Liberalism

Advice to Barack Obama by Two People Who Didn't Vote for Him (or John McCain)

But just might if he ever got serious about governing.

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The time for action is over; the time for talk is now.

The annual State of the Union address (SOTU), one of the lamest pseudo-spectacles in all of politics, is once again upon us. The one bright side: Even before the speech is over, it will already be forgotten.

SOTU is the equivalent of the old ABC Superstars competition from the 1970s, without the human drama of seeing whether Lou Ferrigno can finish an 800-yard run. It's a mixed-up, shook-up exercise in ring-kissing theatrics and gravity-defying promises that no one even pretends will be kept. Forget George W. Bush's Mission to Mars, or Bill Clinton's vow to "put Social Security on a sound footing for the next 75 years." Do you even remember the current president's prime-time joint session promise 11 months ago to "make hard choices to bring our deficit down"? 

This year, the SOTU can, should, and won't be remarkably brief, sparing us the Castro-length perorations of the Clinton years and the rhetorical mediocrity of the Bush era. The country is mired in a long-term recession whose causes are largely the result of rotten government policies (inflating the housing bubble, showering the economy with cheap money, etc.) and whose length has been increased by equally rotten government responses that have kept markets from finding their true bottom while scaring businessess away from getting on with random acts of recovery. Who in their right mind would start investing in the future when a trillion-dollar health care plan, a banking-regulation overhaul, and an enormous de facto carbon tax were all in the offing? Now is not the time either for Stimulus McTARP-HAMP Vol. 2, nor mickey-mouse schemes like cash-for-caulkers, the vice president's goofy plan to stimulate the economy by weatherizing vacant homes in Detroit. 

So here's some advice for President Barack Obama, who was elected on a platform of hope and change and has, after a year in office, helped dash hope by changing things mostly for the worse. We write not as Democratic Party hacks who are slow to wipe the sparkles from their eyes (we aren't asking you to recalibrate your "cool, detached temperament"), nor as Republican Party dead-enders (who turned against TARP only upon learning it would be administered by you rather than John McCain). 

Instead, we write as libertarian enthusiasts and political independents who think that the large majority of Americans that wants fewer government services and less government interference in our social and economic lives should, at long last, be taken seriously. That means no longer pretending that the people who oppose Obamanomics are all opportunistic Republicans or mis-informed voters bedazzled by nefarious special interests. 

Your policies are increasingly unpopular because they are no good. Take the $787 billion stimulus package. Fifty-six percent of Americans now oppose the stimulus, with only 42 percent supporting it. A year ago, those numbers were reversed. The American people have learned what economists such as Robert Barro and Valerie Ramey could have told you a long time ago: that a dollar increase in government spending results in no more (and almost certainly less) than a dollar increase in economic activity. Your estimates about how many jobs would be "created" by the stimulus package—a term of art later modified to "saved or created," then downgraded further to "funded"—have been slippery, unconvincing, and wildly off-base. The same goes for your estimates on the unemployment rate, still in double digits and not improving despite confident predictions that the stimulus would cap the bleeding at 9 percent. 

The stimulus is not unpopular because of evil lobbyists or hypocritical Republicans (many of whom voted for George W. Bush's forgotten and equally ineffective 2008 stimulus); it's unpopular because it transfers money from Main Street to Wall Street (despite your many protestations to the contrary), and it's unpopular because it doesn't work. It can't work, because government can only spend money by taking it from the current or future economy. Not only that, the artificial props of federal spending puts off the day of reckoning for the very sectors of the economy that melted down in the first place: Housing, mortgage finance, and banking. The best thing you can do for the economy right now is give it a break from some sort of real or imagined "transformational" program that requires continuously increasing debt ceilings. 

Your spending priorities are less than compelling. You campaigned on a promise to enact a "net spending cut" in federal outlays, a commendably (if unconvincingly) plain-spoken vow after the brazen irresponsibility of the Bush years. Yet the first big spending bill you signed last March helped set what in the most hopeful case will be the equivalent of Bob Beamon's Olympic long jump of 1968—a record for spending that won't be touched for decades. Despite your promise to cut earmarks, the bill was packed with more pork than the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile, which is only one of the reasons why overall federal spending in fiscal year 2009 increased 32 percent over the previous year. 

Tack onto all this the slow-motion car wreck that was health care "reform" (your word, not ours). At some point, you talked about the need to contain costs and introduce choice and competition into a system chronically short on both. Yet in your big speech on the matter last fall, you ruled out the most basic reform of all: Breaking the link between employment and insurance, so that individuals can shop for and own their own policies regardless of work situation. And the plans pushed forward by your filibuster-proof majority in the Senate did little to address these concerns, either, no matter how minutely they gamed the scoring rules set forth by the Congressional Budget Office. You may have bought off Big Insurance with an individual mandate (thereby growing the number of people they could insure, or be subsidized to insure) and repeated the trick with Big Pharma through various plans to maintain or increase their market shares, but you couldn't fool most of the people any of the time that the end result would over the long haul magically reduce, rather than balloon, the deficit. 

We could add here a string of broken promises and dashed hopes on closing Guantanamo, reversing discrimination against gays, and paring back our overseas military commitments, but the headline story of your presidency is about one crucial thing: economic policy and results. With the grime of governance having replaced the gauze of campaigning, the country has now been able to focus on something that wasn't quite as clear in November 2008: That when it comes to basic economic orientation, the main "change" in this presidency is a reversion to the pre-Bill Clinton days of Keynesian faith in centralized planning by technocratic experts in the name of empathizing with the downtrodden. It didn't work then, and it isn't working now. 

You want to win back the faith that most voting Americans placed in you 14 months ago? Start by taking your own promises seriously, rather than treating them as short-term fixes for your long-term drop in popularity. Continue by taking the American people seriously, by acknowledging that their differences of opinion with you on economic policy spring from a genuine place. And finish by doing something no president since Bill Clinton has even tried: Scale back ambitions. Pay as you go. Limit the growth of government.

A thousand central planners before you have learned it the hard way: Prosperity isn't something the government creates, it's something the government, in the best case, can enable, mostly by establishing a set of simple rules and getting the hell out of the way.

Matt Welch is the editor in chief of Reason magazine. Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com.

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  1. But just might if he ever got serious about governing.

    A forgiving pair, aren’t you?

    1. In such a scenario, nobody devotes even a second’s time in thinking about health because of which the death ratio of the individuals between the age group of 25-40 has increased considerably due to cardiac arrests.

  2. I will be playing the State of the Union drinking game tonight.

    1. getting a 24 hour head start?

      1. Calculating time is hard for libertarians

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  3. President Barack Obama was elected on a platform of hope and change[…]

    And so those that voted for him deserve it good and hard.

    1. Iran hasn’t been bom bom bombed yet. I’ll count it as a 1-1 draw.

    2. I didn’t know getting it good and hard was a punishment

  4. You want to win back the faith that most voting Americans placed in you 14 months ago? Start by taking your own promises seriously, rather than treating them as short-term fixes for your long-term drop in popularity resigning with some semblance of shame.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

    1. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve read today, and I spent most of the morning browsing reddit.

      1. smart is hard for libertarians

  5. Looking forward to the “State of The Onion” parody.

  6. Maaatt!? Uh! You listened to all of the nonsensical bullshit that came out of my mouth this morning, and now all this vitriol!? I sure hope that Nick Gillespie wrote most of this. He’s been on Glenn Beck afterall. He’s never been on the cool, calm, and rational Keith Olbermann’s show.
    You don’t understand Obama anymore than the rest of the racist teabaggers.

    1. Wow Michelle. Its really brave of you to make it clear you are a complete idiot. How many of the minority kids your state schools are lobotomizing every day have you helped tutor by the way?

      Or does that conflict with the KKK meetings at the DNC

    2. You get an A- for effort and an F in trolling

  7. Nick and Matt,

    Wow! You guys are so right! I’m going to follow your suggestions immediately!

