Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sin and Money

The last two weeks I've gotten to have some marvelous discussions with a couple of different groups of 8th grade girls. Last night we got to talking about the upcoming election. The group was divided on who they would vote for for president. There was some lively banter back and forth with some excellent points on both sides. I wish more adults could have that kind of discussion. It was also fun because they kept trying to tie back into faith issues including baptism (which we talked about at confirmation last night). Had they talked about this at the lunch table I doubt the faith stuff would have come up as much. It made me think we might need to talk politics as well as other difficult issues more often at church. It was a wonderful healthy discussion that wrestled with how our faith informs our positions.

One of the more striking topics was that same debate that our presidential candidates are hotly engaged in, taxes and distribution of wealth. Talking about it as we did in the context in which we talked really brought to light the flaws on both sides... SIN.

On the one side of the argument you have a more conservative, Republican, point of view that says we shouldn't be penalized for success. If I earn/make the money I should be allowed to decide the best way to use it to help. We are seeing how greed takes over with that theory with the recent news from Wall Street. Just this last week Alan Greenspan essentially said, "Oops! My bad. I thought the goodness of people would regulate the market just fine. Turns out greed won the day."

On the other side of the argument is the liberal, Democratic, point of view that says the rich can't be trusted with the entire burden therefore the government needs to put rules in place so that all get cared for. You push that theory further and you get to something that looks like communism. I still believe the Marxist notion of sharing the wealth at that very base level of everybody being equal is good. The problem is that sin still exists and what we've seen in recent history with communism is the sins of power and greed have overwhelmed leaders and it all breaks down.

Both theories, I suppose could work. The problem is sin. We need to get rid of sin. If it just weren't for that stupid serpent and the fruit of the tree of life. It really kind of messed things up.

No comments: