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October 03, 2008


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Joe Kennedy

I have to admit, I'm frustrated by the many conservative Baptists I know, who know absolutely nothing about economics, but are decrying the rise of socialism in America. This, while the most conservative people I know (both having spent the majority of their lives in the financial industry, including one for over 30 years- retiring a bank president), are telling me how absolutely necessary it was for this bill to pass, regardless of the junk thrown in.

Simply put, liberty for the states died at Appomattox in 1865 (the death of federalism and states' rights). True liberty does not die, but that's getting spiritual on the topic.

It does amaze me though, that all the people I know who studied religion (this excludes you, doesn't it?) and are now pastors are crying "Left Behind! The END IS NEAR!" after this stuff, as if somehow they were more knowledgeable than even the conservative economist Ben Stein (Bueller? Bueller?). Really, it does amaze me. I guess everybody thinks they're an expert when they watch FOX News. (I guess it's FOX... I haven't heard much about socialism from MSNBC or CNN.)

Sorry to lay this on ya, but I find myself even wondering lately why we've taken a step closer to hell with a move that reflects the regulation of Wall Street (and limited nationalization/socialism) when, in fact, the injustice of needless war, the greed of McAmerica, and the prosperity gospel haven't. We take one (necessary) step to help the economy, yet we ignore the fact that market speculators on Wall Street, out of sheer greed, artificially inflate the market value of food commodities (such as rice) that keeps it out of the hands of starving Third-Worlders. Now that, Lu... THAT is a sin that drives us further from liberty and into the hands of Satan.

The cheers for the end of our liberty come at the closing bell on Wall Street every week day, when our greed and addiction to gambling on the value of FOOD causes the needless starvation of millions across the world. Not because Congress passes a bill that we think makes us more socialist and less capitalist.

K, I'm done.


Don't mince words, Joe, tell me how you really feel. ;)

This is a topic I've been wanting to write about for a long time, but have also suffered from an inability to express the deep thoughts and feelings going on inside me.... I think that deserves a post all its own, but I will say this:

First, yes your statement about religious learnin' excludes me. No religious degree here.... just lots of personal opinions. :) Second, I've heard that we need this bill too. But here's the thing, sometimes in an effort to just "do something" you make the mess worse. I have yet to read an economist that agreed this bill was necessary; most worried that it would ultimately make things worse.

Third, I agree that greed and a lust for more power and control have done much to quietly but just as completely strip away layers of our liberty. However, I still feel this bill was a giant step away from liberty. Just as Palpatine's speech in itself sounds good and righteous and positive and the things he says perhaps even "necessary" in theory but were in reality one huge power grab on his part so he could rule as emperor rather than leader. I see this bill in much the same way. It sets a precedent for future power grabs; it gives far too much power, and too much money to a very small group of people. AND it assumes that that small group of people actually know the best course of action for this current crisis. I don't think they do. I think they are just stumbling around in the dark. And I think they are basing their decisions on faulty research and data.

That said, however, I don't see this as any sort of "Left Behind" insanity. Truth be told, I'm actually on the post-trib side of those kinds of things. I think we will be here through all the crap and wars and all that.... but that's just my personal opinion -- not based on anything more than my sense of who God is and what He's about more than any theological construct or...whatever.

Yeah, definitely no theology/religion degree here. :)

Joe Kennedy

1. Ben Stein is an economist. He said it was absolutely necessary. He's a conservative.

2. By "Left Behind" stuff, I just mean too many conservative Christians think socialism is the mark of the beast. It's not. In some places, it may actually be better than whatever it is we have. (I'm still researching, but I think in smaller populations, it may work very well.) And as it is, we seem to enjoy many social programs (public education, transportation) pretty well, even if they're not the best they can be.

3. I guess what bothers me so much is that I hear so much complaining over the socialism thing, but nobody is speaking out much when our capitalism contributes just as much to the detriment of the rest of the world as communism has. American Christianity does not see through clear eyes, mine included... although I'm trying.

4. I'm convinced we've shifted away from the republic and toward the empire over the last eight years, in part with the Patriot Act, in part with Iraq, and in part with the economy. Our demise is imminent, but not necessarily imminently soon. When God judges America, I'm convinced more daily that we won't be this great Christian, loving nation most evangelicals seem to think we are. In fact, I think Martin Luther King was a prophet in his time, and our time, with his words on violence, war, injustice, equality, and love. We're in for it... and we'll deserve it when it comes.

And those words will get me in a whole lot of trouble. Good thing I'm not a politician.

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