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Pastors, People, and Economic Justice
Pastors who want to protect their flocks should carefully consider economic issues in this election.
By Ed Knudson
Why is it that millions of people of low and middle incomes will vote for a president who has literally taken money out of their pockets and given it to the wealthy? It is because too many pastors have convinced them that abortion and homosexuality are more important than their own livlihoods. Such pastors are not looking out for their flocks; they are letting the wolf come through the gate.
A pastor's role is to protect the flock. Church members look to a pastor for guidance on how to best live and vote, on what is right and good to do. Pastors who support massive tax cuts for the rich when their own people then have to pay higher taxes are not looking out for the best interests of their people in a democracy where voting determines who benefits from different policies.
There is no question in this coming election of who stands for economic justice. President Bush doesn't even use the term. He doesn't believe in economic justice. He believes in what I call market fundamentalism; he talks about freedom, but what he means is that corporate institutions should be free to do whatever they want while the people just have to suffer the consequences. He says people know how to spend money better than government, but his tax-cutting policies don't give much of anything to lower and middle income folks. In fact, they end up paying more at all levels of goverment.
Economic issues are complex. But read what nine Nobel Prize winners in economics said in August, 2004, as reported by Joseph E. Stiglitz:
President Bush and his administration have embarked on a reckless and extreme course that endangers the long-term economic health of our nation…. The differences between President Bush and John Kerry with respect to leadership on the economy are wider than in any other Presidential election in our experience. President Bush believes that tax cuts benefiting the most wealthy Americans are the answer to almost every economic problem.For pastors really concerned about protecting their flocks, for pastors really concerned for economic justice, there is no question in this election that President Bush is not the preferred candidate.
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