M. Grover: Leave hatred behind

This is in response to William Van Tassel's letter (Feb. 11). He compares President Barack Obama to a "Marxist, a statist, a socialist and a communist." He goes on to write, "Not surprisingly, someone doesn't know what defines a Christian." Van Tassel goes on to say the president "uses passages from Scripture for his own personal agenda."

It always amazes me how some Christians are so quick to use hatred when trying to promote their stand on an issue. Doesn't the Bible teach us to act like Christ? To try to spread love and peace?

And many people use quotes from the Bible to forward their agendas, including Van Tassel. He quoted a passage in which apostle Paul said, "If any would not work, neither should he eat." Was Paul saying that those who can't help themselves should be left to starve to death? That person might be sick, injured or could not find a job. Even if that person is one lazy bum, unwilling to work, doesn't Jesus tell us "to love thy neighbor as you love yourself?"

When it comes to politics, people will have different opinions, which is fine.

I believe that government plays an important role in our lives. Without it, we would not have Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, food stamps,  loans/grants for education and so on. Is the government perfect? Of course not.

Rather than attacking others, we should look within ourselves at our own souls to find peace and seek justice.

Michael Grover, Greene

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Comments

Steve  Dosh's picture

. ...Thanks again , Mike ,

. ...Thanks again , Mike , Sudnay night 18:18 hst •
Q: Guess what we gave up for Lent ?
A: Hatred and intolerence <3
Love , Steve Dosh and ohana

 's picture

Good letter, Mr. Grover.

Good letter, Mr. Grover. I've refrained from commenting until now because my posts seem to bring out all the clan of haters, and your message would have been lost. Fortunately only two, two notorious haters, have seen fit to comment. Yes, we should all strive to be Christ-like in our actions, of course some people need qualifiers, and distinct definitions to determine what those actions are. We must be vigilant, because the haters will throw roadblocks and landmines all the way, but we have right on our side, so we will eventually prevail.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You claim to be Christ-like

You claim to be Christ-like in your actions, and yet, no only do you label those who disagree with your perceptions as 'notorious haters', but you would deny them of their right to even disagree with you.

 's picture

You have a Constitutional

You have a Constitutional right to disagree, I'm not stopping you. And I never claimed to be Christ-like in my actions.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That's true. As judgmental as

That's true. As judgmental as you are of others, that would make you more God-like than Christ-like. Sorry for the confusion.

Jason Theriault's picture

Wait

Are you saying Dan is God?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Can you see that College

Can you see that College Grant ad to the right of this post? Is there so much money available that they have to advertise to get rid of it? Why not use it to lower taxes, but hell, that would be blasphemous.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I believe you know what I'm

I believe you know what I'm saying and will, therefore, not bore you or anyone else with the explanation. In fact, the answer to your question is in my post.

Jason Theriault's picture

I'm just goshing ya.

See, I would have responded with "Dan may think he's God" or "God of the Liberals" or even "..the Patron Saint of Pelosi"....

Long weekend has left your rusty, Pirate...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I catch enough scat without

I catch enough scat without being the first to cast any, if I can avoid it. But, you're right; take a long weekend and unintended 'niceness' begins to set in. Very unpirate-like. Haven't had anyone walk the plank in months. Getting soft; the International Brotherhood of Electricians, Pirates, and Aerospace Workers is apt to get on my case pretty soon.

Jason Theriault's picture

WHAT!!!1!

YOU'RE IN A UNION!?!?!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How else is a prosperous

How else is a prosperous pirate supposed to maintain such a high standard of living?

Jason Theriault's picture

But...

But aren't you afraid of the affects on small business pirates, or pirates that go into pirating as independent contractors, only to be forced out by unions? Never mind the effect on the economy, but what about the effects on the environment?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Pretty alarming, isn't it? 17

Pretty alarming, isn't it? 17 left, eh? I'll bet they're all related, too, those incestuous brigands. The union has little to do or say in our operations, since they're only a front; mainly to keep the Mafia from moving in. You need not fear our having a negative impact on the environment as we run nothing but the cleanest of wind through our sails.We do our best to protect the environment. The toughest part is protecting it from those who are dedicated to saving it.

RONALD RIML's picture

Easy..

Finding old, wealthy white guys to walk the plank.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It's interesting how the

It's interesting how the wealthy have been stereotyped as being old and white, and yet we all know hundreds of young black guys who happen to be quite wealthy, (multi-millionaires, in fact) but seem to fall through the cracks of chastisement. Fortunately, the plank is color blind and is incapable of judging one's age or weight. Of late, one has to really be unmanageable before the plank is even considered. We believe in a kinder, gentler piracy.

 's picture

I am NOT judgmental, I merely

I am NOT judgmental, I merely confront bigotry and intolerance. I leave judgment to God.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

As in in truth, justice and

As in in truth, justice and the American way? It is really amazing how those who scream the loudest against bigotry and intolerance are they, themselves the most intolerant and bigoted. They see bigotry and intolerance in everything that doesn't originate in their narrow minds. Astounding how that works.

 's picture

That scenario occurs only

That scenario occurs only when you change the definitions.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It depends on what your

It depends on what your definition of is, is, right?

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

If you want to confront real ...

... bigotry and intolerance, Dan, stand in front of a mirror.

 's picture

is that your idea of a witty

is that your idea of a witty retort? Guess I shouldn't have expect anything better.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

No, it's my idea of a reasonable response ...

... to flagrant bigotry and intolerance. A witty retort would be: There's no point in your standing in front of a mirror because you don't cast a reflection.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

No, it's my idea of a reasonable response ...

... to flagrant bigotry and intolerance. A witty retort would be: There's no point in your standing in front of a mirror because you don't cast a reflection.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot thought it was

The parrot thought it was because it felt so good, you did it again.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Sorry.

My unbigoted and tolerant finger hit the button twice.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sure you do...

Sure you do...

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

God is your copilot?

So, Dan, you strive? I submit you have labored and brought forth a mouse - a clan of mice.

 's picture

and as part of a clan of

and as part of a clan of snakes, you feast on me and mine and love it. Which is why God has decreed you to slither on your belly.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

An important role?

Without {government}, we would not have Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, loans/grants for education and so on.

Somehow the country managed reasonably well without all those things for about 150 years until, in the 1930s, government started telling us we needed all those things. Ever since, we the people have been happily chewing that excrement sandwich, until now we believe it tastes great, because we can't remember independence and freedom.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How about the latest

How about the latest giveaway, where many of those who's unemployment benefits have run out are now qulifiying for SSI disability under the guise 'mental illness'. The rate of those on SSI disability benefits was 3% in 2007. Under oBAMa it has risen to 4%, a whopping increase of 33%. Then, the new 'mentally ill' are taken off the unemployment roles, creating a drop in the rate of unemployment while the rate of people on SSI disability benefits goes up. The SSI disability fund is already on the verge of bankruptcy, and expects to be by 2018, but that's o.k. Pretty slick, eh?

Jason Theriault's picture

Post a source or I call BS.

How about the lastest tactic, where someone quotes a random percentage, and then 86.2% of the time it's taken out of context or just made up.

So pirate, share with us where you got this info

Jason Theriault's picture

"reasonably well"?

You know, I love how we are a "christian nation", under God, bound by the christian principals of our forefathers, except when it comes to helping the less fortunate and the poor.

You have so bough into the Republican rhetoric that you incapable of seeing that these programs do real good and are not a "excrement sandwich". As a nation, we have come together and said that we need to help our neighbors in need.

In my opinion, it takes more than writing "In God we trust" on our money to make us a christian nation. It takes us acting like Christians, and helping those in need.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

What I have bought into, Jason, ...

... is the traditional American belief that individuals are much better than government at identifying who needs help, what kind, and when and where to deliver it. The people of the US help more than all the governments of the world combined. On the contrary, you have bought into the liberal view that all charity must be funneled through government. Whatever "good" is accomplished by the gigantic check-writing schemes we have now, is swamped by the new dependence they create.

Jason Theriault's picture

A few points

I don't think that all charity must be funneled through the government. I hold that historically, private sector charity can only do so much. I think that both have their place, but the government can bring resources that private charities have no way of getting because we are not charitable enough. And, I also hold that having no safety net and having people die on the streets or living in abject poverty is bad for society as a whole.

And as for this "dependence" they create, any form of charity, public or private, has the ability to create dependence. If you disagree, please, tell me what safeguards private charity have against this?

