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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:35 PM

The increasing, persistent lies about poverty that blame the victims.

About half of the people in American have the wrong idea and attitude about the cause and the nature of poverty, and, because of what they've been led to believe by the religious and political leaders they follow, they tend to generalize and blame the victims.

That attitude is, of course, partly the result of a human tendency to judge others as inferior. However, it is mostly the result of carefully crafted political propaganda cloaked as religious truths. It was not created by accident, or by coincidence. It was created and spread deliberately.

Why? Because some people who gain great wealth become greedy and selfish, and they want everyone to believe in a lie --- that the rich are blessed by God and the poor deserve to be poor because they "lack faith" and are just "lazy and not self-reliant."

That's what many wealthy people themselves want to believe, and it's what they want everyone else to believe. And its what the most influential American political figure of the last half of the 20th Century, Ronald Reagan, led many Americans to believe. But it's not true. In fact, as you will see, that idea and attitude is not only the opposite of the intent of Jesus of Nazareth, but in violation of the intent of the Founders of the United States of America.


Continued at Poverty: America's Greatest Shame.
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Reply The increasing, persistent lies about poverty that blame the victims. (Original post)
SarahM32 Jan 2013 OP
independent2013 Jan 2013 #1
surrealAmerican Jan 2013 #4
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #21
independent2013 Jan 2013 #2
ck4829 Jan 2013 #3
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #5
ck4829 Jan 2013 #6
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #8
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #10
Orrex Jan 2013 #15
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #7
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #11
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #17
baldguy Jan 2013 #9
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #13
gollygee Jan 2013 #12
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #14
L0oniX Jan 2013 #16
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #18
L0oniX Jan 2013 #20
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #19
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #22
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #23
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #25
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #24
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #26
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #28
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #29
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #27
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #30
LongTomH Jan 2013 #31
SarahM32 Jan 2013 #32

Response to SarahM32 (Original post)


Response to independent2013 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:14 PM

4. You don't sound very "independent" somehow.

Those are mostly right-wing talking points, and not any sort of well considered debate about poverty.

There are many points I could take on in your screed, but I'll settle for this one: people who earn minimum wage are living in poverty. You seem to think poverty=unemployment. This is not the case. We have a minimum wage in this country that cannot adequately support a single person. If that person has a child, or if the rents are too high in the area where they live, they actually can't get by without additional assistance.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:36 PM

21. MIRT didn't think so either

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:05 PM

2. Ahhhhhhhhhhh

 

I thought you really meant to start a REAL discussion about poverty, but I see from this on your site:

"That is why the truth must be told, because the deceptive right-wing propaganda that has been spread by hypocrites has turned Christianity up-side-down, because the fact is that as you do unto the poor and the least of our brethren, so you do unto your very self because we are one in Spirit.

How did the Reaganite "Religious Right" manage to turn Christianity upside down? They took isolated sentences from the Bible to "prove" their political ideology. For example, Luke 19:26 states that Jesus of Nazareth said: "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from those that have not, even what they have will be taken away."

**That you are really just looking for a reason to bash the Right. How sad that you are using people that never asked you to speak for them at all.

Too bad you couldn't back up your claims without insults and once again turning a real issue into the "evil right's doing."

Is there anywhere on the Internet where a person in the middle can have an intelligent discussion?

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Response to independent2013 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:11 PM

3. Still waiting to hear what the right will do for the poor besides stigmatize them

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:15 PM

5. Don't hold your breath...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:16 PM

6. Oh, how tragic...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:39 PM

8. He's probably whining over at one of the right wing forums right now nt

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Response to independent2013 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:58 PM

10. Perhaps I should better clarify the point, and elaborate.

When it comes to poverty in America, where 20.3 percent of the children live in poverty and about 79 percent of them live in households where at least one adult is working full time, a conscientious person cannot be "in the middle."

A honest, knowledgeable person who is educated in theology, the Constitution and the intent of the Founders of the U.S.A. must call a spade a spade, and be very frank about it because there are some very cunning people deceiving many Americans about all that. In fact, there are some people who obviously think that their wealth or religion or race entitles them to rule.

I am not "looking for a reason to bash the Right." There are ample reasons for exposing their tactics and self-serving agenda.

I am also not "using people that never asked to be spoken for." The Coalition message I promote is independent both politically and in terms of religion, but it does not shy away from exposing divisive and misleading partisan politicians and theocratic hypocrites masquerading as Christians.

It is not insulting to tell the truth, even though some people don't want to hear it. For example, the "religious right" makes a big show of being Christians but does the opposite of what a Christian should do. That's proven in the article on poverty and many others on that site.

Even so, the "religious right" is not "evil," and I never said they were. They are, however, misled by age old doctrine and dogma that has been used to justify theocratic military industrial empires for the last sixteen centuries. They are, in fact, the blind led by the blind, and, as Jesus said, they are hypocrites who claim to "do many wonderful works in the name of the Lord, but they work iniquity."

