Sunday, May 02, 2010

Alien Nation---More Questions

*Just read this in a George Will column:

"...since 1952 federal law has said: "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him." "

It seems to me that a law such as this carries with it an expectation that at some point, and for some reason, such identification might be required of an alien in this country. Does it make sense that such a law should exist yet law enforcement should be prohibited from ever requesting that an alien produce such documentation? Why is asking for this documentation fascism and a cop asking for license, registration and proof of insurance after pulling someone over not?

*In today's local newspaper there were stories of rallies and marches for immigration reform. It stated that this was planned well before the AZ law became news. Aside from the fact that it presented a great opportunity for ICE to apprehend more illegals, it was basically an event organized to draw attention to the plight of people who broke the law to enter this country. Apparently, that they are "forced" to enter illegally is some kind of "social justice" issue. (I never needed Glen Beck to tell me that use of the term is a ploy.) I wonder where the justice is in demanding citizenship for illegals when we have 10% unemployment in this country. Far better that we deport as many illegals as we can to free up some of the jobs that they have taken. I don't want to hear this crap about them doing jobs Americans won't do. In today's economy, I have personally spoken to many who have "lowered" themselves to take jobs they never would have taken five to ten years ago.

*Also in today's paper, in the same article, was an activist with stats about how long it takes to go through the proper channels to enter this country. Supposedly, the United States is one of the most restrictive and it takes twenty years for some to go through the process. I'm tearing up. How it that our problem? How does it make us responsible for this "social injustice"? Apparently, we screwed up so badly the economies of so many other countries that we now owe these teaming masses a piece of the American pie. Of course that's crap. And La Raza thinks they're gonna get back California.

*So maybe by now, one of those who have posted comments opposing the AZ law could tell me what number would satisfy them as the proper amount we should let in each year, and while they're at it, explain where the hell they're all going to work? Explain also just what is wrong with the numbers we're letting in now. With our unemployment level, why should we let ANY in right now?

Theses are just a few of the questions that keep popping up in my head regarding the illegal invader issue. More will pop up I'm sure, at which time I'll add them to the list.

260 comments:

1 – 200 of 260   Newer›   Newest»
Mark said...

I've had to take a job I wouldn't even apply for under better circumstances.

There is a woman who works with me (sort of) from Peru who just passed her citizenship test, and became an American citizen.

No one I know of wants to deport her.

She entered legally.

Mark said...

By the way, one of my two best friends at my new job is from India, and is a Hindu, and is in the states legally. The other is black. I would give the shirt off my back to either of them if they needed help.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I'm tearing up. How it that our problem? How does it make us responsible for this "social injustice"?

Well, it remains to be seen if it is a problem for the US at large. But for Christians, we are clearly taught that we ARE our brothers' keepers. That we ARE responsible for assisting the "least of these." That we ARE held accountable if our nation has oppressed the poor elsewhere or within our borders.

People smarter than me have suggested that our economic policies DO negatively impact other nations, especially third world nations and especially our Latin American neighbors to the south.

For instance...

Buried in the technical language of the CAFTA agreement are rules that would make it more difficult for the six nations that have signed the trade deal with the United States to escape heavy debt burdens or to prevent or recover from debt crises...

Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, millions of peasant farmers have been driven off the land and the percentage of the Mexican population living in poverty has risen from 58% to 79%.


Presbyterian Church USA

and...

Almost 15 years later, our fears have unfortunately come true. Two million Mexican farmers have lost their livelihoods, real wages have declined, and corporations have successfully sued local governments for passing laws to protect public health and the environment.

Witness for Peace

and...

Farmers in Central America are vehemently opposed to CAFTA. They recognize that they stand little chance of being able to compete against the massively subsidized US agribusiness machine. The 2002 US Farm Bill apportioned $180bn in new subsidies for the industry over ten years. By comparison, the total GDP for all five countries last year was a little under $140bn. In Mexico, similar policies under NAFTA have contributed to wide-spread rural poverty by driving down the prices that Mexican farmers earn from growing corn, their ancestral food. Farmers in United States ranging from advocates of sustainable agriculture to conventional sugar beet growers have joined their colleagues to the south in voicing concerns over CAFTA as well.

source

Read the reports, the studies. IF our policies are resulting in INCREASED unemployment in poorer nations, driving farmers off their land and out of work or into sweatshops, all so that our corporations will profit even more, does that not raise a legitimate concern about justice for you?

Remember what the Bible says...

Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the foreigner. I am the LORD your God...

~Lev 19

Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place...

~Jer 22

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

~Eze 16

Dan Trabue said...

And to be clear, I quote those passages NOT to support a political position, but because they seem pertinent to the question, "How it that our problem?"

The plight of the poor is our "problem" precisely because we are Christians (this, directed to the Christians reading this) or precisely because we are humans who have good reason to be concerned for the least of these (this, directed to anyone regardless of faith tradition).

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

When the ships from Arcturus IV land, I'll worry about "aliens" and their paperwork. Otherwise, even this legal language I find demeaning in the extreme.

Mark, I'm so glad that you actually know people from other countries. It brings a tear to my eye - for them.

Mark said...

Geoffrey, you Putz.

I mention my friends and co-workers to make the point, that, unlike you, I respect legal hard working responsible people regardless of their skin color or nationality.

You don't respect anyone but people who have letters after their name and/or are as boorish as you.

I don't respect criminals, the irresponsible, and welfare cheats.

And, no doubt, while you mouth platitudes about inclusiveness, I simply include them without pre-judgments.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As to how many we should let in - as many as want to come. Where will they be employed? Well, since there are plenty of opportunities for new technological breakthroughs, small companies doing green tech work, that kind of thing, the potential is enormous.

Sorry, Marshall, but this Christian thinks the doors should be open and the way unblocked. "Y'all come!" should be our motto.

Marshall Art said...

With no restrictions whatsoever? You'd include those who don't really want to work as much as leech off our welfare programs, programs devised mostly by progressives without regard to consequences beyond how the recipients of those programs will vote? You'd include those who really wish to exploit that openess through criminal enterprises? You'd include those who are looking for ways to wreak havoc through terrorist activities? You'd include those who really have no intention of becoming an American, blending in in this great melting pot? "Naive" is about the kindest word I can think of off the top of my head to describe such thinking. You don't see any downside to such an open border policy? If not, so glad you aren't in gov't.

And those opportunities you think exist that would accomodate the flood of immigrants, how have those opportunities lessened that unemployment percentage still lingering around 10%?

Frankly, I think you're just yankin' my chain.

Dan Trabue said...

You'd include those who don't really want to work as much as leech off our welfare programs, programs devised mostly by progressives without regard to consequences beyond how the recipients of those programs will vote?

Falsehood. Obvious falsehood.

Support it or retract it or leave it be an show yourself as someone willing to spread manure.

You sound like someone who knows very little about how "welfare programs" work.

Obviously, no one is advocating welcoming criminals into our nation. Obviously, Geoffrey is speaking about letting normal folk in. You know, welcoming them like God commands God's people to do.

"Manipulative" is the kindest word I can think of for your arguments here, Marshall.

Marshall Art said...

Are you now trying to tell me that no one evers tries to game the system, Dan? Only evil rich people or conservatives or capitalists? You think it's all that hard for the lazy to work it so that they can receive gov't handouts? I've got an ex-sister-in-law that can teach you a thing or two.

Or perhaps you're trying to say that progressives aren't looking to win votes with their policies? Like denouncing this AZ law, for example. They look to gain from crapping all over this law, or are you that naive as well?

And how would Geoffrey determine who is "normal folk" when he opens wide our borders? How would YOU?

" Sorry, Marshall, but this Christian thinks the doors should be open and the way unblocked. "Y'all come!" should be our motto."

It's one thing not to read all of my comments or Bubba's or any other conservative's, but apparently you're not even reading Geoffrey's. "Doors open and the way unblocked." What does that suggest to you? Doesn't that statement scream for clarification in even your fevered mind?

So how 'bout it, Dan? You've been shootin' your mouth off (or your typing fingers) about God's will regarding aliens. (And speaking of "manipulative", you're the holy-roller speaking of ilegal aliens as if they are all just simple God-fearin' po' folk lookin' to just work and work and work, golly gee, just trying to make a better life! *sniff* *sniff* Tell me THAT kind of rhetoric ain't "manipulative"!) So how many do we let in, what kind of people, how do we weed out the bad ones, the dangerous ones, those that will only burden our already economically f'd up society? All you've been doing is criticizing legitimate concerns regarding the security of our borders and the enforcement of existing laws. Give us your deep, prayerfully studied thoughts on this issue so that we can see the error of our ways. And stow the Scriptural exerpts as they won't be answering these questions.

Bubba said...

Dan, it does appear that you support welfare programs for even illegal immigrants when you repeatedly emphasize, in the previous conversation, Bible passages about how Israel was supposed to give food to the foreigners, and when you write that immigrants come, not for freedom, but "to find enough food to feed their poor families."

If your objection is to Marshall's specific point that progressives don't care about the efficacy of their welfare programs, beyond garnering votes (and I would add, expanding the power of the state), I think that's a point on which people can disagree.

You're remarkably quick to accuse Marshall of spreading manure, when you wrote so very recently about how "people of good faith" can sometimes reach conclusions that are different than yours.


Here, you write, "Obviously, no one is advocating welcoming criminals into our nation."

That's not obvious, first of all, because you haven't made clear what "rules" you regard as reasonable, much less which immigration laws you personally support -- and what you've written doesn't make exceptions for criminals.

("I'll own up to not having a clear position on immigration. IF I were to stick to just what the Bible says, I would lean towards NOT having any rules about immigration much beyond, 'Welcome, y'all!' ")

Beyond that, it's been quite clear that you oppose the enforcement of immigration law, and you even smear enforcement as the criminalization of "seeking a better life":

"All I meant to say is I find a harsh immigration position to be hard to justify biblically. And by 'harsh,' I mean arresting, imprisoning and deporting people for the 'crime' of seeking a better life. If you feel your position is reasonable and biblical, go for it. I disagree."

We already have laws outlining the legal process -- THE legal process, the ONLY such process -- for immigration.

Those who circumvent that process break the law: they are criminals, whose first act in entering this country is to break the law regulating the process of entering this country.

You dismiss the crime by suggesting it's as trivial as jaywalking and smear the law they break as overly harsh.

"Obviously, no one is advocating welcoming criminals into our nation"?

That's crap, Dan. Every germane thing you've written in the last thread points to your welcoming criminals with open arms.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Are you now trying to tell me that no one ever tries to game the system, Dan? Only evil rich people or conservatives or capitalists? You think it's all that hard for the lazy to work it so that they can receive gov't handouts?

Obviously, people can game the system. I know it because I've seen it myself. The Bible speaks of it, even.

Nonetheless, we aren't commanded "Don't help the least of these because some might be gaming the system." Nor are we even commanded "Be wary about helping the least of these, because some are gaming the system."

No. We are simply told to assist the least of these. To seek justice for the oppressed. To welcome and provide assistance to the foreigner.

Period.

I don't think that Geoffrey is suggesting - and I know that I'm not suggesting - that we ought to allow people to game the system. Whether they're poor or wealthy.

Marshall...

apparently you're not even reading Geoffrey's. "Doors open and the way unblocked." What does that suggest to you? Doesn't that statement scream for clarification in even your fevered mind?

Not so much. Clarification never hurts but I think it is reasonable to assume that reasonable people are not suggesting assisting people in "gaming the system." WHO would suggest such a thing?

The answer? No one. Certainly not Geoffrey. I'm guessing, of course, but it is an entirely reasonable guess, it would seem to I think any reasonable person.

All he appears to be saying to me is that we ought to have an open door policy and all I'm saying is that an open door policy would come closer to biblical instruction than a high gate/high arrest approach to immigration. There is biblical support for an open door policy and none for the limited immigration policy you seem to be advocating.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said more stuff indicating he has a hard time understanding the stuff I've written. I'll pass on responding to most of it except...

Every germane thing you've written in the last thread points to your welcoming criminals with open arms.

Only if you consider trying to feed your family a crime and the fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers who do so to be criminals.

I object to the criminalization of seeking to stay alive. I think it is unconstitutional (Life, liberty and the pursuit of all that happiness crap, you know) perhaps and certainly not Christian as I understand the Bible.

If you knew a fella - Juan, let's say - who had been unable to feed his family in Mexico. He had lost his farm due to NAFTA and had got a sweatshop job for a while in the big city, but lost that job when he objected to working with the doors chained shut. His family is quite literally near starvation. He does not know what to do.

Juan comes to you and says, "All I can think to do is cross the border and find a decent job in the US so that I can send money back to my family. Hopefully soon, we can save up and buy back my farm and I can return to my family that I love so dearly. Tell me, Senor Bubba, is that a crime? What would you have me do?"

Please, tell me that your answer isn't "STAY THERE, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed."

What would you tell Juan? IS wanting to feed his family a crime?

blamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blamin said...

All he appears to be saying to me is that we ought to have an open door policy and all I'm saying is that an open door policy would come closer to biblical instruction than a high gate/high arrest approach to immigration…

As with most “progressive” suggestions, that seems a wee bit simplistic. Just for the sake of discussion, please define “open door policy”. (The "devil" is in the details)

Bubba said...

Dan, you write, "There is biblical support for an open door policy and none for the limited immigration policy you seem to be advocating."

I made this point before, and I don't think you responded to it, much less adequately, but the OT command to annihilate the Amalekites seems to preclude THEIR being made welcome as foreigners in ancient Israel.

Ditto, the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Deut 7)

In Psalm 106, the Israelites were condemned for NOT wiping out nations as God instructed: the "mingled" with the heathen (106:35), and thus they picked up their idolatrous and barbaric rituals, apparently including human sacrifice.

You're cherry picking, Dan.

You don't like the passages where God commanded wars of annihilation, but those MUST be accounted for in a comprehensive view of the Bible's teachings regarding ancient Israel and foreigners.

Yes, they were to welcome foreigners, but they were ALSO required to hold them accountable to the same rigorous law, including the law that made blasphemy a capital offense. (Lev 24:26)

And, yes, they were to welcome foreigners, but that presumably excluded people from nations that were judged as God led Israel into Canaan: Israel was condemned for mingling with these people after failing to obey God's command to annihilate them.

Bubba said...

On your response to me, Dan, you're guilty of the worst sort of demagoguery.

"I object to the criminalization of seeking to stay alive. I think it is unconstitutional (Life, liberty and the pursuit of all that happiness crap, you know) perhaps and certainly not Christian as I understand the Bible."

No one is suggesting the criminalization of "seeking to stay alive," you asshole; that you cannot grasp this, all while you continue to mourn how I misunderstand your writing, makes you a hypocrite as well.


"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" isn't an argument against immigration laws, anymore than it's an argument against laws that prohibit theft.

(But, Senor Bubba, what if Juan sees stealing as a viable option to feed his family? Surely you don't want his poor children to starve, you monster!)

(I don't, but he should find a way to meet his family's needs that doesn't break the law -- and the government shouldn't have as official policy turning a blind eye to theft. Thriving while obeying the law can be done; hundreds of millions of people do it every day.)

For what it's worth, the phrase isn't even found in the Constitution. It's found in the Declaration of Independence.


Wanting to feed one's family isn't a crime, of course, but breaking the law in pursuit of that desire IS a crime.

That's why they're called laws.

You say you're for "reasonable rules" regarding immigration, but you turn around and smear any real rules so long as they're enforced.


If Juan wants to come to the U.S., my response isn't "go back home and starve."

It's GET IN LINE AND WAIT.

The logic of your objections leads to anarchy.

Dan Trabue said...

Which of our foreign nation neighbors do you suspect God would like you to annihilate, Bubba?

I suspect that God wants us to welcome ALL our neighbors.

Blamin, you may have missed my comments on the previous post. I'm not sure what my position is as far as US policy as it relates to immigration. As a Christian, closed door policies trouble me.

But I'm not of the tribe that believes that my every Christian belief ought to be made into law.

Bubba, to address at least one of your prior questions - what "reasonable policies" would I favor as it relates to immigration? - I would probably begin by welcoming those who were starving or otherwise unable to provide for their families in their home land. ESPECIALLY in nations where OUR policies have contributed to their difficult financial straits. For instance, as I have noted, due to NAFTA...

millions of peasant farmers have been driven off the land and the percentage of the Mexican population living in poverty has risen from 58% to 79%.

Therefore, I would adapt our immigration policy to allow for those further impoverished due to NAFTA to have the opportunity to seek economic asylum here, finding work so that they can save their families.

Reasonable or unreasonable?

God will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; God will crush the oppressor.

Psalm 72

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.

Isa 10

[and be clear, those passages ARE in context of this conversation, no cherry picking involved - a nation's policies that oppress the poor WILL be judged.]

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

If Juan wants to come to the U.S., my response isn't "go back home and starve."

It's GET IN LINE AND WAIT.


James the Apostle, the brother of Jesus our Lord...

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

[Again, IN context. No cherry picking involved. I am not sure you understand what that word means, Bubba.]

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Which of our foreign nation neighbors do you suspect God would like you to annihilate, Bubba?

"I suspect that God wants us to welcome ALL our neighbors.
"

You just wrote, "Obviously, no one is advocating welcoming criminals into our nation."

Except now you suggest that God is doing exactly that.

Or do you mean that God wants us to welcome ALL our neighbors EXCEPT criminals?

If THAT is what you mean, you should say so.

And if that's what you mean, then you reach the point where the OT passages regarding the Canaanites and Amalekites is relevant to this discussion. It's **NOT** that I think the U.S. government should choose to wage wars of annihilation; it's just that it is clear that ancient Israel's open arms to immigrants clearly weren't ALL-inclusive, because there were some groups that God commanded they wipe out.


About Scripture, you frequently take passages out of THEIR ORIGINAL CONTEXT to try to make them justify points that they really don't justify in that context.

Just because the points you're trying to make are germane to THIS conversation, it doesn't mean that your use of Scripture accounts for the passage's ORIGINAL context.

James, for instance, was writing about the Christian church, not the government: that Christian faith should result in good works for those in need tells us ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about whether a sovereign state should enforce its borders and enforce its immigration policies.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

James, for instance, was writing about the Christian church, not the government: that Christian faith should result in good works for those in need tells us ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about whether a sovereign state should enforce its borders and enforce its immigration policies.

I wasn't asking the US nation what our policy should be towards "Juan." I was asking YOU, presumably a Christian, what you would tell Juan regarding his desire to come here so that his family does not starve to death.

What is YOUR Christian answer? "Go, be at peace, be warm and fed." and do nothing but tell him to get in line? Is that your answer as a Christian, not speaking for the US, but you, as a Christian? Is "Juan" criminally wrong in God's eyes for seeking to feed his family?

Put another way: Do you think that God would approve of laws that result in people being unable to feed themselves? Do you think God would approve of laws that have a result of causing MILLIONS of farmers to lose their land and INCREASINGLY dramatically the number of impoverished?

OR, do you think that comes closer to what the Bible repeatedly calls injustice/oppression towards the poor?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Or do you mean that God wants us to welcome ALL our neighbors EXCEPT criminals?

If THAT is what you mean, you should say so.


I already DID.

And I quote...

"I think it is reasonable to assume that reasonable people are not suggesting assisting people in "gaming the system." WHO would suggest such a thing?"

I have no problem in arresting criminals who are actually breaking laws and causing harm. I disagree with laws that criminalize striving to feed your family. I don't know how much clearer I can be.

Bubba said...

About NAFTA, Dan, I believe you and those on your side of this discussion display a willingness to blame America first for all the problems of the world.

Gosh, if only we had left Latin America "alone" (alone except for Soviet interference, which is routinely ignored), they would have had their Marxist revolutions and all their economic problems would have been solved.

(Never mind that socialism has never worked and CAN never work, and never mind that Marxist countries tend to build fences, not to keep immigrants out, but to keep their own people in.)

The complaint about NAFTA is really an expressed desire for a massive transfer of wealth on a global scale: because we don't engage in so-called "fair" trade and thus subsidize the corrupt Mexican government, leftists think we should subsidize that government by serving as a release valve for the political pressure such corruption creates, by opening the doors to some of their poor, who send substantial amounts of pay to the rest of their poor.

An open-door immigration policy toward Mexico is probably the least helpful thing we can do, since the long-term solution for Mexico's problems is reform of their government.


Dan, about reasonable rules, you write:

"I would probably begin by welcoming those who were starving or otherwise unable to provide for their families in their home land. ESPECIALLY in nations where OUR policies have contributed to their difficult financial straits."

First, the fact is that we DO have a policy that allows for immigration: we just have laws that guide the process, and I think we should favor those who are willing to follow our laws by letting them in, and discourage those who are not willing to follow our laws by NOT letting them in.

Second, your answer here isn't even the beginning of a real answer. Ought we to open the doors to an unlimited number of immigrants, or should we limit the number to those we can reasonably handle culturally and economically? Ought we to have a process for immigration, and how should we enforce that process?


Again I think this country is too easily blamed for the world's problems, but if we are to blame, I hardly see how the situation improves by encouraging more people to become Americans...

...unless, that is, the goal isn't their becoming productive citizens who are assimilated to our culture and values. I wonder if the goal is to use open borders and the welfare state to cut this country down to size.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"I already DID."

You did not. You did not say that GOD HIMSELF wants us to welcome ALL our neighbors EXCEPT criminals, and what you quote doesn't make that clear, either.


"I have no problem in arresting criminals who are actually breaking laws and causing harm. I disagree with laws that criminalize striving to feed your family. I don't know how much clearer I can be."

Again, you're guilty of demagoguery since NO ONE is suggesting laws that "criminalize striving to feed your family."

All we're discussing is laws that delineate the process of immigration.

If you think the two are interchangeable, then it still remains unclear what "reasonable rules" you support REGARDING IMMIGRATION POLICIES AND THEIR ENFORCEMENT.

Bubba said...

This idiotic comment deserves more of a response.

"I have no problem in arresting criminals who are actually breaking laws and causing harm. I disagree with laws that criminalize striving to feed your family. I don't know how much clearer I can be."

Dan, most laws provide boundaries for legal efforts to feed one's family, but no real-world laws explicitly criminalizes those efforts.

If you're opposed to law X, Y, or Z, you should say outright and not hide behind references to mythical laws that criminalize "striving to feed your family."


And if you really think you're being clear -- if you don't know how you could write any more clearly -- you should probably just bow out of this and every other conversation involving adults.

You're obscuring your position behind euphemism and demagoguery. If you don't see that, you have no business pretending to weigh in on any serious discussion.

Dan Trabue said...

1. I'm not "blaming America first." I have in this discussion, for instance, clearly cited sources that say, "policies under NAFTA have contributed to wide-spread rural poverty " and said, myself, "ESPECIALLY in nations where OUR policies have contributed to their difficult financial straits."

2. I am well aware of internal problems in Latin American nations. There is too often corruption and less than democratic processes that also contribute to their own poverty. And the corruption and anti-democratic behaviors are only occasionally because of US intervention. Sometimes they are corrupt and un-democratic on their own.

3. However, that does not alleviate the US for responsibility where OUR interventionism has caused harm to other nations. We WILL and SHOULD be held accountable for our wrong actions. I would hope that we could all agree on that. That they misbehave too does not mitigate our responsibility for our own actions.

4. It is my belief that we will be held to a higher accountability, though.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." ~Jesus (Luke 12)

5. As to "unlimited immigration," again, I think I've been quite clear: This would be my position as a Christian. Having limits bothers me because of the teachings of the Bible. However, I'm not sure that I'm advocating my Christian position on this point as the only possible reasonable civic law. I DO think that we need to change our foreign policy/economic policies in ways that don't weaken other nations in order to benefit the US.

I think doing so is counter to our own best interests. In a world with a few superwealthy nations and individuals and a majority of poor nations and individuals, you are asking for troubles of all sorts. (Beyond the "religious" problems of displeasing a God who has a very specific concern for the poor and the foreigner).

I think it would be in our best interests to STOP with laws designed to help OUR corporations get wealthier on the back of the least of these and on the back of the environment/God's Creation.

6. Where Bubba says, "The complaint about NAFTA is really an expressed desire for a massive transfer of wealth on a global scale" he is right, but in reverse.

There HAS been, in fact, a massive transfer of wealth on a global scale: From the hands and the lands of poor nations to the pockets of corporations. That IS a concern, as that seems to fit exactly into biblical warnings about oppression...

This is what the LORD says: For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.

~Amos 2

Dan Trabue said...

Let me repeat an earlier unaddressed question...

Read the reports, the studies. IF our policies are resulting in INCREASED unemployment in poorer nations, driving farmers off their land and out of work or into sweatshops, all so that our corporations will profit even more, does that not raise a legitimate concern about justice for you?

How about it? IF you were convinced that our policies were resulting in serious problems in other nations - POOR nations and for POOR people, whom God has made clear that there are expectations of Justice and no oppression - would you think something is wrong with our policies and that they ought to be changed and that, if they're not, we may well be held accountable for failing to address injustice?

Is there any concern that IF our policies were hurting the poor, that WE may be held as accountable as SODOM, God tells us in Ezekiel 16, who were wealthy, fat and lazy and failed to tend to the needy?

Any concern there at all?

Bubba said...

Nope, it doesn't concern me at all, Dan.

The account of Sodom is ahistorical, probably the result of a post-exilic Jewish revenge fantasy. Its intent was to reassure the Jewish readers that God is with them, by relaying to them accounts of what God DID NOT do and promises of what God WOULD NOT do.

And we should interpret passages like that figuratively -- don't ask me how, I don't know -- even though everything in the text points to a literal, historical interpretation.

Clearly, the notion that God would destroy an entire city -- men, women, and even children -- because of their behavior is atrocious. It's a self-evident falsehood and a self-evident atrocity.

Dan Trabue said...

NAFTA's results for Mexico...

"the effects of NAFTA were largely negative for Mexico. The increase in the middle class was insignificant and many of the original NAFTA jobs went to Asia. The concentration of workers at the U.S. border had deleterious effects on the close-knit Mexican family structure because the living conditions in the border towns did not support more than single-worker residence..."

"U.S. economic winners and losers under NAFTA vary with company size, type of industry or sector, and geographical location. Sectors affected positively include planes, trains and automobiles, large agri-businesses, appliance makers and energy corporations.

Clearly, large multi-national companies with investment capacities, world-market savvy and capital resources have benefited from protected investment and cheap labor. These companies enhanced management performance-based compensation while putting downward pressure on production-worker wages and benefits, collective bargaining clout and available jobs, especially in manufacturing..."

"With their lack of internal resources, small regional businesses are not offered the same opportunities by NAFTA, and in fact, the agreement makes them more vulnerable to the concentrated local effect of a multi-national competitor. U.S. manufacturing, often in concentrated geographical areas, suffered large business and job losses..."

"While NAFTA's overall financial impact has been generally positive, it has not lived up to the high expectations of its proponents. It has made many U.S. companies and investors rich - and their managements richer. But it has also cost many U.S. manufacturing workers their livelihoods while failing to raise living standards for most Mexicans.


investopedia

Dan Trabue said...


Clearly, the notion that God would destroy an entire city -- men, women, and even children -- because of their behavior is atrocious. It's a self-evident falsehood and a self-evident atrocity.


Clearly. BUT, we would be remiss if we missed the ENTIRE POINT of these passages - that God is concerned about our treatment of the poor. Nations that oppress the poor (say, with policies that transfer wealth - socialism!! - from the least of these to the wealthy while further impoverishing the poor and splitting up their families and causing all manner of destruction to God's creation...) WILL be held accountable. Our actions matter. What we do TO the least of these, we do to God.

We do well to recognize the figurative passages like the destruction of Sodom by "fire from the skies" are figurative, but we ignore the TRUTHS at our own peril. The Truth is, the harm we do to the least of these, we do to God's own Self. A God who has aligned with the poor and said to us, "You WILL be held accountable for your oppression. These are things I CAN'T STAND."

Let's not fail to see the truth, here, fellas.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba errs in mocking Dan's poor Biblical understanding as the point never had a chance of penetrating his armor of progressive misinterpretation. The truth is that God directly wrought total destruction upon Sodom for sins not relevant to this discussion. For while Dan chooses to believe that there is some moral issue at stake here regarding American concern for the poor of the world, the fact is that few countries match ours for charity, both from the individual as well as from the feds. That we would be seen as less than charitable because we see a need to secure our borders, monitor who and how many enter and for what reason, that we might limit the total number per year, or even if we may see a need to totally close our borders completely is to demonstrate that Dan sees no end to how much of other people's money he is willing to spend to satisfy HIS idea of serving God.

There are two issues here that Dan melts into one. First, whether we should enforce standing immigration laws, and second, whether there should be immigration laws at all. Dan has not spoken intelligently on either issue except to say that he doesn't favor the status quo of either. Therefor, I strongly encourage you, Dan, to not speak at all unless you are willing to give some concrete idea of how you think things SHOULD be, something a bit more specific that simply opening up the borders completely.

As I am leaving now, I will only say that I have some counter to the EVIL NAFTA impact. Suffice for now to say that I think too much blame for the ills of Mexico is placed on this treaty. Dan draws no direct relationship between NAFTA and the woes he claims it caused.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Bubba errs in mocking Dan's poor Biblical understanding as the point never had a chance of penetrating his armor of progressive misinterpretation.

You should know that other than Mennonite literature (some of which is progressive, in that old fashioned anabaptist way) and one book by Marcus Borg, I don't believe that I have ever read a "progressive" or "liberal" book. Unless you count MLK as progressive.

Or Jesus.

I'm still curious, Marshall...

Read the reports, the studies. IF our policies are resulting in INCREASED unemployment in poorer nations, driving farmers off their land and out of work or into sweatshops, all so that our corporations will profit even more, does that not raise a legitimate concern about justice for you?

Is that a difficult question, or are you just too busy? Just curious.

The truth is that God directly wrought total destruction upon Sodom for sins not relevant to this discussion.

Not the way I read the Bible. It's right there in fairly clear language. It would take some creative exegesis NOT to see it applicable to this conversation, seems to me.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Of course, you could be wrong, too.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Therefor, I strongly encourage you, Dan, to not speak at all unless you are willing to give some concrete idea of how you think things SHOULD be

1. We SHOULD change our foreign policy so that it's not harming our neighbors in order to transfer wealth to our corporations.

2. Failing that, we SHOULD open the borders to those who are starving in their own nations, particularly those nations whose economies we have negatively impacted, by promoting welfare policies that take from the poor and give to the rich. That's assbackwards from a Christian point of view and, I believe, from a logical point of view. Trickle down is a failed economic model.

There are two specific suggestions of what we SHOULD do. Do you disagree?

IF a Mexican comes to you, Marshall, saying that he needs a job to feed his family or they will starve. By the end of the year.

He asks, do you think he should move here to find work to save his family? What do you tell him?

Go. Be warm and well fed.

And do nothing? Is that really your answer?

Bubba said...

Dan, if we do oppress the helpless, just what is God gonna do about it?

You keep bringing up James, alluding to this passage even in your last comment...

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"

...but the same logic applies to God.

If God says to us that He is concerned about how we treat others and that He takes oppression personally, but if He hasn't done anything and WILL NEVER do anything to punish the oppressors, what good are His words?


You describe God as:

"A God who has aligned with the poor and said to us, 'You WILL be held accountable for your oppression. These are things I CAN'T STAND.' "

He can't stand oppression. Okay, what's He gonna do about it?

He will hold us accountable for it? How?

If your take on Scripture is to be believed, we're talking about a deity who DID NOT nearly annihilate all land-based life on earth because of sin, a deity who DID NOT destroy Sodom because of sin, and a deity who is so glib about sin that He "just" forgives us out of His love for us -- who didn't actually send His son to die in our place, in order to secure our forgiveness.

So let me grant that it's disrespectful to ignore God's words about His solidarity with the poor.

But I don't see why it's unwise if God's words are ultimately just words and not a precursor to the sort of judgment that you discount as "self-evident" atrocity.

Dan Trabue said...

I think if we are intent on acting hellishly, God will allow that and we will inherit hell. What a horrible punishment, to have to actually face the consequences of our actions.

Does God go around wiping out nations and commanding God's people to kill innocent people and babies? No, I don't think a reasonable reading of the Bible supports that conclusion.

You seem to have a problem that I have reached a conclusion different than yours on a topic that is NEVER discussed directly in the Bible (gay marriage) - and only indirectly a handful of times - and yet, you seem to have no problem claiming that God will sometimes command people to kill babies. And you think I'm the one who is disrespecting biblical teaching?

Are you suggesting that God WILL command someone to go in and wipe out all of its people? What evidence do you have for such a conclusion? When did that last happen?

It appears your god is one who is outraged and WANTING to physically and directly punish misbehaving people (and the innocent bystanders next to them) but who is impotent to do so. Is that really where you want to tie your allegiance?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

No restrictions, Marshall. None - open those floodgates and let them in. A simple background check, made easy in this internet age. Lady Liberty's poem needs to be made a living reality.

We have all sorts of opportunities for all sorts of people. I want America to live up to our potential. This country is too great not to share with as many as would want.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I'll leave the rest of the comment - that this is some obvious political ploy to get a bunch of deadbeats on the Democratic Party rolls - stand without any retort beyond Dan's. Considering, historically, immigrants tend to be more cautious and even conservative toward even newer arrivals, I'm not even sure how your formula works out. Nor do I care, really.

This isn't a partisan issue for me. It's a human rights issue, it's a Christian issue, it's a deeply personal, deeply felt issue rooted in my love for this country. For all its obvious, and many not-so-obvious, faults, there isn't a place on the planet I would rather live. Nor can I imagine why anyone who sincerely wants to be a part of our national life should be denied the opportunity. We can only be America to the extent that we really offer our way of life to anyone who wants it.

Bubba said...

I think I've had a long enough hiatus from my now-current habit of not discussing things with you, Dan: it's been a couple weeks and a couple threads, so I'll wrap up on my end.

You're welcome to have the last word; may it be evidence of more rationality and integrity than you generally display.


1) About American immigration policy, I believe that the differences on display here are rooted in two irreconcilable views about the source of American exceptionalism.

One view is that we are wealthy because of freedom -- individual economic freedom and free markets, and what Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz describe as the intangible assets which arguably comprise the bulk of our wealth -- "the skills, rules, laws, education, knowledge, customs, expectations, etc. that drive a prosperous society to generate prosperity."

In this view, the gap between the prosperous United States and everyone else should be closed by lifting them up, not by tearing ourselves down: we are a beacon of inspiration to possibly billions of people, and we should encourage others to emulate our successful political and cultural habits, either in their own countries or by coming to ours.

In this view, allowing people to immigrate is a matter of sovereignty and prudence, a privilege that is certainly compatible with our history of immigration, but one that MUST BE regulated and limited in order to protect the culture that ensures our freedom and prosperity.

The other view is that our wealth came by the oppression of others, not by our own freedom. It is the economically illiterate view that people own stuff at the expense of others, and that one cannot be wealthy without directly or indirectly exploiting others.

Because our wealth is the result of oppressing the poor and exploiting the environment -- or so the story goes -- the gap between us and other nations must be closed, not by encouraging them to become wealthy, but by bringing us down to their level of poverty.

In this view, immigration is seen as a matter of justice because, if the United States has become wealthy through the exploitation of others, these other people should have a chance to get theirs back, to find sustenance through subsidies funded by our ill-gotten gains. This argument for immigration is, in practice, a call for unlimited immigration: so long as people find this country comparatively attractive, we obviously haven't suffered enough for our sins.

I believe this latter view is wrong on the substance and is built on antipathy toward this country.

[continued]

Dan Trabue said...

You know, Geoffrey, in this age of globalism and terrorism threats, welcoming all in may just be one of the great anti-terrorism tools there is out there. Not that this is your reasoning for holding your view, just a nice side effect.

It's hard to want to destroy those who have accepted you as one with them.

Bubba said...

[continued]

2) Dan, you write:

"I think if we are intent on acting hellishly, God will allow that and we will inherit hell. What a horrible punishment, to have to actually face the consequences of our actions."

The only reason that there are negative consequences for one's hellish behavior is because God Almighty designed things that way. Your unwillingness to acknowledge God's wrathful judgment impairs your ability to argue that we should heed His words about His solidarity with the vulnerable.


2-a) If you're referring only to earthly consequences of one's "hellish" behavior, it's worth noting that not everyone suffers for their sins in this life: Stalin didn't, and Castro probably won't, the bastard.

If you're referring to spiritual consequences, I wasn't aware that nations and their governments had eternal souls.


2-b) About God's solidarity with the vulnerable, I'll remind you that we're close to 50 million legal abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade.

This is more than the populations of Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Panama combined.


3) I recall that, in some other thread, you implied that, because God would probably not do something now, He probably didn't do something in the past, either.

The God of the Bible routinely performs unique acts never to be repeated: not just creation, the deluge, and the Passover, but the Incarnation of Christ as the Suffering Servant.

Jesus Christ will return only one more time, next time as the conquering King.

I believe that God had a unique relationship with ancient Israel, His nation of the first covenant, a relationship that is echoed BUT NOT REPEATED by His new-covenant church.

(We're sanctified by the Spirit, not by ritual cleanliness, and we're almost exclusively an agent of God's grace, not wrath.)

There is therefore nothing inconsistent in believing that God **DID** command ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation while doubting that He would ever issue that sort of command ever again, at least to earthly agents.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

4) You write:

"It appears your god is one who is outraged and WANTING to physically and directly punish misbehaving people (and the innocent bystanders next to them) but who is impotent to do so. Is that really where you want to tie your allegiance?"

Ahem.

"First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!'

"They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

"But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
" - II Peter 3:3-10

Any mature and devoted Christian who actually understands and submits to the teachings of the Bible knows that God isn't "impotent" in judging the wickedness of the present age, but is patient in biding His time to unleash judgment.

Hence, the Lord's own teaching regarding the wheat and the tares.

"Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Mt 13:40-42


5) Going back to earlier discussions, here and in the two previous threads, I note that you still haven't explained where I misunderstand even three of your positions and clarified what you really believe.


5-a) You also haven't yet addressed the substance of John Stott's arguments for why Jesus DID NOT "set aside" lex talionis, or "eye for an eye."

I would have thought that your stated commitment to Christ's teachings and the Bible would have caused you to deal promptly with the numerous, strong arguments for why you significantly misunderstand His approach to the text.


6) Nothing you've written has caused me to reconsider, for even a moment, my conclusion that you're a liar and a hypocrite.

[continued]

Bubba said...

7) Finally, on the question of honesty -- at least on honest arguments -- you write this:

"You seem to have a problem that I have reached a conclusion different than yours on a topic that is NEVER discussed directly in the Bible (gay marriage) - and only indirectly a handful of times - and yet, you seem to have no problem claiming that God will sometimes command people to kill babies. And you think I'm the one who is disrespecting biblical teaching?"

The Old Testament record says what it says, and Christ and His hand-picked Apostles affirmed its lasting authority and appealed to it as a trustworthy historical record.

Regarding difficult passages such as Abraham and Isaac, Christ's word is good enough for me.


7-a) The Bible "indirectly" touches upon "gay marriage" only a few times, but every time it does, it precludes the practice.

- The Bible doesn't "directly" address "gay marriage," but every time it addresses homosexual behavior, the behavior is condemned.

- And, the Bible doesn't "directly" address "gay marriage," but Christ Himself taught about the purpose for marriage, that we were created male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female).

It doesn't take a genius to follow these facts to their logical conclusion.

But you like playing games to be overly concerned with things like logic. You put forth the best arguments you can find to justify your radicalism, even as those arguments are easily dismantled, and you use language to obfuscate rather than clarify.

You don't seem overly concerned with the possibility that God will hold you accountable for your consistently deceitful behavior.


With the need to attend to more pressing matters, I'll see y'all around, and I hope, Dan, that you and I will steer clear of each other.

It's probably for the best for the both of us.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

About American immigration policy, I believe that the differences on display here are rooted in two irreconcilable views about the source of American exceptionalism.

I would argue that neither one or the other is wholly true on its own, that there is some truth on both sides of the argument and probably other sides beyond two. As is generally true, it's rare that things are either wholly one way or wholly the other.

I'd suggest that the US is wealthy because of our freedoms, because of our resources, because of our place in history, because of how we do things, because of the amount of economic freedom we have, because we have benefited from the wealth of other nations, because we have exploited other people and others resources... All of the above. I think someone would be foolish to deny any one contributor to our wealth.

We DID have hundreds of years of virtually free labor by enslaving people to do work for us. We HAVE acquired diamonds and gold and other resources by being shrewd and smart enough to claim others' resources for ourselves. To suggest otherwise would be to deny historical reality.

And we should be absolutely clear: The more free a market is - the less encumbered by rules and regulations about "safety" and "human rights" and "clean water" and "no toxins in our air or ground" - the easier it is to create wealth. We won the crazy Russian Roulette arms race with the USSR NOT because an arms race is moral or God was on our side, but simply because capitalism IS better at making money and "wealth" than socialism is. The less encumbered by rules, the easier it is to create "wealth." We beat the Russians because we could spend more than they could and they bankrupted themselves trying to keep up with the Jones' bombs.

But just because an unencumbered market is better at making "wealth," does not mean it is a moral or a good thing. Creating "wealth" as traditionally measured by many capitalist economists is just a way of measuring how much junk was created and how much money was spent.

Dan Trabue said...

Divorce rate up? Good for the economy! Keep those lawyers employed and wealthy. Cancer rates up? Good for the economy! Keep those doctors employed and wealthy. Environmental disasters occurring? Good for the economy! The more we spend, the happier the economy is.

But does that mean any of this is a good thing? Heavens, no.

So, can a free market like we have in the US create "wealth" for us? Sure, in many ways. Some good and some not good.

If a factory can make more money by dumping toxins in the stream rather than cleaning up after themselves, then they are making money! Hooray! Except that they passed costs on to the environment, to future generations, to the people around the stream they polluted.

Now, if the US has higher environmental regulations (that nasty old "encumbered market" getting in the way of lots of laissez fairing around...), then just move the jobs to Mexico. Sure, US citizens will be out of a job, but that is a benefit for the company, because they can pay the Mexicans less and pollute their streams even more.

Wealth created at the cost of the US laborer, the Mexican laborer and the Mexican environment.

AND, if Mexico is cheap, India may be even cheaper! They're MORE willing to exploit the workers and the environment than even Mexico. It creates a race to the bottom - whoever is willing to treat the workers the worst, and pollute the environment the most "wins" the chance to create wealth for the corporation.

Thus, wealth created at the cost of the US laborer, the Mexican laborer, the Mexican environment and now, INDIA's environment and workers.

The thing is, this pushing off costs on to others IS a way of exploitation. It's creating "wealth" by stealing (indirectly and legally, to be sure) from others.

Do we have a great people in the US? Certainly (as does Mexico and India). Are we hard workers? Certainly (as are Mexicans and Indians). Do we have a great deal of intelligence and learning? Sure. Are we good at creating wealth? Yes. Have we been able to reduce our own pollution and increase our own health here in the US? Yes. Sometimes in many good and positive ways, to be absolutely clear. BUT, sometimes, we have been able to do so by exploiting other people and other places.

To miss that reality would be to fail to read history and recognize the great extent to which we owe our wealth to others beyond ourselves. It would be jingoistic hubris to suggest that we don't ALSO owe our great wealth (for good and bad) to the slaves who built it, to the environment that endured it, to those sickened by our actions, to the people and places over the world who contributed to our wealth.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You don't seem overly concerned with the possibility that God will hold you accountable for your consistently deceitful behavior.

Well, being ME, I'm able to know with 100% certainty that I'm NOT being deceitful. IF I were trying to be deceitful, I'm pretty sure I would know.

Now, there are plenty of problems with me. I have my issues and failures. BUT, trying to deceive you all I can assure you is something I have not done. You can tell by the way you have no evidence to support such a conclusion other than the "overwhelming" evidence that I disagree with you and you're confident that no one could reasonably disagree with you in the way that I do, therefore I must be lying.

Sorry, but you're mistaken. You're not as all-knowing as you think you are on that front.

Bubba...

With the need to attend to more pressing matters, I'll see y'all around, and I hope, Dan, that you and I will steer clear of each other.

On this point, perhaps you're right. Your repeated and consistent inability to understand my positions and my apparent inability to convey my positions to you seems to only lead to frustration. We've tried and tried and you just don't seem able to successfully understand my positions and I guess I am just not using the right words to convey them to you.

Peace to you and may God grant us all wisdom and grace.

Dan Trabue said...

To those wanting to read more about how we have, in fact, benefited at the expense of others, here's a source.

They note...

"Over the last half century, U.S. industries and banks (and other western corporations) have invested heavily in those poorer regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America known as the "Third World." The transnationals are attracted by the rich natural resources, the high return that comes from low-paid labor, and the nearly complete absence of taxes, environmental regulations, worker benefits, and occupational safety costs.

The U.S. government has subsidized this flight of capital by granting corporations tax concessions on their overseas investments, and even paying some of their relocation expenses...

The transnationals push out local businesses in the Third World and preempt their markets. American agribusiness cartels, heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, dump surplus products in other countries at below cost and undersell local farmers. As Christopher Cook describes it in his Diet for a Dead Planet, they expropriate the best land in these countries for cash-crop exports, usually monoculture crops requiring large amounts of pesticides, leaving less and less acreage for the hundreds of varieties of organically grown foods that feed the local populations.
By displacing local populations from their lands and robbing them of their self-sufficiency, corporations create overcrowded labor markets of desperate people who are forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty wages (when they can get work), often in violation of the countries' own minimum wage laws.
In Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11 cents an hour by corporate giants such as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny. The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign an international convention for the abolition of child labor and forced labor. This position stems from the child labor practices of U.S. corporations throughout the Third World and within the United States itself, where children as young as 12 suffer high rates of injuries and fatalities, and are often paid less than the minimum wage.

The savings that big business reaps from cheap labor abroad are not passed on in lower prices to their customers elsewhere. Corporations do not outsource to far-off regions so that U.S. consumers can save money. They outsource in order to increase their margin of profit. In 1990, shoes made by Indonesian children working twelve-hour days for 13 cents an hour, cost only $2.60 but still sold for $100 or more in the United States."


Transfer of wealth, indeed.

Dan Trabue said...

And to clarify a point Marshall made earlier...

while Dan chooses to believe that there is some moral issue at stake here regarding American concern for the poor of the world, the fact is that few countries match ours for charity, both from the individual as well as from the feds.

The US may give the most in terms of dollars, but they DON'T give the most in terms of percentage of wealth.

According to the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US gave between $6 and $15 billion in foreign aid in the period between 1995 and 1999. In absolute terms, Japan gives more than the US, between $9 and $15 billion in the same period.

But the absolute figures are less significant than the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, or national wealth) that a country devotes to foreign aid. On that league table, the US ranks twenty-second of the 22 most developed nations.


source

Ouch.

Not only that, but according to one source cited by Sarder & Davies, 80% of that aid itself actually goes to American companies in those foreign countries.

Ouch. Ouch.

Don't like that source? Here's another one.

And you can see here that a third of our foreign aid goes to two nations. These two needy nations? Israel and Egypt. Much of that "foreign aid," incidentally, is in the form of military armaments.

Well, we DO give a lot, though, right?

In a March 1997 poll by the Washington Post, Harvard University and the Kaiser Family Foundation, Americans were asked which area of federal expenditure they thought was the largest.

Over 60 percent said they believed foreign aid was the largest, and the average budgetary percentage they believed the U.S. contributed towards foreign aid was 20 percent.

In reality, less than .2 percent of the total federal budget is spent on foreign aid. [including military aid, I believe] That is .2 percent, not 2 percent; a factor of 100 times less than the 20 percent estimated by a majority of U.S. respondents.


source

Well, what of private giving? Surely the US is better at that, right?

While exact figures are impossible to come by, the highest estimates from recent years put individual U.S. donations to overseas aid at 0.16 percent of national income, according to the Center for Global Development’s Steven Radelet. (More conservative estimates suggest that this number may actually be as low as 0.03 percent; an OECD estimate put the number at 0.06 percent.) Add the optimistic 0.16 percent estimate to the 0.16 percent of national income in government donations and you reach a combined 0.32 percent of national income—which is still less than the governmental aid alone of roughly half of the world’s wealthiest nations.

source

Don't believe the hype. We ARE a generous people. Just not an exceptionally or uniquely generous people. Especially when you consider our great wealth.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."


~Mark 12

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Bubba, since I don't hold with the notion of American exceptionalism, your guess is fundamentally wrong.

I'm at a loss as to what to make of most of the rest of your comments other than finger exercises. Except to note that, as I read you quoting various verses of Scripture out of context and with no understanding, I kept thinking that even the Devil knows the Bible, as proved in Jesus encounter with Satan in the desert.

Marshall Art said...

Talk about injustice! I have things to do and tons of comments are left while I'm gone. To which do I respond? I'll start with Geoffrey's.

Geoffrey,

You'll have to demonstrate just how Bubba, of all people, has taken Scripture out of context. He generally goes to great lengths to support his use of Scripture and just as far to show how Dan misuses it. Do me the favor of explaining your charge and show the proper context of the verses he supposedly mangled.

As to your open borders preference, I can't say enough just how stupid that would be, to simply let anyone come in at any time for any reason. I can't believe you would not have some degree of restriction one who and how many. As I said earlier, we have an unemployment problem here. How does that improve by allowing a free flow of immigrants to enter? And just how would that background check idea work for third world countries that might just see a benefit in helping as many needy, lazy or criminal elements out of their country and into ours? If those who enter are more concerned with earning dough to send home to Momma, rather than becoming Americans, how does it help us with all that dough going out rather than building up here?

Mark said...

Congratulations goes out to Dan for the following statement:

"[W]elcoming all in may just be one of the great anti-terrorism tools there is out there."

This statement has just replaced the statement, "God blesses gay marriage" as the all time stupidest statement in all blogger history.

Congratulations, Dan! You have surpassed even yourself in stupidity.

I don't really have to explain why it's a stupid statement, do I?

Well, maybe I have to explain it to Dan (because he is apparently stupid), so here goes:

If we open our borders and let any and every one in, with absolutely no restrictions whatsoever, any and all terrorists can come in virtually unmolested. Yes, it is true that it is exactly what they want, but it won't endear us to them. It will only prove to them that the U.S. is just as stupid and gullible as they think we are.

Can there ever be any statement more stupid? It's going to be very difficult, if not impossible to top that to be sure, but, I have faith that, if anyone can top it, Dan can.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Due to distractions here at the homestead, I've inadvertantly deleted my original comment for you. For now, just peruse these two articles that I found in response to your lefty it's-America's-fault links and exerpts here and here.

Now it's too late for me to go on, so I'll pick it up tomorrow. I'll get to your UNspecific specific suggestions then.

Marshall Art said...

One more thing I meant to add above before I go:

I like this source because from interviews I've heard with Brooks, he began his research expecting to find different results. I haven't studied your links enough yet, Dan, to really critique them. I feel certain that I'll find some liberal bias since most of your links carry it (if not all of them). Your 5:03PM exerpt, for example, is from a very progressive economist. And yes, I don't think a progressive/liberal can be trusted to be objective.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I don't think a progressive/liberal can be trusted to be objective.

Oh? Shall we reject a source simply because of prejudiced opinions of what they MIGHT think or say?

If we're doing that, I'd say I'd have much greater grounds for rejecting at least your "American Thinker" piece out of hand, as I have YET to read anything there that made me think they were either much of an American or much of a Thinker. So, if it's just more corporate apologists who have a vested interest in defending corporations getting richer on the backs of the poor and the planet, I'd probably tend to reject that out of hand, too.

IF we're going to make assumptions and reject people out of hand based on those hunches.

Dan Trabue said...

Doing a little looking around, I see that you cite a National Review article written by William Kucewiz, in which he says the problem facing Mexico is a "lack of capital to finance business startups, for one."

Turns out, Kucewicz has an international investing website he runs and presumably profits from.

Conflict of interest? Perhaps not. Perhaps he is doing this because he truly believes that investment of his sort will benefit the poor in Mexico.

But there is certainly a potential conflict of interest, there. He stands to profit if people read his article and decide to follow his advice and invest as he suggests. Does that discount totally his article and conclusions? No.

But you'd have more credibility citing someone more objective.

Dan Trabue said...

Your "American Thinker" story concludes...

The fault for this great mass departure [from Mexico] falls squarely on the back of the Mexican government that refuses to make the necessary reforms as expediently as necessary to provide basic opportunities and services to its citizens. They instead encourage and actively abet illegal immigration, in essence, exporting millions of their poorest

But he does not offer any proof of that allegation, just a wild hunch, as far as I can tell.

He also says...

The people of Mexico have benefited, albeit very unevenly, from their membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has been in effect for ten years.

What he fails to point out is that a few rich folk have benefited, but the poverty rate has CLIMBED under NAFTA, as I have already pointed out with multiple sources, none of whom (as far as I can tell) have a vested financial interest in portraying the facts with some sort of spin.

He cites an IMF report that says, in part....

Nonetheless, most studies suggest that NAFTA spurred a dramatic increase in trade
and financial flows. For example, Mexico’s exports to the United States and Canada tripled
in dollar terms between 1993 and 2002.


No one is disputing that trade increased. The question being asked is, WHO did it help? From the actual evidence, the benefits (such as they were - they appear to be limited) appear to have gone mostly to multinational corporations. NOT to US workers. NOT to Mexican workers, by and large. Certainly not to Mexican farmers or the poor in Mexico, whose numbers have grown under NAFTA. The IMF report appears to be a very "trickle down/top down" view of how economy works. There is NO mention in the summary of the negatives associated with NAFTA, only that it increased trade and investment. Good for the companies, not so good for the poor.

Dan Trabue said...

You also cited Arthur C. Brooks' studies on charitable giving. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. For what that's worth.

Now, on the topic of private giving, I'm not totally sure of what to make of the various studies. As Brooks' study points out, it appears that the US gives the most private dollars to "charitable causes" both in terms of dollars and in terms of a percentage of GDP. HOWEVER, what I've not seen factored in (or out) is WHAT PERCENTAGE of those private "charitable" dollars are going to churches?

According to this site, 63% of our philantrhopic dollars are going to churches. So, while we give a bunch to charity, some good percentage of that charity are our own churches (not saying that's a bad thing, I certainly give to my own church) as opposed to a more charitable/helping the poor/the world kinds of causes. I give to my church, and as a percentage of our budget, a good bit of that helps the poor, but most of that just keeps the staff paid and the building tended - ie, it's for my benefit, not the benefit of the needy.

Here is another site with similar information.

The same point could be made about those who give "charitably" to Arts organizations. Yes, it IS a charity and a good thing, but it's not quite the same as giving to those in great need.

In short, I'd be slow to conclude that we give the most to the truly needy. I don't quite see the evidence for that.

Dan Trabue said...

One more. Marshall said...

If those who enter are more concerned with earning dough to send home to Momma, rather than becoming Americans, how does it help us with all that dough going out rather than building up here?

According to this site...

Remittances help increase demand for U.S. exports, giving the people in the developing country extra funds to consume things they would not have been able to afford otherwise. They bring in money to U.S. banks or funds transfer companies in the form of fees for those services. They can help to stabilize the developing countries’ economies, making if safer for U.S. investors in those countries.

According to this site...

There is growing evidence that remittances have reduced poverty levels in several developing nations. One study of 71 developing countries found that a per capita increase of 10% in international remittances leads to a 3.5% decline in people living in poverty. In another study, the World Bank concluded that, based on available data, remittances have been associated with reduced poverty in several low-income countries such as Uganda (11% reduction), Bangladesh (6% reduction), and Guatemala (20% reduction).

And this site notes...

The authors suggested, however, that the remittances would, in part, increase spending by Mexican citizens in U.S. border towns. They argued that with increased border exports of goods to Mexico, the American economy would not be adversely affected.

In short, what we do to assist the poor and assist the poor in assisting themselves, assists us.

[And I apologize in advance, Mark, if I have made another "stupid" statement in suggesting that helping the poor helps us. Please understand that I can't compete with your dizzying intellect and be gracious towards this imbecile.]

Mark said...

Dan, you ignorant putz.

"[And I apologize in advance, Mark, if I have made another "stupid" statement in suggesting that helping the poor helps us. Please understand that I can't compete with your dizzying intellect and be gracious towards this imbecile.]"

The stupidest statement I made reference to does nothing to suggest helping the poor helps us.

You said, "in this age of globalism and terrorism threats, welcoming all in may just be one of the great anti-terrorism tools there is out there."

That has nothing to do with helping poor people. It has everything to do with allowing criminals (and terrorists, since you apparently think terrorism isn't unlawful)in to the U.S. to wreak as much havoc as possible while doing nothing to prevent it.

Nice try, Dan. Your aside to me was pretty damn stupid but it still doesn't match the above stupid statement. In fact, it still ranks far below that idiotic remark that God blesses gay marriage.

But keep trying. I'm sure you will eventually outdo yourself.

But, you are correct about one thing:

You can't compete with my dizzying intellect.

I used to think you were incapable of learning, but you proved me wrong on this one.

Dan Trabue said...

Why I reckon that's about the nicest thing you've ever said to me, Mark...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

To be honest, Marshall, attempting to read Bubba's comments in their entirety is nearly impossible. Let us take his use of Psalm 106 - He rips one out of context, a section that refers to the alleged ordered destruction of the native populations of Canaan. Now, it is true that Joshua refers to the Divine ordinance to rid the land of the native population. Yet, Judges does not; rather it presents a gradual, incremental settling of the land, with all the troubles and ambiguities of learning to live with other people.

The specific Psalm, read as a whole, is a collective confession of sin, based on an anamnetic recollection of the Exodus event and what that meant about the God they worshiped. As the prophet Micah asked, What does the LORD require? Among other things, the LORD requires the people chosen to be a light to the nations to remember their identity! This Psalm is a glossy history lesson, a recollection of Israel's heilsgeschichte as a part, most likely, of liturgical practice.

Now, one can concentrate on this or that verse in this particular Psalm, and either celebrate or deprecate it; or one can read it as a whole to understand how the pieces fit together. Attempting to take the verse in question (v. 34) as a warrant contradicting the oft-repeated admonition in Deuteronomy that the people of Israel are to welcome the stranger in their midst precisely because they were once strangers. Or, one can read it as part of a larger whole, a liturgical prayer.

I usually use another Psalm verse ripped out of context, to show that God wants us to kill children. This is why trading Bible verses is meaningless, a game played by children. Actually reading the Bible is work, takes a little thought and understanding, a consideration of the different traditions represented in Biblical literature, and a willingness to accept the inherent contradictions among the various narratives to exist as they are without either apologizing for them, or explaining them away. It also means that, if we are to seek meaning for our lives there, we need to be willing to submit to the discipline of a little book learning.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Because you asked the question, I am satisfied that you really have no interest in actually considering whether or not this or that person has interpreted the Bible correctly. Instead of one of the most vital part of one's faith life, you are willing, without investigating, to accept Bubba's take on Psalm 106 without question. Both Bubba's take, and your acceptance of it, would be incoherent to the original hearers of that Psalm; mine, while honoring the liturgical context, would probably be so as well. The difference, however, is that I am at least reading it in something like the Spirit in which it was intended - part of the collective worship of the people.

Another difference is, for all the vaunted Biblical expertise over here, the ignorance flies around here, smacking readers in the face repeatedly. Being able to quote a Bible verse, or even the whole Bible, is a wonderful mnemonic exercise; it has absolutely nothing to do with reading or understanding, two tasks I find sorely lacking here.

Dan Trabue said...

While Bubba is trying to avoid responding to me - and probably rightly so - I DID want to return to a Bible study he brought up that I had not yet addressed, if you don't mind, Marshall.

He cited a lengthy study by Stott, a fella who does not appear to believe in a literal hell and appears to be very supportive of what is often called "social justice" work by the church. And good for him for that. He strikes me as a reasonable fella and I expect we would find much common ground if I were in a conversation with him.

Now let me point out that the specific verse in question that started this conversation is...

"You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also

Matt 5

My suggestion (and not mine, but scholars before me who are more learned than I am) have pointed out that this is a reference to the OT law found in Exodus 21...

When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

My short answer is not unlike Bubba or Marshall's short answers to some of my verses I quote: This is fairly obviously appealing to this OT verse. The OLD law was, "take an eye for an eye," in order to obtain justice. BUT Jesus CHANGES THAT. THAT law is no longer valid. The NEW law is "turn the other cheek."

Stott has some interesting things to say, but I see no great reason not to take this passage for its obvious meaning. As some of you (wrongly, I'd suggest) apply it to the "men shall not lie with men," passage when you say, "That passage OBVIOUSLY is a condemnation of all gay behavior... There's no reason not to take it at its 'obvious' meaning..."

With all Stott says, I see no compelling evidence to treat this passage for anything other than what its obvious meaning is.

I don't think you do, either.

Do you agree that the OT law was "when someone is harmed, take an eye for an eye?" Yes or no?

Assuming we all agree that this WAS clearly the OT law, do any of you all seriously disagree that Jesus was not changing that law, saying "NOT an eye for an eye when you are harmed, but turn the other cheek..." - do you not agree that Jesus is changing that law?

I don't see how it can be taken any other way.

Having said all of that, I will say that in all my years of discussing things with you fellas, this comes the closest to being some sort of legitimate exegesis (on Stott's part) and so I will look at it a little closer.

While I peruse it and consider it, I'd like to hear anyone's response to my last two questions ("an eye for an eye" as quoted by Jesus IS referring to a specific OT law and Jesus taught a different way, right and right?)

[more coming, but it's time for church, y'all...]

Marshall Art said...

Once again, I continue to fall behind and have only a short period now, so first, for Geoffrey, I do not accept Bubba's interpretation without question, but based on the plain logic of his explanations, something sorely lacking in anything I've seen from one of you guys. As to Psalm 106 in particular, I'll need to go over it again for myself, but as you are so good at missing points, I'll simply say that Bubba's point in referring to verses from that Psalm was to show how DAN takes verses out of context. Bubba was NOT looking to interpret the Psalm at all, but only to say that what Dan chose to use, as well as what he chose to ignore cannot stand alone as a lesson to be used in this discussion of illegal invaders. Hopefully, he'll reconsider his position on dealing with you guys so as to explain his own words IN his own words. Perhaps you'll deal more specifically with what he is actually saying.

As to Dan's response to the Stott stuff, I can only say that you have totally missed point as well. No one is saying that the OT law spoke of an eye for an eye. The question is whether it was being properly applies or understood when Jesus spoke of it. I agree with Bubba that it wasn't. The reason for this is that not far from that "law" was the admonition to love one's neighbor as one's self. (Lev 19:18) For Jesus to say "turn the other cheek" is to support Lev 19:18, not to overturn eye for an eye, for which you'll need to make the case that it was mandated for an individual to exact on his own, as opposed to a limitation on damages for a wrong done. That is, even in today's legal system, the most one could ask for is the other guy's eye (so to speak) or more precisely, recompense that is comensurate with the loss suffered. I don't think you can make the case that God was insituting revenge rules since vengence is His and His alone. So the argument being made here is that the Pharisees (or whoever) were being admonished by Christ over their improper application of God's Will. Instead of expecting an eye for and eye, one is to love one's neighbor as one's self, to turn the other cheek.

Yet, I don't think Jesus was referring to damages for wrongs perpetrated upon one's neighbor. That is, if one accidentally puts out the eye of another, inhibiting the man's ability to make a living, even temporarily, it would sure be swell if the one-eyed guy brushed it off. That would be very Christian of him. But it would be stupid of him if he couldn't earn a living and he starved, or his family suffered by his inability to earn whilst healing.

In short, you miss the spirit of Christ's words (and God's law of the OT) every bit as much as those Christ was correcting. It's but another example of how poorly you interpret Scripture, even when something is so plain, or how you must misinterpret it to support your liberal agenda.

To further clarify where Bubba and I (and several others no doubt) find fault, we understand exactly what your interpretations are. We do NOT misunderstand a thing. What we lack, have always sought, and have yet to receive is a clear explanation of how you can read a Book far less complex than Geoffrey seems to believe it is and come away with the positions you espouse. Yeah, we know how you say you got there; prayerful study and all that. But nothing in the Bible supports your conclusions and you've yet to provide any examples of how it ever does (if it does, which I fully doubt). Indeed, if there's anyone working on "wild hunches", it's you.

cont---

Marshall Art said...

So, to say you're a liar, as Bubba does, is one possibility. What alternatives are there? They aren't good. And the Bible saying what you say it does is not one of them. Another is that you're stupid, but that's harsh as well and as you insist on graciousness, I'm going with stubbornly mistaken as a result of bad influences, which might be spiritual (if you insist on saying you arrived at your present beliefs totally on your own). But it certainly isn't "God given reasoning" that leads to your conclusions, but reasoning yourself into believing what can't be believed by virtue of the Book itself.

Gotta split.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, you can't even read the folks who agree with you correctly! Bubba was citing that particular passage from Psalm 106 precisely out of context to point to an alleged bias in favor of Divine violence against "the stranger in the Land". I for one can see no other way of reading Bubba at that point.

As to his logic, it only works if you accept his premises, which I do not.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, let's take this slowly, cause I'm not at all sure what you're saying, Brother Marshall.

You say...

I can only say that you have totally missed point as well. No one is saying that the OT law spoke of an eye for an eye...

So, we agree that the OT quite clearly commanded that, when we are harmed, we are to only respond "an eye for an eye." THAT was the rule. You aren't to wipe out a family if the son hurt your eye, you're only to take an eye for an eye and that would be justice.

THAT was the OT rule, we agree on that?

Now, Jesus is saying that the OT rule did not go far enough. Not only are we NOT to wipe out a family if the son hurt our eye or even to take an eye for an eye, but instead, we are to forgive and turn the other cheek. THAT is the new rule under Christ. Do we agree on that?

You said...

The question is whether it was being properly applies or understood when Jesus spoke of it. I agree with Bubba that it wasn't.

I'm not sure what you're guessing at here. You are thinking that the Jews in Jesus' day were misapplying "an eye for an eye?" Possibly. How are you all guessing that they were misapplying it? That they were being overly harsh, going back to the Greater Retribution approach - a life for an eye? Two arms for a tooth?

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, or what your support for such hunches are.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

But it certainly isn't "God given reasoning" that leads to your conclusions, but reasoning yourself into believing what can't be believed by virtue of the Book itself.

1. Our reasoning comes from God. Do we agree on that? Humans are created with a sense of reasoning, I don't think any reasonable person could disagree with this.

2. Thus, if I have reached a conclusion - any conclusion - it is done using MY reasoning, which is part of how I am created (ie, God given reasoning). I don't think any reasonable could disagree with that.

3. Which is not to say that I, or anyone, is always right when I/we use our God given reasoning. Obviously, we don't have perfect reasoning. Not me, to be sure. Not Marshall.

Again, I'm certain we can agree to this.

4. but reasoning yourself into believing what can't be believed by virtue of the Book itself.

IF I have prayerfully and carefully begun with a position ("gay marriage is wrong," for instance) and - with no impetus beyond seeking God's will on the matter - I have come to a conclusion contrary to the one I held, why do you think I would reach a conclusion that I did not want to reach? I wanted to continue to believe as I had been raised, that gay marriage was wrong. I was certain that I was right to begin with and had no desire to change.

Why are you guessing I would change other than I was convinced that this is what the Bible was telling me/what God was telling me?

Could I be mistaken about what God's will is on this point or any point? Sure. JUST LIKE you could be mistaken. You and I are fallible that way.

But the truth is, the fact of the matter is, that I DID reach that position seeking God's will. I could be wrong on my conclusion, but I did not reach it in any way other than seeking God's will.

What else would cause someone like me (holding extremely firmly to the "traditional" position with no intention of changing my mind and no incentive to do so) to change my position?

Beyond that last point, I don't see where we could possibly be disagreeing about using our God given reasoning to reach our conclusions, however flawed they may or may not be.

Marshall Art said...

You'll all have to bear with me here. I'm very short of time and trying to do this in between more pressing concerns. As I look over just snippets of my comments copied and pasted within Dan's, I see that my attempts have been very clumsy, if the typos are any indication. Even now, I'm cramming this in, so again bear with me.

"What else would cause someone like me (holding extremely firmly to the "traditional" position with no intention of changing my mind and no incentive to do so) to change my position?"

From what little you've told us over the years as to what you truly believed in the past, along with what you think you understand about conservatism now, it is no great stretch to believe that what you think passed for insight from God is really deceit from elsewhere. I don't believe you were truly conservative as we refer to it these days, but rather something that, very much like your current professions, only superficially resembled it. Thus, to go from one poor understanding to another is an easy transition for darker forces to influence.

It doesn't take much to be pushed firmly to an improper understanding and as I've said repeatedly, you've never been able to draw any direct lines from Scripture to your beliefs. What's more, there have way too many examples that require a suspension of logic in order to carry on. One example is that of the "God the Destroyer" argument. You continue to look upon the many examples of God destroying peoples as "unGodly" due to other Biblical teachings of His love and mercy, as if the latter makes the former an impossibility. Yet they appear basically side by side within the covers of the Bible. They also appear within the nature of the typical loving father who punishes his child when such is needed. And as Bubba continues to mention, you offer no explanation beyond some lame "mythical story telling style", without explaining how lies about God can appear in stories said to be the inspired word of God, how God would permit lies to appear about Him, why God would use, not just parables or metaphors, but direct lies about God and His actions to teach...what exactly? You make some grand excuse about using reason to determine fact from fiction and literal from non-literal, but you never have been able to make that direct link, you've never been able to even provide a weak alternative for what those stories can mean or what they represent instead of an actual history or description of real events.

We, on the other hand, do not run scared from such stories because WE understand that what God mandates for us does not bind Him, that His ways are not our ways, that if we are to refrain from killing the innocent, it doesn't imply that He will not take anyone He chooses for reasons we may never understand. We do not insist that He must never do what for us would indeed be an atrocity, nor do we believe we can even dare to assume anything about what He can or can't do, will or won't do.

cont-

Marshall Art said...

Another example is your reference to Levitical law regarding a prohibited behavior and the punishment that might follow. Because we don't stone someone to death for an infraction, how does that mean that the infraction is no longer prohibited? that the behavior is no longer immoral? We don't put to death the child who curses his parents, but is it now OK for a child to curse his parents? Of course not. It's stupid to even run that line of "reasoning" on us.

And of course, you argued over the word "shall" as to whether or not it implies a future tense in order to make your argument about salvation work.

As I said, you "reasoned" yourself into your beliefs rather than simply letting the words direct your beliefs. And you've certainly talked yourself into believing that God would bless homosex unions since nothing anywhere in Scripture in the least bit justifies such a heretical belief, and you've done nothing nor presented any verse to justify it.

Surely our ability to reason comes from God. Yours never developed. OR, yours has been wickedly influenced to see what doesn't exist or by now you'd have presented us with SOMETHING that would make some kind of sense, SOMETHING that would give us pause.

Now, you try to use Scripture to justify a childish view of how our immigration policy should work, assuming that ANY of those verses would apply to an alien (in ancient times) entering a territory through illegal means. Like the lion's share of your perspectives, one must make great assumptions to believe that would be the case.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Bubba had no intention of rendering a dissertation on the whole of 106. His point was simply to show that by that verse to which he referred, there were some aliens that were NOT to receive the welcoming treatment, which counters Dan's overall argument about God and foreigners, as well as to counter Dan's equally unjustified position on God's background in destroying entire peoples. If there is some other explanation for why a Psalm would imply that God showed disfavor for NOT destroying someone, it hasn't yet been presented. Thus, there is no contextual issue with Bubba's use of the verse.

Dan Trabue said...

Take your time, Marshall. I understand busy.

In the meantime, let me ask this again, where you say...

As I said, you "reasoned" yourself into your beliefs rather than simply letting the words direct your beliefs.

Okay, let me draw a picture.

Here I am. Grew up conservative, traditional Southern Baptist. I believed that the Bible was quite clear about homosexuality (I'm just using this one example because it seems to be the one you all have the most problem with). It's wrong. Period. In any and every kind of circumstance.

Now, as a conservative So Bapt, I take the Bible literally. I believe that you HAVE to reconcile each and every verse and make them all literally true (well, except for the ones that "obviously" aren't meant to be literal). The notion of gay marriage disgusts me as an attempt by perverts (beloved by God, but perverted, nonetheless) to try to subvert the Godly institution of marriage.

I'm familiar with the leviticus commands, with the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other towns that God destroyed under similar circumstances. I know Romans 1 quite well, having spent a great amount of time in Romans (as well as the rest of the Bible) all my life. I'm also familiar with the other Pauline condemnations of "homosexuality."

I was wholly and fully OPPOSED to the ridiculous notion of gay marriage as being anything but a sham dreamed up by people seeking to justify their lifestyle.

I still don't get what you think would cause me to "reason" my way away from that position. How would that happen?

I'm saying that it happened because, in my first time to really strongly study the issue and at least half-heartedly listen to other arguments (and half-heartedly IS how I listened to their arguments, since I already knew they were wrong), it seemed to me that there was something to the other arguments. I didn't WANT to believe them, since I was already "right," but my first priority was seeking God's will, and there seemed to be something of God in these other arguments as I listened (halfheartedly) to them.

I'm not saying I couldn't be mistaken in my reasoning (just as I'm not saying that YOU couldn't be mistaken in your reasoning). All I'm saying is that the ONE and ONLY thing that could possibly draw me away from my position to this other position that I had previously thought reprehensible was IF I thought there was a biblical case that gay marriage just might be in God's will.

Nothing else could possibly have swayed me and I don't see that you have any ideas to explain it, either. That's what I'm curious about.

I think you fellas (and myself before you) misunderstand the notion that some people can honestly come to a different conclusion than you have while seeking God's will.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

His point was simply to show that by that verse to which he referred, there were some aliens that were NOT to receive the welcoming treatment, which counters Dan's overall argument about God and foreigners

Except that I had/have been quite clear that foreigners were still held accountable for obeying laws, thus, misbehaving foreigners (OR Israelis) would be held accountable for their behavior. Nonetheless, the standard guideline for behavior for God's people as it relates to foreigners is to be welcoming to "the stranger," period. Hence, there is no conflict to my argument at all, since I'm just pointing out what the Bible says.

Mark said...

"All I'm saying is that the ONE and ONLY thing that could possibly draw me away from my position to this other position that I had previously thought reprehensible was IF I thought there was a biblical case that gay marriage just might be in God's will."

What's the Biblical case, Dan, you Schmuck?

We've asked you to provide biblical support for your position a million times now. You still haven't provided any.

Chapter and verse, Dan. Chapter and verse.

All this pressure will just go away if you can cite just one chapter and one verse that supports your stupid "hunch" that God blesses gay marriage.

Just one, Dan.

Step up to the plate. Stop avoiding the question.

If you decided, after studying the Bible and prayerful consideration, that God blesses gay marriage, it should be easy for you to produce Biblical support for your reasoning.

You've stated you studied the Bible. You said you prayerfully considered. You said you listened to the arguments.

You've said all this but have never said what Bible verses, or what specific arguments made you decide God is wrong about gay marriage.

Here's your chance, Dan. Enlighten us.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, I've spent tens of thousands of words over too many hours over the last years explaining to you how I've reached this conclusion. I don't see how repeating what has been repeated will change anything.

If you want to read how folk like me reached our conclusion, I would point you to my church member, Michael's blog series on the topic here.

Michael, like me, was raised as a conservative Christian (actually coming into his beliefs about Christian Peacemaking while he was in the army) and was fully opposed to the notion of gay marriage. He, being much more scholarly than I am, does an excellent job of presenting why we would believe as we do. Read through that entire series and email me if you have any questions.

The point is, I HAVE reached my position through seeking God's will. I could be wrong, as always, as you could be wrong. But what ISN'T wrong is that my desire was only to find God's will on the topic.

Dan Trabue said...

A question: Do you (any of you) think it entirely impossible that someone could genuinely seek God's will on any given topic and, in the end, come to a different conclusion than you have?

I think we all agree that some topics are fairly obvious and unavoidable. One can hardly say that they are seeking God's will and have determined that God wants them to wipe out all the babies in Kansas City, for instance. Or that they sincerely believe that the Bible teaches us to hate our enemies. One simply can't reach those conclusions from the Bible or any reasonable extension of what the Bible says.

But on topics NOT covered in the Bible (homosexual orientation, gay marriage, the personal automobile, for instance), do you think it impossible that someone could earnestly and honestly seek God's will and come to an opinion other than your own?

If so, on what do you base this?

Dan Trabue said...

Of course, I know the answer to that from y'all. "No."

That is, no, no one can reasonably seek God's will on some topics (like gay marriage) and come to an opinion different than yours in good faith.

Of course, my response, as always, is: Of course it can happen. It has happened to me and many of my friends. You all are simply mistaken on that point and no matter how many times you say it can't happen, reality proves you wrong. You're just mistaken if you think Christians in good faith can't come to a different conclusion than you have on, for instance, gay marriage and - to the topic of this post - immigration issues.

I don't see how anyone could possibly disagree with my position on Christians and immigration, but obviously, Marshall does. It happens. I don't suspect that Marshall is lying or not a Christian or trying to shirk God's will in favor of his own political agenda. I just think he and I disagree on this topic where the specifics of modern immigration are not discussed in the Bible.

Disagreements happen and, as long as it's not a direct opposition to Jesus' direct teachings, I think Christians in good faith can disagree.

Blessings.

Marshall Art said...

Stopping in for a moment to render a quick comment.

Mark,

Don't bother with Dan's friend Michael. It was in that very series of quasi-scholarly drivel that I tried to question the arguments he was making and eventually was banned for, get this, "monoplizing" the conversation, as if that's even possible in this medium. He doesn't offer anything you haven't heard before regarding the issue of inclusion in the church and nothing is offered that hasn't been roundly rebutted and rebuked by better men than he. In typical enabler fashion, he craps on people like Robert Gagnon without ever giving any legitimate reason for dismissing Gagnon's positions. (Actually, that's typical of liberal/progressive debate in the first place, as we've seen by Dan and Geoffrey's opinions on AmericanThinker, where they dismiss it based on journalistic style and punctuation rather than on the substance of arguments made.) You'll also find that much of what Dan has tried to run as "reasonable" Scriptural support for his position on homo marriage can be found there as well (if not all of it), which lends credence to my suspicion that Dan's position is a result of outside influence more than Biblical study or prayer.

Dan Trabue said...

Then take a guess and NAME it, Marshall. WHAT "outside influence" have you concocted in your brain that you think has made me change my position?

Take a guess and let me know.

And telling someone NOT to study the Bible in a well-researched and scholarly manner? Really? Just because you disagree with Michael does not mean that his efforts are lacking.

Michael, I would wager, for all his faults and gruffness at times has more brains (AND Godly grace AND knowledge of the Bible AND knowledge of church history AND knowledge of Jesus' teachings AND most of the fruit of the Spirit most of the time) in his pinky finger than most of the writers at "American" "Thinker" combined.

Mark could benefit from good scholarly Bible studies, I would suggest. I would think all of us could. Don't hate on people because they're intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Mark, Only check out the Levellers sight if you are interest in more drivel similar to Dan's. A long, long time ago he threatened me and run me off. More of the liberal open mindedness that they require of everyone else is not displayed by them. Delete, scare, insult, misrepresent or whatever they want to do, then turn around and say it was their opponent doing what they do. mom2

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

As to your last comments, if I can get this out before you add more:

"A question: Do you (any of you) think it entirely impossible that someone could genuinely seek God's will on any given topic and, in the end, come to a different conclusion than you have?"

That's never been an issue. The issue is how can one defend the conclusion that so greatly differs? You've spent years, it is true, but not presenting real evidence for your positions, but only trying to argue them with hunches of your own as well as with assumptions the text cannot and does not imply. We're still waiting for that verse or verses that can justify such a wild hunch about homosex marriage. What little you HAVE presented we've clearly shown to be very poor interpretations, but you simply deny it without a legitimate counter. Everything thus far has ended in failure followed by accusations of ungracious behavior, or "wild hunches", or dismissal of the counter, or "I don't see it that way" or the quote above. But on the basis of sound argument, the ball has long been in your court with no return volley forthcoming.

So on topics such as orientation or homosex marriage, though it might be said that they aren't as obvious as "killing all the babies in Kansas", what is obvious is that there is no support at all for it. If homosexual behavior is prohibited, as it clearly is, one MUST insert what isn't implied to justify a position that God might not have been referring to "loving, monogomous relationships". One MUST insert some notion that "they didn't understand human sexuality like we do now" which implies that God never gave the laws at all in the first place, but were always human invention, which pretty much craps on the whole Book. One MUST insert the assumption that orientation even enters into the equation, as if "orientation" doesn't work for any sinful behavior one might wish to justify. And of course one must ignore Christ's clarification regarding hatred being equated with murder and lust being equated with adultery, so that one can loosen the prohibition on homosexual practices in order to allow for some variations (God wasn't talking about MY desires!).

So once again, it's not the disagreement, but how the differing opinion is or isn't supported. THAT'S where trouble has always existed between us. As far as homosex marriage and homosex behavior, you are simply one of way too many who content themselves with incredibly weak arguments in order to avoid the hard chore of abiding God's Will on the issue.

cont---

Marshall Art said...

As far as Christianity and immigration, you continue to make the same mistake that pisses off those on the side of law enforcement. It is NOT an issue of immigration that has provoked this thread, but of what to do with those who ignore our laws to sneak in the country. The fact remains that there are procedures that BY LAW must be obeyed in order to be here legally. The whole issue is what to do with those who do not adhere to those laws. There are already established protocols to follow, includng deportation, and even if the whole country thought the laws were crappy, they would still need to be followed as written until they are changed. SO, if Manuel and his starving family were found to have entered the United States illegally, and he's a hard working cuss who believes everything else just as I do, and I, along with every other American felt that he deserves to stay, he would STILL need to be deported for breaking the law AS IT NOW STANDS. There's nothing Biblical you can invent to justify the opposite opinion here. The only parallel between those verses to which you hang your hat and today are those aliens who HAVE entered by the established protocols. And in those cases, they are, for the most part, warmly welcomed by those on my side of the issue.

Marshall Art said...

"Don't hate on people because they're intelligent."

Where's the "hate", Dan? This is all too typical and routine with you and the type of crap that leads Bubba and Mark to call you a liar. I don't "hate" anyone, even when bullshit like that seeks to provoke it. Is your pal intelligent? Not based on his lengthy bullshit session meant to convince the dullard of his position on homosexuality and the church! And that's only issue to which I referred. And as his psuedo-intellectual argument so closely aligns with yours, I would name him as an influence on you. One cannot, for instance come to believe that Romans was referring to a specific form of homosex without being told so because the Bible makes no such reference itself. Therefor, one must be influenced to believe it as there is no Biblical evidence of those of whom Paul spoke engaging in homosex as part of any ritual, but only that they were inflamed with lust for each other and committed indecent acts. How do you get that from the text without being influenced to believe it was the case? I don't need to name the influence, but it's clearly not any Godly influence nor Biblical. It HAS to be extra-biblical and likely someone who already holds the position. This is an example of what I said above, that you have yet to provide anything from Scripture to account for these beliefs. The ball is STILL in your court.

"And telling someone NOT to study the Bible in a well-researched and scholarly manner?"

Where the hell did THIS come from? I would tell anyone just the opposite and I tell YOU that all the time. Your conclusions prove you haven't yet. Michael's efforts are lacking for the very same reasons yours are: all your arguments have been expertly refuted and rebutted by actual scholars who's arguments have no loose threads. If I can be left with so many questions and then be banned as a result of them, I would not hold up Michael as possessing any great intellect that could compete with any single AT writer, much less the whole of them.

Marshall Art said...

I just re-read the following. Please tell me how this doesn't suggest "outside influence":

"I'm saying that it happened because, in my first time to really strongly study the issue and at least half-heartedly listen to other arguments (and half-heartedly IS how I listened to their arguments, since I already knew they were wrong), it seemed to me that there was something to the other arguments. I didn't WANT to believe them, since I was already "right," but my first priority was seeking God's will, and there seemed to be something of God in these other arguments as I listened (halfheartedly) to them."

It's that very same statement uttered by my own pastor that lead me to look more deeply at such arguments. He too, while not holding the position, was impressed with the arguments of the enablers. And that's not "something of God" you were hearing, but something of the evil one, who just loves finding chumps to deceive with arguments that convince them that there might be "something of God" in them. And now you're a proud spokesmen for him, doing his work and spreading the lie further (may God have mercy on your children).

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You've spent years, it is true, but not presenting real evidence for your positions, but only trying to argue them with hunches of your own as well as with assumptions the text cannot and does not imply.

