Friday, February 11, 2011

What Would Jesus Cut--Good Question or Corny Talk?

If we were to take out our talk of money and economics the newspaper would be empty. The pundits on TV would have little to say. The President could probably stay home and have morning coffee with his wife. Politicians would have little to do since there would be so little posturing to be done. Preachers might work longer on sermons not having to worry about the budget and how to keep the coffers, if not full—at least not empty. Wives and husbands might find they could put away their weapons and reach across their divides and find one another again. Divorced Mothers would not have to worry about those payments from ex’s that do not come. Neither would have to spend sleepless hours thinking about braces and hospital insurance and soccer fees and tuition for some college kid. If we could suddenly wave a magic wand and erase the word money college presidents would have time on their hands for education and old retirees would not stumble into the future wondering what happens next.

But no. None of these things will happen. We will have to struggle with money or lack of it for the rest of our lives. It is part of the human condition. Worries about money and the future drove Germany right off the cliff. Jesus was right, “Our lives really do consist of more than the abundance of things...” And yet—we’ve got to eat and make car payments and keep the utilities paid.

The politicians in Washington are sitting around tables trying to figure out what to cut. We owe much too much. We cannot continue this way. We will all have to tighten our belts. Will that include those on Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce? Will these decisions include the defense budget that spends one million dollars a year on one soldier? And will these efforts touch the sacred cows of politicians in almost every state where money pours out into projects, many of which we do not need? Will we slash Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and put this troublesome new Health Care Bill in the tank? Will we be asked to personally do our part in paying off these monstrous debts or just sit around waiting for yet another tax cut? Hmm.

Someone said: Study your checkbook and you will see where your priorities are. That exercise would hurt us all and it would surely embarrass our country. We cannot keep traveling down this rocky road of runaway spending. Our chickens really are coming home to roost and nobody in the hen house will be excused.

This is why I love Jim Wallis’ wise piece in Sojourners when he asks painfully, What Would Jesus Cut? Good Question. Read it for yourself.

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