It's taken a while, but the Right has discovered through trial and practice that if you can't beat 'em, turn the argument against 'em. And it's happening with religion. For a long while this site has sought to educate people about the Religious Right and its extremist implications for all Americans. After the Vice Presidential debate, the Right is turning the accusation against those they term "liberal," just like they cry "persecution" whenever anyone disagrees with them.
Take Dennis Prager at "The Patriot." He analyzed Joe Biden's response to the question regarding how religion informs his political position. Biden responded that he is Catholic, and he himself believes that life begins at conception, but that he would not seek to impose his Catholic beliefs on " equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.
"I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women, they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court — I'm not going to interfere with that."
Prager responds with an attack which directly ties one's political beliefs and religious beliefs to one's character:
- "My religion defines who I am."
If a conservative, evangelical Christian candidate for national office said that he defined himself by his religious beliefs, liberals would be screaming that the wall between church and state was in danger of being taken down.
Here is the rule in American politics: When the left uses religion to promote liberal policies, it is a beautiful thing. When the right uses religion to promote conservative policies, it threatens the separation of church and state and may lead to the creation of a theocracy.
- "It has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help."
This illustrates my previous point. Biden's Catholicism leads him to promote liberal social policies, specifically an ever-expanding state to take care of "people who need help." What else could his statement mean? After all, what religion doesn't expect its adherents to take "care of those who can't take care of themselves"? Protestant Christianity? Judaism? Islam? Buddhism? Mitt Romney's Mormonism?
Since all religions do, what is the difference between Romney's religious call to help the less fortunate and Biden's religious call to help these people?
The difference, as seen in the enormous difference between Biden's charitable donations and Romney's, is the difference between conservatism and liberalism: Conservatism holds that we all have to take care of ourselves and our fellow citizens; liberalism holds that the state — funded by some of us — has to.
Prager fails to remind us, however, that while Protestant Christianity does keep intact Jesus' tenets to take care of the poor, this is far overshadowed by Protestanism's heavy emphasis on individualism. He conveniently leaves out the entire controversy with Ryan's budget and the Catholic Church's problem with the fact Ryan's budget cuts out poor people and leaves them to do what the Protestant ethic dictates they should do–fend for themselves. In an instant, Prager has nullified the teachings of Jesus by simply ignoring the implications of Protestantism's influence on this country. Prager says "Republicans are just like anybody else. Their religion isn't affecting anybody." And that is a flat out lie.
Jonah Goldberg, a syndicated writer on the Right apparently took a leaf out of Prager's book in his opinion column printed today.
One of Ayatollah Kerry’s favorite rhetorical flourishes was to note that a Christian must “demonstrate faith with deeds” — and the deeds Kerry had in mind were the liberal policies he always supported. Abortion, of course, was the one great exception to his effort to impose his faith on Americans.
Let’s be clear: Anti-poverty programs, environmental regulations and tax increases are impositions, too. Refuse to abide with any of them and the government will either force you to comply or put you in jail. If your Catholic (or Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or pagan) faith drives you to pass regulations that shut down a coal mine, you’ll have imposed a lot of people right out of a job.
I strongly doubt that Gopnik and the rest of the faith-fearing liberals mind when progressive figures insist their policies are motivated by religion.
Both state unequivocally that leftism is a religion–the religion that informs Biden's/Obama's social policies–not any other. And so a new meme is born. If you're a Democrat, then that is your religion. It's clever really, but it's not a new idea. Ann Coulter called "liberalism" a religion in her book "Godless." Apparently Mr. Goldberg doesn't want clean air and water, and has total faith in corporations to uphold clean air and clean water standards without government intervention. And Mr. Goldberg is a naive fool if he does.
