I’ve got a few doozies to slam today.
First of all, remember the professor who continued to insist that Wisconsin’s education system is one of the best in the nation because of its powerful unions despite my pointing out that the statistics he was citing were deeply, deeply flawed? Well, here’s what he has to say about the 2012 presidential race:
“Who in their right mind would want to be the GOP nominee in 2012? They should wait until they have an open field in 2016.”
I See What You Did ThereTM. You believe Obama – your Messiah – should be granted a second term without a fight, so you’re doing your best now to demoralize his opponents.
Yes, why would anyone seek to run against Obama? Could it be because of the high gas prices which are a direct result of Obama’s energy policies? Could it be because of the “economic recovery” which is, as far as most people can see, anemic at best? Could it be that people finally – finally – want the chance to elect a president who won’t run up the balance on our national credit card?
V., I love your taste in science fiction and superhero pulp, but you can be an unaccountably arrogant ass when it comes to politics. Sure, the current GOP field hasn’t impressed me so far. Personally, I think somebody should kidnap Chris Christie’s kids and set “running for president” as the ransom. (I kid! I kid!) But it is still too early to declare Obama’s victory a foregone conclusion.
Next up, I have another Facebook friend who’s been doing an excellent job revealing his total ignorance in re: Christianity.
In one recent post, for example, he mocked Harold Camping (who deserves to be mocked, truth be told) and in the process called him a priest. When one of his other friends tried to politely correct his blunder, he replied:
“Priest, preacher. It’s all pretty much the same thing.”
No, it isn’t. Stop being an asshat. There is a world of doctrinal difference between the Harold Campings of the world and the Catholic Church. We Catholics don’t believe in a secret Rapture, for one. While I was going through RCIA a few years ago, my spiritual advisor, Father D., was pretty clear about this fact. He stated unequivocally that “when Jesus comes again, the whole world is going to know it.” He also noted that Jesus Himself discouraged guessing when it came to the date and time of His coming. As Jesus teaches in Matthew 24:
“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Unfortunately for my blood pressure, my friend didn’t stop at blurring the lines between crack-pot fringe Christians and the rest of us. He also posted a link to a HuffPo article which declares that Christians – evangelical Christians in particular – actually hate Jesus. Well, I’m going to go to bat for my evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ and take apart the claims said article makes one by one:
Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture.
Here, the writers of my friend’s cited article make the classic liberal/leftist mistake of confusing “mercy and forgiveness” with “leniency.” Allow me to explain the difference this way: I know someone – someone very close to me – who was sexually abused by her father. This person was raised a Christian, has taken Jesus’ teachings to heart, and has therefore forgiven both of her parents. She still maintains contact with her mother and sends her father birthday and Christmas gifts — and when her father fell seriously ill a few years ago, she spent several weeks in her hometown taking care of him and serving as a knowledgeable intermediary between her mother and her father’s doctors. And yet – and yet – there is still no way in hell that she would ever let a young woman like me spend time alone with her father because she knows that’s not prudent.
Yes — Jesus teaches that the victim of a crime should forgive her victimizer. But Jesus absolutely does not say that the state should therefore refrain from protecting the public from further victimization. That cannot be what Jesus meant because the real-world consequences of lax law enforcement are manifestly disastrous. Some people do need to be put away for a long, long time for their own good as well as ours.
And by the way, did you notice that these anti-Christian writers don’t bother to define what they mean by “draconian sentencing,” “punitive punishment,” or “torture”? Did you notice too that they don’t provide any real evidence that evangelicals support these three things? The Pew survey they cite certainly doesn’t indicate anything of the kind.
Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world.
The fact that a person owns a gun does not make that person more violent, you idiots. Guns are simply tools. While they can be used in a criminal and violent manner, they can just as easily be used for one’s daily subsistence or self defense. The first American colonists would not have survived in the New World without their weapons; the same goes for the pioneers who headed west in the nineteenth century. And I think it’s arguable that in many contexts today, owning a gun is still an eminently wise choice. In a failing urban neighborhood where the police may be hesitant to intervene, a gun can mean the difference between being brutally murdered and staying alive.
As for the activities of the American military, again, I think it is stupid in the extreme to declare categorically that war is in violation of Jesus’ teachings. Peace should always be our first choice — and if a conflict should commence despite our best efforts, we should make war justly. But if a state holds to an ideological brand of pacifism, it is in essence failing to discharge its primary responsibility: the protection of its citizens. Jesus surely did not mean that we should leave ourselves and our children vulnerable to the predators and monsters who populate our fallen world in relative abundance. Individuals can martyr themselves for “peace” if they choose, but they have absolutely no right to make that decision for everyone else. Crimeny! I thought you guys were against forcing one’s religious beliefs on others.
Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor.
Typical leftwing pseudo-Christian drivel. Jesus did not teach that the rich should be condemned. He did note that personal wealth can be a stumbling block when it comes to one’s salvation, but that is not because wealth itself is evil. Rather, wealth can often lead a person to forget that his or her good fortune ultimately comes from God — and consequently, such a person may neglect to give God His due. Idolatry is the issue here, not mere affluence.
And as for giving one’s money to the poor, where is the proof that evangelicals don’t do this? Because when I look around, I see a lot of evidence to the contrary. When evangelical Christians head out on their various missions, they don’t just spread the Gospel; they also try to help the people they encounter. They bring clothes and food with them; they help build houses and dig wells; they set up schools; etc., etc., etc.
And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor — especially poor children.
They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training — anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do.
For the 1,549,163rd time: Jesus did urge us to care for the vulnerable among us. But nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say, “Amen, amen, I say to you, if you do not support a large welfare state, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” Indeed, He offers no policy prescriptions of any kind; He leaves the specifics entirely to us because He respects our free will. It is one of the lowest forms of political bullying to declare that because conservative evangelical Christians don’t unreservedly embrace federal poverty programs, that means they are ignoring Jesus’ preferential option for the poor. That is such bull****, and every honest American knows it.
See, what the left is trying to do here is shut down any sincere disagreement over which poverty programs work and which don’t — whether a large federal bureaucracy can competently handle all the needs of the disadvantaged among us or whether smaller, more local entities would be better suited to the task. And even though many leftists don’t even believe that Jesus is the Son of God and despise those who do, they are perfectly willing to stoop to the despicable tactic of using Jesus as a bludgeon to cow the Christian Right.
Sigh. I think I’m going to have to deploy my blurred out middle finger once again: