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Bernie Sanders Gives Liberty University a Lesson in Christianity
The senator from Vermont reminds his audience that there's more to being Christian than being pro-life.
This would seem to me to be a bigger deal than it has been made out to be in a political year in which people seem perfectly willing to believe that Donald Trump is going to knuckle hedge-fund managers in the name of economic justice. Bernie Sanders went down deep into Jeebusland on Monday and gave a speech at Liberty University where he dared the assembled—and their personal Lords and Saviors—to start pushing the gospel plow a little harder.
"I am far, far from a perfect human being, but I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions–Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and others–and which is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12. 'So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.' The Golden Rule. Do to others what you would have them do to you. Not very complicated. Let me be very frank. I understand that issues such as abortion and gay marriage are very important to you and that we disagree on those issues. I get that. But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and the world and that maybe, just maybe, we don't disagree on them. And maybe, just maybe, we can work together in trying to resolve them…there is no justice when the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. There is no justice when all over this country people are working longer hours for lower wages, while 58 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is no justice when, in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires while, at the same time, the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. Twenty percent of all children—and 40 percent of African-American children—now live in poverty."
He did something that liberal politicians—and, especially, liberal Christian clerics—have been unable or unwilling to do, which is to demonstrate to the audience in question that there is more to the gospel than merely the glandular. He made them look at him, an anomalous figure at best in their college careers, and that was how he made them listen. And why not? Bernie Sanders is Jewish and a public employee. So, as it happens, was St. Matthew.
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 02:36 PM (37 replies)
MON SEP 14, 2015 AT 09:17 AM PDT
Follow forTeam Bernie
Credit to LieparDestin who did the hard work and typed this up in the comments Liveblog Diary. Liepar said I could cut and paste this into a separate diary, so I did.
I wanted to compile it to make it easier to read. I will write another diary of my views on this. This will be a history making speech, trust me. That's all I can say at the moment. I want this to be about the speech itself.
Liepar kicked some serious butt transcribing on the fly. Thanks for letting me share this.
This isn't a full transcript but will give you the gist. He killed it!
"Too often in our country, and I think both sides are responsible... there is too much shouting, making fun of each other. It is easy to go out and talk to people who agree with you. I was in NC last night, most of those people agree with me. THat is easy to do. It is harder but not less important for us to try and communicate with those who do not agree with us on every issue. And it is important to see where if possible and I do believe it is possible, where we can find common ground. "
Liberty U is a religious school obviously. All of you are proud of that. (cheers). You are a school which as all of us in our own way tries to understand to understand the meaning of morality. What does it mean to live a moral life? And you try and understand how in this modern world, what the words of the bible mean in todays society. YOu are a school which tries to teach its students how to behave with decency and with honesty and how you can best relate to your fellow human beings. And I applaud you for trying to achieve those goals.
It goes without saying
that I am far from being a perfect human being. But I am motivated by a vision which manifests in all great religions. And that vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthews (?) 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. That is the the golden rule. Do unto others what you would have them do to you. It is not very complicated. Let me be frank as I said a moment ago. I understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues you feel very strongly about. We disagree on these issues. But let me suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and the entire world that maybe, just maybe we do not disagree on. And maybe, just maybe, we can try to work together to resolve them.
Justice is treating others the way we want to be treated. Like we want to be treated. No matter their race, their color, their stature in life with respect and with dignity. Now here is my point, some of you may or may not agree with me. In my view it would be hard for anyone in this room today to make the case that the united states of America, our great country, a country which we all love, it would be hard to make a case that we are a just society, or anything resembling a just society today.
All of the wealth is going to the top 1 percent. That is the truth. We are living in a time, and I want all of you would to put this in context of the bible not me, we are living in a time when a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension. 10's of billions of dollars. Enough to support their families for thousands of years with yachts and jet planes. More money than they would ever know what to do with. But at that very same moment there are millions of people in our country, let alone the rest of the world who are struggling to feed their families. They are struggling to put a roof over their heads and some are sleeping on the streets. They are struggling to find money in order to go to a doctor when they are sick. When we talk about morality, and when we talk about justice we have to in my view, understand that there is no justice when so few have so much and so many have so little.
There is no justice and I want you to hear this clearly when the top one tenth of one percent today in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. And in your hearts you will have to determine the morality of that and the justice of that. In my view there is no justice when here in Virginia and in Vermont and all over this country millions of people are working long hours for low wages of 7.25 an hour, 8 an hour...working hard but unable to bring in enough money to feed their kids. And at that same time 58% of all new income generated is going to the top 1%. YOU have got to think about the morality. The justice of that. And whether or not that is what we want to see in our country. In my view there is no justice when in recent years we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires while at the same time the USA has the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth. How can we? I want you to go into your hearts. How can we talk about morality, about justice when we turn our backs on the children of our country.
You have got to think about it are you content, do you think its moral that 20 percent of the children in this country, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, are living in poverty. Do you think it is acceptable that 40% of African American children are living in poverty. In my view there is no justice and morality suffers when in our wealthy country when millions of children go to bed hungry. That is not morality.
