WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Populism: Rising force in Democratic Party

The schism between Tea Party "true believers" and "establishment" Republicans is well-known. Certainly here in Delaware, it has driven so-called Chateau Country Republicans to the ranks of the independents, or even into the arms of the Dems.

But the Democratic Party - which undoubtedly has benefited from that Republican schism - itself is seeing a rising divide, between populist "progressives" and "establishment" Democrats aligned with Wall Street. Hillary Rodham Clinton is clearly the latter, and given the nature of the Democratic electorate in early caucuses and primaries, this could capsize her anticipated 2016 Presidential bid.

But, that's well into the future. I think this analysis in The NEW REPUBLIC captures the current situation, and also attempts to define the term, "populist"...


Posted at 8:46am on December 16, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 9:53am
Speaking of "true believers" in the Tea Party... A Rasmussen poll has Ted Cruz listed as #3 most influential world leader (#1 is the Pope and #2 is the President of U.S.)

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 9:53am
It is predictable actually. With the demise of the Republican Party, there is no one to carry the banner of the Chamber-of-Commerce types, and those supporting huge money on Wall Street... They find the Democrat most to their liking.. With Roth gone, Carper takes his place. With Castle gone, Carney takes his place. In fact, one could even make the argument that Coons is now taking the place of the junior Carper. Somewhat progressive, somewhat middle-of-the-road.

That shift will naturally take place in Delaware, and has been the argument offered by some as the prime reason for ridding Delaware of all Republicans... The public's interests remain the same, i.e., constituents don't really change their views, but at least, now the opposing interests can still talk to each other, compromise, and at least get something done.

That scenario, compared to the one we see on the national scale, where the Republicans even say NO to their own Republican policies, that is, if they are first offered by a Democrat....

At least with one party in Delaware, instead of inaction, we have action.

Delaware could serve as a valuable lesson for the nation as a whole. IF you want good government, first you have to get rid of Republicans... So true. So True.

So yes, it is inevitable that like chromosomes in a cell, mitosis will occur and each group will coagulate at opposite poles....

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 9:57am
If Cruz did actually nail the coffin shut on the Tea Party as is the consensus right now, he deserves the number 3 spot....

Someone had to kill the Tea Party... Hats off to Cruz.

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 10:35am
Delaware is definitely to be watched as the "establishment" Democrats take on the "true believer Progressives"... we (who follow history) see how Progressives and One-Party-rule worked out for Detroit.

The Tea Party/Republicans (if truly going away, as predicted by kavips) will be gone by 2016 IF THEY LOSE IN 2014;however, if the Tea Party/Republicans win in 2014 (as I predict), it will be a very interesting 2016.

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 11:59am
Well that is pretty simplistic... Sort of like saying ... If I drive and make it to Ohio, I will get to Ohio, but if I don't, I won't get there...

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 16, 2013 1:17pm
There will always be the extremes in both parties. The Liberty League of the 1930's and 40's became the John Birchers of 50's and 60;s, who became followers of Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan in the 80's and 90's, now are today's TEA party folks. Same with the DEMS and the Progressive side of their party.

It seems from time to time that the extremes get loud and get their way, think the DEMS in 1968 had the extreme anti-war/Hippie/ counterculture movement hijack their party. Neither party is immune.

The DEMS are starting to see element of their more extreme folks speaking out more, as those folks don't want a moderate DEM party, but a Socialistic/Progressive DEM party, just the opposite of the TEA folks. Both sides have their extremes.

That's why I advocate haveing 4 parties: Progressive, DEM, G.O.P., TEA. Then the voter can clearly vote for the ideas they want. Free market politics. The ideas that work in the public's eye will be what survives.

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 2:13pm
Actually, Mike, you can simplify that down to three. Progressives, DEM*G.O.P.s, and the TEA's... Both extremes would be marginalized, but for the DEM*G.O.P.s to get anything done, they would have to reach out to either one of the other parties, which means that action, as opposed to inaction, would become the trademark of the Federal Government....

A three-party system would work well. The Tea's are in the best shape to jump, and carry their infrastructure with them.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 16, 2013 3:13pm
Kavips: I still think the 4 parties would be better. DEMS and Republicans do have differences in approaches[the DEMS are more for the working class/little guy/ unions, the G.O.P. is more geared towards business/Wall Street, non-unions, etc].

Mon, Dec 16, 2013 10:00pm
Still TEA party. Still proud of it.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 3:19am
It wouldn't surprise me if sometime over the next 11 months the Democrats figure out a way to fool the public yet another time.

Thank God Republicans are for business because without them there would be no jobs. You can be for the working man all you want, but if you screw his employer, you double-screw him.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 3:22am
I should also add that populism was what empowered dictators like Hitler, Castro, Chavez, Stalin, Obama - the list is endless.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 7:16am
The list is endless. Populism also empowered Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton,and Obama...

So what's your point?

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 17, 2013 8:22am
Mrpizza: I believe Kavips' point is who wins in a given election was the popular choice, fitting the mood of the people for that particular time. I was a Democrat back when Reagan ran for Prez. It seemed like the Twlight Zone to hear the college campuses were going for Reagan, but like the TV sitcome "Family Ties", where Alex P. Keaton [Michael J. Fox] rejected his 60's hippie parents' values and loved Reagan as did a majority of his generation [no New Deal DEMS in that group - they didn't know who Roosevelt was, some guy in "ancient history"].

Yet 20 years earlier, the young were Democrats, today it has switched again, the young seem to be going back to the DEMS. So populism is a shifting thing. In other words, Cool marches on, each generation defines it in their own way.

Now whether or not the young shift again back to the GOP in 2014 isn't known, yet, but could happen as many of those millenials are rather ticked off with Obama for forcing them to buy health insurance to pay for old people's health problems. I've read numerous comments on other blogs, etc, where that demo doesn't care that they are takers. They come right out and say they don't want to pay for health insurance and don't care IF you and I have to pick up the tab when they finally do go to the ER. Kind of a selfish lot, wouldn't you say? They seem to lack the vision of we all help each other, kind of a DEM value - New Deal, FDR, even a Christian value - love your neighbor as yourself.
That is the positive side of the DEM vision and also seems to not be where the youngest voters are, so it is very possible that we'll see another shift away from the DEMS and towards the GOP/TEA.

Now before Billsmith goes nuts and spends 10 paragraphs bashing Christians for not loving their neighbor, I'll say it myself. Yes, all too often we in the church have not done what Jesus would do, but on the other hand, most of the charities, hospitals, food / cloths closets, even the United Way were all started by Christian churches be they Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbytarian, Salvation Army, etc. Could the church do more? Sure, but if it weren't for the Christian Church, and us "pointy-headed Christians" who voluntarily give our money to support those various charities [so no tax dollars from you other folks] there would be far less help for the lesser than thee; and then the government WOULD be taxing you and me to help those folks. So even the non-believer benefits by the Christian Church being around. Just another view of the wedge of Swiss Cheese we discussed a week or two ago.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 10:22am
MikeFromDelaware: You forget all the taxes we all have to pay because churches don't, because other non-profits don't, and because all you "good Christians" get tax deductions for giving money to the aforementioned. Funny, churches and other non-profits seem to think you all wouldn't give them money without tax-deductions because they scream bloody murder anytime somebody suggests a flat-rate income tax with no deductions. Churches are parasites. They don't pay taxes, but expect government services just the same. Check out charity watchdog websites. See how little of the money they take in actually goes for the stated purpose. It goes for fund-raising, high salaries, fancy buildings and - of course - lobbying. The soup kitchens and clothing drives don't make up for the taxes they don't pay. Neither do they do much good to solve social problems.

Time to get rid of primaries. No primaries and the tea baggers have no teeth. And the tea baggers are dupes of the super-rich who don't want to pay taxes either.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 12:34pm
...Too funny.

Only the Tea Partiers are beholden to the super-rich?
Our current leader is deeper in the pockets of Wall Street and Silicon Valley than Bush ever was...0bama also has uber-rich Progressive George Soros backing him. Other than the "evil" Koch Brothers, how many wealthy are backing the Tea Party?

