posted by guest blogger, BroKen.
A colleague of mine asked an excellent question last week. “What are the spiritual issues raised in the current campaign for the presidency?” I told him I'd have to think about that. I have and here is my answer.
First and foremost is abortion. That is THE moral issue facing our generation. Any candidate unwilling to defend the weakest and most vulnerable of humanity does not deserve support or even a vote.
Does that make me a “one-issue” voter? I don't think so. There are many important issues. But life is so important, a pro-choice candidate is disqualified whatever other good qualities they may have. Similarly, a candidate who is a racist would never get my vote. But I am not a one-issue voter on race, either.
Another spiritual issue raised by the campaigns is class envy. There are wealthy Americans and there are relatively poor Americans. No doubt some wealthy Americans are greedy and selfish. But certainly there are selfish and greedy poor people, too. Encouraging the relatively poor to view the rich with suspicion, bitterness, and envy is a recipe for disaster. We are Americans whether rich or poor and we're all going to be needed to solve the problems we face.
My friend said that the care for the poor was a major issue for him. It isn't for me. Don't misunderstand. The care of the poor is a major spiritual issue. But government care of the poor is both inefficient and ineffective. It is ineffective because poverty is often less an economic problem than a spiritual problem. Since our government refuses to use spiritual resources, it usually just throws money around. That money generally ends up wasted and often makes the problem worse.
Government care for the poor also lets people with resources, when confronted with a person in need, say stupid things like, “I pay my taxes. Let the government help them.” instead of getting involved
Another big issue is the national debt. Yes, that is a spiritual issue. It has been said that since we are borrowing from ourselves, it doesn't really matter. We'll just pay ourselves back. But that is misleading. The ones who will have to pay for our borrowing are our children or grandchildren. Eventually, the bill will come due. It will be paid by restrictions on what government can do because of a lack of funds, or through higher taxes to service the debt, or, God forbid, through an economic collapse as the dollar becomes untrustworthy.
Spending money that we don't have burdens our progeny with the obligation to pay it back. If we are unwilling to choose to restrict our spending, then we compel our children to restrict theirs without any choice. Using freedom (ours) to limit the freedom of others (our children) is quintessentially immoral.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had not thought about the election in these terms before my friend suggested I think spiritually. Here's hoping you will think spiritually too.