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Christianity: The Issue Republicans Really Don’t Get

christianI’m a Christian.  I’m not afraid to admit that.  Many Republicans would have you believe Democrats and liberals are a bunch of Godless individuals seeking to destroy faith-based Christian principles.  It makes for a good marketing ploy, but it simply isn’t true.

The way I see it, Republicans are the biggest enemy to Christian principles and the Christian faith.  They simply don’t get it—none of it.

Does the Bible contain a lot of passages condemning certain acts?  Of course it does.  Would Jesus support abortions or homosexuality?  Who knows.  We are in fact all sinners (if you’re a Christian), that much is without question.  The Bible carries with it a plethora of inspiring events and ridiculous contradictions.  I’ve never viewed the Bible as a word for word true story.  To me it’s more a tool for those who need it at certain points in their life to use it.  I believe many of the stories within the Bible are metaphors written for those seeking answers.

Now, what you believe isn’t of concern to me.  I’ve never met someone of another faith and tried to convert them.  When I meet someone without faith at all (actually, the main person I work with in this business is an atheist) I never try to convince them to believe in anything.  If people ask me what or how I believe I’ll gladly tell them and answer any questions they ask the best I can.

My problem lies when people use faith, God and Jesus as a staging tool to push their own agenda.  It’s essentially the Republican social policy.  Since the Reagan years, Republicans have built up this PR mission of “We are the party of good moral Christian values.”  Ironically, as this was launched, they also started what most people refer to as “Reaganomics” or Trickle-down/Supply Side Economics.  The notion of giving the rich and powerful as much as possible, then the rest of us will reap the windfall of their generosity.

Presently, this idea has morphed into a disgusting monster supported by Republicans and highly influenced by the Tea Party.  While claiming to be great Christians, and the “moral majority,” they’ve attacked homosexuals, other religions (specifically Muslims), the poor, the sick and the needy.  They’ve done this all while doing what they can to ensure those who have the most—keep the most.

Just in the past year or so they’ve:

  • Booed a gay solider brought on TV after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
  • Cheered letting a hypothetical man die who had no insurance.
  • Gave a loud applause to the high execution numbers by Rick Perry while governor of Texas.
  • Condemned poor people who need government assistance.
  • Voted against FEMA that helps people after they’ve faced disasters, then requested help from FEMA when they faced disaster.
  • Turned breast cancer research and the Boy/Girl Scouts into political issues.
  • Tried to block funds to Planned Parenthood, attacking women’s health for poor women.
  • Used the mass murders by gun of 26 people in an elementary school to try and promote the need for more guns.

Are these what they think Christian principles are?  Judgement.  Anger.  Fear.  Hate.  Greed.  Violence.  This is the “moral Christian majority?”

Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit.  I’m a Christian and these people damn sure don’t represent Christianity.  They represent what I call Republicanity.  A mix of political ideology and some perversion of faith.

What the hell makes these people “Christian”?

Because they’re anti-abortion?  Guess what, I’m anti-abortion.  Roe vs Wade isn’t about whether abortions are morally acceptable, what it is about is a woman’s right to choose for herself–and I’m in support for that right for the woman to choose.

Because they’re against homosexuality?

Because many of them have good “church attendance”?

Are these narrow minded, simple ideas what define Christianity and being a “good Christian”?

Not even close.  And it’s why I say—they simply don’t get it.

Being your run of the mill Christian the Bible is the book that tells us what is or isn’t acceptable, is a sin or isn’t and whatever commandments or rules inside are guidelines we are personally supposed to live by.  Keyword in that sentence being personally.  Just like our man-made laws, judges and jury determine our crimes and punishments while alive, God is the one who judges Christians for what we do while we’re on earth (again if you are a Christian or believe in God).

This isn’t a Republican’s job, or anyone’s job, to cast judgment upon another person because they disagree with their lifestyle.  If you disagree, fine, that’s your right, but do so in the name of yourself—not the name of God or Jesus.  You’re neither one of them, and it’s time these people stop using Christianity as a means to wage wars of personal agendas on our society.

Jesus taught tolerance and giving.  To help your fellow man. To give more than you take.  To not judge others.

How do Republicans represent any of this?

They condemn social programs that help the poor.  They call every American having health care socialism and complain that it isn’t our responsibility to pay for those who don’t wish to pay for themselves.  They support the rights of the rich to keep more because the poor don’t really pay that much, if any, and they should pay more before the rich.  They slash education programs and entitlements that mostly benefit the needy, all to avoid eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars given freely to big (billion dollar) oil companies, corporate tax breaks and to ensure people making a million (or more) keep as much as possible.

Their attempts to reduce our deficits and balance our budgets have come at the expense of those who have less, all for the benefit of those who have more.  Their attempts to manipulate faith-based followers to achieve this political goal is the largest catalyst to many in this country turning away from Christianity.

I often reference another Bible saying we’ve all heard, that came from Jesus,  “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

This phrase is meant to show people it isn’t about being right or wrong.  It isn’t about being fair or unfair.

The point is to simply give, love, help and strive to be the best person you can—to all people at all times.  Jesus never once said he approved of the woman’s sins who was going to be stoned for her adultery, but his message was ‘how can any of you judge if you yourself aren’t free of sin.’

Why is your sin less damning than hers?  The reality is we all do things in our lives others can judge.  We all do things that aren’t exactly “Christian.”  Jesus was a man who never asked that we be perfect, just that we work to be the best we can be.  If there’s judgment to be made, that’s between that person and God.

We aren’t infallible.  We were never meant to be.

The “it” I referred to is simply that.  It isn’t our place to judge anyone for the choices they make.  For Christians there’s one ultimate judge, God, and that’s who matters in determining what kind of individuals we are.  By passing our own flawed judgments upon others for situations we may disagree with, how does that make us better Christians?

Did Jesus help the sick, but first ask why they were sick?

Did Jesus help the poor, but only the poor that helped themselves?

Did Jesus help the woman about to be stoned, but on condition she never sin again?

Did Jesus say to his people, “Why should I have to die for your sins?”

The answer is no.

The more Republicans push feelings of judgement, hate, fear and manipulate Christianity (and the Bible) for their selfish political agendas—the more Republicans prove that they simply don’t get it. 

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Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1668034780 Jeri Martin

    Beautiful!

  • David King

    For what it’s worth, your feelings about the Bible not being literally true are part of mainstream, traditional Christianity. One of the earliest Christian theologians, Origin, taught that the Holy Spirit deliberately put contradictions in the Bible so no one would be tempted to take it literally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500053064 Will Clancey

      They probably should have included a disclaimer of some kind.

      • David King

        They did. “For now, we see through a glass, darkly.” It was only in the middle nineteenth century — when science was believed to be producing absolute truth — that Fundamentalists began talking about an infallible Word of God. Before that, from the very beginning, Christians have known that we don’t get certainty in this life. That’s why we’ve got to run on faith, hope, and love.

      • Scott Place

        I was not aware of that David. Thank you for posting.

      • DebofAmber

        Also, the tradition Jesus came from used ‘teaching parables’ all the time.

        I was taught that many of the stories in the Bible were just that, stories. The flood, Adam and Eve – all stories to learn from and whose meanings intensify and deepen as we get older.

        Taking them as literal truth was never something they were meant to be.

      • ccaffrey

        Exactly. And that’s also a pretty good response to people who are struggling with the creation story and were taught literalism as a child. I have found two responses that have proved useful without humiliating them. One is as you suggest: If Jesus found it necessary to teach in parables so we could understand, why wouldn’t God? How could human beings ever understand the magnitude of billions of years of evolutionary creation at a time when everyone still thought the world was flat. Also, re the 7-day Creation I usually say, Why are we making God human-size and assuming that God’s days are 24-hours. They could each be billions of years long! A number of people have thanked me (by their expression alone) for giving them an “out” from that : )

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

      Origin had his flaws, too. There are no contradictions. Context is always necessary. The gospels had minor differences. But, that serves to debunk any thought of collusion.

      • David King

        True, Origin had flaws, but he was never faulted for his view of Scripture. Also, Augustine agreed with him that the literal meaning of Scripture wasn’t that important. Thing is, no one ever said what Fundamentalists are saying now — that a perfect God had to produce a perfect, infallible scripture. No one believed that until the mid nineteenth century. It’s really not a part of traditional Christianity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

        God, who is perfect, used men, very flawed, to write His sentiments. The Bible, as a whole, is like a painting. If you get very close to a small section, you can’t get the full view. Some colors don’t look right together. In the same way, you can’t look at a chapter in Leviticus, and say the whole Bible is about using women as chattel. That view was for a different time. (Someone commented using that line).

      • David King

        Lee, this is all true, but beside the point. Christians — including Origin and Augustine – have always maintained the Bible is inspired. That doesn’t mean it’s literally infallible.

        And as for the Timothy verse, Paul was writing in Greek to a Greek convert ministering to Greek churches. What are the chances the “scripture” he refers to is the Hebrew Bible? He was talking about the Septuagint, which contains a lot more books than the modern Old Testament.

        I think it is the myth within Fundamentalism that Christians have always believed the Bible is literally infallible. There was no reason to actually come out and say it because everyone believed it But as I’ve said, some key theologians not only didn’t believe in literal infallibility, they thought it was nonsense. Yet no one disagreed with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

        Hey, look me up on fb. I’d like to discuss this, as well as other topics, etc.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

        “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 HCSB

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenell1 Jenell Yarbrough-Brinson

        yes, read that again carefully. it does not say infallible and literally the very word of God Inspired by, not written by, God.

  • Blue in a Red county.

    This is the reason I am no longer a church going Christian. They are not behaving “Christlike”. I am blown away by some of the comments of Christian friends.

    • http://twitter.com/TeresaPon1 Teresa P

      I grew up Catholic. I no longer believe. Just some of the things these people would say. I have always found religious people to be the most hypocritical, hateful people

      • Teresa A

        Teresa P – me too! Grew up Catholic, but am now Episcopalian. Often referred to as “Catholic lite”. .but so so much more positive and accepting. If ever you have the inclination to stick a toe back in the water, this might be a good place to start. . And yes, I agree with you on the “religious people”. .I see it all around me with my TP family members. .

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Elizabeth-Marsh-Tanabe/1083885165 Susan Elizabeth-Marsh Tanabe

        Blue & Teresa, though i agree with this article i do not read it as anti-church. There are, in the USA, thousands of churches and if you miss the community of love and faith there IS a good left-leaning one out there for you, i promise!Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian…. many churches of these denominations, as well as others, are very active, leftist communities. The article here is anti-GOP, against what the party has become. We can all agree on that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenell1 Jenell Yarbrough-Brinson

        Susan, depends on where you live. down here in rural and small town east Texas, no, there are no good left-leaning communities, or leftist churches. It’s right wing conservative or nothing.

      • Sheldon Gramps

        I am glad to hear that not all churches and Christians are behaving this way and that their are true Christians out there helping people.

      • JamieHaman

        Susan, if you can stomach it, go to church in small town central Texas,. It is probably just like small town east Texas. It is unbelievable what a pulpit preaching man will say about women and sin.