    Thanks,

    Barack Obama

    , oops, Michelle, I must have been asleep…I just dreamt I was about to reduce the size of government…

  8. “Change I can believe in?”

    The 55 cents in my front pocket?

    1. Concepts are hard for libertarians

    2. The only thing in my front pocket is a hole that lets the pocket lint fall down the inside of my pants leg into the top of my dirty old sock.

      Can you spare some Hope and Change so a brother can buy himself a hot cup of hooker and a few drinks?

  9. Matt, Nick, I like the way you guys think. My office is open any time. You guys are clearly two of the most intelligent journalists I have heard from. I’m gonna give your ideas some serious consideration. Say hello to that Mike Flynn fella for me. He’s pretty sharp too. By the way, I am looking for some economists that saw this Depression coming. Sharp, really sharp, guys!!!! Thanks.

    Your Prez, Big O.

    1. You might dig up Stephen Holmes article in the NY Times, Sept. 1999, about subprime lending. It was so accurate it seems he wrote it after the collapse.

  10. Hi,

    You wrote “$787 million” instead of “$787 billion”, understating the size of the stimulus package by a whopping factor of 10^3.

    1. Math is hard for boys

    2. Oh, come on! What is a few zeros between countrymen?

      1. They’re just a printing press away….

  11. I know this is addressed to Obama, but the mental image I got after reading this was Dana Carvey as Bush 41:

    “Not gonna do it”

  12. something no president since Bill Clinton has even tried

    Out of all the presidents we’ve had between Clinton and Obama?

    1. Subtraction is hard for boys

      1. Boys are hard for girls.

    2. I think they were half joking.

  13. The era of big government is over!

    1. Perhaps not true, but certainly the stuff the most pleasant dreams are made of.

  14. Think he’ll hear you?

    Well, it was the thought that counts, right.

    My thought: This would about as ideal of time as one could hope for to see advancement of a third party. Yet, I can’t see that happening. It’s going to be the same old crap, just have to hope neither party gets too much or too little power where they can’t effectively neutralize each other.

    As for the SOTU it’s nice to know there’s just one thing out there that matters even less than what I think.

  15. “Ring kissing”? It’s more like ass kissing. Every president, no matter how fucked up he is, has to be given repeated long standing ovations simply for walking into the room and reading the pointless nonsense that’s been loaded into the teleprompter. He’s treated more like a god-king than the president of a republic.

    Granted, the United States of America has not been a republic for a long time. But the politicians are still trying to convince us otherwise; so why do they give the game away so blatantly on this occasion?

    1. Pardon? Ring (aka anal sphincter muscle) kissing is “ass kissing” last I heard. In fact it’s like the 3rd base as far as butt kissing goes, just short of frenching the brown eye with liberally copious amounts of tongue.

  16. Should a married President in his late 40s have imaginary friends?

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..lot-deaky/

    1. Hmm.. I blame Ronald Reagan for taking all these imaginary friends out of the safety and security of the mental institutions and throwing them out on the street where they’ve been die hard enthusiastic supporters of the various progressive and new left liberal politicians whenever not being those politicians themselves.

      Thank you, Ron, your gift just keeps on giving.

  17. The presumption that Obama has an ounce of sympathy for libertarian causes is embarrassing in its na?vet? and humiliating in its misplaced propriety. Better to cozy up with a conservative with whom one has openly and mutually acknowledged differences, than with a man who will say today what he means tomorrow.

    1. Conservatives are a greater threat to individual liberty than liberals in present day America.

      One need look no further than Maricopa county Arizona.

      1. sshhh…you’re going to get in trouble on here. Everyone knows that conservatives are for small government cause they say so, can’t go checking their records now.

        1. I agree with the previous two comments in sofar as they refer to generalities. However, I prefer an honest, though mistaken conservative, over a hypocritical leftist any day. When it comes to your average conservative versus average liberal, the liberal is, indeed, marginally preferable; but this is a matter of averages.

      2. I believe those are examples of Conservative in Name Only. Arpaio may legitimately believe in limiting the power of the federal government, but he does not seem to believe in limits to his own power, thus I don’t consider him much of a conservative.

