Class Warfare is Coming.

Last night I saw a play entitled, Good People.  Then this morning I heard the second part of an interview with J K Rowlings about her new adult novel, The Causal Vacancy.

While listening to Rowlings, it occurred to me she was almost talking about the drama I saw last night.  The theme is the same, class.

Conservative people in the U. S. have been very successful at diverting attention from class for two or three decades.  They divert it by criticizing anyone who brings up the topic.  “You’re bringing up class warfare and that’s not what our country is all about.”

But, that is what it’s about.  Not only the U. S., but every society on every continent since the beginning of time.  The Jesus character in the Bible appeared long after the beginning of time, but he had plenty of bad things to say about the rich.

There is nothing especially bad about “class warfare”, or, especially good.  It is just a part of the human experience. To think the general public would sit back and allow forever the rich to get richer and the poor poorer is unrealistic.

There is a myth anyone who works hard will not be poor.  The real truth is that most, not all, people who make it out of poverty had a break others did not have.  Bad breaks held most, not all, others back.

That this truth is being told in the arts means politics can’t be far behind.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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68 Responses to Class Warfare is Coming.

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    Many “successful” people didn’t become successful at the first attempt. Many flopped, had bad ideas, were underfunded and went bankrupt. The real key to success is not to give up when that happens. Change the model, re-invent, and try again. Planning and stragegy is a large part of luck, as is being open to constructive criticism or help from those more experienced. “Going alone” isn’t always the best approach. We have all heard that many of the most successful failed several times before. Then there is also bad timing. What may have been good two years ago may not be so today, or what may be a good idea today may be better five years from now. Along with success goes responsibilities to others. Along with success goes those who are jealous of that success, and that is a different kind of “class warfare”. How many do we know that “Had everything given to them” waisted the chance, and wound up with less than they started with. This is too broad a topic for quick sound bites to satisfy any “class”, which can be self-imposed due to bad choices. AND THEN, “class” can easily be a matter of perception. I don’t think Thoreau would have been comfortable with being a Dupont , an Einstein, or a Karl Marks.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 1:53 “This is too broad a topic for quick sound bites..”

      In general, I’d agree. But if the question simply, “Shall I vote for someone, or, something that makes the people richer than me richer?”, it get pretty simple, yes or no.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        “But if the question simply”… That may be your question, but I choose to ask a broader question. Is it the problem or is it the solution? Is it class envy? Or is it bigger? A simple question yeilds simple answers. As I said, this is too broad a subject for quick (simple) sound bites. I don’t have all the answers, but the businessman that got killed along with some of his employees along with a UPS driver yesterday in Minneapolis were not evidently praying on the poor, yet they were shot. I wouldn’t be surprised the killer who killed himself afterwards felt poorly treated after being fired. Even if he had mental problems, his problems were most likely aided by class envy.

  2. entech says:

    An expression with a long history, in revolutionary times it was quite literal, in France against Aristocracy and church, in England Cavaliers and Roundheads (political in replacing the absolute monarchy with a republic, but with a religious theme in that the Royalist Cavaliers were essentially Church of England (Charles was a little god on earth chosen by God to rule on earth – divine right of Kings) and the Roundheads were Puritans, Protestants. In America the colonial class against the overseas interests (mainly rent collecting in the form of taxation {without representation} by the King).

    In Australia it has been adopted by both sides of the political/economic spectrum, when Government introduced legislation to enhance the position of the employers (interpreted to be that the ‘workers’ worked when and for how much as decided and with no discussion) this was “suppression of the working class” – actually the conservatives lost power over this – the leader even lost his seat. In Australia, by various convolutions, a disproportionate amount of the education budget goes as subsidies to wealthy private schools (many of whom have private swimming pools, sports grounds and even in a couple of cases concert halls, public schools can walk to public facilities) to speak out against this is labelled ‘class warfare’ by the recipients of so much largesse from the taxpayers purse.

    In politics and religion words mean what people want them to mean.

  3. Buzz Marick says:

    it,s all luck.the harder and smarter i worked,the luckier i got.

    • entech says:

      When I was studying for examinations to be a ships engineer it was often said that the subject was so wide and there were so many possible questions that you had to be lucky to get the right exam. The lecturers would point out that the better prepared you were the more lucky you would be, and sure enough the little study group I was involved with worked shared our strong subjects with those struggling and got help in return, we all passed first time, others seemed to need six or more attempts until they ‘got lucky’. On the other hand there were some who wanted a change of direction in their lives, and already had a good science or engineering degree found it easy ( the exam level would be about half way into second year of a three year science degree) as they were coming from a relatively privileged position.

      So what is that line from Ecclesiastes; the one about the fastest not always winning the race or the strongest the fight and so on, but how time and chance plays a large role?
      If you were fortunate enough to be born at the right time and by chance had the right parents you not only had a head start but someone at your back to trip any who were catching up. This was as true then as it is now, as it says in an earlier chapter there is nothing new under the sun.

      England is pretty well entrenched, America, Australia and others have a mantra about being a class free society, being without a hereditary aristocracy does not make you class free. This idea is mainly promulgated by the landowners and old money, they say anyone can be one of us – as they race around laying down obstacles and stamping on the hand that reaches for a rung too high on the ladder. And those that do reach the top are the worst at keeping others below them, didn’t reach the peak to be equal you know. Those at the top have developed and encouraged a coterie of hangers on, of apologists. Apologists who invent terms like ‘the politics of envy’, don’t know what they are called in your country but here they usually self style as libertarians.

      The class system is alive and well, the upper class look down on the middle class while encouraging them to look down on the working class who are encouraged to look down – and so it goes. If you are at the bottom of the heap, long term unemployed by reason of some disadvantage rather than simply by choice for example; you are still encouraged to find someone to look down, so we get such things as racism, anti Semitism and gay bashing.

      (Just off topic, a little, and of course it would not be me if I didn’t throw in a bit religious slander – We read that the early church got many recruits converts from slaves and other household menials, could this be the origin of misogyny, gay bashing and anti Semitism in the church, even a slave needs someone to look down on).

      Buzz, you worked hard and smart and presumably are, at least reasonably, prosperous and living a reasonable life, just think if you had started from a more advantaged position you could have been chairman of Standard Oil.

  4. SOS says:

    Class warfare? Is that the order of the day? Steal what you believe is rightfully yours? We have been allowing the worlds poorest people to flood across our borders for decades. We have been providing for a non working class without regard for their ability to work with ever increasing generosity since LBJ. Now you promote class warfare to “give”more? Never do you mention self actulization, self determination, self reliance or any other admirable human characteristic. It’s simply entitlement from one to another. It’s also best, in the minds of some, to let the gov do the giving and taking

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      SOS 12:45 Wecome to the comment section. Your comments are welcomed here.

      In the blog, I was pointing out class warfare is a constant in the human experience, Jesus engaged in it. That being the case, I pointed out, it will always be with us. It has taken a temporary vacation but is coming back. To deny that the majority of lower income people will eventually impose its democratic will on the majority seems to me to be a state of denial.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        “Impose its democratic will on the majority”; My impression is that there is a lot of imposition, and little democratic motivation. I don’t see much” Democracy” When the “majority” becomes the taker, and the minority becomes the” taken from” as the primary motivation. Not much real growth, but realignment of assets. Much of which is from those who worked and earned it, and going to those who didn’t, and were jealous of it.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Jon; Just to clarify; I can see that you would take the “majority” as those with wealth. My context is when the “Majority”( being those outside of wealth,) wish to take it for themselves. Either slowly, or by revolution. (Think France.)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            AND THAT WOULD BE CLASS WARFARE IN THE SUREST SENSE !

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 5:33 “AND THAT WOULD BE CLASS wARFARE IN THE SUREST SENSE.”

            We must remember the recent past when income tax took 91% of the top marginal income earned. Today, that might be 91% on every dollar of income over $500 K or over one million. When the rate was that steep, we did not have a French Revolution. Things went on just as they do today. If we did that again, there would be a lot of complaining from rich people, but not much would change for them.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 4:55 I wrote that the majority are those with lower incomes. The minority have more income. Yes France is what we want to avoid.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Keep ramping up the envy factor, and reduce the need to individually improve, and the French Revolution is what we will get.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            ‘Scuse me; Not necessarily” the French revolution”, but revolution nevertheless.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 7:25 “..but revolution nevertheless.” Probably neither the French revolution or “revolution nevertheless.” It would be change from current tax and spending policies, more like returning to past. You can say “ramping up the envy factor”, I call it making sure everyone feels they have ownership in the country and its government.

