Note to Religious Liberals: God Does Take Sides

Note to Religious Liberals: God Does Take Sides

Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

December 3rd, 2010, 3:45 am #1

Note to Religious Liberals: God Does Take Sides
Daniel Schultz
December 2, 2010

It's been a rough week. Ireland got sold back into serfdom, unemployment benefits expired, and in a bid to bring the spirit of peace and generosity back to Christmas, Republicans threatened to filibuster the START treaty until tax cuts for the upper 2% of wealthy Americans were made permanent. Oh, and like a maraschino cherry high atop a lollapalooza of suck, we find out from Wikileaks that the Obama administration-with GOP help-basically has quashed the investigation into torture by slow-marching it to death.

It's starting to feel a lot like 1983 around here. Or, as one friend put it, "Pretty sure the way I feel about human politicians right now is how Skynet starts."

And where, might you ask, was the religious left (such as it is) during all of this? Begging for scraps, I'm afraid. They were "urging" Congress to pass the DREAM Act and "urging" them to ratify START and "asking"(!) the House to pass the Child Nutrition Act. These are all fine and worthy causes, to be sure. Yet somehow I don't think they're going to be effective. Put it to you this way, it's one thing to go up against a giant with a slingshot. It's quite another to take your rock out and replace it with a crumpled-up piece of paper.

I've been asked a lot over the course of this fall why we don't have a politically effective religious left in America. The short answer is that there's a significant trade-off between being nice (or engaging in "civil discourse," as it's called these days) and being potent. All the commitment to moral suasion, to building consensus, to reconciliation between political opponents, all the commitment in the world to "speaking out" about your values isn't going to accomplish squat.

What will? Identity politics. I'm afraid they're everything these days. Simply put, the religious left is far less effective than the religious right because it won't turn political questions into us-versus-them. It's too divisive for them, to use one of the president's favorite terms.

Yet, as I seldom tire of pointing out, the God of the Bible is quite partisan and quite divisive. You can't read about camels and the eye of the needle, let alone the Magnificat, without understanding that God is on the side of the poor.

If the religious left (such as it is) wants to be effective on economic issues-tax cuts, employment, child nutrition-it's going to have to learn to take sides too. It's going to have to say:

My God is the God of the poor. Someday, that God is going to bring down the powerful and send the rich away hungry, but lift up the lowly and fill the hungry. I know which side I'm on. Which side are you on?
Or better:

My God is the God of the poor. He takes notes, and so do I.
Or:

My God is the God of the poor. A vote against [unemployment benefits, child nutrition] or a vote for tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy is a vote against that God, and it's a vote against those who follow him.
Or simplest and perhaps best:

My God is the God of the poor. You can be for the poor or you can go to hell.
There's nothing nice about that. But then there's nothing nice about the absurd, reactionary, vicious and apparently successful class war the rich and powerful are waging on the rest of the nation, either.


Daniel Schultz, a.k.a. pastordan, is a minister in the United Church of Christ. He serves a small and very patient church in rural Wisconsin. He is the author of Changing the Script: An Authentically Faithful and Authentically Progressive Political Theology for the 21st Century, forthcoming from Ig Press.
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Tim
Tim

December 3rd, 2010, 4:19 am #2

I think the problem is the rich are greedy and manipulative servants to greed.

The love of money is the root of evil.

Fallow the money trail and see where the evil is spawned.

A rich man is rich, because the people that did the work did not get fair pay.

Mark10:23
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

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'Rich' Vs ''Poor'
'Rich' Vs ''Poor'

December 3rd, 2010, 11:06 am #3

Ah, if only Life were that simple.
Cause & Effect is always in play.
Why are things as they are? Can we know this? By what means?

The terms 'rich' and 'poor' are nearly always thought of in financial terms, but perhaps 'wealthy' and 'impoverished' might be more to the point.

The 'rich' in Spirit are very well off, regardless of financial status - while their opposite numbers, are in black poverty irrespective of their possessions.