      • ccaffrey

        also Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. It should be noted that among all church denominations you will find conservative congregations as well; that is sometimes more a function of geography. But I encourage you to keep visiting. And also check the national and state denomination webpages, which will give you a good idea of the values represented there. I grew up in the Disciples church (which has always ordained women, by the way) and learned social justice activism in the church! civil rights, farmworker boycotts, anti-war movements. I currently belong to an Episcopal church, St. James, in Austin, a church which I adore! Multi-racial, multi-cultural, multilingual, active LGBT members. It practices “radical hospitality”. There are discussion groups on racial reconciliation, theology (deep questions and open to people of other faiths), women’s support, a separate health ministry that does screenings, food pantry, small community garden with help from local elementary school kids, and runs a Montessori-type preschool with sliding fee scale, and full scholarships for low-income families in the neighborhood.
        People would be wrong to judge Americans by those who are the most outrageously conservative who capture the most press. Likewise, people are more likely to hear about Westboro Baptist, and pedophile priests than they are to hear about people walking the walk of their faith in areas of peace, environmental stewardship, reconciliation, and following Jesus’ teachings re the poor, the hungry and the lost.
        Don’t be overwhelmed by the hijackers. Keep looking. There really are lots of good people out there in community struggling for justice and serving those in need. (ps. most of them are great at hospitality but lousy at evangelism lol)

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

      There it is. Not Christlike. In other words, nicer than Christ. Nevermind the fact He expelled those who took advantage of travellers with jacked up prices for essential animals to sacrifice. Does this sound like meek & mild? On the other hand, those who inflate prices are still around. You see them on Capitol Hill. Both democrats & republicans. What do you think Jesus would do to them?

      • Sharon

        Jesus wouldn’t “do” anything to them. Jesus didn’t “expel” anyone. He turned over a money-changer’s table and told the merchants to get out of His FATHER’s house. They should never have been within the walls of the temple, desecrating the holy grounds. All that business could have gone on outside of the temple. Did you not study that chapter in enough detail, or are you just picking out a scenario as a lot of other people like to do that do not study the bible, but like to find only the flaws to suit their agenda?
        Capitol Hill is NOT a sanctuary or temple for God. So, Jesus would probably not have anything to do with them. He’d probably still tell us all to give to the government what it requires and still give the rest to the poor. Remember, Jesus stayed out of politics. As much as He could. Why? Because you can’t be a politician and preach the gospel. You cannot serve two masters.

      • Barbara Harrison

        Love it…someone should pound this into the heads of Huckaby, Buchanan, Roberts (who needs Jesus AND a strait-jacket!).

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ellistrey April Gardner

      awww this is unfortunate. I am a Christian, but it is hard to find a Church that behaves in a Christlike way. When you find one stick to it. I love my Church but I didn’t go for YEARS because I don’t go to further a political agenda I go to worship God. I think a lot of Churches have forgotten the second greatest commandment (Love your neighbor) and this is a travesty to us all :’(

    • Terrie Costello- Coats

      This article was so spot on. If there isn’t a church in your area that supports this kind of (actual) Christianity, consider organizing a gathering in your home or local area. There is something so wonderful about being with others who share the same faith and views. That is what church is supposed to be about. I’m thankful we’ve got a great parish in our area but if we didn’t? That’s what I’d do. peace!

    • jellis

      And I am blown away by the comments of some progressive/liberal Chritian AND non-Christian friends. So what!
      There is more than enough stupid to go around. Why limit your ire to one group of people?

    • drklassen

      There really is a Christian Left trying to counter all this.

  • Yvonne Yankee

    I have been thinking about how to phrase how I feel about all that is happening at this point. Was never able to put it all in words. You have said is very simply and I understand exactly what you mean and I feel the same way. I wish more people would read this and maybe they would understand the same as you and I. Thanks for putting it in words.

  • JT Riley

    You my friend are no Christian, your someone who read the Bible and went to church. There is a huge difference. A Christian is one who devotes his life to studying the Bible, spreading the gospel and emulates Christ behavior to the best of their ability, even if that means being mocked and scoffed at by the world (that is not a contradiction either, it is perfectly spelled out). I’m sorry but it’s people like you that give Christians a bad name.

    • blue meanie

      speaking of people who don’t get it…

    • obama sucks

      Amen

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Klammer/1000146560 Brian Klammer

        Do you realize Your log in name is a Blasphemy ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-W-Lukens-Goodson/100000194585042 Mary W. Lukens Goodson

      Well done JT! You got it all wrong on the first try!

    • Hopefull

      And how does JT Riley interprt Matthew 19:16 – 30?

    • srsly

      wow. are you god or jesus? do you have an omnipotent knowledge of this author’s life? then dare i ask, what gives YOU the right to judge this person? on what authority do you gain the ability to determine this person’s relationship with his god? judge not, friend. your job as a human & a ‘christian’ are to live YOUR life & evolve YOUR relationship with god, not cast judgement on people you don’t know. just the first 6 words of your post are about as un-christian of a statement as a person who claims to be a christian could make. cast no stones. i do have to agree with your last line tho: i’m sorry, but it’s people like you that give christians a bad name.

    • http://www.facebook.com/greg.hanson.9083 Greg Hanson

      In addition, english grammar is obviously not your forte. You most likely meant you’re as opposed to your. Also, if you wish to emulate someone, you most show possession.

      It must be hard trying to recruit people when you cant contruct a gramatically correct sentence.

      • Amelia

        This is my favorite comment on the entire thread. Bravo, Greg.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Klammer/1000146560 Brian Klammer

        No need to insult, Love & forgive.

    • David King

      JT. Odd that you gave your definition of a Christian and never mentioned loving God. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. And whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

      That’s Christianity.

    • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

      Funny, I spent several semesters studying the Hebrew Bible and New Testament at college, because I wanted to avail myself of one of the best Near Eastern Studies programs… And better understand the most important written work in Western Civilization.

      There definitely IS a call to devote one’s life to study in the Hebrew Bible (it’s one that Hassids and other fundamentalist Jews are fond of), but that call is not singular, unconditional, or inarguable (hence why the vast majority of scholarship rejects it as the primary purpose of life).

      But I digress. Devoting one’s life to biblical studies can certainly be a fine and worthwhile thing. The problem is when those studies are confined to the text and nothing else — no context, no history, no translation, no debate or true scholarship. I find many “Christian” fundamentalists mistake “memorizing the bible” for “studying” it. That’s just nuts.

      I mean, even the four Gospels – the bedrock of Christianity – don’t agree with each other on the place of Jesus’s birth, or the day and timing of his Crucifixion. Sure that alone ought to raise the question of whether they are meant LITERALLY with every word transcribed down the ages from Aramaic (or Hebrew, or Assyrian, or Babylonian, in the case of the Hebrew Bible), to Greek, to Latin, to Middle English, to Modern English in dozens of different translations…

      It’s funny. All of the true Christian scholars I met — scholars in the real sense of the word, not the false sense of many fundamentalists — whether Catholic or Protestant, have no doubt in their minds that G-d does not mean for us to take every word and passage literally (even more so in the case of Christians vis-a-vis the Hebrew Bible). You’d go mad doing so (I’m reminded of Ned Flanders pleading “I’ve done everything the Bible says! Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!”). That doesn’t make the word of the Bible any less true, or any less of God.

      Only narrow minds that demand certainty and clarity in human terms from a G-d who must be far more complex and mysterious than we can imagine, would dare to think that they can understand G-d’s word with an infallibility belonging only to G-d.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Klammer/1000146560 Brian Klammer

        Here, Here, Well Said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/NeonRainbow52 Debi ThunderHawk Mitchell

    Thank you.

  • obaobama sucks

    Horrible article. Reagan was our greatest president ever. Obama hates americans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-W-Lukens-Goodson/100000194585042 Mary W. Lukens Goodson

      I’m trying to decide if this is satire, or if you really believe that absurd statement….

    • Al Cleverdon

      You’re funny.Ever approach Saturday Night Live?

  • memeremalek

    Today’s right wing Republican Tea Party Libertarian so-called ‘Christian’ majority cherry-pick Bible passages as they fit their topic, ignoring its most important points; love one another, charity, acceptance, forgiveness and open hearts. They hide their racism, bigotry, mysogyny and hatred for the poor & undocumented behind their so-called religiousness. In fact, the aforementioned groups are the very ppl Jesus embraced and advocated for. If he were to walk the earth today – the religious right would disgust him. The Bible is indeed the greatest book ever written. But it is thousands of yrs. old and much of it is no longer relevant today. Women are no longer chattel, you cannot sell your daughters and you don’t marry your brothers widow to keep her chaste & safe. It was written by humans and even thousands of yrs. ago, humans were flawed. Some of the nastiest most mean spirited selfish ppl call themselves ‘Christians’. They’re false.

    • OldManDave

      I would make one critically important friendly amendment. Please do not make the error of lumping Libertarians in with the Teabuggers. Yes, there are a few, I’m sorry to admit, but true Libertarians value nurturing & protection of individual liberties – concept fundamental to the founding of this nation – and no true Libertarian can or would endorse the constraint or removal of individual liberties. Fundamental to Libertarianism & every bit as much of the foundation is the concept of social liberalism. In plain terms, that means everyone has the right to pursue their own freedoms/happiness/pursuits as lond as that does not impinge upon others’ equally profound right to pursue them. Perpetuating a fundamentalist/conservative Christian agenda & subsequently eroding the right to liberty is antithetical to Libertarianism.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

      That’s quite a list of accusations. A whole lot of judging going on. Do you know for a fact what is on the hearts of these people? Are you sure of their motives? You said, ” racism, bigotry, mysogyny and hatred for the poor & undocumented.” Only God judges motives.
      Actions are what we can judge. Of course, that depends on whether or not the context of Matthew 7:1 (-6) allows. If you do the same thing, or worse.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenell1 Jenell Yarbrough-Brinson

        By their works shall ye know them.
        to judge actions, behaviors, is not the same as to judge a person, personally.
        I can judge you are wrong about something, or something you do is wrong. but I cannot judge YOU as ‘wrong’ as a person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kimberlee-Bell-Gasper/611498954 Kimberlee Bell Gasper

    Thank you for this. It’s fantastic.

  • marvin mitchell

    In other words….Republicans are modern-day pharisees!!! (See Matt 3:7)

    • http://www.facebook.com/joanne.hains Joanne Hains

      Actually the democrats are the current administration is the most corrupt and self serving we have ever witnessed. They don’t even try to look like they a following are government laws. They don’t even attempt to appear hard working and diligent, no one heard or read any of the letters from bBenghazi asking for help? why didn’t the secretary of state of the president hear BECAUSE THEIR NOT WORKING FOR US. THEY ARE PLAYING WITH THEIR NEW FOUND POWER, THEY ARE THE PHARISEES. tHEY ARE ONLY WORKING TO KEEP THEMSELVES IN POWER CAMAPIGNING AND SMOOZING WITH CELEBRITIES.

      • Moxiesong

        ……you are absolutely loosing your mind aren’t you?

      • Al Cleverdon

        More garbage.I’m not sure what worries me more…That people like you actually come up with this thinking on your own or that you are brainwashed by the Republican establishment who rub their hands together with glee as they read your kind of responses and say”oh boy, we’ve locked up another one!”

      • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.s.sain Victoria Skywishes Sain

        i feel sorry for you :( must suck to live so far in the dark
        hopefully one day you will open your mind and eyes

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Klammer/1000146560 Brian Klammer

        Where do you want me to send your stone? And do you prefer throwing round ones or skippers?

      • wiretwister

        I see we’ve reached the “Benghazi Point” in this discussion thread.
        Yes, there are a lot of self-serving politicians in both major parties. However, let’s keep things in proper perspective: During the eight years of the Bush regime, eleven American embassies were attacked, leaving 53 dead and 90 injured. But nobody kept on harping about it, because when there’s a Republicon in the White House, we’re all supposed to snap to attention, salute, and shout, “Jawohl, mein Führer”.

      • jeczaja

        When you put capslock on you just look crazy.

  • Nisha Taylor

    Bravo… very well said.

  • P D

    Sounds so poetic. If it had any intellect or truth within a mile of it, it might actually pass for something substantive. Jesus DID require people to act for blessings, and He DID reward people for efforts, not for simply existing.

