The Difficulty of Speaking Truth in Love in Politics

I was going to respond to Linda’s many comments about my post yesterday with my own comments but found that I had too much to say. And I believe that Linda has provided me with the opportunity to further delve into some of the issues I discussed in yesterday’s post.

Let me first say that while I would disagree with Linda’s assessement of the condition of politics and Christianity in America, nevertheless, I do not question Linda’s motives. Linda is representative of a small vocal minority that believes they are under attack. I used to feel the same way.

And I used to make the same mistakes that Linda makes in her comments. There is a verse in the Bible that talks of “speaking the truth in love”. As with many things in the Bible, it isn’t always easy to do the right thing. Unfortunately many feel that it is better to err on one side than another. I used to believe that since I couldn’t figure out how to “speak the truth in love”, that I would be better off erring on the side of truth. Of course I ignored the fact that I was intentionally erring.

One of my best friends from college recently reminded me of how I erred on “speaking the truth in love” when I made a girl cry in school during a debate on abortion. And in my desire to “speak the truth”, not only did I not show love but I ignored another truth. I ignored the truth that other people, in fact all people, are made in the image of God and should be afforded tremendous respect and graciousness.

Linda said:

“That is where the scriptures get bent out of shape whne those with political ambitions try to be all things to all people. No offense, Will, but I do see that in your writing. And that is why you are so well received by so many on this blog. You show me in the KJV of the Holy Bible where Jesus altered the scriptures to appease those whom he preached to. I commend you for writing a history of religion in the South, but it is not the place of a politican to change anything which the Lord commands.”

This comment from Linda pretty well illustrates this overarching desire to speak the truth while ignoring love and ironically isn’t even true. I think this also illustrates the primary bone of contention that many people have with Christians as it relates to politics. It is this co-mingling of scripture with particular political stances.

Once again, I can understand this point of view because I used to hold it. I used to believe that almost the entire plaform of the Republican party was rooted in the Bible. Sounds absurd I know. I used to believe that free-market capitalism was absolute truth. While I still believe capitalism to be the best way to help the poor, I don’t hold it as absolute truth anymore.

The interesting thing is that there are few political issues that are so cut and dry as to say with absolute certainty what the correct position is. There are some Christians who would say that it is an absolute truth that prayer should be allowed in schools or that there should be public displays of the Ten Commandments. But it isn’t. To the contrary, the Bible clearly states that Christian should expect to be persecuted. While these aren’t neccessarily example of persecution, I can’t see any justification in the Bible to say that prayer in school is an absolute right. To the contrary, the Bible speaks little if any of “rights”.

Once again, the errors that some Christians make on these issues are born out of good intention. any Christians speak much about the absolute truth of Christianity. And they should. But this focus on “absolute truth” bleeds into other areas that aren’t so absolute. Should Christians help the poor and oppressed? Absolutely. It is commanded in the Bible. But how do we do it? Private charity or through government programs. That is the million dollar question that is worth considering. Of course arguing over the means doesn’t excuse inaction.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I hope and pray that Christians in the public eye will start to show more humility. It is one thing to say that there is absolute truth. It is an entirely different thing to say that one has a complete grasp on what that absolute truth is.

I also hope and pray that politicians in Georgia and throughout the country who claim Christianity would stop using demogoguery and fear to advance their careers. Laws that enable people to say “Merry Christmas” or that allow the public display of the Ten Commandments do little if anything to advance the cause of Christ.

I apologize for the overly religious nature of this discussion but felt that it would be helpful to some to see an insider’s perspective. By and large, Christians in America are not trying to form a theocracy and take over. This ridiculous assertion needs to be defeated once and for all. Christians ARE grappling with how to live out their faith in a changing world that is challenging for all people regardless of belief.

119 comments

  1. LINDA says:

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6

    This is the only truth that I need to relate to. Those that have heard the good news and do not heed it, will not be saved. You can say that others are born in God’s image all you want, but that will not afford anyone salvation.

  2. LINDA says:

    Homosexuality is a sin, and just because society changes, that has not been changed in the scriptures.

    Abortion is murder, and the Ten Commandments clearly says “thou shalt not kill.”

    You cannot allow society to define Christianity, and Christians should never be persecuted in the United States. And I will fight it until the bitter end! Saying Merry Christmas and handing out Bibles is protected by the constitution, and if it takes a special amendment to clarify that then so it should be done.

  3. LINDA says:

    It is only a matter of time before the entire country breaks apart, as you know the Bible says that a divided house will fall.

    We are more divided than ever in the United States, and moving away from God has caused our downfall. You cannot alter the Bible, and expect for everything to fall into place. Read Pat Robertson’s novel “The End of the Age.” It is so much in sync with what is going on today.

  4. LINDA says:

    Jesus was crucified by politicians! And there is no love in politics, and what a farce that idea is. It is all about power, corruption, and money which could not be further from the teachings of Christ. And government should not be involved in faith based organizations either because that is corrupt, too. The government does not need to take anyone’s money and redistribute it. That is what churches and private charities exist for.

  5. LINDA says:

    We have numerous politicians in Georgia that claim to be Christians, but yet greedily exploit poor people by passing SPLOSTS in just about every county. It is a regressive tax that hits the poor and small businesses the most. And Governor Perdue, when he was a Democrat was instrumental in getting SPLOSTS pushed through in Houston County and all counties. This is affirmation, that no that there is no love in politicas because whatever can be done to increase the tax base is done regardless of whom it harms.

    Gambling is illegal in Georgia, unless of course you want to play the lottery. False hope is promoted with ridiculous commercials of the GA Lottery Commission leading the poor to spend money that should be spent elsewhere in hopes of becoming rich. So with all of this so-called religion in Georgia, it is actually a crying shame of what the politicians have done to increase their wealth! That is the real meat of the problem in corrupt Georgia politics, not bans on gay marriage (which I do agree with), but I am saying the real issue is class warfare that is played all of the time, and spending that is out of control.

  6. LINDA says:

    We have two major players running for Governor both arguing over who can best take money from one group of people and redistribute to another group of people. Is this love of people that is taking place or love of power.

    Oh let us give free health care to all children. Oh let us give all people over 65 no income tax in Georgia. Oh let us send out cards to teachers for school supplies. Bingo, buy the teachers, buy the senior citiizens. But does this money come from some new tree that grows at the Governor’s mansion that will not grow in my yard? Who is going to pay for this love that is springing forth from Perdue’s lips. What is the difference in the Republican candidate and the Democrat Candidate? Zero difference. Because, you do not promote love by giving away other people’s money!

    What a joke, religion is in Georgia and all states. It is the most abused form of government, so we agee on that Will. But you do not change the Bible to mold to society.

  7. Demonbeck says:

    Thank you Linda for demonstrating why I despise discussing religious-based political views.

    People just talk and don’t care if anyone is listening.

  8. LINDA says:

    We have nearly 10% of the population in Georgia on the health care system of the state. At the same time, I know taxpayers that do not have health care. Is this right, I ask you? No, it is not. And politicians that can afford to buy their own health care in Georgia should not be on the state health care plan, but they are! Is this love of people or love of self, and wanting to keep your own money in the bank or in Perdue’s case in a special tax deferral. Look how many school lunches that $100k tax deferral could have paid for is what I say to Governor Perdue. And the only reason we have a surplus right now in the budget is because medicaid payments have slowed down and roadways are not being adequately maintained throughout the state. Hey, I am hard on all politicians. Just because I am a conservative does not mean I will give false politicians a free pass. I am disgusted with the governor and many Republicans feel like I do, but what choice do we have. The cowardly party hard liners cannot see the forest for the trees, and would promote Jessie James if that was their guy.

    This country is ready for the anti-Christ to take over and lead the world because most are blind to the truth.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    I think there needs to be a limit of the number of consecutive posts that someone can post before they get cut-off. If no one responds after 3 consecutive posts, you cannot post again unless someone else posts.

  10. LINDA says:

    Well Demonbeck, what politics do you ascribe to? I assume it is that which I just described, which is redistributing other people’s money. I have pretty well laid out a thesis as to the fact that there is zero religion in Georgia politics. Unless you call the love of power, control and money a religion.

  11. Will Hinton says:

    Linda: is there some reason you choose not to contribute to the conversation here? I’m not sure why you insist on commenting here when it appears that you aren’t interested in what anyone else has to say. Not only do you speak without love, but you aren’t even speaking the truth.

  12. Fogle says:

    “And Linda duth sayeth ‘This country is ready for the anti-Christ to take over and lead the world because most are blind to the truth.’ And there was much rejoicing.” – Linda 12:6

    Thank you Linda for the religious-zealot-based humor. You have once again proved that arguing religion is utterly futile nonsense.

    Either do it or don’t.

    Moving on…

  13. buzzbrockway says:

    Will,

    Christians do need to be humble and speak the truth in love. Bashing people upside the head with a 50 pound Bible won’t win people over to a Christian viewpoint.

    Politics is about winning in the arena of ideas. Christians should look to convince people that their ideas are correct through solid, logical positions – not demagoguery.

  14. LINDA says:

    Whatever, Bill. You make the rules, you interpret the rules, you ridicule at will! You are the perfect person! Gee, I wish I were as perfect as you think that you are.

  15. LINDA says:

    Well Will, you quote the scriptures of the truth not your interpretation of the truth. I am only using scriptures, and there is no truth in politics. Can you not see that?

  16. LINDA says:

    Right on Buzz,

    There have been Chrisitan in politics for years now, but has that changed the way that business is done in the halls of government? No That is the truth that exist in politics and the truth that exists in Christianity is completely different. I am adding to the debate, by saying that I disagree about love in politics. The only reason that a person would try to say that they promote love in politics is to get elected and that is about power for self. It is not about others, it is about gee if I do this then I can get elected by those that do not believe as I do, but I can pretend to love them and lead them into believing that yes you can be saved because you are children of God and you can practice at the altar of the church of what’s happening now.

  17. Rusty says:

    Will,
    I believe you when you say you’re not seeking a theocracy. I’d probably even believe that many or even most Christians aren’t seeking a theocracy. But there is a signifigant element with a very loud voice and influence to peddle (see: some of Sen. Brownback’s statements) that gives all outward appearances that it is. Those people scare me, and I hope reasonable Christians will cast them out.

  18. LINDA says:

    And you are correct Buzz, if honesty were adhered to in politics then religion would never be discussed in the political arena. It should be that government exist of the people and for the people not the other way around. “Government is best that governs leaast.” Right?

    And government does not need to control everyone’s lives, and the only reason that I am bothering posting at all is to say that if you want to appease the masses to get elected, then leave Christianity out of your platform. Run on reducing the size of government, eliminating eminent domain against private property and do not allow liberals to change the laws.

  19. rugby_fan says:

    “Saying Merry Christmas…if it takes a special amendment to clarify that then so it should be done.”

    Perhaps you have not heard of the first ammendment?

  20. rugby_fan says:

    “moving away from God has caused our downfall.”

    LINDA, care to elaborate on when this happened, what started it, etc?

    If you can’t give examples I will ignore everything else you say…It shall be difficult given your inflamatory nature, but an attempt will be made.

  21. Demonbeck says:

    “LINDA // Sep 26th 2006 at 10:51 am

    Whatever, Bill. You make the rules, you interpret the rules, you ridicule at will! You are the perfect person! Gee, I wish I were as perfect as you think that you are. ”

    Yeah Bill, what kind of Christian do you think you are?

  22. Fogle says:

    These religious debates are always a matter of semantics. I am shocked by the pretentiousness of some people who would reference a piece of text – the Bible – that has existed for two millennia and has been translated from Hebrew to Latin to Middle English to modern English and everywhere in between. You think that maybe, somewhere along the way, there might have been room for a semantic screw up? Ever play “telephone?

  23. Fogle says:

    Don’t get me wrong… I consider myself a Christian… but I’ll be damned if I’m going to beat someone over the head with 60-plus books of archaic text.

    It’s futile; nobody is going to up-and-convert to Christianity and all you will end up doing is pissing them off for no reason.

  24. Demonbeck says:

    It is pointless to argue with anyone claiming to take the “Christian” (or any other religion’s) viewpoint because their arguments are based on nothing but principle. You should simply agree to agree or disagree.

  25. RandyMiller says:

    Thanks for that posting Fogle. Goldwater was a great american statesman who cherished personal liberties and freedoms; ideals the republican party was founded upon. While people like Linda certainly have the right to their beliefs, all I can say is I’m very thankful I’m an Episcopalian!

  26. pvsys says:

    Will,

    In your past couple of posts, much of your thinking is correct in the sense that you do correctly point out some of the hypocrisy and misplaced motives of the Christian Right. However, I think that your reaction is an overreaction and I think that the long term end result of your strategy is dangerous.

    But first, let me mention that I consider myself to be a part of the Christian Right… to a large degree. I do NOT consider myself a Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, Gary Bauer type… though I do admire these to some degree and most of the “dirt” on them is hype and lies… but sometimes they do go a bit too far.

    But I proudly consider myself to be a Jack Kemp, James Dobson, Joseph Farrah, David Limbaugh type of Christian Right Republican.

    (the difference probably being a matter of degrees and various subtleties)

    I was also very shocked and very disappointed by the Harriet Myers support from the Christian Right. In fact, support of Harriet Myers is probably a good “litmus test” for who in the Christian right is smart and insightful who is just mindlessly using politics to accomplish their religious and moral goals.

    Having said all of this, I still think you’ve gone too far.

    Consider the following:

    (1) You MUST read David Limbaugh’s book “Persecution”.

    It totally blows to pieces anyone’s false perception that Christianity is not under attack. It gives volumes of recent abusive anti-Christian actions from school teachers, school administrators, government officials, many flawed anti-Christian lower court decisions… all of which are biased against and even hostile towards Christians.

    Of course, the reason that WE don’t see more of this is because, frankly, Georgia has a relatively high percentage of Christians. But just because this doesn’t happen in GA doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen quite frequently in other states. In many places in the US (mostly in “Blue States”) there is a general bigotry that reminds me of the anti-Semitism that exists in many parts of the world. That recent incident against that conservative GA newspaper is typical of many such hostile actions in other parts of the country against Christians by the general population (not necessarily talking about gov’t or law in this case).

    (2) As a state (GA) with more Christians, I think it is our responsibility to remain vigilant and to sent to Washington leaders who will represent our interests and who will prevent religious intolerance and persecution. Why? For one, I don’t think that the Left and the anti-Christian interests in other liberal states are willing to signal a truce just because they have their own Liberal state’s policies and “world-view” locked up. So calling a truce, as you seem to advocate just gives the other side more time to gain more territory and establish more precedents which will become increasingly hostile to Christians.

    (3) We need to understand that the founding fathers intended states and local communities to be able to do and say and teach things which represent the values of THEIR community. If a small city, for example, is predominantly Christian, and always had been, then having a Christian prayer at a football game is perfectly OK as long as it doesn’t break any laws or go against the State Constitution. Frankly, this is none of the Federal government’s business. Same goes for a predominately Jewish or Amish or even a Wicca community, for that matter. If a community in Massachusetts is mostly Wicca, they should be allowed to have a city-sponsored Wicca festival without fear of Big Brother federal government stepping in and claiming “separation of church and state”.

    (but, again, this particular example is VERY tame compared what what David Limbaugh documents)

    Of course, due to the proper application of the “equal protection clause” of the 14th amendment, there are some limits. For example, a state or city can’t pass a law which treats one person differently than another… but this was never suppose to go as far as it is now being used! It was suppose to do things like prevent unfair treatment which might interfere with one’s livelihood or prevent laws that might have separate drinking fountains based on race, for example.

    I truly believe that we are going to finally get this legal/constitutional issue corrected so that States and local communities will once again be able to set their own standards and not have to conform to big brother’s one-size fits all… but this will likly be corrective only after all the liberal indoctrination is further along.

    In the meantime, at the very least, more people need to understand that application of the 1st eight amendments to the States is done via a very shakely legal shenanigans, is NOT even done consistantly, and these 1st eight amendments apply to different extents to the Federal Governments in comparison to their application to states. People really ought to be more mindful of this. For example, a decision to display of the 10 commandments on Federal property is on much more legal shaky ground compared to doing so on State property.

    Having said all of this… so far, my facts don’t yet match up with my hype, correct?

    Keep in mind that I don’ t lose sleep at night wondering, “were is sodomy happening in my neighborhood… we must stamp it out”…

    But I do lose sleep at night wondering:

    (1) if/when the Christian private school that my children attend will one day be sued out of business for refusing to higher a lesbian or for teaching that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

    and

    (2) if/when that same Christian school will lose accreditation for simply not teaching Evolution as proven fact.