Try to help the less fortunate than yourself at all times and you are helping to redress a huge man-made imbalance that affects us all.
Do so without judgement and do so with Love.

Do your best whether 'them' go to a different Church than 'Us' or see their idea of the Divine in quite different terms.

That is how to increase your Spiritual 'riches', while remembering that 'Life' is not confined to the Human tribes.
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JVH
Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

December 3rd, 2010, 1:31 pm #4

Note to Religious Liberals: God Does Take Sides
Daniel Schultz
December 2, 2010

It's been a rough week. Ireland got sold back into serfdom, unemployment benefits expired, and in a bid to bring the spirit of peace and generosity back to Christmas, Republicans threatened to filibuster the START treaty until tax cuts for the upper 2% of wealthy Americans were made permanent. Oh, and like a maraschino cherry high atop a lollapalooza of suck, we find out from Wikileaks that the Obama administration-with GOP help-basically has quashed the investigation into torture by slow-marching it to death.

It's starting to feel a lot like 1983 around here. Or, as one friend put it, "Pretty sure the way I feel about human politicians right now is how Skynet starts."

And where, might you ask, was the religious left (such as it is) during all of this? Begging for scraps, I'm afraid. They were "urging" Congress to pass the DREAM Act and "urging" them to ratify START and "asking"(!) the House to pass the Child Nutrition Act. These are all fine and worthy causes, to be sure. Yet somehow I don't think they're going to be effective. Put it to you this way, it's one thing to go up against a giant with a slingshot. It's quite another to take your rock out and replace it with a crumpled-up piece of paper.

I've been asked a lot over the course of this fall why we don't have a politically effective religious left in America. The short answer is that there's a significant trade-off between being nice (or engaging in "civil discourse," as it's called these days) and being potent. All the commitment to moral suasion, to building consensus, to reconciliation between political opponents, all the commitment in the world to "speaking out" about your values isn't going to accomplish squat.

What will? Identity politics. I'm afraid they're everything these days. Simply put, the religious left is far less effective than the religious right because it won't turn political questions into us-versus-them. It's too divisive for them, to use one of the president's favorite terms.

Yet, as I seldom tire of pointing out, the God of the Bible is quite partisan and quite divisive. You can't read about camels and the eye of the needle, let alone the Magnificat, without understanding that God is on the side of the poor.

If the religious left (such as it is) wants to be effective on economic issues-tax cuts, employment, child nutrition-it's going to have to learn to take sides too. It's going to have to say:

My God is the God of the poor. Someday, that God is going to bring down the powerful and send the rich away hungry, but lift up the lowly and fill the hungry. I know which side I'm on. Which side are you on?
Or better:

My God is the God of the poor. He takes notes, and so do I.
Or:

My God is the God of the poor. A vote against [unemployment benefits, child nutrition] or a vote for tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy is a vote against that God, and it's a vote against those who follow him.
Or simplest and perhaps best:

My God is the God of the poor. You can be for the poor or you can go to hell.
There's nothing nice about that. But then there's nothing nice about the absurd, reactionary, vicious and apparently successful class war the rich and powerful are waging on the rest of the nation, either.


Daniel Schultz, a.k.a. pastordan, is a minister in the United Church of Christ. He serves a small and very patient church in rural Wisconsin. He is the author of Changing the Script: An Authentically Faithful and Authentically Progressive Political Theology for the 21st Century, forthcoming from Ig Press.
<p align="center">

.... since the bible, 'God's own word', apparently, specifically mentions stuffs about "God's chosen people".

 

So, a biblical God being non-bias is out of the question.

 



Happy Hanukkah 5771 ......


- truth is something that can be demonstrated to be fact and fact is something that can be demonstrated to be true -

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
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Joined: October 1st, 2006, 10:04 am

December 3rd, 2010, 1:35 pm #5

Ah, if only Life were that simple.
Cause & Effect is always in play.
Why are things as they are? Can we know this? By what means?

