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March 23, 2012


Theocrat Watch 2

The Usual Suspects gathered in Washington yesterday and released a proposal for something they call a “Faithful Budget.” Jeff Walton of the Institute for Religion and Democracy has the details:

Jewish, Muslim, and Mainline Protestant church officials joined the heads of several left-leaning religious groups Thursday to release their own U.S. budget proposals, naming tax increases and defense cuts alongside increased funding for Obamacare implementation. The proposal did not delve into specifics, but outlined points it said were consistent with a budget that is “faithful.”

“If this means that those who have been richly blessed must contribute more to the wellbeing of all, then so be it,” announced Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness Director J. Herbert Nelson. Nelson, who read comments on behalf of PCUSA Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, stated that “this nation has an abundance of resources,” and that budget decisions should be based on need rather than on “ideas of scarcity.”

Gosh, where have I heard that before? Seems like I’ve heard somebody talk about “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Who was that, anyway?

Nelson also asserted that religious institutions required a free spending government partner in order to successfully meet the needs of the poor, claiming “the faith community needs a social safety net to remain strong.”

Churches need the federal government to spend money like water “to remain strong”? Who knew?

Among the officials gathered in front of the Capitol Hill United Methodist Building were United Methodist Church Council of Bishops Executive Secretary Neil Irons, United Church of Christ General Minister Geoffrey Black and former National Council of Churches President Michael Livingston. Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Bread for the World President David Beckman also spoke, as did Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of the liberal Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK, and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) National Director Sayyid Syeed.

Like I said, the Usual Suspects. Don’t know where Katharine Jefforts Schori was—must have had a lawsuit to file or something.

“We believe that God assesses the value of a nation by the way in which it cares for the marginal – for those people who cannot care for themselves,” Irons explained, calling for a budget which he said addresses health, education, community formation, “and the possibility of hope for all the people and not just for part.”

You know, it sounds like he’s saying that God judges nations based on the way they draw up their national budget. That sounds awfully fundamentalist to me.

“Our task is not simply to address the world of today, it is to see to it that those who come after us in this world will be advantaged by the abundance of this wonderful planet on which God has placed us,” explained Irons. “Therefore, we call upon Congress to adopt a faithful budget which recognizes that security is something that all people have a right to, and not just a part, and that in the process of that we harbor our resources in order to give a gift to those who come after us on this planet.”

I have no idea what any of that means, but it sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

“It’s time for hard decisions to be made, and for Congress to stop standing up for the extremely wealthy,” intoned Livingston, who addressed changes to the tax system by saying “in Jesus day it was camels through the eye of needles, today it is corporations through loopholes.”

Step away from the metaphor, and no one will get hurt. Jesus was saying it was hard for a rich man to be saved, while corporations find it easy to…oh, skip it.

In addition to cuts in defense such as “substantially” reducing the number of nuclear armed submarines and aircraft, along with active nuclear warheads, the budget proposal calls for cutting border patrol expenditures, funding for employment verification and “ceasing cooperation with the enforcement of state anti-immigrant laws.” The budget proposal provided at the press conference calls for increases in social spending, public school improvements, home energy assistance, and a “substantial increase” in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (welfare) funding. The proposal also calls for expanded entitlement spending and increased subsidies for “renewable energy research and development.”

In other words, it’s the Obama budget in fancy robes, a budget so ridiculous that Harry Reid wouldn’t even let the Democrat-controlled Senate vote on it. But this isn’t about votes in Congress, this is about THE LORD:

“Our concern is a budget that is faithful to the will of God,” claimed Black, who dramatically expanded the scope of the U.S. budget by asserting it was a “moral statement” necessary so that “all people and the Earth can live out God’s will.”

So the federal budget—the spending plan of the government of the United States, the plan that spends the money of all of the taxpayers of the United States, including atheists, agnostics, and believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster—that budget should be “faithful to the will of God.” That, my friends, is the very definition of a theocratic document.

I expect the ACLU, Americans for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way, and the Interfaith Alliance to come out of their shoes in opposition to this blatant attempt to put a dominionist stranglehold on these United States. I mean really—conservative theocrats just want to stop gay marriage and ban abortion. Liberal theocrats want to use religion to dictate how trillions of dollars are spent and control every aspect of your life except who you have sex with and abortion. Who would you rather have trying to run your life?


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10 comments

“Step away from the metaphor, and no one will get hurt.”  LOL

Did you catch the recent news that about the ONLY place experiencing economic good times is DC? (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2012/03/19/the-expanding-wealth-of-washington/)  So it isn’t corporations with loopholes, it is the federal government lords and ladies taking a big share from the serfs and using it to maintain favored knights. 

Lib Prot Theocrats are apologists for this new feudalism.

[1] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-23-2012 at 12:48 PM · [top]

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/03/14/rise-in-christians-has-chinas-churches-government-looking-for-help/

The PB is still on her tour of Asia and meeting with Chinese party members. Make her the PB of [government-controlled] Chinese Protestants? ... now that’s one way to prop up ECUSA’s numbers and influence.
 

‘Later, in 1949, Mao Zedong banned the religion following the Chinese Revolution. It didn’t re-surge until after his death in 1976 and the end of the Cultural Revolution. Now, with the communist central government’s sanction and oversight, Protestant Christianity has spread dramatically, manifesting in an unprecedented post-denominational, independent fashion.

And the Chinese government wants to work with the Episcopal Church, said Peter Ng, the church’s global partnerships officer for Asia and the Pacific, in an interview with ENS in China. “The government sees the Episcopal Church as a relevant voice in modern society.” ‘

YIKES!

[2] Posted by jaybird in Springfield on 3-23-2012 at 01:38 PM · [top]

. . .security is something that all people have a right to, and not just a part, and that in the process of that we harbor our resources in order to give a gift to those who come after us on this planet.

<irony>
Doesn’t sound so bad. . . they obviously want a balanced budget, eliminate the national debt, and establish a surplus.
</irony>

[3] Posted by paradoxymoron on 3-23-2012 at 04:07 PM · [top]

Some of these statements sound so crazy that I have no idea how to respond. These people are probably the most egregious ‘deficit deniers’ outside the Occupy movement.

[4] Posted by All-Is-True on 3-23-2012 at 05:11 PM · [top]

My suspicion is that they are card-carrying members of the economic cult that thinks deficits and debt don’t matter, and so can be run up indefinitely without harm.

[5] Posted by David Fischler on 3-23-2012 at 06:01 PM · [top]

Let them rant and rave all they want.  The reality is we are the most broke nation ever on earth.  For some deranged reason, our liberals believe the world will absorb our debt year after year to finance our self-destructive behavior.  That takes narcissism to a whole new level of meaning.  The value of the dollar is falling against major world currencies. 

One day, a major supplier to America may demand payment in gold for goods we need.  Then TSWHTF…....

[6] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-24-2012 at 07:51 AM · [top]

Can someone remind me about that OT injunction against stealing…did it have a proviso that it was acceptable with majority votes in the legislature?

[7] Posted by Jeffersonian on 3-24-2012 at 08:21 PM · [top]

Is the Muslim’s name, “Say yid”, supposed to be anti-Jewish, or this merely a serendipitous coincidence?

Also, I can’t believe my favorite Methodist Socialist and head of the GBCS, little Jimmy Winkler, wasn’t there calling out people as immoral and shameful if they didn’t support the Faithful Budget which, in reality, celebrates covetousness and larceny.

[8] Posted by Daniel on 3-25-2012 at 11:48 AM · [top]

It is ironic that the Mainline / Oldline / Sideline denominations have such marvelous insight into the will of God for the Federal Government and yet cannot seem to discern the will of God for their own organizations to make themselves vital congregations once again.  I seem to recall a a parable about a mote in a brother’s eye and a beam in one’s own. 
As a lifelong United Methodist who sees his church on the wrong side of most major social justice issues, I really have to wonder why God would allow the denomination to continue to sanction the murder of unborn innocents, to outsource its care for the needy to the government bureaucrats, and to value inclusiveness over holiness.  Perhaps the decline of these denominations in the U.S/ reflects the abandonment wrath of God.  One can only pray that it will be over soon and that God will raise up a faithful remnant lead by those in the global south who still believe in the plain meaning of scripture.

[9] Posted by ABQ Methodist on 3-25-2012 at 02:36 PM · [top]

Seems to me these guys just want stuff that “someone else” will pay for.  You know, you and me.


Pitiful.  And sinful.

[10] Posted by B. Hunter on 3-27-2012 at 10:54 AM · [top]

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