A Christian conundrum in conservative rhetoric?

posted at 3:21 pm on August 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Can Christian faith coexist with conservative rhetoric? My friend and colleague Erick Erickson asked that question in a Red State post last night, out of frustration with a certain strain of argument on the Right that seems … uncharitable, at least. Conservative populism married to social media seems to produce a strain of rhetoric that can appear anathematic to Christians who want to live their lives of faith while pursuing conservative policy goals.

To start, Christian conservatives were roundly assailed by other conservatives for daring to provide aid and comfort to children whose parents had shipped them across the border. Some could not distinguish between giving a child a teddy bear and supporting Mexican drug cartels. It was all one or all the other. In fact, many Christians, myself included, want expedited deportations and a secure border. But we also want to make sure the children, some victims of human trafficking, were taken care of, fed, and comforted.

But to some on the right, that is aiding law breakers. The anger and hysteria directed at conservatives engaged in private charity had all the makings of a leftist police state making us care about how we choose to spend our own money.

The second was bringing Dr. Brantly and his co-worker back to the United States. The number of angry calls into my radio program from well meaning conservatives, comments across social media, opinion columns, agreement thereto, etc. really boggled my mind. Here are two Americans risking their lives to help others and we are supposed to turn our back on them, leave them there, or criticize their decision to go in the first place? That’s not the America I know or love. The level of outright anger, fear, and bitterness over the decision to take care of American citizens and the lack of knowledge and understanding that formed the foundation for the anger, fear, and bitterness really left me wondering what is going on.

The last is the present situation in Ferguson, MO. The rush to win a fight and lay blame instead of mourning a loss and praying for a situation just leaves me perplexed. The rush to “change the narrative” with bad facts to replace bad facts by some folks who keep the ichthys on their car unsettles me.

I largely agree with Erick, although we should keep in mind at least one important distinction. The conservo-populist movement that Erick blames for the issues he sees is more libertarian than faith-based. Those activists are more likely to be the people with an Ayn Rand quote on their bumper rather than the ichthys medallion on their car. Erick’s younger than I am (and has better hair, darn him), but we’re both political products of the era of the Religious Right, when the conservative movement and Christian faith were more closely tied together. We have been moving away from that correlation for years, a trend accelerated by the rise of social media and the open-source political debates of the past decade — in which both Erick and I have thrived, it also should be noted.

(Update: I don’t note the shifting direction of conservative politics to blame libertarians for trolling as will be seen in the next paragraph, but to explain why Christian-based arguments get challenged more often from the Right — mostly in reasonable and rational ways. Conservatism has changed, and with that change comes new challenges for Christians of faith in reconciling their political and spiritual lives. Trolls represent themselves across the spectrum, but are mostly focused on their own notoriety.)

This new era of democratized debate has plenty of advantages, but also a few disadvantages. Of the latter, the intrusion of trolling and its perspective-distorting power is probably the worst for the ills Erick describes on social media and comboxes. But it’s not common, either, among conservatives or libertarians, or in general.  It’s difficult to keep perspective on the fact that the truly uncharitable voices that appear on those media platforms are few in number, if disproportionally noticeable in any debate. The voices screaming loudest may be doing so for the reason that they’re making up for the people who refuse to join their extreme positions and/or adopt their methods.

The question, at least as I’ve seen it, isn’t whether Christianity and conservative policy are compatible. I firmly believe that they are, but I also know that it takes skillful, detailed, patient, and yes charitable explanation and debate to make that case. The question really is whether Christianity is compatible with social media, where the odds are long at seeing skillful, detailed, patient, charitable explanation. Most social media platforms are not designed for that, although blogs certainly can be thanks to the unlimited format offered, which exceeds even the print and broadcast media in flexibility.

That said, I found myself dismayed by the reactions of people to all of the incidents which Erick lists. It’s possible to believe that the border needs to be enforced and children returned to their proper homes abroad while at the same time striving to provide them care and comfort in the present, as Glenn Beck and other conservatives did, including Ted Cruz. We can still wonder aloud about whether Christian missionaries in the US do enough at home without belittling Dr. Brantley and his works of corporal mercy in Africa. We can lament the death of an unarmed young man in the middle of America without jumping to conclusions about the nature of the incident and the legitimacy of force used before confirmable data and testimony are produced about it. Moreover, despite the shrieking in social media, most Americans probably feel the same way about all of these, whether they’re Christian or not.

So what is a Christian called to do? Abandon the social-media fields? I’d argue no, because we are called to demonstrate caritas in all aspects of our lives as Christians. That is the self-sacrificial love for our neighbors, opponents, and even enemies that Christ Himself instructed us to model; in fact, that’s the underlying message in today’s Gospel reading for Catholics in Matthew 22:34-40. It is incumbent upon us to model that caritas not just where it’s easy, but where it’s most difficult in order to help convert the world through love, rather than divide it through anger and resentment.

Erick expresses his pessimism “about my future in politics and the future voices on the right when cultural and social issues come to the forefront,” but that’s where I’ll disagree. I’m optimistic whenever we have the opportunity to openly discuss our values, our faith, and the policies we see as best fits for those and for our country as a whole. In order to have that opportunity, we have to stay in the game. But we have to be steadfast at modeling the tone and tenor of Christian dialogue, even when many around us tempt us to do otherwise — and perhaps especially when others tempt us to do otherwise.


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And keeping it private would preclude the likelihood of anyone saying something negative.

katiejane on August 22, 2014 at 6:01 PM

But how would they grandstand and make political points if they did not advertise out loud and very prominently their “christian” charity? All good “christians” know that charity is intended to gain them rewards here on earth from their peers, cause they ain’t getting any rewards saved up for when they arrive in heaven.
How would they be able to show themselves to be better than others if they were not able to spread the word of their “good” deeds far and wide through the media? God always loves the greatest people who demand others view them as awesome and idolic in every way.

I think part of the problem here is that the government has taken over the paths of charity to such an extent that “christians” are looking for new ways to show their spirituality. I mean, food, clothing, shelter and medical care while teaching the word of God is one thing. Teddy bears, soccer (SOCCER?) balls are all well and good as long as the purpose is to ensure you have the opportunity share the word of God. But instead they are being used as a method to proclaim to the world how awesomely awesome awesomest they are with respect to spirituality. See? See me give charity? See me? I am charitable. I totally love these kids! What? What do you mean share the word of God with them? Are you serious? I just gave them a few million DOLLARS! What do you want from me?

astonerii on August 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Nuke ‘em all.

davidk on August 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Ethics was already revealed by the OT and by nature.

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Oh. You mean all that OT having more than one wife and the death of all those first born and stuff. I guess if that is where the ethics part of Christianity developed, then denying those kids from Central America any comfort is acceptable.

Now I understand.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Yes ethics was already revealed by the OT


17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5

Having more than one wife was not in the ten commandments. It was the pagan custom from which Abram came. It was apractice and not a commandment. The laws of moses do not mention polygamy

God told Moses a way to protect the children of Israel from a coming plague by putting the blood of the lamb on the door. Such an act was purely an act of faith. The earth is plagued today. Atheists argue that a just God would not allow plague but they could equally argue a just god would not allow death.

Jesus did not go to Lazarus when he was told Lazarus was sick for two days.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

Jesus did go to Lazarus and raise him, to increase belief. Jesus did not, however, go across the land raising all the dead

Because ultimately this world is temporary. We are transient. Jesus’s purpose was not to prevent physical death, but to save us for eternal life.

First born sons were killed in the NT. Joseph and Mary fled with Jesus, so he was not killed with the others

entagor on August 22, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Nuke ‘em all.

davidk on August 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Yeah, dk talks big now, but wait ’til Sunday Reflection!

