Republican, Help Me Understand Your Cruelty

Republican friend, I really wish I could understand you.

I wish I could step into your shoes, climb inside your head, peek into your heart and see what it is that motivates you when you place your feet on the ground and step out into a day you’ll never experience again.

When you realize you’ve been blessed with another precious, fleeting bit of daylight here, why does it seem like your default response to it all is malevolence—no, maybe not to you or your family, or to those you see as your own—but to the vast multitudes who never seem to make that list. Outside of a very selective window, most people only seem to receive your contempt and judgment.

I really don’t get it. Maybe we’re wired differently.

You see, I just don’t wake up in the morning and feel burdened to be cruel to people; to actively push them to the periphery or place obstacles in their paths or deny them the things I have been fortunate enough to have received. I just assume they’re trying as hard as I am and that their lives are difficult enough—and I don’t want to amplify that. It feels like you don’t feel that way. It seems like you’re really just angry and you want lots of people to pay for whatever it is that you feel has been done to you.

There are some simple questions that rise up into the foreground of my mind as I watch you:

I simply don’t feel compelled to take healthcare away from those who are sick, or to make it more costly for families battling terrifying, insidious illness. What makes someone do that? What are you thinking as you lobby for people to lose health insurance, or when you amen those working to take it away?  Where is there compassion in you as you do?

I don’t want feel the need to prevent two people who love each other from marrying one another or adopting children or making medical decisions if each other’s lives hang in the balance. Why do you believe you’re qualified to do this to a stranger; to impose your beliefs on them, to insert yourself into their most intimate relationships, to have a say in their bodies or bedrooms? What in you drives you to fixate on someone else’s expression of love?

I don’t feel threatened enough by another person’s religion or lack of religion to exclude them for either reason. I don’t see an entire religion as a haven for terrorists, or something that needs to be squashed. What is it about your faith that instills such fear in you? How small is your God, that you’d despise someone else for a different understanding of that God; that you are able to villainize them all from distance.

I don’t feel burdened to memorialize slavery, to celebrate the subjugation of a people, to create a narrative for men and women because of the color or their skin. Why are you so emotionally allergic to the phrase Black Lives Matter? Given the racial injustice sewn into the history of this country, why do you feel the need to argue it or rewrite it?

I don’t want to send away children who came here in desperation and now call this place home. If you love your sons and daughters enough to want them cared for and protected and fully freed to dream—why don’t you desire that for every child? If you really understand how fortunate your children are to be here, what makes you want to horde such blessing?

I don’t feel compelled to claim ownership of America. Why do you believe you’re qualified to be a gatekeeper for a place your forbears came here to as visitors? Why do you believe you’ve earned this place, that you’ve worked harder than anyone else? What makes you feel you get to say who gets in, and whether or not they’re welcome?

I know you’ll be tempted to dismiss this as a simple hit piece; a caricature of you that ascribes motives to you from a distance, but I promise you it’s not that.These aren’t talking points and they aren’t veiled insults. I just don’t get any of this on the most elemental human level.

These aren’t matters of speculation and they’re not value judgments assigning motive—they’re just me looking at you and what is measurable; the candidate you voted for, the party you’re endorsing, the legislation you’re supporting, the platform you’re co-signing, the things you’re posting online.

Closing borders, building walls, banning Muslims, ridiculing sexual assault victims, harassing Transgender teenagers, exploiting the ill and the elderly: Just why are you okay with these things—and if you’re not okay with then, then why in the hell are you so silent in the face of it all? Why aren’t you standing alongside people like me and saying so? Why does it feel like I have to do all the heavy lifting without you?

I hear anger in your words, I see terror in how tightly you hold things, and I wonder where that comes from. I imagine you might somehow feel yourself marginalized, but I can promise you that isn’t reality.

No one is telling you that you can’t marry the person you love, that you shouldn’t be able to care for those dear to you who are sick, that you don’t belong here, that the color of your skin or your faith tradition or your nation birth disqualify you from inclusion here.

