Republican, I Don’t 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, 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.

 

143 thoughts on “Republican, I Don’t Understand Your Cruelty

  1. Thank you for your article. These are the thoughts and questions I have had all my life and now more than ever I wonder who are these people who claim to be Christian but don’t seem to care about the suffering of others. They are willing to take away health care, to murder, yes murder, millions of people so that they can fill their own pockets. Christians?

    • Rochelle Sullivan wrote, “They are willing to take away health care, to murder, yes murder, millions of people so that they can fill their own pockets. Christians?”

      Yes, exactly, Rochelle. I don’t know how they can claim to know Jesus and chose to live as if what He says to us is something to ignore. I think of the Sermons on the Mount and Plain. I especially think of Matthew 25.

      I also think of the obscene perversions of Jesus’ words that the poor will always be with us. Those words are not a prediction. Those words do not mean that poverty cannot be eliminated.

      Those words are a partial quotation from Deut. 15:11. “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”

      It’s odd to me that the people who go around proclaiming the inerrancy and the infallibirity of the Bible (even though they have no idea what those doctrines really teach us) ignore the bit from Deuteronomy.

      Those who recorded Jesus’ words “the poor will always be with you” was a reference to Det 15:11 and those for whom they wrote them also knew it was this reference. Christians for millennia knew these words harked back to Deuteronomy.

      It was only when some greedy, lazy, selfish preacher invented the heretical prosperity gospel, eagerly embraced by like-minded people, that the interpretation of Jesus’ words were distorted and perverted. Too many of the religious right have embraced that perverted heretical prosperity gospel and therefore they can with equanimity “take away health care, to murder, yes murder, millions of people so that they can fill their own pockets.”

  2. Jobs , NOT welfare
    Healthcare for all , NOT welfare Healthcare
    True Healthcare , NOT drugs, alcohol , other fix’s
    Fix the Problem , Not the pocket book
    just since were complaining , I though i would do my part.
    Seems the news, media, others just want drama , not results
    this is what it is like for a Godless , Selfish , selfcentered pleasure seeking society who just want thier way
    spoiled, not disciplined
    brats who just create anarchy in the name of thier cause.
    Education with out purpose, or discipline
    this is Social Eng. at its best

  3. Well, John, I really don’t think there is a factual, logical reasonable answer to your question but then perhaps you are somewhat more compassionate than I.

    I daresay you are going to be told it is about doing things legally, it’s about taxes, or it’s about how badly the ACA works despite the fact that single payer was the original idea and the Republicans insisted on a competitive insurance market.

    But really what it comes down to are those values the Republicans hold dear: authoritarianism, bigotry, denial of climate change, destroying families, destruction of the planet and God’s creation, discrimination, fascism, global warming, gynophobia, hatred of the poor, homophobia, intolerance of a different of opinion, intolerance of people that are different, Islamaphobia, kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.

    • I disagree with your comment Republicans don’t value kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.

      What I see Republicans doing is ignoring there is a problem and seeing the problems such as those you listed above as being caused by criminals, Islam, the poor, liberal ideology, ethic conflict and so forth.

      • Beamer wrote “I disagree with your comment Republicans don’t value kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.”

        I can’t imagine how you could respond this way to me when I quite clearly said, “But really what it comes down to are those values the Republicans hold dear” followed by a list of evils the GOP have embraced.

        Beamer also wrote, “What I see Republicans doing is ignoring there is a problem and seeing the problems such as those you listed above as being caused by criminals, Islam, the poor, liberal ideology, ethic conflict and so forth.”

        I’ve said the same thing on many occasions, so I really don’t understand why you are saying these things to me.

        • What I was trying to underscore is that Republicans don’t see themselves as valuing those list of evils. For example they don’t see police brutality– rather they see people getting what they deserve because they don’t follow the law. I think it’s a significant nuance Gloriamarie.

      • Beamer, I agree with you. Republicans are not “bad” people, only mis-guided and ill-informed. Like our President, they obviously don’t read history books or other non-fiction books that would give them a better understanding of other religions, nationalities, ethnic groups, etc. I know the religious right can read because they are very skilled at quoting the Bible to support their views on just about anything. The problem with that is that the Bible is subject to interpretation and can be used to support any side of any issue.

  4. I think much of it is insecurity. The problem with an ‘inerrant’ Bible viewpoint is that it’s either *all* true, or *none* of it. If one of the Jenga blocks is dislodged, the whole edifice comes crashing down.

    And so they feel the need to defend the Bible – every single letter of it. But, despite the efforts of many people down the centuries, the Bible still continues to speak to the hearts of ordinary people and lead them to the Living Christ of Whom it speaks. I think the Bible does not need defending; certainly in its own pages it does not say that it does. Or maybe it’s a misinterpretation of 1Pet 2:15 about always having ready an explanation of the hope we have. But it’s a long stretch from that to defending the whole Bible.

    The problem is, then, that people put their faith in the Bible, rather than the One of Whom it speaks. One is fallible, the other is not.

    Guess which one’s which.

