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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I too as a Christian am appalled at some of the rhetoric I see coming from our side.

Certain things people type, they’d never say, because they would hear how unloving they sound.

And if you now want to call Erick and Ed RINOs, then I can’t help you.

Donald Draper on August 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

If the POTUS and Attorney General of US suggests that you are racist because you disagree with them…are they Christians?

d1carter on August 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Conservatives are charitable way beyond Liberals with their own money and resources. I never measured compassion on how much I could spent of other people’s money like the Ted Kennedy, Nacy Pelosi ilk. Liberals ‘force compassion, it comes from the heart of a Conservative.

mouell on August 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The right path for a Christian is the path that wins souls, not friends.

Immolate on August 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Erick Erickson is hardly one to criticize anyone (Christian or otherwise) about their tone.

He is often using questionable & offensive language and then saying “oh well, get over it.”

tetriskid on August 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Missed the point completely. If you make it easier for them to come, children or not, more and more and MORE will come. It turns from charity and caring for children into welfare for the third world.

Fine, that’s one thing. Along with that comes the sludgy underbelly criminals and terrorists, which apparently it’s UN-Christian to even attempt to sort out from those actually needing help.

The right thing to do is send them back and discourage more from coming. Maybe even the worst president ever might have a conference to help these countries deal with their problems, move to a more equitable system where so many aren’t suffering. Oh, wait, he’s too busy trying to turn US into THEM.

Never mind.

Diluculo on August 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Can Christian faith coexist with conservative rhetoric?

The numbers indicate so.

nobar on August 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Jesus Christ, unclutch your pearls Gladys.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I have been a bit unnerved at the tone that this place has taken through the last couple of open registrations. There are some comments that are just vile.

However I think it’s more important than ever for Christians to remain in the political sphere. Who is going to speak for us if we all go away because people are making us feel uncomfortable. Life is uncomfortable. That is why we are supposed to witness.

gophergirl on August 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Christian faith absolutely gets in the way of politics. How much did Romney hold back because of his faith-based principles?

Democrats go for the throat. Ruthlessly. Every time. And it works.

“Did you hear that Romney hated his employees?” Despite all the evidence to the contrary, when you’re explaining you’re losing, and Romney never really went on the offensive when the other side was playing rough.

Politics is not a place where caritas works. That’s not to say that you have to be godless, but you need to ditch your love for your enemies at the door. If you can’t, don’t run.

beatcanvas on August 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM

One must be mindful of when they’re being used specifically because of convictions.

Case in point is the flood of children over the border, even though most are teenagers or older.

As leftists have no convictions it’s harder for the right to do the same.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 3:38 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.

just wanted to repeat this part.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Oh, by all means, let’s subsidize more misery.

M240H on August 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I too as a Christian am appalled at some of the rhetoric I see coming from our side.

Certain things people type, they’d never say, because they would hear how unloving they sound.

And if you now want to call Erick and Ed RINOs, then I can’t help you.

Donald Draper on August 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

So? Your appalled and ferclemped.. Just because someone shares your political beliefs doesn’t mean A)they share them all B) they are good people. There are bad, mean people in this world. Get over it.

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

You’re*

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

To be serious for a moment….I think the tone of the country overall is much more crude and caustic and is reflected in all media, social and public. I also believe that tone has been ginned up by our present leadership. That’s what community organizers do. It doesn’t excuse it, but it may explain it.

d1carter on August 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

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.

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

.
Many of my fellow Hotair commenters here genuinely believe that the deportation of illegal alien invaders was stymied, impeded, or otherwise slowed-down because of what Mercury One (Glenn Beck) did.
I don’t believe it was … I don’t know what else to say.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Spend a day on Democrat Underground and get back to us.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

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

You and Erickson, seem to be throwing around the “you” people label a lot. Name, names.. Stop generalizing.

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.

This is rich coming from Erickson who has jumped to conclusions ALL THE FRICK OVER THE PLACE when it comes to the incident.

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

The right path for a Christian is the path that wins souls, not friends.

Immolate on August 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

you don’t win souls without making friends. you have to stand up for what you believe in and criticize sin, but do it in a way where you don’t come across as an overall sour, bitter, unlikeable person.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Eric Holder is listed as Episcopalian, and that’s all I can say about that. As for the other dude, in the most … er .. liberal .. definition possible, you might call him a Christian.

corona79 on August 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

It isn’t difficult to spot those who go through the motions vs. those who put the faith to practice every day. The first group is the type you see hitting the doors out of church a few minutes early just to beat the traffic out of the parking lot.

