October 16, 2020 · OPINION
The Golden Rule versus “winning at all costs”
By The Rev. Rob Banse
This year’s campaign season has revealed once again how far we have fallen when it comes to integrity, mutual respect and common decency in the conduct of our national life. We are exercised a great deal about “lies,” “fake news,” “draining the swamp” and what it means to be an American from competing ideological points of view. And there are certainly single moral issues that seem to either galvanize or antagonize, thereby further dividing us into conflicted subgroups.
However, we have abandoned any real dialogue about common decency and why it is essential to the wellbeing of all communities that seek to live together peaceably. Perhaps our commitment to “individualism” makes a shared sense of moral conduct impossible. Were Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand right when they claimed that the only real philosophy that matters is the will to power? Of course, such thinking sets us free to bond with only those who think like us and act like us and then hate those “on the other side.” It gives us permission to abandon compassion entirely. All we need to focus on in life is to win by imposing our will on others. Common decency is replaced by “survival of the fittest.” We’re either friend or foe.
I do not accept this. As a Christian, I believe that the only power that really matters is love. I look to the Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5-7, often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Here we find the primary teachings of Jesus when it comes to the moral conduct of our lives. Toward the conclusion, Jesus says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Rabbi Hillel said much the same: “What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbors; that is the whole Torah…go and learn it.”
The philosophy of “winning at all costs” and the Golden Rule have nothing in common, especially if bullying, harassment, rejection, oppression, violence, manipulation, hateful speech, or outright lies are the behaviors we employ. Common decency is at the heart of the Golden Rule and it is expressed in love, respect, compassion, and concern for all of our neighbors and not just some. I hope that we can keep this in mind as we vote on Nov. 3. Common decency embodied in our leaders does matter. We have an important choice to make. The soul of our nation depends upon it.
Mark House · October 23, 2020 at 11:56 am
Wealthy investors seem to be exploiting land-conservation tax breaks, and the Senate is taking notice.
Syndicated conservation easements — tax breaks granted to protect undeveloped land — have become increasingly common over the last decade, but they are attracting increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and the IRS as a means for the wealthy to avoid paying their appropriate share of taxes.
Does the Golden Rule only pertain to the 99%? The 1% are exempt?
HelpUS · October 23, 2020 at 10:05 am
Different dimension might be strong, but JeffAm does spend a lot of time reading and quoting sites like The Gateway Pundit. From Wikipedia: "The Gateway Pundit is an American far-right news and opinion website. The website is known for publishing falsehoods, hoaxes, and conspiracy theories." Relative to that extreme, Breitbart and American Thinker are 'right light.' In other words, JeffAm does live in this dimension. He just sees it through only one eye, with a red-tinted monocle. If you want that view too, enjoy his comments!
Demosthenes · October 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm
Just curious - anyone else out there reading posts from JeffAm and thinking that he might seriously live in a different dimension where Trump is the epitome of goodness and decency and Biden is evil incarnate?
Jeffersonian American · October 22, 2020 at 9:10 am
PabloCruz · October 21, 2020 at 2:07 pm
JA- More and more lies...
Now here’s what the FBI actually said, from Business Insider:
“The FBI said in a letter to a top Republican lawmaker Tuesday that it has "nothing to add" to recent comments that President Donald Trump's spy chief made about a laptop and emails purportedly belonging to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter.“
DNI John Ratcliffe has no credibility. Mark Meadows is close behind. They are hopelessly corrupt, desperately gasping for air as the sinking Trump ship drags them down to the depths...
Jeffersonian American · October 21, 2020 at 12:28 pm
badelectronics · October 20, 2020 at 6:07 pm
badelectronics · October 20, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Jerome Fields · October 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Stand down Trump supporters, Stand By Biden supporters.
jim goodwin · October 19, 2020 at 7:48 pm
PabloCruz, while the content depicted in the tweet may be directed at teachers, it fosters a teaching style that can't help but pass on that drivel to the students. Anyone that denies this is a liar. "Critical Race Theory" is one of a litany of destructive forces being adopted by our corrupted public school systems. It is derived from Marxism and, as such, its only aim is the destruction of our society.
nonewtaxes · October 19, 2020 at 9:06 am
I think they missed the point rev.
Jeffersonian American · October 19, 2020 at 7:50 am
Madam Ward, you are clearly in a state of denial over the massive corruption and vileness of the Joe Biden Family Crime Syndicate. The evidence is all around you if you just open your eyes. By virtue of his living in public office so long, Joe Biden has managed to outdo former President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the personal corruption scale.
