The Progressively Frightening Totalitarian and Judgmental Left

By Rachel Alexander Published on March 20, 2017

The Left has done a 180 degree turn since its free speech heyday of the 1960s. What used to be an attitude of anything goes, and protect the First Amendment right to say whatever you want to say, has morphed into a heavily policed map of what you can and cannot say. Universities, once bastions of free speech, have now become the most controlled areas of all.

If you do not agree with the Left — even if you are on the Left — expect to be savagely targeted. You could lose your job, your career and your reputation over just one social media post. Not to mention being bombarded with vitriolic, threatening emails. Even left-wing comedians now avoid performing comedy routines on university campuses. Conservative speakers are violently stopped from speaking engagements there.

Judge Not, Unless You’re on the Left

Even the less-churched Left takes one verse from the New Testament and shakes it at the Right: “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” from Matthew 7:1. Of course, they leave out his explanation in the next verse: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Out of one side of their mouths, the Left shuts down opposing viewpoints with Matthew 7:1. Only the Left is allowed to decide what constitutes judgmentalism. The answer’s easy: anything that comes from the Right, nothing that comes from the Left.

Out of the other side of their mouths, they judge like crazy, and the punishments are harsh. Tweet something critical of radical Islam? Lose your position with ESPN. Don’t agree with Christian businesses servicing same-sex weddings? You will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, lose your business and your savings. And here’s the most telling example: Anonymously tweet criticism of the Left’s authoritarian ways? They will track you down at your university professorship and you will lose your job.

The Left keeps coming up with more and more ways to judge conservatives. They began using words like sexism, racism and prejudice. They expanded their attacks by using code words like diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance and social justice. Recently, they’ve started insisting on things conservatives oppose, like safe spaces, trigger warnings and Black Lives Matter.

Disagree with any of the “values” that go along with those code words and expect the wrath of judgment to come down upon you. The Left has become the modern-day equivalent of the Pharisees. Jesus warns about the Pharisees, who were the keepers of the law.

He says, “Obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.” This is the way the Left treats the middle class. “They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others.”

The Single-minded, Authoritarian Left

There seems to be no end to how far the Left would carry its purges if it could. Since the Left controls much of the educational system and media, it has tremendous power. Many of its repressive policies have been made into law under the Obama administration and in “progressive” areas of the country. It’s been enforced by a left-leaning legal system.

The late Charles Colson tells the story of a pastor who was about to be taken away in December 1989 by the secret police in communist Romania. Pastor Laszlo Tokes had been vocally critical of the totalitarian regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.

Members of Tokes’ congregation refused to let the police take him and his pregnant wife, forming a massive human shield around the entrance to the church building. Soon, believers from Christian churches of many denominations nearby showed up to join the blockade, carrying candles. They remained vigilant all night, and began yelling, “Liberty! Freedom!”

The secret police eventually forced their way through and seized the pair, but the people’s brave resistance had helped trigger the Romanian Revolution. Within a few days, Ceausescu was overthrown and the Tokes were freed. Freedom began to return to a country that had been brutally oppressed for over forty years.

America needs people like the Tokes willing to speak out against oppression even at risk to themselves. We need people like the Christians who protected them even when doing meant they could have been killed as they stood around the church. The Left will make you pay for challenging the Leftist line. But courageous resistance is the only way Americans will reclaim the freedom the Left has taken away.

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  • anne55

    I think your article is extremely biased. First, your professor who lost his job actually DIDN’T lose it and was, in fact, promoted. I can’t post the link to the article here as, if I do, my entire post is withheld. If you put in the title ‘Deplorable’ NYU professor gets a promotion’ , New York Post and November 16, 2016 you can find and read it yourself.
    So you are simply wrong there.

    And Curt Schilling? Yes, there are radical Muslims, but his tweet indiscriminately impugned an entire group of people. I think free speech should be allowed, but if one says hateful, mean things about someone else’s race, sexual orientation, religion (such as Milo Y. often does) etc. you can expect ‘free speech’ back in return about the impact of your statements on others. And, you ARE allowed to disicipline employees for intolerant comments (racist) made in the workplace because it makes the workplace an uncomfortable, unsafe place to be for employees that are targeted. A little like sexual harassment with women.

    Funny, I feel VERY judged by conservatives, particularly evangelicals. Evangelicals represent only a portion of the greater Christian tradition, yet I feel they have a “my way or the highway” attitude which is both insular, intolerant and condescending of others. That’s how it feels from the outside. I am judging based on my observations. Please feel free to judge me back…I’m sure you will!

    The problem as I see it is that evangelicals want to make this a Christian only nation and want everyone else to fall in line. There is a feeling of ‘being forced’ that I don’t like. There isn’t the tolerance for diversity – and certainly no unity.

    I find it ironic in that I think Jesus was himself a loving, tolerant person – not rigid.

    “The Left keeps coming up with more and more ways to judge conservatives. They began using words like sexism, racism and prejudice. They expanded their attacks by using code words like diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance and social justice.”

    And why do you consider these okay things to be? Sexism isn’t okay. It hurts women. Racism isn’t okay. It judges people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character. Prejudice is hurtful no matter the target group because you are targeting someone’s innate differences that THEY CANNOT CHANGE OR HELP. That is morally wrong. Why would you not think diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance and social justice are good things, things to strive for? If you feel ‘attack’ by the wish of people to live up to these standards, then heaven help us all.

    • Howard Rosenbaum

      Not to discount your personal experience w/perhaps some in the evangelical community, though it’s not beyond possibility that you may be somewhat less than objective – or maybe not regarding your take on those who you may disagree with.
      Jesus was clearly not tolerant of everything & everyone. That does not mean His actions or sentiment was predicated on something other than love for these folk.
      Even a casual reading of the Masters reactions to certain money changers, pharisees & others who sort to make sport of His Fathers will should substantiate that claim. No, Evangelicals & others w/shared sympathies do not want to make this a “Christian only” nation. That won’t happen here & won’t happen in that other kingdom till when He returns. What Christians do want is both the privilege of objectivity in the public forum & the hope that the life, liberty & pursuit of a higher purpose can be enjoyed by those who have yet to discover the everlasting benefit that only God’s love as provided by His redemptive ( not religious ) strategy can implement for those seeking but not yet finding …

      • anne55

        Part of what bothers me is the sense of evangelicals being a political force. I don’t think any church should do that. It is mixing church and state. Churches should not have tax exempt status if they are going to get so heavily involved in politics. And ministers should not be telling people in their congregations how to vote…whether it is naming specific people or specific causes.

        • anne55

          I also do not understand what your statement means. Can you put it in simpler, clearer language? “What Christians do want is both the privilege of objectivity in the public forum & the hope that the life, liberty & pursuit of a higher purpose can be enjoyed by those who have yet to discover the everlasting benefit that only God’s love as provided by His redemptive ( not religious ) strategy can implement for those seeking but not yet finding …”

          • Autrey Windle

            ADMIT IT! You understand perfectly. You are the worst kind of troll…and unrelenting liar.

          • anne55

            I wouldn’t have asked if I understood it. As I have said before, name calling is bullying …and not very Christian.

          • Autrey Windle

            I’m not calling you names; I’m simply outing your true ‘Identifiers’.

          • anne55

            You called me an unrelenting liar and a troll. That is name calling.

            I am speaking my own truth and experience as I have come to see it. I am neither lying or trolling. I am trying to have a conversation with people having different viewpoints.

          • anne55

            And I don’t know what you mean by “Identifiers” either.

          • Autrey Windle

            Move to France.

          • Autrey Windle

            Or perhaps an unrelenting lying algorithm.

        • Ken Abbott

          But a vote is a choice, Anne, so necessarily it is a moral or ethical concern, and as such clearly falls under pastoral responsibility. While we can probably agree that a pastor should not tell his congregants exactly for whom to vote he should provide them with the appropriate biblical instruction to inform such choosing. The church is called in part to be the conscience of the state, to remind the state of its obligations before and under God. This is not a mix of church and state but the appropriate interaction of God’s ministers (civil and ecclesiastical). If the church does what it is supposed to do, it will not follow partisan boundaries but it will consistently uphold God’s principles and commandments.

          • anne55

            My church has never told me how to vote, either on the issues or candidates. What gives your’s the right to do so? I think it is a pastoral responsibility to stay out of politics. Who is calling the church to be the conscience of the state? If that is true, then I am doubly not impressed by any church’s choice of Trump.

          • Ken Abbott

            Does your church leadership not disciple church members? Instruct them in godly, biblical patterns of thinking and evaluating choices? Inculcate in them the character of Christ? All these things are not rights so much as they are responsibilities. Any church that did not do such things is guilty of dereliction of duty.

            The godly calling to be the conscience of the state is a prophetic role. Just as the OT prophets held the leadership of ancient Israel to account for its disobedience and idolatry, so the church has its appointed role to intercede for (pray for) and constantly remind the state of its duties under God, for the state is not an independent, autonomous authority–it is accountable to God for how it discharges its duties and responsibilities. This is not new–of course, it goes all the way through Scripture, but probably received its greatest articulation in the works of St. Augustine of Hippo.

            It might help if I had a better idea of what you mean by “politics.” If by that word you mean any and all public matters, then I fear we will be at a great impasse.

            FWIW, the leadership of my church did not (never has) endorse any specific candidates for office.

          • anne55

            “Does your church leadership not disciple church members? Instruct them in godly, biblical patterns of thinking and evaluating choices?”
            No, it does not dictate or discipline. I wouldn’t want to be part of a church like that.
            “Inculcate in them the character of Christ?” Our minister tries to lead by example. I wouldn’t have used the word inculcate.

            It is fine if you want to pray privately for our government, but it is NOT fine to be a politically active group – you are no longer a church when you do that (my opinion).

            It might help if I had a better idea of what you mean by “politics.” By this, I mean endorsing certain policies, positions, people and political parties.
            From People for the American Way
            1. There can be no religious test for public office, nor a religious test for participation in the political process.
            2. While it is appropriate to discuss the moral dimensions of public policy issues, religious doctrine alone is not an acceptable basis for government policy.
            3. Public officials have every right to express their personal religious beliefs, and no right to use the power of their office to proselytize or coerce others to adopt any religious beliefs or practices
            4. Government institutions must show neither official approval nor disapproval of religion, or favor one religion over another
            5. Religious institutions may cooperate with government in programs supporting the common good, but public funds must not be used to support proselytizing, religious education, worship or discrimination
            6. Government has a right to demand that religious institutions and individuals comply with reasonable regulation and social policy
            7. Public officials cannot use their religious beliefs as a rationale for failing to uphold the duties of their office
            8. Political discourse should respect religious pluralism
            9. Political figures and the media should not treat religious constituencies as monolithic; political and religious leaders should not claim to speak for an entire religious community on public policy issues
            10. Politicians and media should not equate orthodoxy with authenticity
            11. Religious and political leaders should not “cry wolf” about religious persecution
            12. Religion should not be used as a political club.

            You can read the entire article by googling: People For the American Way Foundation,12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics, August 2012

          • Ken Abbott

            So I asked, “Does your church leadership not disciple church members? Instruct them in godly, biblical patterns of thinking and evaluating choices?” And your response was, “No, it does not dictate or discipline.”

            How did you get “dictate” from what I wrote? To provide sound instruction is not to dictate but to equip. The teaching ministry of a church is vital to the spiritual health of the individual members and so to the group as a whole. It is an awesome responsibility.

            And if your church leadership truly does not discipline (a different matter than “disciple,” which is what I wrote, but no matter for the moment), I feel very sorry for you and your fellow congregants. One of the marks of a true church of Christ, in addition to the right preaching of the word of God and the right administration of the sacraments, is discipline. The real shepherd of the sheep cares for his flock and guides them, correcting them in love and wisdom if they stray. He does not let them wander off in paths that may bring them into danger or the company of wolves and he guards them against thieves and robbers that come to steal and destroy.

          • Autrey Windle

            You may want to take Anne up on looking into American Way Foundation. It explains a lot about her and her view.

          • Ken Abbott

            Good suggestion, thanks.

          • anne55

            I did misread your note. I think the use of disciple as a verb is confusing. Not really sure what it means. How can a church disciple?

          • Ken Abbott

            Sorry. It’s common usage in many American Protestant churches. Shorthand for “make disciples,” the process of coming alongside a believer in Christ and instructing and encouraging her in biblical doctrine and godly character, helping her to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s part of fulfilling our obligations one to another in the body of Christ in obedience to his explicit command in Matthew 28:18-20.

          • anne55

            There is a minister I like who writes online. I can’t link you to him because I can’t post links. So, I am going to cut and paste here what he has to say, ironically written and published just today. It is pretty much what is on my mind. He just says it well.

            A Letter To Evangelicals in America, From Jesus
            Dear Evangelicals in America,

            I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along, and I felt I needed to reach out because something seems to have been lost in translation:

            This isn’t what I had planned.
            This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.

            It wasn’t the dream I had for you when I spoke in parables about the Kingdom.

            It was all supposed to be so very different.

            It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable movement of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not by government or law or force.

            It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously over time with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.

            It was supposed to be something so very precious; such an obvious, invaluable treasure, that it would make all those who discovered and experienced it feel like it was worth selling everything they had to hold onto it.

            It was supposed my very body, here in your very flesh.

            You were designed to do this, to be this.

            My kindness, my goodness, my forgiveness—you were created to be the method of transportation for it all.

            You were made to personally deliver the greatest good news to a world so desperate for it.

