Priorities

American Christians say NO to the world’s poor:

Overall, evangelicals were more likely to favor reductions in federal spending, but like other Americans, they wanted most areas to remain the same or increased.

The top choices among evangelicals for the chopping block are economic assistance to needy people around the world (56 percent), government assistance for the unemployed (40 percent), and environmental protection (38 percent). In each of these categories, evangelicals were more supportive of decreasing spending than are other Americans. In fact, evangelicals were more supportive of funding cuts in every area except military defense, terrorism defense, aid to veterans, and energy.

Slacktivist’s typically eloquent response:

To think that cutting humanitarian foreign aid will be of any consequence for balancing America’s federal budget is, in fact, stupid — it betrays an ignorance or rejection of readily available facts. To prioritize cuts to such programs is, in fact, selfish. The priorities revealed in this poll also demonstrate that evangelical voters aren’t really concerned about deficits per se — someone actually concerned about deficits would be obliged to learn at least the most basic facts of the federal budget — but are instead driven by the fear that somebody else somewhere else might be receiving some benefit that they are not receiving. That is resentment for resentment’s sake….

The zombie lie that budgets could be balanced if only we stopped giving away such generous foreign humanitarian aid is actually two lies combined. First there is the lie that America’s foreign humanitarian aid is particularly generous. It’s not. And second there is the lie that a reduction, or even an elimination, of this spending would have any noticeable or meaningful impact on the federal budget. The graph above shows what we are talking about — a tiny, tiny sliver of overall discretionary spending, which is itself a smallish portion of the overall budget.

I just don’t get how anyone who is opposed to the stuff the Jesus of the Bible actually talked about (sacrificing yourself to help the poor) can call themselves “Christian”.

And no, relentlessly campaigning against stuff he never mentioned like gay people and abortion doesn’t make up for it. It doesn’t make up for it at all.

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52 responses to “Priorities

  1. Apologies if it’s old hat (it’s been around a while), but Al Franken’s Gospel of Supply Side Jesus seems appropriate here.

  2. “First there is the lie that America’s foreign humanitarian aid is particularly generous. It’s not.”

    wiki says:

    In absolute dollar terms, the United States is the largest international aid donor other than Mexico ($22.7 billion in 2006), but as a percent of gross national income, its contribution is only 0.2%, proportionally much smaller than contributions of countries such as Sweden (1.04%) and the United Kingdom (0.52%)

  3. Splatterbottom

    You might find that conservatives favour cuts in government spending in general. No doubt that when it comes to spending other peoples’ money the left reign supreme. However, a more balanced approach would acknowledge that religious conservatives give much more than secular leftists who are a richer and whiter demographic:

    Americans who described themselves as religious conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than those who describe themselves as liberals. This despite the fact that liberals have higher average incomes than conservatives.

    Brooks compared the donations of four groups: religious conservatives, secular liberals, secular conservatives and religious liberals. He found that, as a group, religious conservatives (the largest group at about 20 percent of the population) gave the most to charity — $2,367 per year, compared with $1,347 for the country at large. Many “religious conservatives” are tithing evangelical Protestants, so their religion may account for their giving more than their conservatism. Even when it comes to purely secular charities, religious conservatives give more than other Americans.

    Indeed, religious people, Brooks says, “are more charitable in every measurable nonreligious way.”

    Brooks found that conservatives donate more in time, services and even blood than other Americans, noting that if liberals and moderates gave as much blood as conservatives do, the blood supply would increase by about 45 percent.

    On average, a person who attends religious services and is “conservative” will give away 100 times more — and 50 times more to secular charities — than a person who does not attend religious services and self-describes as “liberal.”

    Secular liberals, the second largest group at 10 percent of the population, were the whitest and richest of the four groups. Described by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof as “bleeding-heart tightwads,” they were the second stingiest, just behind secular conservatives, who are mostly young, poor and white.

    Bottom line is that religious conservatives give where it hurts – out of their own pockets. Whining leftists not so much.

  4. American foreign aid has all the equivalence of a stingy father Xmas.

    “Hey Kid, wanna buy a present ? ”

  5. You’re comparing apples with oranges, SB. Secular liberals support the notion that the fortunate have a responsibility to look after the unfortunate – we just don’t think it should be optional. We think it’s a responsibility of government – of all of us, through our taxes. If government did its duty as we advocate, there’d be no need for charity.