        Conservativism isn’t just about an inexpensive or “traditional” government; it’s about limiting government to its proper role and powers. Unfortunately, a lot of nefarious people fly under this banner and then distort it to mean something else, just like how liberalism now means something much more insidious than it meant back in the days of the Founders.

      3. I don’t see it. Party not in power can’t be a threat.

        Me I’m for gridlock.

        Recent history suggests a Dem pres with a GOP congress seems optimal.

        Regardless I don’t want more repeats of the disaster of one party controlling the executive and the legislative.

        1. +1

  18. Obama could end don’t ask don’t tell tomorrow, with the stroke of a pen. He might not be able to “end” the drug war but he could massively scale it back tomorrow, with the stroke of a pen. All it requires is the political courage to issue executive orders instructing the military to stop firing soldiers on the basis of their sexual preferences, and for the DEA and related agencies to stop all arrests of nonviolent offenders.

    As commander in chief he has the power to unilaterally end the wars and close Guantanamo, that might be more complex than tomorrow with the stroke of a pen, but all it requires to begin the process is political courage that he seems to lack.

    1. Actually the military doesn’t “fire soldiers” it’s called separation from service, a form of discharge.

      Nonetheless, do you think it’s possible it has nothing to do with a lack of courage on anything you mentioned, could it be possible Obama had his own agenda and just went from one group to the next telling each what they wanted to hear so they’d invest their votes putting him where he needed to be to get what he wanted done for himself?

      Personally I don’t see in Obama some one who cares, or even is capable of caring for anyone. A great many say he only cares for himself, that’s even problematic for me to accept. If someone said he was displaying behavior not unseen in individuals suffering a sociopathic personality disorder, or that he was someone having difficulty feeling anything without creating a tempest centered around himself I’d be hard pressed to deny they may be right.

      If you believed the man you probably should examine him more closely again, this time looking for indicators that he feels any guilt whatsoever having promised you the world and having made no attempt to make good on his part of the bargain.

      It’s always best to be a skeptic, my friend, especially with politicians. This man Obama is clearly a user and a manipulator regardless of what else he may, or may not be.

      1. Yep.

        Obama is sympathetic to those other liberal causes he pandered to (at least in the abstract), but as a crypto-Marxist they all take a distant second place to destroying — excuse me, tranforming — the economy and supercharging state power in that sphere.

      2. Obama is a classic narcissist. He doesn’t even recognize that what is does is lying. This is why he has his minions float ridiculous assertions, as in, “the system worked perfectly”, to see if they’ll fly before he comments.

    2. Abdul Alhazred|1.26.10 @ 7:23PM|#
      “Obama could end don’t ask don’t tell tomorrow, with the stroke of a pen.”
      All it would take is some minimal principal and nerve on his part; neither of which are evident in any amount whatsoever.

  19. SOTU – I love it! But I don’t get the part about politicians and lying?

    Saying that big government is over would be like, you know, maybe, saying religion is over. Who would take care of us then and tell us that we have heaven waiting after we tough it out here on god’s prison planet? Now that is true, right, huh, yes, true?

    But not to worry, Washington is “getting the message” now and prosperity is just around the corner.

  20. It would be hard to undo all the bad that’s happened. But maybe he could (if he’s more of a mensch than Ratko says) at least make the future more predictable. Vow to limit all current subsidy/stimulus/bail-out/loan guarantee programs to money already spent. Vow to refrain from and veto any new similar programs for a minimum of two years. Mean it.

    CB.

  21. I like to hear Obama lie, he’s just way better at it than Bush. They should show all his Wall-Street Cabinet members counting all the money they and their banking friends just robbed from the treasury. Too bad the pres won’t bite the hand that feeds him (Wall-street banks, pharmaceutical companies, and now insurance companies).