            This wild, extravagant, world-altering love was intended to travel from my aching heart, through your trembling hands, to my hurting people.

            This has always been your calling. It has always been your purpose and this very second it still is.

            My beloved, I have placed you here at this exact place and time in the history of creation, not to defend or protect or replace me—but simply to reflect me.

            That has always been my most critical commandment and your most pressing obligation: loving God and loving others. I thought that I was clear on that when I was asked this before.

            I showed you how to move in this world:

            I kept company with priests and with prostitutes. I touched lepers and washed feet and dined with “sinners”, both notorious and covert. I lived humbly and open-handed. I was stingy with judgment and generous with grace. I served free meals to multitudes not because they deserved it, but because they were hungry. I healed strangers, simply because they were hurting. I allowed myself to be slandered and beaten and murdered by those who accused me falsely—and I never protested. I warned the religious people never to desire power more than goodness.

            All that is happening these days, all your posturing and condemning and vitriol—does this really look like love to you?

            All the grandstanding and insult-slinging and bullying, do you thunk that it feels like me?

            Do you truly believe that the result of your labors here in these days is a Church that clearly perpetuates my character in the world?

            Is this the Gospel of the very greatest good news that I entrusted you with—because to be honest with you I simply don’t see it.

            How have you so lost the plot?

            How did you drift so far from the mission?

            How did you become so angry, so combative, so petty, so arrogant, so entitled?

            When did you begin writing your own script for this story?

            When did you turn it into your story; about your glory, about you as the center?

            My children, here’s what you may not realize, as close as you are to all of this. You may not be able to see it clearly anymore, but I do:

            You are driving people from me.

            You have become an unbreachable barrier between myself and those who most need me.

            You are leaving a legacy of damage and pain and isolation in your path—and doing it in my name.

            You are testifying loudly, not to my love but to your preference and prejudice.

            You are winning these violent little victories but you are losing people; not to hell or to sin or to the culture, but to all of the places they go to receive the decency and gentleness that you should be showing them.

            This life is not about your right to refuse anyone blessing or kindness or care. If I wanted to avoid those I found moral faults with, I would have skipped the planet altogether.

            I came here to get low. I came here to serve. I came here to show you what love looks like so that you could emulate it.

            Your faith in me cannot be an escape clause to avoid imitating me.

            Asserting your rights was never greater than following my example.

            Your religious liberty was never more important than loving the least.

            Fear wasn’t supposed to be your sole calling card as my people.

            Your central cause in these moments, should be relentlessly conforming to my likeness, despite the inconvenience and discomfort that it brings.

            When I commanded you to deny yourself, I was speaking about the times when it is most difficult to do so, because that is when “self” is the most distracting, the most dangerous, the most like an idol.

            Obedience to me usually comes with sacrifice to you, and I think you’ve forgotten that.

            I can’t force you to reflect upon these words. I can’t make you live as I lived or love as I love. This was never the way I worked or will ever work. I will not coerce you into being anything.

            I can only tell you that you have surely drifted from the course I started you on, and as often is the case in long journeys it is a divergence that unfolds by the smallest of degrees, almost imperceptible while it’s happening.

            That is why what feels like victory to you right now, is really another slight but definite movement away from me and from the reason you are really here at all.

            Not long after I walked the planet, as my vision was just beginning to blossom, a Greek writer wrote these words about those who bore my name:

            It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies.

            They live in the awareness of their smallness.

            Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a traveling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.*
            – Aristides, 137 AD
            To the Evangelicals in America and to those beyond who are still listening today; you would do well to hold these words up daily as a mirror to your individual lives, and to the expression of me that you make together in this place.

            Is this what you see when you look at yourself?

            Is this what the world sees when it looks at you?

            In your all words and in all your ways, do they see me?

            If not, then regardless of how it appears and feels to you—you haven’t won anything.

            May this be a truth that truly sets you free.

          • Ken Abbott

            Source, please? You don’t have to post the link, just a name I can Google or the name of the site. Thanks.

          • anne55

            John Pavlovitz, March 20 Stuff that Needs to be Said.

          • Ken Abbott

            Thank you. I did some poking around and find I cannot endorse Mr. Pavlovitz. He has an execrable doctrine of Scripture that disqualifies him from pronouncing on matters of Christian faith. He is an untrustworthy teacher. His words are the wisdom of men, not the wisdom of God.

          • anne55

            Please tell him that. I like what he writes. It makes sense to me.

          • Ken Abbott

            “There is a way that seems right to a man [or a woman], but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). I quote that because Mr. Pavlovitz does not allow the Scriptures to guide his thinking; instead, he imposes his thought patterns on the Scriptures, taking what he likes (what makes sense to him) and rejecting what he doesn’t like. But the thing about the Scriptures is that, as God’s inspired word, they stand in authority over us, and not we over them. They judge us, not we them.

            I appreciate the invitation to interact with Mr. Pavlovitz, but I find that others far more capable than I have already tried.

          • Triple T

            I’m pretty sure I’m not going to give one second of thought to somebody who purports to speak for Jesus. Such a thing could not be more blasphemous.

          • Ken Abbott

            Yeah, I had a similar gut reaction and confirmed it through investigation. If you look into his published thoughts on the Bible, you find out very quickly why he goes so far off the rails.

          • anne55

            So, based on Biblical interpretation by a particular pastor, the congregation is encouraged to vote in a particular way. I call that meddling. If you are afraid hell awaits you for voting the ‘wrong’ way, then that is coersion.

          • Ken Abbott

            Wow. You’ve really misconstrued what I posted, Anne. I wrote of a pastor’s responsibility to educate his congregation on biblical principles that should inform decision-making; from there each person should exercise her conscience. How one votes is not a salvific matter, although we are accountable to God for the choices we make in this as in all things. In my denomination, pastors are accountable to the church’s elders as well as the overseeing presbytery. If any pastor is putting forth an idiosyncratic interpretation of Scripture, he will get called on it.

          • anne55

            Personally, in this day and age where one can read voraciously, I question the need for pastor vs. congregation. I like hearing what ministers have to say, but there are so many opinions among them that I think using my own brain is just as good.

          • Ken Abbott

            Coming from the perspective of another self-learner, I certainly appreciate your stance. However, there is a firm biblical mandate for a teaching ministry, listed as one of the spiritual gifts and offices ordained by God. Paul instructed Timothy that “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” A spirit of discernment is required to be able to sort through opinions and separate the wheat from the chaff, for there are many false teachings out there. Teachability is one of the Christian virtues.

          • anne55

            Biblical principles…let’s see…Jesus healed and fed the ill and the poor. He treated people from “other lands” as equals to those in his homeland (e.g., the Roman Centaurion; the Samarian woman). Would not his actions suggest we should care for the poor, ill and foreigner among us? No exceptions? That is a pretty simple moral lesson. How is it that the Trump Administration is doing this?

          • Ken Abbott

            Why would I defend the Trump Administration? Or any other political institution?

    • eddiestardust

      anne55,
      Your attitude is part of the reason why I as almost lifetime Democrat, ELECTED Delegate, National Democratic Convention, 1984…
      IS NO LONGER A DEMOCRAT AND VOTES FOR REPUBLICANS….
      Go right ahead and CRUCIFY Catholics & Christians and others who disagree with you…
      You Trumped yourself on Election Day!

      • anne55

        Because I see evangelicals as trying to push their sense of morality on society? FYI, I am not a Democrat, so will leave you guessing. But, don’t scour Democrats for my personal beliefs and views. They are my own. I am not trying to crucify Catholics or Christians…I know many lovely people of both. But, I admit, this ‘persecution’ complex by a good number of evangelical Christians in this country not only baffles me, but bothers me. Christians in this country have not experienced anything like true persecution.

    • Autrey Windle

      I don’t know if you have children, but I bet you know one or 2. Children are precious and often precocious. When a perfectly lovely child wants to do something or go somewhere where they can or will be harmed, it is up to the adults to keep them on the right track even if it makes the child angry and it pitches a fit and lays down in the floor of Sears and kicks and screams about how much they hate the adult. That is the price of love and kindness. That IS love. Giving the child a choice is an abdication of actual love. Anne, not everyone appreciates the order and the rules of behavior that God set down in the only book with the right directions for such things. When the right order is not just challenged but demanded to be denied as the truth of God Almighty, Christians can get a little bit politically incorrect and not afraid of the God hater’s opinion of them. We have to speak out and speak up when society says if we disagree with them then we should be called haters and racists and bullies. That’s what real bullies do. Christians don’t legislate morality, be I’ll be darned if I will allow immorality to be legislated as protected perversity as long as I have a voice. I do care whether you love God or not but I don’t insist that you do; I DO insist that you have no right to insist I hate God. Travel the corrupted roads to hell if you must, but while we both live, I will pray that you see there is more than one way to reach an atheist or agnostic. It’s called prayers and mine will be with you .

      • anne55

        I am not insisting anyone hate God. I just think everyone’s view of religion and God is highly personal. There is no one right answer. I have honestly felt very frustrated with evangelicals of late, who adhere to what I see as quite rigid definition of Christianity. Where in my original post did I insist that anyone should hate God? I never stated that or even implied it. The “travel the corrupt road to hell” is a good example of what I’m talking about — if that isn’t a judgement on me, then I don’t know what is. How do you know I’m traveling the corrupt road to hell? You don’t, can’t know that. I don’t find atheists or agnostics to be bad people. Agnostics are simply questioning. Atheist (or a- theist meaning without a belief in a God) are often wrongly judged to be amoral people — which is prejudice in and of itself. I am not sure what your talking about children had to do with my post…

        • anne55

          I would also say to you that there are many ways to interpret the words in the Bible. Not all churches interpret them in exactly the same way. I don’t take every word in the Bible literally. I see it as a book written by human beings. I am not demanding you deny how you feel or see the book, but I am asking for tolerance when other people see it differently.

          • Autrey Windle

            I used to be you. You can come home ,too, if you want to…the only bible is the one with all the rules you keep asking us to break.

          • anne55

            I am not asking anyone to break rules they perceive to be true and important to their own lives. I am simply requesting tolerance toward other people with differing points of view. I don’t see or feel that tolerance. It has been especially observable to me during this past election. Evangelicals have gotten political and, in the name of their beliefs, they will do anything to get Trump elected so that abortion will end and a very conservative Supreme Court justice will get elected. I think it is wrong for any church to be so political and tell (or imply) how people should vote. That is what I mean by pushing a particular agenda on other people. If you don’t believe in gay marriage, by all means let your kids know how you feel. You don’t have to do it. But, if one of your children turns out to be trans or gay, would you feel good about excommunicating them given the damage and high suicide rate among youths of differing sexual orientations? Which is the greater sin? If you don’t believe in abortion, by all means don’t ever have one, but don’t legislate that everyone else has to live by this standard too. If you don’t believe in bathroom rights for transgendered people, then use a 1 stall family restroom and avoid ever going into a standard bathroom. But don’t push this on other people who are comfortable with it. That is my point. That is why a very conservative set of standards feels forced on the rest of society to me.

          • Gary

            You don’t mind pushing what you believe on everyone. You want all kinds of sinful behavior to be legal and tolerated by society. You are doing the same thing you accuse Christians of doing, only what you want is immoral. We are not going to do what you want. And we are going to try to make illegal some, or all, of the things you support.

          • anne55

            “We are not going to do what you want. And we are going to try to make illegal some, or all, of the things you support.” I am well aware of this. That is why there needs to be a separation of church and state. My beliefs are not telling you that you MUST get an abortion, that you MUST use a certain bathroom, etc. I am saying it is your personal choice and no one will force you. However, that is not true the other way around. You are trying to legislate into laws all these things and to force people to follow them whether they agree or not. Churches should not be tax exempt if they are going to become political like this.

          • Gary

            What you are saying is that you believe people with religious beliefs different than yours should not have any voice in making policy. Well, we are going to anyway. Your not liking that is a bonus.

          • anne55

            What I am saying is church leaders should not dictate to members of their congregation how they should vote.

          • Gary

            That might be your opinion, but so what? People don’t have to do what you want.

          • anne55

            Likewise. Same is true the other way ’round.

            Quote:”A few Christian fundamentalists attempt to convince us to return to the Christianity of early America, yet according to the historian, Robert T. Handy, “No more than 10 percent– probably less– of Americans in 1800 were members of congregations.”
            The Founding Fathers, also, rarely practiced Christian orthodoxy. Although they supported the free exercise of any religion, they understood the dangers of religion. Most of them believed in deism and attended Freemasonry lodges. According to John J. Robinson, “Freemasonry had been a powerful force for religious freedom.” Freemasons took seriously the principle that men should worship according to their own conscience. Masonry welcomed anyone from any religion or non-religion, as long as they believed in a Supreme Being. Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Hamilton, Lafayette, and many others accepted Freemasonry.”

            The Constitution reflects our founders views of a secular government, protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “the idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.” End quote.

          • anne55

            Here are some quotes by famous people you will recognize. You might be surprised by them.

            “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
            ~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

            “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
            ~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by Founding Father John Adams

            “We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.”
            ~Founding FatherJohn Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785

            “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

            “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

            History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

            “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.