Then he’s all like, salvation and grace and mercy and good works, yada, yada, yada….

(see you there!)

questionmark on August 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

What we seek to conserve is the freedom ethic of the Scottish Enlightenment, with traditional, individualistic Protestant Christianity playing a supporting role.

Religious types should about their soul saving and leave the country running to God fearing but comfortable rationalists, like Lincoln and Reagan.

If politics is too grubby for Erickson, he needs to just get out.

Ed too.

bildung on August 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

CommieJuice on August 22, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Yes, some think Erick has gone over to the dark side. I think he has always been a faux conservative. Maybe his getting a calling now makes him repent and be honest about the person he has always been. A self serving egotist who thinks he’s better than the rest of us. I don’t need some new born Christian who wears his religion on his sleeve telling me how much holier he is than I.

Hey, Erick, save your sermons for your congregation of “yes men” at RS.

they lie on August 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM

To everything, there is a season. A time for hate, a time for love, a time for peace and a time for war. Ecclesiastes 3

Eric needs to realize that we are in a war and now is not the time for playing nice. We are to be Jesus with the scourge in the temple! Jesus left His believers with all authority over Heaven and earth. He told us those that we bless will be blessed, and those that we curse will be cursed. He told us to judge with righteous judgement. Time to gird your loins, Eric, and get in the battle!

PaddyORyan on August 22, 2014 at 7:54 PM

I think part of the problem here is that the government has taken over the paths of charity to such an extent that “christians” are looking for new ways to show their spirituality.

astonerii on August 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM

First of all, Tithes are an OT thing, there is no required “ten percent” though you wouldn’t know that from the pulpit when your local “church” is in the midst of a building program or the board is negotiating the staff pay raises. (Not that you raised it up, but it plays a role in the next paragraph)

Yet there is this school of thought that wrests the first part of Romans 13, particularly the “authorities that exist are appointed by God” (which, since it included Nero at the time of the writing, surely it also includes this Regime of Reprobates). Now mix in Lk 20:25 “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, and note Caesar’s image on your Federal Reserve Notes.

The idea here is that God has placed the taxing authorities over you to confiscate what would otherwise be your “tithe”, and, as you have pointed out, has assumed the traditional charity roles of the Ecclesia Militans aka. “Church militant”. So basically instead of the elder board dividing up your thirty pieces of silver, its the many levels and agencies of government.

To help rationalize this further, over half the Fe’ral budget is devoted to the care and feeding of many entitlement programs. So if you are a normal productive American, regardless of the persistence of a “ten percent tithe”, well over that grift from your gross is going to what can loosely be called “charity”. Just ignore all of the money on military hardware and demonic organizations like the IRS, EPA et al. That is paid for with your descendant’s “tithes”.

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM

We can lament the death of an unarmed young man in the middle of America without jumping to conclusions about the nature of the incident and the legitimacy of force used before confirmable data and testimony are produced about it.

Seriously, what in the world are you talking about?

This is pure nonsense.

Maybe it makes you queasy when someone calls people racist, and you don’t want to discuss it rationally?

A group of race-baiters pull this dangerous and violent game every summer, and we gaze at our navels.

faraway on August 22, 2014 at 8:07 PM

If you want to be a political blogger, do that well. Help your side win. Fight the other side.

If you want to hand out teddy bears, lead a church.

Make up your mind.

faraway on August 22, 2014 at 8:12 PM

There is no conundrum to this Christian conservative at all. Here’s what Jesus had to say about things, and why those churches who gave succor to those children are following the very best advice from our Lord:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

It’s right there in the Bible, anyone can read it, and the Lord is speaking very plainly to all of us.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

God this article is making the rounds. Erickson’s holier than thou attitude is grating. The air must be thin up there on that perch of his.

Don’t you dare go and debate him though! Especially on his “conservative” website of sychophants only viewpoints.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Now, if Jesus isn’t good enough, why don’t we try Abraham Lincoln?

Here he is:

The slave-breeders and slave-traders, are a small, odious and detested class, among you; and yet in politics, they dictate the course of all of you, and are as completely your masters, as you are the master of your own negroes. You inquire where I now stand. That is a disputed point — I think I am a whig; but others say there are no whigs, and that I am an abolitionist. When I was in Washington I voted for the Wilmot Proviso as good as forty times, and I never heard of any one attempting to unwhig me for that. I now do no more than oppose the extension of slavery.

I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor or degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/speed.htm

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:26 PM

It’s right there in the Bible, anyone can read it, and the Lord is speaking very plainly to all of us.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Could you please hilight the section that refers to teddy bears and soccer balls? Is it right there next to Obama-phones and birth control?

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

If you want to be a political blogger, do that well. Help your side win. Fight the other side.

If you want to hand out teddy bears, lead a church.

Make up your mind.

faraway on August 22, 2014 at 8:12 PM

The “other side” isn’t very Christian. They want to murder babies, starve children, and deny welcome to the stranger. The battle lines might be drawn, but they are not drawn in the way you expect.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Could you please hilight the section that refers to teddy bears and soccer balls? Is it right there next to Obama-phones and birth control?

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

<blockquote>For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Now, care to discuss this Scripture passage further? How do you welcome strange young children?

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:34 PM

God this article is making the rounds. Erickson’s holier than thou attitude is grating. The air must be thin up there on that perch of his.

Well, sometimes a “holier than thou attitude” is somewhat warranted — especially when those on the other side have completely failed in their Christian charity — charity which involves, in no manner or fashion, the Government.

Don’t you dare go and debate him though! Especially on his “conservative” website of sychophants only viewpoints.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

It would be interesting to hear in detail what you think dogmatic conservative viewpoints are. I would expect that such viewpoints would revolve around minimal government, the rights of the individual, and freedom to keep and to use what we earn via the work of our own hands.

From my standpoint, that means that we ourselves must produce that largess that the government ought not to be producing, for we are better able to gauge the need and the good uses to which our largess will be put. I certainly would far better want to be giving teddy bears and soccer balls and even food and drink to those foreign children who have come to our borders, than to be giving abortions to citizens.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Now, care to discuss this Scripture passage further? How do you welcome strange young children?

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:34 PM

A little old…
“…God made tunics of skin, and clothed them [Adam and Eve]“

Gen 28:20-21 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on,

A little new…

Mt 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread”

1 Tim 6:8-9 “…And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content…”

The passage you brought out talked about “food” and “clothing”. God saw fit to feed and clothe Adam and Eve; the Hebrews in the desert were fed and their clothes did not wear out. David was thanking God for clothes and food. Paul said “let us be content” with clothes and food. The LORD’s prayer said “daily bread”.

But you come along and say that is not enough. That the Apostle was wrong, that God was holding back, and David should have been ingrateful. That someone edited out the important entitlement claims from the LORD’s prayer.

“Where is my damned soccer balls and teddy bears” should have been the cry of the Hebrews in the desert!

I would love to discuss Scripture, not your eisegesis.

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM

From my standpoint, that means that we ourselves must produce that largess that the government ought not to be producing, for we are better able to gauge the need and the good uses to which our largess will be put. I certainly would far better want to be giving teddy bears and soccer balls and even food and drink to those foreign children who have come to our borders, than to be giving abortions to citizens.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Well, since the government is doing poorly run charity for people at the point of a gun how do you propose this be changed? Because, and I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, what you are proposing is giving aid and comfort to those who were sent here to break the law. You are being a useful idiot to the left who use Christianity’s charitable nature to divide conservatives. Especially when one such as Glenn Beck comes in and starts grandstanding against straw men put forth by his critics. And the left loved every minute of it to highlight and divide conservatives.