They are also the ones more prone to screw-up when life’s real challenges land on the front doorstep.

I don’t worry about those too much.

To me, I can’t help but be in awe of those people in the second group who can still act with compassion for their fellow man when the foundations around them are crumbling in their own lives.

Those are the kind of people I can only hope I can aspire to.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Politics is not a place where caritas works. That’s not to say that you have to be godless, but you need to ditch your love for your enemies at the door. If you can’t, don’t run.

beatcanvas on August 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Someone else once said “You can’t serve two masters”.

You can be a Christian and be a politician, but be aware that at times you have to put your Christian faith aside, and serve the other master, the people.

Oh, you can rationalize all you want, but the fact is, being a faithful Christian, and a productive politician, are often counter to each other…and you have to choose your master.

right2bright on August 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Handing out the Teddy Bears can be done at the same time as condemning the political atmosphere and individuals that have caused this. Children who have done no wrong on their own should not be sold into a form of enslavement where those doing the selling are promised political ends. Children have no say in that, nor can they have a new citizenship conferred upon them as they cannot give their reasoned assent nor consent to it. Nor can government take over that role as they are not citizens and they have parents and a Nation of origin and they are subject to their laws on parental responsibility.

The Teddy Bears are fine and dandy.

The condemnation of the enslavement of minors was not heard.

Yet Christians fought long and hard to end human enslavement and should be outraged at its return. Indeed practice what it preached. I did not witness the full practicing. Perhaps the preaching is no longer against slavery.

I cannot say.

Children should not be treated as they are by their parents, by their National government, by the drug cartels, by the human traffickers, and by our government.

How about asking some blacks in America what they think of children being sent off by parents (who by the rhetoric are poor and must be paid to do this) by paying human traffickers to take them to a foreign land to be subject to the laws of that land against their will. See what the response is. Heck, ask your priest about that. Ask your own conscience about it.

Teddy Bears are NOT THE POINT.

SLAVERY IS THE POINT.

ajacksonian on August 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

I don’t remember Jesus ever giving any comfort to prostitutes and thieves or every sharing supper with them, or anything like that. He only hung out and helped law-abiding citizens.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

erickson of redstate.com….the site that bans you for saying if you ever do anything that makes a mod ban you then you would not fight the ban.
IOW you would respect their decisions.
yeah that got me banned.
and they are too cowardly to tell you that you were banned, you just get a cryptic database error when you try to log in.

yeah…he and his crew are losers.
BUT…he has a point this time.

dmacleo on August 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

What about the Christian that puts his child on a ‘death train’ ?
What about the Christian that gives his young girl birth control pills
before the journey so she can be the link for getting the family to
the US ?
What about the Christian who has little kids traveling alone ?
What about the Christians who die in the desert ?
Conservatives are not saying burn them in oil but we are trying
to discourage their irresponsibility .

Lucano on August 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM

There is a lot of all-or-nothing intolerance posted in the comments section of blogs, and I suspect that some people who disagree with it keep silent for fear of being insulted, ridiculed, or what-have-you.

I tended to agree with Coulter’s column about missionaries and doctors who find all their work overseas when so much needs doing here, but I see no reason we shouldn’t bring Dr. Brantly to the US for treatment, so long as it can be done safely.

I have no problem with what Glenn Beck or Ted Cruz did to help the kids piling up at the border, either. For crying out loud, they are children.

No, I don’t believe in any kind of “compassionate conservatism” that serves as an excuse to move left and support big government…but Ace has been talking lately about presenting conservative ideas in a way that appeals to LIVs and shows we care about things like fairness and the environment, even if we disagree with the left about methods, and I tend to agree with him. My girlfriend has been telling me the same thing about persuading people for years…so it’s probably common sense.

DRayRaven on August 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM

True, but hardly unique. Look at the [allegedy on the right] theUnamerican Stinker. Note that there are never any comments with cogent arguments against what is posted.

corona79 on August 22, 2014 at 3:49 PM

All the pictures that were posted at The Blaze of the children enjoying their soccer balls are fine but those same pictures go back to South America with the Coyotes. They’re used as propaganda to lure more people to jump the fence. For the life of me I don’t see how that’s compassion or charity for that matter. Since I disagree with them doing that…they claim I’m less Christian and lacking in compassion.

