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Wed Dec 24, 2014, 11:48 PM

Pulling the Princes From Their Throne

Here's my latest offering to the letters column of our local regional weekly:

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Well, folks, I missed the actual Christmas deadline for this contribution, but I still want to share something found on one of my favorite websites, crooksandliars.com. As you might imagine, they go hard after the underbelly of public life. The first four paragraphs are copied verbatim as allowed, and in italics; the following paragraphs represent my own condensation of what else the writer Mike Lux had to say on the matter.

"He has pulled down the princes from from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away." Mary, quoted in Luke 1:52-53.

"The Washington, DC version of what's left, right, and centrist are very strange indeed. People who want to blow holes in the federal deficit by giving away promiscuous tax cuts, subsidies, and bailouts we can't afford to profitable industries are considered conservative. People who advocate policies opposed by 80% of Americans, such as cutting Social Security benefits, are considered centrists. And people who advocate common-sense policies supported by 70-80% in the polling are considered far to the left.

"And the people who would agree with the ideas of the people revered in the religion adhered to by a majority of Americans are so far to the left that their views are off the radar screen.

"I was thinking about this because it's Christmas time, and so I was thinking about what the mother of that radical preacher, that guy who said his job was to bring good news to the poor and proclaim liberty to the captives, had to say."


Now if you want to read the article in full on the web, here's the link where you can find it: http://crooksandliars.com/2014/12/pulling-princes-their-thrones For those who'd rather settle for my summarization, be aware that I've added just a few of my own opinions which don't always jibe exactly with those of Mr. Lux.

Keep in mind that in biblical days an inn didn't resemble even a Motel 6 of today. Private rooms? Forget it unless you had a lot of camels. Most people slept crowded together in a bunch on the ground with a crude roof if they were lucky. Although I understand why folks are so fond of that 'no room at the inn' story, and it does carry great symbolic meaning, I still maintain that the Holy Family were better off in the stable. At least they had some peace and quiet, a little privacy for the most important birth in history.

Lux points out that Mary, poor and persecuted, was quite the radical. She said the rich would be sent away with nothing, and she raised at least two sons who echoed their mother's radical teachings (from God Almighty), according to what we see written in the Holy Bible. Jesus and James both led major rebellions against the established powers of the day and were executed for their trouble.

In Luke 6 (I find Luke the most radical of the four gospels), Jesus is reported to have said that it is the poor - you know, the ones today's pharisees, the GOP, falsely condemn as lazy and greedy - who would inherit the kingdom of God and the rich who would go hungry. Woe to the nations and people who refused to feed the hungry and care for the sick. (BTW, don't think for a minute that's a job modern churches can or will cover completely; it's too huge and whether conservatives like it or not, it requires well coordinated big government. So sue me for using what many consider a swear word.) Jesus actually praised the virtues of the poor and his brother noted in James 2:6 that it was the rich who plotted against the poor and dragged them into court.


That's a pretty radical stance in any era. We know (as Jesus certainly did) that not all rich folks are bad. Some put their God-given wealth to excellent use for the public good. The problem lies with those who buy elections and corrupt our democracy, "... who slip riders designed to make them wealthier into must-pass legislation in the dead of night, who need to be pulled from their thrones," says Lux. (If anyone slept through the last few weeks, I'll refer them to that bastion of crooks, liars, and thieves, the GOP.) That isn't a far left position in reality; most voters know we're being robbed, they just don't realize it's the Koch-besotted corporate-welfare-loving GOP hand in the public's pocket. A lot more will wake up to that soon, though, when they see the juggernaut headed for the poor and the remants of the late great middle class.

Lux further notes that Elizabeth Warren, far from being the devil's handmaid portrayed on Fox Spews, promotes views that 70-80% of Americans agree with according to ethical and scientific pollsters. Most citizens want to prosecute those bankers who wrecked our economy with their reckless and illegal fraud, break up the biggest banks and strengthen oversight of the others, expand Social Security benefits, raise the minimum wage, reform the student loan system and lower that debt, and improve our infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) and education system. We could actually make a huge dent in those needs if we ever got serious about making giant corporations pay their fair share of the taxes by closing their loopholes. But Warren's a milquetoast moderate compared to Mary, Jesus, and James!

Warren's wide popularity stems from the fact that she promotes common sense solutions and speaks truth to power with an eloquence few possess. So as we reflect on the Christmas story, we should remember simple justice and common sense have usually sounded radical to those in power throughout history. And that they'll often stoop to criminal lows to maintain their power.

Your friend on the Christian Left,


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As usual it took me 4 tries to correct every mistake I made - needing new glassses again! - but I hope everyone in this forum enjoys it anyway. I really like crooks and liars dot com and Mike Lux.

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Reply Pulling the Princes From Their Throne (Original post)
IrishAyes Dec 2014 OP
okasha Dec 2014 #1
IrishAyes Dec 2014 #2
rug Dec 2014 #3
IrishAyes Dec 2014 #4

Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 12:03 AM

1. An Episcopal priest I know

is fond of saying that "Our Lady St. Mary was the first liberation theologian."

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Response to okasha (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 12:10 AM

2. Amen to THAT!

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 01:20 AM

3. That's righteous.

 

Next time someone asks if I think there should be women priests, I'll show him your post. You can preach it.

Merry Christmas, Irish!

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 11:52 AM

4. Thank you, dear Rug, for your kind words. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

I felt compelled to put my own slant on Mike Lux' article because, with all due respect, he IS far more centrist than I condone. But I did want to credit him for what I agreed with!

That letter should appear before the final Advent study. It will be interesting to see who comes loaded for bear. They usually ARE, but they know how to behave worse when inspired. I'll not be elected to public office here anytime soon!

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