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What do Christians have against forgiveness?

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:32 pm
The Christian gospel is about forgiveness. Not only did Jesus die to bring forgiveness, the concept permeated his life and teachings as well as the lives of his followers in the Bible.

Jesus said "Forgive as you have been forgiven". He talked of doing good, even to those who harm you.

His example was the same. He once intervened to save a sinful woman from the harsh penalty that was mandated by the law. Jesus both talked and acted with this principle-- "people are more important than law".

Jesus was noted by both friend and foe for associating with lawbreakers.

There was one type of person that Jesus acted harshly toward. These were the self-righteous "Pharisees"-- the religious of his day. Jesus strongly condemned them for putting law in front of mercy and nationalism over compassion.

This is why the anti-immigrant cry of today's "Christians" is so striking. The cry is "No to Amnesty" - "No to forgiveness".

American "Christians" are at the forefront of the assault on immigrants who, since in search of a decent life have broken laws, are no longer worthy of the compassion of a nation allegedly based on Christian values.

This brazen struggle to "protect" comfortable wealthy English-speaking Americans against the poor and vulnerable is profoundly un-Christlike.

The fact is that immigrants -- even immigrants labeled as "illegal" by angry Christians obviously enraged by any affront to wealth and national pride -- are human beings. The Christians in the Bible acted with compassion because they understood their own frailty. Most non-religious Americans understand that you do what you must to help your family.

The hypocrisy is more clear in the rabid opposition of so-called Christians to even reasonable proposals that would not go as far as the example of Christ. Even moderate proposals that would offer a road to legalization with dignity after a fine and taxes are opposed. The vindictiveness of opposition to education for children and the ability to drive is hateful.

This harsh legalism is exactly what made the Jesus of the Bible the most angry.

Treat people as Human beings. Compassion for the poor. Forgiveness. Amnesty.

Are there any Christians who believe in these things? (... or given the example of Christ, can there be any Christians who don'?)
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:37 pm
one thing i've noticed, alot of fundamentalist christians, talk of acceptance of christ as the way to salvation, but actually seem to pull most of there core beliefs from the old testament, lots of eye for an eye stuff and spare the rod spoil the child

well those are my thoughts
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littlek
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:38 pm
Actually, doesn't fundamentalist thought base itself there in the new testament?
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djjd62
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:45 pm
i could be wrong, it's happened before
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:46 pm
I wasn't aware of any Christian-backed parading to rid the streets of illegal immigrants.

I have to say though, I disagree rather heartily with just granting amnesty to every man woman and child that managed to sneak, swim, or otherwise gain illegal entrance into America.

A large portion of them come in, do work that could be done by legalized citizens, attend publicly funded schools for which they pay no taxes. They get paid in cash which they immediately send out of country to be spent.

I have no problem with people. But why should we coddle these criminals? That's what they are. If you think different you're kidding yourself. We don't see rights groups tripping over themselves to stand in line to demand amnesty for muggers, or burglars. Why then should immigrants get anything different?

Blows my mind.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:49 pm
Woohoo, EBrown has opened a BIG can of worms . . . this should be interesting . . .

Lil Kay, the entire "Jesus" cult which is so prominent today is indeed a product of modern christian fundamentalism. Djjd is correct in so far as the bases for fundamentalist Protestantism at the time of the Reformation. In fact, the argument has been cogently made that a good deal of the support for Luther and Calvin came from the printing of the Bobble in the vernacular. Those successful middle class merchants, lawyers, freeholders and craftsmen read about the OT patriarchs and said: "Yeehaw, i wanna be just like them ! ! !"

However, your observation is to the point as well. Since the evangelical movements of the 18th century in England, there has grown up a cult of Jesus, which leans on interpretations (and gross mis-interpretations) of the New Testament, and a "personal relationship" with Jesus. However, it has political agendae (as EBrown has pointed out) which are largely promulgated by ministers, the "priesthood" of Protestantism. The Yeshuah the Rabbi from whom the Jesus story is taken was all about personal spirituality and personal relationships to one's fellow humans--his teaching, in the palid form we have from the accepted canon, was definitely not about dogma and priesthoods.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 08:51 pm
Uh..... yeah.
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Arella Mae
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:02 pm
e_brown,

This statement really stood out to me.

