Response to Donald Miller on Abortion

Christianity Today recently interviewed Blue Like Jazz author Don Miller about his invitation to pray at the Democrat National Convention. CT pressed Miller on his political views vis a vis abortion. In his response, Miller reflects on how he thinks a Republican President and Congress have fallen short on the issue of abortion:

“As we elect a Republican House and Senate, and as we elect Republican leadership in the executive branch, we see very little changes on that issue. We’re electing someone who agrees with us on abortion, being sort of a tragedy in our country, and yet can’t get anything done. . . The executive branch doesn’t have that much power, it has some power, but it doesn’t have much power.”

Miller is trying to say that having a Republican President and Congress has done nothing to further the pro-life cause. He couldn’t be more wrong.

President George W. Bush had the opportunity to fill two vacancies on the Supreme Court during his term. He filled those vacancies with two very conservative judges: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. In 2007, Roberts and Alito joined a majority that upheld a ban on partial birth abortion. Thus, these two appointments resulted in a majority that for the first time since Roe v. Wade actually limited abortion rights.

President Bush appointed the two judges, and a Republican-led Senate confirmed them. How can Miller possibly say with any credibility that the executive branch “doesn’t have that much power” on this issue?

The fact of the matter is that the President appoints the judges that will decide whether Roe v. Wade will be upheld or overturned. The next President will likely have the opportunity to fill 2 to 3 vacancies on the Supreme Court. In other words, the next President will decide whether or not Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

Unfortunately, Donald Miller is but one of many so-called “evangelicals” who are saying that it’s okay for pro-lifers to vote for Obama and that having a pro-life President won’t make that much difference anyway. In this opinion, they are sadly mistaken. Once again, Donald Miller is proving himself to be an unreliable guide.

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FYI, here’s a transcript of Donald Miller’s prayer from the Democrat National Convention on Monday night.

Please join me for the next few moments in our Benediction.
“Father God,
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world?
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world?
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.
Amen.”

(HT: Justin Taylor)

(HT: Tim Challies)

99 Responses to Response to Donald Miller on Abortion

  1. GrimeTime August 26, 2008 at 12:48 am #

    I can’t understand how any true born-again believer (a redundant title) could ever unite with those who unashamedly choose to support the murder of unborn babies. You couldn’t be more right, Denny. The president indirectly has all the power to end abortions since he is the only one who appoints the nominees for the Supreme Court.

    And Don Miller’s ending statement:

    “I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.”

    What does that even mean? Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the King, God incarnate didn’t die for the forces of injustice. He died to bear the wrath that the Father has for the rebellious, depraved, lawbreakers that we are. And if anyone would repent of their sins and turn to Christ in faith they will be saved from that wrath that is to come.

    And those who refuse to obey the gospel will suffer God’s wrath that they have stored up for themselves, for all eternity in hell.

    2 Thessalonians 1:6-9
    6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.

    That is justice.

    The only example of injustice in all of history is Christ on the cross. The righteous for the unrighteous. If you want to see injustice look at the cross.

    That is the glorious gospel.

    GrimeTime

  2. Resa August 26, 2008 at 6:51 am #

    “The only example of injustice in all of history is Christ on the cross. The righteous for the unrighteous. If you want to see injustice look at the cross.”

    While I definetely agree in substance with your sumation of the Gospel, I raise my eyebrows at this statement. I’m making an assumption that you were using hyperbole to make your point. If not, then I would ask what you call the inequities that have exisited in all of history, of righteous people suffering, of children dying because of the sins of others.

  3. Don August 26, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    1. IMO, politics and religion do not mix well and should not mix well. Politicians of both parties will pander for votes. Politics is an arena of compromise and getting done what one can.
    2. One’s faith (or lack of same) will influence one’s worldview.
    3. Christians are to participate in the civic arena.

  4. Adam Omelianchuk August 26, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    I have to say, reading Miller’s interview was aggravating. I thought the exact same things as you did, Denny. And that probably has do with your persistent blogging on the issue!

  5. Jonathan August 26, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    A comment on the response:

    A Republican president and Congress, while making some mild progress on the abortion issue, have also made decisions that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people (don’t we love those who are already born, too?), and they’ve pushed many people farther into poverty–one of the reasons that someone might want an abortion anyway.

    Let’s not pretend that when we vote for Republicans we get pro-life without cons. Just as we shouldn’t pretend that voting Democrat means caring about the poor, with no cons. The truth is that voting is messy, just like nearly all American politics.

    A comment on the first reply:
    And as believers, aren’t we to love all people, in the womb and already born, even when they are enemies? How can a believer support the deaths of hundreds of thousands at the hands of the American military? Christians around the world have endured greater persecution because of American military action.

    And when we fight injustice, Jesus is not only our savior, but most definitely our master and example. The fact that some Republicans and Christians mock those who seek greater justice–whether in Jesus’ name or not–is proof of how bankrupt much of the Church is. A Christian who does not live according to his good doctrine just proves that he does not believe what he says.

  6. Daniel August 26, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    Are not the majority of the justices currently on the court appointed by pro-life Republican presidents? I think that 6 of the 9 are Republican appointees.

    Maybe we should start looking for new ways to do something about this.

    The law won’t change until people don’t want to have abortions.

  7. Darius August 26, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Denny!

  8. Derrick August 26, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    Perhaps a supreme court decision banning abortion isn’t the right way of going about eliminating abortions in the United States. The key issues here are the woman’s right to choose and the baby’s right to live. Women’s right and liberty to make a choice should NOT be taken away. People make decisions that end the lives of many each day. Decisions like spending $40 a month on Starbucks coffee instead of sponsoring a child in a third world country. What if Christians were so affective in the lives of others that abortions would no longer be an issue? What if Christians stopped trying to put a bit in the mouth of a powerful few and instead tried to change the lives of the powerful many? We don’t need to ban abortions, we need to teach our children to wait to have sex, and use contraception if they make a mistake.

    Banning abortions in legal, sterile clinics and turning abortion doctors into a backwoods operations with a coathanger is NOT what we should be after.

    John McCain supports abortion if the woman has been raped or a couple of other exceptions.

    Placing conservative justices over a liberalizing nation is like putting a lid on an overflowing boiling pot…it’s going to be ugly.

    The republican party is not supremely and divinely sanctioned by God. The entire democratic party is not the spawn of satan. There are Christian democrats…there are Christian republicans…we should work together instead of combating each other,

    In Response to GrimeTime—read up on current theological paradigms of salvation. The wrath of God is an old paradigm with LOTS of problems (Like…why should current humans suffer the wrath of an angry God{who says he’s the personafication of love} when we suffer from a sinful nature that we didn’t cause…that makes God unjust and unworthy of being served…hence why there’s new paradigms about salvation)

  9. Darius August 26, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    “Certainly among many poor nations and Muslim nations, we’re not very respected.”

    Miller makes that statement in his interview. That is such tripe; where we are most respected and loved is among the poor nations. Africa loves us (just see how Bush was treated when he visited a few months ago), and most of Asia as well. The countries that don’t love us are the rich Europeans and SOME of the Muslim countries.

  10. Jeff Hutchison August 26, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    It is true that most of the supreme court justices were appointed by pro-life Republican presidents. But you have to remember that Republicans were not always able to nominate the person they wanted because pro-abortion Democrats controlled the Senate. In 1987, Reagan nominated pro-life Robert Bork, but pro-abortion Democrats defeated his confirmation 52-48, and Reagan had to nominate Anthony Kennedy who turned out to be pro-abortion. In 1990, George H. W. Bush wanted to nominate a pro-life justice, but he had to nominate the ambiguous David Souter, again because pro-abortion Democrats controlled the Senate.

