I’ve experienced it a number of times – many of my Christian acquaintances can get so worked up with contempt and even hatred for their government. They often seem to have no respect at all for the idea of government interfering in people’s lives in any way – or at least not in well-off or successful people’s lives. We’ve all heard it – something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That’s an abuse of freedom and a terrible threat to all of us. So it is anti-American and very unChristian. And it will lead to socialism and Communism and fascism and tyranny.
Some things cost money; we MUST put out some shekels one way or another for some of what we want or need. That’s part of living in human society. So to say we should not have health care reform because it will cost some money is not really facing the question. The question is more like, “Do we NEED this or not?” Lots and lots of Americans think we do. And so do millions watching this battle from other nations – where they settled the issue long ago to the great benefit and relief of their populations. But what if we find out that this reform package will actually REDUCE the budget deficit?
With his usual delicacy of style Ed Howard at Nebraska State Paper points out an obvious and important fact concerning discussions about the stimulus (in an email newsletter). “Sen. John McCain exhibiting cynicism” What we find approximately unbearable, however, is a fellow like Sen. John McCain exhibiting the ultimate in cynicism and the disingenuousness. He’s referring to one of McCain’s specific complaints about Obama’s economic stimulus package.
Did you see the recent comment from “Donna”? It stirred me up! Come on people! Christian integrity and humility should compel you to allow that those who voted for Obama are NOT thereby proven to be ignorant or reprobate! I know that my response refers to the behavior and attitudes of the “religious right” as if they could be sterotyped. But in fact, in my experience, these problems VERY consistently show up in people who get their input from those sources – they are stereotypical responses. On the other hand my experience with Christian Democrats shows them almost always to be much more welcoming and open to information and to real discussion. Here’s my response (The numbered headlines are quotes from Donna’s comment.):
From an AP article at the Atlanta Journal Constitution site, on Friday October 24, 2008: Wall Street joined stock markets around the world in a huge selloff Friday, sending major market indexes to their lowest levels in more than five years on the belief that a punishing economic recession is at hand. The market has been coming back up. But a lot of damage has been done. I have a couple of questions: 1. What should be a Christian’s attitude as things seem to be – at least to some extent – falling apart? I wrote about that recently. 2. Is there any value in placing blame? Let’s talk about that.
Bad News Warren Buffett, the widely respected Omaha multi-billionaire, used the phrase “Pearl Harbor” to describe the significance of our nation’s current economic crisis, a phrase he has never before used about the economy. Many other very reputable people feel the same way. “Pearl Harbor” was a very damaging air attack on our forces in Hawaii and it got us involved in World War II. It was a surprise, deadly, and very frightening It took a demanding and costly effort, but we did pull out of it. The sense of things now seems to be that again we are in for some rough years,
It’s extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion dollars to save 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases. – Bono Thanks to enewsletter from Sojourners for the quote. One would hope that this bailout will contribute to some children eating better,
Once and Future Crash(es) In 1954 John Kenneth Galbraith published The Great Crash: 1929, analyzing the stock market crash of late 1929, with suggestions about preventing its recurrence. [Quotes are from the 1961 Riverside Press edition.] It shows the high intelligence, serious economic analysis, and the touch of humor that is characteristic of his work. Rationalization He said that a new “speculative rampage” in the future (for example, now) would require some sort of rationalization. Since the results of the rampage of the 1920s were so horrendous, no one would want to be accused of setting us up for a replay. So they have to rationalize. And part of that future rationalization will be to explain why we need less regulation and oversight of financial institutions and of the markets. (Here you should be thinking “Reagonomics.”)
Statements by economists. These are from an email newsletter I get from Information Clearing House Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
Obama and McCain each just spent an hour answering questions from Rick Warren, pastor at Saddleback Church in Forest Hills, CA. I have a few apparently biased observations: OBAMA Obama put considerable emphasis on the actual moral priorities of Jesus, mentioning the Matthew 25 teaching more than once – Jesus’ statement that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” He emphasized that Jesus definitely was concerned about “the least of these.” In fact, when asked what has been America’s greatest moral failing he said it was the violation of that directive from Jesus in a number of different ways down through the years. It was obvious listening to the Fox News types afterward