Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GBMuir

Response To Bishop Spong's "political Manifesto"

Recommended Posts

Response to Bishop Spong’s “Political manifesto”

 

 

My Dear Bishop Spong:

I immigrated to this country, and now hold citizenship. I came neither for the “freebies” nor to have the Government look after me financially. I paid for my own secondary education by working jobs all through college. I am a Deist. I believe that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

 

A Biblical parable also sticks with me: the master who left his three servants with five, two, and one talent. The reward went to the stewards who did something that produced positive gain—not to the one who accepted room and board, but was unproductive.

 

I give generously to charities like the Salvation Army because there are some people who are in desperate need due to no fault of their own—do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Charity—yes. Supporting (through taxes) some that make little or no effort except to cash their welfare check, when we have millions working here illegally in legitimate jobs, is just wrong.

 

Spong: "I do not see how one can bring abundant life or enhance present life if racism, masquerading as “States’ Rights,” is allowed to linger;"

Agreed. And with a black President in office, non-caucasian elected government officials at all federal, state, and local levels, please elaborate on what racism that “States’ Rights” are infringing upon.

 

Spong:"if economic decisions are made to balance the nation’s budget on the backs of the poor, while just having passed an extension of tax cuts for the very wealthy top one percent of America’s earners."

 

 

No. of Returns with + AGI AGI($ millions) Taxes Paid Group's Share of AGI Group's Share of Tax Income Split Point Average Tax Rate

Top 1% 1,685,472 392,149 20.00% 38.02% $380,354 23.27%

Bottom 50% 1,074,514 27,873 12.75% 2.70% <$33,048 2.59%

Source: Internal Revenue Service

 

Folks: this table won't format correctly. botom line:

Top 1% tax payers pay 58% MORE actual dollars to tax than the entire bottom 50% COMBINED!

Top 1% pays 1.69 trillion $, bottom 50% pays 1.075 trillion $, COMBINED! But the "rich" aren't paying enough???

 

Spong:"I do not believe that life can be enhanced if this nation allows the gap between the rich and the poor to continue to expand."

You’re suggesting the Government should “not allow” entrepreneurs or others in our Capitalist system to earn more, but let the bottom 50% get a free ride plus Government subsidies. That’s virtually taxation without representation, and representation without taxation. When those persons leave because they’re fed up with paying for the bottom 50%, they’ll also take their companies (but not their employees) somewhere else. Governments trying to regulate (by tax structure) essentially how much one can keep destroy an economy—ask Great Britain (~90% highest bracket). Or look at the mess Europe is in with their socialist ideals that they can no longer afford. You want a country where “the gap between the rich and poor” is not expanding? Fine—move to North Korea.

 

Spong:"I do not believe that life is enhanced if wars are entered into on the basis of deliberately falsified statements about weapons of mass destruction and in which thousands of America’s young people are killed."

My older son (married) just came back from deployment in Afghanistan. He will be redeployed again before the end of the year. His enlistment time was 2002—after 911, which made him even more determined to serve. His best friend (he’s like a son to us too), is a Navy SEAL, also in Afghanistan.

If sufficiently conclusive proof existed that “deliberately falsified statements” caused the Iraq war, we’d have indictments and trials of individuals, instead of listening to Chris Matthew’s opinions.

 

Spong:"I do not believe that, in the interest of enhancing the wealth of the oil industry, our sons and daughters lives ought to be put at risk."

The oil industry didn’t need a war in Iraq to enhance their wealth, and we didn’t invade Iraq based on the lobbying of the oil industry. Their lobbying was focused on Anwar, coastal (South and West USA) and now, shale deposits.

Clear, substantiated evidence showed WMD and organized groups’ intent on their use—that’s the reality. Saddam Hussein’s execution had an interesting impact on Col. Gaddafi. Gaddafi thought “maybe me next” and immediately cancelled all Libyan nuclear and biological WMD activities and invited in the U.N. inspectors to show what he had done and was dismantling to be “clean.”

 

Spong:"I do not see how the lives of gay and lesbian people can be enhanced by allowing uninformed and homophobic people to place their prejudices into the law or state constitutions. Yet all of these things have occurred in the recent life of our nation by decisions made in the political arena."

