You should take this as a message from God… Speaking of the election… not this post… Perhaps you should take the results of the election and the once again over whelming win by Obama as a message from God. And not just his win, but the wins for gay marriage, and the defeat of anti-abortion measures in Republican states, the loss by people who said really dumb and insulting things about rape… perhaps God is sending a message that most Christians are voting for the wrong party…
Prior to the election I saw lots of messages from Christians that people pray so that Romney would win. Now that he soundly lost, there are messages that we can only pray… But if God is in control of all things as Christians suppose, perhaps God is sending a message to Christians to stop voting for Republicans, who oppose the teachings of Jesus and move on to those who are more in line with His teachings. If God exists, then so does the devil and perhaps the greatest trick he ever pulled was convincing Christians to vote against the teachings of Jesus by voting Republican and make them think they are doing God’s will. I am not alone in being an Atheist (in part) because of Christians voting for Republicans, by sticking so hard to the Republican agenda you are hurting the image of Christianity… after all if God was real, he’d be sending messages to Christians…
A small aside. There is a story that is oft told of how a flood came to a town and a man was drowning in the waters. A boat came and asked if he wanted help, the man said “No thank you, God will rescue me” and the boat moved on. Another boat came and asked if he needed help, but again the man refused help on the belief that God would save him. He drowned soon after. When he got to heaven he asked God why he didn’t help him, and God said “I sent two boats.” Perhaps this is like Christians voting Republican rather than accept the Democrats. And Christians now are saying why can’t our guy win God? Perhaps God is saying, “I sent candidates that were in support of what I taught through Jesus, yet you opposed them.”
Jesus and the Bible make clear many times that the rich have their reward here on Earth and will not inherit the kingdom of God. That it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Where you treasure is so is your heart (I guess Mitt’s heart was in the Camoens and Switzerland)… Jesus overturned the money changers tables… Yet the Republican party is the party that is full bent on protecting and promoting austerity. Very often with the false premise that you too can be rich some day, and we’ll be there for you on your side. What was at stake was raising taxes on the top 2%… The Republicans counter that it would hurt business owners to raise taxes on the 2%, but the problem with that stance is only about 1/3 of the top 2% have anything to do with business, the rest are surgeons, lawyers, movie/tv stars, musicians, athletes, spouses of the 2%… So now we have to look at that 1/3rd of 2%, and of them, only a fraction would have their business impacted by raising their personal income tax due to the fact they take all business income in as personal income, and not one of them are a small business. Most of that 1/3rd of 2% are CEOs, executives and other high level management and taxing their personal income wouldn’t have an impact on the business at all. Taxing that 2% just the extra 3% that the Democrats wanted would generate a ton of revenue. Also the very rich aren’t in the 2%, because most of the very rich get their wealth and annual income from capital gains, which isn’t figured into the 2% calculations. A CEO making $150k a year but $36 million in stocks. That rich heiress making $22 million a year on stocks, not in the 2%. All those people making money off capital gains are paying far under what they should, and simply putting them under a progressive tax or higher flat tax would greatly improve the government’s take while not hurting the common people… and in fact making it more able to help the common people.
Jesus said to help the poor. He spent a lot of time talking about and helping the poor, and commanding us to take care of them. Yet the Republicans want to cut the safety nets for the poor. Look at history. For the last 30 years the income of the 2% has outpaced inflation, the wealth of the super rich has greatly exceeded the rate of inflation, the growth of Wall Street has outpaced inflation, corporate profits have outpaced inflation and are at 50 year highs. The middle class hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and the pay rate of the poor has fallen further and further from inflation (minimum wage is now $7.25, if it kept pace with inflation for the last 40 years it would be $10.55, and most important to note if it kept pace with executive pay since just 1990 it would be over $23/hr). Most Republicans I talk to seem to just shrug it off, “the rich get richer the poor get poorer”… as if just because that is the way it always has been it has to be accepted. Yes, the rich will get richer, but the poor don’t have to get poorer and they don’t have to suffer for it. The government can and should help them, the problem is too big for anyone else to do, and it should be everyone who helps, and those rich who benefit from the labor of the people they refuse to pay a living wage to should pay a little more…The fact that Christians object to this would have to drive God crazy. I can see Him at the Judgement Seat asking Christians why they voted to stop helping the poor. What will your answer be to God when he asks? That you didn’t want your tax money going to help the lazy (though most unemployed or under-employed people want good jobs that pay well so they don’t need any help)?
