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September 2, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

GOP’s actions not very Christian

The Republicans claim to be the party of Christian values, but should that claim fall to the Democrats instead?

The GOP wants to defund Planned Parenthood, which would deprive thousands of women the opportunity to be screened for life-threatening illnesses. It would also deny poorer women birth control that would allow them to better plan their family. The GOP wants to alter or even eliminate Medicaid, which is being used by 7 of 10 elderly people in nursing homes. Most recently they passed a bill that would cut back on the “Meals on Wheels” program. So much for caring for the needy and elderly.

The GOP was reluctant to help ease student loan rates. College is already prohibitive for many young people. Republicans also want to cut back or eliminate “Pell Grants,” which is another way to deny young people access to college. So much for helping people improve their lives.

Children are not off limits. Cutting back on food stamps to deny millions of poor people food is another example of damning the poor and full speed ahead for the wealthy, as is cutting “Head Start” programs. Let us not forget the Dream Act, which the GOP helped write and did support until recently.

The essence of Christian values is to care for the needy and elderly and to make the lives of those around you better. Who best represents those Christian values?

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  1. Planned parenthood is the source of baby killing abortions, and lies. The wrap is against the death squad side of the organization. What is Chistian about killing babies who are still in the mothers womb? This is the same as saying that a serial murderer who donates to charaty should should be supported because of his good works. In the final analysis the letter writer is a bleeding heart leftist. The Dream Act undermines the rule of law. There is nothing Christian about rewarding illegal immigrants who rob the innocent blind and trample and their property, steal heathcare services ,draw unearned welfare and innundate the schools. The author is a misguided leftist who does not see the illogic basis of his allegations . But then did logic ever deter a leftist who lives by the credo--"If it feels good do it" .

  2. I will address the student loan matter raised in this letter. In recent history, universities/colleges have upped their costs dramatically. This spiral is out of control, as is the student loan program. The truth is that most student loans are not needed for a good education. Uncontrolled costs at many higher learning institutions have got to be stopped. Do not place your life at the disposal of a student loan. THis is totally nonsense. The liberal elite has again misled the masses into believing that an education at a "great university" is worth countless countless dollars--this is a lie. Students can get their education at local colleges ,live at home while they learn and end up without the massive debt that the elitists, including Obama tell you is good for your future. It's a big lie, and it must stop. It has now reached the level of insanity.

  3. Houstonjac-

    You are entitled to your opinion and caring for the unborn. Those you derisively refer to as leftists are equally entitled to their opinion and caring for those that have been born. Possibly the middle ground would entail your extending your caring to those that have been born and others being more mindful of the unborn.

  4. Jim Weber. Leftists have no problem expressing their entitlements. Don't expect me to lift their load for them.

  5. "Who best represents those Christian values?"

    Political candidates who think, act and vote with the best interests of all citizens in mind not just one group or another. It is kind and merciful to help those most in need. The Bible and the Beatitudes tell us so. It's hypocrital and self-serving for politicans to blame those who can by saying government should at the expense of the best interests of the entire citizenry.

    CarmineD

  6. "The Republicans claim to be the party of Christian values. . . . .The essence of Christian values is to care for the needy and elderly and to make the lives of those around you better. Who best represents those Christian values?"

    Blanner -- no party should be. This kind of caring-for-others philosophy is as old as mankind as a social (as in herd) animal.

    "Planned parenthood is the source of baby killing abortions, and lies. The wrap [sic] is against the death squad side of the organization. What is Chistian [sic] about killing babies who are still in the mothers [sic] womb?"

    Houstonjac -- get some coffee in you and try again. And do try to be more relevant by easing up on the rants

    "You are entitled to your opinion and caring for the unborn..."

    pisces41 -- probably the only relevant "trusted" post so far. Assuming all the posters on abortion so far are sans wombs, and since none have mentioned either Roe v. Wade and its progeny, nor its core holding -- a woman's decision in that regard is a choice both personal and private, largely beyond state authority -- their opinions are just irrelevant.

