Tag Archives: politics

Christian Suburban Women & Beto

I think Allie Beth Stuckley is wonderful. I discovered her when she made a video for PragerU.

Pray Before You Vote

My sister-in-law’s brother wrote this for the East Portland Blog. Well done, Mark.

Please Pray Before You Vote, By Mark Erickson

By admin, on November 4th, 2012

My church arranged speakers over the four Sundays preceding the national election to facilitate discussion concerning “Christian Faith and this Year’s Election Issues.” Last Sunday, retired North Park University Professor of New Testament, Dr. Cal Katter, focused on the dire economic issue of America’s widening gap between the rich and everyone else. Dr. Katter emphasized the importance of “leveling” instead of the current gap, which is trending closely to the disparity in 1928. In 2011, the top 10% owned 74.5% of America’s wealth (stock, property, savings, etc.) whereas the lowest 50% owns a paltry 1.1%. Dr. Katter stated Sweden and Japan have fared better than any other country at decreasing the economic disparity between the citizenry, and the United States fails significantly, especially when compared to Biblical teaching.

Where do the presidential candidates stand with regard to economic justice? Both candidates agree that the deficit must be substantially reduced, but neither are clear on how that would be accomplished, which deeply troubles me. Governor Romney would a) significantly increase military spending, b) give more bug tax cuts to the richest Americans, and c) dramatically cut Medicare, Medicaid, and discretionary programs that include supports for poorer Americans. President Obama proposes a very different budget that would seek to protect “the least of these.” He would not cut effective programs that empower poor people. President Obama wants a “Buffett Rule” that requires the richest Americans to pay more income tax. He wants to spend more on infrastructure projects and clean energy programs. President Obama is clearly closer to the shalom God wills.

Looking beyond our borders, President Obama has sought cooperation and reversed his predecessor’s unilateral approach to foreign policy and kept his promise to end military involvement in Iraq. He set a withdrawal date (2014) for Afghanistan. Governor Romney criticized President Obama’s expansion of foreign aid to reduce poverty and improve health in poor nations. Governor Romney, as previously stated, wants to significantly increase a Defense Department budget that is so completely vile and currently out of control, as I have commented previously (7/25/12 Arthur Herman of AEI and John Petkovic’s 8/19/12 entry). President Obama is clearly closer to the shalom God wills.

Two weeks ago Dr. Elizabeth Collier, a professor of business ethics at Dominican University, discussed immigration and quickly touched upon other related topics. America is a nation of immigrants. How do we welcome “the stranger?” The Catholic Church teaches that the human person precedes the state; President Obama has deported more people than his predecessor, according to Dr. Collier. The corrections industry lobbies heavily: increase incarceration rates and lengthen sentences in order to maximize profits. What a twisted outlook.

There are other issues where Governor Romney and President Obama differ sharply, e.g., “Creation Care” and the Affordable Care Act. Regarding the former, poor people are more impacted by pollution and climate change. Regarding the latter, it is embarrassing that the richest nation in the world has so many people without health insurance. Again, I believe President Obama is more aligned with what Jesus called loving your neighbor as yourself.

Please pray before you vote.

Mark Erickson

No Politics, Please

When I go to mass, I’d love it if the priest refrains from departing from the scripture and veering into politics during the homily. Offer a different forum for that, please. Since we’re not illiterates or uneducated, we don’t need someone to pontificate on what we should think politically. We don’t need a political monologue during mass. It would be better to stay home and watch Meet the Press.

Instead, help us become disciples of Christ, help us to grow spiritually. Believe me there’s plenty to preach on that.

If for some reason the parish wants to discuss a political issue, that’s fine. Do it another day and allow for questions.

When a political diatribe enters a homily, it takes my mind completely out of the mass and puts it back outside on the Red State/Blue State, mud slinging, stump speech arena. Also, there’s a good chance that the preacher won’t sufficiently substantiate his claims or may use logical fallacies. Since I teach English this just infuriates me.

I regret not walking out and going to another mass. Next time this happens, I will.

From Commonweal Magazine

The Catholic magazine Commonweal has a good article by E. D on the presidential race in the U.S.

Romney & the Go For Broke Election

Here are the two great campaign mysteries at midsummer: Why does Mitt Romney appear to be getting so much traction from ripping a few of President Obama’s words out of context? And why aren’t Romney and other Republicans moving to the political center as the election approaches?

Both mysteries point to an important fact about the 2012 campaign: For conservatives, this is a go-for-broke election. They and a Republican Party now under their control hope to eke out a narrow victory in November on the basis of a quite radical program that includes more tax cuts for the rich, deep reductions in domestic spending, big increases in military spending, and a sharp rollback in government regulation.

In the process, the right hopes to redefine middle-of-the-road policies as “left wing,” thereby altering the balance in the American political debate.

What should alarm both liberals and moderates is that this is the rare election in which such a strategy has a chance of succeeding. Conservatives have their opening not because the country has moved far to the right but courtesy of economic discontent, partisan polarization and the right’s success in defining Obama as standing well to the left of where he actually does.

The Obama campaign is trying to disrupt this narrative on multiple fronts. Why did Obama respond so quickly and forcefully to Romney’s effort to use the president’s “you didn’t build that” quotation as a way of casting him as an enemy of small business? It’s not that the attack was true. In fact, it was blatantly false, given that in the same speech Obama praised “hard work,” “responsibility” and “individual initiative.”

The comments were good too. Especially this one:

Larry Weisenthal subscriber 07/30/2012 – 5:00pm

I’m frustrated that Obama did such a poor job with the point he was trying to make in the speech in question.  Progressive taxation (supported by notables from Adam Smith to Theodore Roosevelt) is warranted because, the higher one goes on the economic food chain, the greater the debt to government for financial success.

Businesses depend not only on roads and bridges, but an educated workforce, enforcement of contracts and protection of intelletual property, communications and shipping infrastructure, and an educated and successful base of clients and customers which has the cash to purchase goods and services from the businesses, among many other things.  These apply to even seemingly self-made, independent business people, from artists to contractors to professionals.

Everyone pays taxes.  The biggest part of government spending is entitlements.   Who pays social security/medicare taxes?  Everyone.  Even a great many “illegals.”  And it’s a monstrously regressive tax.  This regressive tax was raised, under Reagan, at the same time that the taxes for the wealthy were drastically cut.  So poor people subsidized rich people’s tax cuts, as social security was running a huge surplus at the time.

Obama wants to go back to the 1990s, to reduce the federal deficit, with regard to tax rates of the top 2%.  EXACTLY the position he took in his 2008 Presidential campaign. And those tax rates were the ones voted into place in the 1990s by the GOP congress.   Obama is not promoting “class warfare.”  He’s defending progressive taxation.  Just as Adam Smith did.  Just as Theodore Roosevelt did.  And he’s promoting the same top tax rates that the GOP voted for in the 1990s.

Can’t people in the Obama administration and Obama campaign figure out a way to communicate the above in a way which could be readily understood by the average voter?

“You didn’t build that” was an unforced error.  We are shocked, SHOCKED that Obama’s political opponents play gotcha games with it?

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA