When Did Compassion Become Partisan Politics?

Credit: New York Times / Redux / eyevine

A professed Christian Tweeted the following at me last night:

Bro, I respect you, but serious question: are you on the DNC payroll?

After I let him know that if he indeed respected me he probably wouldn’t have asked that “serious” question to begin with, he replied that he was concerned that I was just repeating “Democratic talking points.”

I asked him to think about why he felt that way, realizing that he’d fully exposed the problem in his initial 140 characters.

His comments were telling, because they illustrate exactly what has happened in America over the course of the Presidential campaign, the election, and the first weeks of Trump’s Administration: Republicans have so lost the plot, that affirming anything remotely compassionate or decent now feels like a political stance against them. Empathy seems like an act of defiant resistance—and in many ways, it now is.

Advocating for sanctuary for refugees,
Protecting immigrants from Government harassment,
Marching for full equality for women,
Demanding affordable healthcare for every human being,
Affirming religious freedom for all traditions,
Fighting the degradation of our planet and the gutting of our public schools,
Defending our Press so that it remains free,
Standing with LGBTQ students,

Championing the vulnerable, the sick, the poor—
These have somehow become partisan politics. And the simple reason is because the leaders of the Republican party have sold their souls and no longer care to be burdened by the heart of Jesus, or the basic goodness he preached.

And so his values now seem offensive,
his words are convicting,
his very life feels confrontational.
The extravagant love, overflowing compassion, and sacrificial generosity that marked him are foreign to their ears and threatening to their sensibilities.

My online critic further lamented my use of “partisan hashtags,” which again is revelatory:

Echoing #StillShePersisted, born on a night when white Republican men silenced a female Senator for attempting to the read the words of a black woman, in opposition to the Cabinet appointment of a white supremacist—became just partisan politics.

Boosting #TheResistance, a massive, worldwide movement against racism, bigotry, discrimination, abuse of power, and neglect of the vulnerable—was dismissed something out of the “DNC playbook,” (even as my very usage underscored its transcendence of such small things.)  

That either of these terms or the values behind them now feel like partisan politics to Republicans instead of a defense of the inherent value of all people, should be a red flag to those who are paying attention. It should be an alarm, warning them that things have gone sideways—especially to those folks who claim faith.

I’ve been a registered Independent since the first day I could vote. I’ve always seen the validity of both parties, and up until this year I’ve never written about a candidate or political party or called out a politician by name.

But these days everything has changed. Now, the faith I grew up with has been fully commandeered and bastardized, to the point where silence is simply not an option. And if speaking the very words of Jesus, if reiterating his life and ministry seem like partisan politics to those of you reading who identify as Republicans, well maybe that’s a you problem. If someone aspiring to be a loving, empathetic human being, causes you discomfort—that should give you great pause. 

Maybe the truth is that equality, diversity, justice, and compassion are indeed now solely “Democratic talking points” because you have gone all-in with someone and something that Jesus would rightly be horrified by. Maybe you really no longer aspire to loving your neighbor as yourself. Maybe your expression of faith is lacking something essential—like the love of Christ. Perhaps the absence of decency and mercy in your midst have left him no choice but to head elsewhere, joining the religious of every tradition and the non-religious who together are affirming these things.

I really don’t concern myself with my beliefs being interpreted as a political statement. Jesus’ life was exactly that. It was a bold, relentless defense of the vulnerable, the poor, the hurting—the least. Non Christians understand this. They recognize that it was an unapologetic affirmation of the value of all people; not just the wealthy or the powerful or those of a single pigmentation or homeland. Honestly, how anyone labels it or who gets credit are too small of considerations. They’re a waste of my time.

Borders? Walls? Bans? Home raids? America first? Just where on earth or in Heaven or Hell is your Jesus in these things friend, because I believe practically speaking, he’s invisible. I don’t recognize him there. And I wonder just how speaking for anyone who is not white, Christian, and American, became a threat to the GOP and a challenge to the professed party of Jesus? 

So yes, my dear Republican Christian friends, maybe homeless refugees and sick children and the working poor and black lives and fewer guns and universal healthcare are indeed now “Democratic talking points”.

And if they are, then you should take a long look in the mirror, let your knees hit the floor, and ask Jesus just why that is. Maybe some repentance is in order.

As for me: I know where my heart is, I know where my loyalties lay, and I know that I can sleep at night because I know that love is a nonpartisan decision and I am choosing it.

You can call it political all you want, but I know it’s the most spiritual declaration I’ve ever made. It is a declaration of Life.

#StillShePersisted
#TheResistance

 

 

 

386 thoughts on “When Did Compassion Become Partisan Politics?

  1. As an atheist I deeply admire your faith a you truly try to live by the teaching of Jesus. Those who say they are followers of Christ but support the GOP agenda are hypocrites. They don’t believe in Jesus teachings they believe in White supremacy

    • Taking a Stand for what you believe in has a price.
      your not the popular one in the class.
      Right is not always accepted by others when it cause others to feel bad about what they do.
      Everyone is a hypocrite in one way or another . and that is what makes us all the same as we have all failed, sinned , fallen short, and need a savior who give life unconditionally and does not set standards that change with every wind of doctrine , politics as usual. and will give life to all who believe, follow, trust, allow into thier life.

      • I am there with my fellow atheists. We do not need someone to tell us what is right. But we have been too quiet for too long. Compassion is a human trait, not a mere concept to be discussed in a place of worship. We must be more forceful in practicing our humanity !

    • It’s funny to me as an Independent that the Democratic Party sets itself up to judge who is Christian or not. First because we are to ” judge not, lest you too will be judged “. Don’t be like theholier-than-thou Pharisees, instead we are to love and forgive one another and to worry only about our own transgressions .

      I struggle because of my pro-life convictions to become a Democrat. But i wouldnt think to call all of you “Baby Killers” . The hypocrisy in referring to the GOP as racist or white supremacist is equally wrong. None are perfect, but for Jesus himself. The rest of us would be wise to refrain from throwing stones.

      • Lori,

        You are correct in quoting judge not lest though be judged. But when someone is pointing out the mistakes of others, the hate of others how does that qualify as judging? Jesus said to love one another as you would love yourself. was that judging? Jesus said how you treat the lowest in society is how you treat me. was that judging? Jesus said Father God forgive them for they know not what they do. was this judging? When did trying to teach someone become judging? are we now to assume that whatever anyone does should not be pointed out to them because that could be judging? when hitler and the nazis were committing atrocities against humanity itself, when they killed over 6 million jew, some estimates go as high as 12 million, when the nazis invaded other countries and subjected the people, if the world had the same mentality as many here in america have now, i don’t think anyone would have lifted a finger to stop the atrocities because it would have been judging. simply telling someone that their actions and decisions are flawed, is simply stating a fact. offering to assist them in correcting their error is not being judgmental. it is being compassionate. when wrongs darker than death or night are happening right in front of us it is the duty of every human being, compassionate or not, to say this must not happen! this cannot happen! to tell someone that by these actions they are being judgemental is flawed logic and a cop-out to continue excusing onself for ones actions.

        if one claims to follow the teachings of Christ then one must show it. To lack compassion for the plights of others is not Christian. To be proud of the discrimination of others is not Christian. To hate, even when one denies that they are hating, is not Christian! and on top of that….it is not even human. Compassion and love and understanding is what all humans should strive for. our pets love us unconditionally. animals do not see someone who is different. many times it has been reported that an abandoned child was found by an animal and taken in by that animal and nursed. there is a story that I love about a bonobo, aka, a pygmy chimp. the area that the Bonobo was living in became flooded. the animals were fleeing the area. the Bonobo’s family had already left. she too was in the process of leaving. all of a sudden she heard the sound of a small animal in distress. it was drowning. without hesitation the Bonobo ran to the small animal and craddled it to her chest. she risked her life to save an animal that 1. she did not know. 2. was not even part of her own species. she did it without hesitation. she risked her own bodily harm, her own death by saving this creature. and she did not hesitate to do so.

        How can we as humans claim to be human and yet fail to show as much compassion as a Bonobo? how? and why is it considered being judgemental to point that out?

        • Love your post! I have been attacked for “attacking” Christians for simply telling them that behavior I have seen out of many of them is not scriptural and is sinful. If that is attacking Christians then I guess I am guilty. But I also won’t stop because Jesus called out sin when He saw it too.

      • Do you know that abortion rates go down when Democratic priorities are implemented: more sexual health literacy and contraceptive access to prevent of unwanted and mistimed pregnancy, more services that help poor parents get a step ahead financially? The Colorado Family Planning Initiative cut both teen births and teen abortions by 50 percent.

      • Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them Matt. 7.16 the only way I can tell that a tree is an apple tree is when I see apples growing on it. When I see apples growing on it I make an intelligent judgment and call it an apple tree. Please don’t give us this “shouldn’t judge” nonsense. Jesus demanded it

      • John has not been throwing stones. He simply made the point that this is NOT POLITICAL… This is about humanity becoming political. That is simply confronting those who are standing in the way of simple truth and simple minority. No one follows Jesus in every way but if you say you do, then maybe you could start by supporting some of the very basic and prolifically written Bible tenets. Republicans have so thoroughly claimed that territory, they mostly believe they cornered the market on religiosity. John isn’t even taking issue with that but what he is saying is that this is not a matter of political neutrality. This is an essential spiritual belief problem.

  2. I think compassion became party politics when politicians started talking about the “silent majority” which saw things the “right” way. A great many people began to see this as permission to allow their prejudices to stand unchallenged by the Gospel. The heresy of the prosperity gospel grew in popularity and went largely unchallenged because it affirmed what people wanted to hear: that there really is an “us” and a “them” and “we” are better than “they.”

