Jesus: Liberal Of the Century


[Ed. Note: This correspondence began as a request sent out by one individual, John, to a list of about two dozen people, including me. All subsequent responses were sent to the entire group unless otherwise noted. Therefore, multiple responses may be given to a single message. As usual, only my responses are in normal type.]


Subject: Time Magazine's Person of the Year

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

This is for real. See for yourself and vote.

Vote for Jesus Christ!

Time Magazine is allowing us to vote for Time Magazines Person of the Century, which will be in their December 1999 issue. I propose that we vote for Jesus Christ. Each of us know at least 1 person with email. CONTACT THEM. Pass this on to everyone you know. Let's start a wave of votes for Jesus Christ - Person of the Century.

When you get to the site you must write Jesus Christ in exactly this way. Upper case J, Upper case C, and all the rest lower case. (Jesus Christ) Apparently, the poll is case sensitive and writing it any other way does not allow your vote to be counted as Jesus Christ.

To vote go to:
http://www.pathfinder.com/time/time100/toppersonmain.html
  This is a wonderful opportunity to show our beliefs in action.

P.S. From what I heard the winner of the poll will have their picture on the front cover of the magazine in Dec 99, which should be a challenge for the graphics dept at TIME!!! And so far He's leading by 41%!

PS  We can rest asured that unless we all vote some liberal nut is likley to be the winner.  Please vote!  It only takes a minute.   John


<<PS We can rest asured that unless we all vote some liberal nut is likley to be the winner. Please vote! It only takes a minute. John >>

Gee, this is strange. In my Bible, Jesus is about as liberal as they get.

Geoff and Heidi Trowbridge


[from: John]

>>> Gee, this is strange. In my Bible, Jesus is about as liberal as they get. <<<

>> Geoff and Heidi Trowbridge <<


Really? I must have missed the part where he advocated homosexuality, sex outside marriage, abortion, justifiable lies, big government, being lazy and living of the government, killing the unborn, blindly following evil leaders etc.

I thought he spoke to people about individual responsibility, honesty, integrity,forgiveness (not lowering expectations / goals / standards) compassion (there is no compassion in liberalism).

I remember well the age of liberalism under Johnson's "Great Society". This is when we started rewarding being lazy, having bastards, started generations of dependants, introduced modern slavery (people dependant on the government / Democrats) went from offering a helping hand to handing out. Look at the change in our society after Johnson. Nothing took us down as a ethical and religious nation more than liberalism.

I am a Christian. I make mistakes and I sin. However, I don't justify my actions when I do. I truly repent my sins. I don't say it's ok everyone does it. I take responsibility for my actions. I am compassionate and forgiving. I love people enough to help them become productive again not wards of the state. I know that honor is lost when people do nothing positive with regard to work or productive things. No, I am not perfect but I will not lower standards and expectations. I know that Christ was forgiving but he never suggested that we give up the attempt to live under the 10 commandments. Ted Turrner (big time liberal) recently suggested changing them.

John


[from: Brian]

I don't want to touch off a big debate on theology. Lord knows (pun intended) I have enough work to do today.
But I had to pipe in here.
I believe it is a mistake to confuse compassion with liberalism. 
Thanks, John for the info.


[from: John]

In John 21 (English-KJV)

When Jesus went among fishermen and helped them he did not cast out the nets for them, bring in their nets, deliver their catch to their tax payer funded places of logging. He did not say to them go home sit on your ass even though you are healthy and able and I will take care of everything you need. He helped! We all can and should help others when there is a need. Jesus did not deprive the fishermen of their dignity by doing everything for them. He did not say to them your neighbor has more fish than he needs, go pass a law which will allow you to take his fish for yourself. John

5
Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6
And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7
Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8
And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9
As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10
Jesus saith unto them, "
Bring of the fish which ye have now caught".

The fishermen did the work and kept their honor in so doing. Jesus helped! He did not do everything for them. The fishermen helped each other as well. They did not say half of you go home and we will do all the work for you. It's wonderful to help others as long as you don't turn a capable person into a life time dependant. John


[from: Alan, in a private reply]

Only in the most egocentrically twisted interpretation of the bible
would Christ be what we commonly refer to as a modern day a liberal.
Specific examples are easily found, but hardly necessary. Any assertion
that Christ advocated the continuing growth of the power of government
over the individual is asinine at best. The acceptance of abortion on
demand? Oh, please tell me the verse where Christ advocates this horrid
plague on our society. The abolition of any reference to Christianity
and God in our educational institution? I wish you could hear me
laughing, now.

Liberalism never taught a "man to fish." They achieve power by throwing
rotting fish to inept and uneducated mass in order to purchase power.

Oh, please, pluck your head(s) out of your respective asses and take a
look in the mirror. You are nothing more than cartoon characters,
hoping for the validation of your twisted "values." Look for each other
in hell.