  6. Splatterbottom

    Yada yada yada Jeremy. Just like the reason you don’t like tipping waiters. Lefties are stingy whingers.

  7. “Brooks compared ”

    Tee he. I thought S.B. was quoting Mel Brooks the comedian? Oh sh*t it’s really Arthur C Brooks from that rampant lefty orginization, the American Enterprise Institute. He must be right.

  8. Hardly. I’d happily go to a restaurant that charges more but pays its waiters properly.

    I don’t think paying waiters properly should be optional. Nor should restaurants expect customers to pay their staff’s wages separately so they can misleadingly underquote the real cost of the food.

    List a price that includes the food, the labour, and your profit margin, and I’ll pay that. Don’t take out the labour to make it seem cheaper and then expect me to add it on at the end.

    The end point of adopting a US-style tipping culture is waiters being paid like crap. That’s not a development I support.

  9. narcoticmusing

    Clearly, where Slaktivist went wrong here was introducing facts, which distorts the issue, being, that we should all be afraid of our shadow and those nasty Islamic extremists just waiting for us to downgrade our terror threat rating with their catlike reflexes.

    SB – I’d be curious if the values/percentages were similar here. That being said, I don’t agree that giving to one’s church, regardless of which religion or denomination, is charity at all. If I belong to an atheist group, that isn’t counted as charity. Nor does that group get any taxation benefit or government funding purely based on them being a group of people practicing their (lack of) faith.

    Religious organisations already get taxation benefits even if they are in no way benevolent; and they get government support (eg. funding towards events) that would never be provided to an atheist gathering (or a gathering to support Cthulhu as the one true Lord for that matter). If, to be granted taxation exemptions, they had to demonstrate they were actually a charity and/or a public benevolent institution with the same onerous compliance expected of actual charities and PBIs (many of them also religious) then, I’d accept that donations to them by religious conservatives is also charity.

    The fact is that money to religious groups is akin to political donations, such as to a lobby group. It is money to fund their own agenda (such as denying other people rights that they take for granted) and their sermons, which preach a mantra of disrespect (the idea that one must go out and convert others is by its very nature a denial of the legitimacy of other’s beliefs). Considering my taxes support this; and religious conservatives do not question that my taxes should, why can I not then ask that the teaching of (to use the Christian example because the article was about this) Jesus itself, such as the story of the good Samaritan, be also funded with my taxes?

    Which brings us right back to Jeremy’s article. The irony here, is that the very thing that the evangelical’s want to cut back on, is the very thing Jesus taught them to do.

  10. Is there a logic in ‘small government’ conservatives, being very keen on enlarging the very part of goverment that is the most potentially threatening, ie. the military?

  11. “religious conservatives”

    LOL – You’re talking about Scott Morrison and Kevin Andrews, two ‘religious conservatives’ that contradict their own god (typical). Or the religious ‘conservatives’ that want to rewrite the bible because the current one is too left wing (fuckwits)….

  12. ….or the religious conservatives that dig Sharia Law. Fuck knows why anybody would want to identify with the bigoted religious conservatives?

  13. Is there a logic in ‘small government’ conservatives, being very keen on enlarging the very part of goverment that is the most potentially threatening, ie. the military?

    Yes. They believe that defense – ie: the military – is one of, if not the only, genuinely valid domains of government.

  14. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “Secular liberals support the notion that the fortunate have a responsibility to look after the unfortunate “

    And being at heart totalitarians secular liberals want to seize the assets of others for that purpose. They have no interest in personal charity. Now we have a society built on economic rape. Insatiable predators like Gillard piss money away with inebriated abandon and then hold their withered hands out for more. The Greens at least are on to this ruse and rode on the backs of Queensland flood victims to get their turn at the pissoir. The day is surely coming when ordinary folk, forced into the role of trough-men by their new leftist overlords, will rise up and shred the organs of their oppressors.

    Narcotic, the survey showed that religious conservatives also gave more to secular charities than the wealthy white liberals.

    Dr Smithy: “the military – is one of, if not the only, genuinely valid domains of government”

    The first task of government is to guarantee the security of the state. The next task is to promote a system that allows democratic freedoms for all citizens and property rights which promote wealth creation. When the leftists tried their own version of wealth creation we inevitably ended up with totalitarian states bringing poverty misery and death to hundreds of millions of people.

    Nowadays the left is more in favour of the salami approach. Killing productivity by a thousand cuts and bankrupting the country by degrees. The destination is the same but the journey more tortuous, giving ample opportunity for the intellectual elite to inflict their sadistic fantasies on the rest of us.

  15. I’d be interested om some of the definitions in that study, SB. Is “Focus on the Family” definted as a charitable organisation, for instance? How about foreign evangelical organisations (whose focus is actually evangelism).

    The comment on tithing is also pretty pertinent, and I’m absolutely on board with the idea that religious conservatives are more often in situations where donations of time and money to defined charitable causes are an essential part of the social fabric of religious observance. To what degree it represents a personal exercise of liberty and to what extent the use of groupthink (with a positive outcome, I hasten to add). The Islamic zakat is an example of an actual scriptural requirement to give to charity.

    It would also be an interesting exercise to cross-reference the figure of donations with the proportion of tax paid in comparison to the same income group as well.

  16. And being at heart totalitarians secular liberals want to seize the assets of others for that purpose. They have no interest in personal charity. Now we have a society built on economic rape. Insatiable predators like Gillard piss money away with inebriated abandon and then hold their withered hands out for more. The Greens at least are on to this ruse and rode on the backs of Queensland flood victims to get their turn at the pissoir. The day is surely coming when ordinary folk, forced into the role of trough-men by their new leftist overlords, will rise up and shred the organs of their oppressors.

    You know, I’d be worried about your mental health if I thought you were serious. ;)

  17. I, for one, welcome our new leftist overlords.

    HA! If only it were true …

  18. Splatterbottom

    Redravens, the point is that religious conservatives, whatever else they do with their money, also give much more to secular charities than rich white atheists.

    The Zakat is one of the many attractive features of Islam, although some of a more radical bent spend it on jihad.

    I too worry about my mental health sometimes but, you know, the voices protect me.

  19. Lol – ever the advocate for reasoned and non-hyperbolic debate, SB describes taxation above as “economic rape”.

    You know, Libertarians sometimes sound sensible when they talk about taxation and big government being an inefficient way of contributing to the common good, but when they expose their fundamentalist ideological underpants like SB often does they just sound like complete nutjobs.

  20. Bottom line is that religious conservatives give where it hurts – out of their own pockets. Whining leftists not so much.

    I heard they gave extra just so they can crow about it endlessly afterwards to whining leftists. Can you confirm this, SB?

  21. Splatterbottom

    Mondo their are those (like RM apparently) for whom there can never be enough taxation. Others take a more balanced approach.

    Most people respect that the social contract and the consensual fiscal obligations that requires. But always there is some leftist lurking in the corridors of power, cocked and ready for action, with a mind perfervid with fantasies of forced entry into our pockets and our lives.

  22. narcoticmusing

    “The first task of government is to guarantee the security of the state. The next task is to promote a system that allows democratic freedoms for all citizens and property rights which promote wealth creation.”

    SB, I agree. Which means we shouldn’t be cutting welfare (which is what the evangelicals suggested as an appropriate budget cut); nor should we decrease aid as it assists in our national security (surely you’d admit that the war machine advocated by the evangelists is not the equivalent of protection of the State).

    Thus, I believe that the budget cuts advocated by the evangelicals (sorry to pull us back to Jeremy’s original piece) were things that are contrary to your two stated principles.

    In Australia, these things are even more of a concern as we face such houseing affordability issues. The concept of property ownership is diminishing and we are facing the very crisis of a faux-feudalism that Marx was concerned about when he first proposed the radical shift from personal property ownership rights, on the basis that, it was a fraud (because there wasn’t ownership for all, only for the few, thus you really have Lords again).

  23. Splatterbottom

    You are projecting Buns. I suspect that most would be acting on the commandment to love their neighbour as themselves.

  24. SB, do you agree that leaving citizens without access to hospitals and doctors, – for whatever reason – is a bad thing? I do, which is why I support universal healthcare. Do you think health resources for the poor should be inadequate? I don’t, which is why I oppose the private health system that enables governments to get away with underfunding the public one.

