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Debates Forum

  1. 30 Mar '12 21:56 / 5 edits
    In 2008, 44% of Republican party primary voters were self-identified evangelical Christians.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/anti-romney-republicans-courting-evangelical-christian-vote.html


    So far in 2012, half (50 percent) of Republican primary and caucus voters have been white evangelical, or born again, Christians.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57398385-503544/white-evangelicals-are-half-of-gop-primary-voters/


    I lifted this post below from the spirituality forum. (Thread 145909)

    "Came across the following by Phil Zuckerman a professor of sociology in California. Looking past the provocative title, what he has to say is generally consistent with the views of Evangelical Christians I have spoken with. Anyone care to share their insights as to what they think is going on?"

    Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world.

    Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one's money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation's poor -- especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of "socialism," even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training -- anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do...

    Evangelicals don't exactly hate Jesus -- as we've provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can't stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself -- his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill -- most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html
  2. 30 Mar '12 23:02 / 3 edits
    I always thought that if Jesus were here today and had a political affiliation, he would be a Democrat and not a Republican. And he would not be a single-issue guy. And he would be labeled a "socialist" by the Tea Party and a "blasphemer" by the GOP Christian fundamentalists.
  3. 31 Mar '12 00:12
    Originally posted by moon1969
    I always thought that if Jesus were here today and had a political affiliation, he would be a Democrat and not a Republican. And he would not be a single-issue guy. And he would be labeled a "socialist" by the Tea Party and a "blasphemer" by the GOP Christian fundamentalists.
    If Jesus were here today, he would be trying to change peoples hearts and minds no matter what their political affiliation. Jesus would not care about party politics. He understood that changing peoples hearts is far more powerful. For the record (this is just my opinion) I don't believe Jesus would be in favor of forcing someone to pay for government programs to help the needy. He would rather people helped the needy because they believed in it. How many hours a week do you volunteer, moon?
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Mar '12 02:22
    Originally posted by moon1969
    I always thought that if Jesus were here today and had a political affiliation, he would be a Democrat and not a Republican. And he would not be a single-issue guy. And he would be labeled a "socialist" by the Tea Party and a "blasphemer" by the GOP Christian fundamentalists.
    Jesus would be an anarchist. He would have no political affiliation.
  5. 31 Mar '12 03:29
    Originally posted by dryhump
    If Jesus were here today, he would be trying to change peoples hearts and minds no matter what their political affiliation. Jesus would not care about party politics. He understood that changing peoples hearts is far more powerful. For the record (this is just my opinion) I don't believe Jesus would be in favor of forcing someone to pay for government pro ...[text shortened]... le helped the needy because they believed in it. How many hours a week do you volunteer, moon?
    First, charitable and volunteer organizations are incapable of addressing issues of broad scope and national signficance. Secondm Jesus would believe it desirable as a society to elect representatives and pay taxes, and to pool our taxes together to help the poor.
  6. 31 Mar '12 06:46
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Jesus would be an anarchist. He would have no political affiliation.
    He would definitely 'Occupy Wall Street' apparently He did'nt like money lenders.
  7. 31 Mar '12 06:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by moon1969
    First, charitable and volunteer organizations are incapable of addressing issues of broad scope and national signficance. Secondm Jesus would believe it desirable as a society to elect representatives and pay taxes, and to pool our taxes together to help the poor.
    Spot on 'Charity' is the 'fig leaf' small govt/ low tax advocates unsuccessfully try to hide behind.
  8. 31 Mar '12 10:02
    Originally posted by moon1969
    First, charitable and volunteer organizations are incapable of addressing issues of broad scope and national signficance. Secondm Jesus would believe it desirable as a society to elect representatives and pay taxes, and to pool our taxes together to help the poor.
    I disagree with you on both counts. Issues of "broad and national significance" begin with a single person. The early church lived communally by choice. You didn't have to become a christian if you didn't want to. Once you did, you chose to give up all your assets and from that point forward the church took care of it's own. Jesus would favor a communal system, I believe, but not a forced one.
  9. 31 Mar '12 10:07
    Originally posted by moon1969
    First, charitable and volunteer organizations are incapable of addressing issues of broad scope and national signficance. Secondm Jesus would believe it desirable as a society to elect representatives and pay taxes, and to pool our taxes together to help the poor.
    How many hours a week do you volunteer? I guess every penny you make above what you need for barest essentials goes to help starving kids in Africa? For much of the world, the USA is the 1%.
  10. 31 Mar '12 13:03
    Originally posted by moon1969
    [b]In 2008, 44% of Republican party primary voters were self-identified evangelical Christians.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/anti-romney-republicans-courting-evangelical-christian-vote.html


    So far in 2012, half (50 percent) of Republican primary and caucus voters have been white evangelical, or born again, Christians.

    http ...[text shortened]... ]
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html[/b]
    If evangelicals rule the GOP, then how did Romney win the nomination? I mean, I know evangelicals who will not vote for him only because he is a Mormon. Perhaps you are equating evangelicals with Mormons. If so, then the two camps are divided.

