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
In the current economic and financial state of this country tax dollars have become almost a sacred thing to many hard working Americans. Millions of Americans are feeling the strain of a tough market, and too little opportunity. This is the reason Florida Governor Rick Scott passed legislation in Florida that all Florida residents applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) would be required to pass a urine screening for drugs in order to get their aid, which under the TANF program is $253 per month for the average family, spanning roughly 4 ½ months. On the surface this seems like a great idea; no American, liberals included, wants to see their hard earned money they paid in taxes go to supporting substance abuse, and entitlement scamming. We all know, or at least know of a habitual drug abuser who refuses to get help, and will not hold down a job because their addiction. This tragic acquaintance will use all the money available to them to get their next fix, taking advantage of the good hearted Americans who support the welfare program in order to get whatever free money the government will give them, and using it to support their habit. The problem with this is that we cannot assume that everyone or even the majority of people on welfare fit this mold. There are thousands of unemployed who legitimately want and are looking for a job, but cannot find one because too many companies have been forced to lay off workers. However, in a time where all of us citizens have to tighten the belt a notch, it is commendable to see Governors like Rick Scott attempting to do the same. It makes so much sense, that 36 other states are considering using the program. Read the rest of this entry
Poverty is a child with lying in bed, tear ducts dried up and unable to cry anymore, stomach bloated from starvation, past the point of pleading with its mother; now understanding, sympathetic, and willing to share her misery. Poverty is a family collecting aluminum cans off the street in order to purchase scraps of food to quell the hungry mouths of little children, while mom, dad and the oldest siblings go hungry so that hope, justice and innocence are not extinguished before the little ones can even speak fully. Poverty is a mother who forces herself to sell her body in order to rent a dilapidated shack within walking distance from her children’s school, because she wishes a better life for her children than the one she has tasted, and they cannot afford a car to drive there. Furthermore, according to the United States census, poverty is driving home to your comfortable abode complete with necessary furnishings, clothing, and commodities such as TV, air conditioning, a microwave, a washer and drier, satellite/cable, a computer with internet access (usually high speed), and a gaming system. This scenario is a dream come true not just to those impoverished in other nations, but to elites in many other nations as well. Considering this standard of living to be poverty is boarder line insulting to those in other areas of the world who experience true need. Read the rest of this entry
The American Jobs Act
President Obama came out swinging. His first punch thrown was directly aimed at the Congressional stalemate. In a speech many viewed as the beginning of his re-election campaign, the President called for Congress to end the “political circus.” There was a passion in the eyes of the President which we have not seen since his first campaign. The details of the President’s plan are not yet clear, but the design was a clear challenge to Republicans. Most of these proposals coming from the President have been supported, and some even created by Republicans. The challenge was to give up the gridlock, and do what is right for the country. Michelle Bachmann has already decided she will not. In the very first line of her rebuttal, one which was not even sponsored by Republicans, she attacked the President again, though not even being present for the greater portion of the speech. The speech by the President was aimed to create jobs; nobody can argue that, even if his re-election campaign was a latent purpose, on this night, our Commander in Chief was all about placing Americans back into functioning jobs. The speech Rep. Bachmann countered with seemed aimed at attacking the President; aiding her failing campaign was more important to her than aiding the failing economy. The President proposed numerous plans to create more jobs now. To her credit, Miss Bachmann had a proposal which would help stabilize American industry in the long run; however, right now, we need jobs for right now. When American citizens get back to work, then is the time to focus on long term fixes; that will be when Miss Bachmann’s input will be a valuable asset.
Admittedly, in the days leading up to the speech, I must be honest by saying that I did not feel the American Jobs Act should be passed; the policies by President Obama had failed. Stimulus bailouts hurt more than helped, unemployment rose, and the citizens of this great nation had confidence only described as wavering by the most optimistic of people. Why did our nation need a second round with that same struggle? However, after hearing to proposal I am much more optimistic. The details are yet to be known, but at least for now, we have a reason to hope. The policies announced by our president are anything but left wing, and can hardly even be described as left of center. In this case however, credit needs to be given where it is due. President Obama has realized that his previous economic strategy has failed, and he has not tried to shift blame, or insist it will work. Quite the contrary, to his credit, President Obama has taken a very different approach from the normal Democrat policy of stimulus and gamble. Many, if not most of these ideas are largely implemented from the Republican playbook. In his speech the President mentioned numerous tax cuts, while only pushing for one tax increase–one for the six plus figure income range. Republicans have hardly anything from President Obama’s speech to pick apart. This makes too much sense not to pass, and fix our infrastructure with American employment. Read the rest of this entry