Most reports I have read state the rich are NOT backing the Tea Party, but are instead backing the centrist Democrats and Republicans. They know this group of politicians will do whatever keeps them in office.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 17, 2013 1:26pm
Billsmith: As a former United Methodist lay speaker, I've had the opportunity to preach on that exact topic. What is your motivation to give? One point I made to challenge the congregation was, IF tomorrow the Federal Government took away the tax deduction from charible donations, would that make a difference in what you put in the collection plate? If it would, then you're giving for the wrong reason, etc., etc. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, aren't supposed to be charible because we get a tax break; we're to do it, because of the changes Christ has made in us, etc., etc., where our heart, because of Christ's grace, love, and mercy, has caused us to want to share, etc., so we give with a grateful heart, etc., etc. You get the idea.

I can't speak for all denominations and churches, but I know of many churches where the pastor's salary is far from a princely sum and their buildings are not lavish places, and they struggle to pay the electric bill, fix the old roof, etc. Yes, there are the others too, but as usual, you paint with a broad brush, condemning the entire church, but don't want others to do that when attacking your ideas, values, etc. We get it; you hate anything to do with the church and wish it were gone. Some objectivity from you would be a refreshing change.

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 3:30pm
Speaking for young people, they will go to whomever successfully holds the top 1% accountable....


Tue, Dec 17, 2013 3:43pm
MikeFromDelaware: "Objectivity" cuts two ways. You are too willing to overlook the kinds of excesses I describe. Yes, I know I am not speaking about 100 per cent of non-profits and I know I can count on you to point it out. And whatever you told people in person, when the issue of doing away with tax deductions comes up, the UMC, ELCA, LSMS, and other church bodies are fighting the measure and saying no deductions would greatly hurt their revenues.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 17, 2013 4:29pm
Billsmith: I didn't say the denominations didn't freak out any time the topic of doing away with tax deductions comes up, just as the secular charities also freak out. THE CHURCH realizes it's filled with sinners, none perfect, all flawed, and yes, many give for the wrong reasons, so it wouldn't surprise me if they freaked-out anytime that topic comes up. They themselves are sinners too, and maybe they aren't exercising enough faith themselves. You'll never hear me say The Church is perfect, far from it. But in spite of that, God still loves the church, and those outside the church. I don't overlook it; I try to work around it; and when given the opportunity, as I've had a few times, like that sermon or when teaching a Sunday School class for adults, challenge my brothers and sisters in Christ, just as many of them challenge me in my walk. It works both ways.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 5:29am
MikeFromDelaware: The great Christian cop-out. "Everybody's a sinner. We all are saved. So our sins don't matter." This is why Christianity does not make those who claim to follow it (few actually do) better people. It just allows them to be nasty human beings and claim divine justification for their nastiness. Funny that Jesus is quoted in the gospels as denouncing self-righteous, religious hypocrisy more than anything else. He never said much about the "sins" the religious right gets their shorts in a knot about. Just the sins the religious right practices. You can't follow Jesus' teaching and be a tea-bagger.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Dec 18, 2013 8:24am
Billsmith said: "The great Christian cop-out. Everybody's a sinner. We all are saved. So our sins don't matter."

What's irritating is you apparently, by your own admission on this blog, went to a Lutheran School at some point in your life, was raised Lutheran. When you want to [as you have many times here], you can quote chapter and verse of the Bible, Luthers writings, and from the Book of Concord, but then you get these moments of amnesia. You know what you wrote above is not what Jesus taught, or Luther for that matter.

Everyone is a sinner, you, me, Mrpizza, Pope Francis, everyone. Those who come to Christ get their sins forgiven by Christ's blood shed on the cross. So does that mean we can sin and not sweat it? I don't think so. God looks at the heart [attitude]. God knows if we're sincerely trying to walk with him or playing games thinking we're fooling God, being hypocrites [Jesus definitely didn't seem to like hypocrites]. So to say our sins don't matter is not true, and is a total misstatment that you know better than to make.