The left has used and will continue to use Christianity’s own ideals to divide and conquer conservative opposition to get what it wants which will COMPLETELY contradict everything held dear to Christian conservatives.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

In recent years, Catholic thinkers have focused on the kind of society that best fosters moral development. They have stressed the idea of “subsidiarity,” by which they mean that “higher” or larger associations should help “lower,” smaller associations but not replace or inhibit them except when they no longer function. In other words, the state should not displace the responsibilities of the family or the neighborhood but should try to strengthen these entities so that they can fulfill their appropriate duties. Thus, responsibility for social and moral life, subsidiarity holds, resides first with the individual, and then, in ascending order, with those closest to him: family, friends, neighborhood, local government, and—only as a last resort, after other levels have failed—the state. But Catholic Charities is openly unenthusiastic about subsidiarity. “There has been a lot of romantic nonsense lately in Washington,” Kammer grumbled a little while back, “to the effect that state and local governments are always more effective and efficient than the national government. The [false] claim is that local people know best.” As for holding individuals responsible for their plight—suggesting, for example, that welfare mothers shouldn’t have gotten pregnant out of wedlock—Kammer bristles. “I don’t buy the argument that it’s moral turpitude,” he says.

Catholic Charities also ignores Pope John Paul II’s warnings about the dangers of the “Social Assistance State,” the welfare system that proliferates upon the ruins of subsidiarity. By “intervening directly” and robbing “society of its responsibility,” the pope warns in a 1991 encyclical, the Social Assistance State “leads to a loss of human energies” and multiplies public agencies that treat people like numbers and squander money to no good end.

Forcing people to be charitable does not produce charity.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 9:26 PM

From my standpoint, that means that we ourselves must produce that largess that the government ought not to be producing, for we are better able to gauge the need and the good uses to which our largess will be put. I certainly would far better want to be giving teddy bears and soccer balls and even food and drink to those foreign children who have come to our borders, than to be giving abortions to citizens.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

So you’re down at the border passing out bears . How nice.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM

God this article is making the rounds. Erickson’s holier than thou attitude is grating. The air must be thin up there on that perch of his.

Don’t you dare go and debate him though! Especially on his “conservative” website of sychophants only viewpoints.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

I was shocked to see the minimal counterpoints to his article get people banned – BLAM – “Bye now” – BLAM -”Bye now.” As someone who made a point in 2012 that the conservative states should create a pact in the event that the United States fell – like Russia did – I was accused of fomenting secession and BLAM – I too was banned. I still look at the site, but the unthinking sycophantic views of his supporters (and his own opinion – I was banned before they came out with their “rule” and even though I appealed, they didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to my email.

No, Eric and his boys are not conservatives. Even Moe Lane, whom I like, admits he used to be a democrat. I’m not sure what they are, but they aren’t prepared for what is coming. And that’s what makes them uncomfortable – the rest of us realize there is no room for compromising any more, and so when Glenn Beck heads south with teddy bears – its that he seems to be splitting the conservatives that we abhor – not that he is giving children teddy bears. (And as I said at the time, how the hell is he getting in to give them to the kids? No one got to see those kids anyway…)

deadite on August 22, 2014 at 9:36 PM

So you’re down at the border passing out bears . How nice.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM

No, I think the peer pressure manipulates one to making a donation to an organization that will load up and contract a semi-truck to leave a trailer full of teddy bears and soccer balls outside of the FEMA camp entry gates.

THAT exemplifies WWJD !

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 9:50 PM

I would love to discuss Scripture, not your eisegesis.

Reuben Hick on August 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM

So, are you suggesting that we make tunics from the skin of these children?

And I’m not saying that “it’s not enough” — it’s JESUS saying “it’s not enough”. You think I pulled that Scripture out of nowhere?

It’s there, it’s plain, and if Christian conservatives want to have both attributes apply, then the Word is quite clear on how to do do that.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:51 PM

So you’re down at the border passing out bears . How nice.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 9:29 PM

No, I am not. But I fully understand what motivates those who are.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

The left has used and will continue to use Christianity’s own ideals to divide and conquer conservative opposition to get what it wants which will COMPLETELY contradict everything held dear to Christian conservatives.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Most of Christianity is conservative. It is not state action which comes of faith, it is individual action. It is not Christian to steal things from others. It is not Christian to covet what they have. But it is Christian to give alms, and it is Christian to do all of the things Jesus told us to do.

I could care less what the Government is doing, except when it goes against the grain of my faith — in which case I care greatly.

It’s that old rendering to Caesar versus rendering to God. The first dows not excuse us from the second.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:57 PM

avi natan on August 22, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Put down the crack pipe… No… Seriously put down the fluking crack pipe.

oscarwilde on August 22, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Except… he’s right, oscar. They were money changers. What made them rotten was that they were basically “gouging” the faithful to get their temple shekels. They were committing “commerce” in the temple, instead of simply exchanging a certain weight of silver for an identical weight of silver – they charged fees and such. They could have done it in the regular market, but then you wouldn’t have known they were “authentic” temple coins, and your offering might not be acceptable, etc.

GWB on August 22, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Mark Katherine Ham, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter are not anonymous and their work is primarily in radio/TV/print so blaming social media is odd. Of those 4, only Coulter could be obliquely described as a troll.

This pearl clutching is baffling. Who are you talking about?

sauldalinsky on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Nuke ‘em all.

davidk on August 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

.
Yeah, dk talks big now, but wait ’til Sunday Reflection!

Then he’s all like, salvation and grace and mercy and good works, yada, yada, yada….

(see you there!)

questionmark on August 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

.
So you think he’s less than ‘genuine’, huh ?

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Why Bring Ebola Patients to America?

RUSH: Now, President Obama has done something that’s never been done. President Obama has ordered the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to bring two Americans suffering from the Ebola virus into America. We are sending a specially-equipped Gulf Stream III. It’s an air ambulance equipped to handle highly contagious patients and keep them shielded and protected from attending medical staff and the flight crew.

So, Rush is an anonymous social media troll?

sauldalinsky on August 22, 2014 at 10:37 PM

No, I am not.
unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Of course not.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 10:55 PM

The conservo-populist movement that Erick blames for the issues he sees is more libertarian than faith-based. Those activists are more likely to be the people with an Ayn Rand quote on their bumper rather than the ichthys medallion on their car. Erick’s younger than I am are both political products of the era of the Religious Right, when the conservative movement and Christian faith were more closely tied together.

Thank you, Ed, for this wise and thoughtful post. I believe there’s a lot of truth in what you write. There really is an increasing ideological division between libertarian conservatives and those of the older “Religious Right” as you name them.

Libertarianism is based on the idea that selfishness should be considered a kind of ultimate value, and that the purpose of any nation should be to support as much selfishness and unrestricted freedom as possible. Although some libertarians argue that this kind of selfishness might have secondary benefits, these secondary benefits aren’t considered to be as primary as the importance of just letting everyone be selfish. In direct contrast, Christianity, particularly Catholicism and evangelical Christianity, seem to me to be centered around unselfish giving from the heart. From my point of view, Jesus’ central message was to love others and to not be selfish. There is therefore a direct conflict, I think, between libertarianism and the message of Jesus.

Libertarian thought in general springs directly from the Ayn Rand school of thinking as you mentioned. Rand argued that selfishness is a virtue and that one can’t be fulfilled without being selfish. Selfishness, this group believes, is a central, fundamental value and all politics should revolve around making sure that we each get a maximum amount of freedom. This is the argument at Reason magazine, the argument given on FBN’s The Independents, and it’s the argument I hear a lot from millennials in particular who seem to not like anyone telling them what to do and who appear to get unnaturally angry towards people in authority.

