• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40

Topic: Where is the Christian left?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Where is the Christian left?

    sponsored links


    ***Advertisments***
    My wife pointed this out to me in today's paper. The author is Leonard Pitts who writes for the Miami Herald (I read it in the Des Moines Register). Here's a link to the original column.

    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...0125367.htm?1c

    Enjoy the reading (or not).

    Steve Chandler

    ================================================== ===============

    Where's the morality in Bush's policy?

    I have to thank Jimmy Carter for saving my sanity.

    Granted, his was not a presidency one looks back to with fondness. Gas lines stretched forever, Iran took our people hostage, and there was disco, besides.

    But Carter's ex-presidency has been a model of that unofficial institution. He has built homes for the poor, mediated wars, helped feed the hungry in Africa, fought disease in Latin America. In so doing, Carter, a deacon of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga., has obeyed a directive that Jesus issued one of his disciples.

    Do you love me? He asked Simon Peter.

    Peter said Yes.

    Feed my sheep, said Jesus.

    Remembering Carter's example, his very public embrace of that command, is what has gotten me through the last week without a facial tic. Or to put it another way: If one more person tells me that ''morality'' guided their decision to vote for President Bush, my head's going to pop like a balloon.

    Beg your pardon, but one is hard pressed to find much evidence of morality in Bush's ineptly prosecuted war, his erosion of civil rights, and the loss of international credibility that his policies have caused. Unless, of course, one has been quaking in one's boots at the prospect of same- couples making a commitment that straight couples have avoided like SARS. In that case, the vote probably reflects one's morality just fine. More's the pity.

    No political tactician am I, but I think Democrats made a fundamental mistake when the Christian right rose as a political force: They watched it happen, ceded God to the GOP without resistance, without so much as a beg your pardon. Democrats, fearful of unsettling the secular West and Northeast, only shrugged as the Almighty was packed up and shipped South, where He is to this day routinely trotted out to endorse various would-be governors, senators and school-board members.

    Small wonder faith has come to seem inextricable from voting the straight Republican ticket.

    And if you are, as I am, a Christian who remembers what Jesus told Simon Peter, it is galling to see Him reduced to a GOP shill, wrapped in a flag and used as a prop to advance a conservative agenda -- which, by the way, stands the Bible on its head.

    After all, the Book says that Jesus consorted with lepers and prostitutes. It says He talked with women -- which was beneath a man of His time and place -- and washed the feet of his followers.

    And it tells us He said things that seemed to make no logical sense: If someone takes your shirt, let him have your cloak as well. If someone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the left. Love your enemies. This was crazy talk. There was nothing conservative about this man.

    So I look at the success that conservatives on the so-called Christian right have had in claiming Him as their exclusive property, and I wonder, where in the heck is the Christian left? Where are the people who preach -- and live -- the biblical values of inclusion, service, humility and sacrifice, and why haven't they coalesced into an alternative political force?

    Instead of a movement like that, we have an old peanut farmer building houses for the poor.

    You wish there were more. You wish there were Christian people shouting from the rooftops that these other people, with their small minds and niggardly spirits, do not represent all of us. And that the faith exemplified by the politics of exclusion is not the faith that the rest of us celebrate, not the faith that lifts us and settles us and makes us whole.

    But nobody's shouting these things. It occurs to me that maybe they're all too busy building houses for poor people. And that maybe I should be as well.

    God bless you, Jimmy Carter, wherever you are.

  2. #2

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    This is simple enough. Christianity has a pretty clear message when it comes to charity (which, BTW, is voluntary by nature - it cannot be forced lest it ceases to be charity). The thing you're missing is that it also has a pretty clear message about homosexuality. Read Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:26-27.

    As for war, it can be rationalized that it is for self-defense of a sort. Most of the Christians I know who support the war see it this way. They see it as just as much an act of self-defense as WWII. I'm not saying they are correct in their estimation, but if you're wondering what these Christians are thinking, there's your answer.

  3. #3

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    Leviticus is Old Testament. Are you saying that you follow a Bible that does not preach the word of Christ? (New Testament) As I understand it, the New Testament is the Bible that is more commonly followed by Christians, as it directly reflects the teachings of Christ. The Old Testament does not.

