Hey Republicans: So you want me to die for the Economy?

The last time I reblogged this blogger, he won my blog post of the year award. Of course, that is not a real award, but it is a good name for it. Anyway, I think this post hits pretty stinking close to the bulls eye again. If I can get THIS conversation circulating, I want to do so. As a conservative, myself, I am finding conservative politics to be a very cold, ugly, insulting, and deadly game. And I used to think that was liberals. Hmmm… Yes. Let’s talk!

Peter's Outer Cape Portico

Recently, our Dear Leader admonished us that “we cannot let the cure [for the Covid-19 pandemic] become worse than the disease,” meaning that we can’t allow trivial concerns about human life jam the wheels of American commerce. Texas Republican lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, has suggested that he and other grandparents should be willing to risk their health and even lives in order for the United States to “get back to work” amid the pandemic. Indiana congressman, Trey Hollingsworth, told a radio-show host that it’s Congress’s job to sit Americans down and explain to them that dying in a pandemic isn’t as bad as the havoc said pandemic is wreaking on the economy. “We are going to have to look Americans in the eye and say, ‘We are making the best decisions for the most Americans possible…And the answer to that is unequivocally to get Americans back to work, to get…

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16 comments

  1. Child Of God · April 17, 2020

    poverty kills even more

    Like

    • Agent X · April 17, 2020

      Are you really gonna rest on that line?

      Like

      • Child Of God · April 17, 2020

        Sad but true

        Like

      • Agent X · April 17, 2020

        I will not deny that it is sad. I will not deny it’s true either. But neither will I act that that statement accounts for anything. Sounds like a death panel kinda thing. We used to oppose that. Too cheap. We can do better than simply saying poverty kills more.

        Like

      • Child Of God · April 17, 2020

        I can’t take all this sadness and I have known poverty and saw it and is very sad

        Like

      • Agent X · April 17, 2020

        Yeah… It sure looks to me like WE are about to reap it.

        Maybe not. But I don’t see that “bounce back” we were all dreaming of just a couple weeks ago. I think we are gonna pay deeply for not taking this virus serious back in January. And for a LOT of other stuff too.

        Like

  2. insanitybytes22 · April 17, 2020

    So, economies are people. An “economy” is about whether or not a woman will get an abortion or have the resources to escape domestic violence. An economy is what determines whether or not a teen goes to drug treatment or to the streets to pay for their habit in the usual way. We already know this quarantine has cost lives. Suicides and drug overdoses have increased again.

    Also, we’ve learned that not all lives matter in quite the same way! Low wage fast food workers and grocery clerks are labeled “essential,” therefore we all get to risk our lives so fancy people can feel safe in their big homes hiding away and watching Netflix. Meanwhile many of us can’t pay our mortgages or rent and our businesses are going bankrupt because of the economy. Some people have no access to elective medical care, like cancer screenings and mental health services. Some can’t buy food for their kids. The elderly are not getting caregivers and the homecare they need.

    We are hurting the poor and the working class the most. And of course if you try to say anything like, “economies are people,” like this quarantine has taken lives too, killed people, the response is just that you’re one of those selfish people who wants to kill grandma just to fund your stock portfolio.

    Like

    • Agent X · April 17, 2020

      Sounds like we need to change economies. I suggest communism… like in the Bible.

      Like

  3. Steven · April 18, 2020

    Man, I thought I was being fairly clever when the other day I thought up, “the economy was made for man, not man for the economy”. But I see others are thinking along similar lines (which I think is good!). Does the fact that I initially typed that statement backwards indicate a Freudian slip…an indication of how badly indoctrinated I am into our misguided system? I tell you what, over the past few weeks I’ve felt more and more like someone who wants to root for two different teams playing against each other.

    On the one hand, I hate to see people’s livelihoods vanish, families nosedive into poverty, and a rise in all the concomitant evils we see with poverty. Easy for me to say from my comfortable home in a comfortable neighborhood, as my paycheck isn’t directly tied to the private sector. But if the economy gets bad enough, even those of us who enjoy a fair amount of income security will feel the squeeze. Nonetheless, I must admit that my opinions come from a certain “safe” distance at this moment.

