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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Rev. Joshua, Jun 10, 2003.
What Would Jesus Do? Sock It to Alabama's Corporate Landowners
Well, here we go again...another politician ruling from his or her own religious beliefs rather than the rule of constitutional law. Not that I am opposed to tax relief, but this is not the reason to do it. Separation of church & state has served us well over the years, yet the current crop of politicians seem fixed on destroying the concept.
It's not an unconstitutional mingling of church and state to have a religious motive for what you do, its what you do that might be an unconstitutional mingling. If for religous motives you arrest murderers, that's ok. If for secular reasons you choose to subsidize religous schools with taxpayer money (thereby paying less per student to get them through school) you have mingled church and state unconstitutionally.
While I understand your point about murderers, I tend to disagree with it. If murder were not against the law, one should not be prosecuted from a legal standpoint.
The motives have indeed been recently challenged right here in Colorado in the case where a death penalty was thrown out because the jury used the Bible as a basis for deciding punishment.
The Old Testament laws were in place for another time and place. Do we truly want family law judges ruling that unruly sons are to be taken to the edge of town and stoned to death? American justice is based upon constitutional law, not scriptures.
I totally agree that religious schools should not be subsidized from the public till. The First Amendment requires religious neutrality by the state, neither promoting, nor prohibiting, individual religious observance.
biblical teachings because Christians are prohibited from oppressing the poor...
How are the poor being oppressed? The "poor" in this country live better than most of the population of the world. If we want to quit "oppressing the poor" then lets overthrow every dictator or Marxist regime in the world.
I have a good perspective on this, because of my background, and because I teach in an inner city school. My parents were poor, very poor. No one living in the ghetto now can even begin to appreciate how poor my parents were because they grew up poor in rural Kentucky before the depression, and got married in the depths of the depression. My dad was a coal miner, and until the UMWA came to stay, he was virtually a slave, working for fake money (company scrip called flickers) and owing the company for everything. I was born late in their lives, so I had a resonably comfortable working class upbringing, although even back then, my mom and dad both worked outside the home. My wife's family was slightly better off, but were still just working class folks.
I joined the Air Force as an enlisted mechanic, and by going to school off duty, managed to get a B.A. over an 8-year period, and made it into the officer ranks, and have been considered a "professional" ever since. I downsized my life a few years ago so I could afford to be in the ministry and in education.
Some of the poor I see and have ministered to really can't help it. Physical or mental disabilities are the causes for these cases. However, many, perhaps most, of the poor are poor because of personal choices, not oppression. They choose to make no effort in school (nor to push their kids in that direction); they choose to spend their money on prepared food and junk instead of carefully conserving their resources. They choose to drink and smoke when they can't afford decent clothes for their kids; they look for an excuse not to work instead of looking for extra work to do.
I know a family, let's call them the Minhs. They arrived from Vietnam in 1975 with the clothes on their backs and nothing else, and not speaking a word of English, and with several children. Everyone in the family worked. Dad and mom worked three jobs each, most of the kids worked two. They bought no TV, nor a car; they rode bicycles everywhere. Bottom line, every single child is either a doctor, lawyer, or scientist now. Dad, who had been a professional in Vietnam, worked at the college gym sweeping floors and handing out towels until his 65th birthday. Now he looks after the 65 apartment units that the family owns.
Choices--they are wonderful things. My dad and mom chose to work their tails off; I chose to take college classes instead of bowling or playing on the squadron softball team. The Minhs chose to forgo all sorts of what we call necessities.
A friend that the Lord gave me a long time ago, lived through the depression as a young teen and his family actually picked through the city dump daily for their food. He grew up to work in a small factory in Iowa and eventually retired and is now living with us as he has no family to speak of. He said this to me and I hope I never forget it. "Some poor people have poor ways that keep themselves poor". He was trying to teach me something about my ways and I wasn't listening. I hope I will now.
Yes--poverty by situation is different from poverty by choice. I believe that if you work hard, the Lord blesses you so that you can help those who are in need. That is a personal decision, and not one that should be made on a governmental level.
I am a single mom & work hard for everything that my daughter and I need. I was really stunned when I got my taxes done this year--how is it that the government can afford to give me back two to three times what I paid into the system? It makes no sense to me. I think lower income people get enough tax relief right now, from the EIC.