            State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808

            “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,

            “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

            “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

            “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments

            “That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forebearance, love, and charity towards each other.”
            ~Founding Father George Mason, Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776

            “A man of abilities and character, of any sect whatever, may be admitted to any office or public trust under the United States. I am a friend to a variety of sects, because they keep one another in order. How many different sects are we composed of throughout the United States? How many different sects will be in congress? We cannot enumerate the sects that may be in congress. And there are so many now in the United States that they will prevent the establishment of any one sect in prejudice to the rest, and will forever oppose all attempts to infringe religious liberty. If such an attempt be made, will not the alarm be sounded throughout America? If congress be as wicked as we are foretold they will, they would not run the risk of exciting the resentment of all, or most of the religious sects in America.”
            ~Founding Father Edmund Randolph, address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June
            10, 1788

            “I never liked the Hierarchy of the Church — an equality in the teacher of Religion, and a dependence on the people, are republican sentiments — but if the Clergy combine, they will have their influence on Government”
            ~Founding Father Rufus King, Rufus King: American Federalist, pp. 56-57

            A general toleration of Religion appears to me the best means of peopling our country… The free exercise of religion hath stocked the Northern part of the continent with inhabitants; and altho’ Europe hath in great measure adopted a more moderate policy, yet the profession of Protestantism is extremely inconvenient in many places there. A Calvinist, a Lutheran, or Quaker, who hath felt these inconveniences in Europe, sails not to Virginia, where they are felt perhaps in a (greater degree).”
            ~Patrick Henry, observing that immigrants flock to places where there is no established religion, Religious Tolerance, 1766

            “No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”
            ~Founding Father Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

            “God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
            ~Founding Father Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773

            “Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.”
            ~Founding Father Roger Sherman, Congress, August 19, 1789

            “The American states have gone far in assisting the progress of truth; but they have stopped short of perfection. They ought to have given every honest citizen an equal right to enjoy his religion and an equal title to all civil emoluments, without obliging him to tell his religion. Every interference of the civil power in regulating opinion, is an impious attempt to take the business of the Deity out of his own hands; and every preference given to any religious denomination, is so far slavery and bigotry.”
            ~Founding Father Noah Webster, calling for no religious tests to serve in public office, Sketches of American Policy, 1785

            “The legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion.”
            ~Founding Father Charles Pinckney, Constitutional Convention, 1787

            These are hardly the words of men who allegedly believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible as conservatives constantly claim. On the contrary, the great majority of the Founders believed strongly in separation of church and state.

          • Gary

            When you say “separation of church and state”, do you mean separation of morality from government? No church has ever been in charge of the government in the US, so why is separation of church and state the constant complaint of liberals? I think what you really are opposed to is that the laws will be moral.

          • anne55

            Who should decide what is moral? Not just one church. All people should come together and discuss. People can be moral AND a-religious.

            Why do you think many Europeans left Europe? To escape the Church that dictated what and how they should believe, that was tied in with the government.

          • Gary

            The God of the Bible defines morality. We either accept God’s rules, or not. Either choice has consequences.

            I suppose it is possible to keep part of God’s moral law without being a believer. But God requires belief too, so being a moral person won’t get you to Heaven. None of us are perfect, and perfection is what God requires. Moral people, who are not believers, don’t have as much to be punished for as immoral people do, but they still go to Hell.

          • anne55

            Well, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

          • anne55

            It is also possible for us, as a society, to define morality. You don’t have to be religious to do that.

          • Triple T

            Why would any of those surprise anybody? You could walk into any junior high American history class and learn that this county has no official religion. And don’t try to pretend that anybody who is part of this discussion we’re having is claiming that there is.

          • anne55

            I do think that. I think there are a good number of people out there that want to push this. Look at the push for prayer in schools. Or the displaying of the 10 commandments. There are many that call this a Christian nation instead of acknowledging it is multi-cultural, multi-religious.

          • anne55

            “We are not going to do what you want. And we are going to try to make illegal some, or all, of the things you support.” I am well aware of this. That is why there needs to be a separation of church and state. My beliefs are not telling you that you MUST get an abortion, that you MUST use a certain bathroom, etc. Nor is the current law. I am saying it is your personal choice and no one will force you. However, that is not true the other way around. You are trying to legislate into laws all these things and to force people to follow them whether they agree or not. Churches should not be tax exempt if they are going to become political like this.

          • GPS Daddy

            anne55, we could not even get to first base on whether you believe that you actually exist. You would only go as far as to say that you believed in it your mind… but that said nothing about the question I actually presented to you.

            The physical world cannot both actually (objectively) exist and, at the same time, only exist in the minds of those who thinks it exists. Both are not true. Can you expect someone to be “open minded” that they do not actually exist?

          • anne55

            Why can it not? I only have my mind with which to explore and perceive.

          • GPS Daddy

            You do not expire and perceive with your mind. Your brain is connected to five different sensing devices. You can trust them.

          • anne55

            My mind and my brain are one and the same thing. If I was born deaf and dumb and if I was in a coma (as does sometimes happen to babies), how real would the world seem to me? Pretty limited.

          • GPS Daddy

            If your mind and your brain were the same thing, anne55, then the only thing that would exist of you is the physical matter your brain is made up off. This defeats your possition from two directions. First, this means that you really do exist. Your existences is not just in your brain. Second, you still do not explore with your brain. You explore through those sensory devices attached to your brain. Big difference. It is totally irrelevant how well those sensory devices are able to explore the world around you… the truth is that they give you excellent, reliable, and consistent information that the world around you exists. That it is really here. To deny this point is silly, anne55. There is no information other than crap philosophy that this world does not really exist. If it really exists, anne55, then those world views based on the idea it does not are wrong. Hence, those world views, no matter how many people believe them, are false.

          • anne55

            Your mind and brain ARE the same thing. Your mind is the total activity of your brain over many years of experience. It could be a philosophical question to ask oneself if they are different. But you can’t prove it. Quoting a philosopher: it is like “…trying to find the dancing in the musculature of the dancer or trying to find the value of money in the chemical composition of the dollar bill.”

            FYI, you have more than 5 senses. You have the obvious ones such as sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. But you also have ‘hidden’ senses such as the sense of pressure and joint movement. The sense of balance and motion. And interoceptive sense (i.e., you can ‘feel’ when you are hungry, sleepy, need to use the bathroom). And, it is NOT irrelevant how well those sensory devices are functioning. I’ve worked with many, many children who’s sensory devices did not give them adequate information about their world and, believe me (I sound like Trump!), it really does affect your ability to function and perceive.

            Look at the stars at night in the sky. You can see them. But, many of them are no longer really ‘there’. They don’t exist anymore. All you are seeing is their light because it took so long to get here. Our senses, as good as they are, are not always reliable.

          • GPS Daddy

            Anne55, if your mind and brain is the same thing then this means that either the physical realm, or matter, is an illusion OR that there is no spiritual realm. It is clearly obvious that the physical realm exists. It is also clear that the spiritual realm exists. Humans have both a mind and a brain. The brain is that physical part inside your skull. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, all sensory inputs, etc… all have a physical component to them inside the brain. But your mind directs the brain. This is true because we can improve the functioning of the brain by the way we think. For a reference to this see Dr. Leaf’s work at her website: drleaf dot com. She is a premier brain scientist. As for those children you work with I say awesome job!!!! And I do mean that. Thank you for your years of work with them. But in regards this this discussion, its irrelevant that our sensory functions can be impaired in some people. That has no bearing on the clear evidence that the physical world really does exist.

          • anne55

            The problem is, you can believe in the existence of a spiritual realm, but it isn’t something science can evaluate or test for. So, your statement that it is clear that a spiritual realm exists is unprovable. You can want it and wish for it. You can believe it does exist. But, it is unknowable by science.

            I am not familiar with Dr. Leaf, but I looked her up. I simply don’t agree with some of her conclusions. Here is one statement from a Dr. C. Edward Pitt responding to some of her arguments. The part I’m cutting and pasting has to do with just the mind- brain.

            The Mind-Brain Link

            If the mind controls the brain and not the other way around as Dr Leaf suggests, why do anti-depressant medications correct depression or anxiety disorders? There is high-level evidence to show this to be true [26-28]. The same can be said for recent research to show that medications which enhance NDMA receptors have been shown to improve the extinction of fear in anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD [29].

            If the mind controls the brain and not the other way around as Dr Leaf suggests, why do some people with acquired brain injuries or brain tumours develop acute personality changes or thought disorders? Dr Leaf has done PhD research on patients with closed head injuries and treated them in clinical settings according to her CV. She must be familiar with this effect.

            One can only conclude that there is a bi-directional effect between the brain and the stream of thought, which is at odds with Dr Leaf’s statement that the mind controls the brain and not the other way around.

          • GPS Daddy

            Interpretation of science is not done outside of your worldview. Your worldview has significant input into how you view science. The view that science and the scientific method of investigation is the only way we can prove something is predicated on the view that the physical world actually exists. So it seems to me that you have a mixture of conflicting axioms in your worldview. On one had your not willing to admit that the physical world actually exists but on the other had your only going to accept what science can prove. As far as what Dr Leaf says about the mind controlling the brain, don’t over simplify my statement. For example, the driver of a car controls the car via the steering wheel, breaks, and gas peddles. But these control mechanism can fail needing repairs. That does not undermine the fact that the drive controls the car.

            Remember, anne55, our whole discussion is about your unwilliness to acknowledge that the physical world actually exists. I’m showing you that there is no good reason to doubt that it does. So far you have provided no good reason to doubt this. Yet, you expect me to be “open” to the idea I do not really exist. It’s upon you to show good reason for such a position. I give to you the data that your senses have been giving you your entire life that the physical world really does exist. To deny this you have to deny yourself, not a rational position.

          • anne55

            “The driver of a car controls the car via the steering wheel, breaks, and gas peddles. But these control mechanism can fail needing repairs. That does not undermine the fact that the drive controls the car.”

            If all this fails on a car, the driver loses control. And, unless repaired, the car stops working and the driver can’t do anything with it.

            If a human has senses or a physical body that is greatly impaired, he loses control as well…to varying degrees dependent on the nature of the problem.

            Look, all I’m saying is that the nature of reality can be elusive. We can’t always trust our own perceptions.

            The only thing we can try to test is the physical world because we have contact with it. We can’t test for a spiritual world. It really is the only way we can prove anything, via the scientific method. There is good research and bad. Sometimes a scientific conclusion is reached, but then more information is gained. With a more thorough understanding, conclusions change too. The scientific method is valid. How do we know this? Because, using science, we have learned to cure many illnesses. Using science, we have made planes fly and cars move. Using science we can make an impact.

            I am not saying that the physical world doesn’t exist. I AM saying that our senses and world view can be faulty and we need to ‘adapt’ as we gain more information.

          • GPS Daddy

            Anne55, does the physical world actually exist?

          • anne55

            It would seem so based on our scientific ability to interact and understand it. But, our understanding changes all the time, given new information. And, I only have my physical body with which to understand it. I think the ‘what is the nature of reality?’ question is one philosophers have debated for centuries.

          • GPS Daddy

            Anne55, your only double talking yourself. You cannot use science in this way. Science assumes the physical world is real. That it actually exists. But more troubling is your willingness to discount your own senses. They are reliable. You can trust them that the data they feed your brain is about a world that actually exists. Use the scientific method of scientific investigation here. If the physical world is real then your sesnses should give you consistent information that it’s there…

            But there is another issue you need to consider… and that is one of confirmation bias. Is it possible your not willing to admit the physical world is not objectively real because if you do it means that there are world views that are then false? So hide behind those that question it’s not real and reference little understood physical phenomena so as to avoid those conclusions. The problem with that approach is the every time you rely on your senses to tell you something is there they will testify that your avoiding that conclusion.

          • anne55

            Your mind and brain ARE the same thing. Your mind is the total activity of your brain over many years of experience. It could be a philosophical question to ask oneself if they are different. But you can’t prove it. Quoting a philosopher: it is like “…trying to find the dancing in the musculature of the dancer or trying to find the value of money in the chemical composition of the dollar bill.”
            FYI, you have more than 5 senses. You have the obvious ones such as sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. But you also have ‘hidden’ senses such as the sense of pressure and joint movement. The sense of balance and motion. And interoceptive sense (i.e., you can ‘feel’ when you are hungry, sleepy, need to use the bathroom). And, it is NOT irrelevant how well those sensory devices are functioning. I’ve worked with many, many children who’s sensory devices did not give them adequate information about their world and, believe me (I sound like Trump!), it really does affect your ability to function and perceive.
            Look at the stars at night in the sky. You can see them. But, many of them are no longer really ‘there’. They don’t exist anymore. All you are seeing is their light because it took so long to get here. Our senses, as good as they are, are not always reliable.

          • Kevin Carr

            The Bible was written in Hebrew (Old Test.) and Greek and Aramaic in the N.T. using a Hebrew/Greek dictionary will help you get a better grasp of word meaning. God is pretty concrete in what he says. You can’t just make up your own relationship with Christ, either you want Him (on His terms) or you don’t. Since He is God he gets to say how we come to him. “Not my will, but thy will”.

          • anne55

            You mean, don’t use my own mind to ask questions, wonder and explore? Can’t do that. Sorry. That ends up getting too cult-like.

          • anne55

            Much of the Bible was also written many years after Jesus’s death. Can you honestly say that, given a gap of at least 60-70 years, between his death and chapters being written that there wouldn’t be some memory lapse or tweaking of the story? The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, who were early Jewish followers of Jesus, and the modern consensus is that it also provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the first century AD.[1] In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 150 AD,[2][better source needed] and a small minority of scholars would date them to no later than 70 AD.[3]
            There is also the matter of translation between the original writings and more modern versions. The Bible Doesn’t Say That: 40 Biblical Mistranslations, Misconceptions, and Other Misunderstandings.

        • Autrey Windle

          Your post said Jesus was a loving and tolerant person- not rigid. I was offering you a nice way to consider that love is not always tolerant and the word of God makes it clear that there are rules to live by and that they do not include tolerating a lot of things, especially the secularization of society that leads to tolerance of perversions of any sort or condoning the worshipping of false gods and the infanticide currently masquerading as a ‘women’s health issue’ when it fails to consider the baby’s ‘health’ issue which would be that if the baby is dead we don’t have to worry about it’s health and the mother can fall through the cracks when it makes her crazy after it’s too late to change her mind but Gloria Steinem could care less. Want some more instances of your intolerance? I don’t agree with you so I bet you don’t think i deserve free speech. Your buzz terms are all straight out of Alinsky’s playbook. I think you like belonging to the secular radical group-think because then you don’t have to make tough choices to stand for the love of God and the ‘rules’ He instructed us on how to live; and how NOT to. You didn’t ask anyone to hate God, but the fact that you pretend to know God and yet suggest the acceptance of fake gods or no god tells me you would rather there were less poeple who loved God. I can’t even imagine how that doesn’t explain to you about why I might consider letting you know that you are on the road to hell. Denial of God, which is what you do if you don’t bow before Him once properly introduced (which you claim to be) can only lead you there. I would hope you reconsider and walk toward the light, but you will have to make hard choices to follow the path of enlightenment. It’s not for sissys.

          • anne55

            I disagree with you about love, especially unconditional love. It IS tolerant. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)

            4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

            8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

            And, I think your interpretation of the rules is simply different than mine. You are making assumptions about what I believe. For instance, you say I don’t think you should have free speech. Where did I say or even imply that? I didn’t. But, when one has the the opportunity to freely speak their mind, then they have to honor other’s with the same rights. I am simply speaking up to say what I observe on this site. It seems like most people here agree with each other. I’m trying to challenge some of the thinking and to have people look at things from a somewhat different perspective.

    • Triple T

      You are correct in stating that an organization can discipline its employees for this sort of thing. I assume, then, that you think the very same organization that let Curt Schilling go should also discipline Stephen A. Smith for the gems that come out of his mouth. And it won’t bother you one bit when Colin Kapernick is persona non grata in the NFL next year because no owner or GM wans his team distracted by that dog and pony show.

      • anne55

        I don’t know who Stephen Smith is. I don’t disagree with what Colin Kapernick did.

        • anne55

          What about Milo Y.? He has quite a little mouth on him…

          • Autrey Windle

            When you have to resort to comparing Triple T to Milo I know you live in an alternative universe…

          • anne55

            I am not comparing Milo to Triple T. You totally misinterpreted my statement and meaning. Triple T’s original comment to me was about someone with a foul mouth. I don’t know the person he was referring to~ quote: “…I assume, then, that you think the very same organization that let Curt Schilling go should also discipline Stephen A. Smith for the gems that come out of his mouth.” I simply was pointing out that Milo Y., who is written about extensively on the Stream, also qualifies as someone with a foul mouth.

        • Triple T

          You can agree with what Mr. Kaepernick did to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, since you don’t own an NFL team, that and dollar will get him a pack of gum.

          • anne55

            Obviously I don’t own a team. I’m just saying I think what he did was fine. Free speech if you know what I mean. According to this article, and I have no way to know whether it is true or not, the reason he hasn’t been signed has nothing to do with his kneeling during the anthem.

            Can’t post the link. Suffice it to say, the article I just read says it had to do with his athletic performance, NOT his kneeling.

          • Triple T

            What he did was fine, and within his right to do so. It means he won’t be sent to jail for doing it. It doesn’t mean it has to be tolerated by the people in position to decide if he’s in the league next year or not, many of which to my understanding, weren’t in love with it.

          • Dan Story

            What he did WAS NOT fine. Not because of content but because he was ON THE CLOCK. F–K your politics, boy. You’re at work.

          • Triple T

            It became fine when his spineless coaches, GM and team owner decided to do nothing about it. Any one of them could have put an end to his nonsense after the first time it happened with little more than your last two sentences.

          • anne55

            They would have been in violation of free speech rights and you better believe the ACLU would be all over it.

          • Autrey Windle

            Only if it was in the best interest of their aclu-believe-what-we-believe-or-we’ll-sue-you agenda. I think you, anneotherpaidblogger, must get paid by the word like in the old days of writing.

          • anne55

            No one is paying me, not even a dime. I can assure you of that. Nope, I don’t know Soros! And, I am beginning to be extremely bored of the Right’s insisting we are all being paid. This is purely a labor of love, believe me.

          • anne55

            Everyone should have the right to their day in court (if desired) to make their case.

          • Triple T

            Incorrect. While your employer cannot tell you what to think or how to speak or act on your own time, he absolutely can tell you how you will conduct yourself on company time, while wearing the company uniform and representing the company. According to your logic, somebody can refuse to follow the dress code at work, claim “freedom of expression”, and not get in trouble. It doesn’t work that way.

            The ACLU will be all over it, you say? Why then, are they not working around the clock to help Mr. Schilling get his job back?

          • anne55

            Can’t find anything on pro players from the ACLU, but I did find this from NBC.

            Players can’t be disciplined for not standing for anthem, but . . . .

            As the numbers of players who won’t stand for the national anthem has tripled from one to three, there’s a chance that, eventually, a player will choose not to stand on a team that isn’t as forgiving as the NFL, which encourages but does not require the gesture. However, as one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, the NFL Players Association firmly believes that the league and its teams lack the power to discipline players who refuse to stand for the anthem.

            Unlike the NBA, the NFL has no rule requiring players to stand. And while it’s possible individual teams have (or may adopt) such a rule, the Collective Bargaining Agreement does not authorize teams to impose fines or otherwise discipline players for not standing during the anthem.

            As a practical matter, however, the NFLPA realizes that players can be cut for refusing to conform, if the teams are smart enough to avoid saying or doing anything that would suggest that the move has anything to do with not standing for the anthem. That’s surely one of the reasons why the 49ers have made it clear that quarterback Colin Kaepernick can do whatever he wants to do during the anthem. If/when they release him, anything other than a firewall between respect for the flag and football ability will invite a grievance based on the claim that the team cut him because of his activism.

            The Seahawks, to date, have likewise said all the right things about cornerback Jeremy Lane. If/when he’s ever released, it becomes difficult to pin the move to his decision to sit during the anthem.

            For other teams, a decision by a player to sit or kneel during the anthem followed by a decision to get rid of the player could be problematic. Both Bills coach Rex Ryan and Rams coach Jeff Fisher have made it clear that, on their teams, the players stand. So if a player refuses to stand and is then cut, he could have a case.

            It remains unlikely it will come that. It is likely that the NFL is concerned about how situations like this could play out, and it would be wise for the league to let the teams know that they should say or do nothing publicly or privately to indicate that standing for the anthem is in any way required.

          • anne55

            You may not have liked it, but it was not illegal.

          • Dan Story

            Do YOU get to be a political activist at work? I know that I would be FIRED if I was…

          • anne55

            Isn’t that exactly what evangelical ministers are doing? Making political statements “at work” during church services? If it is okay for them to do it, why is it not okay for Colin K.?

            I don’t particularly like this BECAUSE I think it has a whiff of coersion for the congregation. “If the pastor says it, it must be so….”

          • Dan Story

            The pastor is a paid speaker. His job is to influence people. Kaepernick’s job is to play football… that’s it. I’m not saying that he has no right to free speech… just that he should keep that to a more appropriate venue. Preferably, one that HE’s paying for. He should have been told, “F–k your politics. This isn’t the place for that,” but in San Francisco, that simply wasn’t going to happen.

          • anne55

            The pastor is not just a paid speaker. Paid speakers do a one shot talk to a group. Paid speakers typically have another full time job, but speak on the side.

            Pastors ARE employees, paid with a salary. So, I don’t agree with you.

            Sure, Colin K. could have waited to make a statement privately. But it certainly wouldn’t have had the instant, wide public audience. In fact, Colin is currently putting his mouth where his morals are. He just donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels since it is on Trump’s chopping block. And, yes, he got publicity for that kind act.

            Quote: (NYTimes): “Colin Kaepernick may be out of a job and he may have pledged to end his kneeling protest of the national anthem, but he continues his work to make the world a better place.

            Kaepernick recently made twin $50,000 donations to Meals on Wheels America and the Love Army for Somalia, a social media campaign that’s trying to raise $2 million for food and water for starving people in that African nation.

            Since he began his social justice crusade last year, Kaepernick has donated an estimated $500,000 to assorted charities and community groups. On the free-agent quarterback’s website, there is a running log of the donations he’s made.”

            How many young athletes do you know who do this?

            I think Colin’s action was fine. The flag is a symbol – and this country has not always treated ALL its people well enough.

          • Dan Story

            Whether or not a man speaks once or a thousand times, if he is paid in a one-time check or a full-time salary, he is a paid speaker. His primary job is speaking to those that pay him.

            In truth, I couldn’t care less about Kaep’s views. Even if I agreed with him 100%, I would tell him to keep that crap off the field. An NFL game is not an appropriate venue for divisive political demonstration… and in any case, it isn’t a venue that he sponsors; it’s a venue that sponsors him. The only political views that should be allowed are those of the NFL and the 49ers. Please note that the NFL does not go out of their way to be political for reasons to do with marketing (which, for the NFL, is a big deal). The real world result of his hubris is that he can’t find a job now.

            The bottom line is: No one should be espousing political views on the clock unless it’s their job and no one should hijack SOMEONE ELSE’s high-profile venue for purposes outside of said venue’s focus.

          • anne55

            Here is a statement regarding the typical status of pastors. Unless you hire an independent contractor, which most churches don’t, your pastor is salaried and employed.

            Quote: ”
            Who Are Employees? There are basically two types of employees defined by the Tax Code: statutory employees and common law employees. Statutory employees have specifically defined jobs that on the surface might appear to be self-employed positions were it not for the statutes that define the work as that of an employee. The common law employee is the category which affects local churches most often. A common law employee is generally anyone who performs services that can be controlled by the employer. That is, the employer has the legal right to control (even if not enforced) the means, methods, and results of the services provided. If the employer/employee relationship is deemed to exist based on the facts in each case, it does not matter what it is called, nor how the payments are measured or paid, nor if the services are performed full time or part time. The employer must determine any taxable amounts paid, withhold appropriate taxes for lay employees, make appropriate tax payments, and report those taxes to the IRS. Virtually all pastors, associate ministers, church custodians, church secretaries, paid choir directors, paid nursery workers, etc., are viewed by the IRS as common law employees. Their compensation is reported on Form W-2.” End quote.

            Quoting a different source:”The common law control test is the basic test, using the common law rules, for determining whether a relationship exists between the worker and the person or firm that they work for. Under the common-law test, the employer has the right to tell the employee what to do, how, when, and where to do the job.” End quote.

          • Dan Story

            Even so, the operative words, in the context of our discussion, are “can be.” So, in the case of Kaep, the EMPLOYER (SF 49ers) has every right to tell him to keep his views to himself. In the case of a pastor, the employer (the congregation – thru whatever diocese) has every right to replace a pastor with whom they do not jibe. I have actually watched this happen. Pastors operate in a very delicate echo chamber. The very best pastors find creative and subtle ways to influence their congregations by weaving scripture into their messages… and even then do so at their own professional peril.

          • anne55

            I am going to leave it at what I have said. Read the article written by a Baptist minister (below) for how he views this.

          • anne55

            Yes, he is a paid speaker, paid to speak about the bible. NOT current politics.

          • anne55

            You shouldn’t be put in a position at work where you HAVE to feel uncomfortable or you are ‘forced’ to take a position on politics.

          • anne55

            I don’t see that listening to the National Anthem or saying the Pledge of Allegiance should be mandatory. It should come from the heart, not be forced. If it is forced, it has no meaning.

          • Triple T

            I’m sometimes forced by my employer to do things I don’t particularly care about. I do them anyway because I am interested in continuing to work there. Why is Mr. Kaepernick’s situation any different, except for the fact that the whole world can see it?

          • anne55

            Maybe his act, as a statement, meant more to him than his job. I respect that.

          • Triple T

            Then he shouldn’t look too shocked when he has no job to go back to. No wrong will have been done and nobody should feel sorry for him.

          • Dan Story

            Football is supposed to be a distraction from political BS; not a platform for it. He has an entire off season to be activist.

          • anne55

            What if a good portion of the audience sat and didn’t sing? That would also be a statement.

          • Dan Story

            Maybe… but they DON’T.

          • anne55

            How do you know how many sit and for what reason? They just aren’t center of the camera.

          • Dan Story

            Because I’ve been that guy singing the anthem at more than one sporting event.

          • Dan Story

            Well then, just stand there and don’t make waves. No one paid big money to come to the football game and get political.

          • anne55

            Well, then, let me ask you this. How many employees can you think of while on their time at work, begin their job with the National Anthem? Most of us aren’t put in that situation when we arrive at work. What if you have real problems with the National Anthem based on being a member of an oppressed group? Why do we even sing the National Anthem at the beginning of sporting events? It isn’t necessary. This isn’t the military or a funeral or an inauguration. I think it is sort of silly. What other employee is expected to do that as ‘part of the job’?