Disrespectfully...


Hello John,

<<Really? I must have missed the part where he advocated homosexuality, sex outside marriage, abortion, justifiable lies, big government, being lazy and living of the government, killing the unborn, blindly following evil leaders etc.>>

That's quite a laundry list. Unfortunately, you're committing the classic "straw-man" fallacy by attempting to make liberalism out to be something it's not. In our increasingly polarized political environment, it has become common practice to hang derogatory labels upon anyone who sees an issue from a different point of view. For many judgmental Christians, the label of choice is the dreaded "L" word.

The term certainly has a storied history. In Hitler's Germany, it was an accusation leveled against anyone who dissented from the policies of the Third Reich. In China, the term describes the intolerable pro-Democracy movement. Webster's definitions include "free-thinking," "fair-minded" and "progressive." The trick here is to avoid trying to infuse political agendas onto simple ideologies. Then perhaps you wouldn't be quite so quick to make unfounded accusations.

However, since the list is in front of us, I guess I have little choice but to plod through it, one point at a time:

"I must have missed the part where he advocated homosexuality," ...and I must've missed the part where he condemned it. Jesus's fellowship was inclusive to the point of scandal; he was the "friend of tax collectors and sinners," including prostitutes and even Samaritans, who were the absolute lowest of the low in the eyes of his Jewish contemporaries. Being a mere homosexual was innocuous by comparison.

Unlike many contemporary Christians, the ministry of Jesus was not a moral crusade. Far from it, Jesus's mission was one of solidarity. Certainly he would point out and even condemn sinful behavior, but he made no effort to purge the sin from society. The Jews had already tried that for centuries through their purity laws, and only succeeded in completely alienating themselves from God. Jesus invited everyone to his banqueting table without prequalification.

Even if I were to concede that homosexuality may be sinful (though I have no cause to believe that monogamous same-sex relationships would be), it still baffles me that so-called loving Christians will go to such extreme lengths to harass a segment of the population that desires nothing more than to conduct their own personal lives as they see fit. In short, it's between them and God. Keep your nose out of it.

Sex outside marriage - I don't have a clue what this has to do with liberal ideology.

Abortion - Ah, badda-bing, badda-bang! Nothing better serves to stir up hostile emotions than a good-ol' abortion debate. Suffice to say that the problems underlying the issue are far too complex to discuss using political language, and certainly beyond the scope of resolution by lawmakers. Any genuine solutions must be proactive, providing support for unwed mothers and incentives to adopt unwanted children. How many children have you adopted?

Justifiable lies - I assume you're talking about Ronald Reagan here, right? Like when he addressed the nation and insisted, in no uncertain terms, that weapons had NOT been traded for hostages? In any event, please clarify what this has to do with liberalism.

Big government - This is simply a buzzword thrown around by the political right. Without any implicit meaning, I can't determine its relevance to the discussion.

Being lazy and living of [sic] the government - Sloth and laziness are sinful, to be sure. But what of it? Just because we will always have ingrates that abuse the generosity of others, does that mean that liberals advocate such behavior? That's guilt by association, and it's a superficial and obtuse accusation.

Killing the unborn - Is there an echo in here?

Blindly following evil leaders - Now you've crossed the line into absurdity. Liberalism is merely an ideology, derived directly from the inalienable human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As such, it compels no one to "blindly" follow any particular leader. Your comment also reveals an alarmingly inept perception of what is truly "evil" in this world.

<<I thought he spoke to people about individual responsibility, honesty, integrity,forgiveness (not lowering expectations / goals / standards) compassion (there is no compassion in liberalism).>>

[and the comment submitted by Brian]

<<I believe it is a mistake to confuse compassion with liberalism.>>

Perhaps. But it would be a much bigger mistake to assume the two are mutually exclusive based upon some contrived political definition.

The statements I've heard thus far have been totally bereft of anything resembling compassion. There is no "compassion" in forcing the poor to fend for themselves. Oh sure, you can dress it up in some noble language, such as "teaching them self-sufficiency" or "restoring their dignity," but ultimately your position boils down to a thinly-veiled accusation that people are poor because they're lazy -- period. You want us to believe that there are no people whose lives are simply devoid of opportunity. You want us to believe that every single mother who receives a government subsidy is going to blow it on drugs instead of putting food on the table for their children. And if cutting off those checks would mean that children would starve, then perhaps they should simply die... and decrease the surplus population. (Due apologies to Dickens.)

No matter how much you'd like to remake Jesus in your own image (or at least Rush Limbaugh's), you cannot change the fact that Jesus never gave of himself conditionally, whereas you advocate a plethora of conditions which must be met for a charitable act to be, in some sense, just. Christ's compassion was universal, communal, and yes, LIBERAL.

<<I remember well the age of liberalism under Johnson's "Great Society". This is when we started rewarding being lazy, having bastards...>>

Isn't this odd? When a young pregnant girl considers abortion, the Christian Right rushes in to affirm that the child is "God's precious gift." But as soon as the child is actually born, it becomes a "bastard." That's nice; very compassionate. Jesus must be so proud.

<<started generations of dependants, introduced modern slavery (people dependant on the government / Democrats) went from offering a helping hand to handing out. Look at the change in our society after Johnson. Nothing took us down as a ethical and religious nation more than liberalism.>>

Interesting. When I look at the so-called "liberal" programs of this century, I notice civil rights, Social Security, clean air and water, school lunches, consumer protection, Medicare, minimum wage and the 40-hour work week. It's amazing what a different perspective can do. That is, unless all of those things were mistakes as well. I'm sure giving women and blacks the right to vote didn't help matters, huh?

<<I am a Christian. I make mistakes and I sin. However, I don't justify my actions when I do. I truly repent my sins. I don't say it's ok everyone does it.>>

Wow... we agree on something! So what's your point?

<<I know that Christ was forgiving but he never suggested that we give up the attempt to live under the 10 commandments. Ted Turrner (big time liberal) recently suggested changing them.>>

Er... when exactly did I say that I gave a tinker's damn what Ted Turner says? Yeah, Ted's a liberal... and Hitler was a conservative. "Guilt by association" rears its ugly head once again...

And now, let's have a word from our sponsor, Alan, in his private reply to me:

<<Oh, please, pluck your head(s) out of your respective asses and take a look in the mirror. You are nothing more than cartoon characters, hoping for the validation of your twisted "values." Look for each other in hell.>>

Alan, thanks for sharing! Have a nice, wholesome Christian life. And now, back to our regularly scheduled debate...

Regarding John 21:

<<He did not say to them go home sit on your ass even though you are healthy and able and I will take care of everything you need.>>

No, of course he didn't. Nor would anyone in their right mind. Why do you consistently assert that public assistance serves no valuable purpose except to permit healthy and able people to "sit on [their] ass?" Have you any idea what sort of pittance is paid out on a welfare check? Any idea whatsoever? To say that a single person could live comfortably on government welfare, LET ALONE support a family, is not only fictitious but cruel, serving only to foster public outrage to the end that the truly needy might be prevented from getting the help they need to survive. As Christians, we have an OBLIGATION to share our wealth with the needy. To show such disdain for the practice is just sad. It truly disturbs me as both a Christian and a human being.

<<Jesus did not deprive the fishermen of their dignity by doing everything for them.>>

So why did he have to resort to miracles to help them at all? Why didn't he just give them a stern lecture on the importance of hard work and leave it at that? Your point seems to be that you are only permitted to help people to a point. Where exactly do you draw this silly, arbitrary line? And where is the biblical support that charitability has express limits, and that crossing those boundaries invites moral breakdown?

<<He did not say to them your neighbor has more fish than he needs, go pass a law which will allow you to take his fish for yourself.>>

No. But I am quite certain that he would have impressed upon the neighbor to give his fish away. The problem with our society is that no one wants to voluntarily share their wealth. If they did, fewer social programs would be necessary.

It's quite obvious from your continued focus upon the issue that the United States welfare system is a real thorn in your side. I'll be among the first to admit that it has its share of problems. But believe it or not, it has its share of success stories as well. If you could see the forest through the trees, you would find people who have rebuilt their lives through social programs, becoming productive members of society and gaining so much of that pride and dignity you keep going on about. I for one am certainly not going to advocate dismantling every social service in the country, recklessly disregarding the needs of the disenfranchised, simply for the purpose of teaching a lesson to a handful of alleged freeloaders. Believe what you will, such an action could not be more un-Christ-like.

But all of that is peripheral anyway. The core issue here has nothing to do with the U.S. government, or the politics of Democrats vs. Republicans. It's about the principles we follow in caring for each other as members of God's Kingdom, and as caretakers of God's creation. It's about universal love and unconditional forgiveness. It's about offering your shirt to the person who just sued you for your coat, and waiting for the sinless to cast the first stone. It's about the last being first and the first being last. In short, it's about bleeding heart liberalism. If you can't stomach it, you'd better find another religion, because you're not taking Jesus away from me.

Peace and God bless,
Geoff and Heidi Trowbridge


[from: Amanda]

"I must have missed the part where he advocated homosexuality," ...and I
must've missed the part where he condemned it.

3 words for you: Sodom and Gomorrah

In short, it's between them and God. Keep your nose out of it.
True, it is between them and God. Yet, as Christians we should want
everyone to go to heaven. Whatever happened to showing other people the
light? What is so wrong with speaking your beliefs? For example, Reggie
White (yes, the Green Bay packer #92) was verbally persecuted for his
beliefs when he spoke his beliefs freely. Whatever happened to our freedom
of speech hey?

