UP-FRONT COMMENTARYBeatitudes with Attitude -- for the 21st century Christian Patriot!
There is a very provocative item over at Huffington Post: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus by Phil Zuckerman and Dan Cady. It makes some very interesting assertions such as: “The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest...ironies in contemporary American culture." It made me think if Jesus was giving his Sermon on the Mount now to an audience of South Carolina GOP voters how it might sound:
1. [Traditional version] Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[21st century Christian Patriot version] Blessed are those who increase the suffering of the poor for they shall save the taxpayers’ money and teach the poor how to get off their lazy asses.
2. [Traditional version] Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
[21st century version] Blessed are those who show no pity and those who laugh at other people’s pain for they shall feel superior to their neighbors and get more air time on television.
3. [Traditional version] Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
[21st century version] Blessed are the bellicose, the resentful, and the uncompromising for they shall always be able to blame others and never be held to account for making the world a better place to live in.
4. [Traditional version] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
[21st century version] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness only from liberals and Democrats for they shall always have good campaign issues to run on.
5. [Traditional version] Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
[21st century version] Blessed are the torturers for they shall grant no mercy and save America from the “evildoers.”
6. [Traditional version] Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
[21st century version] Blessed are those who live scandal-plagued lives for all they will have to do is invoke God’s name to be let off the hook and to get re-elected.
7. [Traditional version] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
[21st century version] Blessed are the warmakers, the arms manufacturers and their supplicants in Congress for they shall get wealthy and be able to tell the rest of the world what to do -- and where they can go if they have a problem with it.
8. [Traditional version] Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[21st century version] Blessed are those who persecute anyone who disagrees with them for they shall live in an artless world of comfortable uniformity.
9. [Traditional version] Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
[21st century version] Blessed are those who wantonly and speciously invoke God’s name to justify their own likes and dislikes for they shall never be aware of the evil they do in the name of the Lord.
Back to our regular nuggets!
Hamas Out in the Cold? (Paul Scham) from the National Interest
"The Arab Spring has deprived Hamas of its patrons. The organization must adapt quickly to survive."
Foolish Suspicion of Political Islam (Paul R. Pillar) from the National Interest
"Fear and Islamophobia drive Western media to misrepresent the largely peaceful, moderate Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood."
Polls Show Toll on House GOP Approval from Politico
"House Republican poll ratings have plunged over the past year, as Washington’s brutal battles have taken a toll on a party that was flying high last January when it took the majority."
Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame (Richard Cohen) from the Washington Post
"The Republican establishment acts as if this season’s goon squad of presidential candidates has come out of nowhere, an act of God — a tsunami that hit the party and receded, leaving nothing but nitwits standing. In column after column, conservative commentators lament the present condition, but not their past acquiescence as their party turned hostile to thought, reason and the two most important words in the English language: It depends."
Character, Values Concerns May Sink GOP Nominee (Robert Creamer) from the Democratic Strategist
"According to Biden, the day before he ordered the raid that finally stopped Osama Bin Laden, President Obama met with his top national security advisers in the Situation Room. At the close of the meeting, he went around the room asking each person for his or her recommendation on whether to launch the risky nighttime mission. ..."
The Republicans' 1972 (George Packer) from the New Yorker
"Republicans might not lose the Presidency, but they’re as isolated—and as calcified—as the Democrats were when they nominated McGovern…"
Why Does Mitt Romney Want to be President? (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"It is remarkable that the well-orchestrated blitzkrieg to save Florida for Romney was designed solely to raise doubts about Gingrich’s character and electability — rather than convince voters that Romney, on the merits, should be president. It makes you wonder whether the GOP luminaries supporting this guy really believe in him."
Is Mitt Romney Actually Electable? (George Miniter) from Forbes Magazine
"... why does nearly every pundit and politician think that is the only “electable” candidate, the only one who can beat Obama? The facts and evidence tell a different story. Romney has never won a majority (50% or better) of Republican primary or caucus voters. And, two-thirds of the time, he has had to spend vast sums just to claim the number two spot."
Another related view from a notable conservative pundit:
Character Matters and Romney's Worries Me (Mark Levin) from his Facebook page
"I am beginning to think that the nature and level of attacks being launched by Mitt Romney against Newt Gingrich, which he would surely use against any conservative threatening his nomination, are going to make it very difficult for Romney to unite the different factions of the GOP and the conservative movement behind his candidacy should he win the nomination."
And another conservative columnist:
Romney Explains Why He Can't Beat Obama (David Catron) from the American Spectator
"The most telling moment of the debate was the latter's response to Rick Santorum's eloquent explanation of Obamacare's importance to the GOP's strategy in the general election and why giving Romney the nomination would be tantamount to surrendering the high ground on health reform. ... The former Massachusetts governor responded with the usual rote talking points, which Santorum vehemently rejected. Romney then uttered the most revealing words of the debate: "First of all, it's not worth getting angry about." Most Republican voters, and more than a few independents, would disagree."
Newt Gingrich's Promise To Campaign Until The Convention May Not Be A Bluff (Sam Stein) from the Huffington Post
"... what if Gingrich isn't bluffing? The Republican primary process is, at its heart, a race for delegates: the first candidate to net 1,144 wins. By the time Floridians finish voting on Tuesday, just five percent of the total delegate pool will have been awarded. The upcoming states include a number of caucuses and southern primaries, the former of which play to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)'s strengths and the latter of which work to Gingrich's advantage. The more delegates a candidate accrues, the larger his influence becomes over the party platform. As one top Republican Party official said of Gingrich's proclamation: "Why would he quit?""
Bad Blood Between Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich Will Linger (Rick Klein) from ABC News
"The Republican Party is poised to move a big step closer to landing on its presidential nominee this week. But the party will be simultaneously taking a big step away from being happy with that nominee."
Rick Perry’s Campaign Burned Through Millions from Politico
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry burned through the bulk of a once-sizable campaign war chest late last year in what became an increasingly desperate attempt to right his listing — and ultimately doomed — presidential campaign, federal financial disclosures released late Monday show."
NY SUBWAY PHOTOS NUGGET!!
Taking the Subway: Black and White Images Reveal the Early Days Underground in New York From the Opening Ceremony to War-time Travel and Plush 1930s Interiors from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"...photographs from the beginning of the last century show how the New York City subway clambered to its feet to become the service millions of commuters take for granted today."
Why Your Dog Really DOES Love You (and It's Not Just Because of All the Treats You Give It!) from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"‘You know Bruce, she loved us as much as we loved her.’ Scientists find this idea hard to handle. They say only animals with ‘higher emotions’ — humans — are capable of love. But Michael’s words came back to me this week when I read newspaper reports claiming the dog has been man’s best friend for far longer than anyone imagined. They described how archaeologists digging in Siberia and Belgium found two canine skulls dating back 33,000 years."