Big Orange on August 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

The articles by Erickson that get shoved down our throats here and a peak at RS comments, tells me it is “tone” for thee but not for me.

Enough. If you can’t handle people disagreeing with you or you don’t want to read nasty icky comments, get out of the business. Someone else will fill the void.

And again, I find that all these conservative bloggers pushing this same lame meme reeks of journalista tactics.

Blake on August 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Technically, Christians should be involved in Politics, right?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
SelfControl

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Technically, Christians should NOT be involved in Politics, right?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Not all Conservatives are Christian.

(shrug)

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.

I take issue with the idea that wanting to quarantine people with deadly illness is somehow unchristian. And that same sanctimony, to be uncharitable, showed up in Beck’s remarks about his toy-giving campaign (and so on). That holier-than-thou attitude (I’m Christian — You aren’t) never seems to be far away when walking down this path, and it isn’t remotely Christian.

Axe on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Sorry, Mr. Morrissey, but sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Erick Erickson is standing on the Battlefield of Souls or the Battlefield of Voters.

I’ve been a member of RS for going on 7 years. Lots of painting things a certain wide to hide some political expediency going on of late from the mods at the site. I have a lot of respect for most of them, but it doesn’t blind me to the reality that it IS a political site, and that they struggle with their priorities at times.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

How about supporting the capitalist “system” the commie pope despises? It that “rhetoric” also?

bernverdnardo1 on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

What about the Christian that puts his child on a ‘death train’ ?
What about the Christian that gives his young girl birth control pills
before the journey so she can be the link for getting the family to
the US ?
What about the Christian who has little kids traveling alone ?
What about the Christians who die in the desert ?
Conservatives are not saying burn them in oil but we are trying
to discourage their irresponsibility .

Lucano on August 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Number one we are talking about the Christian spirit of American, not the central Americans coming this way. So that is a diversion, meant to move the target.

You can discourage their irresponsibility while at the same time comforting them the way Jesus would.

Something about “suffer the children to come to me” or what?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I admit I didn’t read Erickson’s article with dedicated attention but it seems to me that a lot of his evidence for this non-Christian conservative conversation by Christians comes from comment forums (like this one), and all I can say is, heck, whaddaya expect? Any lunatic can register and post in the comments section of whatever online rag and rant as nasty as can be and claim to be anything. People don’t post comments to have serious, heartfelt, better-angels-of-our-nature dialog, they do it to rant in ways that would get them ejected from the building in real life.

And yes, I’m aware of commentary like Ann Coulter’s on the ebola doctor which seemed remarkably ill-suited to the Christian language in which it was dressed, but I’ve not noticed any major conservative or Christian writers thanking her for that.

dkmonroe on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

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 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.

You think the problem is time? So to speak? It’s interesting. Something else.

Christians are told to watch their mouths at all times, that what they say will be read back to them and they’ll give an account for “every idle word.” A good Christian is probably a deliberative and generally quiet one. The whole structure of commenting, blogging, Tweeting — it all solicits idle words. You are actually paid to talk. :) –The problem with social media and Christianity might be more systemic than just time to make a case patiently (and with, as you say, the right tone).

Axe on August 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Technically, Christians should be involved in Politics, right?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Now where did you get that idea?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Technically, Christians should NOT be involved in Politics, right?

portlandon on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Wrong.

dkmonroe on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I find it disappointing when those professing to be Christians raise the question as to

whether Christianity and conservative policy are compatible

.
One might better express concern as to whether liberalism is compatible with any religion.

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 have been told how the children are fleeing dangerous countries. Are they also fleeing lack of emotionally support? Are they coming here for soccer balls and teddybears? Seems like those like Beck who are faulting conservatives for not lining up to hand out toys are doing the same thing liberals do – play on emotions as a way around unwelcome facts. Too bad those who choose to furnish those type of things can’t do it without patting themselves on the back while looking for atta boys.

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.

I was not one who faulted where the doctor did his good work. However I did question whether it was a good idea to bring the two of them back. Why introduce an unnecessary risk into the country?

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.

