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7/12/2006

TRUTH IN HUMOR?

Evangelicals decided in about 1976 that Jesus' earthly ministry was essentially political and that he had intended to take over the Roman government precinct by precinct, using "get out the vote" drives and putting voter guides in synagogues each November. He was thwarted by a run-in with Roman authorities that turned out badly, but 2,000 years later evangelicals wish to fulfill Christ's goal of gaining control of the modern secular superpower...

Jimmy Carter was the first "born again" president, but disappointed evangelicals by confessing his sins to a "skin" magazine (rather than to Rosalyn or to his accountability group) and quaffing Billy Beer. So the evangelical community threw it's support behind an army of divorced Republicans - Ronald Reagan, John McCain, Dick Armey, Phil Gramm, John Engler, Bob Dole, Pete Wilson, John Kasich, Susan Molinari, and Newt Gingrich - who at least understood that the Bible allows for divorce if your staff assistant is cuter (see Matthew 5:31). As a group, these politicians came to represent America's Moral Majority...

...Here is how evangelicals interpret Bible passages to arrive at their [political] positions:

"Remember the poor" (Galatians 2:10) really means "Remember how lazy the poor are and thank God you're not on welfare like them."

"My kingdom is not of this world." (Jesus in John 18:36) really means "But for now, make sure you keep control of the White House and Congress."

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Jesus in Matthew 22:21) really means "Only pay taxes on money you can't hide from the IRS."

"Thou shalt not kill" (God in Exodus 20:13) really means "Kill only those who deserve it - like death row inmates, abortion doctors, sworn enemies of the United States, and the French, when possible."

"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it" (Genesis 2:!5) really means "Don't worry about the environment because when Jesus comes back he'll destroy the earth anyway."

From A Guide To Evangelicals and Their Habitat.

True or not? Well if you're laughing it probably is to some extent.

40 Comments:

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

And there was hush over the crowd.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Mark said...

I laughed, I cried, I thought.

There is certainly some truth in there. I am trying to examine some of my current thoughts on enviromentalism, for example.

However, I find the quote of "Thou Shalt Not Murder" incomplete without mentioning the times God told the children of Israel to murder. I seem to recall Saul loosing his kingdom over not killing.

Certainly some food for thought, however.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

I'll do my best to break that silence. ;)

While some of these statements are accurate to some people, I think you (or at least Joel Kilpatrick) sell many, erm, "conservative Christians" (I guess that means me) short by confusing their political stances with their theological ones. An example of what I mean:

"Thou shalt not kill" (God in Exodus 20:13) really means "Kill only those who deserve it - like death row inmates, abortion doctors, sworn enemies of the United States, and the French, when possible."

God's command in Exodus has to be taken in context: it’s part of a Law that includes numerous death penalties, therefore it must be speaking to murder (personal vengeance/harm) rather than all taking of human life. How can a government (which is instituted by God), “not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:4) if it does not have the power to kill? Politically, then, the command “You shall not murder” has no bearing on government; it is a command to the individual, who must not commit murder (through malice or through negligence). The power (and right) to kill is corporate, governmental, and political—the act of murder is personal and theological.

As for another:

"Remember the poor" (Galatians 2:10) really means "Remember how lazy the poor are and thank God you're not on welfare like them."

Ah! But right-thinking Christians realize that it’s a shame the government needs welfare because it’s an indication that the church is not doing its job for the poor. Once again, the line between the political (institution of welfare) and theological (the Body’s responsibility to the poor) is being blurred.

And my personal favorite:

"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it" (Genesis 2:5) really means "Don't worry about the environment because when Jesus comes back he'll destroy the earth anyway."

Hmm...doesn’t take long to realize that we ain’t in the Garden anymore, Dorothy. But take a look at a command that actually is relevant to our fallen world: Genesis 1:28-30. Even though man’s responsibility is no longer to tend and care for a perfect Garden, he does have the responsibility to subdue the earth—not letting the environment rule over him. That’s my bottom line when I try to evaluate a stance on the environment: is man subduing the environment, or letting the environment control him?

Perhaps I’m defending myself from an attack that was only aimed at Newt Gingrich, but somehow I feel that Kilpatrick’s talking about me, too. Couldn’t let that one go.

7/12/2006  
Anonymous keith said...

Yes, a "hush." It took me a while to gather my thoughts.

Those who see no intersection between the political sphere and the spiritual/religious sphere, whether they are not religious themselves or they see politics as against their religion, are apt to make fun of evangelicals’ attempts to allow their faith to inform their political decisions. Therefore, the question of whether a Christian should or should not be involved politically seems to lie at the heart of this post. Many of the arguments against political involvement or activism by Christians try to impose early Christian culture on contemporary culture without considering the differences between ancient Roman government and the contemporary republic of the United States. Might these differences allow for some political involvement by Christians? Instead of decrying all activism as antibiblical or against the ways of Jesus and the early church, these critics, though they may choose uninvolvement personally, should leave some room to discuss the ways a Christian can be true to the faith while being active politically.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Well, put Keith. But I think the humor of this book and hopefully this excerpt is in the extremes of Evangelical culture and the hypocrisy that SOMETIMES invades Evangelical thinking. Evangelicals, for instance, often say they base their lives on scripture...but really? Always? Or just in cases that don't conflict with other self-interests? Hey, I know I'm guilty of that. And Evangelicals are also big on the "sanctity of marriage" and "family values" and are very vocal at times about these two priorities when discussing politics. Yet Rush Limbaugh is our sage? Divorced how may times? And Newt our representative? Again, sanctity of what? Family what? Hypocrisy.

The author of this book - I think I can say because I've read the whole thing now - is actually very much FOR involvement in politics. Don't confuse him with me or vice versa. He's for, for instance, government entitlements for immigrants - legal and illegal. So he's not against politics - just your politics. Which, ironically, is a little hypocritical as well is it not?

But he's funny. I don't recall reading something pointing out the extremes of CHristian liberalism and it's hypocrisy that was this funny. I'm sure it exists and I would be equally entertained by it but I haven't found it yet. I've found name calling rudeness passing itself off as wit but it's not this well written. You got any? Tell me where so we can be equally taunting of the other side...

; )

SG

7/12/2006  
Blogger Loren said...

I was watching fallwell a little while ago during the whole ten-comandments debacle, he was willing to send little ten-comandments out to anyone, he especially wanted it on every teacher, lawyer, doctor, influential person's wall...

I think the best way to promote them is when we(me)start to follow them...

7/12/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Off topic: Shaun, have you seen this?

Free Derek Webb - http://www.derekwebb.com/news/article/25

7/12/2006  
Blogger euphrony said...

Shaun,
I recall Johnny Carson, near the end of his Tonight Show career, talking about how some jokes, no matter how good, just won't fly. For example, Carson talked about how in his many years as a funnyman he was able to get a laugh out of an Abraham Lincoln joke exactly one time. People just did not find Lincoln jokes funny. That may be the case here. Also, some people might find this a little mean-spirited; although you have made clear that you did not intend to convey such a perception.

The other possible explanation for the prolonged hush is that we were all standing back for fear that the impending lighting strike would surge over the internet and fry our computers ;)

As to the actions skewered by Kilpatric, I have long thought the hypocrisy to be self evident. However, what Christian can stand up and say they have never acted hypocritically?

7/12/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we just need to stop judging one another regardless of political parties, religious affiliations, race, etc. I didn't find any humor in it at all.

7/12/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun, if you want, I can easily whip up that similar list for the many fallacies of the Christian Left.

I could even similarly twist their arguments, use illogic, falsify (Moral Majority says killing abortion docs is okay? Wha-- ?) and then mock the argument I just twisted that they never made. I'd do it, but I'd feel dang guilty, and kinda like the bell might ring and I'd need to go back to my sophomore locker.

So I'll pass.

A TERRIFICALLY insightful book to read: "The Naked Public Square" by Richard John Neuhaus. Chronicles the rise of the M.M. and the tension of American democracy and religion. (It was written 25 years ago, when the M.M. actually still mattered to people who weren't trying to lampoon non-liberal Christians.)

It's on a different level. MUCH different. (It's a great read, though the "naked" part of the title makes it sound a bit more exciting than it is...)

Probably sounding snarkier than I mean to because I'm both hurried and a doof so sorry about that,
Brant

7/12/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Anonymous,
Nobody's judging anyone. I encourage everyone reading to realize that we can disagree and argue until the sun goes down without judging anyone. Please stop playing the "stop judging" card when the discussion gets dangerous. Let's all take a step out of our comfort zones and not be afraid to question anything.

7/12/2006  
Anonymous Nickie said...

This really made me laugh, but it's sad that this can be all too true.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Brody Harper said...

i think we should stop judging people who are judging people for judging people, and start judging something else.

i think it's funny. i have a bad sense of humor though.

7/12/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

No matter how good a comment is, it will be deleted if it's posted by "Anonymous."

If you'd like to participate in the dialogue here you have to put your name - or A name - on your comments.


Sorry. The last Anonymous comment - the one I just trashed - was actually very good. If you'd like to post it again with your name attached please do. I hope you will.

SG

7/12/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Brant, I think you're the wittiest writer in the blogosphere so you have my attention when you critique someone else's writings. But, I sincerely don't see how this post is any different in intent, content, intelligence and hilarity than much of what I like about your blog. Seriously.

The man has an agenda. Well, don't we all? The man also paints in broad generalities. Kinda like the way you mocked the entire emergent church in your fake news story about Solomon speaking to an emergent church convention? Hi, Pot. Meet Kettle.

And he didn't say the MM killed abortion doctors. He said some evangelicals kill abortion doctors - actually he left out "some" but I interjected it as I read I guess since I am an evangelical but as of tonight have not killed a single abortion doctor...I swear.

And I don't think any of his "facts" are wrong. Well, no more wrong than any major newspaper or news cast these days.

But to be fair to myself - a conservative (a conservative of an odd color maybe but still a conservative) - and fair to you other conservatives out there I did put links in this post to websites containing actual facts about the Moral Majority and rebuttal to the whole divorce hypocrisy argument. I was trying to make facts available to my readers, to be even handed, while admitting this guy - left or not - is funny to me. And I don't think he's mean.

I still think this is funny and true enough in parts to ponder. It's good to look in a mirror once in a while, even if it's a bit warped.

Glad some of you agree. Don't tell the others but you're my favorites. Mom and I have always liked you best. We're sending everyone else off to a boarding school run by hairy-faced nuns.

Please, if you love hairy-faced nuns or are one, no comments telling me not to judge or be mean.

7/12/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the anonymous (although there is one undeleted, unidentified anonymous above ;) )

My post went something like this:

"And Evangelicals are also big on the "sanctity of marriage" and "family values" and are very vocal at times about these two priorities when discussing politics. Yet Rush Limbaugh is our sage? Divorced how may times? And Newt our representative? Again, sanctity of what? Family what? Hypocrisy."

I believe someone can legitimately publicly revere certain societal (Biblical) values and have a desire for these to remain dominant in our culture while being a complete and utter failure at carrying these out in their own lives (Limbaugh, Gingrich, Falwell). Of course it damages their credibility - and it should to some extent - but it doesn't negate everything else they espouse that's good or noble.

If we seek perfection from our standard-bearers, moral or political, we will be disappointed every time. That doesn't mean we should excuse bad behavior, but maybe we should be more discerning about a public figure's life and message as a whole.

Chad

7/12/2006  
Blogger euphrony said...

Not the hairy-faced nuns! Please, anything but hairy-faced nuns! I can take the rapping of the knuckles, even the rare floating or flying nun, but not the hairy-faced ones.

Anyway, pondering is one of the reasons I've been hanging around here. I've said it before, but being comfortable in one's beliefs, like being comfortable in anything, can too easily lead to complacency and stagnation of faith. We need challenges, we need the trials that God sends, and by all means we must question God - just stick around to hear His answer before running off in a snit. Job got a few questions answered, and was mighty appreciative.

And, I think that God has well demonstrated His sense of humor throughout scripture. He especially seems to love the pun.

7/13/2006  
Anonymous the hairy-faced nun said...

I find your humor appalling young man.


Sorry, couldn't resist.

Actually, your humor, and insights that you share, allows me up to reconsider some of my viewpoints. Please continue.

shari brown

7/13/2006  
Anonymous ann said...

i think truth is what makes humor humor...it's not funny if it's not true, usually. that's why people like seinfeld are so funny. don't you just say "That's so TRUE!!" Or "That guy lives in my building!!" when you watch a good comedian? Like, Kevin James, when he shows what it's like to try to unlock the car door for his girlfriend, and she keeps lifting up on the handle saying, "now? Now? How bout now? Now?" And he also does a wedgie shuffle...the way somebody walks when they try to get the wedgie out of their butt subtly, without using their hands....and he can do a perfect impression of a girl choosing a Halmark card. It's sooo funny, because it's so real. Even Tommy Boy...that's really what a rugby party is like...We're gonna SHOW this world a thing or two. We're gonna....thunk. right into the coffee table. (not me, of course, but I know that guy). By the way, wouldn't Helen, the chicken wing waitress, be a good hair faced nun?

Back to your blog now. Sorry. Of course, in this case, this is funny because it's true, but it's so sad that it's true. Why don't we care about offending God??? Why are we so rebellious, and so daggone spoiled? Why can't we just DO what God has asked us to do? Isn't He sooooo merciful and wonderful and so full of grace and beauty and perfect in every way (not even 'practically perfect in every way')?? What a bunch of spoiled brats, this american church!!! Where do we get the gall to do this crap? Why do we not care that we are sinning against the almighty God? Why do we not mind to offend Him? I know I already said that. But why? And why do we let our brothers and sisters in Christ just go on thinking that it's okay to love a little God here and there, and pretend his justice and wrath and COMPASSION don't exist? Isn't it so beautiful and perfect that our God is merciful and compassionate toward those who are sick and hurting, and shouldn't we be filled with joy that He has allowed us to be his hands and feet to those people? We are missing SO much blessing by just shrugging off the Word of God!! How full and how perfectly wonderful would our lives be if we even considered obedience to God, and even considered maybe one day doing something that might cause us to be persecuted! We would never even think to say something that might make our non-middle America non-Christian friend say, "Hey, that's not nice." How good would it feel to stand on the Word of God? How good would it feel to give to God what is God's? To not hate our brothers (thus killing them, in our hearts)? How good would it feel to care for Eden? It would hurt so much to actually live the Word of God, but it would be soo BEAUTIFUL! I guess, I mean, I haven't tried it.

ha ha ha. this is funny.

(have you read The Heavenly Man? it's good.)

7/13/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/13/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

I appreciated it and thought it was funny, too, Shaun—just in case that didn't come across in my first comment.

7/13/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun. Ecc 2:2-3

The author makes too many generalizations to give any credence to his position. Also, taking a superior, "I have the moral high ground so I can make fun of you" in a discussion is a poor tactic. One might have a valid point to make, but if one takes a tone that is demeaning of your beliefs (but finds it humorous), how is one going to convince you of one's position being anywhere near valid? Also if one speaks words of truth but is in your face yelling them, likewise you will not hear the words, just hear the sounds and see a slobbering face in yours. "(James 3:5) Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" Words mean things, choose them wisely. What some find humorous, some find offensive. Especially when dealing with people's religious beliefs. Thank goodness he didn't make disparaging remarks about Muslims or they would be calling for his head.

Taking Bible passages and using them incorrectly or to harm another's belief is another thing that is a very poor tactic: "Remember the poor" (Galatians 2:10) really means "Remember how lazy the poor are and thank God you're not on welfare like them." I could counter with "(Ecclesiastes 7:6:) Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless." See? Sniping at each other because of secular beliefs and bringing that into our faith is also poor judgement. We should be of one mind. "(Romans 15:6:) That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

As far as his pointing out the sins of the moral majority (their divorces), I think the previous comment about judging is approriate. We are to forgive as Jesus forgave us. Be careful when pointing out someone else's sins. I am the first one to admit that I am a sinner. I have been divorced myself. I have fallen short of the glory of God and deserve the death and punishment that awaits me. But thankfully I worship a God that gave me a way out. Jesus. Yes, question everything, but do it from a biblical standpoint. Our answers come from the Bible (God). It's all there, in between all the begatting, smiting, wailing and gnashing of teeth and all.... The overall message is one of love. I read none of that from the author, just sniping of others. Christianity would never have flourished if Paul and company went around making fun of the Jews they were trying to speak to. So, why should we drive ANOTHER secular wedge into our own beliefs?

Christianity as a whole needs to return to a simple message of love and repentance (before it's too late). Of doing for others and taking care of our own household before pointing an accusing finger. IMHO

7/13/2006  
Blogger Amy said...

Ann--
I'm reading the Heavenly Man right now...it's one amazing book.

I think things like this are funny, but I'm not sure how effective they are towards change. still, that book (Field Guide) is a good read.

7/13/2006  
Blogger Mark said...

Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

According to his own logic of taking Bible verses out of context, conservatives are wise and liberals are fools.

Case closed. :)

7/13/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Nice. Very nice.

Oh, you're going to hell for it, don't get me wrong, but still very nicely done.

7/13/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

Mark:
Haaa good one!

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's"
I remember a VERY wise pastor (and a very funny man!)once telling me this, then adding: "But when Caesar gives you a tax break take it!"

7/13/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Maxwedge said: The author makes too many generalizations to give any credence to his position.

Of course he makes generalizations, it's satire.

7/13/2006  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks. I wish I could take credit for it, but my dad is the one who pointed it out to me.

Maybe since I was doing it with tongue in cheek, I will only have to go to Purgatory for it?

*Ducking and running.*

7/13/2006  
Blogger chris said...

Governments are said not to bear the sword in vain as was quoted correctly. However, is this a command or an observation? Keep it in context. Does this mean the government of China is "right" when they kill, torture and imprison Christians? Are governments a collective group of non-persons or are governments a collective group of real people? Governments are people, not buildings or non-person entities... just as churches are people and not buildings. To compartmentalize yourself as a separate political and theological being is unnatural and you may well be diagnosed as bipolar by some psychiatrists.

Humor is a great way of teaching and especially exposing hypocrisy. Not many can do it well. It is a talent like any other talent. When used for good, it will bear fruit as God intends with or without our approval... or laughter... or tears for that matter.
http://noeo.wordpress.com

7/13/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

I realize it is satire Steven, but what's his point? Other than to make fun of evangelicals? I have a sense of humor, but why make fun of something in a way that might be regarded as particurlarly demeaning or cruel? Why not make fun of Jews, blacks, left-handed albino midget amputees? We should use words that edify, not tear down. I admit I haven't read the book, but judging from this:

"Evangelicals decided in about 1976 that Jesus' earthly ministry was essentially political and that he had intended to take over the Roman government precinct by precinct, using "get out the vote" drives and putting voter guides in synagogues each November. He was thwarted by a run-in with Roman authorities that turned out badly, but 2,000 years later evangelicals wish to fulfill Christ's goal of gaining control of the modern secular superpower..."

I doubt I will.

This totally diminishes Christs message of redemption for our sins through his death and resurrection. Is it ok to mock the message of Christ?

7/13/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Maxwedge, THAT'S HIS EXACTLY...i think. The actions of evangelicals - and I think he is one - in his opinion mock Jesus by emphasizing certain aspects of his teaching that are certainly worthy of emphasis (personal salvation, protection of human life when it's an infant) and no emphasizing at all or twisting other aspects of Jesus' teaching (responsibility to the poor, protection of human life even if an enemy's). He's pointing out the mockery as a fellow evangelical.

I'm scared to make the comparison but this style - maybe not this example - but this style of communication could be compared to Jesus' own when he seemingly sarcastically asked a woman if she really expected the Bread of Life to be handed out to a dog like her. SHe was treated like a dog by the religious Jews listening - His own disciples among them. He sarcastically treated her as they did - exaggerated their actions to the point of humor and showed them in the process just how ridiculous their judgment on her was less than them really was.

Of course that's one translation of the passage and there are others.

But that's what I see this book as doing. It's done that for me. It lambasts CHristian music for a paragraph and - dang it - if I didn't laugh and admit the man was right. Didn't hurt me any. He took what CCM is and exaggerated the attitude of it's fans artists regarding "Sacred" music and provoked me to think - not to close his book and storm off in a huff.

Granted, this sort of communication isn't for everyone but for some of us, as off as it may sound, this sort of thing DOES build up. Building up doesn't mean to make happy. Paul builds up the Corinthians but outside of the first two chapters you'll be hard pressed to find a "kind" word in his first letter to them. IIn fact, there's quite a lot of sarcasm.

No doubt this hit some of us wrong. My bad for posting it. It made me laugh and think. Wish it did that for everyone. No harm intended.

