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The Republican position on issues like unemployment insurance, minimum wage, the SNAP program, and Medicaid is cruel on a level that is deeper than anything we've seen in American politics since the ugliness of the backlash against the civil rights movement. But what is even more troubling is the profound hypocrisy of a political party whose leaders overwhelmingly claim to have Judeo-Christian ethics yet go so totally against the teachings of Jesus and the Jewish scriptures.

Being the grandson and brother of Methodist ministers, and the son of the lay leader of the Nebraska Methodist Conference, I grew up reading and re-reading the Christian Bible, and I still treasure it. I have written a lot over the years about the disconnect between modern Christian conservatives and the teachings of the man they say they are following. As I wrote in a blog post I called The Greatest Betrayal, which was about how modern conservatives have utterly rejected and betrayed the followings of the man they call their savior, I noted that:
 

"In the 4 Christian Gospels, the ones that tell about Jesus' life and ministry, the ones conservative fundamentalist Christians tell us they believe word for word, Jesus spoke about mercy and kindness to those weaker and in need 24 times; he tells people to love and help their neighbors 19 times; he either speaks with disdain about rich people or tells people to help the poor or both a grand total of 128 times. Just to circle back and help y'all with your math, that's 0 times for abortion, 0 times for birth control, 0 times attacking homosexuality, and 181 where he talks about helping the poor, the weak, the hungry, and your neighbors."

I wrote that piece after watching House Republicans slash money for feeding the hungry by $40 billion. Now they are rejecting attempts to extend UI and raise the minimum wage. They claim they are doing it to help poor people become less dependent on government welfare, but as the video below shows, their comments reveal a cruelty that is deeply disturbing. And when Jesus was talking about which nations would be blessed by God with the kingdom of heaven in that famous passage about the least of these in Matthew 25: 31-46, the nations that were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and showing compassion to prisoners were the ones going to heaven, not the ones denying the poor so that they would be less dependent. (Check out the line in that verse about the nations being assembled before him- Jesus is not talking about individual charity in that passage.)  So apparently, these Republicans want to send our country straight to hell.

Please check out this video below that the organization I chair, American Family Voices, put out today. It features my favorite moral philosopher, Jesus, and one of my favorite songs, John Fogarty's brilliant "Fortunate Son," but the politicians featured in it are in no way my favorites:

Originally posted to Mike Lux on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah, I have wondered (5+ / 0-)

    over and over about our so called "christian" nation. And the so called "christians" that SAY we are a "christian" nation. (Note "christian is not capitalized here because I don't think people use the term as a proper noun.)

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:05:36 AM PDT

    •  I have a theory (5+ / 0-)

      If you listen to them talking about their 'salvation', they claim that all you have to do is accept Christ as your savior and believe that he is the son of God. That's it. Now, you or I may think that part of accepting Christ as your savior would also involve living your life by his principles, but these guys don't see it that way. They truly believe that just saying "I accept Christ as my savior" is all they have to do. It's a neat trick, actually. These are the same guys who justify their budget cuts by quoting the Old Testament when Jesus clearly said that he was bringing a new law. Of course when you ask them why they don't do things like keep kosher or follow the  laws in the Old Testament, they will explain that Jesus brought a new law. Really impressive mental gymnastics.

      "That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff ' Amy Pohler

      by Annie B on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:09:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, as a Methodist, you're my denominational (8+ / 0-)

    cousin, as I'm an Episcopalian just like the Wesleys were.

    I'm glad the UMC has gotten a bit more progressive. God knows the Episcopal Church is.

    Jesus was one of the original radicals. The legendary Father Field, SSJE (an Episcopal priest) once wrote an article called "Was Jesus a Socialist?". The answer was "no", in terms of modern (at that time, late 19th century) politics, but "yes" when it came down to His message. Fr. Field's take was that while Jesus certainly exhibited behavior and expressed opinions that appear "socialist", he was not interested in politics. He was interested in people. Especially people like the woman at the well with whom he associated at great personal risk to Himself.

    Thank you for your progressive Christian voice. I will republish this diary to Anglican Kossacks. In the spirit of full disclosure, my stepmother's uncle was a Methodist Bishop. He was also gay.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:23:53 AM PDT

    •  Was raised a Methodist myself (4+ / 0-)

      they certainly seem to be more progressive than some other denominations.

      But if I'm not mistaken their official position is still in opposition to same-sex marriage, though they don't seem to be interested in shoving their agenda down other people's throats.

      Can't resist using that metaphor...always cracks me up when the right wing screams about the gay agenda being forced down their throats...they wish....

      Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

      by kenwards on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:20:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Equal pay for unequal work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kenwards, Gentle Giant, SteelerGrrl

    At least the Republicans are in line with Jesus when it comes to rejecting the notion of equal pay for equal work.  As set out in the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Matthew 20:1-16, the boss has the right to do what he wants with his money, and if that means paying some people the same amount for doing less work, so be it.  And if the worker who works the hardest objects to the fact that he gets no more than those who only worked a few hours, then he can just hit the road.

  •  Rarely do you hear anyone address the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, Lencialoo, SteelerGrrl

    assumption & implication the Right makes about those dependent on government services- that those dependent on government help want to be dependent, or don't care to be independent.

    That's a hell of an assumption about your fellow Americans and says more about the Right's character than it does about that of our less fortunate neighbors.

    I've been on unemployment exactly twice in my entire life, the most recent being for most of the summer of 2011, the other being when I was 19 or 20, still living with my parents and lasting a couple of months. Both times, even when I had my parents' support, I hated drawing unemployment- not because of any shame about having to do so, but because I was a healthy person, able to work and most importantly, valuing my ability to support myself and contribute to the support of my family.

    Pride. Not the kind that "goeth before the fall", but the kind that is the kindling for self-esteem.
    The assumption that even a small majority of those needing government support are willful freeloaders is an insult to Americans unable to find gainful employment. It's character assassination. It's kicking your brother when he's down. It is cruelty.

    The Right isn't just unChristian, they're inhumane, cruel, and what's more, I think they enjoy being so.

    "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:46:23 PM PDT

  •  Their cruelty is staggering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff

    They claim to follow Jesus, but their real god is the badass Father god of the Old Testament. The one who likes to set shit on fire and commit mass murder by flood and salt for the sins of a few.

    The blonde smiley guy puts a nice face on it, but their go-to guy is Daddy god. Who, like most of them, is a violent narcissist.

    Really enjoyed your piece, thanks for linking. I can't get video right now but will check it out later!

    Visit my new blog, Little Lotte Studio, to see what I'm growing and making this spring!

    by SteelerGrrl on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 01:35:36 PM PDT

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