Craig Carter has written an interesting post entitled, “Secular Politics Infiltrating the Church: Hell’s Scheme to Bring Down Evangelicalism.” There I’ve entered into a rather lengthy discussion with a self-proclaimed progressive who apparently believes himself to be Christian. I reproduce here my comments and his responses. I think it demonstrates that while progressives claim to care about people, they really despise people and are more concerned about re-engineering society to make it more equal–who cares who dies or suffers along the way, just so long as the rich can no longer parasitically leech off of others. I responded first to his manner in which he responds to Craig Carter and Gordon (another correspondent), while mercilessly libelling the Tea Party. Later, I explained how progressive, with their need to enlarge the state, had forced me to renounce my US citizenship, resulting in my suffering the loss of my birth right. The reason that I insist on telling my story about how I’ve suffered is that I still can. Those whom the progressives around the world have murdered can no longer tell their story.
Peter W. Dunn said…
That’s amazing Steve. You praise Craig and Gordon for civil tone of their responses to you, and then insult the Tea Party, libelling them as liars. Wow. An entire movement of people who want smaller government libelled as liars. You called Ron Paul demonic.
I think you should read my blog Steve: The Righteous Investor. You could start with this: Worship the invisible God or our modern Idols: which?
“Progressives are not trying to replace a deity through gov’t, as you suggest, but progressives do not believe in a theocracy. We believe that ended with Jesus. The gov’t should meet the needs of all people, not just those who are wealthy or favoured by majority status.”
Well with these lines you have proved Craig Carter’s main point in the post. Because a god or an idol is what we have faith in to meet all our needs. You suggest that it is government. I suggest that Jesus is still alive and that it didn’t end with Jesus but he still lives in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. I’m not advocating theocracy–like the progressives who believe in big government that meets all our needs–I believe in small government that doesn’t suck up all the oxygen in the room and thus allows other institutions, like the family and the church, to breath a little too. But you advocate government as panacea and that ultimately is evil.
The socialists, of course, reject God as Jehoveh Jireh, because they believe in government-jireh, which provides everything we need. Who needs faith in a God who strictly prohibits in his Ten Commandments government enforced redistribution of wealth. Oh, you didn’t think that because stealing was made legal through taxation that it was any less an abrogation of the Sixth Commandment, did you? The government, in its violation of the Sixth Commandment, will then violate the Fifth Commandment in order to enforce the violation of the Sixth Commandment.
As for redistribution resulting in social justice, I am a victim of that very scheme. You see, I’ve lost my birth right because of evil tax collectors who decided that about 5 million Americans abroad have to fork over a percentage of their life’s fortunes to the government or face the confiscation of all their wealth and prison sentences. Why? So that they can redistribute wealth to people who don’t work and too-big-to-fail banks on the verge of collapse, or failed solar energy firms. I believe if you want social justice, you’ll just let me keep my hard earned money, thank you very much. Putting 5 million Americans overseas into poverty is not what I call social justice. This is the sort of the thing the Tea Party movement is against. And so I guess that makes me one of the lying, vain ignorant narcissists of the Tea Party! But the only way I can get social justice is if you let me keep what I’ve earned.
Steve said… (not to me but to Craig)
A moment of vulnerability. Listen, we can talk at one another all day. It doesn’t matter what I post here, because you’ll say that I’m being ‘led astray’, and nothing I say, regardless of whether it’s true or not, will convince you. When I was in my twenties, I would have agreed with you. I would have been fine with a movement that was racially tinged and patriarchal, because I would have told you that I thought that was God’s natural order. Ann Coulter was my favorite columnist in 2001. I sued to print out her columns. However, as a writer, I was forced to read more widely, see things from the side of other people and other cultures, and I began to notice inconsistencies, lies, that crept into my conservative worldview. There will always be inconsistencies in our worldview, we’re only human, but it was never presented that way. It was always presented as “fact” and as something closed. I think what really turned me, is the anger and hatred and fear I felt coming from and being stoked by the people I admired. That’s what I see on this site. Anger and fear and hatred. What I don’t see is love your enemy, or love your neighbour, and the challenge of doing that. Conservatives label that ‘soft’, I know I used to, but loving people, being unselfish, loving those other than us, is actually extremely difficult. Even with God’s help, it is difficult. Too much of conservative thought, as various neurologists have mapped, comes from the amygdala, the place of anger and fear and anxiety. I’m sorry, but I can’t get there any more. I believe in love, in God’s love for all his Creation, and in finding a way to bring us together, not trumpet what makes us unique. The message of the gospel is not delineation between good people and bad people, or right ideas and wrong ideas, but the triumphant love of Christ through the Incarnation. That’s my opinion, at least, and while I’m sure you disagree, I’m okay with that. 🙂 Love always finds a way.