    If you want to know why Roe v. Wade is still the law, blame PRO-ABORTION DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE.

  11. William August 26, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    I am surprised to see Miller advocating government sponsored health care and the like. I thought he was all about the church taking care of the poor and not the government… I may be mistaken.

  12. Paul August 26, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Denny,

    why must you mock the evangelicals that don’t agree with you?

    I see Miller’s point clearly. And it’s a point that I’ve made many times over.

    If Republicans REALLY wanted to put an end to Roe v. Wade, it would have happened already.

    If Republicans REALLY wanted to see an end to abortion on demand, they would have poured cash into S. Dakota in 2004.

    But here’s the real deal: The RNC realizes that there are an awful lot of pro-choice Republicans out there who vote for Republicans based solely on the fiscal policies. And, there are a lot of Democrats out there who will vote for Bush because Kerry stunk, or will vote for McCain because he’s “strong on national security” or because he’s “not a muslim.”

    Put the people in charge that will really do something about abortion on demand in this country, and the Republicans will lose both groups.

    The RNC has got to know this.

    However, the evangelical wing of the Republican party, which IS only 30% of the party, but thinks that its 90% of it, refuses to believe it, and because of that, keeps voting for some of the worst candidates that have EVER run for the office.

    Back to Miller…

    I am certain that this prayer was crafted by DNC staff writers, with a few key words put into place by Miller himself. Either that, or Miller is the least passionate Christian that I’ve ever seen.

  13. Moz August 26, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Well said, GrimTime. You would think from this prayer that our biggest problem is apathy and social injustice and that our best hope is dialouge and cooperation. No focus of Christ, the law, the cross, repentence, resurrection, or anything distinctly Christian.

    As Piper might say, “Don’t waste your convention speech”.

    Miller wasted it, bro.

  14. Darius August 26, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Paul, point out where Denny “mocked” Miller, please.

  15. Nathan August 26, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    Paul,

    Regardless of the impotency of Republicans to totally remove Roe vs. Wade, in what universe would you see Democrats doing this?

    They will not even nominate for the presidency anyone who is pro-life. This is in the charter.

    Do I emphatically trust the Republican party? No. Do I trust a Democrat nominee for the presidency? Not on your life?

    When you choice is maybe something will happen or NO WAY, what do you want people to choose?

  16. Paul August 26, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    Darius,

    by referring to him as an “evangelical” with the quotes, as to show that anyone that doesn’t hold to the ideas of the religious (political) right isn’t truly an evangelical.

  17. Paul August 26, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Nathan,

    this is my point: if the Republicans aren’t going to do anything about Roe v. Wade, what’s the point in voting for them?

    They’re NOT the party of fiscal responsibility. This might be one of McCain’s hallmarks, but that doesn’t mean that the entire party goes along with him. After all, this is the party that brought us the bridge to nowhere and the party that refuses to axe the helium reclamation program from its defense spending budget.

    They’re NOT the party of morality. They’re the party running the dude that got divorced because he was sleeping around who is now rich because of people getting drunk. They’re the party of Mark Foley and Larry Craig, and they’re the party of Duke Cunningham and Ted Stevens.

    Need me to go on?

    If abortion isn’t going to be seriously addressed (and if you think McCain will get away with a Roberts or Alito, you’re nuts), then what’s the point?

    You’re better off voting for a democrat (or in my case, voting green party and protesting BOTH idiots) and giving the progressives a chance than voting for McCain and seeing our “good economy” be about as good as it’s gonna be for the next 4-8 years, if not longer.

  18. Nathan August 26, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    Paul:

    So you think voting for the Democrats is going to do what exactly?

    Elect a Democrat, kill more babies to tick off the evangelicals into convincing the Republicans to change their ways?

    The Republicans have not always picked wisely on Supreme Court nominees, but the Democrats will choose “kill the babies at any stage” and even the ones that survive the abortion.

    So to summarize your position, you are saying it is better to elect a man that will vote for and pick jurists who will kill babies at any stage of life, will probably be in favor of killing the old and the sick, and will continue to put “civil rights” over the 1st ammendment.

    Also, by your argument implying that the Republicans are fiscally irresposible, we should therefore vote against them. In doing this we will elect Obama who stands for a complete socialistic, wealth-redistribution oriented government. And that will teach those Republicans, wont it?

  19. Mike August 26, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    I’m wondering when people are going to realize that raising the minimum wage is just like printing more money. It is a temporary fix. It makes the next five to ten years easier, then the poverty line raises to meet the new standard.

    Also, I don’t want teachers paid what they deserve. I want them paid enough to survive in some confort. I don’t want teachers striving for the position for money. Just like pastors an overpaid position just leads to corrupt men to stick their fingers in places where they’ve not already ventured.

    And lastly, I don’t want everyone to have an equal opportunity for a college education! A college education costs money, poorer folks don’t have the opportunity to go….. so what? There is honor and dignity in non-degree work. If it is honest work it is good work. I don’t care if you sell paint (as I do) or teach in a college (as Dr. Burk did). This country stigmatizes those without degrees already, as if they are some form of second class citizen. This is the wrong way to judge a person. I don’t care if it’s a professor, or the gargage truck driver: all men deserve respect and dignity in life. A college degree does not make one more in the image of God does it? What ever happened to the reverancing of honest craftsmen in a respectable trade?

  20. Adam Omelianchuk August 26, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    Paul, I like you. I like how you raise a little hell, but sometimes I’m mystified by your positions. You are the only liberal I know who thinks that the Repubs won’t do anything about Roe v. Wade if they win the presidency. Consider the words of Eugene Robinson (the Washington Post columnist!)

    “In other words: Are Hillary Clinton’s followers, many of whom care deeply about women’s issues, ready to accept a Supreme Court majority that would do away with Roe v. Wade, which John McCain would surely deliver?”

    Check it out: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/the_race_was_never_going_to_be.html

  21. Nathan August 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    Paul,

    Regardless of the impotency of Republicans to totally remove Roe vs. Wade, in what universe would you see Democrats doing this?

    Do I emphatically trust the Republican party? No. Do I trust a Democrat nominee for the presidency? Not on your life?

    When your choice is maybe something will happen or NO WAY, what do you want people to choose?

    Your logic doesn’t make sense.

  22. Paul August 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    Mike,

    you’re one of those people that makes me shake my head and say, “wow.”

    I can sort of agree with what you have to say about a national minimum wage. Let’s face it, $7.50 isn’t Rockafeller pay anywhere, but it’s almost liveable in places in the south or in the rural midwest, and is quite possibly more than the market can bear in some of those places.

    However, to expect someone to work for $5.50/hour in Chicago, L.A., New York or San Francisco is just this side of sadistic. So, I totally agree with the idea of minimum wages, but dictated at the state level, NOT the federal one.

    As for teachers, yes, they should get paid what they deserve. My wife was a teacher, and before she ran away kicking and screaming at the end of the school year two years ago, she was working 80-90 hour weeks, by the time you figure in grading, prep work and everything else that went into the job. My sister is a Trig teacher in the lowest paying school district in Indiana. For all of the work she does, she should be making twice what she does. And if it were an hourly position, trust me, she would be. $30-50K doesn’t cut it. Not by a long shot.

