Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Sunday said Democrats are pushing poetry as an alternative to holding a job.

- By Megan R. Wilson The Hill, ‘Democrats pushing poetry over jobs?

David Atkins, writing at Hullabloo, analyzes Gowdy’s response to the report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on how people will respond to the Affordable Care Act in their work life.

Atkin’s piece is titled “Republicans do not understand what it means to be human”  and it’s stellar. Here is an insightful paragraph.

It is not an inaccurate or extreme statement to declare that ideological Republicans do not understand what it means to be human. They view human beings as economic units to be plugged at their lowest possible price into a maximally efficient market that provides the greatest possible returns on investment to the wealthy few, with any resulting human resentment and misery dulled by humility before a pleasure-fearing angry God promising rewards to the obedient in the hereafter. It is a dark, meager, shriveled and cramped vision of humanity.

Read the whole piece it is excellent.

If you aren’t a good “economic unit” they think you should feel bad about it. And you certainly shouldn’t be enjoying it! They want human economic units to be resentful of seeing others happy. “If *I* have to be trapped in a crappy job to get health care, so should those people!”

Gowdy is a Christian, specifically a Southern Baptist. A former federal prosecutor, I can see Gowdy as the older brother of the prodigal son. He stayed on the farm following the rules while fun-loving, poetry-writing younger brother got to do what he wanted. That’s not very fair, or balanced, the other brother thinks.

Scholars have determined that the Prodigal Son parable is one of the most authentic stories of the man called Christ, but some Christian conservatives don’t want to accept that the God of the New Testament is about forgiveness, love and joy. The God of the Old Testament, with his wrath, anger and stoning of “sinners” is more to their liking.

Note the response of the father to the older brother.

8 The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

Everything I have is yours.” says the father.

The older son is already rich! He gets Father-subsidies and he is never hungry. But he’s not satisfied, because someone else got to do what he wanted–and that person wasn’t punished for it. The older son wanted the younger brother to be miserable following the fun. He resents the younger son “getting something for nothing,” even though he personally is not wanting and the father has plenty.

I often wondered why Republicans are okay with the misery of others and how misery could bring them happiness. I think this parable, and Atkin’s piece, point out some of the reasons.