    • Tony cutty wrote, “The problem is, then, that people put their faith in the Bible, rather than the One of Whom it speaks. One is fallible, the other is not.”

      Tony, if you haven’t already read it, you might enjoy “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

    • They don’t defend every letter. They cherry pick it at their convenience. Some of Jesus’s teachings about treating the poor and disenfranchised seems to be irrelevant to them. Imagine the irony?

  5. Home come Democrats are so cruel to innocent life in the womb?

    You support the killing of so many yet have the nerve to say Republicans are “cruel.”

    Take the log out of your eye please.

    • We don’t support it but know that it is inevitable and would rather put USEFUL programs in place to reduce abortions. It is so curious to me that republicans claim to care about unborn children but are not just against, but ADAMANTLY against programs that we KNOW work to prevent abortions: Free and accessible birth control. Colorado saw a 40% decrease in abortions and a 47% decrease in teen pregnancy by implementing a long acting birth control program for at-risk teens. It worked. The main reason most women give for abortions is financial – either cannot afford to have OR raise a child. A living wage and universal healthcare would go a long way toward helping potential parents in raising children. Abstinence only sex education has actually been shown to be WORSE for teens in terms of sexual activity than no sex education at all. Obviously comprehensive sex education works best. I have never understood why fundamentalists want teenagers to be ignorant.

      The president just yesterday threatened North Korea with a nuclear option. North Korea is home to 25 million human beings. I did not hear ONE SINGLE republican admonish him for what would amount to pre-meditated murder should he actually follow through. Republicans did not care on iota for the 1 million we slaughtered in Iraq – many of them children. So forgive me if I think your continued chastisement of the left as murderers of babies in the womb is just a big farce. You and your ilk do not really care about babies, born or unborn. You just want to feel morally superior and control your “flock” with emotional rhetoric. You do not actually want to DO ANYTHING to actually help women who find themselves in an untenable situation nor does your party give one red cent about these babies once they take their first breath. Over 50% of all children born in this country are born under Medicaid (in my state it is nearing 60%) yet the right wants to completely eradicate Medicaid. Maternal deaths in Texas are rapidly approaching those of a third world country and they want to cut even more from programs that assist pregnant women and new mothers.

      When I see fundamentalists and republicans actually support programs that help babies and mothers then I will believe their moral outrage is genuine. Until then I will continue to see them as armchair, holier than thou jerks who get to feel superior without lifting a finger for their fellow man/woman.

    • Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. It means pro-choice. And making abortion illegal does not end abortion – it only makes it unsafe.

      The facts – THE FACTS – are that when Planned Parenthood is available to women, including not only abortion services but sex education, family planning, counseling, contraception, adequate medical care, and pre-natal care – the abortion rates actually go DOWN. So if you’re concerned about innocent life, you should be both pro-Planned Parenthood and pro-choice.

      The debate is never really about innocent life, but about controlling women’s bodies and maintaining the power dynamic for religions and societies based in women’s subjugation (e.g., “the lowest priest is higher than the highest nun,” a central tenant of the Catholic hierarchy). When women gain control of their reproductive functions, they also control their own lives.

      • “The debate is never really about innocent life, but about controlling women’s bodies and maintaining the power dynamic for religions and societies based in women’s subjugation”

        So effing true.

    • Burn the country to the ground so long as women can’t have a medical procedure that’s been around since the pharaohs, eh, Joe Catholic?

      You’re the poster child for why the Catholic Church membership is shrinking and seminaries are closing.

    • Joe, since you’re free of this particular log, you should be in a good position to give us a fair assessment of the catalog of Republican policies that John lists? Are they cruel or not?

    • The lives of fetuses are more in to you than every other thing listed here? I don’t buy it. If those lives were important to Republicans, they would support resources for children in foster care and in poverty, but they do not. If they cared about preventing abortion, they would do the two things that are proven to bring down abortion rates: educate people about how to reliably prevent pregnancy and provide free contraception. If they cared about stopping abortion, they would move to eliminate the number one reason people seek an abortion: inability to support a child or an additional child financially. Democrats, not Republicans, are the ones taking the steps that actually make abortion more rare. Outlawing abortion doesn’t do that; it just drives people to back alleys and coat hangers. It is doubtful you have ever attempted to learn about the reasons people seek abortion, hear their stories, or even find out about the typical procedure. There are some fabulous episodes of the show Call the Midwife that depict the realities of women seeking abortion in a place where it is illegal. I suggest you watch.

    • Many people, myself included, do not believe that a fetus is “an innocent life” but that it is a bunch of cells, a potential life, but not an actual life. So, those who use that argument to oppose abortion, are using that religious or superstitious belief, that the fetus is an actual life, on others who may not share that same religious belief. Those who want “big government out of my life” are ok with big government telling women and families what they may or may not do with their own bodies and health and futures. Oddly, many who oppose abortion also support the death penalty, which is the state sanctioned murder of a real life, and many studies have shown that many of those condemned are in fact innocent.

      • Ruthie, Once you were a “a bunch of cells”. But yet your mother gave you that chance to live a life. Supporting the death penalty cannot be compared with murdering an innocent child. Such twisted logic. So tired of the groundless justifications for taking away children’s lives.