    There two things are real possibilities and the 1st of these is very near happening in California with recent legislation passed there.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    And if we follow Will’s suggestion, then the things I fear most which I highlighted above WILL happen in more places in the US eventually, even Georgia.

    Rob McEwen

  27. LINDA says:

    Well Fogle, if you are a Christian then your job is to spread the good news that the only way to salvation is through the father. There is no other truth that has withstood many centuries, and that is the truth that Christ is the Lord. You cannot be a true Christian and call the Bilbe archaic. I hope that you can pray and see that your words are flawed, as is the beliefs that you hold about what it means to be a Christian. And Randy, is the Episcipalian Church no longer grounded in Christianity. I, yes you are split on the gay issue now, I suppose.

  28. LINDA says:

    Demonbeck,

    I do not attend a Catholic Church. I am a born again Baptist, and I taught Sunday School for four year olds at a Methodist Church, as well as Bible school.

  29. LINDA says:

    And my King James Version of the Holy Bible is in large print so I can read it better, and it weighs at most 2 pounds. I would never hit anyone over the head with my beloved Bible because I would not want to wrinkle the leather binding or harm the beautiful guilded pages.

  30. Fogle says:

    “There is no other truth that has withstood many centuries, and that is the truth that Christ is the Lord. You cannot be a true Christian and call the Bilbe archaic.” – Linda 3:16

    Well Linda, you’re absolutely right. No truth has withstood nearly as much time as Christ. Not the assassination of Caesar, nor the crossing of the Rubicon, nor the reign of Cleopatra nor the myriad of events that happened PRIOR TO Christ which have been resigned to mere illusion. Give me a break.

    And thank you for telling me how to be a “true Christian.” It always boggles my mind when ostentatious Christians hop on a bully pulpit and demand conformity to “the only interpretation” of the “Bilbe.” Ironically enough, each of these “exact interpretations” varies from one to the next.

    I’ll also be sure to no longer call the “Bilbe” archaic.

  31. pvsys says:

    Lest anyone doubts my rhetoric:

    Here is the bill in CA which extends protections to people based on “sexual orientation”:

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1441_bill_20060811_enrolled.html

    (They are half-way to what I mentioned above… maybe more than half way. Also, Christian organizations in CA will be at least punished if similar organizations they compete continue to receive some form of public funding wheras their Christian counterpart would no longer be able to receive such. Is that really fair? Keep in mind that this isn’t a Church/State matter. Other religious organizations which promote homosexuality will have their state funding left intact.)

    Here is the bill in CA which criminalizes teachers or textbooks which don’t wholeheartedly teach and support homosexuality:

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1437_bill_20060830_enrolled.html

    At first reading, you might think that these two bills are simply protecting homosexuals from discrimination.

    But, in both cases, the language is sufficiently vauge to allow for open witch hunts by liberal california judges. For example, to break the second law, all one must do is “reflect adversely upon” homosexuality.

    What the heck does “reflect adversely upon” mean? Can we be any more vague? Can we give judges any more leeway?

    In fact, can anyone deny that, from a world-view of someone who has already convinced themselves that homosexuality is “proven” to be biological and natural, then, to THAT person, even questioning or trying to have a discussion about whether homosexuality is natural would no doubt (in such a person’s mind) be “reflect adversely upon” homosexuality.

    Can anyone deny this?

    In fact, studies on whether homosexuality is natural are highly controvertial, no consistant science has ever emerged in this area, and this is highlighted by the fact that all the major pro-homosexual organizations will disagree with each other as to how or why it is natural… they all point to different studies which each have different reasons or theories!

    Yet to even question this or even discuss this in CA is about to become illegal… unless, of course, you are promoting homosexuality.

    Simply put, thought, discussion, and Christianity is, to some extent, becoming criminalized in CA.

    I don’t think that the religious right is being “alarmist”… the persecution they fear is written clearly in those statutes I linked to above.

    Rob McEwen

  32. LINDA says:

    “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one anather and shall hate one another.” Matthew 24:10

    When Jesus answered the questions about the end of the world. Christians shall rise against other Christians and persecute them for society’s rules and non-Christians will hate all Christians for they hate the Christ. We are in the end times people, and it is all unfolding but you have your eyes closed and your ears covered to that which was written.

  33. Will Hinton says:

    Rob: Christianity is NOT being criminalized. I have read David Limbaugh’s book and feel that it is very misguided. In the case of schools that you bring up, the real issue is the use of public funds. I can’t see any reason why a private Christian school should take public funds. If they do, then they are going to have to work within the restrictions placed upon the use of that money. I don’t have a problem with that.

    I know of an excellent private Christian school in Atlanta that does not nor ever will accept public funding for this very reason. They are free to run the school as they see fit without any outside interference.

    I still find your assertion that Christians are being persecuted in America as unpersuasive. I have had many friends go to places like China as missionaries. They most certainly face real persecution. But there is nothing going on in this country whatsoever that is restricting my right to worship God.

  34. LINDA says:

    And Fogle, the Bible is to be read and not sit on a night stand before scooping it up to go to church. If you want to mock the scripture go ahead, and add my name to it that is your business. But I would not do that myself, because you are mocking sacredness. Criticize me all you want to because I don’t care, but I pray that you keep the Holy Bible Holy!

  35. LINDA says:

    Will, with people like you that are unwilling to stand up for Christianity and those that do see persecution taking place, then please do not run on the Christianity platform. That is all I am asking of you because you will not get my vote, and other Christians that realize that you are attempting to bend Christianity to fit society.

  36. LINDA says:

    Well Demonbeck, if you don’t read your Bible at home then you are wasting your time going to church. Church will not bring you salvation, as you have to come to church prepared.

