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There is a recent article in Slate that brought home the difference between the theory and practice of Christianity in the American South. In a very quick summary, the poverty rate in Georgia is among the worst in the nation (14.6-19% depending on which one you use, tied by other southern states) and the state government - ostensibly populated by Christians has done its best to limit aid.  (Lest I sound hard on Christians per se, remember this is a state that had a prayer day to try and overcome a drought - so we are talking about true believers).  They have been quite effective. One of the more disgusting tricks has been to count private voluntary aid as state spending.

This has implications beyond the immediate human cost. I save a few bucks on taxes and get to work in a major city full of homeless people sleeping on the streets - and have the fulfilling experience of using wilderness first aid on a collapsed man while waiting for the ambulance. It is not a bargain that I want to have.

It also means that the petty crime rate is high - which adds to the uncertainty and culture of fear that leads to unneeded firearm purchase.  Supporting this illegitimate war on poverty - really a war on the poor - must, at least subconsciously, add to the sense of guilt-derived fear that drives Georgia politics today.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Calvinism. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hoosier Al, ExStr8, FG

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 09:42:31 AM PST

  •  But they feel so good about their purity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, jan4insight

    And feeling like you're next to God is much better than actually doing God's work.  And blaming someone for being out of God's grace on their own actions relieves you of having to do anything.

  •  Perhaps I shouldn't be so cynical, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I have written off Georgia's state politics as a hopeless cause.  The state is controlled by a bunch of right wingers who are long on talk and short on compassion.  

    Yes, I vote, but that's about all I do.  National elections mean more to me at this point.  However, with demographic changes, Georgia could soon be in play for Democrats in presidential and statewide elections.  When it comes to the state legislature, I believe that it will be in the grip of Republicans for many elections to come.

    I'd love to be proven wrong on that last point.

    •  I wrote off GA the first time Bob Barr was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      elected or the day Lester Maddox rode a bike backwards on the statehouse grounds (to be fair, SC's Strom Thurmond standing on his head on the state capital grounds also did not impress me)

      •  Shame on both of you! (0+ / 0-)

        How can you say you've written off Georgia without lifting a finger to do anything about it?

        Georgia is already in play for statewide elections, which is one place we can have an effect. Just look around you at the demographics -- they've already shifted in our direction.

        Follow Kos Georgia (we're still working on "joining" issues) and join when you can. Message me with your location so we can see which group will be closest to you.

        We have a progressive agenda to press, and writing off the state isn't in keeping with the DK mission.

        It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

        by sboucher on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:43:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The STATE of Georgia didn't have a prayer day (0+ / 0-)

    for rain. Just the governor and a few hundred other people put on that show.

    And I'm not religious but I do volunteer work with a couple of churches that run shelters and other services for the homeless. Not denying that there is a load of hypocrisy in the State regarding Christ's teachings or that there are quite a few Christians in name only amongst the citizenry, but I don't want to stick most of that on the people of Georgia allowing poverty to prevail as much as I would some pretty hardcore racism which makes them vote GOP, which gives us the land of no taxes. And so on...

    •  Probably should qualify the title (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are many many Christians in Georgia who deserve the title. So I've been a little broad in brush strokes. There is a sort of "professional" or "political" religious person who is cynically using the trappings of faith to further an agenda that is rather far from the teachings and practice of the faith.

  •  the Christian Right today argues that all charity (0+ / 0-)

    should be private without any government interference; remove the regs they argue and there will be no need for federal or state welfare programs.  However these people are usually ignorant of the history of poor houses, insane asylums, homes for wayward girls etc. and the massive failure of private charity in Christian majority cultures.

    (for an interesting comparison, try comparing the Christian ideals of charity, as opposed to the actual Gospel accounts. to the Jewish ideal and persuading some of these Christian Zionists that charity is a boon to the giver as well as the recipient

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