Why Jewish socialist Bernie Sanders will speak at Falwell’s Baptist university

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Vermont Senator and U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign town hall in Manchester, N. H., on August 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SANDERS-LIBERTY, originally transmitted on August 6, 2015, or with RNS-RUDIN-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Dec. 21, 2015.

Vermont Senator and U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign town hall in Manchester, N. H., on August 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Dominick Reuter *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SANDERS-LIBERTY, originally transmitted on August 6, 2015, or with RNS-RUDIN-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Dec. 21, 2015.

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(RNS) Sanders says he hopes to find common ground with his conservative Christian audience, and his appearance there next month may be more enlightening than -- if not as entertaining as -- tonight's reality show known as the first GOP presidential debate.

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  • mike

    I am offended by the sacrilege of referring to these persons as “Christians.”

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  • Jack

    While Gibson and RNS scratch their heads and wonder how this came about, here’s a hint:

    Both Bernie Sanders and Liberty University apparently share an interest in getting away from the media’s drooling obsession with sexual issues.

    Good for them.

  • Larry

    “the media’s drooling obsession”?

    LMAO!

    You mean as opposed to the millions of dollars spent trying to legislate sectarian dogma on issues concerning what people do in their bedrooms. Yeah, its the media’s obsession. Come back to me when Liberty Counsel and Focus on Family decide to shut their doors for lack of interest and funds.

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  • Jack

    Yes, the media’s drooling obsession……Just look at this web site, for starters.

    But this has been true for decades, as seen by how politicians are labeled:

    Democratic politicians can be as far left as Bernie Sanders on economic and foreign policy issues but if they deviate from the left on abortion or gay issues, the media immediately label them “conservative Democrats.”

    Likewise, Republican politicians can be as far to the right as Rand Paul on economic issues but if they are pro-choice on abortion or are for gay rights, the media immediately label them “liberal Republicans.”

  • Larry

    Way to dodge a point.

    Who is spending millions of dollars to make everyone is act in the bedroom according to their religious dictates? The people who gladly support Liberty University. By any honest account, it is the religious conservatives who want government in everyone’s bedroom and is obsessed with the sexual habits of those around them.

    People who blame “the media” are lazy and ignorant as to how such things actually work. When faced with inconvenient facts, they blame “media bias” rather than own up to them.

    There is no such thing as a monolithic “the media”. Media markets are extremely fragmented and niched. Media bias arguments make sense only in places with limited media options. The idea that it takes direction from any given source besides, fickle public tastes is naive or flat out foolish. Even in dictatorships, the public finds ways to subvert overt control.

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  • The Great God Pan

    More like they both share an interest in flipping the bird at our next President, Hillary Clinton.

  • Jack

    Actually, no, Larry, it was you who did the non sequitur dance. I said the media have a drooling obsession with issues pertaining to sex, and also said that this is why the writer and RNS can’t quite figure out why Liberty U would have any interest in Bernie Sanders or vice versa. And that reason is that both it and he obviously want to talk about other issues, too, like economic ones.

    That doesn’t mean that either Sanders or Liberty is innocent of that obsession…..it means that even if they are, their agreement to meet is evidence of going beyond the obsession. And meanwhile, again, the media failure to comprehend what’s going on points to its obsession.

    And further confirmation is its tendency to label people as left or right based largely on sex-related issues.

    And by “media,” I mean the organizations that command most Americans’ attention, which even in our digital age, is old media, which leans left.

  • Jack

    Gee, I didn’t realize that 2016 not only arrived, but has nearly departed, and that Election Day has passed.

    Thanks for letting us know, Pan. It still seems like it’s August 2015 and that we have 15 months to go, but being the “great god” you are, you must be right and 99.99% of your fellow human beings mistaken on this.

  • Bernardo

    More on secular Jews:

    They don’t believe in god, Abraham or Moses. And 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis also believe that Abraham and Moses were myths.

  • Garson Abuita

    Bernardo, not a single Jew “believes in” Abraham or Moses. That’s not a Jewish concept when it comes to fellow human beings. There are plenty of secular Jews who believe in God. With regard to Conservative Jews, most would answer that it doesn’t matter as a matter of history whether Abraham or Moses existed. I seriously doubt your scope of knowledge on the subject beyond reading a decade-old NYT book review.

  • Larry

    Jack, I am talking about millions spent in policing people’s bedrooms by religious conservatives and you are making an irrelevant rant about extremists in both parties. You made a statement you could not support. Now you are trying to walk away from it and change the subject.

    Your talk of “the media’s obsession” bespeaks both an ignorance as to its working, a laziness in thinking and a completely dishonest take on the people you support. Attributing rather unsavory obsessions being reported as some kind of artificial construct of the mythical monolithic “media”. All done to ignore the significant amounts of money being spent to politicize sexual issues by religious conservatives. The only people with a drooling obsession with sex appears to be the Bible thumpers who want to legislate every aspect of it.

  • Bernardo

    Not a single Jew believes in Abraham or Moses? Give us a break !!

    And the New Torah for Modern Minds is available from Amazon if you want to read more about all the other myths and embellishments in the OT.

  • Garson Abuita

    Bernardo, why don’t you give us a break from pontificating on topics you know nothing about? The word for belief in Hebrew and in Jewish practice is cognate with the word for faith. In “Ani ma’amin” – “I believe,” for example, you can see the word emunah – “faith” – as well as “amen.” We don’t have this kind of faith in any human being. Nor does that kind of faith apply to historic events like the existence of any one individual.
    You also confused the title of the NYT book review with the actual book. I already own a copy of the book you’re referencing, the Etz Hayim chumash, and read it at synagogue every week. But thank you for the recommendation on others’ behalf.

  • Jack

    Larry, you’re all over the map while I’m still focused on the original topic — why the media can’t figure out why Bernie Sanders and Liberty both agreed that it would be a nice idea for him to speak there.

    Again, the key point is the media’s obsession with issues revolving around sex, from abortion to gay marriage….so much so that these issues have become a litmus test for who’s a liberal and who’s a conservative.

    Given their obsession, they can’t understand where Bernie Sanders and Liberty meet. And the obvious answer is that they meet on issues beyond the same-old-same-old…..on economic and foreign policy issues, where Christians of the Liberty mold, while leaning conservative, are willing to hear Sanders’ views.

    That doesn’t mean they will agree. But it does mean they can have a rational dialogue.

  • Jack

    Garson, I think what Bernardo is saying is belief that Abraham or Moses were historical and not fictional people. I don’t think he means belief in them as in belief in God or gods.

    He’s getting at the question of the historicity of Scripture, I think.

  • Jack

    I think that’s what he’s saying, but I’m not sure I understand his point.

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