Sex outside marriage -
I don't have a clue what this has to do with liberal
ideology.
Once again, here's a simple quote for you "everyone is doing it, so it must
be okay" THAT is liberal thinking. No one used to think that way, sex before
marriage used to be a sin and socially unacceptable. Now it is is a norm.

Abortion -
Ah, badda-bing, badda-bang! Nothing better serves to stir up
hostile emotions than a good-ol' abortion debate. Blah blah blah. Abortion
is just wrong. Has nothing to do with emotions. okay? From a liberal point
of view, abortion is just getting rid of an unwanted body tissue. From my
standpoint, as well as any Christian, abortion is the murder of a child.
Need I say more?

Justifiable lies - Liberal point of view :If there is a reason to lie it is
justified. Like for example, your son or daughter dies. The hospital doesn't
want to hurt your feelings, so they say he or she is okay. That is
justified. Right??? Under no circumstances lies should be justified. We all
do, I do, but I don't say there was a good reason for me to lie. It just
gets me in trouble no matter what way you put it.

Being lazy and living of [sic] the government - Point is, many just live
off the government. Welfare for example? Or even the government themselves.
They order all these young people into war situations and sit back in their
comfy reclining desk chairs and watch. Jesus did not sit and watch. He
helped. He did every bit as much work as the people around him. He didn't
have the people do his dirty work for him.

Killing the unborn -
Is there an echo in here? No need for insults here.
Like you said, it is a rather important issue that stirs emotions. A sin
such as abortion deserves to be brought up twice if the second time it will
reach through a persons thick skull. (lots of sarcasm here)

Blindly following evil leaders -
Now you've crossed the line into absurdity.
Liberalism is merely an ideology, derived directly from the inalienable
human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Like I said,
insults already? Okay. I just got out of high school last year. In social
science classes we are taught that liberalism is the political point of view
that wants to change everything, conservative to keep things the same.
Simple as that. The rights to life liberty and pursuit of happiness all
sound good, but even in America it just don't happen buddy.

but ultimately your position boils down to a thinly-veiled accusation that
people are poor because they're lazy -- period. You want us to believe that
there are no people whose lives are simply devoid of opportunity. You want
us to believe that every single mother who receives a government subsidy is
going to blow it on drugs instead of putting food on the table for their
children. Are you trying to say that none of the above does exist? No, not
every person on welfare is lazy. Some are just down on their luck. Yes, some
mothers will blow their money on drugs. Some will not. But there are some
that do all of the above, and worse. You can't watch the news, read the
paper, walk the streets and tell me it isn't true.

And if cutting off those checks would mean that children would starve, then
perhaps they should simply die... and decrease the surplus population. (Due
apologies to Dickens.) (heavy with sarcasm) well there ya go! An answer to
the population problem. yep yep yep natural selection. <rolls eyes> There
are other ways to deal with this than cutting off the checks. Drug tests,
placing children in homes where they can be properly cared for, simple
surveillance.

Christ's compassion was universal, communal, and yes, LIBERAL.
Perhaps Jesus' compassion was liberal at the time he lived. He wanted to
give people a chance at life in heaven and eternal happiness. That was a
relatively "new" idea back then. Now, most liberal beliefs go against Jesus'
teachings. We are getting off of the point here. Jesus' love was
unconditional. that is why he should be person of the year.

Isn't this odd? When a young pregnant girl considers abortion, the
Christian Right rushes in to affirm that the child is "God's precious gift."
But as soon as the child is actually born, it becomes a "bastard." That's
nice; very compassionate. Jesus must be so proud. Very funny. haha. <rolls
eyes again> well maybe if society condemned sex before marriage, so many
young girls wouldn't be getting pregnant. But now, I know guys who BRAG
about how they have kids all over the state or country. Like it is funny.Too
bad, that from a liberal point of view, sex before marriage is a-ok and
everyone is doing it why shouldn't you? Have sex at 13! Have children by you
are 14! It's all good. Right??? No people. Any child is a precious gift from
God. And to some men the number of "bastards" they have out there is a power
trip. Don't make light of this.It is wrong

Interesting. When I look at the so-called "liberal" programs of this
century, I notice civil rights, Social Security, clean air and water, school
lunches, consumer protection, Medicare, minimum wage and the 40-hour work
week. It's amazing what a different perspective can do. That is, unless
all of those things were mistakes as well. I'm sure giving women and blacks
the right to vote didn't help matters, huh? CHEAP SHOT! John is the sweetest
guy and you can just forget about your last sentence here. By the way, think
about this.
Civil Rights: should be common sense. Jesus did not condemn other races why
should we?
Social Security: You do know how social security is working nowadays, right?
We get the taxes taken out of our checks and it pays for our grandparents
and complete strangers and when it is our turn, we better hope our kids have
jobs and are paying social security or we are gonna be screwed
Clean air and water hmmm.....:Wasn't it clean before we got here and CHANGED
EVERYTHING?
School Lunches: Don't go there man. Ugh. I still have nightmares. Trust me
if you love your kids give them a bag lunch!
To hell with minimum wage and 40 hour work week. We should go back to
trading, a barter system and being nice and doing favors for people like we
did like, hundreds of years ago. HA! How is that for conservative then
everyone wouldn't be so concerned about money.

