Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas catastrophe

With news that the U.S. Senate has cut about $40 billion in entitlement programs--Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, basically the social safety net the poor, elderly, disabled rely upon--I find myself thunderstruck that the bishops of the U.S. have said nothing, nor can I find any other religious leader lamenting that this abomination should occur just days before Christmas.

Here we are about to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, and our politicians ram through a double insult: $453 billion dollars for the Pentagon and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $40 billion in cuts for the "least of [Jesus' and our] sisters and brothers." So much for a "Christian" nation, so much for a Christian president and a GOP that caters to evangelical Christians. While distracting everyone with the red herrings of gay marriage and abortion, Congress just robbed the poor, with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. And don't forget the $70 billion in tax breaks on capital gains for the super-rich.

Instead of the charming nativity stories from Matthew and Luke this Christmas, perhaps we should hear the prophet Amos: "Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way." (2:6-7)

Or how about this: "Thus says the Lord: I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:21-24)


At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It helps to know someone else is heartsick about this. I wonder if middle America is even paying attention.


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