    As for judging, did Jesus overturn the money changers’ tables, or would that be too “judgmental”?

    Now get back to your pro-abortion pro-governmental-theft-as-a-substitute-for-charity-in-total-disregard-for-the-actual-teachings-of-Jesus pro-hedonistic mantras.

    • David King

      “Jesus DID require people to act for blessings.” You mean, like the prodigal son? Or the man helped by the good Samaritan? When God separates the sheep and the goats, will he only reward those who gave food and drink to those who deserved it?

      Just which gospels are you reading, anyway?

      • P D

        The ones where Jesus told people they had to give up things that were precious to them to follow Him, where effort was rewarded, such as where the man was lowered through the roof or the man who touched his clothing in the crowd, where Jesus never said “Hey everyone, do whatever you want. We’re cool.”

      • Assert Valid

        How many different names are you going to use on one site in one day? First jt riley, now pd? Are you just going to open a new disqus account every 5th comment?

      • P D

        I am me, nobody else. Nice distraction from people who must be schooling you. If reality is so painful, maybe you should just get back to your MSNBC?

      • Assert Valid

        As you should Fox Nation instead of trolling on progressive web pages to satisfy some psychological need to make yourself feel important.

      • P D

        My life makes me important, I just share a little with the unimportant people who call themselves “progressives” this year.

      • David King

        The man who was lowered through the roof demonstrated that he had faith. It wasn’t his effort that was rewarded, it was his belief and dedication.

        The rich man who was told to sell everything he had and give it to the poor? Jesus wasn’t telling him to buy his way into heaven. He was telling him to love people more than possessions. It was about love, not reward.

        Or were you thinking of the people he told to leave his families to follow him? Again, those stories are about getting your priorities straight, not about doing something to earn something else.

        Christianity is not about striking a bargain with God.

        And Jesus never said “do whatever you want,” exactly. But Augustine of Hippo, the great early theologian, summed Christianity up as, “Love God and do as you please.” And the “love God” part came straight from Jesus.

      • Hisservant

        Hey David, the story of the man being told to abandon his possessions was about faith and what was Lord of his life. Those who would put other idols before them rather than Christ will suffer the consequences. It was not necessarily about putting people before possessions, although Christ did teach the importance of serving others. I don’t really care what Augustine said, rather what scripture tells us.

      • David King

        Well, Servant, I actually think we don’t disagree about the man and his possessions — though I do think “and give to the poor” is an important part of it.

        But do you agree with PD’s original assertion: “Jesus DID require people to act for their blessings?” This seems to be his response to the right-wing parody of progressive thought — give stuff for free to everyone, whether they deserve it or not. That in itself is a straw man — it’s more correct to say that progressives believe in helping people who are hurt through no fault of their own. But if you look at the teachings of Jesus, he helped a lot more people who had done nothing to deserve it than otherwise.

        As to Augustine, he was simply summarizing the two great commandments, the assumption being that if you love God, you will also love your neighbor. I think it’s a fair scripture-based summary of what Jesus was talking about.

      • David King

        Or, take another example — the parable of the workers in the field. They all went into the field at different times of day, but at the end, even those who had only worked an hour received a denarius. Understand, a denarius was a day’s minimum wage — if you got less than that, you couldn’t afford to feed your family. So at the end of the day, each worker was paid, not what they had earned, but what they needed to survive.

        Does that sound like a plan Paul Ryan would approve of?

      • P D

        Faith without works is dead,
        I never said he had to buy his way into Heaven. I understand the passage quite well. Did I not say Jesus required some effort on the part of the recipient? You are putting words in my mouth, but I guess when your argument is failing, bring out the strawmen. They are easier to defeat.

      • P D

        I’ll put it another way: If Jesus just wanted everyone to have everything, was it not within His power? What keeps us from having blessings more often than our attitudes and efforts? There was also mention of “If a man doesn’t work, then let him not eat.” I’m sure you will try to parse that away, but the corrupt and evil portrayal of laissez-faire Jesus is part and parcel of the same sickness we call “socialism” that is killing or spirit and making people MISERABLE.

    • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

      Overturning the tables of the money changers is an interesting act from two perspectives:

      1. From context and his words, it seems pretty damn clear Jesus’s actions were in disgust at the intrusion of the secular, commercial world into the house of G-d.

      2. It actually was a pretty reasonable thing to have money-changers nearby (though perhaps not IN, which seems Jesus’s main complaint) the Temple. During the Passover, many pilgrims would be coming from throughout the Jewish world, many carrying other than the local currency, but would need it in order to purchase sacrificial and sacramental requirements (as well as maybe a place to stay, and a nice nosh).

      • P D

        But don’t forget that the idea of purchasing a sacrifice was inherently fraudulent in the eyes of God.

    • Shelley

      I once called my mother and grandmother on being judgmental when I had been taught all my life to not be judgmental. Their rational was that the person they were discussing really had done something bad. When I said, but Jesus said–my mother interrupted me, and said, Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers’ tables, he judged their behavior. I thought for a bit and said, but you two are not Jesus.

      I got slapped for that. PD–there’s an old saying: A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. This is not an attempt to change your mind. My experience with people who justify being judgmental is that sooner or later they find themselves under the sword, and I am sorry you will have to go through this. I’ve been there. It’s terrible–I hope you come to understand mercy and grace. I’m not saying I do, but I’m getting a glimpse here and there. And judgment just isn’t on the table.

      • Hisservant

        You make me laugh Shelley because you do exactly what you accuse PD of doing. You judge him and all the other commentaries you disagree with. Who is the hypocrite here?

      • P D

        If Jesus didn’t want us to judge people, their actions, or w/e, why would he set an example to the contrary? There is nothing wrong with righteous anger. Judgment is not a sin. To not judge is advice given as a warning against being unjust and inviting scrutiny upon yourself. I know I have my own faults, but that will not keep me standing up for what I believe in!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mel-Haun-Sr/1749116655 Mel Haun Sr

    Well said. Nothing more disciuraging in listening to some supposed Christians bad mouith the poor,. those different than themselves, while they championm some very UN Christian things

  • JulieAH

    Wow. Beautifully and clearly written response to the co-opting of religion/Christianity that the intolerant, “radicalized” Christians have managed to do since, yeah, about the time Reagan was in office. If there is one idea from your post that I will take with me to shout from the mountaintops or to argue (hopefully with a calm and intelligent demeanor) it is this:

    …”if you disagree, fine, but do so in the name of yourself–not in the name of God or Jesus? You are neither of those, and it’s time to stop using Christianity as a means to wage wars of personal agendas on our society.”

    Amen, brother. Amen.

    • ccaffrey

      If you’ve not read it, find a copy of The Hijacking of Jesus. It should be noted that it was during the late 70′s that Paul Weyrich (founder of the Heritage Foundation, ALEC, etc.) teamed up with Jerry Falwell and gave him the term Moral Majority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charity.reinelduncan Charity Reinel-Duncan

    I too am a Christian but I am not against homosexuality. I am for gun control but only to get guns out of criminals hands. Even though we know that will never happen. But I dont think guns should be taken away. Abortion is a big issue right now. Some say abortion should be available to everyone at every stage but morally is that really right. Should we as Christians allow the murder of innocent babies? Which being pro choice you are basically saying that you are okay with someone killing their baby that they are carrying it. I am however not against a woman doing that after morning pill. Because I am not against birth control either. Abortions should only be done in the earliest stages of pregnancy and only in cases of rape, incest or if the mothers and or childs life is in danger. I am not fully in support of rape or incest abortions, but I do see it as and am not uncompassionate about that womans situation. She didnt have a choice in getting raped. I do however applaud a woman who chooses to deliver that baby and either raise it or give it up for adoption. But it is not right to judge her for making a different choice. A baby born at 21 to 24 weeks has a small chance of survival outside of the mothers womb. And it is okay to have an abortion in most states at this gestational age. At this stage the fetus has all of its working organs and can feel pain. So an abortion at this stage should not be allowed. I am a republican but some issues I lean towards the left a little bit. But when it comes to abortion, I will stay where I am. Which is both ways. Certain situations only. And definately not after 12 weeks.

    • Awake

      First off… idiots like you (who try to impose your false morality on others) should be sterilized because you are obviously too stupid to breed in the first place… but just some info for you to help you peek over the edge of that tiny box you are trapped in so you can see the bigger picture… there are already almost 10 BILLION people on this planet…. that’s WAY more than we can feed right now… in fact, about 4 billion people on this planet are starving at any given moment… and 2 billion of those people are CHILDREN! We really don’t need more babies… we really don’t need people like the Duggars… we most certainly don’t need fucktards like you telling other women what they can and can’t do with their bodies and their unborn children… especially when all people like you do is whine and complain about what someone else is doing instead of doing something to really help LIKE ADOPTING A STARVING CHILD FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY!!!

      • joy13

        uh, that’s 7 billion, not 10… Before you nitpick on her, and she has some rational points of view, get your silly facts right. The 7th billion person was born early in this year of 2013. And actually, Charity is pro-choice, so what’s your problem? I think you haven’t had enough non-”Awake” time, “Awake”.Go to bed and get some rest.

      • http://www.facebook.com/charity.reinelduncan Charity Reinel-Duncan

        I am only prochoice in certain situations. But I dont think it should ever be used as a form of birth control. However the morning after pill should be allowed for those who need it. I am not a complete right-winged freak. Some times I feel like Christians have slid back and let this world come to where it is, They are filled with hatred and are just sometimes really mean. Thats why i stopped going to my church that I grew up in. Cause it didnt make sense. WHy is it okay to hate? Its not. God commanded that we love one another. Not just those that believe what we believe. I was told all muslims are terrorists. And for a long time I believed that. Until I met the sweetest muslim woman who welcomed me into her home and let me stay there. They never once forced their religion down my throat. Nor did they try to blow me up. Or anyone else for that matter. I was told to hate gays because all they wanted to do is molest me. So for a long time I did. But I have the sweetest gay and lesbian friends ever. And not once have they tried hitting on me or molesting my children. In fact, they are considered my childrens uncles and they babysit them all the time. I am proud to know them and love them very much. Awake, your comment that says I should be steralized…..haha too late, I already have 3 kids. And plan on having more. I am not on welfare but I have been on welfare before when both my husband and I lost our jobs. I got foodstamps to feed my kids. It is rediculous for this country to have any starving children in it because we do have social services that will provide food stamps to families with children. The only reason why these children are starving is because the parents of these children are probably on crack or heroin and are selling their foodstamps to get those drugs. Thats on the parents. But there should be no reason in the world that any child in the United states should go hungry. Its because of selfishness that causes our kids to go hungry.

      • Hisservant

        Awake, why are you filled with such hate and vile feelings towards others. Do you feel weak or insecure? Accept Jesus and his teachings into your heart and you will become a more open minded person with compassion for others.

      • David King

        So . . . is it your enlightened atheism that leads you to want to see Charity sterilized? That thing you see in your rearview mirror? It’s your credibility.

      • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

        TROLL ALERT!

    • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

      Most people — Christian and otherwise — are right with you, including most “pro-choice” people. Nothing is more infuriating to me than the terminology of the debate. People who are “pro-choice” aren’t “pro-abortion!” No one WANTS abortions, but wanting doesn’t change the reality that sometimes, for some women, they are the least-bad of several horrible options. As Bill Clinton put it, the ideal should be “safe, legal, and RARE.”

      By the same token, I hate that the anti-choice crowd calls themselves “pro-life”. Outlawing abortions will neither eliminate (or even greatly reduce) their numbers, nor will it do much to improve the LIFE of children born as a result.