Peter W. Dunn said…
Steve: The biggest government in the world is the United States. I was born there. Now that government is so big and atrocious that I’ve had to renounce my US citizenship to keep the IRS from shaking me down, me and about 5 million Americans living abroad. I feel no love from government. I feel only greed and coercion. And that is what happens when people replace God (remember the first commandment) with government, and when they worship false messiahs.
You fail to deal with the substance of my objection to your idolatry. Social justice means that if I work, I get to keep what I earned. No government comes and shakes me down and steals from me. I’m just the little guy. I’m not a rich bankster or an aristocrat. My grandparents were all born poor. My parents were hard working middle class. We work by the sweat of our brow for what we have and your socialist government comes and steals it from us to give to people who leech off the system, parasites that are about to kill the host in a political and economic system which is on the verge of financial collapse, so that Mises is proven right: socialism doesn’t work, and it can’t work. For if you are just going to take what I make, then I’ll stop making, then no one will have anything.
You are not preaching love but theft in the name of love.
Peter W. Dunn said… (Gordon had made some more great comments, then Steve still just ignored me)
Great comments Gordon. I agree with you whole-heartedly. Steve is just ignoring me–the elephant in the room. But then you have to ignore the victims if you want to the state to be a socialist control freak. He’s right though. I have a deep hatred of big government–for I am a target of big government; I hate what I fear, because government has the power to destroy me. I am now an economic refugee in Canada, too fearful to return to my home country, lest Homeland or the State Department arrest me for pretended crimes, for they have threatened all US citizen abroad with fines and imprisonments for neglecting laws that Feds never enforced for 30 years, but now with the Obama regime, the IRS is enforcing them with renewed Kafkaesque vigour. Many citizens are afraid. So this is what socialism does. It causes ordinary citizens to fret, worry and sweat about whether the government is going to throw them in prison. We thought it couldn’t happen in a free country, but thanks to the socialists, the US is no longer a free country, when the government can violate your all your rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
I am victim. Thank you socialists. Thank you statists. I have lost my birth right and it is your fault. Ron Paul didn’t do this to me.
Eventually, the state becomes so powerful that the number one form of death is suicide. The German film, Lives of Others, is a parable of how statist governments and evil bureaucrats drive innocent people to commit suicide. The IRS does it every year. I haven’t checked the stats on the CRA yet, but among working tax-paying business people, there is no love.
My apologies. I wasn’t ignoring you. I’m sorry about your situation, but I don’t understand the specifics of it. What is an economic refugee, if you don’t mind me asking? Why were you forced to renounce your US citizenship? I mean, that really sucks, and I empathize, but without more information i can’t understand how that happened. Let me address another point you made.
“We work by the sweat of our brow for what we have and your socialist government comes and steals it from us to give to people who leech off the system, parasites that are about to kill the host in a political and economic system which is on the verge of financial collapse, so that Mises is proven right”
Okay,so my question is, who are the parasites? Is it the poor? People on welfare? Look, in the US, the bottom 50% of the population control 2.5% of the country’s wealth. The top 1% control roughly 80%. The parasites aren’t the poor, Peter, the parasites are the rich, who hide their money in tax shelters and pay less than your hard working parents do. Warren Buffet recently wrote an article about how his secretary pays more in taxes than he does. And he’s worth about what? 20$ billion?