I get the feeling, though, from the tone and attitude of your comment, that it would not be fruitful for me to debate with you. To me, Independent means that I can see the fault in both Republicans and Democrats but still see that Democrats are the "lesser of the two evils," to use an oft used phrase.
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Response to independent2013 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:25 PM

15. Are you thinking any particular person in the middle?

Or are you looking to hang out with Right-wingers?


Just curious.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:37 PM

7. "The American Dream" is a heinous little piece of propaganda nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:07 PM

11. I think Reaganism has sold us a false American Dream, but there is a real one.

The false Reaganite "Religious Right" American Dream is about getting rich and climbing to the top of the social and financial ladder, in a culture in which you're on your own, that you must be totally "self-reliant," as the Hamiltonian and Reaganite "patriotic and religious" ideology demands.

The true American Dream is about a government that is actually of the people, by the people, and for the people; that promotes the general welfare, ensures equal rights and justice for all the people, thereby ensuring domestic tranquility, and using the common wealth for the common good.


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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:29 PM

17. I'm with you on that, Sarah nt

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:41 PM

9. Our National Motto should be changed to: "There, but for the grace of God, go I".

If you're an individual making anything less than $100K per year then you're closer to the homeless guy living under a viaduct in the cold than anyone in the Top 1%.

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Response to baldguy (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:13 PM

13. So true. But I believe we can and will establish justice and equal rights.

A reformation as described in The 21st Century Declaration of Independence can, and I think will, enable us to reform and alter our government, as the Founders provided for.

Then we can fulfill the true American Dream, which is about a government that is actually of the people, by the people, and for the people; that promotes the general welfare, ensures equal rights and justice for all the people, thereby ensuring domestic tranquility, and using the common wealth for the common good.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:11 PM

12. This thread turned out to be a bit of a troll magnet

K&R

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Response to gollygee (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:16 PM

14. As expected. The article says what a lot of people don't want to hear.

Those who have profited so incredibly under Reaganism and Reaganomics hate the message of the Coalition I'm in.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:18 PM

16. ...

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:11 PM

18. Very true. But that's just for starters. Economic fairness, equity and justice will end hunger.

The people of the world, through the U.N. should make it a priority to feed hungry and starving people in countries where there is drought and famine, and where tyrannical military regimes and essentially committing genocide and ethnic cleansing by starving out certain people.

But even in industrialized "rich" countries like the U.S., food insecurity and hunger is rampant, which is why so many soup kitchens and food banks are necessary. But they are insufficient to fill the growing need, and many poor people who are fortunate enough to get food stamps usually sell them in order to pay rent.

In America, the growing poverty, hunger and homelessness is a clear indicator of how the U.S. government FAILS to "promote the general welfare" and "ensure justice."

John Adams wrote: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require.

In a letter to James Madison in 1785, Thomas Jefferson suggested that taxes could be used to reduce "the enormous inequality" between rich and poor. He wrote that one way of "silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." And Madison then said using laws to "reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity (referring to the middle) and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort."

In Thomas Jefferson's writings he showed he felt strongly about providing the average citizen with equal opportunity. He even wanted to establish publicly funded higher education so that all citizens, regardless of their personal or family wealth, could fulfill their highest potential. Of course, he was unable to do that (as is painfully evident now since higher education is rapidly becoming out of reach for the majority), but Jefferson tried to make public education complete because believed in equal opportunity for all.


(Quoted from The American Economy.)
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:33 PM

20. +1

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:21 PM

19. Our country's foundations of Puritanism rest on predestination - that those who are "chosen" by God

will be blessed and thrive, while the sinful and those who are not "chosen" will suffer.

It underpins a LOT of our moralizing about poverty.

Its a disgusting form of Calvinism - that belief has caused a lot of harm in our nation's history.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:26 PM

22. Sort of. But our country's foundations are not based on Puritansim.

There is some of that Calvinist, Puritan influence, but the Founders did what they could to prevent it.

Most of the Founders were Deists, and some were Freemasons, and even though they appreciated the essential teachings and morality of Jesus of Nazareth, they were in fact against the attitudes and tactics of the Puritan Theocrats.

For example, Benjamin Franklin, who had been raised as a Puritan, learned better and became a Deists and a Freemason. That's why he wrote the following:

"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Roman Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. The Puritans found it wrong in the Bishops of the Church of England, but fell into the same practice themselves in New England ."– Benjamin Franklin, in an essay on "Toleration"

Other Founders felt the same way.

"Experience witnesses that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." – James Madison

"I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country." -- George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." – Thomas Jefferson

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and , the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.” -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

There are many other Quotes From the Founders Regarding Religion.
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:01 PM

23. Oh I understand. I'm talking about the deeper, cultural patterns of our society

While the founding fathers were incredibly well educated, thoughtful men - mostly Deist I agree - the population as a whole has retained a lot of flawed religious dogma imho.

And yay! I get a chance to give this another well deserved weekend Kick! Thanks Sarah!