            I can’t say where or when people lose this sense of ownership, but history says they do. Why risk it when the solution is quite painless?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            When narciccism and greed overwhelms reservation and caution, the “Painless solution” is in jeopardy. Have you seen the ads to surrender structured payments for the immediate, but much less settlement? There is a reason the mantra of “It’s my money, and I need it now” works. There are several examples of the downside of this kind of thinking.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; re: your 6:54; on tax rates for the rich. True, but the tax codes are purpously written so the super rich can take advantage of them with good accountants and lawyers in ways the less fortunate could never think of, or use. Off shore accounts, etc. come to mind. The man on the street has no wiggle room. What the W-2 , or 1099′s say is what is. IRS short forms or long forms alike don’t do much for dollar retention. But then, not many people have gotten a good job from a street person either. I personally am in the low middle of the middle, and I have received much more abuse from those less fortunate than from those who are more so.

            In small town USA there is another cultural situation. Those who move into towns, even if they are professional and successful, are in a different category than the old line natives. A term I have heard more than a couple times for some, even after being in residence for 20 years, have been called tourists, in spite of community activity. On the other hand, the black sheep son of a local family of “horse theives”, while held in comtempt, is still accepted as a local, because he is our black sheep, and a known entity.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 12:12 “In small town USA there is another cultural situation.”
            You have observed a somewhat different aspect of the sociology of small town life than Thorstein Veblen’s, The Theory of the Leisure Class, but his also came from Minnesota small towns/cities.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          AND THAT WOULD BE CLASS WARFARE !

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        More like mob rule.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        How many jobs were provided by much of the “Occupy Movement” participants? By the looks of most of them, not many. Well, maybe some marijuana growers and distributors.

  5. Michael Ross says:

    Jon: “You’re bringing up class warfare and that’s not what our country is all about.”
    But, that is what it’s about. Not only the U. S., but every society on every continent since the beginning of time. The Jesus character in the Bible appeared long after the beginning of time, but he had plenty of bad things to say about the rich.”

    Yes it is about class warfare. The rich against the poor, the haves against the have- nots But it is about much more than one contentious issue of wealth, though that may well be the underlying controversy to all others. Some of those others are labor against management, men against women, young against old, liberal against conservative, white against black, Christian against Moslem against Jew against Atheist. Those who control and manipulate society have used all these to break us up into quarrelling, squabbling factions. They want us all to be at each others throats, to be each other enemies. Devide and conquer is the statedgy. We are all fool for falling for their schemes. Christ identifies His and our true enemies in Matthew 21:12.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin431.htm
    (the author of this article was a Constitution Party candidate for president in 2008 and was indorsed by Ron Paul)

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 5:57 When you quoted me, I was quoting others. I agree our country is much about class. There are efforts to surpress that, but it’s what we talk and vote about.

      • Dan Stewart says:

        Hi Jon! You may not remember me, but I had a little garage-style bike shop in North Moorhead and bought several Sekai’s from a warehouse in Fargo near the New Life Center… Anyway, I am amused with the commentary. I have two thoughts to enlighten and hopefully to confuse and confound the discussion.

        1. Christ did not really say bad things about the rich, except perhaps that it may be difficult for them to pass through the “eye of the needle.” However, Jesus also had a friendly and awesome barbecue party with Zacheus, who was perceived to be a rich dude. Then too, there is the story of the three guys that were each given some dough; the guy that was given the least amount just buried it in the ground. Surprisingly, the Lord got mad at him – again, that’s mad at the poor guy – for not managing the money a little better. Wow! Jesus ‘beat up’ the “little guy?!” But think about the fascinating point regarding humanity, attitude, and the choices we all face – whether one is religious or not, whether one is rich or not.

        2. Wealth and the lack thereof is merely an image. It is a smokey, fleeting illusion of vast gradients where it is impossible to draw a clear line. To be sure, a wealthy man may wield great power and eat caviar – but he may also die of a cocaine overdose far prematurely. Conversely, a poor man may have a rusting pre-owned Sekai, some difficulty holding a job, a little behind in the rent; but he may have a purring calico cat, a scrawny tomato garden, and a momentary view of a North Dakota prairie sunset. Why then should he be told to hate the rich when he himself is rich?

        Damn the rich. It’s time to unite – and Occupy Scrawny Tomato Gardens!

