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Joy Bennett: “Five Ways Christians Must Stop Failing the Poor”

God never tells us to help only those who deserve it. God commands us to help (see the above verses if you question that). Before you whine “That isn’t fair,” remember this: God poured grace on us before we deserved it, before we knew better, and even now when we defy clear commands and do what we want to do. God keeps forgiving, keeps loving, keeps helping us get back up on our feet and try again. We are to be imitators of God. Therefore, we ought to pour out God’s vulgar grace on everyone, especially those who don’t deserve it. They are just like us.They may not deserve it, they may not respond the way we want them to, but we do it anyway because that’s what God did for us. As God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, we are to be God’s hands and feet.

Craig M. Watts: “Robbing the Rich: Biblical Concern or Political Preoccupation?”

In fact private property is not the first principle of biblical economics. Rather it is found in the words God spoke to Job, “Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11) and in the declaration of the Psalmist, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers” (Psalm 24:1-2). Everything else scripture teaches about ownership follows from this claim. Unqualified, unlimited private ownership finds no support in the Bible. It is subject to divine constraints and purposes.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: “Brutish goals of Jim Crow never died”

We have seen these shenanigans before: grandfather clauses; poll taxes, literacy tests. Yet African Americans — heck, Americans in general — seem remarkably quiescent about seeing it all come around again, same old garbage in a different can.

“If you want to vote, show it,” trilled a TV commercial in support of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law before a judge blocked its implementation. The tenor of the ad was telling, though, implicitly suggesting that voting is a privilege for which one should be happy to jump through arbitrary hoops.

But voting is emphatically not a privilege. It is a right. By definition, then, it must be broadly accessible. These laws ensure that it is not.

Jamie L. Manson: “Why do so many Catholics support marriage equality? Blame the Catholic imagination”

Those who possess a sacramental view of the world often realize that any human person or relationship that brings love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, generosity or faithfulness into the world is a sign of God’s grace. Perhaps this is the reason so many Catholics defend marriage equality: They have recognized these graces can come forth as much through same-sex couples as heterosexual couples. Those who have a Catholic imagination recognize that a couple’s ability to enter into a marriage commitment is not contingent on their anatomies, but on the depth, strength and fruitfulness of their bond.

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LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
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LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
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LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’

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  • On that last one – yes, that! And it’s also why we don’t leave. 

  • In fact private property is not the first principle of biblical
    economics. Rather it is found in the words God spoke to Job,
    “Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11)

    One could almost make the case that we’re all just renting this place from the big one. :P

    (In which case the fact that we haven’t been evicted yet shows great forbearance, hmm?)

  • TheRidger

    “But voting is emphatically not a privilege. It is a right.” This is one of the great divides between the two parties, is it not?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, no, no, no, Republicans and Democrats both think it’s a right. It’s just that Republicans don’t think all citizens are people, and the right to vote comes with peopleness, not with citizenness.

  • Well, Christians do call the guy “The LORD.” The literal meaning of that is worth thinking about. It means some human property-owner isn’t the lord, which is pretty subversive. I’m not a Christian but I find the use of the name interesting.

  • I’ve been saying for years that I am a Democrat because I believe in Democracy. And when the other guy says “Are you implying that Republicans don’t believe in Democracy?” I reply “No, I am stating it outright.”

  • Victor

    (((Many of the governors — including Andrew Cuomo in New York, Martin O’Malley in Maryland and Christine Gregoire in Washington state — who have signed marriage equality bills into law are Catholic.)))

    Hey Fred! I must compliment you cause you have a little something for all of your faithful followers above and I  Xpecially also like the last “ONE” which is a great comma flange of conquering in the future and dividing in the present and I’m almost sure that even 
     St. Callistus I (d. 223?) would enjoy paraphrasing some of this stuff.
    Don’t tell Victor butt some of his so called 7% imaginary Jesus Cells quietly told me that if The so called leaders of The Bride of Christ don’t win their little spiritual reality war of NOWadays, then His Holiness better be prepared to tell HIS TROUPs this little speach “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a
    bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. “Whatever house you enter, stay there until you
    leave that city. “And as for those who do not receive you, as you
    go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against

    Fred! I can almost see them NOW after talking to some of your faithful followers while departing and going throughout the villages,  preaching the gospel and healing everywhere butt whatever you do don’t tell Victor’s Flesh that I was here! OK? :)

    TOO LATE sinner vic! Your words have been noted.