    As for college, you mention the problem here: non-college graduates are (a) treated as second class citizens, and (b) have no shot at climbing up the economic ladder, save for some sort of one in a million shot. What you’re essentially rooting for is a caste system based on the economic credentials of the parents.

    Seriously, it’s comments like Mike’s that drive me 180 degrees from ever being a conservative or voting for a Republican. I couldn’t live with my self if I helped to see people with that mindset actually in office somewhere.

  23. Paul August 26, 2008 at 12:57 pm #

    Adam (and Nathan, I reckon),

    is the remote possibility of a Roe v. Wade overturn, well, possible with a Republican president?

    Sure. Of course it is.

    But, do I REALLY think at the end of the day that the RNC wants that overturn?

    No, I don’t. They’ll act like they do to woo the evangelical vote. But the majority of the country follows the HRC line that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” And as long as that’s the case, the republicans can KEEP wooing the evangelical vote with their cries to overturn Roe v. Wade once and for all.

    I think a lot of the pro-choice screaming on the other side is the sound of chicken little feminists who don’t remember that an overturn of Roe v. Wade realistically means that abortion would be criminalized in about 6-10 states at most, and none that wouldn’t be in rather close proximety to a state where it would be legal.

    All of that, along with the fact that I’d be willing to bet the farm that McCain will (he’s going to win) nominate Kennedys and O’Connors, not Alitos and Robertses. All of which makes for a situation where the proponents of Roe v. Wade don’t have a thing to worry about.

  24. Darius August 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    There was a lot of appeal to emotion in your last few comments, Paul, but not much logic.

    Regarding teacher’s salaries, teaching is currently one of the highest paid positions in the country, especially considering they get 3 whole months off each year. If I was paid $50,000 for 9 months of work, I could go earn another 10-15 thousand during the summer (and the long holiday breaks). Teacher’s pay should be based on merit, not some stupid union rules.

    Regarding the minimum wage, John Stossel has done some great work which makes your comments look like hogwash (though they did tug at my heartstrings). Here is one piece by Stossel (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/01/sticking_it_to_lowskilled_work.html). Please put down the emotional rhetoric and think for just a minute. I know you’re plenty capable of doing that, it’s just your inner liberal that you have to kill to do so. There should be NO minimum wage, such government interference forces businesses to either hire illegals or hire less legal employees.

  25. Darius August 26, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh, I found Stossel’s piece on teachers’ pay as well. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=1955153

  26. Darius August 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    Sorry, that minimum wage link didn’t come through.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/20
    07/01/sticking_it_to_lowskilled_work.html

  27. Paul August 26, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    Darius,

    I’m not going to get into a debate about the minimum wage. Especially since you think that we should be a completely laissez faire economy where people would gladly work for $14/week if you gave them the chance.

    However, insofar as teachers go, let’s look at this broken down.

    For one, I don’t think that you read the entire article. He concedes that teachers work tons of extra hours that they’re not paid for, and ends on the whimper that it should be about the joy of teaching, not money. In a capitalist economy, no one should be preaching about how greed is good out of one side of his mouth, and then saying, “but not for you” out of the other side.

    So, there’s probably a better article out there to prove your point, and if this guy’s your go to guy, you need a new go to guy.

    However, let’s look at the numbers he gave.

    He claims $45K for the average public school teacher.

    However, the problem with averages is that it includes all of the teachers that are teaching summer school, administrative work, and other such things throughout the summer. So, that 40 week thing doesn’t necessarily hold.

    It also includes teachers that have banked 20 years in San Francisco next to first year teachers in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. So, again, the numbers don’t exactly tell the whole story.

    But, for the sake of argument, I’ll give it to you. Summer school doesn’t exist, and no teacher has ever had to walk into a school in June, July or August, and we’ll assume that everyone’s a first year teacher.

    So, let’s take a look at the numbers

    $45K for a 40 hour week, 40 weeks/year:

    $28/hour

    Hey, not bad! I’m gonna quit my job right now and become a teacher!

    oh, what’s that? Save for the occasional gym teacher, virtually every teacher can expect to actually put in 70-90 hours/week at their job? Oh, well, let’s look at those numbers again…

    Averaging an 80 hour week, now you’re looking at $14/hour. About what someone who loads a truck for UPS makes.

    A teacher deserves to be making FAR more than a part time box chucker.

    Sorry, Darius, but you’re wrong on this one.

  28. Darius August 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    You just avoid the minimum wage debate? Fine, but I don’t want you to ever bring that topic up again since you won’t actually debate it with logic, just emotional rhetoric. Until you can deal with the issue, don’t bring it up.

    I’m sure the AVERAGE teacher does NOT work 70-90 hours a week. Let’s think about this rationally, shall we? Sure, some teachers do, because they are stretched too thin on too many classes. A teacher teaches what, 7 hours per day? So that’s 35 hours a week. Throw in 2-3 hours of prep time each evening, that’s 50 hours a week. Add in an additional 3-5 hours on the weekend, and you get about 55 hours. Now I know plenty of teachers who are involved in extracurricular activities like sports, but those are additional salaries. At the local public high school where I grew up, most teachers also coached a sport, which took up another 10-15 hours a week. But they were paid for that (or their teacher salary was adjusted accordingly), so that was fine.

    Another thing you have to keep in mind is the fact that rural teachers have a much lower cost of living so any talk about salaries has to take that into consideration. That’s why any across-the-board national raise would be lunacy. Furthermore, if the AVERAGE is $45k, then the average metropolitan teacher must be making more like $55-60k.

  29. Jeff Bailey August 26, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    You can almost guarantee that a President Obama with a Democrat congress will seek to overturn the partial-birth abortion ban.

    Yes, there is a difference.

  30. Darius August 26, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Jeff Bailey, Bill Kristol made a very similar point just a few minutes ago on Dennis Prager’s show. Paul, even if you believe that Republicans won’t do much more to fight abortion, if you are intellectually honest, you HAVE to admit that a President Obama WITH a Democrat Congress and Senate will pretty much undo any good things that have been done to fight abortion in the last two decades. And if you are as anti-abortion as you claim to be, I don’t see how you can justify not voting for McCain.

  31. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    Darius,

    I’m married to a former teacher, related to another two, and know a handful of others. All of them work in the 70-80 hour/week range, by the time you throw in prep time.

    Now granted, my wife taught spanish AND ESL, so that means way more prep time than your average teacher. And my sister the math teacher teaches the whole gamut (but focuses on Trig), so her prep-time is bound to be longer too. But even your figures negate grading homework and tests, work with clubs (which is a NON-paid thing, unlike athletics) and everything else that goes into the job.

    So, you can talk to me all you want about what you THINK is a rational amount of teacher work, but I will tell you what I’ve seen first hand.

    So, Darius, again, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong on this one.

    As for the minimum wage issue, make it clear that you believe in a market that believes in fair pay for fair work, and I’ll talk minimum wage with you. But you were the guy a couple of days ago that was all for sweatshops.

    And, until I’m allowed to quote from left leaning websites without anyone complaining, you can’t claim authoritative proof by using a right leaning one.

  32. Matt Svoboda August 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Paul,

    It is interesting that in this comment thread you have said many times what Republican’s think. How could you possibly know this? If you are basing your views on what you think the Republicans REALLY think, then I am afraid you are terribly mistaken. How could you possibly know that the Republican politicians don’t want to REALLY overturn Roe vs. Wade?

