Home > Religion > Election-year “Line in the sand” and the Bible

Election-year “Line in the sand” and the Bible

July 16, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about the election-year push to combat gay rights and gay marriage.  The timing suggests to me that it is an attempt to harness voters’ religious faith for political gain.  Another clue is the frantic rhetoric and predictions of ‘gay agenda’ disaster that society will somehow fall apart if gays were allowed to form stable partnerships and settle down.

No doubt the Bible is an anti-gay document, but that is hardly its emphasis.  In fact, the Bible devotes at least twenty times as much narrative to issues of poverty and economic justice as to the scourge of Adam and Steve.  This is another clue that the issue is being manipulated for political reasons.  If the contents of the Bible were what mattered, politicians would be leaning far to the Left.

My dad always used to say; “Draw ‘em a picture”.  So for your reading entertainment, I have prepared a handout on the subject.  As a graphic metaphor, I am using pennies to stand for Bible passages.  At left are the 12 Bible passages related to homosexuality.  At right are the 250+ passages related to the poor. 


Categories: Religion
  1. July 17, 2006 at 12:08 | #1

    Awesome “picture” DOF.  It still bothers me how people seem to care so much about whether someone that is homosexual should be allowed to get married.  Who really cares?  This whole issue is just as ridiculous as Bill O’Liely’s “War on Christmas.”  Christianity is not being threatened in anyway, certainly not in this country. 

    Hey politicians, you want to do some good in this world, start with the lower and middle classes, which is where the majority of Americans lie.  There are plenty of “real” social issues to fix there.

  2. Abhilasha
    July 17, 2006 at 12:27 | #2

    Well, people always read the religion according to their convinience…

    Afterall, the author would not come and argue..right ?

    Interesting picture…

  3. July 17, 2006 at 13:32 | #3

    IS this the same Abhilasha that took a digital forensics class?  Sorry to get off topic here.

  4. July 17, 2006 at 15:33 | #4

    “There are plenty of “real” social issues to fix there”

    Yep, they might start with dismantling the birth to grave control over our lives and let those who are receiving tax payer funds that they never worked for nor contributed a dime to that this financial help is just that..help and not a gotdam right.

    I came to the conclusion years ago that any government attempt to help any of the so called classes of people only served to form ‘classes’ of people and now we have a permanent ‘underclass’ that it totally dependent on government handouts. Then of course there is the ‘upper class of corporate interests who are in damn near the same shape. I want to see government get back to governing the country..concentrate on spending taxes on defense and roads and bridges and providing law enforecment and slammers for the ones who are ripping us off at gunpoint. Social engineering has been a failure here and everywhere else it was tried..and is is in no way compatable with my ideas of freedom and liberty.

  5. July 17, 2006 at 15:57 | #5

    Social engineering is a different thing entirely from what you are referring to.  I think what you mean are social programs.  And if social programs are such a failure why is it that Cuba has undoubtedly one of the best health care systems in the world.  Why is it that Cuba has a non-existent literacy rate, and I believe America is around 20%. 

    Oh and guess what helps with your robbing at gunpoint problem… that’s right social programs.  How?  Glad you asked.  Many cities throughout our country have created a social program to re-introduce criminals into our society.  This is because sending a criminal to prison does nothing to actually rehabilitate them, instead it allows them to “rot away.”  This is terrible for any society because the majority of criminals are re-peat offenders.  Putting someone in prison is very costly when compared those that are productive in society.  So without social programs our country would be in a constant state of spending on criminals, instead of spending on those more deserving.

    That permanent underclass was created by the failings of our government to notice or care about them.  Not because of social programs.  Without welfare and such social programs our poor and underclass people would be dieing and rotting on the streets everyday and for no reason.

    And to say that the poor and lower classes don’t deserve any of that money is true.  It is unfair to give a tax break to someone that cannot afford health care and has to make decisions on whether or not to buy groceries or get medical attention.  But guess what Guyk, Bush’s taxes are not just giving money back based on who puts in the most money, they are actually skewed to the rich.  So the richest 20% of the country get the majority of the tax break, even though their percentage received is greater than their percentage put in.  How is that fair?  How do you justify that?  The poorest 98% of the country spend more than the richest 1%, even though the richest 1% have more money combined than the poorest 98%.  Why give them the money, when the richest 1% save 98% of all money saved in this country.  Bush’s tax cuts don’t even make economic sense.

  6. July 17, 2006 at 16:27 | #6

    Easy now.  Afore everyone puts down their beer and starts breaking chairs and tables, please note that I am not advocating any economic policies here, only pointing out that certain people who are on about the Bible and yet focus mainly on The Gay Threat, have some explaining to do. 