      I always ask “pro-lifers” whether their goal is reducing the number of abortions, or simply feeling morally superior to other people. It seems clear to me that if you really want to reduce abortion, you should be advocating:
      1) Comprehensive sex education
      2) Free, publicly available contraception
      3) Universal health care
      4) Improved maternity/paternity leave laws
      5) Better education and better-paying jobs

      It’s simple — ALL of those are actually, seriously, scientifically, PROVEN to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, AND improve the lives people live. THAT’s pro-life.

      So don’t let anyone tell you you’re being amoral or “anti-life” or a “baby killer”. You’re recognizing the complexity of life and trying to thread the needle as best you can figure. That’s all most of us are trying to do.

      *Should note, I’m NOT with you on the term restriction on abortions, because, although rare, there ARE medical conditions which can occur late in pregnancy that can result in the death of the mother and/or child. So long as the law cannot anticipate all situations, the law should leave room for judgment.

  • Awake

    The REAL issue that none of you people seem to “get” is that religion itself is the problem. It can (and has) been argued that religion is the single largest barrier
    that has been, and still is preventing humankind from continuing to evolve mentally and
    thus socially. Just imagine where mankind would be today without the past 3000 or 4000 years of religious repression. Religion has ALWAYS been used as a tool to control and subjugate the masses through ignorance, fear, and prejudice while keeping a select few in power… all under the guise of promoting peace and love… and THAT’S the real bullshit. If mankind is ever going to evolve past our current (and failing) socio-economic state of existence, then we need to abolish religion… we need to completely abandon these utterly ridiculous thousand year old superstitions and myths that were spawned out of our childish ignorance, yet for some reason we still cling too, and continue to go to war and kill each other over…. it is absolutely ludicrous, even insane, that in this day and age people will defend to their death this kind of asinine belief in the existence of mystical and supernatural beings that control our lives and destinies. Placing your “faith” in anything other than yourself is weakness… it’s the ultimate scapegoat to blame all on “god”… rather than taking responsibility and accountability for your own actions and existence.

    • David King

      Um . . “Religion has ALWAYS been used as a tool to control and subjugate the masses through ignorance, fear, and prejudice?” Both the abolition movement and the civil rights movement were Christian to the core. And many of the great intellectual breakthroughs in human history have come from religious people. Yes, there were Christians who believed in subjugating people, but the people fighting against them were often just as Christian. For every Bernard Gui, you had a Friedrich Spee

      Nah, that’s just way too simplistic.

      • Awake

        Thank you David for proving my point about ignorance and missing the bigger picture… and showing us all just how “simplistic” minded people like you really are. Before you go thumping your bible and taking false credit for Christians being the “core” of the Civil Rights Movement… Ever stop to think that we wouldn’t have needed a civil rights movement had rich white Christians never viewed other ethnicities as “lesser” beings and forced them into slavery and later “minority” status in the first place? Ever stop to think outside your little box and realize that the Civil Rights Movement was (and continues to be) a global movement… led by, and affecting millions of people… none of whom are Christian. Ever stop to think about all the tribal cultures here in North America (and all over the world) that were (and continue to be) wiped out by Christians “spreading the word”. And by the way, the inquisitions were responsible for about 6000 or so recorded deaths… but lets not forget the crusades… all of them, up to the 17th century, are responsible for an estimated 23 MILLION deaths… all in the name of religion. Oh… and might as well throw in the 6 million Jews and 5 million “other minorities” that the self proclaimed “Evangelical Christian” Adolf Hitler tortured and killed. No matter how little “good” religion may take credit for now or in the past… there is FAR more evil being done in the name of religion…. after all, it’s so much easier to get away with mass murder when you are an elite member of “the righteous” and you have god on your side… right?

      • Hisservant

        Hey awake you are truly misinformed if you think slavery was started by rich white Christians. The first slaves were blacks in Africa subjugating other blacks or those of Middle Eastern background subjugating those peoples they had conquered. Your diatribe is filled with hate and lots of misinformation. Hitler was not an evangelical Christian…..etc….

      • Moxiesong

        First of all, the ‘first slaves’ were neolithic, meaning that there wasn’t ‘blacks’ and ‘africans’ or ‘middle eastern’ it was new ‘city states’ of people who moved probably in territorial maneuvers for resources against one another. You’ve also forgotten the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Mesopotamian, Cyrus the Great’s Beginning of the Persian Empire etc etc.

        You’re right though, that there was slavery in Africa but you’re really being disingenuous when you neglect to mention that the Portuguese and White slave trading took what was a much smaller system of tribal warfare slavery into a -mass- production of millions of slaves. That’s some serious misrepresentation of the situation. The Middle Eastern ‘slavery’ was different as well and never quite as vicious or as profitable as the slave trade to the new world.

        Not to mention the use of the bible in that slave trade to justify the slavery, The bible was extensively used by white Christians to say that blacks were inferior that they were marked by god for servitude. It was used in the south, repeatedly as an excuse for the continuing slavery and eventually even used to justify a war that killed 800 thousand Americans to end that slavery.

        Your rebuttal wasn’t ‘hate filled’ but it’s certainly misinformed, intellectually dishonest, and disingenuous. As for Hitler, seriously, he was a evangelical christian. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings and makes you uncomfortable but he was. He used Christianity to subjugate and murder millions of people and used God’s given right to the Third Reich to absolve himself. Once again, intellectually dishonest, and misinformed.

        It’s depressing and sad that you seem to think that by denying the truth of your religion and it’s past that it some how absolves it. I would have so much more respect for you as a Christian and a human being if you acknowledged the failings of those before you and sought to do better. I mean isn’t that what Christ would want?

      • Ken

        The Church and Big Business just became part of the State under Hitler. Unfortunately, while we sleep – Awake – it’s very close to happening here in the US.

      • neffer

        what a looser ,please get a life

      • Anna McCullough

        It’s “loser”, by the way. “Looser” means “less tight”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Klammer/1000146560 Brian Klammer

        Awake, No need for personal insults – it belittles the issue.

    • Allison Shaw

      Awake, what would you do then…outlaw religious beliefs and imprison, torture, or execute those found guilty? That’s hardly enlightened. A truly secular society allows freedom of thought and belief while ensuring that no particular religion has preference over others and inhibiting the oppression of individuals and groups based upon their religious beliefs or lack thereof. To hold such contempt and to be so dismissive of religious thought and those holding them without examining each strand and individual thoroughly and gleaning that which is noble and useful for the society as a whole is counterproductive and not intellectually gainful.

    • keierkr

      Eliminating religion has already been tried at least twice and both times failed – Hitler and the Nazis, and Stalin and his regime. They failed at eliminating religion, actually strengthened religion, but killed tens of millions of innocent people.

      • Chris Muir

        Hitler was a devout Catholic who claimed to be completing Christ’s work by eliminating the Jews. He insisted on religious education in public schools, and the belt buckles on Nazi uniforms had the words “Gott Mit Uns” (God is with us) stamped on them.
        So, no, Hitler did not try to “eliminate religion”. Neither did Stalin. What both of them did do is try to eliminate any perceived threat to their power, and that did include some religious groups.

      • Snarf

        Hitler was anything but a devout Catholic: he specifically singled out the Jesuit order for targeting by the SS, and many Catholics of all orders (and Christians generally) ended up on the wrong side of the Nazis. Hitler worshipped only Hitler, although he’d use Christian and neo-pagan imagery as needed to promote the personality cult.
        (And, by the way, those belt buckles were from World War I, not World War II, and were limited to Prussian soldiers of Imperial Germany (the Hohenzollerns were explicitly Christian in their stated ideology, albeit not necessarily their actions)).
        Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and countless others have persecuted believers of all religions to maintain cults of personalities over the years. Religion is just one more means by which the dominance hierarchy wired into our primate brains manifests itself.

    • jeczaja

      Militant fundamentalist atheism is just as obnoxious as all the rest.

      • http://www.thryse.com/ Kaitlyn Richardson

        “Militant” atheists are rude. Militant believers kill thousands… and I am not an atheist.

  • Sunny

    Interesting discussion posts. Article well written, message right on. Keep on, Allen, keep on. It is about time we think for ourselves!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596390633 Brigitte Davis Cowan

    You’ve expressed my feelings exactly. I’m a Christian and try to live my life according to those principals but more than anything I love the passage Judge not lest ye be judged. To say you are a Christian and then in your life hate everything Christ stands for, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, loving your fellow man, protecting the weak and helpless, is the epitome of hypocrisy. I wish more people could read this and begin to understand that in judging others they stand against everything the say they believe in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.schumerth Chris Schumerth

    I’m a Christian, too, and agree with some (though definitely not all) of your post, but can you tell me where Jesus taught “tolerance”? What He actually taught was love, which is so much different (read: better, harder) than tolerance!

    • http://www.facebook.com/PeggyArendt Peggy Richmond

      In how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman. The Samaritan people were hated enemies of the Jews.

      • Brit

        While Jesus did love the Samaritan woman, He also told her that her lifestyle was wrong.
        I think this is the biggest flaw in the way Christians portray themselves. JUDGING is a very fine line. We, as Christians, have no right to judge anyone’s salvation. God alone will be the judge of who will be in heaven and who will be in hell. BUT we are called to hold each other accountable according to the word of God (the Bible). If we’re holding each other accountable, that would mean that we have to discern between right and wrong behavior, choices, lifestyles, etc. So, to some extent, that is judging. BUT where many people who claim to be Christians get it wrong is by condemning those that they are supposed to be holding accountable.
        We are all sinful people and I believe that the Bible teaches that no sin is greater than the next. But does that mean that we shouldn’t LOVINGLY express to others that, according to the Bible, their actions are wrong? No, we are CALLED to do that out of love for our brothers and sisters. Which also means that we are subject to accountability from our brothers and sisters and should accept it just as we would expect others to accept it from us.
        I don’t believe that Jesus taught tolerance, he taught love. We can lovingly tell someone they’re wrong, Jesus did it all throughout his ministry. He didn’t stand by and allow people around him to continue sinning without saying something about it. And that IS love! When we see someone we love making bad choices (by societies standards, let’s say that’s abusing drugs or alcohol) we wouldn’t just stand by and watch them make those choices without saying something…because we LOVE them! Would we consider that judging or doing it out of love? THAT’S the point. The point of Christianity is to spread the Word of God and spread His love all in the name of Christ – through service, through putting others first, through sacrifice, through following God’s will and YES through holding each other to the standard of God’s word, which is a tall order and none of us will ever measure up, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying. We call on God to provide, to remove temptation, and to carry us.
        I wanted to provide scripture to back up a lot of these statements, but I know that some feel that’s like throwing scripture in their face. I would really like to discuss this more with you though, and would be happy to provide that scripture.

      • LittleD

        You are wrong. It is not yours, mine, or anyone else’s place to judge another person. You do not get to hold anyone accountable for anything. That is not your job. Your job would be to love and accept people, despite their shortcomings.

      • Jeremy

        Not sure if anyone is still following this dicussion, but here goes. Myself, I am a Christian and used to be a hard-core Republican. As I have grown in faith, however, I can no longer in good conscience associate with that party. If I were to label myself, it would be socially “mostly” conservative, but fiscally “liberal” (believe in expansion of social welfare, closing of tax loopholes for the wealthy, etc.)

        I agree with much, but not all of what the author writes.

        As a response to “Brit” and “LittleD”, I would like to say that for Christians regarding judgement, the Bible makes a distinction between Christians and non-Chritians. We are called not to judge those outside the church, ie non-Christians. We are called in the spirit of love to exhort those who are Christians if they should stray. Not as a judge or condemnor, but think of it more like a physician trying to help heal.