    • To my mind the “prosperity gospel” springs directly from Calvinism and its five points which are themselves heresy as when as a Calvinist looks for “proof” of “election” they often look at their success in the material sphere. This heritage of the “protestant work ethic” and the “gospel of materialism” comes straight from the Puritans who were all or almost all Calvinists. If looking for proof of this thesis read the definitive work from one of the founders of the academic discipline of sociology Max Weber and his The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism. As a nation we really are a sick people. Somehow we managed to transmutate the “fruits of the spirit” into material success. Then again Calvinism all by itself with its double predestination and total depravity is a truly sick philosophy. When you look at something like that it’s no wonder Christopher Hitchens thought Christians (and Muslims) were little better than self hating masochistic slaves. The “prosperity gospel” is an attempt to transmute some of that self hatred which is even more sick but the branches die from the root. The root of that sickness is calvinism. An utterly disgusting philosophy. Why anyone would hold to it is completely beyond me.

  3. We always like to believe we are doing the right thing.
    Being Compassionate is not allowing mass exidos with out standards and rules that apply to all.
    Invasion with from outsiders with out setting down rule of entry is simply stupidity.
    Communication is key.
    Acceptance of others is not allowing infiltration of others beliefs to overtake your s and violate your santity of life .
    Beware of the false cults who would have you believe that being compassionate is unfiltered entrance into ones way of life.
    The politics of the day is not to accept other s , outsiders beliefs , customs, rules to overcome yours.
    When you are a guest , you act like that . Respect the country you are invited into. Dont Trash thiers for yours.
    Something to think about.

    • But all your “concerns” are still self protective at best. The whole point is loving fiercely. And isn’t this what will actually change the world? Seeing every one as an Image Bearer and giving up my power in order for others to flourish?

      • I don’t think the refugee question is that simple. I can pretty confidently say that I’m not going to lose a family member to someone who entered the country claiming to seek refuge (or asylum, which is where the biggest security issues lay). So can you. The math is in our favor. But someone in this country will. All of attacks in Europe over the last several years bear that out. There is a segment of Islam that is totally fine with employing violence against non-believers. It’s foolish to deny this obvious reality. When it does happen here, and it will, telling someone whose loved one was run over by a box truck, or killed at a concert, how important it is to be compassionate is not something I’m willing to do. There is a middle ground between open borders and total lockdown. Dismissing legitimate security concerns as hateful or racist (despite Islam not being a race) is unproductive. I’m not accusing you of that, but there are some loud voices on the left who do just that.

        • I can pretty confidently say that I’m not going to lose a family member to someone who is a white Christian, which is where the biggest domestic security issues lay. So can you. The math is in our favor. But someone in this country will. Almost all the mass shooting in the United States over the last several years bear that out. There is a segment of Christianity that is totally fine with employing violence against others. It’s foolish to deny this obvious reality. When it does happen here, and it happens with frequency, telling someone whose loved one was run over by a box truck, or killed at a concert, or at an elementary school, or a movie theater, or a South Carolina church Sunday school, or at a reproductive rights center, or at a university, how important it is to be compassionate is something I’m willing to do. There is a middle ground between every crazy person with access to guns best suited for combat and total lockdown. Dismissing legitimate security concerns as hateful or racist (despite Christianity not being a requirement under our Constitution) is unproductive. I’m not accusing you of that, but there are some loud voices on the right who do just that.

          • Absolutely perfect response…reflecting my instincts this morning reading a letter to the editor in my local paper. Substitute Christian for Muslim and it fits 100%

          • Ah yes. The “whites kill people too!” defense. A shocking statistic for a white majority nation. I suppose if you wanted to you could research the percentage of homicides committed in this country by each race compared with their percentage of the population, but that might not fit your narrative.

            • Well, President Trump said America kills too when once again defending Putin. Was that a legitimate defense?

              If I misunderstood your latest post I apologize.

              • I’m not trying to defend anything Trump said. That must be exhausting a lot of the time. I merely find trying to diminish the threat of radical Islam by pointing to murders committed by whites to be ridiculous.

            • Bruton, I think you might be missing the point. Of course we are a white majority so it is logical that white people (typically males) commit more crimes. The point I see is that banning Muslims or immigrants does not make us safer. In many ways it makes us less safe because it creates an us vs them mentality, which most Muslims don’t have. Now that we are identifying them blatantly as “bad people” who would blame them for hating us?

        • But there is a difference between having a strong vetting system – which was in place BEFORE Trump – and the bigoted, xenophobic policies that Trump is facilitating.

        • But it is more certain that someone will loose a family member from another American, neighbor, or relative. How do you protect them from those people – round them up and put them out of the country?

        • You are actually not right: Yes there have been a couple of cases (among the millions pf refugees currently in the world) but most attacks in europe have been carried out by europeans being radicalized on the web or who have gone training in the middle east and then returned and committed terror. So that is not true: The real problem and real threat today regarding terror is home-grown terror and the radicalization on the web. When this kind of climate exists: When people of middle-eastern backgrounds see and hear these kind of debates and people calling to end immigration and refugee programs it actually makes the situation worse and the threat greater because the recruiters online can point this out and convince these young people that we in the west and christians hate them and that makes them more prone to being sucked into radical schemes.

          Wake up!

    • I think you need to study the parable of the Good Samaratin. Jesus never said that we have to so guard our own beliefs that we cannot accept others. No one is invading this country, no one is trying to force you to into their belief system. But we are a multicultured and multi religious country. The constitution of the U.S. guarantees freedom of religion, but Benjamin Franklin said one cannot use those religious beliefs to discriminate against others who are different than you. You must afford everyone their civil rights under the secular laws of this nation. It is you who are trying to force your beliefs on everyone else by getting those beliefs put into secular laws in this country. And there is no compassion in that.

      • I agree. According to my sons one of the most lasting impressions made on them when they were little was a time when a homeless man came to our door. Being a parsonage we had a lot of homeless and people of need come to our door, I suppose because we were known to help. Being in the ministry we didn’t have much but you share. Anyway, this gentleman came to our door, hungry, we brought him in, set a place at the dining room table with the good china and we fed him with what little we had, it was the least we could do, he cried. My children have said that that one moment had a profound impact on them. They now go where the homeless gather, take food, give christmas gifts etc. They saw this man as a human being. My son says we need to help people even if they voted republican. Perhaps they need it most. My point is we never know what will make a difference so we should try everytime we get the opportunity to show compassion and humanity. Peace…………………..

        • Kathleen, what a wonderful example you set for your sons and I love that your compassion is one of their early and favorite memories of their mom.

          • Thank you for that but that was what we were taught so it seems natural. I am amazed that there are people who don’t behave that way. We were taught not to turn anyone away. It should be common behavior.

            • As a friend told me many years ago, “Gloriamarie, we can’t expect Christians to act like Christians. We can only be grateful when they do.”

              I am grateful you and yours acted like Christians, modeled that for your children and that they in their turn act like Christians.

              Bless your family.

    • I cannot imagine a more closed mind and heart: indicative of a very insecure, very frightened person.
      I believe Rev. Pavlovitz got it right.
      By the way, no one can learn, grow, and make the world better except to being open to others, and other points of view. We learn from that radical engagement that Jesus so well exhibited. Think about it.

      • I agree, I have always felt I didn’t want to have to answer the question, “Why didn’t you take care of me”. I would rather that God say Well done, good and faithful servant. That seems to be lost. Thank for your service.

    • Compassion springs from a solid core within. One can celebrate diversity without giving up who you are. You can stand up for others without compromising who you are. You can truly love others, because love spring from that core of your being. I can love a drug addict, see and encourage the best in them without becoming a drug addict.

    • “invasion from outsiders without setting up rules of entry”, “infiltration of other’s beliefs to overtake yours” “respect the country you are invited into”…all play to a sham trope used by fear mongers. Reality says otherwise. Refugees and immigrants are vetted for months…that is the reality. Immigrants and refugees do not commit crimes at a higher rate than regular citizens..it’s actually lower. And every immigrant who ever came to this country has retained a bit of their own culture and beliefs. Demanding they do otherwise simply because they aren’t european and make you feel personally uncomfortable is self-centered.

    • How many refugees have you met or spoken to? I’ve volunteered at the refugee camp in Calais, and believe me these people fleeing war and terror (fleeing, they are victims, not perpetrators) have many many more reasons to be afraid of us than we have of them.

    • “Communication is key.” I agree with this statement.

      I think I disagreed or maybe agreed with other parts of your comment, but I’m not sure because it was so littered with typos, grammatical errors, and strange punctuation.

      When you used the word “exidos”, did you mean “men who have left” or did you mean “exodus” which means “a mass departure of people”?

    • This is the fallacy of mankind, all want noticed, stature, respect, and need to be the center of attention. only true religion will set others above themselves to lead others to a higher calling, relationship with the father, savior, giver of eternal life, master of the universe, lover of mankind. who died for all who would receive him as their savior.

      • I’m curious, who is the one to determine what that “true religion” actually is? There is no proof one way or another of any true religion. We’d all like to think it’s our own, and or course we all have some sort of book to prove it, so then who is the correct or true religion? Christians believe theirs is the true religion, Muslims believe theirs is the true religion, Pagans believe theirs is the true religion, Buddhists, Hindus, Judaism, etc..the list goes on! Which one is the true religion? Christians can’t even agree which denomination is the true religion, so who are they to determine that Christianity is true? I was christened Catholic, baptized Baptist then later Baptized Seventh-day Adventist, and now a believer in spirituality but not religion. I have lost my faith in religion due to the inhumanity and hatred. No my friend, religion ends up dividing people into groups that have learned to mistrust, be unkind/inconsiderate/uncaring, and hate each other under the guise of a god, which isn’t what religion is about in the first place.

        • Daena S, you wrote “I have lost my faith in religion due to the inhumanity and hatred. No my friend, religion ends up dividing people into groups that have learned to mistrust, be unkind/inconsiderate/uncaring, and hate each other under the guise of a god, which isn’t what religion is about in the first place.”

          My own experience within the church has been that people are unkind, inconsiderate, uncaring also. It has been quite painful.

