• Jack

    Given his doctrinaire support for repeatedly failed, medievalist redistributionist policies, his slogan should be to stand with him to keep the poor impoverished.

    “We fought a war on poverty, and the poor lost.” (Jack Kemp)

  • Pingback: ‘Stand with the poor,’ Sanders tells students at Liberty University - mosaicversemosaicverse()

  • “But (Quincy Thompson, 22) said churches – not the government – should address those needs. “From today, I’m going to be more aware of the people that are in need in my community of Lynchburg,” Thompson said.”

    Poor kid knows nothing at all.
    Churches are the reason for poverty – not the cure.

    The kid knows nothing of the great depression and nothing of the economic nightmares caused by religions through world history. Sanders is correct that only the Government can fund the necessary education and skills to lift people out of extreme poverty.

    Religion is a nuisance.

  • Bob

    “Religion is a nuisance.”

    Exactly.

  • Duke

    There are solid Bibical foundations for the positions Mr Sanders took in regards to caring for the poor and the material inequalities prevalent in the U.S. today. He challenged the students of Liberty University to reflect on their Christian faith and its relationship to the laizefair (forgive the spelling) capitalism so prominent in many circles in this nation today. Maybe the task of the Church is to call a culture to repentance for it celebration of greed and self centeredness and to transform itself into one where the needs of the poor and the least among us are always at the forefront when making our decisions as a societ

  • Duke,

    “Maybe the task of the Church is to call a culture to repentance for it celebration of greed and self centeredness ”

    Isn’t that greedy and self-centered of the Church?
    Maybe for once we should try governing without any religion? Things would probably go better.

  • Willy

    Sanders took a much-needed step, a simple effort to be civil rather than emonize those with different ideas. People don’t have to agree, but they would be ahead if they at least explained their ideas.

    Not mentioned in the story is that Sanders, a Jew, spoke at a Christian institution. That’s also important. We need more inter-religious conversations.

  • observer

    Bernie is closer than any announced candidate to Christian ideals. Economic policies of Social Democrats are very compatible with the mission of Christianity when helping the poor and sick. Northern Europe seems to function quiet well and people there work hard even with the social benefits. These independent churches that preach you can pray or donate your way to wealth are misleading large numbers of people.

    Too many churches have too much wealth and power due to their constant catering to the interests of the rich and not the poor.

  • observer

    PS
    The students at Liberty need to be reminded that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then a rich man to enter Heaven. Taking care of the poor and the sick is every Christian’s duty through his or her actions including who an Christian votes for on election day.

  • Jack

    On the poverty issue, the Big Government-alone approach has failed miserably for at least two reasons.

    First, the overhead is too high. For every dollar shipped off to some federal welfare bureaucracy in DC, most of it gets eaten up by overhead — ie salaries. Shut down such programs and steer that money directly into low-overhead, community-based nonprofit poverty fighters with a proven track record of operating successfully in the nation’s poorest areas and most of every dollar spent will go directly to the poor. Second, neighborhood nonprofit poverty fighters don’t just give people money and material resources; they deal with the behaviors like substance abuse or marketable skills deficits which put people in dire straits in the first place.

    Either we care about the poor or we don’t. If we do, we can’t keep promoting policies that fail the poor. We must promote policies that actually free people from poverty.

  • Jack

    That sound nice, Duke, but in real life, the only kind of redistributionism that helps the poor is when people actually donate their time and money to local poverty fighters who have the skills, the know-how, and the daily dedication needed to help the poor effectively. Simply pulling dollars out of one person’s pocket and handing it to another person is a feel-good but shallow answer that substitutes feeling good for actually doing good for other people. It does nothing to address the root causes of poverty, which vary from person to person. Only a neighborhood nonprofit poverty fighting organization can treat each person uniquely and respond rightly to that person’s need.

  • Jack

    It’s good that Sanders spoke at a Christian organization but that’s a whole other issue. There needs to be more of that, yes.

    The big problem with Sanders is that his ideology has blinded him to the raw facts of what works and what doesn’t work in helping the poor.

    And if you put an ideology that makes you feel good ahead of a policy that actually does people good, you’re putting ideas ahead of people.

    It’s too bad that both the Republicans and Sanders’ Democratic colleagues are too block-headed to counter his nonsense with effective and sensible alternatives that actually help pull people out of poverty.

  • Jack

    Observer, if you truly care about the poor, you will devote your time to learning what works and what doesn’t work in helping the poor.

  • Bernie Sanders misses the best thing that Jesus says.

    Jesus says he will eradicate the evil ones.
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    I wish he had brought this up at his Liberty University visit. I guess gays and contraception users should beware of this warning from Jesus.

  • Jack

    Jesus the fire-breathing killer? I don’t think so, Max.

    You’ve got a little problem called the Sermon on the Mount…..for starters.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    I’m not a big Sanders fan, but after reading Jack’s defensive articulations of economic royalism, I’m thinking perhaps I have misjudged the man.

  • observer

    Jack
    What are the answers for those who are disabled, elderly, too young, lack family support, sick, lack the education, bankrupt by the cost due to a health condition, have limited abilities to fend for fully for themselves, trapped in communities with little economic opportunity, denied adequate employment rights, etc,? Are there people who have made bad decisions? Yes of course, but there are plenty who stopped by their circumstances. We can do better.

    I see companies and their owners exploiting the vulnerable everyday and further concentrating power and wealth. Would you do away with social security? Medicare/ Medicaid?

