|A time to pray for God's mercy|
Former President Bush left Obama sitting on the ledge with a slippery slope and abyss of economic crisis and deeply flawed budget and taxes, yet everyone seems to blame Obama. His attempt not to rock the boat has not worked and he must now make the bold step to resist any more freebies to the rich/wall street and not sacrificing the least in the society. When Bush took over from Clinton the receipts were higher than the spending with a positive trend. When Obama took over from Bush, there was anticipated a huge deficit in the next 4 years with a 10% difference between spending and receipts. The US is spending far too much and is taking in much less taxes based on a historical percentage of GDP.
The Christian Right theology of Prosperity is fueling an economic disaster of getting wealth out of nothing, printing money which the US has been doing because they are the reserve currency. Although, such prosperity teachings have swept Nigeria for example, they remained much poorer because they do not control the levers of power and wealth. China and Japan is lending to the US because it is too big to fail for their own economic dependency.
Prosperity Theology is not wrong per say, for God blesses us abundantly. However, we sometimes go ahead of God. We commit to buy houses and cars, wine and dine, with money we do not have. We max out our credit card on spending we do not need hoping to live a life that was protrayed by the prosperity gospel preachers. Many even give money to the Prosperity preachers to buy unncessary luxury items such as Copeland's Citaxion X private jet even though they themselves are in debt. It is not the "gay lifestyle" that is destroying America but a Christian prosperity lifestyle and culture, living beyond our means.
It's also becoming difficult to understand the attitudes of some considering that the bible is so wonderfully written and reflective of the love of God in Jesus Christ. The Republicans whose strongest supporters are Christians seem to display a certain legalistic and self centered streak:-
a) Harsh treatment of illegal immigrants
b) Insistence on Gun ownership as a right despite the large number of violent crimes
c) Demand that the budget be cut on aid to the poor whilst being unusually patriotic in supporting the overseas wars and the large army budget.
d) Favors lower tax and many tax breaks especially for the rich.
It's not that the zealots are wrong per say, it's just that they are so downright insistence on the rule of the law and not giving any grace nor mercy, much like the religious leaders in Jesus' days whom He called white wash tombs. The progressives are much better in their treatment of the weak and minorities but only as far as as the individual rights are not violated, not counting the unborn for there is also no mercy in abortion.
In the US, whilsts the stock market is booming and the rich getting richer with their tax breaks protected by the Republicans supporters, there are 4 million unemployed beyond 99 weeks, after which they would not receive any unemployment benefits. More than 45 million Americans now depend on food stamps and Mediaid which are now in danger of deep cuts by the Republicans.
We are now coming to a sad situation where people are getting into deeper debt because of basic needs just to survive. We are sold to the banks as bonded slave. We borrow no longer for luxury but for mere survival. And Obama is baling out the banks and the financial institutions.
(Mat 21:13 NKJV) And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
The Christian Right is not wrong either. Being in a debt, and not paying back the interests --- is like stealing and no one would want to lend us more money. Is it moral to spend what you do not have and cannot afford to pay back? However, the question on morality may be mute since the US has been printing money out of thin air as their are the reserve currency since the 70s, and the cycle of rise and bust in the stock market a way to make billions. The Federal Reserve is owned privately by a few of the riches to make more money.
We are reminded of the den of thieves where the rich who had caused the economic crises are first ones to be bailed out for the banks are too big to fail. Obama's failure is that he came in on the promise of change yet did not change much for he failed to tackle the financial justice first and focused instead on health care.
With the advent of Gay marriage in New York, the Christian Right is now blaiming gays on the Financial decline of America giving a parallel to ancient Rome. However, Rome did not fall in AD60 when Paul wrote the letter to the Jews there, it fell three hundred years later in 400 AD after the Christians took over in 313AD. The new Christian rulers had spent too much money on the army, the taxes were too high, and inflation was out of control. It was an economic crisis that destroyed Rome with their currency significantly devalued. We fall into an economic crisis because Prosperity theology has led us to live a prosperity lifestyle beyond our means.
Paul's letter was not written to the Gentiles but rather to the legalistic Jews who like the Christian Right is so adamant on religious law yet not realizing that under the law, the religious Jews departed often and worshiped other gods signified by having anal sex with the priests to join themselves with other gods. Paul was mocking the notion that religious laws lead to people being more righteous by reminding them of their ancestors lewd behaviour and abominable faith worship. The problem is not gays but the worship of power, and wealth.
The latest job figures were dismal, and this after two years coming out of recession when it was supposed to get better. The unemployment rate seems entrenched at above 9% and the housing sector 30% lower below its highly inflated peak. It's just what the Christian Right would have hoped for to win the election against the liberal Obama. Yet, their insistence on making the poor suffer for the rich is unjust.
We have a terminal patient in debt by 14 trillion (and a trillion or two added every year), 50 trillion in future unfunded liabilities, 2 costly on-going wars, an employment rate above 9%, a housing downturn at 30% below peak, and an ineffective medicine of a trillion dollars thrown in QE1 and QE2, after bailing out wall street and the banks. The proposed deficit reduction of 2 to 4 trillion over 10 years does not balance the budget.
don't know what would Jesus do.
The US has the best credit rating partly because they are the reserved currently, not because they are credit worthy.
The economic recovery benefited the rich but not the poor with the stock market on a 2 year bull run. It's time for the rich to pay back first... because the poor has nothing left to give. Maybe even taxing the rich is not enough, the 2 costly wars has to stop.... would move towards some savings which will still be far short of being adequate without cutting benefits.
But will it cause the patient to go into coma! Austerity package is bad news especially for a very weak economy easily causing a recession.
(Job 24:10 NKJV) They cause the poor to go naked, without clothing; And they take away the sheaves from the hungry.
With the Christian Right/ Republicans hardening their stance and insisting deep cuts to welfare aid and social security whilst protecting the rich who had caused such a big financial crisis in the first place, it is important that people see their true colours.
Progressive Christians such as Sojourners sees only the impact to the poor which is important but fail to see the root cause which is a Prosperity theology lifestyle. The Republicans are hardening their stance because the real issue is their Christian prosperity theology which is self centered and "me first" rather than blessing others and forgiving the debts of the least in the community.
In the mid-term elections, the public voted the Republican tea party into power, only to find that they too have no solution except to drastically cut the benefits to the least in the community. A buyers remorse is sweeping America where they realised that the Republicans have no answers either.
It's a hard rock for Obama but he must never let the weak and those who can't afford to bear the brunt of the economic disaster caused by the rich and powerful in the Wall Street. He may even loose the next election, but if there is a change to be made, it is to change how Government should be for the least in the community.
Let's pray for God's grace and mercy for there are no easy answers. We have sinned against Jesus alone by worshiping power and money. Our hands are filled with the blood of injustice towards the weak and the poor. Lord have mercy.