    On the other hand, our economy is lethal and its existence is predicated on the brutal fact of maintaining an impoverished underclass (Marx). When I thought about our [previously] strong economy I’d think about the impoverished neighborhoods I predominantly serve in my job and wonder how they’re supposed to fit into that picture. And the bitter realization sets in that their existence as a perpetually impoverished, oppressed underclass is built into the fabric of our socioeconomic system. Reforms of the system merely seek to make the chains of their oppression lighter and easier to bear, but reforming our system doesn’t seek to do away with the fact of underclasses altogether. And I’m just talking domestically—this isn’t even to speak of all the people around the world who live and work in horrid conditions because Western corporations subcontract menial labor to mafia-like contractors for the sake of cheaper products and increased profits.

    One of my favorite quotes comes from Dorothy Day: “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.” With our economy seriously weakened right now, I have this wild, crazy dream that we might just find a way to scrap our idolatrous system and replace it with something that actually seeks to serve everybody, that doesn’t create an underclass as a necessary component of its function. That is the stuff of prayers, and I’ve been praying that God would do something, anything, to wipe away our current economic system and help us start over to build something better. Whether that prayer is answered affirmatively or not is yet to be seen, but it’s a prayer I nonetheless maintain, sort of in the vein of the Psalms of lament for delivery from one’s enemies. My wife thought I was being nuts until I explained the ‘why’ in more detail and related what I was doing to what so many of the Psalms do.

    And finally, I am appalled at language that says we need to be willing to sacrifice our lives for the “American way of life” (ie, recovering a strong economy as it was previously). Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly appreciate their naked honesty. I even understand what they’re saying; I’m a disaffected former conservative and Republican. I get it. But I am nonetheless appalled by the idea that we’re being called to give up our lives (potentially) for the American way of life, when we consider just what that way of life is. When we consider that we’re talking about sheer consumerism for its own sake, and the resumption of the globalized capitalist markets which result in so much human suffering and ecological devastation around the world. That’s what the “American way of life” has become, unfortunately. And these days I’m looking for ways to opt out of it in as many ways as I can (though I have a LONG ways to go). There are people and ideas I’m willing to sacrifice my life in service of, but the “American way of life” as it currently stands is certainly not among them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · April 18, 2020

      Be careful what you ask for…

      Eco Nomy…

      Eco = HOME/habitat

      Nomy = law/rule(s)

      House rules. That is what economy means.

      I think often that idols are “created things” which are wrongly accorded human worthship. Yes, I said worthship. I have read up on this in the past, and the English word worship comes from a much older form of worthship. Not all worthship is wrong worthship. It’s a matter of according value. THINGS are supposed to have value, but they are supposed to have proper value.

      People are more valuable than their things. God is more valuable than people.

      I have posted about this stuff in the past.

      If I work at the grocery store, and I take a price gun and run around putting price tags on loaves of bread, I am according value to those loaves. That is a form of worthship. In some sense, it is a proper way to worthship the bread.

      Making love with one’s spouse is a celebration of one another. This too is a form of worthship. This celebration, if accorded properly, is reserved for one’s spouse and not for the neighbor lady. AND this is the expression of the image God according to Genesis 1! A lot of mystery in this, but a good mystery!

      And then there is ultimate value expressed ultimately to God. According this to THINGS, created things, is idolatry.

      To my knowledge, all idolatry accords inappropriate worthship to created things except money.

      Money is the one idol we create. In six days of making the world, God did not create money. Not one dime.

      And money is a tricky and deceitful idol. Money is a shapeshifter! Money is nothing AND everything. Money is what you imagine money to be! But money has absolutely NO LOYALTY to you or anyone. In fact, Money will betray you unless you give your total devotion to it. And even then, it will betray you as soon as money wants to.

      In fact, Money will betray whole nations!

      And this is a creature of OUR making.

      I have spent most of the year before last researching biblical hospitality. HOSPITALITY! A handful of Catholics have taken the lead in the modern era of teaching hospitality to us – should we listen. Not just Catholics, but notably for sure.

      And I think HOSPITALITY should be the rule of the house. It is God’s rule for the world.

      He made us naked, vulnerable, completely dependent on one another and on HIM. Hospitality is a fearful thing demanding TRUST/FAITH. Hospitality is full of serendipities, special gifts from God! But those gifts rely on facing risk with LOVE and SHARING our THINGS with others! According proper value to God and others.

      Marx didn’t write that chapter, to my knowledge, and if he did, it was lost on so many who embrace him.

      BUT

      We must not reject God in our rush to reject Marx.

      Thanx so much for your input here – and elsewhere.