In addition to these hard-core libertarians who believe in selfishness as an end goal, there’s another related group of people who have been influenced by writers like von Mises, Hayek, Friedman and Sowell– call them the Chicago-Austrian group. These people believe that the best way to help the disadvantaged and needy is to be firm and prudent and to insist on a combination of capitalistic principles and the rule of law. This group stresses unintended consequences and counterintutive benefits and injuries over the long run. Repeatedly they demonstrate that if you act impulsively from the heart in what seem to be unselfish acts of love and generosity, you hurt the very people you intend to help.

Then there’s a third group of conservatives which might be called traditional conservatives. This group believes in old-fashioned values like character, discipline, hard work and the rule of law. For this group, these values are ends in themselves. This group also doesn’t believe in spontaneously overgenerous compassion as a way of solving problems because they believe this kind of compassion undermines values they are trying to promote.

Once again, Ed, thanks for your post. If there isn’t more analysis of this type concerning conflicts between conservative factions, there’s going to be a lot of unnecessary fighting, I believe.

Burke on August 22, 2014 at 11:07 PM

From my standpoint, that means that we ourselves must produce that largess that the government ought not to be producing, for we are better able to gauge the need and the good uses to which our largess will be put. I certainly would far better want to be giving teddy bears and soccer balls and even food and drink to those foreign children who have come to our borders, than to be giving abortions to citizens.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Buy them a trip home. They do not qualify for asylum.

If we are going to ship in children, bring in the Christians who are being beheaded in Syria, and the blacks who are being enslaved in the Sudan and other parts of Africa. These truly need rescue. I would welcome them

They ones coming in here who are not children (the majority) are stealing – stealing my country. The ones under age are being sent in by parents, who are stealing, stealing my country. Send the kids back to the parents.

If someone here wants to donate largess, they can donate it down in the country these invaders belong. When did it happen that people have to take a train to the US to find a missionary?

The reason the invaders are here is because the Obama administration with the help of Univision, messaged that if they got their foot over the border they could stay.

They are here to tip the election, especially the next Presidential, by which time the majority who teen age and higher, will be able to motor vote. That is why press is barred from most sites, and that is why they are being salted all over the country in locations needing the numbers

Now the sophists are pretending it was a humanitarian crisis all along, and using the ‘need’ for teddys to prove their point.

Sad what has happened to HA, which was founded by Michelle Malkin, author of Invasion. Some here still admire her ethics and courage

They are working to portray opponents of amnesty as anti Christian

entagor on August 22, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Most of Christianity is conservative. It is not state action which comes of faith, it is individual action. It is not Christian to steal things from others. It is not Christian to covet what they have. But it is Christian to give alms, and it is Christian to do all of the things Jesus told us to do.

I could care less what the Government is doing, except when it goes against the grain of my faith — in which case I care greatly.

It’s that old rendering to Caesar versus rendering to God. The first dows not excuse us from the second.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:57 PM

When people come across the border illegally and use money forcibly taken from Americans wallets by our government to enrich their welfare and import the rest of their families through chain migration, HOW is your support of rewarding this behavior by giving more aid and comfort to these people not encouraging more such behavior to occur?

Do you not see that by someone like Beck coming in and inserting himself into the immigration debate by doing and saying what he did is helping the cause of the left advancing immigration reform?? Do you not see how quick Beck was to call people who do not agree with what he did/ was doing, extremists (in not so few words)? People who supported this play right into the left’s hands. I don’t care how much you sugarcoat it, helping the left with their narrative sets conservatives of all stripes back, but especially conservative Christians.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

i’m glad you made this a post on the main part of the blog and i’m glad you agree with erickson’s article because i do too. (i’m Christian as well)

many people on this very site are guilty of what i’m about to say: putting “conservative” above “Christianity.” some of you get so caught up in the battle of “conservatives vs liberals” that you become mean-spirited and bitter. you get so caught up in standing up for conservative principles that you are focused on criticism, bashing, rudeness, etc instead of positively promoting your beliefs. and you’re so cynical and pessimistic that you forget to have faith and pray.

and…

I found myself dismayed by the reactions of people to all of the incidents which Erick lists. It’s possible to believe that the border needs to be enforced and children returned to their proper homes abroad while at the same time striving to provide them care and comfort in the present, as Glenn Beck and other conservatives did, including Ted Cruz. We can still wonder aloud about whether Christian missionaries in the US do enough at home without belittling Dr. Brantley and his works of corporal mercy in Africa. We can lament the death of an unarmed young man in the middle of America without jumping to conclusions about the nature of the incident and the legitimacy of force used before confirmable data and testimony are produced about it.

Ed Morrissey on August 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

just wanted to repeat this part.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM
.

Jesus did not overturn the tables and chase the money lenders from the temple. He was not furious and angry in the least.

astonerii on August 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

.
they were not lenders , they were moneychangers who were needed to exchange money with graven images into shekels which were consistent with the biblical requirements to bring into the Temple.

avi natan on August 22, 2014 at 6:25 PM
.

Put down the crack pipe… No… Seriously put down the fluking crack pipe.

oscarwilde on August 22, 2014 at 6:27 PM

.
Except… he’s right, oscar. They were money changers. What made them rotten was that they were basically “gouging” the faithful to get their temple shekels. They were committing “commerce” in the temple, instead of simply exchanging a certain weight of silver for an identical weight of silver – they charged fees and such. They could have done it in the regular market, but then you wouldn’t have known they were “authentic” temple coins, and your offering might not be acceptable, etc.

GWB on August 22, 2014 at 10:12 PM

.
Wow … quite the chat, here.

I am quite certain that what angered Jesus at the “money changers” in the temple, was they were “gouging”, like GWB said.
The “money changers” were a micro-microcosm (yes, I said “micro” twice) of the Federal Reserve Bank that we are ALL ripped-off by, today.

It’s okay to be angry, about a LOT of things.

[Ephesians 4:26]

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Do you not see that by someone like Beck coming in and inserting himself into the immigration debate by doing and saying what he did is helping the cause of the left advancing immigration reform??

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

.
Nope
.

Do you not see how quick Beck was to call people who do not agree with what he did/ was doing, extremists (in not so few words)? People who supported this play right into the left’s hands. I don’t care how much you sugarcoat it, helping the left with their narrative sets conservatives of all stripes back, but especially conservative Christians.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

.
Nope … don’t see that either.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Nope … don’t see that either.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 11:36 PM

Like I said you are being useful idiots for the left.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:48 PM

To everything, there is a season. A time for hate, a time for love, a time for peace and a time for war. Ecclesiastes 3

Eric needs to realize that we are in a war and now is not the time for playing nice. We are to be Jesus with the scourge in the temple! Jesus left His believers with all authority over Heaven and earth. He told us those that we bless will be blessed, and those that we curse will be cursed. He told us to judge with righteous judgement. Time to gird your loins, Eric, and get in the battle!

PaddyORyan on August 22, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Thank you! I’m not a Christian, but I do proudly have Christian values, and I know that there are some Christians out there with some balls (pardon my language). Particularly on the Muslim thing. Some of my best friends are devout Evangelicals, and they are adamant on this point.

The kind of “reasoning” in this Erick/Ed standpoint is crap. We ARE in a time of war. I doubt Jesus would have wanted us all to be so stupid and wimpy that we effectively commit suicide. Is that the central message of Christianity? Commit suicide and tell yourself that it is “charity”?

This whole argument is nothing but a rationalization for being a wimp. And it’s narcissistic as well: ‘Look at me everyone. I’m so charitable and loving.’

No one engaging in these types of counter-productive initiatives in the name of Christian “charity” is helping anyone. They’re making things worse. I don’t think they understand Christianity. They’re just wimps making excuses.

WhatSlushfund on August 23, 2014 at 12:55 AM

There’s truth here:

Let’s take the elderly -
If the elderly are living below the poverty line or are ‘buying medicine vs. buying food’
The Christian will want to help the elderly and since there are so many elderly, they’ll look to the government to solve the problem. FDR was a Christian and a liberal.