          However, I don’t believe religion made them that way. I believe they are that way because they have not allowed the words they profess to change them into better people. Jesus didn’t walk this earth to turn us into Christians. He came to show us how to be better people.

          We can choose to put our faith and our trust in a religion, but that will fail us because when we do that we are putting our faith and trust into fallible people. I choose to place my faith and trust in God as revealed to me in Jesus who is always with me.

          That’s how I deal with it all.

      • Christopher, your comment might very well be true of other religions, but Jesus came to serve, not to be served, to appear after his Resurrection as the least of the brethren, and that means the refugee, the Muslim, the convict, the messy old folks (I am 80) and so on. You speak as though Christianity makes you superior. No, it makes you repentant.

        • I have often thought that Christians thought ourselves to be superior to all other mortals because of the concept that only Christians can be saved.

          That does not make us saved. It only makes us redeemed and repentant.

          Thank you, Joris.

        • Joris: I agree. Were he here in the flesh, i think He would cast some of the ‘most high on earth’ out as demons. It only takes a little honesty, an open mind and heart, and a real decent understanding of actual history to see where things are going.
          To understand an actual Christ/like point of view, (in addition to a moral foundation to ethics) one could use the
          WWJD method. I recommend it to all of those mean-spirited, stingy, spoiled, racist, mysogynistic folks who claim to be Christian.

  4. Amen, brother! Compassion for our neighbors and concern for “the least” among us should never be political. If others wish to make it political, that’s their business. Speaking for me, my business is to live a moral life as exemplified by Jesus and yes, Gandhi, Mandela, MLK. And to ignore those who choose to take offense.

  5. I have been anti-religion for 44 years, since age 17. Not anti-God, or anti-spirituality, or anti-values. Anti-religion. Your positions seem to suggest that you strive for the concept of goodness, not the framework of ritualistic celebration of commonly preferred dogma. Thank you, sir. Once more, you hit the mark.

    • Corinne Corley, I have been anti-religion for quite some time, too. I have seen few examples of the best, and many of the worst that have now catapulted themselves onto the national stage. As someone raised with faith, it sickens me. John almost always puts into words a majority of what I am thinking and feeling. And it comforts me to know I am not alone in these thoughts — that others out there see this is not OK and in no way resembles that which is professed. I won’t join anyones club and as soon as someone begins speaking “morals” to me, they have lost me, as i know what comes next is a diatribe of hateful rhetoric wrapped in faith. I am their dream — straight, white, married, middle class — but also their nightmare, as they stick me in a category of “faithless” or “libtard” or whatever they wish to spew that day. I strive to find common ground with all. It gets harder and harder daily. I don’t want to meet the daily dogma with dogma of my own and it becomes difficult. Your statement hit the mark for me. So thank you. Also, to John, for acknowledging that a common cause of goodness and humanity really should not be a about politics and is living your faith or life’s moral code, or whatever. It is what humans aspire to do and be, and I am unclear why it became partisan. It used to be called common decency.

      • I so agree with you. As someone who was raised in the church, worked in the church and have pretty much walked away from the church, by the way, not my faith, I so agree with every observation you note. The church has made it difficult to believe anything other than their rules. I was a minister’s wife for 40 years, I know. Please know that there appear to be more of us than we knew. Peace…………………

  6. it’s an upside down– inside out world. It doesn’t matter what your belief or ideology is we can challenge those who abuse power– welcome and help those who are in need and join together with those who want to help make a better world for all. I am sticking with Jesus !

  7. I was always an independent too- but switched a few years ago- because it was the only way to vote in a primary I wanted to participate in. SILENCE = DEATH. I’ve yet to see a repub put forth any legislation that didn’t go counter to my existence. It’s all so self-centered- self-righteous and anti-gay. Now you’re suggesting it’s anti-jesus and anti-religion- anti-compassion. We’ve never seen anything like it before. Sad. Mindless. Pathetic. Disgusting. And then there’s one-trick-pony one-track-minded Joe Catholic. Until that fertilized egg becomes an adult and proves he/she/it has anything to actually add to human existence- it isn’t even a viable zygote. So- whatever.

  8. Thank your for your post. It is absolutely spot on. It says everything I believe so Thank you for putting this out in the open. There are those who want the shame and belittle and I would say to them check yourself out first. I am so tired of these self righteous folks, whatever creed they profess. I am sad that most of them seem to hide behind the cross of Jesus. Thank you for trying to make them come out in the open. Keep up the resistance. Keep persisting. Peace………………..

  9. A wonderful quote from a book I read… “Most men considered God to be a clever fellow, which meant He ought to agree with them.”

    The arrogance of man is in bending our expectation of who God is and what Jesus taught to fit what we believe – instead of the other way around.

  10. Why no mention of the unborn? Are they not vulnerable? Do they not need a voice? Is it because your “loyalties lay” with the Democratic party agenda? If “love is a nonpartisan decision,” and you’re making a “declaration of Life,” why no outrage at the treatment of unborn children? And spare me the “oh, so you don’t care about people once they’re born” crap. It’s not binary. I care about both. All of the people groups John mentions in his post are children of God created in His image, and they deserve a voice. So do the unborn. Again, why no outcry on behalf of the unborn?!? Let your knees hit the floor, and ask why THAT is.

    • An excellent question Phil. It’s utterly hypocritical to advocate for the right to kill an unborn child, conceived via consensual sex, while still claiming the mantle of compassion.

      • Hey JC, I am waiting for your response about women being forced to bring to term doomed fetus’.
        If you are going to clamor all night about abortion, pay attention to what others are saying.
        If you can’t answer a simple question, and only pontificate ex nihilo, then I am going to continue my reading of more interesting, and clearly more honest discussions.

      • No, “Gloriamarie,” you are not correct. Please don’t lump me in with those others as a way to avoid dealing with the content of my post. I am my own voice, and I am mystified by the lack of compassion on the issue of the unborn from people who claim to have a heart for the vulnerable. I’d love to hear feedback on that, rather than be dismissed as you did in your response. Do you have an actual explanation for the issue I raised?

        • Here is the only thing I have to say to any man about abortion: If you don’t have a uterus, you don’t get to have an opinion.

          And if you are going to write using the same style, vocabulary and dragging in the same red herrings, then I remain convinced you are Benny/Joe/Lone/Peter/Let the…/Everyone Has…

          • So…a red herring is a statement intended to mislead or distract. I can assure you this is not my intent. A discussion of the unborn is very relevant here. In fact, if John had mentioned the unborn among the vulnerable in his post, I would have applauded. I genuinely don’t understand how unborn children can not be included in a discussion of those most vulnerable in our society. Your comments (both red herrings, by the way) do not answer that question. I am not Joe, and I don’t agree with much of the tone and content of Joe’s posts. I also do not need to be female to care about whether or not babies are being killed. You’re avoiding my actual question. Aren’t the unborn vulnerable? Why no outcry for them?

          • “No uterus, no opinion” is horribly cisnormative and anti trans. Are my opinions on women’s issues invalid because I’m not cis?

            • I think you know perfectly well what I mean by this so don’t go looking for something to be offended by because you will always find something.

              That remark is made not to you but to someone dismissive of women’s issues. If you are a transgendered woman, then you share in women’s issues.

                  • That is a very ironic response. The blog post was about compassion becoming a partisan political issue, so my question is very relevant. I have never received a satisfactory answer. I just don’t get it. Why don’t the unborn qualify as vulnerable in your eyes?

                    • You’re wasting your breath I’m afraid. Ms. Amalfitano is filled with hate and contempt for anyone who does not share her ideology. She’s incapable of defending her beliefs, so she refuses to acknowledge other arguments or claims you don’t even have the right to make them.

                • No they don’t deserve a voice because they don’t exist as a person…they exist only for as long as a woman’s body allows them to exist….as it is females that carry it. Her body, her choice. Until, as a nation we can find the equivalent male reproductive regulation. To do otherwise is unconstitutional. I am all for free birth control and protection; factual reproductive information provided to both males and females; In this way and only this way will the number of abortions decrease. To make abortion illegal is asking for the exact opposite….as recent studies and history has proven.

              • That’s not what you said Gloria. You made it clear you only value the opinion of someone who has a uterus (or biologically female). Words mean something. I suggest you choose yours more carefully in the future so your not so dismissive.

                • If words are so important to you then I am suprised they are not important enough for you to address me by my actual name.

                  What my words make very clear is that I was addresssing a man who wants to takes the rights of women away.

                  If you want to be offended by something you chose to take out of context and make a case over it, then I am happy to consider you yet another troll and ignore you.

                  • Did you just lecture me for taking offense where none was intended, while at the same time taking offense to me not spelling out your full name (i.e. where no offense was intended)? That you would do that, with apparent sincerity, is astonishingly hypocritical.

                    • I am setting a boundary. My name is my name and you did not ask permission, nor would it have been given, to shorten it.

                      Apples and oranges.

                      Perhaps you are my personal troll, one of the Anonymouses, now posting with a name.

            • From my perspective, “No uterus, no opinion” is not the same as “not a woman, no opinion.” Some men have uteruses, and some women do not. So I would not say it’s transphobic.

              I think what’s really true is “not my uterus, no opinion” – that is, each person with a uterus gets to choose for themselves what they want to do until fetal viability.

          • Gloriamarie. Why no compassion for the Husband/ Father? [What man do you know that wants his child vacuumed into the sink?]

            Having a uterus is irrelevant to the argument. [It’s leased housing for 9 months. ] How did the baby get there anyway? Not by wishful thinking. It’s like saying a man/woman own a car together, but keep it at the woman’s house for a little while. The car still belongs to both of them.

