Monday, February 20, 2006

A Reason To Be Awake At 3 AM

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." ~ Will Rogers

I am sitting here listening to an audio feed from Lores' radio show, on KRLA radio out of Los Angeles. This morning one of her guests is Jesse Lee Peterson, President of BOND, which stands for Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny.

Reverend Peterson makes the assertion that one cannot be a Christian and vote the Democratic ticket. He says the platform of the Democratic party is mostly anti-God.

I tend to agree with part of that statement. The Democratic party is lately a party that advocates abortion on demand, the removal of Christian monuments from government buildings and lands, gay and lesbian marriage, and, among other things, the systematic dismantling of civil rights for Christians only, while embracing everything it can that is anti-Christian.

They claim they are the party of tolerance, yet it appears the only thing they aren't tolerant of is traditional Judeo-Christian values.

But I don't believe one cannot be a Christian and still vote the Democratic party ticket. I refuse to believe that. I just have a hard time forming an argument to support my belief that Democrats can't be Christians. There must be proof somewhere. Why is it so hard to find?

In addition to Jesse Lee Peterson, guess who else made an appearance on the show by phone?

Yours truly.

Did you ever hear the expression, "A face for radio"? Well, not only do I possess a face for radio, but after listening to my own voice on radio, I have determined I also have a voice for mime.


Dan Trabue said...

A voice for mime. Funny.

You know, some have made the same argument that it would be difficult to be a follower of the peace-making, poor-loving, communal-living Christ and still vote Republican. That the Republican ticket is, despite all their protestations to the contrary, mostly anti-God's teaching.

I don't agree with that, either but, like you, find a nugget of truth in it.

Your sentence you offer as evidence on the Dems anti-God behavior (advocates abortion, gay marriage, removal of graven images) are not to be found in biblical teaching.

They are certainly found taught regularly in most churches today, but that is not the same as being biblical.

While I'm no fan of the Dems, I tend to vote their way more often than not (mainly because so few Greens run) and I am a Christian (for 30 years now), loving father, husband of one wife, deacon and all around nice guy.

Why? Mainly because, as a follower of Christ, I can't support many of the anti-poor, pro-war, pro-wealthy positions of the Republicans. And all of those positions are very easily (and repeatedly, front to back) found in the Bible.

Dan Trabue said...

And, just as a fair reminder, I'll add that the Dems are not much better on my positions than the Republicans.

Erudite Redneck said...

You probably should back away slowly from this topic.

For evidence that it *seems* impossible to be a Repubublican and a Christian -- *seems* because I would never seriously assert such -- Google "President Bush."

Let's see. FOR torture. FOR "democracy" even if it means thugs like Hamas are elected. FOR attacks on opponents as "the enemy." FOR war first. FOR dismantling social programs at the expense of the war machine. FOR duplicity. FOR looking us in the eye and lying through his teeth.

That's enough.

Jesus is a liberal.

For a flash presentation on fascism and how it's being manifested by this administration, come over to my joint. Bushies score 13 out of 14.

Mark said...

Oh Man, ER, Those examples are so easy to refute that I am not even going to address them point by point. I will refute a couple of them just to prove it can be done.

"FOR war first" First? You sure you want to go there? Let's see....How many UN resolutions did Saddam thumb his nose at before we went in? While he was torturing and murdering HOW many of hs own people?

"FOR "democracy" even if it means thugs like Hamas are elected" So far, the only US politician I know of that has celebrated Hamas' victory has been Jimmy Carter, and the last I heard, he was a Democrat.

As far as personal attacks, you really don't want me to list the many examples of Democrats calling Bush a loser, a Nazi, a terrorist, a tyrant, a liar, (you just did, with no proof) stupid, etc. do you? Then there's Howard Dean, a one man attack machine.

I do have one thing to be thankful to the Democrats, though. Because of their unhinged ravings and rantings, I changed my voters registration from Independent to Republican.