    And you say that the Republican Party is not the moral party… Does that mean you think the Democratic Party is the moral party? I definitely do not think all Republicans are necessarily moral, but at least they are the moral party on the issue of abortion, gay marriage, etc. You have a very weak argument in the Republican Party not being the ‘moral party.’ You’re right, Obama is still married. McCain is divorced. But who is for killing unborns? Yeah, and you say the Republican’s are the immoral ones? The most moral person that ran for president this year was Mike Huckabee, a Republican. Sometimes I don’t know how you come to your conclusions. I sure hope it isn’t because you assume you are right in knowing what everyone else is always thinking…

    Matt

  33. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Darius in #26,

    This is how I can be intellectually honest AND think that the dems won’t touch partial birth abortion:

    1) It was upheld by the Supreme Court. Which means that the only way I can see that you could overturn that would be with a Supreme Court overturn or an amendment. Neither are likely to happen.

    2) If the democrats are anything, they’re populists. And partial birth abortion is the only abortion procedure that a clear majority of Americans are against. The second that an upcoming vote made the news (and it WOULD be a newsworthy event), people would be shocked and awed and would make their voices heard, and this would quietly be tabled so that some congressperson could attempt to get legislation passed that would form a commission to look into Tupac’s death (that was an actual bill that was brought to the floor).

    3) Sorry dude, but I’m not voting for McCain. I’ve already said it a million times, and if I have to, I’ll say it a million more: I’m voting green party. And, in our lovely republic, trust me, in Illinois, it won’t matter anyway. Obama will win by at least 20 points here, if not more.

  34. Darius August 26, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Paul,

    Okay, I will give you that your vote won’t make a difference in Illinois, though you could still promote McCain as an option to others.

  35. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    Matt,

    Ever hear the phrase “know thy enemy”?

    Yeah, I live by it, at least when it comes to politics.

    That means that sometimes I read stuff that I don’t agree with. But then I know where you guys are coming from. Doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I understand it.

    And insofar as morality goes, are we talking about what people say (pro-life platforms) or about what people do (Duke Cunningham and Ted Stevens taking bribes, or Mark Foley taking, ummm, other stuff)?

    And finally, Matt, realize this: as much as I (obviously) don’t speak for the Republican party, remember that you don’t either. As part of the evangelical wing of the party, you’re less than a full third of its make-up. It’s why although Huckabee was the best candidate running from either party, he didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

  36. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    Darius,

    your party could have put up one of the two pro-life candidates that would have been GOOD for this country, too.

    Make Huckabee or Paul your nominee, and I’ll dress my truck up in Republican colors and put an elephant trunk on the front of the thing.

    But, since you guys can’t even pick a decent candidate for president, I will vote green party and protest both ninnies.

  37. Darius August 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    “As for the minimum wage issue, make it clear that you believe in a market that believes in fair pay for fair work, and I’ll talk minimum wage with you.”

    Paul, you clearly don’t understand what free markets are all about. A free market by DEFINITION involves fair pay. After all, as Stossel pointed out on the subject of teacher’s pay, if the pay isn’t fair, the workers are few (or none). It’s standard supply and demand, and I am amazed that you repeatedly indicate that you don’t have even a basic understanding of this principle. So to apply it to the minimum wage debate, if some employer wants to pay $3/hour for people to clean his business and he gets people to take the job, more power to him. What business is it of mine (or the government) to tell him what he has to pay his workers? This is a very Biblical idea as well, see Matthew 20. If the workers agree to work for those wages, what’s the problem? Only elitist intellectuals get all worked up over such a non-issue.

  38. Nathan August 26, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Paul,

    The most logical argument you have made today is that since you live in Illinois it justifies “you” being able to vote third-party without affecting the outcome of the election.

    However, your argumentation on abortion and that Democrats would be scared to touch the partial-birth abortion ban is ludicrous.

    The fact is that it has taken more than a decade to get public opinion and the court into a position to overturn a tiny portion of Roe. Also, without the advent of 4D sonograms this thread would not even be taking place.

    But you are naive to believe that the Democrats will sit on this without a fight should they gain the presidency and have the ability to appoint 2-3 jurists. You argued that Republicans nominated Souter, but Democrats will not, have not, would die before it happens, nominated a Roberts, not even to think about a Scalia; they nominate Ginsburg’s.

    So, continue to fight for third-party (I personally would like to see it as well), but I live in a swing-state and my vote matters in this election.

  39. Darius August 26, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Huckabee was the best candidate??? Hahahaha. What a joke. The guy was a liberal in everything except most social issues, and I’m sure he could have been convinced to change his views on those issues as well. He would have picked his judges based on feelings that the guy was pro-life, which would have given us more O’Connor’s. You have to pick your judges for their constitutional ideology and principles, not how they will likely vote on one particular issue. Thus, someone like Scalia will always vote on the conservative, Constitutionally-correct side whereas some of the other judges go with their feelings about what is fair or right in their own minds.

  40. Matt Svoboda August 26, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    Darius,

    I get the feeling that you definitely do not know Mike Huckabee very well. Being from Arkansas and being under his leadership for quite some time he is definitely a smart man with convictions that would never pick a judge because of one issue. Him and McCain have both said very good things on the issue of picking judges.

    Matt

  41. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Darius,

    I am sick and tired of the argument that everyone takes around here that states that if someone’s at all liberal tha they cannot excel at anything.

    Your prejudice undermines your credibility.

  42. Paul August 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    Matt,

    you obviously don’t know Huckabee very well.

    There’s no denying that ol’ Huck is a fiscal liberal, and all for actually being the “compassionate conservative” that Bush failed to deliver.

    The difference is, in wanting a morally conservative judge, Huckabee would be stuck with a pool that would likely read the constitution word for word.

    McCain, on the other hand, might try to do the politically expediant thing and put in another Souter or Kennedy, realizing that the Republicans will vote for him no matter what.

  43. Darius August 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    Matt, I researched the Huckster quite extensively during the primaries, and made three separate posts on the man on my blog. I’ve read a lot about him, mostly written by other Arkansas residents and Republicans who all agreed that Huck is a fiscal liberal and all about big government. I’m sure Paul would have loved him. 🙂

  44. Darius August 26, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    Paul (or is it Pual :)), I have never said that being liberal means that one is a sure failure. I just know that liberal policies are doomed to fail.

  45. Scott August 26, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    Mike,

    You said:

    “And lastly, I don’t want everyone to have an equal opportunity for a college education! A college education costs money, poorer folks don’t have the opportunity to go….. so what? There is honor and dignity in non-degree work. If it is honest work it is good work. I don’t care if you sell paint (as I do) or teach in a college (as Dr. Burk did). This country stigmatizes those without degrees already, as if they are some form of second class citizen. This is the wrong way to judge a person. I don’t care if it’s a professor, or the gargage truck driver: all men deserve respect and dignity in life. A college degree does not make one more in the image of God does it? What ever happened to the reverancing of honest craftsmen in a respectable trade?”

    Allow me to call you to task on one of the most ignorant and uncharitable comments I have ever read on this board. I pity your myopic and greedy perspective.

  46. Darius August 26, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    Wow, Mike, you sure get the disdain of the liberal elites on this blog. I actually thought that maybe they would support those without degrees, but no such luck. Thanks for your honest words in an era of politically-correct tripe. Don’t mind the intellectual snobs, I appreciate those like yourself who work hard at their jobs no matter how the elites may scorn them.

  47. Darius August 26, 2008 at 3:25 pm #

    Mike,

    You see, the typical liberal (which includes Scott and Paul, apparently) believes that he knows what is best for the normal middle class or blue collar worker, even to the point that he knows better than the workers themselves. This arrogance reared its ugly head in response to your comments about your own livelihood.