        • Here’s an answer. The world of morality is a real world. Most religions have points at which they touch the moral world, and inform it, and sometimes provide sound moral guidance: and sometimes you get cultural holdovers, vicious nonsense, racism and other greatly immoral practices. you do not get to reduce MORALITY to abortion.
          If you fail to take into account the context of why a woman needs, or wants an abortion claiming that all abortion is immoral, then you are simply, and importantly mistaken. Or do you wish to discuss the morality of abortion, then you need to do this. If not, then perhaps we can discuss the millions of men, women and children, murdered in Europe during 2 centuries of religious war. I have known several women and girls who have had abortions. None were giddy with joy: some suffered for years. Pope Francis has been trying to relieve this guilt, and morally and spiritually,he is right to do so. Or do you think God and the Church have nothing to do with forgiveness? and love.
          I knew a man and woman awaiting their first child. The baby in utero had been ill: tests showed the initial amniocentesis had ruptured the placental sac. The baby was dying-and that woman, suffering, with malignant sepsis nearly died as well. The doctors decided to enter her to remove the baby’s body. Its what saved my wife’s life: we still, nearly 20 years down the road, cannot discuss it. In your view, are we guilty of some sin? The doctors who told us that there was no heartbeat, and no other way to save my wife’s life, was to remove the baby THEN.
          If you cannot see that real moral challenges are not so easy to deal with:
          If you care only for calling others uncaring, because they think there are justificatory reasons to have abortions, then you lack the compassion, and the wisdom shown by Jesus Christ, the Righteous And frankly, this discussion between the perfectionists, haters, and misogynists and the people who care deeply about life and reality has really gone an long enough. As the Bible says, ‘there are none so blind, as those who will not see.’

            • My privilege.
              I love philosophy and have come to understand that in a democracy we must be free to speak, speak honestly and fairly.
              I used the story because it was a)true, and b) made a practical point-an honest epistemological point about the nature of reasoning about ethics.

              • I like the way you “argue” sir. I also like that you aren’t ashamed of you and your wife’s vulnerabilities. Now that’s a real man. Thank you,

      • Is it really that implausible that more than one person has moral qualms about abortion on demand? Seems more likely a way to avoid answering an uncomfortable question. Easier to accuse someone of being someone else, without a shred evidence.

    • Pointing out hypocrisy, and evil immoral acts is not crap: it is what men and women do, in constitutional democracies when others act unjustly, unfairly, immorally, unconstitutioanlly, etc. That is the moral, and political side. When a man or woman, is following a spiritual/religious historical figure, because he/she believes that figure speaks for God, or is God, then they showing devotion to what they believe to be a supreme good, such as love, justice, joy, freedom, etc,etc.
      It remains then to examine who is following those understood ideals and moral/spiritual values, and those who are not. (I am sorry I am over-simplifying this, but I am old and maybe as JC claims, a left alt-kook.) This is REAL WORLD, NOT A POST-TRUTH, OR ALT FACT exercise. Propaganda not accepted. YOU do good, or you deny good from being done. I know, things are not always this simple, but at the end of the day, you maintain aid for the poor and needy, the downtrodden, you free the slave you teach the children truth, and you provide a good example–or you do exactly the otherwise course.
      I believe God knows, understands, cares and yes, gets righteously pissed off. I thinks we are there again. What did Micah say? Was it to do justice to love mercy and walk humbly with your God. I am a fallible, failing man sometimes. that is the world I live in: in fact I think we are all there. It is our duty however to get it right, not to lie, not to be little, not to do injustice, but to do the best we can, in the sight of God and man.
      That is a big job: I have more to do.
      Good night.

    • So it’s not binary for you (just because you care about the unborn it doesn’t mean you don’t care about the born). But it has to be binary for JP? (He only mentions the born so therefore he doesn’t care about the unborn). Double standard?

    • Hi, I know I’m late to this party but I have a pretty simple answer for you. And it’s a two-parter. Part one is a simple ethical/biblical concept.
      If god is all knowing, all powerful, and loves all his children, especially the unborn…. Wouldn’t he know if a woman feels so overwhelmed that she is going to have an abortion? If a child is going to be aborted, stillborn, etc. and God knows it, why would they put a soul into that body? Isn’t it ALL part of God’s plan anyhow?

      Interestingly, prior to the 1800’s, abortion before 4 month was considered almost normal from a cultural standpoint. For many women it was common enough that it had several euphemisms for it that ladies would write to each other about, with terms like “taking the trade” or “bringing on the menses”.
      From a church standpoint, prior to 1869 (pope Pius the IX) the catholic church considered that while abortion was always a sin, it was not as serious until “ensoulment”, which was considered to happen either during either the quickening (when a mother feels the baby move at around 4-5 months) or at 40 day for boys and 80 for girls. The move to saying that life began at conception is often cited BY the church as us knowing more about the biology of life at that time. Now we also now know that there’s a huge difference between conception and a pregnancy carried to term.

      So if we were to follow in the footsteps of Pope Pius, we should listen to science, right? Cause that’s why he made the decree in the first place (according to the church itself). Science NOW tells us that out of 1000 successful fertilizations, about a quarter of them never stick to the uterine wall. Out of the remaining 750, 25% will be lost to miscarriage before ever even getting a heartbeat, leaving about 560 left. After that another 5% will be lost due to mid-late term miscarriage, leaving 530, and another dozen (ish) to stillbirths and death shortly after birth. Which leaves us with perhaps just over 500 babies alive out of 1000 fertilized eggs before abortion is ever taken into account.

      Why on EARTH would a god who loves us, who is all powerful, compassionate, caring and just, who knows our very lives before we ever take a single step, put 1000 souls in 1000 developing eggs when the VERY WORLD HE CREATED is going to take half of them away before they are ever given the chance to live regardless of ANY actions we might take to prevent it? Why? Is he not the God we think he is?

      To me, it seems, the only logical answer is that if he is a loving, just, all-knowing and all-powerful god, he would not put a soul into a body knowing it would die. It seems to me that he would only give souls to those children who he KNOWS will live. Anything less would be cruel. Which means that when a woman gets pregnant, he already knows if you are going to get an abortion or not. He’s got to have SOME system in place for the 485 souls that don’t make it into this world from non-abortions. It wouldn’t make much sense to put a soul into the child of a woman getting an abortion just to spite her. After all, it’s all part of the Plan. Even the miscarriages. All of us are part of his plans, right? If the slum drunk, the thief, the adulterer, the abuser, the liar are all part of the plan, why aren’t the aborters?

      Not to even mention that people choose to sin all the time. Even to think of a sin is often considered as bad as the sin itself. The key here is to forgive them. And you have neither the right to judge, nor forgive, only let them be. That is between them and God.

      Which leads to part two of my argument. We are a secular nation with “Freedom of religion” being right alongside “shall make no law respecting religion” in our constitution. Free will applies to and from Man. Even if you make it illegal to have abortions because of the Bible, women will still attempt to have abortions, they always have, and even if they don’t succeed they will have STILL sinned. Faith in God has to come from within a person, and no amount of laws, doctrines and dogma will stop someone who truly intends to sin from sinning. This is especially true if they simply don’t follow your religion. Your laws don’t mean much to them at all, and yet the bible STILL says you need to be compassionate towards them.

      If you REALLY want to stop abortions, there’s ways to do that.

      TEACH them. Education is important. Both about the fact that the bible says that it’s a sin, but also about sex ed! Good sex ed can drastically reduce unwanted pregnancies by a massive amount. Teaching has to come from a place of concern and compassion, not dogma and discipline. Learning about STDs, the difficulty of raising a child, about pregnancy risks, etc. leads to not only less unwanted pregnancies, but less risky sexual behavior all around including less sex before wedlock. Somehow, this policy which is scientifically proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions is a democratic party platform issue.

      SUPPORT them. The majority of people who have abortions cite financial concerns int heir top three reasons for an abortion. Pass programs that benefit the poor, cast off your worldly goods to feed the hungry, cure the sick, clothe the unclothed, and let people go to school and earn a living with their own two hands. Unfortunately, as the post states, these seem to only be democratic policies these days. These should not be partisan issues. You don’t get the cherry pick the bible, right? If you think abortion is a sin, not caring for the least among us as though they were Jesus himself is a sin as well.

      UNDERSTAND them. Spend time talking to these sinners, like Jesus did, and treat them with compassion and respect. Even if you tell them to sin no more, you first have to forgive them and know them and treat them as equals without that desire first.

      And lastly, dear Lord, FUND BIRTH CONTROL. Did you know that contraception such as the Pill, the shot, the ring, plan B, IUDs etc. were originally developed by the leader of Planned Parenthood specifically for the purpose of eliminating the need for abortions? The founder of Planned Parenthood wanted these to replace the need for abortions by trying to make them available for every woman across the nation whenever she needed it. In fact, even if you consider a fertilized egg a pregnancy, IUDs, rings, shots and pills prevent eggs from ever being developed and released, so fewer eggs ever complete fertilization and the some 480ish lives lost to natural causes drops down to something like 5-10. And every comprehensive scientific study done (IE, not done by a church) shows that making abortions illegal just makes women seek out illegal (and dangerous) methods, but access to birth control DOES drop abortion rates. So no matter which way you look at it, birth control reduces the number of lives lost to abortion. Somehow, this effective method of reducing abortions is ALSO a democratic platform!

      I would be TOTALLY OK with illegal abortions (with exceptions for lifesaving/stillbirth/incest or rape-based abortions) if in exchange every woman in this country was given the right to see a doctor and get free contraception both through barrier methods and chemical methods, whenever she wanted, for free. While I’d prefer that abortions stay legal, because we shouldn’t force biblical laws on a secular nation, I think that would be a fair trade that most people could get behind.

      So yes. Even if you believe that God gives a soul to every fertilized egg and therefore a fertilized egg that doesn’t make it to birth is a death… Supporting democrats STILL jives rather nicely with the idea of reducing abortions and massively reducing the number of fertilized eggs that never make it to birth.

      There’s no two ways around it. Democrats are leading the way on reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions with every step they take, and trying to be compassionate and respectful towards other religions by keeping it legal along the way. If reducing unwanted pregnancies and feeding, clothing, housing and teaching the poor who can’t afford their children for free isn’t helping the unborn, then nothing is.

      I won’t be replaying to this or watching it. It’s too much trouble. But if you’re genuinely seeking a compassionate answer, there it is. No malice, only facts.

  11. Thank you, John. Your words strengthen me in my resolve to follow Jesus no matter where that leads me. I don’t think Dems are dedicated entirely to good – can’t overlook all their warmongering, drone killing, etc. — but I do think they strive to do the right thing most of the time. Repubs have sold their souls for raw power and are literally drunk with it.
    I have a suggestion for Joe C and his pals:
    Since it takes a man to make a baby, use all that righteous energy to educate MEN to either be celibate or use birth control. Responsible MEN could eliminate most abortions. Educating men regarding birth control would also indicate you expect men to take EQUAL responsibility for unwanted children and truly care about the women whose wombs you impregnate. Your message as you communicate it now comes across as misogynistic and sexist…”men will be men”, “spread their seed.” Ha ha ha.
    If you spent your time and energy educating irresponsible men instead of attacking men like John P, women wouldn’t need so many abortions. Focus on your brothers, help start a planned parenthood for men! Didn’t think so…

    • Marilyn…there are many irresponsible men in this world, and that is a terrible reality. That being said, is it really your argument that because some men are irresponsible women then have the right to exterminate a child? That makes no sense to me. How are those two realities even correlated? How does that behavior demonstrate compassion for those who have no voice? I don’t get it.

    • I would also like to add if they spent as much time on making sure that they are taken care of after they are born but nope throw them under the bus just get them here. I am tired of it. And the assumption that we are carefree in how we feel about this subject of offensive. Peace……………….

      • Kathleen…please share your heart on this issue. I’d love to hear it. The issue is not binary. I care about all of the groups John mentioned in his post, as well as the unborn.

      • Exactly, Kathleen. We have been talking about this for weeks now in different places on this blog.

        If the Right care so much about the unborn, then they need to prove it with their compassion for the living. Personally, I don’t see it.

        If they don’t want abortions, why is it they don’t take steps that lead to the prevention of unwanted pregnancies?

        When are the men of the Right going to cease thinking they have a right to use women’s bodies however they want?

        Where is the outrage that the Office to Prevent Violence to Women has been gutted?

        Where is the action to assure that rape kits are processed in a timely manner?

        What are they doing to stop the “boys will be boys” thinking?

        Where are the free contraceptives?

        When is the shaming of women going to stop?

        Where is the end to male privilege?

        Stop underfunding SNAP.

        Continue free lunch programs and give the kids on the program the exact same lunch as the kids who aren’t and cease shaming the recipients with a different, cheaper meal.

        Do not repeal the ACA which has provide health care for millions of citizens who didn’t have it.

        Enact sensible gun control laws.

        Reenact the ban on assault weapons in the hands of civilians.

        Give the people adversely affect by Sandy the federal aid they were promised and for which they are STILL waiting.

        I could continue with more examples.

        Do NOT talk to me about the unborn when every action taken by the GOP and the Right indicate that all they care about is the birthing of the fetus and not whether it survives, let alone thrives into adulthood.

        • Gloriamarie, Once again we are on the same page. Thank you, could not have said it any better. I keep wondering when they will get the picture that prevention and compassion are the answer. Peace………..

          • But why not do all of those things AND be a voice for the unborn? Why is it either / or? I cannot stand Trump, and I’m not part of the “right,” but for the life of me I can’t see why the unborn doesn’t fit into the “vulnerable” and “least of these.” It’s inconsistent to me. I DO care about both. Why don’t you? You haven’t answered the question. Because some conservatives don’t show compassion, that makes it OK to exterminate babies? That makes no sense.

          • I just thought of something else.

            They can prove they care for the living and the unborn by funding Planned Parenthood so women can receive the neo-natal care they need, as well as all the other healthcare services PP provides to ****both**** men and women.

            • So, using your logic, I should help fund an organization that performs abortions in order to prove I have compassion for the unborn? That is a ridiculous suggestion. Why can’t you answer the actual question? Are the unborn not vulnerable? Do they not deserve a voice? Haven’t you turned compassion for the unborn into a partisan political issue?

        • You are right. And that just provided this insight: Trump and his male followers are just that: boys, in men’s clothing.

  12. If folk would like to take action on the side of compassion, I invite you to join the Facebook group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, and become a voice on the side of persistence, resistance, the voiceless, women, children, human rights, etc etc. Unabashedly and unashamedly bleeding heart liberal because I would rather my heart bleeds than it be one of stone.

    Here’s the URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

  13. Hey John

    You may be talking America, but they are just the Loudest in a World Wide Trend.

    I join you and stand with Jesus

    People First

  14. I can only speak to what is in my heart. To me compassion became partisan politics when the Republicans said they “were on the side of God”, when they said they were the party of “family values”.

    When a party holds themselves morally superior to every one else and then fails to walk the walk they open themselves up to logical questions. The Republicans hitched their wagon years ago to the “religious right” for votes – nothing else. Who really believes God takes sides? Who really believes only one party believes in family values? They have used those words as sales slogans.
    Politics is dirty business. Both sides have had scandals.

    For over fifty years Republican presidents have never made a concerted effort to reverse Roe v. Wade even with Republican majorities in congress. Were they not Pro Life? Is it an alternate fact that there are less abortions during a Democrat presidency than a Republican presidency? Just maybe it has something to do with compassion, availability of birth control, and realizing that this is just not a woman issue it is a society issue.

    Years ago many adoptive parents were mostly white and could afford what was a cumbersome road to adoption and they mostly wanted the perfect white baby. Now it is easier to adopt and many truly wonderful people, including same sex couples and single parents provide such love to all colors, all ages, and disabled children. Yet our Foster Child program needs help. We need to do better with protecting abused children, molested children, hungry children, homeless children, etc. Churches need to start preaching about responsibility of both the man and the woman. Just saying sex is bad has never worked since the beginning. Time for a different approach.

    All this requires money and time. When people are working and earning a living wage they can be more generous with their time and money. They can do more for each other. There are always going to be those who game the system and try to ruin the good things.

    When it comes to refugees and immigrants. I would think that everyone can agree that Trump’s roll out was a disaster. He could have gone another way that would have caused less chaos and uncertainty. Running a country involves millions of more working pieces. They say Obama deported many thousands and obviously accomplished it an easier way. We want to be safe but this country is a country of immigrants. I am only a second generation American.

    And please with the media picking on Trump. He ran on making everyone but him and those who adored him as the enemy. Before that the media was his safe place as long as they showed him to be a wealthy playboy or a wealthy businessman, when he could use them to promote himself. Almost everything he said about Hillary or Obama he has done himself. He is a salesperson who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to change that dynamic. A man who cannot be humble, who cannot admit to making a mistake, whose only reaction is to bully or demonize is not a decent man. He is a dangerous man. Even the Republicans, before he was their face, said everything we are saying now. They have put power and wealth and party over country.

    Does anyone think that keeping quiet about your guy when you were told he lied to the FBI or that he could be compromized is not quite as important about a President lying about a b$#w j&b in the Oval Office and does’t deserve a special investigation seems to have lost the moral compass that they used for the last 20 years while spending hundreds of millions of tax payer money to go after the Clintons. I am not absolving the Clintons but those ridiculous committees have resulted in nothing. Sorry long winded. Peach

    Thank you John for your words.

    • Joanne, Thank you for that post. I agree with everything you said. I have been saying it over and over for a number of years but you did much better than anything I could write. I do remember someone once said that the Republicans will do everything they can do keep some of Roe on the books because they get votes and the mega pastors get money. I thought at the time how cynical but I have to say I am coming closer and closer to believing that. Thanks, Peace……….

  15. Nauseating seeing you Jews in Christian costume spewing your demented Jewish bullshit…. Make aliya already Pavlovitz…there’s nothing for you here but disappointment.

  16. The American “dream”, of ever increasing prosperity for each generation at the expense of the rest of the world and the environment, reveals us for who we truly are as a country. We gladly pillage other countries for their resources, to support our consumer lifestyle, without a thought to the consequences to those countries or the environment as a whole. Many love to suggest how “generous” we are, which, I guess, would depend on your definition of generosity. If it’s biblical, than it’s at least 10%, if it’s American, it hovers between 1-2%. This isn’t just the case for us as a country, it’s the case for the majority of those identifying as “Christian”, according the Barna study which showed only about 14% tithe 10%. The rest either don’t trust God to provide for them if they are obedient or have more allegiance to their wallet than the gospel and would rather spend that money on a bigger house or newer car. Many don’t tithe at all. Is it really any surprise then, this lack of generosity towards the poor and the refugee? Not to me. Just par for the course. What’s laughable is suggesting that America, the mammon worshiping capital of the earth, is a Christian country. There’s certainly little real evidence of that. A lot of talking but very little walking. The American lifestyle is a “wide road” lifestyle that is unwilling to sacrifice it’s luxuries to help those that have nothing. Then to compound this sad absence of charity , a Jesus banner is waved over it, as if God approves of our gluttonous style of existence. I think perhaps we should be more worried about the warnings of Sodom (and I’m not talking about homosexuality). “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. ” Sounds like us to me.

  17. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    War requires that the masses be whipped into xenophobic hysteria.

    Open Borders!
    Unite all Workers!
    Full citizenship rights to all!

    Blessings!

  18. John,

    I have struggled with religion for many years because I have seen so many people of professed faith act in ways that are so at odds with what faith teaches. Your words, though, are a powerful, profound and moving affirmation of faith in action. Thank you for showing me a path I could not find on my own.

  19. Taxation and laws.

    Three words.

    How much is your ‘compassion’ going to cost everyone else? For that matter, why do you get to decide how I fulfill my Christian duty and since when do we assign such things to the government?

    Taxes determine how little money we have to devote to charity, not how much.
    Laws determine who we can, and cannot, provide for.

    Such things are the province of the government thus partisan issues.

    If you would rather trust the individual to have as much freedom to exercise as much compassion as possible, you want as little taxation and loose legislation as possible. Freedom.

    If you believe people are essentially heartless, greedy monsters – tax and legislate the crap out of them. Don’t give them the chance to NOT give, or be indifferent if not outright evil. If you don’t trust the individual, you will support the partisan side which restricts individual freedoms and finances.

    Is it the government’s job to provide compassion? Why? Since when? (that last question was rhetorical ~ since the dawn of civilization we have never fully trusted one another)

    Do I have the freedom to not show compassion? Why, or why not? And how is it the Christian thing to FORCE someone to provide for others? By all means, increase spending on social programs by either raising taxes (chuckle), or more deficit spending (because we should all spend our grandchildren’s money).

    Let’s look at immigration. You bring in immigrants with little, or no skills, or knowledge of English, or American ways – you put extra stress on all the Emergency services. You require more spending on schools – more taxes for me. Working out how they don’t raise health care costs … good luck with that.

    Now, if I want to sponsor an immigrant, or immigrant family, I accept a great deal of financial responsibility, but know I don’t absorb all their expenses.

    If my community decides to sponsor an immigrant, or immigrant family – then we have all agreed to the charity – finally.

    Or, we could have an election and make this a partisan issue of who is responsible for compassion and how much one groups compassion will cost EVERYONE ~ thus it is an issue for everyone.

    I’m sure if I want to spend my compassion in the form of standing as as a support person at a Planned Parenthood to make sure women get in unmolested, that’s on me. I’m sure Joe Catholic would resent your tax dollars paying me for my charity, that’s for sure.

    If you want to ‘fast track’ undocumented immigrants, that will cost me, the taxpayer and there is no way around that. You will reduce my ability to financially provide for the charities of my choice. The ASPCA of Wake County being one. I like animals.

    It is that simple. Who do you trust to do the most good people, or governments?

    • JD. i agree. While I was never a refugee, I was an immigrant in a foreign country for 4 years.

      I was asked to:
      –Register with the foreign Govt: name, rank, serial #.
      –Apply for special work visa
      –Gain sponsorship by Host Country Citizen (that promised to pay all my unpaid bills)
      –Register my bank acct & all transactions with Govt
      –Quarterly interviews with Govt immigration officials
      –Gain special housing thru my Host Sponsor
      –Pay income taxes

      I respectfully complied with every request.

    • Hey you don’t have to convince anyone here that it’s okay with Jesus that you turn your back on widows and orphans to protect your bloated mammon worshiping consumer lifestyle. It’s Jesus you’ll have to convince, not us. I suggest a review of Matthew 25.

    • James Dosher : well thought out piece.
      My response is, it depends on their values, i.e. the values of each.
      Examine please the Values and actions of the New Deal, Square Deal etc. Now contrast with the Gop’s current efforts attack on the programs of the new deal/square deal.
      Clearly one is for the individual in the society: one is for an economic/power elite, at the expense of the majority of this nation. The right is going so far as to destroy supplementary programs for newborns and poor moms.
      Or even, contrast the honesty, integrity of Obama, and Donald Trump.
      It depends, for me on the values and execution.

    • Or you could look at the Old Testament system, where the people had to contribute a tenth of everything, and the civic authority (which was also the religious authority since it was a theocracy) distributed it among the poor. God understood that a central, national system was needed, and he provided for one in the law.

  20. Thank you for persisting with the Word as I understand it in my heart and conscience to be. I have lost faith in my country, the church and in much of my family so I have very little left but my husband and my conscience. I appreciate as a person of compassion that visits your site quite a lot that I’m not alone.

    • Hi Cathy. You are not alone: there are a lot of us out here, and we are fighting back. We are motivated by many forces, but for many of us the example of the best of religious/spiritual guides is a fine place to find solace and re-assurance.
      I trust in God, and in his helpers and representatives, avatars, and those who do good.
      By the Grace of God, I was allowed a thorough education. I also trust in the goodness of our nation, the importance and wisdom of most of our institutions, etc.
      As for God: recall the old Anglican piece: “They reckon ill who leave Him out.” (From the Anglo-American philosopher, Alfred North Whithead.

  21. This is untruthful! Since when are Christian Republicans not Passionate? I personally have not stepped into a church to worship in over 20 years but I have to volunteer, and what I see is unquestioned help for the homeless, The city of Yakima had no answer for the homeless camp and the freezing weather coming this winter so the terrible republican christian churches using there own private money opened there doors without question. Without question of faith, drug abuse, past history, or anything, the only questions I hear asked? “Are you hungry?” do you need a coat”.(the liberals do not have shelters for the cold months) And I quote “So yes, my dear Republican Christian friends, maybe homeless refugees and sick children and the working poor and black lives and fewer guns and universal healthcare are indeed now “Democratic talking points”.” since when are these Democratic Talking points? I hear people from every political platform (especially ones that are true nonpartisan ) talking about these points democrats do not tell the truth about this or maybe they just do not know the truth. Now that you are angry at me, let me assure you I commented in almost a mirror perfect reflection on a concervative post today explaining that when the weather warms the homeless are still homeless and they might join and help there liberal friends at the Food bank 🙂 Come on guys everyone is doing good on a local level but you still want to be enemies and act like the other falls short LOL This Article is completely bias and partisan, and the author tries to act like he is not some how, yet his words expose the real truth.
    What the true meaning is is that both political parties do the same good but because you do not do it together, you both deny it and say the other is not doing anything
    When I volunteer with the republicans I hear how terrible the liberals are. Lol I know this is untrue, but when I volunteer with the democrats I hear the evils of the terrible concervatives, lol and this is also untrue. John P. is as untruthful and Bias as they come! the real truth told by a truth teller

    • Mike Adams, please reread. You wrote “This is untruthful! Since when are Christian Republicans not Passionate?”

      The issue is not one of passion in the Christian Republicans but their lack of compassion.

      Two very different words with two very different meanings. I know from my own personal experience how much the Christian Right lacks compassion.

      • I think Conservatives take individual responsibility for helping needy (they out-give Progressives by 30%), and prefer Govt to remain smaller (economically sound) , –while Progressives are vehement, that larger & larger Govt programs are necessary to help those on the edges .

        I guess it can get done both ways, –but ‘one way’ allows the Giver to choose a cause that they are passionate! about (hence, effectiveness & resources are able to fill to the max.)

        And the ‘other way’ allows the Govt to ‘choose’ causes that they like (many are outdated, duplicated, mis-managed), and hired bureaucrats run it (hence, questionable causes & wasteful spending is too common) .

  22. Sigh, it seems that Trump supporters care more about Trump and his image rather than showing compassion towards the human beings around them.

  23. This article goes to the heart of the matter. It goes without saying that there are of course decent Republicans out there. But the Republican political party in power right now – and its followers putting party before country – are not amongst them. Remember when the Budweiser Super Bowl advert told the story of its founder enduring hardships upon his arrival in America and overcame them to achieve success? That is the quintessential American story of our traditional Protestant work ethic, highlighting our can-do attitude and our foundational values that we can all make here if we just work hard enough. How did that ever come to be perceived as a bad thing? To the point were #BoycottBudwiser became a thing (complete with misspellings, highlighting the absurdity of Betsy DeVos, but that’s another story). Or the Audi ad where a badass young girl fearlessly competes with the boys in a downhill cart race while her Dad contemplates the world she’s growing up in where women are paid 21% less then men on average for doing the exact same work and with the same qualifications. Equal Rights is a topic that’s “too political”?

    So here’s where we are: “affirming anything remotely compassionate or decent now feels like a political stance against Republicans. Empathy seems like an act of defiant resistance”. Advocating for sanctuary for refugees fleeing unimaginable violence, Protecting immigrants from Government harassment (the very thing our forefathers and mothers were fleeing when they came to America all those years ago), Marching for full equality for women (women died for us defending this), Affirming religious freedom for all traditions (our very first amendment, for the constitution-loving peeps amongst us), Fighting the degradation of our planet (a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese?!) Protecting the vulnerable children and animals who can’t advocate for themselves; Championing the vulnerable, the sick, the poor… all this is partisan?

    To our Republican friends and family – can you please explain that to us? We honestly would listen with an open heart, respectful of you as a person. Because that’s what decent people do.

    But we cannot – and will not – respect these points of view that only the “wealthy and powerful deserve our respect, or only those of a single skin pigmentation, gender identification, or a certain homeland”. We will be unequivocally and unapologetically intolerant of those points of view and will continue to stand loudly against that ideology in the hope that a more “Christ-like” or “Buddha-like” or “Gandhi-like” or “Rumi-like” ideology prevails. This, too, is what decent people do.

    Equality, Diversity, Justice, Mercy, Decency and Compassion as Democratic talking points that are ridiculed…. especially if you consider yourself a Christian, you think JC might be slightly horrified that you mock these values; the foundation of all his teachings?

    I’m open to constructive criticism, self reflection and appreciate the opportunity to grow and learn and discover new opportunities to be a positive presence in the world.

    Are you?

    • Way to go! Showing the natural consequences of
      FASCISM, which has been embraced by much of the right, is a strong argument. Today’ new offering from
      the new administration on immigration/expulsion
      shows no one thought really of the consequences to America. Many have commented on this at the New New York Times, this morning. This action will have enormous consequences for the rest of us.
      Nice, well thought out post.

  24. Melania Trump prayed the Lord’s Prayer at Florida rally today. What a blessing for all who joined her in prayer. Honoring God on Sunday, is awesome.

    “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth has it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, & the Glory, forever, & ever. ” Amen.

  25. This afternoon I read about the Forward Together movement in North Carolina. Reverend Barber, the leader of the movement recently said, ““Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions have backing from groups that like to call themselves white evangelicals,” he said. “Well, I know a lot of white evangelicals. … Those who have chosen to get behind the race-driven, class-driven agenda of Trump and his pick — namely, white evangelicals — are engaging in theological malpractice and heresy. … It is a form of heresy to attempt to use faith to endorse hate and discrimination and injustice.”