    "The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion." -- Arthur C. Clarke, 1999, from "God, Science, and Delusion: A Chat With Arthur C. Clarke" in Free Inquiry magazine

  7. KillerB
    Well aren't you quite the advice giver this morning. You must have visited the Dali lama.

  8. Christian values? Mr. Blanner obviously skipped over some chapters in the bible. He'd be better off using the term "Harry Potter values" since we're talking about magic. Harry Potter values don't include so much genocide, rape and slavery.

  9. Wrong Blanner, wrong. Teaching and insisting on self reliance for those who can or can learn to be is essential. Charity is for the poor, the handicapped, deformed, abused.... Charity is NOT for the able-bodies, dependent whiners who can but won't. In the past the dependents died out if they didn't figure out you HAVE TO WORK to survive. And enough of this nonsense about "family values" regarding illegal invaders. We just cannot sustain everyone who wakes up less than ecstatic with their situation. They can go home and FIX MEXICO. If they can't fix Mexico, we don't need more dependent whiners here.

  10. "You must have visited the Dali lama."

    Houstonjac -- no, the Spell Checker

    "After the coffee things ain't so bad." -- Henry Herbert Knibbs, cowboy poet, d. 1945

  11. Hijacking morality....how true. You don't like abortion? Donate YOUR time and money and work with single parents, impregnated teens, abused children but stop telling me what to do with my money. I've donated to Planned Parenthood and would support contraception funding for the third world--instead of feeding them until they are Somali pirates. Did you catch the MSNBC or CNN coverage that some of the "aide" workers are considering contraception since so many developing nations are full and fuller of large families with an average of 8-12 kids eating the corn we send. A big part of our economic problems is sending our money overseas with no return--they will keep eating and creating more kids but they cannot figure out how to make a living or how to grow corn. As I said, I would support contraception charity, but not taxpayer funding of more foreign programs.

  12. "And I ask God for a special dose of God's mercy for all of the posters here (even you Carmine)."

    Thank you. I did and do the same for you every time I read your misguided posts here and particularly your attacks against those who disagree with you. As many here like me do.

    CarmineD

  13. Houstonjac - "Well aren't you quite the advice giver this morning. You must have visited the Dali lama."

    The Dalai Lama makes more sense than his Christian counterparts sitting in Congress when it comes to educating others about the path to peace and harmony.

  14. BChap---It's good to see that you are beginning to think about the issues being discussed rather than blindly and misguidedly lashing out at anyone who disagrees with you.

  15. I can understand the divisive nature of abortion. When analyzed in a purely physical aspect it is gruesome. I do not agree with abortion but moreover, I do not feel that I have the right to tell someone else what to do with their bodies. I think that abortion should be an alternative when faced with pregnancy. I do not think it should be a form of birth control. My choice would be not to have abortion in my life. I have three adult children. Abortion has never been a part of their life but if it were I would respect their decisions.

    I have tried to teach my children about personal responsibility and I think that plays a very important part in deciding whether to have an abortion or not.

    Brad: Thank you for the acknowledgement. As I stated to you earlier, I was upset because we were at a disagreement where none should have existed. It was not a matter of sour grapes as you seemed to think. Cheers my friend.

  16. Roberta: An interesting comment. Back in the early 80's plaintiff number 3 (my 3rd wife) was a Director at PP here in town. It was on Charleston across from the old Huntridge Theater. They did not do abortions then but were very instrumental in providing birth control methods and counseling. I thought it was great work and it needed to be done. Back then I believe that private donations were the primary source of income for them. We would give a modest donation each year.

    I also agree with you about our foreign aid money going to feed the poor. It would seem that contraception and proper education would be money better spent.

