Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yesterday's link.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2008/08/what_rick_warren_could_have_as.html

I am quoting from the above article by David Waters. The link will bring you to this article. All of his words are in blue:


1. Warren asked: "Does evil exist, and if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it or do we defeat it.?"
[Edited out commentary please go read his article for the full context]
A better question: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, said 'The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.' Do you agree? As Christians, how should we confront violent evil such as terrorism?"

I agree that that question was retarded(the first one). And I really like his response question. I also like how he leaves no question that we -are- going to confront it.


2. Warren asked: "The Civil Rights Act of '64 says that faith-based organizations have the right to hire people that believe like they do. Would you insist that faith-based organizations forfeit that right to access federal funds?"
Like the abortion and gay marriage questions Warren asked, this is a litmus-test question for conservative evangelicals who want the right to hire people whose beliefs fit their missions and worldviews.
A better question: "As Christians, we are called to help orphans, widows, the sick, the poor and others in need. Should we ask or expect the government to pay us to do what God calls us to do?"
Hmm. I don't like how he words his comments. They come across very hostile towards conservative evangelicals. I don't believe that Federal funds should go towards church organizations. Still... I would like to reword his second question. I'm just not sure how I would.


3. Warren asked: "America right now ranks 19th in high school graduation. We're first in incarcertaions. Eighty percent of Americans recently polled said they believe in merit pay for teachers. . . Do you think better teachers should be paid better?"
Another no-brainer. Who believes better teachers should be paid less? Or less than other teachers? This was another litmus-test question that plays to the church-supported home-school and church-school crowd, and ignores the complex realities of inner-city public schools, the shortcomings of voucher plan and so on.
A better question: As Christians, we are called to help those in need and children in particular. How can we ensure that each and every child attends an excellent schools, regardless of their geographic location, test scores or family incomes?
A followup: As Christians, how can we create a redemptive rather than a punitive criminal justice system?

Big deal here. "How can we ensure that each and every child gets an excellent education, regardless of their geographic location, test scores, family income, or choice of schools? And what do you consider an excellent education to be?" Being homeschooled isn't exactly 'attending' a school but can give a great education. I base this off of my -non- studied ACT scores. Presuming that you would attend a school really makes me worried as a Dad who plans to homeschool his little girl.

The followup question is excellent.


4. Warren asked: Define rich. I mean, give me a number. Is it $50,000, $100,000, $200,000? Everybody keeps talking about, 'Well, we're going to tax the rich.' How do you define that?"
Give me a number? An odd question for anyone other than a tax attorney to ask. Are we talking $50,000 in Southern California or Southern Sudan? Rich for people who spend hundreds of millions running for public office or rich for people who work three jobs and can't afford health insurance?
A better question: Jesus never said anything about abortion or homosexuality, but he said plenty about wealth and poverty. As a Christian, define the difference between need and greed. How much is enough?
I actually like the first question. When you say you are going to tax the rich... what do you mean rich? Who are you going to tax? This is an important question to me. And I think this a valid question. Yes geography should be worked into the question, it costs several times more to live in LA than it does to live in Missouri's rural country side. But our US tax code doesn't take my local cost of living into effect that I know of. So the original question is fair...

His follow up question...bleh.... that doesn't even seem right. David seems to be saying that if you have enough then the government should have the rest(and I don't think he means to).

Maybe:
As a Christian you have been charged with helping the poor. Do you believe you should work to make poverty reducing government programs or should you make sure to personally assist the poor in your area with all the power you have? Is it enough simply to "give at the office" or is it important to do it yourself?

I still think a church is no place for a campaign event, and a clergy person has no business posing as political moderator. But if the church is going to insert itself into the electoral process, it should do so as the church and not as a political action committee.
AMEN.

2 comments:

Greg said...

Hi,

Found you via Spooncraft. This is an interesting article. Didn't expect it on something called a WoW blog. :)

Like your last line for #1.
#2 - as a non-christian I have to wonder why any Christian organization would put any priority towards Fed funding. Seems to me that if the Fed wanted to dictate terms the group would politely tell them to take a hike. How about this? "Would you ask that Faith based organizations remain true to their beliefs, even if it means no Fed funding?"

All private organizations should have the right to hire whomever they please and the Fed can butt out.

#3 - You ask some great questions. Teacher pay isn't the answer, if it was our schools would be way better than they are. Vouchers are a great idea, by the way.

#4 - Well said!

I think I'm going to enjoy reading this blog. :)

Dammerung said...

Yay! Thanks for the comment Greg. You brightened my day...and I like your response to option 2.