  26. Those who say they have compassion on the unborn who have never seen the light then turn around and have no compassion on the born, who are struggling to see the light, do not have true compassion at all.

  27. Those who identify with Mother Teresa simply because they agree with Mother Theresa on abortion and yet do not seek to be peaceable and respectful to others like Mother Theresa would– do not know the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk.

  28. Sir, first I would like to thank you. I was raised a Catholic, but I no longer practice any sort of organized religion. My “religion,” if you will, is to live life the way that I think it should be lived – by caring for everyone, not just myself, not just Christians, not just white people, but EVERYONE. When I see writings from self-proclaimed Christians, ragin against everything – quite literally – that Jesus actually taught and stood for, it enrages me that they have the audacity to label themselves “Christian.” While I don’t practice formal Christianity, I do try to live “right,” and usually, that falls along the lines of just doing what is moral and right. I am so very pleased to see someone who is quite obviously a true Christian speaking out against the hypocrisy of what we now call “fundamental Christianity.” I will be following your blog from now on. Thank you again for reaffirming the fact there actually are many real Christians out there.

  29. Some wonderful comments here today and glad to see some new people commenting. Not sure why abortion needs to come up every time JP makes a post.

    • Kathy: JC is an ideologist. The concept he wants to push is absolute rights and wrongs, no gray areas, ‘Don’t bother me with the facts: my mind is made up.’
      ‘REality, real persons, real crises, emergencies, and the dirty business of life. Count me out.’
      He has no comprehensive moral world view: he thinks he safe to stick with the un born, so he can always be ‘absolutely right.’ Phil seems much the same.
      I challenged them to do a little actual moral philosophy: so far they declined….and it is nearly 1000pm here so ai am going to bed. In my prayers to God tonight, i will ask for the ability to contribute to make a better contribution to the world, in order to make abortions fewer when possible, and to protect those who need and provide them.

      • Richard Randall, Thank you for your thoughtful and passionate contribution tonight . As for me I am reduced to three or four sentences at best these days, God bless and thank you for your service.

      • Gloriamarie, (not that Joe Catholic is his real name and he needs to protect his reputation or anything) but he has a point — until you know for certain he uses many names and is diagnosed by a doctor with “a pathological and perverse obsession with women’s bodies”, it is not a truth or a fact and we probably should be more circumspect about repeating such things.

        Joe Catholic does take a lot of abuse on this blog (albeit in response to his own dishing out of mean comments) and even gets riled up by comments that don’t mention him by name (but for some reason seems to think every comment is specifically directed at him).

        anyways thats my thoughts, submitted respectfully for your consideration, cheers.

    • The reason it comes up every time is because Joe/ benny/Phil/ Zag… I can’t remember all his names… is determined that women should listen to him and let him control their bodies. As if…

      You’ll know him by his buzz words: abortion ( no matter if that has any thing to do with the topic at hand) inconvenient, uncomfortable, practicing catholic, Mother Theresa (he even identified himself as such in his title). John could be writing an essay on any topic and when it switches to abortion, you’ll know it’s him.

  30. I’d really like to see all of the personal attacks stop.
    They are not productive, indeed they are destructive of concourse.
    Some times, I have difficulty remembering my name:
    so I don’t ever use pseudos. Maybe that should be thought about.
    I have made some comments I wish I hadn’t made tonight: i have heard from many committed people, and some, just sort along for hell-raising.
    Some for hurting others. Not so good there.
    I look forward to rejoining this blog Soon. Grateful to meet you all.

  31. To quote my favorite poet/artist/prophet of our time, Leonard Cohen:

    “And love is not a victory march
    It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah. ”

    Let us keep singing, anyway.

  32. Hello friends. A few days ago this article popped up on my feed, about compassion becoming part of partisan politics. I read the article, and agreed with the content, but I noticed that the unborn were not included in the list of those on the margins who merit compassion and need a voice in our culture. To my view, this seemed odd, because it fits right in with the theme of John’s original post, and I wondered if perhaps this wasn’t another example of compassion becoming lost in the sea of partisan politics. So, I made a few comments along those lines, pretty straightforward. I’ve honestly been shocked by the response. I’ve been called a lunatic (I’m perfectly sane), a child (I’m 48), despicable (??), a woman hater (nope), a catholic (nope), a republican (nope), a Trump apologist (nope), and I’ve been repeatedly dismissed as a liar who is faking his identity (nope, it’s me, Phil!). This brings us back to John’s original question: “When did compassion become partisan politics?” Sometimes it is difficult for us to find compassion for people when we disagree with them, and yet, this is exactly what is needed in a divided society. When you clamor for compassion and then you are uncharitable toward others, your message loses it’s teeth. I believe the unborn need a voice. I also believe the born need a voice. I believe both. My life reflects this. My family is dedicated to helping all kinds of people, with our time and with our resources. That doesn’t demand your agreement, but it does demand your respect.

    • I am sorry you felt disrespected. There are plenty of people here who enjoy an exchange of views and beliefs with respect and consideration for others. Yes, there is inappropriate behavior on all sides sometimes. Sometimes people become emotional about things they are passionate about. Others just want to stir the pot.

      Many of us have expressed our views about the unborn here. I respect your views and your belief. But then I expect the same respect back. No one is expecting to change your views. That would be ridiculous. We are who we are. If you feel in your heart that one cannot be seen as compassionate unless they are anti-abortion I can respect that.

      We still need to agree to disagree. I am fine with that.

    • Hi Phil I didn’t read those comments but I agree there needs to be a more respectful dialogue all around. One of the reasons I don’t make a point about abortion– out of context in every blog post– is because I have my beliefs about it and don’t have a need to push my beliefs on others. There are times I have expressed my views on abortion and have been shot down by friends which happened a few times in my life– but we found a place of respectful disagreement in order to move on and remain friends. In is not an ongoing contentious issue. Ultimately I have to have faith that God knows how to redeem us all and in the meantime we carry on.

    • I hear you and I agree the unborn need a voice! What I don’t believe is that we should legislate our Christian values. There are so many other ways, including prayer, to defend the unborn. I believe all children deserve to be born into a loving home. You can’t legislate that. So I would prefer to see us work together, all politics aside, to educated people on birth control, the value of committed relationships, adoption, and making it possible for people that find themselves pregnant and in difficult circumstances ways to get ahead and keep their babies. We need to heal our culture and work with people in a loving, realistic and understanding manner. Our society is a throw away society. We are abusing the earth God gave us. People abuse each other. Babies are precious, all life is precious! The unborn being used by the Republicans to gain votes is horrendous! Begin proactive is the answer not making laws that will put people in jail! Blessing!

    • Phil, I don’t know if you saw my earlier comment, and I hope I haven’t come across as disrespectful. You said you don’t see it as binary (just because you value the unborn, that doesn’t mean you don’t value the born). Yet you are imposing this binary standard on John Pavlovitz. “He only mentioned the born! He must hate the unborn!” Can you not see that this is what you are doing?

      • Ros…no. I actually said the opposite very consistently. You put “he must hate the unborn” in quotations. I never wrote that. My simple question is, why not both? Why exclude the unborn from the list of those most vulnerable? And no, your comment was not the least bit disrespectful. Thank you!

        • He also made no reference to demanding equal rights for disabled people, which is who I work with. But I didn’t infer that he doesn’t care about them because he didn’t mention them. Nor was there anything in his article from which I would infer that he doesn’t care about the unborn. He can’t be expected to think of every possible category of person to include, and I think you’re looking for an issue that isn’t there.

          • Ros…that’s a good point and very possible that it’s an innocent omission on John’s part. At the same time, if you read many of the responses to my comments, it is very obvious that the the very partisan politics of compassion that John laments about in his article are (ironically) being practiced by some of the commenters. I brought it up because it’s on point with the article, to include the unborn in the conversation, and the response was mostly disrespectful mockery. That seems odd to me. Thank you for caring about the disabled (I have a disabled son) and for the helpful conversation!

  33. Now that this discussion has been thoroughly diverted to a conversation about abortion, which is so off-topic, I am leaving. I’ll see you in the next conversation until you all allow yourselves to follow the red herring of abortion.

  34. As a former Christian turned atheist, I appreciate this article. The church and it’s teachings are a very dangerous institution and certainly not reflective of the teachings of the Biblical Jesus. You are the only minister I can stomach.

  35. Minds Without Borders
    Charles Grayson

    My whole life, I’m telling you, would be without purpose if I didn’t have three Fs: Family, Friends, and Freedom. My life and future wife would be all be for naught. And boy, have I been lucky to grow up in a nation that affords me these luxuries. We have a good nation, foibles and all. We really do. But I think it may have forgotten that it’s part of a world.
    I try to remind myself that the world is bigger than myself. It’s bigger than America. It’s bigger than western civilization. It’s even bigger than humanity. I think most people are confusing being against a government with being against a people, or humanity. And these are two definitively different things. Here are three situations:
    Sometimes when we’re removed from something, we lose care. It’s almost like yelling at the driver in front of you from your driver seat. You’re insulated. They’re not presently in front of you. As if they weren’t human, just an obstacle. Isn’t it comical to think that that driver may have just been the senior you just willingly and smilingly opened the door for leaving the super market moments ago? In this case, Humanity is not present.
    But zoom yourself in. When things are closer, perhaps back in the grocery line, the person in front of you (perhaps the driver above) presents you a picture of a baby or a smiling family, or a photo of a bunch of friends celebrating a birthday, or an elder struggling, etc. And you’re less removed. You reply, “Oh, that’s beautiful,” or “Oh, that’s terrible.” Now you’re somewhat more engaged. Emotional borders, like the Faraday Cage of your car, start to disappear. In this case, Humanity is more present.
    But best is when you’re imagination needn’t work at all. When the thing at hand is indeed first-hand, right there in front of you, alive, and in your space. The screaming child you want to soothe, the addled family you want to assure, the stranger in utter distress that your humanity cannot possible deny you to furnish assistance to despite all possible risks. Humanity is most present.
    I think for most there’s the better humanity in them. They just need to get out of the car. And remember there’s a world outside their window. If only they could exercise that agility of mind that staves off the fear that fools them from afar.
    So when I hear all this nonsense about rejecting refugees and promoting isolationism, it makes me think about who I am. What would I do? What kind of man am I? Will I just live in my little insulated corner of the world and say to hell with all the rest? I’m not sure I’d like to be remembered that way.
    I understand the logistics of accepting and processing thousands and thousands of people easily into our country. But that’s not what as issue here. What’s at issue is that IF the first thing that comes to your mind when a family wants refuge from an oppressive regime – and solace in your great nation – is outrage and a slamming of the door, you need to reconsider the selective virtue you think you have to only those who are present.
    I pride myself on being a Mind Without Borders, an idea that’s an anathema to some, the greatest of all hopes to others. Because people are very much the same anthropologically, but in very disparate circumstances. They’re all Friends and Family. But some don’t have the Freedom to enjoy it. Crying babies, struggling families, they’re the same everywhere. No mother anywhere, standing over a strange crying baby, does nothing. The border disappears.
    I cannot change the world. I can only ensure that it does not change me. I am jumping out of my car. Our lives are tenuous on this Earth and this is how I would prefer to be remembered.