  48. Andrew August 26, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Go Don! What a prayer. But might I add that he is neither a pastor nor a theological scholar. He is just a guy trying to work out his salvation the best he can. He is like you and like me. It is great to see a party, regardless of which one, turning to someone (they went to Cameron Strang first) who cares more about the Gospel than any political platform to participate. I have to say that regardless of which President is nominated or which judges are appointed, our generation is starting to be recognized for their desire to see a real authentic relationship with God in their lives and that makes me happy.
    As Don said it, “Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.”

  49. Andrew August 26, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Go Don! What a prayer. But might I add that he is neither a pastor nor a theological scholar. He is just a guy trying to work out his salvation the best he can. He is like you and like me. It is great to see a party, regardless of which one, turning to someone (they went to Cameron Strang first) who cares more about the Gospel than any political platform to participate. I have to say that regardless of which President is nominated or which judges are appointed, our generation is starting to be recognized for their desire to see a real authentic relationship with God in their lives and that makes me happy.
    As Don said it, “Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.”

  50. Paul August 26, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    Darius,

    you have no idea what you’re talking about, but thanks for trying. Between trying to dictate what you think teachers should make and this newest bit about how we “intellectual elites” don’t like blue collar workers, allow me to just say that you are epically failing today.

    Congrats.

    Anyway, here’s my take on it.

    To say that not everyone is cut out for college, that’s fine. And we’re lucky that those people get into the trades and other such blue collar jobs that, in a pretty large number of cases, pay better than white collar jobs anyway.

    Heck, both my lawyer cousin and I wanted to be garbage men when we grew up.

    But to say that not everyone should have the shot?

    That’s myopic and greedy. And part of McCain’s policy platform.

  51. Scott K August 26, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Would anyone support creating a new blog consisting entirely of Paul and Darius arguing? We could call it “Hyperbole and Stereotype: Where Left and Right Collide in Service of Egos.”

    It sure would free up space for other voices on Denny’s blog.

    Just a thought.

  52. Darius August 26, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    They have a shot… how is it moral to force someone else to pay for that shot? I had to pay my way through college, and will be paying off my school loans for another 10-20 years. Your side of the debate is utterly immoral and, ironically, the greedy and covetous one. Stealing from others to let someone else go to college. I guess a college degree is the newest human “right” in your bizarre worldview, huh?

    On a side note, even though I’m sure you can’t stand her, check out Coulter’s most recent piece about Obama. Pretty good.

    “… when Warren asked Obama if he supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, Obama said he did not “because historically — because historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution.”

    I don’t care if you support a marriage amendment or not. That answer is literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say. If marriage were already defined in the Constitution, we wouldn’t need an amendment, no?”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2008/08/20/constitutional_scholar_obama_questions_legality_of_slavery_ban?page=full&comments=true

  53. Darius August 26, 2008 at 4:00 pm #

    So first health care (provided by someone else) is a human right, then education (again, provided by someone else) becomes a right. What next, a human right to own a Porsche? I am interested how you come to the idea that all of these things that have to be provided by someone are human rights. See, to me (and the founders of this great country), life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are rights because they don’t have to be provided by someone else to obtain them (as long as someone else doesn’t take those rights away). I have a right to life, which means no one is allowed to kill me without paying a consequence. I have a right to liberty, which means no one (including the government) is allowed to enslave me physically or economically. I have a right to pursue happiness, which means I have the freedom to do whatever I want in that pursuit as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of another. I fail to see how health care or education falls within those bounds.

  54. Mike Templin August 26, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    “And lastly, I don’t want everyone to have an equal opportunity for a college education! A college education costs money, poorer folks don’t have the opportunity to go….. so what? There is honor and dignity in non-degree work. If it is honest work it is good work. I don’t care if you sell paint (as I do) or teach in a college (as Dr. Burk did). This country stigmatizes those without degrees already, as if they are some form of second class citizen. This is the wrong way to judge a person. I don’t care if it’s a professor, or the gargage truck driver: all men deserve respect and dignity in life. A college degree does not make one more in the image of God does it? What ever happened to the reverancing of honest craftsmen in a respectable trade?”

    Politically speaking you are right on Mike. This is America, we are a capitalist society! Your point is historically in line with the America of our past. Liberal ideology leads to socialism. We are capitalist whether we like it or not.

    I am not saying Capitalism is right or wrong, personally it would seem that Monarchy is the most biblical approach to government. In Genesis Yahweh rules over all creation, and we have dominion over the things in which God entrusted us. Yet this was corrupted in the fall, and we could no longer act in righteousness (being flawed from sin), and there was the curse. Yet we see our righteous King Jesus has began reversing the fall with the reconciliation of men to himself through the cross and His glorious resurrection, and at the full consummation there is total reconciliation of all thing, the Creation redeemed. In the New Creation we all will be under the kingship of Yahweh, the full consummation of the Kingdom of God.

    In Christ,

    Mike

  55. Paul August 26, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    Darius,

    here’s the difference between you and I:

    You believe that you made your money, and you know how to spend it, and you’ll help who you see fit in whichever way you see fit. Even though we have one of the lowest (if not THE lowest) tax rate in the first world, we’re still paying too much.

    I believe that we ARE our brother’s keepers. If my tax rate goes up by a few points and that means that everyone has the ability to go to the doctor without fear of going bankrupt, then that’s money well spent. If my tax rate goes up by a few points, and that means that Johnny Ghetto has a shot at at least going to a public university for either free or for a subsidized rate, then that’s money well spent. If my tax rate goes up by a few points, and that means that Joey Ghetto gets job training that leads to a sponsorship into a trade union that allows Joey Ghetto to be Joey Ghetto no more, then again, that’s money well spent.

  56. Paul August 26, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    And by the way, Darius, will you please quit thinking “worst case scenario” style?

    You think that I mean that everyone should be able to get into Princeton on the dime of Jane and Joe America.

    All I want is to see a return to subsidized interest loans for education, something that the Republican congress got rid of (and something which I should well suspect you probably took advantage of).

  57. Darius August 26, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    Close. Since we have one of the lower tax rates AND we are THE most charitable country in the world, it follows that if we continue to lower the tax rate, more people will be helped via our charity.

    It’s all fine and good when you say it that way regarding rising tax rates to help some people. But when that money doesn’t actually help them but makes them dependent upon the state, how is that money well spent?

    Almost everyone already can go to the hospital without fear of going bankrupt (I’ve already gone over the numbers before, but suffice it to say that almost no one doesn’t already have health insurance coverage if they want it), and why should I be FORCED to take care of everyone else? As typical with the health care issue (and others), this is a straw man.

    If Johnny Ghetto gets free tuition and begins to believe that he is entitled to his “keeper’s” money, how is that money well spent? How is it right, just, or BIBLICAL to force others to pay for Johnny’s education? I don’t know if I have a problem with some subsidized interest loans for education, but these should be merit-based. It is in the interest of the government and society to promote education, but only to those who appear likely to benefit from it. Many people are NOT suited for college due to lack of ambition or intelligence. I DID take advantage of some subsidized loans and federal grants, and I have no problem with anyone taking advantage of a federal program even if they disagree with it (for example, I plan on collecting my Social Security if it’s still around when I retire even though I believe SS to be a horrible idea).

    If Joey Ghetto gets MERIT-based, work-dependent job training, I think that might be money well spent, though I’m sure it would be better spent in the private domain.