Actually we can’t when the race issue is involved. Why am I expected to lament the loss of individuals I don’t know? I can feel badly for families who lose sonmeone but the loss of Michael Brown really is not more significant to me than the loss of the 3 young people who died in a major car accident earlier this week in NJ.

katiejane on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Can Christian faith coexist with war? Are Christians supposed to be meek and turn the cheek on the battlefield?

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Are visa laws opposed to the teachings of jesus Christ?

bernverdnardo1 on August 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Amazing to me that you could come to that conclusion. I’m agnostic as h#ll, yet I still don’t see what the f@ck you are talking about.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Can Christian faith coexist with war? Are Christians supposed to be meek and turn the cheek on the battlefield?

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

And you’re proof of that is what?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

quick summary/rephrasing of what i said:

fighting for conservative principles is great, and criticizing other people is necessary sometimes. but some people go too far with it. there is a difference between standing up for what you believe in and being perpetually angry, belligerent, and pessimistic.

You and Erickson, seem to be throwing around the “you” people label a lot. Name, names.. Stop generalizing.

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

i don’t keep up with who is saying what, so i don’t have any names to give you. there are a lot of people here, and a bunch who are like what i described. so i don’t keep up with who specifically is doing it. but whoever is not guilty of what i’m talking about should not feel offended.

the “bitter” thing doesn’t describe everyone on this site. but it is not just two or three people, either.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

I’m waiting for the folks who made some of these “Are Christians supposed” remarks to show me the proof of their contentions.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

The problem people have with the Redstate boys is their condescending attitude that all their opinions are the correct ones to have and if you disagree with them then you are some troll to be insulted and mocked.

Nobody has a problem with somebody handing a child a teddy bear and to pretend they do is dishonest and insulting.
Every single front pager all came out with their little “Look how much we love the little poor children” diary in which they proceeded to label anyone who criticized Beck or his fellow celebrity blogger as someone who didn’t like brown people and wanted them to die.

Flaming A-holes.

NeoKong on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Can Christian faith coexist with war? Are Christians supposed to be meek and turn the cheek on the battlefield?

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

And you’re proof of that is what?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Please read my comment again.

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

you don’t win souls without making friends. you have to stand up for what you believe in and criticize sin, but do it in a way where you don’t come across as an overall sour, bitter, unlikeable person.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

It helps to connect with people, but if you’re only leading those you befriend to Christ, you’re missing a lot of opportunities. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. I agree with your sentiment, however. Friendly works best with most. Keep their hearts open to your message, and plant a seed.

Immolate on August 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Please read my comment again.

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

My mistake.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

You are ever stupid.

Please find the appropriate outlet and reboot.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 4:01 PM

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.

What a load. It’s not that conservatives object to charity; conservatives are far more charitable than lefties. But why all of a sudden is this the issue? Glenn Beck is just playing into lefties’ hands and throwing conservatives under the bus.

If it’s really Glenn Beck’s calling to distribute toys to tots on the border, then go for it. He doesn’t have to advertise the fact to promote his show. He doesn’t have to use as a way to bash conservatives. He didn’t have to wait until the Democrats were making a faux issue out of it to generate sympathy.

And, my personal opinion, is that soccer balls and teddy bears does diddly squat to help them in the long run, and a year from now Glenn Beck will have stopped doing it (if he hasn’t already) because he can’t milk it for tears anymore.

Fenris on August 22, 2014 at 4:01 PM

The conservo-populist movement that Erick blames for the issues he sees is more libertarian than faith-based.

Not true. It is the authoritarian, religious conservative types that are opposed to amnesty. There are many factions among Christians. Some are more compassionate than others.

rickv404 on August 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

To all those Christian fools who think helping the enemy is the path to salvation – works will not get you eternal life.

More to the point – why don’t these do-gooders with a self-sacrifice wish take all their supplies into Mexico, set up a distribution station there, and advertise that they are free to anyone going south?

Oh wait – that’s too creative and none of the thieving criminals would actually agree to go home because THE FREEBIES IN THE US are better than a teddy bear and a pair of underwear.

Those handing out stuff to the illegals are simply looking to be seen by men. Christ had something to say on that subject.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

From The Patriot, “A shepherd must tend his flock, and at times, fight off the wolves.” Indeed, I feel compassion for those who come to the US, but there is something far greater at stake, which is why I so strongly want to fight for a stronger, more secure border above caring “for the children.” (We know what a loaded phrase that can be)

RblDiver on August 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

How would you describe the character of Jesus Christ?

