Mary Beard: “Why the rich look down on the poor”
The other way in which the comfortably-off traditionally talk of those less fortunate than themselves is, of course, to divide them into the Good Poor and the Bad Poor.
In fact, when Tacitus wrote of the plebs sordida it was explicitly to contrast them with what he called “the respectable elements among the common people”.
Talking about the death of the monstrous emperor Nero, he claimed the “filthy poor”, the squanderers and the racing addicts, lamented the death (for Nero had been an easy touch for entertainments and hand-outs).
Predictably enough, the “respectable elements” were those who welcomed the new regime of austerity and cost-cutting under the in-coming emperor Galba.
That division is still with us. The 19th Century notoriously had its “deserving” and “undeserving poor”. Our own equivalent of the “deserving poor” is “hard-working families.”
Rachel Held Evans: “The Real ‘Evangelical Disaster'”
This, I believe, is the real evangelical disaster — not that Barack Obama is president and Mitt Romney is not, but that evangelicalism has gotten so enmeshed with politics, its success or failure can be gauged by an election.
It’s this idea the “cause of Christ” is to vote against gay marriage and for tax cuts, and that the hope of evangelicals lies in election day returns. It’s this idea that a Christian worldview is something we can vote for because it fits on a ballot.
… The great evangelical disaster is that evangelicalism has become synonymous with Republicanism rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dianne E. Anderson: “Slutty Sluts Vote Sluttily”
But, as a woman with a lifetime of experience in the evangelical American church, [BSkillet’s] views on women did not surprise me. His thoughts, indeed, resemble in a more bald-faced fashion, teachings I absorbed as a member of the church. Whether it is black or white women, sexual purity is the end-all-be-all, and women as a whole are not highly regarded even if they do remain pure (BSkillet proclaims as much when he opens by saying “this is why women shouldn’t be in government” before he ever reaches the “slut vote” point).
BSkillet’s extreme point is in fact symptomatic of a larger culture that thinks women’s sexual choices and agencies are/should be up for a popular vote. It is unsurprising, then, that a culture in which the purity of women is everything would give rise to a man and a movement (The Christian Men’s Defense Network) in which women are discounted and even reviled for failing to live up to a man’s definition of pure.
Keep in mind that BSkillet is not just one extreme outlier, but is actually part of a larger movement in society. His writing is shocking only in the baldness of the misogyny, not in its views. The larger evangelical culture as a whole does, in fact, believe that a woman’s sexual activities are reason enough to discount her opinion in the public sphere.
We are a people who can watch a young man like you spiral into murderous rampage without choosing to intervene before it is too late.
We have a political class that is afraid to do something as simple as have a meaningful debate about our gun laws and how they are being enforced. We have representatives who look at gun violence, not as a problem to solve, but as the white elephant in the room to ignore. As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine; after Virginia Tech; after Tucson and after Aurora we have done nothing.