And now, let's have a word from our sponsor, Alan, in his private
reply to me: I have no clue who the heck you are, but you have an amazing
talent for cheap shots. Usually when a person says "private" it does not
mean "HEY! Can you copy this line and forward it to everyone you know???"
Have a little more tact next time buddy

<<He did not say to them go home sit on your ass even though you are healthy
and able and I will take care of everything you need.>>

No, of course he didn't. Nor would anyone in their right mind. Why do you
consistently assert that public assistance serves no valuable purpose except
to permit healthy and able people to "sit on [their] ass?" It happens. If
it didn't you would see unemployment rates going down wouldn't you. Sure
here in WI they are dangerously low, but in other states unemployment rates
are soaring. So if these unemployed are barely living off of welfare, why
are they still alive? You'd be suprised on how a little a person can live
off of. Most of us in this mailing list are probably pretty well off. We are
probably used to a higher standard of living and couldn't make it on solely
welfare payments.
To show such disdain for the practice is just sad. It
truly disturbs me as both a Christian and a human being. If you are so
disturbed by this, let me ask you a question. If you are walking down the
streets of Milwaukee or new York or new Orleans, and a scraggly man comes up
and asks you for money what do you do? If you see a person dressed in dirty
clothes staring at you do you just ignore them and walk on by? Do you let a
homeless stranger sleep in your home on frosty nights? If not, you can't be
that disturbed. If the government doesn't help them that doesn't mean you
can't,

Anyway it is late and stuff so everyone take it easy and sorry for putting
more stuff in your mailboxes. Thanks,
Mandy


[from: Cindy]

hello everyone, 1st of all ill tell you who i am. my name is cindy,
sister-in-law to geoff and friend to john. i dont know mandy,but im
impressed with such insight at such a young age.i keep reading these
letters and im quite amused. this all started as to voting for jesus.
i think we all agree it would be a good vote. but i also think it
seams odd to say or even think about VOTING on jesus christ.it almost
seems demeaning in a sense. its a given that he is and was the
greatest person on earth ever.all others followed.if you want to vote
on someone id say vote on a follower. because to put jesus to vote
upon, is catergorizing him, and there is NO category for him. he is
ONE above the rest. even though we are ALL made in gods image, some
may even think we are equal to god, but lets be realistic. WE DONT
PRAY TO JUST ANY ONE...WE PRAY TO GOD AND OR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
that in itself puts him above all others.
so i say VOTE FOR GHANDI....
sorry if i spell incorectly.....

ok now for my opinions: and im sure some of you wont like them. but i
dont care. there mine, and thats what makes me an individual.

abortion: im pro choice..like geoff said HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE YOU
ADOPTED...and to your disbelief, this is not a birth control
device..this is not somthing anyone enjoys to do or wants to do.its a
very painfull process emotionally and physcally...unless
you know the circomstances. or have been there,then you really dont
even know what its about.

wellfare-aid-- this is not an easy thing to even get.do you have any
idea how poor you have to be to get them to even talk to you. ive
been there and i know. plus i have also had friends who the system has
helped, by given them homes food clothing. they were in need but not
because they were lazy. again every picture has a story. LAY OFF THE
NEEDY
btw- like the commercials say.(no one growing up thinks,I WANT TO BE
AN ADDICT OR ALCHOLIC OR POOR) these people need our help. now they
have an illness. they need a cure not condemed.

homosexuality: i see nothing wrong with this...i have friends that are
gay..they are christians. in fact more so than most people i know.
they are some of the nicest people and giving and loving that i
know.and i have never seen them judge others in the way i see all you
are doing.you know ,i might not think that what you like or do in the
bedroom is nice. i might even think you are nasty. but who cares. IM
NOT IN YOUR BEDROOM AM I.

lieing; i HATE LIEING of any kind. i believe if 1 has to lie then
they have something to hide and its not a good thing.

liberalism: everyone is liberal to an extent..just like everyone is
predjudice. i think your getting these to words confused with each
other.

now for my great ending.

food for thought.WHO MADE ANY OF YOU GOD?

is your lives so perfect that you think you can tell others how to
live theres? what makes you so sure your soooo right and anyone else
is wrong?
anyone of are lives can change in seconds. from rich to poor. healthy
to ill. things happen to people and they dont always have control over
them and it can happen to you also. be carefull you might be the next
one judged and condemed. remember dont judge a book by its cover.
better yet dont judge at all


ok thats it..later all cindy


[from: Amanda]

Okay people, this is the last time I am going to say anything. Cindy, thank
you for the compliment. (I'm 18 and a half)

In regards to how many children have I adopted, that question is
irrelevant when talking about abortion. There are millions of families who
cannot have children of their own that are on waiting lists for some one
else's unwanted child. Abortion is not birth control, I know that. But in
regards to it, I feel that if a mother truly does not want her baby, there
are many out there who's dreams would come true if they were able to adopt
it. There are other options. If a mother is in danger of dying if she
carries the child to term, yes I agree with abortion in that case. Touchy
subject, this one!