          • Dan Story

            Who cares? It’s part of the job, like it or not. I’ve done tons of things I didn’t like or that made me uncomfortable while at work (like millions of other Americans). He isn’t special. Suck it up and do what you’re hired to do. If you are an employee (no matter how much you make or how famous you are) you are bound to do the job that is expected from you regardless of your personal feelings or politics because when you are at work, you’re NOT on your own time. If I spend time at work doing stuff outside of the program, my boss will dock my time (and rightfully so… it’s HIS time, not mine). Kaep was NOT on his own time (which is where political demonstration belongs). When you are company time, you have two choices: Do what you were hired to do or go home.

          • anne55

            Who made it part of the job? Is it written into their job contract? I hardly think so and the NFL evidently came out in favor of player’s rights to express themselves. If it isn’t written into a contract, then there is no legal basis for saying you must. He was hired to play football, not sing anthems.

          • Dan Story

            He was hired to play football; not to deliver political commentary. It might be worth noting that NO ONE will hire him to play anymore. I think the market for his services has spoken loudly and clearly… and while the NFL may have given him all the rope he wanted, he merely used it to hang himself. Apparently, my opinion is not out on a limb. Instead, the entirety of NFL ownership agrees. Liberal talk… conservative action.

          • anne55

            Probably many disagreed with him and that is their right. But, it would be illegal for them to refuse to hire him for a ‘free speech act’. If he doesn’t measure up athletically, that is a different matter.

    • Kevin Carr

      Who said these things were okay? The left’s knee-jerk reaction to any contrary opinion or point of view is to name-call and censor. As a Christian I believe you should be free to believe as you like, but ;like you I don’t want your values pushed on me either. Jesus was very rigid. He said ” I am the way, the truth and the life, no one come to the Father but by me”. That is pretty rigid and uncompromising. In his word it says he will not share his glory with another. He said in essence if you are not with him you are against him. The left are not a tolerant group.

      • honesttoGod

        “whoever is not against you is for you” Luke 9:50, Mark 9:40. And it is not Jesus who says that he will not share his glory, it is Yahweh in Isaiah 42:8 (rendered “LORD” in most English translations). By and large the Left is not against the core values of Christianity. Hospitality is more important than “taking a stand” by refusing service to those with whom you disagree, especially since your services do not have anything to do with the actions with which you disagree (it’s not like a wedding cake performs the ceremony).

        • Autrey Windle

          It’s not like you make any sense in the realm of the Book’s direction…

          • honesttoGod

            You didn’t like the quotes from Luke and Mark that reverse the value statement in Kevin’s post (which itself makes reference to a passage in Matthew)? Perhaps one should see from that juxtaposition that hanging everything on any one passage is an example of proof-texting, which is a questionable way to read “the Book”– not least because it sees the Bible as “A” Book when it is actually a collection of many books, so that treating passages from different books as if they are part of a single continuous text is illegitimate. The “direction” of the Bible would have to be determined in common ideas and themes that arise in many texts. Hospitality is one of those values that express the “direction” of the Scripture as it makes appearances in many and widely diverse texts. It’s funny, though, that in all of it’s appearances, the hospitality extended is not contingent on a feature of the guest– it is offered freely to the stranger without regard to who the stranger is. (And thus have some entertained angels unaware).

          • Autrey Windle

            My mistake initially…you make perfect sense if I listen to the warnings in the only God-breathed Book ever printed. Are you one of ‘those’ angels? I read all about you…

          • honesttoGod

            No, I am not an angel of any type. I am simply a person who knows that my reading of the Bible is not the same thing as God’s Word, and that in fact ANY ONE who claims that their interpretation IS the Word that God has spoken is guilty of idolatry. By the way, you do realize that when Paul wrote that Scripture is God-breathed truth in II Timothy, he couldn’t have been referring to the New Testament, as it was not yet written. Context. Pesky context.

          • Autrey Windle

            You know, I think you would love it if you MOVED TO FRANCE.

          • anne55

            Sorry you want to get rid of me. But the USA is my home too. And, I’m likely older than you are!

          • anne55

            I don’t believe that God would only reveal himself to a certain portion of people on the Earth. That is not a God I’d want to believe in…one that leaves out vast swaths of humanity.

          • anne55

            “…treating passages from different books as if they are part of a single continuous text is illegitimate…”

            I thought evangelicals viewed the Bible as infallible. So, how can even a part of it be illegitimate if you take that viewpoint?

          • honesttoGod

            I’m not going to get into the infallability business at all. It is not that any given passage is illegitamate, it is running together passages written in different contexts as if context did not matter. It does.

          • anne55

            I am not running together passages written in different contexts. Where have I done that?

          • honesttoGod

            I am not responding to you– I find much with which to disagree among your interlocutors, and my comments are generally with regard to things that they have said. The wrenching verses out of context is a standard interpretive strategy of evangelicals/fundamentalists.

          • anne55

            Thank you for your explanation. Sometimes I get confused as to whom is talking to whom!

        • Gary

          Jesus is God. That means he is Yahweh. And the Left is certainly against all of the values of Christianity. The Left is immoral to their core.

          • anne55

            You must learn to live with people of differing world viewpoints. You may not always agree…maybe seldom agree. But, if you lump all people with a left leaning viewpoint into one group and declare they are immoral or unChristian, well to me that bespeaks of intolerance and insulation. It rather proves my point in my original post. And, if you only speak with others that hold very similar view points, then you never stretch and grow yourself mentally. For me, any religion of worth should value an open and questioning mind. Why did God give me a mind if not to ask questions, explore, wonder, learn and challenge myself?

          • Gary

            But you never accept the truth. You are always searching, but never finding. You liberals are as intolerant as any group.

          • anne55

            It well may be the truth is elusive. You may think you know it, but can you prove you know it? I don’t think so.

          • Gary

            God has revealed the truth to Christians and enabled them to believe it.

          • anne55

            Lots of religions feel that God has revealed the truth to them. Interesting.

          • Gary

            Yes. A lot of people don’t believe God is the God of the Bible. They believe in some other god.

          • anne55

            I can’t discount someone else’s personal experience. If you’d grown up in the Muslim world, you might well feel the same about the Koran.

          • honesttoGod

            Jesus is the historic incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. The Second Person of the Trinity is eternal, self-existent, etc,, but Jesus is a fully human person, who comes into being in history, at a particular moment and place. The Christian confession is that this man Jesus is also fully God, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, who has fully entered into history in him. Jesus has a beginning, sometime around 5 or 6 BCE, even though the Son incarnated in him has no beginning. One of the great mistakes that is widespread in Evangelicalcism is taking the central and radical claim of Christianity that God has entered into history and turning it into an ahistorical vision of divine activity that mangles the Scriptures by treating them as if they are a single document instead of seeing them as they really are– a collection of documents written by a wide variety of people over a very long time, in specific contexts and for specifc purposes. This is the reason that many in Evangelical circles believe doctrines that are less than 200 years old, but regard them as if this is what all Christians everywhere have always believed. It makes it very hard to take seriously the basic American Evangelical claim that they are the representative and defender of the historic Christian faith.

          • anne55

            You know, if I try to look at this as someone might if they’d never heard of Jesus or Christianity, it would sound very much like the ancient Greek and Roman myths. Man born of a virgin who’s father is God. Magical abilities (walking on water, multiplying bread and fish, etc. etc). Looking at it with a scientific, practical, reality based lens, it makes no sense. It is like you are being asked to abandon all sense of rationality in the name of faith. But ‘faith’ being defined here as abandoning your own sense of reason. I just can’t do that.

          • honesttoGod

            Oh, there are certainly ways in which Christ looks like a Near Eastern corn king god of the model absorbed into Greek and later Roman mythic structures (though often thought of as innovations in those structures, and looked at askance by traditional religionists) like Dionysus/Bacchus, Attis, Adonis, or Mithras or the Egyptian Osiris. Not all born of virgins, but the dying/reviving motif with all. More to the point, and more influential for the cultural milieu of Jesus, I would suggest is Zoroaster, who is born of a virgin impregnated by the good god in a dualistic good god/evil god system to teach and lead humanity to overcome the evil god, originating the idea of a messianic figure, the moral implications of the divinity(ies), and reducing the number of divine beings to two. Much more like the ethical monotheism of late 2nd Temple Judaism.

            All of this is true, but I don’t find it in any way a problem for a thoughtful Christian faith. In all of these myths (and there is nothing wrong with something being a myth– only a blindness of a particular kind of reasoning thinks of myth as “failed” explanations of natural events, i.e., bad science. Myths are stories that aren’t factual, but are true– they express truths about human beings, and our experiences and existence in this world. The “New” Atheists and the evangelical/fundamentalists both make this mistake.) the events happen in a kind of a dream time outside of history. Christianity makes the claim that divinity’s most complete revelation is to be found IN human history, in the mundaneness and profundity of human lives, realized in the life of the man Jesus, whose followers communicated the profound experience of Him in their lives by talking about Him in terms and stories that revealed the vision of God they had seen– and did see– in Him. I used the “theologese” you’re responding to in answer to a statement that had all the ahistorical, phony “plain-truthness” and ignorance/rejection of the historical orthodox expression of the Christian faith that is found in American evangelical/fundamentalist circles (caveat– not all of them– but certainly a general tendency). I’m not going to give you or me a headache trying to parse all of it. I will say that for thoughtful, contemporary or modern (probably even historical) Christian faith, there is nothing in it that demands an abandonment of rationality, nor is there anything in science now or in the future that is not consistent with Christianity– I don’t worship the god of the gaps, nor do I try to literalize and fetishize myths about Creation that are themselves adapted from other myths. The stories are true, but not factual. And as Dominic Crossan points out, it is not that we have grown so wise that we now see literal stories as allegories and symbols when their authors thought they were literally factual. No, we have grown so foolish that we try to take literally stories whose authors intended symbolically and allegorically.

          • anne55

            Thank you for your lengthy reply. I have to say I am not sure I understand all your points.

            “Myths are stories that aren’t factual, but are true– they express truths about human beings, and our experiences and existence in this world.”

            I get the emotional part being ‘true’, even tho the actual event is not.

            “The stories are true, but not factual.” I think that is what you are saying again.

            “No, we have grown so foolish that we try to take literally stories whose authors intended symbolically and allegorically.”

            And I think again. I can view the Bible symbolically and allegorically, but not literally. I would agree with that.

          • honesttoGod

            Literalism– of all kinds– is a fairly new phenomenon, and tends toward heresy. When most people ask you to affirm that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God (to be understood literally except where it is clearly figurative) what they are really asking is for you to accept that THEIR INTERPRETATION of the Bible is the Word of God, but they are deceiving or deluding themselves to the point that they don’t recognize that their interpretation is actually an interpretation. They CLAIM that the Bible is their authority, when their own opinions and understanding is their real authority. Thus, they set up their own understanding/thinking as the divine Word and so are guilty of idolatry. They would be idolaters anyway, since they make something less than God the object of their devotion– namely, the Bible itself.

            A shallow kind of “scientism” actually commits the same error. Both are not particularly reflective about their (or really humanity’s) epistemological limitations, and endorse a naive verificationist approach to the world. It has long seemed to me that the New Atheists (of the Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens variety– not the atheist position in and of itself) and Christian fundamentalists are two sides of the same coin. You can hear it in the way both speak of “proof” Science does not progress in terms of proof, but in terms of failure to disprove (and hence to “support”– not “prove”) a particular hypothesis. The idea that careful observation of the world leads to proven knowledge about the world suffers the same error as the reader of Scripture who thinks it comes to him/her unmediated, and thus uninterpreted in the reading.

            This isn’t really addressing the issues you mention as points in my earlier statement that are less than clear, But, it does address to some extent the reason that I think we tend to miss the truth of myth and try to reduce it to a mistaken statement about the world and our place in it.

      • anne55

        Quote:”Jesus was very rigid.”

        My experience with Jesus is he was among the most accepting, least rigid. Why, oh why would I ever want to follow a rigid person as right?

        • Gary

          You don’t understand Jesus Christ. He is not for what you are for, or against what you are against. He does not share your “morality”, or your theology.

          • anne55

            How do you know this? How do I know you understand Christianity any better than I do?

          • Gary

            From your comments. It is easy to know that you are not a believer from your comments.

          • anne55

            I don’t share your beliefs.

          • Gary

            Yes, I know. That is why you can’t truthfully be called a Christian.

          • anne55

            Well, it depends on your definition. Our’s are apparently not the same.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Were there ever a party that exemplified irrationality, hubris & totalitarianism in American politics , the present state of the democratic left out, behind & alone party in their seeming inability to get a grasp on reality exemplify that claim. One would think that they get their marching orders direct from the dark side itself. Hey, there are even a few that would bring a smile to the face of their prince of the air (waves) despotic master. Well, that may be a bit tongue in cheek – though …?!

    • anne55

      I think this is very biased. Yes, the Democratic party made some mistakes. But, we got the bigger devil in the exchange (Trump, who does not appear to me to live by Christian values at all). However, I will remind you that while we lost the electoral college, Trump lost the popular votes BIGLY (as he would say). What this says to me is that this win was very tenuous and can be flipped around pretty easily in 2018. So, your calling the party left out, behind and alone might feel good to you know, but can I just remind you the biggest demonstration in the history of the United States took place 1 day after the inauguration.

      • Triple T

        I don’t care if Mr. Trump personally lives by Christian values or not. He pledged during the campaign to leave those of us who do alone, which is why many of us voted for him. You are correct that he lost the popular vote. Good thing that has absolutely no bearing on who wins the election.