Of course this is an ideological attack on the part of Prager, Goldberg, et.Al. who are shilling for their party, which they no doubt revere with the fervor others save for belief in Jesus. If we observe the tenets that make a religion a religion we find the following. In order to qualify as a religion, there must be:
1. Belief in a supernatural Being.
2. Differentiation between sacred objects and profane objects
3. Ritual acts focused on set times, sacred places and objects (sacraments)
4. Development of a moral code with supernatural origins
5. Prayer which enables the adherent to communicate with their choice of supernatural being
6. Worldview and organization of one's life/society by that religious worldview
7. Complex social organizations formed around a particular religion
To the reasonable person, it is clear that liberalism is not a religion; thus, Prager’s and Goldman’s editorials are nothing more than political attacks against the religion of the candidate that they don’t like (Joe Biden), who happens to be Democrat It's the same old battle between Protestantism and Catholicism on the part of the right.
Liberalism is a political philosophy. Liberalism has no sacraments. We have no marriage or baptism ceremonies. Many people who consider themselves liberal belong to a diversity of faiths; the party is not dominated by one particular Christian faith. Some liberals are atheists. Some liberals call themselves "spiritual." The same cannot be said of the Republican Party at this point in time. Fully half of the current Republican Party are white evangelical Christians. That's an awful lot of influence from ONE religion.
In fact, to show how far right the Republican Party has shifted, all one has to do is read the Republican Party Platform of 1956:
Our great President Dwight D. Eisenhower has counseled us further: "In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people's money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative."
While jealously guarding the free institutions and preserving the principles upon which our Republic was founded and has flourished, the purpose of the Republican Party is to establish and maintain a peaceful world and build at home a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares.
We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.
We believe that basic to governmental integrity are unimpeachable ethical standards and irreproachable personal conduct by all people in government. We shall continue our insistence on honesty as an indispensable requirement of public service. We shall continue to root out corruption whenever and wherever it appears.
We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.
The above Republican Party Platform of 1956 reads more like the Democratic Platform today.
The Republican Party deliberately chose to align itself with evangelical Christians through the efforts of megachurch pastors like Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, who, in the 1970s and 1980s decided that the fortunes of the United States were tied to the party through joint conservative beliefs. By encouraging church members that becoming politically involved would fast forward the process of putting Jesus in charge of this country, and by encouraging these people through religious dogma to donate significant amounts of money to the political lobbies of the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, the Moral Majority, and the Family Research Council, which in turn gave that money deliberately to the GOP in the hopes of being able to significantly impact policy decisions. In response to the rise of the Christian Right, the 1980 Republican Party began to adopt the Christian Right's policy concerns into its platform:
1. "Restoration" of school prayer (a popular conservative myth: prayer was never taken out of school. You just can't make people in school pray according to a particular faith or belief (otherwise known as school sponsored prayer). As evidenced by the many prayer groups that exist in public schools today, you are free to pray as much as you like in school. As the popular bumper sticker goes, as long as there are tests in school there will be school prayer.
2. Dropping support for the Equal Rights Amendment
3. Opposition of abortion
The Christian Right had previously been involved with the Republican Party in opposing Communism, and defending a Protestant based moral order.
Enter the 1960's. The counterculture of the Sixties created fear amongst our conservative friends that society was rapidly disentegrating. Southern Democrats felt themselves increasingly alienated from the Democratic party, which swung to a pro-choice position and nontraditional societal values. Where did they go? They joined the Republican Party, which had already embraced the faith and values of the Protestant evangelical religious right.
How has the Republican Party morphed into God's Own Party?
1. Its members, being strongly motivated by their evangelical beliefs which coincide with conservative "values," turn out to vote. They believe they are voting for Jesus. Literally. Armed with their beliefs and their Bibles, these people will tirelessly knock on doors and attend political events they believe will hasten Jesus' return. Returning America to "Godly" principles is a chief concern of this group. They believe they are helping to save America from Satan's plan to turn this nation from God. They link Biblical fiscal responsibility to the national debt. These types of Christians believe, like the Puritans, that God means for America to be a Christian nation ruled by them. Thus their extreme nationalism, which fits in neatly with the nationalistic impulses of the Republican Party in its current incarnation. (That's why you see every Republican candidate with those little flag pins. They claim they love America more than Democrats or anyone else does that way, because they wear their nationalism on their chest. Literally.)
