Monday, July 25, 2011

Proving We Are Not A Christian Nation

Conservative Christians, who believe the United States was chosen by the one, true God to be his nation founded on God's principles, ignore Christ's summation of the law and the prophets in order to become Republicans.  These Republicans daily demonstrate to the world we are not a Christian nation as they focus on money not people.  If they win the debt ceiling crisis by destroying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, they will have definitively proved that our government is free of any divine direction.

Christ said that there were two commands that summed up all of God's teachings.  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  When asked who is your neighbor, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan.  In it, a Samaritan (Jews despised Samaritans at the time) helps a man that has been mugged and robbed.  The man is a total stranger.  The Samaritan cares for the man, then pays for his future care.  He tells those caring for the injured man that he will check to see they have carried out his wishes.

What can be clearer?  Christians are to take care of the strangers in our midst who have been attacked by forces outside their control. Christians are not to just take care of them personally if they can, but to see that strangers are cared for.  Christians are to check on the stranger's continued welfare.  In a modern society of millions, how can Christians do this?  Christians can enable a surrogate to act for them.  The government becomes our Good Samaritan.

Republicans do not believe in the Good Samaritan.  I have been repeatedly told that they have no obligation to help anyone outside their immediate family.  That they have no obligation to help those who cannot help themselves.  To the contrary, the Republicans consider those that cannot help themselves defective and a drag on society: they should be abandoned.

Those Republicans who call themselves Christians hold those same views.  One such person in my own church told me that a member of our church who had taken in his grandchildren should not have done so.  That church member should have saved the money he spent taking care of grandchildren so when his health failed he could take care of himself and not ask the church for help. ( He had asked for help. The church did not help. I no longer attend that church.)

Time and again, so-called Christians have written that they will not help people who do not work.  These Christians assume that those not working don't because they are lazy.  Interestingly, when Jesus talks about judgment, he does not say we should check on why a person was hungry, why they are sick, or why they are in prison. Jesus says feed them, take care of them and visit them if you want God to claim you as his own. Republicans have become the goats described in Matthew 25:31-47, turned away by God on judgment day.

With the Republicans dominating the political debate and Democrats cravenly acquiescing to their outrageous demands, this nation is in retreat from any notion of caring for the least among us.  Republicans that call themselves Christian have made being poor a sin.  They believe Christians have no obligation to help sinners.  Republicans of all types have abandoned Christ's command to love your neighbor.  How can our government abandon Christ's command and our country remain a Christian nation?

We are not a Christian nation.  We should not be.  Our founders saw this nation as encompassing all who were citizens regardless of faith.  That is why we have the Bill of Rights: to keep the majority from abusing the minority: to keep Christians from abusing non-Christians.

Those that scream the loudest that we are a Christian nation refuse to follow Christ's command to love your neighbor.  Today, they would shred the social safety net by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Those that profess to be today's only true Christians only love themselves.

Republicans tell us we are to concentrate on money not the well-being of our citizens. Most Republicans have looked around and said, "I have no neighbors except the wealthy."  Even Democrats are falling for that line.  Soon, our government will be of money, by money and for money.  Christ said that "You cannot serve both God and Money."  If Christians who are Republicans choose money over people, then they do not serve God.  By conservative Christians own choosing, we will not be a Christian nation.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how I stumbled across this blog, but it has made interesting reading. Interesting because you have a rather poor grasp of scripture, and your reasoning has some gaps in it.

Let's start at the beginning. Not all "Conservative Christians" believe that the US is "the chosen one". Not even close. Even the words "Conservative" and "Christian" do not necessarily correlate. True conservatives - like Ron Paul - say that we should bring our soldiers home from wars with nations that are not a threat to us. Any Conservative who believes that we should be running the world is not really a conservative.

"Winning the Debt Ceiling Crisis" does not mean "destroying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid". That is the sort of hysterical scare quote that does not belong in a serious discussion. What is true is that we cannot keep funding those three social programs (none of which are constitutional) and defense (which is) at their current levels without spending more than we make. The right wants cuts; the left wants more taxes. We will probably end up needing both. But that is because past Governments of both shades kept on making promises they could not keep, inflating the currency, borrowing from nations and passing the buck, which has finally stopped here.

"With the Republicans dominating the political debate and Democrats cravenly acquiescing to their outrageous demands..." With the Oval Office and the Senate in Democrat hands, the only thing that the Republicans "Dominate" is the house -- and they can't get much done with just that. Don't get me wrong; I think that both sides have lost their way. But you credit the eeeeevil Reppublicans with far more power than they actually have.

Now to my main point. Yes, Christians are called to take care of others. But the entitlement programs you speak of in such hushed and reverent tones are not examples of Christian Compassion. Caring for others is called compassion. caring for others with somebody else's money is called Socialism. And it is evil; though I will concede that it might be a necessary one when practiced in limited situations. We simply cannot afford all of the social programs that we currently have.

Governments are not very good at compassion, while individuals and small groups such as churches are a lot better in identifying those who are truly in need. The fundamental flaw in your logic is that Christ never called on Government to fix the problem. His sole interaction with Government was to pay a tax that he did not personally feel obligated to pay.

"Time and again, so-called Christians have written that they will not help people who do not work." I believe that the correct passage of scripture is "If a man WILL not work, he SHOULD not eat." There is a fine line between helping and enabling, and that is a line that Government Bureaucrats have difficulty dealing with.

I am sorry that you have had such a poor experience in your previous church; lamentably there is a lot of that about. I am honored to belong to a church that feeds the poor and serves the community. They recently provided over 600 backpacks with school supplies to children who needed them, and they also provide free tutoring for any children who want it. They exhort their members to avoid debt, to save so that they can, in turn be generous to others. For the borrower is truly slave to the lender.

