Friday, May 06, 2005

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Well, I mentioned it in my bio, so it isn't a secret … I'm a golfer. Aside from being a wonderful game, it provides me with the opportunity to relate to people of different opinions than mine. There are many who follow the Republican line on the links, and many who swear on a repeated basis. Both are fertile ground for spreading the word, and spreading The Word.

Golfers swear too often. They take the Lord's name in vain mainly in two ways, by expressing to Jesus Christ when they make a mistake and by asking God to damn some aspect of their game. I don't understand either use and those that I hear it from usually get a response from me. In the first case I tell them Jesus doesn't care about their golf game even if he does care about their soul. In the second case I ask them “Suppose for a moment that there is a higher power by the name of God. Do you really want Him to damn what you are doing?” Most of the guys I play with don't swear too much anymore.

Our weekly foursome is evenly split, two Democrats and two Republicans. Mostly we play golf, but we also discuss issues as they hit the news and sometimes more generally the basic platforms of the two parties. The other day one of the Republicans made this comment: “The Democrats are the party of 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,' and the Republicans are the party of 'Earn it, Sucker'.” I'm quoting here, and that is just how it was said. I don't mean to say that this gent speaks for the GOP, but he does speak with a tone I find familiar from those Republicans with whom I do speak candidly.

I didn't have a response for a few holes, but then it came to me. The Democrats are not the party of “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” they are the party of “Give, Give, Give.” Give to those that can't get for themselves, give to those that need health care, and give to the child an opportunity that the parents may not be able to.

I will agree, however, that the GOP is the party of “Earn it, Sucker.” Earn it, Sucker, and we'll give you a job that you can't provide for a family with, or two jobs that still don't provide. Earn it, Sucker, and we'll give you no health care. Earn it, Sucker, and we'll sit happy in our huge homes brightly lit at night while you sit unemployed for a second year, coddled by our spin of Scriptural sounding language that gives you comfort, but no food, no house, and only bare hope.

I apologize to those that this may hit close to home with, but I am angered by what I see as hypocrisy on the right, and as simple acceptance by many of faith that don't see through the veil of Scripture and familiar Biblical language that the right uses against them and against God.

How much does one person need?

As written in Luke 12: 20, the parable of The Rich Fool: “But God Said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'”

There are two ways to interpret this Scripture as I see it, and maybe more from you, the reader, but this is what I come up with:

1. Without enjoying real relationships with those around you, and without a relationship with God, you have nothing. Without giving to others you fall short in God's eye. What is life here on earth without real friends? What is the life after this without Grace?

2. “Who will get what you have prepared for yourself” can be interpreted that the rich fool will get exactly what he has prepared for himself.

We all get caught up in the material things of this world. I'm raising my hand to say that I am a fool, too, but I am realizing my errors and working towards changing my ways.

It isn't always about giving money to church although that is a great place to start. Give time of yourself and you may find a real reward even sooner. Give time at a soup kitchen and listen to the stories from the people you meet. Give time by walking through your neighborhood asking for donations to the food pantry and see what your neighbors say, what they share with you, how they look at you. Give time at any service project for the military folks in Iraq, for kids in another country, for old folks that don't have family near by or with young kids that are missing a parent and you will find an incredible richness that costs ... nothing.

Give. Give. Give.

7 Comments:

Blogger JP Manzi said...

You are correct on many points. The first point is, yes, golf is a great game, costly at times, but a great game. Two, as a christian, when you fully fathom the character of Christ, He was about giving all He had and all He was for "the least of us". He expects that of us too. He was and is our perfect moral example. We know our goal is too spread the Word and help guide others into a relationship with Him. The Dems get it right in many many areas, yet some extreme knuckle-heads within the party give it a bad rap. That is too bad. This party, though, too me, is the ideal party in action and rhetoric to advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth. When we realize that IT IS NOT about us but about Him we will see and understand what you mean when you say "give, give, give" not "gimmie, gimmie, gimmie". Lets truely follow the two greatest commandments.

You said "Without giving to others you fall short in God's eye".

Amen to that brother, some say they love Jesus but I say SHOW ME you love Jesus.
Keep enlightening us with your posts brother.

5/07/2005 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to Christian values and political agendas Republican Christians and Democratic Clhristian seem to take different world views. Republicans seem to emphasize righteousness (right living) and Democrats seem to emphasize justice (right doing). If I am concerned about righteousness then I might emphasize banning gay marriage, banning abortion and getting the pledge of allegiance back into schools, to name a few. If I am concerned about justice I might emphasize equal opportunity, health care for the poor and creation of jobs, to name a few. We seeme to treat these Christian values as if they are mutually exclusive when, in fact, they are not. God requires righteousness and justice. In Isaiah 58 the nation of Israel is admonished because they "act so pious...you would almost think this is a righteous nation that would never abandon its God"(58:2-NLT). It grieves me that there don't seem to be political choices that embrace righteousness and justice. FOR EXAMPLE:

1. GAY MARRIAGE: Marriage is a holy institution. Decisions concerning this belong in the church and not in the government. Why not get the government out of the business of deciding who can and can't marry whom by removing all government authority over the issue. That would include abolishing government incentives that have to do with life style choices. I have a hard time denouncing gay marriage in public when heterosexual fornication and adultery are so rampant that they are even tolerated in churches.

2. ABORTION: Push for safe and judgment free aternatives instead of outlawing this. Teach our children, male and female, about the proper place for sexual expression, encourage them to make the right choices, provide an environment where they can and continue to love and support them if they fail to make the right choice.

HEALTH CARE: I believe that basic health care is a right and not a privilege. We need to provide every citizen with access to the tools they need to be healty and productive members of our society.

God tells us, in Isaiah 58, what pleases Him.."Stop opressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors. Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as day" (58:9 -10).

I pray that we, as Christians, can stop fighting over which world view, righteousness or justice, is better and come to to a place where we can work for a world view
that encompasses both.

Mary

5/12/2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Amen, Mary, Amen.

Your points are all well made and afford a couple of additional comments:

Republicans emphasize "right living" is true. If they would do it, Christianity would have less of an hypocritical connotation attached to it. If we, too, could live more righteously, that would be great, too. But for Newt Gingrich to be chasing Bill Clinton for his foibles while also chasing a woman besides his wife deserves the hypocrite label. They do Christianity a disservice, meaning God a disservice, by being so outspoken about their righteousness rather than being humbled before Him.

One of the questions that came up during my Bible study the other night was: "Why can't we boast of our own righteousness." The answer was pretty clear - we don't have any.

I TOTALLY agree with your take on gay marriage. Not all churches will allow same sex marriages, but some will. May God and the love of Jesus Christ be with us all. I think the real reason they don't want gay marriage is because it will cost businesses more in the form of partner coverage.

And the rest of your post makes sense, too. Thank you.

5/12/2005 1:03 PM  
Blogger JP Manzi said...

wonderful thoughtout post Mary. Christian Democrat said ""Why can't we boast of our own righteousness." The answer was pretty clear - we don't have any. For the most part this is sad but true in our daily living but in Gods eyes we are made righteous before Him thanks to Jesus

5/13/2005 3:39 AM  
Blogger interfaithpope said...

I really appreciated the comments by Mary. I think that government should stay out of marriage all together. Your comment about abortion reminded me of John Kerry in one of the debates. The gist of what he said was that he is Pro-Choice but that he disagrees with abortion. He said that's why he and his wife go around the country advocating adoption and other alternatives. When we educate people about issues they tend to make better choices in spite of the legal options. When we try to outlaw bad (in our opinion) behavior people tend to do it anyway to a greater degree and with a greater degree of danger because of the lack of regulation. We have seen this with many things in history, including Prohibition and abortion, and yet we don't learn. Those that think we can effectively eliminate all vices from our society through laws are sorely naive. If you believe that abstinence is the only acceptable form of birth control, fine. But to make it the only recognized option, as our current administration has done, is just plain unrealistic and irresponsible. Abstinence is the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But the reality is that people's sex drive is more powerful than their will power 9 times out of 10. Our current world population of 6.5 billion is a testament to that. So to deny people birth control options (the pill, condoms, the morning after pill) or even to make it harder to get them just because you think that abstinence is the only way is ludicrous. Teach kids about the dangers and responsibilities associated with drug abuse and sexual promiscuity and they will govern themselves. I don't understand why someone would be anti-abortion and anti-contraception at the same time. I would think that people would be happy that birth control is being used to prevent a possible abortion. If you feel that it is morally wrong to have sex outside of certain religious parameters, that's great. Teach people about that and hope that they follow it. But be realistic in the fact that not everyone will follow that line of thinking and that to account for that, we need options for every one else. By the way, I'm not directing this at you Mary. I'm directing this at our current mis-administration. I thought your comments were very well put.

5/20/2005 12:08 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Sorry - should have caught this sooner - there is a commentary titled "Abortion" that this thread may be better suited for. Carry on as you like.

I have just put a new link on the right sidebar that goes to the "Blog Index" for help in finding articles.

Peace.

5/25/2005 3:41 PM  
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