Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) defends his vote against SNAP with this bible verse:
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Kevin’s about my age and we grew up in similar circumstances. Probably, like me, at least one set of his grandparents were hard-working farmers in North Dakota. And it is almost certain that they were beneficiaries of one of the biggest government handouts in the history of government handouts: the Homestead Acts. The value of land given away to one person by that Act is now more than $300K in most parts of his state. He’s also probably two generations removed from relatives who came over on a boat, and one generation removed from relatives who had first-hand experience of the Depression, and the hunger and poverty experienced by people with no social safety net.
Let’s contrast Rep. Cramer with another Republican, Bob Dole. Like most other prairie state legislators of his generation, (including North Dakotans Quintin Burdick and Milton Young) Dole was part of the effort to feed our country and the world. Dole and George McGovern wrote the modern SNAP act and got it through Congress. His and McGovern’s name are on the legislation that authorizes spending on food for millions of children around the world.
Bob Dole just turned 90, so his obituary is already written, and none of the honest efforts are going to make him sound like Mr. Congeniality. Still, the one thing that won’t be said in any of them is that he wanted to take the food out of mouths of children. Kevin Cramer, at a mere 52 years old, has already cemented that part of his legacy, and he’s an ungrateful, god-bothering asshole to boot.
Thank you! For the longest time I’ve been calling the Homestead Act the biggest welfare program the United States ever had, the recipients of which were almost all white (if not all). And if people think taxes are a horrible way to “take” from a people, it pales in comparison to genocide.
When do the non-fundy churches get mad? Or are there none left?
You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain. Deut. 25:4
Anything in the Bible can be taken out of context, but I think if it counsels compassion for animals, chances are people qualify.
someone needs to remind Cramer that that quote was a slogan of Leninism. that’ll shut him up right quick.
According to Pope Francis, Rep Cramer and his lot worship a false God, and misread the Gospel. Go get em, Francis! I’ve got your back
What a miserable, pinched and uncharitable view of the world. His pastor is either embarrassed by this scriptural cherry picking, or a fellow unChristian fraud.
And to extend my comment, how long until the Tea Party starts spouting off about the Papist threat to good Calvinistic America?
Also, too, Deuteronomy 15:
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you.”
So God said feed the poor, but Paul said don’t feed those who won’t work so Paul wins.
Here’s a Bible verse Kevin apparently forgot:
And pray tell, just how fucking Christian is it to starve children?
And let’s not forget Matthew 25:
Edit: I see someone beat me to it.
@RaflW: Unfortunately the GOP has started making an argument that government taking people’s money and handing it out doesn’t count. They think the charity called for in the Bible should come through people and churches. They are trying to starve people while saying they are following the Bible’s calls for helping the poor.
They are more than willing to increase faith based initiative spending and force the poor in this country to be proselytized to in order to receive that charity. And are more than willing to exclude gay people from their charity, seeing as they keep fighting to allow these kinds of groups to discriminate against that one specific group of people. And I’m sure they would be willing to exclude other groups too, if given the opportunity.
I posted this on the bottom of the last thread but will repeat it here.
There seems to be a significant reading comprehension fail on the part of conservatives in regard to that verse. “Won’t” and “unwilling” or not synonymous with “unable to work”, or “unable to find work.” There is also no indication that “work” requires any compensation let alone a level sufficient to obviate the need for assistance in order to qualify as such.
As of September, 30 2010.
47 percent of beneficiaries were children under age 18.
8 percent were age 60 or older.
41 percent lived in a household with earnings from a job — the so-called “working poor.”
So God said feed the poor, but Paul said don’t feed those who won’t work so Paul wins.
Paul was kind of a dick.
Mike in NC
OT: 20 people killed by gunmen in Nairobi. Step up your game, America!
You are misreading that quote. It really means, according to the Prosperity Gospel, that the Holy Job Creators, hereafter to be known as the HJC, should have unfettered access to the spoils while doing the heavy lifting required to keep the economy running.
In addition, it is against the Gospel to try and stop them from shitting all over our food after the HJC’s have eaten their fill.
The word of Mammon.
Two people beat me to Matthew 25. I heard Jim Wallis of the Sojourners quote it during an interview about social justice.
I know this isn’t an open thread, but if anyone wants their daily allowance of chutzpah: http://www.wral.com/mccrory-concerned-with-invasion-of-privacy/12901304/
The Truth is that most poor people are fat. Being fat, they are at a higher risk of pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, and being discriminated against in the workplace. Perhaps if we were to cut their food stamp benefits, they would become healthier, more attractive, and more likely to not be discriminated against in the workplace and succeed in finding gainful, Biblical employment. Then they could purchase their own food.
@chopper: In fact, the older generation of wingers were quoting Lenin and Trotsky all the time. Maybe not Stalin, though– a bit over the line, there.
@Baud: Oh, they’re out there but no reporters want to quote them. Also they’re rather busy trying to feed the poor Mr. Cramer wants to starve.
Mr. Cramer might also look for a more informed exegesis of that passage that his own.
It’s worse than you think. If you go to the story linked in the original post, you’ll see that one of the Congressman’s constituents took him to task for his vote by posting that very bit of the Bible. The Congressman’s “work or starve” position was *his response to that constituent*. In short, the Congressional asshole is well aware of Matthew 25, he simply thinks it is flat-out wrong or something.
That is what kills me! Metrosexual black Abe Lincoln has made them lose their minds. I saw wingnuts posting photos of the little UU fellowship Obama’s grandparents and Mom went to (when she was in Sunday School!) because one of the members was a known Communist as proof that Obama is a Communist.
Now the wingnuts revere Putin who was an actual Communist Party, KGB agent and quoting the bible verses Lenin loved.
I hate these people. I wake up on a beautiful sunny Saturday, thinking the world might not actually suck and then read about these idiots.
I’ll give you a bible quote: Jesus wept.
@sal: And this is what I always quote to my rethug “christian” friends and relatives when they start this crap. Bible study was not wasted on me.
This verse appears in 2 Thessalonians. Many scholars seriously doubt that this letter was really authored by Paul.
You’re right, that is appalling. I love his selective reading of the Bible. Christian Sharia strikes again.
all things considered, Paul was kind of a dick.
@dmsilev: For the love of FSM, this guy is just a sociopath, there is no other explanation.
Now if only the real Christian leaders out there, and I know there are some that truly practice a loving, giving belief, despite what the f-ing christian taliban would have you believe, would come out and condemn this man and his words. But that will never happen.
Also: “Over 80 percent of households that receive benefits have gross incomes below the poverty line.”
Here’s the thing, for me. Republicans will say that they’re just cutting SNAP to get rid of fraud, and they’re only talking about 5% of the total SNAP budget. But they’re leaving out that the average monthly benefit is just $133.41, and taking 5% of that can be a big hit for people already in poverty. For context, I think of what happens when gas prices go up by 5%—it makes the national news and there’s a lot of rending of garments and such.
All of the New Testament references to homosexuality that conservatives rely on were written by Paul, if I remember correctly.
Today’s GOP look upon the pre-conversion Scrooge as the model citizen and businessman.
Mr Stagger Lee
@gelfling545: I heard that phrase was referenced to the Thessalonians who quit work because they thought Christ was coming soon, not because they couldn’t find work. Anyway Congressman Cramer because of your dick move, you just made a case for Atheists, starve a child for Christ. Oh one more thing, I wonder do churches preach about a minor prophet named Amos? He was a Old testament version of a member of the Occupy Movement, probably like Song Of Solomon they don’t teach that at the Patriot Baptist Church.
Or pre-conversion Grinch except for the whole war on Christmas part.
Actually, very. Christianity is marked by a lot of great cruelty, then you get cheap and easy forgiveness by praying about it and bleating out meaningless expressions of sorrow.
It’s a twofer!
As usual these supposed “Christian” assholes have to cherry pick bullshit that their supposed Savior did not actually say, His-own-self.
Disgust. Contempt. Disappointment. Disdain. Scorn.
I need a thesaurus to keep track of all the negative adjectives that come to mind.
Part of my life as a kid was spent eating food my parents purchased using food stamps. Life was really rough then, and the assistance made us not starve but that’s about it. One or two times we got a food basket donation made by a church for a holiday, which to this day makes me not hate religion. I can’t imagine how a family would eat on the program now before the cuts, let alone what’s just passed.
I think it’s the 1% obsession by the GOP. If there’s a 1% chance that a terrorist will strike, then go whole hog (or whole potato for those who are vegetarians) to reduce the 1% to Zilch.
Or like that 1% chance that there’s voter fraud (when in fact it comes to less than 1%).
Going after fraud in the millions and billions with no-bid defense contracting? Too big. Going after that huge pile of cash that just disappeared in Iraq during the war? Ah, mistakes are made.
No, No one wins. Taking random quotes out of context or separate from the rest of the passages that surround it wins.
The world would have turned out to be a much better place had Joseph not been so much of an idiot as to have believed Mary’s tale of “I’m preggers by God. I swear!” She’d have been stoned to death, and that would be the end of it – polytheism would have withered and died out, rationalists taking over.
Instead, we wind up with nearly two millennia of teh stoopid.
These people quote the bible to justify starving children. That’s all you need to know.
@Baud: The Unitarian Church tried to advertise a non-discriminatory message of inclusion.
The MSM refused to let it run.
The rot runs deep.
Most modern biblical scholars doubt the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians. The real Paul said some pretty radical things. The various pseudoPauls toned it down a bit to appeal to the dominant Roman culture. This movement culminated in the pastoral epistles, which are downright reactionary.
Consider the lilies of the field……..
West of the Cascades
@GregB: Ah, the GOP’s philosophy in one tidy bit of classic literature:
“At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, … it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
“Are there no prisons?”
“Plenty of prisons…”
“And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
“Both very busy, sir…”
“Those who are badly off must go there.”
“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
Gore Vidal had his number.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@gelfling545: Even if that’s so, Paul was a pretty colossal dick. And the god bothering GOP austerity hounds clearly see him as a role model.
What news have YOU been reading lately? AFAICT, it has been a decade or so since the media have concerned themselves with rising energy prices. Time was (and I think it was just before the turn of the century) that a few cents rise in the pump price of gasoline, or of heating oil, would prompt breathless coverage in the “MSM” – now: the retail prices of hydrocarbon fuels have, what? more than doubled? in ten years, and only the occasional horror-story (like gouging during hurricanes, etc) even gets more than a *shrug* on the nitely news.
Of course, this omission may or may be related to the fact that higher energy costs swell the bottom lines of insanely wealthy multinational mega-corporations… (I’ll go with “may”!)
Strange, I can’t find any biblical verses justifying the massive farm subsidies given to North Dakota shitkickers, yet I doubt Cramer will be voting down these handouts confiscated from other Americans.
How much work does a fucking Congressman do anyway? They have more vacation days than they do working days, and even then, they don’t do anything to make the world better. If we could just make Congressmen starve, that’d be fine with me.
So I finally looked up this verse (and read the entire chapter and Googled and wiki’d — however superficially — for a bit of context). Now, I’m not anything approaching a scholar, but I’m curious why they stop there. The three verses that immediately follow their old “God told us to starve you” saw don’t seem like bad advice either:
If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.
THAT is exactly what Food Stamps are supposed to be.
THAT is the Biblical quote Republicans need to remember.
Here’s the thing: a lot of people on food stamps ARE WORKING. It’s just they’re working for shitty wages that can’t pay for everything – rent, mortgage, furniture, car payments, clothes, food, health care, meds, etc – so they gotta go on food stamps to cover the need to, you know, feed kids.
And if the Republicans start pushing that Newt idea of making middle schoolers work for food money, goddammit start the riots right then and there.
Good point. Attention to energy prices used to be a lot more common than it is today.
The righties don’t make any distinction between the won’t work and the would work if they could find a freaking job that paid a living wage or any job period. It’s all the same to them. They also believe the percentage of able bodied getting food stamps through deception is HUGE and the number of the truly needy is tiny. The delusion is deep. Even if they can be convinced the opposite is true, they are more than willing to throw everyone under the bus to punish a few.
Yeah, they are morally bankrupt and will always cut the poor to benefit the wealthy but I do think they also have a fetish for mass destruction.
