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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Liberal Jesus Or My Man L. J.

Biblically documented teachings of Jesus Christ clearly show that Jesus is a Liberal.  His philosophy, based in compassion, equality, inclusion, forgiveness, tolerance, peace and - most importantly - love, is 100% Liberal.  

For 20 years I have seen the growing domination of the radical right wing evangelicals on TV, on
the radio and in the news, newspapers and magazines and in politics - claiming to own a virtual
monopoly on Jesus.  They have redefined what He meant and used His name to advance their
radical right wing social, business, governmental, political and military agenda - or as President
Bush calls it their just and righteous Crusade.  I strongly object and disagree.

Webster's dictionary defines a Liberal as one who is open
minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional
or established forms or ways.  Jesus was a pluralist Liberal
who taught that one need not conform to strict and orthodox
views of God, religion, and life.  He rejected greed, violence,
the glorification of power, the amassing of wealth without
social balance, and the personal judging of others, their
lifestyles and beliefs.

Over and over again, He taught us to believe in and live a
spiritual and ethical life based in our essential, inherent
goodness.  What Jesus promoted was succinct set of
spiritual principals and a way of life based upon the of love,
compassion, tolerance, and a strong belief in the importance
in giving and of generosity to those in need.

While I'm not a Biblical scholar, my common sense
understanding of His lessons as philosophically and
politically Liberal is founded upon Jesus' own words (see
quotes below), modern interpretations of Liberation Theology,
and in the positive, loving and compassionate application of
His teachings - from the many early Saints to Mother
Theresa and Liberation Theology.

Certainly, Jesus brought a radically Liberal theology to the
Orthodox believers of his time. Jesus IS a Liberal even today
because now more than ever, His principals align with the
very core of Liberal Beliefs.

 Biblical Quotes Supporting the Belief that Jesus Is A Liberal
Peacemaking, not War Making: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [Matthew 5:9]  Resist
not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39]  I say unto you, Love your
enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute
you; [Matthew 5:44]
The Death Penalty: Thou shalt not kill [Matthew 5:21]
Crime and Punishment: If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7]  Do not judge, lest
you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to
you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]  
Justice: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  [Matthew 5:6] Blessed are the
merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Matthew 5:7]  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your
trespasses.  [Matthew 6:15]
Corporate Greed and the Religion of Wealth: In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other
sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle;
he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. [John 2:14 & 15.] Watch out! Be on your guard against
all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12.15.]  Truly, I say unto you, it will
be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23] You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]
Paying Taxes & Separation of Church & State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the
things that are God's.  [Matthew 22:21]
Community:  Love your neighbor as yourself. .[Matthew 22:39]  So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.
[Matthew 7:12.]  If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
[Matthew 19:21]
Equality & Social Programs: But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed,
because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 &14.]
Public Prayer & Displays of Faith: And when thou pray, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in
the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  
But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…
[Matthew 6:6 & 7]
Strict Enforcement of Religious Laws: If any of you has a son or a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take
hold of it and lift it out?  [Matthew 12:11] The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. [Mark 2:27.]
Individuality & Personal Spiritual Experience: Ye are the light of the world. [Matthew 5:14]

I asked my conservative friends if they could give me any quotes from Jesus that supported the "Free Market" or voting purely in ones "self interests," or any other anti civil rights mumbo jumbo they salute?
They couldn't think of one off the top of their heads, but ran to their home computers to surf the right wing web. Immediately, I was bombarded with info about The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). The best right wing sleeping pill that money can buy.  Of course many of my conservative friends can explain away all these quotes to their benefit. "Supply Side Jesus" is their lord and master. And God rewards the monetarily wealthy with a GOLDEN CALF in their hearts. They accuse me of framing liberal Jesus. I told them I don't frame liberal Jesus, he just is liberal Jesus. Oh, and he's the original "community organizer."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Whacking Through The Wackos With My Machete Of Truth

How was your weekend?
Mine seemed pretty hopeless as nothing went right, but not worse than those who lost a loved one or found themselves victims of terrible crimes. No, my problems were minuscule in comparison. 
There's always an upside if you and yours are still living and breathing after a weekend (thank you liberal Jesus).
Just when I thought my weekend couldn't get any worse I was accosted by a husband and wife comedy team on my facebook page for posting a link to this story:

Woman Upset With Obama Apologizes After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Today in a L.A. Times op-ed, a woman who was so upset with President Obama for having "let down the struggling middle class" that she switched her registration from Democrat to Independent and altered her Obama bumpers sticker to read "Got Nope" is apologizing to the President. She says that while she was angered by Obama's plan, she's suddenly come to appreciate it, now that she's benefitting from it.
Two years ago, Spike Dolomite Ward and her husband had to choose between paying their mortgage or keeping their health insurance. They kept the house, and now at 49 Ward has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn't know how she'd afford months of expensive treatment, until he discovered the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which is part of Obama's healthcare plan. Now she's publicly "outed" herself in the hopes that she can teach Obamacare opponents that the uninsured aren't just lazy freeloaders. She writes:
What I want people to understand is that, if this could happen to us, it could happen to anybody. If you are fortunate enough to still be employed and have insurance through your employers, you may feel insulated from the sufferings of people like me right now. But things can change abruptly. If you still have a good job with insurance, that doesn't mean that you're better than me, more deserving than me or smarter than me. It just means that you are luckier. And access to healthcare shouldn't depend on luck.
Ward's right, and she deserves credit for admitting she was wrong. (Edit: To clarify, Ward felt Obamacare didn't do enough, but she's speaking to people who "are still lucky enough to have health insurance and view people like my family as irresponsible.") It's just a shame that most people who are rabidly against enabling all Americans to have healthcare coverage won't have a change of heart unless they're put in a similarly horrible situation.