2. Money. As any pastor worth his salt knows, people who won't give money to a homeless man on the street will turn over their entire life savings to their church and organizations which are sanctioned by their church. "Jesus wants you to give your money to this organization in Washington so we can promote "Christian" values on this nation." The Republican Party loves money. And they don't mind hitching their wagon to evangelical Christians because they like getting money. After all, evangelicals make up 25% of the voting public. For years they ignored an entire voting bloc who felt left out until that group realized they could tie political conservative values to their own religious values and do God's work in a whole new way. Which is why you hear so much "God talk" from Republican candidates running for any office in the country. And this is also why Republicans moaned and groaned when the Democratic party left God out of the platform. This action only solidified in their minds that the Republican party was the true party of God, while the Democratic party was the "godless" party. Now, all of a sudden, these paper pundits, Goldberg and Prager, are claiming the opposite–that we've got too much God! Which is is, guys? You can't have it both ways!
So far, the Christian Right Republican Party is composed of what I see as two main factions: The party "centrists" which are still more right of center than most "mainline" Christians, and the party extremists, otherwise known as Dominionists, who see it as their sole purpose to infiltrate the US government and turn it into a theocracy. Dominionists state that they are going to conquer what Seven Mountains of society:
1). The home–those attacks on birth control, fights to ratify personhood amendments, and the war on women by the Republican party? It's not a mistake. They only believe in small government until it comes to women's bodies.
3). Civil government—Liberty University was created by Jerry Falwell expressly to train conservative Christian lawyers to work in the US government; to create "Champions for Christ." The Liberty University Law School makes no bones about creating Christian lawyers according to Christian principles:
Liberty University School of Law exists to equip future leaders in law with a superior legal education in fidelity to the Christian faith expressed through the Holy Scriptures.
This vision animates and drives all that we do, as we aim to
- Equip future leaders in law. Inspiring students and preparing them to excel and lead in their profession.
- With a superior legal education. Constructing and implementing an education characterized by excellence.
- In fidelity to the Christian faith. Adhering to the perspective that shaped the Western legal tradition.
- Expressed through the Holy Scriptures. Pursuing truth in a context of free thought and expression informed by a standard.
The purpose of Liberty University School of Law is to prepare its students to think, analyze, and communicate through the analytical grid of a comprehensive Christian worldview. In so doing, the School of Law aspires to produce graduates who are clear thinkers, skilled legal practitioners, and morally responsible leaders of society.
National Day of Prayer Task Force (which has nothing to do with the National Day of Prayer government website). They feel that America needs another Great Awakening to resolve what they see as spiritual and moral issues in the government and the country.
Pastor Rick Scarborough's "40 Days of Prayer" that is aimed to remove what he terms "ungodly" people from office (mentioning the President and Vice President. Imprecatory prayer to remove people they don't like is a favorite ploy of the Christian right).
4). business/technology–the pray at work movement.
5). education–anti-science, pro-Biblical creationism groups, the Dover evolution trial, school sponsored prayer–need I go on?
7). entertainment/professional sports
Now, these people aren't dumb. Rather like their Satan, they feel the best defense against knowledge of dominionism is to claim it doesn't exist, or that it's a liberal conspiracy theory. That's perfect if you want to keep the American public at large ignorant of your machinations. As this website by dominionist Os Hillman attests, Dominionism is no myth.
There are 7 Mountains of Influence in Culture…
In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same time frame Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was that if we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we would have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society.
These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. There are many subgroups under these main categories. About a month later the Lord showed Francis Schaeffer the same thing. In essence, God was telling these three change agents where the battlefield was. It was here where culture would be won or lost. Their assignment was to raise up change agents to scale the mountains and to help a new generation of change agents understand the larger story.
This website is designed to help educate those who wish to become change agents in culture for Christian values and to connect like-minded men and women for a common vision.
