Quoting from today’s NT Times piece by Reporter John Harwood, “If you score him by intent and things he has proposed, he’d (President Obama) get pretty good marks,” said David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. “If you were grading him on results, which is what matters to the next generation, he would get a much poorer grade.”
Without doubt, the American democratic system is broken. Like professional sports, gambling, and numerous other issues, the political will to provide equality of opportunity for every person in every segment of life is sidelined by the infusion of money and personal interests to be purchased for the Almighty Dollar.
As it was in the days of Jesus, so is it today. Pharisaic interests (the orthodox religious of his day) focus their efforts on maintaining an institution that supports traditions and interpretations at the expense of truth as experienced by the people. In return, the Pharisees provided a form of religion that had little or no transformative power, but it kept their temples open and their institutional machine running.
The Sadducees of Jesus' day were those wealthy business and liberal religious interests that supported Rome and played cozy with Rome to protect their self-interests, which did not go beyond the borders of this world (Sadducees did not believe in immortality). They rationalized their compromising with Rome’s Legions as being in the best interests of national security and peace, although they didn’t “give a damn” about the poor and the enslaved that greatly outnumbered their up-and-out crowd.
I saw something in the intellect and ethic of young Barack Obama that I thought offered political potential--hope. I found him echoing many issues (not all by any means) that I supported. I gave him broad support right up to this day, much to the chagrin of some friends and professional peers. And when the CBS Evening News tells me my President says he will use Executive Powers, if necessary in his economic push, to bring some relief to the unemployed, the most vulnerable, et al; I say, “Go for it, Man; and God bless you!”
Yes, I've heard him accused of dictatorial powers. I know this decision will be politicized, polarized, and terrorized by politicians who can't keep their hands in their own pockets even in a Polar Vortex. Mr. Obama will be accused of every un-American piece of black crepe history his accusers can think of. One black commentator already insinuated Obama deserved hanging. So; let the rank and file scream Hitlerism, Russian Socialism, red or pink, or demonic; I call their attitudinal behavior the ultimate of atheistic humanism. It is a survival of the fittest, that determination to go to any length necessary to protect their turf.
On the other hand, the President could acquiesce to the status quo; he could be satisfied that he has accumulated enough coin of his own and he need not concern himself with the poor, the vulnerable, and those otherwise ignored by the system. There was an abundance of that in Jesus day, among both the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The President could listen to those who entangle the political system in debate over this or that issue and ignore/neglect the importance of the economic issue. Neither he nor Congress need worry about their economics, or health care, or public security, or ... ad infinitum.
YET, let the President support an issue that involves decided ethical and moral issues; or, let him stand up and declare himself in support of a huge portion of our populace has great personal stakes in this matter; or, let him dare to stick his neck out, or put his head on the chopping block and agree to support an issue with strong biblical/Christian overtones …DAMN the Traitor! For whatever reason - too drastic a “Change!”
Giving (Zakat) is the third of five pillars of Islam, along with giving testimony of the one true God, fasting, praying, and pilgrimaging. Muslims are required to give a percentage of their assets and many give based on need and out of compassion. Does not the Bible declare it better to give than to receive? Listen to the words of Jesus, who based his own testimony on teaching only the words of the one true God. Most prominent among Jesus’ teachings:
1) LOVE God supremely;
2) Doing this calls for LOVING your neighbor as yourself;
3) When most vulnerable, Jesus told his 12-disciples, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, for in this way the world will know you are my disciples. Elsewhere He is quoted …
4) Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into ever- lasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:45-46 NKJV).
From Warner’s World,
I salute the president for putting himself on the sacrificial altar by standing for a growing segment of humanity the majority no longer willingly shares life with ... contrary to the Scriptures I am . . . walkingwithwarner.blogspot.com