  37. LINDA says:

    And if you want to hold church in your home with your friends and your spouse, then that is also with the Lord. Church is not just in one specific location. I consider that I am in church right now talking to members of a Sunday School class. You see how none of see eye to eye. That is because some interpret the Bible with their own set of values, while others adhere to the scriptures.

  38. Fogle says:

    I’m not mocking scripture… I’m mocking your distorted use of scripture in the name of PERSECUTING others. You know, the metaphorical beat down you love to give with your large-print KJV.

  39. Bill Simon says:

    Fogle,

    That is an awesome quote from Barry Goldwater…that spells-out exactly what he thought about using religion as a tool in the political arena. Thank you!

  40. LINDA says:

    Well Fogle, I would assume that all Christians would read the KJV of the Holy Bible or at least a version of the Bible that has Christ’s words in red. If you notice, I use scriptures that are Christ’s words. Are my scriptures different from yours. I am addressing Christians on this blog, and I am not trying to address non-Christians other than to lead them to the scriptures and to seek out the Lord. How are the scriptures distorted? Tell me one scripture that I quoted as being wrong. I can only talk of what I hold to be the truth, and my truth is the Bible.

  41. LINDA says:

    I mean take a look at this thread, Will has proved quite clearly that persecution of Christians is real with a small sample. He has used a Christian like me as a scapegoat to have others to throw sticks and stones at to advance his own philosophy. I rest my case.

  42. pvsys says:

    Will,

    When I said that Christianity is being criminalized, I’m specifically referring to those California bills. Can you refute any of my assurtions regarding those bills?

    Also, can you be more specific about how/why David Limbaugh’s book is “misguided”?

    I found it to have impeccable logic and very well researched and fact-checked.

    David was very careful to not be alarmist and to not exagerate… instead, throughout that book, he let the facts and court cases speak for themselves. Maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this… but if you’ve read that book and STILL think that the Christian Right is over-reacting, then either I’m really confused about what your reasons are or I’m might even start to question your intentions or motives in all of this???

    Regarding public funding:

    Christian Schools accepting public funding was NOT in any of the examples I gave above.

    In fact, that is precicely why I specifically said that my example of a Christian school being sued for not hiring a lesbian isn’t actually going to happen in California under those bills… YET… that is why I said that they are “half way there”… not all the way there!

    I did mention the possibility of faith based organizations being forced to lose funding… but I was more referring to things like a soup kitchen run by the Salvation Army and, yes, in that example, I think it is (legally and morally) wrong for the federal government to step in and say that they can’t receive federal funds due to it’s religious makeup while other secular organization can. (and “morally” wrong for the State of CA to do so… though such is within their legal power, if they so chose.)

    Therefore, you are taking what I’ve said a little out of context and aimed your arrows just outside of what I actually said.

    Overall, we’ve been brainwashed with thinking that the establishment clause of the 1st amendment means more than it actually does.

    But I do recognize that our communities are becoming more diverse and it is getting harder to follow those example in my earlier posts about letting communities follow their own standards because most local communities are getting too diverse to even have a unified set of values.

    Yet, at the same time, it is not right for money to be taken at gunpoint from all citizens (via taxes) and then say that EVERYONE’s money is going to be used to educate children in a way that follow’s the government’s standards and values… and must be religion free.

    This is a relatively new concept. Going back to the 150 years of our country, values and religion were intertwined with all other things taught in school. And this has been the case since the dawn of civilization!

    Furthermore, there is really no such thing as religion free… if not Christianity, then secular humanism. There is really no such thing a value-free and world-view-free teaching. So, in a sense, our current system is flaws.

    So this leaves us at an impass with has really only one solution:

    The voucher system.

    A voucher system allows taxpayer money to flow freely into the education institutions that reflect the education choices and the values of each individual.

    Will,

    Do you STILL have a problem with public money supporting a Christian private school if done via a voucher system where everyone choose the school which fits their own preferences?

    Rob McEwen

  43. LINDA says:

    Well Bill Simon, what in the heck does that have to do with the price of tea in China, as to whether or not I have taken a foreign language class?

  44. LINDA says:

    Do you think that you could win a debate with Jesus, Will? I don’t think I could, but I am asking do you? Do you think that he would water down the his words to fit society? Did he back down from the pharasees? Did he destroy the temple? Did he call them devils? What Bible do you read, Will?

  45. Fogle says:

    “Will has proved quite clearly that persecution of Christians is real with a small sample. He has used a Christian like me as a scapegoat to have others to throw sticks and stones at to advance his own philosophy.” – Linda

    WOW… this has got to be the most self-serving, degraded garbage I have read in a while.

    The Holocaust was persecution. The Darfur genocide is persecution. Jim Crow laws were persecution.

    This is just a little girl trying to force her will on others and getting called out.

  46. LINDA says:

    Do you have the book of Revelations in your Bible, Will? I am wondering what Bible you hold your faith in. Is political aspirations so important that you are willing to bend and twist and jump through hoops to appease the naysayers and those that hate Christ. Are you willing to trade short-term power on Earth for a life long treasure in Heaven? I am baffled at your writings but not surprised, as I have read the scriptures. It is happening right before those with eyes that are open.

  47. LINDA says:

    No, no, no Fogle I am not worried about the persecution of myself. You have clearly persecuted Christ throughout this thread. It is his words that you despise because they do not fit to your mode of thinking. I am not a little girl worrying about getting personally persecuted, as I am persecuted for being a prophet of the Lord and that is different. I am just glad that I understand scripture enought to see that it is as it was written.

  48. LINDA says:

    I know that Christ is smiling because there is no greater debate on this blog or anywhere taking place than that which discusses Christianity. And take a look at worldnetdaily.com and look at all of the headline articles about Christianity. There is a spiritual revelation taking place in today’s time and we are all part of this history. Some mock it, some heed it and some do not know it is taking place. God bless all of you, and I pray that you find the Lord as I have to be the only answer in your lives.