A Conservative/Libertarian viewpoint is that the elderly have had a lifetime’s worth of earning potential. Why didn’t they save?

Any reason away from personal responsibility for their lives (ie – they wanted to have children, they decided on a certain job that was more fulfilling but less money, they didn’t want to go have an education that would give them a better job, etc) is a liberal position and thus a Christian one. Safety nets were made for these people when the safety net (and I agree there should be one) should be for those that have had such as catastrophic health issues. If you’re hungry? Start a garden. Take the fresh tomatoes they give you in the food bank bag and grow your own! Even in apt’s you can do it.

Christians started Plymouth rock as a socialist experiment where most died of famine and it was only when the Captain changed the charter to be able to own personal property that people started a capitalist system and had a plentiful harvest – hence Thanksgiving.

If you are a conservative first in your voting and then privately express your Christian identity through give to local charities (knowing that they get money from the federal and state government and your tax dollars) I guess you can say you’re on the right of the spectrum. Its when those pesky local elections come up and everyone votes for extending bond limits for their local “schools” but it never gets there & is diverted to unions that the Christian notion of better public schools runs smack into Conservative/Libertarian truths.

I’m a Christian who is tired of constantly asked to pay for the EPA and other bureaucratic departments of the government that are slowly making it impossible for me to not be swept up in the ‘safety’ net and then be told how to live my life, one tenet is to give up my Christianity. Its a tough road to walk.

athenadelphi on August 23, 2014 at 4:04 AM

Most of Christianity is conservative. It is not state action which comes of faith, it is individual action. It is not Christian to steal things from others. It is not Christian to covet what they have. But it is Christian to give alms, and it is Christian to do all of the things Jesus told us to do.

I could care less what the Government is doing, except when it goes against the grain of my faith — in which case I care greatly.

It’s that old rendering to Caesar versus rendering to God. The first dows not excuse us from the second.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:57 PM

I politely disagree Unclesmrgol. Most of Christianity is conservative only regarding social issues and that’s on its way out. Also you should care what the Government is doing in all areas. If you only care what the Government is doing related to your faith where you care greatly then I ask you to look at every issue as political. From the food you eat, what’s available for you to eat, what you pay for that food is determined by the laws of the Government (milk subsidies keep a gallon of milk artificially high, water restrictions in California by the BLM and the EPA have made your eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables and ground beef is at an all time high per pound – ground beef being the staple of those on low wages who know how to make 40 different recipes from it), your monthly energy bill is political – the price of energy has gone up b/c no new power plants have come online and ‘green’ energy is 3x the price (have you had to replace a lightbulb recently), the type of washing machine is political and government by your GOVERNMENT so I highly suggest that you stop trying to keep the 2 apart with a bogus ‘render under Caesar’ argument unless it goes against your Christian beliefs. Its all “Caesar” now which means its all entwined with Christian beliefs.

athenadelphi on August 23, 2014 at 4:23 AM

Listen up, Chicken Littles.

When it comes to a choice, I’m serving my Master. And I don’t care if handing out food, water, or teddy bears at the border ticks you off if that’s what God directs me to do.

He didn’t. But He apparently did lead Beck to do so. And that lines right up with Christian values, even if we all agree that the lawbreakers need to go home right after we feed and tend to them.

Don’t like it? TOO BAD. When it comes to God or politics, a great many of us CHOOSE GOD.

Grace_is_sufficient on August 23, 2014 at 5:46 AM

The Christian response to the border children has been addressed by those Catholic bishops that way back argued that separation of family was immoral–which means that they must go back to their parents safety.

Don L on August 23, 2014 at 6:40 AM

As a Christian and a Conservative, I disagree with Erickson completely. I’m glad to see the GOP become more secular, and glad to have more Libertarian voices in the dialogue and debate. The less social conservatives rule the roost as it were, the better, IMHO. Social conservatism became so strident, so disastrously powerful within the GOP, that we were in danger of becoming a caricature. We need LESS Gary Bauer, and MORE Paul Ryan in the GOP. If Erickson can’t abide the loss, buh-bye, Erick.

mountainaires on August 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

There is absolutely no problem in conservatism with Christian values. Erickson slaying a straw man reeks of his personal need to control the debate! That’s a matter between himself and his faith, not a political problem!

mountainaires on August 23, 2014 at 7:24 AM

the essence of the problem is the fact that many Movement Conservatives have tossed out the Divine institution of Nationalism and substituted it for internationalism/globalism/transnational progressivism or what ever you want to call it. God divided up the nations for a reason (Genesis 11:1-8). We won’t survive with open borders and illegal “sojourners” coming in to steal what our forefathers built for their offspring/descendants – us. You simply do not toss aside what God has put in place without severe repercussions. One way to solve this problem is to get real tuff w/the gov’t of Mexico. Send them a bill and expect them to pay it. But we will need strength and spine to do something like that.

Darvin Dowdy on August 23, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Like I said you are being useful idiots for the left.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Yup. This. All y’all who allow the left to corrupt the language and accept their new definitions (“children”) and their premises (“white privilege” etc.) are stupid beyond belief.

Their rules

•RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

•RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

•RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

•RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

•RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

•RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

•RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

•RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

•RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

•RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

•RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

•RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions

Fallon on August 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM

The kind of “reasoning” in this Erick/Ed standpoint is crap. We ARE in a time of war. I doubt Jesus would have wanted us all to be so stupid and wimpy that we effectively commit suicide. Is that the central message of Christianity? Commit suicide and tell yourself that it is “charity”?

This whole argument is nothing but a rationalization for being a wimp. And it’s narcissistic as well: ‘Look at me everyone. I’m so charitable and loving.’

No one engaging in these types of counter-productive initiatives in the name of Christian “charity” is helping anyone. They’re making things worse. I don’t think they understand Christianity. They’re just wimps making excuses.

WhatSlushfund on August 23, 2014 at 12:55 AM

And, this.

Fallon on August 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM

There is nothing which cannot be made to seem right and God is on all sides of every argument. The last true Christian died on the cross. Rationalizing hypocrisy is simply insincere cynicism.

mark of fish on August 23, 2014 at 9:12 AM

…many Christians, myself included, want expedited deportations and a secure border. But we also want to make sure the children, some victims of human trafficking, were taken care of, fed, and comforted.

But to some on the right, that is aiding law breakers. The anger and hysteria directed at conservatives engaged in private charity had all the makings of a leftist police state making us care about how we choose to spend our own money.

I’ve always said that the issues around illegal immigration are complicated and often irreconcilable. Many Christian conservatives I admire most are conflicted here and their sympathies lie with the immigrants, while acknowledging a clear need for border security enforcement.

So when the cartels and tin pot south-of-the-border governments put these kids on a train and send them to Texas, and we care for them? Yes, we are aiding law breakers and worse. But Christianity is funny that way…sometimes we don’t care. I keep asking, but no one ever answers: can we accept the million earnest immigrants every year and kick out a million liberals, slackers, and low information dopes?

Jaibones on August 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

They are working to portray opponents of amnesty as anti Christian

entagor on August 22, 2014 at 11:09 PM

By my reading of Scripture, yes, those opponents are anti-Christian. Not only that, by my reading of conservatism, they are anti-conservative as well. The censor machine here swallowed and failed to disgorge a snippet of Abraham Lincoln’s 1855 letter to Joshua Speed — where he describes the attributes of the Know Nothings (the nativist anti-immigration party of his time) which repelled him. The operative lines are:

When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except [censorword], and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic]

So, Abraham Lincoln was in favor of free immigration, while those he detested were fully in favor of restricting it to a small select group of people. I can think of no person more honored by conservatives (except, of course, the Lost Causers) than Honest Abe, and so you do have to consider carefully what he was saying — and why.