  58. Paul August 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    Darius,

    we’ll work backwards here…

    re: job training and subsidized or free schooling…

    You say this is fine if it’s merit based. Well, good, we’re on the same page here then.

    No one would expect someone with no math skills to be able to get into a science or engineering program. No one would expect someone with no spelling skills to get into an English program. No one would expect a 350 lb gelatinous blob of a person to major in Physical Education.

    Why would we start now? I’m not talking about joe gangbanger suddenly being able to get into Harvard. If you squander your chances, you squandered them, and them’s the breaks.

    But there are plenty of folks out there who right now, are getting decent grades. Are breaking their backs to do well in school. But yet still will not have the opportunities to REALISTICALLY realize a dream of going to college. Especially now that college loans are now going for market interest rates.

    When it comes to trade schools and/or job training relevant to union membership, I don’t really know how you judge merit there. I mean, the only way you learn to be a plumber is by being a plumber.

    As for “almost everyone” being able to go to the hospital without going bankrupt, I will simply remind you that 50-60% of the bankruptcies that occur yearly in this country happen because of medical debt. The system’s broke. Plain and simple. Germany’s answer is the answer, end of story.

  59. Brian (Another) August 26, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    Paul:

    I resent being called a gelatinous blob. Oh, wait…….

    Too many comments to read, too little time to respond. Y’all have a great conversation going. I just thought I’d try to derail it…..

  60. D. Taylor Benton August 26, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    I will keep this short.

    there will always be poverty unless we become communist (and even then there would be poverty)

    also Being a very recent college student, I don’t care who you are, right now, under our current circumstances, if you get average grades, heck even if you haven’t graduated highschool…you can get a degree…

    on another note, if the Liberal Academic arena really cared they would get places like Harvard to have more scholarships for merit based education because a recent study said if Harvard were to enroll students at their current rates for the next 100 years and not charge tuition, even adjusting for inflation, they wouldn’t even dent the principal of their endowments they have. I call that uncompassionate and utterly ridiculous.

    Mike struck some very true cords in that even though it isn’t very PC, we are to be charitable to our fellow citizens but we aren’t to be their parents. I don’t mind giving some one a hand up but I’m not going to give them a hand out…that is the last thing people need these days, and I will refuse to my dying day to subsidize the anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-Bible, governmental programs that work against the very God, Jesus and Bible, that I believe in, am saved by and trust in.

  61. Paul August 26, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    DTB,

    First off, there is a difference between a community college, or an open enrollment private school that charges $800/credit hour and the very competitive schools within the universities at the state level. But, really, your comment is about as relevant as the price of tea in China.

    What was at issue was not whether people will be allowed into colleges (you can always get accepted SOMEWHERE), but whether or not you can afford it. Mike says that people that are poor should be damned to be poor and be proud of it (essentially). I say that everyone that has laid the groundwork to get into college should be able to get in, and if the government needs to assist in such a thing, than it should.

    Secondly, where is the verse in the Bible that says that God calls single payer health care an abomination?

    There isn’t one. Jesus said “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, give unto God what is God’s.”

    If Caesar finds it more compassionate to ensure that 1.85 million people DON’T go bankrupt every year because of medical debt, I’m pretty sure that God won’t mind.

  62. D. Taylor Benton August 26, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

    Paul,

    I liked how you didn’t say anything about poverty or the hypocrisy of the Liberal academic private universities….but your argumentation is at best weak…you fall apart at the beginning, see, you are now not only saying everyone should get a degree but now you are saying that they need a really good degree. I’m sorry but I know many people that have degrees from schools you probably have never heard of that are more successful than some that come from the elite….so my comment wasn’t irrelevant, you argued that everyone should be “REALISTICALLY” be able to get a college education. I believe my point still stands..and as a side note, I paid my way through a private college with no scholarships, parent’s help, federal aid or anything other than my full time job (while married for two of those years) and I have no debt and I DON’T come from a wealthy family. and holy cow… I did it without the help of all knowing uncle Sam.

    that all said, just as I said in the previous post which is the third statement you dodged, “I will refuse to my dying day to subsidize any more than I have to the anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-Bible, governmental programs that work against the very God, Jesus and Bible, that I believe in, am saved by and trust in”

    I’m glad you say that there is no where in the Bible that states these things but then you want to speak for God at the end of your post…interesting…

    What is even more shocking to me that you act like bankruptcy is something horrible…even bankruptcy is the Government bailing out people from their responsibilities…go to a foreign country and ask them about bankruptcy…they will laugh you out of their country.

  63. Paul August 26, 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    DTB,

    First off, why would I have anything to say about liberal private universities? I never went to one, I know no one that did, and they tend to have lackluster music programs. So I could care less about them, though I do agree that Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other schools with similarly large endowments should be doing more to ensure that the students that want to go and have the scholastic requirements to go can. At least the University of Chicago has this policy: if we want you to go here, we’ll do whatever we have to do to make sure you come here.

    And as for your reading comprehension, dude, take some remedial classes. You made the case that anyone, including High School dropouts can get degrees. Which is true. But, where do those degrees come from?

    1) community colleges, which, by definition, tend to not offer bachelors degrees

    or

    2) open enrollment schools, which tend to not offer scholarships and charge ridiculously high tuitions for their lackluster educations.

    And since you obviously don’t understand the idea of schools within universities, let me spell it out for you: many schools within public universities are very difficult to get into, not because they’re great or elite, but because there are tons of people vying for relatively few seats in those classrooms, because it’s either a couple of thousand dollars at State, or it’s ten thousand at Private U.

    As for not needing loans, good for you. As for you not getting any scholarships, it simply proves that you weren’t a very good student and on top of that weren’t very interesting, either.

    And I never attempted to speak for God. I just assumed, based completely on scripture, that God would not for a second be upset by a government that looked out for its citizens.

    Remember Ezekiel 16:49:

    Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

    That “she” part, for all the world sounds to me like the country itself. Like, you know, it’s king. Or it’s government.

    Sounds like many members of the Republican party and possibly like a few commentators on this board if you ask me.

    As for this asinine question, “what’s so horrible about bankruptcy?” Uhh, ask any of the three credit bureaus. I am sure they’ll be willing to fill you in.

  64. Darius August 27, 2008 at 9:07 am #

    Paul, be careful, you’re going over the line into John territory. DTB makes good points, and you insult him and reply with emotion. Why not reply with some facts and reasonable discussion?

  65. William August 27, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Paul… or any other Obama advocate,

    I understand that there are a lot of problems with the Republican party. I am not a Republican because I believe Republican leaders are every bit as corrupt as Democrat leaders (save a few exceptions). I also think that there has been an unhealthy association between Christianity and the Republican party. However, what I will not do is support Obama.

    I am curious… can you give one good reason for Christians to support Obama/Democrats? Does he/they really offer any solution to helping the poor, the unborn or the elderly? It seems that guys like Miller are making a tragic mistake by identifying with a party that really does less to accomplish the work of the kingdom than its opponent party.

    …that is unless you think socialism actually works.

  66. Paul August 27, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Darius,

    I only insulted DTB because he insulted my intelligence first.

    First by going off into unrelated territory re: being able to get accepted into schools, and then by calling ALL social welfare programs anti-God and anti-Biblical.

    If you want to make some sort of case for saying that God says that we should be self sufficient, go right ahead, but to call the social justice crowd (many of whom are some of the most upstanding Christians I’ve ever seen) anti-Biblical is just beyond reason.

    I am sorry if I am getting a little heated, but there’s only so much I can take from Denny, Matt, TUAD and now DTB calling the faith of politically liberal Christians into question. I might question your compassion, I might question your motives, but I will never question your faith. To do so to me, or a group with which I so obviously reside within is such a blatant insult that it makes me want to vomit.

  67. Darius August 27, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Did he question your faith or your politics? He said your politics are anti-Biblical, which is quite true. I didn’t see anything about your faith being bad. You question my compassion and my motives all the time, but I don’t think I have ever questioned yours (other than when you mentioned how your own personal financial difficulties have informed your political views, which made me wonder if you’re being a bit self-centered). I’m sure you care very much for the poor, you just don’t know how to show it properly. You promote government programs which actually hurt the poor and you believe that those of us who want to help the poor in ways that work just don’t care.

  68. Darius August 27, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    “I only insulted DTB because he insulted my intelligence first.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how righteous indignation on the Left allows one to rationalize poor behavior towards those on the Right.

  69. Darius August 27, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    “I only insulted DTB because he insulted my intelligence first.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how righteous indignation on the Left allows one to rationalize poor behavior towards those on the Right. I have to admit, moral indignation is one of the more pleasant feelings in which to dwell.

  70. Darius August 27, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    Hmm, I got spammed.

  71. Darius August 27, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    Nevermind, now I have two mostly identical posts. Yay.

  72. Todd Pruitt August 27, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    “I insulted DTB because he insulted my intelligence first.”?

    Wow!

  73. Paul August 27, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Well, if I behaved poorly, I apologize.

    That said, this thread, and a few choice comments on other threads have opened my eyes. According to the arch conservatives on this board, we know the following:

    1) racism no longer exists, and it stopped existing the day that the civil rights legislation was passed in 1964.

    2) Slavery was the best thing that ever happened to black America.

    3) People have no right to health care.

    4) People have no right to an education.

    5) The free market system, left completely unchecked, is the best system anyone has ever devised.

    6) liberals don’t know how to do anything right.

    7) liberals are a cancer or virus

    8) the word liberal is an insult (this coming from a pastor, at that)

    9) any and all social welfare programs are anti-God and anti-Biblical.

    10) compassion means letting people fail, without getting your hands dirty.

    11) Anything bad that has ever happened at any time in history can be traced back to FDR, Clinton or Jimmy Carter.

    12) bankruptcy is good.

    13) sweatshops are awesome!

    What I used to think was that conservatives were anti-handouts. And I’d agree.

    What I used to think was that conservatives didn’t like single payer healthcare. And, again, I’d agree. The best government mandated health care programs have kept the insurance companies intact.

    But when people start saying the long winded equivalent of “the world needs ditchdiggers too!” It’s time to step back and take a whole new look at things.

    You know, I’ve spent time in prayer asking God if I am wrong to be a political liberal. And I’ve never had that gut check or that small still voice tell me that I’m in the wrong. And I’ve been looking. And asking. And seeking.

    So, now I find myself at the same crossroads that I found myself in when I was called to faith in the first place.

    Because if the fruit that Christianity produces is a bunch of guys saying, “so what if you go bankrupt!” or “so what if you can’t afford college and end up working at McDonalds for the rest of your life!” then where is there room for me? If you guys are the ones that get it right, then I couldn’t possibly want to be more wrong.

    I can hang with a lot of conservative arguments. I largely agree with conservatives on most theological issues, and even some political ones (Israel and guns come to mind pretty quickly). But when compassion in the social square is defined as not helping someone when they can’t fend for themselves, then suddenly, I am at a loss for words (except not really, this is one super long post!).

  74. Darius August 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Hyperbole doesn’t suit you, Paul. Did you just want to kill the debate, since no one is going to take the time to answer such an intellectually dishonest post?

  75. Darius August 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    That said, it probably would behoove you to read some more eloquent defenders of conservatism than what you find in these comment areas. Dalrymple, Buckley, Richard Weaver, Rand, Sowell, etc.

  76. Darius August 27, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Or read Freedomnomics by Lott.

  77. D. Taylor Benton August 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Paul,

    In all sincerity, I am sad that you feel that way…but on the other hand I honestly feel that giving your personal attack of me is not worth any response…and at NO point in time did I even ever address you specifically regarding your faith. my first post to which you responded was an open comment. that all said, I accept your appology…and you have sorely misunderstood who I am, and what I am conveying I am sad to say..

  78. Paul August 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    Darius,

    nothing intellectually dishonest here. Between you, TUAD, Matt Svoboda, Mike and DTB, everything that I mentioned was actually said at some point. And I didn’t even mention my favorite one from Denny, that the peace churches aren’t really Christian because there was a soldier in the NT who had faith in Jesus.

    Sorry.

    Insofar as anything else that I said in that little novel, there’s no hyperbole there. I am right now asking myself the same questions that I asked myself when I came just this close to bagging the whole Christianity thing a few years back and becoming a Buddhist. If that makes you feel bad, or makes you want to stop the debate, then so be it.

    As for the writers you mentioned, here goes…

    Sowell is a good economist and nothing else. He makes no relevant points when he talks about anything outside of the realm of economics.

    Rand is long winded, and I can’t believe that a professing Christian would go out of his way to recommend an atheist as suggested reading in the first place.

    In everything you’ve ever posted by Darlymple, the only thing that I’ve ever gotten from him is that he’d be better off living in China. There, he can have all of the economic freedom he wants while still being the closet totalitarian that he obviously wants to be.

    Don’t know much about Weaver.

    What I do know is that a bunch of professing Christians have said things that are making me question what it takes to be a good Christian, and if I am cut out to be one.

  79. GrimeTime August 27, 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    Paul,

    Are you born-again?

  80. Darius August 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Paul,

    No one ever said or even implied points 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, and 13 from your novel. That is just you being an emotional ninny and rephrasing how you took certain statements. “They said this, I heard that…” is how you typically operate once your liberal emotions get worked up. Stop this, it’s not honest and makes those with whom you debate not particularly interested in continuing the discussion.

    As for the authors I mentioned, I was recommending them in regards to economics and capitalism. Obviously, you have to take Rand with a grain of salt or at least read her from a Christian perspective. Same goes with someone like Dalrymple, who is also an atheist (though not a very entrenched one).

  81. Paul August 27, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    Darius,

    you yourself said the bit about how slavery was the best possible thing that could have happened to blacks.

    Mark has basically said that there is no such thing as racism anymore in America.

    Telling me that liberals go about everything wrong is the same thing as saying they can’t do anything right.

    #10 is the obvious reading of hearing someone say that there should be no government welfare programs (including things like say food stamps or women’s shelters). There’s no other logical way to read it.

    #12 DTB said it himself: what’s so bad about bankruptcy? Yes, I twisted the wording, but the intent is the same.

    #13 You yourself have said not only that knowingly buying stuff from sweatshops is humane, but you also refused to agree that fair wages should be paid for fair work. If sweatshops are humane places where people can work, then they must be awesome.

    It’s not my fault that your philosophies on economics are heartless, man.

  82. GrimeTime August 27, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Hey Paul,

    Are you born-again?

  83. Darius August 27, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    Dennis Prager said something good this afternoon that I will try to paraphrase:

    I believe that government should be the LAST resort to help people who legitimately need help, while liberals believe that government should be the first option to help those people [I would add: even people who don’t need help].

  84. Darius August 27, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    Slavery in the 1800’s left TODAY’s American blacks better off than if there had been no slavery, thus they have no reason to ask for reparations. Slavery was not a good thing, but it did assist millions of African Americans to live here rather than in their home countries. Even awful things can have positive benefits.

