James Robison Recruits Southern Baptist Leader for His Economic Efforts
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Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:37:45 AM EST
O.S. Hawkins is head of Guidestone, the annuity board of Southern Baptists.  The agency provides health care assistance and retirement options for convention employees and church ministers.  James Robison had Hawkins on his program January 22, 2013.  Religious Right activist Robison, has been aggressively promoting his economic agenda for the nation.
On the program Robison interviewed Hawkins regarding the new book written and promoted by the Guidestone head.  The name of the book is Joshua Code.  Robison's take on the work is that it encourages Christians to help others and not expect the government to do so.
 James rehashed his view with Hawkins that Pharaoh's assistance is not biblical.  This is his idea that Pharaoh was wrong by listening to Joseph and stockpiling food for the coming drought.  Individuals and the people of God were to do this, not Pharaoh.  This interpretation by James plays along with the Christian Reconstruction playbook that government is not to assist the needy.  By connection with the resources of Guidestone and its leverage with Baptist churches this idea regarding government assistance has potential to reach millions.  It is strange that ministers who depend upon Social Security to supplement their own retirements would buy into such an economic system.
Robison wrote in his book, Indivisible;   "I opted out of Social security when I was eighteen years old, because I thought it was socialistic."  Pg. 85

Today is January 21, 2013. You are writing about something taking place tomorrow (January 22, 2013) as if it has already happened. Is this a preview of an upcoming event, or is the date wrong? Thanks!

by MLouise on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:47:30 AM EST

Just got date wrong. Robison might have had the program taped, but I saw it on TV this Monday morning.....Jan. 21

by wilkyjr on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:12:24 PM EST
Thanks for the clarification.

by MLouise on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:05:52 PM EST

Sure you can opt out of anything, but my thought is, those that do, will take a hand out from anyone eventually.

by Corey Mondello on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:40:21 PM EST

has strings attached. And those who do not toe the line laid out by the Christians will not get any help. Nice way to make sure all the "heathens" die off, eh? No help from anywhere unless they convert? No thanks. (I'm not a heathen, but I'm sure they'd consider me one.)

by phatkhat on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:52:38 PM EST

These types ACTUALLY believe they are to  help everyone.  The numbers do not add up to think the local churches can pay for all this.  Robison's buddy at the Oak Initiave thinks  80% of government could be cut.  He didn't mention what would be cut.

by wilkyjr on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:22:44 AM EST

I read this and my blood boiled.  I've been hearing that sort of thing for most of my life, and we've also experienced the sort of "help" that those churches give out.

Usually it's a slap on the head, and when that doesn't instantly and magically cure the problem, then they follow up with accusations of "Wanna Pity Party?", "you're holding onto secret sin!", or "you must really WANT to suffer!".  Sometimes it's also handed out with special requirements like happened one time - in order to put food on our table, we had to go to a "Spiritual Deliverance Service" at the local megachurch - where the Assemblies of God preachers TRIED TO BREAK UP OUR MARRIAGE (because they said we had a "family spirit").  They ordered us to separate, and we were so offended that we got up and walked out.  The person (steeplejacked Episcopal priest) who "helped" us was raging mad when he was informed, but it was like I told him - we'd agreed to go, but we didn't say that we'd stay, especially in light of how we were treated.  (There was no more aid from that church - "mainstream Episcopal" btw, and shortly after that we were driven from the parish.)

Their aid always comes with strings - usually overt, but they ALWAYS tie strings to any aid they give.

Their "Help" is well known to knowledgeable homeless advocates and researchers.  I've interviewed and talked with quite a few people who were homeless, who told of those sorts of churches actually stealing from them (they were homeless, so they shouldn't be carrying around money or things of value - those should have been sold in an effort to prevent homelessness, and they must be stolen or something similar).  Their "Shelters" are horribly abusive - although most religious-based shelters usually are (as I learned, the ecumenical shelter I did research at were using vicious psychological tricks and hard-sell proselytizing on anyone who wasn't "Good Christian" - and found that sort of behavior and treatment to be common).  That same shelter, by the way, was teaching their "clients" to accept whatever abuse came their way in order to keep their horrible junk jobs - even physical abuse.  (That really offended me when I learned that - from the person doing the teaching and who insisted that poor people had to "let go of their pride and do whatever it requires to keep their job".)

The churches believe that if a single time "fix" doesn't cure your problem, then you have done something wrong or are doing something wrong - usually you get accused of being an alcoholic or addicted to drugs.  They don't even think about things like disabilities (especially those not caused by personal failings) or the necessity for any sort of long-term care, except I do remember one person saying something about begging for a living.  If you have a hidden disability, you're automatically assumed to be lying and faking it, and you'll get "Get a Job!!!" thrown in your face (been there, done that, have the t-shirt).