Small aside 2: A story I’ve told before of one of our local 2%rs (possibly a 1%r), one of the few 2%rs to actually have a business that would be impacted if we raise the tax on the 2%. In 2008 he sent a memo threatening his employees that if Obama won (he did) and implemented his tax plans (he didn’t) he would have to fire over 350 people. Come 2010 he finally follows through and fires 350+ people (to be fair most were temporary holiday help) and then tells the rest of the employees that due to costs the company can’t afford to give raises, but said the cost of living went down anyhow so it shouldn’t be too bad. He then went out and purchased a private jet and a second mansion in Glenmoor since already having the second biggest one there wasn’t enough. We also got a memo about how health care went up twenty some percent but they held the line at 5 or 7… 2011 250+ more fired (again a large number were holiday help, but the percentage slipped some) and still no raises, and another memo about the health costs like the year before (but right after the part how rates went up twenty some percent, goes on to say how they don’t agree with Obamacare as if it had anything to do with the cost increase) but they held the line again, and come election season he mentions that the Democrat governor presided over the time when the company lost 350 jobs, and we should vote Republican. 2012 450+ people fired (and lots of them were regular this time) and still no raises. The Republican response to over 1000 families losing their jobs, and another thousand or so people stuck at the same pay rate for 3 years (most at minimum) so that one man could have a jet and another mansion is that he needs more tax cuts and that those lives he ruined need to have their unemployment times cut, and we need to cut the help of those poor people who he refuses to pay a living wage to. He isn’t an exception to the rule, he is the rule. The Republican response, and therefor YOUR response by voting Republican, is that we should give him a tax break, and to pay for those cuts those thousands of families that he put out of work should have their unemployment befits cut, and further there should be big cuts to those people who have been paid the same, most at or near minimum for 3 years. And Jesus Wept.
Jesus said Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Yet the Republicans want to expand the costly wars, the wars that Bush got us into, are the primary reason that we have such a huge deficit. The Republicans complain about how much the Curiosity rover cost, but NASA’s annual budget is less than what the military spends on air conditioning in Afghanistan alone, and everything NASA has ever spent, even in 2012 dollars is about the same than what we’ve spent in Iraq since 2001 (come 2013 we’ll have spent more in Iraq than NASA ever got). Anyhow, we could easily cut our defense budget in half and still be outspending the next 6 nations combined, and we would be safer for it. First no nation is going to attack, so the only issue is terrorist, and they could be an issue no matter the budget, but we can make cut back on the reasons they hate us. We can stop telling them how to govern themselves, how to live their lives, what to do with their oil, and all that stuff. First pull out of Saudi Arabia, there is no reason for us to have troops there in their holy land. Then we tell all our contractors they have 1 year to start turning all oil industry to contractors from there or the government there, and in 3 years they have to be out as that is when we’ll be out and will no longer protect them. Then we leave the middle east, and unless that nation is a member of the UN in good standing and they ask us, then we don’t even have an embassy there. Increasing our presence there, and saber rattling will just increase their intensive to draft more and more people to their cause. By leaving them to their lives as they wish, then we open room for the majority of them, the more rational ones, to have a larger voice, and more and more we’ll see aggression against us go down.
This does not mean we cut ties with Israel. Our ties with them have never been better, contrary to what you may believe thanks to the misinformation campaign via Fox News (one should never watch Fox News, which won a lawsuit against it as they were under no obligation to report the truth* and their viewers are worse informed than people who watch no news at all*). But we do ask them to stop sending people into the contested areas. We also work with everyone to keep Jerusalem and open city for all regions and people. And we work with Israel and the UN to keep Iran from having nukes.
Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself and to judge not. Yet the Republican party is a party of hate and division. Beyond women’s pay… and Republican’s rebuff equal pay for equal work with women leave to take care of their families, but the US is behind most nations even after this is adjusted for, and the US is one of only 4 nations ( Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and the United States)* not to have paid parental leave guaranteed (the US is one of the only nations not to have a statutory minimum vacation time* as well, for example New Zealand you get 4 weeks off plus 11-12 paid holidays, and that is by law for everyone, not just government workers). The US gender gap is ranked 19th, and the Republicans seem to want to stop that rise… but this isn’t about gender issues. This is about homosexuality and the way the Republicans are fighting to stop them from having the same rights of everyone else. Who cares if it is a sin? It doesn’t hurt anyone but them if it is, and accepting gay marriage and rights doesn’t mean you accept homosexuality isn’t a sin. It simply lets them use the free will God gave them to live the life they want to live… Yes, your kids might see a gay couple and think it is okay to be gay, but if God is God, then he’ll tell them himself, and they’ll know you don’t think it acceptable to Him. But not wanting to discuss the issue with your kids is no reason to deny the gay people the same rights you have. It is a move of pure hate and discrimination. Remember the South used the Bible to justify slavery, and the bigots of fifty years ago used the Bible to justify keeping blacks from having equal rights and god forbid get in relationships with white people… The Bible also says a woman who is a virgin when raped and not engaged to anyone has to marry her rapist (he does have to pay 50 shekels of silver to the father for his loss and they can never divorce), if she is engaged and was in a city she has to be put to death as well as the man… and our soldiers should be marrying women where they defeat others… it also says the Earth does not move, yet few argue the Earth is the center of the Universe with the Sun going around us… so there are lots Biblical traditions we don’t use anymore. Again it doesn’t mean you have to accept it isn’t a sin, so is wearing clothes of mixed fabrics, so is smoking and drinking, but we don’t judge them for it as it isn’t hurting you. Let them live their lives, accept them as people, and love them. If Jesus was alive today in modern day America he would likely be hanging out in San Francisco hanging with the gays and the tax collectors and hippies telling them of God’s love, not judging them and casting them aside the way Republicans do.
Jesus said to heal the sick. Yet Republicans and most Christians oppose having their tax go to making sure every person has access to affordable health care through a single payer health insurance program (basically everyone would get an expanded version of Medicaid, but cost less than most American’s pay for health insurance now, and for most of them it would be better insurance, and for those who have no insurance it would be worlds better). The US ranks 37th* in health care despite the fact we spend the most per capita and more as a percentage of its GDP than any nation in the world. As of 2007 62.1% of those filing for personal bankruptcy was due in large part to high medical costs (a rate that has been going up). The number one contributor to high medical costs is that so many people who can’t afford care, so those costs are passed on. Sure nobody will be denied emergency care, but those expenses are passed on to everyone else who have insurance and/or can afford it. Making sure everyone has insurance would greatly decrease that expense, and in the end decrease the cost of providing medical care for everyone. The big Republican scare was “government death panels”, but private insurance companies regularly deny people, in fact in generally far more often that any of the government ran insurance programs… it was a false claim not shown by facts. The government wouldn’t deny necessary care. Almost every nation in the world provides at least health insurance for every citizen. Look at that list linked earlier of the nations by ranking of their health care systems. See how well those nations do and how their health care systems are ran. Like the US most have private practices for the doctors, but the insurance is paid for by everyone creating one large pool to negotiate prices, especially drug prices (just watch your spam for drugs from Canada and compare to US prices… that same Lipitor pill that Americans with insurance pays $5 per pill, costs a Canadian $3 and somebody in Briton only $2). How can anybody justify keeping millions of people from affordable health care? Keeping healthy shouldn’t cost anyone to go bankrupt. Some Republicans say people come here for health care, but that is false, what some people come here for is surgery and that isn’t health care. The US has very good surgical care in heart, some neurosurgery and many if not most optional surgical procedures, but nobody comes here for day to day health care. Health Care is going to see your doctor before you get sick, or if needed after you get sick without the weighing down the ER with a common cold as the Republicans would have the poor do. I could be dying of cancer right now, but as I can’t afford a doctor visit and the tests required to see if I have it, I can’t know. Should I just wait until it gets so bad I visit the ER and they can’t do anything but make my passing easier, then charge my family for the care after I die? Wouldn’t a more Jesus like solution be to provide health insurance to everyone, even if they are working at a place that doesn’t provide insurance, or doesn’t provide affordable or comprehensive enough insurance? How will you justify to Jesus when He asks you why you felt you didn’t want to pay to help your working poor neighbor have insurance so they could have had medical care like you had thanks to your job? They worked hard at their job, but their employer was unwilling to provide the same insurance, so they suffer and die. As a Republican you feel justified because you worked hard for that insurance, but do you really think Jesus will say “oh well, you worked hard… they did too, but I guess you had a better owner, so you pass, you didn’t need to help the sick, you helped yourself”?