  49. RandyMiller says:

    Linda, just a fyi, the Episcopal church is very much a Christian church. Our concentration is in the Gospels and their teachings of forgiveness, acceptance, and tolerance of our fellow mankind as Christ showed to us time and time again. e.g.,”ye who are without sin cast the first stone.”
    As for the gay thing…we’ve got conservative republicans and knee jerk liberals accepting the sacrement side by side every Sunday. Now how cool is that?… what is it in the bible, “wonderous are the many ways of the lord.”

  50. Big Mack says:

    I don’t think that our deity ie: God, Yahweh, Allah etc. has a very high regard for politicians. I know that I certainly don’t and I have worked like hell since 1962 to elect every Republican that I could.

    Linda, from the time that Stalin took over after Lenin’s death until his own death in 1953, it is estimated that he killed 35,000,000 of his own people, Jews, Christians and Moslems. That is thirty five million. He killed everybody in his army down to the rank of Master Sergeant except Marshall Voroshilov, Hero of the Revolution and a Marshall in the former Tsar’s army. The Chechnyans were all rounded up and put on trains to Siberia, all 750,000 of them where they died and were killed on a wholesale basis. Over the years the survivors and their offspring drifted back to Chechnya and they are the ones raising hell there now.

    Hitler was a real tyrant, murderer and menace to freedom; but he was a real piker compared to Stalin.

  51. LINDA says:

    Well Randy, that is the about the only scripture that allows you and other Christians to define Christ as an appeaser, which is casting the first stone. He was addressing the Pharasees (Rabbis) that had twisted the Commandments as written by Moses to suit their own political and wealth positions in life. They had turned the temple into a marketplace. In other words Christ was very hard on them because they were the heads of their temples, but they were the most blasphemous against God. You cannot take a tree out of the forest to define the forest, and you cannot take one scripture out to the Bible and not understand the context of those words as spokien by Christ and who he was addressing.

    Jesus said he came with a sword to divide, and that is clearly what he meant. He came to clearly define the believers of the Ten Commandments and divide them from those that create their own rules as society dictates, just like the Episcopalian Church is doing today.

  52. LINDA says:

    Well Spacey, may I suggest you go on and relax and get back to your critique of Bob Dylan and anyone else that you despise in pop culture. If you think God is crying about his name being talked about, then you are the one that is lost. Christ wants his name to be praised!

  53. LINDA says:

    And Randy, it is just not the church you belong to. I am not trying to pick on your church at all. It is typical for ministers to go along with society because it is about dollars, about getting tithes to build bigger an more beautiful sanctuaries, it is about pomp and fluff and perfection of look how we worship in this beautiful church. Look at the clothes we wear to church, look at my new Lexus or my new Cadillac, look at how good my kids are doing in school, look at how I got a big bonus, look at me I got elected to office and look how people recognize me in the church now because I am an impotent tate. But no, no, no minister don’t tell me how to live my life; don’t read the scriptures during the sermon; do not preach fire and brimstone services; and if you do I’ll take my tithes and go somewhere else!

  54. rugby_fan says:

    “that all Christians would read the KJV of the Holy Bible or at least a version of the Bible that has Christ’s words in red.”

    OK LINDA, your lack of knowledge about Christian theology and practices is now so apparent and egregious that I must correct you (as you have now hit upon a nerve of mine).

    Catholics DO NOT read the KJV (although an ancestor of mine did translate the KJV) and we DO NOT have to have Jesus’ words in red.

    Do not ever equate me with your bastardized version of Chrisitianity. I am sickened and appaled to be lumped with you since you do not even know the practices of people who share your beliefs.

  55. LINDA says:

    Well Rugby, gee don’t get so upset. What does Christ say in the Gospels of the Catholic Bible. Is it not the same as our Bible. I do know that the Catholic Church is losing members in droves that do not believe that the message of Christ is being taught. I know plenty of people that have started going to evangelical churches, and left their Catholic roots.

    Does not your theology teach that Christ was baptized by John the Baptist? I am talking about Christianity from the belief as Christ said that you must be born again to be saved. And I take offense to your calling those millions of Christians that read the KJV of the Holy Bible as using a bastardized version of Christianity because that is a bold faced lie. That is why we had the reformation movement in the first place, which was that the Catholic Church tried desparately to keep the Bible away from the common folks. Do you know that history of the Catholic Church?

  56. LINDA says:

    I have been a staunch defender of the Catholic Church as the media has tried desparately to defame the church with a handful of rotten priests that have gave the church a bad name. I have argued that you cannot bring down the entire Catholic Church because of a small minority.

    Two of my sisters happen to be Catholic, and I take offense at your anger toward me. Jesus words should be the same in any Christian Bible, and that you cannot debate me on.

  57. LINDA says:

    I love to read the Gospels and look for the red writing because it leads me directly to the words of Christ. Try it, and you may actually like it, too.

  58. Demonbeck says:

    “LINDA // Sep 26th 2006 at 12:38 pm

    Well Demonbeck, if you don’t read your Bible at home then you are wasting your time going to church. Church will not bring you salvation, as you have to come to church prepared. ”

    Sorry, Linda, you are talking to a Lutheran. Lutherans believe in Salvation through faith.

    “That is why we had the reformation movement in the first place, which was that the Catholic Church tried desparately to keep the Bible away from the common folks. ”

    No, that is merely a small part of why the Reformation began. Martin Luther began translating the Bible so that common people could read it at home and found that there were things the Catholic Church was doing in the name of achieving Salvation that were not prescribed in the Bible. He made a list of them and posted his 95 theses on the door of the church. For singling out these things publicly, he was excommunicated.

