Jesus and Conservative Republicans

March 13, 2014

Paul Ryan is a lot like many other Republicans insofar as he likes to think of himself as a conservative whose “Christian” values guide his policy. His recent speech at CPAC used coded words and Christian symbols to communicate his political pitch.

For example, he told his fellow Christian conservatives that the left was making a mistake by advocating programs to feed the poor (such as school lunches), because the poor don’t want full stomachs, they want “a life of dignity – of self-determination.” He suggested that feeding poor children hot lunches fills their stomach but empties their souls. I suggest that Paul Ryan has never been poor or hungry … or Christian. 

In fact Ryan isn’t even a very good Catholic boy either. His own church teaches that the economy must serve people, not the other way around … protect the rights of workers to organize and join unions and to have fair wages. You know, the exact opposite of what Ryan stands for. 

In fact, I challenge any person who claims to be a “Christian” and a “Conservative Republican” to justify the following.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said that the Father would welcome those who fed the hungry… took care of the sick, welcomed the stranger and visited the imprisoned. He hardly advocated turning his back on those in need and saying “you’re on your own”.  

Right wing nuts claim that our country is a “Christian Nation” and that the government should reflect Christian values, yet they want to eliminate programs that feed the poor, deny medical benefits, deport immigrants and imprison people (well, mostly black men anyway).

I suppose they will answer with the Left’s support of abortion rights and gay marriage, but the Left really doesn’t claim any unique political connection to God. 

Maybe Ryan and his religious right would do well to remember what Jesus said about Pharisees.

 

 

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Deficits

February 6, 2014

The White House is trumpeting news that the U.S. deficit is at the lowest level since President Obama took office. Wall Street, diverted by international crises, has been unimpressed (as are Conservatives). What is on the surface good news, really isn’t. The deficit has been reduced and that means the financial markets will improve. This will make a lot of money for a few people, but I wonder if it is worth it. The deficit reduction has been carried on the backs of people who could least afford it: the poor and the middle class. The nougat of economic and political gains hardly seems worth the suffering of the people who paid for it. 

There are alternatives to reducing the deficit that would spare the most vulnerable Americans. For example, raising the minimum wage would help, a very modest tax hike for the upper 2% of income earners would virtually eliminate the deficit in the short run. Maybe the real deficit is one of conscience. With so many Americans unemployed, so many working full time for poverty level wages, and for so many other Americans struggling to survive … how can we continue to expect them to take most of the pain in the cuts in government spending?

It bothers me. Doesn’t it bother you?