  • Duke

    Jack, I agree with you on the importance of grass roots poverty eradication programs. but I submit to you that the very individuals/volunteers required to make such programs work are the product of a culture reclaimed from selfcenteredness and materialism. The central role of the church is to change hearts and minds so that people hear and respond to Christ call to care for the poor. I did not hear or read the speech, nor do I know much about Senator Sanders recommendations on dealing with poverty. What I got from the article in question was that Senator Sanders asked the students of Liberty University, a university with an unabashedly Christian world view, to consider the Gospel’s concern for the poor as they decide how they live out their Christian witness. The actions they take in regards to those decisions will take on many forms from support of the large government programs you so clearly dislike or the local community based programs you endorse.

  • Jack

    Observer, what do you think my answers are? Reread my posts.

    Government needs to get out of the social services business and hand its trillions over to dedicated, competent, neighborhood-based nonprofit poverty fighting organizations that are already spread out across the nation, in every state, city, town, and community.

    Right now, its actions are competing against these groups and in some cases driving them out with its disastrous, no-strings-attached view on material aid.

  • Jack

    In other words, Observer, these nonprofits, which have been on the front lines against poverty and pathology in America since Tocqueville marveled about them in his “Democracy in America” writings of the 1830s, can do an infinitely better job at some of the same things that Washington does. And in areas where only Washington can do the job, let Washington do the job.

    This is common sense.

  • Jack

    In other words, “George,” you are the definition of a reactionary who doesn’t like to be challenged with new ideas that take you away from the either/or simplicity of Big Government-only vs. doing nothing for the poor.

  • Jack

    It’s all about what works and what doesn’t work. If we care about the poor, we don’t just support a program because it has the word, “poor” slapped onto it.

    I like large government programs that work best, and I don’t like large government programs that work least or not at all.

  • Jack

    Duke, our choices are not Big Government-only vs. laissez-faire, ie doing nothing about poverty.

    There is a third way that involves the whole of civil society — strengthening families, communities, and those neighborhood-based nonprofits which have a long and successful track record of dealing with poverty in all of its aspects, dealing with the whole person, from immediate material needs to the causes of their being in poverty in the first place.

    This false either/or dichotomy — ie Big Government vs. do-nothing — is a symptom of a dumbing down of thought and dialogue in this country.

  • Duke

    Jack, please tell me how I can rephrase my comments so I can convince you that I agree with you about the third way you so eloquently described. The task of the church is to call people to participate in the types of organizations you advocate. But once the church starts lifting it voice in this arena the people who hear it and felt led by it are going to respond in many different ways. Some will feel drawn to the types of minstries you advocate and others are going to feel compelled to support the big government programs. Senator Sanders I believe sought to engage the students of Liberty in a discussion about the importance of caring for the poor while not advocating for any particular approach. Just having this discussion is victory in it self and is the first step in addressing this issue. The church must be a leading voice in encouraging this discussion if it is to be true to the Gospel
    ays

  • Jack

    I’m not sure I can agree, Duke, because of two things. First, the Big Government programs have largely failed. Child poverty, for example, has risen since their being instituted.

    But second, and more disturbing, is the zero-sum relationship between the Big Government approach and the community-based approach. The rise of government becoming a direct social service provider coincides with the withering of these nonprofit groups…..partly because government antipoverty programs come with no strings attached — if you’re below the poverty line and satisfy other conditions, you can get benefits and nothing is required of you. Contrast that with the nonprofit approach, where recipients are required to deal with deeply rooted problems like substance abuse. If you’re a substance abuser in denial of it, you will choose the government approach and you won’t get out of poverty as a result.

    So the two are in competition with each other — a zero-sum situation.

  • Jack

    So Max, what’s wrong with being against greed and self-centeredness?

    While I don’t think greed and self-centeredness have much to do with the fight against poverty or with how to design a nation’s economic policy, I do think it’s a perfectly noble thing to call on folks not to be greedy or self-centered.

    If an atheist instead of a Christian issued such a call, would that make you happier, Max?

    Good grief….it’s like talking to a six-year-old repeating the bigotry of his parents.

  • Jack

    I guess the problem I have, Duke, is that the loudest calls to help the poor often come with an implication that the reason some people are poor is that other people are rich or comfortable.

    And once that premise is accepted, what follows logically is precisely the same Big Government approach that for so long has kept people locked into poverty rather than freed from it.

    Once that premise is accepted, it becomes a matter of redistribution: Take from those who have, give to those who have not, and you’ve solved the poverty problem.

    But what if someone’s being rich has absolutely nothing to do with someone else’s being poor? What if they’re completely independent of each other?

    Worse, what if it turns out that if we tax people who have succeeded and subsidize those who have not succeeded, we will end up with more people who don’t succeed?

    We need to step back, ask these & other questions, and then come back and deal with poverty in a smarter way.

  • Duke

    Jack, I hear you. Nothing about poverty is simple. Sadly modern culture demands simple, immediate answers for everything and it is the simplistic answers with the loudest voices that tend to carry the day and be heard. You and I have engaged in a reflective and respectful conversation an I know that I am the wiser for it. It occurred to me last night after reading your post that the seeming lack of understanding on my part is the result of the fact that I was having a theological conversation and you were having a economic/ political one. I am quessing both of use are used to being shouted down for having a more reflective approach to issues and we both wanted to feel heard(I know I did). You heard me and you helped me to hear you. I look forward to future conversations