    • N. T. Wright, former Anglican Bishop of Durham (England), was interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter on May 21, 2004. The whole article[1] is worth reading, but here is a question about abortion and part of Wright’s reply:
      NCR: … abortion is the defining moral issue of our times. If we can’t protect unborn life, … we can’t protect anyone or anything.
      NTW: This is where I really would get quite angry with that point of view. Though I happen to agree with the [Catholic] stance on abortion, it seems blindingly obvious that it is not the big moral issue of our time. Global debt and the economic systems that were set up in 1944 with the Breton Woods Agreement, to slope the table so the money slides into the pockets of the Western banking system, at the cost of keeping most of the world in unpayable debt, seems to me as big a moral issue as slavery was 200 years ago. I and others intend to bang on about it until we achieve something. I just don’t think we can say, “abortion is the issue.” Apart from anything else, there are millions of children being born all the time in Africa, in Latin America, on the Indian subcontinent, whose economic circumstances are such that it would almost be better if they hadn’t been born. The reason they’re in those economic situations [is] precisely because of decisions taken in the World Bank and the IMF, and they are structural decisions, not just particular decisions. This has been so intensively and extensively studied, people have shown it so often, that I just wonder what kind of blindness it is that prevents people from seeing it. … Yes, abortion matters, but all this matters much, much more. Just in terms of sheer quantity, there are millions more people whose lives are totally blighted by it. That’s where I would go for starters.

      [1] http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/wright.htm

    • Joe,
      It is estimated that 60% of embryos spontaneously abort (in most cases prior to implantation). If they are human beings, this represents an appalling carnage. To be consistent, pro-life groups should campaign vociferously for a massive research program to halt this catastrophe, which dwarfs abortion and all disasters, natural and unnatural, as a killer of unborn babies – but they don’t. Moreover, if an early abortion is a terrible thing, there must be some terrible consequence of it: presumably the death of a human being who has not had a chance to develop is that terrible thing. But this is exactly the same terrible thing that happens in the case of a spontaneous abortion, about which they seem not to care. This confirms to me that the pro-life focus is on the person choosing to have the abortion, and on their own desire to portray that choice as evil, rather than on the interests, if any, of the one being aborted. Pro-lifers should also realize that they believe that the majority of human beings die without being born!

    • Joe,
      In the USA, pro-lifers rarely mention that some 80% of abortions are of African-Americans. And why is this? Because the bias in the criminal justice system means that a huge proportion of marriageable African-American men are in prison. A woman who gets pregnant, but doesn’t have a partner, is much more likely to seek an abortion. So consistent pro-lifers should be actively opposing this bias: but I don’t see it. I’d also like to see pro-lifers say more about universal access to health care.

    • No, the pro choice side only believes that it is up to the woman to decide what is king to happen in he body. Being pro choice isn’t necessarily pro abortion. If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t have one. But in the spirit of the original article, ow is it that you believe you can make that decision for every woman in this country?

    • Seriously, Joe Catholic? The Republicans let that child starve and go uneducated once it is a viable life after it’s born so let’s not get misty about zygotes or every sperm being sacred when living, breathing children are so neglected and abused by the very institutions that think a zygote is a life but a 6 year old girl or boy is a potential date or punching bag that deserves neither food, quality, safe shelter, health care and education.

      You take the whole forest out your eye, please!

  6. Thank you. I have been excluded. I am 79-years-old and grew up in southern Oklahoma as a Catholic…the only one in my school until my brother started three years later. I heard all the Catholic jokes, felt all the brunt of a society I wasn’t welcome to join (as in being free to marry anyone I chose), and it only strengthened my faith. Here’s to those who deal with it every day.

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{{Francyne Anderson}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

      I am sorry that was your experience.

      I attended a Roman Catholic private school for four years as a child and I can assure you we were indoctrinated to believe all Protestants and anyone who wasn’t RC was damned and we should never have anything to do with anyone who wasn’t RC.

      In fifth grade, I was transferred to the public school system and I was terrified because I was now going to be in the company of the damned.

      And guess what I discovered? Kids, other kids, teachers who loved to teach. So I ceased to believe anyone who was not RC was damned.

      We can cling to our prejudices or we can see them for the tribalism that they are and repent and do better.

  7. John, you always articulate my feelings and opinions so well. My concern is that if I share this post with my republican friends and family, like I would like too, they will take offense and “unfriend” me, disown me and/or just write me off as a “lost cause”. On the other hand, I think, who needs friends/family in their lives who think and react this way? I too would like to get inside the head of those who post hateful rhetoric on social media and continue to support such a mean-spirited president. I wish I knew how to have a civil, grown-up, well-meaning conversation with some of these people, but whenever I have tried to do this in the past, the anger begins to spew! They become angry at me, often reciting selective quotes from the bible to support their hateful rhetoric, and yes, I become angry back. You see, I have quite a bit of tolerance for pure stupidity, limited tolerance for ignorance, but zero tolerance for hate and bigotry in any form. It seems that there is nothing I can say or do that will influence people who have adopted ideologies of intolerance as you so eloquently listed above. Perhaps these feelings do stem from personal insecurities, or maybe they were just indoctrinated by their parents, extended family members, and other authority figures in their lives such as preachers and teachers, from a very young age. Whatever the source of their current emotional and mental state, I would like to learn how to be more skillful in my approach to these people, both in response to posts on social media and casual conversation, as well as serious sit-down conversations, in order to somehow change their outlook and perspective on the world. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • May I suggest that you might be the one who is wrong? That they might not be the meanies you think they are? That you should at least give them the benefit of the doubt? And that you don’t join in the hate-fest of the left?