        • anne55

          I find it astounding that you wouldn’t care if he wasn’t a Christian. At the moment, he is busy dismantling health care, environmental standards, due process protections for immigrants, and on and on. And the mess with Russia. Even Comey said yesterday (and I watched the hearing live) that a) Obama did NOT wire tap and b) they are indeed exploring connections and possible collusion / collaboration with Russia. What you say in your post above actually is sort of the way I often see evangelicals…I think I used the word insular. That would be my interpretation of what you just said (… “he pledged during the campaign to leave those of us who do alone”). I don’t actually remember him saying any such thing, but perhaps he did. You, as a group of people, will also be affected greatly by his decisions. That is just a fact for everybody.

          • Autrey Windle

            I find it ASTOUNDING that you profess to be a believer and yet you want a baby-murdering advocate or a redistribution of wealth atheist-leech over a man who at least acknowledges that Christians and Jews have the same right to exist as alphabet freaks and radical Muslims! WOW! You need a year’s free coupons to a psychiatrist’s couch…

          • anne55

            Tell me where Sanders or Clinton ever said Jews and Christians don’t have a right to exist. Quote them and tell me how to get to the link. I bet you can’t do it. I don’t know what you mean by alphabet freaks. Radical Muslims — I’ve never heard either Sanders or Clinton say they’d welcome radical Muslims here. Show me that too. I believe you may be lumping all Muslims in together which is simply not fair. That is the definition of prejudice. Do you know any Muslim families personally? Can you say you’ve ever had a Muslim friend? I never said I was a believer. You are reading that in as well. It depends on what you mean by “believer”. I don’t believe in a born again, evangelical type of Christianity. That is not to say I find nothing of value in the Christian tradition. I am married to a man of Jewish heritage. I grew up in a Congregational church. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I have never had an abortion and certainly don’t recommend them as a form of birth control. Neither do I think contraception is wrong or that a very early abortion is wrong. Did you know that Mother Nature spontaneously aborts 20% of pregnancies? Trump himself has been married 3x and wanted to abort one of his children. He was an abortion advocate until it became politically expedient for him to align himself with the Christian right. I find it astounding that there is a high likelihood of hanky-panky with Russia and yet….it seems as if there isn’t much concern over this among his supporters. I find it ironic that this man can talk about sexually assaulting a woman and his supporters overlook it.

          • Autrey Windle

            Do you really believe in Mother Nature? Really? Do you kiss your mother with that accusatory mouth? For someone with such a persecution complex you sure do a lot of persecuting up front without fore-knowledge. Why don’t you just get yourself elected and rule the world with your open-minded authority over life and death. I think Mr. Trump is a saint compared to you. At least he doesn’t pretend to be who he isn’t.

          • anne55

            Yes, I believe in Mother Nature. And, you didn’t answer any of my questions above.

          • BetterYet

            BTW… He is not dismantling health care. (IE tearing down hospitals) He is dismantling Obamacare. (Stupid insurance scheme) BIG difference… As a Canadian, we get to enjoy a horrifically run, government provided, health care system complete with waiting lists that are often over a year sometimes two years long. If you want a true socialist style healthcare system start building your government hospitals now and get ready for your personal income tax bill to triple. Welcome to Canada (or France or Norway, etc.) Where Doctors are just expensive civil servants that tax payers get to pay for whether they are unhealthy or not.

          • anne55

            Funny. Most the Canadians I know, and I know many, are pretty happy with their health care. Why not come here and try paying out of pocket for it? My American company actually has us get our medications from Canada because they are so much cheaper. I think single payer is the way to go, but it doesn’t seem like we will get that any time soon.

          • anne55

            Well, if you have read much of the new AHCA, you will see that an awful lot of people are likely to lose their medical insurance. Up to 24 million…

          • anne55

            Here is a letter I got today in my email.

            I was a lifelong Republican and worked on Ronald Reagan and George Bush’s campaigns. My grandparents were even invited to Reagan’s inauguration. I vehemently opposed Obamacare when it became law, as I recently shared during my question to Paul Ryan during a televised CNN Town Hall.

            But then Obamacare saved my life.

            I took a new job and moved my family across the country — but due to a glitch, my employer was unable to offer health care coverage. I lost my voice and ignored it for quite some time, thinking it was an allergy. My voice never returned, and I was having difficulty breathing, so my wife made an appointment with the doctor. I was diagnosed with stage III, borderline stage IV vocal cord cancer, and I had no health insurance. We offered cash upfront to pay for my treatments but were denied over and over again. We had always assumed that if you had money that you could get treatment. We were wrong — six weeks away from being dead wrong!

            Although I had cancer, Obamacare gave me access to an insurance card, and I began receiving life-saving treatments the day my insurance plan took effect. I would be dead if it weren’t for Obamacare, the same law I had so loathed.

            People across the country have received life-saving care, thanks to Obamacare. But that isn’t stopping the House from moving forward with a vote to repeal the law, tomorrow.

            Your representative could help decide whether this repeal bill passes, and there’s still time to contact them to vote “no.” It’s easy with OFA’s call tool — you’ll be connected in minutes and can urge your representative to defend the Affordable Care Act.

            Now it is my time to give back and work on behalf of the legislation that saved my life, helping others to avoid the same pitfalls I had fallen into. Health care should not change with every new administration, and we should be able to rely on steady, affordable care with guaranteed patient protections.

            Access to timely treatment, affordable medication, and regular doctor visits are essential for every American.

            Obamacare allows people to take responsibility for themselves, purchase insurance, and pay for their own care. Repealing it with no adequate and immediate replacement will destabilize the health care market and leave millions of my fellow cancers survivors at risk in the future. Constant worry about having affordable care is an added stress that no patient needs.

            After my experience gaining health care through the Affordable Care Act, I began a Facebook page called “Obamacare Saved My Life.” It has given me the opportunity to meet thousands of others who are reliant on Obamacare for coverage — and they are terrified about the future. My wife and I share that same anxiety, even though I’ve been cured of cancer and am one of the lucky ones. It would only take one incident of cancer, one heart attack, one stroke, one bad car wreck, or a bad fall to join the ranks of those labeled as “pre-existing.” It only takes one test to show that you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure to be thrown into that group with us.

            Americans now know what better health care is, and we should all demand it — for the well-being of our citizens and our economy — for America. Anything less is simply not an option.

          • anne55

            Did you see what the ACHA now wants to eliminate in the way of coverage? If you are as alarmed as I am, I’d urge you to call your MoC today. Now.

            Quote:”The proposal is to eliminate ten essential benefits that, according to the Affordable Care Act, must be offered as part of any insurance plan. Those benefits are:

            • Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services

            • Emergency services

            • Hospitalization

            • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care

            • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy

            • Prescription drugs

            • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and disabilities to recover

            • Laboratory services

            • Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management

            • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children” End quote.

            So, me again. Let me understand this. Evangelicals are opposed to abortion. Some are also opposed to the sale of contraceptives. So, women are suppose to get pregnant, stay pregnant and have children. Yet, Mr. Trump is proposing no pregnancy, maternity or newborn coverage for same said women. No hospitalization coverage. And no basic pediatric services. This is SO hypocritical I want to scream.

      • Kevin Carr

        The other choices where elitist and exponentially bad.

        • Jack Danner

          Kevin Carr & Triple T,

          You do realize “anne55” is an algorithm, and not really a person, don’t you?

          • Kevin Carr

            I didn’t, thanks for letting me know.

          • anne55

            I can assure you I am quite alive.

          • Kevin Carr

            As you yourself have?

          • anne55

            Not sure what you are referring to…if it is put downs, show me where I have put anyone down and I will apologize.

          • Jack Danner

            Anne, in your case, calling you an algorithm would be considered a put UP, not a put down…just FYI

          • Autrey Windle

            I am pretty sure these cornflakes who need a time-out and a coloring book are all employed by the tides foundation or any of a number of Soros funded endeavors. They have the Alinsky playbook written all over their ‘Hail to Sanders, Soros, Obama, Clinton’ pathology-following faces. Never have liberals done so much to so many for their own self-interests or done more to serve the devil. Go with God you nutsy coocoos.

          • anne55

            Sorry, on this one you are just plain wrong. And you would likely feel offended if I were to refer to you as a cornflake. Name calling, no matter your age, is bullying behavior. Adults have real conversations even when they are hard ones. Can you imagine Jesus calling people who questioned him “cornflakes” or “nutsy cuckoos”? Try to keep an open mind. Try to live Christian values if you are indeed a Christian.

          • Ken Abbott

            Maybe not “cornflakes” or “nutsy cuckoos” exactly, but he did call his adversaries whitewashed tombs and a brood of vipers…

          • Autrey Windle

            THANK you, Ken!

          • Ken Abbott

            You’re welcome. One does have to be careful, though. Our Lord spoke from a moral authority that we do not individually possess. His was a perfectly righteous anger; we have constantly to remember that in our anger we must not sin.

          • Autrey Windle

            I agree, Ken. So instead of arguing with those the enemy has obviously sent (pardon the pun) to bedevil me, I am now just politely inviting them to ‘move to France’ since that is the nicest thing I can say that they might want to do someday. Yes I know a liar or a troll when I encounter them, but these folks are not teachable except by God Himself so prayer is the only weapon they cannot dispute. I can’t help but think that if the poor souls didn’t have a hopeless future they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to destroy this world. I know France would love to have them because those beliefs rule the day there. I only call them ‘cornflakes’ because I was tired of them calling themselves ‘snowflakes’ which most people know are so individually perfect that no two are alike and none of these people seem to be even remotely different than each other. I’m a southern woman who was reared to call something by it’s proper name unless it compliments the recipient, i. e. ‘sweet child’ to a kid who just spilled milk on a clean floor. Go with God, my friend and I will heed your advice.

          • Ken Abbott

            We need more plain speech bathed in grace. Speak the truth in love and the love in truth. And you are absolutely right that only the Spirit Himself can turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Conversion is His job; he asks only that we be faithful in our witness to His truth and to pray constantly.

          • anne55

            FYI, I have lived in France. It is quite a nice country.

          • Autrey Windle

            I lived there too! See, we have more in common than you may want to think… Move to France and I may see you there someday.

          • anne55

            Desiring to get rid of people who have differing views and just ‘send them away’ is a) not healthy for a country, b) insulting, c) in the long run not healthy for you. Everyone needs people to challenge and expand their way of thinking. If you don’t want to hear what I have to say, don’t read or respond to my posts. Quite simple.

          • anne55

            Well, call me a white washed tomb then…although I’m not sure what that even means. Must have been an insult back in the day. Although, the Jesus I know wouldn’t insult people.

          • Ken Abbott

            It was one of the seven woes Jesus pronounced on the scribes and Pharisees as recorded in Matthew 23, sort of a bill of accusation against them for their hypocrisy. This specific woe is in verses 27 and 28: “For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Applying whitewash to an exterior surface covers over the stains and flaws, making the structure look really nice (think of all those lovely white buildings on Aegean islands). But tombs and graves are full of decay and rot and icky old bones; these things were considered by the Jews to defile anyone who touched them. Jesus accused these men of having a facade of godliness and righteousness, but he knew their hearts–they were really dead inside, not alive to God.

            Now, my intent was not to apply this to you, Anne, but to point out that Jesus had even harder things to say about his adversaries than that they were “cuckoos.”

          • anne55

            I think you can discuss and agree / disagree without using insults. I would say that standard should apply to everyone. No exceptions.

          • Kevin Carr

            What values do you live by?

          • anne55

            Good ones. Human kindness. Love. I hope tolerance most of the time. Commitment to action. Honesty. Integrity. Truthfulness. Fairness. Compassion for others. Keeping promises. Persevering when times get tough. Personal responsibility. Forgiveness. Loyalty. Patience. Self control. Working toward peace. Courage. How’s that?

          • Karl Havana

            That’s not true. Any algorithm would be smart enough to know that Socialism doesn’t work.

        • anne55

          I know people thought Hillary Clinton was elitist and I can see why with her willingness to take big money. But, I think Trump is much, much worse. My personal favorite was Sanders. You might like to listen to his recent town hall done a week or so ago in W. Virginia. This was done with ‘salt of the earth’ type people. I can’t post a link here because my entire post will be deleted. You’ll have to do a google search.

          • Kevin Carr

            Hillary sold favors, she lined her pockets with the Wall St. money she claimed to be against. Lied about Benghazi among other lies, Mishandled classified information that had gotten lesser people thrown in jail. She really has demonstrated her ethical elevator has not bottom floor. Socialism is great until you run out of other peoples money, it doesn’t allow for upward mobility based on your time, talent and determination, as you produce you then have much of it taken from you. Sanders was so much of a slug he got thrown out of a commune. He finally hit with a government job.

          • anne55

            And you think Trump isn’t doing the same? Watch what happens with Russia, with his businesses all over the world. Time will tell. I predict he will end up impeached. I think we will find he is taking huge advantage. In multiple, multiple hours of testifying to the Republicans, Hillary was not accused of anything, except perhaps poor judgment over use of her email server. Comey came to the same conclusion. I do understand people’s reservations about her. I also think she was held to an impossible standard. Sander’s message was quite popular. I would encourage you to watch his recent town hall in W. Virginia. I can’t link to it here.

          • Kevin Carr

            Did he sell our uranium assets for money? What exactly has he done? As a private citizen if his transactions are legal what is the knock? Hillary was fake public servant, (or was the public serving her?). She used her office for her gain. People are dead because of her derelection, she has gotten away free for this lesser people would have gone to prison for, I guess she is above the law.

          • anne55

            Are you referring to Trump? Or Sanders?

            As regards Clinton, Chris Steven’s family said it was a Clinton witch hunt. And, it was the Republican Party that cut funding for foreign embassies. I suppose at the very least we should consider that it was a bipartisan failure.

          • anne55

            Look up uranium assets / Clinton under snopes. It is rated as false.

    • GPS Daddy

      I like reading your comments, Howard.

  • Wayne Cook

    Rachel…hsssst…they’re communists.

    • anne55

      Oh, good old words communists, socialists. Just name call when there is nothing else to say.

      • Kevin Carr

        That is not name-calling the actions resemble a totalitarian mindset, in essence, other views will not be tolerated (then claim they are tolerant). The DNC party platform mirrors the communist party platform, why is that? Nothing good has come from communism, socialism, or fascism. Communism and fascism is just socialism with teeth.

        • anne55

          Plain and simple, I don’t agree. Do you believe in Medicare? Social Security? By and large these are popular programs. And, they are very socialist at heart. I agree with you about fascism, but I think socialism gets an undeservedly bad rap.

          • Autrey Windle

            There are many socialist countries you could live in; why don’t you try it and come back and tell us how wonderful it is. Be sure wherever you go that you live among the people not the powerful and privileged like Sanders who never had any other job than Washington politics. Maybe you think our country is better served by advocates of infanticide and alphabet rights superceding all traditions of American family life. As I suggested, there are lots of alternatives to the Land of The Free.

          • anne55

            Let me turn this around and ask you how many socialist countries you have lived in yourself in order to make this kind of judgment on another country? Canada has a great number of socialist type programs. They are a wonderful country and, yes, I have spent significant amounts of time there. Norway and Denmark would be considered socialist and both were ranked, in order, #1 and #2 on the Happiness scale for citizens (rankings just out by the United Nations World Happiness report this past Monday). Happiness has fallen in America and we are at #14. And, what the heck do you mean by alphabet rights? Please use plain English, if you don’t mind. Yes, there are lots of alternatives to the USA and I think we have many cherished myths about being #1. We aren’t nor should we be. But, to suggest because someone has disagreements with their own country that they should just go and live elsewhere is a) unrealistic and b) unfair. It is extremely difficult to change nationalities (as is seen by what we do to people trying to come here). It takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars which most people don’t have — that is, unless you can claim refugee status which most of us can’t. So, a) it is simply unrealistic. And, b) it is unfair. Why would I not want this country to be all it can be for ALL people? I am not one to run away from pushing it to ‘do the right thing’. Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland…all are socialist and I wouldn’t have problem with any of them. The only socialist country I can think of offhand where I would not want to live is China — and that is because of their very repressive government.

          • Kevin Carr

            Those countries are actually quasi capitalist, because socialism does not work well. Venezuela.

          • anne55

            Ten most socialist countries in the world:
            China
            Denmark
            Finland
            Netherlands
            Canada
            Sweden
            Norway
            Ireland
            New Zealand
            Belgium

          • BetterYet

            ??? You need a source reference here. Russia, Italy, and France, just to name a few, are way more socialist than Canada. Your list is not credible.

          • anne55

            Yes, you are correct. They are also socialist. The thing is: look at the huge differences between these countries – all socialist. And look at the differences between al the Democratic countries. You can’t say that any one country’s problems are all because it is socialist.

            Although I think most people would not include Italy.

          • Triple T

            Not one on this list I would choose over the United States

          • Kevin Carr

            I’m with you on that.

          • anne55

            Were you there long enough to get to know local people? Stay with locals? Speak another language? It makes a difference.

          • anne55

            There are many I’d be quite happy living in. Have you ever lived abroad? Travelled abroad? It’s tough to make that kind of judgment without having experienced it.

          • Kevin Carr

            Yes i have.

          • Triple T

            I haven’t lived or travelled abroad. I have no intentions of doing so when I’m perfectly happy where I am.

          • Kevin Carr

            I was stationed in England. Many Brits told me about the long waits for doctors appts, it seems to be a big thing with socialized medicine. Long waits. The U.S will eventually get there, the V.A. is a small picture of what is coming, a progressive’s dream. There is still that thing of running out of other people’s money. Venezuela!

          • anne55

            Myth. And one Americans LOVE to spout. In countries with socialized medicine, you are given priority based on your medical problem. People with serious issues are seen first. People with things that “can wait” may be asked to wait a bit. This makes sense. And, usually the waits aren’t long. Yes, people sometimes come here for treatment from Canada. But MANY MORE Americans go abroad each year, seeking medical treatment outside the US, simply because it is so much cheaper. That is a much bigger problem. Medical treatment in Canada is fine and of good quality. I know. I’ve spent months and months there. My sister lived there for 15 years. So, any system has it’s problems….but what would you prefer? A maybe longer wait (and that is not typical) with high quality affordable care? Or never getting anything -as often happens here- because you either have no insurance at all or can’t afford to pay for it. I know which one I’d choose.

          • Kevin Carr

            What people I spoke to is a myth? They just made it up?

          • anne55

            I believe it is largely not true. I’ve asked my Canadian friends if they’d want to trade their medical insurance. Most I’ve asked have said “No”. Funny story. My daughter taught in S. America for a year. While there her then boyfriend from Scotland was hospitalized with malaria. His weeklong hospital stay and treatment cost about $400. She expressed amazement at how cheap it was (from her perspective). He thought it was outrageously expensive!

          • anne55

            Uganda. Malawi.

          • Kevin Carr

            Their economies are thriving and growing and the programs run well?

          • Kevin Carr

            What about the high rate of taxation? If you are a taker you likely don’t mind.

          • anne55

            Yes, socialist programs need to be funded – and they are, by taxes. But, the way I look at it, you pay it one way or the other. For instance, taxes are high in Canada. But, in exchange everyone gets a basic level of health care. And college is comparatively quite cheap there. So, here, we don’t pay the same tax rate, but we pay MUCH more for health care, prescription drugs and college. In the end, you do pay it, just in a different form. And, in Canada, at least everyone has the same basic protections, no matter their life situation. I much prefer that.

          • Kevin Carr

            For a look at what a full single payer system would look like, look to the V.A. Can you name one program the govt runs well?

          • anne55

            Every program will have it’s issues. You just have to deal with them and keep trying to make it better.

          • anne55

            Why not look at the Canadian system? Or Norway? Or Denmark? Why pick the VA, a program that has struggled, and not look at more successful programs?

          • Kevin Carr

            Venezuela is a stunning success, none of the Progressive are running to live there, why?

          • anne55

            Well, look, India is a democracy – like us. But, they have a lot of problems due to overpopulation and poverty. We have much less. You can’t just take one aspect of a society and pronounce it all good or bad. Look at the countries I named as socialist in a couple of posts below. They are not having the problems Venezuela does, despite their socialism. There are many reasons for that.

          • Kevin Carr

            Most countries don’t ever attain the standard of living we have, capitalism allows for upward mobility, socialism just takes. Those countries you mentioned don’t have the type of govt we have, most people are running here because of how the U.S. is, though we are losing it. Socialism is the the main reason Venezuela is in the toilet. Most of the cities in this country that are in the crap can have been administered by Progressive politicians. By no means am I saying government is the be all and end all, we are a nation that is fast forgetting God. The Bible has examples of nations that forget him.

          • anne55

            So I take it you don’t agree with Social Security? Medicare? Free Public Education? All very socialist programs. Try taking these away from Americans that have grown to love them.

            Also, see my comments in another post by many of the founding fathers on religion and government. You might be surprised.

          • Kevin Carr

            In some ways I do, I believe we should take care of seniors that need it as well as those needing medical treatment and care, if you are able-bodied then any assistance you get should be short term. Just because people have grown to love something doesn’t make it good. If that be the case everyone should be on some kind of public assistance, but then again who would pay for it? For a young person these kind of things destroy incentive, these programs are largely the cause of a permanent underclass that has for generations been on welfare. Which has been no friend to the black community. Blacks did much better shortly after Reconstruction when they relied on God more than govt. When LBJ signed his poverty programs bill we started losing, and he stated when he signed it “we will have these n-words voting Democrat for the next 200 years”. What a guy. We are actually off target on this conversation, it was about Progressive intolerance.

          • anne55

            Well, if you are able-bodied, you are statistically less likely to need help. But, what if you get in a car accident? Or find out you have a serious cancer? It does happen. Some of these treatments are not short term (I know, I use to work in a hospital). If you have a preterm infant, it use to be that that baby could use up it’s LIFE TIME benefits by the time it left the NICU. Medical costs are so outrageous that most young and / or able bodied people can’t possibly deal with the costs if it is a catastrophic type of illness or accident. That’s why we spread the risk pool among everyone. I don’t see this as destroying a person’s incentive. I think having a catastrophic illness would do that. Having the piece of mind that you will be helped if you are seriously ill is mental FREEDOM. I believe this is a progressive way at looking at things.

          • Kevin Carr

            You picked one thing, I might have some agreement with you on the medical issues but there are other things, the entitlement programs started by Progressive destroy incentive, they helped destroy the black community.

          • anne55

            I am glad we might share agreement on one thing!

          • anne55

            I am cutting and pasting an article by Bill Moyers here. I can’t just link to it. I think it is very well stated.

            All below is from Mr. Moyers.

            The one question you never hear journalists ask Republicans is why?

            Why do so many Republicans want to throw 24 million struggling Americans off the health insurance rolls? Why does the allegedly populist Trump administration submit a budget that slashes job training programs for the very same jobless white folks he claimed to represent?

            Why cut Meals on Wheels, child care, after-school programs and learning centers for the poor, affordable housing and aid to the homeless? Why “zero out” occupational safety training and economic growth assistance in distressed communities in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta (more Trump constituents)? Why slash legal aid and medicine and food for the sick and hungry in the developing world, among many others?

            …the real and simple question they should be asking is a moral one: Why do Republicans seem intent on hurting the most vulnerable among us?
            Journalists ask Republicans about policies, mechanisms and money, but those are technical questions when the real and simple question they should be asking is a moral one: Why do Republicans seem intent on hurting the most vulnerable among us?

            Unfortunately, the answer may just be, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry on why serial killers murder: because they like it.

            Sure, we know the rote answers. Republicans love to talk about “choice” and “freedom” and “markets” and “deficit reduction” and “personal responsibility” and all sorts of ideological claptrap that seems to slap principle on what really is punishment. At best these are smokescreens, at worst traps that have succeeded in entangling the media, Democrats and Americans generally in arguments about tactics or priorities rather than arguments about motives and their real-life consequences.

            There was a time when Republicans worried they might be perceived as being on the wrong side of morality, even if that worry didn’t move them to get on the right side. They used to dress up their cruelty not only in those old Milton Friedman free market clichés but in new ones like “compassionate conservatism,” because even as they knew there was nothing compassionate about it, they also knew that most Americans weren’t buying into letting the poor fend for themselves. That wasn’t American. That wasn’t human.

            Some of that window dressing remains in the Trump era, but not much. Republicans still feel obliged to declare that their health care plan will cover more Americans at a lower cost, but everyone knows they are lying. By one report, when the White House ran the numbers, it predicted 26 million would lose health coverage — 2 million more than the Congressional Budget Office figure.

            Speaker Paul Ryan was more than sanguine about those sufferers. He flashed a vulpine smile in recounting the CBO numbers, actually saying they were better than he had thought, which is to say that the American Health Care Act, as they call it, may have been intended to deny coverage, just as Trump’s budget clearly was intended to hurt the most vulnerable, including those vulnerable supporters of his. To my mind, these weren’t collateral effects. They were the very reasons for the AHCA and the budget.

            So, again, why? What kind of people seem dedicated to inflicting pain on others?

            It is not an easy question to answer, since it violates all precepts of basic decency. I suspect it comes from a meld of Calvinism with social Darwinism. From Calvinism, conservatives borrowed both a pinched and unsparing view of humanity as well as the idea of “election” — namely, that God “elects” some folks for redemption, which, when rebooted for modern conservatism, has an economic component. Plain and simple, rich people are rich because they are better than poor people.

            By the same token, poor people are poor because they are worse. This is God’s edict, so to speak. (The so-called Calvinist revival has an awful lot in common with Trumpism.) From social Darwinism, they borrowed the idea that this is the way the world should be: winners and losers, those who can succeed and those who can’t. It is a world without luck, except for tough luck.

            Plain and simple, rich people are rich because they are better than poor people.
            From this perspective, conservatives may not really think they are harming the vulnerable but instead harming the undeserving, which is very different. In effect, conservatives believe they are only meting out divine and natural justice. It’s convenient, of course, that this justice turns out to be redistributive, taking resources from the poor and middle class and funneling them to the wealthy, who happen to be the benefactors of conservatism as well as its beneficiaries. (Just note how Republicans howl about redistribution when it is the other way around.) Where many of us see need, they only see indolence and impotence. It is, by almost any gauge, not only self-serving but also plainly wrong — moralistic rather than moral.

            But if Republicans see their moral duty as denying help to the weak, that denial is part of a larger and even uglier social equation. In a recent New York Times column, Linda Greenhouse recalled an exchange 30 years ago between Robert Bork and Illinois Sen. Paul Simon during Bork’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Simon asked Bork about a speech he had given two years earlier, in which the judge said:

            “… when a court adds to one person’s constitutional rights, it subtracts from the rights of others.”