No one is trying to exclude you.
You’re fully included.
We’re just wondering why you seem so burdened to exclude everyone else.

Your candidate won and your party has legislative control, and I guess I’m trying to figure out why you still seem so miserable, why your anger seems more fevered than ever.

There’s a cruelty I think I see in you that is foreign to me.

Maybe I’m missing something.

Tell me how I am.  

I’ll listen.

 

160 thoughts on “Republican, Help Me Understand Your Cruelty

  1. “You see, I just don’t wake up in the morning and feel burdened to be cruel to people.”

    “I’ll listen.”

    These two statements are incompatible. The first suggests that you have already determined that everyone who doesn’t toe your political line wakes up in the morning looking to be cruel to others. It’s dripping with condescension for the other side, and conveys the clear superiority you feel compared to those of us on the right. Consequently I find it hard to believe that you’ll really listen to anyone when they explain the reasons they vote in a way you disdain, since you, like several of the people in your echo chamber here, have already prejudged all of us. But I’ll give it a shot.

    I don’t feel compelled to take health insurance away from people either. Not being a fan of The Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean I want people to die. It means I’m capable of recognizing that it can’t work as designed. All of the predictions about its inevitable failures have come true. People were not able to keep their insurance. They weren’t able to keep their doctors. Private insurers are fleeing state exchanges in droves. All of it was predicted, but your side shouted “racist!” at anyone who pointed it out. You love Bernie for pushing Medicare for all, but you refuse to acknowledge it’s cost prohibitive. We could take the entire defense budget and put it toward health care, a popular idea on the left, and it would only cover about $3500 per person per year. Accepting that, and the rationed care that would inevitably accompany single payer in this country, doesn’t make me evil. It makes me realistic. Seriously, other than going to war, and spending money they don’t have, what does the federal government do well? The USPS loses seven billion dollars a year. What makes you think the same entity can effectively run medical care for 320 million people? Have you seen the VA?

    Same sex marriage is settled law, and anyone who campaigns on overturning it is stupid or lying. I don’t care if two dudes marry, but don’t expect me to celebrate it. I’ve done enough reading to come to a conclusion regarding the morality of homosexual acts. I believe it’s a sexual sin, no different than adultery or pre-marital sex. Yet, amazingly, I don’t hate homosexuals. Surely you agree that cheating on your spouse is sinful. Do you hate everyone who is unfaithful to their marriage vows? I very much doubt it. Yet you accuse people who think engaging in homosexual acts is a sin of being hateful. It’s either staggeringly hypocritical, or you hate a lot of people.

    I don’t see an entire religion as terrorists, but it takes willful blindness to refuse to accept that, right now, Muslim majority, middle eastern countries are producing terrorists at a greater rate than their percentage of the world’s population would otherwise suggest. When was the last time a Shinto drove a moving truck into a crowd of people? Can you point to an army of Jews who are arresting homosexuals and throwing them off rooftops in accordance with their religious texts?

    How small is my God? You recently wrote an entire post on the God you no longer believe in. How small is yours? Basically if you don’t understand it or agree with it, you don’t believe God would do it. You diminish Him by assuming he must share the motivation and morals of a progressive democrat. I don’t understand why my wife has had several miscarriages, but I haven’t decided to believe in a God that wouldn’t allow it to happen. Believing in an omnipotent God means accepting that we will never understand why things happen the way they do, and that He is, in fact, bigger than any of us are capable of grasping.

    I don’t feel ownership of America either. I have spent the last two plus decades as an active duty military officer. I’ve done something for my country, and given back for all that it has afforded me. I don’t say that to ridicule people who aren’t or haven’t served, merely to assert that what I’ve sacrificed since 1996 certainly gives me the right to have an opinion on immigration that differs from yours without you impugning my motives. Like it or not, we live in a country that has defined borders, and a government that has established laws that cover the correct way to cross those borders, and how long you can stay once you do. Every developed nation on earth shares those same characteristics. If you don’t believe me try sneaking into Mexico. I’ll be interested to hear what you thought of their prison system before they deported you. Granted, hundreds of years ago Europeans came and displaced millions of people who were already here. That, however, is the way of the world. Technologically advanced societies push aside those who aren’t as developed. Such has been the case for millennia. It’s not exclusive to the US, it’s not my fault, and it doesn’t mean people now aren’t required to abide by our laws. I don’t get to say who gets in, but the government does. Asking people to follow our laws isn’t cruel. Please explain why you think it is.

