since the election of the new Pope, i've had multiple conversations with my deeply conservative, Catholic step-father about income inequality.  i was hoping that Pope Francis' message on the subject might help break the fever of his anti-welfare mindset.  no such luck. 

his claim is exactly what you see in this article.  namely that it's not the government's role to help the poor, and that charity can pick up the tab.  this refrain is both untenable and cruel.  let's assume that the gov't stepped out of the business of providing a social safety net.  what would happen while we wait and hope that Americans will "do the right thing"?  the answer - millions would starve, homelessness would spike, and our economy would crater.  why?  because there simply isn't enough private money to support the massive underbelly of impoverished Americans. 

which is why i found is so striking that American Christians' counterparts in Europe feel so differently.  we often poke fun at Evangelicals pro-life while in the womb but once you're born you're on your own mantra.  yet apparently that is a distinction that only applies in the US.  we deride how they ignore Jesus' message of providing for the poor.  ironically, most Atheists do listen to Jesus' message, even while not believing in his existence or at least knowing he was just a man.  yet somehow his preachings have reached many of us, if not his true followers.  i oft find this bizarre, yet i suppose it's comforting to know it's just an American problem. 

so is there any hope for American Christians?  i think so.  i think this is primarily a generational concept, one not shared by most young Evangelicals.  a lot are fleeing the Church, but remain religious and believers in God/Jesus.  once the older generation has passed on, i think many will return to there Churches of old but with a new, more tolerant and sympathetic message. 

or maybe they'll join us.  either way, i see hope in reading that Christians the world over don't hold the uniquely American cruel vision of Christianity. 

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If there IS hope for American christians, it is because those who hold the more radical views will eventually die off as you suggest and leave their churches to those who don't take their belief so seriously that they need EVERYONE to conform to it.

The problem is that the dying-off process is a slow and inconsistent one, and there is plenty of damage they can do in the meantime.  Until that time, christianity is sufficiently dangerous to warrant scrutiny and counteraction.

on that note i'll add this article i just stumbled upon:

like Scalia, here's another clueless fuck who is shocked by a supernatural entity's lack of intervention.  conservatives seem to want to do God's work for him by wrecking our country, since they're just so sure he wants to but must be preoccupied at the moment. 

Recently a man at my work said he was really surprised that god didn't do something and "strike us down" because of all the bad things going on in the world. I didn't know what to say, and he was totally serious. Of course, he used some Old Pesterment events as proof for what he was saying, and you could understand instantly that "fear of god" was why he even called himself christian. Yes, we all understand that that man up in the sky can do anything he wants to. Oh, he isn't doing anything right now. Well, maybe he don't want to.




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