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Dan 11:20 Great to hear from you–of course I remember your little bike shop and the many visits we had in those days.

          You added a fine reflective commentary to our discussion about class here. Hope you can stop in again to comment.

          • Jon 2:b. One more thought. I was basically just a kid trying to find my way; maybe I was 22 or 23 previously working for Wally and Betty prior to attempting my own little bike shop (to become rich? Maybe… Maybe not). Anyway, sometimes small things can last a lifetime. Here you were, the busy mayor of a great city, allowing time to visit with a kid like me and even hire me for a few hours to help you unload a semi trailer of bicycles. Looking back, it was a privilege, not a job. And it was truly one of many notable moments of my life. The thought of hanging-out with the mayor gives me a smile some 35 years later. And I see that you still like to make people think. Perhaps that’s a good thing, but I’ll have to give that one a little more thought…

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Dan 5:47 Thank you for remembering all that. It also helps me here at the blog site–some will be surprised I had a business and would have been called by the commie left a Captialist Pig. A long life takes one many places. :)

        • Ross says:

          I’m not sure why you haven’t found places in the bible where the rich are frowned upon, while the poor are to be treated liberally. I have just a few random examples for you. The following is proof that your bible, your god and your Jesus dislike the rich immensely and praise the poor- telling the wealthy to give their funds to the poor and even out the social classes. Could it be…? Could the bible preach the dreaded socialism?
          It sure looks that way.

          “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” Mark 10:21-22

          “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”
          -Matthew 19:21

          “Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20-21

          “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
          -Matthew 6:24
          “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” -1 Timothy 6:17-19

          “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”-Proverbs 31:8-9

          “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” -Proverbs 28:27

          “He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.” -Proverbs 17:5

          “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”-Proverbs 28:20

          “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”-Proverbs 19:17

          “You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.”-Psalm 14:6

          “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.’”-Matthew 25:41-45

          “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”-Proverbs 22:9

          “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”-Matthew 19:23-24

          “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.”-Proverbs 28:6

          “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”-Hebrews 13:5

          “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”-Ecclesiastes 5:10

          “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” -Proverbs 23:4-5

          “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.” -Proverbs 22:22-23

          “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”-Proverbs 11:4

          “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
          -Proverbs 29:7

          “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”-Proverbs 14:31

          “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”-Proverbs 21:13

          Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
          -Ezekiel 16:49

          “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”-1 Timothy 6:9-10

          “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.”-Proverbs 22:16

          “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” -Matthew 25:34-36

          I think I made my point, but if you’d like to see more, I have plenty to add to these.

          • Henry says:

            Ross: “Could the bible preach the dreaded socialism?”

            No.

            I do not recall the Bible advocating for people’s wealth (or not so much wealth) to be wrested from them by force of law and given to the poor. This would be the model of socialism, both hard and soft.

            Rather, the Bible advocates for the individual to freely give to the poor. In order for this to happen, one must create a product or perform a service from one’s effort and create a profit to be disbursed to the poor. This would be the model of capitalism.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 12:00 “Rather, the Bible advocates for the individual to freely give to the poor. In order for this to happen one must crate..” Capitalism so each can donate to the poor.

            And, you are saying Jesus would be happy if rich adovate lower taxes on themselves to make the poor worse off? Wait, I know you will say you never said that–which you didn’t. But, that is the only conclusion one could come to from you post.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “And, you are saying Jesus would be happy if rich adovate lower taxes on themselves to make the poor worse off?”

            Not with that motive and qualification.

  6. Buzz Marick says:

    traditions of man,this is our dilemma and we will drive ourselves to insanity trying to make sense out of things that are so far above our ability to accept and understand.knock yourselves out.Lose your ego and you will at least have peace of mind.

    • entech says:

      It always amuses me when people who have a belief system that puts themselves at the pinnacle of creation talk to people that look at the stars and say “How lucky to be a small part of this immense universe” and suggest we are the ones with an ego problem :?:

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        The question is; Is this whole thing; “my idea”, or “the Creator’s idea”. I would suggest the “my idea” is at the heart of the “ego problem”.

        • entech says:

          When are you going to introduce us to this creator of yours? This entity is at the heart of the “ego problem”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The “My idea” is your idea. Strange you should ask, but then there is the ego problem with that.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You have been introduced, but you are “bound” not to see/recognize. It’s out of my hands.