The vindictiveness of opposition to education for children and the ability to drive is hateful.

Can I assume you are speaking of the argument of teaching creationism vs. evolution.

And, that's one mighty wide paint brush in my opinion.
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goodfielder
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:23 pm
Politics and religion should be separated one from the other. One is public the other is private and personal.

I do believe that someone can be a Christian and still propose and support laws which prohibit illegal immigration without being accused of hypocrisy.

If the policymakers, the legislators, the judiciary - if they fell back on their personal religion to guide them in their thoughts and actions then that would be theocracy at work.

So, for those who feel bad about not ostensibly living up to their Christian beliefs because they have to adhere first to their secular duty I feel sympathy. Their God would surely understand.
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:25 pm
At last, a sensible response, goodfielder.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:28 pm
No Momma, This thread is focused only on the unchristian attitude of "Christians" toward immigrants.

I was talking about the opposition to the abillity of undocumented children, many of whom have been in the US for most of their lives, and most of whom actually pay taxes to pursue education. In my state there is a movement to deny kids the rates for residents of the states.

I was also talking about the laws preventing immigrants from having drivers licenses. This prohibition doesn't help anyone, it is pure spite-- the desire to make the lives of struggling families even harder.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:43 pm
e_brown,

Thank you for clarifying that for me. I don't delve much into politics. (Good thing, huh?!)
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 10:21 pm
I share ebrown's sentiments about illegal immigrants.
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goodfielder
 
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 10:40 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
At last, a sensible response, goodfielder.


Thanks MA I'll quit while I'm ahead Very Happy
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 06:28 am
Momma and Goodfielder,

This is much more than politics. These are real people...

My friend Paula is a single mother with two kids. She came to the US after a messy divorce. She felt this was the only way to provide any type of future for her children. She speaks English well , works hard and pays taxes. She is a very involved parent, and is active (and giving) in the school community.

Her kids have been here since they were very young. They are typical American kids. They speak Spanish with an accent (and perfectly American English), they play baseball. Massachusetts is the only home they know.

So what do we say to Paula and her kids?

The Christian right is saying "We don't care".

They focus on an "illegal act" and ignore the fact that Paula is working hard (cleaning houses) to bring up a family, This is typical from so-called Christians (I don't know if the poster puts herself in this category).

Questioner wrote:

But why should we coddle these criminals? That's what they are. If you think different you're kidding yourself. We don't see rights groups tripping over themselves to stand in line to demand amnesty for muggers, or burglars. Why then should immigrants get anything different?


Listen to the immigration debate. The Christian right wants to uproot Paula and her family from a life and a community that they have become a part of and contributed to. They want to take her children from the only life they have known. They want to put a single mother back into to certain poverty.

Does a single mother and two great children deserve to be treated like "muggers or burglars" because of the crime of crossing a border? Shouldn't there be room for compassion?

I honestly don't know any muggers or burglars-- but I do know three great people who live decent lives and contribute to my community. Their life would be greatly disrupted if the Christians have their way.

If we could treat them with compassion it would make our country a better place.

If you truly want to follow Christ, defending the poor and vulnerable (even the lawbreakers) is the best way to start. But don't trick yourself thinking that this is "just politics".

There are real, decent people that are being singled out for the harshest of treatment.

A little compassion-- the kind taught by Christ-- would be nice.
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:10 am
ebrown_p wrote:

My friend Paula is a single mother with two kids. She came to the US after a messy divorce. She felt this was the only way to provide any type of future for her children. She speaks English well , works hard and pays taxes. She is a very involved parent, and is active (and giving) in the school community.


So are many child molestors before they are caught. I remember a story about a man that raped and murdered numerous women while being an upstanding citizen in his community, and a pastor of the local church.

Quote:
Her kids have been here since they were very young. They are typical American kids. They speak Spanish with an accent (and perfectly American English), they play baseball. Massachusetts is the only home they know.

So what do we say to Paula and her kids?


If they came to the country illegally, you say 'You came to this country illegally. You were a criminal the moment you stepped foot here without going through the due process.' And then you either arrest them or export them. This isn't difficult, regardless of the emotional tear-jerking ties you're trying to bind to it.

The same thing happens with convicted killers that are about to receive the death penalty.

Quote:
The Christian right is saying "We don't care".


I still have seen no substantial articles backing up this claim. Can you please provide some so that I can be enlightened?

Quote:
They focus on an "illegal act" and ignore the fact that Paula is working hard (cleaning houses) to bring up a family, This is typical from so-called Christians (I don't know if the poster puts herself in this category).


I'm not a christian. (i'm also a he) I'm focusing on the 'illegal act' because it's absolutely ridiculous to ignore a crime just because "everything else they do is just fine."


Quote:
Listen to the immigration debate. The Christian right wants to uproot Paula and her family from a life and a community that they have become a part of and contributed to. They want to take her children from the only life they have known. They want to put a single mother back into to certain poverty.


No, they want her to enter this country legally, obeying the same laws that all the other 'citizens' are expected to obey.

Quote:
Does a single mother and two great children deserve to be treated like "muggers or burglars" because of the crime of crossing a border? Shouldn't there be room for compassion?


Fine. If we do that for illegal immigrants, then there will be room for us to do so for muggers and burglars. The crime isn't just crossing a border, it's illegal entry. It's breaking in.

Quote:
I honestly don't know any muggers or burglars-- but I do know three great people who live decent lives and contribute to my community. Their life would be greatly disrupted if the Christians have their way.


Correction, you know three criminals that also happen to be nice people. And once again, this isn't "The Christians" (cue ominous music). Anyone with half a sense of justice should feel this way.
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CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 09:53 am
E_brown, I'm a christian and quite frankly, I'm ready and willing to forgive any illegal immigrant, just as soon as they admit they have broken the law and take steps to rectify that situation. Since you are quick to use Jesus in your argument, why don't you check things a bit more readily. In every case, Christ told those he forgave to go and sin no more (as he did in your reference to the woman caught in adultery). When Christ stated that we are to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, the implication is that we are to obey the laws under which we live.

So my question becomes this. If this woman you know is forgiven, will she then go and sin no more? Will she turn herself in and take the steps necessary to become a legal citizen of the US? Or would you have us continue to forgive her every day she lives here as an illegal alien?

I sympathize with her situation, I really do. But that does not make her immune to our laws. And whether I am a christian or not has no bearing on legality. Something about the seperation of church and state that so many people talk about all the time, but only when it is against a christian viewpoint.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 01:11 pm
I agree with Coastalrat here. Although I do feel for this woman and her situation, the fact remains, she is breaking the law.

The BTK Killer (I realize this is an extreme case) for decades was a productive member of society, unless of course you consider all the people he killed.

There are many who break the law who do good things for society, but that cannot mean they can break the law. I am more than willing to help anyone get on their feet, start their life over, guide them, etc., but I am willing to do that as long as they are willing to do the things they need to do to help themselves.

ebrown, I doubt that any of us that are reading this thread feel any less for this woman and her situation. I can't imagine any of them saying I don't care, Christian or not.

What I am saying, and what I believe they are saying is, you have to follow the law just like everyone else.

If we let everyone come into our country illegally and let them break laws, what does that say to our citizens? We have those laws for a reason e_brown. We made those laws.
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 01:12 pm
MA! We're on the same side of something for once!

:wink:
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 01:18 pm
http://web4.ehost-services.com/el2ton1/shutup.gifI know! I was trying to keep that a secret! Laughing

Actually, I almost just quoted your whole post and was going to type "DITTO" under it!http://web4.ehost-services.com/el2ton1/heart.gif
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