That's why in the Lutheran Mass, both ELCA and LCMS versions, we have that moment in the beginning to silently confess our sins to the Lord and make that public statement of being a sinner needing God's forgiveness, so we can then get absolution [forgiveness for our sins], so we can receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner with our sins forgiven. So our sins DO matter and should never be taken lightly or blown off, because they do matter to God.

Anyone who thinks they can sin because they are "saved" as a Christian is wrong; sin is still sin to God. All sin is bad to God, so gossip is just as sinful in God's eyes as any sexual sin, be it hetero or homo. You know this. The real issue, which has got your shorts in a knot, is the focus of many believers on homosexual sins. Frankly I agree. Those sins are just as bad to God as heterosexual sins or gossip as I mentioned above.

However, what's really got your shorts in a knot, is the fact that many in The Church won't go along with political correctness and say the LGBT lifestyle is a fine alternative way to live and is NOT a sin. THAT's the real issue for you.

Prior to the past 15 or so years, the church never discussed homosexuality, but, because the LGBT folks have come "out of the closet" and are saying, we want you to say this is a "normal" lifestyle, naturally The Church is speaking up and for the most part NOT saying what you'd want it to say. So you attack that part of The Church as being intolerant.

What you do in your bedroom is none of anyone's business, that's between you and God period. But if you're going to flaunt it and say the church needs to accept it - that it's not a sin anymore - then you're going to get push back from The Church. Just as if heterosexuals who cheat on their spouses started coming out and saying this isn't a sin anymore - accept our lifestyle - they too would get pushback. THAT's the real issue here for you. As you have claimed here to be AC/DC, you hate the fact that the church says the homosexual side of you is sinful if practiced. Just as the guy who wants to bed as many women he can is sinning, or the guy who cheats on his taxes is sinning, etc, etc, all are sinning. The others keep their sins to themselves, the LGBT folks want us to say it's OK and normal. So you bash the church & its believers any chance you get. Still the bottom line, for any sin, all sinners need to repent and get right with the Lord, even Christians. The difference is I know I'm a sinner who needs to go and repent to God [through his Son Jesus Christ]; the unbelievers don't even think they've sinned, or if they do know it, they don't care.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 9:33am
Speaking for young people, they will go to whomever successfully holds the top 1% accountable....Period.~kavips

If true...then the Moderate Republicans and Democrats should be scared. The Tea Party is NOT for the 1%ers, that would instead be the Moderate Republicans (like Romney, Christie, Boehner, etc) and Moderate Democrats. The Moderates can be pushed around by the wealthy donors/lobbyists because they will say/do anything to keep their jobs and remain in power...the "crazy" Tea Party-types are listening to and doing the bidding of their CONSTITUENTS.

The Tea Party is also taking on Big Government (another thing the voting-age youth of today do not trust). Rand Paul and most other Tea Party-types are against Big Government intrusion into our lives...like N.S.A. or even Nanny State policies like anti-Big Gulp Bloomberg(D)/(R)/(?)

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 9:40am
What's this? The guy who is anti-abortion, anti-sodomy, anti-marijuana doesn't like the "nanny state?"

So why is it one percenters - more specifically, the one percent of the one percenters - are funding and organizing the tea party? They've got you so worked up with anti-government hatred, you don't notice how the one per centers are the ones screwing you.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 11:34am
bill: Name these 1%ers other than the Koch Bros. supporting the Tea Party.

Yes, I am pro-life (anti-murder of innocents), and pro-marriage of man/woman (what one does in the bedroom is one's own choice), and whoever said I was anti-pot?...I didn't; just said honest research should go into the health/legal repercussions that might arise with itslegalization.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 1:39pm
Earl, what's health got to do with it? There's plenty of research on health and sugar, and health and obesity, but you object to no Big Gulp rules and complain about the "nanny state." Apparently it's only the nanny state when it limits "bad habits" in which you don't indulge - not those in which you do indulge.

Dick Armey, Grover Norquist, Sheldon Adelson, Phillip Morris USA and other tobacco companies, major oil companies (including the Koch Brothers), Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney... And let's not forget who started these "astro-turf" movements some 80 years ago with massive spending. The Liberty League organized to kill the New Deal and funded by our very own DuPont family (better things for better living through chicanery).

