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The GOP's 'Religion Problem'

One beautifully fine morning God and Saint Peter are taking their breakfast together....

Don't look now, but the Republican Party has a religion problem:

One beautifully fine morning God and Saint Peter are taking their breakfast together in one of their favorite spots, a lovely arbor set on the side of one of heaven's highest hills where God often comes to view the whole of his creation. As God spreads some fresh honey on a warm whole wheat bagel, Peter looks over and notices some activity taking place on earth in the vicinity of “The New World” God has such high hopes for.

“Look Lord,” Peter says excitedly, “there seems to be something brewing with that bunch of pilgrims that set off on their own to find a new way to worship you just a short while ago.”

“Why it looks like revolution,” God replied. “It's about time they got 'round to it” he smiled. “Imagine Peter; no more Monarchs, no more Aristocracy, no more Caesars, no more Pharaohs oppressing my children. A new nation of religious pilgrims forming a new kind of government; of, by and for themselves. Don't you see the beauty of it? They will be the government. They will have the power to end sickness and hunger. By sharing their resources they can end homelessness and poverty. They will be a true reflection of my love...,” he paused.

“As long as the Republicans don't muck it up.”

“What are the chances of that?” sighed Peter.

“Oy vey” God sighed back “Oy vey.”

 

And so it goes....