    Such as why their social agenda (“Stop the gays!”) differs so much from that of their main guy (“Him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.”)

    Not that I think Jesus was a particularly good economist – Adam Smith wasn’t due to come around for several centuries yet – but hey, it’s their Book, He’s their guy.  I’d love to see Christianity’s loudest proponents show some evidence of having read The Book.

    Carry on.

  7. July 17, 2006 at 16:40 | #7

    I still follow the idea that most religious people have never read the bible.  When I tell Christians that the bible states the Earth is about 7,000 years old, most of them look at me like an alien, and some try to refute it.  I just laugh inside that my non-Christian following self explained a known fallacy of their religion to them.

  8. July 17, 2006 at 16:50 | #8

    “And if social programs are such a failure why is it that Cuba has undoubtedly one of the best health care systems in the world.  Why is it that Cuba has a non-existent literacy rate, and I believe America is around 20%. ”


    Oh, I expect the Cuban literacy rate is a little better than non-existent although I wonder about the left wing socialists in the USA. And the last time I looked there was something like a 80 percent literacy rate in the USA however the illiterates of the population were mostly illegal immigrants and those blacks who had joined that great society of social welfare…most of them democrats. The smarter people have all voted republican the last couple elections and that alone shows that the republicans have the more intelligent voters….they know the difference between literate and illiterate.

    I have always wondered about that great social program in Cuba. I wonder why so many are risking their lives to get out of uba when it so gotdam great?

    You know, there is another thing I have wondered about. See, New Orleans was a “chocolate city”..all democrats running it and all subscribed to the socialist agenda. Boy was it screwed up though, huh? And how about California and New Jersey whose economies are in shambles with a democrat—read that socialist agenda-they just can’t seem to understand that those who produce get tired of being ripped off by the greed of the socialists and leave…taking their earnings with them.

    Oh, and by the way, you know those Bush Tax cuts that you say are not fair? Well you are right. When there is a graduated income tax scale it is not fair. But even so it appears that the tax cuts have produced more revenue for the government. Seems as if with a lower tax rate the producers will produce more seeing as how they are allowed to keep more. And yeah, the top five percent of the wage earners still pay he highest percentage of the taxes.

    I detest socialist. I consider them the same as thieves except I have more respect for an armed robber. He at least has the courage to let me know what he is when he tries to rob me, You socialists not only hide behind government to rob me you want to protect the thief and make excuses for him. Well, I was always told there was no honor among thieves..You have proved it.

  9. July 17, 2006 at 17:19 | #9

    First of all I fail to see the humor in my comment.  Secondly like most Republicans, your states are incorrect and do nothing to refute what I have stated.  The difference between illiterate and literate is, one can read the other cannot.  Illegal immigrants would not be included in any survey of US literacy rates because they are illegal immigrants.  When the US Census Bureau conducts their surveys US citizens are used.  So again you are wrong.

    The reason so many are leaving is because the US will not recognize Cuba as a country and as a result we have set the Cuban economy back as much as 60 years.  We have trade embargo’s on Cuba that will fine anyone $600 minimum for bringing anything into Cuban ports.  We essentially control their economy even though they are a separate country and not part of the US.

    I would refute your 5th paragraph but I am not sure where to start.  It is filled with incoherant ramblings, plenty of supposition, false correlations and causations.  Just because these states you mention might be filled with socialists, or even worse Democrats, does not mean a failure of the state is a failure caused by a Democrat or Socialist.  This is a logical fallacy.

    Your sixth paragraph is pretty much filled with the same stuff as the fifth.  The Bush tax cuts have not produced more revenue for the US, likewise they have had a negative effect and have helped added to an ever-increasing deficit (let us not forget Bush took office with a surplus).  Many of those in the top 1% will produce more when given more, because there is an incentive to do so, but we are talking about 1% of the US population here.  It would be wiser to stimulate the economy by helping out the lower 98% of the US, which spend more money.

    I am robbing you.  That is interesting.  You have more respect for robbers than socialists, that is incredibly interesting.  As I have already explained to you criminals have a large long term cost to society, and so do prisons.

    I guess I just keep forgetting the reality has a largely known liberal bias.

  10. July 17, 2006 at 18:35 | #10

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40614F93B540C7A8CDDAE0894DE404482 This link to a NY Times article states”About one-third of all income taxes are paid by households in the top 1 percent of income earners, who make more than about $300,000 a year.”
    It also states “So, it looks like TAX REVENUES WILL BE $250 billion MORE THAN LAST YEAR”S IN TAKE.”

