Guns and Religion

Guns and Religion

After blogging for a while I find that these two topics garner the most views and controversy.
I find that fact a little interesting as my main concern is income inequality.
I feel that if this issue were addressed, most other issues would be less virulent in our discussions.

But then on the other hand I also suspect that these issues are being used by those in power to manipulate our thoughts.
The NRA has a team/group designated to jump on any and all gun control posts and work on denigrating the poster in any manner available. They also put efforts into instilling fear in citizens of this country. Gun sales increase with each and every school shooting.

While religion has supporters of the victims of the worlds elites efforts at controlling the masses, most religions support the goals of the one percent.
I would have to do some more study in religion to ascertain a solid reason for this paradox. In my youth I was taught that religion was designed to be kind and loving. Doing what was needed to help those less fortunate than us.
Today the majority of Christian society supports the Republican Party. Perhaps it is the single issue of abortion, but it seems to me that the learned leaders of these groups would be wise enough to see the wrongness of their ways.
You don’t suppose they are also on the take do you? I know that in medieval times the pope and the Kings of various countries had a thing going.

Personally I think if the average person had the ability to earn a wage that provided a decent standard of living many of these so called problems would be negligible.
What do you think?

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40 thoughts on “Guns and Religion

  1. Wow, I didn’t know using the WordPress “tag” feature made me part of the NRA’S (not currently a member) blog response team. I thought I was just an average citizen concerned about my rights.
    Who knew.

    Personally I think if the average person had the ability to earn a wage that provided a decent standard of living many of these so called problems would be negligible.

    You mean the average person is incapable of earning a wage that provides a decent standard of living?

    Incredible. All this time, I thought people had that ability. Is this something we have to genetically engineer into them or can we provide alternative means like education?

    Bob S.
    3 Boxes of BS

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    • Wow, i don’t remember pinpointing you out as one of the NRAs team of paid responders. The largest private employer in the U.S. is Walmart, close to 80 percent of their employees qualify for food stamps and/or Medicaid. If you think this is a decent standard of living, you have much to learn. Meanwhile the Walton heirs are dining on caviar and foie gras, the heirs did nothing to earn their wealth, they were born into it. Also another group that relies on food stamps to maintain a standard of living are the military including veterans. Genetic engineering is not required to lift these people out of their substandard lives. Rather a decent wage would do so. But then corporate profits may have to suffer a bit or perhaps the Wall Street moguls would have to pay their fair share in taxes.
      Listen to my words Bob and perhaps you will only be carrying 2 boxes of BS.

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      • Listen to your words?

        Your words said if people “had the ability” — I posit they do have the ability. Otherwise few if any people would be making more than minimum wage. Out of the 75 Million people making an hourly wage; only 1.6 Million of them are making minimum wage. Apparently MOST people do have the ability to make a living wage.

        Rather a decent wage would do so
        Okay…how many people are you paying a decent wage?
        And since i doubt it is more then zero; are you adding to anyone’s income so they can have a decent standard of living?
        I doubt it. You are probably just advocating to give away other people’s money without practicing what you preach. Can to disclose if you are living at poverty level and providing all the extra income over that amount to others?

        ut then corporate profits may have to suffer a bit or perhaps the Wall Street moguls would have to pay their fair share in taxes.

        Love how some people pay absolutely nothing in income taxes — while others pay the majority of it and it is still unfair. Maybe you should look up the definition of the word?

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      • You seem to overlook a few facts my friend. One the middle class have been working and earning stagnant wages for the past ten to twenty years. And why should a Wall Street mogul pay a lower tax rate than a hard working middle class individual? About five percent of their income is listed as regular wages while the rest is recorded as capital gains. Think about it. As for some paying no income taxes, funny thing about our tax code, if you have no taxable income you pay no taxes. Who woulda thunk?

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  2. Come on Larry, keep consistent here.
    You start off talking about minimum wage and now you switch to stagnant wages of the ‘middle class’. Wait, I thought people didn’t have the ability to earn a decent wage. Now you are saying that wage has been stagnant.

    Which is it?

