Monday, December 1, 2008

Christian = Sincere and Good

Can the Christian right stop with the self-congratulating? Right now. Just stop it. You are not better than me. Sorry. Christians commit crimes. Christians kill. Christians lie and cheat and steal. Get over it.

All right, now that I have that out of my system, here is what prompted it.

W too Nice to be President by Larry Anderson

This starts out well:

Conservatism needs a fresh start. True is losing arguments ... and it is losing elections. True and true One person, more than any other (even more than John McCain), has caused this: President George W. Bush. aka the albatross around McCain's neck.

Conservatives have not been winning arguments -- or elections -- by defending President Bush and his record. Because it is indefensible. Bad economic policy, unnecessary war sold to the USians with lies and more lies, torture. You just can't defend these things. We have been, repeatedly yeah, that still makes me giggle, thumped kapow! rhetorically and electorally in our efforts to support his policies. It is time for conservatives to move on. It seems as if Mr. Anderson can learn from the past.

Unfortunately, then Mr. Anderson goes on to defend W. and his policies. Those first two paragraphs are just a tease:

George W. Bush is undoubtedly a sincere man. Sincere in what? I can be sincere in my desire to set you on fire, this isn't a good thing. He is, in all probability, a good man. WHAT!? He starts wars, supports torture, victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and when Katrina hit, he was on vacation! How can anyone say W. is a good man. Wait for it-- His dramatic conversion to Christianity indicates that he, at least at this point in his life, is a man of high moral principles. AAAAAHHHHH! My brain! The stupid is eating my brain!

Think about this for a minute. You and I may judge a person by their actions. If they do good things, they are probably good. If they do bad things, they are probably bad. A person who feeds the hungry is good. A person who rapes children is bad. (I know that is an oversimplification. A person who feeds the hungry could be horrible at all other times, and most child molesters were themselves molested as children, but if you were picking a roommate, who would you go for?)

Not Mr. Anderson. He judges people by what church they attend, or don't. That's it. That's his only criteria. I, as an atheist am a terrible person. W, who started a war that killed thousands of US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, is a good person. Want to know what he bases this on? Two lines in the new testament. Two lines. Ephesians 2:8-9 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

He ignores the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount for those two lines. Reread the Sermon on the Mount if you need to, or just because it is beautiful. There won't be a quiz, but I will be referencing it heavily. (Yes, I am an Atheist, but Jesus did have good ideas.)

He is compassionate. And therein lies the problem: President Bush was too compassionate to be a good president. Show your work. Prove to me that W. was compassionate. Was he compassionate to the thousands of American soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that died in the war he lied to start? Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

A few conservatives saw this coming. I remember cringing at Bush's promise for compassionate conservatism so compassion is good now, but not then? and at these lines from his first Inaugural Address:

Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character.America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness. Why would this make anyone cringe? Civility makes Mr. Anderson cringe? Good will, respect, fair dealing and forgiveness makes him cringe? Now, I didn't buy it from W. then, and time and proven me out, but why would that make anyone cringe?

President Bush really believed this -- and probably still does. How do we judge whether or not a person believes what they say? By their actions. Unless you can read minds, you have no other way of assessing the truth of a person's words. If you tell me that you love me, and then lie to me, cheat on me, and abuse me, I know that you lied to me. I know that W. does not believe what he says about good will, respect, fair dealing and civility, because he started a war through lies. He supported torture. He detained people at Gitmo for years, and continues to do so. These actions prove the lie.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy

His opposition on the left, however, never has believed it and never will. Because we don't judge people on their "dramatic conversions". We judge them by their actions. President Bush "misunderestimated" aren't you glad to have a president-elect that can speak english? the ruthlessness of his political opposition. pallin' around with terrorists. And the Democrats spent eight years running circles around him. which is why we lost the 2004 election? what? As a result, conservatism will probably spend the next eight years paying for Bush's naïveté. I think the word you are looking for is "evil".

The reason we will pay is because partisan politics, in spite of what President Bush and Senator McCain believe or would have us believe, is not a quest for civility, or respect, or fair dealing, or forgiveness. Partisan politics is the pursuit, acquisition, and the use of power. And we're back to things that are true. Though I doubt W. or McCain are confused on what partisan politics are. Is Mr. Anderson actually calling for a sharing of power between the right and the left? Can't be.

The rest of this article devolves into a mush of "Founding Fathers" and "liberals" and "partisan", so let's check out a few choice comments.

Jennifer says: It's pretty sad when compassion, integrity, and honor are viewed as weaknesses. I thought those were the principles this country was founded on. Hahahahahaha. Yeah. Ok. Apparently it is no longer what it runs on. Jennifer, this country runs on oil, c'mon now. You people are proof of that. Maybe had you people stopped the whining brat act long enough you could have stood behind your president...wrote to Congress about the things you disagreed with...but supported the man who, above all else, kept you safe from what? WMD's that didn't exist? terrorists that weren't in Iraq? and never once complained about all the crap you slung his way. Because Presidents do a lot of that? Maybe had more of you supported the man who led us into safety the last 8 years, WHAT FREAKIN' SAFETY? we wouldn't be stuck with this phony who will "lead" us into the next 4 or 8. It's all YOUR fault...not GWBs.

But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also

I think I agree with Dlanor: To mangle B. Franklin, “W” is always a good man, often a wise man, but sometimes right out of his skull. W will always be remembered as having cheerfully whistled, inarticulately, while our borders boiled, energies emigrated, debts detonated, and Gini index galloped. Bush's downfall may be attributed to his total reliance on a perverse world view. Welcome to the N.W.O. At first, I thought he meant NWA, which would have been cooler. I think NWO is a Revelation reference.

We're overextended with the two wars we're in, but Habu wants a third: I can only pray he has sequestered himself so as to put the final touches on an attack on Iran, because Barack will never bomb them and then the entire ME equastion goes heavily negative for the US and the free world when Iran obtains one. But I don't think they make churches big enough to handle that prayer. Right now Bush can prevent that from happening but sadly shows only signs of backing away. Blessed are the peacemakers, Habu.

You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment

I end with Rob, who is apparently living in an alternate universe. Bush has won a war in Afghanistan, defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq, put us well on the way to winning the War on Terror and grown our economy in the face of the shocks of 9/11 and $150 oil. He has done well and gotten no credit. or, "won", "defeated", "winning", "grown" and "well" mean something other than I think they do.

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