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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:55 PM
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What would Jesus do?

For the last generation, Americans have grown accustomed to evangelical Christianity aggressively entering the arena of public life to support a raft of conservative causes -- fights over the contents of school textbooks, battles against gay employment and marriage rights, anti-abortion activism -- all of it nudging the Republican Party further and further to the right.

It is, however, far less common to see Christian ideals -- or the ideals of any religion, for that matter -- harnessed to ideas or initiatives that originate on the political left. There are reasons for this. Offering a religious rationale for policy goals threatens what for many has become the cherished principle of secular rationalism in public life. Invoking a moral basis for public goals, to many otherwise well-intentioned liberals, undermines the separation of church and state, to which they reflexively seek to repel any threat. But this comes at the cost of chronically ceding the moral high ground and a potentially galvanizing force in national politics.

Its refreshing, therefore, to see a group like What Would Jesus Cut? amid the partisan posturing surrounding debates over the federal deficit crisis. Launched by Jim Wallis, the co-founder and CEO of Sojourners magazine, this movement aims to infuse this critical national debate with thoughtfulness about the moral priorities it reflects. To deliver the message, the campaign sends What Would Jesus Cut? bracelets and emails to congressional representatives, and questions the limited pain of national belt-tightening the "super-rich" are asked to bear under the House Republican deficit-slashing plan.

Wallis correctly notes that recently passed tax cuts benefit ted this group, adding billions of dollars to the of burden future generations whose fiscal health the Republicans otherwise claim to defend steadfastly. He also points out that the GOP plan actually called for an $8 billion increase in defense spending, while cutting $758 million from Women, Infants, and Children, a program that provides nutrition for many of the nations neediest souls. Clearly, the What Would Jesus Cut? movement approaches the deficit dilemma by seeking to beat swords into plowshares.

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steelmania75 Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:00 PM
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1. If it were up to Jesus, we'd have no military whatsoever, high taxes on rich,
none for the poor. A strong social safety net. The only issue Jesus would be conservative on is abortion. I have seen no evidence of Jesus proclaiming that homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. Nothing is unnatural. Everything that exists is natural because it's in nature.

Sadly, people tend to focus only on the abortion part and not Jesus' real message of "help the poor, love your neighbor, etc." Heck, even during his time he got killed for preaching that.
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Electric Monk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. True, and the hypocrisy is strong in modern politics on that very point.
I wish I had something to add, but you nailed it. Nice post.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:11 PM
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2. You need some kind of agreed on ethical consensus
which really doesn't exist in our culture outside of religion. Our cultual norms are establised by means of free market advertizing. That doesn't seem to be working out too well.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:14 PM
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3. KandR
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:31 PM
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5. I too wish to avoid undermining the separation of church & state, but hasn't that particular
train already left the station?

Whatever the actual economic justifications, trickle-down is SOLD on the assumption that the people who have more money have it because the SHOULD have it (a moral statement) and the assumption that whatever they decide to do with that money (from buying SUVs to financing a "war president" in a grab to acquire not only oil, but also enough political capital to privatize Social Security, to deciding what jobs my grandchild might get) is what they SHOULD do with that money. These are NOT economic statements, because economically speaking, if someone else had the money and decided to do entirely different things with it, including deciding to "create" entirely other kinds of jobs, as long as that doesn't crash the economic system, that's all acceptable economically. The one's who have the money DID crash the system and they ARE going to get away with it, so that proves that these are not economic assumptions. They are some other kind of assumption and whatever the authentic reasons are (autocratic power), the PR interface is based on the assumption that things are economically the way they are because that's the way they SHOULD be, a moral assumption.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:53 PM
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6. WWJD? Whip a moneychanger's ass...........
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:06 PM
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7. Jim Wallis would disagree
Like every other religious figure, he's a lot less visible to the MSM than he is to the majority of the country.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. Jesus would be wandering around with his buds, & doing some odd carpentry jobs here & there
kind of like the "asphalt driveway/roofing/yard work" guys of today..

He always struck me as the kind of person whose Mom would be dragging his ass out of bed & saying.. "why don't you go find a job.. a paying job.. & quit hanging out with your buddies all the time.. & get a haircut"..
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
9. Jim Wallis is good at reminding politicians that a budget is a moral document.
How we spend is a reflection of what kind of people we are and what kind of society we are. As a nation we seem to be warriors who don't give a damn about the little people who are harmed by our military excursions and we don't give a damn about the people who are falling through the cracks at home.

Whenever I hear the words "safety net" I cringe. If there were a safety net there wouldn't be people living on the streets.
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Terra Alta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. Jesus was a big time socialist
Telling rich people to give all their possessions to the poor? Telling the story of Lazarus the begger who goes to heaven and the rich man who mocked him going to hell? "Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God". Sounds socialist to me.

If Jesus came back today, the conservatives would have him killed -- again.
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