    I can see your class warfare mentality is showing. A hard working office type is a mogul but the same person earning less is an individual. Aren’t people supposed to be treated equally? Or did someone change the meaning of equality?

    How about everyone paying a flat 10% of what they make?

    I agree the tax code is messed up. But the answer isn’t to skew it farther out of whack by arbitarily defining what is a ‘living’ wage.

    Are you going to answer any questions about you living on a poverty level income while providing the income above that to others?

    Or are you just a hypocrite decrying that “He makes more than I do so he should be helping”?

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    • I did not say minimum wage I said a decent living wage. Poor folk and many middle income folk are losing this. Class warfare is real and the hard working middle class are losing the war. Flat tax would be ok if it included ALL income but the rich only want to tax earned income, no tax on dividends or capital gains etc. not sure what u mean about living on poverty income while providing the income above that to others. I personally do not care what anybody makes. I would however like to see less hunger and suffering in this world. You folks have about eliminated unions in this world and for sure corporations are not going to give anyone a raise out of the kindness of their non-existing hearts. So what would you propose to eliminate or cut back on the poverty in the world we live in?

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      • I would however like to see less hunger and suffering in this world.

        Yes but the question is ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Or just running your fingers on the internet?

        You want less hunger in the world; are you Larry providing food to people out of your income? You want to see less suffering; are you Larry providing people shelter, medical care, dental care, clothing out of your income?

        Poverty level income is defined as what is needed to feed and shelter a person today. A decent wage – not great but decent. So the reason I ask if you are living on that poverty level wage is some people aren’t making it. YOU said that. YOU said you wanted to help. So if you were truly being fair; you would live on just what it took to feed, shelter and clothe yourself and donate the rest. Right?

        If you aren’t doing that… how are you any different from a wall street mogul?

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      • No you are now starting to get silly. I do donate to local soup kitchens and so on but I am not going to live a poverty lifestyle. At least not yet. It depends on how long the corporatist maintain control. I am also working to get good people elected to office. People that are concerned about all the people in America not just the one percent. You know the Koch brothers and their compatriots.

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  3. In faith none of this is about wages. Rich nor poor matters when it comes to matters of soul. It is what we do with what we are given that makes us who we are. If you have money or have none you are still being tested with what you are stewards of and that possession is your soul called the “Psyche” in Greek. This is the mind that is the concern here that is left to act as the animal or to stand as the man. Of man and beast only the beast will bite. So guns or none are not the issue when it comes to the education of truth we know as “Enlightenment”. If a man can learn to be wise he will not fight nor bite in anger or fear. Darkness called “Ignorance” breeds fear. Fear is the real enemy here and politics and guns matter little when the real issue is how do we stop fear? Fear of failing, fear of success, fear of looking like a fool. We bring love. Love is not a feeling, it is a correctness that brings about a feeling letting us know it is correct. Love is God and we call Him “Righteous” because He is perfect “Correctness”. And teaching correctness means teaching to be wise with love.

    Maybe there is more to salvation than rules? Maybe we are all yet still seeing salvation from the wrong perspective?

    If you cannot look within to find God you will not find God at all. Modern Christians seem to think that to know the self is selfish and sinful, but the self is a world unto its own that must be tamed or forever be plagued by its own demons of corrupt influence and power. The kingdoms of the soul must be ruled by a true king called “Christ/TRUTH” that sets us free as a king of all kings of the inner-world. Perfect truth rules the inner-world and brings about perfect freedom called “Jesus/Salvation”. This is what “knowing Jesus” really means. “I am” (egō/self) the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). The world of scriptures is YOU and you must make TRUTH (Christ = Anointed with the oil of the lamp on the head = “Ease of thought” or “peace of mind”) lead the WAY to SALVATION (Jesus/salvation = Freedom). If you gain no TRUTH then your inner-world is damned to its own destruction and the new Jerusalem (Jerusalem = PEACE) will never come and Babylon (Babylon = CONFUSION) will reign instead in the spirit (Waters = flow of conscious truth; IE channeling, drawing etc).

    Know what the Bible really says or be forever lost in the death called “Ignorance” where there is no “Inner light” (Matthew 25:30).

    Perfect knowledge and wisdom create perfect understanding, and perfect understanding is perfect love. God is love, so He sent us the perfect Truth called His “Son” which in Hebrew means to build. Eternal “Living” Truth builds the “kingdom of heaven”, the temple in the sky called “The Higher State of Enlightenment” where there is no darkness within called “Inner light”. You are the lost and lonely fallen world the scriptures speak of. It’s time to help it find salvation (Jesus/Truth is freedom). Jesus the man came to give you perfect spiritual truth that has yet still fallen upon deaf ears and blind eyes.

    John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    http://soulblindministry.com/2014/01/29/unraveling-the-great-mystery-part-1/

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  4. So you complain about others not doing their ‘fair share’ but you get to define what you mean by your ‘fair share’?

    Is that right?

    In the mean time most of the people you call moguls are paying millions of dollars into the income tax system, more money then you or I probably make into state income tax systems, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.

    Not to mention all the philanthropic endeavors paid by millionaires — and they aren’t doing their fair share?

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    • You continue with your silliness. Who determines what a fair share is? Someone making more in an hour than many make in a year and paying a lower tax rate does not sound fair to me but that is for our elected officials to decide. So far they are deciding in favor of the richest among us.

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      • What a minute!!!
        You said earlier the rich people weren’t paying their fair share :

        But then corporate profits may have to suffer a bit or perhaps the Wall Street moguls would have to pay their fair share in taxes.

        Remember. Now you, after deciding others aren’t paying their fair share seem to be trying to duck out of paying your fair share.
        The number of people making a high wage and paying a lower rate are very rare. Of course that is just considering the federal income tax. Again — those people may be paying a lower rate but they are paying in many times more then you or I. And definitely paying in more than the 43% of Americans not paying any federal income tax.

        So If I understand you right; you are claiming people who are paying federal income tax aren’t paying a fair share while those who are paying nothing (minimum wage folks) are paying a fair share ?? Is that right?

        And you, who probably makes more then minimum wage and probably contributes less in terms of income tax and charitable contributions are trying to get out of living on less while trying to make those you despise live on less.

        Do I have that right?

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      • I ask you if those making millions paying a lower percent tax than hard working middle class taxpayers was fair. You appear to think it is, I do not agree with this. Your ability to spin is amazing though it does not impress me.

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  5. You don’t have to agree with it — using your own language the people through their elected representatives do think it is fair. They’ve passed the laws, they’ve written the tax code.
    Apparently you think it is fair enough that you aren’t doing much about it though.

    So let’s turn it around; there are people who make no money at all- Do you think it is fair you pay for their food, clothing, shelter and medical?

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    • I already told you the things I am doing about it. The elected officials are those that are bought and paid for by the Koch brothers.and you have not given me an answer, do you think it is fair that people that make more in an hour than what many make in a year pay a Lower tax rate?

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      • Yes I do think it is fair that people who make more in an hour than what many make in a year pay a lower tax rate.

        Those people who pay more in taxes than most people ever make also. I think that is fair.

        I think the system is unfair; people should be treated equally. Equal tax rates across the board.
        At the same time, I find it hypocritical of you to complain that people who are doing more to feed, clothe, shelter and provide medical care then you are aren’t doing enough.

        Oh…they have more money, they should give more. THEY ALREADY do give more. They pay more in taxes, they provide more in charity — and you whine they aren’t doing enough to do what you barely contribute to.

        There are people making no money, people making barely any. You probably have a comfortable life and you ‘donate to local soup kitchens and so on’. 10% of your income, 20% 25% — Millions of dollars like the rich do?

        I doubt it. I do believe what I post. Not all of us are paid employees of the Koch Brothers or the NRA.

        You whine about unfairness but you don’t live your values it seems

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    • I was talking to a lady recently that was complaining about having to pay $30,000 in taxes last year. I asked her if she wanted me to Send her a list of people that would give anything to have that kind of tax liability. She has not responded yet.