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 2:19pm
Look deeper, bud, Norquist and Dick Cheney are not fans of the Tea Party...Cheney is a Neo-Con and Norquist has voiced disdain for Tea. Adelson supported Romney, but I have not heard he supports the Tea Party... no idea about Phil Morris but would wager they also spend quite a bit lobbying Democrats, Progressives, and "establishment" Republicans as well.

Even if you were right, and you added your group above all together... they are but drops in the bucket compared to Big Unions, Bill Gates, Bloomberg, Wall Street, "Hollyweird", and George Soros, who put Big money solidly behind the Democrats.

As to pot/health...If people were actually held responsible for their own decisions, then we could legalize almost anything (Libertarian Paradise)... however, in America no one wants to admit they are responsible for any of their own decisions.

Drink your Big Gulp, co-habitat with whomever you choose, and smoke whatever you want, but don't force others to pay for your decisions or modify others religious beliefs for your decisions.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 3:42pm
Earl: Not fans? But providers of "Big Bucks" through their SuperPACs, and backers of their approved candidates.

And now you resort to the eight-year-old's favorite excuse: Johnny does it! His parents let him do it.

And of course, your figures to support your claim that those people you mention give more than the right-wing .1-per centers. Bill Gates gives money to education and health care, mostly in underdeveloped countries, but I suppose you consider that liberal and lobbying. And everybody in Hollywood is liberal? Really, Mr. Reagan is the greatest president in our lifetimes? Big unions? Where have you been in the last 30 years?

The Koch's and their ilk are not the only ones who give money, but it doesn't change the fact that the tea party is an "astro-turfed" movement, and people like you are manipulated to support their interests, and to work against your own self-interest. But this is why there is such a big overlap between the tea-baggers and the religious right. You can find a lot of gullible people in one place on Sunday morning.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 7:27pm
Bill Gates is one of the biggest pushers of Common Core so yes, he is beyond Liberal and actually a Progressive.

Hollywood is a lot different than it was during the time of Reagan...it was liberal, but nothing close to today's Hollywoodland.

Big unions (SEIU, UAW and the rest of the alphabet soup of unions) force their members to pay dues and then the leaders pay off/support Democrats.

And, do you really think the Kochs can compete against the list I posted above PLUS Google and Facebook? How powerful are those guys compared to the social media?

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 12:59am
Earl: It's not just the Kochs competing all by themselves. Besides, the big difference between right-wing, authoritarian elitists and progressives, is elitists are selfish, arrogant and driven by greed. Rich progressives want to use their money for good, to help people.

PS: Jesus won't let people like you into heaven. Only progressives in heaven.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Dec 19, 2013 11:45am
Salvation is for all who come to Christ; Jesus isn't a Democrat nor a Republican, not a Conservative nor a Liberal/Progressive, nor a TEA person. Jesus wasn't political; no party defines Christ.

None can earn their salvation; it's a gift, grace from God. When I really look at myself I can see the flawed, selfish, sinner who's so-called righteousness is like a filthy rag, and deserving of Hell, but thankfully God in his loving mercy gives me and anyone who wants it, his grace, love, and forgiveness so in spite of what I and they truly deserve, I and they instead get salvation. THAT's the Gospel message [the Good News], Law and Gospel [to use a Lutheran term].

My guess is there will be many surprises in Heaven, as those who do get past St. Peter at the Pearly Gates may be surprised who they see on the inside. God is the judge and ONLY he decides who gets in. We all see through smoked-colored glass and won't see clearly until we're with Christ in Heaven.

That sobering words of Jesus that should keep any and all followers of Christ humble and seeking God's will is: Matt 7:21 [ESV English Standard Version]: "Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Our walk is supposed to match our talk. Not a works mentality, but my works are because of my faith. So you don't do the works to earn salvation, but yet because of your salvation you seek God's will and desire so he can use you to do his good works.

