Some of our UIPA nominees for Body/Spirit coverage have chimed in on two of the issues dominating headlines across the country. (No, not the royal wedding. If you’re looking for an appropriate response to that, there’s this headline from Democracy Now! that pretty much sums it up: “Frenzy around Britain’s Royal Wedding ‘Should Embarrass Us All.’”)
First, Valerie Elverton Dixon at Sojourners struggles with being a Christian when it comes to what she feels is an appropriate response to Donald Trump’s obsession (read: media ploy) with Obama’s birth certificate.
It is the moments when I am most angry and most disappointed in particular people and circumstances that I find it very, very difficult to be a Christian….When commentators asked why the president had not [released his long-form birth certificate] sooner, I screamed back at my television: “Why should he have to do it at all?”
Dixon rightly notes that the fact that the President of the United States felt forced into revealing this document is “not only a national embarrassment; it was an insult to every American who voted for him, and a special offense to African Americans.” She ends up finding her Christian footing, ultimately asking her God to “forgive [Trump] because he does not know what he is doing.” Unfortunately, I can’t get myself to that point; I think he knows exactly what he’s doing.
At The Christian Century Steve Thorngate brings into his discussion of the House Republican budget, the still-overlooked budget plan from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. (Why “still overlooked”? Here’s what Rachel Maddow thinks is the reason.) After detailing some of the “provisions in the bill that deserve a dose of public outrage” Thorngate goes on to make a fantastic point:
Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a detailed rival plan that includes some serious tax hikes. It'll never pass, but that's not the point: the budget negotiations will involve à la carte solutions and much compromise. The Progressive Caucus's menu of ideas will help counteract the bad ones detailed above—and its existence will make it harder for the Republicans to take Obama's moderate, pre-compromised approach, paint it as insanely and dangerously liberal and then get him to compromise even further.
Lastly, at Tikkun Michael Hogue has some stronger words about Ryan’s “courageous” plan, calling it “revoltingly immoral and unjust” and “insidiously wicked.”
There is NO religious framework or lifeway that, except through disingenuous hermeneutical backflipping, could possibly justify these principles. And if that’s the case, and if these principles (which are usually dressed up a bit in public) undergird the Ryan proposal and most other Republic sensibilities about the deficit, then there is NO way that there should be any religious support for this budget proposal. Is there anything in Christianity, or Islam, or Buddhism, or Religious Humanism, or Religious Naturalism, or Unitarian Universalism that so brazenly endorses the accumulation and concentration of wealth among a very few at the expense of the very many, and especially at the expense of the vulnerable? Absolutely not.