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TWagner March 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Brian knows. It always baffles me how, when I, as an actual expert, and one who was THERE in the trenches, and witnessed FIRSTHAND the greed and corruption of the banking industry, makes a comment about how it all came crashing down, that somehow they manage to sin it off back onto government policy. Basically, DEREGULATION helped fuel the greed, and allowed the banks to lend willy nilly, but the problem was the GREED of banks PERIOD. They never had a gun to their heads to practice lending the way they did. That's a fallacious andmisleading argument. They had a license to kill, and kill they did!! NOW which party is pushing for yet FURTHER deregulation?? Hint: it AIN'T the dems.... Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!!!! If anyone really wants to know what REALLY happened, watch the movie-"Inside Job". It tells the REAL story, and NOT all this bogus mealy mouthed spin@!
TWagner March 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM
It kills me when people want to tell me, an insider, what I saw. I was THERE! You can't TELL me what I saw! Banks are NOT your friends. Politicians are NOT your friends! They would take all your money if they could, an the only reason they dnt, is they want to keep milking us as "cash cows".
TWagner March 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM
The Republicans spent their way into a quandry (via Reagan), allowed banking to bankrupt us, Bailed them out, then turned the thing around, and blamed everyone else, and if that wasn't insane enough, they want to deregulate wall street and banking AGAIN. Pure....unadulterated.....lunacy!!!!! Its truly BIZARRO world we live in!!!
Karsten Torch March 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Yeah, T, I was there, too. I remember these people getting loans. Some guy who made $20,000 a year, had been employed for 6 months, and getting approved for a $200,000 loan. And this loan fit all the federal criteria, and could be resold. Maybe the banks shouldn't have been making those loans. I know I refused to work with that guy, and many others, who had no business buying a house. They wanted to because they COULD. And we'll blame only the banks. Because that will fix it. And we definitely shouldn't blame any of the people that got the loans. Can't assign any responsibility on people for their own actions, that would just be unfair. People that got NO representation, not a real estate agent, not an attorney, just one phone call to one lender and just blindly signed paperwork. I've been to lots of closings, not once do I remember the bank having a representative sitting behind the buyer with a gun to their head. Maybe he was just very well camouflaged or something. Fact is, these loans would not have been possible without government intervention allowing the loans. Even encouraging the loans. And occasionally demanding the loans. Although, to be fair, with how easy it was to meet requirement, the demanding didn't have to happen very often.
Brian Crawford March 20, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Sorry, but I'm going to have to call shenanigans on that story. Nobody making $20,000 ayear could have possibly qualified under federal criteria for a $200,000 loan unless there was fraud on the part of the mortgage originator. Period.
Rich Rewkowski March 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
"how could anyone claim we are a nation founded on Christian principals and yet be against universal health care". OK, Brian, this is twice now. You meant to write 'principles', of course, although there probably are some 'Christian principals' in academia. You and Kristi owe me again.
Brian Crawford March 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Hahaha...I blame my editor. Good catch.
gagirl62 March 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I disagree with your entire take on this view. First off, it seems more often that “non Republicans” have more of a problem with Religion and are constantly throwing stones at others beliefs. They go as far as to speak falsehood about the Word of God and call it Truth. Second, God tells us in His Word that we are to Worship Him and only Him. We are not to put other god’s before Him. He tells us that there will always be leaders and governments, but I do not read where we are to look to them or their system to provide for our needs. We definitely are not to worship the government or the leaders. We are to pray for those in leadership positions to be godly servants and godly leaders. The government is not God and should not be set up to operate like one. When a person falls in love with God and His Son Jesus Christ, they usually are led to a desire to want to help others. But it should not be forced upon you through the government. Loving others is a gift.
Tammy Osier March 21, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Let's not forget the admonition in the bible towards freedom...If people are truly free, they give from their heart rather that coersion. Take away their freedom and the government steps in. Jesus said that the poor would always be with us and if a man won't work, he won't eat. He resigned us to give to ceasar (because you can't avoid ceasar), but also that we should give abundantly out of our bounty to help others. With all the hostility toward faith that the democrats keep on the forefront, there won't be anyone left who believes what God actually teaches, therefore will have to let the gov't. do it. Our tax system is set up to be able to deduct charitable giving. More "rich" folk than you think give that way. But then, let's tax them to death...?
Karsten Torch March 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM
And let's not forget that the left's view on forced charity comes from the viewpoint of people being too helpless to fend for themselves, for without the government, they would all starve. Rich people are that way thanks to treachery and deceit, the honest people are the poor ones, and have to be helped, according to the left. People are amazingly resilient, as well as generous. People can do anything they want, they just have to want to. Charity is a great way to help people, and it's a great thing for people to give to, and to learn how to give. Giving to charity helps you bump up your financial base as well, strange as that sounds. But when people learn to rely on government, strangely enough, there's more government handouts that need to be given. And some people just don't understand the correlation....
Grant March 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Karsten writes "What most DON'T like, however, is redistribution by force." Tammy writes ".If people are truly free, they give from their heart rather that coersion." Obviously what you guys are saying is that the churches should pay their share of taxes just like any other business rather than "coercing" me by "force " over government to have my wealth redistributed to your churches?
North Georgia Weather March 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM
What??? This has nothing to do with Churches paying taxes, where in the world did you pull that from? The bottom line is I'll handle my own charities my own way, I don't need the government to take it from me and "tell" me how they are going to use it. As far as I'm concerned, that's thievery.
Grant March 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Which word did you misunderstand? sWeather writes "The bottom line is I'll handle my own charities my own way, I don't need the government to take it from me and "tell" me how they are going to use it. As far as I'm concerned, that's thievery." The government takes tax dollars from you and redistributes them to churches , supports churches with your tax dollars. I agree it IS thievery
Karsten Torch March 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Grant is under the impression that tax cuts are money taken from others, rather than just money that isn't taken by force from others. It's all relative to your point of view on taxes - are they the government's money,and any money NOT collected is money the government is being nice enough to leave you, or is any tax money taken actually your money that you are giving to the government. Based on the above statements, we know which side Grant falls on. To be fair, though, I still don't really understand the whole churches as tax-exempt entities concept. Donations given to missions and such should be tax-deductible, but not sure why the rest is.
Grant March 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Nice try karsten but you missed it a bit, Churches are exempted from paying property tax . Any county ,state or disctrict has "x " amount of property that it levys taxes on to fund the budget. Now when some of that property becomes "a church" that leaves the entity with one lees property to cover that budget. That money has to be made up to fund the budget so the government comes looking at the other properties to make up for the shortfall ..Aka forcing US and the point of a gun to fund a "charity" against our will . This isnt hard to understand
