« Just Faith | Main | Bob Accepts the Challenge »

September 21, 2005

Comments

Brandon

Geez, Greg. I found that essay compelling...you didn't?

Shawn

I think Brannon has an excellent point. We should probably also blame it on video games, violence in movies, pornography and Iraq. Oh! and environmentalist, let's dare not forget to blame environmentalist while we're at it.

Brandon

My favourite bit was this:

Anyone who regards with even a shred of honesty the destruction of unregenerate people in the underclass knows the liberals’ time is up. Their social experiment is as bust as the former Soviet Union’s Communism. The Christian worldview is the hope that is left—and a genuine hope it is. Christians must reach out to the underclass, seek to change hearts, renew minds, and reframe their deformed worldview by showing them the need to embrace Christianity and biblical morality and reject the secular left’s destructive, humanistic, anti-God religious worldview.

Yes indeed. I'm sure the 'underclass' is going to want what we Christians are selling.

Leighton

I like how the DNC is anti-Christian even though they're starting to prostitute themselves out to Christian voters almost to the extent RNC is.

Zossima

Apparently, these left wing whack jobs are so influential that God has been listening to them. What else can I conclude since he is preparing to punish another red state this week with the wrath of a category 4 storm from hell.

zalm

unregenerate people in the underclass

Yeesh. I only hope that he washes his hands after he types that shit.

Or maybe he doesn't type it. Maybe he has some sort of Word macro that automagically makes hatred and condescension as simple as bold and italic.

bobstevens

Well, to be fair I'm not sure it's accurate to say that racism causes poverty either, so he's at least partially right. Racism and poverty are related issues some of the time, but I wouldn't say there's a causal relationship.

It is funny though... the way he writes it almost sounds like he's trying to defend racism. Anyway, quotes like the ones above are a good example of why people without the ability to think logically shouldn't be allowed to uses thesauruses.

Brandon

Or maybe he doesn't type it. Maybe he has some sort of Word macro that automagically makes hatred and condescension as simple as bold and italic.

Kind of like the pirate-o-lator, Zalm?

Brandon

Bob,

I, on the other hand, would say that there IS definitely a causal relationship between racism and poverty.

Now, statistically speaking, racism might not account for 100 percent of the variance in poverty, thus, there's not an exclusive 1 to 1 causal relationship b/t racism and poverty--there are other causes, too; however, I think you'd be hard pressed to convince me that there's NO causal relationship there.

zalm

Oh man, even thinking about whipping up a Worldview Weekend text filter makes the baby Jesus cry.

Brandon

With laughter?

bobstevens

Brandon,

For what it's worth, causal relationships are extremely hard to prove. Even the causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer hasn't been proven satisfactorily, according to one of my former professors who was a statistician for the USAF for a number of years (and vehemently against smoking, for the record).

Regardless, I was having trouble earlier figuring out in what specific ways racism could cause poverty, but I think I've got it. So I'm willing to concede that it is one out of many things that could potentially cause poverty. But I'm sure it's a complex economic issue and we'll never really know all of the things that go into it.

The important thing for us to realize is that none of them are on Worldview Weekend's list. But I'm pretty sure we're all there already.

Dallas Tim

Yes, poverty is all my fault. I'm white, I make over $40k per year, I'm a Christian, I'm Conservative. I voted for Bush.... twice.

I apologize to Jessie Jackson for him having a child out of wedlock.

I apologize to Al Sharpton for, well... that may take too long.

I apologize to every underclass woman forced to have children by multiple partners. What was I thinking?

I apologize for my causing poor people to do/ sell drugs instead of getting an education.

I apologize for Bill Cosby's comment to Julian Bond that some people need to quit blaming and start taking responsibility for their actions.

I apologize for Martin Luther King's platform that true Christianity isn't racial. How he ever accomplished so much on that absurd notion is still a mystery.

I apologize for thinking that the founding fathers used a Biblical base for building this country.

I apologize for getting in the ACLU's way as they try to dismantle that foundation.

I apologize for the religious groups that have come to the aid of the disaster victims recently. We really hate poor people and should have not been so hypocritical.

I'm ashamed that I thought it was stupid to take "under God" out of the pledge.

I'm sorry for being critical of the 60's liberal mindset that gave us dramatic rise in STD's, abortion, divorce, un-wed pregnancy, drop-out's, addiction, etc... Those things only helped our society. The church should have stayed out of the way.

