Neo-Con Christians? Nope...

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Thom just had a caller who was discussing his Christianity, and that he was also a Democrat. Thom ended the call with the following (paraphrasing): I don't know what Bible the Republicans are reading. Maybe they have a special Bible...

The issue here is not the Bible they are reading; it's that they are not Christians. Christians, by definition, follow the teachings of Christ. These Neo-Cons are Biblicans, or more specifically, Old Testamentians. They ignore the parts of the New Testament related to caring for the poor, helping those in need, shunning wealth, etc..., and instead choose the spiteful, punitive, and hate filled God of the Old Testament for most of their Philosophy.

By referring to themselves as Christians, they can not only side with the portion of the populace who truly are Christians, but worse, they can then subvert many of the under-educated in this group, and convert them into Biblicans. By hijacking the word Christian, they have been slowly eroding the morality of religion, and claiming the moral high ground while ignoring true Christian morality.

We should point out in our discussions that following the Bible does not make one a Christian; only following the philosophy of Christ (which often times directly conflicts with the parts of the Old Testament the Biblicans follow) makes one a Christian. By shifting from referring to these hate mongers as Christians, and calling them what they really are (Biblicans, Old Testamentians, some other more accurate adjective - I'm looking for ideas here), we can create a separation between them, and those who follow the loving teachings of Christ. If we can create separation from this false moral high ground, perhaps we can make inroads to some of the under-educated voters who hear the word Christian, and don't question anything after.

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pmorehou
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AMEN TO THAT!

I like the word "Biblicans" because it sounds annoying, which they are. Or maybe "Old Testament God Worshippers"?

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Karolina
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Quote Karolina:

AMEN TO THAT!

I like the word "Biblicans" because it sounds annoying, which they are. Or maybe "Old Testament God Worshippers"?

The "god" in the old testament was often described in "fire" terms.... I think they were actually worshipping a volcano god myself.... Volcano god worshippers might fit?

delete jan in iowa
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Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm

"Volcano god worshippers" puts the neocons all in grass skirts, wearing necklaces of human bones, weilding bamboo spears, and throwning screaming Democrats into the mouth of the volcano, which is dangerously spewing molten lava.

I like that, Jan! It really suggests a very accurate picture! Definitely works for me!

Another name I had thought of earlier is "Worshippers of a mean, catty, and easily annoyed god."

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There's an old joke about two rabbis arguing scripture while one rabbi claims authority based on his ability to recite the entire Old Testament while standing on one foot. So, he stands on one foot and says, "love your neighbor as yourself". The golden rule is not something Jesus dreamed up. The Old Testament is not by any means devoid of directives to help the poor. It's a gross mischaracterization to lump modern conservatives in with the OT. That is not only a smear on the OT, but giving those hateful modern conservatives too much credit.

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Laborisgood
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Thats true.

Nevertheless, what you worship is what you are—and neocons besides being all about power and money, are evil, malicious and easily brought to kill the vulnerable.

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Karolina
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It would be nice if any of you people had a clue of what you are talking about. I am a socially and fiscally conservative Christian Democrat and I am quite capable of defending my views using the entirety of the Bible not just the Old Testament.

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mjolnir
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OK, for starters—can you defend Wall Street gambling with all the money they have ( YEY, FINALLY!) gotten access to, through crafty underhanded methods of politics with naive or equally greedy public servants?

And can you defend Wall Street and other corporations, then demanding to be financially reimbursed and supported by the taxes of the people whom they have already looted?

And can you defend the religious right in politics, demanding that all federal social programs that provide for the needs of the vulnerable and disabled be cut, in order to satisfy the desires and greed of the wealthy criminals who have already been looting the middle class and the poor?

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Karolina
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What do fiscally conservative Democrats support and oppose?

I'm guessing the socially conservative Democrats oppose abortion and gay marriage.

chilidog
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Quote chilidog:What do fiscally conservative Democrats support and oppose?

I'm guessing the socially conservative Democrats oppose abortion and gay marriage.

If you are speaking to me, I honestly have no idea what fiscally conservative Democrats support and oppose. What is your point?

