Moral Contradictions

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wealth Redistribution

On earlier posts I've been accused of advocating wealth distribution even though I was not, in fact, saying that nor insinuating it. However, Bill Moyers connected a few dots in my head in that he says that wealth redistribution is already occurring. It's just that the wealth is concentrating more at the top as opposed to the bottom, and intentional steps have been enacted to make it so.

Over the past few years I've experienced folks who live in their own reality. They make over six figures, drive whatever car they want, go to whatever school they want, live wherever they want, and vacation where they want. They cannot fathom that others simply do not have those choices and how that affects them. They operate in a world within a world and thus develop a blind spot to those less fortunate than them. Government is not just a nuisance, but a must to survive. Should it be that way? No.

If the GOP is truly concerned with family values, then they should move away from defining them in terms of protecting children from sex education, the "homosexual agenda", and start defining them in assuring adequate education for all.

If the GOP is truly concerned with family values, then they should move away from defining them in terms of protecting marriage by 'stopping the gays' to defining them in protecting them from the effects of no health insurance, higher living costs, lower wages, and a crumbling infrastructure.

What good is our country if abortion, stem-cell research, and homosexuality is stopped and middle class families cannot afford to go to the doctor? Can't afford to visit Grandma in Tennessee because of high gas prices or can't take time off for fearing of being fired and replaced? Can't afford to not have both parents work and have one home after school? (It's well known in my hometown that most of the immoral debauchery decried by parents occurs in the 2-3 hours after school before the parents get home.)

I was ashamed the lack of concern for those without as my wife and I moved up through the middle class to upper-middle class. Having everything I wanted jaded me, I hate to admit, and I don't ever want that to happen again. I can understand how many people who have never gone without what they wanted or needed can simply not see the systematic problems our country is facing today. Our country is breaking, and something must be done, or we will face a day of reckoning. And no, we cannot assume Jesus Christ is coming tomorrow, so yes, we must work on a solution.

Does this sound shrill and alarmist? Probably. However, we as Christians, in good conscience, cannot just wink at the status quo and ignore the injustice all around us. However we address it, individually, through churches, or through government, we should not be afraid to challenge the excesses of runaway capitalism. Remember, we live in a democracy first, where all are created equally.

I could go on and on and on. Thanks to Bruce at Mainstream Baptist, Bill Moyers can write a much more erudite essay expressing my feelings. It's long, but it's a great read. I'm still critically chewing on it, but still, I can readily agree with the gist of it. We must open our eyes to what's going on, and until we do, nothing will be solved about the income distribution that's already happening.

When you're done, take a gander through the book of Jeremiah and see what happens to an unjust society. For those who like the read the Bible in apocalyptic terms, find anything interesting about the fact that the Babylonians are the ones conquering the country? :)


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