On the question of “What Would Jesus Do?”, the outcome is dependent on how the character of Jesus Christ is perceived. Many people perceive Jesus as this always meek, always mild, always subservient, always compassionate individual who gave way to all manner of behavior due to His “love” for mankind.

Yet the Bible teaches another side of Jesus Christ that was determined, goal-oriented, and held to what is right in the eyes of God regardless of the opinion of the society in which He lived. He loved mankind, yet He didn’t enable sinful or lawless behavior. He promoted individual accountability in every breath He took.

Liberals hold to the first image of Jesus Christ, which is the weaker character, whereas Conservatives hold to the second image.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

How far does the Good Christian example get taken, can I criticize Erikson for not doing the good Christian deed of accepting an illegal family of 10 into his home and provide for their needs?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Some could not distinguish between giving a child a teddy bear and supporting Mexican drug cartels.

But Ed! One of your very own colleagues posted a thread on this where the argument had nothing to do with Christian faith or even basic decent humanity. It was a way to put a softer face on the conservative movement when it comes to perceptions among Hispanics and those supporting universal amnesty. That to me seems (charitably) too optimistic to be called Christ-like.

What I’d like to see is a time when the GOP didn’t treat those of us that are social conservatives like second-class citizens who are not entitled to an opinion that diverges from the pro-amnesty, pro SSM, pro-pot establishment. And when it comes to Christianity, the establishment says all the right things but they (with the exception of Frank Wolf) do not live up to the rhetoric. Maybe the establishment should be handing out teddy bears and soccer balls to social conservatives.

The problem of the parasites coming over the border (not all of which are children BTW) starts with stemming the tide in the parent country instead of gasping when everybody doesn’t agree that the GOP should be setting up welcome centers at the crossing points.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Dude, if Jesus were here He would knock over your table and chase you out of the temple.

Immolate on August 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

So, I guess anyone that doesn’t go all in for open borders is damned to hell. Hm, it’s quite possible that following that line of thought that most of the isis terrorists are going to heaven after all. They don’t seem to recognize borders either. Maybe if we send isis a bunch of teddy bears they’ll be all cuddly and stuff from now on.

Cool, at least I know where I stand. At this point I’d like to see the borders slammed shut and guarded by our best military men and women until terrorist groups like isis are completely eliminated.

Gee, I hope that vile comment doesn’t shake too many people up.

/s

Diluculo on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Not true. It is the authoritarian, religious conservative types that are opposed to amnesty. There are many factions among Christians. Some are more compassionate than others.

rickv404 on August 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Wrong. I’m agnostic. I haven’t been to church since a co-worker got buried back in the spring. You seem to be stating something without any basis of fact. Truth is, it is more economic-driven than religion over the amnesty issue.

People can still show compassion to those children, and still be opposed to amnesty.

Get it through your thick skull.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Or how about Erikson not relocating to Guatemala to spend the rest of his days trying to alleviate the conditions which has so many of its citizens fleeing north, can I criticize him for that?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

How far does the Good Christian example get taken, can I criticize Erikson for not doing the good Christian deed of accepting an illegal family of 10 into his home and provide for their needs?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Thank you for your latest contribution to COMMON SENSE!!! There’s a good reason why you’re always first.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

How far does the Good Christian example get taken, can I criticize Erikson for not doing the good Christian deed of accepting an illegal family of 10 into his home and provide for their needs?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

And what to do when it turns out that family is made up entirely of 20-year-old MS-13 members?

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

All the pictures that were posted at The Blaze of the children enjoying their soccer balls are fine but those same pictures go back to South America with the Coyotes. They’re used as propaganda to lure more people to jump the fence. For the life of me I don’t see how that’s compassion or charity for that matter. Since I disagree with them doing that…they claim I’m less Christian and lacking in compassion.

Big Orange on August 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Wrong. That is a simple disagreement on tactics, and it was said calmly. What I think Erick is talking about is the commentor who says: Keep those filthy illegals out of here. Don’t give them a dang thing! They are invaders! Blah blah blah.