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      • And how much did you pay in Taxes last year? $3K?
        5 or 10 times as much as you paid and she isn’t paying her fair share. Infinitely more than those paying no federal tax burden.

        So — how much do you think people should be allowed to keep of their money? Obviously, it is more than poverty level. You are keeping more and not giving it away.

        Care to cite sources that the wealthy inherit their money?

        1. According to a study of Federal Reserve data conducted by NYU professor Edward Wolff, for the nation’s richest 1%, inherited wealth accounted for only 9% of their net worth in 2001, down from 23% in 1989. (The 2001 number was the latest available.)

        2. According to a study by Prince & Associates, less than 10% of today’s multi-millionaires cited “inheritance” as their source of wealth.

        3. A study by Spectrem Group found that among today’s millionaires, inherited wealth accounted for just 2% of their total sources of wealth.
        http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/01/14/the-decline-of-inherited-money/

        Sounds like you are just making stuff up to justify your desire to take more money from others while not giving more yourself.

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    • 3boxesofbs… If you’re so certain of your position could you explain why countries who are more egalitarian and have vastly smaller wealth gaps such as Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Iceland (to name just a few) continually top indexes of happiest, healthiest, wealthiest countries in the world, with better educated, more secure populations who enjoy longer lifespans and overall quality of life ? These are the same indexes which the US flounders in across the board, hovering around countries like Lithuania and Yemen.

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  6. First i did not say she was not paying her fair share. You really have to stop putting words into my mouth if you expect this to be an intelligent discussion.
    Here is one link.
    http://inequality.org/selfmade-myth-hallucinating-rich/
    and another
    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/09/22/are-we-entering-the-age-of-inherited-wealth/
    “Yet their announcement obscures the fact that half of the top 10 on the Forbes list have inherited all or some of their wealth, making America’s billboard chart of opportunity look increasingly like the the lucky sperm club.
    And yet another.
    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/09/19-7
    So you are saying it is ok if Billionaires pay a lower tax than first responders, nurses, teachers and garbage collectors.

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  7. It would appear that the debate has reached a conclusion. Mr. BS has made it clear that he does disagree with Ronald Reagan who said it is unfair that bus drivers should pay the same tax rate as the wealthy and that secretaries pay the same rate as their bosses. I would like to point out to Mr. BS that Larry has been actively working on his values for a long time. I would also like to point out that paying taxes and giving to charity are not the same thing.

    I would like to propose a new tax system where everyone gets to pay their taxes based on what they believe in. For example, I believe in education for our children, caring for the elderly, sick and youth, so I would pay my taxes to that portion. Those who believe we should be subsidizing corporations and the wealthy and war would pay their taxes at that rate to those programs. By the way, I would also pay toward military families and veterans. Mr. BS and his pals could cover corporate welfare and bombs and junk planes etc.

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  8. John,

    First I distrust surveys that ask “Are you happy with X”…especially when few people every experience other options. There are many other reasons why different countries produce different results. Some of them are population density, cultural assimilation, expectations based on the cultural.
    We in America, instead of expecting our children to perform well in school, seem dead set on dumbing down expectations and requirements. We no longer take the best of each culture and merge it into the American Experience/Values but allow each culture to establish their own values/beliefs in America.

    America also flounders on indexes like liberty, economic freedom, etc. Our country wasn’t founded on socialistic/communistic ideals but those of individual liberty and freedom. I don’t want the style of government those other countries have; nor do I want the tax burdens that go with them.
    If you want to give up 40 to 75% of your income; no one is stopping you. Write a check today. Just stop trying to vote money out of my pocket to finance your values.

    Celia,

    No I don’t agree with Mr. Reagan. I do think that the bus driver, the secretary, the business owner, the wall street mogul and the idle rich should all pay the same tax rate. Personally I would love to see a flat tax rate, no deductions – 10 or 15% across the board. How much did you make, Taxes are X% of that, send it in. All tax returns on a postcard size document.

    I would like to point out to Mr. BS that Larry has been actively working on his values for a long time.

    I’m sure he has. He’s so concerned with people having proper living arrangements but doesn’t admit to having people live with him. He ‘donates’ to a soup kitchen but doesn’t have people eating his food at home. If he was truly living his values; shouldn’t HE be doing instead ?

    Yes, there is a difference between taxes and charity….but some people want to force others to be charitable through taxes. People like Larry here for example. He is claiming the rich aren’t paying their fair share — despite the fact that the rich pay the majority of Federal income tax, provide a substantial portion of charitable giving, etc.

    He’s living his values in espousing the desire to use the guns of the government to take money from people he feels are too successful. If 5 people voted to take money from me and did it with a gun, that would be robbery. If 51% of the voting population decides to do it, Larry thinks that is fair. HUH?

    Why not let the people decide what to do with their money and keep your nose out of it?
    We already have a very progressive tax system. What Larry is arguing is it isn’t progressive enough. So instead of letting them be charitable, he wants to force equality of results instead of opportunity. Not the values or methods I choose.

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      • LOL. Not off the clock, not an employee. Are you?
        I have a life outside of this. Frankly after a good dinner and a show with my wife and son; I spent several hours working on applications to the private range I act as Membership Secretary for. Seems lots of folks want to exercise their rights — our membership is up 30% in the last couple of years.

        Bs if you think we have equality under our corporate controlled government, you are either confused or on the payroll of some wealthy sponser.

        Now I’ll ask you to stop putting words in my mouth. Never said we had equality — Heck, the point I’ve been tryng to make is we treat the rich much differently then others. Taxation along proves we don’t have equality.

        But I’m confused. You say we have a ‘corporate controlled government”?
        Does that include all the democrats (everyone knows the reps are) currently serving — in President Obama?

        And how are you going to change the tax code with corporations controlling the government?

        Aren’t those corporation owned by rich people?

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      • You are correct many Democrats are also controlled by their corporate owners. Elizabeth Warren is one that is not under this control and there are others. You also touched soundly on my basic premise, we must seek out and support candidates that resist corporate control. With all the money involved on politics today this will not be an easy task but it can and will be done in one way or another. I hope not but, it may take anarchy on the streets of America to achieve this goal.

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      • And your membership is up in the last few years thanks to some excellent marketing by the corporations earning profits from gun sales. They of course use fear as their motivating factor. Somewhat shameful but it does provide more profit.

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  9. Let’s grant 3BoBS a few things. Perhaps what a “decent standard of living” actually entails is vague. Perhaps the causal relationship between “guns and religion” and economic security is not clearly and fully established.

    Even conceding those points, the general sentiment proposed by the OP is one with well-established roots in American political culture. Vast differences in wealth have been commonly considered a problem in a Republic. Since the 1970s productivity has increased as measured in GDP while middle-class incomes have gone up only modestly. At the same time the incomes in the upper quintile have increased much more rapidly. There are good historical reasons why this happened when it did, but a very simple question remains: why shouldn’t the gains produced by increasing productivity be distributed more equally?

    The very simple answer is because they don’t have to be.

    Since the 1970s the overarching theme of economic life for the middle-class has been one of declension. In the context of manufacturing jobs being lost to competition by Germany, Japan and later China the leverage is firmly on the side of business management. The back-and-forth of economic interventionists and non-interventionists are minor blips compared to the global economic forces driving our economy.

    The current state of affairs could be altered, but most likely only by a crisis that will compel those holding wealth and power to make concessions to a middle-class that they find themselves suddenly needing. World War II was such an event and one that had the unintended consequence of enacting a massive redistribution of wealth downward (eg. to the middle class and lower class.) For 20+ years afterward the US enjoyed economic conditions that masked many of its underlying inequalities. The Cold War also created incentives for a fairer distribution of wealth absent of major interventions (though there were exceptions).

    I’m sympathetic to the OP’s desire for a more equitable distribution of wealth, but I’m doubtful that we really want to live through the conditions that will be necessary for it to happen. If 3BoBS sentiments are any guide the kind of crisis we will need to effect a meaningful change in the prevailing economic attitudes of economic non-intervenionists would have to be severe indeed.

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