Karsten Torch March 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM
See my comment below - Grant's beliefs: "Taxes not collected are money taken from others." No, that's not true. It's just money not collected.
North Georgia Weather March 21, 2012 at 04:51 PM
They need to quit giving crap away period.
Grant March 21, 2012 at 05:08 PM
So Kartsen... you have math issues? Property in any district or county is a finite thing right? If that entity has 100 taxable properties in 2012 it collects "X" dollars in revenue , right? Still with me? You might need a pencil for this next step Lets say 3 of those formerly taxable properties become churches . What does that do to the collected revenue? Mathematically it would be described as "X - 3" Right? Now any first year Algebra student will tell you that "X - 3" is less than "X" right? Of course the district now has a shortfall as they budgeted for "X" and received "X - 3" How do they make up that shortfall Karsten?
North Georgia Weather March 21, 2012 at 05:15 PM
So what are you saying, churches are the problem with our deficit? We don't have enough money because we're getting more and more churches? And since when have churches been the issue with our out of control budget and massive welfare spending?
Karsten Torch March 21, 2012 at 05:51 PM
My math issues are fine. I don't assume that the only way to meet a budget is to increase revenue. I understand that sometimes things have to be cut. Again, not on board with the whole church being exempt thing, but that doesn't change - if you don't have that income, that does not mean you need to get it from other sources, it just means you don't have that income. I know you have an issue with the concept of cutting anything, but sometimes it is necessary. Let's try for a concept you may understand. You own 4 rental properties. You make $1000 off them, at $250 each a month. You sell off a property. Now, do you raise your rent on the other three to $333 each so that you can make up the difference? Or do you just keep it the same and make the necessary changes to your finances? Exactly. And that is what the left and politicians can't understand. Much like our current financial issues we have - we can't raise taxes enough to cover the spending, we have to cut. But all I hear from the left is "let's raise taxes on the rich." Yeah, that's great for class warfare, but not realistic.
Grant March 21, 2012 at 06:04 PM
NGW first... Never suggested that was a solution , just commenting on "forced charity" that was brought up for discussion . It would certainly help! Now Karsten< Your scenario with the rental properties fails . By SELLING one of those properties received compensation for my rental loss. Tax districts to NOT receive compensation for tax revenue lost when one of their formerly taxable properties declares itself a "church"... You wanna try again? I know math is hard .. Simpler analogy 4 guys are playing penny ante poker, at thestart of each hand everyone puts a penny in the pot , one guy declares himself "ante exempt" what happens? The pot is one penny short right? When the government is short of revenue where do they come looking for the money to make up the shortfall? Loganville is a good example. That big property "Tara" used to contribute a good chunk of change to the City's tax revenue, then it became a church and no longer contributes..
Kristi Reed (Editor) March 21, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Comments are not edited. You're on your own with that one Brian!!
Karsten Torch March 21, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Wow, this shouldn't be this hard to get. OK, I'll give you the rental property. Of course, let's assume there's a note on the property and you sell it for that amount, resulting in not making or losing anything, other than the extra rental income above whatever your mortgage was, but this may be above your head, so let's go with your example. The pot WOULD be short, you are correct. So what are most of them going to do? Get an extra penny from each? Or just play with a 3-penny pot. Most people would play with a 3-penny pot. I guess liberals would find a way to increase the pot. My argument is thus - there is so much waste in any government budget, that it's not really a bad thing if some revenue goes missing - it forces them to refine their spending. Or, rather, it SHOULD force them to do so.
Grant March 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Brilliant... It's wrong to waste money but ok to just hand it out ? Really? Sill having trouble with Math ... If I have a note on the property that I pay off when I sell it that doesnt equate to "not making or losing anything". It means I have eliminated my debt on that property. Again tax districts receive no such compensation when a property ceases to pay it's share. I see you dont play much poker either , considering your failure to understand math think thats wise. NO ONE plays with a short pot, ever. If you cant ante, you dont play . Since when is it a liberal viewpoint to expect everyone to pay their own way?
North Georgia Weather March 21, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Everyone should pay their own way... that's the whole point.
Tammy Osier March 21, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I realize it is futile to try to get Grant to understand this (so I won't), but will leave this to others to comment on (with an open mind of course). Most churches give FREE services to the community. Not cheap stuff, mind you. I've gone to churches that have psychologists, dentists etc... giving to the community for FREE. I consider that money in the pocket of people who don't have to pay for those services, not to mention the TAXES that are not collected to pay for the poor who can't do for themselves. And contrary to what some will say, ministries like those offer secular services as well (no prothelysizing).
Brian Crawford March 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Doh!
Grant March 21, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Typical Tammy, No one squeals louder when it's THEIR government handout they are trying to protect. Sure some churches offer valuable services to the community, some dont and there is no oversight from one to the next.Churches arent required to provide SQUAT and they are not required to even prove that they are indeed a "charitable " organization. Why should we be forced to donate to a guy like Eddie Long? Then , not that anyone really pays attention to silly documents like the State of Georgia Constitution there is this "Section II Paragraph VII. Separation of church and state. No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution" IMO churches are just like any other business , they have salesmen, employees,stockholders . Charitable deductions are fine and deductions for charitable works would also be finel. Exemption from taxation based on the claim of beliefs in a supernatural being , sorry NO.. By all means worship as you like but pay your own way .
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew March 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Possibly by allowing those churches (For this discussion Mosques are included) to minister and provide services WITHIN the community in such ways as Food pantries, Tornado relief, English language classes, battered women shelters, assisting residential fire victims -you get the idea the list is actually FAR longer… Why right here in Gwinnett, the county collected our “taxes” and were partnering with charities on our behalf, it got to the point that GWINNETT actually engaged the services of another paid nonprofit to determine how our tax collected charity funds should be divided within the charity community. Personally I could do THAT cheaper myself directly. It’s been stated that churches can’t assist to the degree needed, that’s why government must step in. Like all positions this has some merit but it was taken too far by the state. The government at all levels is generally taking far more funds and REMOVING the local responsibilities of the church. Now lets look to the concept of TADs and special tax breaks for private business to locate in an area – these also reduce the number of areas that tax can be pooled from. Then we have entertainment venues built by the government for PRIVATE business use like the stadium. It took taxable land and made it a liability on the government books. So I submit the “churches” really aren’t the problem as we seem to give away far more to the private sector.
North Georgia Weather March 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM
There you go Grant. I agree no tax money should go to churches... and therefore it would also work going the other direction, no money should go from the church to the government. Would that not be separation of Church and State?

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