There is no justice when 15 people in this country in the last 2 years, saw their wealth increase by a hundred and seventy billion dollars. Two years. My friends that is more wealth acquired in a two year period than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans. And while the very rich become much richer, millions of families have no savings at all. Nothing in the bank. They worry everyday if their car breaks down, they cannot get to work and if they cant get to work they lose their jobs. They cant feed their families. In the last two years 15 people saw a hundred seventy billion dollar increase. That is not justice, that is a rigged economy designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest in this country at the expense of everybody else.
In my view there is no justice when thousands of Americans die every single year because they do not have any health insurance and do not go to a doctor when they should. I have talked to doctors personally and without exception there are times when patients walk into their office when sick, and when asked why they didn't come sooner, they said they didn't have insurance and thought the problem would get better. And sometimes it does not, and sometimes they die. That is not justice, that is not morality. People should not be dying in the USA when they are sick.
What that is, is an indication that we are the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. And I think we should change that. I think that when we talk about morality what we are talking about are all of gods children, the poor, the wretched, they have the right to go to a doctor when they are sick.
I am not a theologian, an expert on the bible, nor am I a catholic. I am just a US senator from the small state of Vermont but I agree with pope frances who will soon be coming to visit us in the United States, I agree with Frances when he says "the current financial crisis originated in a profound human crisis. The denial of the primacy of the human person. We have created new idols the worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the ideology of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose"
he also writes:
'there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce an economic return to benefit everyone. Money has to serve, not to rule'.
Those are pretty profound words which I hope we will all think about. In the popes view and I agree, we are living in a nation and a world, and the bible speaks to this issue. In a nation and a world that worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth. I do not believe that is the country we should be living in. Money and wealth should serve the people. The people should not have to serve money and wealth.
THroughout human history there has been endless discussion, it is part of who we are as human beings. endless discussion of the meaning of justice and the meaning of morality. And I know that here at Liberty U those are the kinds of discussions you have every day. Those are the discussions you should be having. We should be having all over America.
I would hope, and I conclude with this thought. I would hope very much that as part of that discussion some of you will conclude that if we are honest in striving to be a moral and just society it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor. With working people. And when necessary take on very wealth and powerful people whose greed is doing this country enormous harm.
Thank you all very much.
In regards to the issues we have commonality on.. how do we get there?
"If you were elected president what would you do to bring healing and resolution to racism in our country?"
Bernie: That is an excellent question and I thank you for it. I would hope and believe that every person in this room understands it is unacceptable to judge, discriminate against people based on the color of their skin. .And I would also say that as a nation the truth is, a nation that in many ways that was created, and im sorry to have to say this.. on racist principles, we have come a long way. In 2008 this country took a huge step forward in voting for a candidate based on his ideas and not the color of his skin and whether you like him or not, and I do, that is a step forward for America.
But let me also say what everyone here knows, and my thoughts just returing from SC, we all know to what degree racism remains alive in this country. I cannot understand how a sick man can walk into a bible study class, discuss the bible, pray with people in the room and then take out a gun and kill them because of the color of their skin. I cannot understand for the life of me how their can be hundreds of groups in this country whose soul reason for existence is to promote hatred. They say join us so we can hate. Gays, Africans, Jews, anyone different.
Let us be clear, that when you have unarmed African americans shot by police officers something which has been going on, that is also institutional racism and cries out for reform. I am a former mayor who has worked closely with police officers, the majority are honest and do a very good job. But when a police officers breaks the law, as in the case with any other official, that officer must be held accountable. That's justice. There is a lot to be done in regards to the criminal justice system. I think what we have to do is when we see instances of racism, when we hear political leaders appealing to the worst elements of us by making racist attacks on other people we have to stand up and say we are not going to do that, racism is unacceptable.
'Many agree about protecting billionaires at the expense of children. Many want to know about unborn children in the womb'
Sanders: this is an area where I disagree. it is improper for the government to tell every woman in this country the very difficult choice she has to make on this issue. Many times conservatives say get the government out of life, but on this issue which we are divided, my view is I respect a family that says we are not going to have an abortion. But I would hope that other people respect the painful choice that many women have to make, and don't want the government telling them what to do.
I want to take that question a step further, we do disagree on that issue. Here is where I hope we have common ground, I have not tried to be partisan in my remarks but I will for a moment. I am a ranking member of the US budget committee. I want to tell you what was in the republican budget that passed a number of months ago. Check it out. When you talk about issues of children understand republican budget threw 20 million people off of healthcare including children. At a time when families cannot send their kids to college, but at a time when families to college republican budget cut pell grants. At a time when children are going hungry republicans cut millions in funding for feeding children. I don't think that is a moral budget.
How can we pray for you
and your family. when we think of you and say, what should we ask for you?
Sanders; I want prayers to be not for me, but prayers for our country. Prayers for how we bring our people together. Prayers on how we can create a beautiful country where all people have healthcare, where all kids can go to college, where we have wiped out child poverty, those are the prayers I would like to join with you in making.
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 12:01 PM (62 replies)
LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER: ‘I said officers don’t shoot us, we are law abiding citizens.’
Southaven traffic stop leads to jail for Memphis doctor.
