welfare bums

I’m seriously torn on accepting interracial relationships. First let me start by saying I want everyone to be happy, I truly do. Since I can remember I’ve loved romance books and movies. But some days I go back and forth on the topic. Personally I’m strictly into black men. I get mad when I see black males of any kind (door man, lawyer, bum on welfare, entertainers, half black with black momma, athletes,docs,senators etc) with non black women. I believe we should marry our own. You rarely/never see asians or middle eastern ppl having to be reminded to marry within. But today I watched a young widow (non black woman married to a black man) tell her story on YouTube and I cried. I even said a prayer for her. They were a lovely Couple. I wished they would’ve had kids so she wouldn’t be alone , hell I wished he was still with her. I don’t want anyone to know that pain. I’m confused ……

We are told, for example, that conservatives are against big government and high spending. Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well, what do many Medicaid recipients look like — and I’m talking about the color of their skin, not the content of their character — and how does that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

Or we’re told that conservatives, the Tea Party in particular, oppose handouts because they believe in personal responsibility, in a society in which people must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement’s passion, starting with Rick Santelli’s famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers. And what is it about these borrowers that makes them such targets of ire? You know the answer.

One odd consequence of our still-racialized politics is that conservatives are still, in effect, mobilizing against the bums on welfare even though both the bums and the welfare are long gone or never existed. Mr. Santelli’s fury was directed against mortgage relief that never actually happened. Right-wingers rage against tales of food stamp abuse that almost always turn out to be false or at least greatly exaggerated. And Mr. Ryan’s black-men-don’t-want-to-work theory of poverty is decades out of date.

In the 1970s it was still possible to claim in good faith that there was plenty of opportunity in America, and that poverty persisted only because of cultural breakdown among African-Americans. Back then, after all, blue-collar jobs still paid well, and unemployment was low. The reality was that opportunity was much more limited than affluent Americans imagined; as the sociologist William Julius Wilson has documented, the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs, and the supposed cultural causes of poverty were actually effects of that lack of opportunity. Still, you could understand why many observers failed to see this.

But over the past 40 years good jobs for ordinary workers have disappeared, not just from inner cities but everywhere: adjusted for inflation, wages have fallen for 60 percent of working American men. And as economic opportunity has shriveled for half the population, many behaviors that used to be held up as demonstrations of black cultural breakdown — the breakdown of marriage, drug abuse, and so on — have spread among working-class whites too.

These awkward facts have not, however, penetrated the world of conservative ideology. Earlier this month the House Budget Committee, under Mr. Ryan’s direction, released a 205-page report on the alleged failure of the War on Poverty. What does the report have to say about the impact of falling real wages? It never mentions the subject at all.

And since conservatives can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening to opportunity in America, they’re left with nothing but that old-time dog whistle. Mr. Ryan wasn’t being inarticulate — he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.
… the blame-the-victim crowd has gotten everything it wanted: Benefits, especially for the long-term unemployed, have been slashed or eliminated. So now we have rants against the bums on welfare when they aren’t bums — they never were — and there’s no welfare…. Strange to say, this outbreak of anti-compassionate conservatism hasn’t produced a job surge…. The right lives in its own intellectual universe, aware of neither the reality of unemployment nor what life is like for the jobless.

Paul Krugman

During the Great Depression the unemployment rate peaked at 25%. Was there a plague of laziness at the time? Did the 2008 financial crises breed laziness?

Or, maybe there are not enough jobs to go around. #reality #CEOsentyourjoboverseas #investinAmerica

The Religious Right's Last Gasp
I can think of nothing that’s done more damage to American Christianity than the Religious Right. Despite what the movement’s prophets sancti...

Truly wonderful!

I can think of nothing that’s done more damage to American Christianity than the Religious Right.

Despite what the movement’s prophets sanctimoniously shout from their pulpits, it’s not secular humanism, gay marriage, abortion, the ACLU, evolution, porn, or the ban against school prayer that’s most eroded Christianity in this country.

What’s emptied churches is the unseemly ambition of Religious Right leaders like Jerry Falwell (father and son), James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and Franklin Graham to crown themselves moral police and political powerbrokers.  Make no mistake about it:  politics is the tail that wags this dog.  From Day One, the Religious Right cynically hijacked Jesus as a front man for its political agenda.  

But the Religious Right has now jettisoned any pretense to being genuinely Christian. How else to explain its embrace of a presidential candidate who’s as far from being a Christian as a starfish is from being a star?  The endorsement has the feel of a last-ditch, at-any-cost attempt to hold onto the political power the movement’s enjoyed for nearly forty years.

God willing, it’s the Religious Right’s final gasp.

I don’t say this because I’m one of those liberal Christians who, as a clerical colleague of mine hyperbolically states, “believe whatever they want to as long as it makes them feel good.”  I’m actually a pretty traditional Christian, although not, perhaps, enough of one for my conservative friends and certainly too much of one for my liberal friends.  

I subscribe to what C.S. Lewis called “mere Christianity”:  a holding fast to central doctrines, identifiable through revelation and reason, coupled with a willingness to welcome or at least hear out a wide breadth of moral, spiritual, and theological positions.  Mere Christianity embraces the humble spirit of St. Augustine’s “in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom; in everything charity.”

Augustine’s counsel sticks in the craw of the Religious Right, whose leaders demand lockstep fidelity to the political goals they morph into “Christian” principles.

When challenged, the Religious Right exhibits the denunciatory spirit of the Taliban, even if it stops short of the latter’s nasty practices.  From the 1979 launch of the Moral Majority to the present day, the movement has thunderously called down God’s judgment on anyone who refuses to embrace That Old Time Religion version of Christianity it hucksters for political gain.

For all its Bible-thumping, the Religious Right shows scant respect for scripture, cherry-picking scriptural passages that best fit its social and political agenda and ignoring others.

Both Testaments, for example, call for radical hospitality to the stranger.  The Religious Right wants to close the borders.

Jewish and Christian Scripture obliges us to care for the orphaned, widowed, and poor.  The Religious Right despises “welfare bums.”

The two Testaments consistently warn against the abuse of power, while offering only a handful of observations about sexual conduct.  The Religious Right obsesses over sexual morality to the point of lechery, but remains relatively silent about social injustice.

Jesus’ moral teachings in the Gospels center on nonviolent love.  The Religious Right never saw a weapons procurement bill it didn’t back.

Again and again, despite its biblical rhetoric, the Religious Right favors Caesar over God.  This arrogant doublespeak has not gone unnoticed, and it’s undermined the credibility of Christianity in America.

Because the media can’t seem to get enough of the Religious Right’s antics—after all, reportage of outrageous sectarian positions makes for good copy—thousands of otherwise thoughtful people now believe that the Religious Right and Christianity are synonymous.  Thanks to this confusion, those who otherwise might have explored the faith with open minds and hearts are repelled by it.

Moreover, national surveys routinely reveal that Millennials turn away from Christianity primarily because they’re turned off by the Religious Right’s joyless puritanism.  Data also show that a sizable portion of once-churched Christians―”nones”―leave because of the Religious Right’s splenetic intolerance and transparent politicking.

But the good news is that the tide seems to be turning. The Religious Right’s jaundiced presidential endorsement can’t but reveal the movement for what it is:  an unscrupulous political machine that has nothing to do with genuine Christianity and everything to do with lust for power.  This exposure surely numbers its days.
Now, for we mere Christians, begins the uphill work of rehabilitating the faith that the Religious Right so besmirched.