    Do you think all kids deserve a first-rate education, or just the kids of the rich? I think all kids do, which is why I support the public education system. Do you think access to universities and jobs should be on merit and ability rather than on inherited wealth? I think the former, which is why I oppose the private education system that in practice gives the kids of the rich massive, fundamental advantages over more talented and hardworking kids from poorer families.

    Do you agree that without competition private enterprise doesn’t work very well? I do, which is why I object to governments privatising natural monopolies.

    Should we leave the unemployed to starve on the streets, or should we assist them to train for new jobs and to stay alive in the meantime? I assume, like me, you’d go with the latter.

    Of course, all the above requires funding. Charity won’t cut it – the point about charity is that it’s discretionary and therefore unreliable. What other way, apart from a democratic government that represents all citizens, taxing those of us most able to pay, would you suggest?

    Taxation isn’t “theft”. It’s the price we pay for living in a civilised and fair society.

  25. Redravens, the point is that religious conservatives, whatever else they do with their money, also give much more to secular charities than rich white atheists.

    Except non-secular charities can also be things like “Americans for Prosperity” who are basically an org that funds Republicans in elections so that they can then go about decreasing taxes on the rich and corporations and forcing public sector workers to pay for it by slashing their wages and benefits.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    Scott Walker’s proposed budget in Wisconsin is probably SB’s fantasy come to life; Most corporations paying no tax, whilst teachers, nurses, social workers etc having their wages, pensions and health care slashed – all so that people like the Koch brothers can bury their snouts even deeper into the public funded trough.
    All the while people like SB stand on the side stroking themselves silly at the spectacle.

  26. narcoticmusing

    I couldn’t agree more with Jeremy’s last post there.

    It is also ignorant to say that government is taking ‘your’ money. You got paid from someone else’s money, someone who likely got their money from taxation revenue in some form, thus you too are dependent on it in the scheme of things. So to cut it, is to cut yourself using as you termed it, the salami approach.

    From a purely economic point of view, if we ignore the moral aspect and that these are people not just economic units, welfare stimulates the economy and assists in our inport-export bottom line.

  27. Splatterbottom

    As I said above, Jeremy: “Most people respect that the social contract and the consensual fiscal obligations that requires. “

    Clearly I support taxation and most of the things you mention above, to the extent practicable, or at least as worthy goals.

    As you know, I am a creature of balance. I don’t oppose all taxes. I do think that there are two parts to the equation (creating wealth as well as spending it) and that overtaxation will diminish the wealth of society and the ability to pay for things such as those you mention above.

    BT, I could be wrong, but I thought Walker’s crime was to ask people to contribute to their own retirement, going forward.

    Narcotic, if welfare is so great why not put everyone on welfare? Imagine the stimulated import-export driven bottom line we would have then!

  28. What Lefty said.

    There’s a valid argument to be had about whether government is an efficient or effective mechanism for the distribution of funds to the needy (be they foreign or national), but those who argue that this function is best left to the whims of the free market are hardly expressing a ‘christian’ point of view.

    Government is, by its very nature, an authoritarian instrument. Objecting to government programs purely because they are authoritarian is like objecting to affirmative action because it is racist.

  29. You are projecting Buns. I suspect that most would be acting on the commandment to love their neighbour as themselves.

    Actually, I was being facetious. But you’re certainly detracting from the obviously innate benevolence of fundies everywhere by crowing about it.

    But always there is some leftist lurking in the corridors of power, cocked and ready for action, with a mind perfervid with fantasies of forced entry into our pockets and our lives.

    Now who’s projecting? Your mind is a lot more perfervid with fantasies than that of any leftist I’ve ever met. We haven’t seen your kind of anti-left paranoia since the 1950s.

    Plus, I thought you were making a point earlier about conservatives giving more to charity despite having less money than secular liberals. So tax dollars are mostly liberals’ money according to your (il)logic.

  30. Total charitable giving by Americans in 2005 is estimated to have been $260.28 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent (when adjusted for inflation) over 2004.45

    Giving to Religious Groups: Americans gave an estimated $93.18 billion to religious organizations in 2005, an increase of 2.5 percent (when adjusted for inflation).41

    Yes those Christians give till it hurts.

    So nearly a third ended up in the pockets of conservative fundamentalist Christians. Who spent the loot on conservative political causes, which Ipso facto really means more brain washing of the S.B.’s of the world, to spread the anti leftist propaganda. Simple really. Oh and I forgot to give some of the loot away to Israel, and spend it on private aeroplanes, and the odd ranch for the Capo di tutti capi that run it all.

  31. BT, I could be wrong, but I thought Walker’s crime was to ask people to contribute to their own retirement, going forward

    Yes, as usual SB, you are wrong.

  32. Redravens, the point is that religious conservatives, whatever else they do with their money, also give much more to secular charities than rich white atheists.

    Brooks’s book is not without criticism.

    Some may argue conservatives give more to salve their consciences. ;)

  33. narcoticmusing

    “Narcotic, if welfare is so great why not put everyone on welfare? Imagine the stimulated import-export driven bottom line we would have then!”

    SB, your comments are usually not so naive and uninformed. I assumed you would comprehend, as myself and others have posted here before, that due to the miniscule amount that one receives on welfare, that they can only purchase essentials, no (or very minimal) luxuries. This means that the purcahses they make tend to be those things which either the State produces or have more of a role in producing. Thus, the contribution to the inport/export ratio is from them spending on non-imported goods (or imported goods that are heavily handled internally) due to the essential nature of those goods. Welfare for all would of course not achieve that. The more income you have the more likely you are to spend money on importing luxury items. This is very, very basic economics.

    That being said, conservative governments like Howard were happy to put everyone on welfare if it purchased their vote – non-means tested baby bonus is an example. By giving money out arbitrarily, you do not get the desired outcome – something that you, SB, normally advocate for.

  34. Splatterbottom

    BT: “teachers, nurses, social workers etc having their wages, pensions and health care slashed”

    Bullshit as usual. The proposal is to increase the contributions of state workers to their own health and pension funds to something like what other workers pay.

    Buns: “Plus, I thought you were making a point earlier about conservatives giving more to charity despite having less money than secular liberals. So tax dollars are mostly liberals’ money according to your (il)logic.”

    Wealthy lefties aren’t all that good at paying their taxes as Daschle, Rangel, Chomsky & co can all attest.

    Lynot the fact is that religious conservatives give more than miserable whining leftists. That is a valid point which adds some perspective to this pathetically biased thread.

    Smithy: “Some may argue conservatives give more to salve their consciences. “

    Some may argue that comments like that serve only to salve leftist consciences when their personal miserliness is exposed.

    Narcotic, my point was that if welfare is so wonderful and so good for the economy then we ought to put everyone on welfare and forget about working at all. The left has not a clue about generating the wealth they are so hell-bent on spending. Their hands never leave their pockets when it comes to their own money, but they have a million schemes and dreams for spending other peoples’ hard earned.

  35. Wealthy lefties aren’t all that good at paying their taxes as Daschle, Rangel, Chomsky & co can all attest.

    Wealthy people aren’t good at paying taxes. It is idiotic to suggest that the phenomenon of rich people avoiding taxes is restricted to one side of the political spectrum. Give us a break.

  36. Lynot the fact is that religious conservatives give more than miserable whining leftists. That is a valid point which adds some perspective to this pathetically biased thread.

    Can you please present me with the sum total of the evidence you have for this “fact”?

  37. “The first task of government is to guarantee the security of the state. ” – SB.

    How very statist of you.

  38. “Lynot the fact is that religious conservatives give more than miserable whining leftists. That is a valid point which adds some perspective to this pathetically biased thread.”

    Of course it does SB, and if my Auntie had balls, she would be my uncle.

    But Buns stole my thunder. Apart from a report from a wing nut think wank, where is your empirical evidence? I’ll tell you what, I’ll save you the trouble looking, there ain’t any. Like most of your flowery wing nut rhetoric, it’s just a suburban myth, a Grimm’s fairy tale. Or if you like just plain old horse s*&^.

    Most caring/ sharing people are of the left bent, and if you’re telling me that religious conservatives give more to charity, I would put it to you, if that were true, and I know it ain’t, there must be something in it for them., i.e a seat next to the magician in the sky possibly. That also does not include feeling good about themselves, or their fellow human beings. Caring/sharing conservatives are about as rare as rocking horse s&^%.

    Charity has many faces, most of the people this very evening that are wiping the arses of the people in wheel chairs dribbling at the mouth with a disease, no arms maybe no legs manning soup kitchens, nurses on cancer wards wiping more arses, etc f&^%$#@ etc are not bloody conservatives. End of transmission.

    P.S. Oh btw most of them wont be whining about it either.

  39. “Another common objection to Brooks’ claims is that his entire position is based on self-reporting. Strictly speaking, the surveys that Brooks cites do not show that conservatives give more to charity than liberals; they show that conservatives report giving more money to charity than liberals report.”
    It could be the case that liberals are just more honest.

    Although, the idea that people who attempt to help the poor through political means would give less directly to charity does seem plausible. I have heard of studies showing that people who feel they’ve done a “good deed” are less generous in the short term.

  40. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Wealthy people aren’t good at paying taxes. It is idiotic to suggest that the phenomenon of rich people avoiding taxes is restricted to one side of the political spectrum.”

    Which is precisely why your previous point was dubious at best.

    ‘Gadj I am ultimately an internationalist, but that is a long way off. In the meantime nation states it is.

    Lynot: “Most caring/ sharing people are of the left bent”

    Where is your empirical evidence? I’ll tell you what, I’ll save you the trouble looking, there ain’t any. Like most of your flowery wing nut rhetoric, it’s just a suburban myth, a Grimm’s fairy tale. Or if you like just plain old horse s*&^.

    Shorter Broggly – “Say it ain’t so.”

    Lefties love victims for the career opportunities and political power they bring. Keating didn’t override ministerial advice to allow that mongrel moron Hilali into the country for any humanitarian reason. He did it for votes. Many a well paid career has been built on victim advocacy. Michael is not the only raper in that profession.

    Religious Conservatives put their hands in their pockets to help others. Leftists use victims to line their own pockets.

  41. Religious Conservatives put their hands in their pockets to help others. Leftists use victims to line their own pockets.

    Where’s your “empirical evidence” for that ?

  42. The proposal is to increase the contributions of state workers to their own health and pension funds to something like what other workers pay.

    Um ok, so they now have to pay some of their wages into a pension fund that was previously employer funded. This clearly means a cut in net wages.
    I know a decent political analysis is generally beyond your grasp but can you at least do basic maths SB?
    I’ll help you out here:
    If wages = x and pension = y, currently state employees get x + y.
    Now if the employer (the state) stops paying y and forces the worker to pay it they will now be paid only x.
    Clearly x is less than x + y.
    Let me know if you need me to draw a diagram, or create a pop up book for your feeble mind to comprehend.

    Beyond the maths however, do you think it’s fair that in real terms, the wages and benefits of teachers, nurses, social workers etc should be cut whilst corporations run by your hero’s the Koch brothers continue to rake it in?
    Do you actually think that Teachers on $50K a year should have to now put some of that to their pensions in a country as rich as the US?

    And on top of all that – you’re still wrong about Walkers proposal. The unions representing the public sector workers are prepared to accept the cuts in pensions etc, however the demonstrations are against their right to collective bargaining. As collective bargaining is generally the tool workers able best able to obtain wage increases (or in the US or recent history, fight against real wage cuts) this clearly DOES mean an attack on their wages.

    Do you ever get tired of being a stooge SB? Seriously, what’s wrong with you?
    I’d also like to see your responses to Jeremy’s questions.

  43. narcoticmusing

    I am unsure as to why this was slotted into WordPresses ‘awaiting moderation’ abyss, so I’ll attempt to re-post. Unless M@rx (sic) was considered to rude a word (which i’ve edited because it has been picked up as a filtered word on other sites before).

    “The first task of government is to guarantee the security of the state. The next task is to promote a system that allows democratic freedoms for all citizens and property rights which promote wealth creation.”

    SB, I agree. Which means we shouldn’t be cutting welfare (which is what the evangelicals suggested as an appropriate budget cut); nor should we decrease aid as it assists in our national security (surely you’d admit that the war machine advocated by the evangelists is not the equivalent of protection of the State).

    Thus, I believe that the budget cuts advocated by the evangelicals (sorry to pull us back to Jeremy’s original piece) were things that are contrary to your two stated principles.

    In Australia, these things are even more of a concern as we face such houseing affordability issues. The concept of property ownership is diminishing and we are facing the very crisis of a faux-feudalism that M@rx was concerned about when he first proposed the radical shift from personal property ownership rights, on the basis that, it was a fraud (because there wasn’t ownership for all, only for the few, thus you really have Lords again).

  44. Where’s your “empirical evidence” for that ?

    See how he avoided the question – asked by me and by lynot? There’s no evidence, that’s why.

    Which is precisely why your previous point was dubious at best.

    FFS. If you admit that wealthy people of all stripes avoid taxes, why say that “wealthy lefties aren’t that good at paying their taxes”, as though conservative lefties don’t also engage in tax avoidance? It’s just silly baiting on your part.

    Lefties love victims for the career opportunities and political power they bring.

    What are these career opportunities you’re talking about? Like personal carers – wiping disabled people’s arses for minimum wage? Human Services social workers? Do you have any idea how little these sorts of jobs pay? You are living in a fantasy land if you think that anyone takes these jobs up for the money or the career opportunities. But I suppose to someone so blackhearted as you, the idea that some people are just innately compassionate and altruistic and have a natural desite to help those less fortunate is just incomprehensible, isn’t it? Just ask yourself how much obsessive hatred of lefties has warped your thinking if you truly believe lefties take up these jobs to exploit victims for the money/career opportunities. Sickening stuff from you once again. Some Christian you are.

    Religious Conservatives put their hands in their pockets to help others. Leftists use victims to line their own pockets.

    See above. Sick-making rubbish.

  45. narcoticmusing

    lynot: “Caring/sharing conservatives are about as rare as rocking horse s&^%”

    Maybe I’m just leaning towards Pollyanna here, but I think we always come to a bit of a problem when people assume political affiliation or economic rationale is necessarily related to caring and sharing as individuals.

    I’d wager both sides have their moments of being pricks and saints. On this occasion, the evangelicals in their selection of budgetary cuts, in my opinion, fall into the pricks column as it is hypocritical to the very doctrine they preach and teach. But I would be loathed to suggest they don’t care or share; just that perhaps they do not fully comprehend the impact that such cuts would have. Ok, now I really am being a Pollyanna.

  46. “Maybe I’m just leaning towards Pollyanna here, but I think we always come to a bit of a problem when people assume political affiliation or economic rationale is necessarily related to caring and sharing as individuals.”

    Groups are made up of individuals, and who by choice belong to that certain group, it must follow, and one must presume, they’re all in agreement with the ideals and objectives of that group. In the end you have answered your own question, by pointing out that evangelicals are pricks by their choice of budget cuts.

    Of course there are individuals of all political persuasion who are pricks and saints, it just happens that right wingers have the lion’s share of the greedy, uncaring bastards, among their own ranks. To deny this salient fact, with the hindsight of recorded history, and their previous exploitation of the lower classes, from child labour to ginning up imperialist wars, borders on being barking mad.

    I’m having none of it.

  47. narcoticmusing

    “one must presume, they’re all in agreement with the ideals and objectives of that group”

    Have you actually met an evangelical or are you just assuming that based on the asshats on TV? Or some survey? Come on, religion has done a huge amount of good for the world and bad. It is pretty naive to paint tar them all with the same brush. Even former Justice Kirby conceded that, and he of all people had good reason to resent the positions of the establishment. How the hell do we even know of women trying to get positions of authority in these institutions if there weren’t people obviously disagreeing with the established position?

    Yes, I get your point, that is basically, stereotypes exist for a reason. Sure, ok, but I think that that is an overly simplistic generalisation. People rise to our expectations, even if they fall to meet them. You aren’t inspiring compassion by damning people based on creed.

  48. “Have you actually met an evangelical or are you just assuming that based on the asshats on TV? Or some survey? Come on, religion has done a huge amount of good for the world and bad. It is pretty naive to paint tar them all with the same brush.”

    Yes I’ve met plenty of them. I actually had one living opposite always borrowing my lawn mower, he was barking mad. He tried to have me speaking in tongues at one stage. I think he may have wanted to root my wife actually.

    Religion has done a lot of good to be sure, but the bad outweighs the good. Simple really, just a case of pure mathematics. I mean sheeet, Mussolini made the trains run on time, and he was a c*%#, and sure, old Adolph was no Rembrandt but he could paint a bit, and he was even a bigger c&%#. He was a bit of a sucker for the arts as it goes.

    As for simplistic generalisation. I’ve been on the planet for sixty years(I know there’s no fool like an old fool) I didn’t wake up one morning hating conservatives, or evangelicals. You see my opinion of them started especially with conservatives when I found out what lying manipulative arse holes they all were. About 1964 as it happens. As for compassion, I think I have enough, of course in my case that was inspired by said subject arse holes. I don’t wanna be like them.. But hey one thing I ain’t, and that’s naive.

  49. To come in late, cutting social services fits in quite well with some evangelical and pentecostal faiths that follow prosperity theology. It’s a truly bizarre theological manifestation – but fits in really well with the political conservatism that is common in pentecostal and evangelical denominations. However, as narcotic is getting at – it certainly isn’t accepted by all pentecostals…

  50. ” However, as narcotic is getting at – it certainly isn’t accepted by all pentecostals…”

    I never said all, I said most. And most is correct.

  51. narcoticmusing

    Lynot: apologies if my post suggested you were naive, not my intention. Your experiences indeed sound as ones more than adequate to justify your position. I did warn you I was being a bit of a Pollyanna :)

    I’d say most Pentecostals are quite shocked by the wealth concept; there are only a few churches in Australia that preach it. It is very much an aberration due to TV evangelists needing to justify their private jets (which is much your point I presume). I guess, with evangelicals in particular, I see a situation where a bunch of people that are essentially forbidden to think and consider for themselves, being told what to do/don’t do/believe. They are induced into addiction of hype, blackmailed by hope and then given the cop out that their faith isn’t good enough if something goes wrong (ie if they don’t get rich quick too). So yes, I suppose the heads of the movement have a lot to answer for, but I’m not sure the people underneath have a clue at all. Is that an excuse for their behaviour? I don’t know. I do know many ex-evangelists (known in the evangelist movement with the derogatory term “backsliders”). They cannot account for any of their actions or beliefs, it is a period in their life they’d rather wish hadn’t occurred and cannot explain why it did.

    I’d say your statement that the bad outweighs the good in terms of religion is one for a full thread to debate all on its own. I certainly don’t know where I stand on that; the more I consider it the more I come up with examples on both sides of the coin. Your experience has lead you to one conclusion; my experience would probably lead me to the same conclusion. I’ve faced the nastiest pointy end (pun intended) of religion. But are our experiences indicative of those who follow religion or just a regime that like all others with power, particularly old power, is corrupt by a few?

    Or maybe I’m just being Pollyanna as I’d warned you.

  52. “Or maybe I’m just being Pollyanna as I’d warned you.”

    We all have our cross to bear. But hey I’m a bit biased to be sure.I believe any one believing in a mythical man in the sky, barking mad period. Cemeteries all over the world are full of the victims of religion.

    What’s more most conservatives, that’s the ones full of self gratification and avarice, know the adherents to any religious organisation, are barking bonkers as well, and are as gullible as the day is long.

    Religion is just another arrow in the quiver of conservative deception. They use it, like they use the chattering class(that’s me) to convince themselves that social welfare is evil, boat people are not in any danger from persecution from the countries they whence came. That drug addicts don’t need help, but just need to say no. Just like young kids full of hormones, just say no.That single mothers and young girls who get themselves pregnant, are a drain on society. The latter I might add is formulated in their twisted mind , whilst they have the said young girls, or womens ankles up behind their ears. That gays should be burnt at the stake. Also and not only, they will decide what’s good for society, after all, they were born to rule, and not the king of ‘Kings’ as they would have the gullible followers believe etc, etc, etc..

    Evangelicals like conservatives believe the world belongs to them, and for most of recorded history, that is a fact.

    A bit of a rant I know, But true none the less. No not just because I say so, but because it’s common knowledge for any bastard that’s been around a while. Not everything is on the net.

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