So, if "Whatever "good" is accomplished by the gigantic check-writing schemes we have now, is swamped by the new dependence they create." is true, they in reality, you're against any charity because the good is outweighed by the dependence it creates.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Government charity creates

Government charity creates more dependence because it's a hand out; private charity is a hand up. I am all for charity, but I am all against your telling me how charitable I must be. Or the government telling me.

Jason Theriault's picture

Ok, how?

What makes private charity a hand up instead of a hand out?

"I am all for charity, but I am all against your telling me how charitable I must be"

This statement, right here, is why the government does a better job that private charities. They can only help as much private donations allow. The amount of help they can afford to offer changes from month to month. I think a great example was after 9/11, blood banks were overflowing with donations because everyone wanted to help. Soon afterwards they dropped back to their usual almost empty status.

This is why the government does a better job. It can provide a safety next months after Christmas is over, not just during November, December and a little into January. When times are tough and donations dry up, the government will still be there, with a hand up.

MARK GRAVE's picture

The poor in this country are rich in possessions and opportunity

A point of contention that I have with evoking Christ to justify income redistribution is that the neediest people do not reside in the United States. The so called poor in this country are rich in possessions and opportunity compared to world standards. I can’t but wonder if some people evoke Christ to justify their own greed proxy through the tax code.

Would not a true Christian be more concerned with the neediest on the planet? A true Christian would open their hearts and wallets to the planet’s neediest rather than asking your government for more goodies.

Michael’s letter smacks of hypocrisy in my opinion. All that I hear is “what can government do for me”, which is a bit selfish when you look at the poor of the world.

Bob Woodbury's picture

I still think...

...charity begins at home. That would include the countries which house "the neediest on the planet."

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Could you please be a little less obscure?

For a specific example, do you believe Mexico should help Mexicans more, so they might not feel desperate enough to emigrate (now there's a charitable word) to the US and become dependent on our charity?

RONALD RIML's picture

Here's an old map of Mexico

Here's an old map of Mexico before we stole half of it from them with a 'War-leveraged Buy-out' - so what's your problem with them coming back home?

You can't stop them, Mike. They will be the majority nationality in the U.S. within a century. Better tell your grandkids to deal with it.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

I'll tell them, Ronaldo, ...

... because they'll never learn from you or in school that they will spend the rest of their lives in indentured servitude paying the debts liberals are racking up today pandering to illegal aliens.

When the boats sail up the Damariscotta River, you better hope you're under ground, because the invaders won't be satisfied with a couple of dusty old books.

¡Viva la revolucion!

RONALD RIML's picture

Are you

Retired yet Mike????

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

If you have a zinger, Ron, ...

... just spit it out. Don't wait for me to play straight-man for you.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Ronald, So how did Mexico

Ronald,

So how did Mexico come into existence?

RONALD RIML's picture

Depends

Are you a 'Creationist??'

MARK GRAVE's picture

No Ronald; there was a point

No Ronald; there was a point in history when there was no Mexico, so how did Mexico become Mexico? Enlighten us.

RONALD RIML's picture

It has a long history

It has a long history over a number of civilizations -

Go research it yourself, Mark

MARK GRAVE's picture

Perhaps you are afraid to say

Perhaps you are afraid to say that Mexico is a product of theft itself?

RONALD RIML's picture

Of course not...

As Maine is today....

But the U.S. will definitely change - see http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0083.pdf

Fertility rate for Whites as of 2009 was 2,067 births per lifetime of 1,000 women
For Blacks - 2,132 births per lifetime of 1,000 women
For Hispanics - 2,912 births per lifetime of 1,000 women

As I said - there will occur the 'Browning of America' - it is a mathematical certainty - and you better get used to the idea.

MARK GRAVE's picture

I did not rebut your claim

I did not rebut your claim about the changing demographics. I would probably use the term highly likely rather than mathematical certainly for the use of statistics does allow for other possibilities albeit unlikely (i.e. 3-sigma or greater).

MARK GRAVE's picture

For example, do you mean that

For example, do you mean that charity begins in the U.S from the U.S.?

Bob Woodbury's picture

Could you be...

