“After reading the bombshell noted above, I'm saddened, but unsurprised, that two sitting Supreme Court justices meet in secret with some of the richest people in America to discuss how to shape America so that it provides greater "economic freedom". That's the wealthy code for wanting to keep more of their money for themselves and not wanting to participate in the patriotic duty of paying taxes, supporting the public good with public monies, and being concerned about those that have less than the rich attending meetings in Aspen and Rancho Mirage. As a lawyer, if I found out a judge presiding over one of my cases, had secret meetings with my opponent, I would do everything in my power to remove that judge from hearing my case. So the question becomes what should be done with this two Supreme Court justices? Courts only work, and people will only submit to them, when the justices and judges paid by the people act in a wise, impartial and unbiased manner. But, unfortunately, there is no mechanism to force Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from cases even when it is apparent they cannot or will not be fair to a party involved. We've built a judicial system that makes them all powerful unless impeached. And, as we can all see, that takes convictions conspicuously absent in Washington DC politicians.”
johngary66 on Oct 27, 2010 at 07:38:34
“AllenMarkStewart you said "And, as we can all see, that takes convictions conspicuously absent in Washington DC politicians." I totally agree, but it has now become obvious why Obama wasn't willing to take on the Bush/Cheney crimes. Despite having promised often to restore "Rule of Law" he never had any intention to do any such thing. In fact it wasn't long before he was putting American Citizens on CIA hit lists. So much for Habeas Corpus, he actually went beyond Bush/Cheney claiming the right to decide which 'American Citizens may live or die. I don't know if the American public just doesn't know about these actions, or if they have become so fearful that they are now willing to give up their most precious rights granted by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Why isn't every politician running this year asked where they stand on such an important issue?”
DeanOfReferees on Oct 26, 2010 at 23:29:59
“To me, if I were a Democratic senator and had found this out, I would have impeachment papers ready and would demand a debate and vote first thing in the morning. This PROVES there is a conflict of interest in the Supreme Court and these ARE in fact activist judges acting as legislators. It is illegal and needs to be called out now!”
“Reformed theology teaches that Jesus was fully God and fully man simultaneously. This teaching is based on Jesus' own words and the eye-witness testimony regarding His miracles, death, burial and resurrection. It also teaches that Jesus' sacrificial death (substituting Himself, who was sinless, for others' sin) provides atonement for all whom God elects to receive it. This literal resurrection and the believer's open confession of Jesus as Lord are both central to the Christian faith. One does not get a little of Jesus. Admittedly, scriptural interpretation is challenging business. And theologians can be wrong about what the Bible really means. Nevertheless, it's important to note that the only historical knowledge we have of Jesus today comes from scripture. The stuff we read about Jesus came to us from people who hand copied ancient texts, most of whom, it appears, believed the texts were sacred. I haven't run into too many people who dislike Jesus after reading about Him in the four Gospels. He freely associated with "sinners" and openly rebuked the powerful and the religious. Unsurprisingly, I've met many who dislike professed "Christians" after spending time with them. But the failing of certain "professed" followers should not dissuade those who seek to know Jesus fully from reading the New Testament to find out for themselves what it says about Jesus Christ.”
“John Edwards' implosion hurt more than just his family, his career and his donors. Edwards' infidelity essentially ending any serious national discussion of the American working class' present economic condition. The "Two Americas" observation stated the truth about the great divide in American life. The vast economic gap between working class Americans and the American "privileged" exists and grows ever wider. Edwards' personal selfishness became more important than public service. Many politicians (in both parties) follow this path, leading to the prevalent political ineptitude we all routinely endure.”
“Well this story calls for some Velvet Underground lyrics that now have deep prophetic meaning:
Here she comes, you better watch your step
She's going to break your heart in two, it's true
It's not hard to realize
Just look into her false colored eyes
She builds you up to just put you down, what a clown
'Cause everybody knows (She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please (She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease (She's a femme fatale)
See the way she walks
Hear the way she talks”
“What is truly tragic is that the US Supreme Court, past and present, is far more comfortable protecting artificial, invisible, intangible financial constructs than it is living breathing American citizens. Unfortunately, this is a logical extension of where the US Supreme Court is heading. As I pointed out in a recent blog, entitled, "The Underpinnings of Modern Corporate Power", Justice Stevens' dissent in the recent United Citizens case points out that the Court's current logic means corporations will soon be insisting on the right to vote. Clearly, AT&T lawyers seek to follow where the Supreme Court leads.”
Beercandyman on Sep 29, 2010 at 13:56:33
“All those presidents will allow machines to have the same rights as people. If a piece of paper can have the same rights as a person then so can a toaster...”
Hoodoo X on Sep 28, 2010 at 20:55:49
“Thanks for pointing that out. The US Supreme Court determines constitutionality questions. It should not be an advocate for anything.”
TeraWatt60 on Sep 28, 2010 at 20:50:44
“especially with the like of Scalia, Roberts and especially Thomas on the current court...this is a man who says and does nothing on the bench and whose wife is a Tea Party activist , and on top of that his very marriage would have been ILLEGAL until the 1960's”
“Thanks for your reply. Actually, I have healthy respect for pastors, preachers and priests that protect their flocks from people trying to exploit them. The dot connection to "den of thieves" is from Matthew 21:12-13 where Jesus drives the money changers and dove sellers out of the temple area saying: "It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves." Now, historically the folks doing the dove buying and selling justified their actions by noting that Scripture required them to offer sacrifices and this just helped them more easily accomplish a directive of God. Obviously, Jesus saw it differently. Basically, the folks Jesus drove from the temple had forgotten the essence of true worship. Now to your description of the harmlessness of "informing" Christian voters on where candidates stand on issues of importance to Christians. The evil is that it turns church into a political campaign office. It is an orchestrated pamphlet campaign designed to make certain candidates look better to Christians than other candidates. The pamphlets only emphasize the things that the "Values Voter Summit" political crowd cares about. They are not neutral documents: they are campaign aids designed to put one party in office over another. And when churches become political, they mortgage their higher calling and become mere cogs in America's political machinery.”
“Thanks for your reply. I would argue that it did start from the ground up. President Obama became the president because he put together a ground up grass roots coalition to fervently support him. One group in that coalition was the environmental movement. He asked for its support, expressed enthusiasm for green energy and campaigned on ending our country's over reliance on fossil fuels. All the group in the article asked the Administration to do is symbolically use solar energy. The question is why wouldn't the Administration want to use solar energy at the White House? Regarding how our political system works, I would say it a bit differently than you've put it. The president doesn't simply approve or disapprove legislation. The president seeks to sets priorities that Congressional members of the president's own party then write legislation to specifically address. They are interrelated with the president providing leadership for a political agenda. Should the environmental movement engage Congress? Absolutely. Should they ask the president to lead the way. Yes to that too. And if global warming is true (the best science confirms that it is) and it will have devastating environmental and human consequences if left unabated (again the best science supports this), then not leading on counteracting global warming is myopic indeed.”
“I wouldn't, and don't, condemn anyone for discussing anything. I do take issue with the Savior of mankind being co-opted for political ends. Jesus could have chosen politics, but He didn't. He chose a Cross and then commanded His disciples to follow accordingly. Apparently, after the Resurrection, not one apostle strove to become politically powerful. Probably because they remembered Jesus' teaching: "The first shall be last and the last shall be first."”
flyovermark on Sep 18, 2010 at 23:25:47
“Do you take issue with the followers of Christ holding a summit to disuss politics? Do you, as Raushenbush does, presume to criticize the topics of discussion? This wasn't a worship service, nor a Christian bible study, it was a political forum for the followers of Christ. What's the problem here?”
“Nice piece. But let’s tell the world what “values voter” really stands for. It’s code language politically minded pastors, preachers and priests use to skirt federal law by telling congregants how to vote in elections. These manipulative leaders want to keep their congregations tax-free status but they also want to play power politics. So they tell their congregations to “vote their values”. Then, outside the sanctuary, politically active church members hand out pamphlets informing congregants exactly which candidates share their “values.” It’s underhanded; God’s house regularly becomes a political den of thieves. As to the things the Values Voter Summit is focused on, as the article points out, most have nothing to do with the Gospel: Strengthen the Military • Limit Government • Control Spending • Defend Our Freedoms. Jesus’ great salvation of the human race didn’t and doesn’t need a military, or a government, or limited spending or even defense of freedom. While every American is entitled to any opinion they please on these four issues, Jesus’ words don’t justify the Values Voter Summit positions.”
picostep on Sep 19, 2010 at 15:36:09
“I'm re-posting this as it is meant to be for AllenMarkStewart's comment.
