|This Month's Scripture Verse:|
Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless -- Ecclesiastes 5:10
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For August 27, 2014
To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost and blogcast on grace and race including his interview with Rev Leon Brown. This appeared on Heidelblog.
Our problem with race is an instance of a more general problem: tribalism. Though it is natural for us to divide into groups and have an affinity for each group, when loyalty to that group trumps our commitment to principles and morals so that what is right and wrong depends on who does what to whom, we have tribalism. And we have this problem with a number of different kinds of groups including, race, economic class, religion, political ideology, theology, and national identity.
And though the Church has the answer in the Gospel, it often seems that those outside the Church are living that answer while we get mired in tribalism.
One more problem here is that those of us who are White need to reach out knowing that we will not understand what Blacks have gone through because such understanding requires that we share their experiences ourselves. But we can still reach out by listening in order to learn, by being sympathetic, and by showing solidarity with those from different groups. We need to show solidarity with those from different races, economic classes, religions, political ideologies, theologies, different nations, and whatever else divides us.
To Joe Carter and his blogpost comparing Great Britain's economy to that of the 50 states. This appeared in the acton blog
There are a number of problems here. First, if you want to criticize Great Britain's economy, realize that starting with Thatcher's regime, there was a neoliberal drive to privatize many of what was public services. In addition, there was an attack on some unions during that time. So what is it that we are singling out when criticizing England's economy when both economies still pursue neoliberlism?
But we also want to note that single variable evaluations do little to tell the whole story. For example, we can compare the purchasing power as done above. However, if we don't factor in state provided services, such as healthcare and other safety nets, then how do graphs like the one above give an adequate enough picture of wealth? This is especially true regarding healthcare because healthcare costs here are one of the most common causes for personal bankruptcy. How many people from the UK suffer from healthcare related bankruptcy?
We might also want to ask what similarities exist in the countries being compared. The above point about the UK adopting neoliberal capitalism is such and example of a commonality between the two.
We might also want to ask what does comparing a nation that was once a mighty empire to the states prove? Does it prove that Britain should resort back to being an empire?
So we might ask what other information being excluded in order to try to prove the point above. Of course that point is that as long as we take care of the richest among us, the rest of us will do well.
To Anthony Bradley and his blogpost on when the Church was the center of society and took care of the poor. This appeared in the acton blog.
Are we comparing apples to oranges here? After all, when the church met needs during the 1600s, wasn't there a smaller population who were more dispersed with an agrarian lifestyle and economics? How does that compare to now?
In addition, how well did the Church meet the needs of the poor especially of those who lived in urban areas? What were lives of the poor like right before FDR's programs? Did his programs help people who were previously living in poverty?
And how will the Church react to the nonChristian poor whose lifestyles go contrary to the Scriptures?
Finally, how interested are today's churches in meeting all of the necessary needs for all of the poor?
That we would want the Church to be more involved with poor is commendable. But to use that as an attack on government so that government can forget representing the poor because the Church is taking care of them seems to forget that our government should be a government of all of the people.