On homosexuality, I believe it is wrong from my religious background.
Personally, I have nothing against them. I will not speak out against them
any more than I would an atheist. There are some things regarding this
matter that I haven't quite figured out yet so once I make up my mind for
sure I'll let ya know.

Now on Jesus. He is the one I pray to, the one I believe in the one who
gave me life, everything I have is His and He is kind enough to borrow it to
me. What is wrong with "voting" for Him? It would be just like announcing to
the world that yes, I do believe in Christ as my savior. What is so wrong
about proclaiming your beliefs to the world? Are we supposed to be ashamed
of our religion? To keep quiet about it? NO! We should be glad, spread the
word, rejoice in it! God's love for us is not to be hidden, it is to be
proclaimed at the top of our lungs for everyone to hear. So I still think it
is a good idea.

ANYWAYS! Thank you for listening, I gotta start working on my homework
and English papers and spending less time in e-mail!

Thanks,
Mandy


Hello Amanda,

First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank Cindy for chiming in and and adding another persepective into the debate. I'll try to address all of the statements made in your replies to both her and to me.

Second, since I have been berated for hurling "insults" at John, let me stress that in no way did I mean to be offensive or hurtful with my last reply. If any of my statements were interpreted as such, I apologize. However, it is fair for me to point out that I was the one who was ruthlessly maligned simply for making a rather benign one-line statement. When people are attacked, it is only natural for them to want to lash out in response.

That having been said...

<<3 words for you: Sodom and Gomorrah>>

It is a long-standing church tradition that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a judgement against homosexuals. We've even derived the word "sodomy" from that tradition. This belief is so well ingrained that no one even thinks to go back and actually read the relevant scriptures. So let's. It's Genesis chapter 19. And while you're at it, read Jude's commentary in Jude 7. Go ahead; I'll wait...

Ah, you're back. So where exactly was that reference to homosexuals? The towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were wrought with perversion, to be sure. It's fair to assume that the inhabitants would have sex with just about anything that moved. This has no relevance when discussing a monogamous, loving relationship between two people who, for some strange biological reason, are physically attracted to members of the same sex.

God's judgement came down on Sodom and Gomorrah because the inhabitants wanted to rape the angels. You know, they wanted the whole "Deliverance" thing... "Squeal like a pig" and all. If you equate a desire to rape people with homosexuality, you're making a very unsound judgement indeed.

<<True, it is between them and God. Yet, as Christians we should want everyone to go to heaven. Whatever happened to showing other people the light? What is so wrong with speaking your beliefs?>>

There's absolutely nothing wrong with speaking your beliefs as long as you're not using them to issue condemnation, and ESPECIALLY not if you're using your beliefs as a weapon against the freedom of others. We want people to go to Heaven, and the way to do so is by teaching them to seek Jesus. If they need to change, JESUS will change them. WE don't have the ability nor the wisdom to change anyone. We need only to point the way and to offer our love and support.

<<"everyone is doing it, so it must be okay" THAT is liberal thinking.>>

No, that has absolutely nothing to do with "liberal thinking." That's morally relativistic thinking. Some may want you to believe that it's the same thing as liberalism, but it just ain't true.

<<Blah blah blah. Abortion is just wrong. Has nothing to do with emotions. okay? From a liberal point of view, abortion is just getting rid of an unwanted body tissue. From my standpoint, as well as any Christian, abortion is the murder of a child. Need I say more?>>

Well, yes, there's much more to be said. Given your "blah blah blah" comment, I can only assume that you completely ignored the remainder of my comments, preferring instead to polarize the issue. That's too bad. Without addressing the underlying CAUSES of the issue (and not just the abortion itself), we will never have resolution. To reiterate: Any solution must involve support for poor single mothers and adoption of unwanted children -- something few people on either side of the issue are willing to do.

Are abortion rights "liberal?" Perhaps, in the sense that they involve personal freedom. But a freedom is not the same as a right, and such choices are no less conscionable than any other moral decision. Anyway, no matter how you choose to classify it, the fact remains that Jesus was utterly silent on the issue.

<<Liberal point of view :If there is a reason to lie it is justified.>>

I honestly don't know where you're getting this idea. Liberalism has nothing -- I repeat, NOTHING -- whatsoever to do with "justification for lying." Any claim to the contrary is just dishonest propaganda.

<<No need for insults here. Like you said, it is a rather important issue that stirs emotions. A sin such as abortion deserves to be brought up twice if the second time it will reach through a persons thick skull. (lots of sarcasm here)>>

My comment was hardly an insult. Accusing people of having "thick skulls," however, could certainly be construed as insulting, whether sarcastic or not.

<<I just got out of high school last year. In social science classes we are taught that liberalism is the political point of view that wants to change everything, conservative to keep things the same.>>

That's a drastic oversimplification. Liberals are progressively-minded, which means they're generally not RESISTANT to change, but it certainly doesn't imply a reckless desire to change EVERYTHING.

<<The rights to life liberty and pursuit of happiness all sound good, but even in America it just don't happen buddy.>>

So what are you saying? That liberal goals are wrong because they're too lofty? That we should simply give up on our principles because we can never guarantee them for everyone? The Christian ideals of faith, hope and love can never be perfectly achieved by fallible human beings either. Does that mean we should stop trying?

<<Are you trying to say that none of the above does exist? No, not every person on welfare is lazy. Some are just down on their luck. Yes, some mothers will blow their money on drugs. Some will not. But there are some that do all of the above, and worse. You can't watch the news, read the paper, walk the streets and tell me it isn't true.>>

I'm well aware that such problems exist, and I acknowledged as much. Why can't you acknowledge that it's wrong to punish everyone for the transgressions of a small minority?

<<There are other ways to deal with this than cutting off the checks. Drug tests, placing children in homes where they can be properly cared for, simple surveillance.>>

Good ideas. And speaking as a rascally liberal, I don't have a problem with any of them.

<<Too bad, that from a liberal point of view, sex before marriage is a-ok and everyone is doing it why shouldn't you? Have sex at 13! Have children by you are 14! It's all good. Right???>>

We don't need to revisit my explanation that liberalism has nothing at all to do with sexual morality. We do, however, need to revisit my original point, which was that the Christian Right's concern for the well-being of an unwanted child often seems to end at the moment the child is born.

<<I'm sure giving women and blacks the right to vote didn't help matters, huh? CHEAP SHOT! John is the sweetest guy and you can just forget about your last sentence here.>>

I'm sure John is a sweet person, but you're missing my point here. Voting suffrage was a purely liberal movement. If you have a problem with liberalism, then you have a problem giving voting rights to women and minorities.

<<Civil Rights: should be common sense. Jesus did not condemn other races why should we?>>

Very true. And the racial unity that we (usually) enjoy today is the result of progressive (read: "liberal") movements in the sixties and seventies. The "conservatives," who by definition are resistant to change, fought bitterly throughout the years to maintain segregation. Ergo, conservatism cannot always be inherently good, now can it?

<<we better hope our kids have jobs and are paying social security or we are gonna be screwed>>

True again. But the reason Social Security is in trouble has nothing to do with a lack of taxpayer revenue. Remember, we have a budget surplus right now which the conservative lawmakers are reluctant to apply toward the funding of Social Security. The problem is simply that people are living longer and lawmakers aren't budgeting for it.

<<Clean air and water hmmm.....:Wasn't it clean before we got here and CHANGED EVERYTHING?>>

Once again we agree! And the reason it became polluted was because industry was allowed to operate unchecked for well over a century. That wasn't liberalism -- it was raw, unbridled capitalism, which valued profit over environmental preservation. The regulations were finally implemented through smart liberal policy, thus protecting what was left of the environment.

<<if you love your kids give them a bag lunch!>>

Bag lunches are fine. The goal is ensuring that the kids are fed. I don't care how.

<<To hell with minimum wage and 40 hour work week. We should go back to trading, a barter system and being nice and doing favors for people like we did like, hundreds of years ago.>>

What you propose is called "communal living," and it's not such a bad idea really. Of course, such a radical shift in our social practices would require a great deal of progressive (read: "liberal") thinking.

<<I have no clue who the heck you are, but you have an amazing talent for cheap shots. Usually when a person says "private" it does not mean "HEY! Can you copy this line and forward it to everyone you know???" Have a little more tact next time buddy>>

When someone sends me a vitrolic, profanity-laden tirade which condems my family to Hell for the wicked crime of thinking independently, they have forfeited any right to privacy. Let's not forget that Alan spewed forth his poison in response to my harmless one-line reply to John's original message. And you have the gall to accuse me of lacking "tact?" I'm sorry, but I have a bit more self-respect than that.

Before we go any further, this is a good time to pause and reflect upon what has been discussed thus far. As I see it, our debate can be summarized under three main points:

1) There are a number of issues about which you have (understandably) expressed significant disdain, but have mischaracterized as "liberal" when in fact they are in no way principles of liberal ideology. These would include: Premarital sex, lying such that the ends justifies the means, unregulated industry, and financial support for able-bodied people who refuse to become productive members of society. On these points we agree.

