Wednesday, September 19, 2018

From the Left to the Outer Darkness

Intolerance and political correctness is the poison pill of the political left, the road out from some political viewpoints, many of which I am inclined to support, into the outer darkness of totalitarian thinking. 

Christians are terminally politically uncomfortable. Every ideology has a poison pill. 

37 comments:

bmiller said...

If Christians are primarily concerned with politics they are misplacing their priorities.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

What I notice about this verse is that it is between 2 persons. I notice it's not about whether we have a monarchy, a democracy, a republic, a dictatorship or any other political form.

If all you do is pay taxes, you haven't given someone you've met something to eat, something to drink, invited a person into your home, given someone you've met clothes, cared for a sick person, or visited someone in prison.

Some people think "I pay my taxes, so I've done all these things". I don't think so.

So yes, pay your taxes. But are you ready to hear what the King will say?

I have more to do myself.

Joe Hinman said...

I find evangelicals started calling any position that was left of right "PC." I've seen the civil rights act of 1965 called PC. I've seen rejection of racism called PC. That's become a conjure word, it's the cross to the vampire (the vampire being a liberal).

You don't know PC until you have been in a Ph.D arts and humanities program.But that is really old hat. The real deal died out by the early oughts.

Joe Hinman said...

What I notice about this verse is that it is between 2 persons. I notice it's not about whether we have a monarchy, a democracy, a republic, a dictatorship or any other political form.

Good point. But why wouldn't that value system be consistent with how you vote? Let's give someone some food then truck him off to jail and take his kids away because he's in the country illegally. Or feed a hungry person but then kill her with air pollution.

If all you do is pay taxes, you haven't given someone you've met something to eat, something to drink, invited a person into your home, given someone you've met clothes, cared for a sick person, or visited someone in prison.

giving someone something to eat is bull shit. most of the time it's hard to find some one who really needs that meal then and there, one meal will not change the circumstances,so you feel good because you gave one meal but you did't lose much and you didn't change anything.

Once my girls friend and I looked for people to give a meal to. We had a meal in a box. We finally found a guy who looked homeless we offered the meal he was not homeless and was offended.



Some people think "I pay my taxes, so I've done all these things". I don't think so.

So yes, pay your taxes. But are you ready to hear what the King will say?

you are going to pass out enough meals in a box to equal God's grace. One meal wont cut it. Your heart has to be in caring about the hungry. But if you do care why would you not vote to feed the greatest number through good policies?

Did you know Che Guevara said (paraphrase) we don't seek the good of the workers because we love shiny factories, We love the workers.

Legion of Logic said...

It does no good to give your money to the guy who runs a homeless shelter if you also know the same guy is a heroin dealer. "Gotta take the bad with the good!" doesn't cut it. "Well I'm only donating to the shelter, not the drugs!" doesn't cut it.

You vote to fund all anti-Christian behavior from a given party when you cast a vote for it, regardless of your reasoning for doing so. It's one thing to talk about giving Caesar his due and one's civic duty, but if you try to wrap your vote up in your faith, you attribute all the anti-Christian behavior your vote enables to the faith. Jesus would not have been standing on stage near the Greek columns during Obama's coronation - oh sorry, his convention - agreeing that that was the moment sea levels would begin to lower. And I'm pretty sure he'd be wondering if one death would be enough to cover Trump.

If you think a policy is too important to not vote for, great, vote. Know you enable everything about the party you don't like, and ask yourself if you want to claim that your vote which enables things harmful to the faith is what Jesus would do. (It is not.)

When I vote, it is in spite of my faith, which is why voting is painful.

bmiller said...

giving someone something to eat is bull shit.


For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

It doesn't end well for these sorts in case you don't know.

One Brow said...

Private charity makes the giver feel good, as well as the recipient. It's also uneven (temporally and geographically), affected by racism/sexism/etc., and often comes with strings attached.

Public safety nets take away from us the feeling of giving, but replace it with a more even distribution and a recognition that all people deserve our help equally. I'm wiling to sacrifice my personal good feeling for that.

One Brow said...

When I hear a good definition of "political correctness" that doesn't equate to some combination of "simple politeness" and "stuff I don't like", I will take the notion seriously.

Starhopper said...

I sort of agree with Joe on this one, although I would have worded it differently.

