Monday, November 10, 2008


I don't think my last post really said anything. At least it didn't offer any solutions to the problems I proposed. I'm sure I just came across as a whiny brat. So to clarify...

I wish everyone would just naturally share that with which they have been blessed with those who don't have enough. I wish we didn't have to get our government involved, but I imagine that if we didn't, there'd be a great deal more poor in our country. I also wish we made sure that those who really need aid could receive it. I've met many families and individuals who didn't qualify for whatever reason to receive aid when they seriously needed it. Or they have to be denied aid a number of times before they can receive it. At one point in my college years, I was receiving food stamps. If my job gave me 30 hours a week to work, I qualified for $125 a month in food stamps. But if my job only gave me 5 hours a week, I didn't qualify at all. But obviously, if I'm only getting 5 hours a week, I'm not earning enough to pay for food and need the aid all the more. Stuff like that boggles me. Maybe the Powers That Be did it like that so that those who were working and putting more effort into their own well-being were rewarded or encouraged to continue working hard, but I didn't have any control over how many hours my boss gave me. That didn't accurately portray how much I wanted to be working or would have been working had I been given the opportunity. I was given a million handouts because I had been diagnosed with a mental illness and was recovering from drug addiction, but there aren't as many opportunities for people who never did drugs or drank too much or have a disability to get the help they need to get a job and make ends meet. That doesn't make sense to me. They should be given help, and I don't mind reserving some of our income for that. I just think it would be nice if I got to choose where my money went. I realize that I have a voice in that matter, in electing officials to speak on my behalf with those making these decisions. Now if only our elected officials would keep their promises...

I also understand that for me say we don't have the right to judge and determine how people are punished when they do wrong has us jumping into a vast pit of festering problems. I think there are only two equally destructive paths for that line of thinking to lead. One, in order not to be hypocritical, we punish each and every sin. If you leave your spouse, you have to serve so many years in prison. If you exasperate your children, you spend the night in jail. Perhaps to really seem non-judgmental, we could determine a set punishment for all sins. Divorce - 2 years in prison. Drug smuggling - 2 years in prison. Parking ticket - 2 years in prison. Mass Murder - 2 years in prison. See the problem here? The second path we could take to not be hypocritical would be to not punish any sin and just live and let live. Again, many problem here. I know that God puts leaders in positions of authority and that He speaks to them, revealing His Will in His various ways. I am comforted by that and pray for my leaders regularly.

There's a big difference between judging someone and believing that we can determine their spiritual destination and between punishing someone for committing crimes here and now. I can't pretend to know what God will do with a fellow sinner, but I do see the need to define boundaries for our behavior and enforce consequences for crossing those boundaries that both punishes offenders and deters would-be offenders.

I just don't get that we deem gay marriage wrong enough to prevent it, but we don't do much to stop divorce. I believe that divorce is doing more to destroy the state of marriage in our society that anything else. I don't understand how Christians can jump all over the doctors and girls who are pro-choice, and then not do enough for the kids that are born and immediately neglected and abused or whose parents die, leaving them orphaned. My pastor yesterday said something like 'we say we need to protect the unborn, but what are we doing for the born?' I thought that was so profound. And the true test of how we feel about children in general.

Anyway, I know I'm not offering any real answers here, but I felt the need to take my previous line of thinking further, to explain myself a bit better. Maybe I have. Maybe I'll think of something else in a few hours and need to elaborate once again. Whatever. That's the beauty of thinking (writing) outloud. Having the freedom to say these things in a format like this is beautiful. I don't have to worry that someone is going to bust down my door and lock me up for my opinions. Despite its problems, I do love this Land of the Free.

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