Several months ago Iowa Republican Steve King said that unemployed people are like kids who want to eat before they have done their chores. His inability to see that over half the people receiving public assistance are the working poor, is something that is terribly wrong with the GOP. Rep. Jack Kingston, who is running for Saxby Chambliss’ soon to be vacated Senate office thinks that poor children should be required to sweep floors in order to receive a free lunch, so that they would know that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Ages ago, I started working on a post about the usual far right sources and the way they approached the poor and charity. One thing that is more and more obvious is that the ring-leaders in the abject hatred of anyone impoverished are FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, and the usual sources. One of the things that seriously disturbs me is the fact that
“...To hear Fox News tell it, the real problem with America is that the greedy poor have too much and the long-suffering rich have too little. Consequently, the poor should lose benefits that assist them with trivialities like food, housing and education, while the rich should get more tax cuts, subsidies, and relief from regulations that protect everyone’s air, water, and safety.
That’s the position taken today on Fox’s community web site, and truth mangling, Fox Nation. Their article on the state of Americans living in poverty suggests that being poor is like a pleasure cruise with all the amenities included. Their source is an article on CNSNews, a subsidiary of the uber-rightist Media Research Center. The article cites data from a 2011 census report showing that most households living below the poverty live have non-essential extravagances like phones and refrigerators. The presence of these opulent goods is evidence that poor people are enjoying prosperity at the expense of the hard-trodden wealthy.
A deeper look at the details of this alleged abundance reveals that, in most cases, appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and air conditioners, come with apartment living and are owned by the landlords, not the tenants. Cell phones and microwaves are inexpensive items that hardly connote wealth. Yet the Fox Nationalists begrudge low-income working people for having access to things like televisions that they might have bought years ago, before the Bush meltdown….”
About 45 minutes into a FOX News ‘special’ about the SNAP program host Bret Baier asked the following question: Shouldn’t there be at least some stigma? There has never been a question asked that is so illustrative of the modern day, extreme right.
“…”It is love of others, as our Lord preached. It is not proselytizing, it is love. Love for one’s neighbor, that leavening that serves the common good.”…” Pope Francis
“…The Son of God became incarnate in order to instill the feeling of brotherhood in the souls of men. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”…” Pope Francis
Shouldn’t there be at least some stigma?
“…The question eventually must be raised: Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain? When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime (Ex. 21:17). The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death. Clearly, cursing God (blasphemy) is a comparable crime, and is therefore a capital crime (Lev. 24:16).
What about the integrity of the church? What if someone who is not a member of the church publicly curses the church? Is the State required to apply the same sanction? The person may not be covenantally subordinate to the particular church, or any church, unlike the subordinate child who curses a parent. There is no specific reference to any civil penalty for cursing anyone but a parent or God, nor is there any civil penalty assigned for using God’s name in vain. Then is there a general prohibition against cursing? On what grounds could a church prosecute a cursing rebel?
One possible answer is the law against assault. Battery involves physical violence against a person, but assault can be verbal. A threat is made. A curse is a threat: calling the wrath of God down upon someone. Another approach is the law against public indecency. A third: cursing as a violation of the victim’s peace and quiet. Restitution could be imposed by the civil magistrate to defend a church or an individual who is victimized by cursing.
What about cursing a civil magistrate? It is clear that this is an act of rebellion analogous to someone in the military who is insubordinate to his superior officer. A citizen or resident alien is under the lawful authority of the civil government. By publicly challenging this lawful authority, the person becomes a criminal rebel. There is no explicit penalty assigned to this crime. We know, however, that public flogging is lawful, up to forty lashes (Deut. 25:3), yet no crime in the Bible ever explicitly requires public physical punishment, except on an eye-for-eye basis, or the unique case of the woman who has her palm split in response to her specific prohibited physical violence against her husband’s opponent in a fight (Deut. 25:11-12). The punishment for cursing a civil magistrate is therefore left to the discretion of the magistrates or a jury. It might be public flogging; it might be a fine imposed in lieu of public flogging….” Gary North
In the formerly great state of Texas the dimwits of the state government refused to grant money to pay for the roads going to the oil fields. So, they’re going to destroy the pavement and turn them into gravel roads. Paving is just too expensive for them to maintain.
Shouldn’t there be a stigma against terminal Randian stupidity?
“...It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.
Rand was a Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States. Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as “refuse” and “parasites”, and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them …
Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, depicts a United States crippled by government intervention in which heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers. The millionaires, whom she portrays as Atlas holding the world aloft, withdraw their labour, with the result that the nation collapses. It is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats, John Galt …
Rand’s is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed … Ignoring Rand’s evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards reading “Who is John Galt?” and “Rand was right” …”
Shouldn’t there be a stigma against kicking nearly 60K children off Head Start? Oh, wait, they are mostly poor, non-white, inner city, at risk kids. They don’t need to be educated, right? Just round ’em up young and put ’em prison. That’s what the education pipeline to prison is all about. Why bother with the middle years? These are the kids who need help the most. But, they’re going to end up in prison as drug addicts, so just get rid of them early. Save the cops the bother.
Should there not be some sort of stigma of a religious cult and political movement that is based on a psychopath who admired a child murder? She wrote the following about William Hickman, who viciously murdered a little girl, and then dismembered her body.
“...”The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the ‘virtuous’ indignation and mass-hatred of the ‘majority.’… It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal…
“This is not just the case of a terrible crime. It is not the crime alone that has raised the fury of public hatred. It is the case of a daring challenge to society. It is the fact that a crime has been committed by one man, alone; that this man knew it was against all laws of humanity and intended that way; that he does not want to recognize it as a crime and that he feels superior to all. It is the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul.”
Before we get to the meat of this statement, let us pause to consider Rand’s claim that average members of the public are “beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives.” Worse sins and crimes and kidnapping, murdering, and mutilating a helpless little girl? If Rand honestly believed that the average American had worse skeletons than that in his closet, then her opinion of “the average man” is even lower than I had suspected.
We get an idea of the “sins and crimes” of ordinary people when Rand discusses the jury in the case: “Average, everyday, rather stupid looking citizens. Shabbily dressed, dried, worn looking little men. Fat, overdressed, very average, ‘dignified’ housewives. How can they decide the fate of that boy? Or anyone’s fate?”
Their sin, evidently, is that they are “average,” a word that appears twice in three sentences. They are “shabbily dressed” or, conversely, “overdressed” — in matters of fashion, Rand seems hard to please. They are “dried” and “worn,” or they are “fat.” They are, in short, an assault on the delicate sensibilities of the author. Anything “average” appalls her. “Extremist beyond all extreme is what we need!” she exclaims in another entry. Well, in his cruelty and psychopathic insanity, Hickman was an extremist, for sure. Nothing “average” about him!
Returning to the longer quote above, notice how briskly Rand dismisses the possibility that the public’s anger might have been motivated by the crime per se. Apparently the horrendous slaying of a little girl is not enough, in Rand’s mind, to justify public outrage against the murderer. No, what the public really objects to is “a daring challenge to society.” I suppose this is one way of looking at Hickman’s actions. By the same logic, Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy posed “a daring challenge to society.” So did Adolf Hitler, only on a larger scale….”
The dogma of Ayn Rand has become entrenched in our way of living, within certain aspects of the evangelical world that her approach to the poor, which was pure hatred, even made its way into the preachings of Billy Graham.
“...Graham was a skillful orator, and he adeptly infused the teachings of Ayn Rand with those of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus says, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” and urges his followers, “To sell what you have and give to the poor.” But Graham, with the biggest Christian following in America during the ’80s, helped turn the biblical Jesus into a supply side economist who wants us to be anti-government, anti-regulation, anti-healthcare, and anti-assistance for the poor Christians.
Where Bible Jesus feeds the masses with two loaves of bread, Ayn Randian Jesus says, “Bugger off, this bread is mine, you lazy moochers.” While Graham removed Southern Christians’ guilt over segregation, Ayn Rand removed the Christian Right’s guilt for being selfish and uncaring about anyone except themselves. Bruce E. Levine, author of Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite, wrote on AlterNet, “Not only did Rand make it ‘moral’ for the wealthy not to pay their fair share of taxes, she ‘liberated’ millions of other Americans from caring about the suffering of others, even the suffering of their own children.”…”
One of the reasons the far right is, allegedly doing what it is doing when it comes to terminating as much government spending as possible is because of their worship, a false worship of the false gods they have made of the Founding Fathers. There is this delusional and revisionist history when it comes to Thomas Jefferson – allegedly one of the first in the line of non spenders, of small government, libertarian, hold the line, we don’t need no stinkin’ government patriots. The problem is the fact that, once again, the far right, especially the Koch Head Libertarians don’t know much about history.
“…In a world run by Rushdoony followers, sots would escape capital punishment–which would make them happy exceptions indeed. Those who would face execution include not only gays but a very long list of others: blasphemers, heretics, apostate Christians, people who cursed or struck their parents, females guilty of “unchastity before marriage,” “incorrigible” juvenile delinquents, adulterers, and (probably) telephone psychics. And that’s to say nothing of murderers and those guilty of raping married women or “betrothed virgins.” Adulterers, among others, might meet their doom by being publicly stoned–a rather abrupt way for the Clinton presidency to end….”
This new version Old Testament Christianity (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one) of Rushdoony’s creation is short on love and long on hatred.
This is the second of five parts. Part III continues tomorrow.