Sunday, July 02, 2006:
In a nutshell, the way the US government has handled New Orleans after hurricane Katrina has been exactly backwards.
Hurricane Katrina offered the opportunity for the collective effort of the whole nation through its government to reach out to remake the lives of the people who had been living in poverty and neglect in New Orleans. However, rather than doing everything possible to empower those people, the nation through its government has used Katrina as an excuse to further enrich the rich and further degrade the poor. It is sin.
There is no other way to view it.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006:
According to Dr. Ivor Van Heerden of Louisiana State University's deputy director for the Center for the Study of Hurricanes, the privatized outfit, Innovative Emergency Management (IEM), contracted by the federal government for five hundred thousand dollars to come up with an emergency plan for New Orleans in the event of a hurricane, the federal plan lack any provisions for dealing with the poor before, during, and after a major hurricane and breaching of the levies. On the other hand, the University had a complete plan and informed the federal government, including the White House, of the likelihood of a breach and flooding, etc., which the government and White House ignored. In fact, Van Heerden says that he was threatened with banning if he revealed this information.
The racism and neglect of the poor is appalling. It is appalling that the common citizens are not concerned the way they were during the heyday civil rights movement. It appears that selfishness is much more deeply embedded in the people now than it was then, and there was plenty of selfishness then. It appears that the people bought into all the lies about the welfare state, claims that the poor are just lazy. They are not. They are oppressed, and often depressed, is what they are. It is amazing that so many are so determined in the face of a lifetime of oppression. It isn't just false pride at work all them either. Many are moved by the Holy Spirit of justice calling out the truth that rightly tests the nation's heart.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Now we learn that the decision has been made to tear down four thousand five hundred perfectly good low-income apartment units in New Orleans. The poor in New Orleans have been begging the powers that be to stop the plan. They have been ignored intentionally.
The lack of action by George W. Bush concerning the dispossessed of New Orleans is on a par with his father's lack of action at the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989-90.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
It turns out that Michael D. Brown was made head of FEMA before Katrina so that the outgoing head, Joe Allbaugh, could privately profit by his relationship with Brown.
It is all about cronyism for campaign donations. People who can bring in money get high position jobs. Good character and capabilities have nothing to do with it. This is why everything in the Bush-43 administration has been handled so poorly. The people at the top don't care about hiring capable people of high character. They only care about lining their pockets.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)