      Here’s one very important example, and yes I know I’m a broken record, but it’s no small matter. We kill millions of the innocent unborn because they are inconvenient. Because they interfere with our lives and our pleasure. Is that kind or is that cruel? Is it Republicans who support this cruelty? No they oppose it. And those here who are lashing out at Republicans vigorously defend this injustice. So maybe one place to start is to ask your Republican friends how they feel about an abortionist intentionally stopping a beating heart. In their allegedly cruelty, do they support that, or do they have compassion for the unborn?

      I don’t understand the references to Republican anger. We won and I’m happy we won. I’m incredulous about the seething non-stop hatred coming from sore losers on the left, especially in the media.

      Anyway, Trump is striving to work with Democrats.

      • It’s always a good practice to consider one’s own views might be wrong. I hope you exercise that as well. And, again with abortion, as the ultimate example of leftist evil. Please see my post above on that topic. There is no end to it, and no reconciliation of it, when people absolutely believe, with no evidence, fact, data, or reason, solely based on belief, that abortions kill innocent lives. There is no argument I can give you that will change that rock solid belief. And I do take offense at using abortion as the constant example and refuge of people who have run out of anything else they can throw at the wall that will stick. Endless examples of right wing fear, hatred, bigotry, desire for vengeance, arguing by insult, excoriating anyone who is the least bit ‘different’ from ‘our people’ and interweaving religion with politics shamefully and dangerously, and all you can come up with abortion? I can live with that. I had two miscarriages and four live births and I know the science and the lived experience quite well. A fetus is by no means and by no definition, and by no evidence, a person.

      • ???? if the woman that is pregnant did not become pregnant by her own choice? if the family can not afford to feed the child? the government is supposed to FORCE the mother to carry the fetus and give birth to the ‘child’. and the ‘child’ is supposed to be ‘the punishment from god’ for whatever in hell the tight-ass GOP says……… and being told they are ‘a punishment’ rather than a blessing, by their entire community will help them have a ‘better life’ …… especially if their mother died in childbirth, and was denied the RIGHT to save her own life.

      • May I suggest that your arguments are false?

        Here’s one very important example, and yes you are a broken record, but it’s no small matter. You claim to know why people, in your words “kill millions of the innocent unborn.” Really? You have talked to all those millions of people? You know the circumstances that might cause each of them to seek abortions? You maintain absolutely no responsibility at all for addressing the conditions that might cause someone to feel they need one?

        Maybe it’s time for you to ask your non-Republican friends how they feel about things like the children who starve to death every few seconds; about the potential millions who may die in an unnecessary war; about the millions who will suffer when they can’t get healthcare; about the shooters who intentionally kill people; or even about why it’s so important to take from those who have less to give to those who have more. In their alleged “cruelty,” do they support those things or do they have compassion for the countless millions who are unarguably living people and the planet upon which they live?

        I understand the references to Republican anger. My senator helped set up the “Party of No” and I saw other Republican leaders on television threaten to take up arms if Trump lost. I’m incredulous that you apparently have never heard of Sean Hannity Rush Limbaugh, nor Breitbart nor watched FoxNews. At least I’m not surprised that you could adopt their talking points.

        Anyway Trump would sooner light himself on fire or voluntarily release his tax returns than work with Democrats in any substantial way.

    • Katie Champion wrote, “On the other hand, I think, who needs friends/family in their lives who think and react this way?” I sympathize.
      My two brothers refuse to have anything to do with mom and me because we have so different politically for a very long time. They have expressed themselves in abusive terms and I have come to the conclusion my 92-year-old mother and I just don’t need any abusive men in our lives.

      However, if you would like to be able to have a rational discussion with family members, if you were to google “how to talk to your conservative family” you will find a number of helpful, I hope, articles. Here is one of them:

      “Can family trump Trump? How to survive political disagreements with relatives this Thanksgiving” found at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/22/can-family-trump-trump-how-to-survive-political-disagreements-with-relatives-this-thanksgiving/

    • I can assure you Katie that losing friends and relatives who hate anyone except themselves is less important that your own piece of mind. These people won’t listen to you and will only deny any logic or compassion. I would rather be alone than surround myself with such hateful, selfish individuals. Life’s too short to deal with all the stress.

  8. I look forward to your articles. What you have to say is so simple and so true. I can’t help getting misty eyed. I wish more people would read your offerings. It seems so simple – to let people marry who they love, to try to understand a young persons identity, to make sure the elderly, the sick or disabled – everyone has the medical care that others in the “free” world have. I do not understand why this is so difficult for so many.