      I hope we can find God in the midst of the bewilderment of our world now AND point the world to him. Write WORTHSHIP is the answer to all the worlds problems. And we need to use our hearts AND our MINDS to explore that and to share it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Randy Epps · April 18, 2020

    I understand the point of what you are saying, and I realize how wealth and greed can corrupt an economic system, but the human heart carries its impurities no matter what system of economics we live under.
    “Communism, like in the Bible” doesn’t remove the wealthy, the greedy, or the poor.
    Those that had shared with those that did not have.
    Free enterprise allows those that desire to work an opportunity to work.
    “He who does not work does not eat.”
    If we give up a system that really does give opportunity to so many to provide for their families, we place our trust in a government of leaders who, for the most part, have unregenerate hearts and deep desires to have and increase their own power.

    I live in an area that has been only very slightly affected by this virus that we still know relatively little about.
    But we do know that most people who get it, recover, and maybe become immune.
    Sort of like the flu.
    My problem is that, when we put our trust in a government to keep us safe at all costs, we forget the Source that has allowed us to enter this time of testing.

    And fear is never a good motivation to make decisions.

    If I have to depend upon the government to send me a check (from a fund that I paid into) just so I can stay at home and not “go into all the world” because I might get sick and maybe spread it and even maybe die, and the money comes late enough that it is not enough to provide for my families basic needs, who will provide my basic needs, if we are in lockdown?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · April 18, 2020

      Thanx for this thoughtful comment! Thanx for separating out notions that don’t necessarily go together – at least not IN a certain fixed way which might be overlooked too easily by the post here and the comments.

      You certainly are right that the communism isn’t necessarily going to fix the heart. And for that matter, the systems of communism tried around the world have not ushered in the Kingdom of God – possibly have slowed it instead.

      However, let us come at this from the OTHER way. What if our heart was right? Then what do we do with our STUFF? Share??? Ah… so they do go together, but not from the other direction. Let us think through that more carefully.

      Also, the single verse from Thessalonians has a specific context to that place, time, and letter. It might well be fair to use it in the way you have here, but that is not demonstrated. And besides, it cannot be allowed to hijack OTHER passages. We must find a context for these things and then fit them into a larger picture where they are not negating each other. So for instance, if Jesus says to Give To All who ask or to forgive the debt or if marry says the poor will be filled with good things but the rich will be sent away empty, we must find a larger picture where these things don’t negate one another. Lets work on that.

      And finally (as I am just shooting off the cuff, and may come back to this later) THE GOVERNMENT… Hmmm… Some of us are more worried about how big business pushes us around, dictates our lives and so forth than merely a GOVERNMENT. Our government, supposedly, is of the people, for the people and by the people. Don’t trust yourself? Don’t trust the people??? Then why have THIS government?

      Now… YOU DID NOT SAY THIS, so I want to take care NOT to stick it on you, but I notice that when it comes to Romans 13, so often my government hating/or at least NOT Trusting friends, find it plenty well endorsed by God to bear the Sword! And here we are talking about an economy that kills, not the sword. But the Government all the same. I want to temper our mistrust of government. We, in my opinion, seem to be too fast to love it and/or hate it based on selfish whims and interpretations. Run to Rom 13 when it suits us, and bag on it when it doesn’t.

      I fear I sound like I think I have all the answers. I don’t. But I have experience with the general RHETORIC of the culture, and that rhetoric has raised many questions for me that few, if any, seem to be asking or answering.

      I am sure that if I welcome a stranger into my home and share a meal, then I am joining the saga of the Bible starting in Gen. 18, running right through Luke 24 and doing business with the Spirit of God and receiving blessings from Him with several OTHER passages in mind too all along the way.

      Again, THANX for your comment. I think you raise important things to talk about.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Agent X · April 18, 2020

    I normally only hedge up next to politics on this blog, and I don’t make politics (even from the glancing blow with religion) a regular feature here. However, politics are on my mind a lot, and I, like almost everyone else, have ideas and opinions – most of which I don’t share (certainly not here). But, of course, I am having a lot more intense thoughts and ideas in recent weeks (like others I am sure).

    Rev. Olsens post struck me as a very good point to have discussion. Yet it still strays from the general topic of this blog (I think). Nevertheless, I have reeled it in to the shore where I fish with my comments to a large degree. But the post is not mine, nor is it straight with all my thoughts. In fact, Olsen has put it in a light for me I find very helpful, self-sacrificial, and thought provoking. We might quibble about just how Christ-like it is, but I am inclined to think it is. Very even handed.

