Blew the Budget on Bombs, Sorry No Money Left for the Basics
I was sitting in a café the other morning when a twenty something year old girl walked in. At first glance she was acting goofy. Upon closer observation, it was apparent that this girl should be placed under psychiatric care rather than being left on her own. She had become a spectacle and everyone had taken notice before she left.
I turned to the man at the next table and said, "It's a shame that we find the money to bomb other countries and yet can't take care of one of our own like this girl!" Expecting a stoic response, I was pleasantly surprised when the man quickly said, "You're right! Bombs for Afghanistan while we close libraries, cut back on education, and turn our backs on people like this girl who needs care and compassion."
Later on in the day, I thought to myself "Why can't this guy and I have more of a say of prioritizing what goes on in our society?" I was thinking about what is and isn't important and how the important matters frequently get sidetracked. Next thought was, am I part of the problem or part of the solution?
Initially, a feeling of pride arose within that a stranger affirmed my mini rant. While recognition and condemnation of problems offer temporary appeasement, in this case, the war machine will continue onwards tomorrow and nothing is likely to change in that girl's life. As it stands, my rant would have to classify as part of the problem because it isn't part of the solution. I became uneasy with the unfolding of my thoughts upon the matter because I concluded that I was only "spinning my wheels" and hadn't done anything of consequence.
I rationalized that times are tough economically and cutting back is just one of those things that society must do before things get better. An episode like this exposes the limits of reason. Through reason we can justify that the money's not there, we will just have to do without. Survival of the fittest doesn't bat an eye at sacrifice; compassion is the only hope this girl has for a better life.
Secular me was taken back upon realization that this is a spiritual problem! The money has been there all along, but our duplicitous Christian façade leaders allocated the money otherwise.
As a secular voice, I must ask, "How familiar are our politicians who talk about Jesus (taking his name and identity) with what he taught?" Didn't Jesus say in Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."? Don't get me wrong, I'm a secular proponent of good religion and would like to see the "real thing" put into practice as a means of social cohesion and nation building. Unfortunately, that's not happening!
Let me clear my throat and muster my courage, religion is going to have to be a big part of the solution to our problems! While I can advocate for compassion from the secular side, religion has the numbers and calls the shots. Religion keeps shooting itself in the foot by electing Christian political leaders that follow atheist Ayn Rand... evidently they are repulsed by Jesus' teaching.
My pulpit is gone as an ex-minister, I don't have access to the ear of the man in the pew. One thing I haven't forgotten is what Jesus actually taught about compassion. As to what I can do to be a part of the solution? I implore the clergy to wrestle Jesus' message back from wayward politicians that hi-jacked his message. The clergy must have a backbone and some grit lest they permit the bastardization of Christianity and the dissipation of compassion attached to the real thing. Compassion is in short supply; it is a big reason why I take such a peculiar stance on Christianity within the secular community... our world wouldn't be as compassionate without it!
Worley May 10, 2011 Ex-minister.org
All rights reserved!