President Donald Trump has to be one of the toughest men on earth... May God bless him. Not just that, he is a good father who raised his children not to be pedophile, crackhead, blackmail material unlike Groping China Joe.
All of President Trump's adult children are out on the campaign trail, working very hard for their father in many fine and illustrating capacities; and greeting the American People as the President's personal ambassadors and fellow citizens. One question I want someone to ask Joe- "Why isn't Hunter out campaigning for you?"
We all know the answer, but I want to hear China Joe have to say it.
Ask Joe if he's visited his newest grandchild in Arkansas? Do you for one second think they wouldn't hound Donald Trump to death if this was his grandchild? Many hard-working, poor American family Grandparents still make sacrifices to support and help their newest grandchildren- while Joe Biden and his wife won't even acknowledge this grandchild.
And YOU want ME to trust Joe Biden and VOTE for HIM for U.S. President? A man totally devoid of ethics and moral character? A Political Charlatan?
Absolutely under NO circumstances. That would truly be "American Madness."
Linda Ward · October 19, 2020 at 6:44 am
JEFF - "President Trump nonetheless embodies the same qualities as many biblical characters who rose above their flaws and weaknesses to perform great tasks in serving God. He has demonstrated this in his heart and soul throughout his many good deeds performed while in his official office, if you look past his personal flaws and seek out the very important promises kept to the American People."
Look past his personal flaws? NO! Promises kept? NONE! "mentally-challenged teller of Spectacular Lies" Trump, YES! "and a leader of a family Crime Syndicate who shamelessly enriched himself and his family off of public offices held" Trump, YES!
P.S. You are certifiable. Bring out the strait jacket.
Jeffersonian American · October 19, 2020 at 12:02 am
The good Reverend makes many timeless observations that are the foundations for leading a good and noble life; and good for our society. I have often told young people if they have no other time to read The Holy Bible, then simply read the Book of Matthew, Chapters 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. Those passages contain all the wisdom and guidelines for leading a good and noble life. Sadly, as I and others have witnessed over our lifetimes, we have abandoned much of Dwight Eisenhower's America over the past six decades- the societal cancers that have metastasized include the steady decline of Christianity across our nation- beginning in the early 1960s in the public schools with the atheist O'Hare case; which led to removal of God from the public school classrooms and later- from the public squares across America- amidst the Counter-Cultural Revolution of the later 1960s and the rise of Marxist-Communist Doctrine in academia from Kindergarten through Graduate School at most public institutions and universities. And so here we are sixty years later- witnessing the alarming disintegration of America at a breakneck speed. What we are witnessing may be a mere 8-year "speed bump," or temporarily slowing down of the precipitous decline akin to those two terms of President Eisenhower and President Reagan and- as we will learn soon enough- one or two terms of President Trump. Even these accomplished men may not have been enough to save America from going by the way of the former Soviet Union and other empires throughout history. It may very well be too late to save our former American republic of our founders, but like the powerful and moving historical American monuments which honor the memory and sacrifices of our Patriot forebears of the First American Secession from the British Crown; and our Second American Secession from Washington, D.C.- who all tried to prevent Virginia and America from becoming what they are today (indeed, our Revolutionary War and Confederate States of America Patriot ancestors tried to prevent Richmond, Charlottesville, Atlanta, New Orleans, Northern Virginia, Louisville, Memphis, Durham, etc., from all becoming what they are today). These American Patriots largely failed- but it is precisely for these reasons that we should honor their memory, their monuments, and learn of their many sacrifices in our current time factually and truthfully, if we are ever to make America what they envisioned for America.
