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Why is Arkansas now a GOP island? Here’s a theory

So I was over in front of the retiree class this morning explaining on three hours’ sleep that Arkansas goes against the national grain because of our static culture and our anti-Obama obsession and our aversion to taxes.

Of the latter — taxes — I noted that the people voted to increase their sales tax for roads. That’s because, I suggested, the Arkansas voter is willing to vote higher taxes for himself from time to time, but not to let any politician ever do it for him.

Afterward, a woman walked up to me and said she had canvassed door-to-door for Democrats in Faulkner County and manned a booth at the county fair. And she said I was missing it.

“It’s religion,” she said. “The question I always got was, ‘Are you a Christian?’ And the comment was that they didn’t think they could vote Democratic and be a Christian.”

She said it was abortion, gay rights, Jeremiah Wright and that floor fight at the Democratic convention over whether to mention God in the platform.

I post it because I think she may have it.

And I don’t really want to get into it, except to quote that Sojourners guy, Jim Wallis, who says the problem isn’t religion in politics, but bad religion in politics.

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33 Responses to 'Why is Arkansas now a GOP island? Here’s a theory'

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  1. Universal health care would lower abortions by as much as 75%, given the data from the rest of the world, but that would mean we’d have to make health care available to poor people rather than seeing babies as God’s punishment for being poor. Which is not something Arkansan Christians are ready to do.

    Fish

    7 Nov 12 at 11:19 am

  2. And Jesus gets very angry at greedy rich people and religious hypocrites but doesn’t say a word about gays.

    Greed powers our country and love of money pollutes our morality to the point that we make wealth an idol, yet we spend our energy keeping two people who love each other from making a legal commitment to that effect.

    Fish

    7 Nov 12 at 11:23 am

  3. I would post this to my Facebook if I had enough sense to know how.

    Gale Stewsrt

    7 Nov 12 at 11:28 am

  4. I thought I did. I would post this to Facebook if I were smart enough. Gs

    Gale Stewsrt

    7 Nov 12 at 11:29 am

  5. I think your Faulkner County friend meant to say that you can’t vote Democratic and still be a Christian if you are white.

    Delta2

    7 Nov 12 at 11:44 am

  6. So I guess voting on conviction is now “bad religion?” I would not have phrased it like the woman from Faulkner County, but yes I vote for Republicans because they hold positions on these issues that are more in line with my personal convictions that are guided by my faith.

    Furthermore, as a conservative, my view is that working to address issues as individuals and groups, where there is a personal investment and true compassion can be expressed, is more effective than leaving it to a government agency……..

    Ketih

    7 Nov 12 at 12:48 pm

  7. You should look at the piece that Stephen Colbert did a couple of years ago called, “Jesus was a liberal Democrat.”

    Fred Flintstone

    7 Nov 12 at 1:16 pm

  8. I suggest every one of us get a copy of Gods word and read it. One can not espouse to be Christian an yet embrace polar opposite political views. With today’s democrat party one can not be Christian and vote for what they stand for. If you don’t like what the Bible says get mad a t God because they’re his words not mine.

    Kev

    7 Nov 12 at 1:38 pm

  9. Kev, just what are those Democrat views that God opposes?

    Delta2

    7 Nov 12 at 2:05 pm

  10. Race, religion, and riches. The three Rs of Arkansas politics. Thanks for sharing your insights at our Rotary Club today.

    DrDavido

    7 Nov 12 at 2:12 pm

  11. Kev,

    That’s precisely the problem. A lot of right-wing conservatives claim that their “stances” are in line with God’s word, when in fact, they are exactly opposite of his word. Jesus preached about nothing but love, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion toward your fellow man. I see none of that in today’s Republican values. It’s mostly hate-fueled disinfranchisement of certain groups of our society. If Jesus were to come back today do you think he would stand on the side of the poor and disinfranchised, or the fend-for-yourself, “you are going to hell”, Republican crowd???

    Jim

    7 Nov 12 at 2:22 pm

  12. Kev,

    Christ said love thy neighbor and said not to judge others. Christ never said anything about gays. St. Paul said something, but St. Paul was a fallible man–not a God.

    Populist

    7 Nov 12 at 2:27 pm

  13. Having a baby has very little to do with being poor. We were dirt poor for the entirety of my most likely child rearing years with no children. I also doubt the validity of health insurance as a contraceptive.

    I also volunteer time and money to an organization that provides free health care and medicine. I am by no means wealthy, but I am an Arkansas Christian who wants very much to serve others like Jesus did. But I don’t need the government to tell me whom my efforts should help or to take my money and decide themselves.

    Jesus didn’t take from some to give to others and make them dependent on HIm–he gave everything he had. He told us to remember that and to remember that there’s another life to come. He absolutely didn’t take our money while protecting his own. And don’t think that he didn’t call out all sin–he equated hypocrisy with immorality, as in the story of the prodigal son.

