Still Sick, Still Astonished And Angry At The GOP

As you know, I prefer that every word on my blog be written by, well, me. But I’m still in the grip of flu and, now, bronchitis, so I’m going to honor others who have good things to say until I get better.

“Every Senate Republican voted to block a bill that would help middle class families and keep hundreds of thousands of firefighters on the job, police officers on the streets, and teachers in the classroom when our kids need them most. Those Americans deserve an explanation as to why they don’t deserve those jobs.” — President Obama on the Senate’s vote last night on a component of the American Jobs Act.

If this isn’t proof that the oars steering the GOP these days are “defeat whatever the bastard proposes, just because it’s him” and “keep feeding the middle class the lies that keep them in the dark,” I don’t know what is. The AJA wasn’t anything that any reasonable Republican or Democrat — or hermit crab, for that matter — ought to have opposed.

But it was “him” who proposed it, and it’s “them” it would help. And how the most viciously insular political movement in recent history has the gall to label itself “populist” is ample evidence that Satan has, indeed, sent a cloud of blindness and hardness of heart over this country.

The Church — largely white, male, prosperous and privileged — has made a virtual cottage industry of formulating a hermeneutic that somehow elevates platitudinous proof-texting from the Proverbs to a cogent, Christlike response to poverty and injustice and heaps indifference on the warnings of the Old Testament prophets and subverts the clear message of the New. We see it here in Moscow, where Doug Wilson’s primary wrestlings with Scripture appear to be in the service of justifying his mocking, sneering, utterly unloving judgment of the poor, the middle class, and those who try to speak up for them.

Our God is not amused, either by the Church’s embrace of those institutions that harm the poor, or by those who minister in his name by making fun of their plight. I’m torn over who most needs my prayers for God’s mercy: The poor, or those who hold them and their defenders in disdain. Fortunately, the Defender of the poor is the one I pray to and worship, and I offer those to him on behalf of both.

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