I have spent years presenting you with the ACTUAL REAL evidence of what caused me in the ACTUAL REAL world to change my position from absolutely certain gay marriage was ridiculous and not Christian to thinking that it is a good, Godly thing.

Again, just because you don't agree with my conclusions does not mean that I do not have them and did not get them in precisely the manner I describe. In fact, PRECISELY because of the actual reasons I provided you, I DID change my position. That's just a fact. And not me, but many folk like me. Most (but not all) of the folk at Jeff St were raised conservative. Believed it.

We only shifted our position on that particular topic in the last twenty years (more recently, for me). And in each case (for those moving from traditional to accepting of gays), we changed our position precisely because we were seeking God's will. Naught else.

That's just a cold hard fact. Disagree with our conclusions all you want (we certainly would have twenty years ago), but what you can't say is that we did not reach our conclusions while studying the Bible, praying and earnestly seeking God's will.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall has taken a guess as to what outside influence might have changed my position on gay marriage, saying...

And as his psuedo-intellectual argument so closely aligns with yours, I would name him as an influence on you.

I love Michael and agree with much that he has to say (he is a magnificent and Godly teacher, if you ever get a chance), but he and I had not talked about that topic until after I had been "won over" by Bible study and prayerful consideration. Sorry.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It is NOT an issue of immigration that has provoked this thread, but of what to do with those who ignore our laws to sneak in the country.

What if the laws are ungodly and unjust to begin with? Ought we obey human laws or God's laws?

You may be talking about enforcing existing laws, but what if some Christians think the laws are contrary to God's law?

Look at another example: What if we criminalized protesting at abortion clinics? What if I wrote a post about that and you criticized the law as being pro-abortion and I responded by saying "We're not talking about abortion, we're talking about enforcing the law!"... What would your response be?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

He too, while not holding the position, was impressed with the arguments of the enablers. And that's not "something of God" you were hearing, but something of the evil one

So, you're advocating NEVER listening to what "the other side" in any given argument has to say? How would you ever understand the other position if you did that?

Would that not result in you holding to your own positions that you had as a child and never growing beyond a childish faith?

Suppose we were talking about the issue of "saved by grace." Suppose that, as a child, you KNEW the only way to be pleasing to God would be to do good works. IF you did good works, then you were pleasing to God and you could be saved. If you didn't do good works, you were "bad" and would go to hell.

Now, someone comes up with you with the good news of salvation by grace, but you know what? You refuse to listen to him because you don't want to listen to other people's positions because your positions that you have currently are the only good ones.

You'll have to explain this a bit. I'm not of the camp that rejects listening to others who disagree with me on any given issue. I mean, I listen to you, even though you sometimes disagree with me.

Listening to others is not the problem - even if they're wrong, listening to them doesn't hurt and it's the only way to understand another position. Do you disagree?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

He too, while not holding the position, was impressed with the arguments of the enablers. And that's not "something of God" you were hearing, but something of the evil one

I can't speak for your pastor, but as for myself, I would say the same thing - I was impressed with the arguments. BUT, what I would MEAN by that is that I was impressed that their arguments are solidly biblical and theologically sound.

You know, don't you, that it IS possible that your pastor is right on this issue and you are mistaken? You HAVE considered that possibility, haven't you? Have you prayed about it, asking God to humble you and open your mind to doing God's will, even if that means changing your position? Praying "Not my will, but thine?"

It's what I had to do and, as you know, admitting that I could possibly be wrong about anything is not an easy thing for me to do. I have to be pretty solidly convinced from a biblical and rational response to even begin thinking I might be wrong.

In this case, I was.

Marshall Art said...

One more before I leave for at least several hours:

First, my pastor agrees with me on the issue. I only said that he was aware of strong arguments. That does not mean he's actually tried to deal with them or that he thinks they're "Godly" (which they most certainly aren't) or that he hasn't reviewed them and also found them wanting. It was he who spurred me to look into the arguments for myself, which of course means that I indeed was "listening" to them. After further review, they are, to the last one, the most lame and deceitful pack of crap to come down the pike in a long time. One must suspend logic and turn from serious investigation to accept them. But the further one digs, and you obviously stopped digging long ago as did your church and other enablers who call themselves Christian, one finds flaws without resolution by the basketfull.

I use Gagnon a lot because his is the name that I don't have to look up. But I've never seen anyone back him against the wall with their pro-homo arguments. Indeed, no scholar on my side of the issue breaks a sweat to defeat the lame attempts by your side of the issue. There just is NO WAY one can use Scripture to justify your position. That ain't no hunch, that ain't no case of simply having a different take or coming to a different conclusion. One needs something solid to come to any conclusion. All you have is gas.

As to immigration, if the laws are unjust and unGodly, and you've made no case for that whatsoever, then you must convince enough people to overturn existing law. Fortunately for you, there are a lot of liberal chumps out there to give you a good chance of success. They all voted for Obama.

Dan Trabue said...

if the laws are unjust and unGodly, and you've made no case for that whatsoever, then you must convince enough people to overturn existing law.

Well, when I entered into thinking about this, I was sort of unsure of what I thought was right. But you've convinced me that, yes, I SHOULD be working to overturn these sorts of laws.

In the meantime, since it is what I consider an unjust and unGodly law, I shall break it, if it comes to that. I must obey God rather than humanity. I'm sure you'd agree with me on this point, even if you disagree with my conclusion.

Thanks for the clarity, Marshall.

See? Good things CAN come from these sorts of conversations.

Dan Trabue said...

As to this stuff...

There just is NO WAY one can use Scripture to justify your position.

...I just roll my eyes in your general direction. Believe what you will, the fact is, I reached my position by seeking God's will in prayer and Bible study. That's just the facts, fella.

When you get around to it, I'd still like to hear your answer to the following...

1. I still don't get what you think would cause me to "reason" my way away from that position. How would that happen when I was diametrically opposed to it?

2. THAT was the rule. You aren't to wipe out a family if the son hurt your eye, you're only to take an eye for an eye and that would be justice.

THAT was the OT rule, we agree on that?

3. Now, Jesus is saying that the OT rule did not go far enough. Not only are we NOT to wipe out a family if the son hurt our eye or even to take an eye for an eye, but instead, we are to forgive and turn the other cheek. THAT is the new rule under Christ - the old rule is no longer valid.

Do we agree on that?

4.Regarding the Mexican who asks, do you think he should move here to find work to save his family? What do you tell him?

"Go. Be warm and well fed."

And do nothing? Is that really your answer?

5. Read the reports, the studies. IF our policies are resulting in INCREASED unemployment in poorer nations, driving farmers off their land and out of work or into sweatshops, all so that our corporations will profit even more, does that not raise a legitimate concern about justice for you?

At your leisure, if you are so inclined...

Marty said...

Marshall: "regarding the illegal invader issue."

First of all Marshall, in responding to your comment on the other post, I prefer to use the word undocumented for those among us who don't have "papers".
Anyone who migrates here from another country is an immigrant regardless of their document status.

I'd really like to set the law aside for a moment. The lawmakers will do what they will do. We can certainly work together for more humane and just immigration policies, but in the end the government will do what it will do.

That being said.....

How should we, as christians, treat the "alien" among us Marshall? I'm talking about those undocumented human beings that we know personally - who live, work, and go to church with and among us. How do we treat them?

Marty said...

My mom sat and held a young woman in her arms at church a couple of weeks ago. This young woman was crying, confiding in my mom who had become her friend. She was afraid that her parents were going to be deported. She cried "people don't want us here". All my mom could do was hold her and tell her that she was loved.

What is your response to that Marshall?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

. . . and, on cue, Mom2 shows up. I do so love it when a conservative Christian who is actually quite hateful, spiteful, and just plain old mean complains when he or she gets some back in return. As soon as I find a reason to feel bad for you, I will.

As to the whole question of reading the Bible, as the comments have developed, all I can say is that it is a process. It never stops. Old sections become new in light of experience and thought and prayer; a new verse or story becomes key to understanding, replacing others. A commentary enlightens on a significant but forgotten, or previously unknown fact. A monograph - Brueggemann's The Land, say; or Jonathan Alter's The Art of Biblical Poetry - open up an avenue of understanding. What one never sees in any of this is a question of ideology. Starting off by questioning the faithful or ideological bona fides just doesn't cut it. I have learned from conservative and liberal commentators; from radicals like Stanley Hauerwas and from far more traditional scholars like Ben Witherington. As long as you keep your mind open to the possibility that the Bible is far more rich than we can imagine it, and that the Spirit is offering us all an opportunity to learn and grow, the possibilities are endless.

Or, we can sit around and trade barbs and call names and question motives and not only accomplish nothing, but forget that this whole thing is about being faithful to the God who gives and restores life. This isn't a plea to just get along. It is, in fact, a reminder that the Bible isn't yours or mine or Dan's or Bubba's or anyone else's. The Bible is God's, in a theological sense.

Marshall Art said...

Just checking in. Wasn't going to comment at all, but I will answer Marty:

"How should we, as christians, treat the "alien" among us Marshall? I'm talking about those undocumented human beings that we know personally - who live, work, and go to church with and among us. How do we treat them?"

Like human beings, of course. But doing that isn't the same as aiding and abetting law breakers. If you knew an actual citizen every bit as hard working and in need of means to support his family, and he found he could do it by dealing drugs or stealing and selling your car or stealing and selling your jewelry or pimping his wife and/or daughter (y'know some people actually don't have a problem with that), what would you do? How would you treat these very needy people who also break laws to support their families?

For the record, I personally know of no illegals, though one Mexican dude I used to work with was said by a manager (after my friend was no longer employed there) to have been illegal. I knew the guy for about twenty years. The subject of his citizenship never came up.

But had it, what would I have done? I would have encouraged him to go back and get in line. I like the guy. I liked a friend who DID sell drugs for money. I encouraged him to do the right thing as well. If I was up against it and questioned under oath about either of these two friends, I would give an honest answer to whatever question was asked. THAT'S the Christian duty here. Being honest and doing the right thing. You people seem to think that to send them back is to see them dead. Again, it seems the only manipulation is being done on your side of the issue.

Do I feel sorry for such people as you all describe? Of course. But I don't think feeling sorry justifies breaking laws that are NOT unjust in the least.

Regarding the poor soul crying in your mother's arms, if your mother was a good Christian, she'd tell her the truth, which is that only you lefties are telling her she isn't wanted by anyone. The good, honest law-abiding conservative Christians simply want her parents to obey the laws of our land.

What you sorry souls seem to ignore is that these people are not the victims you like to paint them as. They made their choices in life, such as having families they couldn't afford, and now it's OUR fault? How's that work again?

cont-

Marshall Art said...

Spending more time here than I have:

Dan likes to bring up reports. But those over which he enjoys crying ignore the full realities of the situation (how strange from the left!), such as Mexico's part in the suffering of her people. NAFTA did not lessen the quality of life in Mexico overall, even if some people find themselves on the short end of the stick. That's just life. Should we have crucified Henry Ford for putting all those horse-drawn buggy manufacturers out of business? If a change in your industry puts you out of work, are you somehow owed something because of it? You have this idiotic idea that corporations or businesses have some obligation to provide for everyone. That's not how trade agreements were meant to benefit anyone. And in the case of Mexico, the benefits should have been better than they were but for the policies of the Mexican gov't and the corruption running rampant there. If NAFTA was so bad, why have we not seen a rush of Canadians streaming across the borders?

Marty said...

"For the record, I personally know of no illegals,"

I think that's rather obvious.

So tell me, Marshall... if you did... know of "illegals"...would you turn them in to the authorities?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You have this idiotic idea that corporations or businesses have some obligation to provide for everyone. That's not how trade agreements were meant to benefit anyone.

You're talking the pros and cons of business. I'm talking Christian ethics. Businesses/corporations own nothing to no one but the bottom line and investors. If businesses can make a million by cheating the poor - as long as they don't get caught - well that's all good. If it's legal and you can make a profit, it's all good, that's the business "ethic."

I'm not talking business. I'm talking Christianity.

Do you turn the "illegal" in because he's trying to simply find work to stop his family from starving? Yes or no?

Dan Trabue said...

If NAFTA was so bad, why have we not seen a rush of Canadians streaming across the borders?

Because these type of trade agreements, while bad for most folk (except the corporations who wrote the rules to best serve their needs) are especially bad for the least of these. And Mexico, as already noted, was already distressed to begin with. This just made matters worse for those who could least afford it.

It's why this is a matter of justice. It's why many of us think there is a comparison to all the biblical talk of oppressing the poor, "selling the poor for a sandal," as I believe Amos put it. In other words, doing what you can to make a profit, even at the expense of poor folk.

That is something that disgusts God, the Bible tells us.

Read the reports, the studies. IF our policies are resulting in INCREASED unemployment in poorer nations, driving farmers off their land and out of work or into sweatshops, all so that our corporations will profit even more, does that not raise a legitimate concern about justice for you?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

But those over which he enjoys crying ignore the full realities of the situation (how strange from the left!), such as Mexico's part in the suffering of her people.

Perhaps you missed the several times that I pointed out quite specifically that both I and the sources I cite state explicitly that NAFTA type agreements were ONE PART of the problem in places like Mexico. Not the ONLY problem. Not even the MAJOR problem. Just that it IS a problem. Measurably so and significantly so.

No one on my side is trying to deny that there are many internal problems on Mexico's part. Are you, on your side, trying to deny there is NO responsibility on OUR part?

Do you see the problem with the lack of balance? Dan and the "liberals" (ie, many people who have actually studied the issue) think there are problems with Mexico internally AND that these problems have been exacerbated by US policies such as NAFTA. Both/And. Balance.

You, on the other hand, appear to want to blame it all on Mexico and the victims in this case. "It's not our fault - not ANY at all - it's theirs," you seem to be saying.

That's what strikes some of us as a lack of objectivity. Anytime one can only find fault with "the others" and never has room to acknowledge one's own role in the problem, that's a red flag right there.

And, while clearly our policies HAVE had a negative impact upon the poor, personal and civic responsibility causes us to want to try to make right what harm we've caused. As is only right.

After all, we don't vote in Mexico. We can't change Mexico's internal problems. BUT, we can do OUR part to quit exacerbating those problems.

Mark said...

Dan complains, "Mark, I've spent tens of thousands of words over too many hours over the last years explaining to you how I've reached this conclusion. I don't see how repeating what has been repeated will change anything."

No, you haven't, Dan.

You've tap danced. You've tip-toed. You've obfuscated. You've avoided the question. You've answered a question other than the one posed to you. You've changed the subject. You've ignored the question.

But, you've never yet provided chapter and verse which supports your idiotic, stupid, un-Biblical, extraneous, apostate notion that God blesses gay marriage.

Now, it's time to stop sidestepping the question. Answer the question, Dan. If you can't answer it, you must conclude you are wrong.

Chapter and verse, Dan. Now.

Dan Trabue said...

Tell you what, Mark, I'll give you an answer AGAIN as soon as you finish reading Michael's scholarly work - prayerfully seeking God's will - and provide a similarly well-thought out response. In the meantime, I'll assume you have no reasonable answer to the problems of your position.

Mark said...

Side stepped again. You certainly have a myriad of ways to avoid answering one simple question.

I've already read all your so-called "scholarly" arguments and I still have not seen chapter and verse which supports your argument.

Stop stalling. Chapter and verse.

Come on. You're so sure that God blesses gay marriage. Prove it.

I believe the Bible, not so-called scholars.

As I said previously, you can put this whole argument to rest if you can provide just one--just one--chapter and verse to support your apostate position.

Chapter and verse.

Craig said...

"I have no problem in arresting criminals who are actually breaking laws and causing harm."

Since entering any country illegally is in fact breaking the law (hence the term illegal). Why do you then object to "arresting criminals who are actually breaking laws".

Please make up your mind.

Just because you would like to eliminate immigration law doesn't mean that it shouldn't be obeyed or enforced.

Craig said...

"A simple background check, made easy in this internet age."

Please explain how you plan to run a simple internet background check on poor Jean Willy from Port de Paix Haiti. Surely you are aware that for a "simple background check" to be run, there must actually be records that can provide accurate information about the individual in question.

I've got a better idea, why not encourage individuals and private enterprise to invest in developing countries and allow those folks to remain in their homelands and improve their standard of living at the same time.

Heaven knows the environment impact of unleashing unlimited immigration on the US.

Craig said...

Marshall,

See if you can post the picture from this link. It really says it all.

http://www.matt-hughes.com/forums/showthread.php?p=115266

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

How this thread went from immigration to gay marriage I will never know . . .

Since Mark is curious about how it is possible for someone who considers himself Christian to support gay marriage, and despite answering the question at length many times, still insists that Dan needs to offer some kind of Biblical justification for it. I don't know about Dan, but here's mine.

Ahem.

1 John 4:7(a): Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God"

Now, we can nitpick over which particular Greek word is used her and how it applies to questions of human romantic love versus the love Christians are called to have for one another. Yet, it seems to me a fairly simple conclusion that human love in all its forms participates in and partakes of the Divine love for creation revealed in the incarnation. Whether I love a woman or man, whether my heart belongs to a husband or wife, if that love is real, it is from God.

Now, is that reading some liberal agenda back in to the text? Perhaps. Of course, all readings are always tainted by sin, and the narcissistic compulsion to make them reflect the way we see the world. I have no doubt that I'll get all sorts of silly responses to this. That's OK.

Mark said...

So apparently Dan needs his "smarter" brother to answer for him.

Who needs to point out the Greek meaning of love in that verse?

It says absolutely nothing about God blessing gay marriage.

NOTHING!

And, not only does that verse say nothing about God blessing gay marriage, it doesn't even say anything about God blessing what He has already called an abomination to Him.

Do you believe God to be duplicitous?

For all your bloviating about how smart you are, you failed to impress yet again, Geoffrey.

You have still not answered the question. Where does the Bible say God blesses gay marriage?

Chapter and verse.

Or admit there is none.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, it's hardly nitpicking to distinguish between the Greek words eros and agape.

The former refers to romantic love, the latter is the focus of I John.

Zeus was said to occasionally have love in the former sense for the comely maiden walking through the forest, and Yahweh has love in the latter sense for all of us.

To dismiss this difference as inconsequential is to betray an approach to Scripture that is frivolous, wholly beneath any serious and mature follower of Christ. Your approach is arguably even blasphemous, because it attempts to put into God's mouth words that the text simply doesn't justify.


You write, "it seems to me a fairly simple conclusion that human love in all its forms participates in and partakes of the Divine love for creation revealed in the incarnation."

Even assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, it does not logically follow that human love is morally permissible "in all its forms."

Scripture is quite clear that quite a few forms of human love are morally impermissible: adultery is one of the most obvious examples, and it was prohibited in the Ten Commandments itself.

So, your appeal to I John simply punts the issue of where homosexual behavior lands in terms of the boundary between permissible and impermissible behavior.

We must look to other passages to answer that question, and since you mention "the Divine love for creation revealed in the incarnation," I must ask:

According to God Incarnate, why were we created male and female?

The answer to that question simply rules out homosexual couples as a possible expression of love that conforms to God's will for us.

Mark said...

Bubba, from Geoffrey's statement, "Yet, it seems to me a fairly simple conclusion that human love in all its forms participates in and partakes of the Divine love for creation revealed in the incarnation.", I think it's worse than you think.

It seems to me Geoffrey is saying he believes Jesus was gay!

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Uh, Mark, you asked for Scriptural basis for support of gay marriage. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean it isn't my basis for understanding it.

I also admitted that, yes, I understand the Greek word for love there is specific than the general English word "love" in all its ambiguities. I also cited my reasons for moving beyond that kind of textual nitpicking - and yes, indeed, it is nitpicking.

Not at all surprised you don't agree, nor do I care all that much. Just really surprised you care far more about what we think than I, for one, care about what you think about this subject.

Marshall Art said...

Why we care...could almost be a post by itself...but at least for myself, I find it fascinating the weak explanations used to justify a belief that God would bless a homosexual marriage. It is also interesting to see just how far an enabler or activist will go to avoid admitting there is no Scriptural basis for such a belief.

As to how we got on this subject...

Anytime Dan tries to use Scripture to back his liberal position on an issue, we generally find another flawed, out-of-context interpretation. That will inevitably lead to a discussion of other poor interpretations and often as not end up at the most egregious belief that God would bless a homosexual union of any kind.

Frankly, if two homos were attracted to each other, and each of them truly loved God, they would never enter into a sexual relationship with each other if they truly loved each other, and definitely not if they truly loved God. The song, "If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right" might be romantic, but if the love is illicit, as it would be in a homo relationship or an adulterous relationship, being wrong is to damn one's self.

But enough of this. Back to the thread.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Weak explanation . . .

Whatever. Mark asked, and as Dan wasn't forthcoming yet, I tossed my two cents in. Whether you, Marshall, or Mark, or Bubba, or anyone else agrees with me is not something I will lose sleep over. I answered a question that was on the table.

Mark, as for Jesus' sexuality - I'm not even sure how one gets from where I was to there. As with the general question of anyone's sexuality, I really couldn't care less. It isn't liberals who make a big deal out of who people sleep with (big deal as in touching another's man's penis will send you to hell, or singing "I Kissed a Girl" is the same thing as spitting on the cross).

Mark said...

As a matter of fact, Geoffrey, I do care what you think, because what you think inevitably makes it into text, and when it in text on the internet, it can be seen by some people who might be adversely affected by it.

And when what you think is so absolutely contrary to God's Word, you are leading those people astray.