This thread is about the Republican right that calls themselves Christians, but behave as they have never read the teachings of Christ.

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The Christ, in modern day terms, was a socialist.

Modern day neo-cons who worship money are idolators - worshipers of their idol - money.

delete jan in iowa
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Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm

I don't have to defend any of those positions because nowhere have I said that I necessarily espouse any of them, in whole or in part, regardless of the needlessly broad brush you use to paint the issues.

What I can address is the fact that it is possible to be conservative, Christian and Democrat through the lense of my religon without denigrating the 70+% of this country who self identify as Christian as you did:

Quote Karolina:Another name I had thought of earlier is "Worshippers of a mean, catty, and easily annoyed god."
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mjolnir
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The self-identification of the right is not what is in discussion here.

The thread is about the offensive act done by those propagandizing themselves as religious Christians, who are not actually living by the teachings of Christ as their principles, to those who are, in fact, living their lives primarily adhering to "Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." and "Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself." as their most important principles.

And that includes me, since "On these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets." That means that if you are not living by those two laws, everything else means nothing.

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Karolina
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Try reading my post with more attention. Self-identification as Christian as a whole includes many more groups than just a subset of the "right". YOU are the one who chose to attack those who find grounds for both conservatism and compassion in their bible as:

Quote Karolina:[...]propagandizing themselves as religious Christians, who are not actually living by the teachings of Christ as their principles,[...]
.

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mjolnir
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Where's the love?

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Laborisgood
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Quote mjolnir:Self-identification as Christian as a whole includes many more groups than just a subset of the "right".

Try to to read with more attention what this thread is about. You are the one saying that even groups who don't feel compassion and responsibility for all other people (i.e.neighbors) and for the planet (i.e.life-force creations), have a right to call themselves Christians.

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Karolina
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Quote mjolnir:

I am a socially and fiscally conservative Christian Democrat and I am quite capable of defending my views using the entirety of the Bible not just the Old Testament.

Don't you find social issues like marriage equality and fiscal issues like food stamps and unemployment insurance loaded with nuance in terms of not just a specific religion, but the entirety of the Bible? I find the arguments for fiscal conservatism far more difficult to reconcile relative to the "love your neighbor" theme of the Bible than marriage equality.

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Laborisgood
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@Karolina & @jan in iowa: I like your direction, but I'm looking for a single word adjective. If we use a phrase, we run into the issue of nuance. Remember; we are trying to reach out to people for whom nuance is not a priority. "Bumper Sticker"

Also, I don't want it to be in insult. We run the risk of turning off the very people we are trying to reach. (ex: @mjolnir)

...unless of course, the Neo-Con right was ready for this argument, and @mjolnir is trolling with their rebuttal ready at hand.

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pmorehou
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I've always used "bible-thumpers." I think that's pretty standard, isn't it?

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Karolina
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Calling them "Biblicans" is an insult to the Bible as they clearly only use it as a prop. Calling them "Old Testamentians" is no less of an insult to that portion of the Bible for the same reasons. They should be properly identified for their denigration of the Bible as illustrated by their actions. Thom always does a good job of pointing this out at opportune times.

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@Karolina I know exactly what this thread is about, and your statement as to my characterization of it is either a blatent untruth or a mindless regurgitation of liberal dogma, i.e. if you can't dispute the facts, malign the speaker.

Any Christian, whether on the left or the right, as an example, can empathize with the love of an Orthodox Jewish mother for a child killed by a Palestinian rocket, or a Suni mother whose child is killed by a drone. The fact that I, as a Christian, believe that that love, as strong as it is, won't get either loving mother to Heaven does NOT make me less compassionate than you.

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mjolnir
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Quote Laborisgood:Calling them "Biblicans" is an insult to the Bible as they clearly only use it as a prop. Calling them "Old Testamentians" is no less of an insult to that portion of the Bible for the same reasons. They should be properly identified for their denigration of the Bible as illustrated by their actions. Thom always does a good job of pointing this out at opportune times.

What words does Thom use to qualify them?

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Karolina
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"...any Christian can empathize..". Yes, that is true. However, The Neo-Cons, who call themselves Christians, do not empathize with "...a Suni mother whose child is killed by a drone." This is the entire point. If you truly believe as you say, then you are taking insult where none is directed.

There are parts of the Bible which directly conflict with other parts (overly simple ex: Stoning as an acceptable punishment vs Christ's admonishment: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."). There are those who choose only the punishment, and ignore the empathetic choice Christ gives. Based on your statements, I can only assume that you are not one of the former. So, again, please do not take this a broad brush insult. I'm merely attempting to find a way to differentiate you from those who do not live as you do, but hide behind you, and subvert your Christianity for their own purpose.

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pmorehou
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@mjolnir: Unless you identify as a Neo-Con, this post is not about you. It is about people who call themselves Christians, and do not follow the teachings of Christ. Specifically, it is about shifting the conversation, and taking away their ability to hide behind the Christian "shield", while espousing extraordinarily un-Christian rhetoric.

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Quote Karolina:
Quote Laborisgood:Calling them "Biblicans" is an insult to the Bible as they clearly only use it as a prop. Calling them "Old Testamentians" is no less of an insult to that portion of the Bible for the same reasons. They should be properly identified for their denigration of the Bible as illustrated by their actions. Thom always does a good job of pointing this out at opportune times.

What words does Thom use to qualify them?

He will usually list the OT "sins" related to clothing, diet, etc when someone wants to claim homosexuality is sinful based on OT. He also likes to specifically note the lack of any reference to homosexuality by Jesus. Of course he always rattles of the "least of these" Matthew 25 when it's called for (which is often when dealing with conservative nonsense). Thom uses the Bible to not only show hypocrisy of the right, but to help lead the left. I really like that about Thom.

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@pmorehou: The only thing I identify as is Christian. I confess to being conservative and Democrat. Your point of people identifying as Christian and not following the teachings is perfectly valid. It happens in all religons.

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The one thing that "jumps out" at me whenever I think of GOD and how the tricksters use the image to further their own pursuits is whenever I see, "In God We Trust" on our currency.

I believe the reason "In God We Trust" is printed upon our currency is so that we subconsciously will not QUESTION AUTHORITY!

The "powers that be" attach a "God" to their brand so that they will be perceived as being somehow equal in the minds of their subjects.

It's been going on FOREVER!

This is also one of the things that I point to that reaffirms my belief that there are indeed "bad guys" in charge of things. Because there is NO logical reason that in a nation where we are supposed to be "FREE" from the oppression of someone else's religious belief systems, that the phrase "In God We Trust" should be on our money.

It doesn't add up.

It's one of the biggest reasons that I don't have very much hope for our nation. If we can't learn from past mistakes of other nation states... then we are destined to follow in their footsteps.

Maybe that's the point.

This is what I mean when I said earlier this month that I feel like throwing the towel in.

Then again... because I have attained some knowledge of how things work, I'd NOT be following the Old Testament tail of Jonah and the sea creature. Jonah wanted to "run" from responsibility much in the same way that I want to.

Maybe if I spent 3 days "away" from it all... I'd feel a little better.

I just might do that!

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Fletcher Christian
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Quote mjolnir:

@pmorehou: The only thing I identify as is Christian. I confess to being conservative and Democrat. Your point of people identifying as Christian and not following the teachings is perfectly valid. It happens in all religons.

Yes, it does happen in all religions. This is how the right has convinced millions of people to vote against their own self-interests. My desire is to point this out to that group, and perhaps get some to see that identifying as a Christian does not make one a Christian. If we can break that link, we may be able to get back to the Republican Party of Ike, Teddy, etc... This might just bring them a little more toward the center, and rid us of the over-representation the extreme right now enjoys.

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@ Fletcher Christian: Please watch out for "Great Fish"! ;-)

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Quote mjolnir:

I am a socially and fiscally conservative Christian Democrat

I honestly do not know what a "fiscally conservative Democrat" is.

I know there are Republicans who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

I know there are Democrats who are fiscally liberal and socially conservative.

Is there also such a thing as a socially and fiscally liberal Republican?

chilidog
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Quote chilidog:
Quote mjolnir:

I am a socially and fiscally conservative Christian Democrat

I honestly do not know what a "fiscally conservative Democrat" is.