Dan, Thanks. That phrase is an original quote from yours truly. You heard it here first.

Erudite Redneck said...

What Dan said.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, I did NOT call Bush or anyone else any names.

No offense, but what a dangerous topic. You just want to start World War III, just keep talkin' trash and pretending that YOUR way to "God's way" is the ONLY way.

Oh, wait. You're only mimicking the Taliban, and islamofascists -- and FOTF and the religious right-wing of the Republican Party. How could you be blamed for falling in line?

Carry on. Over and out.

Jim said...

Charles Memminger, March 3, 1997:
"...but listeners soon learned that I have the perfect voice for mime."

For several more, Google (in quotes) "voice for mime".

48 or 49 million people voted for Kerry in the last election. The vast majority of those of us who did are Christians. Anyone who complains about Christians being descriminated against in the public arena, and then states that the Christianity of tens of millions of citizens is not up to your standards proves exactly why there must be a separation of church and state.

Mark said...

ER, You said, "Mark, I did NOT call Bush or anyone else any names.

No offense, but what a dangerous topic. You just want to start World War III, just keep talkin' trash and pretending that YOUR way to "God's way" is the ONLY way."

ER, Look again. I NEVER said you said those things. Although you have called Bush a liar. I said Democrats call names. And that's true.

Also, I said that Jesse Lee Peterson was the one that said you cannot be a Christian and vote for the Democratic platform. I only said I partially agree with his statement and then I clarified that it is the party of abortion and gay marriage, etc. which is also true.

And ER, there was so much spin in that flash presentation I am still dizzy.

Jim, Well, excuuuuuuuuse me! So sue me! As far as I knew, that statement came directly from my own peanut brain. I never saw anyone else say it first. ;)

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Mark! Dammit, I was so tired, I had to go to bed (early riser for work). But I left the radio on. Didn't catch a wink of the program, though. I think I was out within 3 minutes after my head hit the pillow. I trust Lores will put audio up. I'd love to hear what you had to call in about.

I enjoyed 2/3rds of Jesse Peterson's book, Scam, about the so-called black leadership. But I don't find him to be a very exciting speaker. I've listened to a few of his radio programs from his website, and it just puts me to sleep.

dan wrote:
many of the anti-poor, pro-war, pro-wealthy positions of the Republicans

Hullo dan. Happy Washington-Lincoln Day!

Would you mind explaining to me how Republicans are anti-poor? My understanding is that they are anti-poverty. But maybe I've been mistaken. I'm no economics professor, and I'd like to hear how this works.

As a Republican, I would say that I am not pro-war, but pro-peace. Which is why I believe that the arrows clutched in the talon of the bald eagle is every bit as important as the olive branch it holds also, in the other talon. Wars are destructive and an awful business for everyone. But what is the price we pay, when certain wars are not fought? (I'll even concede that Iraq might have been the wrong battlefield, but in general, what do you think?) Does pacifism stop brutal dictators? End slavery and fascist states?

I would say that Dems and Repubs want peace. In general, as parties, we just have a disagreement in how to bring about that peace.

As for is our wealth that allows us to be a generous nation when it comes to foreign aid and charitable giving. How does creating policy to hurt the rich, help the poor? Wealth is not a finite pie, where if I have more, it leaves others with less of the pie to be had. The income gap between rich and poor is not evil; poverty is what's evil.

The top 1% pay something like 35% of the tax burden. Top 10% is around 65%. 83% of it is paid by those in the top 25%. The bottom 50% pay only 4% of the burden.

How much more should the wealthy be taxed? Especially when it is a tax on income, and not on their wealth? If someone like John Kerry wants those who have, to give more; why doesn't he just pay the higher tax? Why not just give more of his earnings, more of Teresa's wealth, over to the government to squander away?

We should be for policies that allow for wealth to grow (Even the poorest of our poor benefit). I believe over taxation is antithetical to achieving this end.

Trillions have been spent on LBJ's war on poverty. Did it make a difference?