2) There are a number of issues that are most definitely "liberal" for which you have expressed SUPPORT, though you avoid using the "L" word, preferring instead to call them "common sense" principles. These would include: Civil rights, women's suffrage, civic responsibility, freedom, environmental conservation, and child protection through social services. On these points we also, predictably, agree.

3) Once we eliminate all of these, we're left with an amazingly short list of issues about which we have not yet reached agreement. These would be the rights of homosexuals, abortion rights, and welfare. And since this discussion began as a reflection upon Jesus's teachings, I would be remiss not to point out that Jesus was completely silent on the first two issues. As for the third, it has already been beaten to death in my exchanges with both you and John, yet I still find overwhelming biblical evidence to support an exceptionally liberal attitude toward wealth. Key verses include, but are certainly not limited to, Luke 12:33-34; Mark 12:41-44; Matt 22:17-21, and Matt 19:21-23.

Moving on...

<<There are millions of families who cannot have children of their own that are on waiting lists for some one else's unwanted child.>>

I hate to tell you, but the existence of any "waiting list" for domestic adoptions is a myth. There are literally thousands of children in orphanages and state homes throughout the country. The problem is that many are older, or suffering from problems with behavior or health, or they are (dare I say it?) interracial, which tragically reduces their appeal.

You are correct to say that pregnant girls have other options. But as a society, we must do everything in our power to facilitate those alternatives. Until we do, the problem will never be resolved.

<<Touchy subject, this one!>>

On that, we most definitely agree.

<<On homosexuality, I believe it is wrong from my religious background ... There are some things regarding this matter that I haven't quite figured out yet so once I make up my mind for sure I'll let ya know. >>

I'm very glad to hear that you have at least reserved some room in your thoughts for rumination on the issue. But rather than keep these thoughts to yourself, you really should solicit the opinions of those who express different views. You might be surprised by the results.

<<What is wrong with "voting" for Him? It would be just like announcing to the world that yes, I do believe in Christ as my savior. >>

Oh yes, the voting -- the issue that started all this! I guess this means we've come full circle? <g>

For what it's worth, I do believe that John was very well-intentioned in his original plea to vote for Jesus as Time's "Man of the Century." My only problem is that the title is not so much a recognition of character as it is of influence. For example, in the past, "Man of the Year" has been given to the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini. To select Jesus is to claim that he has been the most talked about, most influential, and most familiar figure that this century has seen. And sadly, that just isn't true. Although the world counts more "Christians" than any other world religion (about 32%), only a very small number of these people truly know Jesus and live by his word. To vote for Jesus in this poll would be, in my own humble opinion, dishonest.

<<Are we supposed to be ashamed of our religion? To keep quiet about it? NO! We should be glad, spread the word, rejoice in it! God's love for us is not to be hidden, it is to be proclaimed at the top of our lungs for everyone to hear.>>

I couldn't agree more. The love of Jesus is worthy enough to shout it from the mountaintops! But as Christians, as much as we share the good news, we must be careful never use our religion as a force of oppression, or a tool for political gain. Loving people means allowing them to be free. If people must change, then the Spirit will work within their lives to effect those changes. We don't have the power to change anyone ourselves. Remember the parable of the Prodigal Son. We must let people choose their own path; let them find their own way home. But we must never stop supporting them; never stop loving them. This is how Jesus taught us to give of ourselves -- in the most liberal way.

Cheers, and may God bless you with abundance,
Geoff and Heidi Trowbridge


[from: Amanda, in a private reply]

Dear Geoff and Heidi,

Thank you for your response. My uncle Bob has often accused me of
being a typical college student, give me something to do for any cause and I
am there, whoosh at light speed! LOL. On abortion my mind is steadily fixed,
homosexuality there is still a little room. I try to stay open-minded about
everything I can, except my Lutheran background. A very religious mom, 12
years of Sunday school and 4 years of catechism plus personal
experiences(the major reason) leaves no room for doubt in my mind as to what
I believe in. Let's just say I have a close relationship with God, I scream
at Him from the top of a ledge in the middle of no where when I am upset,
and I thank him dozens of times a day for the little blessings in my life. I
know it is wrong to scream at Him, but it's venting, and I know He listens
and that He cares. I apologize to Him quite often, too. I'm young yet, I've
got a lot more experiences to shape and change my opinions and stuff. (Oh,
no, my English professor would kill me, I said the "S" word!)Anyway, here's
a temporary truce hopefully! I am sorry I mouthed off and insulted you in
any way. Funny, it seems I have to apologize a lot these days! I am
sincerely sorry though, if there is any offense. So, take care and let
angels watch over you,
Amanda


"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."—Paul of Tarsas, Second Letter to the Corinthians (3:17)

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