What the author fails to mention, is for millions of voters like me who "...have an important choice to make..." there really is no difficult or excruciating or conflicted choice at all- President Trump may be a flawed messenger in our current time, but so is the Holy Bible filled with examples of flawed servants of God who rose to the occasion to perform the Lord's work. The choice between a brash, loud, native New Yorker oozing with self-confidence and who loves and obtains his immense energy and moral strength to right oppressive wrongs from the massive crowds of everyday Americans of all races and socio-economic backgrounds- the Americans who have placed their POLITICAL faith and trust in a man we all know deep down in his heart loves America, and our traditional freedoms and American Way of Life- in stark contrast to a deeply flawed candidate of a truly morally vile and corrupt national Democrat Party which has been waging a raging American Culture War against traditional Americans and all religions- and which can be held almost exclusively responsible for America's precipitous decline since Dwight Eisenhower left office- is really a no-brainer election choice this year across all local, State and national ballots. Though I am far to the right of President Trump, he has accomplished many moral, economic and military victories as a flawed messenger and unlikely servant of God- and he has kept many, many promises he made in 2016 to the American People despite the unhinged, raging war of personal hatred being waged against him by those who want to take America in a very different direction away from God, His Natural Law Rights; our Declaration of Independence; our Jeffersonian Ideals which laid the foundation for our country; our Bill of Rights; our U.S. Constitution; our individual sovereignty; and much, much more. (CONTINUED NEXT POSTING)
Jeffersonian American · October 19, 2020 at 12:01 am
(CONTINUED) Far from being a perfect individual (and who among us would be perfect?), President Trump nonetheless embodies the same qualities as many biblical characters who rose above their flaws and weaknesses to perform great tasks in serving God. He has demonstrated this in his heart and soul throughout his many good deeds performed while in his official office, if you look past his personal flaws and seek out the very important promises kept to the American People. My choice to vote for Donald Trump in 2016 could be based on his transparent, forthright list of his nominees for future U.S. Supreme Court vacancies alone- just one example of a critical category of "Promises Kept" four years later in 2020.
Given a choice between a President who has delivered on the Eisenhower legacy of moral, economic and military strengthening of our nation (Ike being the last U.S. President since Trump who kept us out of bloody, costly, endless foreign wars); and the stark contrasting choice of a career corrupt and vile politician badly compromised by China and other enemies of our country; and a leader of a family Crime Syndicate who shamelessly enriched himself and his family off of public offices held for nearly half a century while being wrong on every domestic and foreign policy issue ever debated during his time in Washington, D.C.; and who being a mentally-challenged teller of Spectacular Lies and A Voluble Adolescent before his advancing dementia began to set in- champions a Democrat National Party of Committed Marxist-Communists- well, now, there really isn't such a difficult choice to make this year voting for U.S. President for a God-fearing, America-loving citizen and life-long friend to man is there?
After all, when it comes to voting Democrat this year, there are such things as Moral Impossibilities.
There are many millions of us Traditional Americans who will once more support President Trump as he selflessly sacrifices his health and well being to save our nation from a Marxist-Communist Takeover- and much worse. In fact for millions of Thinking Americans of all races and socio-economic backgrounds- this year's looming re-election of President Trump has absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trumps perceived flaws or shortcomings- and it has everything to do with SAVING AMERICA AND OUR AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE OPPORTUNITES TO PURSUE HAPPINESS.
Godspeed, President Trump. And Godspeed, my fellow America-loving Patriots.
And May America Bless God.
PabloCruz · October 17, 2020 at 10:44 am
“What scares me more than some fringe and near extinct organizations such as the KKK, are the Marxist ideologies being taught in our nearby elementary schools. Take a look at this teacher's zoom session in nearby Fairfax county:“
The content that you referenced in your Twitter link IS NOT being taught to students. Teachers are receiving this type of training (I’m not endorsing it) but it is irresponsible of you to spread such inflammatory accusations as indoctrination of students, etc. Your participation in the spreading of misinformation means that you are part of the problem in causing our “societal rift” as you call it. Next time you comment, do your research and write on the verified facts.
dc9dawg · October 16, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Agree with Jesus that the Golden should be our guiding moral principle - whether or not we happen to self identify as Christians. And agree with you that common decency as embodied in our leaders does matter.
jim goodwin · October 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm
The reverend didn't explicitly pick sides but the commenters sure did. That's love for ya!
brandonj · October 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Extremism on either side is folly. The left has adopted identarianism, which is far more deadly than the egocentrism exhibited by Trump. Furthermore, just because Trump wants to "win at all costs" doesn't imply that all those planning to vote for him adopt this mentality.
What scares me more than some fringe and near extinct organizations such as the KKK, are the Marxist ideologies being taught in our nearby elementary schools. Take a look at this teacher's zoom session in nearby Fairfax county:
Since when is perfection and objectivity a pursuit of white/male/racists? Why are we telling young boys that being masculine is toxic? It would seem there are those attempting to indoctrinate half of the population with these pathological lies. To the reverend's concern, perpetuation of this identarian victimhood mentality and attack on our commonality is the PRIMARY source of our societal rift.
I would disagree with the Reverend and argue there's far less room for open dialogue with the left than the right. We live in an age where you are labeled a racist if you don't "say her name" just because you want to enjoy some COVID-era curbside dining in peace.
