Isaiah The political progressive.

I don’t understand how the Right Wing managed to hijack Christianity.  I won’t make the argument that Christ is more left than right.  And things are slowly changing.

I’ve been reading Isaiah tonight.  Probably me talking less and scripture talking more is wise on all kind of fronts.  So I’m simply going to toss out a few verses.  Maybe later I’ll babble some on Jesus’ affinity for Isaiah.

For those unfamiliar, Isaiah is calling out the entire country of Judah.  They’d grown complacent and corrupt, he’s promising God’s mercy if they repent and offering some amazing prophecies of Jesus.

From chpt 1:

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
       I will hide my eyes from you;
       even if you offer many prayers,
       I will not listen.
       Your hands are full of blood;

 16 wash and make yourselves clean.
       Take your evil deeds
       out of my sight!
       Stop doing wrong,

 17 learn to do right!
       Seek justice,
       encourage the oppressed. [a]
       Defend the cause of the fatherless,
       plead the case of the widow.

23 Your rulers are rebels,
       companions of thieves;
       they all love bribes
       and chase after gifts.
       They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
       the widow’s case does not come before them.

Chpt 3:

14 The LORD enters into judgment
       against the elders and leaders of his people:
       “It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
       the plunder from the poor is in your houses.

 15 What do you mean by crushing my people
       and grinding the faces of the poor?”
       declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

Chpt 5:

 7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty
       is the house of Israel,
       and the men of Judah
       are the garden of his delight.
       And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
       for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
       and clever in their own sight.

 22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
       and champions at mixing drinks,

 23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
       but deny justice to the innocent.

I’ll stop today with Chapter 10:

1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
       to those who issue oppressive decrees,

 2 to deprive the poor of their rights
       and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
       making widows their prey
       and robbing the fatherless.

I’m not claiming that Conservatives, or Republicans hate the poor.  I am saying that on the one hand we claim all scripture is inspired but then overlook or minimize passages that don’t fit into our world view.  These are the smallest handful of verses that I believe tend to get brushed under the carpet.

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A bunch of reasons why I’m voting for Barack Obama

For whatever it’s worth, here’s the reasons that I think it’s worthwhile to vote for Obama.  I’m putting a special focus on reasons that put to rest the narrative that Obama is a starry-eyed idealist with no real experience of specific plans.

(The following reasons are in no particular order.)

#1) He’s basically the only candidate who has the record to claim that he was opposed not only to the specific execution but also the general theory of invading Iraq. 

#2) He can move from sweeping, philosophical generalizations to down-in-the dirt, nitty gritty plans.  Because nitty-gritty doesn’t play well in our sound bite culture, people miss this… He has mind-numbingly detailed plans on issues like health care.  See his website (http://www.mybarackobama.com) The site gives you the option to see his views on outlines in either broad strokes or specific reports.  The one on health care, for example, is enomorous.  Frankly, I got lost in places.  I think it’s fair to say you don’t agree with him.   But to claim that he doesn’t have a specific view is foolish.

#3) He gets education.  One of his strengths in general is to see that many debates which get played as either/or are really both/and.  For example, the debate about education gets played as “accountabality or support for needy students/ districts.” Obama gets that real accountabality (not pseudodata from inapropriately interpreted standardized tests) AND support are necessary.

#4) He is a supporter of real diplomacy, international engagement, and recovering America’s ruined repuation around the world.

#5) He’s the first presidential candidate that could be fairly seen as a representative of the Christian Left.  His speech in June to an audience of evangelicals was more than brilliant, it was also courageous.  The man didn’t simply spout platitidues he knew that audience wanted to hear.  He fairly assessed the good and bad news about politics and religion.  He proclaimed the truths he sees and admitted the ambiguity and struggles he feels.

#6) He hasn’t accepted any interest groups money.  Is there any other “top tier” candidate who can claim the same thing?

#7) He’s a bazillion times more electable than Hillary Clinton.  He’s also three times as charismatic and  eight point five times more charactered.  (By the way, how does Hilary get to play the experience card over Obama?  Are they allowing us to put our spouses information on our resumes now?)

This of course could go on… and if anybody sees things differently I invite them to share there perspectives.