    Olsen, it appears to me, has strong sensitivities with Republicans – at least up until now (and probably still does). And now that political party in particular seems to be asking the ultimate sacrifice from him. And more. And he comes at it with careful consideration, not kneejerk reaction either for or against. But as one who considers these things carefully, AND who SEEMS to be an insider with the party, he has some tough questions for those who so easily want to open up fast the economy at the risk of many lives – his own and that of his family in particular.

    I find that to be very sensitive and careful.

    I have been on conversation recently, and I am not proud of this, but I became heated in it myself, with those who want to rush to reopen so we can get the economy flowing again quickly. I certainly am no fan of Donald Trump (Olsen took care to avoid using his name). I did not vote for him, and I was disappointed to see him take office. However, I did not like the opponent he faced at the end either. AND THIS is something that needs to be acknowledged in this conversation because in the recent dialog of the deaf in which I engaged, it was tossed back at me that I must be for Hillary, for Nancy, for _______ fill in the blank. But that is not true. That might be YOUR politics, but its not mine.

    Way back in 2016, I looked at the field of candidates and didn’t overly LIKE any of them, and dreaded several. I kinda LIKE Bernie, alright, but I don’t believe his program has a snowballs chance in hell of flying in this country, and so why bother??? So I don’t. I already know that sooooooooooo many of my friends and family and fellow Americans are so deeply opposed to Bernie and his program that for them, his presidency would be a total loss. He would not in any way represent THEM. And this is a representative government – or so I was led to believe.

    I feel similarly to Hillary. I don’t think she is nearly as bad as some of you do, but I recognize that her presidency would cause such deep division that she is not worth it.

    I saw this happen with Obama. He was a very even handed, gracious leader who was defied every step of the way by the rest of the government. He was a great man and a great leader, but just the mere fact it was HIM sent sooooooo many fellow Americans through the roof, that he wasn’t worth it.

    I lived in Arizona when I was young. I signed up to be a Republican and voted very conservatively when I was there. I never changed parties. I voted for Dole! But we survived his loss. We survived it just fine. You would not have guessed that listing to Rush Limbaugh, but we did. We, in fact did really well.

    But I became very familiar with John McCain in those days. I was already aware he was a war hero, and he had my admiration and respect AND THAT OF A GRATEFUL NATION too, in those days. It wasn’t until Trump that he ever suffered disrespect, and that was entirely uncalled for – especially from a coward with bone spurs! Wow!

    What happened to Republicans that we, the party that at least used to give lip service to Jesus and stood against abortion and dishonesty, started endorsing a bone-spur draft dodger who can’t even get his lip service right to quote from the Bible, who is paying off hookers and strippers, and hanging out with rapists and child molesters??? Didn’t we take great offense at Clinton for far less???

    Who have we become???

    We are ugly! And now we don’t care who dies as long as America can make a buck?

    OMG!

    I used to be part of THIS party, but this party changed while I was signed up. This is not who I am!

    If the economy was sooooooo important, and if Trump was so smart, then why did we not prepare for this virus back when Bill Gates AND OTHERS warned us about it 5 years ago? Why did we not learn the lessons of Ebola? An infection waaaaaaay more deadly than this one, but under the president we hated so bad, it got stopped in its tracks??? Why didn’t we start preparing in January? Was it because Pox News wanted to call this a liberal hoax? Go roll tape! Was it because our fearless -spur leader was in denial???

    Look. ANYBODY could have done a better job that this! Now is not the time to start killing people so you can save face. It’s time to change leaders! I nominate my dog. He is stupid as all get out, but he is an improvement to this.

    I don’t like Pelosi. And just because I criticize Trump doesn’t mean I want her. Doesn’t mean I endorse her. But it seems my fellow Republicans ONLY THINK THAT if I say the slightest thing against this “leader.” Really?

    He watched the stock market CRASH for 3 days in a row before he sounded the alarm! According to Ezekiel, that puts blood on HIS hands. And so far today, that is 37 thousand LIVES and counting! And if the stock market was so important, I am sure that earlier address of this mess by a competent and caring leader who did NOT go gutting the CDC and the WHO to save face would have been far more friendly to the stock market than this!

    Olsen says Hey Republicans…

    I am one. I am listening.

    But I am actually not much of a Republican. I concern myself FAR more with being a disciple of Christ instead. They may not be mutually exclusive, but you gotta an uphill battle making that case these days! And NO, that does not thereby mean that Dems are! Not at all.