Trump is miles from perfect, but this divide has been growing long before him, which you fail to recognize Rev. Remember, Trump is but a symptom, not a source of what ails this country.
Cammie Rodgers · October 16, 2020 at 1:52 pm
HelpUS - "If you live downstream or downwind of a company that's polluting, who is going to be responsible for your health and wellbeing? Some may say 'just move.' But what if you can't?"
Watch out for companies that are including "arbitration" statements in their paperwork, even nursing homes, that preclude you from suing if something goes wrong, you get sick or your loved one is mistreated in that nursing home. Don't sign anything as you may be giving away your right to litigate, before reading all the fine print.
Eighty-one of the 100 largest American companies on the 2018 Fortune 500 list mandated arbitration statements for customers.
(October 2020 edition) Signing Away Your Day in Court.
HelpUS · October 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm
Thank you, Reverend!
Personally, I'm trying to understand why people are supporting Trump.
For one, I pay close attention to where I get my information. Not social media, as that is a briar patch full of rabbit holes. Not CNN or the Washington Post, or the NY Times, as they lean too far left. Nor Fox, as it leans too far right. For a good gauge of your sources, check mediabiasfactcheck.com or allsides.com. Be an educated consumer, amidst the onslaught of (mis)information we're subjected to these days.
In researching the disparate views of Americans, one of the most interesting perspectives I've come across is that of George Lakoff, who divides conservatives and progressives based on two different family-based perspectives: the 'strict father' family and the 'nurturant parent' family. I recommend reading Lakoff's big picture view.
I know, based on what I've read in this forum, that we all care about our country, and about our future.
I'm curious, then - why do some people support a person who so clearly cares, above all, about himself and his image? His ego. Even more than his health. A mask - a simple, effective precaution against a microscopic adversary, is shunned because it 'doesn't look good.'
Trump has shown that he can't even take care of himself or those in his immediate vicinity. How can we expect him to take care of the country, as a President should do?
Fake news? We hear that again and again from a man who has a fake hairdo and a fake tan. Who falsely inflates things that make him look better (biggest inauguration?!), and deflates or deflects things that are against him (Russian interference, as found repeatedly by our own intelligence agencies). He is all about being false. Believe him at our country's peril.
He fawns over brutal dictators, and would love to have their power, while looking down on countries that are our allies, and have taken great care of their populations.
Think of it from a local perspective.
If you live downstream or downwind of a company that's polluting, who is going to be responsible for your health and wellbeing? Some may say 'just move.' But what if you can't?
This is why we have government agencies like the EPA. Regulations exist to protect people. If you're a large company, you can comply with regulations and still make money. Maybe not millions for the executives, but why allow that at expense of those 'downstream?'
Are you or someone you know getting preyed on by financial policies that are designed to take advantage of poor and working class people? Who protects you? The SEC.
Banks will always make money. They can afford lobbyists who work on their behalf to shape policies in their favor.
Who works on the behalf of the people? That's one of the main roles of the government.
In these and many other cases, the Trump administration is actively dismantling the institutions and policies that were set up to protect American people. The heads of the EPA, for example, have previously worked on the behalf of industries to fight against the very protections they then became in charge of. So many in this administration are foxes in the henhouse, and the American people are the victims. How many members of this administration have been indicted and sentenced for fraud, lying, and treasonous actions?
Are you interested in supporting big corporations who do not care about the poor, or the planet, and only want more millions for themselves? Companies that avoid taxes (like Trump), and rely on cheap labor in those dictatorial countries Trump loves? Then your choice is clear.
If you want to support Americans, and America, vote accordingly. If you can't stomach Biden, you don't have to vote for him. But... Trump doesn't support the average American as much as he supports the wealthiest 1%, and corporations that pay him and the rest of the Republicans to support their agendas. Why should you vote for him?
To me, the essence of the argument is exactly what Reverend Banse advocates, as the foundation of so many religions.
What has priority in your view of the world - love, or raw, uncaring power?
Like the Reverend, I choose love.
Demosthenes · October 16, 2020 at 11:58 am
Well said Reverend.
We need our leaders to be a lot of things, but decent and honorable is more important than many of us may have previously realized.
Linda Ward · October 16, 2020 at 11:32 am
I agree that things are bad and getting worse under the "Chosen One" leadership.
What is with the "Only Jesus can Heal America" signs that I'm seeing around?
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