"It’s code language politically minded pastors, preachers and priests use to skirt federal law by telling congregants how to vote in elections."
Thanks for capturing this in one short sentence. :-)
Using Christian language allows these "politically minded pastors, preachers and priests" to assert their influence to even moderated minded Christians, who are very reluctant to draw the line from these "brothers and sisters". Christians represented a large demographics, and any meaning social movement (good or bad) would need their participation. Secular humanists and moderate/progressive Christians need to find a way to work together as they DO have a lot in common. My 2 cents.”
Linda Williams on Sep 19, 2010 at 13:59:03
“Bingo! From 44 years of 'church' organ playing. I do consider myself an expert. You are 100% correct. Ask the average funeral director why he/she goes to church!!!! And that is the micro level. Mark Twain said (something to this effect), "Nothing'll beat the religion out of ya quicker'n church people." L.”
notwaff on Sep 18, 2010 at 23:41:04
“Wow, you really have a cheery view of pastors, preachers and priests. ;-)
I can't connect the dots between a religious group providing a pamphlet on, let's say, where candidates stand on embryonic stem cell research - and calling them a den of thieves. that's quite a leap. If religious people have a civic duty to vote and need to assess the candidates, I can't see the evil in informing citizens on where candidates stand on issue that may be important to Christians.
A government body is not supposed to be the Body of Christ - neither is the Body of Christ a government body. If Jesus was building the church / the Body of Christ, why would He have anything to do with a government or a government's army? But governments are supposed to defend and protect the citizens, including "bearing the sword.". And Values Voters - this is a political body, not the Body of Christ. It's focus is political / government issues. The people may be Christians but this group is political.”
flyovermark on Sep 18, 2010 at 22:21:34
“Would you condemn a Muslim Voter Summit where they discussed these items? Or is it only Christians may not gather together to discuss politics? You are entitled to you own opinions, of course, but it sure sounds like you would deny them the right to free speech for purely partisan reasons.”
“Using the “junior high” lunchroom metaphor for current American political theater is indeed kind. Those in junior high are in a transient state; they inevitably grow up and look back with regrets on their petulance and myopic selfishness. But our national political actors seem to never get there. They keep making childish decisions to keep playing with matches, while all the grown ups (think broad scientific consensus here) continue to warn them about the flammable vapors filling the room. And even with an Administration that sometimes trusts science, sadly it appears to fear the playground bully more than the planet’s environmental demise.”
Pupadup4oBama on Sep 18, 2010 at 04:40:59
“It doesn't fear the bully. You don't get to be the first african American president by being afraid.
It's called making the American people WORK for what they want.
The ones to go to are our representatives. Present the case to THEM. They write legislation and the president approves or disapproves.
I think Bill understands this. I wish more folks did.
Everything must start from the ground up.”
“Ah, the unending bliss of evangelical navel gazing. Staring into that meaningless
dead end,wondering where you are, who you are, whether you even now exist? Did you ever?
I’m against politically packaging my relationship with Christ. I am simply His follower.
I will happily attend the funeral of the evangelical political movement. While celebrity
evangelicals still dance the rumba at Republican conventions and stoke angry passions
at Tea Party gatherings, the Holy Spirit quietly strives in the highways and byways
compelling the humble and neglected towards a compassionate and all-sufficient Savior.
It’s doubtful these two paths often cross. One seeks to acquire power on Earth.
The other warns followers to be wary of such temptations.”
This article illustrates that war, justified or not, fuels our worst human instincts. When a sovereign commits to achieve its political ends through the systematic killing and forced dominance of others, ordinary citizens often must tend to the messy business. And propaganda cannot sanitize immoral action when souls of good conscience witness morality mortgaged to higher political aims. Did this young soldier commit suicide, in part, because she participated in torturing a fellow human being? While the suicide note surely would help answer this question, one thing remains certain. A social environment that knowingly sends workers into a hidden room to commit unspeakable acts against another human is never psychologically healthy for anyone involved. And when we seek to justify our unspeakable acts as done for higher nobler ideals, we allow our collective communal morality to sink into evils’ unfathomed depths. We are each capable of doing the unspeakable. Often, we just need permission.”