    That’s probably as long as your original post, but I think that covers most of your questions. I don’t live to be cruel, but I don’t think you care to understand it. Prove me wrong.

    • Mr. Gaster,

      I may not agree with every one of your views but I do respect them and the way you present them . I especially honor and respect your service to this country.

      Thank you – you, and your military brothers and sisters are truly American heroes.

    • I Agree , The minority is trying to force thier way, views, misconceptions of life , liberty , and the persuit of happiness on the Majority.
      Truth is
      They should Just stay home and live in sin so when they suffer the judgement , they were Happy, lustful, content in thier sin.
      Romans is Clear as to what God , Holy God says about this.
      My job is to speak the truth in love and wait for who would want a changed life, peace with God, a True salvation from the sins of this world.
      With out Jesus Christ and The washing of the mind, renewing of the mind , there is no hope and all the false religeons keep trying to replace the truth with lie, lies, and more lies

    • Bruton, great word! I’m with you all the way, and I can tell you that there is no way on Earth will John refute what you’re saying because he can’t. He will always choose the liberal and Christ hating side to things.

    • Every single western nation with the exception of the USA has universal healthcare. EVERY SINGLE ONE. All spend less money per person and have better health outcomes (higher longevity rates and lower infant mortality rates). Yet the supposed greatest country on the face of the planet is too incompetent to accomplish what even the relatively new constitutional republic of the Czech Republic has managed to do. I have no problem with making either the ACA better or scrapping it for Medicare for All, but that is not what the right wants to do. The current iteration is even worse than what we had pre-ACA.

      If not for the Congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund their pensions out to 50 years adding $5.6 billion annually to their expenditures. Without this ridiculous mandate the USPS would have had a $200 million surplus in 2016 .

      Have you ever had to fill out an immigration form? I have for my son-in-law. The cost is around $4500 per person to administer and extremely complicated. Please tell me how immigrants whose families have been picking fruits and vegetables in this country for over 100 years are supposed to come up with tens of thousands of dollars on the pittance they make picking tomatoes? Give them an avenue to come here legally since we really do need their labor. Right now we have produce rotting in the fields.

      You want to talk about Muslims? Look at it from THEIR point of view. We went into Iraq on a false pretense and totally ruined their country killing over a million (when you count collateral) people in the process. They had soldiers and tanks IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS. Their relatives were MURDERED in their eyes. To THEM, WE were the terrorist, because if I saw a tank coming up my road and soldiers shooting at anything that moved, I would think they were a terrorist. Most Iraqis just had the sad misfortune to be born in a country that had a psychopath as a leader and a foreign president whose felt he had to do something to preserve his father’s military legacy (Bush 1 & 2). Please tell me how their suffering was of any benefit to the USA? Our military has not been about freedom in some time. We are just killing people around the world to protect our capitalistic interests. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911, but we destroyed them anyway. WE have become the thugs we so strongly lament. Ironic, right?

      • How many people leave the US to go get treatment elsewhere? It’s a lot less than people who do the opposite. Again, how can anyone look at the incompetence, waste, and general awfulness of the VA health care system and still think we should put those people in charge of health care for the entire country. Making health care worse for everyone isn’t the answer.

        So you pay the USPS pension fund now, or you pay it later. You still have to pay it. Eventually that money has to be spent. Kicking the can down the road may make the books look better now, but all you are doing is making it your grandchildren’s problem. That isn’t the compelling argument you think it is. You can put everything on your credit card, but at the end of the month you still have to pay it.