    Racism is mostly gone in this country (it’s been replaced by hatred of Christianity, which is now the most acceptable form of prejudice in intellectual circles), and what racism IS left occurs equally among all races (Rev. Wright proved that).

    Sweatshops are NOT awesome, but they’re better than the alternative (no jobs for those people). I don’t believe that some white urbanite can define what is acceptable and unacceptable labor styles and hours in a country on the other side of the world.

  85. Paul August 27, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Grime Time,

    yes I am.

  86. Paul August 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Darius,

    Slavery itself, if it had been followed by 100 years of acceptance by whites, both north and south, might have made blacks better off.

    However, top that with 100 years of Jim Crow in the south and more shadowy and insidious forms of racism in the north, and what you’ve got is the very kind of climate that breeds Black Panthers in the 60’s and the Jeremiah Wrights of today, not to mention the culture of failure which dominates the ghettos today (and I wouldn’t disagree that the handout mentality of the welfare state without any attempts at job training or job seeking haven’t helped).

    To say that racism is diminished from where it was in the 60’s and 70’s, I’ll take that. But to say that it’s gone or almost gone, mmm, not so much.

    As for sweatshops, while it might not be right of me to define their work schedule, it’s not right of you to support them either.

  87. Darius August 27, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    I support their right to work whatever job they choose, as long as it is they who choose it.

  88. Paul August 27, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    As for Prager’s quote, he’s right and he’s wrong.

    He’s right that government should be a last resort.

    However, he’s simply rallying the troops with the “liberals think it should be a first resort” garbage.

    There’s not a liberal that I know that thinks that food stamps should be given out indiscriminantly (I think I spelled that wrong).

    There’s not a liberal that I know that thinks that everyone should be on Section 8 housing.

    The list goes on and on.

    I think most conservatives just don’t understand liberalism.

  89. Ferg August 27, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    I unfortunately have to agree with Paul on post 72. I’ve been shocked at some statements that are made on this blog. It seems like a lot of compassion and emotions (we’re allowed to think with them you know) is thrown out the window.

    Paul, I will tell you that there is hope; unfortunately you won’t find much of it here. There are a lot of Christians out there who may not have their theology fully correct and may be cancerous and a virus by thinking a woman can speak but they bring the hope of Jesus to those around them in the most incredibly inspiring ways. Jesus died for ALL, not just us Christians who sometimes spend more time debating about things like abortion without EVER offering our homes to a 16 year old pregnant girl who’s been kicked out of her home, or God forbid that we should take in a girl who’s had an abortion and show her that Jesus wants to redeem her and bring her in to complete freedom. no condemnation or shame for her in the name of Jesus.
    Anyways, you see my point. I very seldom feel heartened by reading what is here. What it usually does is give me a bad impression of what people I disagree with believe. And I’m genuinely willing to learn. Lastly, I do have to add that there are a few who I respect, I don’t want to paint all of us with the same brush!

  90. GrimeTime August 27, 2008 at 8:51 pm #

    Paul,

    The reason I asked if you were born again is because of a couple of things you said:

    (#77)
    “What I do know is that a bunch of professing Christians have said things that are making me question what it takes to be a good Christian, and if I am cut out to be one.”
    &
    “I am right now asking myself the same questions that I asked myself when I came just this close to bagging the whole Christianity thing a few years back and becoming a Buddhist.”

    It comes across like you think Christianity is one equal choice out of many, when it is not a choice at all. We don’t choose to be born again. We obey the gospel by repenting and placing our faith in Christ and then God MAKES us born again.

    Christianity isn’t one option out of many. It is the ONLY means God has given us by which we can be saved. All other religions say you must do something to earn salvation in some way or another.

    Christianity is the only one that says “You can’t be good enough to earn salvation. Your sin is an infinite offense against an infinitely holy God. But I will save you on account of what my Son has done if you obey the gospel.”

    It just sounded like you were going back to thinking about being a buddhist, which someone who is truly born again would never do. Hopefully, that’s not the case.

    GrimeTime

  91. Paul August 27, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    Grime Time,

    I know what you’re saying. Which is the difference between…

    (paraphrases here)

    I saw so many awful Christians out there that it made me want to be a Buddhist

    and

    Seeing so many awful Christians makes me wonder if I’m cut out to be a good Christian.

    See the difference?

    I know that it’s not a situation of many paths up the mountain.

    But, thanks for taking the time. I appreciate it.

  92. Brian (Another) August 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Paul:

    I had to go find this because it always cracks me up (and it is from a staunch liberal so I thought you would appreciate it).

    “Capitalism tries for a delicate balance. It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.”

    –George Carlin (RIP). Didn’t agree with a lot of what Mr. Carlin said, but some of his stuff was just plain funny.

  93. Darius August 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Paul, here is something awesome regarding the minimum wage…

  94. Lydia August 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    I am not a Miller fan at all. But I do think we have fallen down, as a church, on these issues:

    “Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
    Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
    Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.”

    What we do to the least of these we do to Him. This is not for government to do but have we even done this in most of our churches or in our communities as Image Bearers? You know we have not. We have been too busy condemning a single mom for not wanting to submit to being beaten up anymore. We have refused to rebuke arrogant men. We tell the broke mom she is in sin for not tithing. Do you know of any poor single moms in your church who have no health insurance and worry themselves sick over it?

    It is a fearful thing for the Lord to have to teach us compassion for each other. It is hard for those in privileged positions to understand these things. We are to live out our faith.

    The secular world is doing what the church has refused to do because we love our big buildings and high salaries.

  95. Darius August 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    “We have been too busy condemning a single mom for not wanting to submit to being beaten up anymore. … We tell the broke mom she is in sin for not tithing.”

    What kind of church body are you part of that does that??? Either you’re using hyperbole or you need to get out more. I agree that our church has to take care of the poor much better, but don’t overstate your case. First though, the Body needs to do a better job of taking care of itself. The Church is primarily called to care for other members of the Body, THEN for those outside the Church. But in today’s world, the Church has lost most of its sense of community.

  96. John August 31, 2008 at 12:34 am #

    Good word Darius (did we actually just agree?!?!)

  97. Lydia August 31, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Darius, I am sorry if I hit a nerve. I think we both know the church has become self serving and a many times jobs program for its own. But you make the most important point:

    “First though, the Body needs to do a better job of taking care of itself.”

    Yes, all of us need to take the position of Barnabus who sold his estate to help those in need within the Body. It was not Christian communism but a deep love and compassion for the saints in the Body. I will never understand how many pastors or even college presidents can live so grand when there are those within the Body who cannot even afford medical care.

  98. Darius August 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm #

    Lydia,

    You didn’t hit a nerve, I just thought that one paragraph of yours was pretty disingenuous. I don’t know of any Christians who would be say that a mother has to stay with her abusive husband, or any believers who would get on a poor woman for lack of tithing. Either the church body you’re part of is incredibly twisted in its priorities, or you were just being hyperbolic for some reason.

    Yes, many churches are self-serving. The prosperity gospel has caused great damage within the Church (though it appears that many of those crooked pastors are now getting their comeuppance via the IRS). And even some who don’t preach the prosperity gospel still live it in their own lives. Materialism is rampant within the Church, and I am not innocent either. While I disagree strongly with Shane Claiborne’s politics, his sacrificial living style is commendable and we could all learn a lot from it.

  99. Dorothy October 10, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Anyone else reminded of Balaam and his donkey?

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