      • http://www.thryse.com/ Kaitlyn Richardson

        No offense, but this ideology is why I could never again be a Christian, even a liberal one. I cannot accept their ideas about sin, morality, human nature, and the nature of the divine and the afterlife.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.schumerth Chris Schumerth

    And aren’t you being kind of “judgemental” toward Republicans in this post?

    • http://twitter.com/MaryLRandall Mary L. Randall

      To a degree I agree. However, how does one make a point about what some call being Christian(the way I was raised was simple-love thy neighbor as thy self)and the ideology of what is happening in our gov. where a caste system is becoming the “American dream” and lifestyle.

      In God’s eyes as supposedly in our Constitution, we are all equal. But, also in God’s eyes, “He with much is much expected.” A sense of responsibility to our fellow man/woman in need. Jesus literally loved all no matter station in life whereas our gov. is becoming one of,”He with much is entitled to even more.”

      It feels too much like dislike of human beings because they are at times in need through no fault of their own, and in some cases but rare, fault of their actions, and expect people without boots to pull themselves up by their boot straps. It is a greedy nation we are living in for far too many people.

    • Moxiesong

      ….wow. That was the dumbest come back ever. You’re regulated to the sidelines son, until you can talk to the grownups.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazerhaze Travis Rogers

    Christians blaming republicans for “christianity’s bad name”? LMAO THAT’S HILARIOUS! “Christianity” has had a bad name long before Republicans took control of your sad, pathetic group. They’re just the most recent group that as used you all and your susceptibility to accept or “believe” anything you’re told as long as you “trust” the values of the person telling it. They simply found your beliefs easy to co-opt and use it for political means because they see how easily lead, easily lied to and easily manipulated most “christians” are. Denying facts in favor of dogma, They simply used your religious style of communication, told “christians” what they wanted to hear and you all fell all over yourselves to cater to the republican party. “Christians”, Save yourselves from being mindless sheeple who “believe” more than you “THINK”! Your religion is evil, causes much more pain and misery than it ever attempts to mitigate. You’re easily lead and manipulated, quick to judge and the FIRST ones to run out and commit “sins” after loudly sitting on a pedestal and judging everyone else for their “sins”. Christians are always so eager to judge and condemn others but NEVER EVER take a critical look at themselves or their groups behavior as a whole. It’s always “those other christians’ who make you look bad. BULLSHIT. It’s the insipid, willful delusion of your FALSE religion, It’s arrogance, stubbornness and the horrific death and suffering it CAUSES that gives you all a bad name AND AS WELL IT SHOULD!

    • David King

      Travis, much of what you say is true. But I think you’re making the mistake that the article warns against — confusing twentieth century fundamentalism with Christianity. Fundies have long been very misleadable, but they do not represent Christianity as a whole. As I’ve said, it was thinking Christians who fought against slavery and Jim Crow.

      And it’s not as if being easily misled is a particularly religious, as opposed to human, trait. The people Mao led into the mass slaughter of the Cultural Revolution were athiests, after all.

      • Dave

        “If you want to know what fundamentalism is all about, just look up the word fundament in the dictionary.” U. Utah Phillips

    • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

      I, personally, am atheistic, but I have as much problem with people who tar all religious people with a few broad strokes as I do with religious people who paint all atheists as amoral, hedonistic dangers to society.

      Just because I, personally, have never experienced a call or feeling that would lead me to have faith, doesn’t make me discount the “reality” of it for others. Most religious — and “Christian” — people I’ve known have been wonderful people. No better, and no worse, than anyone else. Trying to live better lives and be better people. Many of them are thoughtful and nuanced in their faith.

      There is a world of difference between those people and fundamentalists — just as in Jesus’s day there was a world of difference between the Pharisees and who Jesus saw as more truly “G-dly” people.

  • Hisservant

    I laughed and cried when I read this piece, because it reflects a shallow understanding of what it means to be a Christian. God saw that we were all flawed after Adam committed the original sin. We were not designed by God to be flawed, we just exercised our God given free will and made the wrong choice, leading to that original sin. Since then we have the curse of a sinful nature, which can only be overcome by faith in Jesus Christ, whose death at Calvary paid the price for our sins. A relationshjp with Jesus is our only path to salvation. It is not about how well we live our lives to earn entrance to God’s presence, It is about our faith in Jesus and what he did at Calvary. Accepting Jesus into our hearts means we accept the price he paid for our sins through His crucifixion and strive to understand how he would have us live by studying his word: the Bible. When you really study the Bible and attempt to understand God’s teachings you realize that it is not so much about ourselves as it is about reaching out to others. God wants us to spread the word about why Jesus came and how we should live our lives. It is incumbent upon us to stand up for the principles and teachings of Christ, not interpret them for our own benefit. What you have done in your long diatribe is make it all about yourself and your beliefs, with little room for God and his teachings. I can only pray that God will speak to your heart, so that you seek His wisdom and not your own.

    • Moxiesong

      No..actually Jesus was pretty clear about how to act and how he wanted you to behave. I am sorry that you’ve been blinded by miscreants and those who would cloud your sight, but I suggest you go and read how many time Jesus talked about helping the poor.

      • Hisservant

        No moxiesong, once again you are interpreting for your benefit, rather than following God’s word. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Scripture is very clear about helping those who actually need it rather than those who just demand it or aren’t willing to work for it. verse 3;11 goes on to say “For we hear that there are some who walk among you disorderly, working not at all but are busybodies.”
        Yet you say I have been blinded by miscreants?????
        I suggest you study your own heart, in light of God’s actual teachings, before you slander others.

      • MysticDreamer

        A letter written to a specific church with specific problems in a specific time. It is doubtful that Paul gave any thought to his letters becoming canon for future generations.

      • Hisservant

        Mystic, It is rather obvious that you don’t understand the purpose of the Bible, nor accept its teachings. I pray that Jesus will touch your heart and open your mind….

      • MysticDreamer

        Actually, I do understand the purpose of the Bible. Tell me when was the Bible put in place as we know it now. I am referring to the KJV. What discussion took place and which writings were excluded? Who made those choices and were they infallible in their decisions? Two commandments and only two were left by Christ and unfortunately, those who call themselves “Christians” (Christ-like) do little to demonstrate that they follow either one.

      • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

        Hisservant – the passages you quote are actually in relation to the Pharisees and other fundamentalist sects that demanded public support for their faith — ie, not working, but devoting their entire lives to study and/or enforcement of their interpretation of (Hebrew) Biblical law. It is, if anything, a command to be a full and contributing member of society who is willing to do real work to earn their bread, rather than saying “I’m busy being more religious than you, give me food.”

        Additionally, I think you’ll find few, if any, true progressives arguing that we should just GIVE things to people who can work, but simply don’t want to. And while that — which is fraud, in the case of our Welfare system — happens, we’d rather see 10% of that money wasted, if 90% of it goes to people who CAN’T work, or cannot find work to sustain themselves. It seems to me infinitely more just — from ANY faith or philosophy — than saying you’d rather see 100% of people who truly need society’s support go without it, simply to make sure that not one person who doesn’t deserve it might get it.

        Rather a bit like saying “I’d rather 100 innocent men die than 1 guilty man go free…” Which, of course, isn’t G-dly or just at all.

      • MysticDreamer

        Love thy neighbor as thyself was not followed by a comma and conditions.

    • waiting

      Finally, someone is making sense. Thank you Hisservant!!!!

  • Randy Averso

    Well put! Regretfully, it took me too long to wake up to the hypocrisy you describe. Like you, I’m still a Christian – like you, I am embarrassed by the ignorance that claims the title, and manifests the work of Satan himself. Thanks for the article – SPOT ON!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RodLev Rodney Levenduski

    Now thaose are the ideals of “Christianity” I can support and praise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristina.m.tucker.1 Kristina M Tucker

    I’m a non christian, but I’m also a liberal,that has a few Conservative believes. I don’t believe in abortions, however Planned Parent Hood in the concept of birth control and sexual education.I have no problem with. I have no problem with the death penitently. Couldn’t careless about two gay people getting married. Seriously who cares? Gays adopting kids? Why not? The hole issue with guns. I personally don’t like them. However I think all sides of the political tree are going a little extreme on how they want to address the issue. The point in telling you what I believe is that, most of these topics that politics fight over shouldn’t even be political or religious. Religion shouldn’t even be in political conversations. Only time some of these become political is when it comes to deciding who is going to pay for it. Any other times is all about morals and personal belief.

    • http://www.facebook.com/charity.reinelduncan Charity Reinel-Duncan

      Planned Parenthood pushes for Abortion in every situation. They are not just there for birth control however thankfully they do have birth control and condoms for social degenerates that shouldnt be procreating at all. But I was a year and a half into my marriage, my husband and I were trying to have a baby and was told by drs that I would not be able to conceive. I was devastated. I went to Planned Parenthood to get a pregnancy test done because I was late. I didnt tell them that I was considering abortion or anything. But the first thing that came out of the counsilors mouth was. Abortion is going to be your best bet because of your tilted uterus and you wont be able to carry the baby full term. This will keep you from having to bury the baby when its born dead. Im like are you freakin serious? I have no intention whatsoever in terminating my pregnancy. Ive wanted a baby all my life. She then proceeded to tell me that I was an idiot and the fetus is gonna die and she hopes my emotions can handle it. Then practically threw the abortion pamphlet at me. 8 months later, I went into the same Planned Parenthood with a very healthy baby boy we named Matthew and saw the same person….I was like so hes gonna be born dead? You guys are nothing but liars. What if I had believed that person? I wouldnt have my wonderful son Matthew. Hes 12 now btw and hes smart, funny and just a joy to be around. And I have 2 more a 10 year old and a 1 year old. But im not suppose to be able to carry a baby full-term because I have a tilted uterus.

  • http://twitter.com/BWThomason Blake Thomason

    Its idiots like this that screw everything up. You say you’re a christian yet you only pick and chose what scriptures you want to call the Word of God, or not. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. All of it. If not all of it, then what parts do we pick as true and false? And who is to say what is true and false? You? Right, that way it fits your life and makes you happy. Leftist liberal crap is ALWAYS shoveled down our throats with y’all screaming we are the idiots. Wow, I can’t believe how incompetent my country has become. The republican party is the christian party. By far. Disagree? What about the convention? Y’all had to vote whether or not to add in God again…and the vote STILL FAILED!!!! They just pushed it right in there to make sure y’all didn’t completely piss off the few democratic christians.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1571201173 Sandra Andrews

      If you love the constitution like all Republicans tell us they do, then you should realize that Religion (God) does not belong in politics. Politics don’t belong in Church. Not having the “God” clause in the Democratic platform did not offend this Democratic Christian.

      • http://twitter.com/BWThomason Blake Thomason

        maybe you should reevaluate your priorities. God comes first in everything we do. Or He should.

    • http://twitter.com/dwsNY Dave Silverstone

      You’re confusing TRUTH with FACT. Something can be TRUE without being FACTUAL. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.