For some reason these so-called friends of mine decided to call Obama a liar and a fraud -a big "no no" on my fb wall to be sure- without much evidence to support their claims. Oh, there is some website where you're supposed to get info about what's actually true and false in politics these days. After examining it I did find most of the GOP candidates were in a tight heat for "liar, liar, pants on fire" of the year honors which was neat.

Anyway, 6 hours later, after talking in circles with these delusional folks, they deleted all they'd said about our president and their personal attacks of me as well. Like Enron executives shredding documents, these people create the reality that best suits them. (Turn the other cheek?)

We all agreed we probably shouldn't be friends when I exposed them for not having voted in an election since 1994. By then they most certainly had enough of the truth. Ever notice how conservatives spend a lot of time and energy bashing our President all the while not participating in the political process or really looking at the history. 

Liberal Jesus and I will pray for their lost souls...

The day wasn't a total loss as I had this to fall back on:

WASHINGTON -- In making the case for his re-election, President Barack Obama is arguing that it doesn't matter who the Republicans nominate to run against him because the core philosophy of the GOP candidates is the same and will stand in sharp relief with his own.
The president laid out an argument for a second term in a wide ranging interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, bluntly saying that if voters believe in the Republican agenda of lower taxes, including for the wealthy, and weaker regulations then he will lose.
"I don't think that's where the American people are going to go," he added, "because I don't think the American people believe that based on what they've seen before, that's going to work."
For some time, Democrats and Obama allies have been anticipating that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will ultimately win the Republican nomination. But with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich atop many polls now, Democrats have begun to train their fire on him.
Obama argued that the two Republicans represent the same fundamental set of beliefs.
"The contrast in visions between where I want to take the country and what ... where they say they want to take the country is going to be stark," he said. "And the American people are going to have a good choice and it's going to be a good debate."
He rejected questioner Steve Kroft's suggestion that the public was judging him on his performance as president. "I'm being judged against the ideal," he said. "Joe Biden has a good expression. He says, `Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative.'"
Obama predicted the fight to the Republican nomination won't be resolved quickly. "I think that they will be going at it for a while," he said.
He described both of the top GOP candidates, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, as political fixtures.
Of Gingrich he said: "He's somebody who's been around a long time, and is good on TV, is good in debates."
"But Mitt Romney has shown himself to be somebody who's ... who's good at politics, as well," he said. "He's had a lot of practice at it."
Obama is counting on voters giving him credit for avoiding a second Great Depression, bailing out the auto industry and passing a signature health care law even while acknowledging that the public is hardly satisfied with the direction of the country.
He also listed such achievements as ending the Pentagon's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for gay service members and the elimination of Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaida leaders.
"But when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do," he conceded.
He rejected Republican criticism that his economic policies amount to class warfare, saying he is simply trying to restore an "American deal" that focuses on building a strong middle class.
In a major speech in Osawatomie, Kan., this week, Obama argued that even before the recent recession hit, Americans at the top of the income scale grew wealthier while others struggled and racked up debt. He also has called for spending on jobs initiatives and for an extension of a payroll tax cut that would be paid for by increasing taxes on taxpayers who make $1 million or more.
"There are going to be people who say, `This is the socialist Obama and he's come out of the closet,'" Obama said.
But he added: "The problem is that our politics has gotten to the point, where we can't have an honest conversation about the greatest income inequality since the 1920s. And we can't have an honest conversation about the irresponsibility that resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, without somebody saying that somehow we're being divisive."
There are some excellent talking points in this article to lay out to your so-called conservative friends. I urge you to "dig in" as this year's going to be a nasty one with the hate, venom, and vitriol from the right. This is going to be an election year like nothing you've ever seen before. Sharpen your machetes.

Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance hasn't really started its Xmas shopping yet as it brings you this week's roundup.

SCOTUS has issued a stay and scrambled the 2012 elections again. Off the Kuff tries to make sense of it.

BossKitty at TruthHugger notes that it's business as usual for Texas politicians to tilt the voter tables in their favor by gerrymandering: US Supreme Court May Like New Texas Gerrymandering.

Occupy went to Washington and comes to Houston on Monday, December 12. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs follows along.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out that there's a corporate hand up the back of many GOP legislators in Texas: Texas GOP legislators are corporate puppets.

At TexasKaos Libby Shaw explans how the GOP is killing the U.S. economy and the American dream.

Neil at Texas Liberal made one post and then another detailing the recent trip of Green Houston City Council candidate Amy Price to Washington with Occupy Houston.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme calls out the US Supreme Court for the corrupt hijacking of the Texas elections.