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The Cutting Edge: Blog of Ed Knudson
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Ed Knudson's Passing  11/3/2017  (606)

Health Issue  10/21/2017  (606)

Not Much Planning in Houston  8/28/2017  (652)

Members of Trump's Religious Advisory Council Have Not Resigned  8/25/2017  (712)

Slavery, Original Sin, and Redemption: A Statement of Faith  8/21/2017  (592)

A Stampede of Charities has Canceled Planned Fundraising Events at Trumpís Mar-a-Lago Club  8/21/2017  (627)

Church Leaders in Charlottesville Prepared for White Supremacists  8/16/2017  (609)

White House Staffer Fired Over Memo on Cultural Marxism (or, Critical Social Theory)  8/15/2017  (612)

Trump is a Drama Queen: Weak and Sniveling; Whiny, Weepy, Self-Pitying. But Fox News Loves Him  8/11/2017  (630)

Southern Baptist Pastor Calls for Holy War against North Korea  8/9/2017  (587)

There Will Be No Wall, Says John Kelly  8/1/2017  (575)

The Misuse of Martin Luther on Predestination  7/28/2017  (534)

John McCain Gives Heroic Speech Denouncing Terrible Thing That He Just Voted For  7/26/2017  (508)

Disgusting: Trump Attacks American Institutions in Speech to Boy Scouts  7/25/2017  (501)

Philosopher Richard Rorty Predicted Election of a Racist Strongman for President  7/24/2017  (541)

Washington Post Publishes Lots of Libertarian Nonsense  7/23/2017  (543)

The Spontaneous Order of James Buchanan; No Government Necessary for This Libertarian  7/19/2017  (545)

Republicans Fail Entirely on Health Care; Trump Turns Against His Voters  7/18/2017  (536)

Trump Had Morality Hammered Out of Him by His Family History  7/14/2017  (562)

Trump, Like Others Who Follow the Russian Atheist, Ayn Rand, is in Serious Trouble  7/14/2017  (603)

Trump and the Russian Mafia  7/13/2017  (513)

Ted Cruz's Free Choice Means Death to Thousands; the Myth of Personal Responsibility  7/13/2017  (520)

Trump Didnít Win the Working Class. The Democrats Lost It  7/8/2017  (569)

NRA Thinks White Alienated Males are Feeling Sorry for Themselves  6/30/2017  (535)

Widespread Rebukes of Trump's Blood Tweets; Calls for Retraction  6/30/2017  (518)

Peter Berger Dies. Our Knowledge is Not Our Own  6/28/2017  (639)

Not All Lutherans are the Same. Supreme Court Favors One Type Only  6/27/2017  (554)

Obamacare is a Conservative Model of Healthcare and is Failing; Now It's Time for Single Payer  6/27/2017  (624)

It's Clear Now: Putin Wanted Trump, Not Clinton  6/24/2017  (639)

Politics is a Knife Fight with No Rules, Says Grover Norquist  6/23/2017  (593)

This Should Happen All Over:  Union Ironworker Has a Plan to Beat Paul Ryan  6/21/2017  (645)

Triangulation Has Been Terribly Hurtful to Democrats  6/20/2017  (650)

Kitzhaber Exonerated; Oregonian Debases Itself Again  6/16/2017  (665)

Trump is Too Ignorant to be President; Doesn't Even Know What Christians Believe  6/16/2017  (636)

Dissent: Organizing in Red America  6/16/2017  (541)

It's the Racists Who Want Guns  6/15/2017  (638)

It Can Happen Here  6/13/2017  (663)

Surprise Victory for Social Democracy in England  6/9/2017  (630)

Before and After the Pill  6/8/2017  (666)

Dear Trump Appointees: Quit Your Jobs or Lose Your Souls  6/6/2017  (646)

Americans, Hang Your Heads in Shame  6/1/2017  (723)

Montana Republican So Afraid of the Press that He Attacks Reporter  5/26/2017  (713)

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Where Your Tax Dollar Goes  4/18/2017  (787)

Talking It Through  4/15/2017  (725)

False Community Consciousness and Local Radio  4/1/2017  (777)

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Of Course Obama Wiretapped Trump  3/21/2017  (688)

Trump Glorifies American Militarism with German Leader, Embarrassing Himself  3/18/2017  (638)

Most of Trump's Voters are Not Poor, but Regular Old Republicans  3/18/2017  (646)

Robert Mercer and Big Money Chose Trump to be President, not the People  3/17/2017  (786)

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White People are Hurting Themselves  3/11/2017  (946)

Basic Civics Lesson for Libertarians  3/8/2017  (869)

Public Trust: Post-truth is Pre-fascim  3/8/2017  (982)

Martin Marty Center Publishes Column in Support of Disgraced White Nationalist, Milo Yiannopoulos  2/28/2017  (1159)

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Trump May Want a Terrorist Attack  2/7/2017  (1098)

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Evangelicals Elect a Racist Pervert as President  11/9/2016  (934)

Very Serious National Decline  11/9/2016  (1359)

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Trump Offers to Rescue Lower Income White People in a Secular Rapture  11/2/2016  (1021)

The Crisis of Conservative Intellectuals  11/1/2016  (1027)

James Comey Should Resign or Be Fired  10/30/2016  (1063)

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Journalists Must Treat Trump Differently  7/15/2016  (1102)

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A Dark Day for the UK  6/24/2016  (946)

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John Caputo On Divine Sovereignty and the Weakness of God  5/23/2016  (1190)

A Corrupt Form of Christianity is Destroying the Republican Party  4/5/2016  (1324)

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Who Should be President? Strict Father or Nurturing Parent  3/3/2016  (1268)

Trump is a Fraud Who is Playing the American People as Suckers, Says Romney  3/3/2016  (1236)

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Flint, Michigan: Death Camp City  1/22/2016  (1240)

Privatization of Public Land is a Bad Idea  1/22/2016  (1410)

Peace Lutheran in Burns, Oregon, Requests Prayers  1/20/2016  (1328)

How the Iraq War Created ISIS: Crucial Information for Understanding Terrorism  12/6/2015  (1317)

Leading Republican Candidate Donald Trump: How Stupid are the People of Iowa?  11/13/2015  (1438)

CNN Repeats Stupid Claim by Pew Research that Religious 'Nones' Dominate Democratic Party  11/5/2015  (1394)

First Things has become Relevant to Only One Region of the Country: the South  11/2/2015  (1489)

Tell Ben Carson to Give Up His Presidential Campaign  10/27/2015  (1356)

Corporate-Funded Think Tanks have Created an Angry, Destructive Politics  10/24/2015  (1367)

Protestants Need a Pope  9/30/2015  (1434)

R.R. Reno at First Things is Disappointed by Pope Francis  9/25/2015  (1386)

Matt Taibbi on the GOP Clown Car  8/15/2015  (1693)

Pray to be Filled with Awe and Contemplation  8/12/2015  (1565)

Jurgen Habermas: A New Possibility for Europe  7/21/2015  (1666)

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Historic Day: Gay Marriage Affirmed by Supreme Court in All 50 States  6/26/2015  (1656)

Gun Manufacturers Cannot Be Christian says Pope Francis  6/22/2015  (1644)

Pope Francis Teaches Us about Climate Change and the Moral Imperative to Act  6/20/2015  (1619)

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Bonhoeffer's Vision: An Outcast Church on the Margins of Society  4/25/2015  (1668)

The Debate Over Cornel West  4/21/2015  (1747)

Nebraska Doesn't Believe in the Free Market for Its Electricity  3/29/2015  (1698)

The New Political Mission of the Historic Protestant Church  3/16/2015  (1736)

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Francis Says God Loves the Marginalized  2/16/2015  (1569)

Rand Paul Disqualifies Himself  2/4/2015  (1862)