As for the recession, we know why it happened. The bubble was created because, ultimately, people were selling mortgages to poor people who couldn’t afford it, and then repackaging those investments and selling them again and again. It didn’t happen in Canada because we have strict regulations about who can get a mortgage. In this case, if the US had a stronger centralized gov’t, the recession probably wouldn’t have happened.
It seems to me that you’re very angry, and though I don’t know the details of your situation, you probably have a right to be. I guess I just don’t get directing the anger at the poor and working poor. Why support tax breaks for the rich? Why support the very people who don’t give a crap about you. I work with some very wealthy clients, and I can tell you that they do not care about you at all. They work very hard to get conservatives elected so they can keep screwing the little guys, and they’re pretty open about it.
Peter W. Dunn said…
Who said I was angry at the working poor? I said leeches. Those who live off government, sure. I have no bones to pick with the working poor.
First, Warren Buffet is also a hypocrite. If he wants to pay more taxes nothing is stopping him from paying the Berkshire Hathaway tax bill that he is challenging — I mean he is still the CEO of that company. In Canada, tax freedom day is in June for household with $80,000 income, probably in July or August for people like my wife and me–people that own and run businesses–we pay a lot of stinkin’ taxes.
Secondly, I support tax breaks for the rich because I’m rich and therefore you want to steal from me, the rich. For me to hate the rich like you do means hating myself. But the rich, those who have successful businesses are the ones who the socialists hurt the most–though in the end they hurt the whole society. But just because I’m rich by your standards doesn’t mean that the tax laws don’t make me into a victim. You hate me because I’m rich and because I’d prefer to chose to whom I will be charitable rather than have the government confiscate my wealth. You want the government to put me in jail because I’m selfish and I don’t want to pay my taxes, so that you can give it to the poor. So beat me over the head and raid my accounts. The feds come to your door with guns. They shoot at you if you resist. They take the money out of your bank accounts using liens. If you disagree with their assessment, you have to fight it in court and spend a lot of money on lawyers protecting yourself, none of which will ever be reimbursed if you win. So you get divorced and/or you commit suicide. That’s how it works when you are “rich”. Look at how Conrad Black is in jail for moving boxes out of his office here in Canada. The jury acquitted him of all the other charges against him–except 4, 3 of which the Supreme Court found invalid. Now he is back in jail for taking boxes out of his office in Canada. That’s the power of the Federal government. Meanwhile, the real criminals are running the government with their social security ponzi scheme and their handouts to their best friends like Solyndra and Soros.
How many millions of rich people did the socialists exterminate in USSR, China, Viet Nam, Cuba, etc.? The body count is in the hundreds of millions. That’s because once you make the state your god, you’ve rejected the First Commandment, then the Fifth and Sixth Commandments are of no use to you.
Let me tell you something. If you take from the rich, they will leave and take their money with them. if you don’t let them leave, they will go Galt. I know. I’ve been shrugging for the last 20 years. I intentionally don’t do any real work that contributes to the GDP. So then everyone will be poor. Is that the goal of the socialists? So that everyone is poor? It has happened so many times. Look at Africa, which is socialist culture par excellence. Look at the major communist countries. Look at what is happening in Western Europe with the economy melting down. Poverty is coming big time in the world. It’s actually already here with the food riots caused by dollar devaluation caused by bad leftist monetary policy.
Peter W. Dunn said…
Finally, you seem unaware of the Community Reinvestment Act which forced banks to extend mortgages to the poor. Lack of Government regulation isn’t the problem; the problem started with government regulation in a “feel sorry for the poor redistribute the wealth to the poor” scheme that made no sense. Who was it that fought to keep the Community Reinvestment Act during the Bush years? None other than the Black Congressional Caucus. If government would just let lenders and borrowers decide who gets loans and who doesn’t things would have been a lot better. I know. I’m a victim of US government lending program to the poor (Small Business Adminstration) too. The local bank wouldn’t lend to my brother, but the SBA guaranteed loan made it possible, and I lost 70K on that deal–because my brother can’t afford to pay me back (he could afford the mortgage either). I’d be so much better if the Feds had stayed out of it. So much for socialism–which leads to malinvestment.