Donald Draper on August 22, 2014 at 4:06 PM

To all those Christian fools who think helping the enemy is the path to salvation – works will not get you eternal life.

Children are not enemies.

More to the point – why don’t these do-gooders with a self-sacrifice wish take all their supplies into Mexico, set up a distribution station there, and advertise that they are free to anyone going south?

Hugh Hewitt (for an example) has done this in Guatemala.

Oh wait – that’s too creative and none of the thieving criminals would actually agree to go home because THE FREEBIES IN THE US are better than a teddy bear and a pair of underwear.

The adults didn’t come for teddy bears. And I doubt there are children currently in Central America screeming to their mothers that they want to get to the U.S. because they can win a free teddy bear.

Those handing out stuff to the illegals are simply looking to be seen by men. Christ had something to say on that subject.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Yes he did.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Get it through your thick skull shell.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Improved it, to fit your moniker. :)

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

It’s amazing that it took long for christians to figure out that modern rightwing politics are directly opposed to the teachings of jesus christ.

everdiso on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Dude, if Jesus were here He would knock over your table and chase you out of the temple.

Immolate on August 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Note to both of you:

There is a certain amount of hubris to declare what Christ would and would not do. You might be able to ask him yourselves when he returns.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Improved it, to fit your moniker. :)

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Oh, thanks. My bad.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Are you serious? Jesus is equivalent to the fed govt??? Those little kiddies are just looking for Christ, and the coyotes told them He lives in south Texas?

OMG! We are so screwed.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Note to both of you:

There is a certain amount of hubris to declare what Christ would and would not do. You might be able to ask him yourselves when he returns.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

But I thought what is taught in the New Testament shows us what Jesus did do and is an example for what we should do?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Be kind in thought, word and deed.

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

That’s the same sort of misleading narrative that has been used over at RS during the last few weeks.

These aren’t all children coming across the border. Attempting to paint rose-colored illusions on the illegal activity taking place as being ‘for the children” is as misleading as it gets. Pursuing this misleading narrative day after day while condemning people who disagree with it as being ‘uncharitable” doesn’t do much to support the credibility of the argument.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Christians aren’t supposed to be meek and sweet all the time. In the Bible, Jesus himself provides many examples. Beware of Alinsky liberals who say “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

They don’t care about your spiritual life and they don’t even understand it. They only want to disenfranchise you.

RightKlik on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Are you serious? Jesus is equivalent to the fed govt??? Those little kiddies are just looking for Christ, and the coyotes told them He lives in south Texas?

OMG! We are so screwed.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

We are talking about teddy bears and the Christians that handed them out. Don’t move the target, your diversion is silly and transparent.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Opportunistic righteousness. Doesn’t even cost a nickel. It does cause the child abandonment strategy to be successful and ensures that more will abandon their children in the future.

The pro-active righteousness would be to bring the poorest billion people of the world to the US and give them welfare and food stamps. Your halo will shine so bright it will be blinding.

Buddahpundit on August 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I understand that Mother Theresa was a Good Christian, she said that poor people should accept their position because it brought them closer to God, and criminy, MT was beatified.

If suffering is good for the peeps of Calcutta then isn’t it good for poor Hondurans too? You going to argue with Mother freakin’ Theresa, Erikson?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

and a year from now Glenn Beck will have stopped doing it

Beck has got a personalty disorder in which he has to be constantly overcoming something, to be constantly evolving and growing. Drugs, booze, religion, politics, whatever. I’m sure he’s worse in his personal life we don’t see, probably tells his family he’s going to change some aspect of his behavior every couple months. It’s all about him being a better person in some way.
He’s not mind you, it’s just some head game he plays on himself and the people around him. It’s actually sad watching it.

lowandslow on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Note to both of you:

There is a certain amount of hubris to declare what Christ would and would not do. You might be able to ask him yourselves when he returns.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

But I thought what is taught in the New Testament shows us what Jesus did do and is an example for what we should do?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

His incarnation was not about setting an example but about revealing the nature of God and affecting our salvation.

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

That’s the same sort of misleading narrative that has been used over at RS during the last few weeks.

