[Andrew Leonard] And how soon do you think it will be before Republican ideologues start blaming Obama for making it worse? Grover Norquist is already making the claim that the bear market is a result of the 2006 election — he says investors started dumping stocks because they were afraid of the inevitable tax hikes coming down the road. How do you fight that?
[Paul Krugman] To some extent you can't fight it — people will believe what they want to believe. If they can make FDR the cause of the Great Depression, they can do anything. But one thing progressives can do is make sure that the story of the Bush administration is told, in all respects. There's going to be huge pressure from the usual suspects to let bygones be bygones, to forget about everything from torture to reckless disregard of financial warnings. But I want truth and reconciliation across the board, and progressives have to make it clear that it was an ideology, not an act of God, that made this crisis possible.
Ideological consequences are, in fact, acts of God. It is God's design that what happens, happens. Cause and effect are God's work. However, God's not to blame. We choose. We often, and in a certain sense, always choose evil only from a position of some ignorance. If one were to know from God's perspective, one would never choose evil. God has afforded us all the opportunity to truly learn, not just learn what the proverbial Adam and Eve learned biting into the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil but learn what we are allowed to learn by biting into the fruit of life. Yes, it's forbidden. It is forbidden to the ignorant. It is allowed for those who are washed clean by the truth concerning that said evil. We may return home if we soften. Right now, on balance, the people are hardening still further.
We can see that hardening becoming starker and starker. We see it in all the arguments that are truly obfuscating.
It doesn't matter whether or not someone says "Christmas" or "Xmas" or whether Washington State's capitol has Nativity scenes (a big furor here). It doesn't matter whether people march around with signs saying, "Santa leads to Hell." When I say matter, I mean those on either side of these so-called issues are wrong.
Jesus wasn't born on December 25th. The Pagans are right that the Roman Catholic Church expropriated the Winter Solstice Festival. Let's be truthful. Think about this though. Jesus is the dawning of the new season where the light returns. It is why I have been writing on this blog that Jesus fulfilled all the pagan aspirations if they will just cut through all the garbage they are dragging around with them.
Happy Holidays actually means Happy Holy Days. Who thinks of the birth of Jesus who is also a Christian who takes offense at anyone referring to his birth (regardless of December 25th) as Holy? I'm certainly not offended. Oh, certain people who don't give a damn about the real message of Jesus are offended. They see it as diminishing Jesus. Well, what did some people think when the Pope okayed using December 25? Those people thought the Pope was diminishing (distracting). I agree with them. The real message lives and will shine through regardless of any Pope's error. That's one of the reasons the truth is so beautiful, even the most beautiful thing there is.
As for the Happy Holidays expression being designed to allow for Jews and others to not be crushed by Christians, I was told that some 50 years ago. It's nothing new. It was political correctness back then too.
Don't take it wrong. I don't hold with political correctness as it is most commonly used. For me, real political correctness is telling the truth that is Jesus's message to feed the lambs and sheep, etc. I don't care (a particular connotation) whether that offends others. They shouldn't be offended by the best message ever delivered. If they don't like it and want to crucify me, it makes me think of Peter thinking he was unworthy to be treated as Christ and asked to be crucified upside down.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)