Finally, you say I’m angry. Well, don’t you think that the rich have a right to be angry? When you steal from someone or even try to steal from someone, they get angry don’t they?
So to conclude: I am rich. If I weren’t rich the socialists would ignore me. I, and the members of my family are not a parasites, but job providers–lots of people depend on us– around 30 families. We pay a lot of tax, and I would prefer to pay a lot less. I go to the bank every 15th of the month to make my payments–have you ever done that???? How many people do you employ??? I don’t have tax shelters except the ones allowed by government and available to everyone (RRSP, TFSA). Why do you have so much class envy? Why do you want to sock it to the job providers? Don’t you know that that will result still in fewer jobs for working poor? Isn’t envy still a sin?
So you’re an economic refugee, but you’re rich? Not sure that makes makes you a ‘refugee’. Apparently you hate Obama because the IRS is enforcing your social contract, then? I appreciate your honesty in that you simply don’t want to pay more taxes, you want to keep your money, many of the rich clients I’ve worked with feel the same way.
And hey, by all means, protect your wealth. Look out for your own interests. I’m just not sure what that has to do with Christianity, as you’ll be hard pressed to find Scripture to support you, considering our origins and who our Saviour is and when and where he was born, but go ahead. There are many, many Christians like you in North America, particularly in the US, who are letting their feelings being known. Someone like me would call it narcissism, but thank God for Sola Scriptura! Maybe the Bible really means it’s about individual wealth?! Maybe us progressives have it all wrong. 🙂
Your comment is a bit stunning, as I didn’t expect such brazen honesty about your love for money, but hey, honesty is a good thing, right. As for your comments about Africa, you should probably stick to commenting about your own situation. My wife grew up in Africa, the daughter of a missionary in Ethiopia, and since you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about your comment verges on racist and is completely ignorant. And for future reference, Africa is not a country, it’s a continent filled with a diverse group of peoples and cultures. Just because they’re black(except for places they’ve been colonized) doesn’t mean that they’re the same. Sigh.
And listen, Ayn Rand is not a christian. You do realize that her ‘Objectivism” is anything but and anethemic to Christianity. You get that, right? In fact, she is in opposition to most things that Christians stand for, so the “Galt” reference is particularly jarring.
I love how you talk about the ‘rich people’ dying, as if they’re somehow special. Throughout history, the poor have died and suffered a million times over, and you’re worried about the rich people?! Good grief, you need to re-read the gospels. It sounds as though you believe you have been granted a certain privilege because you have money. NEWSFLASH: God loves people with nothing as much as He loves you. You aren’t better than anyone. WAKE UP!
Peter W. Dunn said…
Part One To Steve:
Your accusations are knee-jerk and childish. You don’t know me to accuse me of any of the mean and abusive things that you’ve written about me. I was right to suggest that you hate the rich and that you hate me because I’m rich.
What it has to do with Christianity is that state is a Satanic institution. The Prince of the power of the air is the default owner and controller of the state. Therefore, any true believer wants the state to be small so that the church and other Christian organizations which have a vision for the kingdom of God can grow and thrive. But when the state steals from the benefactors of the church, those who have something left over after paying for the cost of living (i.e., the rich whom you hate so much), the church and her influence must shrink. The state increases, while the family, the church and all other institutions must shrink. This is a pure form of evil and it is Satanic.
I didn’t realize I was speaking to an expert on Africa, since your wife grew up there that makes you a specialist and me, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Except perhaps you were unaware that sub-saharan African culture tends towards collectivism and not individualism. This leads to a type of socialist culture–that in some ways is very good but does have the effect of keeping the cultures from developing economically much beyond a subsistence level. I’ve heard the mantra that I’m racist because I have in the past generalized about African culture–even from Africans who have been the clear beneficiaries of my benevolence! So I guess that no one can give Africa a cold cup of water in Jesus name without being despised and called a racist!
The fact is that sub-Saharan Africans, while diverse, have many commonalities too. David Maranz has written a very helpful book on the matter called, African Friends and Money Matters. Calling the person who makes observations racist is not helpful and it is actually an ad hominem form of argument (that is not good). Thanks for informing me that Africa is a continent made up of many different countries and cultures. That is actually helpful information, that I couldn’t possibly have known without a grade school education.
Peter W. Dunn said…
Part two to Steve:
You seem to have no feelings for my plight. Obviously progressives don’t care about people; they only have their lofty social engineering which redesigns society to be fair. Yet what I’m trying to tell you is that it is not fair, it is pure evil and it makes victims out of people like me.
You think that I have a love for money: you’ve never met me and you assume that based on my aversion to taxes. Don’t ever make that assumption! People who don’t like to pay taxes are freedom lovers, to be sure, but not necessarily money lovers.
Finally, everyone who suffers at the hands of despotic government is poor. I’ve now personally been deprived of my citizenship–and I am afraid to return to my home country. You despise me because for now I am able to retain some of my wealth. But that’s because I’m not a sheeple that stuck my neck out for them to slaughter me. I didn’t volunteer to give my savings away, despite their threats of prison and fines.
Those who suffer at the hands of government are poor because it first over-taxes them; then it steals their money and their lands. Then, it sends them into the forest or the killing fields, and they run away on boats. Or they sneak out with whatever they can carry. And if they don’t manage to sneak out (as I have from the USA), then the government throws them in a gulag or just kills them. So everyone who dies at the hands of government is poor. But you have no feelings for me–because I managed to escape with everything except my birth right. But now I have to contend with progressives in Canada. The abuse continues.
Going Galt is an expression. This does not mean that I espouse the philosophy of Ayn Rand. It does mean that if the government steals from me and I cannot enjoy the fruit of my labour, then I will go off the tax grid.
I’ll tell you what, Peter, despite the fact that your actions seem to indicate that you’re a parasite and a criminal.
We will graciously support you.
We the working poor and middle class who pay our taxes. We’ll support you, Peter.
We’ll pay for the benefits that come from living in this country. We’ll pay for the roads and cleanliness of our cities, the food inspectors and construction workers, the people who work on our infrastructure and the ones who set the regulations so that when we walk down the street, buildings don’t suddenly collapse.
We’ll pay for the ones who set and enforce the standards in restaurants, and those in the food industry, so that your meal, Peter, is not filled with poison or toxins or chemicals. We’ll pay for the police who enforce the law so people can live in safety, the fire fighters and paramedics who’ll come if you’re injured and perhaps perform life saving techniques before taking you to the hospital.
We, the working poor and middle class, will pay for the ones who take your garbage, Peter, and clean the public parks, so you have a place to go with your family. We’ll pay for the community programs you might use, the libraries in case there’s a book you want to read or need access to a computer or some other program.
Don’t worry, Peter. We’ll pay for everything you enjoy in this foreign country. We who are not rich, not like you, but who believe that everyone deserves a chance at a better life. We who believe that democracy is about equality of opportunity, and that the goal of life is not to build an empire, but to create a safe place where people can grow and learn from one another, whatever their differences.
No, we’ll pay for you, Peter.
We’ll pay for your rants against the government, your hatred and ignorance of other peoples, and your selfish and deluded belief system.
And we’ll pay for you, Peter, because we know that not everyone is going to get it. We know that for the thousands living and working and raising their families with an active conscience, there will always be a few who want only for themselves, and who will use religion or politics to excuse their behaviour.
I’ve been working poor my entire life, Peter, but I don’t feel poor. I know what real poverty is, I’ve seen it up close. So I’ll pay for you, too, not simply because I’m Canadian, but because my faith tells me that it is better to give than to receive, that I am to love my neighbour as myself, and perhaps in this case, to love my enemy as well.
No, I’ll pay for you, Peter. We’ll all pay for you…
September 27, 2011 1:31 PM