One's public presence ought to mirror one's private convictions. I'm not talking about parties or voting here. That's another discussion entirely. What I am referring to is "What policies do you support, regardless of what politician or political party they're associated with?"

If you believe that privately funded charity is a good thing (indeed, is necessary for one's salvation), then you ought to support publically funded programs that accomplish the same ends.

SteveK said...

"giving someone something to eat is bull shit. most of the time it's hard to find some one who really needs that meal then and there, one meal will not change the circumstances,so you feel good because you gave one meal but you did't lose much and you didn't change anything."


I'll remember this the next time someone on the street asks me for food. I usually buy them something to eat, but since it's bull shit and doesn't change anything I won't do it. Thanks, Joe, for this wise reminder.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Legion of Logic said...
It does no good to give your money to the guy who runs a homeless shelter if you also know the same guy is a heroin dealer. "Gotta take the bad with the good!" doesn't cut it. "Well I'm only donating to the shelter, not the drugs!" doesn't cut it.

The Tyranny of analogy. None of the candidate is synonymous with drug dealer,In fact republicans literally did support a drug dealer. Oliver North sold coke to pay for the contras,

You vote to fund all anti-Christian behavior from a given party when you cast a vote for it, regardless of your reasoning for doing so. It's one thing to talk about giving Caesar his due and one's civic duty, but if you try to wrap your vote up in your faith, you attribute all the anti-Christian behavior your vote enables to the faith. Jesus would not have been standing on stage near the Greek columns during Obama's coronation - oh sorry, his convention - agreeing that that was the moment sea levels would begin to lower. And I'm pretty sure he'd be wondering if one death would be enough to cover Trump.

Your reading of what is anti-christian and what is not is laudable and hypocritical. You assume aborigine is anti-Christ at work but dropping napalm on hospitals in Hanoi is just good commie killing.

If you think a policy is too important to not vote for, great, vote. Know you enable everything about the party you don't like, and ask yourself if you want to claim that your vote which enables things harmful to the faith is what Jesus would do. (It is not.)

In your mind harmful to the faith means democrats support it. Is gun control harmful to the faith? yes of course,but republicans were for it in the 60s. How much of your fear mongering propaganda did you get from Pat Robertson?

When I vote, it is in spite of my faith, which is why voting is painful.

but somehow you manage to suck it up and do what they brian washed you to do, sucker.

Joe Hinman said...

bmiller said...
giving someone something to eat is bull shit.


For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

It doesn't end well for these sorts in case you don't know.


so you think the physical act of handing someone food meets the criteria of that verse? As I said if you give someone a meal then you support polices that take away food from thousands you have not done a dang thing.

to LL: we are not called to do something for the faith no Bible passage ever says "help the faith." We are called to bring God's love into thew world. If that does not mean caring and doing things as a result of our care then you are harming the faith,

Joe Hinman said...

One's public presence ought to mirror one's private convictions. I'm not talking about parties or voting here. That's another discussion entirely. What I am referring to is "What policies do you support, regardless of what politician or political party they're associated with?"

If you believe that privately funded charity is a good thing (indeed, is necessary for one's salvation), then you ought to support publically funded programs that accomplish the same ends.


I agree Starhopper,I am not talking about voting a party ticket or even voting per se,although that would be included. I am not ruling out the idea that one could have the same values and come to different conclusions about who to vote for,

Joe Hinman said...

I'll remember this the next time someone on the street asks me for food. I usually buy them something to eat, but since it's bull shit and doesn't change anything I won't do it. Thanks, Joe, for this wise reminder.

Do you not understand the concept of figurative speech? if you can't handle hyperbole better admit it now. Your speech is not entirely free of connotations.

Joe Hinman said...

Here is how the Republicans are set to help the faith after the mid terms,



Washington Post
By Erica Werner

Erica Werner
"House GOP plan would cut Medicare, Medicaid to balance budget"
July 19, 2018
https://www.washingtonpost.com/



House Republicans released a proposal Tuesday that would balance the budget in nine years — but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare, that President Trump vowed not to touch.