      • http://twitter.com/BWThomason Blake Thomason

        cute

  • http://twitter.com/VegasJamie VegasJamie

    Mr. Clifton, Thank you so much for this article. I am crying because over the past year or so I have turned from God because of the bigotry and hatred associated with Christians nowadays. This is everything I have been thinking put into one article. The “Christians” that you speak of in this article are what I like to call a “Christian radical”. The equivalent of a “Muslim extremist”. Like the Muslim extremist, the Christian radical believes there is no difference between themselves and other Christians. What these Christian radicals aren’t observing is, yes, perhaps MAYBE Christ was against homosexuality or abortion. But one thing FOR SURE he’s against… hatred. God is all about LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. Love the murderer, love the liar, love the thief…. love even your own enemy. It’s ironic to me that they will follow one thing in the bible, but not another, and throw a big bowl of judgement on top of it. Which, as we all know, only HE can judge. They are against anyone with an open mind or free spirit. I am a Christian. I am divorced and live out of wedlock with my boyfriend, who is Atheist. I love my boyfriend even though he denies the existence of God. I love Muslims even though they believe in a different God. The point of Christianity is to be as Christ-like as possible. Persecuting any of God’s children goes completely against anything in the bible or anything God wants. Perhaps me saying all this makes me judgmental as well, but that’s okay because I know God still loves me and will forgive me. Just as He loves my Atheist boyfriend, or the Muslim extremist, or even, the serial murderer.
    Thank you again for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Chefedone Ed Baker

    I hate to educate you ,but the Godless community are one of the most Honest and giving cultures we know ….Atheists are your Scientist ,Doctors ,Lawyers Friends and even your Family .Atheism is a way to THINK ,not a belief in a Tale .

  • unchurched and happy

    Nicely said; I didn’t leave my religion as much as it left me.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    Matthew 25:40. All you need to govern your life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brent.bollmeier Brent Bollmeier

    This is why there’s such a big difference between “religious” and “Spiritual”. I feel I’m very spiritual — some higher power put us here. But any human telling you what this higher power (Call it God if you will) is really just guessing.

    I’m not sure why (since I was raised Catholic) that it matters that we don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent. I can’t imagine a higher power being concerned with such details.

    I try to be caring, generous and respectful to others, and raise good children. I think if I do that, I’ll be fine in whatever comes next for me.

    Oh, and while I may express my beliefs, I never try to change anyone else’s. It’s not my place. People have to find their beliefs for themselves.

    • LittleD

      Exactly the way I feel – all Religions are man-made. God, Jesus, or even the Bible did not create religion. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ if you eat meat on a Friday. And, I am sure that if Jesus were alive today, he would be appalled that priests can not marry & have children. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell people to “Go forth, be fruitful and multiply – UNLESS you are a Catholic Priest.” Religions are so hypocritical and self-serving, I can not even stand it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brat.wingz Brat Wingz

    Fantastic article! Bravo!

  • Veronique

    This is a wonderful article. You deserve heaps of praise for having written it, because you’ve put your finger on the problems of these hypocritical pseudo-Christians with almost surgical precision. Bravo!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.brindley1 Rick Brindley

    Progressivism is a communistic cancer that must be eradicated. The democrats are hopeless because they refuse to understand what progressivism is, with the republicans there is still a chance because of the conservatism that still exists. Some of repubs like John Mccain and Lindsey Graham need to go because of their progressivism. Satan has infiltrated the church with lies, lies, and more lies, mainly because he is the father of all lies. You have listened to satan for so long you don’t know up from down anymore. You have believed what the media has told you without doing any research. Let me tell you that Christians know there is a problem in the church and they are doing something to improve their image by doing self examinations of their spirit lives. Yes we do help the poor, we give far more money to charity than any liberal when compared side by side. We believe in helping those who really do need help and cannot help themselves, not those who refuse to work. Don’t paint Christians/Republicans with the typical media broad paintbrush, we can admit when there is a problem.

  • Teresa A

    Great great article!! Perfectly said. .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Rei/100001727442607 Andrew Rei

    Here are two things the AFAP (American Fascist Aristocrats Party, aka, the GOP) don’t get: first, the First Amendment expressly forbids having the US government be a “theocracy”, a religious-based government….second, the intertwining of religion and government is a defining characteristic of FASCISM, hence, one of the many reasons I call the GOP the AFAP….

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sinner.4given.slate Lee W Slate

    “Did Jesus help the woman about to be stoned, but on condition she never sin again?” Actually, Jesus did say, Go and sin no more. (Meaning, of course, adultery.)
    I don’t have a problem with this article. Although, the writer is very judgmental & makes broad statements, like all Christians who are Republicans fit into a certain mold. Is that better than the ones he’s accusing?
    His theology is based on presumptions of certain texts taken out of context. ie. Judge not. That is a matter of condemnation. As I’ve already mentioned, this author judges left & right. That’s a reflex. That’s like saying, don’t breathe.
    If you want everyone to conform to your slip-shod Christianity, how are you any different?

  • Ballard

    For bullet point #5, Texas is asking for public help for a private company’s mistake…. whereas they turned down aid for a natural disaster.

    All in all, wonderful points. I’m middle of the road in terms of politics and have always wondered why select political issues are so polarized, especially where religion plays an irrelevant role.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenell1 Jenell Yarbrough-Brinson

    Well written, and states so clearly where so many of us that are, or once considered ourselves “Christian” but can no longer do so for what that has come to mean in our society, have come to. I was raised in an evangelical family and community, and struggled all my life with the conflicts I saw early, through the honest eyes of a child, between my love for Jesus, and principles of Christ, as I learned, and seemed right, with some of the beliefs, doctrines, attitudes, and behaviors common in the churches and that form of religion that were and are so at odds with anything Jesus or Christ-like. Things that seemed downright ungodly and evil, cloaked in a garb of religious righteousness. The hard right turn both this country’s politics and religious culture has taken since G.W. Bush and his crony, Karl Rove, planned and undertook the political strategy to win the presidency by harnessing the political clout of numbers of the conservative Christian right, has destroyed for me and others anything there had been left of Jesus or Christ in the conservative Christian community. What was once an element of ungodliness in that community has now quite completely overtaken what is called Christianity today, and for that, I find myself ever less comfortable even calling myself “a Christian.” I now consider myself a “Christian Walk-away.” I’ve walked away from Christianity for that I no longer can justify in any sense, considering it “christian,” small “c” intentional.

  • hdesignr

    Allen Clifton, let me quote you, “I’ve never viewed the Bible as a word for word true story.” So let me ask one question, what is truth?

    Is truth whatever you define it? Is another person’s truth as valid as your ‘truth’? I look forward to seeing your response.

  • dtm

    the founding and guiding book of your faith is allowed to be — and deemed okay — filled with ridiculous contradictions, but a multi-million person political party isn’t okay filled with ridiculous contradictions?

  • PlacidAir

    This was beautiful! Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.threadgill.397 James Threadgill

    Christian Republican is an oxymoron!

    • http://twitter.com/BWThomason Blake Thomason

      I am a God fearing person. Unlike the liberals who think its okay to kill a baby, make it harder to own a gun to protect yourself (research has PROVEN crime went down when gun ownership went up), and believe its okay for a man to marry a man, or a woman to marry a woman. I really don’t think either party has OUR best interest at heart anymore. However, to say republicans aren’t christian is ludicrous. Republicans are the ones standing up for christian beliefs in this country. the oxymoron is saying a liberal believes in God. If you look at what liberals say, its hard to believe they have even read a Bible. Much less understand Gods covenants with us and how to uphold those very covenants. Liberals have such a unique way of thinking, y’all call conservatives “close-minded”. Yet, when we ask you to think like us, its like asking a child to understand Einstein’s theory of relativity. It can’t be done! Its either the liberals way, or nothing at all.

      • LittleD

        Why would I want to think like you? You think it is your job to judge other people, and tell other people who they can love. You will fiercely protect a zygote in a woman’s uterus, but the moment it is no longer in the uterus, you have no interest in how that child will be cared for. So, you are “pro-life” before birth, but I will bet anything that you are FOR the death penalty. A life is a life, isn’t it? So what’s it going to be? Pro-life, or not? Or just a hypocrite?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502686523 Matthew T. Mason

    I have no idea who Allen Clifton is, but anyone who professes to be a Christian and then promotes thoughts and ideas than run contrary to what the Bible says, isn’t.

    1) The Bible doesn’t support homosexuality or abortion. Period. Both the Old and New Testaments specifically condemn homosexuality. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee….” Genesis tells of Abraham and Sarah, and Luke of Zacharias and Elisabeth, both of which were able to conceive in spite of their ages. To suggest God would be okay with the killing of babies in the womb is absolutely ludicrous.

    2) Let’s look at the list of accusations:

    Booed a gay solider brought on TV after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
    (If a “g-y” soldier was brought on TV to get a response to the repeal of DADT, he may have been booed due to the exploitation.)

    Cheered letting a hypothetical man die who had no insurance.
    (One guy yelled. And the hypothetical man isn’t a real man.)

    Gave a loud applause to the high execution numbers by Rick Perry while governor of Texas.
    (Where does one get the idea Christians are supposed to be against the death penalty? The Bible doesn’t say that.)

    Condemned poor people who need government assistance.
    (No, they are against people who abuse the system, not those who need it.)

    Voted against FEMA that helps people after they’ve faced disasters, then requested help from FEMA when they faced disaster.
    (What?)

    Turned breast cancer research and the Boy/Girl Scouts into political issues.
    (No. Susan G. Komen’s connection to Planned Parenthood became a point of contention for obvious reasons. Same with the Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts are being financially blackmailed into allowing homosexuals in their ranks without regard for the problems it will certainly cause.)

    Tried to block funds to Planned Parenthood, attacking women’s health for poor women.
    (Planned Parenthood’s primary reason for existing is for providing abortions, and they have repeatedly broken the law towards that end.)

    Used the mass murders by gun of 26 people in an elementary school to try and promote the need for more guns.
    (An absolute lie. In fact, the opposite is true: The families of the victims have been repeatedly propped up to promote a political agenda. Meanwhile, people on the right have pointed out the shootings in Tuscon, Aurora and Newtown were committed by mentally ill people and more focus should be placed on them and not on the weapons used.)

    3) No less than 3 times, Jesus commanded we should go and witness to everyone.

    4) At no time will you find a single verse that says we are to tolerate sin. There are verses that say the opposite, however.

  • Byron Gates Jr

    I gave up on the god lie when I was twelve, but didn’t have the balls to go public with my truth till I was around 20. Now at 67, I have never looked back on my decision and I have no problem respecting the decision others make regarding their spiritual lives. I refuse to debate religion, I have nothing to prove and have no agenda. With that said, I have read the bible four or five times and on my third reading of the koran. I do so because I enjoy fiction.

    • Chris Muir

      I figured out religion was a great make-believe by age 14, and I also realized that it wasn’t a good idea, at that age, to reveal my doubts – self-preservation is important. But I’ve been religion-free for decades, don’t miss it at all. As for reading the bible, how do you get through the boring “Begats” without falling asleep?

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  • alkg

    I feel so lost as a liberal Christian sometimes. The right hates me just as much as anyone else! There is a great FB page, “The Christian Left” that has a lot of fans like me.

  • Stanley Fritz From LYVBH

    As I’ve gotten older I have shied away from organized religion, because of the scary ideology and beliefs of many of these people. I like to believe that Good people who do good things and help others are the kind of People, God or Jesus allow into Heaven. Nothing else should matter.

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  • Laurie Moore

    Amen

  • TheWrightWingv2

    “Did Jesus help the sick, but first ask why they were sick?” Jesus didn’t depend on spending other peoples money.

  • Emily

    This is an excellent piece. Thank you for posting!!!!!!

  • TheWrightWingv2

    Its telling that this thread deletes comments that demonstrate the farce this article is built upon. Now, why would leftists need to silence dissent?

    • Charles Hilton

      I suppose Jesus didn’t say these words:

      “sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” ~ Luke 18:22

      Or:

      “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” ~Matthew 19:24

      Those are pretty strong words and I don’t recall Jesus ever saying “Blessed are the rich.”

      Let’s not forget that the Old Testament commanded the Israelite’s to set aside part of their crops for the poor.
      And that every seventh year was a “Year of redemption” in which all debts were forgiven.

      Then there’s the book of Acts, in which all the early Christians shared everything and had everything in-common. Remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira because of their greed?

