Faith & Democracy

faith-democracy

The 2010 legislative session in Springfield has ended - with mixed results. We achieved some important legislative victories, but our celebration is muted by the irresponsible 2011 budget that calls for additional cuts, more borrowing, and further delays in bill payments.

Jesus is hardly the hero in the story from Luke’s (and Matthew’s) Gospel about the centurion in Capernaum who sends Jewish representatives to Jesus to seek healing for a favored slave. And Jesus admits as much.

It gives me the shivers to think that I might be in league with members of the Tea Party. But increasingly, under my breath, I find myself growling: “Throw the bums out.”

I remember the day, many years ago, when I stumbled across a passage in Leviticus. I was rooting around in chapter 19, looking for the verse that said, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” the Part B section of The Great Commandment that Christians embrace as taught by Jesus (Mk 10:29-31; Mt 22:37-39; Lk 10:27).

I count myself doubly privileged today—privileged, first, to speak about Bob Wilcox, and privileged, second, to stand in for Donald Benedict, the person who would have done this better had he not returned, before Bob, to the boundless love of God. Don Benedict and Bob Wilcox had a special bond, forged in part when Don was Executive Director and Bob board member and board president at the Community Renewal Society.

Springfield is a place of considerable discussion, debate, and, yes, disagreement. Finding common ground is often difficult, and coming to an agreement is almost always a matter of considerable compromise. Yet, this past week there was clear agreement on one point: fifteen thousand people came to Springfield on April 21st.

How do we--individually and as PCG--persuade a fractured society that only where "Mercy, Love and Pity dwell There God is dwelling too?"

It’s about equality in representation: Prison districts should take their finger off the scale and return parity to our districts and fairness to our Government.

Taxes are a sacrament.

I have problems of my own. You have problems of your own. In the final analysis, the only things you and I have in common are (1) we each have problems and (2) we each have to find their solutions on our own.

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