    My problem with social justice/liberalism is that it makes everyone poorer. And it takes away any incentive you have to better yourself. Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked hard to make money to try and better my situation. My gross income has increased substantially, but I get to keep about $100 more per month than I did then because the government keeps taking more. Last year my net was even less than the previous year with a 3% increase in gross. I never expected to be rich, but I at least thought I would be able to get ahead.

    Who said that we are considered greedy when we want to make more money but not when we want to steal it and give it to someone else who didn’t earn it?

    Rob G

    7 Nov 12 at 2:38 pm

  14. Sorry – but I’ve been sitting on the sidelines too long.

    There was a time when R’s and D’s could work together. But in those days there were moderate R’s and conservative D’s. There was a spectrum of politics that allow the politicians to work together.

    Today, everything is polar opposite. I can’t imagine a R in a national election claiming to be a moderate. And I’m guessing there may be a conservative D out there somewhere, but it seems they would never admit it.

    I see plenty of hate from both sides. R’s talking about the immorality of gays and abortion is one side. D’s call the R’s liars, say they hate women, and try to remove God from their platform.

    Is it any wonder we’re so divided? It’s become simple ideology of the extremes and nothing in the middle.

    I believe that until there is a middle, the extremes will continue. If you were to find some really pro-business D’s and some R’s who said they disagree with abortion but don’t want laws changed, we might actually get somewhere. But in today’s environment, neither of those people could be elected by their own party.

    thehobster

    7 Nov 12 at 3:03 pm

  15. Kev, you need to visit www(dot)mrm(dot)org/god-of-mormon and read just exactly what the Mormon beliefs concerning God are. It is not a Biblical view of God. Right wingers love to spread the rumor that Obama is a Muslim. He isn’t, but that is really funny, because the true Muslim view of God is a lot closer to Christianity’s view than the Mormon view is.

    There are plenty of other websites run by scholars and ex Mormons that explain how Mormons are taught that it is no sin to lie to non-Mormons or lie to achieve their goals. They call it “lying for the Lord.”

    You will learn how they get new cult members by starting out quoting from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to make people comfortable, then gradually using more and more BOM and less Bible until there is no Bible. You can see films of training sessions for Mormon missionaries teaching them how to avoid telling the truth about Mormonism to prospective converts.

    In becoming a member of the Mormon priesthood, Romney had to take an oath to do all in his power to make the US a Mormon kingdom on earth. Joseph Smith wrote the alternate constitution that is waiting. The Mormon organization Kingdom of God exists for the purpose of bringing this about.

    This is one Christian Democrat who has no intention of being cowed down by people who say you can’t be a Christian and a Democrat. The Democratic party is not right about everything. It isn’t perfect. But it works toward far more of the things Jesus was concerned about that the current Republican party. The way the Republicans brainwash uneducated Christians into voting for the party that will cheat them out of fair pay, fair taxes, safe working conditions, a safe environment, and traditional social security and medicare, all for the further enrichment of the wealthy, is not Christ like.

    Romney has changed his opinions about abortion and homosexuality so many times to suit the prevailing wind that nobody knows what he really believes. Both Bush families pretended to be anti abortion until they were gone from Washington, but they weren’t. It was a mostly Republican supreme court that passed Roe vs Wade. So sing another song.

    Paula

    7 Nov 12 at 3:46 pm

  16. Wonder who the Republican legislator Will terrorize first. Illegal immigrants kids? Women’s ovaries, Planned Parenthood, which saves a lot of women’s lives. I’m sure drug testing for the poor is coming. but maybe we will be.able to take or gun to church and school.

    tom mason

    7 Nov 12 at 6:00 pm

  17. The Moslems will decide on whether God is a “D” or ” R “, and unlike the ” Christians” you libs badmouth, the Muslims will persecute and kill your bleeding heart ass.
    Your opinion means nothing to me if you dont have the ba… to submit your name.

    mike graves

    8 Nov 12 at 11:23 am

  18. Well, John, you’ve opened a torrent–to be expected– of people trying to interpret the bible to fit their own personal views. The lady was right and a lot of the Right-wing drivel IS based on that.
    As someone who has lived in 17 states (and 5 countries), I’m aware that this would not be the case in most places in America, or the world. Being here in the bible belt causes those attitudes to harden. Fortunately the rest of the world is going the other way (except for some extreme middle-eastern extreemists). I’m encouraged that America validated President Obama and the Democrats, (even though Arkansas slid further backward).

    Don

    8 Nov 12 at 12:10 pm

  19. Paula, Please enlighten me….Just what is a republican supreme court….I’ve heard of the U.S. Supreme court but not a republican one…Thanks

    AlleyOops75

    8 Nov 12 at 12:26 pm

  20. People should always follow their religious teachings above all else. Look how well it works for Al Qaeda. With any luck we can bring about Armagedden in our lifetime and see who is right. I hope it’s the Buddhists :-)

    bill c

    8 Nov 12 at 12:32 pm

  21. Whew. You knew that you would stir up the cat hole for odor. There is a very old saying that, “what goes around, comes around.” I was raised in a Democratic Arkansas and learned the corruption going on. Left the state and upon returnig found a new world. By golly, there were actually Republicans espousing their beliefs. Being a bit of a cynic, I expect that Republicans can be just as evil as anybody when in power. Some of your fine writers seem to want to keep throwing religion into the pot. Now that’s not right. Keep it simple stupid. (KISS). We once had The Crusades to run the Muslem hords from Europe. Maybe the time is coming.