        Nope, I’ve never had to fill out an immigration form, but you’ll never convince me that something being difficult is reason to not do it properly. “I shouldn’t have to follow your rules because it’s just to onerous,” is not a legitimate reason to do anything.

        ISIS doesn’t throw homosexuals to their deaths, or set apostates on fire because we invaded Iraq. They do it because they are following their 1000 plus year old religious texts. Their stated goal is to restore an Islamic Caliphate. Their roots are in pre 9/11 Afghanistan. France was entirely against OIF, and didn’t participate. Neither did Germany. Yet they have been some of the hardest hit countries recently. You think the invasion of Iraq is to blame for attacks in countries that were adamantly opposed to it and never sent troops? France is there now, but that’s because ISIS picked a fight with them, not vice versa. There’s a very easy case to be made that invading Iraq was a terrible decision, and it’s not one I would refute. It’s lazy, though, to blame everything on Bush 43, and it’s not close to being true. You think it’s W’s fault women are stoned for being raped across large swathes of the Mid East? If not, what’s the most obvious reason?

        • The VA has been chronically underfunded from the get go. Let’s look at Medicare instead. Ask any senior over 65 if they want to give up their Medicare for private insurance. They would cut you if you tried to take their Medicare. People on Medicare are also the sickest segment of the population and yet the cost per person on Medicare is actually lower than that for people on private plans. People travel to foreign countries for health care all the time. My daughter lives in Ireland with her Irish husband. If they are fortunate enough to have a baby, the cost in Ireland will be under $500. Here it would cost them between $3000-5000 depending on insurance and $25,000 without insurance.
          The vast majority of the people who come from other countries for medical care in the USA are wealthy individuals who come for elective procedures so they don’t have to wait or it is for cosmetic purposes. There is much more instances of US citizens going to Canada or Mexico for prescription drugs than vice versa. Our healthcare sucks and it has been 20 years or more since our health numbers were among the best in the world. We rank near Bosnia now.

          So if your credit card company says, “we estimate you will spend $1 million on this card over a lifetime, so we are going to make you pay off your estimated debt in $100K increments for 10 years.” You believe pre-paying for debt not yet accumulated is fair? The entire reason for the mandate was to “drown government in a bathtub.” Make it so onerous there is nothing else to do but fail. The USPS is actually specifically mandated by our Constitution and if republicans were not trying to make it fail the same way they are starting our public schools, it would not only be fine, but thriving.

          Rules should be followed unless they are stupid and unfair rules. Those rules should be changed.

          ISIS is there because our actions destabilized an entire region and they swarmed into the power vacuum WE created. Own our responsibility in the region. We created the mess that made it possible for ISIS to get a foothold including arming them! Every time we rail against Muslims for the terrorist activities of a small group of them, we provide the fodder for another recruiting poster. Trump and his ilk play right into the hands of ISIS.

          • Ugh. The USPS pension costs aren’t a fixed sum like your hypothetical million dollar lifetime credit card bill. They will continue to grow as long as the postal service exists. Your example has no relevance to a paying off a debt that is continuously accumulating. Even if you stop funding the pension accounts now, eventually you have to start filling them again. All the postal workers are still going to retire, as will everyone who comes in to replace them. It will never end. Ergo it will eventually go back to being several billion dollars in the red.

            1.) National sovereignty isn’t an unfair rule. 2.) If progressives don’t like the rules, maybe they should have done something about it when they controlled the White House, and House of Representatives, and had a filibuster proof majority in the senate. They certainly could have, totally unimpeded by the GOP. Alas, they did not.

            Your understanding of ISIS and what motivates them is simplistic and inaccurate. But what would I know. I’ve only spent multiple years of my life in the Middle East, and it’s not like you learn anything about a culture by living in it.

        • Bruton, here is a fact that refutes you “Canadians are rushing to America for healthcare” lie that has been going around for over 20 years.

          A McKinsey and Co. report from 2008 found that between 60,000 to 85,000 medical tourists were travelling to the United States for the purpose of receiving in-patient medical care.

          The same McKinsey study estimated that 750,000 American medical tourists travelled from the United States to other countries in 2007 (up from 500,000 in 2006).

          Repeating false information will not make it true.

          • Robin wrote, “Repeating false information will not make it true.”

            Robin, my friend, I am re-reading the very excellent “What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything”
            by Rob Bell

            In it, he informs us that in Hebrew thought the best compliment one could give another was a comparison to a lion while the worst was to compare someone to a fox implying that person is a liar, imposter, fake, phony, an imposter.

            Which made me think of Fox News… … ….

          • You’re going to have to do better than cutting and pasting from Wikipedia, Robin. However, if you do decide that’s the best reference available, seriously consider taking the time to look at where the info comes from. For example, the article on medical tourism from which you copied your paragraphs about the McKinsey study word for word contains a citation which links to an article in Forbes titled, “US Hospitals Worth the Trip.” It contains this little nugget right at the outset, “a new report points out that the largest segment of medical travelers are headed stateside. And, experts say, they’re also growing in numbers.”

            You might want to take your own advice about repeating false information.

        • Lately, this country has seen more white male terrorists than anything else. They shoot up schools, concerts, clubs, houses of worship, grocery stores… They mail bombs. They drive their cars into protesters. They carry torches in city streets chanting hate.

          So, because the VA sucks, you find it acceptable for people to die because they can'[t afford care. That’s the kind of heartlessness in question. You’re all…”I’m just using logic.” But logic isn’t compassion. That’s the problem. People flying here for elective surgeries is your excuse why parents pleading with strangers on Go Fund Me for money to keep their kids alive is acceptable?

    • Re. the ACA: You’re right, to some extent, that it couldn’t work the way it was, and we have the GOP to thank for that.

      But step back a moment. If the ACA were as awful as you claim, why did some 75% of Americans reject the GOP health plans? Why did the AMA and other medical professional groups, AND the insurance industry, AND health advocacy groups, AND millions of people who depend on Obamacare, protest its overturn? These are groups with competing agendas. Why would they all agree if Obamacare was failing everyone?

    • With the well educated there is no truth, supreme being , no God, NO Judgement, No consequence
      that way they dont have to face Judgement and be responsible for what they say, do , lead others to.
      Wrong is Wrong, False is False , Bad is Bad
      There is no grey area
      There is a consequence for sin. Rebellion , lust, deceit, and leading people to the pits of hell with false teaching.
      Seek Truth, Trust God, Repent and Cry out for forgiveness for our own actions .
      There are no nice guys going to heaven cause they are nice, pretty, prepped up, suited to the best
      God Hates Pride, Haughtiness, deceitfulness, and lying.

  2. If you’ll truly listen, why not take a few weeks and listen to Ben Shapiro podcasts/lectures/questions/answer sessions. He’s an intelligent, straight-talker, extremely articulate and well thought out Jewish millennial.

    We are not the “satan” you’re making us out to be. Maybe give a little grace and actually try to understand rationale instead of assuming.

    • Ben Shapiro, the man who called for the complete genocide of all Palestinians and when called out on that extended it to all Arabs. That’s your example to counteract a claim of heartlessness among conservatives?

      He later softened it to ‘forced emigration’… Now where have we heard that before. Oh of course, I remember, that was Himmler’s defense at Nuremberg. The man is quite a shame to his own faith and culture for advocating doing unto innocent others the worst thing ever done to them and co-opting the propaganda of those who did it.

      Not to mention ignorant. Palestinians aren’t Arabs. They are semites. The idea that criticism of Israel is antisemitism falls apart when you realize the people other defends are also semites.

  3. Well John
    Again YOU have shown that what you disagree with you , Edit out
    and don’t let be posted
    Seems like YU are being like the press, media, tv who just change, omit , leave out what they don’t like.
    Never the less
    God will NOT be silenced, and He God will make his Word , Holy Word, Godly Word be known
    For the rapture of the true Believers is Right around the corner and NO ONE will have an excuse as to why they denied the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, God.

