I would be remiss if I didn’t say this article was difficult for me to write. I am one who rarely criticizes anyone’s religious beliefs. We all have the right to believe what we wish. But, this article is not about whether Christmas or Christianity is good or bad, but rather whether or not certain actions have actually harmed both. I was brought up in the Catholic Church and I fully understand the teachings of the New Testament. Since that time, I have lived my life and work in fields that looked to assist others. Not out of any religious belief, because I have a different perspective, but rather because I believed that was the right thing to do. I am sure this belief was born out of my upbringing.
However, my religious beliefs changed not because I rejected the concept of God or the teachings of Jesus, but rather the hypocrisy of those who claim to be “strong believers”. And, because of those who preach that their wealth and good fortune is a “blessing from God”. Meaning if you are not wealthy or full of blessings, you are being punished by God. In wartime, I have always detested the old adage “God is on our side”. How presumptive can anyone be to believe God is on the side of any war?
I served my country for 20 years because I believed in the concepts of our Constitution. For me, the whole dream of our country is found in the simple Preamble of our Constitution:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
If you read it again, you may notice that there is absolutely nothing in these words that ordains our country as being from God! Yet, the conservative movement in this country consistently says the Constitution proves our belief in God and Christianity. In a perverse sense, they are somewhat correct. It does offer some glimpse into a Christian Philosophy! Unfortunately for them, they totally miss the point. The part where it says “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty”. How can they profess to be “establishing justice or promoting the general welfare” when they exclude the poor, elderly, sick, disabled, and less well-off?
We are now rehearing the term “compassionate conservative” being hurled around. The Republicans seem to think that by calling themselves compassionate conservatives, their prejudices are justified. I say that because there are a whole lot of truths that say otherwise. Additionally, conservatives are very quick to wrap themselves in the Bible whenever it suits their political goals. The only problem is they always quote the Old Testament not the New Testament! I was taught that Christianity was based on the New Testament not the Old.
As usual, FOX and their self-anointed Prophet Bill O’Reilly have brought up their annual war on Christmas. What most rational people really see is that they are the actual wagers of this war. Christmas is supposed to be a time of charity, peace on earth, and the brotherhood of man! Yet, they continually voice just the opposite beliefs. Just listen to their words and you find this is the truth. Oh, they are in favor of charity as long as they get big tax breaks for giving. They are for peace on earth as long as we can invade Iran or any other Muslim Country anytime we want. They are for the brotherhood of man as long as that is a white man. No women included by the way.
All of these conservatives who are now claiming to be compassionate conservatives wrap themselves in the mantle of being Christian! So, let’s take a look at their “compassion”.
First: They are against extending unemployment insurance for millions of people out of work for over 26 weeks. As Rand Paul said, this insurance is a “disservice to the unemployed because it makes them part of the perpetual unemployed class in this country.” Even though there are three times as many unemployed as there are job openings!
Second: These Republicans are especially compassionate when it comes to helping the poor. They argue that helping the poor as Paul Ryan says “makes them dependent and complacent”. Their compassionate conservative Christian belief is to work to cut the poor, hungry, elderly, disabled, ill and others off from any means of assistance.” That is why they wish to reduce Food Stamps even more than they have already cut. They even want to make drug testing part of the criteria for getting Food Stamps. According to them, people are on food stamps because they are lazy out-of-work drug users!
Third: These compassionate conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to stop any raise to the minimum wage. They argue that if the minimum wage is raised jobs will be lost. Even though our history shows that when the minimum wage was raised in the past job creation went up not down. The economy got a bit healthier not worse. That is because people who make minimum wage spend their money right away. That causes demand to rise, employment to rise, and, gag, profits to rise!
Yet the Heritage Foundation last April said: “The typical minimum-wage employee is a high school or college student with a part-time job, a major reason so many have attended—but not completed—college.” Meaning we are talking about teenagers. Yet, as we discussed in an earlier article, the average age of people making minimum wage is 28. Many with families to support.
To make matters worse, many of these compassionate conservative Christians want to eliminate the minimum wage completely. They believe that you should take whatever job is available regardless of what it pays. That would put even more people on SNAP not less!
Fourth: They want to repeal the ACA. Many Republican states are so incensed about the ACA they are refusing to expand Medicaid even though the Federal Government is paying for it! Once again the Heritage Foundation (who actually wrote most of the ACA in 1989) says: “We were told that Obamacare was supposed to be compassionate toward the needy in America. … It includes disincentives for individuals to marry and for Americans of low and modest incomes to work.” I must admit, this is the first time I have ever heard someone actually say that getting healthcare is a “disincentive” to get married or to work!
Fifth: The House Republicans are against Immigration Reform. Especially for anyone who is non-white European. According to them, anyone who came here “illegally” must be deported. Even those who were brought here when they were children. Again the Heritage Foundation weighed in with a “study” that says Immigration Reform would cost the country $6.3 Trillion because it would cause new spending on social programs. They fail to mention that the person who wrote their “study” explained earlier that there is a “racial hierarchy” of intelligence. He wrote: “Decades of psychometric testing has indicated that at least in America, you have Jews with the highest average IQ, usually followed by East Asians, then you have non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, and then blacks.” Sounds a bit racist to me.
Sixth: The one thing that these compassionate conservative Christians are really compassionate about is tax relief for corporations and the very wealthy. They don’t have enough wealth according to them. While demanding cuts in food stamps, healthcare, unemployment benefits, etc., they are always, always insistent on cutting taxes for the fortunate few. Of course they will raise the taxes of everyone else to make up the lost revenues.
Seventh: The Dictator Legislative Branch of the State of Michigan has now decreed in law that it is illegal for “all public and private insurance plans in the state from covering abortion.” You read that right, even PRIVATE INSURANCE PLANS. This law forces women and employers to purchase separate policies to cover abortion care. And, it must be in place before the woman gets pregnant. EVEN IN CASES OF RAPE OR INCEST! Similar laws in Michigan were vetoed twice before but because this iteration of the bill was introduced through a rarely used initiative process, it does not require Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature in order to become law. The initiative process is supposed to be used for “citizen” initiatives. Yet, this “initiative” was from a right wing special interest group!
“This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” sais state Sen.Leader Gretchen Whitmer. “Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens’ initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.”
The far right. led by Foreign Owned Xenophobic news network, has railed against their fantasy “War on Christmas” and the “War on Christianity” for years. According to them, there is an obscure force trying to eliminate Christianity from our country. Through their actions and proposed legislation, they have proven to be that “obscure force”. Unfortunately, through their actions, it appears they have already killed Christianity in this country. Maybe that is why they have so vehemently screamed about Pope Francis and his comments about “money becoming the new god”.
Compassionate Conservatism is an urban myth! Compassionate Christian Conservatism has proven to be anything but Christian. It is based more on the teaching of Ayn Rand! Her philosophy says “it is not only bad for society, but morally wrong to help other people because it makes them dependent.” She goes on to say ” that altruism is evil, and that democracy (which they call “collectivism”) is the ultimate expression of this evil because it brings about a society in which government works to make people’s lives better.” Even Ted Cruz’s father, a self-proclaimed Christian Preacher says that “social justice is a cancer”. It is probably a good thing they believe Jesus rose from the dead. Otherwise, I am sure we would be hearing him spinning in his grave right now!
So the next time you hear your Republican friends talk about compassion or Christianity, remember their philosophies are based on greed, not Christian Teachings! There is no such thing as a compassionate conservative. They are simply greedy vulchers like these Republicans who are killing Christianity and our true moral fiber! The Preamble means nothing to them!