            The senator asked, “Do you believe that is always true?”

            “Yes, Senator,” Judge Bork replied. “I think it’s a matter of plain arithmetic.”

            Sen. Simon: “I have long thought it is kind of fundamental in our society that when you expand the liberty of any of us, you expand the liberty of all of us.”

            Judge Bork: “I think, Senator, that is not correct.”

            Remember that although (or perhaps because!) his Supreme Court nomination failed, Bork is a conservative deity. As far as conservatives and Republicans are concerned, to give anything to the less fortunate is to subtract it from everyone else — a zero-sum game between the rich and the rest of America.

            This isn’t politics. This is bedrock conservative philosophy. And it may have no more eager avatar than Donald Trump, who is all about winning and losing. Trump has always professed to want to blow up the system. He is like a child knocking down a tower of blocks, only in his case the blocks are American democracy and decency.

            But with the AHCA and his Draconian budget, one that even a few Republicans — no doubt fearing voter retribution — blanched at, Trump may not have blown up the system so much as he has blown the Republicans’ cover. He even seems to have emboldened some of them to come out of hiding and admit that any assistance for the poor is too much.

            This we always suspected. What is harder to parse is the joy conservative Republicans seem to get in hurting the weak, making the GOP not just the punishment party, but also the schadenfreude party. Or put in different terms: Conservatism didn’t create meanness, but meanness sure created conservatism.

            We might be able to understand that sense of smug moral and social superiority from doctrinaire Republicans who spout Ayn Rand and detest those whose hurdles are the highest. We all know hate can be intoxicating. But these past two weeks Ryan and Trump have been gambling on something else — that many of their fellow Americans agree with them, that these Americans share a deep and abiding hostility to those who need government assistance. Whether Ryan and Trump are right may very well determine the fate of this administration and the country.

            So the second big question, alongside why Republicans and conservatives seem to luxuriate in cruelty, is why any other ordinary American would. There have been predictions on the left that once those ordinary Americans feel the sting of losing health care or job training or work safety regulations or clean water and air, they will revolt, and Trump will be dust. But there is no certainty to this. A recent New York Times piece on this very issue indicated that at least some Trump supporters know they will suffer from his budget and still support him.

            Another Times article, by Eduardo Porter, quoted a Harvard economist suggesting that the white working class feel they get so little benefit from the so-called welfare state that they see things through the same zero-sum prism as Bork, Ryan and Trump. Whatever the poor gain, the white working class loses.

            When you think how much the government does for so many across such a wide spectrum, you wonder what world these people are living in. Indeed, a signal achievement of conservatism, decades in the making, has been pitting the “have littles” against the “have nots” while the “have lots” stayed above the fray. Of course, by that calculation, you might think the struggling white working class would be on the loser side of the ledger, sentenced to defeat by their own deficiencies in our Darwinist world. But in another neat trick, Republicans have managed to convince them they are victims of twin demonic forces, government and liberal elites, that disrupt the natural order of things. In this way, many Republicans helped turn many Americans into brutes and our American community into a state of nature. There couldn’t have been a President Trump without it. There couldn’t have been an ACHA or a Trump budget either.

            This, then, is a vital moment for American morality and, to the extent the two are intertwined, American democracy. You can’t pretend Trump and his Republican pals are trying to achieve good ends by different means. They aren’t. You can’t act as if they give a damn about the millions of poor and working-class Americans. They don’t.

            But even as their cover is blown, someone needs to keep asking them the fundamental question again and again and again: Why?

          • anne55

            Actually, Canada, which has a number of socialist type programs, just had it’s overall standard of living raised again – and it is higher than our’s.

          • anne55

            I would also argue that capitalism has it’s problems and needs it’s own ‘day of reckoning’. There ARE and SHOULD BE limits to growth – otherwise, we will all live on an unsustainable planet. The middle class has shrunk greatly over the years and the rich have gotten much richer. You could attribute this to capitalism I suppose, but how is this terribly uneven distribution of wealth healthy for a country? It simply isn’t.

          • Douglas Hamner

            The concept of social services predate “socialism”. The talking point you outlined is kind of stale. What socialism is a command and control economy where the government owns the means of production of key industries and determines winners and losers. Corporatism and cronyism thrives in such an environment. Free markets work every time they are tried, it is only when government interferes is when you have economic strife. Whether it be protectionist tariffs(the great depression) or manipulation of housing markets for social purposes (Subprime collapse)

          • anne55

            Dictionary Definitions”
            fas·cism
            ˈfaSHˌizəm/Submit
            noun
            an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
            synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; More
            (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

            so·cial·ism
            ˈsōSHəˌlizəm/Submit
            noun
            a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
            synonyms: leftism, welfarism; More
            policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
            synonyms: leftism, welfarism; More
            (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.

            Do these sound remotely the same? They don’t to me. I would say that all the “socialistic” services I mentioned (post office, public education, Medicare, Social Security) very much meet the definition of the latter, but not the former.

            so·cial serv·ice
            ˌsōSHəl ˈsərvəs/
            noun
            plural noun: social services
            government services provided for the benefit of the community, such as education, medical care, and housing.
            activity aiming to promote the welfare of others.

            Sounds to me like there is quite a bit of overlap

        • anne55

          Funny. I think of Mr. Trump as fascist. It is in large part why I’m so opposed to him. Socialism I have no problem whatsoever with — it gets an undeservedly bad reputation.

          • Douglas Hamner

            Fascism and socialism is the same thing. In fact there is no substantial difference between a Fascist economic model and a “3rd way Democratic Socialist model. The only difference is that the Nazi’s believed that socialism could only work if the “weak and sub human” were purged.

        • anne55

          And, it is name calling if they are saying all liberals are communists. Because, as I think most here would agree, calling someone a communist in this country doesn’t go over too well. I don’t think it is ever wise to label a group of people something perceived as negative.

  • Jonathan T Newsom

    The very definition of liberal says it all. Their rebellious and riotous nature is causing the downfall of the United States of America which is already falling into the hands of a people who will kill them first because of their ungodly liberal ways. I find this brainless activity both facinating and spiritual.

    • anne55

      Please read the letter near the end of this posting. A Letter to Evangelicals from Jesus. I will not write longer as I have said what I wanted to say and, I believe, made my point.

  • Charlie Sutton

    The professor at NYU, cited above, who lost his position because he had spoken against the PC culture of the campus, had this experience:
    (Quote from linked article) The same day the letter was published, Rectenwald was summoned to a meeting with his department dean and an HR representative, he says.
    “They claimed they were worried about me and a couple people had expressed concern about my mental health. They suggested my voicing these opinions was a cry for help,” Rectenwald told The Post. “Then they said I should leave and get help.”
    He said, “They had no reason to believe that my mental health was in question, unless to have a different opinion makes one insane.” (End of quote)
    That was one of Stalin’s tactics against his enemies – he would claim that they were insane, force them to take drugs for their “condition” and so make them mentally unbalanced.

    • anne55

      “The politically incorrect professor on leave since his NYU colleagues griped about his “incivility” has been promoted — and his fellow liberal-studies profs were lectured about their conduct.

      Michael Rectenwald, 57, was bumped from assistant professor to full professor on Monday, just days after he was placed on paid leave. The promotion comes with an 18 percent raise to $80,000, a source said.

      “I’m very relieved,” the liberal-studies professor told The Post. “I was worried the administration might use my views against me.”
      Nov. 2016 NYPost

      • anne55

        I think it is fine this man expressed his opinion (I haven’t read exactly what he had to say). But, when you use your free speech right to express yourself, you have to expect people to also have reactions, both positive and negative.

        • But not to stomp you in the ground

          • anne55

            I agree. I don’t know what he said specifically, but I know it was in a tweet – which is very brief. It makes me think of Trump’s incessant tweeting. Does he have the right? Yes. Is it wise? Well, it is really, really hard to distill thoughts down into something like a tweet and it has great potential for misinterpretation / abuse.

      • Charlie Sutton

        Thanks for the additional information. The difficulty is that there are quite a few people who have been trained to respond to what they perceive as slights when no insult was intended, or to protest that a particular subject is being discussed. That leads to a culture of silence, because who wants to risk offending the perpetually offended?

        • anne55

          I believe in freedom of speech. But, with it, comes responsibility. The old adage is that you don’t yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. It has consequences. So, we all need to be responsible for our words and cognizant of the impact on others.

          • Douglas Hamner

            However that “responsibility” for “non-fighting” words that offend cannot be codified into law. You cannot prosecute for micro-aggressions or politically controversial speech. Nor can you punish one at a public University for such expression.

  • Paul Burgett

    Prayin for repentance and awakening for this nation and all of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness

  • bbb

    Left. Liberal. Progressive.
    What has happened in the US since the 60’s is the rise of the New American Communist Party. The Democrats, leftists and progressives have been completely morphed into the New American Communist Party since Obama’s win in 2008. Check it out. The Communist party silences opposition, common core curriculum and media literally tell people what to think, the physical hostility and intolerance of anything other than the ‘party” line is deliberately frightening people to fall in line, the insistence that differences are threatening, and the real object is to promote the overall sense that the government IS the new demigod for all. Religious persecution, particularly against Christianity, is on the list of communist manifestos.

    • anne55

      sorry. don’t see it that way at all.

  • anne55

    Now I think this pastor has a reasonable approach to politics & religion.
    4 Steps on How Pastors Should Handle Politics in Pulpit
    Barry Howard
    Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:59 am

    4 Steps on How Pastors Should Handle Politics in Pulpit | Barry Howard, Politics, Presidential Election, Leadership

    While I do not think pastors should be silent, I do think a pastor’s tone and message should be helpful, encouraging and nonpartisan, Howard observes.

    Election years can be volatile, unpredictable and filled with heated political rhetoric.

    It is not unusual these days for prominent pastors and local clergy to join the fray of bombastic oratory.

    Especially during election years, pastors are faced with the dilemma of how to address political issues fairly, legally and biblically from the pulpit.

    While some on both the left and the right attempt to hijack the pulpit in order to support their cause or their favored candidate, many ministers strive to encourage members to participate in the political process but refuse to endorse candidates.

    This year marks the ninth presidential election since I began serving as a pastor. Additionally, during my ministerial tenure, I have observed numerous local elections and dozens of referendums.

    Early in my ministry, thanks to wise mentors, I committed to a strategy for dealing pastorally with political issues from the pulpit that is based on four objectives:

    1. To maintain a nonpartisan pulpit.

    2. To protect the separation of church and state.

    3. To respect the diverse political convictions within the congregation.

    4. To highlight the biblical texts concerning respect for our government and our governmental leaders.

    I am troubled whenever I hear accounts of ministers who publicly endorse candidates from the pulpit, of churches who provide biased or partisan voters’ guides and of churches who have invited political candidates or their spokespersons to speak in Sunday worship services.

    From a historical Baptist perspective, for a pastor to engage in partisan politics would be considered an abuse of pastoral privilege and a violation of a pastor’s civil and spiritual responsibility.

    Historically, when the church and state become intertwined, the church doesn’t fare well.

    If blatant partisan political activism in the pulpit is inappropriate, what is an appropriate and proactive strategy for addressing election-related issues from the pulpit without violating the wall of separation?

    Here are four things that a pastor can do to encourage good citizenship:

    1. Encourage members to vote.

    Words like these have frequented my sermons as election time nears: “We are blessed to live in a country that values political and religious freedom, and you have both the opportunity and responsibility to participate in the electoral process as you vote your convictions.”

    I have never suggested to a church member, either explicitly or implicitly, for whom they should vote, only that they should vote.

    In fact, I have never revealed to a congregation the name of the candidate I intend to vote for. Actually, I seldom tell my wife which candidate I plan to vote for.

    2. Challenge church members to pray for candidates and for those elected to leadership.

    I believe that persons of faith should pray for their political leaders, whether they approve of a leader’s performance or not.

    Additionally, I also encourage church members to pray for candidates seeking office.

    Choosing to seek public office requires tremendous sacrifice and takes its toll on a candidate’s entire family whether they win or lose.

    The average citizen cannot fathom the wear and tear of the political process for all candidates, no matter their political party.

    3. Encourage members to participate in the political process.

    Challenge members to listen carefully to the candidates, to engage in civil dialogue about the important issues and to consider campaigning for their preferred candidate.

    When considering which candidate to support, it is fair to evaluate the competency, character and ideological convictions of the candidate.

    However, I strive to remind others that name-calling, broad-brushing and dishonesty, though prevalent at times, do not enhance the political process.

    4. Finally, I invite church members to consider running for public office.

    Just as I invite members to consider a vocation in ministry, mission service or a host of other careers, I also invite members to consider political service as a part of their spiritual calling.

    I have been privileged to serve as pastor to candidates on the local, state and national level, many of whom were elected and enjoyed multiple terms of effective service.

    Although an individual should never enter the political arena naively, many individuals find political office to be a significant avenue of service for the common good of society.

    Although the Bible instructs believers to “render unto Caesar” (Mark 12:17), the Bible does not seem to anticipate a democratic process wherein citizens participate in choosing “Caesar.”

    Therefore, there is not a specific “how to behave during an election year” passage in Scripture.

    However, many of the texts that equip us for life, verses such as “let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40), “pray for your leaders” (1 Timothy 2:2) and “do not slander one another” (James 4:11) are especially relevant and applicable for an election year.

    The pulpit is a place to accent the privilege and responsibility of choosing our leaders, not a place to dictate the decision.

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