The terms 'rich' and 'poor' are nearly always thought of in financial terms, but perhaps 'wealthy' and 'impoverished' might be more to the point.

The 'rich' in Spirit are very well off, regardless of financial status - while their opposite numbers, are in black poverty irrespective of their possessions.

Try to help the less fortunate than yourself at all times and you are helping to redress a huge man-made imbalance that affects us all.
Do so without judgement and do so with Love.

Do your best whether 'them' go to a different Church than 'Us' or see their idea of the Divine in quite different terms.

That is how to increase your Spiritual 'riches', while remembering that 'Life' is not confined to the Human tribes.
Well said indeed, RVP

More please.......



Love
Jackie




"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

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JVH
Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

December 3rd, 2010, 1:37 pm #6

Ah, if only Life were that simple.
Cause & Effect is always in play.
Why are things as they are? Can we know this? By what means?

The terms 'rich' and 'poor' are nearly always thought of in financial terms, but perhaps 'wealthy' and 'impoverished' might be more to the point.

The 'rich' in Spirit are very well off, regardless of financial status - while their opposite numbers, are in black poverty irrespective of their possessions.

Try to help the less fortunate than yourself at all times and you are helping to redress a huge man-made imbalance that affects us all.
Do so without judgement and do so with Love.

Do your best whether 'them' go to a different Church than 'Us' or see their idea of the Divine in quite different terms.

That is how to increase your Spiritual 'riches', while remembering that 'Life' is not confined to the Human tribes.
<em>'Ah, if only Life were that simple.'</em>

But it is ..... <img alt="animated-bell.gif" src="http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc31 ... d-bell.gif">


<p align="center"><strong>It is as it is - It goes as it goes
If it doesn't go, then that's how it goes
If it isn't, then that's how it is</strong>



- truth is something that can be demonstrated to be fact and fact is something that can be demonstrated to be true -

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
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Striver
Striver

December 3rd, 2010, 2:06 pm #7

Note to Religious Liberals: God Does Take Sides
Daniel Schultz
December 2, 2010

It's been a rough week. Ireland got sold back into serfdom, unemployment benefits expired, and in a bid to bring the spirit of peace and generosity back to Christmas, Republicans threatened to filibuster the START treaty until tax cuts for the upper 2% of wealthy Americans were made permanent. Oh, and like a maraschino cherry high atop a lollapalooza of suck, we find out from Wikileaks that the Obama administration-with GOP help-basically has quashed the investigation into torture by slow-marching it to death.

It's starting to feel a lot like 1983 around here. Or, as one friend put it, "Pretty sure the way I feel about human politicians right now is how Skynet starts."

And where, might you ask, was the religious left (such as it is) during all of this? Begging for scraps, I'm afraid. They were "urging" Congress to pass the DREAM Act and "urging" them to ratify START and "asking"(!) the House to pass the Child Nutrition Act. These are all fine and worthy causes, to be sure. Yet somehow I don't think they're going to be effective. Put it to you this way, it's one thing to go up against a giant with a slingshot. It's quite another to take your rock out and replace it with a crumpled-up piece of paper.

I've been asked a lot over the course of this fall why we don't have a politically effective religious left in America. The short answer is that there's a significant trade-off between being nice (or engaging in "civil discourse," as it's called these days) and being potent. All the commitment to moral suasion, to building consensus, to reconciliation between political opponents, all the commitment in the world to "speaking out" about your values isn't going to accomplish squat.

What will? Identity politics. I'm afraid they're everything these days. Simply put, the religious left is far less effective than the religious right because it won't turn political questions into us-versus-them. It's too divisive for them, to use one of the president's favorite terms.

Yet, as I seldom tire of pointing out, the God of the Bible is quite partisan and quite divisive. You can't read about camels and the eye of the needle, let alone the Magnificat, without understanding that God is on the side of the poor.