    • Christopher. I hear that “The Rupture” is coming tomorrow. One of your fundie brothers has determined that it is tomorrow. All you people claim to be informed by the Holy Spirit and that you—and only you—consistently know the things of God because the Spirit reveals them all to you people and you people alone. If this “The Rupture” of yours does not show up tomorrow, I am going to come back here and have you and all the other fundies here, like Leslie, explain to me why the Holy Spirit delivered a lie to you.

      THERE IS NO PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE. You can read about it here and why it is bullshit from one of the oldest churches on Earth. Just click on the safe link:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/the-rapture-a-false-fundie-doctrine/

  4. The Fix: I’ve read most of your responses. Get over Jesus and you will get over your problems. Notice how everything is tied to a Christian being cruel for taking away health care. Join atheism. We don’t call each other names and toss Jesus back and forth like a shield. Cut your little umbilical cord to heaven and your other problems will dimish. By the way, to mention Jesus without mentioning other religions is a typical supremacist position. What about others? What about their Gods?How about Co-Exist?

  5. Pingback: Pastor’s Open Letter: Dear Republicans, I Don’t Understand Your Cruelty | BlueDot Daily

  6. John,
    The world doesn’t seem to make any sense to you does it? It’s because you’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. You have to figure out who is running the show and find out just where the line is drawn and use that for your reference. I’ll give you a hint; it’s not Republican or Democrat, it’s not white or black, it’s not citizen or immigrant, it’s not poor or wealthy. You are focusing too much on the here and now.
    Matthew 6:33 says;

    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    The Kingdom of God is more than affordable health care, more than LBGT peoples right’s, more than white supremacy, more than equality for all, etc, etc, etc. What difference does it make if you die at age nine versus ninety, and end up in hell? None. What difference does it make if you live your life with what you consider to it’s fullest but still end up in hell? None. Your vision is way too nearsighted.

    blockquote> Why does it feel like I have to do all the heavy lifting without you?
    Because Jesus Christ did it all. When you figure out what He did for you and react accordingly, instead of using him as a spokesmodel for your own will, you will begin to see just how futile your efforts have been.

    • You know what Edward? When the real Kingdom of God comes, you, Leslie, and the people like you will feel totally out of place in that Kingdom because the love that pervades it is anathema to who you are personally, your actual values, and to much of the man-created fundie garbage you believe. It will be the biggest disappointment you have ever had because you followed a man-made religious system only about 100 years old rather than Jesus himself. The words, deeds, and actions of Jesus—and Jesus alone—are the essence of the faith—and your beliefs about life and the things in life that you exhibit here are anathema to the way of Jesus.

    • You just wrote a recipe for going to hell. Rather you recited one. Jesus gave that same recipe several times. Never more clearly than when he condemned half of humanity in revelations because of the care they failed to show to ‘the least of my brothers’.

  7. John, you say you want to listen to conservatives. That’s good but there is something else you should do. Learn something about what you are criticizing. Before you launch your next rant telling us what selfish and cruel people we are really research conservativism. There are several good books on the subject. A good place to start is Conscience Of A Conservative by Barry Goldwater. It’s short and concise. Or read Russell Kirk or Eric Hoffer or William F Buckley. You may find that you don’t know as much about us as you think you do.

    • Goldwater and Buckley are spinning in their graves at what modern conservatives have become. They never envisioned a theocracy.

      • In fact Goldwater was conservativism’s most brutal critic of the religious right. He spent his life fighting against theocratic tendencies.

    • I suggest that you read the red-colored words of Jesus in the New Testament. You may find that your conservatism is as far from Jesus as the farthest point in the west is from the farthest point in the east. Because of YOU and people like YOU, several of my relatives will no longer have any health insurance on December 31. If they get seriously sick, they are liable to go bankrupt and they will certainly be numbered among those Jesus calls “the least of these.” What about all the other people who are desperately sick and will die when their health insurance goes away? Does William F. Buckley have any help for them—and if not—why not? If Jesus were here, he would help them immediately and not charge a dime for it. I guess this is my way of saying that I find people like you to be loathsome and disgusting human beings who have no part in the things of Jesus.