Jesus said that when you pray, pray in secret and not in the open with great show as the Pharisees. Yet Christians regularly criticize Obama’s lack of open faith, and judge him not Christian enough, after all look how Bush behaved… yes, like the Pharisees…
Jesus said blessed are the meek, yet Republicans are the party of boasting. It is the party that loves Ayn Rand (odd as she hated Christians). Let’s look at what Ayn Rand stood for: “What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty”, “You love only those who deserve it”. “Nobody has ever given a reason why man should be his brothers’ keeper”… all contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Yet embraced by today’s Republican party, and when you vote Republican, you vote for that philosophy.
God appointed humankind to be a steward of the Earth. Republicans deny the scientifically accepted fact that the ongoing climate change is being driven in large part due to human activity. There are a couple options here. Either the scientists who’s jobs it is to study the climate are right and it is being driven by forces outside nature, or they are wrong and it is entirely natural. With each of those there are two possible outcomes. If they are right and we do nothing as we are largely doing now in the US, then the Earth will soon reach a tipping point and get stuck in a feedback loop that will cause massive damage to the Earth, a net negative result. If they are right and we do something, we could stop from reaching that tipping point, at a cost of a few dollars now, but we end up creating more jobs than are lost and we have a sustainable environment and life…a net positive result. If they are wrong and we do nothing, then things will just ride out like they are now, a net neutral result. If they are wrong and we do something, we at the very least clean the air and water, create more jobs than are lost and we have a sustainable environment and life… once again a net positive result for very little cost… and cost is what it is all about. The multi-billion dollar a year companies that are making money off polluting the Earth don’t want to have to spend a small fraction of their profits to cut that pollution down. Republican voters don’t like the idea of having to change to electric hybrids (and eventually electric cars) and other green changes. They don’t like the idea of losing coal and gas and want to ignore the dangers of what burning all those carbon based fuels are doing to the Earth. Germany, which is nearly Ohio like and worse in terms of weather, gets 3% of their electricity from solar, and by 2050 will be 25%, and they don’t have the sort of access to massive amounts of sun, wind and tidal power the US has. A modification to the electric grid would make it all possible, we could be free of fossil fuels in a couple to a few decades if we would just work to it. I love how Republicans say follow the money to who is saying it is real, but then try to distract you from following the money of the skeptics and deniers and seeing what their qualifications are… (I was a skeptic myself once, but then followed both paths back and saw the qualifications and saw exactly what was being said by whom and how the entire skeptic scene was built on nearly nothing, and nothing of worth at all). Just recklessly spilling carbon into the air, even if you don’t accept the scientific concuss that it is the leading driver of climate change, isn’t being a good steward of the Earth. What will you say when Jesus asks, “how did you take care of the Earth that my Father entrusted to your care?” Will you say, “I didn’t believe the science so I kept spilling the carbon, because to not do so would have meant change, and it would have cost some of the profits of the companies that funded my Republican friends”?
Small aside about weed here. We have a plant made by God. It is natural, has proven health benefits and is far safer for you than alcohol or tobacco, and neither party is ready to legalize it fully. However, the Democrats at least accept the scientific evidence that is has very valid medical benefits. It is cheaper and far more effective than most legal drugs that are man made. But why is it illegal and beer, which is far more dangerous isn’t? Why do we keep prohibition against it? If we legalized it and let go of the non-violent drug offenders, we would end the overcrowding of our prisons (we have by far more people in jail per-capita than any nation in the world), indeed we could likely start closing prisons down. Our police forces and other law enforcement agencies would suddenly have far more time on their hand to pursue and capture people who are out causing harm to others, real crimes, and we wouldn’t have to let that child rapist go as soon due to overcrowding as it would no longer be there. Billions upon billions would be saved at all levels of government, federal to local… the tax revenue wouldn’t be as big as the pro-legalization movement would like to say, but it would be there. It is safer than alcohol and tobacco, has proven health benefits, it is natural, existing DUI laws prevent people from driving while high on it (okay prevent isn’t the right word, as plenty of people drive drunk, but people high on marijuana tend to drive slower and with more “caution” then they do normally, that is one of detecting them, they drive like that old lady but think they are speeding, while a drunk person is wreckless and think they are being careful)… there isn’t really any reasons to keep the prohibition against it going, outside it helps large drug companies keep it from people… and cotton and clothing companies since hemp (the non-smokable version of weed) would also become legal and it is softer and more durable than cotton… and pesticide companies since 16% of all pesticides are used on cotton and hemp doesn’t need much at all… Anyhow it is hypocritical to keep one natural plant illegal while other things like alcohol and tobacco are legal… also, most countries that have legalized or at least decriminalized it, have seen steep drops of its use after the short upkick from the “yea! it’s legal” time to relaxing back to normal.
Okay, I’ll wrap up this rather lengthy rant (and congratulations if you made it this far as most Christians aren’t open minded and run the instant they are confronted with something they don’t want to hear/read/see) with Abortion since it is perhaps the one and only issue the Republican party may have that is even close to the teachings of Jesus. BUT. Here is a pop quiz. Tell me which woman do you think is more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy, the woman who is well educated and has access to affordable health care (and yes, I include access to affordable contraception here) or the woman who doesn’t have a good education and doesn’t have access to affordable health care? I already covered health care, and moving to a single payer health insurance program would go a long way to preventing unwanted pregnancies. The common objection there is people don’t want to help pay for her pills, the huss… but that is a huge judgement, and likely false. The educated lady is having just as much if not more sex. The issue isn’t sex, the issue is health care period. But to go further, Republicans always jump at the woman, but ignore the man’s role aside from saying he should man up and be a father to the children, but they say she is the slut, but ignore the guy. Many guys won’t date a girl for a long term if she isn’t willing to put out, so we get to the men causing the issue, not the women. It is sort of like the garden of Eden story, where people blame Eve, but Adam let the devil in the garden, he let him tempt her, he failed his job long before she got tempted. That isn’t to say it is just the guy to blame, it takes two to tango, but to put the burden on women is unfair, as a majority of the problem is with the men. Odd how when contraception was being added to health insurance rules, the Republicans complained, and Democrats said, okay, we can make it so that they only have to cover contraception if they also cover Viagra and stuff like that, but the Republicans didn’t want that, because it is a man’s right to have sex or something, but if a woman is having sex she’s a slut. So contraception and health care. Then we are left with education, another thing Republicans seem to hate paying for and want to see privatized so some rich people can get richer by providing education now….everything is about privatizing and making a profit… something Jesus clearly opposed… Further states that focus on abstinence education have far higher rates of teen and repeat teen pregnancy than those that have a more comprehensive health and sexual education program… to which Republicans point out there are other factors in those states as well, but while that is true, it is seen in other countries as well, moving to a more comprehensive health education and health services greatly decrease unwanted pregnancies. Anyhow, we need strong national standards for education on health, reading, math, science and history (those last two are in the hands of Texas for now for reasons that are too complex to go into for now)… Simply increasing education and health services will go much further to preventing unwanted pregnancy in the first place than abortion bans ever will, so once again the Republicans are on the wrong side.
I am not saying you have to vote Democrat, but I am saying you have to rethink voting Republican all the time just because of the false myth that they are the ones following Jesus, clearly the Republicans are not… the Democrats are much closer, but they have been corrupted by the giant corporations as well, but at least they are much closer to His teachings. Explore 3rd parties if you want. At the very least stop watching Fox News. If you must watch a major news outlet, stick with CNN, and try to listen to NPR and watch the BBC News as much as possible, you will become much better informed… just because Fox reports what you want to hear the way you want to hear it doesn’t make it right, it is wrong, dead wrong. The “liberal” media isn’t that, it is still corporate controlled and still promoting the corporate agenda, 90% of all the news available to you comes through 5 corporations. Learn critical thinking, cut out the heavily biased sources like Fox (and to some extent MSNBC, though they are making a slow swing to the middle and expected to swing more Fox like), stick with CNN to get the overall picture so long as you have improved your critical thinking skills any so called liberal bias won’t affect you, and as I noted, you’ll be better informed, though you really should add in NPR and BBC News to help flesh out the details of the news without slant. Then you’ll start to see that you’ve been sold a pack of lies in the ties of Christianity and the Republican party and as you move more and more from the far Republican right, you’ll see more and more people open to hearing the gospel of Jesus…
Also… Romans 13:1