I do not see how the lives of heterosexual people and married couples with families can be enhanced by gay and lesbian people attempting to place their agenda into the law or state constitutions only for their own benefit, making them “more equal” or “more special,” than me.

 

You realize that the political arena is the voice of the entire people? You also realize that those who wrote the constitution would have, to the man, defined marriage as between a man and a woman?

 

I’m not homophobic, but homosexuality is both some are born with, while others choose due to their environment—look at the levels of homosexuality in prisons and tell me it’s not a choice based solely on environment.

 

Spong:"I have no intention of abdicating my responsibility both as a commentator and a citizen to speak in and to that arena. To stay outside the debate is to do little more than to create a vacuum that will be filled by the Sarah Palins, the Glen Becks and the Sean Hannitys of the world."

I think you must be more than slightly paranoid if you’re worried by the likes of Sarah Palin, et al.

Canada has passed laws granting same sex marriage. Those pressing for passage downplayed the fact that environment can promote, as well as show acceptance of homosexuality. I have no problem with acceptance—I have a big problem with promotion. Canada is now realizing the impact of that decision—all children (starting at toy dolls and teddy bear age) are now exposed to and taught the fact that they can mate with whomever they like. Even their kindergarten literature is beginning to condone such “openness.” Maybe the homosexuality rate will increase because of this, maybe it won’t (pick your study). Canada will have to wait a generation to find out. Too late to close the barn door now.

We adults should consider the implications of “rolling the dice” on a child’s emotional future and the confusion that is resulting. Ninety+ percent of a population should not be made to conform to the emotional wishes of a few. Apparently you have either not considered this, or believe it is of no real consequence.

 

Spong:"I require no one to agree with me. My opinions are certainly not infallible. My thinking has changed dramatically over the years and I hope will continue to do so as “new occasions teach new duties and time makes ancient good uncouth,” to quote the poet James Russell Lowell."

“Marriage” has been defined for millennia as between man and woman.

For example: from Genesis, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife." This is not an “ancient good” that has become uncouth. I’m perfectly happy with “unions” and the legal rights that union brings to same sex couples.

Homosexuals describe themselves as “gay” (it is more uniquely descriptive), so they should also define their gay unions in a unique word / phrase describing their, not our, “new occasion”—they can call it what they wish, but not “Marriage.” They claim “discrimination.” I agree—they are also discriminating against heterosexual marriage.

Every society is imperfect, including this one. Not everybody gets everything they feel they would like or want or desire. Is it fair, or not, when the Robin eats the worm? The gay and lesbian community does not want to be equal—they want to be more equal.

 

As a Diest, I greatly value your framing of perceptions into the Bible--please stick to your area of expertise.

 

Respectfully

Bruce Muir

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Response to Bishop Spong's "Political manifesto"

 

 

My Dear Bishop Spong:

I immigrated to this country, and now hold citizenship. I came neither for the "freebies" nor to have the Government look after me financially. I paid for my own secondary education by working jobs all through college. I am a Deist. I believe that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

 

Good Evening Mr. Muir,

 

I too am a Deist, and you make some very good points.

 

However, many on this forum have embraced the philosophy of Jesus as described in the Christian Bible.

 

This man taught benevolence and charity to the poor, shunned wealth and broke societal barriers that tended to divide humankind into categories of worth. I truly believe that were he alive today, he would be in favor of our social welfare programs (as flawed as they are), championing the rights of the dispossessed, such as homosexuals (not all choose their orientation just as you, sir, did not choose your heterosexuality). BTW, prison encounters are rape and not homosexual "love."

 

Jesus said that to whom much is given, much is required. Many in the progressive camp interpret this as a suggestion that those to whom the fates have been kind (and, let's not kid anyone - people gain great wealth by luck, circumstance or conniving. Rarely is it merely the reward for hard work. If this were true, there would be millionaire coal miners.

 

I appreciate the fact that you came over to America with a dream and a vision and worked hard to get to where you are. Let's celebrate the progressiveness of our founders who radically rebelled against the monarchists to forge a nation based on idealism and faith in the human spirit in order to provide a place where you could achieve your dream.

 

Shalom.

 

NORM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I see it there are two motivating factors for those to want this ban enshrined in our Federal and State Constitutions. The first is homophobia and the second is religion. Both of these motives are selfish and have nothing to do with a threat to the institution of marriage.

 

Homophobia is not a fear of gays it is the fear of being gay. Some of the most notorious homophobes are anti-gay crusaders and a majority of them are conservatives. I won't go into the long list of names here, anyone with a computer and the time can find these hypocrites. I've learned from my life experiences that people tend to dislike most in others what they fear most in themselves. Anti gay crusaders are often gay themselves and because of fear of being exposed they want others to believe they are as straight as straight can be. Many do this by joining in a "traditional" marriage and having children. This could be the threat they see to traditional marriage, that it will be confused with gay marriage. It makes sense that they would want no ambiguity about marriage.

 

The religious excuse for persecuting gays is equally as abhorrent and once again it is all about the fear of what others will think of you if you don't speak out against the "sin". Anyone so called Christian who is anti-gay is a hypocrite in one way or the other. There is reason to think that Jesus and the Apostles were gay, especially Paul who had serious problems with women and his own "member".

 

Someday in the not too distant future, perhaps within the next couple of generations, people will understand that sexuality and gender identity both physiological and psychological are built into our DNA on a broad scalar range with male on one end and female on the other with all kinds of variations in between. We all share 99.999 percent identical DNA but that .001 percent is what makes the difference in our physiological and psychological makeup. Just because someone doesn't fall within the range we consider normal doesn't mean that they are not as natural as everyone else. Science shows us that the number of gays in a population is predictable, thus being gay is a natural occurrence not a choice someone makes after they have reached the age of reason; to believe that is just shows ignorance of established science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My Dear Bishop Spong:

I believe that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

 

Bruce,

 

I have not read the essay, so I would not attempt to comment on it. However, I have heard this aphorism many times and will comment on it.

 

I have found that those who often cite this, do so in opposition to various government programs, but do not, at the same time, propose alternate programs for teaching people to fish. The same people who cite this often oppose government-funded programs for training, public education and the like. Perhaps you are different. I would be interested to hear a list of fishing-training programs that you support, not just what you oppose.

 

Also, I fail to get the connection between deism and this topic. Perhaps you can elaborate on that as well.

 

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Someday in the not too distant future, perhaps within the next couple of generations, people will understand that sexuality and gender identity both physiological and psychological are built into our DNA on a broad scalar range with male on one end and female on the other with all kinds of variations in between. We all share 99.999 percent identical DNA but that .001 percent is what makes the difference in our physiological and psychological makeup. Just because someone doesn't fall within the range we consider normal doesn't mean that they are not as natural as everyone else. Science shows us that the number of gays in a population is predictable, thus being gay is a natural occurrence not a choice someone makes after they have reached the age of reason; to believe that is just shows ignorance of established science.

 

You don't know how happy it makes me to see someone other than me making this point on a "religious" forum! Too often on fora such as this, Christians will compare homosexuality with thievery, alcoholism, debauchery, etc., in an attempt to show that they are not opposed to homosexuality, per se, just "homosexual acts."

 

This frosts me to no end.

 

This issue is particularly personal for me because a young man who was drummed out of a church I attended (using those same arguments), consequently took his own life. I was one of the people to find his body. The image - and the shame of being a member of that church - is forever burned into my mind.

 

NORM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't know how happy it makes me to see someone other than me making this point on a "religious" forum! Too often on fora such as this, Christians will compare homosexuality with thievery, alcoholism, debauchery, etc., in an attempt to show that they are not opposed to homosexuality, per se, just "homosexual acts."

 

This frosts me to no end.

 

This issue is particularly personal for me because a young man who was drummed out of a church I attended (using those same arguments), consequently took his own life. I was one of the people to find his body. The image - and the shame of being a member of that church - is forever burned into my mind.

 

NORM

 

 

Norm,

Unfortunately there are people who are not progressive but fundamentalist conservatives in that they will not be moved from centuries of what I would call almost genetic beliefs. These people are just as certain that they are right as progressive liberals. Fundamentalists are conservative by definition. Here is a direct quote from the website called a Patheos, dedicated to understanding world religions and religious movements. It claims to be the most accurate and balanced information available on the web written by the world's leading authorities on religion and spirituality.

 

“Christian Fundamentalism is a conservative movement within American Protestantism that aims to uphold traditional Christian beliefs in the face of many modernist challenges. Christian Fundamentalism arose out of the late 19th and early 20th century conflicts with mainline Protestant churches over modernist challenges, including biblical criticism and interpretation. In response, between 1910 and 1915 conservative scholars from Princeton Theological Seminary published a series of twelve books titled The Fundamentals, which reaffirmed biblical inerrancy and attacked biblical criticism. Soon, Christian fundamentals began founding their own Bible colleges and Bible institutes to teach fundamentalist doctrines to future generations and provide structure to the movement. Christian fundamentalists teach the literal interpretation of scripture and hold to key Christian doctrines, including Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection, and salvation from our sins through the grace of God by having faith in Jesus Christ. Besides these doctrines, Christian Fundamentalism is also marked by its conservative social stances, including the refusal to smoke, drink alcohol, or dance. In recent decades, Christian Fundamentalism has also been characterized by its criticism of liberal social and political policies most notably legalized abortion, evolution taught in schools, and gay and lesbian rights.”

 

 

The progressive Christians I know are progressive in other areas as well. They are well educated and politically liberal. There are some progressive Christians that may be called moderate but none are called fundamentalists.

 

Paz

 

Harry

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce,

 

I have not read the essay, so I would not attempt to comment on it. However, I have heard this aphorism many times and will comment on it.

 

I have found that those who often cite this, do so in opposition to various government programs, but do not, at the same time, propose alternate programs for teaching people to fish. The same people who cite this often oppose government-funded programs for training, public education and the like. Perhaps you are different. I would be interested to hear a list of fishing-training programs that you support, not just what you oppose.

 

Also, I fail to get the connection between deism and this topic. Perhaps you can elaborate on that as well.

 

George

 

I'm much in the same boat.

 

Spong is not criticizing the US culture - he is criticizing the inequity in power distribution that favours certain groups of people over others who are minorities and have little access to power. In this he is doing nothing more than what Jesus would have done.

 

Spong is doing what the Church has consistently failed to do and in that I fully support him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm much in the same boat.

 

Spong is not criticizing the US culture - he is criticizing the inequity in power distribution that favours certain groups of people over others who are minorities and have little access to power. In this he is doing nothing more than what Jesus would have done.

 

Spong is doing what the Church has consistently failed to do and in that I fully support him.

 

I find that fishing metaphor particularly annoying. I have never heard it cited in support of anything and only in opposition to social programs, government or private.

 

I am in hopes that Mr. Muir will respond with a list of positive actions society should take that 'teach a person to fish.' In the U.S. now, we are witnessing significant reductions in education programs. If we are going to cut education back, how are the poor going to "learn to fish?"

 

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A response to Spong's twelve theses, which I thought was interesting

https://www.phc.edu/UserFiles/File/_Other%20Projects/Global%20Journal/9-1/Stephanie%20Monk%20vol%209%20no%201.pdf

 

 

Thesis 1: No Theism
1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. God can no longer be understood with credibility as a Being, supernatural in power, dwelling above the sky and prepared to invade human history periodically to enforce the divine will. So, most theological God-talk today is meaningless unless we find a new way to speak of God.

 

Thesis 2: No Incarnation
2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.

 

Thesis 3: No Creation or Fall
3. The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.

 

Thesis 4: No Virgin Birth
4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.

 

Thesis 5: No Miracles
5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.

 

Thesis 6: No Substitutionary Atonement
6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God that must be dismissed.

 

Thesis 7: No Resurrection
7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.

 

Thesis 8: No Ascension
8. The story of the ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.

 

Thesis 9: No Moral Standards
9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in Scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.

 

Thesis 10: No Effectual Prayer
10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.

 

Thesis 11: No Guilt
11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior-control mentality of reward and punishment. The church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

 

Thesis 12: No Discrimination
12. All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...