      • The free market would make it possible for most people to get some kind of health insurance. I would certainly support taking care of anyone who still could not afford health insurance. You talk about Jesus but call me names because I disagree with you. I have read the words of Jesus. It sounds like you should too.

  8. John, I’m glad you want to hear from conservatives. Your problem is that in your stereotyping prejudice you show quite clearly that you don’t know much about conservatism or conservatives. Have you really researched what we believe or do you blindly accept what our opponents say about us without checking the facts? Why don’t you learn before you condemn? How many of us do you really know? Read a good book. I suggest Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater. It’s short and concise. Or read Eric Hoffer, Russell Kirk, or William F Buckley. Note: This is a copy of a previous post. I’m not sure you got the other one. If you get both feel free to delete one of them.

    • We don’t care what you believe. That’s between you and your own conscience. We care what conservatives do. Actions speak louder than words. We care what policies you support. What the results of those policies are. We don’t care why. We don’t care what results you think will happen. Only what history and science says those policies will do.

  9. Until about 3 years ago, I considered myself a Reagan conservative, or “compassionate” conservative (even as a millennial, which I know is rare). I was convinced (in my mind) that my interpretation of the Bible was the only correct one, and that my embracing “all or nothing,” was the only way to be a Christian. In fact, because so many people disagreed with me, that made me even more of a “saint,” because I was taking the “narrow path” to heaven. (Stroking my ego was what I was actually doing!)

    On the other hand my heart has always known that a central message of the Bible is to love people, so I basically avoided the topic of homosexually with my gay friends (because I didn’t want to have to tell them they were living in sin to their face), and frankly had to ignore a lot of things about my own “straight” sexual repression, and other unhealthy/self-righteous views about sexuality and religion that were actually causing more harm than good.

    Then I read a book by a guy named Rob Bell called “My Velvet Elvis.” It was like the scales fell from my eyes, and the shackles from my feet. Like somebody finally just cut the Gordian knot that was tied around my heart. I knew I would have to destroy the old “Brick Wall” faith, and use a new metaphor for my understanding of God and love.

    I started questioning my very notion of hell, to see if that changed the way I treated people. I felt SO MUCH BETTER!!! It was scary, but also liberating. I asked myself the honest question, that if an authority in the church started telling me that I couldn’t be attracted to women anymore because it was a sin, if that would change anything about my attraction to women? Of course not! Then I started asking myself, is it right to require people to give up something so central to their identity as their sexuality? Of course not! It’s incredibly cruel.

    I’ve found that by following my heart and conscience without reservation, I have increasingly become aligned with more liberal viewpoints, and I’m sorry to say, most of the agendas being pushed by Republicans are just not taking care of people, or respecting them, or LISTENING to them. I’ve heard the conservative arguments my whole life, and I just can’t stomach the self-righteous “Contra Mundum” mentality anymore. My new motto is: SI VALES, VALEO” (if you are strong, then I am strong). Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with the who mourn. Look out for each other! LOVE each other!

    • The written law kills. That is its only power. Fundies do not understand that it has been replaced with a new covenant in which LOVE is better than law. The Apostle Paul said so in his own words in the New Testament. Focus on the words, deeds, and commands of Jesus (recognizing all the while that Jesus was talking to Jewish people still under the old Covenant. That is what so many fundie people forget. After the resurrection, EVERYTHING CHANGED.

  10. Although I largely share your perspective, the end of column makes it fairly disingenuous in my thinking. If you have no inclination to push people away into categories–then you would not find it that hard to see things through a different socio-political lens that would be described as “different”–not necessarily “cruel.” It is demanding others view the world through your lens that necessitates the “cruel” label.