    One of the other things that I took away from that punching bag session I got into the other day was that this arguer wondered where I get my news…

    Yeah… these days it’s called “lame stream media” which is a nice disrespectful dig, full of contempt. But I happen to know that this person gets their new from Pox News. Yeah. I said POX. Not a trusted, fair and balanced source by any stretch. But rather a mirror for a powerful narcissist to primp in front of, and that is about all. That liberal hoax Pox dismissed has Americans dropping like flies! Any news source that can blow it that bad and any leader that blows it that bad needs to be replaced.

    Well, we are at the edge of the abyss now. And we may well find out just how much can and will be replaced alright. There will be more deaths devoted to Mammon, and so many are chomping at the bit serve him again. Nevermind that we live in the wealthiest nation on earth. There is PLENTY here to feed, clothe, and shelter everyone, probably world wide. But it would have to be redistributed in order to be so shared. And THAT is just beyond the imagination of us, it seems.

    I want to THANK Rev. Olsen for opening up this discussion. As a Republican, I am listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steven · April 18, 2020

      You hit on a major problem we face that paralyzes us into stupidity: in the minds of many you have to choose one or the other. Being against Trump and a former Republican does not thereby make me a Democrat, or a Biden supporter, or whatever else. Choosing not to vote seems to be the great blasphemy of partisan politics, worse only to voting third party. Ours is a battle against the principalities and powers of darkness, but on the superficial level of electoral politics I think it would be an improvement to break apart this hegemony of the two party system, along with the notion that not voting equals non-participation in changing the political and cultural landscape of our nation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agent X · April 19, 2020

        I did not agree with John McCain sometimes, but I really appreciated how he was a country-first guy. (I know we have a slogan of “America first” now, but apparently it means something different. ) McCain would be pragmatic … like a good soldier, he would adapt and improvise (I think that slogan comes from Marines who are sensitive about being Marines)… Anyway, he was not so idealistic most of the time that he couldn’t work with the other side. I thought that was HUGE.

        He was not the only one like that.

        I never knew Kasich until the 2016 election. But since learning about him, I find him very interesting… respectful of others and pragmatic enough to work with people of different persuasions. Why did the electorate rush right past him (and others) on our way to the most polarizing figures and then FORCE a choice between THEM?

        THAT is on US – the big US…. the supporters of this fight. We seem to want to fight each other more than be a nation together. And it has politicians and those supporting them doing all manner of contortions with their ideals.

        Remember when Clinton’s “character” was a problem because he was a “womanizer”? Oh man… and we finally caught him with his pants down.

        Not the first president to do that. But the first caught almost in the act.

        I don’t want to defend that. It was wrong. It was disgusting. The girl was “of age” but she was awfully young – like a daughter. Impressionable. All that.

        But even King David’s record was worse.

        But Christian types (and by the way… Ken Star is one of my tribe. I don’t know him personally, but I know some of his family) went on a moral crusade to crucify Clinton over this.

        Where is all that “character” concern now?

        Look. I never wanted to defend this about Clinton, but we were sure he needed to be impeached and run out of town over this at the time. Now, we defend worse, overlook worse, and why?

        Because this one is OUR guy.

        Hmmmm… So the ideals never really mattered then…. WOW!

        So what is it that matters?

        You said it.

        Power.

        And we say and do and back up some of the stupidest stuff in all manner of contortions for just a little bit of POWER and Principalities.

        Wait.

        I thought we were at war with that!

        Yeah. We were supposed to be at war with that.

        Hmmm…

        Yeah… and this in a nation that separated church and state back at the start. Why was I ever overly invested in that… as a Christian? Sounds like an enterprise that disinvited God from his own world.

        Ouch!

        Here is an analogy for ya.

        Imagine a group, small group, of campers hiking in the mountains and trekking for days. Then an unexpected storm kicks up and forces the campers to retreat… to find their way home early and urgently. Two members emerge as potential leaders and make a case for different directions. One thinks we should take the high trail out, and there is a cabin up there that MIGHT have some supplies and surely would offer shelter and we can be there by morning But they might face bears on the trial that way. The other wants to take the low road, it will be easier. no bears at all, but the land marks are not as sure, and it could take them four or five days to get out – assuming the are on the right trail.

        Which leader will we follow?

        It takes courage to decide.

        But if we split up OR if we tear into each other rather than choose and risk, then we face almost sure disaster.

        What are we going to do?

        Hmmm…

        United we stand, divided we fall.

        And notice in none of the analogy did I mention prayer or Jesus.

        That is like us.

        Sad but true.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. ragnarsbhut · May 31, 2020

    The economy has historically been in the crapper when democrats are in charge.

    Like

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