That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

O’Reilly and Darwin — of Like Mind*


The conservative ideal of self-reliance is, oddly, out of line with the Christian idea of helping those less fortunate and IN line with the evolutionary tenet of the survival of the fittest!

Bill O’Reilly himself said, with derision, that being a liberal means using government programs to “level the playing field.” WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?!?  Who doesn’t want a level playing field? And why not?

This is the definition of a paradox.

God said for us to cast our cares on HIM. He said that HE would make straight that which was crooked.

The Israelites out of Egypt received the ultimate affirmative action! They were allowed to pillage the government and take whatever they wanted! For 400 years of oppression and horror they got more than a level playing field. God Himself was their constant defense and provision. He had to MAKE Pharaoh do what he had consistently shown he would never do on his own.

How about this; Jesus, the King of Kings, (Isaiah, 9:6) embodied affirmative action for us all! We who were lost at the starting gate (Adam), and losing the race from that day till Zero A.D. were allowed to catch up because of a Supernatural quota system that took a “Chosen People” and moved them to the front of the line of eternity.

We elect, who are just as wretched as anyone else, will be separated from those who have ephemerally reveled in the wealth of excess and given that which we did not toil to get. All based on the recognition that without a Hand UP  we could never, ever get what we should have had because sin would never of its own will give up its advantage.

This is the thing that makes me part ways with the conservative movement. The other stuff is cool, but a person who claims to be “Evangelical” yet ignores the obvious fact that some people have had the path swept clear for them while other people don’t even have a butter knife to clear the jungle obscuring theirs leaves me skeptical.

Hey, I’m just saying… Since the Religious Right, Evangelicals, seem to be in a three-legged race with the Republican Party… It looks like there is a whole half of the Christian message that has been overlooked.

And don’t blast me with a bunch of racist stuff! I just noticed the fact because I saw it in the actual BIBLE!

 

*No, I am not a liberal.

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July 28, 2008 - Posted by | Affirmative Action, Bill O'Reilly, Christian Life, Christianity, Civil Rights, Conservatives, God, Hypocrisy, Jesus, Justification, Racism, Republicans, Sean Hannity

17 Comments »

  1. Yeah, and an argument can be made that the bible is pro-communism. The thing is that there is a difference between private and public giving – between doing the right thing because it is right and doing it because it is law. When it is law, people resent it and they try to find ways around it.

    Jesus did say that we would always have the poor with us. What do we do with that information?

    Comment by sara | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Amen, preach it!

    I can go (and have gone) on and on about this before … Jerry Falwell is said to have presided over the wedding of the Religious Right and the Republican Party. Isn’t the Church already married? “Bride of Christ” ring any bells?

    I’m right with you on this, Derrick.

    As for Sara’s point … You know, rape laws don’t really promote respect for others, either. But I think that it’s perfectly reasonable to impose a minimum standard. In a society as astonishingly wealthy as ours, that can include a certain amount of “leveling the playing field.”

    Wow! That is all I’m saying. The rape analogy is good. Thanks, Wickle.
    Derrick

    Comment by wickle | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. I totally agree, Sara! I just noticed a peculiar parallel, and I notice that people I know who currently or formerly attend churches with some of the folk to whom I refer, say that an un-Christian attitude toward “different” types of people prevails. They may give to their church, but that money is usually either sent to some faraway crusade, or it stays within the circle.

    I hate the idea that the government takes what I get before I even get it! But that ain’t gonna stop ’em, and since they do, I would rather they help those who need help (not the truly lazy) and not just use it to bail out their “friends.”

    My larger point was that all throughout history, people have had to be forced to do what they should have freely done. Right through to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.

    I was watching that CNN special on being Black in America, and I was further struck by how generation after generation becomes deeper mired in misery. The little ghetto (or trailer park) child today will end up doing exactly what got his parents where they are now.

    And it is not about MONEY. It is about a HEART that is WILLING to look at people as people and not different species.

    What distresses me is that what is prominent in the conservative movement is that there seems to be no real LOVE. It appears that that is also a commodity to be “conserved.”

    And if you have all the doctrine and all the law and all the strong arguments and all the resources and none of the love, you have nothing.

    One more thing: You are 100% right that people resent being forced to do certain things. I do, too. But I see a lot of resentment that has nothing to do with being forced do do things. There is a lot of resentment that is pure jealousy and bigotry.

    “I had to work hard to get what I got! Why does HE get a program to help him? Why does he get to live in this neighborhood? I’ll bet he was an Affirmative Action hire. Why does that poor kid get to go to this school?”