We are not a nation Christian Nation; we were never meant to me. But we can be a nation of Christians; and that is a different thing entirely.

January Cat said...

To Wizardsprang

I would not say Ron Paul is a conservative: Ron Paul is a libertarian. When I referenced conservative Christians I included Southern Baptists to Dominionists, all of whom believe we are a Christian nation and some of whom believe we are chosen by God. I am glad there are Conservative Christians who disagree with that.

If you look at any of the Republican proposals for reducing the deficit, they involve cutting all the social safety net programs. Republicans say that their changes will only apply to those over 55, but you know that once they have done that Republicans will come for the rest of us over 55. Some Republicans even acknowledge that their goal is to "starve the beast" to do away with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We can continue to fund those programs if we take some sensible steps including collecting the payroll tax on those making above $108,000 (not the exact figure.)
With control of the House, the Republicans can stop any legislation. Appropriation bills of any kind must originate in the House. If the Republicans do nothing, they can keep government from functioning. House Republicans believe that compromise is an anathema, so there is not much hope for the next year and half.

By your definition of compassion, only what I do as an individual is compassionate. If I act with others to pool resources, that is socialism. So be it. Wealth and poverty are not evenly spread across this nation. The only entity that can act to alleviate poverty on a national level is the federal government. We as a people are pooling our resources to alleviate suffering. I find no Biblical prohibition against this. On the contrary, Jesus says how we help the poor determines his judgement of us. I believe we are to usher in his kingdom by helping the poor now.

As a nation, we can take care of our needy. We are collecting taxes at the lowest rates in 50 years. Personal greed wants us to keep even more.

Churches and Christians have failed for centuries to take care of the poor. An individual church may have wonderful programs but few support families for any length of time. Churches are about quick fixes that make the congregation feel good, not about addressing chronic problems that take time to cure.

My point on not helping those that do not work is the assumption that there is work available for everyone. That is not true. Most of those unemployed today would tell you that. There are always a few who want to game the system whether it is cheating on their income tax or not working, but that does not make our obligation less to those who are in need. Paul's statement was directed at Christians who thought they did not have to work because Christ was returning at any moment.

We are too quick to judge others negatively without knowing the circumstances. Many of the chronic homeless today are the result of the dismantling of the mental institutions that once served and housed them. Part of that is the fault of a liberal philosophy that said the mentally ill had a right to make their own decisions no matter how bad they were for themselves. I believe that was wrong and immoral and provided the government with a way to duck its responsibilities to those who truly could not help themselves.

I am glad your church does so much, but I suspect that most of the congregation is not giving enough to affect their lifestyle.

I stick to my original premise. We are not a Christian nation. I would add that we are not a nation of Christians. We are a nation of many faiths and no faiths. Those of us that are Christian need to be mindful of Christ's admonition to love our neighbor and realize that Christ was not referring to the person living next door.

Anonymous said...

After seeing how spectacularly you have mis-read or misunderstood so much of what I said, I had intended to do a point-by-point in-line rebuttal.

Then I came to the conclusion that it is just not worth it, because, as Dave Ramsey would put it, "Your head is so far up your politics that you cannot see straight".

You describe Ron Paul as a Libertarian and not a Conservative, as if it is not possible to be both. I was talking about his Fiscal Policy. You, naturally, were talking about his politics.

You see "Good" Democrats who are trying to "Save" Social Programs, I see well-meaning folks who think that more taxes -- or borrowing from countries that want to enslave us -- will solve all of society's problem.

You see "Evil" Republicans who are trying to "Destroy" Social Programs. I see other well-meaning people who realize that we cannot afford the Social Programs that we have and urge cuts - which you perceive as "destruction".

While I agree with much that you said, we obviously cannot agree on some things. You believe that Washington can solve our problems. I believe that Washington is the source of most of our problems. You believe that Social Security is a sacred cow; I believe that it is a well-meaning mistake at best and an outright scam at worst. You believe that it is up to the Government to practice Christian Compassion; I find no basis for that in scripture. You probably believe that the Government can "create" jobs; I believe that jobs are created when lower taxes allow business to invest and expand.

I could go on at considerable length, but it won't make any difference to you; your mind is made up. If you love socialism so much, please go and live in England or France; they do socialism really well -- socialized healthcare, lots of paid holidays, pensions for everyone, the occasional riot... and 65%+ taxes. You get what you pay for.

I will pray for you. Really. But I will not be back.

January Cat said...

I knew we would be talking past each other simply because we have such different world views. I do think that while we cannot change each other, we can provide insight to others on what we believe.

I would immigrate to England if I could but I have responsibilities to others here. At least, in England I would have health care. I had a bone disease when I was a child so I cannot get health insurance because of a preexisting condition. The health risk pools are exorbitant - almost a $1000/mo for me as an individual. It is no fun to not be able to go to the doctor when you are ill and pray it is nothing that will get worse.

Yes, I do believe in a modern society with a geographically scattered needy populace that the federal government must be the way we help the less fortunate. I also believe this nation is rich enough to be able to afford to care for "the least of these brothers of mine."

I see libertarians as a subset of conservatives, one that is to the right of most conservatives. Ron Paul has been around a long time and his current persona is far milder than years ago. I hope he has mellowed, not just hidden his harsher sentiments.

My mother had a bunch of brothers and sisters, most of whom would agree with you. My mother is gone, but I learned political involvement from her. She had Parkinson's disease for 16 years. I learned that a family must impoverish itself because there is absolutely no help for a family battling chronic illness. I am still working my way out of the financial hole her illness caused.

I do wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.