  17. KillerB

    "After the coffee things ain't so bad." -- Henry Herbert Knibbs, cowboy poet, d. 1945

    I don't know. Even with coffee,the past three years has been an ordeal. It's the Obamarama. Maybe I should visit the Dalai Lama. Lol.

  18. Bradley you are correct about the "path" of money sent in he name of good. I have never been involved in "peace" missions as you describe but we both know that much of the money or supplies never reach the intended peoples. We have been sending money to Africa since I have been alive and it doesn't seem like anything has changed. I have witnessed the deteriorating lifestyle in South Africa.

  19. Roberta,
    Are you self reliant? If you try to answer yes I would gently suggest you turn off the water and power to your place of residence for a week and see how that works out. Also, you can't buy food from either a grocery market or restaurant. No trash pick up either. Let me know how that "self reliance" works for you then.

    As to Bob Jack's ramblings on abortion how does he explain that half of all abortions occur before the woman is even aware she is pregnant? Who is either allowing such abortions to occur or performing them? If you believe in an all powerful "god" then it must either be performing these abortions or allowing them. Reality sucks for christian apologists.

  20. It is simply amazing that so many contradictions and so much misunderstanding can exist in a simple letter and the comments about it.

    First, and foremost, religion (whether it be Christianity or any other) has absolutely no place in how government functions, period! Jesus Himself taught that though believers are in the world, they are not a part of it. He taught that no one should force His teachings on another. To say that our government should pass laws based on His teachings is in direct contradiction to them.

    Second, what does providing education have to do with Christian beliefs?!? Don't get me wrong, those who remember what I have said many times now know that I am a very strong supporter of public education and firmly believe it is the right of every American. But in no way can it be said that providing such is a Christian duty.

    Christian charity is a *private* matter, not a social issue to be legislated. Any legislation that provides for the poor or disabled should be based on solid rational argument that does not depend upon any religious dogma to establish its morality. (I would go so far as to say that anything that depends upon religion to be moral is probably not.)

    It is fairly simple to argue that public education can be considered part of our infrastructure. All public assistance programs should be looked at in the same light and argued for or against accordingly, without reference to it being the Christian thing to do.

  21. "I have never been wrong here, so I don't know what you are on about."

    Of course not. It's always everybody else. You and Obama are two peas in a pod.

    CarmineD

  22. Give a man a fish he eats for the day, teach a man to fish he eats for life. Something like that. Higher Education is something that is earned after your government granted basic education like up to high school, when your thoughts of going to college should be shown in your schoolwork and grades. Anyone who has excelled in academics will have a great chance at collage. I know a couple woman who have had abortions and their reasons were their own, I have no judgement on them and in fact think they made better choices then bringing in a life they could not protect and raise a proper way.
    Great posts by Roslenda and boftx among others.

  23. MSCHAFFER..
    Re: Self Reliance...I have been self reliant, still am and it works out fine for me..
    jtrsr:
    Re: African Aid..I was giving to feed the starving babies My mother said, "I fed their mothers." So just giving doesn't work..it has failed and only produces more poverty.
    Re: South Aftica. It is nice that the genocide watch for White South Africans has been downgraded to a level 5 from level 6.
    Christian Values..well, if it means because I am a Christian, I have to toe someone elses line..then that person had best have chapter and verse..and show me that they themselves have toed the line..otherwise..it is a scam .to manipulate the faithfull..through guilt ..no thanks

  24. Religion (and politics) began when the first runt of the litter realized that he could use bullsh!t to get those with brawn to do his bidding.

    Nothing has changed since.

    (Of course women had the advantage long before then as various primate studies have shown.)

  25. There's no such thing as Christian values. You as an individual human choose to do things that move society in a positive direction or a negative one. If you do good to be rewarded with eternal life in heaven and/or to keep from burning in hell, then you're just an opportunist. I trust that most of you readers (even CarmineD) would still be good people without the stamp of Christian or any other religion.

  26. It seems that for many being a Christian is akin to being a member of a social club, a place to be seen as an acceptable member of society, and to gain marks with others who can further their ends.