Those same conservatives who decry government intrusion into our daily lives would love to have that same government drag foreigners who are doing jobs we need done out of this country. And I’ve seen all sorts of excuses by said conservatives as to why it is necessary to do this.

The Jihadis may be crossing our southern border under cover of thousands of other people doing the same, but the reason those thousands of other people are doing the same is because of laws which end up being honored in their non-enforcement. When a law cannot be enforced because of the weight of people ignoring it, that says far more about the law and those who would keep said law than it does the people ignoring it.

Again, you faux conservatives have already lost this one. They are here, they are having children who are American citizens, and those citizens are voting in elections against you, and will for generations, even when they otherwise agree with the other planks in your platform — because you hate their parents. And now you are making it obvious that you hate children too.

A huge hunk of my family is Chinese. The older people are Republicans, but all the younger ones, who have heard the stories of what it took the older ones to get into this country, and hearing how Republicans and Democrats define the immigration debate — are Democrats. You have made them so.

The optics here are astounding, and you just don’t get it.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM

I politely disagree Unclesmrgol. Most of Christianity is conservative only regarding social issues and that’s on its way out.

Agree. But Scripture tells us what to do, and how to behave, and we already know that the path is narrow, and that many who say “LORD, LORD” will not get the recognition they think they deserve.

Also you should care what the Government is doing in all areas. If you only care what the Government is doing related to your faith where you care greatly then I ask you to look at every issue as political.

I do look at every issue as both political and how it relates to my faith. I want the Government to be minimized so that my devotion to my God can be maximized. When Government gets in the way, there is something wrong with Government.

In fact, there are people who are heretical according to my faith. How should I feel about their practice of their faith where it does not harm anyone physically? Our Constitution is quite clear on what is needed, and the rules which apply to me ought to apply to them as well. Jesus didn’t tell us Catholics to burn heretics, and the worst excesses of our faith happened when we did exactly that. Freedom of conscience is a Catholic teaching fully in accord with Scripture (the rich young man a good case in point), and, not so very strangely, it is in the Constitution as well.

From the food you eat, what’s available for you to eat, what you pay for that food is determined by the laws of the Government (milk subsidies keep a gallon of milk artificially high, water restrictions in California by the BLM and the EPA have made your eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables and ground beef is at an all time high per pound – ground beef being the staple of those on low wages who know how to make 40 different recipes from it), your monthly energy bill is political – the price of energy has gone up b/c no new power plants have come online and ‘green’ energy is 3x the price (have you had to replace a lightbulb recently), the type of washing machine is political and government by your GOVERNMENT so I highly suggest that you stop trying to keep the 2 apart with a bogus ‘render under Caesar’ argument unless it goes against your Christian beliefs. Its all “Caesar” now which means its all entwined with Christian beliefs.

athenadelphi on August 23, 2014 at 4:23 AM

The Government has the obligation to keep Chinese melamine out of our food chain in the interests of not killing off our babies and pets, if nothing else. That kind of power can be subverted to keep Costco from selling low priced milk. How that is done is what I’ve said has happened with respect to immigration — Big Government, acting at the behest of Big Labor, has tried to restrict the work pool. And a lot of people on our side have bought in — for their own reasons which have little to do with conservatism.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 11:03 AM

When people come across the border illegally

Why is it illegal? If you are a conservative, you question the roots of every law, and know that every law can be used in ways you did not anticipate.

and use money forcibly taken from Americans wallets by our government to enrich their welfare and import the rest of their families through chain migration, HOW is your support of rewarding this behavior by giving more aid and comfort to these people not encouraging more such behavior to occur?

By fixing our government to not use the purse of the treasury to buy votes? You’ll note that the Democrats crafted Obamacare so that illegal aliens couldn’t benefit. Well, they do, and they have cheaper healthcare than the poor because their visits to the emergency room are free, while the poor need to pay their Obamacare deductible. I do not think the ACA was crafted this way on purpose, but there it is.

Do you not see that by someone like Beck coming in and inserting himself into the immigration debate by doing and saying what he did is helping the cause of the left advancing immigration reform??

So, to whom should we restrict this debate? Am I now out because I don’t agree with you, and I agree with Beck on this? Of course I am, but I’m not about to stop.

Do you not see how quick Beck was to call people who do not agree with what he did/ was doing, extremists (in not so few words)? People who supported this play right into the left’s hands. I don’t care how much you sugarcoat it, helping the left with their narrative sets conservatives of all stripes back, but especially conservative Christians.

NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

What is a conservative Christian? You use those words, and then disparage us who think that Jesus’ admonition to welcome the stranger. We have seen whom the strangers were in Jesus’ time — the Samaritan, the Caananite — people whose customs are not yours, and yet who have come either to dwell or to pass through your land.

There’s no rocket science in what Jesus said here, and if we are to be conservative Christians, we need to integrate the two ideas in ways which do both maximal justice. And I submit that when you find a place where the two conflict, you aren’t looking at the problem properly, and have assigned reasons to either conservatism or Christianity which do not belong.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Fallon on August 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM

How is the left able to do this? You highlight Rule 4, and the truth is that conservatives and Christians can both be flogged by Rule 4 with respect to the immigration debate should they take a side which is against conservatism and against Christianity.

How can those who are in favor of minimal government be in favor of a government with the power to deport millions of people — or, even worse, be in favor of such an act in its completion?

How can the left turn “children” against us? The answer is, of course, simple. The “children” (quotes are yours) are, for the most part, children. Those that are not — 18-year old MS-13 members and such — certainly should not be admitted to our country, for they are common criminals in every sense of those two words, even subtracting their disobeyance of our immigration laws.

But when you picket against “children and mothers” who, for the most part, are indeed children and mothers, you have not helped your cause one bit.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 12:02 PM

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Abraham Lincoln was a corrupt politician bought by the railroads to advanced cronyism. He was a manic depressive megalomaniac whose brain if it was not blown away by John Wilkes Booth would have eventually rotted away from syphilis do to his decadent bisexual lifestyle.

OliverB on August 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Those like EE who have joined the Left in faulting Conservatives for not being Christian first in their political decisions run the risk of further minimizing their influence in politics. Just like the GOP has lost some of the TP crowd, so can the Religious Conservative part of the base drive out the less religious part of the base.

katiejane on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

OliverB on August 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Heh.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

katiejane on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

And vice versa. A true conservative doesn’t tell another conservative how to do his or her laundry, if you get my drift. The moment one does, he or she is a closet liberal, for liberals want everyone to do laundry the correct way.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Atheists would argue…

First of all a true Atheists doesn’t argue anything, that’s just a F#@%in Leftist pulling the Atheists CLUB out of his bag. Like the “GAY” couple “shopping for a wedding cake”, in fact they are F#@%in Leftist shopping for a lawsuit. There is no racism left in America, only F#@%in Leftist using it to bludgeon us with. STOP DEFENDING, START ATTACKING, DESTROY THE F#@%in Leftist!
Losers are always defeated by their OWN dogma, not the other guy’s! (Can you say Political Correctness?)

Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Oh, the crosses we bear as conservatives! What a conundrum!

If only there were Christians on the left, so they could get a sense of what anguish this causes!

questionmark on August 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

There are indeed Christians on the left, but most have a legion of Simons they’ve forced marched in, so that they don’t have to bear their crosses at all.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

The foundation of Christianity is Un-conditional Love and Charity. Un-conditional Love – To give emotional support with absolutely no expectation of ANYTHING in return. Charity – to give material support with absolutely no expectation of ANYTHING in return. The GOP is the only place they can go and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return. A match made in Heaven.

Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

The GOP is the only place they can go and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return. A match made in Heaven.

Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I’d say the Democrats have that one locked up. Why are our kids undereducated? A: The Democrats
Why are there so many broken families on welfare? A: The Democrats
Why is our healthcare system costing us so much more than ever before? A: The Democrats.

When you think “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions”, don’t bother thinking about the Democrats at all, because there are no Good Intentions in anything they do. It’s all about buying votes, even from people you despise.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

As a Christian and a conservative, I think I can address a few points:

1) Christians are called to help others, quietly. Prayer and charity are private matters, not public. One of my pet peeves are prayers that are actually sermons–if you’re talking to God, why are you preaching to me? Announcing one’s good deeds and piety is basically pride, which means the person isn’t really as good or as pious as they wish to seem.

2) Christians are called to HELP others. The children of the illegal immigrants, those that aren’t teenagers anyways, ARE here, and they DO need help. It would be cruel to send a ten year old back to El Salvador or wherever they came from. On the other hand, some of these “children” are teenage thugs. In that case it would be cruel to our own nation to NOT send them back.

2b) As for Ferguson, the sad, disgusting truth about most black churches is that there’s a lot of noise and excitement and emotion, but very little depth. They are not taught wisdom, forethought or self-control. In most churches of any color, a greater loyalty to one’s community arises, which means that in the case of Ferguson, most church-going whites assume that the cop was right, and most church-going blacks assume that Michael Brown was an innocent man.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

The GOP is the only place * they * can go and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return. A match made in Heaven.

Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

.
Who is “they”, in that statement ?

listens2glenn on August 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

As a Christian and a conservative, I think I can address a few points:

1) Christians are called to help others, quietly. Prayer and charity are private matters, not public. One of my pet peeves are prayers that are actually sermons–if you’re talking to God, why are you preaching to me? Announcing one’s good deeds and piety is basically pride, which means the person isn’t really as good or as pious as they wish to seem.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

.
Y E S . ! . ! . ! . . . . . . . . . There’s multiple points made there, and I say “dittos” to all of them.
.

2) Christians are called to HELP others. The children of the illegal immigrants, those that aren’t teenagers anyways, ARE here, and they DO need help. It would be cruel to send a ten year old back to El Salvador or wherever they came from. On the other hand, some of these “children” are teenage thugs. In that case it would be cruel to our own nation to NOT send them back.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

.
I believe they all need to go back, ‘Rick’ … but I do believe they can, and SHOULD be cared for by private NGO charities who are willing.

NO … TAX-PAYER … DOLLARS.
.

2b) As for Ferguson, the sad, disgusting truth about most black churches is that there’s a lot of noise and excitement and emotion, but very little depth.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

.
There is a degree of truth to that, but you could be talking about many predominantly “non-black” Pentecostal churches, as well.

Also, I am aware of some MAJOR exceptions, to that generalization.
.

They are not taught wisdom, forethought or self-control.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

.
That describes a LOT of local churches, of ALL ethnicities, in the U.S.
.

In most churches of any color, a greater loyalty to one’s community arises, which means that in the case of Ferguson, most church-going whites assume that the cop was right, and most church-going blacks assume that Michael Brown was an innocent man.

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

.
That IS a problem with too many local church groups, in the U.S.
.
Resolving that begins with PRAYER.

listens2glenn on August 23, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Who is “they”, in that statement ?
listens2glenn on August 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

“they” is Christians

The GOP is the only place they can go and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return. A match made in Heaven.
Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I’d say the Democrats have that one locked up. Why are our kids undereducated? A: The Democrats
Why are there so many broken families on welfare? A: The Democrats
Why is our healthcare system costing us so much more than ever before? A: The Democrats.
unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

All true, but the Judeo-Christian principle of INDIVDUAL Free Will is why the socialist, the communist, the libs and all the other Leftist ideologies of enslavement, they all hate us and Israel for that matter. Democrats are purveyors of slavery and Mob rule so Christians and their INDIVDUAL Free Will aren’t welcome.
Of course Muslims hate us because they are slaves to Allah and totalitarian to the nth degree.

Regardless of your religion, INDIVDUAL Free Will is THE founding principal of America and the reason it is universally hated.

Pole-Cat on August 24, 2014 at 12:39 AM

The foundation of Christianity is Un-conditional Love and Charity. Un-conditional Love – To give emotional support with absolutely no expectation of ANYTHING in return. Charity – to give material support with absolutely no expectation of ANYTHING in return. The GOP is the only place they can go and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return. A match made in Heaven.

Pole-Cat on August 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM
.

Who is “they”, in that statement ?

listens2glenn on August 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

.
“they” is Christians

Pole-Cat on August 24, 2014 at 12:39 AM

.
Okay . . . . . but I’m pretty sure “they” could go to the “donkeys”, and have absolutely no expectation of getting ANYTHING in return, as well.

But I wouldn’t call it a “match made in heaven.”

listens2glenn on August 24, 2014 at 8:31 AM

questionmark on August 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

.
There are indeed Christians on the left, but most have a legion of Simons they’ve forced marched in, so that they don’t have to bear their crosses at all.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

.
Now THAT is quite the analogy, unclesmrgol.
.
Very good “parallel.”

listens2glenn on August 24, 2014 at 8:41 AM

The problem is that conservatives don’t want to be made into accessories to the crime and make it worse, when the Media come along and say “These churches are in favor of helping the illegals.” They try to use the church to promote illegal immigration, when the church is in favor of feeding and clothing and has nothing to do with anything except the food, clothes and care. They are exploiting the christian churches.

Fleuries on August 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM

(And as I said at the time, how the hell is he getting in to give them to the kids? No one got to see those kids anyway…)

deadite on August 22, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Border guards have been pulled back from the border to facilitate the mass importing of young men.

Press,public, Congressmen are prevented from visiting holding sites – except staged events that suit the propaganda like the Beck visit.

Teddy bears were allowed to make the public believe the hoards were all child refugees from a war zone. Mexico never asked for UN relief and the UN never sent down relief because there was no war

Breitbart is not allowed access to the staging centers, because they would report the truth

People are arguing a lie, staged by propagandists. The lie suits religious institutions pushing open borders. I heard a member of the Conference of Bishops state, on EWTN, say ‘God didn’t make borders’

…what you are proposing is giving aid and comfort to those who were sent here to break the law. You are being a useful idiot to the left who use Christianity’s charitable nature to divide conservatives. Especially when one such as Glenn Beck comes in and starts grandstanding against straw men put forth by his critics. And the left loved every minute of it to highlight and divide conservatives.
NWConservative on August 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Could not say it better, but some do not wish to see the truth

Any thread connecting a political strategy to godliness, and dissent to ungodliness triggers the usual argument about religion:

Religious types should about their soul saving and leave the country running to God fearing but comfortable rationalists, like Lincoln and Reagan.
bildung on August 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

At which point, I offer a reading:

March 30, 1863 By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness….
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

entagor on August 24, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Because the press is building straw dogs to to confuse the opposition, while they destroy the nation, people have to dig for facts

Search engines use algorithms to limit what people may find. News outlets promote agendas. Social media controls what is allowed. The border incursion is not the only news being controlled. Only a select list of food and drug recalls make it to your local news anymore. There are two new social media being created that might have great value considering how people are being gamed. I pass this on, because it represents a movement to keep information honest http://www.naturalnews.com/046504_Diaspora_Unseenis_uncensored_information.html

Diaspora, Unseenis both worth considering.

entagor on August 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Stop giving this sanctimonious slob more credit than he deserves. Erick Erikson is a D-list jerk. He is a RINO at heart who only gives a feigned imitation of being a TEA Partier because he knows RINO-ism doesn’t sell.

How many times is he going to tell us “If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t incorporate Disqus into RedState?” This is at least the third time he’s said it.

