In political discussions and arguments conservatives often try to claim the moral high ground on issues as if that gives them some kind of political authority. This is done because the “religious right”, as the media has termed them often; believe that as Christians they stand where Jesus stands. In my interactions with conservatives I often hear them frame their political arguments in terms of right and wrong, and sometimes even as wickedness versus righteousness.
As an active and practicing Christian this concerns me for two reasons: first, it has been my experience that a large majority of Christians tend to think of the Bible from an American perspective. This is no fault of their own; it is often said culture is the hardest thing to change, and having lived oversees I know there is profound truth in that statement. In order to truly understand Jesus, the Bible must be taken in context. If we only read the Bible for its words and not for its context and meaning then we lose half of its value, and for Christians, half of the message the Lord intended for his believers to have. For example, the statement in Matthew that after discovering her immaculate conception, Joseph, because he was a just man, sought to put Mary away (have her killed) privily. From an American perspective this seems harsh, and his change of heart after being visited by an angel looks as though the Angel had to humble Joseph. This is not the case. The religious elite of the day considered it a moral obligation to put an adulterer to death. The fact that Joseph listened to the angel is not a sign he needed humbled, but a sign of his remarkable faith. He had faith enough to listen to an angel and not to religious elites and the Law of Moses despite the fact this meant they would certainly be social outcasts and face difficulties because of this. Read the rest of this entry
The revenue problem: Why Republicans need to agree to higher taxes.
“We have a spending problem, we don’t have a problem because we tax too little.” Those now famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) words bellowed from the mouth of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell have been heard time and again by any American with an interest in the future of our nation. The standoff on Capitol Hill between democrats and republicans over the debt ceiling was an ugly one. The effects of this battle may be felt for years to come, it is yet to be seen. While I saw myself leaning more toward the GOP side of the debate, I still do not feel like a winner. National media has been largely portraying this as a victory for Republicans, and, though I am not Republican, you would expect me to feel satisfaction knowing that, in this instance, the side I happened to agree with more “won.” My one word hiatus from the sense that our congress did something right: taxes. I could not agree more with McConnell; the senator from my home state, that we absolutely have a spending problem. In fact, the break-neck spending started by President Bush has only been accelerated by the Obama administration. However; I could not disagree more with McConnell when he insists that we do not have a revenue problem. The more we spend, the more we must take in: that is simple economics seeming to be ignored by Republicans in Washington. Read the rest of this entry