    Close and lock all the doors of the churches and the real Christian's would begin meeting in homes, and living the reality of their faith.

    Theses are the true disciples of Christ. They know and understand the scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.

    The rest could go on their way to worship whatever is most important to them.

    Why a discussion and division based on Christianity? Nobody owns Christianity, and far fewer are true Christians, no matter what they say, baptized or not.

    It is a personal choice compelling a deep commitment.

    Stop trying to pull faith and religions down into the sewer where politics resides. Ignore those who would use Christianity as a power to manipulate in politics.

    Reminds me of the temptations of Jesus during his 40 days in the desert. He rejected the devil's temptations for fame, money and power.

    For any Christian interested in proof of what Jesus taught, I suggest opening the scriptures and reading them, and listening to what they are saying in your heart. It is very enlightening.

    For those who are not Christian, I cannot recommend a specific spiritual book, although I know they exist in each faith.

    For those who don't believe in God, I recommend the Atheist Church. Yes, there is one.

  27. peacelilly,

    You left out the agnostics. Yes, you mentioned atheists, but they are are firm in their faith that there is no "God" as believers are in their faith that there is.

    An agnostic generally says "I don't know." Beyond that, there are various degrees between "And I don't care" and "I'll find out eventually." The bottom line for all agnostics is that it is impossible to prove one way or another.

    It is ironic that atheists and believers are both equal in their beliefs based upon faith.

  28. boftx,

    You are misinformed. Atheism is not based on faith. It's quite the opposite. The theist is making a remakable claim. They say there is a supernatural entity that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience. They claim to know the mind of this thing they call God. All these claims are presented with only a book as evidence, which contains some of the most wicked and absurd stories ever conceived by man. Now, it seems to me that it requires no faith at all for any rational thinking person to deny any of this is true. It is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary proof, not just circular reasoning. There is no faith needed to dismiss nonsense.

  29. @boftx - "It is ironic that atheists and believers are both equal in their beliefs based upon faith."

    Yes, and I always wondered why one bothers to deny something that doesn't exist. It seems to deny expresses a belief of some sort.

    You are correct. I did leave out agnostics. I guess I was an agnostic, but a hair this side of atheism at one time. And I persecuted Christians with a glee using logic.

    Then I found it wasn't up to me when I was caught off guard and got zapped with faith.

    So what would I recommend for reading? Try astrology, philosophy, science, or anything that stretches one's mind and leaves politics out of the equation as much as possible. Even some agnostics might find theology interesting. Depends on the state of one's mind.

    Also, stop fighting the question, relax, and live life.

  30. dukeofdeath,

    An atheist knows beyond doubt that there in no "God." This is no different than a believer's claim that there is. So far as I know, there has been no proof one way or another, so both claims are based on faith.

    There is a very real difference between an agnostic and an atheist as I stated.

    I am an agnostic who is inclined to think that there is no "higher being" or creator as such. (I will admit that I find arguments for a "ground of being" to be interesting.) My wife is an agnostic who is inclined to think there might be some kind of unifying meta-force but it is not a "being" in a way that most people would call "God."

  31. peacelilly,

    By definition, there is no logical response to faith. If a person has faith in some belief, then they will hold that position no matter what. This is part of what being human is all about.

  32. @John Wayne - "All these claims are presented with only a book as evidence, which contains some of the most wicked and absurd stories ever conceived by man."

    There is no way to prove the existence of God. It is not just based on a single book...scripture. In reality, it is more a personal experience, which cannot be communicated to others in a way they would understand unless the others had the same or similar mystical experience.

    Faith comes in many forms. Some believe because they were told about it, "taking it on faith". Others believe for superstitious reasons. Still others because of a personal mystical experience of God.

    All I know from being on both sides of the line is that it doesn't do an iota of good trying to convince an unbeliever. It isn't up to me or any "Christian" at all. It is an act of Grace that leads to personal experience and knowledge.