@weaselone: Shame Shame your using numbers. The GOpers can’t deal with an number greater than 10 unless they take their shoes off. They do wear shoes don’t they
I highly doubt it. Because I highly doubt if the USCCB has any intention of taking the Pope’s hints. Nah, they’ll all just keep doing the same thing with him that they do with Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson and Jesus H. Christ – do all the things he preaches against and do it in his name.
That’s like saying “God said Thou Shalt Not Kill, but he didn’t want government cops! He wanted you to not-kill because of the goodness of your heart, not because the government made you! What good is not killing people if it’s not coming from the goodness of your heart, anyway?”
I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. they are so unlike your Christ.
@TaMara (BHF): There has been a lot of favorable press coverage of the Pope’s recent interview. I’ll believe it’s more than just ‘same old wine in slightly newer bottles’ when he tells the American bishops to get off their well fed butts and make as much noise about hungry children as they do birth control pills.
Leviticus 20:9 tells us children that curse their mother or father should be put to death. When can we expect legislation? Timothy 2:11-12 tells us women should be quiet, subservient , and never have authority. I am awaiting legislation……
It was more common right up until Obama and the Democrats in Congress threatened to investigate big oil companies for price-fixing. The media got really, really quiet after that.
They are the ones (and I find this flat-out astonishing) who don’t care all that much if the guilty one is caught… they just want someone caught! And brush off things like the Innocence Project that try to overturn convictions of the not guilty.
@Botsplainer: Maybe it’s bad of me, but I LOL’ed.
@Chris: they do rather focus on salvation coming from the mere act of not sinning, rather than the choice, the effort, the on-going choice of not sinning. why else is free will included in the benefits package? removing all options of possible sin (thou shall not see happy gay individuals, thou shall not find doctors providing abortions, thou shall not see bouncy dance moves) is like locking a small child up in a small box without the possibility of any action, any moral strength or choice and assuming he’s a shoo-in for a harp. they wave belief around like a golden ticket, because they want to make sure only the right kind of non-sinners are in the presumed eventual neighborhood, but they’re really thinking they’ve pulled the wool over god’s eyes by attempting to remove the effort involved in not sinning.
Villago Delenda Est
This vile asshole is another Mammon/Moloch worshipper.
He should be stoned, and not in the good Bob Dylan way.
The Red Pen
This quote was an admonition against people hanging around the church and living off the generosity of others. Paul (alleged Paul) was pointing out that even though he worked for the church, he also had a day job.
@Delcomuckraker: The real Paul was writing to widely varied groups of Christian believers about very specific situations and problems. He had no idea he was writing what we would call “scripture” with all the baggage that term entails.
You’ll notice that most of these bible quoters rely on Paul, who was a misogynistic asshole. He, just like the wingnuts, picked out what he wanted from Jesus’ message and misunderstood or ignored the rest.
Villago Delenda Est
As far as fuckheads like Cramer are concerned, every last person using SNAP is a young black male who obtains T-bones with it.
I think Stephen Colbert said it best in his Congressional Testimony.
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
This is so true. It the “principle”, not the reality of the outcome which is beside the point that someone, anyone, everyone (but them) must pay.
Ahhhh, more Tea-Party Jesus. “If you want some of these loaves and fishes you’ll have to pee into this cup first.”
@TaMara (BHF): they do, from the pulpit. Not a lot of reporters on hand.
Thread title gave me an old Sunday-school earworm. I finally had to do something about it:
Kevin holds back food from you,
For his bible tells him to:
Sucking at the gummint teat —
If you don’t work, you don’t eat.
(Chorus) Yes, Kevin hates you,
Yes, Kevin hates you,
Yes, Kevin hates you,
His bible tells him to.
Kevin is against food stamps,
And disabled wheelchair ramps.
Wealthy farmers must be paid,
But not folks on Medicaid.
Like his friends, the Brothers Koch,
Kevin scorns the stony broke.
Work three jobs to make ends meet,
Just to pay for food and heat?
Slut-girl, if you’ve slept around —
Have those kids, go on the dole:
He won’t pay for birth control.
And forget it if you’re gay
(That is not the Murrcan Way).
Black or Muslim, immigrant,
Kevin’s message: “No, you can’t!”