Bottom line is none deserve to go to Heaven; it's a gift from our Creator God due to the blood shed by his Son Jesus. We as humans want to dictate the terms to God, it doesn't work that way. God is the judge, it will be done his way no matter what any of us here think, believe, or post.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 12:27pm
MikeFromDelaware: Yes, Christianity is about being good and doing good in order to get into heaven. Judaism is about being good and doing good because it's the right thing to do and makes the world better for everybody.
Progressive political principals are consistent with Jesus' teachings and admonitions. Right-wing politics is not, and is based in anger, hate, bitterness and deference to authority.

Christians (and conservatives) generally don't care about the world, other people, or quality of life. Just their get-out-of-hell free card. Why worry about the world? Jesus will come back and we get out of here and the rest of the world goes to hell. It's amazing how much pleasure Christians take in the thought of other people being tormented in hell for all eternity.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 1:28pm
bill: You could not be more wrong about true Christianity...

True Christianity is not a "get-out-of-hell card"; it's way more than that.

I heard a recent sermon that gave a good example of how Christians should see/interact with the world. Imagine our world as the Titanic... your view is that Christians would be the first to jump overboard in the "lifesavers"...leaving everyone else to die. True Christians (in this scenario) would rush down to the bottom of the ship and do everything possible to repair the damage done to the ship, and seal-up as many damaged portions as possible to save their "neighbors".

There are (sadly) many examples of "bad Christians" but that doesn't mean that Christianity is wrong, simply means the followers of Christ are flawed humans. Jesus is the perfect example; Christians are supposed to do their best to do as He would do and share His Word/gospel to all...we aren't responsible for your decision to accept/reject... just responsible to share His good news.

Sorry you are so bitter towards Christ/Christians... I really don't care what you think of me, only what my Creator thinks of me.
Putting your faith/trust in politicians will always let you down.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 2:03pm
Earl: What makes you think I trust politicians - except in the Errol Flynn sense of trust (You can count on Errol Flynn; he will always let you down)?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Dec 19, 2013 3:25pm
Well said, EarlGrey. The Church does all the various good works around the globe not to earn heaven, but because true Christians do care about their community & the world as Christ did (the Titanic illustration of Earl's is a good one).

Bill, I can agree, though, all too often Christians don't live as Christ would. We are to live in this world, but not be of this world. Most of us are poor representatives of Jesus; definitely I fall far short. Being a follower of Jesus isn't some magic spell where you ask Jesus to come into your life and poof, you're a clone of Jesus. No, each day we make all sorts of decisions of what we say & do that hopefully are in God's will & how Jesus would handle the situation if he were walking the Earth. Sadly, I can only speak for me; I'm sure My Lord gets disappointed by my actions far more often than I'd want to admit. Thankfully his grace is sufficient even for such a sinner as me.

You are hoping for reincarnation... Christians believe in eternal life either in Paradise with Jesus (think the sinner on the cross next to Jesus) or eternity in Hell where it was implied the other sinner on the third cross was going.

So yes, Bill, part of Christianity is about eternity. If you don't think there is an eternity, & you simply believe you end up as food for the worms then you might not be too interested in God'd plan for eternity. Funny, though, as folks get older & they start to see their frailties, their interest in eternity seems to grow. Christ wants no one to perish. It's sad that for whatever reason, there's a mountain blocking you (that you won't go around) from coming back to Christ. Each of us has to choose.

Final point, there's no joy for me & any real follower of Christ in seeing someone reject Christ & choose damnation. That's a part of the believers' heart you'll never understand. Your high intellect can't give you that answer. There's no logically reason for it; it's part of what The Holy Spirit changes in each true believer's heart.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 3:30pm
Thanks Mike.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013 3:41pm
The idea of reincarnation for most belief systems that hold to it is ultimately one will achieve a state of perfection and eternal bliss. But you have to work you way up to it. Christianity gives you one pitch. One strike and eternal damnation. In reincarnation, life is more of a learning experience. A bad person comes back to a purgatory-like life.

I don't think a being smart enough to create the universe would set up such a dumb game to achieve the afterlife as you all imagine.

Remember, I don't do hope and I don't do belief.

And the more I think about it, I picture Christians grabbing all the seats on the lifeboats and as they are waiting to be lowered, telling the other passengers to repent. There'd also be conversation in the lifeboat about the iceberg as god's will and how no one can understand the ways of the lord.

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