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Christian Leaders' Stance of Civil Disobedience is Dangerous

Monday, November 30, 2009

By Editorial
The Los Angeles Times


Philosophers have argued for centuries over whether it is ever justifiable to break the law in the service of a higher cause. The question acquired a new complexity with the advent of societies such as the United States, in which laws were enacted by elected representatives and not decreed by a monarch or dictator.

Few today would criticize civil rights activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for participating in or condoning the violation of laws that perpetuated white supremacy -- with the understanding that they would face punishment for their actions. But such civil disobedience is rightly regarded as the exception that proves that the proper redress for unjust laws lies in legislation or in court rulings based on the Constitution.

That cautious approach has been thrown to the wind by Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation's laws, are reserving the right to violate them in situations far removed from King's witness.

Last week, a group of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders released a “declaration” reminding fellow believers that "Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required." Then, after a specious invocation of King, the 152 signers hurl this anathema at those who would enact laws protecting abortion or extending the rights of civil (not religious) marriage to same-sex couples:

"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality. . . . We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."...(Remainder.)

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Reichsführer Beck Wants Another Terrorist Attack Against the US...Sedition Much?



By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Happy holidays from Glenn Beck everybody! Beck in another one of his phony populist rants asks his audience to imagine a terrorist attack on the United States where we’re as lucky as we were when the World Trade Center was hit. Just when I think this clown can't get much worse, he manages to one up himself again. I will be thankful when he finally is no longer polluting our airways.

Beck: You know everything is too big to fail, but nobody talks about the little guy. Nobody talks about the individual. Let me ask you this question. Please ponder this over the holiday season. Heaven forbid anything happens. God help us if al Qaeda would come but imagine if somebody could succeed in blowing up any of our great American icons. If they destroyed all of Washington, let’s just pretend that we would be as lucky as we were with the World Trade Center where everybody was gone or most people were gone—and they destroyed the Washington Monument and everything else—all of our enduring symbols, all the monuments we’ve always treasured—would it matter?

I don’t think so. The monuments are meaningless. The monuments are there to remind us who we are. But we have forgotten. We have become about the structure. We are the people that defeated the most powerful empire on earth as a group of rag-tag farming colonists. We were the people that explored. We mapped. We tamed the west. We crossed the mountains in wagons. We stunned the world with technical marvels and defeated the Nazis. We defeated the communists. We walked on the moon.

Nobody else has ever done that. We are Americans—rich or poor. We have always believed in the rugged individualism and self-actualization. We are not the people I think the people in Washington think we are. We are not fearful people. We are not people that give in or give up. We’re not about to give into some new whiney mentality where “Ooh, somebody help me”. That’s not who we are.

The only one that is too big to fail is you. And the only one that will, the only one that will create your failure is you. The only way the United States government, or the United States of America, or we fail as a collective is if we fail as individuals. And the only way guaranteed we as individuals will fail is to depend on the government to prop us up. That is just not who we are. And for me I am thankful for that.

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The Jobs Imperative

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


If you’re looking for a job right now, your prospects are terrible. There are six times as many Americans seeking work as there are job openings, and the average duration of unemployment — the time the average job-seeker has spent looking for work — is more than six months, the highest level since the 1930s.

You might think, then, that doing something about the employment situation would be a top policy priority. But now that total financial collapse has been averted, all the urgency seems to have vanished from policy discussion, replaced by a strange passivity. There’s a pervasive sense in Washington that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economic recovery to trickle down to workers.

This is wrong and unacceptable.

Yes, the recession is probably over in a technical sense, but that doesn’t mean that full employment is just around the corner. Historically, financial crises have typically been followed not just by severe recessions but by anemic recoveries; it’s usually years before unemployment declines to anything like normal levels. And all indications are that the aftermath of the latest financial crisis is following the usual script. The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012.

And the damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The long-term unemployed can lose their skills, and even when the economy recovers they tend to have difficulty finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers. Meanwhile, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage — and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.

So it’s time for an emergency jobs program....(Remainder.)

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