August 4, 2011

Thank You, Christian Leaders!

In a nation where most people claim to be Christian, here is a short list of actions that voters in this country have allowed our government to pursue in direct contradiction to Christ’s teachings:
·   After UN weapons inspectors said they could uncover no evidence of WMDs in Iraq, we invaded the country anyway.  The cost of that effort—over and above the already bloated military spending we incur during peacetime—is nearly $800 billion and incalculable in lost lives.  How does that amount to peace-making?
·   Those who invoke God’s name the most (led by people like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin) are working the hardest at dismantling our best shot at giving all our neighbors adequate healthcare.  Didn’t Jesus want us to administer to all the sick, not just those who could afford insurance? 
·   The same people working to dismantle advances in healthcare are, at the same time, doing their best to roll back other safety nets designed for the most disadvantaged in our country: the young, the old and the impoverished.  While they cut expenditures for public welfare and schools, they fight against any attempt to reduce military spending and insist upon tax reductions and other benefits that go primarily to the rich and corporations. Is that the kind of compassion Christ wanted us to exhibit?
·   Regarding military spending, the government says it devotes nearly 20% of its budget to defense—a staggering number in and of itself—but a gross misrepresentation that doesn’t include funds to pay for the military portions of other budgets, the costs of the war on terror, military pensions and other related expenses.  Our actual defense-related expenditures are arguably closer to 50% of our yearly federal budget.  Where did Jesus say He wanted His disciples to police the rest of the world?  Rather, I recall a time when He told Peter to put down his sword. 
·   The first thing we cut out of state budgets are expenditures to schools.  In doing so we jeopardize our country’s future.  Why do we do it?  Perhaps it’s because children don’t vote and therefore don’t count.  But Christ said, “Suffer little children to come unto me,” and in this way, spoke of their value and our obligation to protect and sustain them. 
Perhaps Moses would think well of our country, but I think Christ would be ashamed.

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