I don't think Republicans have a monopoly on selfishness. There are plenty of Democrat fat-cats, who do everything to "cheat the system" when it comes to tax time, even while pushing for taxation. Good people everywhere would like to help the poor. Where we disagree is how to go about achieving that aim.

I'll refrain from repeating Maimonides tired out wisdom to explain the difference between Democrats and Republicans on this.

Son of Lilith said...

I do have one thing to be thankful to the Democrats, though. Because of their unhinged ravings and rantings, I changed my voters registration from Independent to Republican.

And because of the Republican party's Endtimes cult teachings/facist leanings I changed my registration from Independent to Democratic.

I am not, however, a Democrat at heart. True, when in the majority, they do (I think) good. But in the minority, all they do is play the opposition.

Frankly, I just wish there was at least one other major political party (and Libertarians don't count; all they are are Republicans sans the religious leanings) in American to balance things out.

And the only reason the Democrats have the platform they have is because the Republicans have the platform they have, simple as that.

Erudite Redneck said...

Uh, there is a distinct difference in my saying Bush is guilty of "lying through his teeth," especially in the SOTU address, which I did say, and saying "Bush is a liar," which is overly broad and is name-calling, which I did not say.

Maybe it's that whole "is-is" thing that has always been lost on the right.


Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, Dan, believe you me, I hold my nose when I vote Dem. Big time.

But I'd have to take a barf bag with me into the votin' booth to vote the other way. :-)

(Note: I am NOT slingin' mud at Mark! Just disagreein' with him and trying to jocularly have a discussion where the only barbs are directed at ideas, parties and public officials. If we can't learn to do that, then we all need to stop this stuff.)

Dan Trabue said...

Hey Wordsmith!

I don't know if Mark will want us to wander off-topic so far as to tackle all the specifics of your questions to me, but I'd be glad to give a couple of quick responses and see what Mark thinks.

You asked:
"Does pacifism stop brutal dictators? End slavery and fascist states?"

In a word: Yes. To clarify: I think it does at least as good a job as violence does. Or better stated, I think that non-violent resistence against brutal dictators would do at least a good a job as warring does if it were ever given a chance.

To paraphrase Chesterton: Pacifism hasn't been tried and found wanting, it's been found difficult and left untried.

We've never had any large Just Peacemaking leadership in any country and so "our" methods have gone largely untried.

Having said that, I'll point out that:
1. slavery would have gone away with or without the Civil War (Canada nor England had a civil war over slavery and yet it is gone from their shores).
2. Non-violent resistence overcame oppression in India and overcame Jim Crow laws and other oppression in the US.
3. Apartheid was overthrown non-violently.

Where it has been tried in limited amounts, non-violence has a pretty good success rate.

Having said that, the main difference between non-violent resistence and violent response to oppression and aggression is that non-violent responses at least allow you to not have to engage in evil yourself - an important factor for some of us.

In modern warfare, as soon as you have to begin aggression, you are saying that you are willing to accept that innocent men, women and children will be killed by your bullets and bombs. It comes with the gig.

Some of us are not willing to accept that price - we are perfectly willing to lay our own lives on the line, but we're not willing to kill other innocent people in the process.

Does that mean we would ignore oppression/aggression? No. Just that the evil incurred by war is so great that we believe extreme measures ought to taken to find ways of stopping violence with non-violence.

Or, as St. Paul says, to overcome evil with good. Those of us from a faith tradition believe that the words of Jesus and the bible are more than empty platitudes - they are workable solutions.

Yes, they may lead to our crucifixion, but then again, so might warring.

Dan Trabue said...

And one more quick one for wordsmith, who asked:

"Would you mind explaining to me how Republicans are anti-poor?"

I'm no economist either, but I would just quickly point to the reports that the poor have gotten poorer and the gap between the rich and poor has increased under both Reagan and Bush administrations.