  36. Thank you John for this post. As I scroll through some of the posts, it seems to me that some of these folks need to read the article again. We are called to love, and only love. Love your neighbor as yourself and love your enemies. And as you called out to say, loving and taking care of one another is not political, the comments on the article suggest that people are not listening. No one person or religion has cornered the market on love, compassion, empathy… We are hypocrites all. But we are all works in progress. And we must do the best we can. We must be observant to those around us that need our love and care, no matter the circumstances. And be careful that we don’t harm others in the process by thinking that what we believe supercedes the rights or beliefs of others. Jesus is our guide and compassion is our work.

  37. I so agree with you and could not have said it better. As a Unitarian Universalist, it fits it so well with my convictions. What matters is love, and that is not, or should not be a partisan issue. Thank you for writing this. Jesus would not recognize the religion created in his image, were he to return tomorrow.

  38. Did Jesus say:
    1 Advocating for sanctuary for refugees,
    I think they broke the law and need to be accountable to that. AND I believe the law is wrong and should be changed. I think its selfish to restrict the entry of anyone who wants to live here if they share our American values.

    Protecting immigrants from Government harassment,
    Agreed.

    Marching for full equality for women,
    Agreed.

    Demanding affordable healthcare for every human being,
    I’m not so sure that this is a fundamental human right versus a product. It certainly wasn’t a right in Jesus’s day, it was only a product that people purchased, if they could afford it. But Jesus didn’t speak against this. Though granted, he did heal some of them personally.

    Affirming religious freedom for all traditions,
    Agreed.

    Fighting the degradation of our planet and the gutting of our public schools,
    Agreed.

    Defending our Press so that it remains free,
    Way Agreed.

    Standing with LGBTQ students,
    Stand, respect, care for, love– yes. Agree with every behavior or value–no.

    Championing the vulnerable, the sick, the poor—
    Way Agreed.

    • “Standing with LGBTQ students,
      Stand, respect, care for, love– yes. Agree with every behavior or value–no.”

      This bothers me . . . the way that people feel the need to point out LGBTQ people as having behaviours or values that are unacceptable. People in every possible demographic have behaviours or values that are unacceptable, but they aren’t continually being pointed at. It does not show love, care or respect to continually wag the finger at LGBTQ people. Careless words like these add on to the countless microaggressions, and full on violence, that LGBTQ students have to deal with every day. Heard enough, those words will drive some students to suicide.

      • I agree that behaviors and values can be unacceptable in every demographic. I was even thinking to write that very thing and cite examples of “standing with policemen, standing with black people, etc.” But I decided to let that go because that line was addressing LGBTQ specifically, and so I too addressed them specifically. If the line were “standing with all people”, then I would have also agreed with that and added the same thing, namely standing and agreeing are different things.

        Even so, LGBTQ is more controversial than many of the various demographics simply because Christians don’t all agree on what Jesus would have said about them, since Moses and Paul wrote things that may lead some people to believe that certain behaviors that are common in this demographic are immoral.

        • What disturbs me is that so many people feel like they have to look to a book or a person to tell then how to treat others. If someone was in danger and another person knew they could help them would they stop and get a religious book or ask someone if they were allowed to help them? I would hope not.

          Too much tI me is spent using religion as an excuse to cover the mistakes or hatreds of someone. I sooooo hate the phrase “hate the sin but love the sinner”. I have never seen that placed into practice. It is perplexing to see people who are very quick to say that God is love try to be the judge of those who are lgbt. I don’t think God needs his created to try to act like him. Jesus said to love one another. He never said, unless they are LGBT or different than most of society. On that note here is a thought. Do I really need someone to tell me who to like and dislike? Do I really need to judge someone else because of something I may have read or because I think someone told me to? And if that is the case, if someone in spiritual authority or some religious book told me to dislike someone for being different or “because God says to” is that a faith I would like to follow?

          I am open to all faiths. I love the teachings of Jesus. To paraphrase a quote I love Christianity. It’s some Christians that I have a problem with. I think the greatest gift the Divine ever gave us humans is the ability to think for ourselves, to know right from wrong, to try to avoid inflicting pain while we walk this earth. I do not need a book or a person to tell me not to hurt someone. I instinctively know that. I do not need to break my leg to know it will hurt. And I do not need to look to someone else to tell me who to like and who to hate. I make my own decisions. Good or bad. I make mistakes. I own up to thme and I learn from them. I do not need to hide behind my faith to shield myself from the consequences of my actions. I do not need to use my faith as a shield while spewing hatred. For one, my faith is the faith of common sense. And for another, my faith never told me to hate someone. I had a faith where that was preached. I looked within myself, found that I could not hate simply because I was told to, and left that faith behind. The Divine gave us a conscience. It lets us know right from wrong. I don’t need a spiritual leader or a book to tell me otherwise. Jesus said the greatest commandment of all was to love one another. I guess he was just too radical. Many claim to follow his teachings, but few ever follow that one.

        • LGBTQ is only controversial because some people need other people to look down upon so they can feel good about themselves, so they choose something they don’t understand, make up a bunch of horse puckies about it, and then use those lies to strip the people of their civil rights. Christians have been just as guilty of this as anyone else.

          Jesus said nothing about LGBTQ folk, and neither did Moses and Paul. Neither they nor their particular supposedly immoral behaviours are contained in the original language texts of the Bible.

          However, my point was that when you are specific in the way that you were, you support and encourage bullies and you become partly responsible for the violence that ensues.

          • To be fair, it is NOT only controversial because of the valid reason you gave. It is also controversial because Paul wrote “… their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men…” and Moses wrote “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”

            Personally, I can see valid arguments of why those verses don’t condemn homosexuality. But even so, it is clear why any reasonable Christian could possibly believe those verses do condemn homesexuality. Clearly these verses by Moses and Paul aren’t subject to uncertainty of the original language as all the words use are pretty simple and straight forward. And thus why it is controversial among those who care about what Jesus thinks.

            Surely, it would be disingenuous to paint all Christians who interpret this at face value to have bad motives.

            For the record, I don’t support nor encourage bullies. Nor does my uncertainty about whether certain behaviors are moral or not inhibit my love, care or respect for people, whether they be LGBTQ or heterosexuals having sex outside of marriage.

            • The words of Paul are about straight men and women participating in sexual acts for the purpose of idol worship. It is quite clear, even in the English translation. People want to find their prejudices validated, so they read into the text what is clearly not there, and then they teach others these false understandings. Even reasonable Christians can be guilty of being led by the nose because it is easier than thinking for oneself.

              As for the Old Testament verse, the English bears little resemblance to what the Hebrew text says.

  39. Can I have a show of hands of how many of you posting supportive comments have actually housed a refugee in your own home. Don’t you think setting the example yourselves would be a lot more honest than just vilifying people who want to be sure those that are coming across our borders are coming with honorable intentions. We have so many in our own country that need to be cared for, yet we want to bring in those from other countries and give then so much while we do a lousy job of caring for our own citizens. To say a person doesn’t have compassion because they are leery of others who have not experienced our culture and refuse to assimilate to our culture when they live here is naive. Go live in Feguson, MO and then preach to me about how compassionate you were to those you lived amongst. Set an example before your accuse others of not being compassionate.

  40. Pingback: They’d Had a Tough Week – Southwest Conference Blog

  41. The first question is, when did Christianity become all about pointing out the faults of others? Because when Jesus taught, he taught the exact opposite.

    It might make you feel like a “good” person to point out the sins of others. It might make you feel good when a bunch of people “like” what you say about them. Jesus said people will know his disciples by their love, not by their moral superiority.

  42. Like so much of what’s wrong with America, this rot began in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected. Jimmy Carter was an example of a true humanitarian, but Reagan was the face of what would eventually become American Christianity in the 21st century: a mixture of public piety and exaggerated flag-waving machismo.

    America’s big social problem right now is that compassion is seen as a form of weakness. Men who self-consciously describe themselves as “Real Men” always seem to feel that it’s manly to sneer with contempt at the weak, and people who need help could be described as weak.

  43. Compassion became partisan politics when we refuse to discuss the role of government. I m a centrist Democrat looking for some parsing out of proper and legal roles for our government and state and private institutions. First, if it’s not the role of government to be Jesus then whose role is it? The Church . Then someone has to MAKE the church do the compassion. What about separation of Church and State? You can’t cherry pick that when it’s convenient. It’s not the role of government to be the church. BUT the church isn’t doing compassion on a large enough scale. They’re busy spending their money on bigger and more beautiful structures tax exempt. So guess who it falls on to be Jesus because of the lax Christians;? The Feds. SOMEONE HAS to help, and it’s not even their legal or constitutional role.

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