Friday, December 26, 2008

The American Gospel of Capitalism Still Destroys the Poor

"It’s no surprise, then, that a politically acclaimed reform of the 1990s — 'the end to welfare as we know it' in favor of 'workfare' — is fast fraying at the edges. States are reporting a surge in applicants for the limited short-term cash aid allowed under the workfare rules. And the program’s emphasis on shunting the poor toward low-paying, start-up jobs is becoming increasingly pointless as the job market ossifies. In a sampling of applicants for help in one hard-hit Florida county, The Washington Post found that 2 out of 5 were newcomers at seeking the government safety net. Many had recently slid from the middle class because of the subprime-mortgage debacle and rising unemployment.

"It’s important that the most hungry, poor and direly troubled Americans not be denied a proper place in line with the financial moguls, auto executives and others pleading for taxpayer help. Most immediately, a temporary increase in food-stamp benefits is needed. It fits logically in the next stimulus package, for each dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.84 in economic activity."

NYT Editorial 12/26/08 Boxing Day (Poor Boxes for the Poor in Churches)

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In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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