Thursday, April 07, 2005

Probably a way

Should I keep a goal, once a day, must post? I am inclined to as an exercise for the writer.

I feel much more comfortable as a Christian and a liberal than a Christian and a conservative. I've tried both and I am much closer to liberal. I consider abortion and gay rights to be the kinds of compromises you have to make in a democratic society; better than the alternatives.

When I was a conservative I voted for GW over Gore with pro-life as a tiebreaker. I've felt pretty dumb about it since. In 2004 I made the most hopeless, pointless vote of them all: John Kerry in Utah. He got something like 25% here. But I do feel a bit saner, a bit more hopeful anyway.

I'm not cut out to be a conservative. For one thing, I'm not rich and famous yet. For another, even if I were, I would feel verrry conflicted about keeping all my money for myself and propping up the people who want to. The way I see it, we have a pro-conservative government and society; money talks to power and power talks to money, so the rich always have an unfair advantage keeping power and money compared to the poor.

Of course the rich will level the playing field, of course they detest government regulation, of course they want flat taxes, of course they want an "ownership society". All owners are equal, but some are more equal than others. They have all the access; they have all the personal security; they have all their needs met and then some.

I don't believe in total communism, not in a compromise society. I just think there has to be some sane balance, not this cutting taxes on the rich and cutting funding for Headstart, Medicare, Social Security, and No Child Left Behind all at the same time.

I don't think every Christian is bound to be a liberal. I do think Christ hated cheating, though:

"You cannot serve both God and Money." The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."

There is probably a way to play fair, to not love money, to support the powerless against the powerful, to care more about your integrity than your publicity. There is probably even a way to do it and be a Republican in America today.

Lately I have been contemplating the reverses of blessings in the Bible. It's a sort of Newton's Third Law of Spiritual Forces: for every blessing, there is an equal and opposite curse. The same thing works with commandments too. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with an appropriate opposite: "Do [the opposite of covet] your neighbor's wife." But it has been interesting. So here is a pair to chew on:
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
"Cursed are you who are rich..."

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