7/13/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

This totally diminishes Christs message of redemption for our sins through his death and resurrection. Is it ok to mock the message of Christ?.

Shaun, I agree 100% that this is exactly Joel Kilpatrick's point. Today's version of christianity espoused by much of the 'religious right' is a mockery of the message of Christ. So what do we do about it? Different people respond different ways, but Kilpatrick's book was helpful for me not to become bitter about it but to look at my own beliefs and actions and evaluate everything by Scripture.

7/14/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

Hmmm.... I'll have to digest that a bit. Maybe I was put off more by his style. The excerpts may not have done the book any justice. I tend to bristle when I hear scripture being quoted to suit a political situation. I'll admit that was most likely his point (that evangelicals do this often)... and I missed it. I can definintely see that! It bothers me to no end when politicians and pundits (and I mean BOTH sides!) use scripture to beat someone over the head with.

7/14/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

"Today's version of christianity espoused by much of the 'religious right' is a mockery of the message of Christ."

Is there a religious left? Why is it the term "religious right" is always associated with nefarious political motives?

I don't wish to drag this into a political discussion, but my problem with the whole thing is that our politics and our faith are not the same! One can be influenced by the other, but be careful which is pulling the cart! Both sides seem to say "my Jesus can beat up your Jesus"... Both sides will trot out a "cardboard Jesus" to prop up when necessary. Otherwise he stays in the closet. I think someone's talents could be better spent writing more about the real Jesus than seemingly giving ammunition to those that really do mock Christianity. But again, I haven't read the book!

Myself, I don't trust any politician!

7/14/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I agree that while politics can (and should) be influenced by their faith, they are not one and the same. I posted a link on my blog a while back about a NYT article that talks about the jesus of the republicans and the jesus of the democrats, and how neither are the same as the Jesus of the Bible.

And again, he is not writing to 'give ammunition to those that...mock christianity', he is writing as someone who grew up in evangelical circles but now describes himself as a Christian but not an evangelical, and, instead of growing bitter about it, describes the movement with humor.

7/14/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Would anyone consider Sojourners/Jim Wallace the religious left?

7/14/2006  
Anonymous maxwedge said...

After reaing this quote from a Wallis' 'Hammer' article:

"If America can resist its hammer habit with Iran, the world may be spared a nuclearized Iran and the disastrous consequences of another misguided military confrontation. The clear witness of America’s religious community and our wisest military and foreign policy leaders may be essential to prevent those twin disasters."

And the "Words not War" article:

"The U.S. and other nuclear weapons states would be in a stronger position to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons if they took the necessary steps toward eliminating their own nuclear arsenals"


Oh yes! Waaaay left! I think he might mean well, but a naieve view that if "we play nice they will play nice" will only encourage war. Remember Neville Chamberlain? What would the world have been like if instead of getting the non agression treaty with Hitler, the Brits would've popped a cap in him? That kind of worldview encourages tyrants. People who view kindness as weakness are only emboldened.

All the good will in the world will not bring the mental case Iranians into line with the rest of humanity. I scratch my head when I hear the blame being laid at the feet of America so often. Read about Iran's links with Hezbollah, Al Queda, N Korea, training Chechyan terrorists, and on and on. And the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's desire to hasten the return of the 12th Imam. But GW, Rumsfeld and Cheney are the evil ones? Hmmmmm??????

From the Telegraph, a UK newspaper (a left leaning one at that), about the Imam's beliefs about the 12th Imam as given in a speech to the United Nations:

"Its most remarkable manifestation came with Mr Ahmadinejad's international debut, his speech to the United Nations.
World leaders had expected a conciliatory proposal to defuse the nuclear crisis after Teheran had restarted another part of its nuclear programme in August.
Instead, they heard the president speak in apocalyptic terms of Iran struggling against an evil West that sought to promote "state terrorism", impose "the logic of the dark ages" and divide the world into "light and dark countries".
The speech ended with the messianic appeal to God to "hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace".

7/14/2006  
Blogger Matthew Smith said...

I would consider Wallis/Sojourners the Religious Left.

7/16/2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Yes, I was going to come up with Sojourners as the answer to maxwedge's question as to the existence of a religious left.

7/16/2006  

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