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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    20 Jan '17 10:31
    I originally posted this in the Spirituality Forum, but I recognize that this actually contains both religious and political concepts. So I am cross-posting this here, too. If you don't like it, alert the post and try to get it removed. I think it belongs here, as well as there.

    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, he outlines why Progressive Christianity is a valid position in this modern world seemingly dominated by evangelical, conservative Christians.

    He lays out 10 reasons why Progressive Christianity is a more preferred position for him, as a Christian, but this list particularly resonates with me, and I probably could not have written this any better myself, about myself. Many Christians here have asked me rather point-blank, "Why are you a Liberal, and not Conservative?" As if Conservatism is somehow a default position for Christians to take. I've always said that Jesus would never be a Conservative, at least not the way it has become known today. Compassion is my main reason. We are expected to follow Jesus, to be like Jesus. Love is the basis for Christianity, and I do not see much in modern conservatism that has anything at all to do with love or compassion.

    So here goes:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. I want to associate with people who are respectful and treat others, even their opponents, with basic human decency and civility.

    Too many conservative leaders have become increasingly disrespectful to the point of being rude, crude and mean-spirited. It’s become impossible to ignore — from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouting “You lie!” during the president’s State of the Union address to Donald Trump reaching historic lows with name-calling, crude insults, genital braggadocio, and violent rhetoric.

    2. I can’t support regressive thinking that longs for a time when life was worse for nearly everybody except people like me.

    Whether you like President Barack Obama or not, former religious right activist Frank Schaeffer told the ugly truth about contemporary conservatism: It has carried out a vicious “slow motion lynching” of our first African-American president. Today’s conservatives have been undermining voting rights for minorities, vilifying immigrants, scapegoating LGBTQ people, and resurrecting white privilege and white supremacy to maintain systemic injustice. One simple word in Trump’s campaign slogan — “again” – harkens back to a time of deep discrimination against everyone who doesn’t look like or pray like me.

    3. I won’t be pandered to or manipulated based on religious self-interest or bigotry.

    Today’s conservatives support a frightening array of proposals that go against our Constitution’s call for “equal protection”: banning people from entering the country based on religion, mass surveillance of communities based on religion and creating registries of people based on religion.

    4. I am drawn to policies that support conquering poverty, not perpetuating it.

    When I began to understand the complex causes and conditions that trap people in poverty, I better understood the need for quality education, nutrition, health care, child care, occupational safety, fair pay, racial equity, and public transportation. I became increasingly drawn to leaders who work to reduce poverty by reducing teen pregnancy, addiction, family breakdown, domestic violence, gangs, mass incarceration, and untreated mental illnesses. In short, the more I became committed to poverty reduction, the more I saw how conservatism keeps people trapped in poverty.

    5. I cannot support the massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich.

    Conservatives often complain that liberals want to transfer wealth, but the fact is, for decades conservatives have supported a massive transfer of wealth to those who need it least. They have long promised that if we just help the rich through tax cuts, deregulation, and undermining worker rights, the benefits would “trickle down” to the rest of us. When I was younger, I was naive enough to believe this kind of voodoo economics, but with age I’ve come to see that all that actually trickles down is a toxic slurry of pollution, unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and economic inequality that is pummeling Americans, regardless of race or religion.

    6. I have grown so tired of being misinformed and manipulated about abortion.

    Here are the facts: Abortion rates went up under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, then down under Bill Clinton, remained level during George W. Bush and have fallen about 13 percent during the Obama administration. There were 29 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 in the Reagan years, and the number has dropped to 16 today. As evangelical-born writer Rachel Held Evans has said, criminalizing abortion only reduces its safety, not its incidence.

    The conservative culture war on abortion has failed. Its “baby-killer/women-hater” rhetoric has polarized and paralyzed us for decades. If we want to reduce abortion, we must focus on policies that have been proven to do so: better education, health care, and wages — which, it turns out, are policies that also improve women’s lives and strengthen families.

    7. I care about the health of the earth.

    My faith leads me to support environmental policies that build a cleaner, more sustainable and ultimately more profitable future. When I hear conservative candidates talk about shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency and getting rid of government regulations that protect the environment, I wonder how many more Flint-style water crises there will be, how many more Gulf oil spill disasters there will be, how many more inches (or feet!) the sea will rise, and how much national and global instability will result. I’m no fan of big government, but conservatives argue for shrinking government to a size that it can no longer hold big business accountable as it plunders our one and only beautiful planet earth for short-term profit and long-term disaster.