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John Boehner Wants The U.S. to go to War with Iran  1/21/2015  (1704)

Martin Luther on Charlie Hebdo: Sick Secularism and Billy Graham  1/14/2015  (3983)

Whose Speech is Actually Free?  1/14/2015  (1636)

Historic Protestant Speech is Not Free in America Today  1/14/2015  (1879)

Wall Street has Bought Itself a Congress  12/15/2014  (1581)

Democrats Move to Encourage an Elizabeth Warren Candidancy  12/10/2014  (1694)

Iowa Lutherans: Don't Vote for Joni Ernst  10/27/2014  (3335)

Wendell Berry and Incarnational Theology  10/21/2014  (1827)

Did God Kill Jesus? Moltmann on Anticipated Terror and Joy  10/10/2014  (1894)

Stop the Oil Train Bombs  10/2/2014  (1991)

The Terrible Self-Righteousness of George Weigel at First Things  9/19/2014  (1763)

Violence All Across the World, including Ferguson, Missouri  8/15/2014  (2032)

Reagan's View of History Still Prevails  8/15/2014  (1731)

Nick Hanauer: Beware, Fellow Plutocrats, the Pitchforks are Coming  8/13/2014  (1877)

Blowing Up Jonah: The Political Use of Religious Symbols  8/12/2014  (2025)

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The Lost Iraq War  7/30/2014  (1702)

It is Not Anti-Semitic to Question Israel's Right to Exist as an Ethnic State   7/24/2014  (1765)

Republicans Elect Mark Walker: A Racist, Blasphemous, Baptist Pastor  7/23/2014  (2340)

There is No Religious Left  7/22/2014  (1887)

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Teachers Turn Against Obama  7/12/2014  (2014)

The Trouble With Brain Science  7/12/2014  (1997)

The Roman Catholic Supreme Court Decides What is 'Sincere' Religious Belief   7/1/2014  (2020)

Karl Polanyi and the Stark Utopianism of Market Fundamentalism  7/1/2014  (1935)

Corporate Provided Health Care Has To Go  6/30/2014  (1860)

Brookings Report on Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives  4/25/2014  (2122)

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Gay Marriage Ban Ending in England and Wales on Saturday  3/29/2014  (2086)

Obama Should Have Prosecuted the Bush Administration for War Crimes  3/28/2014  (2054)

A False Gospel: Corporate Christianity  3/27/2014  (2090)

Koch Brothers are Creating Their Own Political Party  1/26/2014  (2243)

Social Justice in New York City  1/1/2014  (2290)

God is a God of Freedom: Pope Francis and Liberation Theology  12/21/2013  (2358)

America, America, the Country that Kills Its Prophets  11/23/2013  (2385)

Thinking about a New Protestantism  11/21/2013  (2281)

Hysterical Anti-Communism: Billy Graham Urged the Killing of a Million Vietnamese  11/21/2013  (3361)

The Next President will be a Woman and a Methodist, but not Hillary  11/11/2013  (2234)

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Pastors: Help Your People Understand Obamacare  11/6/2013  (2373)

Mothers and Grandmothers on Abortion  11/5/2013  (2471)

Why Obamacare is a Political Con Job  10/30/2013  (2350)

Very Disturbing Governance by Media Manipulation  10/4/2013  (2431)

A Reformation Pope  10/2/2013  (2275)

When the Big Money Mafia Rule  10/1/2013  (2368)

Obama Wins Shutdown Battle  10/1/2013  (2589)

Samantha Power: Protection of the Innocent  9/11/2013  (2537)

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Apocalypse: Life Beyond Empire and Environmental Destruction  9/9/2013  (2334)

Joining Obama Against Himself?  9/5/2013  (2544)

Arab Spring: Transfer of Power in Syria  9/4/2013  (2449)

Religious Conflict in the History of Syria  9/3/2013  (2415)

Hunger Games: The Divide and Conquer Marketing Strategy of Fox News  8/7/2013  (2637)