Could such a linkage with the Democratic Party have happened as has happened with the Republican Party? By the very nature of liberalism, which touts individual liberty (remember, the history of the Democratic party has Jefferson as its founder), and the loose organization of liberals, this writer believes probably not. Most on the liberal side don't claim, like conservative Christians do, that Christianity is the only valid way to connect to God. While I would never say that any political party is all good (we all know none of them are), to date the Democratic Party isn't trying to convert anyone to Jesus. Republicans are obsessed with Jesus and God–they couldn't even leave the issue alone when it was discovered that Democrats had left God off the Democratic Party platform. This is just one example of how this party insidiously believes that their way is the only way and if other people don't believe as they do, then they must force them to.
Example after example exists to prove the Republican Party's obsession with evangelical Christianity. Take Israel, for instance. Evangelical Christians believe that when Jews are all brought back to Israel, then Christ will return and reclaim the world for Him. This fits in perfectly with the Republican Party platform stance on Israel. No one states the evangelical position on Israel better than Pat Robertson, one of the early "founders" if you will, of joint melding with the Republican Party:
Ladies and Gentleman, evangelical Christians support Israel because we believe that the words of Moses and the ancient prophets of Israel were inspired by God. We believe that the emergence of a Jewish state in the land promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was ordained by God.
We believe that God has a plan for this nation which He intends to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.
Of course, we, like all right-thinking people, support Israel because Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an island of the rule of law, and an island of modernity in the midst of a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty, and a fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of 8th Century Arabia.
These facts about modern day Israel are all true. But mere political rhetoric does not account for the profound devotion to Israel that exists in the hearts of tens of millions of evangelical Christians.
You must realize that the God who spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai is our God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our spiritual Patriarchs. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are our prophets. King David, a man after God's own heart, is our hero. The Holy City of Jerusalem is our spiritual capital. And the continuation of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land is a further bulwark to us that the God of the Bible exists and that His Word is true.
And we should clearly take note that evangelical Christians serve a Jew that we believe was the divine Messiah of Israel, spoken of by the ancient prophets, to whom He entrusted the worldwide dissemination of His message to 12 Jewish apostles.
It should be noted that today Christianity, with well over two billion adherents, is by far the fastest growing religion in the world. Within 20 years, that number will swell to three billion. Of these, at least six hundred million are Bible-believing evangelicals and charismatics who are ardent supporters of the nation of Israel. In 20 years, that number will reach one billion. Israel has millions of Christian friends in China, in India, in Indonesia, throughout Africa and South America, as well as North America.
So far, the Republican party is doing a bang up job of attracting every racist cockroach who feels safe crawling out of the dark recesses where they breed and multiply into the light. Believe me, Mitt Romney's 47% comment is only the tip of the iceberg. Take this example of how Mitt Romney plays on white resentment:
Political Research Associates, a group of scholars who study right-wing movements, defines producerism as a call to “rally the virtuous ‘producing classes’ against evil ‘parasites’ at both the top and bottom of society.” The concept stretches back to the Andrew Jackson era, and weaves “together intra-elite factionalism and lower-class whites’ double-edged resentments.” Today, the parasites at the top are liberals, bureaucrats, bankers, and union “bosses”; the ones below are “welfare queens,” teachers, Muslims, and “illegal aliens.” They are all taking money from the hard-working Americans in the middle.
By historical standards Romney should be a Walter Mondale, a candidate who has lost even before the race begins. But he is effectively utilizing the politics of white resentment because of Obama’s dismal economic record. Tens of millions of low-wage workers feel their world is coming apart and they don’t know whom to blame. To them, change may mean lower wages, fewer hours, no health care, or a lost home. Romney plays on fear by linking it to Obama. In Sidney he said, “The president seems to be changing America in ways we don’t recognize,” which elicited chants of “USA! USA! USA!”
It’s not that the United States is inherently right wing, as many commentators claim. In Ohio, autoworkers say there is almost universal support among their co-workers for Obama because the auto bailout saved their jobs. But the bailout affected less than 1 percent of all U.S. jobs. In a recent poll the president has the support of only 35 percent of white working-class voters compared to Romney’s 48 percent.
Then there's Republican representative Louie Gohmert of Texas (no surprise) who says that while "slavery was a "blot" (yeah. just a little blot) things are worse now because "people are openly rebelling against God."