    • Cynthia Clayworth wrote, ” I do not understand why this is so difficult for so many.”

      Neither do I, Cynthia, but follow the comments on this blog and you will find many voices that demonstrate they find these simple truths too sophisticated to grasp.

  9. It is simple John. While most hit-men will not kill children for money, most Republicans will. It is hopeless to expect them to raise their ethical standards to that of hit-men, they have sold their souls to the demon Mammon and worship at his altar. I am told any corporate or evangelical psychopath can buy a Senator for $10,000, (House rep are only $6000) or provide at least a few thousand mindless followers that can be convinced to vote against their own interests.

    • P. Sturm wrote, “I am told any corporate or evangelical psychopath can buy a Senator for $10,000, (House rep are only $6000) or provide at least a few thousand mindless followers that can be convinced to vote against their own interests.”

      That cheaply? Hmmm… I better start buying lottery tickets. Win big and I could buy them all. If money is all it takes.

      However, I don’t think it is that simple. I think many of them are there because service is in their hearts.

    • Quite true. One Master can give his worshipers power and riches in this world. The other Master is a roaming preacher that visited us 2,000 years ago to save our souls by showing us how to love one another and indeed be our brother’s keeper. One can’t worship both masters; one will learn to love one and hate the other.

      • Robin wrote, “One Master can give his worshipers power and riches in this world. The other Master is a roaming preacher that visited us 2,000 years ago to save our souls by showing us how to love one another and indeed be our brother’s keeper.”

        I know which Master the GOP and those who voted for them have evidently embraced. The one that ” can give his worshipers power and riches in this world. ”

        No doubt saying that will give offense but the important thing is not the offense but revealing truth. And sometimes truth hurts, doesn’t it? But more suffering is caused by refusing to face truth whereas facing the truth sets us free.

  10. “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?”

    Answer: It costs way too much money to help people that are really bad off sick. If they cannot afford to pay for their own care, then that is their fault—not mine. I should not have to pay for their treatment because I am not the one who is sick. We need to get back to a system in this country where each individual person is totally responsible for himself and his family alone—so they do not impose their problems on strangers outside their families. I work hard for my money, and I want to keep every dime just for me and my family. If some guy refused to go to college and could not get a high-paying job with great insurance benefits, that is not my problem. It is his problem for being stupid and lazy. We need to get back to a system in this country that punishes people who fail to put out their very best efforts for themselves and their families. If we can implement a system where each man is brought face-to-face with his own starvation and death, then by God he’ll get on the stick and finally make something out of himself and get what he needs for himself and his family—and keep his hands off my wallet!!! This is what all good Americans and all Republicans should be working for today—a world where no charity is ever needed because every man works and earns his own way with a high salary.

    • You sir, are what is wrong with this world. You assume, at the start, that everybody can go to collage, get a good job with insurance etc etc.. when you know full well its not the truth. But it makes you feel better to blame the poor for a state they didn’t ask for I guess. Lazy ? Most work 2-3 jobs, just to keep a roof overhead. Stupid ? Try looking at the school systems, if they are poorly educated, it is generally due to underfunded schools.

      Can’t afford to pay for health care, its their fault ? I have worked hard all my life. I went to collage thank you and would have had the good job, with benefits, until a disease whose name I had never heard of.. stuck me down and put me on disability for the rest of my life, needing major medical care just to stay alive. But in your world view, all of this is my fault and I should just go away and die now? John is right, what KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU !!!

    • You’re not the judge of others. However YOU have a judge. He has already replied to you with the following words: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      If you don’t help others you have failed your religion. It’s that simple. In other news I hope you lose your job and everything you own then have to ask for help. You need a lesson in humility.

    • This is so heartbreakingly selfish and sad. In a world where we all only care about ourselves, we all get nothing. I’m glad that we don’t have a world like that to get “back” to, and that I hope we don’t go that way in the future.

  11. “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?”

    ANSWER:

    God plainly says in the Bible that he hates LGBTQ people, and they should all be killed off like the nasty, worthless vermin that they are. Their very presence in this country is a clear and present danger to this country. If we do not shut them down and get rid of them as soon as possible, God may soon rain down the same destruction on us that he rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah. My family members are all ‘true” Christians, and we do not want to be killed of as collateral damage when a Holy God unleashes his massive attack on our country. If we can get rid of the LGBTQ menace, we can save our families and save America from certain destruction.

    • yes this is right
      But YOU must love the unlovely, treat with dignity, respect, and open arms of acceptance for Jesus is here to save all who would accept him and obey the truth.
      Repent, Fear God, Seek Love , not Physical Lust and attraction.
      True Love is Not Physical Lust

    • What version of the Bible does it say this? The New International Hitler Version? You’re a disgusting and mentally disturbed individual.

      Get help and thanks for reminding me why I left organized religion after 30 years.

      • Wesley wrote, “What version of the Bible does it say this? The New International Hitler Version? ”

        Wesley, are you relatively new to this blog? I ask this because Charles is not writing what he believes. What he has done here in a rather tongue in cheek fashion is give the answer that is the one of the Religious Right. His years of research into the Christian Right has made him extremely conversant with their belief systems.

        The answers he has provided in this series of questions and answers are ones I also have seen here on this blog written by members of the Religious Right who hate everything John P posts. Or so it would appear.

      • Wesley. The posts are facetious sarcasm that accurately reflect Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the Religious Right extremists. I just wanted all the billiard balls that visit this blogspot to line up on the table and show their true colors. I though this approach would do it—and boy did it ever!!!! Tanks for your love and patience. Jesus is proud of you, Ms. Cathcart, and others.

    • It appears that I read a different Bible than yours. I don’t recall God ever saying he “hates” someone nor that they are “nasty, worthless vermin.” Guess I’ll have to buy the “true Christian” version.

  12. “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.”

    ANSWER:

    The Bible plainly says that God is a jealous God and that He will have no other Gods before him. Every religion and every religious belief on Earth that is not ‘true” and “Biblical” Christianity is Anti-Christ in nature. This means Jesus hates it, and he hates the people who believe in it. The scriptures require that we have in us the same mind as Christ Jesus. Therefore, if Jesus hates them, then we are required to hate them too—and show it by working against them and their evil in every way that we can muster—including killing them if need be.

  13. Anger, punishment, execution, exclusion, greed, — are just a few words to describe the elitist politicians who seem to only care about those who are just like them. Instead of working for the PEOPLE AND CITIZENS, their actions seem to be NOT to serve the citizens but to serve only their political aspirations. “First, do no harm”.

    • Jerrie Mae Tunnell, alas, I don’t think they care if they harm any of us who are not as they are: privileged, rich, straight, white men.

      The rest of us be danged unless we also embraced the apostasy of Ayn Rand and/or Libertarianism.

      The joke is on them, however, because even when it came right down to it, Ayn Rand didn’t have the courage of her convictions and applied for and received benefits from the welfare system.

  14. “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?”

    ANSWER:

    All American negroes ever do in this country is just take, take, take, take, take, take—and take even more. Since 1965, this country has pumped trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars into raising up the American negro. It has not worked. All they do is avoid work, lay around on welfare checks, steal from decent people, take drugs, deal in drugs, and kill people out on the streets. Black Lives Matter is an oxymoron. They have no care or respect for themselves and are not willing to better themselves—-even when given trillions of dollars for free to help out. This clearly shows that Black Lives Do Not Matter to negro people. If they do not even have enough gumption to care for their own lives, why should Black Lives Matter to me or any other white, yellow, red, green, or purple American. The American negro is a lost cause, and it is all his/her fault. I am tired of them making their problems my problem—and so is every other American. If they can’t do any better than that—just fbomb’em!!!

  15. “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?”

    ANSWER:

    What part of alien is it that you do not understand Pavlovitz? They are here illegally, and they have no legal right to be here. America is for Americans—and Americans only. If we can get rid of them, that means real Americans will get bigger pieces of the American pie. Yes, some of them are going to college, but let me ask you something Pavlovitz. Your daughter will get a college degree and apply for a job one day. Her competition will be some f-bombing little taco-muncher who was here illegally, and she will get the job instead of your daughter because her skin is redder and she got an affirmative action break. If you will just get out of the way now so Trump can do his job, he will “take out” the damned little taco-muncher—and your daughter will get that job!!! It is all about enlarging the American pie for real Americans by getting rid of unfair competition from people who should not even be here!!! If they want to make something out of their lives, let them go back to Mexico or San Salvador and do it among their “own kind.”

  16. “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?”

    ANSWER:

    It’s an old American saying: “Finders keepers. Losers weepers.” Even the American Indians came here from Asia—but nothing much ever happened with them except heathen things. It was the action of God himself to intervene in America by sending white people from Spain and other parts of Europe to clean this place up, improve it, and Christianize it. Put up portraits of our founding fathers on your wall. How many nonwhite people do you see? That’s right. ZERO!!! White people built the gate in 1776, and white people have been keeping it ever since that year. White people built this country. We had the major thoughts and ideas that made this country great—and we put the damned negroes, Chinese, and other nonwhite foreigners to work as our slaves or low-price chattel to build it for us. Institution America: founded by whites, based on the ideas of whites, gated by whites, gate maintained by whites. This country was founded of the whites, by the whites, and for the whites—so help the whites. The whites own the gates and rightfully keep those gates. Why is that so hard for you to understand Pavlovitz? The day this country goes “brown” will be the day this country ceases to exist. A brown America will be an America gutted of everything that ever made it truly great. If America is to stay American, it needs to remain what it has always been—predominantly white and moving in the direction of all things white.

  17. John, It is disturbing when anyone uses all inclusive language to describe a few offenders. Today’s post is one of those times.
    You said; Republican friend, I really wish I could understand you. ???
    Now maybe you were talking to those republicans who aren’t your friend as though they actually are your friend, those few out of millions who really have little feelings for the welfare of others.
    But instead you worded it as though every republican fits the catchall net you cast.
    That would be no different than including every person who says they are “christian” in the same light as those who are anything but christian by their false portrayal that Jesus would condone the cruelty you just described.