The House Budget Committee is aiming to pass the blueprint this week, but

the Hill
House GOP 2019 budget calls for deep Medicare, Medicaid spending cuts
BY NIV ELIS AND PETER SULLIVAN - 06/19/18 01:16 PM EDT
https://thehill.com/policy/finance/393028-house-gop-2019-budget-calls-for-deep-medicare-medicaid-spending-cuts

House Republicans offered a budget proposal on Tuesday that would cut mandatory spending by $5.4 trillion over a decade, including $537 billion in cuts to Medicare and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and other health programs.

On Medicare, the budget would move towards a system of private health insurance plans competing with one other, rather than the current open-ended, government-provided Medicare system.

On Medicaid, the budget would impose new caps that could lead to cuts in payments over time.



The budget also sets up a fast-track process known as reconciliation that could allow ObamaCare repeal to pass without Democratic votes in the Senate.[setting it up to sneak that in the back door,still not giving up on take health care away from millions]



bmiller said...

Well what do you know.

"Christians" opposed to charitable giving.

SteveK said...

"As I said if you give someone a meal then you support polices that take away food from thousands you have not done a dang thing."


Not a dang thing - really? I don't think you've actually thought this through.

A person like me can support Policy A that takes away food from thousands, and also support Policy B that feeds them. Policy A being a government policy and Policy B being a private policy. Washington DC doesn't have to run every aspect of our lives. The truth is I'm doing something. I'm just not doing it the way you prefer it be done.

Joe Hinman said...

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

NBC News

Trump moves to stiffen work requirements for food stamps
by Suzy Khimm / Feb.23.2018 / 4:24 PM CST


The Trump administration has taken its first step toward imposing stricter work requirements on food stamp recipients.

The USDA began soliciting public input to "promote work and self-sufficiency" in the federal food stamp program on Friday, kicking off the process required to implement changes to the rules.

"Long-term dependency has never been part of the American dream," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement announcing the agency's move. "USDA's goal is to move individuals and families from SNAP back to the workforce as the best long-term solution to poverty."

Under federal law, able-bodied adults without dependents are restricted to three months of benefits within a 36-month period unless they work at least 80 hours per month or participate in certain educational or job-training activities. States, however, can request federal waivers of this time limit — either across the state or in certain local areas — if jobs are scarce or unemployment is high.

The Trump administration indicated that it wants to make it harder for states to be granted such waivers. "Too many states have asked to waive work requirements, abdicating their responsibility to move participants to self-sufficiency," said Perdue.


Chicago Tribune
Trump administration's plan to revamp food-stamp program is 'a step backwards,' state administrators complain
Juliet Linderman
Associated Press
Mar 12, 2018
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-trump-food-stamp-harvest-box-20180312-story.html

n this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, Carl Lewis in his market in Rankin, Pa. About half of Lewis' customers pay with benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, so the government's proposal to replace the debit card-type program with a pre-assembled box of shelf-stable goods delivered to recipients worries him and other grocery operators in poor areas. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
Juliet Linderman
Associated Press

Hawaii's food stamp administrator says he was stunned when he first heard that the U.S. Agriculture Department wanted to replace some cash benefits with a pre-assembled package of shelf-stable goods. That changed quickly to frustration, befuddlement and serious concern.

"This will wreak havoc on the states," said Pankaj Bhanot, who serves as director of Hawaii's Department of Human Services and is in charge of administering the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to roughly 165,000 residents scattered across a series of islands.

SNAP administrators across the country shared Bhanot's reservations about "America's Harvest Box," pitched by USDA officials as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency. Administrators say their programs already are efficient, allowing recipients to purchase whatever foods they want directly from retailers, which benefits families, retailers and local economies.

The proposal, unveiled last month in the Trump administration's 2019 budget, is part of an effort to reduce the cost of the SNAP program by roughly $213 billion over a 10-year period.



Joe Hinman said...

As I said if you give someone a meal then you support polices that take away food from thousands you have not done a dang thing."


Not a dang thing - really? I don't think you've actually thought this through.

A person like me can support Policy A that takes away food from thousands, and also support Policy B that feeds them. Policy A being a government policy and Policy B being a private policy. Washington DC doesn't have to run every aspect of our lives. The truth is I'm doing something. I'm just not doing it the way you prefer it be done.


No Sherlock the original proposal was giving one guy a meal vs a whole government polity. Even being generous and putting on soup kitchen vs creating thousands or eve millions of starving people is not helping the faith.