    1. You’re so right, Fred! Right now as they’re planning to raise the debt ceiling by $1.9T on the same day he pompously announces a big spending freeze of roughly $20B annually, Obama is sitting on the remaining $522B of ‘Stimulus(oh, excuse me, ARRA) funds and whatever TARP money they’ve gotten back, and he’s planning another stimulus bill. Gee, he must be saving it to do something really great for us. Maybe he’ll use it to bring the country together, you know, how he’ll have everyone at a big table (probably with beer, like he did with the cop and the professor) to do health care. I’m so excited! Let’s see, he told us he’ll have doctors, lawyers, Rs and Ds, pharma, and finance to figure out a good health care plan. I wonder what kind of beer they all drink?

  22. BTW guys, thanks for reminding me, even as you correctly complain about Obama’s destructive policies, that you threw away your vote (Liberartrian or abstaining I don’t recall) that could have helped stop him.

    Sure, McCain sucked but he would have been somewhat less bad.

    Refusing to hold your nose to vote for him but complaining now about Obama (who’s actions were utterly predictable in advance, for the most part) smacks of telling someone who just had a heart attack, “Hey, its a *good* thing, at least now you’ll watch what you eat.”

    PS, Nick, time to ditch the combo of leather jacket and black tee on camera. You are no longer young and hip (if you ever were). I suppose its good you don’t play the “just another ‘suit'” game, but looking like a poser is no great shakes either.

    1. Then what, watch McCain do all the EXACT same things?

      I’m sorry, but you’re only throwing your vote away if you’re voting for evil. I don’t have any interest in doing that, so fuck you very much.

      1. McCain would not have done the “EXACT same things”.

        Maybe not ‘libertarian’ things, but not far left socialist things either.

    2. McCain would have been better but I almost think it might have been better for America to be reminded when one party gets all the power.

      Certainly a lot more people are receptive to the message of liberty today than would have been the case with a complacent populace who felt they dodged a bullet by getting McCain.

      Don’t get me wrong, Obama is an unmitigated disaster that needs to be undone asap.

      But possibly, if enough libertarians will engage, instead of endlessly whining, we might do some good. The right is more receptive than they have ever been.

  23. I couldn’t agree more, and I voted for Obama! And another thing, arrest Mr. Holder for treason, please, for conferring the rights of our citizens on lunatic jihadists while our men and women are dying in Afganistan. How can he possibly defend this aberrant, immoral and treasonous policy? I do hope Obama reverses course, but with Mr. Plouffe now back at the controls, we can prepare for the worst…

  24. “A thousand central planners before you have learned it the hard way: Prosperity isn’t something the government creates, it’s something the government, in the best case, can enable, mostly by establishing a set of simple rules and getting the hell out of the way.”

    Example of Attribute #7: Economic activity is driven by a large number of small entities interacting according to simple rules

    See all 10 Attributes of Liberty vs. ‘Soft’ Tyranny at http://www.streamingliberty.com

  25. And the answer is:

    Mr.Obama will not take one iota of your advice and he will charge into the valley of death with cannons to the right of him and cannons to the left of him, his will not be to REASON why his will be to do or die,and onward he will ride.

    And so it is that he will go down in a landslide with only a mediocre, at best, one term presidency and the nation much the worse for his reign.

    What a sad day for this great country that we have to live through this nonsense.

  26. Once again, criticism from hacks but no solutions . You both are very boring and useless

  27. From a publication called “Reason”, I was expecting some kind of well reasoned presentation of ideas supported by empirical facts. Unfortunately, Welch and Gillsepie rehash the same uncritically formulated religious platitudes that got us into the trouble we are in now.

    If a righteous act is made, it makes no difference if it comes from the public or private sector. It remains a righteous act. If a unrighteous action is made, it makes no difference if it is in occurs in the public or private sector. It remains an unrighteous act.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Red China has been doing good economically with the kind of central planning that Welch and Gillespie denounce. (Notice to the slow thinkers: I am not advocating that the USA should start to resemble China, just that it is empirical evidence that your ideas are full of crap.)

    Obama should follow the economic ideas put forth by Joseph Stiglitz.

    1. “If a righteous act is made, it makes no difference if it comes from the public or private sector.”

      except that an act from the public sector must be done with force: either by taxation or prohibition.

      1. and thereby is not righteous. an act of initiating force is not just

        1. Religulous!

          Try navigating traffic without obeying a red light.

          1. you lie!

          2. the state doesn’t have to provide roads: http://www.as.ua.edu/history/n…..ilders.pdf

            and the tax money that was used to make those red lights was still attained through injustice

    2. empirical evidence: west germany v. east germany, hong kong v. rest of china, south korea v. north korea. or that the improvement in China’s economy that you refer to comes from taking an ever so slightly less centrally planned approach?

      if you want “well reasoned presentation of ideas” then just take a look at the many other articles made available by reason.

      1. No, the articles you refer to are riddled with dogma and uncritical thinking.

        1. aren’t you a subscriber to the dogma of the State?

    3. Drink! You’re early…

      1. you lie!

    4. It remains a righteous act. If a unrighteous action is made, it makes no difference if it is in occurs in the public or private

      ‘Righteous’? You’re calling who religious?

      Red China has been doing good economically with the kind of central planning that Welch and Gillespie denounce.

      They are doing well because our central planners borrowed from their central planners, and keep doing so.

      You seem to be laboring under the delusion that the US has a free market.

      Had we a free market we wouldn’t have had a subprime bubble and crash, or a dotcom bubble and crash, or the great depression for that matter.

      1. >Had we a free market we wouldn’t have had a subprime bubble and crash, or a dotcom bubble and crash, or the great depression for that matter.

        ah yes, the delusion of a sports fan. woulda coulda shoulda.

        1. I’ve yet to hear any koolaid drinker explain why it’s the markets that government meddles in most that are the most dysfunctional.

          Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to explain it either.

  28. Obama’s tax cuts have not worked!

    1. you lie!

  29. Whenever a politician speaks, I naturally assume that whatever he says is the opposite of the truth. Unless they said, “I’m a dirty, scumbag”. That I would believe.

    1. you lie!

  30. The American culture was fashioned almost 400 years ago when a small band of pilgrims settled in New England and each had no other choice but to do their own thing, watching out for not only their interests, but that of their families and close community. They formed local government close, within a day’s horseback ride, as the county. They elected people to make proper laws, enforce them, judge and punish lawbreakers. They held town hall meetings to reshape it when needed, and even vigilantes if government became abusive. The Tea Party movement is just an extension of that. Obama wants to change America from that culture, saying community interests are more important than are individual interests, yet individual self-interest and pebble-dropping was what made America great and prosperous. See Save Pebble Droppers & Prosperity on calysamerica.com

    1. let’s go back to the days where they used to hang witchs.

      just say no to the 17th century medievalism.

      say no to teabaggers!

      1. Tea baggers are the closest thing to Libertarians out there. Might try to enlist them rather than mock them.

        1. What is the difference between a Libertarian and a broken record?

          You can reason with a broken record!

  31. Great article and excellent advice. Mr. Obama would do well for the freedom of peoples everywhere to heed it. But doing so might well pit him directly opposite those who are really in control of domestic and foreign US policy. A move like this requires great integrity and even greater courage. The courage to be prepared even to take a bullet from a hired assassin’s gun.

    Such an approach to policy (i.e., one of integrity) hasn’t been attempted since the days of John F. Kennedy. But it needs to be done, and we are long overdue for a president with unswerving integrity. What we need is a new calibre of man and woman who understand that accepting the role of President (and other high-profile public offices) in earnest (i.e., relentlessly bound to the Constitution) will very likely mean forfeiting his/her life.

  32. Let’s hope Obama makes a clean break from the Reaganism, which is responsible for the mess we are in today.

    But I don’t think it will happen. After all, he campaigned on it saying that Reagan offered a “sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”

  33. Matt and Nick both voted for Bob Barr which was the equivalent of voting for Barack Obama.

    Any buyer’s remorse boys?

    1. You are absolutely right.

  34. I was disappointed in this speech.
    I was hoping he would abandon his right wing agenda, but no dice.

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  39. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke.

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  41. Great advise, but i do not think he will take it.

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  45. [……..]My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke[………..]

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