Bernal E. Smith II | 9/10/2015, 2:42 p.m. | Updated on 9/11/2015, 12:18 a.m.
Dr. Marcia Bowden and her husband, Ira Marche. (pic via The New Tri-State Defender)
Read more at http://wonkette.com/593901/black-doctor-jailed-because-her-husband-said-a-swear#EH3LXOS2pxAUWfli.99
“I said officer you have my purse. Officer Delany said turn around and he placed handcuffs on my wrist behind my back. Officer Delany said, ‘Are you going to talk now or listen.’ I said officer ‘I will listen to anything you need to tell me, but you are hurting me.’
“Officer Delany kept pressing down on the handcuffs and they were getting tighter and tighter. I said officer, ‘Please take your weight off the handcuffs, you are hurting me, officer you are hurting me.’ I repeated more than ten times. Officer Delany denied putting his weight on the handcuffs, all the while he continued to hold the handcuffs that were attached behind my back. At this point officer Delany had taken my telephone and deprived me of my inhaler for asthma.
“I asked Officer Delany what he was charging my husband with. He said the use of profane language. I said officer, ‘My husband was talking to me, you can’t charge him with the use of profanity. Officer Delany said, ‘He used profane language in the presence of two people, he is getting arrested today.’
“Officer Delany put more pressure on the handcuffs. I was so scared when I saw cars going by I started screaming for help and asking people to take pictures. I asked, ‘Why would you hurt my wrist like this, it isn’t necessary to treat us this way, I support the police.
“Officer Delany asked in a very condescending tone, ‘Where do you support the police?’ I said in Tennessee where I live. Officer Delany said, ‘This is Mississippi and that don’t matter down here, you’re going to jail.’
“He took me over to Officer Reed’s cruiser and told me to get in the back. Officer Delany said, ‘You won’t get hurt if you go in butt first, but I don’t care how you get in there.’
Oh hell yeah there is MORE:
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 11:54 AM (7 replies)
The crazy idea of a fairer society
SEPTEMBER 13, 2015
A friend chose yesterday of all days, to bait me about Corbyn being a dangerous socialist and Thatcher’s “you always run out of other people’s money”. This was my response.
What pains me is to see people like you, who do not belong to that elite and never will, defend it. You are the middle class defence they have built around their wealth. You are the talking-out-of-your-arse, relatively well-to-do 5% moat which protects their enormous castle.
That 1% relies on you believing the nonsense you spout – and using your megaphone to spread it – in order to keep their ever-growing wealth safe, by irrationally hoping that this sort of megawealth is somehow possible for you too, somehow available. That, someday, you too might be invited to the enormous castle for dinner. You never will. You provide their dinner. You are the staff. You are the mug that keeps buying scratch cards from which nobody, ever, won a penny.
But that irrational hope makes your tongue unkind and your elbows sharp. In truth, you have much more in common with the people you do down, than with those you defend. I hope you never get to find out how close to penury you – and all the salariat – are. We are constantly encouraged to spend anticipated income. Mortgages, credit cards, speculative portfolios. If the income stops, for whatever reason, most of us are instantly bankrupt. I hope you never get to find out what real, state-sanctioned, Daily-Mail-sponsored unkindness feels like. I like you and would not wish it on you.
In your heart, you know all of this. You have chosen to silence at a societal level everything that you consider good on a personal level. You have chosen to fling mud at any attempt to discuss a fairer system that is based around people, rather than money. You know this is wrong, but you still do it, because you are self-interested. You mock those who are less so. You’re doing all right at the moment – you’re healthy, employed, secure – so you don’t give a toss about those who are not. You simply want to pay less tax. That is what it boils down to. “Me” is the most important word in your Lexicon, the only word even, and you think that’s dandy.
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 10:01 AM (1 replies)
think of it as a cheat sheat?
this could be of help to us here in the good old USA
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 09:55 AM (0 replies)
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 09:50 AM (0 replies)
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 09:31 AM (1 replies)
The Kim Davis saga seems to have just ended in a whimper. Returning to work Monday morning, the embattled Kentucky county clerk announced that though she still refuses to issue marriages licenses herself, she will abide U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order not to interfere with her deputies issuing them.
She told reporters gathered outside the Rowan County Courthouse Monday morning that she believes allowing her office to issue the licenses to same-sex couples means that she is being “forced to disobey her God.” She repeatedly called such licenses — which she will not permit to bear her name or title — “unauthorized,” echoing her lawyers’ claims that they are totally invalid.
“I want the whole world to know … If any (deputy clerk] feels they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them,” she said. “However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.”
If a form contains her name — which it normally would for the sole purpose of confirming the legal validity of the license — she believes it “violates my deeply-held religious convictions and conscience. For me, this would be an act of disobedience to my God.” Davis still insists that any license issued by the office is “issued under the authority of Kim Davis, County Clerk,” which is why she is so adamant that they are “unauthorized.”
Choking back tears this morning at a news conference before her return to work, a defiant Davis said she is faced with a "seemingly impossible choice ... my conscience or my freedom," referring to her opposition to same-sex marriages.
She added: "I'm no hero."
Posted by kpete | Mon Sep 14, 2015, 08:59 AM (56 replies)