    Believing a social obligation such as healthcare access can be met in different ways does not push people with one position into the category of ‘angels’ and the other into “devils.’ Doing so is to value the battle for your answer as being more important than the question or the people with whom we join as “we the people.”

  11. I think there’s a problem when someone calls an entire group of people cruel without meeting each and every one of them. That’s like saying all Teachers can teach.
    This is clearly meant to stir discontent and increase anger as we can see by reading the comments posted after the article and the authors responses. The article is not a recommend solutions for any problems, the author does not provide how can we work together to make things better for everyone. He only points fingers.
    It’s sad how the country our Fathers founded is dissolving because some of the basic principles the country was founded on are being taken out of institutions slowly and we wonder how things are going so wrong.
    What can I do, continue to teach my children what the country was founded on and continue to stand true to the principles and practices handed down from approximately 30 -33 AD. And if I’m persecuted because of this I will know when I stand before God on Judgement Day I have done everything He has asked me to.

  12. And tell me please as you seek to exclude medical care from poor children, poor elderly people, poor chronically ill people, poor mentally ill people, how you could possibly claim to be Christian and follow Jesus?
    Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

    • We don’t want to deny healthcare to anyone. We just don’t want them to have to wait months and months for needed surgery like they do in Canada. A study of Health Canada by the Frazer institute shows this. They break this own on their website.

      • Can you link to that study? Because I have been on that site and I am not seeing it. Does it compare wait times in the US for the same conditions? Because if not, it’s entirely meaningless.

        I have friends in Canada, Wales, and the UK who would never trade health care. Two of them believe they would not be alive if they lived here.

        Universal systems put urgent and necessary conditions on the front burner. In the US I have had to wait up to nine months for an appointment for a significant medical concern, and it had nothing to do with Obamacare. OTOH, I had to be hospitalized recently for a preexisting condition and it was only because of Obamacare I was able to get treatment at all.

        Multiple studies show the exceedingly ling wait times in other countries are a myth. Yet it is not a myth that low-income Americans have no options at all, and many die because they can’t afford treatment.

        Ironically, since rural clinics and hospitals depend heavily on Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare for their income and some were even able to expand and add staff due to ACA, erosion of these programs will lead to lost jobs and closed facilities. As a result, people in many parts of the counry will have fewer choices of providers and they will be much further away, geographically.

        Your comment is an example of one of the fake facts that has been used to ward off health reform again and again. And the facts are provided again and again, but it never matters. That’s why it feels to many of us that your ideology is much more important to you than our lives.

  13. Cindy. I am still trying to figure out why Republican Christians hate poor people, sick people, homeless people, and all those other needy people Jesus called and would call “the least of these.” It is a hatred that I do not understand in the context of Jesus himself, his words, his deeds, and his commands. I do not understand this anymore than John P. understands why some women love Trump so much.

  14. As a woman I have wondered all the same things you are wondering. Well written. .Christ did not teach us to hate , but to love. to follow President’s 45’s example of hate is to follow the enemy.

  15. Maybe these people are cruel when cruelty has been heaped on them. Many of the most ardent supporters of the Republican Trump Jesus I know had been subject of physical abuse, at least. Healthy people don’t go around and destroying other people.

  16. They have been indoctrinated in fear. They have been fed non-stop “alerts” for the last 20 years that the brown people are coming to get them. Fear creates stress which in turn diminishes thought; I have heard that you can lose up to 15 IQ points. FOXNews has created a world of people in fight or flight. This doesn’t get better until they relax.

  17. I’m a Republican and I’m not okay with any of what’s happening. I DO stand with you and everyone who is hurt by the sick distortion of conservative values into cruelty, racism, sexism and xenophobia.

    I am speaking up as loudly as I can. I call, I write, I protest. It is not enough in a government that’s ceased to be responsive to the people. I don’t know what else to do. My heart is broken, just as yours is.

    Please don’t judge all of us by the actions of the worst of us. There are many of us, just apparently not enough to drown out the bad.

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