    OH! Can’t you see, “I’M” trembling out of fear Victor! :(



  • vsm

    I consider it a grave loss that the word ‘Republican’ has been taken by rather disagreeable people. There’s something wishy-washy about a ‘Democrat’. It makes you think of comfortable middle-aged gentlemen. A ‘Republican’, however, is passionate and idealistic. They consider strangling kings with the entrails of priests and give birth to terrible beauty. They assassinate would-be emperors in public and say mean things about the queen. No wonder the US left is so ineffective.

  • Well, Christians do call the guy “The LORD.” The literal meaning of that is worth thinking about.

    One who guards loaves of bread?   Oh… literal meaning, not etymological meaning… that changes everything.  Gotcha.

  • SisterCoyote

    Heh. I always kinda saw it as something between that, and a situation where a parent leaves their teenage-adult kids in charge of the house for a weekend. You could meet it halfway, which probably makes the most sense – said parent ‘rents’ their house to their teenage-adult kids, both to allow them space away from a massive over-the-shoulder-watching deity and to allow them to live with their own decisions, good and bad.

    …and it’s still rather surprising that we haven’t all been kicked out. If my dad came up from his fiance’s house after two weeks to find my sister and I had done even a tenth of the damage to the house that humanity’s done to the planet, proportionally speaking, consequences would be dire indeed.

  • inhumandecency

    AFAIK that’s actually where the term comes from. The Democratic party got its name at a time when small-r “republican” was the term for respectable people who believed in voting instead of kings, but didn’t believe that just _anyone_ should be allowed to vote. Whereas small-d “democrat” had an uneasy association with mob rule. 

  • Kiba

    One could almost make the case that we’re all just renting this place from the big one. :P
    (In which case the fact that we haven’t been evicted yet shows great forbearance, hmm?)

    Man, we’re never getting our deposit back. Friggin roommates. 

  • Fusina

    Man, we’re never getting our deposit back. Friggin roommates. 

    Hee, That was the same thought  I had. That security deposit is gone, and I think there might be suit brought for other damages.

  • And the notion of a “Republican” party goes back almost to the beginning of American political parties. Historians often call Thomas Jefferson’s party “the Democratic-Republicans”, but in practice they were usually just referred to as “the Republicans”. But it was actually what evolved into the Democratic Party, around the time of Andrew Jackson, who was definitely associated by many people with mob rule.

    The modern Republican Party, of course, has its genesis in the period just before the Civil War: the party of Lincoln. It did always have a money faction, but aside from that, today’s Republican Party would be pretty unrecognizable to those folks.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The hell you both talking about. It was a gift. We can do as we like with gifts. And the landlord will fix any damage gratis, if we ever do any; the building is very well constructed. And the utilities will never be shut off.

  • SisterCoyote

     Ah yes, because the building is so huge, and we are so small, isn’t it actually arrogant to believe we could damage it through our actions?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Never mind that the party keeps getting bigger and rowdier. Maximum occupancy? Huh? If we reduce everybody’s elbow room, we can fit more people in, so how can we possibly be approaching or past maximum occupancy?

  • Amaryllis

    [Never mind.]

  • Joshua

    Wait, what? For a year? Whoa.

  • Joshua

    Technically ( yes, I’m that guy), I think you are implying it – the hearer does have to make a logical step to get from your statement to that conclusion.

  • It really is surprising how easy it is (even for me, an adult) to realize the apartment is really turning into a kind of narsty buggers place to live in, and that is pretty much limited to the kitchen-needing-a-good-clean realization every week or so. :O

  • SisterCoyote

     Yeah – it goes from “Oh, I should wipe the counter when I get home from work” to “The sink is starting to get full, gotta remember to do the dishes later” to “…why is every surface in this room covered in either stains or things that are stained?”

    …and then multiply that by the entire planet. I figure in Heaven, when current-inhabitants-of-the-planet run into the ancestors of crows, some sort of dinosaur or other, they’re going to go “…you mammals did what to our planet? We had it for twice that long! How did you even…?!”

  • Joshua

    I think grass did just as much to muck up the prior balance of the planet. Oxygen-generating bacteria did a great deal more.

    So hopefully a few tens of millions of being in heaven will have chilled the dinosaurs out a bit, otherwise they’ll be ranting about everything.

  • aunursa

    Apparently 71% of registered Latino voters and 60% of registered Democrats disagree with the Democratic Party’s claim that voter ID laws prevent registered voters from voting.

  • SisterCoyote

    *blink* Aunursa, you realize that the point of that second link is: “…the public is poorly informed about the controversial laws and their potential impact on the November presidential election.” That’s not “They disagree,” it’s “They’re unaware of what the laws mean.”

    As to the first link… Fox News has a Latino counterpart? I did not know this. But I still don’t trust their numbers.