          • entech says:

            THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to
            know: That God foreknows
            nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does
            all things according to
            His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Freewill”
            is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert
            “Free-will,” must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them.

            You keep rattling on about free will, bound will, have you actually read ‘The Bondage of the Will’, the title should be changed to something more like the earlier scribblings, you know – Against all Heresies and similar, this should be called ‘Against Erasmus’ it is nothing but an egotistical rant.

            If you take the lines above you will see that there is no free will, I have no choice any more than you do, God has chosen you to follow Luther and me to follow no one. (Let me hasten to add, this assumes that this god is real and actual, an unwarranted assumption.)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You bounders are all the same. Want to exercise free will, such as in freethinking, then ask for what you can’t see; (“When are you going to introduce us to this recator of yours?), ((your question)). One could easily think you actually believe in miracles. By your binding, you create your own rejection. The most negative result of ego. “Bound” has nothing to do with if you are a Republican or Democrat, if you like or dislike parsnips, or if you preffer cats over dogs. It has everything to do with the result of denying/rejecting/blaspheming the Holy Spirit as the sole source of being able to come to the faith. You may have read the Bondage of the Will, or at least parts of it, but you are far from understanding it, or Erasmus’ “diatribe” “On Free Will”. Right now, you are sounding more like a member of the Society of Jesus than one of non-belief, or is it just more convenient for you to take this position now for the sake of the argument. You must be a “shape shifter”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 3:15 “It has everthing to do with the result of denying/rejecting/blasthemin the Holy Spirit as the source of being able to come to the faith.”

            This is the kind of thinking, the “as if it were true”, that makes it so hard to understand you. These notions of magic, followed by assertions it is not magic but is the work of the “Holy Spirit” or some such thing, cause logical thinking to float away like a feather in the wind.

          • entech says:

            Cads and bounders, getting a bit racist aren’t we, sign of impending capitulation. What next, Limeys can’t be trusted, never believe anything they say bunch of Benedict Arnolds: Australians are just as bad and when one Limey deserts to become Australian well could anything good or honest come from it.
            On the other hand, as they say, it could just be an attempt at being a bit light hearted about the matter – bit like religion in that way plausible but not realistic.

            Free will is interesting, comes up as an excuse for gods impotence in the face of truly bad and gratuitous events – tsunamis and Downs Syndrome come easily to mind, but the list is huge.
            But you have to agree with Martie, there is no such thing as freewill, that is if you also agree that … He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will… – everything happens as God wants it to. Does this include the lack of belief of many individuals? Are these individuals to be punished for eternity for a failure which God, immutably, eternally and infallibly caused to happen.
            You are right in one thing though, I do not understand either Luther or Erasmus, I do not understand how such contradictory works could be permitted by God.
            You are stealing one of my lines about ‘arguing like a Jesuit’, I have pointed out before that to discuss this I must adopt the position of “as if it were true”, what I want to do is suggest alternative explanations, to provoke thought on the subject for me and the other person and I can’t do that by standing back and saying you are wrong, and so on. Luther himself was not a good example of rational argument … your Book is, in my estimation, so mean
            and vile, that I greatly feel for you for having defiled your most beautiful and ingenious language with such vile trash; and I feel an indignation against the matter also, that such unworthy stuff should be borne about in ornaments of eloquence so rare; which is as if rubbish, or dung, should he carried in vessels of gold and silver …
            if you go through the whole egomaniacal book it is obvious that Luther developed a strong dislike even, perhaps, hatred for Erasmus because he would not join his party. Going so far as to say he was not a Christian, that he was a viper and liar.

            “Shape Shifter”, is that some mythical being from Start Trek?
            I do not take the position of accepting something “As If” true for simple convenience, for the sake of argument but to find a ground for discussion and for brevity, there would be no discussion if I had to preface everything with, “of course this is all rubbish and I don’t believe a world of it, but if we allow the possibility – and so on”.

            I am still bemused by your assertion that disbelief in YOUR version of a creator is ego, the converse is true. Luther’s rant against the “Of free will: Discourses; or, Comparisons” is the ultimate in ego. Your theology is based on ego, on the idea that you, man, are the high point of creation, Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” (Genesis 9;1-3) and not only did he give everything to the offspring of Noah, he gave himself – on the cross. That is almost a definition of egotism, there is this creator being, he made the whole universe and made me a special part of it, he gave it all to me, later he even killed himself for me.

            The usual disclaimer: I do not know if all or any of your religion is true, I only know that I do not believe as you do.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your understanding/use of bounders must be something I’m not aware of. To be a flatlander may be to live in a two dimensional world, or it could mean to live in the Red River Valley. Which is yours? Just more unrelated nonsence you like to introduce. Racist? Not even close. Again you contradict yourself. You admit not to know or understand both Luther or Erasmus, but you claim knowlege and judgment on both. I’m surprised you didn’t bring in Calvin and his TULIP which was expanded through Beza. The “election” matter (single or double predestination) is a related issue. With this you could have muddied the water even more. Funny, I fully expected it. You missed a chance there. The remainder of your post is meaningless due to your (again) self admission of” not knowing” the individuals in question. Your continuing purchase of free will reveals your connection of it to license. Free will is not License, rather an excuse. The result of the bound will (in context) is taking license as an excuse without even knowing it exists, then being proud of it. (More ego). I’m done with this subject for the time being with you, as you clearly cannot comprehend. And not because it hasn’t been explained adequately. We are back to the: “Daddy, is there an F in strawberries”.

          • entech says:

            bounder [?ba?nd?] n
            1. Old-fashioned Brit slang a morally reprehensible person; cad

            Yes give a rest for a while, like Martie your annoyance and frustration is showing.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The old saying about leading a horse to water applies here. Ever brick a camel? Never heard of it being done to a horse. Not frustration, or annoyance, but amazement at the gymnastics and misuse of philosophy/rehtoric you go to circumvent the issue. You brought up “blinkers” AKA blinders here. Hmmmm. Clearly the evidence of the will being held in bondage,, and enjoying it. A “hardened heart” comes to mind, but then, that isn’t my call. But it is your’s if you choose to go there, and you aparently have. You have no where else to go.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Your 2:04–Magic; your word. I didn’t think you believed in it. I would have thought cause and effect would have worked better for you. More “blinkers”/blinders.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Re: your “bounders”. You must have missed the conversation on definitions. “Bounders” I thought would be a good name for those who are in the condition of having their will bound, and are bound and determined to be so. I like it, I think I’ll use it. It is only meet, right, and salutory to do so. Smilie face.

          • entech says:

            Oh, you said you were done with this subject. I sometime get the impression that by trying so hard to to convince others you are actually trying to convince yourself.
            If you wish to redefine the word bounders perhaps it would be better used to describe those of you that live on the boundary of reality

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I did say “for the time being”. You missed that. I was under the impression that you wanted to “give it a rest”, yet you keep “bounding” back. Another reason for the name.

          • entech says:

            Yep 14 minutes was a while. Bounding back, that is the second legitimate use of the word.
            OK I agree to everything. Now the question is, can you bear not having the last word.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Yup

          • entech says:

            Lots of new definitions. Yup, in answer to bearing to not have the last word. Very good.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Thank you. Oops, two words.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        entech 1:59 “It always amuses me when people who have a belief system that puts themselves at the pinnacle of creation..”

        Great observation. I remember the early days of this blog when folks critical of the topics covered here would say, “Atheists are just centered on themselves.” And Christians (and all other religions)??? They see themselves as so important a god knows them personally. They see themselves so important they are being evaluated individually as candidates for an eternity of reward.

        We don’t see the criticism on nonbelievers here so much anymore. But, on other sites the rediculous claim is still made nonbelievers are more self centered than believers.

        • Jon. I see that you have not lost your sense of humor either. But even many “pinko communists” do not realize that they are actually closet “capitalist pigs” as well. Indeed, both the Capitalist and the Communist want money from other sources, both tolerate taxes (but at different rates of coarse), both are generally highly opinionated and creative at finding a path to revenues. The Capitalist is happy when a Communist buys an i-phone; the Communist is happy to buy an i-phone from the Capitalist. The capitalist seems to love – or at least appreciate – lots of people as does the communist.

          So, since we’re all just Capitalists in varying forms, “Can’t we all just get along?”

          Danfucious 1:1

          By the way, I have this really cool 1956 Black Schwinn Tiger three-speed for sale. Oops, now I am a Capitalist pig too. Wrong website – never-mind.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Dan 6:08 Owweee, a 1956 Black Tiger 3-speed. Would I like to have that one. It would have to fit into my garage which is full of bicycles I can’t seem to part with.

            About 1970, I organized a group to buy a dozen or so hand made Whitman’s from England. These were a family made premier of the day. It had Campy parts end to end. I didn’t ride it much, friends swapped out some Campy parts and replaced with others. Then, a few years ago a bikie friend was in Europe and located Campy parts, restored the Whitman and gave it to me as a gift. That’s one I’m keeping. I’ll have to part with several bicycles when we move out of our house in the next year or so.

  7. Ross says:

    Dan Stewart:
    I’m not sure why you haven’t found places in the bible where the rich are frowned upon, while the poor are to be treated liberally. I have just a few random examples for you. The following is proof that your bible, your god and your Jesus dislike the rich immensely and praise the poor- telling the wealthy to give their funds to the poor and even out the social classes. Could it be…? Could the bible preach the dreaded socialism?
    It sure looks that way.

    “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” Mark 10:21-22

    “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”
    -Matthew 19:21

    “Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20-21

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
    -Matthew 6:24
    “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” -1 Timothy 6:17-19

    “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”-Proverbs 31:8-9

    “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” -Proverbs 28:27

    “He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.” -Proverbs 17:5

    “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”-Proverbs 28:20

    “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”-Proverbs 19:17

    “You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.”-Psalm 14:6

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.’”-Matthew 25:41-45

    “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”-Proverbs 22:9

    “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”-Matthew 19:23-24

    “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.”-Proverbs 28:6

    “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”-Hebrews 13:5

    “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”-Ecclesiastes 5:10

    “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” -Proverbs 23:4-5

    “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.” -Proverbs 22:22-23

    “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”-Proverbs 11:4

    “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
    -Proverbs 29:7

    “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”-Proverbs 14:31

    “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”-Proverbs 21:13

    Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
    -Ezekiel 16:49

    “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”-1 Timothy 6:9-10

    “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.”-Proverbs 22:16

    “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” -Matthew 25:34-36

    I think I made my point, but if you’d like to see more, I have plenty to add to these.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Ross Thanks for posting this considerable volume of material. I left both posts up in case they differ.

      • Ross says:

        Sorry if I went overboard. I guess I do that with information. I should have just given the site.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Ross 10:56 “Sorry if I went overboard…I should have just given the site.”

          I prefer it when people quote in their narrative, like you did, instead of providing a link. There is something superior about a person expressing him/her self in total. A debate where two people just provide links with opposing views is quite boring.

          • Ross says:

            I agree. I am still very new to blogging (except for youtube) and was afraid I went too far. Thank you.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Enough applied selective hyperliteralism here to make even the WBC blush with envy.

      • Ross says:

        They’re the words of your book, not mine. Christianity is the ultimate salad bar. Pick and choose what you like and leave the rest. All the stuff we don’t like are metaphors which mean something else. Everything else is literal.

        “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires” – Susan B. Anthony

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          decontextualization is a convenient tool for many, and that is clearly evident in your use of several of these verses. Whatever.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          As Entech has correctly understood; the verses before and after need to be taken into consideration. Indeed, there are four levels of context. Immediate, ( the verse itself) ; intermediate, (the verses surrounding); the broad,(the chapter and book), and then there is the context of the bias. Context is related to the literal/hyperliteral problem. Consider the WTC, and your choice of verses. Nothing wrong with these selected verses, but you application reveals the bias. Eisegesis, not exegetics.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          There is also the possibility/probability of a twofold meaning to a verse. For the individual/situation at the time, and society in general. The spiritual meaning is not necessarily the same as the secular. One example is killing, murder, suicide, or state sponsored death penalty. Each one is dead, yet not the same, and every one has been attempted to be justified in the past, quite often for the wrong reasons. The slavery issue anyone?

          • Ross says:

            “The slavery issue anyone?”
            Would you like a list of your god commanding slaves to be taken and how they were to be treated? Or is all of that conveniently out of context too? What do you want? Shall I print out the entire bible for you so it’s not taken out of context too? It’s funny how when it’s something so clearly written and repeated so boldly, yet is something you don’t like, it is taken out of context. Although all of those ridiculous and such obvious mythical stories in there are the truth.

            See? Christianity is the ultimate salad bar. Pick and choose and leave the rest.

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