    Thus began the Lutheran Church.

  59. LINDA says:

    And Rugby, I see it is a common thread for people that are Catholics to get angry at others, just like Ann Coulter talked of killing all Muslims or forcing them to convert to Christianity. You have not heard me say something so outrageous. Do you hate her, too?

  60. LINDA says:

    Well Demonbeck, if your faith is not nourished it will not grow. And if you do not believe that Jesus commanded all of us to spread the good news, then you are missing that part of salvation. Even the disciples that were with Christ had their faith tested daily, and had to keep looking for more miracles to believe. And again, if you do not read your Bible in these troubling times then you will fall from grace. You have got to read the word to understand the word. You cannot rely on the preacher to do it all or whatever you call the leader in your church. And yes, I know of the Lutherans and you are good people.

  61. LINDA says:

    And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

    The post is the 95th theses of Luther.

  62. Bill Simon says:

    LINDA,

    HAD you taken any foreign language course, you would know that words and meanings do NOT always translate exactly from one language to another.

    Did you know that the original Bible text had no periods or commas? No punctuation means that a sentence can change meaning completely if you locate a comma or a period in a place different from where it was intended.

    So, we get back to the fact that the original text of the Bible existed first in Greek, then in Latin, then in Hebrew, then in the “King’s English/Olde English” style of “English” and then today’s “English.”

    Those people who translated from language to language used their own “conception” of what the meaning was OR, in the case of King James himself, the meaning he wanted it to be.

    So, taking the “literal” meaning of what you KJ version of the Biblke is and assuming it is exactly what happened 2000 years ago demonstrates either complete ignorance or complete stupidity. Which would you feel most comfortable claiming you are?

  63. LINDA says:

    Thus Martin Luther was a devout Christian that new that penances and false theology would not get one into heaven. He prayed daily and did read the scriptures daily. Luther did not take for granted that salvation was a given and nor do I. I am not guaranteed being saved, but I will try my best to do the work of the Lord. That is a dangerous mindset for one to believe that yes I am going to be chosen by the Lord without ever facing Judgment day. It does not work that way in the scriptures that I read. Yes, you can be offered salvation, but you also have to earn it by your deeds. And we shall all be judged by our deeds.

  64. LINDA says:

    Well sorry to burst your bubble Bill, but I will never fall into your trap of not wanting to believe and not wanting to become a Christian. You know that we will never see eye to eye, and you can not define me as ignorant. You are ignorant for trying to belittle a Christian that has their beliefs grounded in faith. I do not need for you to tell me that translations make words different. I know that Christ is the Lord, and I know that his words are written as close to perfect as I need. Can’t you understand that, Bill? For every grain of sand of doubt that you have, I have a whole ocean of belief in my heart and soul.

  65. Demonbeck says:

    Linda,

    The Bible also teaches us not to have false idols. As a result, I do not worship the Bible. I worship God. I do not put the words of the Bible before my faith, I let the words of the Bible guide my faith instead.

    Translating the Bible and taking the words too literally is, to me, the same as worshipping a false idol. The Bible was meant as a tool to show us the way. There are many paths to get to a destination.

    Being judged by our deeds and earning salvation through our deeds are two different things as well. I do believe I will be judged by my deeds. However, I do not believe I have to perform certain deeds in order to achieve salvation. The Bible also teaches us that those who repent will achieve salvation – even those who have committed heinous deeds.

    As for your post of one of Luther’s Theses, who’s to say what these tribulations must be. Certainly having to endure folks like Pat Robertson speaking on behalf of my religious beliefs counts as a tribulation.

  66. rugby_fan says:

    Well LINDA, unlike you, I happen to be able to read.

    I understand that quotation marks indicate that someone is speaking. I am not so dumb as to have to have Christ’s words highlighted for me.

    I will not debate Christianity/Catholicism anymore with you as you are quite uninformed about my faith and you could not add anything substantive to a debate.

  67. LINDA says:

    I would think that the Catholic Church would not want to make enemies of evangelical Christians. But I suppose that you are on a war path for them, Rugby.

    Just because we do not believe in doing whatever you want to do, and then going and making sacrements through a priest does not make us a bastardized religion. The Jehovas Witnesses do not believe in praying through Jesus Christ although they believe in Jesus being the son of God. But I have never had a discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness that has belitteled my beliefs. They do not even associate with politics at all, in case you did not know that. But they are very loving and kind people.

  68. Mad Dog says:

    Bill,

    Your point on translatios is bery well tacen.

    I chuse to beleve, as I was taunt in the third church I ever went to … that the Bible isn’t perfect.

    I do love the efforts to include Greek fables in Christian stories, especially Daniel and the Lion, aka the Slave and the Lion from Aesop about 650 BC.

    But, again, your point is very good. Not only did scribes change punctuation/content, they changed names to more European names.

  69. kspencer says:

    Jesus? Appeaser?
    hmmm, let’s see. There’s the bit about giving Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Or something about turning the other cheek. Or one of my favorites:
    “[49] And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
    [50] And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9

    alternately
    “[38] And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
    [39] But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
    [40] For he that is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9

    Your way is your way. But you have condemned others who follow in their own way, for they do not read the version of Bible that you do, and do not follow your means of worship, and…

    Kirk

  70. LINDA says:

    Well Kirk, when Jesus says render that to Caesar which is Caesars he is testing those that follow a politician.

    When Jesus talks about turning the other cheek, he goes on to say that he will give believers the words to fight their enemies.

    Do not forget that Jesus spoke in parables.

    No, I am saying the version that hold to be true as an evangelical Christian.

