As a virtue of empathy, compassion is concern for the suffering of others, and a fundamental part of Christian love. It is also one of the cornerstones of social interconnection and humanism that is the basis of the highest principles in philosophy, society, and community. Unless someone has been hiding in a cave for the past three years, they understand that Republicans, teabaggers, Libertarians, and a major segment of the religious right have abandoned any sense of compassion for their fellow Americans, but especially the poor. Indeed, conservatives of all stripes have demonstrated that instead of compassion, their agenda is increasing the suffering of tens-of-millions of Americans to reward the wealthiest Americans.
What is particularly noteworthy, and hypocritical, is the number of so-called conservative Christians who ignore the suffering of Americans in the richest country in the world, and one Republican U.S. senate candidate from Wisconsin is sick and tired of reading sad stories about people struggling in the Republican-caused recession. What Eric Hovde prays to his god about is that the media “start writing about the issues such as lowering the corporate tax rate, slashing spending, and reducing the deficit.” Hovde made his comments during a speech to the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, and he pointed to a reporter and said, “I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray that you stop always writing about the person couldn’t get food stamps or you know, another sob story.”
A campaign spokesman clarified that Hovde was really talking about how “out-of-control government spending is what’s really hurting the poor and making human interest stories possible in the first place, so the press, and the public at large, should be focusing on” cutting taxes for the wealthy and their corporations, cutting social safety net spending, and reducing the deficit. According to a National Journal analysis, the press already spends more time talking about the deficit than Republican-caused unemployment or rising poverty rates in part because corporate-controlled media follows explicit instructions from Republican politicians and policymakers. In fact, the press has been remiss to report that Republicans are attempting to cut food stamps for 50 million Americans, slash Veteran’s benefits, cut health spending for children, women and seniors, or give $10.7 trillion in tax cuts to the rich. The main stream media has also not irritated Mr. Hovde with a truly sad report from the Office of Research at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that America has the second highest rate of children living in poverty in the developed world.
However, the story is not about the press failing to report on the dire conditions of an incredibly large segment of the population, but about the lack of compassion Hovde and Republicans have toward their fellow Americans. Hovde is a self-professed devout Christian and like so many of “those kinds of Christians,” his primary concern is giving more entitlements to the wealthy instead of caring for the poor, or as Hovde calls them, “another sob story.” It is shocking that Hovde thinks cutting social safety net spending will help the poor, because besides creating more “sob stories,” Draconian budget cuts kill millions of jobs and when coupled with more Republican tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the loss of revenue and borrowing will drive up the deficit.
Most human beings do not like being reminded that their neighbors, family, and friends are hungry, homeless, or barely surviving, and if they have the slightest bit of humanity and compassion, do whatever they can to assuage their suffering. Christians are admonished by their namesake to care for the poor regardless the personal cost, and in Hovde’s bio it says his “faith taught him to provide shelter and supportive services to people in crisis, especially street and neglected children in the United States, Africa and Latin America.” However, his faith in conservatism teaches him to promote cutting supportive services to people in crisis and drives him to pray that the press writes more stories about giving tax cuts to corporations, cutting food stamps for hungry Americans, and deficit reduction that must certainly cause him great conflict as a devout Christian.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans, especially conservative Christian Republicans, lack concern for the suffering of others and are devoid of empathy or compassion that their lord and savior based his entire ministry on. That men like Hovde prays for the press to stop writing sob stories about the poor, and prays they concentrate on reporting how important it is to slash food stamps, Veteran’s benefits, healthcare for seniors and children, and focus on deficit reduction informs that they are not Christians in any way, shape, or form, and lack basic humanity. What Republicans have demonstrated is that they are callous and cold-hearted toward the suffering of others and they appear genuinely thrilled at the prospect of creating an entire nation of poverty-stricken Americans subsisting to reward the wealthy.
Hovde is not the only Republican hoping the press helps convince Americans that giving corporations and the wealthy proceeds from spending cuts and deficit increasing tax cuts, but he is the first to say he prays to his god that they promote the cold-hearted, compassionless agenda of increasing poverty and killing jobs to afford the wealthy greater riches. There is little doubt that millions of compassionless Christians pray every night that Republicans are successful in creating a nation of peasants and hungry children, and instead of being astonished, Americans should be habituated that this new, cold-hearted class of conservative Christians not only prays for greater poverty and tax cuts for the wealthy, they pray for President Obama to die. One cannot help but wonder; “what would Jesus do?” Based on the Christian bible the answer is clear; he would condemn the lot of them to everlasting hell-fire and eternal damnation which is better than they deserve.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.