      And nowhere in the Bible is the question raised of a poor person’s worthiness for charity. That is left for God to decide.

      So then, why is it you Christians–who want to impose a theocracy—never want to follow God’s example he set in the Bible? Ancient Israel was a theocracy, with God as its government. Shouldn’t our government follow God’s example, then? And if God commanded certain stipulations for the poor, then shouldn’t we do likewise?

      And isn’t our taxes helping the poor the same as us helping the poor? But, there’s the rub, isn’t it—you Fundies don’t want your taxes helping the poor. And if you don’t want a few pennies out of your weekly paycheck to help the poor, then don’t tell us you want the poor to depend on private charity, because we know that private charity won’t be coming out of your pocket! And stop insulting Christianity by calling yourself a Christian.

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    for some “unknown” reason the so-called “christians” will use the bible to justify their hatred against the glbt community, but yet these same “god-fearing” christians won’t obey their bible and murder everyone who works on the sabbath as listed in exodus. I get very tired of the hypocrisy that comes from the “so-called christian” community.

  • Debi ThunderHawk Mitchell

    Well written, thank you.

  • Donald Black

    It’s not the religion its the churches. Churches are self serving corporations. They believe they are doing God’s work but are really only gathering money, power, and followers to serve their own interests. When was the last time a Christian church gave anonymously as Jesus taught? Never, because that is how they advertise to potential new members. How can the Catholic church say they serve God when their hands are bloody from the Holocaust? WWII wouldn’t have happened if the Catholic church served God. Europe was majority Catholic. It would have only taken a speech from the Pope to stop it all. They followed this up by being the #1 source for help to fleeing Nazis after the war. When was the last time you saw the head of a church live humbly (other than the Dali Lama)? They claim to own nothing but live like Kings. Organized religions do not serve God.

  • Sheldon Gramps

    That’s what I don’t understand about people who say they are Christians. Christ said “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me”. If they treat poor people badly and calling them freeloaders, then that is treating Christ badly.

  • NemesisBastet

    “My problem lies when people use faith, God and Jesus as a staging tool to push their own agenda.” I concur!!!

  • Guy Gabois

    Replace theology with empathy and watch how fast we move into a new age of enlightenment. Pity it will never happen in this country.

  • Shane Lees

    Why do people keep saying “the Republicans don’t understand what being a Christian means?” Does anybody believe that the Republicans are stupid? No they get it. They understand. The right question is “why don’t the Republicans care about what it means to be a Christian.” The answer is really easy. Because it is a a cash crop industry. And like any other industry they will exploit Christendom for all the money they can get out of it. They will use Christians for their votes.

  • Michael Wise

    You’re a terrible christian, and a hypocrite at that.

  • janiejanie

    Oh hogwash….you have no clue what the Bible is saying…it is obvious you have not studied God’s Word….judge, yes I can judge your fruit and your fruit does not show me you are a Christian

  • Charles Hilton

    The original Bible was the Old Testament. Jesus never commanded the Apostles to write anything down. The New Testament is merely a collection of letters to the different churches—often mistakenly attributed to the wrong person—that the early Church fathers decided to compile into a collection that wasn’t nearly comprehensive and left out most of the writings by various Christians.

    Most of the problems with Christianity today stem from the notion that early Christianity was a product of the New Testament, when, in fact, the New Testament was a product of the early Church. Jesus said, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church…”

    Notice he didn’t say, “You will write letters and compile them and call it the New Testament and upon that document I will build my church.”

    But, Fundamentalist Christianity believes the New Testament has primacy over the Church, when in fact, the Church has primacy over the New Testament.

    The day all of Christianity finally realizes that, is when the abuse of scriptures for personal and political skulduggery will largely end. Which is also why so many demagogues continue to desperately cling to the fallacy of Biblical literalism and inerrancy. It’s what gives credence to their shenanigans.

  • Barbara Thomas

    Thank you Mr. Clifton – this the first thing I’ve wanted t hear from a Christian in ten years. If everyone believed and lived this, I could without a doubt want to be brought back in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZtotheY Zoey Sloane

    Look no further than their big book, the Bible. Realize that what you are reading was chosen for you by the council of Nicea. MEN decided what was to be in the Bible and most of the decisions were based on political expediency. The books The Gospel of Mary and the Lives of Adam and Eve alone would be very eye opening to most Christians.

  • Adam

    Allen Clifton, I don’t know you, but you truly get it. I’m not aligned to any religion, but I am a student of all. I was raised a Christian and went to Catholic school from grade school to my first time through college. It really hurts me that so many people of faith use their beliefs as an excuse to do awful things. We need more voices like yours. Keep speaking your mind and spreading your message! I promise you, you’ll make a difference. If we can change the perception of people of faithful from being ignorant hate-mongers to being thoughtful and loving people, the world will be a better place and the faithful will regain their righteous name. I’ve always wondered why good Christians let false-prophets speak for them and represent their Church, be it Catholic, Protestant, or even Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or whatever. It’s really great to know there are people like you out there. You really made a difference in how I see the faithful. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Denis-Winkle/100003193604251 Denis Winkle

    Ah Yes!!! “Absolution” and the “Justification of Sin” can define anything it wants too as “Policy” today! It doesn’t have to except Christ like “Responsibility”! How else could Anti-Christ ascend out of “Christianity”! If not for the sake of: self-serving justification “standing in Gods Stead”.

    Genesis truly tells us about a subtle serpent and its desire to “Become Like God” As it lied and deceived Adam and Eve on principal. But the Fall of Adam
    and Eve makes a Great Excuse to Justify the “Sins of a Worldview”.

    You know? The Soul Importance of the Conservation of Momentum! “The principle that the total linear or angular momentum of an isolated system always remains the same”. As the Teacher and the Guide in the life long
    article of faith “It’s only Human Nature”!

  • Don Nicholas

    If this isn’t the bigest load of crap ever unloaded onset a misleading headlines I’ve seen. Thankfully it’s under a progressive banner where truth is a rarity. Wasn’t the Democrat convention where God was booed, YES. God was put in the platform as a afterthought, mentioned once. Progressives progress all kinds of things, but , in fact, always seek to divide people into small groups to make pandering easier. Everything cited was a misrepresentation, but what’s new?

  • Kathy Mayo

    Your message is right on!!

  • Maria Elisa Mahecha

    I am not a Christian, so I do not have a horse in this race. But I will say that I do not like either party, Republican OR Democrat, and the notion of either party “owning” Christian values or being the “true” representatives of Christianity is simply laughable. I was raised by evangelical missionaries AND hippies. Left leaning Christians are no better than Right leaning Christians. Democrats are no more Christian than Republicans. I just find these sorts of articles silly and self-righteous. Frankly, I am sick of hearing about your Christian values whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, keep it to yourself please.

  • Jayme

    What I notice is that this happens both sides. Liberals seem to think that all conservatives and/or republicans. We all hate gays, the poor, think that women belong in the home raising kids, and so on. It’s not true. While it’s definitely true that there are some on the right that hold outrageous beliefs, it’s also true that it’s (and I’ll quote you) not my “place to judge anyone for the choices they make.” What is my place is what I can control and my reactions. I can’t stop idiots from being idiots.
    Not all Conservatives or Republicans think that homosexuality is wrong and that same sex marriages shouldn’t take place. I voted for SSM in my state and my Grandma was even going to offer to send her lesbian granddaughter the money to go to a state that had it so she could marry her partner. There are other reasonings that people miss that are tied to this issue. While there are people who do not like gays or the “homosexual lifestyle” (I was taught by repub Grandma that it was genetic), I think a lot of the issues that people have with it have more to do is due to social changes and religion. What I mean by social changes is that back in the 50′s or so while couples held hands in public and were couples most of the intimate stuff took place in privacy- you could say there was a stricter PDA code. Nowadays are PDA is more lax. People can do more in public than just hold hands. I think that many people are just responding to this change. And also religion does play a part. Because whether you believe it or not “marriage” to some has religious connotations as well as legal/civil. I think that best way to handle this is to find a way to separate the legal distinction from the religious. Treat this a separation of church and state issue.
    Not all conservatives/Repubicans are “anti abortion” or anti contraceptives or anti women’s choice. But to me there are also nuances. I think that abortions should only be for emergencies- life or death times, and not as a birth control. Because for many of us life begins at contraception. And while it can’t be proved when the fetus becomes a human life- it is still living and I personally would rather err on the side of life. Also am not insensitive to their needs after birth. But I also think there is a fine line to draw between offering helping and helping. I guess I still believe that children belong to the parents and no one else should step in (not including family or friends) until the parents ask for help. Many of us aren’t anti- contraceptives. I use contraceptives and many others do to. But I also there are conservatives who don’t believe it and find it morally objectionable. I wouldn’t ask those people to help pay for it because I don’t want to make people do something that think is wrong. It may be loving and compassionate for them to willingly help in that situation even if they don’t agree, but its not loving if I am telling them its the loving and compassionate thing to do. And many of us aren’t anti-women’s choice. I am a woman and I’m all about making my own choice. When it comes to pregnancies, in my opinion, it takes two and those two should be apart of the decision making process.
    Most republicans/conservatives aren’t against social programs helping the poor. Most people are very supportive of safety net programs when they are used how are they designed to be used. As safety nets. For emergencies. and not for daily living. Personally I believe that safety net programs are not working properly and should be looked at closely to see why. Is it as the left and is because there isn’t enough money or is there some other structural design that can be fixed to make it work correctly?
    I know there are probably more points to cover- but this is kinda running long.

  • Stewart

    It’s unfortunate that you don’t get it any more than the republicans you just demonized in your article. There are extremes on both sides and both exteremes hurt the country when they get power. Right now, we have an extreme in,charge. God never intended for you to steal from the rich to give to the poor any more than he intended for the poor to suffer for the benefit of the rich. Having worked for, & with rich I can tell you that they do far more than the man in office will ever give them credit for, or seemingly you for that matter. And by the way, I am in the lower income teir myself.

  • Bill Chambers

    This article describes some — by no means all — or the reasons I decided to walk away from Jesus Christ 17 years ago.

  • fritzeflink

    I agree. I have actually more in common with the old Republican Party of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan than with the Democrats, yet I am now on the democratic side because for me as an Atheist they are simply the lesser evil. I couldn’t support a party who’s foremost agenda is to push their christian belief on the rest of us.

  • [email protected]

    The fact others allow their influences on you speaks loudly of who you are… faith like a child…

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  • Sam I-Am

    Allen Clifton – Thanks again for providing progressive content for various folks to discuss. Although on this page & others I just wonder if you believe what you’re saying – Or just, as you say, “Stir this Pot.”

    My feeling is you’re saying what you truly believe – So – You’re title is at best wrong thinking & at worst just plain Dumb. Now if you’re truly a Christian, you know I just broke the rule of Judge-Not lest I be Judged. And you’ll find plenty to Judge me on – Spelling, grammar, use of funny unusual wordages & usages etc. & I don’t care about it.

    AnyHow – On this topic – If you truly believe your Title – Then you can join the Republicans. The Republican Political Operatives do get it – They’ve stolen Christianity mearly as an effective tool to indoctrinate people. Now at the Pew Research Center they report huge numbers have stopped going to Right-Wing Cult Churches. They are torn between the word of Jesus & the false dogma of these Right-Wing Cult Republicanism buildings that are shamefully pretending to be a legitimate Bible Based Church System. They are a business – The Product is Republican Faith – They tell you to pay with your check Book SO, They need the IRS to begin a new Scandal by placing a Tax on those Churches.