I'm just sorry for everything. I hope you'll forgive me and all the other people like me who shoulder all the blame for everything wrong with America. I thought this country, built on Judeo/Christian principles, might turn out ok, but I'm obviously wrong about that too. Sorry.

Really... I'm sorry.

greg

Tim,

Having a bad week? Where did that come from? Normally you're much less histrionic. I'll respond to some of this later, most notably this doozy: "I apologize for my causing poor people to do/ sell drugs instead of getting an education." Only poor people do and sell drugs? Getting an education automatically makes you a non-drug doer/seller? Poor people are poor because they don't work hard enough? What exactly are you getting at? Oh, and I had a baby out of wedlock too. Should I carry a scarlet letter with me wherever I go? Is that to be the thing that determines who I am now?

bobstevens

People still listen to David Barton? Huh.

Give me the ACLU over the Family Research Council any day. At least the ACLU's actions are consistent with their worldview. Not to mention the fact that they do many things that are valuable and necessary with respect to civil liberties and other non-religious matters.

The notion that the poor are poor because they are lazy is killing the ability of (rich) evangelical Christians to affect the world around them. It's a tragedy that so many feel the need to boil a complex issue like poverty down to a simple idea that happens to keep them comfortable... and then take a Bible verse out of context to support their inaction. The poor will always be with us? Maybe, but that doesn't give us an excuse not to help. Jesus made this groin-grabbingly clear with his lambs/goats story.

bobstevens

Link

It's not relevant to this entry, but I thought maybe you'd be interested in that link, greg.

Dallas Tim

Greg,

If you had a baby out of wedlock you made a mistake. If you went to prison, that's your fault too. The same goes for every stupid thing I've ever done as well as everyone else.

Anyone, rich or poor, who uses drugs is making a bad decision that they alone are responsible for.

The fact remains that the 60's liberal midset of "breaking loose" from our Biblical roots wasn't what Martin Luther King had in mind. It was that foundation that he spoke from. Maybe some "Christians" have used that title to misrepresent the truth, but hey... they're idiots, what can I say.

The Church does have the answers. Love, compassion, instruction and the occasional "Get a friggin' job and quit complaining and/or blaming everyone else for your problems."

Yes "Anti-Christian bigotry causes poverty." It's not the ONLY cause, but if your telling me that gangsta' rap and "girls gone wild" hasn't take a whole crapload of people down a road to nowhere, then I don't think we're living in the same country. Ask Biggie and Tupac...If you only could.

Peace, I'm going to drink a beer,
D-Tim

Joe

Greg,
Would you mind removing my quote from above. I was in a bad mood and wrote something I shouldn't have. Thanks

Joe

Scott in Houston

I sometimes spout ravings when I'm in a bad mood...this blog is good to me that way. Venting purifies the mind.

Tedd

Tim said, "Get a friggin' job and quit complaining and/or blaming everyone else for your problems."

I find such responses to poverty inadequate because they paint with too broad a brush. Where are all these great paying jobs? How can someone with no college education get one? What should one do when he or she realizes that they have worn out clothing that will not go over well in a job interview? What about the two kids at home? How can one get from a crime filled neighborhood to a job safely?

In short, there are too many complications to make such a general statement. Poverty is cyclical. It often takes more than a kick in the ass to get a job. It takes training, education, and time. Incidentally, to secure any of these things takes money, lack of which is the problem. And before one makes grand claims about Christians helping, I would ask what you (or your church, for that matter) have done to help the poor break the cycle.

Brandon

In chorus with the point Tedd makes here, I would echo a few sociological facts I got from a bit of pleasure reading in the Journal of Marriage and the Family today.

If we were serious about people, "getting off their lazy asses and going to work." We'd also have to be serious about raising the minimum wage about 4 dollars per hour. These nebulous jobs all the 'individual agent' people are crowing about are insidiously hard to find.

It seems like people are really all to willing to write off any effects of the overarching structures of race, gender, and class when they talk about poverty. If individual agency is REALLY the ANSWER to the problem of poverty, there wouldn't be such a far reaching problem.

SOME of the problem is due to lack of motivation, to be sure. But a great deal of the problem lies with evil social structures designed to make the rich richer and keep the poor in the business of funding the expansion of Walmarts and their ilk everywhere. In the meanwhile, 'individual agency' advocates are crowing for less funding to those 'wasteful public schools', and other 'pork'.

It's almost like people expect to be able to take away all the tools, all the hammers, all the trowels, all the cement mixers, all the cranes, etc and still expect the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and build a fucking skyscraper.

I've got news for you: You can't build a skyscraper without tools.

Dallas TIm

I didn't say it's always laziness that leads to poverty - but if you don't think that plays a major role in some people's situation - you aren't lazy - just stupid.

I might make $40k this year (more than I've ever made). I live near the Jefferson Corridor in Dallas Texas. According to Dallas Police it has the most crimes per area than anywhere else in town - and Dallas has the highest crime rate in the nation. I have a wife and three kids. I have two (soon to be three) jobs. I am a month behind on my mortgage and barely make ends meet. I have no college degree.

Yes, gas prices suck, and things are too expensive (especially Celebrator, which I can't afford, but because Greg turned me on to it I now have to suffer through what I know I'm missing) but I have to do whatever it takes. I would love for the economy to be better, or to make more money at one job and lose the other two. It ain't happening...yet.

We were on food stamps for three months, but we decided that we would NOT be signed up for the long haul. After three months we still qualified, but we said "No thanks." I thought "How ridiculous that by making less than $2100 per month, we qualify and get $400 free money from the government each month, but if I make $2400 then we lose the $400. Why in the hell would I want to work harder and make more money when the end result is a net loss of $100 each month. No wonder people would rather live off the government. You get free groceries, housing, and medical. All you have to pay for is cable T.V. and the cell phone.

Our system is rigged to keep people down. But it isn't by not giving enough, but often, by enabeling people to remain where they are. The people who get most of this money are not held accountable at all, I know I never was.

Some people have had death, sickness, whatever. There are lots of people who need help and once they get their foot in the door they take off running on their own. Many others like free money and who can blame them. The liberals keep saying "Just vote for us. We care and we'll keep giving you just enough to live, but not enough to feel decent enough to pay attention and get ahead."

This is where the church should step in. We give lots of money to people who really want to turn things around or to organizations like "Feed the children" who use their money for those people who are truly victims. We also can incorperate accountability.

No political party will ever have all the answers, but Jesus did. We must do all we can for those who are hurting and need food, water, jobs, clothes, etc... And we must also hold them accountable to take the help and work their way out of their situation and one day help out those around them as well.

D-Tim

Brandon

But if you don't think that plays a major role in some people's situation - you aren't lazy - just stupid.

Of course, in the same breath, you'd have to affirm that social structures such as class and race, etc also play a MAJOR role in their situation. And if you don't think that, you're just ignorant.

Joe

I think in todays world. Class structure plays more of an affective role than race. In parts of this world that is. Of course race issues are chaning as well. Certain groups that were the minority years back are no longer really the minority.
This discussion is another case of Free Will vs. Predesitation. Dallas Tim is saying that a majority of it is choice and Brandon is saying that a majority of it is predetermined by class and race.

Dallas Tim

I really don't know what the percentages are between class vs. choice (laziness). I am just simply tired of hearing that poverty is everyone who isn't poor's fault. Yes. there is blame to be laid at the feet of the elitist system, but you can work around it, thousands have done just that. Those who try but need help will find it best given through the church. The government gives because it has to. The church gives because we have the priviledge of helping in the name of Jesus.

My middle-class dad used to have a plaque that said "No man is ever a failure until he starts blaming others for his mistakes."

D-Tim

Brandon

"No man is ever a failure until he starts blaming others for his mistakes."

True. However, it's also frustrating when folks attribute mistakes to people based upon their race, class, sex, etc. These same folks are all to reticent to admit that they may have had the more advantages than others have had.

Also, the above quote seems to assume that mistakes are the ONLY reason people don't succeed. Unfortunately, that's just not true.

Listen, I'm not about to deny the fact that individual agency plays a role in the poverty situation in this country. I'm just saying that if you don't look at the influences of structure--you miss quite a bit of the story. White folk in this country love to attribute their overall success to hard work, and some of that success is due to hard work. But, it's only fair to recognize that the same amount of hard work will, on the whole, get the white person to a more comfortable position than it will the black, or hispanic, or asian person.

Tim, you may be sick of reading about people who think it's completely the fault of the rich that the poor are poor. Fine. But, don't confuse my position with that one.

Randy

"The rich and the poor meet together; The Lord is the maker of them all." (Proverbs 22:2)

Toronto Tenants

There is a great piece here on Poverty Pimps

Jalan

Re: greg/Dallas Tim: I think Dallas Tim covered your comment by apologizing for "everything." By the way, I apologize for this comment and all related thoughts, as well. Oh, I apologize for just now finding this blog, two years after everyone else.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)