    Glenn Buercklin, Sr.

    8 Nov 12 at 12:47 pm

  22. There is a very old saying that what goes around, comes around. Democrats used to controll this fine State. Now the Republicans are making inroads. Ldet’s just keep religion out of our discussion.

    Glenn Buercklin, Sr.

    8 Nov 12 at 12:54 pm

  23. Gee…maybe Arkansas’ education system is better than anybody thought.

    Jim Newman

    8 Nov 12 at 1:42 pm

  24. I would agree with that statement.

    Beverly

    8 Nov 12 at 1:48 pm

  25. Mr Graves, if your comment is directed towards me, you should know: 1) my name is David Hobbs, 2) I’ve gone by thehobster on the Internet since 1994 and you can easily reach me on hotmail if so inclined to have a civil discussion, 3) I’m not ashamed to state here or anywhere else I am a Christian and certainly not a liberal, 4) I don’t see that I’m badmouthing anyone but merely stating an opinion on the polarization of politics rather than politicians representing a spectrum of beliefs and policies, and 5) I’m not entirely clear what you’re saying about moslem / muslim deciding which political party God belongs to.

    I do know that if for some reason, as you suggest, the moslem/muslims kill liberals, I’m pretty safe.

    My point was simple – we have become so polarized as a society, there’s no room for a conservative D or moderate R. By definition today, conservative = R and anything not conservative is liberal which is therefor a D.

    Seeing that the Arkansas, much like most of the South, is conservative, having R representatives is pretty much expected. This is as opposed to places like New York, Massachusetts, California, Oregon and plenty others who have very liberal viewpoints send mostly D to Congress.

    thehobster

    8 Nov 12 at 2:46 pm

  26. A Republican island? If you look at the rest of the southern states Arkansas is going from having been an island…to being in line

    Ray

    8 Nov 12 at 3:17 pm

  27. Mr. Hobbs, You are spot on, my friend…The results of Tuesday’s election most certainly proves your point…Obama received 93% of the black vote, 74% of the Asian vote, 69% of the Latino vote, & 55% of the women’s vote. Romney did well with the suburb vote with 52%, towns with a population between 10,000-50,000 with 58% and rural with 62%….Obama easily carried citites with a population of 50,000 and up…Polarization has definitely set in and unless the liberal bunch screws up big time it’s doubtful if we will ever see another conservative president residing in the White House…Move over Europe, the prodigal sons and daughters are coming home.

    AlleyOops75

    8 Nov 12 at 3:26 pm

  28. I keep pointing this out: There were 6 of 7 Republican Supreme Court justices who effectively decided Roe V. Wade. Henry Wade was a Democrat. So the last person to fight abortion at the Supreme Cort level was a Democrat.

    There have been 200 attempts to bring another case to the Court that might overturn Roe V. Wade, but the Republican dominated Court refuses to hear one.

    Now the question becomes, if you had an issue which could buy you votes for the last forty years and on into the future, would you give that up so you’d have to run on the real issues? The Republicans will NEVER do anything about abortion, other than give it lip service, because they know the can’t win elections based upon the real issues.

    Bill Kennamer

    8 Nov 12 at 7:48 pm

  29. In this mornings Global Ag News are the headlines;
    ” Arkansas House and Senate flips to Republican party for the first time since 1870″
    Yall this is pretty big news like it or not.
    Our next session will be interesting indeed.God bless us ALL.
    And whether we agree or not, at least yall( Mr Brummetts readers) take an interest.

    mike graves

    9 Nov 12 at 10:03 am

  30. Thanks, Bill Kennamer, for answering AlleyOops.

    Paula

    9 Nov 12 at 10:34 pm

  31. I would love to see these politicized churches – whether right-wing or left – lose their tax exemptions. Of course, I don’t know of any left-wing politicized churches . . . . Seriously though, why can’t this happen? It’s a very open secret, after all.

    Jean

    11 Nov 12 at 7:12 pm

  32. Jean, you don’t get out much nor do you read Brummet’s column often, do you? I do believe he speaks quite regularly at one 2nd Presbyterian Church that may be a rather left congregation. And, leading up to the election, a great deal of churches from the neighborhood had preachers preaching from the book of Obama.
    As far as losing tax exept status, supposedly there is a law on the books, but me-thinks it flies in opposition of the 1st Amendment prohibiting congressional laws against both free speech AND the free practice of religion.

    Who_Got_Yur_Back

    12 Nov 12 at 3:05 pm

  33. “It’s religion,” she said. “The question I always got was, ‘Are you a Christian?’ And the comment was that they didn’t think they could vote Democratic and be a Christian.”

    Too bad they see it fit to vote Republican, the party that nominated an endlessly-outed blatant liar.

    JR

    15 Nov 12 at 4:43 pm

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