Under a system with policies intended to help the poor, I'd expect to see the opposite happen.

Mark said...

you didn't miss anything, Smithy, at least in my segment. To begin with, she couldn't hear me at the beginning of the call, which led to confusion on my part, and I stammered out my comment, which she interrupted, and threw me off my subject. Then I was unable to summarize my point. Overall, it was far from the best radio debut in radio histroy.

On top of all that, as I said, I have a voice for mime in the first place. I had biopsy surgery on my throat a few years ago, which pretty effectively ruined my voice. But that's a subject for another post

And for all those who took offense at my post this morning: It was written at 4:00 in the morning, so give me a break. It's a wonder I could think at all.

Timothy said...

Mark and all...
This is a no-win topic and conversation... Jesus is King... no voting here... so He probably doesn't care all that much for democracy at all...
But, I'm not going out on a limb for this... other than the fact that He is King. We all owe Him our allegiance even if those that reject Him outright.

rusty shakelford said...

hey dan, can you show me where in the bible it says "thou's government shalt not go to war" ?

Sheila said...

Hey my friend,

I'm a christian and voted Democrat in the last election. That's a lame statement Mark.

Too many Christians to count on the left.

Just like the conservatives have people who defend pro-chioce, their are good lving christians who are loyal democrats.

No need to defend my choice as I've done that too many times. Just respect my love for my beliefs. :)

Dan Trabue said...

Again, Mark may well decide he doesn't want to go off-topic and that's fine with me, but in answer to Rusty's question to me ("Where does the Bible say gov'ts shouldn't wage war?")

Answer: It doesn't.

1. Jesus tells his followers to love our enemies. Do good to those who hate you, etc. - as you know. It is a recurring command throughout the New Testament.

So, inasmuch as you don't want Christians to be part of a gov't or military that wages war, then that's fine. Inasmuch as our gov't is made up of folk who want to follow Jesus, they'd have to opt out of waging war as solution. Or opt out of following Jesus (This was the norm for the church for the first 300 years).

2. The Old Testament does offer examples of waging war. The theme in those examples, though, is for Israel to not depend upon a large military, to get rid of the standing military and pull together a small and poorly armed group in times when God has called them to do so.

The point here was to rely on God. Anytime Israel's army got too large, God would chastise them for not trusting in God (you may recall the story of Gideon's tiny army, which God whittled down to 300 soldiers against the thousands of Philistines - God wanted it clear that Israel's salvation was in God, not a military).

Anyway, I could really go on and on with some truly wonderful sunday school lessons (and some civics lessons), but that might be intruding on Mark's generosity too much.

Jim said...

It's a good line, though.

Lone Ranger said...

And then there is the whole slavery, segregation, KKK, lynching, black codes, Jim Crow, Japanese internment, anti-suffrage, commie sympathizing, atomic bomb, anti-school choice, abortion thing. Every time Democrats have been faced with a moral choice, they have come down on exactly the wrong side of the fence. By their fruits, ye shall know them.

Mark said...

Hey don't attack the messenger. I only said Jesse Lee Peterson said that. I said I don't believe you can't be a Christian and vote the Democratic ticket. I do think it would be hard to justify voting for a platform of abortion, anti=Christian legislation, etc, while professing Christ. It seems disengenous to me. Far be it from me to pass judgement on anyone's faith.

Erudite Redneck said...

I don't believe you can be a Christian and vote the Republican ticket any easier than you can be a Christian and vote the Democratic ticket.

It's hard to vore ANY way and be a Christian, because the biblical examples of how to follow Jesus are not given within the context of political liberty!

Dan Trabue said...

Lone ranger!

Really?! The Christian position on the atomic bomb is on the side of the bomb that kills hundreds of thousands of men women and babies born and unborn in a flash?!

[Mark - do you allow cursing on this blog? If not, feel free not to run the following.]

You must be shitting me!

Jim said...

And what "anti-Christian" legislation is the Democratic party proposing, exactly?