I bought and read one of your books many years ago. "You are the Message" I believe was the title. It was a good read, and I still have that book. Thank you.
However the "personal responsibility" dogma is worn out.
"Personal responsibility" is no longer a solution for 2009 America - thanks entirely to the way Washington has been run of late, by "leaders" who refused to acknowledge and address our country's big issues, issues that no one person could ever hope to overcome personally.
The root problem: Americans are under attack. In every sector of our economy (mortgage lending, health care insurance, credit cards, air transportation, etc), Predation (the smarter or stronger taking unfair advantage of the dumber or weaker) has replaced capitalism as the easiest legal way to make a buck.
In this age, big companies cannot be relied upon to behave fairly.
Citizens/consumers/employees/suppliers all need protection from this perversion, but our government has systematically removed regulatory constraints on businesses. It has failed miserably to introduce new ones when needed to curb predatory behavior. And it has created new legislation (requested by lobbyists) that actually encourages and supports predation (think bankruptcy reform).
At the same time, by trimming bureaucracies, we have sacked the government employees who might have been in positions to advocate for the common man. Instead, lobbyists, paid by the businesses that should be regulated, pitch their research and arguments to congress.
Small government, less regulation, and free markets all sound great. But they don't work. That dogma is simplistic and dangerous, as we recently witnessed with the Wall Street meltdown.
Any economist will tell you that markets are imperfect; for capitalism to function, rules are needed to make the economic and social playing field more fair; and it takes smart people in government (advocating for the People) if we are to have any chance at countering the business lobby in policy debates.
While I can dream of the day when a socially conservative Republican Party can think beyond their economic dogma and actually help our country work together to solve our common problems, I thank God that America will have an intelligent, well-spoken leader as our President in January.
I welcome President-elect Obama and look forward to at least seeing something TRIED at a national level to resolve these many problems that "personal responsibility" cannot solve.
I hope you will join me in prayers of guidance for President-elect Obama. Let's also pray for the remaining Republican congressmen to work with our new activist President to bring some measure of fairness back into our economy and society.
November 22, 2008 at 8:08 p.m.
Please understand that the Pro-Life legislators cannot stop abortion. How many years have they tried?! And even if laws could be passed, abortion will continue until you can change the minds of the women actually making that heart-wrenching decision.
On election day, please also be careful not to buy into the the free market, personal responsibility dogma that has dominated the Bush administration over the past eight years. Public policy based on that dogma has allowed the economically strong to unfairly prey on the economically weak, forcing more and more good people into financial dire straits. These policies, by hurting the lower and middle classes, are actually driving more poor women to opt for abortions. Private and public programs to explain options to young women, and programs to provide financial and emotional support if they decide not to abort, are a better solution. Bringing more fairness to the American economy, and providing some level of financial safety for the weakest among us would save unborn lives.
If either of you are sincerely concerned about this important moral issue, I encourage you to seek out and support organizations like Heartbeat International (outside of Columbus), Catholic Charities (everywhere) or Hannah's Home (Mentor, OH). Your donations of time and money to these organizations will go a lot farther to stop abortions than voting for the typical "pro-life" candidate on election day.
But regardless of how you vote, and regardless of who gets elected, I encourage both of you take a personal responsibility to do something about this problem after election day. You can help.
November 1, 2008 at 10:51 p.m.
It used to be criminal.
Free market? Or a free pass for the strong to take advantage of the weak? Is it capitalism at its best or just another form of predation?
November 1, 2008 at 8:49 a.m.
Don't let the fear mongers prevent you from doing what you know is the right thing for your family, your neighbors and your community.
For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:10-15)
As you vote on Tuesday, "Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you."
November 1, 2008 at 8:42 a.m.
I'm wondering what label you might apply to the economic philosophy of Jesus Christ? Mohandas Gandhi? Mother Teresa? George W. Bush?
Ohio's undecided voters might just tip the coming election. Which direction should we go?
October 14, 2008 at 5:45 a.m.
To the Undecided:
A thought for the undecided voters in Ohio and elsewhere who might ready Vindy.com (please share the link):
The Democratic candidates cannot take away our guns. And the Republican candidates have been unable to stop abortions through legislation. Please don't cast your votes on the basis of who shouts loudest about "Pro Life" and "Pro Guns." Neither group can outlaw abortion. Neither group can outlaw guns.
Looking for a candidate that is family friendly? Consider that "Family values" means a lot more than advocating the use of law to prevent abortions. Candidates who spout "family values" should not have voted in favor of laws that benefit corporations and the rich at the expense of common citizens (think bankruptcy reform). Family values candidates should be helping Americans work together to solve the health care crisis (instead of letting the insurance industry lobby divide us). Family values candidates should not allow economic dogma to prevent the government from coming to the aid of families who can't move out of the way fast enough when "free market forces" create a tsunami of joblessness in our basic industries.
Family values means advocating policies that protect and nurture families instead of allowing economic predators and social predators to prey on families.
Finally, if you are still undecided:
Before you help determine the future of our country and our world, please go to your local library and spend at least fifteen minutes with Jim Wallis's best selling book "God's Politics."
Yours in Christ
October 12, 2008 at 5:59 p.m.
The Feds try to justify the bailout by arguing that we need it to make sure credit remains available to businesses and consumers.
But rescuing the shareholders of the unhealthy banks is not the best answer.
Instead, to keep credit flowing, for the duration of the crisis, the government could use the $700B to guarantee new loans to businesses and consumers. These loans could be administered by credit unions, foreign banks, and the many remaining healthy domestic banks.
Don't let Bush and his co-conspirators ram yet another bad idea down your throats. Insist that your congressmen to vote against any bailout for wall street.
September 26, 2008 at 9:05 a.m.