The fallacy of Conservative Christianity

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  • #3762
    Amus
    Participant

    I originally posted this mini screed in another topic and decided it didn’t belong there.

    Here is what I mean when I say that to call oneself a Conservative Christian as currently defined is oxymoronic:

    My assertion is that those who call themselves Christians, yet support economic policies espoused by modern conservatism are indeed hypocrites.

    Chris•tian (kr s ch n)
    adj.
    1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
    2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus’s teachings.
    3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
    4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
    5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

    It may come as a surprise to many “Conservative Christians”, but Jesus did not hate the gays. I know, I know, the popular refrain from “Conservative Christians” is that they don’t “hate” homosexuals. But rhetoric does not change the fact that actions against them are just plain hateful . To advocate for love and tolerance then act oppositely is the very definition of hypocrisy.

    It may come as a surprise to many “Conservative Christians”, but Jesus did not advocate the acquisition of enough fire power to mow down 20 first graders in 30 seconds (even if one were only use it on the occasional abortion provider).

    It may come as a surprise to many “Conservative Christians”, but Jesus was an advocate for the refugees of his day. He was in fact, a refugee himself. When parents in Guatemala & El Salvador sent their children north, unaccompanied, to escape drug and gang violence, true followers of Christ would have taken them in and provided help and comfort, not denounced them as “Illegal aliens” out to suckle on overly generous benefits that would only serve to enslave them to us, God’s chosen people.

    Similarly, It may come as a surprise to many “Conservative Christians”, that Jesus would not advocate the exploitation of immigrant labor for the enrichment of a few. Immigrant labor is second only outright slavery as a Free Marketer’s wet dream. Imagine, a source of cheap labor that once you’ve extracted you can simply dismiss as swarthy pests to be rounded up and sent packing. Neither would Jesus herald those guilty of that exploitation as the “Job Creators”.

    Who was it again that Jesus drove from the temple?

    Current Conservative economic policies only serve to enrich a very few while creating many, many more poor.

    This is not rhetoric, nor is it new. It is verifiable and backed up by empirical evidence throughout history.

    In addition to supporting policies that only serve to create more poor, “Conservative Christians” also support the abolition of programs set up to alleviate suffering and to aid the economically disadvantaged to become self sufficient.

    They’ll tell you a bloated Government based bureaucracy is an ineffective and inefficient way to reduce poverty, but one would think, that if one were to consider oneself an advocate of life, one would support programs that have dramatically reduced infant mortality.

    http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/PovertyAnniversary.pdf

    Not to pick on Broadway, but he has often let us know of his service to the poor in the community that I live in.
    I recognize that and have given him props here for doing do.

    But ask yourself this;
    If you want to pat yourself on the back for helping the poor while supporting people and policies that create more poor and work to abolish programs set up to help them, who are you serving?
    The poor, God or yourself?

    #3764
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    This is an interesting post and I will respond more fully when I’m at my computer instead of my ipad.

    For now I of course agree that Jesus did not hate gays and neither should any of his followers.

    I don’t consider myself to be a “conservative Christian,” however. I consider myself to be a Christian who is politically conservative, though religion comes first and trumps politics.

    I consider myself to be “orthodox” when it comes to my religion. Usually conservative politics align with my religios beliefs, but not always, and I keep an open mind and also realize some things are debatable and could be morally neutral.

    I don’t mean to make this about “me” but I don’t want to speak for those who are not coming from the place of orthodox Catholicism.

    Lastly, for now, the OP is laced with assumptions and conclusions that are debatable, as well as failing to consider the intent of the conservative Christian.

    #3766
    Amus
    Participant

    I will await your response…

    In the mean time consider that the road to Hell may well be paved with “the intent of the conservative Christian”.

    #3772
    Amus
    Participant

    Arrrgghh!

    I just realized that I misspelled Christianity in the topic.
    Does the new software allow editing that somehow?

    #3782
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    I don’t accept your premises, Amus. While Christians have a mandate to help the poor, that it must be done through the government and that the government does so fairly and efficiently, is debatable. I think conservatism will reduce poverty and not increase it.

    Conservative doesn’t mean stingy. And the flip side of that is that liberals who push for higher taxes and more programs are not necessarily generous, since they want to spend the money of others.

    Besides that, there is a mistrust of the government because they misuse funds to appease their electorate, such as the crony capitalistic arrangement with the teacher union monopoly.

    As a Christian and a conservative, I think we serve the poor and one another much better by letting the government do its basic functions, and leave helping the poor to charities. However, we do have government programs and once they come, they stay forever and usually grow, and I don’t know of any Christian movement that’s striving to threaten them. Certainly not my church.

    The bottom line in my thinking is that it’s not hypocritical to disagree with your pet poverty solutions which involve the government and more taxes. We must help the poor, but I don’t think the government should necessarily be the means, besides the fact that I think the government can inadvertently cause more poverty by bad policy, and I don’t have to look much further than the damage caused by minimum wage laws.

    You’re free to think I’m wrong. I don’t think I am. But even if I were, that doesn’t make me a hypocrite, since I’m sincere in my beliefs.

    #3784
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    http://www.democracyjournal.org/32/the-voluntarism-fantasy.php?page=all

    The size of the problem exceeds the capacity of private charity.

    I think employing both is optimal. IMHO, the most potent impact private charity can have is empowerment and education. Since they simply do not have the means to fund the problem, making great investments that multiply packs the best punch.

    And as a Democrat, reducing the burden on government New Deal type programs is as simple as doing what it takes to insure business pays the labor making so much wealth for them enough to live and improve.

    It is entirely possible to pay living wages and reduce the size of poverty.

    Or, let’s do the basic income idea! As automation continues to erode jobs away, maybe it is best to insure people have some basic means to figure out their lives with. They can invest, or staer a business, pool their money and secure homes, etc…

    Know who would love that?

