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Thread: A Crisis of Fellowship?

  1. #51
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    I agree, Spartana, about the concern whether the money would go to the issue you'd like to see corrected. Here in AZ we have had a number of ballot referendums which require our legislature to use some monies in a certain way, e.g., some lottery money is to be dedicated for our park budget. The state legislators hate this, complaining that we are "tying their hands", when in fact it is voter backlash against the stupidity and waste of how tax monies were previously used.
    Yes well, they are right about the tying their hands, and voter backlashes don't always make good policy. I'm a Californian so don't ask me how I know about such things The entire state budget here is a collection of mandated locked up spending, so if x% must be spent on schools then x% must be spent on schools even if it means closing all the hospitals. Ok this is not even kind of on topic of this thread anymore.
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  2. #52
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    Wow. I am so sorry I checked back in on this thread.
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  3. #53
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    So they should be sending donations to fund mental health care rather than teddy bears? Again sending a teddy bear or probably making a mental health donation is something they can do and changing the political system is not always something they can do (it depends, sure they can crank out a letter to the congressperson, and how often are those ignored? maybe they've already done that anyway, and then sent a teddy bear).
    Newtown is not the first city with a disaster that received tons of items they could not use appropriately (for instance, the same thing happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina). And the problem is not with teddy bears per se, but that it is a largely-impersonal response that substitutes for purposefully addressing the issues. Already I hear much less about gun control and mental-health care than I did a couple of weeks ago.

    I really find myself at a bit of a crossroads here. I honestly think that American politics has been thoroughly corrupted by money, so I can agree that a lot of public opinion is being ignored in favor of those with much deeper pockets. On the other hand, in my lifetime I have seen Americans who smoke cigarettes turned into pariahs and I've seen gay marriage become an almost-non issue. When people decide they've finally had enough of something, things change. So I can conclude only at this point that either the system is broken beyond redemption at this point or that people are willing to accept the occasional mental break and resulting carnage because changing that isn't important compared to other collective priorities. Those changes will not be easy. But the work is worth it if the change is worth making.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Already I hear much less about gun control and mental-health care than I did a couple of weeks ago.
    This is a really big concern of mine. At last night's Worship team meeting, our minister asked us whether to preach about non-violence this Sunday ("Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday") or has there been too much talk about guns and gun violence recently. The consensus was that while it is true that we've had enough expressions of grief, we are now honor-bound to convert that energy into action. Our minister is preaching against violence this weekend, about what we as a covenanted people should do to work against violence in society.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    I agree, Spartana, about the concern whether the money would go to the issue you'd like to see corrected. Here in AZ we have had a number of ballot referendums which require our legislature to use some monies in a certain way, e.g., some lottery money is to be dedicated for our park budget. The state legislators hate this, complaining that we are "tying their hands", when in fact it is voter backlash against the stupidity and waste of how tax monies were previously used.
    The latest tactic is for the state legislators to simply ignore the voters wishes, and then force it to go to the courts. It's mind-boggling, especially in what is supposed to be a representative democracy.

    .
    This is exactly what happened in Calif too. Several inititives on the ballot to increase several different kinds of taxes, etc.. for specific things like education. They were approved by the voters but the state has decided to put that extra money into a general fund (which can be used for anything) instead of directing it towards the designated programs the voters approved. It will probably go to funding the prison system or our current multi-billion dollar boondoggal project - the high speed rail to nowhere (at least nowhere that anyone wants to go).

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicker View Post
    This is a really big concern of mine. At last night's Worship team meeting, our minister asked us whether to preach about non-violence this Sunday ("Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday") or has there been too much talk about guns and gun violence recently. The consensus was that while it is true that we've had enough expressions of grief, we are now honor-bound to convert that energy into action. Our minister is preaching against violence this weekend, about what we as a covenanted people should do to work against violence in society.
    Thanks, bicker, I think you brought this thread full circle. Converting energy into action is what it's all about.

    I was thinking about this today and the example of Candy Lightner who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. She could have buried her daughter and turned away from the world in her grief, and no one would have blamed her. But she channeled her grief into something that saved others. Very inspiring.

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