Politico's Roger Simon says too that "being a little bit racist" helps in the GOP primary. When Rick Perry took pot shots at Obama's birth certificate, it showed he was really on the GOP's "side." He did it to ingratiate himself to the racist elements in this party.
Republican Scott Brown's (R-MA) staff mocked Elizabeth Warren's Native American heritage by doing tomahawk chops and war whoops at a campaign rally.
And then, there's this winner:
Then there was the brouhaha over Obama's birth certificate, and his religion, something a lot of Tea Partiers just can't drop or forget. Yet the Republican party is quiet on the issue of racism. TheGrio.com adds:
Extreme anti-Obama sentiment isn’t new. So far this election season, we’ve seen “lynched” empty chair in Texas — a macabre send-up of the Clint Eastwood routine during the Republican National Convention (the chair was eventually taken down), various versions of the “birther” meme, including the son of Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson getting caught on video at a rally Sunday saying that Republican voters “have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago – or Kenya…”, and the return of the Obama witch doctor image, this time in a New Jersey store display.
Racism in America isn't dead. And when a political party–any political party who claims that God is with their party allows by their silence these sorts of things to happen there is something grievously wrong. How do I know the Republican Party and members thereof are infected with this idea that they are the party of God? Michael Brown, over at Townhall.com, a conservative blog proudly says so (after a lot of equivocating and a feeble attempt to acknowledge that yes, SOME Democrats do believe in God (but not like we do), and a very unChristian potshot at Romney's Mormonism (God would NEVER appoint a Mormon to head our country but we'll stand behind him because we dislike Obama more than Romney):
The Democratic Party Platform contains just one reference to “God,” and the inclusion of that single reference was famously booed by many delegates at the Democratic convention. In contrast, the Republican Party Platform contains 12 references to “God,” and candidate Romney has emphatically stated, “I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation that’s bestowed by God.” Does this make the GOP the party of God?
The Democratic Platform certainly stands in stark contrast with the Republican Platform. The former is radically pro-abortion, endorses same-sex marriage, and is decidedly weak on Israel. The latter is strongly pro-life, in favor of natural, organic marriage, and unashamedly pro-Israel.
All this is readily seen in Liberty Counsel’s Voter’s Guide, which contrasts 10 categories in both platforms: Abortion and Human Life; Family Values; First Amendment, Liberty, and Responsibility; ObamaCare; Gun Rights; Fiscal Reform; Israel as an Ally; Government Oversight; Judiciary; Word Use Comparisons.
Starting with the last category, as already noted, the Democratic Platform (from here on DP) used the word “God” once; the Republican Platform (from here on RP) spoke of “God” 12 times. But is this more semantics than substance? Apparently not.
The DP did not mention the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The RP condemned them.
The DP did not mention the protection of individual conscience in healthcare; the RP explicitly supported it.
The DP did not mention the right to publicly display the Ten Commandments; the RP explicitly endorsed it.
The DP favored the so-called Fairness Doctrine; the RP opposed it.
The DP did not encourage abstinence-only education for teens; the RP encouraged it.
The DP did not mention the enforcement of laws against pornography and obscenity; the RP did.
The DP did not support a constitutional amendment that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, nor did it support the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); the RP supported both.
The DP did not mention euthanasia and assisted suicide; the RP opposed both.
The DP supported taxpayer-funded/subsidized abortion; the RP opposed this.
The DP did not mention the Human Life Amendment in defense of the unborn; the RP supported it.
And Romney continues to ratchet up the God talk, stating, “I will not take God out of the public square,” and “we are [a] nation under God.” But that does not mean that the Republican party is the party of God. Not by a long shot.
Both parties have more than their share of cronyism, compromise (if not outright corruption), ungodly alliances, hypocrisy, blind spots, and poor role models. It would be a terrible mistake to invoke some kind of divine sanctity on the Republicans. (For the record, it would also be a terrible mistake to think that there are no godly Democrats out there.)