    • Look Ellis. Pavlovitz and I live in the American South. I do not think Pavlovitz is painting with too broad of a brush here. These thoughts that he expresses are predominant in my area and are frequently expressed by most people leaving comments at the ends of local newspaper articles and in other venues. Indeed, it is about all I ever hear from Republicans in the American South where I live. I even have a close friend who had to leave her live-in boyfriend because all he could talk about day and night was the stuff that Pavlovitz highlights in his main blog post above—and which I responded to in my posts above. I do not know what part of the country or what moist rock you are living under, but you need to get out of there and engage with your wider Republican world and see just how outrageous and unJesus-like modern Republicans are. The Republicans in modern government are nothing like Dwight D. Eisenhower or the other great Republicans of the American past. The ones today are MOSTLY radical right nutjobs in various very disturbing and nonChristian ways. The main blog post by Pavlovitz is right on the money, and it matches my own separate experience with MOST modern Republicans.

    • Ellis wrote, “But instead you worded it as though every republican fits the catchall net you cast.”

      Usually, I would agree with anyone who protests generalization of a group of people. I am a liberal and I get painted with a pretty broad brush that doesn’t fit me, too.

      However, Ellis, I simply do not see the individual Republicans or the GOP as a whole repudiating what they apparently have embraced: authoritarianism, bigotry, denial of climate change, destroying families, destruction of the planet and God’s creation, discrimination, fascism, global warming, gynophobia, hatred of the poor, homophobia, intolerance of a different of opinion, intolerance of people that are different, Islamaphobia, kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.

      When I hear and see Republicans rejecting these evils, when the GOP stops trying to rob me of health insurance, rental assistance, food stamps, food, shelter, and clothing then maybe I would be less inclined to applaud John P for writing this essay.

      Instead, what I read are people who reject his questions in a kneejerk reaction. Where is the deep meditation on his words to see if he is actually speaking the truth? Because he is. He has been given the gift of exhortation and speaking the truth we need to hear, just as did the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Scriptures, and Jesus.

  18. A Final Note: I have lived all of my life in the American South—the now Red States, Republican, American South. The answers provided in my posts above are not my answers. Rather, they are the answers I have heard in one form or another from my fellow American South citizens all of my life. The salty language is the same salty language they would use if it was just you and them in the privacy of their living room or den. This is the mindset of white Republican America.

    • Gee I feel so left out, then. I was never told about this “mindset” and I don’t intend to adopt it either. I would be interested in your analysis of the mindset of the black Republican, however.

      Also, Repbulicanism is not a religion. It’s not another protestant sect. It’s politics.

    • Whew Charles! You really had me going there. Thanks for sharing an unvarnished view into the Far Right mindset. It’s chilling, but, alas, not surprising. Any thoughts on connecting with moderate conservatives who are concerned about the current political situation in the GOP, but feel shunned by progressives? I say moderates because I don’t think there’s any value in trying to dialogue with someone who thinks the way you described. But I firmly believe that most Americans are more centrist and just need encouragement to stand up and unite.

      • Jennifer wrote, “Whew Charles! You really had me going there. Thanks for sharing an unvarnished view into the Far Right mindset. It’s chilling, but, alas, not surprising.”

        I agree that Charles has an unflinching, truthful view of the Christian Right, certain types of evangelicals and fundamentalists. He really has studied the history, the development of a lot of bogus, if not heretical theology.

        I have learned a lot from him. Don’t always like it when his anger gets away from him, but he can write some really great stuff.

  19. I’ll have to agree with you on this one. And, add two more. Democrats and Christians. All three hate mongers. (Just read the tone of your blog). And, listen to the politicians. Warm, gooey hate!!

  20. I can’t understand either. Apparently I don’t understand anything of what people do anymore.

    My Alma Mater, Georgia Tech, lost a great student leader of the LGBTQ movement on campus, Scout Schultz. I know one of the pastors there and she feels so alone in her outreach for healing. She knews Scout well. She was as the vigil last night and was able to get her interns into safety before the riot. Apparently the other pastors have gone silent. It hurts. Everyone hurts. The finger pointing is in full force. Too many questions and no answers. I can only encourage her on her quest to heal the campus, bu she shouldn’t be doing this alone.

    • All cops should have means of disabling people other than shooting to kill. I have zero respect for Georgia Tech after Scout was killed in the way that he/she was. For some reason, I cannot get people to hear me out on this. It goes over people’s heads every time. I have a freind close to law enforcement who says that cops always shoot to kill rather than just disable a person. The reason is to:

      1) Get rid of a witness who can testify against the cops in court if deadly action was not appropriate.

      2) If they just wound a person (shooting in the knee or foot) to disable them, the person will survive and sue the police department or university for disabling them. Killing the person is to ensure that they will never be able to take the employer of the cops to court.

      Why can I get no one to listen to me on this when I have it straight from the mouth of a police insider?