The reality is, those types want to throw a few pennies at you and make you join their church, and then demand "Tithes and offerings and love gifts and faith seeds" from you - to the tune of up to over half of your income every week.

After all, they (OOPS!  "GOD") have a right to a return on their investment, don'tcha know?  (The pennies they threw at you.)

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:38:38 AM EST

Bob, as you know those seeking help are sometimes (more than one would think)  those who are seeking to manipulate.  Which goes to prove that churches are not equipped, nor do they have the resources to give out that kind of aid.  Gov. Perry wants to hand out storm relief through the churches.  I would not look forward to that.
   The aid given out to you does not sound very Christian or even humanitarian.

by wilkyjr on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:01:06 PM EST
Yeah, there are the scumbag scammers, I've met a few - two families and maybe four or five other individuals in over 30 years.  The problem is that everyone looks at them and paints the rest with the same color.

There was a family of scammers who were working the last mainstream church we attended, and they were getting enough money so that the father (who worked full time) bought a new car... while my wife and I went without electricity for three months and even food on occasion.  Because they fit the stereotype (mother, father, five children) and lied through their teeth, people would "HELP THE POOR CHILDREN" - who were, btw, "stealing sheep" - they were really Assemblies of God members who made their living off of AFDC and the other forms of aid - most of which we could never qualify for (once you're locked out of disability, all other doors slam in your face too).

When they were caught "stealing sheep" by the rector (kids were convincing their "friends" to switch to pentecostal - deliberately) and left the church, it came out that they were far better off than people thought and were scammers, which set off a bit of a ruckus in some circles (especially the people who'd been scammed and given large sums of money to help them out).  We then also caught some hell because we were also very poor and thus suspect, even though the help we got was more on the line of some food here and there, and once some help with bills (and a few opportunities to work for pay - another story).  It wasn't pleasant.  Most of what we (I) caught was "You can do more than you think if you put your mind to it!" and "Get a Job!", to which I would usually reply that they didn't deal with the problems I did and they didn't have a clue - which made them madder.  (They all knew by that time I had a diagnosis of severe FMS and a spastic colon, but "you don't look disabled".)

Anyway, for every family like theirs, you'll meet at least ten like us, and every barrier thrown up to try to prevent them makes life that much harder for the real people.  It's really frustrating when people think about those types and don't realize that their stereotype is false for the most part - and it hurts those who can least afford the pain.

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:22:45 PM EST

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by mar1us91 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:33:14 AM EST

>>James rehashed his view with Hawkins that Pharaoh's assistance is not biblical.  This is his idea that Pharaoh was wrong by listening to Joseph and stockpiling food for the coming drought.  Individuals and the people of God were to do this, not Pharaoh.  This interpretation by James plays along with the Christian Reconstruction playbook that government is not to assist the needy.<<

This seems a faulty interpretation of the story. Pharaoh was seeking wise counsel from Joseph, who according to the scripture, was greatly blessed by God with wisdom and insight. Pharaoh decided to be cautious and heed Joseph's warning.
Robison is in effect saying that Pharaoh should have let the people starve because he would not listen to God's messenger. After all, slaves and the common folk really would have had no way or even a place to put up so much grain.

Of course, later on Pharaoh actually did not listen to God's messenger (Moses)... and we know how that turned out for Pharaoh.

by COinMS on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:01:31 PM EST

Robison misses the main thrust of the story of Joseph which is about God's providence.  He twists the story to fit his right wing myths.  It's much like the old curse of Ham theory.
     Bob's story rings true in that often finding the real needy is hard since they tend to hide their problems or they are hard to see.  

by wilkyjr on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:08:21 AM EST
(1) We're taught in this culture to be in need is something to be ashamed of.
(2) The poorer you are - and if people find out - the more likely you are to be ripped off by businesses or robbed.  (The poor are many times more likely to have suffered a crime of any type, including violent crime - because we're considered easier prey.)
(3) The poorer you are, the harder it is to get a job.  You MUST be lazy and have a bad work ethic if you're poor in this culture.
(4) The worst of this list - the poorer you are, the more likely the "Good Christians" like Robison and Hawkins are to blame you and tell you God is angry with you.  That really hurts, and that's the main reason why so many people who are very poor don't like to let others know.

So we tend to try to hide it.  We do have a right to some self-esteem and self-worth, after all.  I don't hide it as much as others, but it's because I'm trying to wake people up to reality.  The truly poor deserve far better treatment than they usually get.

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