    If you don't have that, you are likely not to believe on a very personal level.

    I agree about the events depicted in the book and in history, but it is significant to understand the economic, political and religious cultural influences at the time in which those books were written. It is just like any history.

    Additionally, there are different forms of writing in that book, so you have to understand what those forms are and what the real meaning is beyond the words used in the story. It helps to know who wrote it, and individual or a school of writers, and when, since it could be a very long time after events. What writings were combined into one, that might cause multiple versions of the same event?

    Remember that alot of stories were conveyed by the oral tradition, not written until later. Many could not read and had no access to books.

    There is so much to be considered with regard to that book and it is very interesting to learn of the many facts related to history.

    In my case, I found that reading and reflecting on my own state rather than judging others in a different time or the present, was the difference for understanding how my life needed to change for the better. As I changed, my relationship toward and with others changed for the better. I grew in love and peace which lead to happiness.

    No need to criticize if it has no meaning for you. Live your life, and be the best person you can be according to your understanding.

    Sorry, I am not arguing with you. It really can't be argued because there are different experiences that don't meet, like different worlds.

    I once shared the same thoughts as you, and would argue them till I was blue. That changed by no effort on my part or any Christian. I am only trying to explain a little about the difference I experienced, and why I understand your opinion of the book and lack of belief.

  33. boftx,

    Wrong again. Atheists reject the belief in God, not God itself. We are skeptical of the idea based on the lack of any proof whatsoever. However, if verifiable credible evidence were to be presented, then an Atheist would be forced by the evidence to accept the existence of God. So it's not as you say. You cannot say that the existence of God is even close to a 50/50 proposition. Again, a rational review of the evidence does not support your hypothesis.

    There are no miracles. And that's a good thing. Do you really want to live in a world where the statistical odds can be changed by the prayer of one person? Where the natural laws can be suspended for the peril of many and benefit of a few? Open your eyes. Look behind the curtain.

    Why would God need to be worshiped? Why does God need men to speak for him? Don't forget what the world was like with the most religious and pious were in control my friend.

  34. My opinion is that God doesn't need us to worship him or speak for him.

    I don't even feel comfortable assigning a gender to God.

    Humans are humans whether they believe or not. Humans do both good and evil in all areas of human life.

    Spirit is another thing, and that gets into the realm of proving it. A matter for individuals to work out for themselves. It goes to inquisitive minds working through all the levels of inquiry.

    One could ask, prove a creative intelligent Source doesn't exist.

    It is an individual quest. That is why debate is always disappointing.

  35. M. Malone claims to be "self reliant". This is of course, nonsense. Malone has either relied on others to make a living or inherited money, in which case he/she/it relied on Daddy/Mommy. In addition, all the usual blindness about depending on public infrastructure applies.

  36. Mark Schaffer:
    You said "self reliant" without money, infrastructure or other amentities of civilization.
    I spent a few years in primitive surroundings learning how to survive without much of anything. I did not mine and smelt ore but my father was a blacksmith and taught me to make knives..although I can use a flint knife if I have to or a wooden club, for that matter
    It was a hobby..I was intrigued by solitude and learning survival skills..It is a long story, where when and how...but I am self reliant..I paid my dues and I can do..

  37. I can tan hides, use a wooden or bone awl, make my own boots.. lay up a rope..start a fire without a match..it was a hobby

  38. @boftx, "If a person has faith in some belief, then they will hold that position no matter what."

    That may be the common disposition, but I know people who have changed beliefs, or significantly evolved beliefs as they learned, experienced, and contemplated throughout their lives.

    I agree that it is part of human nature to believe in something, or long for something until one finds something they can believe in.

    To me, belief is in process throughout life. Some even think it is a survival mechanism in human beings.

    Belief, or lack of it, should be a personal thing, and not a political or psychological tool.