      • 2a) a disabling shot does not prevent a suspect from still managing to kill the cop. There are many complex issues involved and decisions to be made in a split second. Cops basically rely on simple heuristics because there’s never time to work it all out in detail to make the right decision. So I think we need to continue to improve the heuristics they use.

    • Robin wrote, “I can’t understand either. Apparently I don’t understand anything of what people do anymore.”

      {{{{{{{{{{{{{Robin}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I too know how easy it is to give into despair and sometimes it is unavoidable and all the coping mechanisms in the world won’t prevent it.

      But I assure you, people are out there fighting the good fight alongside the angels and we will make a difference. How do I know this? Jesus rose from the dead and as He did so He conquered evil.

      Every day I start over again, believing in Jesus, embracing Jesus, loving Jesus. My mornings are filled with two things: refreshing my body, mind, and spirit with prayer, lectio divina, reading and sharing on Celebrate What Christians Have in Common on Facebook and when that has been accomplished, I turn my attention to the work that needs to be done to rid the USA and the world of the remnants of evil with postings to Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, also on FB.

      If either of both appeal to you, Robin, or anyone else here on the blog, you are welcome to join as long as you answer the screening questions.

  21. Please don’t lump all Republicans in the same basket. I have been a registered Republican since I turned 18 in 1977. I don’t vote for the party, I vote for the person. I voted for Obama in both elections. I have pretty much voted a straight Democratic ticket since then. The Republican Party is not the party I knew in 1977. Why don’t I change my registration? Because I am disabled and mostly homebound and somedays bed bound. It doesn’t matter how I am registered. I vote for who I think will do the best job for our country. I very much dislike Trump and his supporters. My mother voted for him and like you, I cannot fathom why she voted for him. She claims to be a Christian like most Trump supporters. She voted for a man who wants to take away healthcare for some of her grandchildren, a man who would not allow my “Pakistani-Muslim daughter” (former exchange student) and her family entrance to the US to visit. A man who wants to take away SS, Medicare and Medicaid from herself, my Dad, me and my special needs daughters and 2 of my grandchildren. A many who is racist and wants to harm people of other races. I don’t understand. My husband who is atheist, attended church with me when I was able to go. Most people thought he was a Christian because of his big heart and love for others. My Christian family members keep trying to “convert” him while they practice hatred, misogyny and racism. I haven’t lost my faith in God, but I have lost faith in many of my family members. I have always been the black sheep of my family and I don’t care. I do care about those who are marginalized, the poor, the hungry, the stranger, the refugees. I wish I could do more. I have adopted two special needs kids. I have 4 former exchange students that call me “Mom”. I have celebrated Russian Orthodox holidays, celebrated Ramadan and had many discussions with my Buddhist “son”. I feel blessed. Anyone who checks their FB pages will find my husband and I listed as their “parents”. We all stay in touch and visit. They are as much my children as my own biological daughter. Love has no boundaries in our family. We met a lesbian couple in our parenting classes when we first decided to adopt. They later separated and one lived with us while sorting our her affairs. I am sure there was a lot of talk in my family due to the fact she was living with us and my husband traveled a lot for business, but I did not care. She was a friend in need. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel to each other. We all want the same things in life. What is wrong with people??

    • What is wrong with people? They want Jesus to save them from their sins—but outside of that freebie—they do not give a warm piss about anything else Jesus ever said, did, or commanded—and they certainly do not want any of that Jesus stuff to be any part of their own daily lives and behavior toward their fellow man and woman. That is what is wrong with people—especially “Jesus” Republicans today.

    • Marsha Umek wrote, “Why don’t I change my registration? Because I am disabled and mostly homebound and somedays bed bound. It doesn’t matter how I am registered. I vote for who I think will do the best job for our country. ”

      I am sorry that you too are disabled and mostly homebound and I am especially sorry to read that you are bed bound.

      Just thought I’d let you know that you can probably change your registration online.

      Yes, you are also right, we should not generalize. Not about Republicans, and not as liberals. But it happens all the time.

      It is a relief to finally see some Republicans repudiate the current occupant of the Oval Office as a repellent person, devoid of humanity and unqualified for the office he is already campaigning for in 2020. My question to them is, “Why did it take you so long?” We knew who he was as early as the 1980s.

      My other issue with the current GOP is that they, as a group, appear to have embraced authoritarianism, bigotry, denial of climate change, destroying families, destruction of the planet and God’s creation, discrimination, fascism, global warming, gynophobia, hatred of the poor, homophobia, intolerance of a different of opinion, intolerance of people that are different, Islamaphobia, kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia and until they start repudiating these things also, I for one, can not trust anyone who claims to be a Republican.

  22. I think I am most shocked by the pervasive contempt that bubbles to the surface when someone points out areas of concern or disagrees with some new pronouncement/tweet from the President. The anger is personal and out of proportion to the event. It is vindictive and unfettered by logic. I am most alarmed by the number of acquaintances who present like converts to white supremacy and have no clue that is how they sound. The concept of “all men are created equal” is no longer considered a baseline for how we treat people in this country.

  23. “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.

    • 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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/

  26. 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?

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

    • 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.”

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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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