Christianity, The Poor and the US Debt Ceiling

This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).

6 Responses to “Christianity, The Poor and the US Debt Ceiling”

  1. Matthew M Says:

    Br Dan, I hope you are sitting down for this. I agree.

    However, (you knew that was coming), as you mention defense, that too, like the “job creation” is very complicated. I will admit that “nation-building” etc, should never be part of our foreign policy, and military mandate; however, protecting and serving is. And, in today’s global economy and society, many of those threats to our way of life start in some third world country. Let’s also remember the vast amounts of humanitian and disaster relief operations that the military performs.

    As for the Post, I will consider the source. However, if one wants to quote statistics, then one might consider some of the reasons behind them, and not just “blame” the government for the situation or moreover, expect the government to solve the problem. Unlike previous generations of the immigrant class, the education level both academic and professional is sub-par (generally speaking). They are hard workers, but many of them, see their lives already as better than what they had, so in their mind have achieved success. As for the other minorities, I cannot speak.

    Now if the democrats are so worthy of respect, we need only to point to the VP. Not that the VP is gleening a lot of money from the rental, but it is also the point of the matter.

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/31/biden-charging-secret-service-cottage-rental/

    And, how about this: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2011/07/soulja-boy-buys-55-million-jet-gulfstream-g5-birthday.html

    Not to make too many assumptions, but if this “musician” actually pays attention or even voted, I am nearly certain he voted for the current administration. Now I am certain that an economist would demonstate exactly how many jobs Soulja created indirectly by the purchase, not-to-mention the tax revenue generated at each level, which could then help people, But then one could tax the crap out of him, put into the treasury, and then let the VP charge the secret service his own protection. So, who then gets the much needed aid? (I know I am being “smart”, and I know that it is a two-way street, just making a point).

    Finally, you mention Jesus’ desire to the help the least. Completely and fully believe and support, so who then are the least among us. How are we to love and serve? Like that of a child. While the Master did not specifically preach against abortion, does anyone actually think He would approve? He had a special affinity for children and stressed that we should be child-like in many ways. Therefore, with respect, I do NOT believe that being pro-life (which should support all aspects), should be implied as a bad thing, especially by a so-called “catholic apologist” (and yes I intentionally wrote that lower-case), who accuses the USCCB of “falling into the trap”. I find it ironic that you just wrote about the USCCB’s plea just last week not to cut social program funding, yet this guy is lambasting them for their duly pro-life stance.

    When it is all said and done, the entire system is hypocritical, both sides of the aisle. Let’s pray that we don’t implode too soon.

  2. A Good post. Right on the money. What’s even worse is the fact that corporations are not people. They can however pay off people and politicians. We’ve let loose these corporation monsters that have no guilt, no shame and no conscious. We’ve brought about a world of no accountability and even if corporations do get caught they pay the fine and go on with business. Essentially in my view, the CEO’s of the world have been given these blank checks that say gamble, gamble, gamble, nothing you do will effect you.

    Thanks.

  3. […] out-of-touch white men, I nevertheless was compelled this morning to read an installation of the “Dating God” blog by Daniel Horan, O.F.M., regarding the debt ceiling and social justice.  I’m glad I read […]

  4. What is the point of a debt ceiling if we are supposed to simply raise it every time we get near it?

    And who says it is the federal government that is required to provide its subjects with “food, shelter, and health care”? State governments can do this, and can probably do it with considerably less spending waste. I am not opposed to cutting defense spending (because we have a serious spending problem), but it is backwards to say that the federal government must cut defense spending in favor of all kinds of entitlement spending since the federal government is specifically in charge of defense while state governments can handle entitlement spending as they choose.

  5. I really don’t know when we have lost the sense of community for this really defines the way we equitably allocate resources, one of the functions of good governance. When we think only in terms of markets and not publics, then budget cuts in social services and safety nets become inevitable especially when we do not adequately tax corporations, the wealthy and big businesses. When we think of the human person as mere actor in the market economy then the value of the human person is based on that person’s contribution to that economy. The sick, the disabled, children and those others for one reason or the other cannot participate in the market, are pushed out of the system and are left to fend for themselves. This is the big message of the budget cuts. Defense spending becomes important as this would ensure actually the free movement of the market. When a government cedes the community’s and public’s values to the market, then it is just a matter of time when the US of A becomes US, Inc. This in the end will not also benefit corporations, especially those that have no sufficient resources to compete with big players (mergers, anyone)? Perhaps, it’s really time for all of us to take stock of our economic situation and ponder upon what we really want in our lives. Take a look at a dollar bill and see what is printed there. Let it speak to each one. And yes, if we are Christians, the message is consistent from the days of old, from Abraham to Jesus, the Word incarnate…”take care of the least among you..” The basic economic mandate is to distribute God’s gratuitous love (Mt. 20:1-16). This is the Christian economic goal which is actually doable, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick, welcome the stranger, visit the prisoner…We need to put our money where our heart is. The budget cuts simply show how willing we are to sacrifice the lives of the least among us to satisfy the insatiable cravings of the few to have more. Granted we put aside God. Still, the situation does not look democratic, equitable and just.

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