Why can’t the active Pope just excommunicate them?
That’d send a message really fast.
“ungrateful, god-bothering asshole…” I like that. God-bothering is a great description of those who spout the Lord’s words in vain.
@SiubhanDuinne: much more solid and complex than the effort I had come up with.
Jesus hates me this I know,
For his followers tell me so,
He is weak and they are strong!
So he does as they command.
Yes, Jesus hates he! (x3)
His people tell him to.
That’s a little harsh isn’t it?
I mean it may be possibly true and all that but still, a little harsh. Someone else may have gotten pregnant and the whole thing might have happened anyway. After all stoning just for being human is a bit much.
Yeah, they are morally bankrupt…
That says it all.
@scav: I think there must be a plethora of satiric takes on the Thugs and their hateful messages just waiting to be discovered and set to ditties from A Hymnal for Children. I’m working on a 2013 version of “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.”
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
I’m sure they approve of pre-reformation Scrooge, but who they really are is Otto from A Fish Called Wanda. A gun toting sociopath who reads philosophy and religion but is too stupid to understand it – e.g. he thinks the central tenet of Buddhism is every man for himself. Substitute Christianity for Buddhism and there’s your modern GOP in the flesh.
@Mr Stagger Lee:
Your interpretation is exactly the one the Jesuits taught to me 45 years ago about that verse. It has nothing to with sloth, just an admonition to live as one would and let the Second Coming occur without anticipation.
If you read the Epistles that most scholars think are authentic (Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon) you won’t find the misogynistic, pro-slavery Paul who wrote the disputed epistles (Ephesians Colossians, 2 Thessalonians) and the clearly inauthentic ones (1-2 Timothy, Titus).
@Delcomuckraker: An excellent book on how different writers “contributed” to the gospels and the propaganda thereof is by Robert Price, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man.
Since I don’t have a religion, it is only academic to me. But those red letters have a lot of wisdom in them, and I do revere those principles and the teacher who tried to convey them.
Sal, commenter 10, got it right on! Thiat is what chrisianity is all about.
The quote crammer wants to use to deny people food is about “not willing to work”. The majority of unemployed at not “unwilling” to work, they are unable to work, don’t have a job, have a job which pays so little they can’t feed themselves or their families on.
Crammer needs a dose of reality. jWhat he is suggesting is that people can die from starvation and that includes children. The last time I checked the other country which had such a policy was North Korea. Perhaps Crammer has more in common with NorthKorea than he thinks.
I didn’t know Bob Dole was one of the originators of the bill. He obviously is so much better than the new crop of republicans.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Well, yes, he was although the worst of his sayings occur in epistles not reliably (or totally not) attributable to him. Still, I have always thought of him as the first & most prominent of the guys who really distorted Jesus’ teachings.
@Botsplainer: Actually, Jesus has some very choice things to say about people who were devoutly religious yet starved and defrauded widows and orphans.
I think many of my fellow Christians are nothing more than modern day Pharisees. It’s what most of us grew up in and it’s very hard to leave it behind.
Also I think Francis had it right yesterday when he talked about how money corrupts. I think a lot of this nonsense coming from folks like the Representative there is nothing more than piously disguised Objectivism: I’ve got mine, screw you. It’s the same attitude. It’s just pride, greed, and individualism wrapped up in a modern frock.
@gelfling545: That’s right. Besides which, Paul (or whomever) goes on to say: “For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.…”
If “doing no work but acting like busybodies” doesn’t describe this Congress, I don’t know what does!
@J.D. Rhoades: Paul would have been horrified and furious at Representative Cramer’s misusing his words in this way.
From Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “Do not be haughty, but accommodate yourselves to modest thoughts. Do not be wise in your own estimation. [Translation: Don’t be a dick.] Return no one evil for evil. Have good intentions with regard to all men. If it is possible, be for your part at peace with all men….”
Jay in Oregon
Have you not been paying attention? The GOP and the fundie Christian right are all about telling women what they should and shouldn’t be allowed to do.
If they had their way then abortion would be illegal, women’s suffrage would be history, and the disparity in women’s pay would be solved by putting women back in the kitchen where they belong (when they’re not cranking out more kids).