If the religious left (such as it is) wants to be effective on economic issues-tax cuts, employment, child nutrition-it's going to have to learn to take sides too. It's going to have to say:

My God is the God of the poor. Someday, that God is going to bring down the powerful and send the rich away hungry, but lift up the lowly and fill the hungry. I know which side I'm on. Which side are you on?
Or better:

My God is the God of the poor. He takes notes, and so do I.
Or:

My God is the God of the poor. A vote against [unemployment benefits, child nutrition] or a vote for tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy is a vote against that God, and it's a vote against those who follow him.
Or simplest and perhaps best:

My God is the God of the poor. You can be for the poor or you can go to hell.
There's nothing nice about that. But then there's nothing nice about the absurd, reactionary, vicious and apparently successful class war the rich and powerful are waging on the rest of the nation, either.


Daniel Schultz, a.k.a. pastordan, is a minister in the United Church of Christ. He serves a small and very patient church in rural Wisconsin. He is the author of Changing the Script: An Authentically Faithful and Authentically Progressive Political Theology for the 21st Century, forthcoming from Ig Press.
always has been, about money and profits. Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, makes no difference, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, money and profits are the Gods of America. The only people to whom this doesn't apply are the first to come to the "New Land" to escape religious and government oppression, plus a few 'true' New Agers of today. The people of America talk the good talk, but try to take away the carrot of the possibility to get rich and they'll rebel. Even the Christian religion has become what I call American Capitalistic Christianity. To American Capitalistic Christianity, the words of whom they insist are those of God and Jesus have come to be equated with Satan...with evil. God, Jesu and every spiritual giant of history preached socialism as being the way to go. But American Capitalistic Christianity has no intention to let even God interfere with their profits. So badly do they want to make greed holy, they rationalise, labeling what they loudly shout from their pulpits is God's word, evil. Christ mind might be the Holy Grail for Aquarians, but for American Capitalistic Christianity the Holy Grail is wealth. Also, we have fooled ourselves into believing that the rest of the world cannot see us for what we are. The worst disaster that has befallen modern civilisation is Capitalism. It is a self-feeding, self-sustaining, inferno of greed, materialism and selfishness. At man's present stage in evolution capitalism is like turning a five year old loose in a candy store. We can't elect a president or a Congress based upon their ability to unite the human race, bring about peace on Earth, goodwill which would result in right human relations. Why? Because we don't give one good trip to the toilet about the brotherhood of man. We are the planetary Prodigal Son wallowing in his 'riotous living' stage and care only about number one. Because of the "every man for himself" bi-product of capitalism we have, in order to survive, to elect our leaders based upon their ability to provide us with jobs; with enough money to survive. Oh yes, we run to a church and sing hymns for a couple of hours a week, but cannot handle the steady, unemtional, spiritual life. So we need to look, not at our president and Congress, but at the quality mind of our electorate. These bozo's don't elect themselves. We had a president (Jimmy Carter) who, while being far from perfect, was a humanitarian. He was seen by Americans as "weak," a wimp. The overwhelming majority of we Americans could not care less about an intelligent humanitarian for our president. Are there exceptions? Sure there are, but far too few to make a difference.
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Joined: October 1st, 2006, 10:04 am

December 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm #8

<em>'Ah, if only Life were that simple.'</em>

But it is ..... <img alt="animated-bell.gif" src="http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc31 ... d-bell.gif">


<p align="center"><strong>It is as it is - It goes as it goes
If it doesn't go, then that's how it goes
If it isn't, then that's how it is</strong>



- truth is something that can be demonstrated to be fact and fact is something that can be demonstrated to be true -

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
Er, possibly.

Hmmmm...more than humans? Another day maybe.....



Love
Jackie


"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

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JVH
Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

December 3rd, 2010, 4:52 pm #9




As for humans, they cannot really help themselves

- they act in accordance with what they are: human.




- truth is something that can be demonstrated to be fact and fact is something that can be demonstrated to be true -

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
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Joined: October 1st, 2006, 10:04 am

December 3rd, 2010, 5:07 pm #10

Smile.

What a funky picture!! All those moving bits. How do you do that??


Luv
Jacks
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