    Small business! Would be huge. Direct stimulus.

    However we do it, private interests are not large enough to handle the problem, nor would they.

    #3823
    Amus
    Participant

    I would have been honestly shocked and surprised if you had accepted my premise.

    But your response was really just more of the same unsubstantiated tripe.

    Let’s define a few things and see if we agree on some simple definitions.

      Fee Market


    Pretty words to describe what essentially is Laissez-faire Capitalism. Allowing business operate without Government interference.
    I’m still waiting to hear of any functioning, healthy economy that has ever operated under this model. I have in the past provided examples of some spectacular failures.

      Progressive Tax


    A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals.

      Regressive Tax


    A tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people. A regressive tax is generally a tax that is applied uniformly. This means that it hits lower-income individuals harder.

      Government


    Defined here in the United States by the first three words to the preamble of the Constitution;

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Notice that I have also highlighted the “General Welfare Clause”.

    So when you say you distrust the Government what your saying is that you mistrust We the People.
    When you say Government doesn’t work what you’re really saying is that Government doesn’t work the way you want it to.

    Winston Churchill said;
    “Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”

    From what you have written it appears to me that you think that either a Theocracy or a Plutocracy (or maybe some hybrid of the two) would be preferable.

    The bottom line in my thinking is that it’s not hypocritical to disagree with your pet poverty solutions which involve the government and more taxes. We must help the poor, but I don’t think the government should necessarily be the means, besides the fact that I think the government can inadvertently cause more poverty by bad policy, and I don’t have to look much further than the damage caused by minimum wage laws.

    There are an awful lot of wishy-washy words in that statement. You keep saying that you believe that Conservative policies would better serve the poor but you really don’t provide how that might work.

    Let me ask you this;
    Since the 1980’s and the latest attempt at the “Free Market” economy, income disparity has risen to exceed that of when it was last attempted prior to the Great Depression.

    Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?
    Is it a sign of a healthy economy?
    Does it hurt one group more than another?

    1964 and the institution of LBJ’s “Great Society”
    In 1964, life expectancy was 66.6 years for men and 73.1 years for women (69.7 years overall). In a single generation, by 1997, life expectancy jumped 10 percent: for men, to 73.6 years; for women, to 79.2 years (76.5 years overall). The jump was highest among the less advantaged, suggesting that better nutrition and access to health care have played an even larger role than medical miracles. Infant mortality stood at 26 deaths for each 1,000 live births when LBJ took office; today it stands at only 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, a reduction of almost 75 percent.

    Does Government get any props for that?
    Was it coincidental?
    Is it not worth the cost of Government intrusion?

    #3882
    Herb
    Spectator

    Yet another Christian-sniping thread, as usual.

    Fact is, many of our nation’s hospitals and universities were founded upon stridently conservative Christian principals.

    So go ahead and trash the Salvation Army if you don’t like their stance on traditional marriage. Fact is, they feed millions.

    And unlike leftists, rather than simply talk and snipe, they actually walk the walk, while following through with love in action.

    http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/hunger-relief

    Indeed, our very nation was founded on the antithesis of godless secular ideology:

    “Puritans sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s will and so to receive future happiness.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puritan

    Facts matter, so get off your liberal high horse. You look ridiculous.

    #3883
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    It does not matter how many people the bigots feed. They are still bigots.

    #3884
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    How about you answering this one Herb:

    Let me ask you this;
    Since the 1980’s and the latest attempt at the “Free Market” economy, income disparity has risen to exceed that of when it was last attempted prior to the Great Depression.

    Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?
    Is it a sign of a healthy economy?
    Does it hurt one group more than another?

    #3885
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    Hitler did lots of great stuff until he didn’t.

    Meanwhile, conservative christians (AKA the KKK) continue to dig their own grave. Demographics say you guys will be in the minority soon.

    #3892
    skeptical
    Participant

    It does not matter how many people the bigots feed. They are still bigots.

    Amen.

    A communication director of The Salvation Army has said GLBT people should be dead.

    F&B, Broadway and their irk should just f-all during the holidays. Help people because it’s the human thing to do, NOT because it’s a Christian thing.

    #3897
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    It does not matter how many people the bigots feed. They are still bigots.

    You prefer stingy “bigots”?

    They would be hypocrites to change their beliefs about marriage to please you and the world. And they continue helping the poor in spite of people like you calling them ugly names.

    #3898
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    There are an awful lot of wishy-washy words in that statement. You keep saying that you believe that Conservative policies would better serve the poor but you really don’t provide how that might work.

    Let me ask you this;
    Since the 1980’s and the latest attempt at the “Free Market” economy, income disparity has risen to exceed that of when it was last attempted prior to the Great Depression.

    Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?
    Is it a sign of a healthy economy?
    Does it hurt one group more than another?

    The discussion is about “hypocrisy.” It’s hypocritical to preach one thing and do the opposite, which is what you’re claiming the Christian who is a conservative does.

    I dispute that because I see conservatism as a better means to social good, especially when it comes to issues of basic rights to live.

    I don’t accept the premise that income disparity is because of market economics and I’m not sure it is a bad thing. To me it is a great evil to prevent people from working by artificially controlling the price of labor.

    This is what I believe and I’m free to believe that and be a Christian. I would be a hypocrite if I became a Christian liberal, since there is so much about what we now call liberalism which goes against Christian teaching.

    I don’t think the problem here is with hypocrisy. It’s with Christianity not changing to suit those who are not Christians.

    #3900
    duxrule
    Participant

    Al Capone was well-known for running several soup kitchens in Chicago during his heyday. He grew up Catholic and he was also a raging “Capitalist.” Should HE be a role model for us?

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