...a little more clear, please. In doing so, you may answer your own question.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Specifically, do think the

Specifically, do think the U.S. should help U.S. citizens before, say, helping people in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Bob Woodbury's picture

There is nothing...

...nefarious about my statement. It is straight forward. There are no religious or political connotations and I would appreciate it if you don't try and turn it into one for your own purposes. If you live in Lewiston, you give to the local rape crisis center. If you live in Maine, you give to homeless shelters and/or food banks. If you live in the United States and you have been touched by cancer, alzheimers, MS, etc. you give to one of those. If this isn't plain enough for you, I'm sorry. There will be no more replys.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You may think you’re clearer

You may think you’re clearer than you really are for your original statement is contingent on what you define as “home”.

Home could be your residential address, your immediate family, your town, your city, your country, and in some cases the planet. It all depends on what you define as being home. Now I could put words into your mouth, but it is nice to hear it on your own words.

To paraphrase your thoughts, charity in your opinion is like an onion where the innermost layers are more local or more personal in nature and the outer layers are geographically more distant or less personal?

If that is correct, you are probably like most people in that sense. Would you agree?

MARK GRAVE's picture

The whole point of this

The whole point of this exercise is to show that a majority of individuals treat charity as a local issue. That is fine if we are up front and honest about our intentions. However, in my opinion, it is hypocritical when someone invokes the “what would Jesus do” argument as it relates to providing more goods and services from the government, but the argument stops short when it comes to looking outside of our local communities as to who are the neediest. In most case, Jesus would probably say we are doing just fine comparatively.

Figuratively speaking, are you (the reader) a hypocrite?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Let me give you some

Let me give you some statistics from the world hunger project.
World Hunger
• 925 million people do not have enough to eat — more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined.2
• 98% of the world's undernourished people live in developing countries.2
• Two-thirds of the world's hungry live in just 7 countries: Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.2
• Where is hunger the worst?
o Asia and the Pacific: 578 million3
o Sub-Saharan Africa: 239 million3
o Latin America and the Caribbean: 53 million3
o Near East and North Africa: 37 million3
o Developed countries: 19 million3
Women and Children
• 60 percent of the world's hungry are women.4
• 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in over 300,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth.4
• 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.5
• A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.6
• Every five seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.6

Now, don’t all your arguments for more government handouts pale in comparison?
Those who wrap up their desire for more government handouts behind the vial of “what would Jesus do?”, behind Christianity, or behind any other religion should hang their head in shame.
I challenge one person to tell me how your needs supersede the needs of these people?

Betty Davies's picture

This is a good essay.

Thank you for these words of wisdom.

Steve  Dosh's picture

M. Grover: Leave hatred behind

Mike , Sunday night 20:20 h s t •
Q : Doesn't the Bible teach us to act like Christ ?
A : Yes
Q : To try to spread love and peace ?
A : Yes, also
Q : Was Paul saying that those who can't help themselves should be left to starve to death ?
A : No , That person might be sick, injured or could not find a job. Even if that person is one lazy bum, unwilling to work, doesn't Jesus tell us "to love thy neighbor as you love yourself ?
Q : Yes ? You've touched upon some important points that need review prior to this coming Ash Wednesday • 
Today in church we learned how Jesus did the difficult thing and actually made a disabled person walk . He didn't just say he could do it . He did it , in a place of worship amongst many witnesses - Jews probably ( Jesus was a Jew , after all )
Hate is one of those four letter words and ideas some practice Christianity - is - all about love & forgiveness , redemption , hope , faith , and reconciliation , as you have correctly noted . Those who believe other wise are just blowing s m o k e . Love love and enbrace it wherever you find it . You'll never go wrong that way . God is good . God is love
Non believers ? Just believe
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain
Thanks for your letter . Mike /s, Steve ( a Christian much like you , too :)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

God has shown a tendency to

God has shown a tendency to help those most who don't have a problem with trying to help themselves.

 's picture

and for that help he commands

and for that help he commands us to help our neighbors, but isn't strange that your and yours always forget that part.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The needy are needy on

The needy are needy on different levels. Some aren't needy at all, but have a couple of generations of experiebce at working the system. Others are truly needy, and those of the ones the givers focus on. The people take care of the needy; the government takes care of the fakers by buying their votes with cradle to grave programs.

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