SteveK said...

Supporting government policies is the ONLY way to help the faith. Got it!

Starhopper said...

"Supporting government policies is the ONLY way to help the faith. Got it!"

I certainly wouldn't say that. But don't you think that the government policies and programs you support ought to mirror your faith?

Joe Hinman said...


Supporting government policies is the ONLY way to help the faith. Got it!

you think voting republican is all there is

SteveK said...

"I certainly wouldn't say that"

Good to hear that.

"But don't you think that the government policies and programs you support ought to mirror your faith?"

They do.

bmiller said...

I certainly wouldn't say that. But don't you think that the government policies and programs you support ought to mirror your faith?

Even private Big Philanthropy organizations have problems

The article starts out this way:
"When St. Thomas Aquinas reflected on charity, and in particular alms-giving, he stressed the immediacy and locality of it: charity requires intimate knowledge of its recipient, the proper selection of means, attendance to effects, the right motivations for the givers, and so forth. In part, he stressed charity as an individual virtue rather than a collective effort.

And ends this way:
"Anyone engaged in the world of philanthropy ought to be required to read Summa 2.2.23-46.

Those segments address the what, why, who and how of charity from a Christian perspective. It is one of the 3 Theological Virtues. No human or government can force you to acquire a Theological Virtue.

Paying taxes to the government does not count as an act of charity. That is not voluntary.

This paper explains the differences between paying taxes and charity:

"Although the purpose of taxation and charity is the redistribution of wealth in the society, the means are essentially different and the arguments in favour of charity cannot be applied to taxation. This is because charity is voluntary redistribution and taxation is enforced redistribution. To evualute the moral
value of an action, Catholics consider both intention and consequence. For an action to be good, it has to have good motives and good consequences. Crucially, as already discussed in paternalism-related problems, if an individual is forced to do something good, his acts cannot be virtuous (nor evil), because
they are independent from intention (Aquinas, 1981, II-I Q.6 Art.5 & Art.20 Art.1, op.cit.). State-governed redistribution is therefore morally meaningless – coercive charity is impossible."


Read the quoted sections of the ST for more detail.

Starhopper said...

I dunno, bmiller. I'm a huge fan of Aquinas, but I'd rather go to the source. Read the Old Testament prophets, especially Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah. They all blast Israeli society as well as individuals for not being charitable, for not taking seriously the needs of "the widow and the orphan". I agree that voluntary, individual charity is paramount, but that in no way eliminates the need for parallel action at a societal level. They're like your right and left feet. You need them both to walk successfully.

bmiller said...

I'm a huge fan of Aquinas, but I'd rather go to the source. Read the Old Testament prophets, especially Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah. They all blast Israeli society as well as individuals for not being charitable, for not taking seriously the needs of "the widow and the orphan".

A couple of things here:

1) Why would the Old Testament prophets blast Israelis for not being charitable if care from the poor came from the ruler's taxes. Wouldn't they blast the ruler for not raising taxes rather than the people who would have no choice in the matter?

2) By going to the source are you claiming your private interpretation of Scripture is binding on anyone? Sola Scriptura?

3) What makes you think Aquinas doesn't refer to scripture in a book about theology? Are you serious?

Here are the links again:
This link was from the first article. Go to Charity section, questions 23 through 46.

From the second article:
Voluntary vs involuntaryGo to Article 5. Whether almsgiving is good, go to Article 1.

I agree that voluntary, individual charity is paramount, but that in no way eliminates the need for parallel action at a societal level. They're like your right and left feet. You need them both to walk successfully.

OK, maybe that's the case. But this article seems to say the Left foot is stepping on the Right foot. I have seen this happening at Catholic institutions. Nuns required by the state to pay premiums for birth control for instance.

Legion of Logic said...

I see nothing charitable in voting to force others to pay money for causes they may not support.

Starhopper said...

"I see nothing charitable in voting to force others to pay money for causes they may not support."

That is because you fail to see that there is a necessity for both the individual and society as a whole to act in accordance with mercy.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger bmiller said...


1) Why would the Old Testament prophets blast Israelis for not being charitable if care from the poor came from the ruler's taxes. Wouldn't they blast the ruler for not raising taxes rather than the people who would have no choice in the matter?