    So what you are saying is to just take some more from those who have earned it? And give it to those who have not? And you wonder why I have more respect for an armed robber than a socialist? Hell, even when hit with the facts you can’t admit it because it doesn’t fit the agenda of receiving according to need and contributing according to ability with government determining both. Yeah, I detest socialists—they are right up their on my hate list along with right wing Christians who want to run my life..my greatest fear is that the right wing Christians will join up with the socialists..after all the agenda is the same..minding every ones business but their own.

  11. July 17, 2006 at 18:51 | #11

    Geeze, how did this get so OT?  Guy?

  12. July 17, 2006 at 20:11 | #12

    “So, it looks like TAX REVENUES WILL BE $250 billion MORE THAN LAST YEAR”S IN TAKE.”

    All I’ll say to this is, John Maynard Keynes is not dead, just abducted by Haliburton et. al.

    If you’re so smart, you’ll figure it out while you’re paying the bill. You might want to learn Chinese while you’re at it, and ask yourself why a Communist country can afford to buy all our paper.

    PS: Intake is one word. Pot, kettle, black.

  13. July 17, 2006 at 20:24 | #13

    So, reckon any fundamentalists will stop by anytime soon to explain why the obvious implications of Jesus’ economics can be pretty much ignored while a handful of anti-gay Bible passages can take over the social agenda of Christianity?  ‘Cause I’d really like to hear that one.

  14. July 17, 2006 at 20:33 | #14

    DOF:  I wouldn’t hold my breath.  you and I both know, however, is that if they do stop by, they will start by quoting Rationalizations 1:1, which “clearly” show that Jesus meant something different about how to deal with the poor and oppressed.  Afterall, “the poor you have with you always”, which means we really aren’t responsible…

  15. jaded&cynical
    July 17, 2006 at 20:50 | #15

    There is a dirty little secret with Bush, Pat Robertson and James Dobson type of “Christians” who only consider those who believe as they do, true Christians. The reason why they ignore the part of the Bible that speaks about the less fortunate is that they believe the poor deserve to be poor. Just like millionares deserve to be rich.

    I wish they all would be honest and say what they really believe like, “Only fetuses matter, when they’re born into poverty,then they’re not important anymore.” Or “God loves rich people, therefore, God hates the poor so why should we help them?” Or “The Consitution is only a piece of paper.”

    Oh, and this one. “Better dead than gay.”

    But they don’t have to say these things. Their actions speak volumes.

  16. July 17, 2006 at 20:53 | #16

    Most likely correct, but eventually we’ll hear it from them and we can ask for details.  8-/

  17. July 18, 2006 at 10:03 | #17

    jaded&cynical; said: “they believe the poor deserve to be poor. Just like millionares deserve to be rich.”

    That’s somewhat of an oversimplification, but the spirit is correct.  “Those who refuse to work for a living deserve to be poor, and those who work and produce deserve to be rich” might be a little more accurate way to put it.

    I resent being told that I have to give my money, that I worked for and earned, to the government so that they can hand it out willy-nilly to a welfare mom with three illegitimate kids, no husband, and no job.  I will give to those charities that are deserving (in MY OPINION, not the GOVERNMENT’S!); I resent the government taking over that decision on my behalf.

  18. July 18, 2006 at 10:33 | #18

    Actually, MoringGlory, jaded hit the nail on the coffin with many Christians and just richer folk alike.  My cousin and her husband believe that the poor deserve to be poor etc.

    As for your increase in tax revenue, Guyk, what I meant to say was that even with your increase in revenue it won’t make a difference because your precious government is spending way over the top of what’s coming in.  And even if they find a way to scrap away a little more off the deficit, then it still won’t matter because Bush came into off with a surplus and now has a deficit.  Not only that be has has stripped away at all social programs including those for the veterans, education, and health.  Surely you could agree that an educated society is important, and if not, then I think I know why.

  19. July 18, 2006 at 12:22 | #19

    Topic drift correction:
    OK folks, the discussion seems to have gotten off on the tangent of “HOW (or whether) to help the poor”.  That’s a really valuable topic in itself and it deserves an open thread of its own:

    How (or whether) to help the poor 
    Do you hate welfare?  Want to bring back Lyndon Johnson?  Favor massive education programs?  Work-study? That’s the thread for you.  ;-)

    I am hoping on this thread to continue the question of why fundamentalist Christianity seems to have gotten so hung up on gays when the Bible makes such a strong point of compassion for the poor.

    (NOTE: several excellent comments below moved to the new thread on helping the poor.  No comments have been deleted.)

