The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

At last! Real Christians take on the Dobson brigade

This should have happened a long time ago. The fundamentalist-backed "Culture of Life" has largely been an abstraction. It favors the death penalty and spending taxpayer dollars to keep brain-dead husks that were once individuals hooked to machines while ignoring the rising number of Americans living in poverty and squalor. Now non-reactionary Christian groups are saying "Enough." More power to them.

"It's not a question of the poor not being important or that meeting their needs is not important," said Paul Hetrick, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, Dobson's influential, Colorado-based Christian organization. "But whether or not a baby is killed in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, that is less important than help for the poor? We would respectfully disagree with that."

Jim Wallis, editor of the liberal Christian journal Sojourners and an organizer of today's protest, was not buying it. Such conservative religious leaders "have agreed to support cutting food stamps for poor people if Republicans support them on judicial nominees," he said. "They are trading the lives of poor people for their agenda. They're being, and this is the worst insult, unbiblical."

At issue is a House-passed budget-cutting measure that would save $50 billion over five years by trimming food stamp rolls, imposing new fees on Medicaid recipients, squeezing student lenders, cutting child-support enforcement funds and paring agriculture programs. House negotiators are trying to reach accord with senators who passed a more modest $35 billion bill that largely spares programs for the poor.

Classic right-wing theology. They'll go to jail and commit murder to make sure a child is born, but once it's out there in the world, come poverty, abuse or disease, you're on your own.