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13 February, 2010

Jesus and the Sinners

I find it funny that there are so many stories of Jesus favoring those that don't deserve God's love over those that are so pious that they must be walking on water themselves, and yet, hardly a Christian Conservative will treat a prisoner with compassion in their words, deeds or their hearts.

I heard a Christian today say that privatizing the prison system and saving money by feeding them bread and water is just fine. While it was a funny remark and did touch on the anger that Californians feel over the fact that prisons get more of the budget than our public university system, it was a remark that struck me as completely un-Christian. The person later retracted the part about privatization because there might be the possibility of liberty not being protected, but never went back to the comment about letting them live on bread and water.

This man is young, pretty well set in his opinions and is the typical rural, white American neo-libertarian Christian, so I can't blame him for not quite thinking all the way through what he said. Private business is something that should be protected at all cost and I'm sure that's been drilled into his head for the last twenty years that the country has become more and more polarized. At the same time, though, I can't really excuse the bread and water remark. He seemed like he really meant it, but then again, I might even say something like that just to express my frustration at the budget situation while knowing all well that if the practice were going on, I would probably say it was bordering on cruel and unusual punishment and fight to stop it. But something about my experience with many of these same types of Christians tell me that while he wouldn't actively try to turn it into law that prisoners only get bread and water, he certainly wouldn't actively try to stop the practice if it were really going on. That, I think, is the difference between a Christian Conservative and an Atheist Liberal.

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