  • EllieMurasaki

    All that proves is that a whole bunch of people haven’t been paying attention. There’s a list of Pennsylvanians who’ve voted in every major election for fifty years. If the photo ID law in that state were going into effect for this election, about a fifth of the people on that list would be unable to vote.

  •  Would it kill you to actually lay out a honest, forthright personal position for once?

    Cause this kind of passive aggressive crap is old.

  • Know who it reminds me of? Peter Pettigrew.

    Like those big strong people over there are gonna protect him, so he can hide behind them and never be held accountable for anything.

  • Saffi

    The reason why THIS Catholic supports marriage equality is not so much a product of imagination but experience — the experience of growing up in a religion that insisted that “true” marriage cannot be dissolved by divorce, and yet seeing perfectly decent and respectable divorced people everywhere, many of whom subsequently remarried.  

    This experience taught us early on the difference the concepts of “marriage-as-defined-by-my-religion” and “marriage-as-defined-by-the-state.”  Too bad this lesson seems to have eluded The Management (a.k.a. the bishops and cardinals).

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yes, because if he was forthright, there wouldn’t be any honesty involved. And he knows that people here would destroy his arguments.

    All he has is passive-aggressive and shady implications. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    What’s your point?

  • Sigaloenta

    YES!  Not to mention that ‘Republicans’ dream about a commonwealth that is a community of all citizens and put its good above their personal gain.

  • Ross Thompson

    What’s your point?

    His point is that Democrats are all-knowing and infinitely wise, never uninformed or misinformed, and that if they say something, they must be right.

    Therefore, despite the studies, statistics and examples, voter-disenfranchisement laws don’t disenfranchise voters, or Democrats would know about it.

  • Lori

    I honestly can’t figure out if politics simply makes aunursa that dumb, or if he thinks that we’re that dumb, or if he’s just a straight up troll.

  • *gigglesnorts* Have my “Like”. :)

  • Deborah Moore

    Just beware of certain people on the far right who, when challenged for being undemocratic, say “We are a republic, not a democracy.”  They don’t generally define these terms or explain what the difference is.  But it gives them a great snappy comeback.

  • Tricksteron

    As the Devil say’s in The Devil’s Advocate  if He’s a landlord than he’s an absentee one.

  • Tricksteron

    What makes you think we’re tenants and not the rats and cockroaches infesting the building?

  •  …or the bricks.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    “But voting is emphatically not a privilege. It is a right.” This is one
    of the great divides between the two parties, is it not?

    I remember reading someone whine that mandatory voting (like Australia has) would turn voting from a ‘right’ to an ‘obligation’.  Bluh?

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s actually almost fair. The right to free speech must entail the right to remain silent; the right to free assembly must entail the right to not assemble. So if we start from the assumption that voting is or should be a right, not an obligation, then making it mandatory does mean the loss of something important.

    That assumption is bullshit, mind.

  • P J Evans

     y7es, there’s a Spanish-language version of Fox. I don’t know if it’s any better than the English-language version, but there are a couple of genuinely latino/Hispanic networks, too.

  • P J Evans

    Most of the people supporting voter ID laws keep comparing voting to driving or buying alcohol, and people are starting to get loud when telling them that driving and buying alcohol are privileges, but voting is a right.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Whatever his point, he should own his opinions and say make it directly.

    What’s your point aunursa?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Just beware of certain people on the far right who, when challenged for being undemocratic, say “We are a republic, not a democracy.” 

    That’d be news to all the people in countries that have been invaded or had their government overthrown in the name of spreading democracy. Plenty of them were republics before the US got involved.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I remember reading someone whine that mandatory voting (like Australia has) would turn voting from a ‘right’ to an ‘obligation’.  Bluh?

    I think it is an obligation. I don’t think it’s anything to whine about, because grown ups should be able to cope with the concept of obligations.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, see, the point of a republic is to make sure government is done by the Right People. Those countries can’t really have been republics, because their government was being done by the Wrong People. We know they were the Wrong People because the US government, which is most certainly run by the Right People except when Democrats are in charge, do not like the people who were running those countries.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There’s been plenty of interference with other people’s governments under Democratic Presidents and Congressional majorities too.

  • EllieMurasaki

    True. Sorry. Trying to make two different points and muddled them both.

  • Back around 8th or 9th grade, I wrote a prose poem around the idea of the world being like an apartment building, us the tenants, and God the landlord (purely metaphorically; I’ve always been agnostic or atheist, aside from a few brief excursions when I was even younger).  I remember there was something about the plumbing, and… umm, there was other stuff, too.  Who know, I just might find it in the process of unpacking boxes (I just moved).  It got published in the school literary annual, so there’s hope for that.