Here’s a hint for Erick: It’s easy to disable Disqus from your website. Just take out a couple of lines of code. Erick knows he needs Disqus because his content isn’t compelling enough on its own.

I will past a copy of a post that got me “banned” from this slobs pretty boring website. Banning someone for posting something this tame, is the equivalent of heavy-handed policing. All it does is urinates people off and created enemies for life. Another poster on another thread notes how Erickson’s mods generally ban everybody over there who is conservative.

Here’s a sample of what the RINO “church lady” finds “offensive” enough to get you banned. Typical RINO:

Poppycock, Eric. It never ceases to amaze me how removed from the real world people in the educated classes are these days. Didn’t any of you people have a crazy uncle, co-worker or client who said silly things? Just because your father, brother or grandfather might have said the “n-word”, did you ostracize him and never speak to him again?

Sorry kids, but that’s not the real world. The real world is full of all kinds of colorful people and I thank God for them. I would rather be in a room full of politically incorrect people who speak their minds than a bunch of politically correct stiffs who aren’t smart enough to get out of dodge when they turn into a McDonalds full of hoodrats late at night and then wonder why something happened to them!!! (See: americanthinker dhot com/2014/08/beaten_to_death_at_mcdonalds.html )

Fact is that being politically incorrect is not a crime. It is especially not a capital crime. It may be impolite, sometimes amusing and to some people hurtful, but it is not a crime.

Lighten up!

============

Their reply:

Neil Stevens Mod • 9 minutes ago
G’bye.

As to Beck and the others, I don’t think most people are against feeding children. What most people recoil against is the self promotion and being manipulated by the likes of people like that. Like some former “Morning Zoo” alcoholic radio DJ is going to preach morality to me?

I hate being manipulated by hucksters and Glenn Beck is a huckster.

EnzyteBob on August 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Yes, some think Erick has gone over to the dark side. I think he has always been a faux conservative. Maybe his getting a calling now makes him repent and be honest about the person he has always been. A self serving egotist who thinks he’s better than the rest of us. I don’t need some new born Christian who wears his religion on his sleeve telling me how much holier he is than I.

Hey, Erick, save your sermons for your congregation of “yes men” at RS.

Agreed! I grew up in a very old-school, observant Eastern Orthodox home. We didn’t wear religion on our sleeve. It was how they conducted themselves, how they interacted with family and the examples they set for their children. My people weren’t perfect, but they were good people and they taught us the right way to do things. More importantly, we were spared the sanctimony and the judgmentalism of people like Erickson. I understand what “live and let live” means far more than a heavy handed “compassionate conservative” (i.e. RINO, if that even) than Erikson.

And most importantly, they taught me how to have a thick skin and not to crumple up and die just because my “virgin ears” might be offended by someone else’s different opinions and the manner in which they are expressed.

Erickson is a loser. I have no use for people like him.

EnzyteBob on August 24, 2014 at 12:44 PM

RockinRickOwen on August 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

The Lord’s Prayer is preaching. Why? Perhaps God is only part of the audience for the Lord’s Prayer. Perhaps the person saying the Prayer is the audience.

unclesmrgol on August 24, 2014 at 12:47 PM

No, I am not.
unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Of course not.

CW on August 22, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Children are here without their parents and need our help.
They need to be fed, cared for and their needs, physical and spiritual, tended too. That what folks are doing. Sorry if you do not like what they are doing CW. Go down and protest against them.
Parents that send their young children on such a trek have lost their parenting rights and we should not allow these children to be deported back to them or them to migrate here. Adoptions or placement with legal family members here should be the order of the day. Christian agencies are well equipped for this.
Those that are gang members need to be weeded out and deported.

And the southern border needs to be secured with fence, moat and minefield so this does not happen again.

Bubba Redneck on August 25, 2014 at 1:09 AM

Religious types should about their soul saving and leave the country running to God fearing but comfortable rationalists, like Lincoln and Reagan.
bildung on August 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Psalm 2

Bubba Redneck on August 25, 2014 at 1:15 AM

I welcome this conversation. It absolutely is an issue.

Liberty and freedom and local-level compassion are far more effective than central government playing Daddy or husband.

We need to adhere to that obvious truth while demonstrating — quietly and through actions — that we recognize the responsibilities placed on us through our faiths, responsibilities in our families, neighborhoods and cities.

We play to lefty typecast as heartless and uncaring too often on social media. Keep teaching that compassion doesn’t equal inefficient government spending, but also demonstrate what it does equal.

FishingwFredo on August 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

There is no doubt in my mind that were Jesus “alive” today he would be a socialist.He may be my Saviour,but I disagree with his politics.By the way Beck and Erickson-charity begins at home.Think about the merican families who will be adversely affected by the illegal invasion-their jobs,their schools,their health care,and their taxes.Quit your damn RINO whining.You screwed up and now you want to attack anti-amnesty folks as unchristian.Judge not…

redware on August 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The purest most undistilled representation of libertarianism was described by one Ayn Rand.

What was her perspective on religion? How much room did she leave for christianity within her objectivist libertarian philosophy?

everdiso on August 25, 2014 at 4:05 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that were Jesus “alive” today he would be a socialist.He may be my Saviour, but I disagree with his politics.

redware on August 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

.
? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? !
.
Do you have a different definition of “socialist”, than I do ?

My definition applies specifically to an ‘ideology of governance’ by our esteemed politicians.

By that definition, I don’t believe Jesus is a “socialist.”

However … if you still believe He is a “socialist”, then you and I would be the ones in error, as Jesus … IS … ALWAYS … RIGHT.

He simply doesn’t make any “mistakes”, on any level . . . . . EVER.

Glenn Beck didn’t convert into a “pro-amnesty socialist”, and neither did I.
But I believe what Beck did is the right thing to do.

listens2glenn on August 25, 2014 at 4:31 PM

The purest most undistilled representation of libertarianism was described by one Ayn Rand.

What was her perspective on religion? How much room did she leave for christianity within her objectivist libertarian philosophy?

everdiso on August 25, 2014 at 4:05 PM

.
Problem…

We don’t agree as to the definition of “libertarianism”
.
In fact, ask five of us to write down our definitions of “libertarianism”, and Id bet on five non-identical definitions.
Similar … yes … but not identical.

listens2glenn on August 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Well, it’s good to know that I am not the only one who has lately found there to be a growing chasm between living out Christianity and being a Modern American Conservative.

I am Conservative by temperament and mindset, and I hold (along with Russell Kirk) that Conservatism is most definitely not an ideology.

However, I suppose it is time for me to come to grips with the fact that I cannot call myself a Modern American Conservative (since the definition and metric by which Conservatives are currently being judged is almost entirely ideologically based).

I’m 35 now and became politically aware around the time of Ralph Reed’s ascendance with the Christian Coalition. I guess that would have been ‘roundabouts’ the ’88 election. In hindsight, of course, it has become apparent that the Religious Right was neither very religious, nor very Right when all was said and done. But I was a proud, carrying member of the Religious Right movement.

I think the most damaging thing to come out of this movement was the conflation of Modern Conservative political ideology with Christian faith and ideals.

It has been, and will continue to be, a long and painful process for me to separate the two. Though, I am ever-grateful that in the past few years I have ‘discovered’ Burke, and Kirk, and folks like Robert Nisbet.

In any case, for me, I think it comes down to this…
Christ was my Savior… But not really my Lord.

This was true in all aspects of my life… but one of those aspects was most certainly my political philosophy.

It’s a little scary, yet quite liberating to start trying to imagine what a truly Christ-centered life looks like. His is the “upside-down Kingdom” and it looks and acts quite different than what is normal, natural human thinking.

RightWay79 on August 25, 2014 at 4:38 PM

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