  20. July 18, 2006 at 12:48 | #20

    A projected 9.2 trillion dollar national debt is outrageous and if you have read my blog you know that I have been writing against every since I started the site about this time last year. I understand how a surplus could disappear with a minor recession and a couple of wars and a congress that will spend whatever they have to get elected. And then couple all of that with a president who refuses to veto any pork laden bill and we get a tremendous national debt. But the aswer is not to raise taxes on those who are producing nopr on companies.

    First of all you only kid yourself if you think you can tax a company. Being an ex CEO of a corporation..my own..I can assure you that taxes are a part of doing business and are passed on to the consummer. When the taxes get to the point that a business cannot compete the business either closes down or moves to a place where it can be competitive.

    As for stripping away at the programs, I am not going to take the time to google it but seems that I read in my VA magazine that there was an increase in the VA bugjet this year..just not as much as was requested and no doubt not as much that is needed. As for health I don’t know. I have mixed emotions on it. When I had my company I offered health benifits on a 60/40 share basis..me paying sixty percent. It was going to cost employees about $200 per month..they turned it down because they could not afford it and the payments on the new SUVs hey were driving both. I get the idea from past experience that many of the uninsured are uninsured out of chocie..just a matter of priorities.

    Education is another thing altogether. I am a product of the schools of the 1950s..an era where local communities ran the schools. If we failed we failed and that meant taking the year over again. There were no social promotions and a kid that misbehaved got his butt swatted with a paddle. But the ones that graduated from high school were not only literate..they were prepared to enter the work force or go to college. Now we have the Feds trying to run education and it is getting progressively worse. The left wing has decided that it is more important to enhace the kids self esteem than to teach them how to read and write and basic math. We have those who graduate from high school who are for all practical purposes iliterate but they are proud of themselves. And yet the left wing tells me that we need to throw more money into education? The best thing that we as a society can do is return the control of local schools to the people who are paying the bill..the local community. Stop the busing nonsense, stop the Teachers unions who are more interested in pushing the left wing agenda than teaching a student how to read and write. Pay the teachers a wage commensurate with their skills..it is a sad state of affairs when a teacher is paid less per year than a long distance truck driver.

    Many have tried to classify me as a conservative..actually I am a liberal in the classic sense of liberalism. That means I am a die hard capitalist and a social progressive. I believe that every person was born with equal rights. But that doesn’t mean that I believe that all persons are equal. Some will always be poor because of the decisions they make in their life. Others who make the right..or the lucky..decisions may accumulate wealth and accumulated wealth generally will multiply. As a true liberal I believe that each person sholu have equal opportunity..but no way should each person be guaranteed success. Those who earn it will be successful and those who don’t usually will not although some such as the Jessie Jacksons of the world have managed pretty well by either sponging and blackmailing those who do manage to produce.

  21. July 18, 2006 at 13:06 | #21

    I understand where you are coming from with your idea to turn education back to the communities, but the reason that would never work is that the communities cannot afford it.  The current administration has taken every chance possible to slash into education, and because of it education has taken a dive.  If local communities were running the schools, taxes would be a lot higher than they are now, which is all fine with me, I actually like the idea.  But I do not think any politician would attempt such a thing. 

    As far as the SUV versus health care, that is an observation you have extrapolated and applied to a whole group.  I do agree with you that many make poor financial decisions and as a result are screwed, but one look here should give you insight into another world.  Health care

    The VA is getting hurt more in the medical area than any other, that was what I was referring to.  And Bush has actually cut back on funding for injured vets, and has taken money away from families of wounded or deceased vets.  This I think is a terrible thing to do.  I don’t have the balls to pick up a gun and fight for my country, but others do, and the fact that they put their life on the line should be reason enough to give them all the help and medical attention their families need.

  22. July 18, 2006 at 13:53 | #22

    Editor’s note: for some reason this comment got stuck in a moderation queue and just surfaced today (or I just noticed the queue today) – which is wierd because I don’t moderate comments.  Anyway,  here it is:

    If it didn’t go through the first time you tried to post it, I apologize”I understand where you are coming from with your idea to turn education back to the communities, but the reason that would never work is that the communities cannot afford it. “

    The reason they can’t afford it is that the money they should be getting is going through the Feds, when it should be going directly to the locals.  As it stands, they are getting back only 80 cents on the dollar.  They’d have 20% more to work with if it didn’t have to filter through the Federal Gov’t first.  When did education become the responsibility of the federal government?