In other words, you and Dan could well be leading some people to Hell with your apostasy.

And, when you and Dan claim to be Christian but insist God would bless that which He has already declared to be an abomination to Him, you are contributing to the agnosticism that is already way too rampant in this world.

God does not lie, nor does He shape His law according to your mortal whims and desires.

He did not say, "You shall not lie with a man as you would with a woman unless it's OK with Geoffrey and Dan".

He said, "You shall not lay with a woman as you would with a man, It is an abomination".

But, you and Dan would have us believe God changed His mind on this subject, presumably because He didn't want to go against what you would rather He said.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, do you think God changed God's mind on how we ought to treat disrespectful children, or do you still think they ought to be killed?

Do you think God changed God's mind on eating pork barbecue or do you still abstain?

Do you think God changed God's mind on how we're to treat those who harm us, or do you still demand an eye for an eye?

Clearly, the rules HAVE changed. That was a different culture, a different time and it had different rules. Or do you still live by OT rules written for OT people thousands of years ago?

Let's see, you've been married more than once, does that make you an adulterer? And, if that's the case, should you be put to death?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

How long are you going to run with that bullshit "reasoning" (a word that doesn't seem appropriate here)? Do you think God changed his mind on whether or not children should be respectful of their parents? Do you think He changed His mind on whether or not we should engage in adultery? You want to look at the manner of atonement for sin, which is now provided for us through the death and resurrection of Christ, and compare that to the sin itself. That because our sins are forgiven because Christ suffered for them in our place, yet somehow that also means the behavior for which He was made to suffer is no longer sinful? What kind of of horseshit reasoning is that and why do you expect anyone should or would respect such blatant nonsense? Clearly the rules have NOT changed, but you and other "progressive" "Christians" pretend they have in order to allow for that which appeals to you personally. Even the means of atoning haven't changed, but only Who actually does the atoning. Christ paid the wages of our sins by HIS death on the cross and you crap on that sacrifice with your insufferable manipulation and misapplication of Scripture. Shame on you.

Dan Trabue said...

That because our sins are forgiven because Christ suffered for them in our place, yet somehow that also means the behavior for which He was made to suffer is no longer sinful? What kind of of horseshit reasoning is that and why do you expect anyone should or would respect such blatant nonsense?

Umm, because I did not SAY any of that? I have not said (look at my words and you can tell that way) that ALL the rules have changed. But clearly, there WERE some expectations that God had for God's people at THAT time that are no longer expectations that God holds for us.

Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but he DID come to fulfill it/better define it/enlighten us about how to read it.

Clearly the rules have NOT changed,

Oh? Then you KILLED your children when they were disrespectful to you? How many "men who lay with men" have you executed - as was the literal command to God's people?

You AGREE that the rules have changed. God COMMANDED God's people then to kill adulterers (would you fall into that category?), disrespectful children and others. YOU don't think this ought to happen any more, I'm relatively certain.

There's no real disagreement here on whether or not the rules that were IRON CLAD commandments back then are not applicable today. Not by you, not by nearly all conservatives and not by men. We all agree, not all those rules still apply.

Thank God for God's grace, yes?

Marshall Art said...

Incidentally, I've been trying to make my way through your links and have not found a direct link between NAFTA and the ills you believe it caused. Rather, I've so far found only conjecture and no reference to other problems within Mexico more likely to be the causes, such as Mexico's own opposition to labor unions and their problems with the peso, which were major financial issues on two separate occasions during the 90's. If you can point to a direct link, please save me some time and do so.

In any case, I don't see how one can use any such links, real or imagined, to suggest that we should then open up our borders to let unlimited numbers of immigrants, whether legal or otherwise, flow into our already economically damaged society. Trade agreements aren't necessarily designed to lift every soul up directly, but to increase the commercial interests of each agreement member. What each member nation does with such increases is on them. But to imagine that it should mean a windfall for every peasant, or that no citizen should in any way suffer or else the agreement is evil is a pretty naive and childish position to take. Once again, was Henry Ford evil when his assembly line production of automobiles put the horse drawn buggy companies out of business? Is email evil for the negative impact it's had on the postal service?

Marty said...

"How this thread went from immigration to gay marriage I will never know . . ."

Reading Marshall's blog is a lot like watching Bill Mahr. No matter what the topic at hand is, the discussion can easily turn to sex.

Dan Trabue said...

Hah!

Marshall Art said...

The only resemblance to Mahr is in the goofy opinions of those on the left, like Mahr. But unlike Mahr, what happens here, as I said above in answer to Geoffrey's question, is that Dan inevitably tries to use his twisted understanding of Scripture to explain his opinions, which leads to one of us pointing out just how goofy and misapplied his Scriptural exerpts are, and that leads to his most heretical position which just happens to be on a sexual matter. But the point isn't really sex, but poor understanding of Scripture. As is so often the case with other libs, Marty, you've missed the point.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Speaking of missing the point, mine was that there was no change in God's law regarding our behavior. But still, there was no change in His law regarding the wages of sin. A price will be paid for one's sins. Either the one who committed the sin, or Jesus, if the one committing the sin puts his faith in Him. So one needn't put any homosexual to death, one needn't put any disrespectful child to death. Yet in each case the behavior is still prohibited; no homosex, no disrespect of a child toward his parents. THAT is the point. You bring up alleged changes in God's law to justify that which has not changed at all. THAT is my point. All in all, there is no change in what behaviors God condemns and there is no change in the price for engaging in those behaviors. The only "change" is in how those behaviors are punished, how those sins are paid for.

Dan Trabue said...

The rules for punishing ARE the rules. Those rules have changed, as you admit here.

Israel was commanded to kill disrespectful children, adulterers, "men who lay with men." We are NOT to do this any more.

The rules changed. The commandment is no longer "kill disrespectful children."

The rules changed.

We agree on this point.

Marty said...

"As is so often the case with other libs, Marty, you've missed the point."

No. You missed the joke.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I could be leading people to hell? I had no idea I had more power than Jesus! Thanks, Mark, for that vote of confidence.

And I trust people's judgments far more than you do, Mark, because I figure people can read my words, the words here, and make up their own minds.

And I haven't thanked you for the subtitle of my blog. Since you called it "blasphemous", I added it because (a) I don't believe in blasphemy; and (b) I cannot imagine how anything I've ever written even approaches a classic definition of "blasphemy". So, I added it as a kind of ironic badge of honor. It has actually worked well for me, traffic-wise, so thanks.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall - a price has already been paid for our sins, on the cross, by Jesus, and his resurrection is the judgment.

Two thousand years of Christian theology apparently missed by you . . .

Mark said...

Geoffrey, one definition of blasphemy is attributing to God things that come from Satan.

Every time you say extra-biblical things like "God blesses homosexuality", (which, by the way, you cannot back up Biblically) you are calling God a liar and attributing something Satan would say to God.

Hence, you are blasphemous.

Dan, Yes, I deserve death for breaking God's laws. But, Jesus died on the cross and by dying, paid the price for my sins. Acknowledging this fact, I repent of my sins and ask forgiveness and vow to "go and sin no more".

And there's the difference. Homosexuals who flaunt their perversion in God's face and refuse to even admit they are sinners, and pretend God approves, let alone stop their aberrant behavior, have obviously not repented, and thus, are still on their way to Hell, unless they repent and ask forgiveness for the sin of laying with men as they lay with women.

If they repent and ask forgiveness, they must show they have repented by stopping their perverse behavior. If they don't, they demonstrate they have no respect for God at all. Just like you.

Mark said...

Marty, although she probably didn't intend to, put her finger on a very important point:

"No matter what the topic at hand is, the discussion can easily turn to sex." (Coincidentally enough, turning every discussion to sex is something homosexuals do continually)

Homosexuals do not see a difference between sex and love. To them, the two terms are synonymous. And, apparently, Geoffrey doesn't know the difference either.

He quotes: "1 John 4:7(a): Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God"

LOVE, Geoffrey! NOT SEX!

Love is not sex. Sex is not love. The thing that makes gays homosexual is engaging in the act of homosexuality. That's homosexual sex, Geoffrey. That can never be, in any stretch of the imagination, mistaken for love except by those who don't know the difference. Like homosexuals. And apparently, Geoffrey. And Dan.

Marty said...

"Marty, although she probably didn't intend to, put her finger on a very important point"

Bullshit.

You guys are soooooo freakin' obsessed with homosexuality that it's either the posted topic or it worms it's way into every other conversation blathering on and on and on.

Dan Trabue said...

As if to prove Marty's point, Mark said...

Geoffrey doesn't know the difference either.

He quotes: "1 John 4:7(a): Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God"

LOVE, Geoffrey! NOT SEX!

Love is not sex. Sex is not love.


You will note immediately if you look at Geoffrey's words, that he did not mention sex. He quoted a biblical passage speaking of love. Mark is the one who made the leap to sex, again, proving Marty's point.

Thanks, Mark, but really, if you all are going to support our points for us, you're making it too easy...

Marty said...

Exactly Dan. These guys can't even wrap their heads around love. For them it's all about sex.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Two points on two of Mark's comments. Since I'm back-and-forth on the whole Satan-as-a-being thing, I'm not sure your comment means much to me. I don't attribute things of Satan to God because, frankly, I just don't think such a creature exists.

Strike one.

I honestly cannot fathom the notion that gay folk don't know the difference between sex and love. I also don't know where this silly idea comes from, besides Mark's head. Is Mark suggesting that it is actually impossible to form a deep emotional bond with another person of the same gender in the same way, say, I have with my wife?

Are you actually saying this?

Adding, I suppose, that such a stunted view of others is a pretty clear indication of a lack of understanding. It borders on dehumanization, really, to believe and insist to others that gay folk lack the capacity for emotional attachments akin to the bond between members of the opposite sex.

Back to the first point. Mark, since St. Paul is pretty clear in Romans that there is nothing - and he drives the point home pretty hard - that can separate us from the love we have from God in Jesus Christ, how do you square that with a belief that mere words from one lone guy on the internet poses a danger to the immortal souls of others? Are you saying, again, that I am more powerful than the grace of God? Are you actually saying that?

Marty said...

"Is Mark suggesting that it is actually impossible to form a deep emotional bond with another person of the same gender in the same way, say, I have with my wife?"

Yes.

Mark said...

The preceding comments are so patently ridiculous, I'll not dignify them with a comment.

Dan Trabue said...

Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt...

Mark said...

Too bad you didn't consider that about a million stupid comments ago.

And, Geoffrey certainly removed all doubt with his last comment. (tell us, Geoff, where is your Biblical support of your stupid notion there is no Satan? Chapter and verse, please.)

As did Marty.

Mark said...

The proper name, Satan, appears 49 times in the King James version alone, not counting all other references to the devil, the evil one, the beast, the serpent, etc.

And Geoffrey, who brags that he is a Christian, and holds the Bible in esteem, says, "I don't attribute things of Satan to God because, frankly, I just don't think such a creature exists.

What a moron!

Dan Trabue said...

And this, Mark, I believe gets to the root of many of our disagreements. It's fine to speak of a literal Satan or a literal six day creation or literal four corners of the world and think that is the one and only way of reading a biblical text IF you're still in grade school Sunday School.

But there comes a time to grow up in our biblical studies.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me...

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil...

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


[from 1 Corinthians, Hebrews and 1 Peter, respectively]

Mark said...

"Is Mark suggesting that it is actually impossible to form a deep emotional bond with another person of the same gender in the same way, say, I have with my wife?"

I don't know the depth of emotional bond, if any, you have with your wife, so I cannot answer that question.

I did not know sex required any more of an emotional bond than selfish desire.

I have a hard time imagining any woman could have a sexual desire for you, Geoffrey, but it's a strange world we live in. I suppose anything is possible.

Mark said...

Dan, how can you quote the Bible while at the same time demonstrating contempt for it?

Here we go again. Dan only agrees with the parts of the Bible he agrees with. And he accuses others of cherry picking.

Thou hast lost thy credibility, Dan. Go worship at the altar of the apostate Geoffrey and be damned.

And damned if you won't.

Dan Trabue said...

Actually Mark, just like you, I agree with all the Bible. RIGHTLY understood.

You and I both agree (I hope) that the Bible RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD does not promote enslaving our daughters. Those who promote child slavery and use the Bible to support doing so are not representing God's interests, you and I both agree.

It's important, I'd hope you would agree, to not merely say "The Bible is all perfectly right," but to say, "The Bible, RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD reflects God's Word and teachings to us, which is profitable for learning and reproof."

A parrot can recite the Bible, but it takes someone with some reasoning power to understand it at least a bit, by God's grace.

Marshall Art said...

It is extremely common amongst the young that they each suppose they have crossed into adulthood and maturity when in fact they are so far from it. In the same way, to suppose one has matured because one no longer believes in a literal Satan is childish indeed. It is as childish as putting beliefs in Satan, six day creation and "four corners of the earth" in the same group as if they are all the same fruits, or even fruits at all. I see no similarity between a belief in a literal Satan, of whom Jesus Himself spoke, a six day creation, of whom the author of Genesis spoke (regardless of whether or not he meant six days as we understand six days), and a rhetorical flourish such as "four corners of the earth" on which only a liberal seeking to convolute would spend time. I'd be extremely interested in hearing just why belief in a literal Satan is childish or something a supposedly mature Christian can dismiss as being of no real concern.

cont-

Marshall Art said...

Once again, the only purpose of bringing up the subject of homosexuality is to attempt, once again, to provoke an example of Scriptural support from Dan usually, or anyone else who thinks such exists. To date, no one has been so kind as to comply. Geoffrey's attempt with John 4:7 ("rightly understanding"? I think not) is a major stretch and even saying that gives the attempt more credit than it deserves.

Whether or not a man can develop a bond with another man as a normal man would with a woman is not really the issue. Obviously, to some degree or other, it happens. That it does is evidence of that man's emotional and/or psychological dysfunction. Beyond any doubt of a Christian by whom Scripture is indeed rightly understood, it is evidence of that man's moral dysfunction.

And in regards of both homosexuality and now current immigration laws, we see again how Scripture is not at all "rightly understood" by Dan, nor apparently by Geoffrey or Marty.

Dan Trabue said...

And you shall have to go with your best reasoning and prayerful understanding as to what the Bible teaches, rightly understood. We shall do the same.

The mistake would be in assuming that we are NOT attempting to seek God's will by God's grace the best we can any less than you are. As I often say, any of us can be mistaken, that's a given. But the mistake is assuming that I/we are not trying simply because we reach a different conclusion than you.

Craig said...

Mark,

Regarding Satan, N.T. Wright (whom Dan dismisses) makes a good case that the term Satan is actually a title rather than a proper name. I'm not sure it matters much to this discussion but it's an interesting tidbit to look at.

Dan,

You seem to be suggesting that the most important facet of your Biblical studies is sincerity. While I don't think anyone is doubting that you are putting forth a sincere effort, I would suggest that sincerity is not the most important factor. For example you could be sincerely trying to drive a 16d nail with the pointy end of a Phillips screwdriver, but no matter how hard or sincerely you try that nail is not going to get driven.

Since Dan's original statement was that God "blesses" gay marriage, it seems as though Geoff's verse doesn't actually address what Mark is asking for support of. This should be easy to solve, just provide one verse that suggests that God does "bless" gay marriage, and this issue is over.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, perhaps you have not been part of all the dozens of times this question has been addressed. I know you're not around as much as some others, so, giving you the benefit of the doubt...

Read closely and understand my words:

I have not said that the Bible says God blesses gay marriage.

I don't know how much clearer I can be on the point. The Bible NEVER addresses gay marriage. That "God blesses marriage (including with gay folk)" is MY hunch, MY guess.

Just exactly like some here have the HUNCH, the GUESS that God opposes gay marriage.

Since the Bible does not address the topic of gay marriage and God has not spoken directly to any one of us, NONE of us have a definitive and absolute biblical answer to the question of what is God's opinion on gay marriage.

Such a viewpoint DOES NOT EXIST WITHIN THE PAGES OF THE BIBLE.

All any of us have on the topic of gay marriage is our hunches based upon seeking God's will.

And that question has been addressed several dozen times PLUS one more, now. I hope it is clear.

Mark, Marshall, et al, have NOT A SINGLE verse suggesting God opposes gay marriage. I have NOT A SINGLE verse saying God blesses gay marriage.

Does God look kindly upon people (even gay folk) loving and respecting one another, joining together in a healthy, wholesome marriage and thus emulating the mystery of Christ and HIS Bride? MY GUESS is yes, that God thinks this is a good and blessed thing. We know that Mark's GUESS is that NO, it is not a good thing. That once was my guess on this extrabiblical topic, but it is no more.

Again, I hope that is clear.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig said...

You seem to be suggesting that the most important facet of your Biblical studies is sincerity. While I don't think anyone is doubting that you are putting forth a sincere effort, I would suggest that sincerity is not the most important factor.

1. Clearly, there are some people here who DO question my/our sincerity.

2. We agree, I imagine, that sincerity is not a determining factor in being correct.

3. However, I would hope we'd agree that whatever we do, we ought to do so seeking to sincerely praise, glorify and honor God our creator.

Could you or I or Mark or any of the other 7 billion of us poor sinners be mistaken on any given point? Absolutely. I guarantee that I could be mistaken on any given point. I guarantee that YOU could be mistaken on any given point.

4. However, on points that are not clear in the Bible, on points where Jesus does not clearly address a topic, I would hope that sincerely seeking God's will IS the best thing to do and we ought to honor our brothers and sisters in doing so, even if they reach bad conclusions (or what we think are bad conclusions).

5. I'd much rather be sincerely right on any given point than sincerely mistaken, of course, but I'd much rather be sincerely mistaken on a point than INSINCERELY adopting a view that I don't find to be Godly or biblical, just to be pleasing to other people.

6. How about it: IF I am convinced that God's will is to support our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in their marriages and YOU come to me and tell me I'm mistaken and EVERY ONE ELSE agrees with you and yet, I just can't see your position to be correct, what do you recommend I do? Insincerely agree with you or sincerely continue to support the position I believe to be within God's will?

7. Finally, I'm curious, if sincerity isn't the most important facet of biblical studies, what do you think is?

Marty said...

Getting back to the subject of the post.....

Marshall you commented somewhere up there in this thread that you were concerned with the 10% unemployment and how the undocumented take American jobs.

Here are some facts that support my claim that immigrants, documented or otherwise, actually create jobs and do, overall, have a positive effect on our economy.

Dan Trabue said...

"Facts!" ppppbbbbtt!!

Craig said...

Dan,

I think that is exactly what people want to hear. That when you say "God blesses gay marriage" what you actually mean is "I think God blesses gay marriage". I suspect a little clarity on that point earlier would have been helpful. Although you still have given no biblical support for your clearly extra biblical opinion.

So if you agree that sincerity is not really a factor at all could you stop appealing to sincerity as support for your position.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I suspect a little clarity on that point earlier would have been helpful.

Well, as noted, I HAVE clarified many, many times. Perhaps you just missed all those times.

Craig...

Although you still have given no biblical support for your clearly extra biblical opinion.

Again, perhaps you have missed it, but I have gone into great detail as to how I reached my position based upon what the Bible does and doesn't say. Again, for an even better and more clear representation of my thoughts on this point, you could review my friend, Michael's EXCELLENT and comprehensive biblical study on homosexuality.

Craig...

So if you agree that sincerity is not really a factor at all could you stop appealing to sincerity as support for your position.

I think you need to read my answer again. You appear to misunderstand.

Sincerity IS important. It IS vital to SINCERELY strive to follow God's will at all costs, even if we're mistaken, it's important to strive to understand God's will and the Bible the best we can.

All I have said contrary is that sincerity does not equal "right." I could easily be sincerely wrong, just as you could.

Nonetheless, it IS important for us to sincerely seek God's will.

Do you disagree?

I'd still like to know...

1. How about it: IF I am convinced that God's will is to support our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in their marriages and YOU come to me and tell me I'm mistaken and EVERY ONE ELSE agrees with you and yet, I just can't see your position to be correct, what do you recommend I do? Insincerely agree with you or sincerely continue to support the position I believe to be within God's will?

2. Finally, I'm curious, if sincerity isn't the most important facet of biblical studies, what do you think is?

Marty said...

Well, Dan, Marshall will probably poo poo my facts. He always has. But even Dick Cheney recommended this sight as a place to go to check your facts, so......

Dan Trabue said...

I had asked...

if sincerity isn't the most important facet of biblical studies, what do you think is?

I thought I would clarify: Obviously, being right would be best. But that is sort of out of our control on more vague matters, right? I mean, we can SINCERELY strive to find the RIGHT answer, but once we've SINCERELY tried to discern that RIGHT answer, if we're mistaken, well, then we were just wrong - but we tried and - on our end - isn't that all we can do? Sincerely try?

I mean, what else IS there but sincerely trying to be right?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Mark, you childish taunt is neither here nor there to me. Since you know nothing about me other than a few posts and comments on the Internet, and I am in the same boar regarding you, it is a neat little trick to dodge the question you quote. You insist that LGBT folks are only interested in sex, that romantic emotional attachments are not a part of being attracted to others of the same gender. I asked you how you felt about this, and you took the opportunity to act like a fourteen year old in a high school locker room.

I am always impressed with your genius IQ.

Since most human beings have sexual thoughts about other human beings - from random appreciation of a nice-looking woman or man, to the memory of an encounter with someone we love, to the occasional adolescent-like, but perfectly healthy fantasy - your observation would make a little more sense if you clarified your point a little. Is your point that a lesbian is not "attracted" to another woman in the same way, say, you are attracted to your wife (to switch the example)? If so, what possible reason would a lesbian have for acting on a sexual desire of this nature? Why would two women live together, buy a home, raise a family, pay bills, include one another in legal documents?

Why would two men, whose sole desire is mutually fulfilling sexual encounters, but with absolutely not emotional bond, spend fifty years under the same roof?

On a related note, does sexual desire and its satisfaction play no part in relationships between heterosexuals? I know that Marshall believes that sexual desire is, at its heart, selfish. I am curious about your own position on this matter, because you have stated that gay folks are only interested in sex.

I'm looking for you to expand your explanation a bit here.

Craig said...

Do you disagree?

I agree that it is important to sincerely seek Gods will. But I'm not sure that our sincerity or lack thereof has any real impact on God working out His will. Again, one can be sincerely wrong.

I'd still like to know...

"1. How about it: IF I am convinced that God's will is to support our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in their marriages and YOU come to me and tell me I'm mistaken and EVERY ONE ELSE agrees with you and yet, I just can't see your position to be correct, what do you recommend I do? Insincerely agree with you or sincerely continue to support the position I believe to be within God's will?"

I really have no advice for you on this. At this point I'm not sure you can put aside your preconceptions and prejudices and look at things reasonably objectively. So, no matter what I or anyone else says you will continue to trust in your Reason. Finally, I would say that if you cannot provide one passage of scripture that gives your position any support at all then I would ask myself why am I out on this limb. But that's just me.

"2. Finally, I'm curious, if sincerity isn't the most important facet of biblical studies, what do you think is?"

IMO objectivity and honestly approaching the text are more important.

Dan Trabue said...

Would not a sincere effort at discerning God's will perforce demand an objective and honest approach to the text?

How can one sincerely seek to discern God's will by implementing DIShonest approach to the text?

Sincerity would come before these, seems to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I really have no advice for you on this. At this point I'm not sure you can put aside your preconceptions and prejudices and look at things reasonably objectively. So, no matter what I or anyone else says you will continue to trust in your Reason.

But I HAVE set aside my preconceptions and prejudices. I WAS prejudiced in opposition to gay marriage, that WAS my preconception and I managed to set those aside (at least a bit, I'm not sure that we can ever fully set aside our preconceptions) and look at the matter objectively.

And what else IS there but our reason to discern such matters? Unfortunately, the Bible has NO position on gay marriage. God has NOT spoken to you or me and told us God's position on the topic. We - you, I, Mark, Marshall, all of us! - are ALL using our reason to seek God's will. Or, at least I am. I would hope that you all are and aren't simply relying on what you've been told by other people.

What else can we use but our God-given reason to sort out such matters? Or, put another way: Complete the sentence - When I read the Bible I don't prayerfully use REASON to try to understand God's Word. Instead, I use ______.

Marshall Art said...

What passes for reason in your case, Dan, leaves much to be desired. To suppose that any positive mention of marriage can be stretched beyond recognition in order to include homosex marriage is hardly something I would attribute to anything "God given".

I have to be fair. "Progressive" reasoning in general is not yours alone, and many fool themselves through it's use. They do so sincerely, I would wager. So this brings me to the next question of sincerity. What does sincerity have to do with anything? Do you suppose that those you abhor, such as, say, Dick Cheney, are insincere in their beliefs that what they do is proper, righteous and possibly in alignment with God's Will, that they do what they do fully knowing they are doing evil (not that I agree they commit evil as a matter of course)? That would be very judgemental, don't you think?

But if you believe their actions are evil, despite how sincerely they feel otherwise, how would God deal with such people?

Let's take it farther. Let's say Adolph thought he was sincerely doing God's Will. Now what do we do?

I think sincerity is meaningless if one is wrong. I think one supposes something about God that puts the notion of His sense of justice very much in question to believe that one can be so very wrong (as you without any doubt are regarding homosex marriage) and think sincerity will make it all OK.

And regarding facts (which you also use as it suits you), I don't and haven't disregarded any facts whatsoever regarding the subject of this thread. Instead, you've offered links that have not proven anything (of those I've had a chance to read) regarding NAFTA's negative effect on Mexico. You claim that you've indicated one or more links show NAFTA to be ONE of the reasons for their troubles, but present them in a manner suggesting you blame NAFTA entirely. And as I said, it's one thing to point the finger. It's quite another to connect the dots as they should be that would demonstrate the blame is deserved. If NAFTA is only ONE reason for Mexico's troubles, as you now say, the question is then, how much of a reason. To what extent did NAFTA hurt Mexico that would trump the benefits to the country it has brought?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

What passes for reason in your case, Dan, leaves much to be desired. To suppose that any positive mention of marriage can be stretched beyond recognition in order to include homosex marriage is hardly something I would attribute to anything "God given".

We all understand, Marshall, that you disagree with our reasoning. And we disagree with yours. You don't think much of our reasoning ability and we don't think much of yours. To think that because gay marriage is never mentioned and that because Jesus referred specifically to marriage between a man and a woman that this PRECLUDES gay marriage is hardly something we would attribute to "God-given."

And yet... And yet, you DID get to your position using your God-given reasoning abilities and we DID get to OUR position using our God-given reasoning abilities, flawed though they all may be.

That you don't agree with our reasoning process or vice versa is no indication that we have not, in fact, reached our position precisely by prayerfully and carefully using our God-given reasoning.

Once again, WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

The only options I can think of to using our God-given reasoning abilities are...

1. To go with "gut feelings" or hunches.

2. To acquiesce to what someone else has told us without thinking about it.

3. Or just randomly picking one position or another.

I've done none of these. How about you?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall asked...

So this brings me to the next question of sincerity. What does sincerity have to do with anything? Do you suppose that those you abhor, such as, say, Dick Cheney, are insincere in their beliefs that what they do is proper, righteous and possibly in alignment with God's Will, that they do what they do fully knowing they are doing evil

1. I don't abhor Cheney, Bush or Reagan. I disagree with some of their positions. That's one difference too often between many on the Right and more progressive and/or anabaptist-y types (although, to be sure, there are some on the Left who are quite hateful in their opposition).

2. I have been quite clear over the years, I believe, that I am fairly sure that Bush, Reagan, Cheney and all of these folk with whom I disagree are acting relatively sincerely with what they think is right. I believe that they are sincerely wrong.

3. The difference between Reagan/Bush/Cheney's actions which I oppose and those YOU oppose is the degree of harm being done. What I most opposed about Reagan/Bush were their deadly policies - policies that led to the death of and physical damage to people.

Reagan/Bush policies (the ones I most opposed) had DEADLY affects for tens of thousands of innocent people.

On the other hand, you all oppose gay marriage which causes no physical harm and has no physical repercussions to anyone not involved with those decisions.

There's a HUGE degree of harm involved that justifies a more harsh opposition than merely allowing folk to marry those they love and have some semblance of equal rights and protections.

So, what does sincerity have to do with anything? Well, once again, I'd suggest it has everything to do with our decision making process. It is good, holy and right to sincerely seek God and, to the best of our understanding, live our lives in following our sincerely understood believes.

You are not opposed to sincerely seeking God's will, are you? As with my question about reasoning, I'd ask: What else would you advocate? That we INsincerely hold positions based upon personal interests or blind partisan support, even if we think a position is wrong? No one seriously advocates that kind of thinking, right?

Craig said...

"Would not a sincere effort at discerning God's will perforce demand an objective and honest approach to the text?"

Not necessarily, again you can sincerely try to drive a nail with a screw driver, but it's not going to work well.

"How can one sincerely seek to discern God's will by implementing DIShonest approach to the text?"

It would depend on whether or not they were honest about their preconceptions and how they approached the text. Again it is possible to sincerely believe something that is false. Sincereity is subjective, the goal should be to look at the text as objectively as possible.

Sincerity would come before these, seems to me.

Again, sincerity by itself means nothing.

I knew you were going to trot out Reason, and I will say that reason plays a role, but ultimately reason is something that we as flawed sinful humans bring to the table and therefore our reason is flawed and subjective. It seems that objectivity should be the goal.

Your list of options of how to interpret scripture tellingly left out one significant option. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Your list is focused on what humans bringto the party, you don't mention God's role in this.

Also, you rightly say that the Bible doesn't mention gay marriage. So, your entire contention that God "blesses" gay marriage is based on silence. If you want to infer something from silence I guess you can, but it's not much of a basis for anything. You do just kind of ignore the fact that the Bible speaks extensively on marriage, and that exactly nowhere does it leave open the possibility of anything but male/female.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, Craig. Whatever. I'll pass on going through this all again.

You believe as you wish - whether you get there through your subjective reasoning or through just going along with what you've been told or just your best guess.

I shall continue to do as I have been doing - prayerfully seeking God's will using all resources at hand, beginning with what we all have to begin with - our reasoning. By the way, when I say "Prayerfully" seeking God's will, the Prayer being "God lead me by your Spirit to Good, Right, Holy answers..." and not, "God, let me think what I want to think about stuff."

The point was, we ARE all sincerely (hopefully) seeking God's Will by (hopefully) prayerfully reasoning our way through the Bible and all of creation's witness to us. You are not different from us or us from you on that front. Do you have cultural biases that make that difficult? Sure. So do I.

All we can do is prayerfully and sincerely seek God's will and that's what hopefully we're all doing. Only speaking for myself and my community, it's what we're doing.

May God grant us all wisdom and grace.

Dan Trabue said...

I will say that where you say...

Again, sincerity by itself means nothing.

I knew you were going to trot out Reason...


I'm not sure what it is you all have against sincerity or reason. You speak as if these morally Good ideals were morally Bad.

The opposite of SINCERELY seeking God's will is INSINCERELY seeking God's will. I think the latter is wrong and the former good.

The opposite of prayerfully using our God-given reasoning to sort out moral issues is to just blindly go along with whatever feels good or whatever we've been told. I think the latter is wrong and the former good.

I'm relatively certain that most rational adults could agree upon this point, you all included.

Dan Trabue said...

And, just for clarification's sake...

Sincerity: the quality or state of being sincere : honesty of mind : freedom from hypocrisy...

Sincere: free of dissimulation

Dissimulation: to hide under a false appearance

Hence, I say sincerity is a good and absolutely vital starting point for those interested in seeking moral righteousness.

Beginning the search for moral righteousness with INsincerity is bound to lead in wrong directions.

Similarly, beginning a search for moral righteousness without using our reasoning is bound to lead us in wrong directions.

They are starting points, along with "the fear/respect of the Lord" and sincere prayer from pure hearts in seeking God's will.

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Tim 1

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

1 Tim 3

The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

Philippians 1

Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

Acts 2

Just because someone can be sincerely mistaken is not a suggestion that sincerity is not a good ideal in the first place. Just because someone can rationalize themselves away from a moral understanding is not to say that we ought reject Reason.

Mark said...

Dan, I still haven't decided yet whether you are an idiot or you think everyone else is, but when you say you don't think, "God, let me think what I want to think about stuff."

Well....it's obvious that's exactly how you approach the subject.

Dan Trabue said...

And praytell, O Wise Mark, how do you know what I'm thinking and praying? How, exactly, is it "obvious?"

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

C'mon, Dan, you know the answer to that one! Mark has a genius-level IQ! He said so himself, right?

I'm still waiting for him to answer the questions I posed, honestly and forthrightly. If he can't - whatever his given reasons for avoiding answering them - well, that tells me as much as an honest, sincere, prayerful response, don't you think?

Dan Trabue said...

Genius is one thing. It's within the world of possibilities that he could be a genius.

But a long distance mind-reader is another thing.

Marshall Art said...

Getting back to the thread for a moment before I rip up Dan's continuing convoluted nonsense:

I read Marty's link. I'm not impressed that it changes anything. The article basically gives a nod toward illegals, but speaks mostly in terms of immigration in general. THIS thread concerns itself with illegals exclusively. The article does not change the fact that with 10% unemployment rate, fewer illegals would open up non-skilled jobs for American unemployed. This is a no-brainer.

If we were to concede that illegals generate jobs that provide goods and services that they consume, thereby growing the economy, are we now to use this as rationalization for allowing even more people to sneak into the country? I know libs have no trouble ignoring right and wrong when it benefits them (Geoffrey and Dan demonstrating this with their rationalizing homosex behavior, pretending there is no Evil One, and imagining blasphemy doesn't exist), but is this what we want to become? A nation that ignores the rule of law (man-made or otherwise) as it suits us? And Dan has the gall to speak of putting aside childish things!

Jobs is only one aspect of this issue. There exists the little matter of criminals, terrorists and those who would spread disease. How can we monitor such people if they are sneaking in unabated? Must we wait until they have killed or robbed or infected in order to act? Where's the logic in that?

There are two main issues here: 1) Illegal invaders and 2) The belief by some that our current immigration procedures do not allow enough people to enter the country.

These issues are NOT related. If one assumes the illegals sneak in due to difficulties in entering legally, they have still broken the law and need to be dealt with. Deportation is the just and righteous response. That the process might be uncomfortable is neither here nor there, as it is part of the risk they took by their illegal entry. So is "tearing families apart!" boo-hoo. They have torn apart their own families by their illegal entry, the proper response Marty's mother should have given the weeping girl.

So I do crap on your "facts", Marty, because they are not relevant to the discussion (fancy that). The issue is illegals and what to do about them.

If any of you believes that our current immigration laws are in need of refinement, that is all well and good. Do something about it the proper way, working on the actual issue of changing our current immigration procedures and quotas. But to do anything but deport all illegals discovered does nothing more than invite others to try to enter illegally in hopes of getting a similar reprieve.

As for the current quotas, one must find out why they are at the levels they are before one can pretend to know that we can handle a higher number every year.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Again you fill up the comments box with verses that don't justify your very unBiblical and heretical position on homosex marriage. Sincerity is not impossible to measure from the outside. When after years of debate you cannot do anything better but to continually point to your equally goofy friend Michael to "prove" reason and sincerity and prayerful deliberation took place, it isn't hard to see that said sincerity was no better than posturing. There still exists the problem of an argument full of massive holes. Michael's long-winded (hot air) dissertation does little to prove otherwise. He couldn't even respond to MY objections along the way until he had to ban me on the lame pretense of "monopolizing the conversation", as if that's even possible in this medium. As I said the last time you suggested his drivel to someone, nothing he said hasn't been exhaustively and expertly rebuked by other, REAL scholars and theologians.

"On the other hand, you all oppose gay marriage which causes no physical harm and has no physical repercussions to anyone not involved with those decisions."

I oppose homo marriage because God opposes the behavior based on the sexual attraction between two of the same sex. There is NOTHING in Scripture that justifies the position that He'd make an exception for ANY manifestation of such attractions. Therefor, one cannot, sincerely or otherwise, reasonably suggest that He would bless a union between two such people. It is so greatly lacking in logic as to make enablers complete laughingstocks. To dare suggest "reason" ever came into play to get to such an absurd position is to curse reason itself.

"To think that because gay marriage is never mentioned and that because Jesus referred specifically to marriage between a man and a woman that this PRECLUDES gay marriage is hardly something we would attribute to "God-given.""

This demonstrates your poor reasoning capabilities right there. Just in this little paragragh we see a bit of logic that you cannot. #1, no mention of homosex marriage. #2, Jesus referred specifically to marriage between a man and a woman. I'll paint the picture with these colors for ya: ONLY #2 is permitted. That's what your own words indicate. It can't indicate anything else. The totality of verses having anything to do with marriage, family, why we were created male and female ALL points to this very logical and obvious conclusion and only UNreasonableness can suggest any other possibility.

cont--

Marshall Art said...

"Once again, WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

The only options I can think of to using our God-given reasoning abilities are...

2. To acquiesce to what someone else has told us without thinking about it."


You've finally admitted this very thing within the past few threads when you said that you listened to other arguments that supported the preposterous notion of homosex marriage. I had said that it was impossible to get to that position by virtue of a real study of Scripture and that outside influence was required to get you there. You listened to those arguments and swallowed them immediately. There are NO holes in the arugments that counter them and you've never presented any, yet, you insist on supporting the absolute damning lies. To do so with any degree of sincerity does not mitigate the sinfulness of such a position.

This has never been a mere difference of opinion. It's been one side (yours) waving off logic and true reason to maintain a false posture of what for you passes as Christian love. False, because there's nothing loving in spreading a false doctrine which leads others astray (God have mercy on your children).

Now I fear it is pride that holds you to this crap. You were stupidly wrong in what you thought was conservatism in your past, and you've traded it for something worse. Now you can't bear dealing with still being wrong. You hide behind meaningless platitudes of "Christian graciousness" and other tiresome rhetoric. You fool yourself and join in with others who exploit the confused and struggling. How shameful! The worst part is you can't, no, you REFUSE to see it.

Mark said...

OK, Geoff, You don't deserve an answer, but just for fun, I'll answer.

You snarkily ask, "[W]hat possible reason would a lesbian have for acting on a sexual desire of this nature? Why would two women live together, buy a home, raise a family, pay bills, include one another in legal documents?

Why would two men, whose sole desire is mutually fulfilling sexual encounters, but with absolutely not(sic) emotional bond, spend fifty years under the same roof?

On a related note, does sexual desire and its satisfaction play no part in relationships between heterosexuals?
"

The answers are simple:

#1 and 2: Because they have found someone who they believe is the most sexually compatible with them, and they are too insecure and/or too lazy to continue to look within the confines of nature.

In short, they stay together so they can have sex whenever they want and don't have to go out looking for it whenever they feel horny.

(I've known men who married their wives simply because they want to have sex whenever they want it. Obviously a very bad reason to get married, but it's still true.)

And because they have found it's more financially feasible to share the financial responsibilities than to try to meet them on their own.

3: Of course, sexual desire plays a part in heterosexual relationships. However, I submit relations between heterosexuals is much more satisfying than between two homosexuals. The statistics on mental disorders and suicide (which I won't take the time to do research on them at this time, because it is an exhausting task) support that conclusion.

In the absence of statistics, I base these conclusions on observations and in-depth discussions with my homosexual friends and co-workers over the years.

As one singular example, I was told by a lesbian one time that she most definitely was not born homosexual, but made a conscious choice to become a lesbian after she had been emotionally hurt in a previous male-female relationship, and she stated that most homosexuals chose their lifestyle because of similar circumstances.

While interacting on a daily basis with dozens, if not hundreds of homosexuals, both male and female, over the course of over 40 years in the workplace, I have personally observed an obsessive pre-occupation with sex that makes locker room conversations pale in comparison.

You have no doubt observed the same phenomena but you have allowed yourself to be so indoctrinated with homosexual propaganda, you don't notice, or more likely, refuse to acknowledge what's right before your eyes.

Really, Geoff, for all your pretense of superior intelligence and/or maturity, you should be able to do better than this.

Mark said...

Dan, you smugly intone, "And praytell, O Wise Mark, how do you know what I'm thinking and praying? How, exactly, is it 'obvious?'"

I don't need prescience to know what you think. I have literally thousands of previous blog comments from which to draw accurate conclusions as to how and what you think. You have made yourself as clear as an unmuddied lake. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. No deep analysis of your writings is required.

You are consistent in your inconsistency. The key to understanding you is this:

Whenever there is a discussion of morality, you will always come down on the wrong side of the moral fence.

Mark said...

ALWAYS!

Dan Trabue said...

Whenever there is a discussion of morality, you will always come down on the wrong side of the moral fence.

So, I believe in marriage and fidelity. I have been the faithful husband of one woman and a loving father to two children, spending time with them their whole lives and striving to raise them to be good children, respectful of others, seeking after God's ways, concerned for God's creation and the least of these.

That is my position on these moral issues. If I'm always wrong (according to you), then I suppose YOU then must think that fidelity is bad, marriage is not something to be taken seriously and we ought NOT spend love and time with our children teaching them well and to be respectful?

That would explain a lot.

I disagree with your conclusions, then. I DO think marriage is a sacred institution to be nurtured, that one OUGHT to be faithful and loving and respectful.

I don't think I've come down on the wrong side of those issues at all. I'm sorry you disagree and want to take the other side.

Mark said...

I'm not talking about your actions, Dan, you moron. I'm talking about your oft repeated supposed ideology which is far outside the norm.

As a typical Liberal you expect others to do as you say, not as you do.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Again with the dishonesty? There's no doubt that you define marriage differently than normal people. Thus, to say you believe in it doesn't make your case in terms of what side of the moral fence you can be found. The same goes for parenthood, as there is no doubt you pass on your immoral beliefs onto you children. Add to that other issues, such as your willingness to let innocent people die rather than to exact "evil" upon enemies, which if fact isn't evil but justifiable force, and your whole idea of what is or isn't, or what should or shouldn't be moral flies in the face of tradition, history and common sense.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

There's no doubt that you define marriage differently than normal people. Thus, to say you believe in it doesn't make your case in terms of what side of the moral fence you can be found. The same goes for parenthood, as there is no doubt you pass on your immoral beliefs onto you children.

I'm talking about MY marriage. I am not defining my marriage differently than normal people. I am the husband of one wife, faithful for lo, these 25 years now. Can you and Mark say that?

I believe in loving my one wife and being faithful to her, doing nice and wonderful things for her when I can, working with her to provide for our household.

What exactly about that is defined differently than you are wanting to define it?

I teach my children hard work, belief in God, respect for others, compassion for the least of these, a hunger for justice, love for family. What about any of that is defined differently than you think "normal" people define it?

It always kills me when the divorced and unfaithful and those who have admittedly not done a great job with their families are the ones who shout loudest about family values while those of us who are actually valuing our family and teaching traditional morality get criticized as somehow "defining family" differently.

Again, since I'm advocating fidelity, love of God, love of family, time with family, hard work, etc, if Mark is right and I'm always "wrong," then he must not believe in any of these ideals. Do you reject these ideals, too, or can we agree that love of family, fidelity, time with family, hard work, etc are all good things?

Y'all just seem to look for things to disagree with, even if someone is promoting obviously good ideals.

Marshall Art said...

"I'm talking about MY marriage"

How sweet. But the statement had nothing to do with YOUR marriage specifically, but rather on which side of the morality fence you come down. To answer that by talking about YOUR marriage does not resolve the question. You define marriage in an abnormal way if you belief that it includes anything outside the traditional and REAL definition, which is one man bound for life to one woman.

So again you are purposely and willfully side-stepping the point, MANIPULATING the language so as to appear mainstream when in fact your beliefs are not. (Please! No more attempts at countering this fact by use of more ambiguity and generalization!) You support unions that you cannot justify Biblically and claim God would bless them. This hardly supports a claim of moral conformity. This is not a my "wanting" to define marriage or morality. It is how marriage and morality IS defined.

"I teach my children hard work, belief in God, respect for others, compassion for the least of these, a hunger for justice, love for family. What about any of that is defined differently than you think "normal" people define it?"

The devil (especially in your case) is in the details, and this has been a sticking point in damn near every exchange between Bubba and you, as well as between us. You use these general terms, such as "belief in God", but the manifestation of the term does not square with traditional and mainstream understanding, to say nothing of actual Biblical examples.

Now, to be sure, Mark making such a statement (regarding you always being on the wrong side of morality) is itself a generalization. But to expect that it demands some type of legal certification in order to be a truthful statement is ludicrous. I certainly did not take to be a total, across the board reality. Rather, I took it to mean that in our discussions where a specific topic had moral implications, you are more often than not (being generous here) on the wrong side of morality.

But no, you have to go and stir up more trouble by your overwrought outrage. More manipulation and hardly what I'd call gracious. Why immediately assume the worst about his statements?

Mark said...

Art, that's what Liberals do. They apply every issue to themselves personally and to hell with what the majority wants.

One has to be very self centered to be a Liberal.

They claim to be looking out for others, but only when the outcome favors themselves.

Look at the nuts who advocate for wind power energy but won't allow wind turbines to be built in sight of their own backyards.

And that's just one example. There are hundreds more.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Mark: "I submit relations between heterosexuals is much more satisfying than between two homosexuals."

So are you admitting you've tried the whole gay thing and found it wanting? That's the only way I can figure you can make a statement like this.

My questions, by the way, were not "snarky". "Snarky" would be my response above. The questions I asked were legitimate questions based on your statements. Your responses, such as they are, while clearly explaining your position, are quite nonsensical. At least you confirm, for this reader, what I have guessed all along.

Despite your protestations about how intelligent you are, you are, quite simply put, dumber than a bag of nails.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark said...

Whenever there is a discussion of morality, you will always come down on the wrong side of the moral fence.

Marshall said...

Now, to be sure, Mark making such a statement (regarding you always being on the wrong side of morality) is itself a generalization.

Yes. It is a grossly ridiculous and wrong generalization. Allow me to demonstrate.

1. I believe in fidelity in a marriage. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

2. I believe in hard work. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

3. I believe stealing is morally wrong. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

4. I believe in telling the truth. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

5. I believe in living simply and sharing generously. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

6. I believe torture is morally wrong. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value? (I believe that you all probably think that it's okay IF the US is doing it, but otherwise wrong, so we might actually disagree on that one).

7. I believe in looking out for/assisting the least of these. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

8. I believe in living a gracious life - that we are saved by God's grace and ought to live by God's grace. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

9. I believe that marriage between two consenting adults who selflessly love and respect one another is a morally good thing, regardless if they're gay or straight. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value? (Here's probably the second area where we disagree on a moral issue).

10. I believe in being good stewards of God's creation. Do you agree or disagree with this moral value?

I could go on and on. I imagine we all agree on nearly every moral issue with the exception of maybe handful. Where do you think we disagree on moral issues other than the issue of gay marriage and torture and abortion? I suspect that you all and I agree on nearly every moral issue.

Now, does that mean we won't have different approaches on how, for example, to best aid the homeless or the sick or the orphaned? Of course we will sometimes disagree on tactics. But because we disagree on tactics is not to say we disagree on the morals behind the tactics.

It's ridiculous on the face of it to suggest that I am "always" or even "generally" wrong on moral issues. That would be an instance of attempting to slander or misrepresent someone and, I would hope we can agree, that slandering and misrepresenting is, itself, a moral wrong.

But by all means, show me that I am generally wrong on issues of morality. Other than the gay marriage, torture and abortion issues, where do you think I'm morally wrong?

Marshall Art said...

As I suggested, Dan, you quickly type up some points that don't really get at the issue at hand, but instead paint yourself with these general notions as totally mainstream. Worse, here you make noise about possibly disagreeing in the methods to promote the listed points of morality, but it is in these methods where one's morality can also be questioned.

For example, you speak of stealing as being immoral. But there are two problems here. I know you would not find it immoral to steal to feed a starving child. Thus, one needs to be specific about terms. The second problem is in redistributive taxation. That's clearly stealing and what's more, to support such while you are "living simply" is incredibly immoral in my view. You won't put in the time and effort to create the type of wealth that you feel is justified in taxing so you can see less fortunate people cared for. You purposely avoid that effort under some pseudo-sanctimonious code of simple living, yet support such taxation. It might not be definitionally theft, but it is support of it, along with a bit of envy and hypocrisy thrown in. Not very moral in my view.

I don't believe "hard work" is anything but morally neutral. "Hard work" is subjective. "Hard work" can be put in to achieve wicked ends. "Hard work" is not moral, it is only hard work.

In the many discussions here and elsewhere, it is clear that telling the truth is subjective as well. Not for me, necessarily, but I can't make the same claim for you. So many things you've said you believe to be true about God and Scripture are clearly untrue as far as I and most normal people are concerned. Your claims about our misinterpretations of your positions have been blatant falsehoods.

Living simply and sharing generously. One can't truly do both. To purposely avoid aquiring leaves little to nothing to share. As suggested above, however, you've made known you have no problem sharing other people's things. What's moral about that? As to the living simply BS, there's still too many questions regarding just how that's manifested in your life for me to agree about it being moral. Thus, I don't see "living simply" as being necessarily a moral thing. Lots of lazy people "live simply" but insist they are hard working. "Living simply" is absolutely morally neutral.

cont--

Marshall Art said...

#7 is also a point that sounds good on the surface, but the means by which it is accomplished would determine the morality.

Living a "gracious life"? Subjective. And the manner in which this might be carried out is open to judgement as well.

(Oops--missed #6) Torture is definitely a subjective issue as you've never fully explained what you consider torture and why. AND, it's never been a question of WHO is doing the torturing, but why torture is being employed that determines the morality of its use. For example, to allow the deaths of innocent people rather than to torture a scumbag who is likely to have life saving info is absolutely immoral. Your position that torture is alway wrong no matter what is hypocritical considering your laughable position that homosexual behavior is sometimes acceptable. Obviously, you believe intention has something to do with whether or not homosex is OK or not. Yet, intention is irrelevant in the use of torture. There are no examples in Scripture of where homosex is acceptable (with the Levitcal law specifically outlawing the act---PERIOD), but there are scores of examples where violence is sanctioned by God. Torture is a violent act. You believe violence and torture is always immoral. Clearly there's no Biblical support for this issue. NOTE: I'm referring to ALWAYS wrong. You can't support that.

#9, obviously wrong since there IS a problem Scripturally, thus morally, with homo unions.

Stewardship of the earth is also a contentious issue as you believe such is without exception, that it takes precedence over human comfort.

So obviously I have much disagreement with your notions of morality and have no problem with the statement regarding how often you fail in this regard.

Dan Trabue said...

Obviously, we agree that some things are wrong even while we may disagree on the specifics of some instances. We could talk about the specific instances, perhaps. For instance, you say...

you speak of stealing as being immoral. But there are two problems here. I know you would not find it immoral to steal to feed a starving child.

And then go on to say...

to allow the deaths of innocent people rather than to torture a scumbag who is likely to have life saving info is absolutely immoral.

Thus, stealing a loaf of bread (physically harming no one in the process) to save a starving child from dying is wrong to you (and right to me), BUT at the same time TORTURING someone in order to save an innocent person is okay to you (and wrong to me). It is amazing to me you don't see the irony in your positions, but there you go.

We could discuss the specifics, but I'm not sure what value that would have and beside that, we really have roamed all over the place away from your topic.

The point is, we DO agree that stealing in general is wrong. That torture in general is wrong. All humans probably disagree on some of the specifics - some of us might hold more solidly to absolutes (it's ALWAYS wrong to torture, for me; it's ALWAYS wrong to steal, for you) but we agree on the concepts. That was my point. If you are going to hold that I am "always" or even "generally" wrong on moral issues, then that means you will have to stake out a position AGAINST living loving, just, respectful, hard working lives, devoted to the good of God and family and community.

But of course, you aren't against such things and I'm not against such things. We may disagree on how to arrive at best working for justice or how best to love our neighbors, but we don't disagree on the concepts.

That's all I'm saying.

Dan Trabue said...

I DO have to comment on this remark...

Stewardship of the earth is also a contentious issue as you believe such is without exception, that it takes precedence over human comfort.

1. You don't know what I think about being good stewards every time without exception, because you have not asked me. I'm not generally the absolutist that most conservatives pretend to be.

2. Do you REALLY mean to sound as shallow and vain as this comment sounds? "Yeah, so we DID destroy the Gulf of Mexico, costing many lives and billions (trillions) of dollars in damage to the environment and to people's jobs, but at LEAST we could sleep in comfort with our air conditioning on..."

That SOUNDS like what you're talking about, that some pompous lard-ass can keep his AC on 60 degrees so he can be "comfortable" in August is more important than billions and billions of dollars of economic and environmental damage.

I pray that most Americans aren't so lazy and self-important as to put a little comfort over responsible living. I'm relatively sure that you don't mean that to come across in as shallow a manner as it DOES come across. Because that would be morally wrong, placing mere comfort over responsible living.

Marshall Art said...

"Thus, stealing a loaf of bread (physically harming no one in the process) to save a starving child from dying is wrong to you (and right to me)..."

What are you, some kind of idiot? I never said stealing to feed a starving child was wrong, I merely assumed YOU didn't think so after you said stealing is immoral. Can you understand how I and others, like Bubba, can have problems with your ability to intepret and reason when you make stupid assumptions like that?

"...at the same time TORTURING someone in order to save an innocent person is okay to you (and wrong to me)."

So you believe it is moral to allow the death of an innocent when the torture of a scumbag would produce the info necessary to prevent it? You are incredibly twisted.

I fully believe that to get to specifics and details of any moral question, the liklihood of you being on the wrong side is high. In time I may come to change that opinion, but based on all you've ever said up to this point, I'll take that wager.

AS to your last entry:

Point #1. I'll concede the point for now with reservations.

#2. From what dark recess of your ass did you pull THIS gem? And could you be more over the top in your description of the situation? Lives were indeed lost in the explosion, but to what extent this debacle will impact the Gulf remains to be seen. There's very little that supports the opinion of a "fragile" earth and you "stewards" would have us believe. You guys ALWAYS overhype. And to think that there's anything in my comment that would justify your stupid response is proof. This goes again to your inability to interpret, or worse, your eagerness to disparage an opponent's position relative to your own. "Human comfort", and I feel like I'm talking to a four-year old to even go through this, was NOT a reference to some fat-ass sitting in his air conditioned home, but human progress in general, with all the benefits to our kind it produces, such as medical advances, that environmental geeks would have us do without so as to protect some field mouse or frog. That we have to now hold off on any technological progress if we cannot absolutely and perfectly guarantee against negative ecological impact of any degree. THAT'S what I meant by "human comfort" and thank you so very much for again assuming the worst. Where's this fucking "graciousness" you so highly favor?

Marshall Art said...

As to moral issues and this thread, you're on the wrong side here as well as you imply that our current immigration laws are unjust, or that to deport those who sneak in is immoral. What's immoral is supporting the breaking of established laws as opposed to working to change those laws by proper procedures.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

was NOT a reference to some fat-ass sitting in his air conditioned home, but human progress in general, with all the benefits to our kind it produces, such as medical advances, that environmental geeks would have us do without so as to protect some field mouse or frog.

Well, I assume you have a basic facility with language. If you had meant to juxtapose protecting the environment against medical advances or "progress" in general, I would have assumed you would have SAID that. You didn't say that, you said "comfort."

EVEN SO, obviously I DIDN'T assume the worst of you. Instead, I asked a clarifying question...

"Do you REALLY mean to sound as shallow and vain as this comment sounds?"

I then proceeded to assure everyone that I was relatively sure you DIDN'T mean what it sounded like you were saying. You'll recall that I said specifically...

"I'm relatively sure that you don't mean that to come across in as shallow a manner as it DOES come across."

And now you have clarified that you didn't mean merely a shallow sense of comfort, but you meant something else - human progress - which is a different thing to compare/contrast than simple comfort.

Now we are a bit closer to understanding one another. No need to get so hot, just clarify as you did and we can be on the same page.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

So you believe it is moral to allow the death of an innocent when the torture of a scumbag would produce the info necessary to prevent it? You are incredibly twisted.

I am always opposed to torture, yes, as it is an evil. Now some might make the case that it is the LESSER of two evils and ought to be employed as a last ditch effort to prevent a greater evil. And I think that case can be made (although I would most likely still disagree in the end). BUT, it would still be an evil.

A lesser evil does not become a good simply because it is the lesser evil. It remains an evil. That is the principle behind just war theory, as well. War IS an evil, just war theorists would generally say, it's just that it MAY be the lesser evil in some instances and thus, ought to be engaged in as a lesser evil. But we ought NEVER confuse lesser evils as a moral good.

Seems to me.

Craig said...

"And this is another example that God is a Democrat, clearly," said Stephanie Miller on Friday.

"Since January 2005, inspectors issued just one minor infraction for the rig. That strong track record led the agency LAST YEAR (during the P-BO regime) to herald the Deepwater Horizon as an industry model for safety."

A couple of quotes to brighten Dan's day.

To use Dan's Reason, then since stealing is always wrong/evil then stealing to feed a hungry child is merely a lesser evil. It's certainly not good.

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps. But there is a sea level change of difference between the moral "wrong" of stealing bread to save a starving child and the moral wrong of engaging in torture to perhaps save some innocents.

There is SUCH a huge difference that I would say that one could not truly classify the stealing of bread to save a child as "evil," not in any significant sense of the word. We might call it a "wrong," as in, "Well, it was wrong on one level to steal that bread, but ultimately it was the right thing to do, in order to save the life of the child."

You aren't suggesting that, faced with no other possibilities, stealing a loaf of bread to save a starving child is actually "evil," are you Craig?

[Note: I'm not saying Craig is calling it "evil," I'm asking him to clarify if he thinks it evil or not. Just in case anyone is having a hard time understanding the words coming out of my keyboard.]

Dan Trabue said...

Craig quoted...

"Since January 2005, inspectors issued just one minor infraction for the rig. That strong track record led the agency LAST YEAR (during the P-BO regime) to herald the Deepwater Horizon as an industry model for safety."

Obama said last week...

"This is a responsibility that all of us share," he said. "The oil companies share it. The manufacturers of this equipment share it. The agencies and the federal government in charge of oversight share that responsibility.

And...

But it is pretty clear that the system failed, and it failed badly. And for that, there is enough responsibility to go around. And all parties should be willing to accept it.

That includes, by the way, the federal government. For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill.


Clearly, mistakes were made. I'm sure mistakes are still being made. Obama at least seems willing to admit it and, in theory, change it. We must hold him accountable to do so.

Craig said...

Dan,

I'm saying that "Thou shalt not steal" actually means "Thou shalt not steal". It appears on plain reading of the text that stealing is a sin, and I see no exceptions. Having said that I might, if faced with that situation, steal the bread, ask forgiveness, and make restitution as soon as I was able. I would not, however kid myself that stealing was anything other than sinful.


Using your logic (and slightly editing your quote), one could then argue.

"Well, it was wrong on one level to use extreme interrogation measures on that terrorist, but ultimately it was the right thing to do, in order to save the life of numerous children and adults."

I'll beleieve that any P-BO supporters will hold him accountable when I actually see it.

Actually, I think you are correct. Mistakes were made, but those mistakes don't justify shutting down an entire industry. Or Stephanie Miller is right and God did it to help the dems.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Can't help myself . . .

From our host: "So you believe it is moral to allow the death of an innocent when the torture of a scumbag would produce the info necessary to prevent it? You are incredibly twisted."

What's incredibly twisted about this is manifold. Referring to human beings as "scumbags" is twisted. Believing that torture is at all efficacious in gaining information is twisted, and also contrary to all evidence. Supporting inflicting pain on human beings in the name of security is twisted. Believing that life is such a paramount value that it transcends the Christian dictum that we are to treat others the way we wish to be treated is twisted.

Rooted in fear and ignorance, hatred and myopia, this has nothing to do with the way a moral nation runs its affairs. The wrath of the world is directed upon us precisely because this kind of twisted thinking ruled for eight years. The broken bodies and lives that surround us, the cries of the families of victims of this kind of thinking will not reach you, Marshall.

I am quite astounded at your ability to call any other individual immoral, as you are quite blind to your own moral emptiness.

Marshall Art said...

"Referring to human beings as "scumbags" is twisted."

So Hitler was just misunderstood? The Hussein boys were just incorrigible? And John Wayne Gacy. Was he just quirky?

Here's something else immoral: refusing to call evil by its name. What's more, you haven't "all" the evidence regarding the value of enhanced interrogation techniques (nor the moral maturity to understand the difference between that and actual torture---I only used the word because Dan doesn't either and you bozos think it's all the same). KSM sang like a canary after a few drenchings. That has to be considered against what evidence you think you have. In addition, and I may be mistaken on this but I don't think so, military personnel are no longer requested to give only name, rank and serial number in the face of torture. If this is true, then torture does indeed procure actionable intel, at least for those who torture our guys.

I support inflicting pain on known assholes who people more expert that I believe have info that will save innocent lives. You tell me just how Christian it is to allow those innocents to die when making a known asshole uncomfortable will prevent it. Explain that to me. It is far more than "two wrongs make a right" as the asshole has brought it upon himself and can prevent it by talking up front. I am more than willing to face Judgement with this position. Shame on you for being so willing to bring suffering on innocent people just to posture yourself as christian.

You are such a fool by choice. Innocent life DOES have more value than the life of he who would take in order to serve a warped agenda. That you lack the spine to do what is necessary to preserve innocent life is apparent. Pretending it is Christian to let innocents die rather than to be seen by other half-wits as less than Christian because you forced life saving info out of a known asshole is immoral itself.

"Rooted in fear and ignorance, hatred and myopia, this has nothing to do with the way a moral nation runs its affairs."

And it is against just such a people that a moral nation often must employ extreme measures in order to prevail. But that doesn't in any way describe me or those who understand that doing nasty things to nasty people is sometimes necessary.

" The wrath of the world is directed upon us precisely because this kind of twisted thinking ruled for eight years."

Utter incredible and absolute bullshit. The talk of Bush-hating morons who have no sense of reality.

"The broken bodies and lives that surround us, the cries of the families of victims of this kind of thinking will not reach you, Marshall."

Nice try, Sparky. I'm concerned with the broken bodies of those murdered on 9/11, those murdered during the entire reign of people like Sadam Hussein and those who support them. I'm concerned with those who died as result of firing upon Americans, Israelis and other good guys from amongst their own civilian populations.

You dare speak of moral emptiness. What rank hypocrisy!

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I'm saying that "Thou shalt not steal" actually means "Thou shalt not steal"... if faced with that situation, steal the bread, ask forgiveness, and make restitution as soon as I was able. I would not, however kid myself that stealing was anything other than sinful.

And would you have engaged in "evil" behavior by stealing bread to save a child? I say it would be ridiculous on the face to call such behavior evil. I say to see a closed grocery store within sight of a starving child and NOT to "steal" that bread would be evil, not to mention stupid. What about you?

Dan Trabue said...

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."

Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."


Mark 2

Marshall Art said...

And would you have engaged in "evil" behavior by torturing a known terrorist leader to save a child? I say it would be ridiculous on the face to call such behavior evil. I say to force info out of a terrorist with high liklihood that doing so would save an innocent child and NOT "torture" that scumbag would be evil, not to mention stupid. What about you?

Don't bother answering. I know you can't see the parallel. You can't see that that the sin isn't hurting someone (and stealing does hurt the victim do a lesser degree than physical harm) but doing something God prohibits. Yet, as in your own Scriptural example, intention has meaning and God will decide if the intention is just.

Dan Trabue said...

So, sometimes torture is NOT an evil (even maybe a lesser evil), is that what you're saying? That the ends justify the means?

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 260   Newer› Newest»