    There are some simple guidelines that I believe in:

    The Old Testament is the word of the Lord

    The words of Christ are true, and he is the Lord.

    The Ten Commandments are to be followed.

    And there is only one way to heaven and that is to be born again as commanded by Christ and to accept him as your Lord and Savior.

  71. LINDA says:

    So as a born again Christian, I can only accept those things that I have written. Evangelical Christians do not create any other false doors to heaven. Our Bible is our road map, and I feel fortunate to have grown up watching the Billy Graham Crusades in the 60s and the 70s, as he has it right.

  72. LINDA says:

    And Kirk, this whole thread was about the minority that believes as Linda does. Was it not? Do you expect me to waiver from what I believe in to satisfy other people?

  73. Will Hinton says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Peachpundit community for subjecting you all to the commenting nonsense here today. I had hoped to generate a nice dialogue on some of these issue but it appears that some are not interested in dialogue.

    I would usually say that this many comments is a sign of a good post, but not in this case where one person has written almost 75% of the comments, none of which contribute to any type of reasonable discussion. As the principal in “Billy Madison” said:

    “Everyone in this room is now dumber having heard you. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    Indeed. Sorry all.

  74. rugby_fan says:

    No, LINDA, once again, you are mistaken, I am only against you and your bigotry.

    Demonbeck, thank you for your high praise and unwarranted faith in my abilities.

  75. LINDA says:

    Well if one defines reasonableness as agreeing with your version of the church of what is happening now, Will, then I suppose that the posts are not in your best interests. I think you would do quite well if you went to a night club and told everyone, hey I am running for office and I love you all. I am the new Clinton of 2006, and I am here to bring salvation to you in a bottle or a neatly wrapped package of bs because those evangelicals have got it all wrong. Christians are not being persecuted, heck we are still a nation founded in biblical scripture. Vote for me because I need the power and the paycheck!

  76. LINDA says:

    Amd Rugby, it seems that you come off from some pretty bigoted remarks yourself. But I assume that Catholics all act like you and Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity! Only you guys have it right! Yeah boy!

  77. LINDA says:

    If you come barking up my tree, Will, you will not get a scaredy cat ready to run away. I see that my comments got people motivated, and we have learned many people’s faiths. If I had not commented, you would have probably had twelve comments at best.

  78. Rusty says:

    No offense meant to the proprietors of this blog, but if there’s 98 comments on a thread here, it usually means someone shat in the pool and everyone is scrambling for the exit at once.

  79. LINDA says:

    Well Rusty, I have checked out your blog periodically and all I see is photos of you, I assume with few comments. I have few comments on my blog, myself. If you want comments, then post something controversial!

  80. Bill Simon says:

    Will, I was thinking of asking you how you felt today after reading the soliloquy of Linda…but, you answered my question before I needed to post it.

    It’s okay, Dude…I appreciated reading your commonsense and objective viewpoint.

    You might note to Erick that it IS possible to block an IP address…just a thought…

  81. LeftOFLeft says:

    Oh Bill,

    You need not worry your pretty little head, Erick knows of Linda’s writing quite well. She has been the antagonist on his own personal blog for quite a while. I see she really gets under your skin,, doesn’t she dude?

  82. mercergirl says:

    Linda I am going to say in just a few words what everyone else is thinking here:

    You are a self-righteous BITCH.

    And by the way-I’m an Episcopalian. You’re narrow minded comments only renforce what has been said here. Now, I will not be making any further comments cause I’ve said my say that’s all I needed to do.

  83. LINDA says:

    Wow, the Episcopalian Church has some messed up Mercer girl in their church. Lord help you girl! You need to take some anger management classes, and I hope you aren’t a graduate student or Lord forbid going to school to be an attorney. I am proud that the Baptists pulled their support of Mercer. Amen!

  84. LINDA says:

    Erick,

    Do you condone people calling another person a “bitch” on your blog? Is it ok to cuss someone out now, but a sin to say that Jesus’ words are still the truth even today?????

  85. LINDA says:

    And Bill, my grandfather was the Director of Mental Health in Southern Indiana and he taught me to never call someone “crazy.” I see that you were not afforded the same upbringing in your life, and you throw some pretty disgusting things toward my way. I think you are the biggest bigot on this board and any board that I have ever posted on. So there, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  86. LINDA says:

    I venture a bet that 90% of the people on this post today would spit in Jesus face if he came in to their lives this very day because he would be so old fashioned and archaic that you would dismiss him as a lunatic. If he was not driving a fancy car and wearing an expensive suit, you would dismiss him as fraud.

  87. Dorabill says:

    Just wanted to chime in here. Personally I’m not scared to critisize the Bible (like there’s only 1 version), politicians, or preachers-if they get judgemental, and they’re coming into my living room on TV or the radio. I saw some dude on TV warning against “enemies” and said they will try to add or take away from “the word” which he defined as the NKV version, I believe. Gimme a break. I’m not an expert but I know when someone is trying to “close the way” whether they know it or not.

  88. kspencer says:

    Linda,

    The Jesus I follow said those who are not against Him are with him. The Jesus I follow taught treatment of others through the parable of the wicked servant (Matt 18) and the good samaritan (Luke 10).

    Based upon all you have written, I do not think we worship the same God. I will pray for you in the hopes that you will find compassion and mercy for others – that you will be spared the judgment of the servant.

    However, I am a mortal man, full of failing. I honestly don’t believe I can resist the temptations of anger and insult in response to the insult and narrow-mindedness you present so frequently. So forgive me, but I shall not be replying to you in the future. To help me resist the temptation, I’ll draft a greasemonkey killfile for peachpundit.

    May you find Him where you least expect Him,

    Kirk

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