    Personally, I view Romney's nomination as a sign that the same moderate/liberal GOP is at the wheel. After all, Bush and McCain came out and endorsed Romney. He is a chip off the old block.
  11. 31 Mar '12 13:43
    Originally posted by moon1969
    [b]In 2008, 44% of Republican party primary voters were self-identified evangelical Christians.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/anti-romney-republicans-courting-evangelical-christian-vote.html


    So far in 2012, half (50 percent) of Republican primary and caucus voters have been white evangelical, or born again, Christians.

    http ...[text shortened]... ]
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html[/b]
    The answer to the apparent contradiction is quite simple. "Evangelical" Christians in the US are mostly Calvinists, and Calvinism is a wretched heresy which has almost nothing in common with what Jesus himself preached (though it owes a lot more to Saint Paul).

    Calvinist doctrines of "total depravity" and "unconditional election" account for the evangelical support for punitive punishment, because the committing of sins is evidence that the sinner is reprobate and therefore doomed anyway to damnation; likewise, the Calvinist belief that wealth is a sign of God's blessing on the elect explains the support of capitalist interests by this group.

    Calvinism exists elsewhere, but has been a majority creed only in the Netherlands, which is now largely secularised. Much of the so-called "American exceptionalism" can I think be understood as inadequately secularised Calvinism.
  12. 31 Mar '12 14:21
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    The answer to the apparent contradiction is quite simple. "Evangelical" Christians in the US are mostly Calvinists, and Calvinism is a wretched heresy which has almost nothing in common with what Jesus himself preached (though it owes a lot more to Saint Paul).

    Calvinist doctrines of "total depravity" and "unconditional election" account for the evangel ...[text shortened]... erican exceptionalism" can I think be understood as inadequately secularised Calvinism.
    "Evangelical" Christians in the US are mostly Calvinists,Teinosuke


    This is very far from the truth Teinosuke. What is your source of information ?
  13. 31 Mar '12 16:47
    Originally posted by dryhump
    I disagree with you on both counts. Issues of "broad and national significance" begin with a single person. The early church lived communally by choice. You didn't have to become a christian if you didn't want to. Once you did, you chose to give up all your assets and from that point forward the church took care of it's own. Jesus would favor a communal system, I believe, but not a forced one.
    You are living a pipe dream to think that volunteer organizations can adequately address poverty, hunger, and healthcare for the poor in the country. Instead, it takes us as a country pooling our tax resources together to do good, and Jesus would definitely support that. Also to pool our tax resources as a society to build roads, hospitals, schools, utility infrastructure, and so on. And it is perfectly fine as a society for us to decide that we want to work together and pool our resources.
  14. 31 Mar '12 16:51
    Originally posted by dryhump
    I disagree with you on both counts. Issues of "broad and national significance" begin with a single person. The early church lived communally by choice. You didn't have to become a christian if you didn't want to. Once you did, you chose to give up all your assets and from that point forward the church took care of it's own. Jesus would favor a communal system, I believe, but not a forced one.
    I agree Jesus would be communal, and that is what we are by pooling our resources together. And even though the rich benefit the most from the infrastructure resulting from pooling our resources, Jesus would still support the cooperation, smart efficiency, and benefit it brings for all.
  15. 31 Mar '12 16:59 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    If evangelicals rule the GOP, then how did Romney win the nomination? I mean, I know evangelicals who will not vote for him only because he is a Mormon. Perhaps you are equating evangelicals with Mormons. If so, then the two camps are divided.

    Personally, I view Romney's nomination as a sign that the same moderate/liberal GOP is at the wheel. After all, Bush and McCain came out and endorsed Romney. He is a chip off the old block.
    Romney actually comes across quite secular at times in his Mormonism.

    I think the split in the GOP is between the traditional Rockefeller country-club Republicans versus the newer member Christian evangelical fundamentalists taking over the party.

    Further, I think if the evangelicals had a better candidate to coalesce around, that candidate would have challenged Romney more closely for the nomination.

    Also, many evangelicals support a Mormon over a Catholic (Santorum) or a philanderer (Newt). I know growing up in Christian fundamentalism, we were taught that Catholics were evil. And while we did think Mormons were a cult, they felt like more like us in most of their religious beliefs. In stark contrast, we were told Catholics couldn't even pray directly to God but had to go through a priest, and they drank alcohol. Catholicisim is very foreign to a segment of evangelicals.

    Lastly, I think you make a legitimate point with Romney getting the nomination, that it may reflect that the christian fundamentalists have not secured full control of the Republican party. Yet, there was no exciting candidate for them, and plus their number one issue is electability to get rid of the Muslim President we have now. That Romney is the lesser of two evils compared to the socialist black President from Kenya we have now.