Saturday, August 29, 2009

You Nazi!


With the election of President Obama and the push for health care reform with a public option for insurance, has come some rather radical name calling. The label "Nazi" is being thrown around casually, yet intentionally. Now "socialism" is being equated with "Nazism". A public "option" is being equated with "socialism", and therefore anyone who supports a public option is now a "Nazi".

In the spirit of Zack de LaRocha, may a i say, "If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face." To define socialism as Nazism is absurd, and to define the present administration as socialist is whatever that word is that means stupider than "absurd".

Before the SS, Germany was governed by the social democratic party. Hitler's party was called the National Socialists, which was different altogether. The sin of the Nazi's was not socialism, but nationalism. In short, extreme nationalistic pride.

A nation does not have to be socialistic to fall into the sin that enraptured the Nazi's. In fact, it can be a free market wielding capitalistic and proud of it society. Nationalistic pride is what motivated the atrocities of Hitler's regime, which by the way, wasn't much concerned about affordable health care for every citizen.

Nationalistic pride is what led to the invasion of multiple countries, and the forcing of the ideals of one people upon another, along with the suppression of anyone who challenged those ideals.

Of course American's aren't in any danger of that...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Helping the Hopeless

i'm not completely naive. i know that a lot of people in America are unjustly living off the system. i know that a lot of people who could help themselves are simply preferring to allow others to float them along. i hang out with these people a lot. They are not helpless...they are hopeless.

They are devoid of hope. So they live a less productive life than is their potential. i believe all people have potential, but it often needs to be unleashed within them.

The old proverb states, "Hope is the last thing to die". So when it is dead, it is a very detrimental predicament to be in. Our local missions witnesses a lot of people who appear devoid of hope. They seem to survive by mere instinct, and are fairly satisfied with merely surviving. Unfortunately the survival technique is more parasitical in nature than productive. Many would wash their hands clean of this sort. i myself would prefer to serve what i consider "genuine needs" of an under resourced people. But i live in America where "even the poor people are overweight".

There is a great need, and it is readily apparent. There is a need for hope to be kindled. i believe that hope still exists within every living human being. If it were completely extinguished, then the person would have ended their life. Something keeps them going, and that something must be hope.

So we serve some who truly need the service, like widows and the truly disabled who live on fixed incomes. The others we serve to. Not that they legitimately need our services (food), but that we might come into relationship with them and offer them hope. That we might invite them into community with us and encourage and exhort them toward liberation from self-imposed desperation.

If it weren't for the self-perceived need, we would not have an opportunity to meet these folks, which is an opportunity to introduce the hope of Christ and his transforming power.

He gives Hope to the Hopeless.

Perhaps we need to expand our definition of "poverty"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Goodness


The goodness which you do gives you pleasure, but not satisfaction. No matter how much goodness you do, you should wish to do more and more.
-Confucius

Monday, August 17, 2009

Approval

The heavens do not approve when we sin, and the earth does not approve when we are virtuous
-The Talmud