    Because his school didn’t have up-to-date books, computers, and facilities. His school doesn’t have the budget to send him to France for the summer. Because while he was plenty smart enough to acquire knowledge, he didn’t have a stable home life where he could study like you could, so we helped him. Because his daddy’s friend doesn’t own a company for him to get started in. Because he doesn’t have to have guns drawn on him when his tags are out on his car (Like I did), and because he doesn’t get stopped and searched by the cops when going to the dumpster (Like I did recently).

    What Christian heart would deny someone who had the desire but not the means?

    I hear that stuff all the time! My neighbor across the street is a prime example. He constantly complains about what the next man has that should be his. He is one heartbeat away from a shooting spree!

    I had a teacher who was failing me (until my teacher mother caught her!) because she believed me unworthy to be the only black kid in a gifted-students program. She resented me.

    Section 8 has ruined a few of my neighborhoods, but I understand the idea. Some people, while possessing the desire to get out, just don’t have the means and need a hand. It may be a flawed execution, but I appreciate the heart to help. And some people actually DO graduate out of the system.

    The poor WILL always be with us. And if they are ignored or dismissed (Not by you, Sara, but in general) there will be problems.

    Sara, I love that you always take the time to read and dialog with me! I really appreciate it!

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. What you’re saying makes sense but I’m going to have to mostly disagree on this issue. I must say that my feelings come from 1. hating big government. When we allow government to “give”us something, we are required to play by their rules. Federal funding for private schools is a good example.) and

    2. Of the many people I know who have accepted public help, more than half of them were/are cheating the system. That’s not leveling the playing field – that’s stealing. I don’t like being stolen from. (I know what I’m talking about – my family, y’know?)

    I totally believe in sacrificial giving. I totally believe that Christians especially should work to have something to give to others. That said, I don’t want the government to take my money and then decide where it gets spent. Abortion clinics? No, uh-uh. You know the bible also says that if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat.

    Minimum standard? OK, no stealing, no killing, no lying, no punching, kicking or biting… and no raping. Sorry Wickle and Derrick but I think it is a BIIIIG stretch to equate a discussion of funding social programs with rape. In fact, some might call that inflamatory rhetoric. Hyperbole, at least. But maybe that’s a woman thing.

    It’s OK to disagree with you sometimes, right? 😉

    Comment by sara | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. YEAH! I don’t mind at all you disagreeing! I see where your heart is all the time. Even my wife disagrees with me at times and we’re still cool. I think you’re great! 🙂

    I am saying that while you give sacrificially, most only say they do. And I don’t see the love, the compassion, on the whole from so many that speak about all the morality stuff.

    I still say that the big changes that were made in this country were done through force — law or otherwise… The Revolutionary War, The Civil war, Women’s suffrage, civil rights, etc. Otherwise we’d still be waiting for the British to stop taxing us to death.

    Again, I’m not talking about lazy folk! I, living in urban areas, have been in the lion’s mouth in terms of being victimized by the ills caused by poverty and crime from other black folk. If ANYBODY had a right to want to kick them to the curb, so to speak, it would be me. But I don’t want to. I see little kids with hope in their eyes, and I know that in two years, they will be “tried as adults.”

    Relying on the kindness of strangers has, as yet, not made a scratch in the problem. And those with so much Godly learning have yet to transfer all that to compassion. They build their enormous edifices further and further away from the sight of those who need them.
    Bellevue Baptist (of the late Adrian Rodgers) was not long ago in the heart of town. Now they are so far away that you almost need mapquest to find them.

    And these folk (according to someone who knows firsthand) are too inordinately concerned with the possibility of interracial intermingling to really be salt and light.
    I’m no Crusader. I just think that the O’Reillys and the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and maybe the Dobsons and the Schaflys and the Falwells and the Robertsons can do way more harm than good preaching and teaching sexual, social morality while displaying elitism and segregationalism — another kind of immorality.

    I can’t feel the love!

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  6. Sara, I apologize if my analogy was too strong. Pretend I said “larceny laws” or something. I’m not a fan of big government, either, but the way I see it, I have no problem imposing my religiously-based views on people about equal rights, theft, and other things … I don’t draw a line when it comes to my wallet.

    And, yes, there are cheats. I’m all for prosecuting them.

    However, I think that we can agree to disagree and still be friends, right?

    Derrick, I agree about the location of churches. The first real church I attended was in the heart of Rocky Mount, NC, and was literally on the wrong side of the tracks. Right in the middle of the rough areas. It was a pretty modest building, too, converted from a house.

    There is a definite disconnect in the teaching of certain kinds of morality, but ignoring others.

    Comment by wickle | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  7. Wickle, yep, friends.

    Comment by sara | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  8. Derrick – I love that you don’t shy away from topics in your blog. You write it as you see it.

    I have to say that I agree with you on this one as well. I thought Pastor Ben brought out a great point last week when he highlighted from RUTH that God had a built-in welfare program for the poor (gleaning the fields). When people (all of us as a society) stop following God’s law, the entire system breaks down. So we then turn to government to help – which is better then no solution but a poor substitute for the original.

    I don’t consider myself a classic republican, democrat, liberal, or conservative – I just don’t feel like I fit any of those categories. I think my friends would label me a conservative repulican but I can’t help to feel the same ire that Derrick does with some of this stuff. To that end, I like what JB and Bryan say about this stuff: one group emphasizes truth over grace; the other group grace without truth. Take a look at the recently released Presidential budget for 2009 … it comes with an almost 500 billion dollar sink hole and hardly any social programs when compared to 8 years ago. This polar opposite type thinking has got to stop. I’m not a supporter of broad socialism or communism, but capitalizism simply breeds greed.

    As for the CNN, MSNBC, FOX type talk shows – I gave them up awhile ago because while I find them intellectually stimulating, they tend to just be mean spirited as they attack people and issues. Especially when they invite someone on their show to tell them how wrong they are. That’s like saying – hey come over here so I can punch you in your face.

    To bring this back to race (why, because it applies) – I have a distant relative that would rather raise money to go to Africa to share the gospel then to stay in his own back yard and preach to the poorer black community in his own town. I know this because he said so. And while I applaud his desire to help third world nations develop and build churches, it just all seems so backwards.

    And as far as money goes, in this microwave society of ours I think too many people simply throw money at the problem, to either feel good or get a tax break, without ever seeing or meeting the people they throw the money at. My wife and I have a general rule – if we don’t know them (and thus interact, share, and develop a relationship with them), then we don’t support them. It may sound selfish and to an extent it is, but it helps us stay in touch with who and what we financially support.

    Unrelated comments: 1) my wife wants us to start our own blog so that folks in Memphis can catch up with us as we move across country … so standby. 2) Did you watch the food channel last night? Finally – someone of color won the next Food Network Star! Aaron McCargo beat out two others last night with his “big daddy in your kitchen” show. I say “finally” because his style of cooking is so much different than the average ‘white’ host on the show – I’m actually inspired to try and make some of his stuff. Diversity IS the spice of life!

    Peace,
    Bones

    Comment by Bones | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  9. Derrick, this conversation lends itself to an opportunity to ask a question that has perplexed me for a while. Why would a black man or woman want to be dependent upon a government who has historically hated you. Why feed that beast and make it stronger in hopes that this time it will do right by you? We have all heard the saying “Don’t bite the hand the feeds you”, but how about “Don’t feed the mouth that bites you”? The democrats don’t love blacks anymore than the repubicans do. They are just telling the black folks what they think they want to hear in order to get votes. They think, “We will keep them dependent on us and they will keep us in a job.”

    I say, starve that beast. The smaller it is, the less harm it can do. Demand to keep your money. Invest in your communities, build businesses and create jobs. Don’t make the government make the bigot down the street hire you. Start your own business and make it so excellent, you put the bigot out of work.

    You mentioned watching the CNN special and feeling struck by the generational misery passed down in a never ending cycle. I submit that that misery stems from a feeling of worthlessness, that comes from a flawed view of entitlement. This is what some in the government would keep having you believe. Dependency is a form of slavery.

    Why not be truly free?

    Derrick, I’m a long time reader of your blog and respect you immensly. I appreciate your willingness to take on the tough issues of race, politics, religion, and how our race shapes our perspective of these issues. It is incredibly important that we can have these conversations with each other in order to move foward.

    Comment by Jeff | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  10. I’m a little afraid to keep disagreeing because I want you all to know that I respect you and consider you brothers in Christ. And I’m not usually good at direct disagreement. That said…

    A side topic that has been brought up is this idea of taking care of one’s own people (In this case Americans) instead of going out into the larger world. Do you think that perhaps different people have different ministries? That some may minister in their own backyards and some may go into the larger world? That we are different parts of the same Body? (1 Cor. 12)And who is our neighbor anyway? (Luke chapter 10.)

    I know I seem real difficult about this subject, but it seems like we have to be careful to live our convictions without judging another man’s servant. (Romans 14:4)

    OK, I’m going to hit “submit comment” before I lose my nerve.

    Comment by sara | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  11. Thanks,Marc! Excellent as always.

    I had completely forgotten about the gleaning. Apropos.

    We’re gonna miss you guys when you leave. A log of some sort would be cool! Didn’t see the Food Network show. Kathy normally would have, but these two kids…

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  12. Sara! Please! You don’t have to worry about me in that sense! With my views, I have friends who disagree with my entire worldview. I’m a musician!

    I respect the fact that you are firm in your convictions.

    My point about ministering at home is not to say that I think it is wrong to do foriegn mission work. I just think that, for some, it is like Mrs. Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies — throwing huge fund-raisers for the poor as a means of increasing status, while despising those different than her right next door.

    Many at my own church do a lot of mission work. A group just returned from China, and another one just got back from tending to terminally ill AIDs kids in Africa. I admire them greatly!
    But I can also see the heart they possess for people everywhere.

    I also see so much hypocrisy from people whom I suspect may very well wind up in the group crying, “Lord, Lord.”

    You keep right on expressing your opinions here, pro or con. You are one of the people who keep me motivated to do this writing stuff!

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  13. Hey, Jeff! I know you are expressing your heartfelt beliefs with no malice, and I intend none in return! We are brothers in Christ, for real!

    The thing is, that black folk don’t want to be dependent on government. It is a flawed individual who does. And there are some people who want to hate the government, white people, and any authority no matter HOW much they mean well. Just as there are some whites who, no matter HOW nice and non-threatening I appear, will still wish the worst and think the worst of me.

    But those people are in (an ever increasing) minority.

    I don’t know that gov’t hates me. I know that it does not love me. But I don’t go around putting my trust in it.

    What I DO say is that “if you’re gonna take my taxes from me, you better serve me.

    And why is it that the people always squawkin’ about smaller gov’t (not you) always trying to get a job in it?
    “After I get in, let’s close the door behind me!”

    I’ll tell you a secret: Black folk in general don’t think that democrats love them any more than GOP’s do! I am proudly neither.

    And another thing: Just like republians court the white church, folk like McCain in his own words prove that BOTH sides pander to the ear of their base. Blacks are no more gullible than anyone else.

    Small government in some ways would be great, but it seems that the Bush administration has proven that wanton spending and big government is not just a donkey thing!

    Wesley Snipes tried to demand to keep his money, and he’s about to give the government ten years of his life! 🙂

    There are blacks who still think in terms of “The Black Community” and I know what you mean. I am PROUD to be black, but I wish that, while black folk should own more and save more and invest more, we would not talk in terms of being so separate. That is part of the problem — You folks got your stuff, and we folks got our stuff.

    And part of my lament is that it is so hard for black people to just set out and own banks and department stores and investment firms and, I don’t know… stadium-building construction companies without the Godly assistance of those who can help. We don’t have the good ol’ boy network framework in place that the majority takes for granted.

    Just like it took white Christian abolitionists to help end slavery, it takes those who got the stuff to help somebody else get the stuff.

    You gotta know somebody to get anywhere — regardless of color.

    Jeff, I have to disagree with your assessment that this misery comes from entitlement. These folk learned what they were shown. And they will teach it to their kids if left to do so. Some of them are lazy just as some white folk are lazy. But most of them don’t sit around waiting for the gov’t to bail them out. They are just poor and hopeless. And it don’t take a license or a permit or an application or an interview or consent from the cops or the mayor or the President to lay down and have some careless sex. It is totally free. People are depraved and flawed, and poor people exhibit this Truth in different ways than do those who have more stuff to do.

    My folks on both sides grew up two different kinds of dirt poor, during Jim Crow, and the only thing they felt enitled to was fair treatment from the gub’ment, which they rarely got. They were honest and hardworking, and some of their siblings are still poor in spite of their hard work.

    I guess that is kind of a Calvinist/Arminian thing… God has His own criteria for why He does what He does. But we are not cursed, and if I had my choice, I would rather be of the hardscrabble persecuted class, which I am.

    And there are still more whites on public aid than blacks.

    Who can be an American and be free of the government? God says to submit to gov’t. Yes, it should be changed, but from within. I still don’t find it offensive that some compassionate people in government tried to use their power and influence to right wrongs. I’d rather know that someone tried — right or wrong — to help than to say “Find yourself some bootstraps from somewhere, or make some out of dried mud, and pull yourself up by them like I did.”

    When you think up a better way, tell me. Believe me, it is not comfortable to be looked at as less than because someone (who inherently benefits in so many ways) thinks that I don’t stand on my own feet when I accomplish something.

    Jeff, I really appreciate that you felt comfortable and open enough to express yourself here without thenastiness that can often accompany such a POV. I know that you arrive at your beliefs from a sincere place and don’t hold them with malice.

    I agree that we have to address rather than shy away from these matters.

    Please keep reading.

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  14. Thanks, Derrick.

    A sense of entitlement is for sure not limited to a particular race.

    I am grateful that welfare existed when my mom was raising me alone and needed a hand up to go to college and get a good job. She does not have a sense of of entitlement and got off public assistance as soon as she was able. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing that she was not proud of having to depend on government charity.

    But more often I encounter the person who has made poor choices (decided to finance a fancy car instead of buying food or stayed out late partying instead of getting to bed so he could get to work in the morning, thinks cable television is a necessity, won’t learn to belt-tighten, won’t eat beans) and is saying things like, “Well, I’ll just not even try to find a job because I can collect unemployment. and why not take xyz services – my taxes paid for it.” Both businesses and individuals seem to take less personal responsibility when they know that big brother will bail them out for their poor decisions.

    I have an aunt who is the youngest of seven kids – she’s the baby. She messes up her life a lot. And every time she messes up, her mother bails her out. My aunt has never learned to bail herself out – she’s never had to.
    There are truly poor and needy people in the world and in our own backyard and to give what they need to others because the others haven’t been modeled self-sufficiency…? People need to learn, even if they learn with help, to stand on their own breakfast, to suffer the consequences of their own actions, to have some personal accountability.

    Comment by sara | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  15. Once again, Sara, I agree with you.

    My wife’s experience was like yours, even harsher. They got up and got out. And to this day, they are very private about any struggles they have. To the point of being sinful! That is the example of most people.

    And I grew up one street over from the projects and saw cadillacs parked outside. We joked about it all the time. We saw people selling food stamps and buying soda and candy with them.

    And really, the whole thrust of my complaint is that so many are willing to let so many sink while claiming to be of Christ. I wasn’t talking about welfare for lazy folks. I was talking about fair funding for public schools, access to fair hiring, and stuff like that. Things that LAZY people won’t even bother with. We got sidetracked on the welfare thing, which again, is not a majority black thing. (We get so unfairly stigmatized like that: we all sing and dance and eat watermelon and play basketball and smile and shine when people beat us down, like slave owners used to say)

    My lament was about the fact that while it is obvious that so many of us get left behind who don’t WANT to be left behind, yet so many refuse to even ACKNOWLEDGE that the playing field isn’t level. That’s my issue. A chance to be the principal rather than the janitor, the executive rather than the cleaning lady, to work in the office and not in the mailroom, to eat the pie and not the crust.

    All I’m saying is that it hurts to be bleeding and have the guy upstairs tell me I’m not injured.

    I advocate tough love, too, and I PREACH that if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat.

    Again, I agree with you. We should eat what we plant, to alter a cliche. I get angrier at guys in gangs and drug dealers and gangsta rappers and any other miscreants than you do. Because in part they make life harder for those of us who are trying to do right. Racists are justified in their minds when they make jokes about how we speak and act because of seeing us lead the news every night. (Read my “Please Don’t Let Him be Black” )

    I just want people to care. That is all. And while it is caring to say, “get up and shake the dirt off and make something happen for yourself,” it often sounds the same as, “Lazy *bleeper* why are y’all all so shif’less and dirty and loud? And why do you wanna live where I live and go to school where we go to school and go to church where we go to church? I didn’ get no help to get what I got (HA!), so why should YOU get any? Why are y’all so dependent on the Man?”

    And, believe me, I say these things becaue I’ve heard them myself!

    You know what? We can demonstrate tough love when we first demonstrate love. If you (not YOU, Sara) stare at me when I go to check the mail, and move out when I move in, etc., I’m not too inclined to think that you mean me any good when you “speak” forcefully to me.

    By the way, Kathy loves you! She wishes she could meet you.

    Sorry if I sound angry. I’m not. But I do get real down when I think about this…

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  16. AHHHH! I see what you’re saying. Get a bullhorn and repeat yourself 5 or 6 times and I’ll eventually comprehend.

    Give Kathy a hug for me.

    Comment by sara | July 30, 2008 | Reply

  17. Thanks, Sara, for bearing with me!

    I try to hug Kathy anyway, when I can catch her!

    Comment by maxdaddy | July 31, 2008 | Reply


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