    I refuse to let Republicans get away with common Thievery of Churches. They’ve stolen Jesus and made a “Punk” of our dear Jesus Christ. I visited one of these & wow, do I have a a shocking report to write on when time permits.

    When I read the word of God & Jesus at their Fellowship – They told me to just leave the Building – Then a month later when members stopped attending because of my departure – Now they are begging me to come back – But I will not go back and the others that left that church did what the Pew Center reported – They also refused to come back.

  • http://uncensored.citadel.org/ IGnatius T Foobar

    I am deeply insulted by your insinuation that Jesus is an America-hating socialist.

    It is impossible to be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time. If you think you’re doing both, you’re getting one or the other (or both) VERY wrong.

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  • Bob

    Just a comment about homosexuality – no Jesus doesn’t mention it, but Paul does in Romans 1:26.

  • Stevie P

    This AUTHOR doesn’t get Christianity. Killing babies is a sin, homosexuality is a sin, war is a sin, etc. Jesus would NEVER have put a gun to anyone’s head and told them to help the poor. But that’s exactly what the government does. Quit your garbage “Jesus was a socialist” argument.

  • Thom Cameron

    The current 113th Congress is on pace to become the least productive Congress in history, having passed just 15 bills that President Obama signed into law as of July.

    The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than three dozen times and Boehner pledged many more repeal votes, even though Congress has failed to pass a substantive jobs bill, or make fixes to the budget sequester. Sequestration is hammering resources for some of America’s neediest, including schools that serve Native American children and funding for cancer patient clinics.

  • Thom Cameron

    OHhhhhh they get it entirely. What is missing is this is simply a business deal for them. Their chance to cash in. Think of it like a Sport athlete who has made it to the big show. He grabs every dollar and every opportunity to make connections for that commentator, announcer job or front man for some entity. Because the chance he has may end any year. Our politicians are not one iota different. Never enough $, fame or future opportunities to get richer. The fact we the voters/fans are here is irrelevant to them now that they are in the “Big Show”

  • Mattchanning

    I decided for myself that any system of thought that allows people like Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, TD Jakes, George W. Bush, et al, to manipulate me is bullshit. Religion is bullshit.

  • Bill Rubin

    Very, very well said. As an atheist who has no problem whatsoever with people believing in God, I always find it ironic that the GOP has assumed the mantle of the Christian party, even as it decries almost all of what Christianity stands for. Hypocrisy is rampant with religion, and usually because religious fundamentalists of ALL religions attempt to use their religious tenets to justify acts and politics that their religions almost always condemn.

  • Deb

    I encourage you to read Jacob Needleman’s book “Lost Christianity” – where he postulates Christianity veered off of Jesus’ teachings early on…

  • meonthissite

    I grew up in the bible belt buckle and I left the church and christianity behind long ago, right around the time of college because of the vitriol I experienced because I was gay and due to the history of all of the atrocities committed by the church in the past and since. If the Bible were truly just the new testament filled with fairy tales of loving thy neighbor and helping the lost and needy I’d agree with this post but the bible is filled with nasty 2k yo concepts of judging people of hating the old religions far older than any of the three middle-easter religions, and of killing anyone who had knowledge or skills that people didn’t understand. Just because Republicans decided to get on the hate bandwagon doesn’t mean that the three middle-eastern origin religions had anything good to sell to people and doesn’t mean it’s right to teach it to our kids, or to force it on public schools, or to allow it in our governments. Telling people they’ll go to hell for anything doesn’t matter what it’s for it doesn’t improve anyone’s life and certainly doesn’t improve their ethics.

  • Tron

    You forgot booed Ron Paul when he told them America should follow the golden rule at one of the 2013 Republican Debates.
    - For the record: Abortion is the process of terminating the life of a living, breathing innocent human being. Whether Christian or not, it should be viewed as murder.

  • Eliza

    I get it all right. You hate being judged, but yet you are willing to judge others. Just because I disagree with your views does not make me less of a Christian. And as for being “pro-choice,” those women made their choice when they decided to have sex outside the context of marriage. After making that choice, they shouldn’t have the choice to kill a baby to cover up their mistake.

  • ceci

    They should read the BIBLE more often
    And practice what they are preaching and always seek the Lord to help them decide what is right Jeremiah: 22- 23

  • Frank Need

    Seems like a lot of judging happening in this article.

  • Paula Kate Mez

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. Not all
    people either Democrats or Republicans can be categorized as you have
    done here.

    To answer some of your questions, Jesus would not support
    homosexuality or abortion because he is God the Son and God the
    Father said no murder at all.
    As far as homosexuality, he would
    not support that because He is God the Son and God says that
    homosexuality is an abomination to Him.

    Jesus would not be a
    supporter of the actions of liars, backbiters, (gossipers), haughty
    people, murderers, adulterers, homosexuals,or anyone else who is
    engaged in sin.

    However….
    He (Jesus) would NOT support
    treating anyone badly. He died on the cross for all of our sins and
    there are people in every walk of life that are included in of the
    groups mentioned above.

    First Corinthians 6: 9-11 states:

    “9: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit
    the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor
    idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
    10:
    nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
    extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
    11: And such were
    some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you
    were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our
    God.”

    Yet NOWHERE in the Bible will you ever find Jesus
    saying that we should be treating anyone badly …for any reason,
    whatsoever.

    Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be
    treated and above all to love one another. That means to put someone
    else’s welfare above your own.

    And He means what He said.

    When anyone who purports to be a Christian, gives grief to
    someone else or treats anyone badly/disrespectfully, then we are not
    following His command.

    What is going on though is that when
    people are engaging in that kind of destructive behavior, we are not
    acting in love or concern for someone else, and that goes against
    everything Jesus teaches us.

    If and when a Christian makes the mistake of choosing to act in a way that is contrary to what Jesus says, means to demonstrate the actions that eventually will lead to the destruction of our very souls if we do not stop, repent(not do it anymore) and ask forgiveness from God and the person or people we have wronged.

    I believe in what Jesus teaches and I try to act on those teachings
    every day.

    I don’t always make the mark because, I am a sinner like everyone
    else and am the first to say that I am far from perfection yet I can still be encouraged because I know that God isn’t done with me.
    “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good wok in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6).

    However I do try to treat others well no matter what their beliefs, politics
    or anything else, because every person on this earth is created by
    God and therefore we all have such intrinsic value….such great
    value to God that He sent His only begotten Son(Jesus) who never knew
    sin to die for the sins of all humanity…because Jesus( the
    only begotten Son Of God) was the only acceptable sacrifice God would
    accept as the “propitiation” for our sins.

    That tells me how much God loves all of us regardless of where we are in our lives.
    He is also the Standard that I will and have always looked to for instruction and guidance through this often difficult world.

    John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world
    that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him
    shall not perish but have everlasting life.” That’s love. That is
    what it looks like.

    When we hurt others, when we disrespect others, we are not aspiring to act in the way that Jesus taught us to act towards each other.

    It’s wrong to put people in a category of any kind, because we all have something wonderful to offer humanity.

    Instead of fighting and arguing about who is right,
    wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone on this planet realized the
    value we all are to each other and to see the benefits of what God
    has gifted each of us with, poured out on all of humanity?

    Food for thought from an old Republican lady.

  • K_Ann

    Mr. Clifton, you claim to be a Christian; I think one good definition of Christian was given by the Lord himself “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:16) Based on your article, would a Christian?

    1. Distort facts?
    2. Puff himself up as an example
    3. Promote hatred and use religion as an excuse to do so?

    Let’s talk some facts:
    1. FEMA – you posit a Christian would support FEMA because that is the only way to serve people in a disaster.
    a. Outside local newspapers there is little attention given to all the Christians who aid disaster victims; like those churches that prepared food the next morning after Katrina, that turned their buildings into camping areas, that sent food and supplies, that were still sending chainsaw brigades a year after the disaster. Or all of those funds and personnel that send aid throughout the world. Oh those selfish Christians.
    b. I live in Florida – yes, some genuinely deserving people were helped, but it was absolutely nauseating the waste FEMA exhibited during the 2004 storms. Oh, and one co-worker couldn’t recover the hundreds of dollars of lost food because they rented instead of owned. On the other hand, anyone in my county could recover even if they lost nothing.
    c. And, I guess you’ve forgotten all these designer handbags being bought with FEMA cards.
    d. So, I leave it to your readers, would a Christian donate their time and resources or vote to have a government agency waste millions in resources by taking other people’s money

    2. Government assistance – it’s time someone admits there is more than one reason for poverty. Some people suffer misfortune, some people get their by choice. Any government program that ignores the latter will never conquer the problem. Besides, most Christians are already donating their own money and/or time in soup kitchens, shelters, food drives etc., or donating to reputable charities. They do not have to wait on corrupt government programs funded by other people’s money.

    3. Cheering a hypothetical man dying – if we’re talking about the same incident that was at the presidential debate sponsored by the tea party – not a Christian convention. And while some of those people may have been Christian there’s no way of knowing the faith or non-faith of the cheering. I found that disturbing too.

    4. Turned Sandy Hook into a political issue – whoa on that one. I believe it was Mr. Obama who used taxpayer funds to fly those families around, trotting those suffering families out for his own dog and pony show in order to ban guns in America. Even though he and Sen. Reid admit his proposed regs would do nothing to prevent that type of violence. And the American people are booed and called paranoid because we wonder what his true agenda is!

    5. Same sex attraction – the Progressives have successfully equated disagreement with hatred, so genuine discourse on the subject is no longer required or even possible. Anyone interested in truth would recognize that there are two sides to an issue and not supporting same-sex marriage is not the same as promoting hatred or abuse towards gays. What Progressives and Democrats wish to do is eliminate faith based disagreement; wow, blatant violation of the First Amendment. On a more serious note, this would prevent parents from being able to teach their children the necessary truths to obtain salvation in the next life. It isn’t about what you believe but what they believe. You’d respond in outrage if someone poured pork blood on a Muslim grave but have no qualms about keeping Christians from Heaven? Tell me, who is the true hater in the most vile expression of the word? And that is what Christians are fighting for – the right to save their children from both temporal and spiritual death.

    Mr. Clifton, you are certainly free to interpret your Christianity anyway you choose; I just wish you didn’t choose to use your talents to promote discord and ill will when there are so many genuine issues facing our country today.

  • Fred

    “By passing our own flawed judgments upon others for situations we may disagree with, how does that make us better Christians?” Please apply to yourself when dealing with image makers dear author.

  • langranny

    The Republicans are simply using religion – in this case – Christianity, to lead their “sheep” to the slaughter. Religion was created to control the masses and it has worked throughout history. Until we realize that and stop following along, it will never change. The stupid and feeble-minded need someone and something to tell them how to behave and to keep them in fear of hell if they don’t. If you want to actually abide by Jesus’ teachings from the Bible, then do so, he actually had a lot of good ideas. But Jesus never said to hate and kill in his name…

  • JanS

    The problem with fundamentalists is it’s easier for them to think in simplistic terms because it feels safe to have everything in a nice tidy box. The bible teaches against “scripture worship” in several places. (John 5:39, for one). Because of this they are confused about their contribution in government and think they can legislate morality which does not work. With politics we will never find perfection.There is no Christian party and no party should market itself as such. We will always be choosing the lesser of evils. As Christians the focus should certainly be to legislate MORALLY which is a whole different thing. If rather than trying to control outcomes in their human thinking, they would actually focus on love and trusting in God, they could freely give themselves to the spirit of the law – not the letter of the law, as taught in Romans 7:6, ” But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Their inability to get this shows a basic misunderstanding of the conversion experience and life of a Christian.

  • [email protected]

    I no longer go to church for this very reason. It is filled with hateful, fear mongering, spiteful people. They judge you by what you wear, where you live and what you drive.