    Also, do you pick and choose which rules apply to you and your beliefs? Because there's a lot of rules in the Old Testament that I'm sure you're breaking. Sorry to get explicit here, but have you ever sat on a chair or couch after it's been sat on by a woman who was menstruating? If so, you've committed a sin. Ever worn two or more fabrics simultaneously? Sin. But what makes it a sin? The Bible just says to not do these things..does that automatically make it a "sin"? Because Lev. 18:22 doesn't specifically say that being gay is a sin.

    Not only that, but Leviticus 18's statements are by Paul/Saul, who actually NEVER really met Christ except in a hallucination, where he swore Jesus appeared and spoke to him, even though bystanders claimed they saw and heard nothing.

    Paul is probably the only hateful figure in the Bible. Ironic that many fundamentalists choose to follow his example.

    PS: Romans 1:26-27 (New Testament) is actually not in very clear language. It doesn't really say it's a sin, or an abomination (not to be confused with sin).

    1:26
    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    1:27
    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    And surprise surprise... these sentiments are given to us by Paul.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  4. #4

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    I'm with you Sam. I remember an episode of The West Wing in whoich someone made to look like Laura Schlessinger is visiting and Martin Sheen makes a comment about anyone who has ever touched a football (pigskin) has sinned so which sins do you choose to ignore and which do you enforce? (or something like that). So Brady if you've ever touched a football you're condemned to hellfire and eternal damnation. Repent, repent!!! Never eat a hotdog or ham sandwich again! Bacon??....... fughgettaboutit!

    Ironically, Brady didn't mention the legacy that former President Carter has built and continues to build. The point of the article was that we've lost our way and have gotten away from the charity that is at the heart of Christianity.

    Finally doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible, "Judge not lest ye be judged" and "Vengeance is mine." Didn't Jesus (actual name Yeshua) say that we should "take the log out of our own eye first in order to see more clearly the speck in our neighbors eye."

    Cheers,

    Steve Chandler
    http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler
    http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler

  5. #5

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Leviticus is Old Testament. Are you saying that you follow a Bible that does not preach the word of Christ?
    Lest you forget, Jesus is the Word made flesh (Gospel of John 1). Therefore the Old Testament is just as much Christ’s Word as the New. However, the difference is that of the covenant under which we now live. And Romans is in the New Testament, signifying the New Covenant.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Also, do you pick and choose which rules apply to you and your beliefs?
    Nope, Romans is New Testament and clearly describes homosexuality as a sin. Funny enough, picking and choosing appears to be what you advocate.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    The Bible just says to not do these things..does that automatically make it a "sin"? Because Lev. 18:22 doesn't specifically say that being gay is a sin.
    It specifically says that it is an “abomination”, which can safely be termed a “sin” of a very high degree, don’t you think? And what about Lev. 20? It calls it a “detestable act” for which the punishment is death. Don’t you think the implication of “sin” is pretty clear here? And in Romans, it calls them “degrading passions” and “indecent acts”, and says there is a “due penalty” for this “error”. Does the word “sin” actually have to be used here? I mean, it seems to me these are much stronger terms than the word “sin”! Read Jude 1:7 too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Not only that, but Leviticus 18's statements are by Paul/Saul …
    Uh, sorry, Leviticus was written thousands of years before Paul. Do you perhaps mean Romans?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Paul is probably the only hateful figure in the Bible. Ironic that many fundamentalists choose to follow his example.
    Not only is that false, but the reason Christians put some weight in what Paul says is because, after all, he wrote the BULK of the New Testament!

    I think you call Paul “hateful” simply because you disagree with what he says. But what you are suggesting is that Christians completely discard their convictions, and indeed their entire religion. If that’s what you want, then come out and say so, but don’t act like there’s some alternative. Either you start ripping pages you don’t like out of the Bible, or you discard the thing entirely, or you follow it completely. The latter two are consistent, but the former is completely inconsistent and hypocritical.


    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    So Brady if you've ever touched a football you're condemned to hellfire and eternal damnation. Repent, repent!!!
    You’re getting your scholarly theological opinions from an evening drama? There’s a difference between ceremonial uncleanness and outright sin. And I’m not going to spend the time explaining the differences to you. But suffice it to say that we are no longer subject to the ceremonial rules under the New Covenant (often referred to as “The Law”). Those things that are mentioned in the New Testament, however, are still in force, and that includes the prohibition on homosexuality.

    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    The point of the article was that we've lost our way and have gotten away from the charity that is at the heart of Christianity.
    Why do you say that? Do you say that because we aren’t taxing one man to give his money to another? I thought I just got done explaining that charity ceases to be charity when its coerced? If you HAVE to “give” or ELSE face the FORCE of the LAW, then we’re not exactly talking about voluntary giving, now are we?

    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    Finally doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible, "Judge not lest ye be judged" and "Vengeance is mine."
    Nobody is talking about taking “vengeance” against homosexuals. At least not the vast majority of Christians whom you loathe so much for being Republicans. As for “judging”, that doesn’t mean you no longer recognize what is sin and what is not. Were that the case, then God made a big mistake in giving us the Bible since it has a lot of “judging” in it! In that case we would have to avert our gaze from God’s own statements as to what is right and what is wrong, lest we be guilty of “judging”. You’ve misunderstood.

    Look I’m not interested in a religious debate with either of you. But if someone’s going to ask why Christians think what they do, I’ve provided an explanation. If you want to tell such Christians that you think they’re wrong and that Paul was a hate-monger, then go debate with someone else who cares. I’ve done my part by explaining why Christians tend away from the left. Do what you will with that information, but don’t think you’re going to make any headway by defaming patriarchs like Paul.

  6. #6

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    You're right, I can't find mention of Paul in Leviticus. I'm mistaken. Regardless, I've spoken with Christians who say that the New Testament carries more weight than the Old. I'm not sure of their reasoning, but I'm sure they know what they're talking about. Something about the Old being before the teachings of Jesus, etc. (someone else want to clear the mud on this?)

    And actually, I don't pick and choose what I believe.. I don't even believe in the Bible. I'm agnostic. I just figured I'd educated myself about the Bible a bit because I got tired of fundies misquoting and misinterpreting things. I think the Bible is way too self-contradictory (even the New Testament) to take it seriously. Let's see.. did Judas hang himself, or did he trip and fall and split open? Both couldn't have happened. Is incest forbidden, or not? "Thou shalt not kill," yet God tells Saul to "smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ~~~." Thou shalt not kill..unless God appears to you in a vision and tells you to? That explains a handful of serial killers. Maybe they're just carrying out the will of God then? Sorry.. contradictions everywhere. EVEN the example I gave of Paul hallucinating and hearing Jesus, when no one else witnessed it...even that is contradicted within the SAME BOOK of Acts, which also states that the bystanders DID hear a voice. Obviously the Bible is a book written by a whole bunch of people who did not collaborate very well.

    Abomination = disgust. NOT a sin. Big difference. So no, it's not clear..at all. And you say Romans clearly describes homosexuality as a sin.. please quote the Bible, because I don't see anything that "clearly" describes it as being a sin. Also, I don't see your quotations of "degrading passions" and "due penalty" in Romans. Please cite the specific passage number.

    My main point is, if you're going to follow the Bible, and specifically the Old Testament, it's probably best to follow it religiously (pun intended). Did you know that according to the New Testament, calling someone a fool will put you "in danger of hell fire"? Good stuff!
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  7. #7

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    PS: Don't forget Leviticus 19:18:

    "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

    Good stuff. I wonder if maybe fundamentalists take it literally? "Well, that f*ggot isn't my next door neighbor now is he?.. so f*ck 'em!"

    Don't mistake me as trashing the Bible.. there's a ton of really good stuff in it. It's a real shame some of these hypocritical fearmongering hateful fundies don't practice this stuff more:

    "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." --Proverbs 3:27

    "Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways." --Proverbs 3:31

    "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." --1 John 3:18

    "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." --Romans 14:13 (I really like this one a lot)

    But, take all this with a grain of salt. I'm an agnostic, and I wasn't brought up with religion either.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  8. #8

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    Hats off to you & your father, Ern.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  9. #9

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Regardless, I've spoken with Christians who say that the New Testament carries more weight than the Old. I'm not sure of their reasoning, but I'm sure they know what they're talking about.
    Read my post again, I already explained this (although admittedly not in scholarly detail). The latter only “carries more weight” insofar as that is the covenant under which we now live. However, portions from the old that have carried over into the new still hold full weight. It’s not as though the Old Testament is no longer valid or relevant.

    As for contradictions, it would take me far more time to explain all that to you than I’m interested in devoting to this effort. The answers are out there, however, I was troubled by these *apparent* contradictions myself as well and studied them.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    Abomination = disgust. NOT a sin. Big difference. So no, it's not clear..at all. And you say Romans clearly describes homosexuality as a sin.. please quote the Bible, because I don't see anything that "clearly" describes it as being a sin. Also, I don't see your quotations of "degrading passions" and "due penalty" in Romans. Please cite the specific passage number.
    I think the problem here is you’re reading a different translation. The translation I typically read is the New American Standard Bible. Most of the seminary scholars I know say they prefer it because it is the most accurate for New Testament studies as it is the most accurate translation of Greek.

    As for Romans, or any other passage for that matter, explicitly using the word “sin”, that’s an unreasonable standard. Heck, even the 10 commandments don’t mention “sin” per se, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would say that sin was not at issue. If God says He finds something disgusting, detestable, and says that people shall be put to death for it, what’s your gut feeling of His opinion of it as to whether or not He’d call it “sin”?

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    I wonder if maybe fundamentalists take it literally? "Well, that f*ggot isn't my next door neighbor now is he?.. so f*ck 'em!"
    Where are you getting this stuff? I don’t know any Christians who say stuff like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    "Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways."
    But right there you’ve “judged” the “oppressor”, haven’t you? Or have you simply recognized the evil of his ways? So what’s the difference between recognizing evil in one case, and recognizing it in another, such as with homosexuality? The Bible extremely clear on this. Ernstinen, you can twist, wriggle, and shimmy all you want to try to justify homosexuality, but the fact is, the Bible condemns it. If you still think it’s okay, then don’t claim to be a Christian, because you’re intentionally throwing out the parts you don’t like. It’s your right to disagree with the Bible all you want, but don’t try to say it says something other than it does, because that’s just plain dishonest. It’s just as dishonest and hypocritical as if someone said the Bible doesn’t *really* condemn murderers or doesn’t *really* say that stealing is a sin. The Bible is crystal clear on all three, like it or not.

    You're free to disagree. It's the dishonesty I have a problem with.

  10. #10

    Re: Where is the Christian left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Wright
    Where are you getting this stuff? I don’t know any Christians who say stuff like that.
    Thank God for that. I wouldn't think you'd associate with those kinds of people, Brady, but they do exist. Here is a sorry excuse for Christians if I ever did see one: www . godhatesfags . com -- I didn't linkify it cuz I don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing ANYone is linking to them. One of the people actually has a sign that says "Thank God for Sept 11." Good thing I didn't see that nonsense in person. I would've wound up in jail for assault.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Wright
    But right there you’ve “judged” the “oppressor”, haven’t you? Or have you simply recognized the evil of his ways? So what’s the difference between recognizing evil in one case, and recognizing it in another, such as with homosexuality?
    I don't think the gay community is oppressing anyone. If anything, that passage should apply to THEM..they are being oppressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Wright
    The Bible extremely clear on this. Ernstinen, you can twist, wriggle, and shimmy all you want to try to justify homosexuality, but the fact is, the Bible condemns it. If you still think it’s okay, then don’t claim to be a Christian, because you’re intentionally throwing out the parts you don’t like. It’s your right to disagree with the Bible all you want, but don’t try to say it says something other than it does, because that’s just plain dishonest. It’s just as dishonest and hypocritical as if someone said the Bible doesn’t *really* condemn murderers or doesn’t *really* say that stealing is a sin. The Bible is crystal clear on all three, like it or not.

    You're free to disagree. It's the dishonesty I have a problem with.
    Brady..the Bible condemns a LOT of stuff. And the fact that someone might laugh at the fact that the Bible condemns calling someone a fool, but turns around and takes the condemning of homosexuals seriously..totally boggles my mind. How do you explain gay Christians? Are they posers? Imposters? Surely not any moreso than the Christians who advocate hate, like the jerks who run the web site I mentioned above. "God hates fags"? How arrogant of them to declare what God loves/hates..or even suggest that God hates at all?? That sh_t really pisses me off.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •