..when a person has "made enough money." I personally think the current President has PLENTY of money, making over 5 million last year. Maybe we should take all the rest of his future earnings and "spread the wealth around"?
..Or so I'm hearing through the grapevine at my place of employment. My employer has a facility in NY State, and as a result of current market conditions, elected to temporarily lay off some employees as a cost reduction measure.
What's startling is that they ended up having to have a "lottery" of sorts to see who GOT to get laid off. You see, the employees are smart. They soon realized that current unemployment benefits are lucrative enough that they made more money on unemployment that they made by working. When employees realized that unemployment paid $2000 more over the coming six-month period than they would make by working, a competition soon emerged for the layoffs. Eventually, a mechanism was established by which all parties could agree who was going to get the "privilege" of getting laid off.
Do I need to even comment on the insanity?
I'd say this is "your tax dollars at work," but I realize that there is only a 70% chance that a US reader of this blog posting would have paid a single cent in income tax.
I'm seeing indications that many of the major Christian Groups have drunk the kool-aid of political power, and been corrupted by it.
First comes word that the Libertarian streak in the Tea Party movement that is ill-received by the American Family Association. Then we have someone from the Family Research Council calling "liars" anyone who claims to speak for conservatives without including the standard spate of social conservative issues. They've arrogated to themselves the position of indispensable conservative plank: you can't call yourself conservative if you're not with us.
In effect, they seem to be saying that a large government is really no problem-- a long as someone can harness that government power to impose socially conservative policies and laws. Less charitably, their position is:" Gulags are OK as long as we can control who goes to them."
Then comes word that Focus on the Family, after spending about $500K campaigning for Prop 8 (The CA referendum on gay marriage), is laying off 46 employees.
What the current leadership of the Christian Right is failing to recognize is that decency and morality are not amenable to top-down legislation. That old saw about "you can't legislate morality" is tempting to insert here, but I think that phrase is often wrongly used. Legislation often does have moral aspects, and many times we send moral messages by what we choose or choose not to codify into law.
But what of this idea of social conservatism being more important than limited government or fiscal conservatism? I have to disagree with this thinking. I think it is woefully off the mark, and indicative of a lack of understanding or an abandonment of principles.
If truly free, a person is free to sin. This is the free will given from God. It's as if the Christian Right has re-"discovered" the Law that the Apostle Paul told us brought condemnation because if we are guilty of one part of the law, then we're guilty of the whole law. Can a "law" banning drug use, homosexuality, or (recently) online poker save us? Clearly not.
Let's say that the Christian Right is successful in achieving the goal of a Constitutional Amendment defining and respecting the traditional definition of marriage. Then what? Does homosexuality end? Does sin end? Does the angry militant gay preference lobby somehow become less motivated in their political crusade? Hardly. Any such "victory" is bound to be hollow and temporary.
Societal change must occur through bottom-up movement, never top-down. The Left learned this long ago-- that's why they target the dependent class, and they strive to control the definitions used in debate, from "political correctness" to "earth friendly" and so on. Once you've established something as a "fact" in the minds of so many people, you've already won the lion's share of the war.
Yet they all but admit defeat by effectively declaring that they cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas-- that they must use the police power of the State to inflict upon the populace their desire for traditional family values. I'd argue that inflicting your will via the State is truly the "last refuge of scoundrels". Compete in the marketplace of ideas, and WIN.
Meanwhile, the Tea Partiers are competing (and winning) in the marketplace of ideas. People are seeing the light that government must be limited to be effective. They understand the high stakes for our nation's future solvency. The Tea Partiers are wanting to take power away from Government, and restore to people the Liberty with which our Founders believed we were endowed by our Creator.
To use a weak analogy, the Tea Partiers are trying to fix the engines on a struggling plane while the FRC and AFA are attending to the brand of bottled water served on board. Without addressing the core issues of limiting government and stemming the tide of the Leftist/Statist march, there will be little room or relevance for religious freedom or groups founded on such.
What is the state of the Christian Church in countries that have embraces totalitarianism and/or Socialism? How "on fire for Christ" is the nation of England? France? Abortion rates? State of sexual purity?
So I ask, how likely is it that a Socialist American society will experience a Christian revival on a massive scale? How likely is it that an America with a vastly smaller government will re-discover its roots and traditional values along with it?
I'll put my money on the latter. The Tea Partiers are right to not pick the social issue fights right now-- stand up for those issues, but don't wrap yourself in them. I think the Christian Right has this one wrong...