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Posted on Dec 13, 2006
Rpbert Scheer
Zuade Kaufman / Truthdig

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer sounds off on nuclear negligence, Kucinich’s candidacy, the Christmas blues and more.


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    Videography and editing by George Edelman


    New and Improved Comments

    If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

    By Nihlo, December 18, 2006 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    If you want to rebut my comments, rverne8, then you probably are already familiar with the specific verses to which I referred in my original comment.

    You seem to have said that some of the statements Jesus makes in the gospels can only “naively” be assumed to be exactly what Jesus said.  You might be correct about that (it could be that Jesus only exists as a Biblical character for example), but that is not my concern.  What does concern me, as I already said, is that the appeal to a religious figure to justify an ethical claim is problematic.  In the case of this statement by Scheer, it is so because the words of the Biblical character Jesus, no matter how one might wish to fit them into an ad hoc mold, can be interpreted to mean that being poor is a good thing, and that the wealthy people that help to keep the poor in their wretched state are therefore not doing them a disservice.  What is a lifetime of poverty on earth compared to an eternity of bliss?  I have complete confidence that the possibility of such an interpretation has been actualized because of my own anecdotal evidence.

    As a rebuttal, you might grant that some people interpret Jesus in this way but that they do so incorrectly.  You might point to one way that Jesus should be interpreted.  The difficulty for such an argument is twofold: you must show that there is a right way to interpret the teachings of Jesus, and that all of Christendom can practically be brought to agree.  There are thousands of different official denominations/sects of Christianity currently, many with their own body of theologians and intellectuals that tell them that their interpretation is the right one and others are wrong.  Your work is cut out for you.

    Report this

    By abb1, December 18, 2006 at 4:14 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hi,
    could you start producing audio-only versions of your podcasts, please. Video files are too big.

    Thanks.

    Report this

    By rverne8, December 17, 2006 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A rebuttal of Nihlo’s comments on what Jesus ‘tacitly approved’ or what Jesus told another person is sorely needed. Before I do that,  I’d like to see the quotes that are given beyond the usual bowdlerized versions of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that are naively assume to tell us exactly what Jesus said, or the context of what he said.

    Report this

    By Michael E. Badgett, December 17, 2006 at 2:33 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Senator Byron Dorgan - Selling Out American Workers

    Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain Dead Politics Are Selling Out America

    by Senator Byron Dorgan

    As big companies move their jobs to China, sell their products through the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes, they undermine American workers and threaten our future.

    Trade can’t be “free” when our small businesses and working people are expected to compete with exploited workers and slave labor in third-world nations that care little about the conditions in their factories and not at all about the pollution they generate.

    We have mortgaged our fortunes, our principles, and our way of life.

    Listen / Download mp3: http://odeo.com/audio/1890002/view

    P.S.

    Pastor Deacon Fred understands and gives solutions to many of these “communication” problems we face today:  http://www.landoverbaptist.org/audio/pod/languages.mp3

    More gems of wisdom from Pastor Deacon Fred: http://www.landoverbaptist.org/60second/

    Report this

    By Nihlo, December 15, 2006 at 1:22 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    If Scheer wants to appeal to the teachings of Jesus to support his position on the disparity between the rich and the outsourced working poor, then he should be wary.  Jesus, like all religious argumentative strategies, is a sword that is easily turned.  As rhetoric that bit ain’t bad, but it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the substance of the argument against the exploitation of the impoverished by the wealthy.

    Jesus tacitly approved of slavery, and did not mind having expensive items used for his luxury instead of being sold to alleviate the plight of the poor.  Jesus even told one fellow to become poor in order to get into heaven.  The teachings of Jesus can be easily used by the powerful to control the weak, and to convince the gullible that true power lies in poverty.  A better tool of exploitation I do not know.

    Report this
     
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