  23. July 18, 2006 at 13:58 | #23

    I think you will find that Federal funding for local schools is less than 10 percent of the schools total buget..and does not come close to paying for the Fereral and Judicial mandates such as educating the illegal aliens, mainlining those who should be in nursing homes or are mentally unable to keep up with the class, requiring teachers that can teach in the language of the immmigrant children/legal or otherwise, and other such programs that detract from the education of the majority. I have often wondered if maybe the best thing for the states and school districts to do is tell the Feds to take the money and their programs and stick them where the sun don’t shine..what are the Feds gonna do..cut off the funding?

    I am concerned with the funding for veterans. I am a retired member of the USAF as well as a service connected diabaled vet. We are going to need more funding for veterans hospitals and VA programs. I fully support these programs..they are different from other type social programs ..the vets have earned every dinme they get.

    As I stated earlier I am a product of the 1950’s..an era where the Federal government was not involved in heath care. I am the first to say that health care is much better today than before..but I think it is in spite of the Federal government and not because of anything the Feds have done. Health care is expensive..I know just how expensive because my wife is recovering from some back surgery that cost well onto a quarter of a million dollars. I have good insurance that covered most of it but it is not free.

    I see some solutions to the cost of medical care..but none the left wing will accept. The first is to get the tort lawyers out of it. In Florida it is becoming difficult to find care even with a primary care doctor..the ones who are staying in the state are already overwhelmed with patients. The high cost of liability insurance is causing doctors to leave the state in droves. The next thing would be to cut off all government paid medical care except for life threatening emergencies to illegal aliens. Hospital emergency rooms are packed with illegal aliens who get a free medical ride at the expense of those who have insurance or those paying cash for treatment.

    And, when we get right down to it show me in the constitution of this country where it says that anyone has a right to medical care. When those who make the wrong life decisions and thus are unable to purchase insurance what right d they have to want me..a taxpayer to fund it for them. Yeah, I am cold hearted but I am also realistic enough to understand that the greedy ones are not the ones who are accumulating the wealth..it is the ones who don’t have it and want it. I have none of the middle class guilt that makes me want to take care of the poor. I figure that in the USA the vast majority are poor because of the choices they have made. That is not my problem nor the problem of society and may be Darwin’s theory in action. If society takes care of them they just tend to breed more spongers..the projects of the inner cities are full of them.

  24. July 19, 2006 at 06:13 | #24

    It’s very simplistic, but I believe the reason a large number of Christians (and you and I, DOF, know that it is not all) are blind to doctrines that are clear in Jesus’ teaching, is fear.  Most religions have a component of fear that guide their practice if not their stated beliefs.  (Not being a student of comparative religion, I pose this only as my opinion.  I said “most” because Buddhism comes to mind as one major religion that might be an exception.)

    Thinking is hard work, and when thinking includes the risk of doubt, of saying “I don’t know”, of accepting that even beliefs that you have held for a long time might be open to question or modification, it is scary for some people.

    Truly engaging with people who hold very different beliefs and practices, or whose cultural context is vastly different, is hard work, and is scary for most.  Rejection of others and isolation is far easier than being open and accepting.

    Christians behaving in this way is truly strange given the fact that the Christian message is about redemption through forgiveness and grace, about love being the greatest commandment, about turning the other cheek, etc.  How that message has been twisted and lost for a huge portion of Christians is an amazing testament (pun intended) to the power of human nature to distort truths for selfish purposes … and the power of fear.

  25. mt
    July 24, 2006 at 23:07 | #25

    Yes, I agree, WeeDram.  In fact, it’s not just gays that fundamentalist Christians (and other closed-minded groups) love to hate.  They also hate members of other religions, political parties, races, colors, creeds, etc. etc.  What it all boils down to (in my opinion) is the human race is a collection of millions of fearful, nasty little children who want to blame all their unhappiness on somebody else instead of looking inside and finding the source of their insecurities and changing themselves.  And the nastiest meanest ones who scream the loudest attract a crowd, and they gather their cliques together and battle against the other cliques to prove which is the bestest on the whole playground.  The good news is once in a while someone is able to see this pathetic state of affairs for what it is (e.g. Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, ML King), and for a short while he opens our minds to a new possibility – a world where we might all cooperate together for our common good and live in peace.  Sadly, most of these wise men are crucified or gunned down in their prime and their followers usually distort and twist their message beyond recognition after a just few short years.  Man, what a sad sad world we live in . . .

  26. December 26, 2007 at 20:53 | #26

    Folks, it appears a number of comments got lost in the database somewhere and just now (26 Dec 07) made it into the post. 

    Sorry about that!

    The discussion on poverty continued in the special open thread on how to help the poor.

Comments are closed.