The Terrible Mendacity of Stanley Kurtz  8/5/2013  (2795)

Obama Speaks on Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case  7/19/2013  (2270)

Summer Heat: Elders Called to Engage in Civil Disobedience  7/18/2013  (2482)

Business Predators Must Be Forced to Stop Their Damaging Behavior  5/26/2013  (2551)

Pastors Create Public Consciousness  5/26/2013  (2608)

Kathyrn Tanner: The Social Trinity and Politics  5/26/2013  (2646)

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Occupy Theology: Obama has Broken the Hearts of the Young  5/20/2013  (2257)

Corporate Conspiracy Theories in Pastoral Consciousness  5/17/2013  (2552)

The Gosnell Verdict and Abortion Politics  5/16/2013  (3065)

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The NRA: Southern Political Terrorism  5/14/2013  (2550)

Public Violence  4/17/2013  (2315)

A Teacher is Raised  4/8/2013  (2513)

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Health Care Hogs Drive Up Costs  3/27/2013  (2349)

Manufactured Landscapes  3/23/2013  (2639)

About Death Camp Thinking  3/22/2013  (2600)

Marriage Equality Goes Mainstream  3/21/2013  (2561)

Hope for the New Pope  3/14/2013  (2672)

The End of a Catholic Moment  3/12/2013  (2519)

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The Government is Making Us Old  3/11/2013  (2726)

Fairness Now Means to Tax the Rich More  12/10/2012  (2651)

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:THE NEW JIM CROW  11/14/2012  (2809)

A Victory for Life  11/7/2012  (2505)

Romney is Not a Christian  11/5/2012  (2664)

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A Way of Speaking that Wins Elections  9/6/2012  (2658)

Compared to Other Nations, America is Under-Taxed and More Unequal  8/31/2012  (2583)

Obedience, Not Liberty, is Highest Value for Real Conservatives  8/28/2012  (2771)

Romney Degrades Himself with Welfare Ad  8/28/2012  (2677)

Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All  8/3/2012  (2727)

Michele Bachmann: Say Stupid Things, Make Lots of Money  8/1/2012  (2549)

The Trees are Falling  7/14/2012  (2906)

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Today is My Last Day at Goldman Sachs  3/14/2012  (2695)

Creation is Broken: Against Utopian Conservatives  3/9/2012  (2732)

Women have Spoken: The End of Rush Limbaugh  3/9/2012  (2722)

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The Cynical Use of Religion by Economic Elites  2/23/2012  (3157)

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Naming the Enemy: Biological Fundamentalism  2/17/2012  (2674)

Social Policy in Pastoral Consciousness: Who Should Serve the 'Poor'?  2/16/2012  (2789)

Bishops Reject Obama Compromise, the Devil is Forcing Birth Control  2/14/2012  (2839)

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It  2/13/2012  (2733)

Romney Believes Constitution is Divine  2/11/2012  (2753)

Santorum Reveals His Political Philosophy with Comment on French Revolution  2/10/2012  (5361)

Legal Aspects of the Contraception Debate  2/9/2012  (2756)

Catholic Bishops Want Freedom to Oppress Women  2/8/2012  (3330)

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Wall Street to be Investigated  1/25/2012  (3135)

Obama Tells Truth about Economy  12/7/2011  (2743)

God Demands Justice  11/17/2011  (2870)

Understanding Protest Movements  11/15/2011  (2593)

Chris Hedges: People Have Finally Woken Up  10/8/2011  (2668)

A New Economic Strategy for Wall Street Protests  10/5/2011  (2829)

Wall Street Occupation Protest - Live Video  9/26/2011  (2739)

Tens of Thousands Protest in Israel; Citizens of the USA Should Also Hit the Streets  8/7/2011  (2752)

A Day of Blasphemy: Governor Rick Perry's Prayer Festival  8/5/2011  (2995)

Wall Street Hates the Tea Party  8/4/2011  (2802)

The Instability of the American Political System  7/27/2011  (2916)

Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order  4/15/2011  (2819)

Obama Punches Back  4/13/2011  (2955)

Punish the Poor  4/9/2011  (3119)

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The Republican Attack on Poor Women  2/20/2011  (2943)

A Real Spirit of Peace  2/11/2011  (2904)

Public Lies about Tax Cuts  2/10/2011  (2958)

The People Own the Streets  2/2/2011  (3055)

Political Violence Works  1/13/2011  (3077)

Religion as a Matter of Political Calculation  12/24/2010  (3225)

Tea Party Leader Says Methodist Church is the Religious Arm of Socialism   12/20/2010  (3321)

Bottom-up History: The Commoners of Atwood  12/13/2010  (3010)

Patriotic Millionaires Support Increase in Their OwnTaxes  12/10/2010  (3053)

Democrats Elected a Republican President  12/9/2010  (3054)

Obama Agrees to Increase Obscene Levels of Inequality  12/9/2010  (2756)

The Unemployed are Actual, Real People  12/3/2010  (3066)

A Deep Sense of Bewilderment and Betrayal  12/2/2010  (3064)

Chalmers Johnson Dies, Military Writer Who Told the Truth  11/21/2010  (2957)

Should the Rich Rule?  11/3/2010  (2910)

The Liberation Theology of Abraham Lincoln  10/12/2010  (3124)

Mass Psychosis as a Pastoral Concern  9/24/2010  (3103)

Glenn Beck and Apostolic Authority  8/31/2010  (2919)

A Moving Event  7/19/2010  (2825)

Gay Marriage to Become Law of the Land  6/21/2010  (2993)

Facing Death at the Center of Life  6/14/2010  (3045)

Rand Paul Exposes Tea Party Racism in Libertarianism  5/20/2010  (3074)

Equal Freedom: The Obama Doctrine  5/7/2010  (3244)

The Last Protestant is Leaving  4/9/2010  (2992)

Economics in Pastoral Consciousness  3/14/2010  (3212)

The Strategic Consciousness of the Protestant Pastor  3/1/2010  (3021)

Memesis and the Culture of Personal Crisis  2/15/2010  (3408)

Watch Out for that Communist Folk Music  1/22/2010  (3193)

The Political Cross at Xmas  12/23/2009  (3143)

There are Socialists and Communists in the White House  10/15/2009  (4054)

Send Money to ACORN Now!  9/19/2009  (3653)

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The Media Creation of Whacko Conservatism  7/30/2009  (3608)

Seven Pentecostal Mountains and Sarah Palin  7/16/2009  (3721)

Major Media Unfairly Presents Anti-Abortion Rhetoric  6/3/2009  (3773)

You Can Get Killed in a Public Church  6/2/2009  (3922)

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When Life Begins is Not at all Clear  5/19/2009  (4057)

The Political Use of Torture  4/25/2009  (3748)

Jesus is Not Some Phony Spook  4/22/2009  (3683)

Poisoned Waters, Chicken Shit and Smart Growth  4/21/2009  (3864)

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Without Trust, No Economy  3/19/2009  (3805)

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Another Big Book on Justice  3/17/2009  (3683)

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Uncreative Destruction  3/16/2009  (3867)

Some Truth about Income Tax Rates  3/13/2009  (3990)

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Sex in God's Family  3/8/2009  (3943)

Please let us know what you think of these blogs or if you see something inappropriate.
Seeing the Truth about God and Economy

I have just placed an article on the site with the title Prophetic Disruption. It uses the metaphor of "seeing the mountain" from different perspectives. Mount Rainier, near Tacoma, Washington, where I live, looks different depending on the perspective from which you are looking. So you don't really "know" the mountain unless you go around it to see it from all directions. I have come to believe that truth is something we "see" more than something we simply "know" in our minds.

I am now reading a book called Theology the Lutheran Way by Oswald Bayer. He tells me Aristotle viewed God as pure thought, thought thinking itself as thought. It's the perfect image of God for a philosopher, I suppose. But along with this idea of God comes the further idea that this God is not connected with anything outside of itself, so that those influenced by Greek philosophy at the time (or nowadays too) have a hard time conceiving of God as understood in the Hebrew and Christian bibles, a God that created the natural world, a God who entered into actual human flesh, a God who listens and sees. This is not a disconnected God who doesn't see but only thinks.

The way the human mind works is not just through thought but through seeing. Our minds are not just oriented internally to our own thoughts, but they are oriented to what we see out there in the world, to the material world and the social worlds in which we participate. We are able to see through windows in our minds, windows that we can open up to see the reality of what is beyond us. These "windows" are our beliefs and concepts, we see that which we already believe. Learning to know the truth is a process of seeing with ever bigger picture windows what is out there.

If in our effort to be modern we may tell ourselves that we don't believe in God of any kind, what that means is that we decide to see the world through a much smaller window than may be true otherwise, we refuse to see the vast expanse of history representing by the bible, for example, and its many peoples and experiences in the ancient world, these peoples who saw themselves in relation to what they believed to be "God". Sometimes people say that religion narrows a person's perspective and that is certainly true with some religious orientations, but my sense is that it does the opposite, it opens one's mind to see the tremendous width and breadth of the glory of God in all creation and among all peoples. Seeing the truth in this way is a rather mind-blowing experience.

To the contrary, modern analytic methods of knowing the truth are the actual way that the mind is narrowed. Take economics. The field of economics claims to "know" how everything works in financial, commercial and industrial worlds. Yet that is only part of reality, seeing from only one side of the mountain, there are also social and political worlds, there is the real material world itself which is filtered out by categories of economic thinking. The environmental impacts of economic activity are called "externalities" by economists, external to their way of thought. So they do not even "see" the negative imacts of economic activity on the material world, the very world in which human beings must live (or die) together.

So also the economists like to say they are "objective" and not taking values into account or making moral assumptions. So they do not take into account the justice of economic activity. So their minds cannot even "see" when injustice is taking place. The business professionals working in our economic life are trained NOT to consider the justice effects of their decisions, simply the profits of the company. If you read the bible you will see that it has a broad, expansive vision of justice for all political and economic activity. But modern, enlightened economic experts filter out their ability to be able to even see the people who are being hurt by their activity, the poor, the folks having to work two or three jobs to make enough to feed their families, the surplus populations around the globe moving to cities which cannot sustain them because there simply are not enough jobs to go around.

The modern economic system, the people working in it and the experts who philosophize about it are not connected to the reality of the material and social life of the world or the local community. All they see is numbers calculated through very narrow concepts which can in no way envision or "see" the whole of what they are doing. They become like blind men not able to see. The little windows in their minds are only able to help them see a narrow slice of the world. The fact that they also may say they don't believe in the God of the bible is just another proof that they have closed the eyes of their minds to the whole reality of the material world as well as to the justice that God requires in human affairs. They become like Aristotle's God, thought thinking itself, numbers piled up on top of one another whose meanings are determined only within a very narrow concept of what makes for significance in human life. The fact that such thinking and such people are now in the the most important positions of power in this society is the main reason for the total collapse of the financial system, it was spinning off in mathematical calculations which could not be connected to anything real, at least really human in any full sense of the term. These financial speculators could only see themselves and their profits; their minds did not have the big picture windows by which to see the whole of the world; they disconnected themselves from any responsibility to anything or anyone other than themselves.

Big picture reality has now hit hard even though most of the experts could not "see" it coming. Belief systems, such as economics and free market business creeds, are like that. They seem to make sense as long as there are a lot of believers. But when the belief system is as narrow as that of neoliberal economics, disconnected from reality and floating by itself in mathematical abstractions, unable to see the fullness of truth but with power to work its will in the world, then bad stuff is bound to happen for us mortal creatures. Now with this economic crash there are a lot fewer believers, thank goodness.

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