These aren’t all children coming across the border. Attempting to paint rose-colored illusions on the illegal activity taking place as being ‘for the children” is as misleading as it gets. Pursuing this misleading narrative day after day while condemning people who disagree with it as being ‘uncharitable” doesn’t do much to support the credibility of the argument.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

You mean there are no children crossing the border? And the teddy bears where handed out to who… adults? And this whole thread is a lie because “These aren’t all children coming across the border?” Now I’m really confused.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:14 PM

There’s so many false dichotomies in this piece that it’s overwhelming. But since it’s all “for the children”, I’ll just roll my eyes and move on.

whatcat on August 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM

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.

Not all conservatives agree. On many different things.

It would be somewhat absurd to expect, say, Ayn Rand enthusiasts who follow what they call “positivism” to agree with the Christian viewpoint on all things, given Ayn Rand viewed Christianity as a “slave’s religion” and considered any belief in compassion to be hurtful. That shows more that she misunderstood Christianity than anything else, but she was still opposed to Christianity, for whatever reason. (And yes, that’s a very broad generalization, unfortunately.)

To conclude that Christianity is incompatible with (some) conservative rhetoric is to presuppose that Christianity is not conservative in itself. There is no reason to believe that Christians are have less of a valid place in conservative thinking than these other groups.

“Conservative” is a broad description, not a single well-defined identity group. Of course there’s going to be rhetoric from some conservatives that would not be supported by Christians in general. Some groups would even like to throw Christians out of conservative politics altogether. But who says they have the right?

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I understand that Mother Theresa was a Good Christian, she said that poor people should accept their position because it brought them closer to God, and criminy, MT was beatified.

If suffering is good for the peeps of Calcutta then isn’t it good for poor Hondurans too? You going to argue with Mother freakin’ Theresa, Erikson?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Heh

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I understand that Mother Theresa was a Good Christian, she said that poor people should accept their position because it brought them closer to God, and criminy, MT was beatified.

If suffering is good for the peeps of Calcutta then isn’t it good for poor Hondurans too? You going to argue with Mother freakin’ Theresa, Erikson?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I would love to dig all through this — it’s an interesting subject — but I’m not. :) Because I might accidentally elbow-out all the fun possibilities. So, instead, I’m just going to bump it, bold it, and hope.

Axe on August 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM

The pro-active righteousness would be to bring the poorest billion people of the world to the US and give them welfare and food stamps. Your halo will shine so bright it will be blinding.

Buddahpundit on August 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

…leaving the rest of the world to produce even more children to dump on the beleaguered American taxpayer….

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Erickson is a Libertarian blowhard and certainly no Conservative.

I’m really confused.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Nice you recognize it.

The next step is to seek help.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:14 PM

I daresay you are confused, attempting to promote such a misleading narrative day after day.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

His incarnation was not about setting an example but about revealing the nature of God and affecting our salvation.

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

New International Version
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I daresay you are confused, attempting to promote such a misleading narrative day after day.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I’m just interested in how I have been misleading. Give me some Bible chapter and verse?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Nice you recognize it.

The next step is to seek help.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I guess you didn’t have a answer for me so you posted that dribble so hide you inability to respond. I understand.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Jesus said to love your enemies. He didn’t say they’re not still enemies.

SailorMark on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

New International Version
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

And the context of that saying was?

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

There once was a man who bought a charming little puppy.

This breed of dog always had their tails docked at some point, but this made the man sad.

He thought it would hurt his precious puppy too much to cut the entire tail off at once, so instead, he cut a little bit off every day.

****

Some devout and thoughtful Christians may very well reason differently than others about real-life implementation of political policies which impact vulnerable people.

Others prefer at all times to do what is emotionally satisfying without regard to Christin teaching.

I know where I fall, and I believe I know where most leftist Christians fall, but I didn’t know you faith-filled bloggers needed to start accusing the Christian right of unChristianity.

Who knew? Beam, eye, some assembly…

Dolce Far Niente on August 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Have your or have you not been pursuing the narrative that we should display “compassion for the children”, ignore any illegal activity that is taking place, and that anyone who does not do so is “uncharitable”?

That’s the narrative that has been set forth at RS during the past few weeks. My impression has been that you agree with it. If that is not true, then state as much now and I’ll be more than happy to apologize for misinterpreting your comments.

lineholder on August 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Suffer the little children to come unto me ?
From where Walter ? The world ?
I never said be unkind or unchristian .
I never said don’t comfort .

Lucano on August 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

And the context of that saying was?

kcewa on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

This context fits nicely

1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

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