To be perfectly clear, as a religious conservative, I strongly support the GOP Platform when it comes to family, life, and Israel. And I find it interesting that individuals, religious organizations, and political parties which invoke God and the Bible as authorities tend to be pro-life, pro-traditional family, and pro-Israel (which does not necessarily mean anti-Palestinian). In contrast, individuals, religious organizations, and political parties which either marginalize God and the Bible or reject the plain sense of the Scriptures tend to be pro-abortion, in favor of same-sex marriage, and anti-Israel (or, at least, not strongly pro-Israel).
And I do understand why conservative pundits have referred to the “godless Democrats” and why conservative politicians have runs ads highlighting the Democratic “booing of God.” But even if many (or most) Democrats are “godless,” that does not mean that the Republicans, for the most part, are godly, nor should we look at them as the Party of God. (For the conservative Christians reading this, do you think God would appoint a Mormon to head up his party?)
So. People like Prager and Goldberg can make ideological attacks on Democrats and their supposed shoving of religion down everybody's throat. They can speak all they want about the evils of secularism, and the so called religion of secularism, and people like David Barton can pervert history all they want when it comes to why separation of church and state is important. Republicans are not for individual liberty, particularly over religion and women's bodies. Republicans are not for small government, particularly when it comes to women's bodies and taxing the middle class, and taking away individual rights under the guise of national security (the Patriot Act). Republicans are not for poor people, and they're not even for the poor white Southern saps they've managed to brainwash into voting for them. It's all just an ideological attack on the party they don't like.
But you've got to feel a little sorry for Republicans these days. They couldn't come up with a conservative Christian white candidate who could survive the election process, so they've got to settle for the un-God appointed, Mormon Mitt Romney who is splitting this party right down the middle.
The GOP are for what they've always been for–rich people and corporations. That's who they really represent. They are simply a wolf in sheep's clothing with all their talk of Jesus, gladly implicitly endorsing racism and religious intolerance (think Muslims) as long as those actions get them votes. And conservative Christians ought to be ashamed of themselves for aligning themselves with such a party. Having belonged to a conservative Christian church who believed they were the only right ones and everybody else was wrong, I can understand the conservative Christian mindset. I'm sure individual conservative Christians aren't racist. They might be unintentionally bigoted towards other faiths, because their faith mandates that they are "chosen" people, that they are "saved," and they simply want others to be saved out of the goodness of their heart and the dictates of their faith. Maybe they don't realize they are stomping on the religious convictions of other people. But the Republican Party itself? They are the Pharisees of this generation. They beat their chests and pray in public to get the votes of people they consider civically ignorant Americans who don't know any better. (Even Santorum said that smart people would never belong to the GOP. What does that say about what the party really thinks of its adherents?)
For all of you Christians out there, what did Jesus think of the man who beat his chest in public? Of the Pharisees?
To the best of my knowledge, the DNC are not purposely aligning themselves with a religious voting bloc in order to get votes. To the best of my knowledge, the DNC isn't implicitly okaying overt racism in order to get white supremacist votes. The Republican Party is. And any thinking person who belongs to the Republican Party ought to be ashamed to be counted among them. Most centrist Republicans (especially Latinos) have fled the party, or are retiring. Here's your sign, Republicans!
I'll leave you to answer that question for yourselves. And I'll gladly be "intolerant" of politically sponsored racism, and religious intolerance on the part of conservative Christian Republicanism, and I'll gladly be intolerant of these conservative Christians serving in public office who want to shove their religion and their morals down my throat and everybody else's, instead of doing what Christ did–not judging people, eating with the tax collectors and prostitutes, being an example rather than being a megaphone of judgment. I'll gladly support the party that believes everyone has a right to healthcare. Jesus believed that too. He healed people free of charge. All he required was that they believe. He fed people free of charge. He said that rich people couldn't make it to heaven. He said that people can't worship both God and money (and power). He told people to give the poor their clothes. He didn't say how many poor people. Political parties are corrupt. This we all know. I'll err on the side of the party that is inclusive, despite whatever corruption is going on. I'll vote Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian. I'll vote anyone but a Republican until they clean up their narrow, overly religious racist act.