I know there are Republicans who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

I know there are Democrats who are fiscally liberal and socially conservative.

Is there also such a thing as a socially and fiscally liberal Republican?

It's not that hard. A broader tax base, fewer deductions, private-sector unions, help those in need but help those who help themselves most. Easier said than done, yes, impossible, no.

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Some things left out and arguable, but let's suppose that being "conservative" in religion does not translate to politics and try to regain some coherence about what "conservative" means. What tends to define "conservative" Christians today is an affirmation of the mythic narrative as "fact in history" and of Biblical Authority as "textually correct." That, and an uholy alliance with the Culture War of Homophobia and Misogyny in the Name of the Exceptional Empire of America is what I find in religious Christian Conservatives.

It is not a monolithic stereotype, and I do know theologically and religiously conservative people who are very much at the frontline of service. Some of them also appreciate having tax money going to serve human needs and support good public infrastructure even while being skeptical about government in other areas. Nonetheless, within this diversity is a core attraction to ideology and the ability to believe in things that are more about "ought" than "are." This is where they get to the "deserving poor" and desire to control who gets their charity.

What I find common in the attraction of the Conservative Brand is a nostalgic barrier against the change that disrupts the operative narrative. Having foreign people move into "our" America and having our Main St. owned by people with strange names selling stuff we did not know anyone would buy is like "losing" your childhood memories. So is having to reinterpret the moral arc of the narrative of the 'exceptional' "global force for good" America. It is not hard to sell people on the idea that they don't have to do this, should not have to do this and have a right to be offended by those who say they should.

What I have not seen are dynamic 'conservative' alternatives to Progressive or "liberal" strategies. I can see Jesus getting tired of waiting for the Democrats to become the social reform political arm of a spiritually whole America. I cannot see him finding much appealing on the Right to provide the alternative of light and truth incarnate. Other than Jim Wallace of Sojourners, I have not found any substantial social justice leadership from conservative churches, and there is a ton of terrible preaching and ugly dogma pounding the nails into Jesus every day.

What Chis Hedges affirms is that the Liberal Mainline has been AWOL. In the silence left by the Mainline's disappearing act, the Televangelists and Bible Thumpers became the new face of American religion. The idea that this was a great defection from historic grandeur is questioned by historical perspective on the Mainline and lynching, not to mention the question of empire and conquest as part of a Providential Narrative. But, the new Southern tone to American religion in public did include an anti-intellectual sectarian disdain for the secular neutrality of Liberal "religious freedom." Their idea of "religious freedom" was where they could do their own thing in private. It was not about letting other people do their thing and be respectable in public.

I can see "conservative" appealing to those seeing their old home towns degraded by "development." I have lots of personal anecdotal stuff about San Diego in this regard. Buying a house includes not liking recent construction because 'modern' has not meant upgrades in quality. If you don't like what Corporate is doing to America and the world, does that make you a "conservative?"

If "conservative" means "tough" and "self-sufficient," does it also means accepting no help to prove how "self-made" and beyond debt a true "man" is? Is it only about getting back into productivity as fast as possible, or is it about being able to think about being human in any other metrics than these lower level Maslow lenses? I would like to see "conservative" as more concerned about basic human values and the quality of community and a degree of suspicion about the modern urban marketplace to deliver it. Not being ready to trade what is good for what promises to be wonderful is a healthy patience until far more results are in over a longer period.

In religion, I appreciate those who like a simple story and little bother with the nuances as long as the overwhelming message is Love and Grace. Some of the people at the Soup Kitchen are really conservative in the literal Right. They don't have questions about the story and they understand the story in its basic narrative with a graceful innocence. I can see why not having to spit hairs or wonder about the historicity of myths and metaphors can fit into a segmented religious zone that puts a moral compass back into play in the confusing "fallen zone" of everyday complexity and ambiguity.

The problem is the distance I sense in most conservatives between their present world and this separate religious zone of narrative and identity. Dealing with the reality of America and dealing with the revelations of history, archaeology and science involves a similar dynamic. What I would like to find are more conservatives whose reasons for identifying as such are neither nostalgic nor sycophantic to power.

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