A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Monday, May 21, 2012

What Do We Care About?

What is important to you?  What do you think about, day in and day out?  I watched part of one my favorite TV shows this morning and during work it was all I could think about!  "How will it end?" I wondered.  Yet if you asked me about the conference talk or scriptures I read this morning, I would have trouble remembering whose talk it was or any of the salient points.

When people look at Mormon society, what is it they think that we care about?  Do we care about goodness, mercy, justice?  Do we value those who are spurned by society as outcasts?  Do we realize that the whole need no physician, but they that are sick do?

When citizens of other countries look at America, what do they see?  Do they see a nation of selfish, self-serving mercenaries, looking out for number one?  What do we want them to see?

But after all, it's not about what we want to "look like" - because appearances can be faked, and surfaces can be polished to hide horrible things.  This is about what kind of nation we want to BE on the inside - deep down in our soul.  Do we want to be a nation and society that spends money on bombs, bullets, and bastions?  Or do we want to be a society that spends money on building - building people up and building something better?
World Defense Spending during 2010 (courtesy of thinkprogress.org)

How can we build people up?  By choosing to put our public dollars not into expensive weaponry systems, but into programs that serve the "least among us" - those programs that feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and liberate the captive.  We need to serve those who are physically hungry for nourishment or emotionally hungry for companionship.  We should clothe the naked who are without clothes and the naked who are without dignity or a way to provide for themselves.  We can liberate the captive in a prison built of stone or of ignorance.

WE can do this - as a society, if we choose to.  Some people think that it is forcing charity for a government to participate in programs that seek to alleviate poverty and ignorance.  But I think how we spend our public dollars says a lot about the public - what do we care about?  Do we care about the abused, forgotten, and downtrodden?  Or do we care about feeding the beast known as the defense industrial complex by throwing more and more money into defense spending?  I believe we can come together as a community and as a country to say that we want to help the poor.

Mitt Romney caught a lot of flak for saying that he didn't care about poor people.  But do you?  Do you vote for politicians and policies which build bombs or which build bridges?

One of the few things I learned in my class on Isaiah (true confession: I had a bad attitude about the teacher) was that one of the groups that Isaiah regards with the most contempt is those who do not care for the widows, the fatherless, and the poor.  Here's just one example of Isaiah's description of those who have turned their backs on God:

"Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;  To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!  And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?" (Isaiah 10:1-3)
Or in other words, the extra money that you save by paying lower taxes will perish with you.  We should labor together to build a society that is kinder to those who are inevitably left behind by the steamroller of capitalism instead of using so much money on machines that destroy.  Well, at least that is this woman's opinion.

1 comment:

  1. I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL!