided “experience, strength and hope” to encourage and advise the one trying to remediate a DISEASE. It could be some other former drunk that was making the journey, a trained and qualified counselor, a rehab facility, a loving spouse or other family member, a member of the clergy and the list goes on.

    God alone, in my view, can no more “fix” the mental illness of addiction than He alone can remove a cancerous tumor. Some may THINK HE can and does, but I have yet to see evidence of such.

    But for some, but surely not all, God can provide some inner strength and comfort to the afflicted while others apply their own talents to remove a tumor or “fix” the mind of the addicted.

    But recovery is like religion. One size for sure never fits all.

    Anson

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  10. Randy

     /  November 2, 2011

    sekanblogger and Jim,

    sekenblogger, I am truly sorry about what happened to your father. I can only imagine what he, and his family (including you) are going through and have gone through. As Duane pointed out in this article – Christians say the darnedest things (or “stupidest” things might be better). Unfortunately those things often hurt people. In their defense, I can only say that they usually have good intentions. My point to Duane, partially, was that he constantly attacks people of faith. The truth of the matter is that ALL kinds of people say stupid things – especially in awkward situations. But, if Duane wanted to he find “the darndest things” being said by liberals, unbelievers, and “militant” atheists, and he could make a big hoopla about those things. But Duane ignores the many stupid things that those type say, and chooses to pounce on Christians at every opportunity. It is SO OBVIOUS that Duane carries a grudge toward God and Christians, I don’t see how any honest person could deny that. Changing gears a bit here. sekenblogger, from the opening pages of the bible thru to the end, terrible things happen to people. And of course God is actively “involved” in scripture. And from as far back as human history takes us, terrible things happen to people. How do we square “terrible things” happening with a loving God? That is no simple question to answer – and it is a question that men asked God numerous times throughout scripture. It was a question I asked God when I buried my 2nd child – at a time in my life when I was the most zealous (“bible thumping”) I have ever been. Why God? Why now? Why us? We love you, we serve you, we give to others, we have totally surrendered to you – and you take our child? This is our reward? The pain was great sekanblogger. But, we remained faithful. We tried to cope, to understand. In a word, we TRUSTED God, even though we did not understand Him. Looking back (it’s been 18 years now) we can see clearly that God in fact was very much present in all of that, and we have a “peace” about it. I do not claim to understand everything that God does, or everything about God, because I do not. I only claim to know that He loves me, He cares for me, and that He gave His son (and more than that He Himself JOINED us in suffering on this earth) so that I might have eternal life.

    Jim, I am guilty of “stubbornly clinging to God.” That is true. He miraculously entered my world in a profound and unmistakable way about 24 years ago – and after a life of running from Him I finally surrendered. It has been a remarkable journey that I would never trade – and I am so happy that I took. I look enthusiastically look forward to see where else He will lead me and what else He has in store for me. You say my faith is irrational. On that account, you are wrong. The evidence that Jesus Christ lived, died, and in fact rose from the dead is overwhelming, as is the evidence that God created the world and the universe. Mine is a rational faith, a faith of substance and evidence, a faith of historical significance, and a faith that (throughout history) has produced immeasurable good in this world. I could go in to a list of all the brilliant thinkers who have embraced the Christian faith – people you would have a hard time labeling “irrational” – but it would be futile, as I am sure you are already aware of such people.

    Again, sekanblogger, my heart aches for you and your family, and I believe that Jesus’s heart aches for you as well.

    Randy

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    • Thanks for your kindness.
      I would never discourage any person with faith. I’m glad you have found some consolation in your own losses and trials.

      Duane’s views?
      Well, this is a purposely liberal/progressive blog.
      And it’s his ‘microphone’. He is sticking with the stated meme of this blog, and rightfully so.

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      • Randy

         /  November 2, 2011

        Your welcome sekan, that was sweet (not being gay or anything). And yes, this is his blog and he can do what he wishes…. but as long as it is open to the public, I will counterpoint when I have time. I’d do the same with Rush and Sean and the popular libs – but they do not provide the opportunity. The world has enough one sidedness… and I don’t like that! Duane could use this space to truly be fair and balanced… but he chooses to be childish and unproductive – hurtful and detrimental even, and ironically all while criticizing conservatives for supposedly being that way.

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        • Randy,

          “Hurtful and detrimental”? I challenge you to present one episode in which I have been “hurtful” or “detrimental” to anyone, unless that person was trying to get all nasty with me. Heck, I’ve even been relatively tolerant of your constant attacks on my character, but I confess my patience is not biblical in proportion. I have my limits.

          Duane

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    • @ Randy,

      Like sekanblogger, I do not begrudge you your Christian beliefs. In fact, I think it appropriate for a great many people. It can relieve people of anxiety about the vicissitudes of life while supplying a useful social milieu. Clearly, the God part of the brain, or the spiritual part as some prefer to say, is much stronger in some that others. I only ask you to accept:

      1. . . . that religion be kept separate from politics.
      2. . . . that there is potential danger in surrendering rational volition to spiritual leadership, because many have misused it. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_involving_evangelical_Christians
      3. . . . that the process of education, including blogging discourse, should be kept open to all points of view.
      4. . . . that not all disagreements about religion are intended to be harmful, but can be merely that, disagreements.

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  11. Randy

     /  November 2, 2011

    Here is an email I got today from one of those greedy, stingy, selfish, hard hearted Republicans who want people to starve:

    November Charity of the Month: Feeding America
    by Newt and Callista Gingrich

    At a time of year when Americans are preparing to gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Gingrich Foundation is proud to recognize Feeding America as its November Charity of the Month.

    Feeding America is the leading domestic hunger relief charity in the United States, supporting a network of more than 200 community food banks throughout the country. Its goal is to advance policies that address our nation’s growing hunger crisis, while raising public awareness about the issues of hunger in America. With a focus on using resources efficiently and maintaining the public trust, Feeding America is able to build strong relationships with relief efforts in communities across America.

    Their hard work provides food banks and other relief organizations with the resources they need, offering crucial coordination and support for obtaining food from large manufacturers and retailers. Together with community partners, Feeding America ensures that food reaches those who need it most. Each year, this hunger relief organization feeds 37 million Americans, more than a third of whom are children.

    Feeding America places special emphasis on children. The Map the Meal Gap project is an ambitious study to learn more about food insecurity across America. With detail at a county-by-county level, this information allows Feeding America to more accurately target children in need. You can explore an interactive map of the data here.

    Several other initiatives focus on feeding children in their time away from school, including Kids Café, which offers meals and snacks to students, and the BackPack and Summer Food programs, which send kids home with meals for weekends and vacations. Likewise, the Child Hunger Corps is a service program aimed at helping food banks and community organizations target child hunger.

    In its effort to create a hunger-free America, Feeding America is also conscious of the needs of seniors and those living in rural areas. Undernourishment is a critical concern, and Feeding America’s effort to raise public awareness helps make sure no one goes hungry because they are forgotten.

    This November, as we approach Thanksgiving, please consider lending a hand to those Americans who could go hungry.

    Please join us in supporting Feeding America today.

    Your Friends,

    Newt and Callista

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    • Feeding the poor is good work.
      If Newt wants it to be “God’s work”, he should do it quietly, behind the scenes, without waving the flag and banging a gong.

      Jesus had much to say about pride and wealth, none of it in favor of either one.

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  12. Randy

     /  November 2, 2011

    sekanblogger – Have you seen Newt, or any other conservative (Christian in particular) wave the flag or bang the gong abut their giving? I know I haven’t. In fact, most of them are so quiet about it that people like you and Duane have no idea it happens to the massive extent that it does. In my experience. It’s the liberals like Opera, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, etc. that make all the noise when they give.

    More about Jesus – do you realize that the very God of the universe became human and not only suffered through the death of loved ones, the betrayal of friends, and mockery – He suffered a brutal death on a cross for crimes He did not commit. What did He do and say while on the cross? “Father, why have you forsaken me?” The very question that has been asked through the ages when man suffers. But He also said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” sekanbloger, Jesus loves you and He cares for you, and He can empathize with you, this is know. Here are some words He spoke that really profoundly changed my life, for the better:

    John 3: 19 – 21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

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    • Randy,

      Newt may not be waving flags and banging on gongs, but he does keep strange company. Or maybe you endorse a theocracy promoted by the Seven Mountains “dominionists.”

      Then again, you might be a supporter.

      http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gingrich-claims-have-never-heard-seven-mountains-dominionism

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    • No matter how much Jesus Newt claims to have, I don’t share the same views on social issues.

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    • Randy and Sekan,

      As for Newt’s charity venture, try this from a story in June:

      A non-profit charity founded by Newt Gingrich to promote freedom, faith and free enterprise also served as another avenue to promote Gingrich’s political views, and came dangerously close, some experts say, to crossing a bright line that is supposed to separate tax-exempt charitable work from both the political process and such profit-making enterprises as books and DVDs.

      The charity, Renewing American Leadership, not only featured Gingrich on its website and in fundraising letters, it also paid $220,000 over two years to one of Gingrich’s for-profit companies, Gingrich Communications. It purchased cases of Gingrich’s books and bought up copies of DVDs produced by another of the former House speaker’s entities, Gingrich Productions.

      Newt is and always has been a shady character and no amount of election-time emails (I used to get them too, Randy) will change that.

      Duane

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  13. King Beauregard

     /  November 3, 2011

    The guy who waves his flag the hardest may not be much of a patriot, and the guy who prays the loudest may not be much of a Christian. I don’t have any problem with a person being a Christian, but when the clearest indication of their faith is bumper stickers and not good works, it makes me itchy. I’m pretty sure Jesus had issues with Pharisees back in his day too.

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    • One of my favorite episodes from the New Testament is when Jesus condoned lawbreaking, contrary to Pharisaical notions:

      At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

      He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. (Matthew 12: 1-4)

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  14. Randy

     /  November 5, 2011

    To many comments I’d like to make, not enough time to make them. But quickly, Duane – I contend that you hate (or at least have a strong disliking) for evangelical Christians because you simply can not resist to pounce on them at every opportunity. And no, I don’t know your personal giving record – I was speaking in general terms. Conservatives give much more than Liberals to charity.

    sekan – I think you missed the point about Newt’s shady venture (the point Duane was making). As far as that goes Duane – I don’t think it is all that big of a deal, as long as is all above the table and legal.

    Hurtful and Detrimental – Duane, your one sidedness and partisan attitude is the same problem they have in Washington DC…again, set the example and be a straight shooter – be fair.

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    • Randy,

      I will note that you didn’t present one exchange where I have been “hurtful or detrimental” to you or anyone else that didn’t begin with them first insulting me or my intelligence. I just don’t do that, Randy, despite your charging me with it.

      I “pounce” on evangelicals because they often deserve it for what they say or do in public. Saying that God tells them when they will hit home runs and fails to warn them when they throw a baseball in the stands that will lead to a man’s death deserves comment, or even “pouncing.”

      And I will finally note that you don’t think “it is all that big of a deal” about Newt’s “shady venture,” so long as it is “all above the table and legal.” Well, leaving aside the legality of it (and it wasn’t “above the table” in any way) aren’t you Christians (including Newt) supposed to have a “higher” standard than merely a technical compliance with the law?

      My how Christian standards have eroded since the first century.

      Duane

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  1. Politics and Faith | Still Skeptical After All These Years

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