It commend society as a whole not merely government; merchants (the rich) were cheating people. The rulers didn't care,so they were not providing aid to the poor,you are rationalizing, your party is guilty of the same abuses and you are rationalizing that. The fact that it does not admonish them to have welfare is not proof that welfare is evil. That is totally irrational.

2) By going to the source are you claiming your private interpretation of Scripture is binding on anyone? Sola Scriptura?

Not the meaning of that term. Luther had no answer for the problem that personal interpretation in his view was sacrosanct and yet multiples authorizes by every reader. Priesthood of believer contradicts Sola Scriptura.

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger Legion of Logic said...
I see nothing charitable in voting to force others to pay money for causes they may not support.

O boo hoo poor little rich leaches, so put-upon. what if they had to do their own mining, Lets see them get rich when they had to do it all, dig in the dirt, refine it,guard it,distribute it themselves personally most of them would never get ore dug. They owe their wealth to a system that indulges ownership and a an army of have-nots who are willing to slave for them.

Besides, in a modern civilization everyone has to pay in we wont always like it but if we all reap the goods all will benefit. That's why we have to care about how it is run,

bmiller said...

Whether envy is a mortal sin?

"I answer that, Envy is a mortal sin, in respect of its genus. For the genus of a sin is taken from its object; and envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life, according to 1 John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren." Now the object both of charity and of envy is our neighbor's good, but by contrary movements, since charity rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it, as stated above (Article 1). Therefore it is evident that envy is a mortal sin in respect of its genus."

One Brow said...

Nuns required by the state to pay premiums for birth control for instance.

So, you think employers should be able to interfere on the relationship between doctor and patient, by deciding some drugs are forbidden because one of their uses (among many) is distasteful to that employer?

One Brow said...

I see nothing charitable in voting to force others to pay money for causes they may not support.

Yet, we all wind up doing this, one way or another. For example, I am forced to supplement churches by paying more taxes, so churches don't have to pay any. I accept this as a part of a civil society.

Starhopper said...

"I see nothing charitable in voting to force others to pay money for causes they may not support."

This is actually an extremely complicated issue that does not lend itself to an easy answer - and certainly not to one that can fit into a blog comment.

Consider the case of a pacifist. He believes it to be sinful to participate in war, yet is compelled to pay taxes to support the military. That's the most blatantly obvious example, but I could easily suggest a few others.

Now I have the utmost respect for the pacifist (despite not being one myself), but I cannot see a way to where we can allow the individual taxpayer to pick and choose as to where his taxes go. That is the purpose of our representative democracy. If you don't wish to support the military, then vote in representatives who will cut the military budget. Same goes for any other issue an individual may have a problem with.

bmiller said...

Consider the case of a pacifist. He believes it to be sinful to participate in war, yet is compelled to pay taxes to support the military.

This is covered in the section Paternalism pages 5, 6, 7 and 8.

What is good or bad is not determined by popular vote.

bmiller said...

Article 4. Whether corporal almsdeeds have a spiritual effect?"

I answer that, Corporal almsdeeds may be considered in three ways. First, with regard to their substance, and in this way they have merely a corporal effect, inasmuch as they supply our neighbor's corporal needs. Secondly, they may be considered with regard to their cause, in so far as a man gives a corporal alms out of love for God and his neighbor, and in this respect they bring forth a spiritual fruit, according to Sirach 29:13-14: "Lose thy money for thy brother . . . place thy treasure in the commandments of the Most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold."

Thirdly, with regard to the effect, and in this way again, they have a spiritual fruit, inasmuch as our neighbor, who is succored by a corporal alms, is moved to pray for his benefactor; wherefore the above text goes on (Sirach 29:15): "Shut up alms in the heart of the poor, and it shall obtain help for thee from all evil."

bmiller said...

So do who recipients pray for when they understand their benefactor to be "the government"?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
This is covered in the section Paternalism pages 5, 6, 7 and 8.

What is good or bad is not determined by popular vote.


The arbitrary determinations of purpose derived in natural law reasoning are not a better choice.

bmiller said...
So do who recipients pray for when they understand their benefactor to be "the government"?

Taxpayers. Do you think praying for a single person is better than praying for all the taxpayers of a nation?