    8. I won’t feed terrorism.

    Too few conservatives seem to understand the simple strategy of terrorism: use inexpensive, unpredictable, and highly visible attacks to instill fear among rich and powerful nations to entice them to bankrupt themselves financially and morally through endless and unwinnable wars. When conservatives advocate for “bomb the hell out of them,” “waterboarding” and “carpet-bombing” strategies to beat terrorism, they are foolishly marching us right into the trap the terrorists have set.

    9. I am sincerely concerned about Trump’s base.

    A good friend of mine, a Trump supporter, said this to me the other day: “Whatever you think of Trump, white men like me feel like we’ve lost a lot. We’re everybody’s whipping boy. We’re tired of being disrespected. Trump gets that.” I think there are millions of Americans, many of them white and working class, who feel like my friend. Their jobs were shipped overseas. They’ve been hurt by an economy that aggregates wealth at the very top. They’ve fallen between the cracks of a dysfunctional Congress so divided that it gets next to nothing done. Sadly, beyond stirring them up with angry speeches, once Trump gets what he wants from them — their vote — he’ll leave them even worse off and therefore angrier. We need actual policies that will help them build a better future, not vain promises about returning to the past.

    10. I believe in the power of love, not the love of power.

    I understand that millions of Americans are pumped up by Trump’s talk about being tough, his “punch him in the face” bluster, his disgust with a free press, and his glib praise of dictators and torture. But my faith leads me to see true greatness in service and true power in love, self-control, and neighborliness — not domination, reactivity, and revenge. Trump’s love of power may have served him well in business and entertainment, but in political leadership, it will be his Achilles’ heel, and his reactivity and lack of humility will make him chaotic and dangerous.

    Not only that, but supporting a crude, angry, unaccountable and self-indulgent leader sets a terrible example for our children and grandchildren. And if conservatives reward Trump with a victory, can you imagine what the next generation of conservative politicians will be like?

    Listen, I don’t always agree with everything that goes under the label of progressive, and progressives need to be way more effective at communicating and implementing their best ideas. But I cannot support any party or candidate — local, state, federal or presidential — characterized by mean-spiritedness, bigotry, unfairness, carelessness toward the poor, funneling wealth to the richest, undermining abortion reduction, destroying our fragile planet, playing into the hands of terrorists, exploiting the anger of suffering people, and being driven more by the love of power than the power of love.

    Any one or two of these reasons would have been sufficient to lead me away from voting conservative. All of them together make me a consistent and passionate progressive voter in this election, win or lose… not in spite of my Christian faith, but because of it.

    To all who come from the conservative evangelical heritage, I would say this: Your pastors, parents, or radio/TV preachers may not grant you permission to break up with conservatism, but you have it anyway.

    Permission is granted by your conscience.

    -- Brian D. McLaren, September 21, 2016, excerpted from an article on the RNS website
  2. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    20 Jan '17 10:59
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I originally posted this in the Spirituality Forum, but I recognize that this actually contains both religious and political concepts. So I am cross-posting this here, too. If you don't like it, alert the post and try to get it removed. I think it belongs here, as well as there.

    In an article Brian D. McLaren did for the Religion News Service, ...[text shortened]... cience.

    -- Brian D. McLaren, September 21, 2016, excerpted from an article on the RNS website
    I am inclined, but presently lack the time.
    When that window opens up, I am going to address, point by point, the entirety of Brian's Wittenberg Blog.

    But the first one sticks out and needs special recognition.

    1. I want to associate with people who are respectful and treat others, even their opponents, with basic human decency and civility.
    Presumably the operative words here are "I want to," as it otherwise lacks the formal commitment of "I will."
    This frees the oath taker of, you know, actually being someone who treats others with respect, human decency and civility.
    Or maybe you're saying you just want to hang out with people like that, not really be a person like that?
    Whichever.
    It's cool.
  3. 20 Jan '17 11:13
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    2. I can’t support regressive thinking that longs for a time when life was worse for nearly everybody except people like me.

    Whether you like President Barack Obama or not, former religious right activist Frank Schaeffer told the ugly truth about contemporary conservatism: It has carried out a vicious “slow motion lynching” of our first African-American pr ...[text shortened]... arkens back to a time of deep discrimination against everyone who doesn’t look like or pray like me.
    I reckon I'll take #2. So life is only worse under Republican Presidents I assume, right? You do realize that the jobless rate and food stamp rate has gone up under Barak Obama, right? You do realize that the economies of middle America, especially like West Virginia with the Prog war on coal has made the lives there far worse, right? So let's say Trump comes in and gives more people jobs and gets the economy moving again, will that cause you to consider becoming a Republican Suzy?

    You know #2 is a lie, right Suzy?
  4. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    20 Jan '17 11:22
    Originally posted by whodey
    I reckon I'll take #2. So life is only worse under Republican Presidents I assume, right? You do realize that the jobless rate and food stamp rate has gone up under Barak Obama, right? You do realize that the economies of middle America, especially like West Virginia with the Prog war on coal has made the lives there far worse, right? So let's say Trump c ...[text shortened]... ll that cause you to consider becoming a Republican Suzy?

    You know #2 is a lie, right Suzy?
    Did you read the statement? What do you think the phrase "for people like me" means? I'm white. It means white people. The only demographic that is worse off now than "before" is white people. And even then, it's only a slim margin, and mainly in states with economies depressed by conservative policies, like West Virginia.

    You disagree? Produce your numbers instead of ludicrous claims.
  5. 20 Jan '17 12:02
    I love point 1, not a single person who posts here fits that description. I've not seen a single libtard that fits that description.
  6. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Jan '17 12:10
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I love point 1, not a single person who posts here fits that description. I've not seen a single libtard that fits that description.
    It's just so much touchy feely libtard BS. Left wingers want to force their ideals on you, take 50% or more of your working life and then they want you to be nice to them.

    I'm nice to people that deal with me by consent.
  7. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    20 Jan '17 12:27
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I love point 1, not a single person who posts here fits that description. I've not seen a single libtard that fits that description.
    Hysterical. You are a prime example of #1.

    'Libtard'. Enough said.
  8. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    20 Jan '17 12:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    It's just so much touchy feely libtard BS. Left wingers want to force their ideals on you, take 50% or more of your working life and then they want you to be nice to them.

    I'm nice to people that deal with me by consent.
    Asking for basic human decency and civility is 'forcing their ideals on you'?

    I guess in an era where someone like Trump is POTUS, you might get plenty of his sycophants to agree with you.

    And again with the 'libtard'.
  9. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Jan '17 12:39
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Asking for basic human decency and civility is 'forcing their ideals on you'?

    No suzi, that is not what I said.

    Forcing their ideals and taking more than half of a mans working life, then asking for human decency and civility.

    I didn't say they were one and the same thing, I said that those who advocate force and threats of force against their fellow citizens are not due decency or civility.

    You see there's not so much to get confused about there
  10. 20 Jan '17 13:06
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Hysterical. You are a prime example of #1.

    'Libtard'. Enough said.
    Right back at you lol
  11. 20 Jan '17 14:03 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Did you read the statement? What do you think the phrase "for people like me" means? I'm white. It means white people. The only demographic that is worse off now than "before" is white people. And even then, it's only a slim margin, and mainly in states with economies depressed by conservative policies, like West Virginia.

    You disagree? Produce your numbers instead of ludicrous claims.
    So you are a "whitey", eh?

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I mean really, if you look at the demographics and see that middle America preferred Trump because they are hurting economically. Jobs continue to leave and illegals come in to take what jobs are left and the only man on the face of the planet in either party that pretended to notice just won the Oval Office.. Look at any map of the elections results and it is all red, except for the left coast, New York and a few other states.

    You kids really should stop with the race crap.

    No really, it's hurting your cause now.

    Woops, I'm sorry, you said you were voting because YOU were Ok. Too bad the rest of the country does not vote based upon how well YOU fared under Obama
  12. 20 Jan '17 14:11 / 5 edits
    I guess I'm going to have to skip from #2 to #6 because I just can't help myself anymore.

    So you prefer the Dims because abortion is 13% lower under Obama? Really? What the hell does that even mean? So if the unborn are not really human, what do you care how many are done? And if they are human, what does it matter that under Obama they were down 13% when Obama will appoint people to keep it legal?

    Do you really think these issues through or do you just read Prog news stories that think for you?