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:02 PM

25. I see. And thanks.

I agree.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:04 PM

24. We have them right here on DU

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:14 PM

26. They believe in the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" that blames the victims of poverty.

The Reaganite "Religious Right" manages to turn Christianity upside down by taking isolated sentences from the Bible to "prove" their political ideology.

For example, Luke 19:26 states that Jesus of Nazareth said: "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from those that have not, even what they have will be taken away."

The Reaganite "Religious Right" focuses on that because they think that justifies their claim that their wealth is a reward from God, and that the poor deserve their lot because they are just lazy. However, they simply ignore everything else Jesus said about the rich and poor, and they misinterpret and misunderstand (or ignore) the context and meaning of Luke 19:26.

In the greater context of Luke 19:8-26 Jesus was talking partly about the fact that we generally reap what we sow, and he was specifically talking about the rewards of earning an honest and fair profit from an honest investment. However, Jesus qualified such statements and he also said that it is wrong to reap what you did not sow, or profit unjustly because you were tempted by greed and lust for money. Moreover, he said that you should do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and treat all others as you would want to be treated if you were them -- and be fair, just, kind, and generous.

Of course, the “Christian Right” also points to Matthew 13:12 which states: "Whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even what he has."

However, they take that out of context too, and misunderstand it.

The greater context of Matthew 13:10-15 states: “The disciples said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ Jesus answered and said, ‘Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has. Therefore I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. For Isaiah said, 'You hear but do not understand; and see but do not perceive.' For these people's heart have grown gross, and their ears are dull, and their eyes do not see. Unless they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, they may be healed.’”

Therefore, both Isaiah and Jesus were not talking about material possessions or money. They were talking about the people who are spiritually poor, who lack wisdom, understanding, and faith.

Moreover, in another sense, what Jesus said about the “haves and have nots” was also a kind of prophecy similar to Isaiah’s. Jesus said that during the age he ushered in, and especially now at its end, a corrupt, wealthy, powerful few would corrupt society. They would not serve God, but Mammon, worshiping wealth and material possession. And they would take more and more so that the majority and the poor would have less and less.

That has been the case during the passing age, and it's gotten so bad that now 20 percent of the American population owns 95 percent of the nation's wealth, while 80 percent of us are expected to get by on the remaining five percent. And it's getting worse in that regard.

And by the way, Jesus also rebuked the commercial profiteers who were profiting unjustly and had turned the temple into a "den of thieves." He hated greedy profiteers, and he even said it would be "easier for a rich man to try to fit through the eye of a needle than to enter heaven."

The truth is that Jesus advocated for the poor and criticized the greedy rich. And the truth must be told because the un-Christian attitude and the misleading propaganda (which was sold as being "religious and patriotic") has ultimately caused a cruel, heartless attitude toward the poor, the homeless and the hungry. It has even caused some major cities in America to ban people from feeding the homeless.

It is a universal divine imperative to feed and care for the poor, and it is not merely a Christian idea, and it's not even necessarily a religious idea. In the most enlightened, successful and harmonic ancient tribes and nations of the world, the elderly, the disabled, the orphans and anyone else who needed help and support received it from the community. The people took care of each other. It was the natural, humanitarian thing to do. It was just common sense. And it still is.

Unfortunately, the more populated and “civilized” humanity became, the less humanitarian some people became, especially those who fought for and gained great personal wealth, power, and domain.

That is why enlightened, conscientious spiritual teachers have always been sent by God to teach people how they should behave toward one another. In fact, that is why there have been so many great spiritual teachers who have taught the Universal Divine Imperative that we should treat all others as we would want to be treated if we were them.

Unfortunately, much of the leadership of the world’s most powerful empires and nations have simply ignored the Universal Divine Imperative even while masquerading as good, virtuous, and even religious.


(Quoted from Poverty: America's Greatest Shame.)
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:16 PM

28. Kind of like how Al-Qaeda turns Islam upside down by taking few isolated sentences out of context.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:00 PM

29. Exactly!

You got that right. And it's the same with all three of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:15 PM

27. Education eradicated my poverty. But my education was due to numerous other factors as well.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:09 PM

30. Yes. Education is a key, but it's a contested issue about how to eradicate poverty.

Wealthy right-wing ideologues insist that the poor deserve to be poor because they're just lazy, and that they should just work hard and "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."

The problem is that minimum wage is no longer a living wage. Higher education is nearly out of sight for children of the working poor. And it is extremely hard for the poor and those in poverty to "lift themselves up" under this unfair, inequitable system. It's stacked against them.

Comprehensive reform of our whole political economic system is needed to provide truly equal rights and equal opportunities, as is suggested here.
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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:27 PM

31. K&R I want to read this again later!

Also bookmarked! This was a wonderful dialogue, Sarah. I want to visit your blog often.

I like that you respect and revere all religions.

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #31)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:00 PM

32. Thank you so much for saying so! I appreciate it.

It's wonderful to get good feedback.

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