    As far as safety goes, I would argue that the "all abortion crowd under any circumstances" has actually caused abortion to be less safe. Have you ever heard of Dr. Gosnell? He was an abortion doctor that was investigated in the 1970's because he did not practice safe medicine and in violation of all kinds of regulations. Do you know what they did Suzy, they simply stopped investigating him and let him practice with impunity because abortion is a political football and any restrictions on it are seen as a threat to the legality of abortion He then proceeded to practice subpar medicine for about 30 years killing viable babies and harming women along the way Do you know which women suffered the most Suzy? It was minority women. Do you know why Suzy? It was because they were poor and less likely to hold him accountable due to lack of adequate legal representation.

    By the way, your Prog pals in Hollywood refused to make a movie about Gosnell, who has become the nations #1 mass murderer cuz the topic was too controversial, so you probably will never hear of him as most Americans. It's vital that this sort of information is suppressed cuz we need to elect more Progs, right?

    Instead, Hollywood will stick to controversial films angering Christians because they are viewed as an abomination to God.

    By in large, I don't think Christians will ever vote for Dims in large numbers for this very issue, or at least, should never. You are on the wrong side of history and morality, especially with dolts like Hillary that want to make it all "free".
  13. 20 Jan '17 15:23 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I am inclined, but presently lack the time.
    When that window opens up, I am going to address, point by point, the entirety of Brian's Wittenberg Blog.

    But the first one sticks out and needs special recognition.

    [b]1. I want to associate with people who are respectful and treat others, even their opponents, with basic human decency and civility.
    ...[text shortened]... ant to hang out with people like that, not really be a person like that?
    Whichever.
    It's cool.[/b]
    I think I will respond to both #5 and #7 at the same time.

    So you are concerned with the poor folk and the environment. Great!

    Need I remind you that the Nazi regime was similar. They were huge environmentalists and they had the best welfare state in the world. For you see, Hitler feared an uprising like Germany had during WW !, so he saw to it that the average German lived well and ate well and had free everything, including education and health care. As for the environment, they cared more about the environment than they did people, much like the average Prog.

    And the lavish welfare state worked! Hitler bought off the war weary society steeped in genocide. If it worked then, it will continue to work. That is the chilling aspect to it all. All a leader like Trump has to do is give the people jobs and prosperity, and they will follow him to hell as well.

    Interestingly, Hitler also drove up the debt, so much so, he at one point in the late 1930's forbade a budget from even being passed so as not to alert the German people to the massive debt. Does all this sound familiar? In essence, Hitler drove up the debt so as to burn all his bridges. It was either world conquest or economic ruin. That kinda motivated his supporters as well.

    So does it much matter to you have high the debt goes Suzy? I imagine that if you are like most Progs, all welfare is a human right so it really does not matter. All that can be known is, if it were not for the GOP then taxes would be raised to cover the spending. Had you even considered that if people were made to pay for the spending, they would revolt and is why they turn to the GOP in the first place? The chilling question I ponder is, now that it appears our bridges are burned with debt as well, where must we now follow?

    And yes, talk about the 1%, Hitler did. In fact, he taxed the top 4% about half of all they made, and the masses loved it! Sure, it did not raise that much revenue but it was good talking points cuz people love to covet.
  14. 20 Jan '17 15:32
    Originally posted by whodey
    I think I will respond to both #5 and #7 at the same time.

    So you are concerned with the poor folk and the environment. Great!

    Need I remind you that the Nazi regime was similar. They were huge environmentalists and they had the best welfare state in the world. For you see, Hitler feared an uprising like Germany had during WW !, so he saw to it that ...[text shortened]... ure, it did not raise that much revenue but it was good talking points cuz people love to covet.
    "They were huge environmentalists and they had the best welfare state in the world."
    can you prove that this was the cause of the holocaust and/or WWII? because right now you are simply broadcasting how stupid you are.
  15. 20 Jan '17 17:34
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    "They were huge environmentalists and they had the best welfare state in the world."
    can you prove that this was the cause of the holocaust and/or WWII? because right now you are simply broadcasting how stupid you are.
    Did I say that was the "cause" of the war?

    No, I said it helped enable them to continue it.

    I think you will find that collectivists come in all sorts of flavors. There are communists, Nazis, Socialists, etc. In the end though, if you want a world conquering army collectivism is the only route and to fight them off, you have to become like them, which is what Wilson and FDR help do to the US.

    Now the US has troops in over 70 countries around the world.

    Pretty impressive, eh?