As you know, the right has been attacking the Frost family for both being too rich to receive and too poor to pay for health insurance and support their children in school. As others have noted, the bizarre logic lost on many is that making what used to be called a decent wage no longer allows a large family to protect a family from the exigencies of life. Here’s middle class Americana are in their own words:
Beyond the recent debate over the third party threats of the religious right, there exist some subtle and long-term changes affecting evangelical Christianity. Here are two examples on poverty/urban sprawl as well as homosexuality.
Justice in the Burbs
And Zack, of Revolution in Jesusland, recently attended an evangelical leadership conference. It appears more and more religious leaders might be waking up to the fact that constructive engagement with homosexuals is a moral value — and a church growth value too.
. . .one thing really stood out, and subtly became the main focus of the evening forum. Apparently, all the anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives and other anti-gay campaigning have really been ravaging the perception of Christianity among the general public, and even among young Christians. He [Dave, of the Barna research group] showed one graph that showed favorability ratings over the past several decades for gays shooting up from low single digits to 33% today. (That might have been just among young people, I can’t remember.)
Meanwhile, right along with that, the favorability rating for “evangelicalsâ€ among the same group plummeted from high numbers to 3%! David didn’t argue for a direct correlation between those two numbers. But he talked about how today most young people know openly gay people, and they are having a hard time reconciling what their church says and their valued relationships.
Pastor Dan has more, as usual. . .
Remember the phrase “compassionate conservative?â€ If you can’t remember, that’s OK, because that oxymoron has died several deaths already, in the sands of Iraq, the floodwaters of Katrina, and the classrooms of schools Left Behind.
And there’s one more death on the way: our compassionate conservative President is threatening to veto S-CHIP, the proven and popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program that has won wide and deep bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate.
In the witty lead of this weekend’s Christian Science Monitor: “President Bush heads into only the fourth veto of his presidency with most of America’s health establishment and nearly two-thirds of the Congress arrayed against him.â€
Mercy. Maybe this compassionate conservative hasn’t heard about the families of four who make less than $41,000 a year and can’t afford health insurance.
Maybe he hasn’t heard that it covers 10 million uninsured children.
Maybe he doesn’t know that these children have no health insurance.
Maybe he doesn’t know that the $35 billion needed for these children is a tiny fraction of the cost of the war.
Maybe he hasn’t read his Bible: “Suffer the little children to come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.â€
Or maybe it is as a small-town Minnesota newspaper said: “After a six-year free-wheeling spending spree on the military, homeland security and bridges to nowhere, President Bush says he’s finally putting his foot down– squarely on the backs of the nation’s kids.â€
The Rev. Anne Howard is the executive director of The Beatitudes Society.
The majority of the faith community has been both active and unified on the need to reauthorized S-CHIP funding for poor children. But apparently this Word — whatever you do unto the least of these, you do to me — is not the same Word that enters Bush’s ears, especially when Big Tobacco is threatened by a 45 to 61 penny tax.
The Carpetbagger Report distills the central issue of how politics trump principles and good policy again.
At yesterday’s White House press conference, the president kept things unusually brief, answering questions for 30 minutes, during which he avoided practically anything of substance. It prompted Dana Milbank to speculate as to why Bush even gathered reporters in the first place.The answer is pretty simple: Bush called a press conference in order to read a lengthy opening statement about S-CHIP. The White House seems to think the president is going to get slammed on this issue, and this was something of a preemptive strike.
The situation is breathtaking. Bush opposes a bipartisan bill on children’s healthcare because it offers too much help to kids who lack insurance. Republican lawmakers want the bill, Republican governors want the bill, American families want the bill, medical professionals want the bill, and congressional Dems are desperate to pass the bill. Bush has not only vowed to veto, he’s arguing that Congress is “putting health coverage for poor children at risk.”
Even GOP partisans are calling the president on his lies. First, there was Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Hatch, who helped negotiate the compromise, said it is flatly untrue that the bill would cover children in households with incomes of as much as $83,000. A recent Urban Institute analysis found that 70 percent of the children who would gain or retain coverage under the Senate bill, which resembles the compromise, are in households with incomes below twice the poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.
“We’re talking about kids who basically don’t have coverage,â€ Hatch said. “I think the president’s had some pretty bad advice on this.â€
It looks like Bush isn’t the only one standing firm to put Big Tobacco ahead of children. Wide-stance Sen. Craig is his domestic (issue) partner on this.
Looking for good news? Proof that caring about the world pays off in actual lives bettered. . .
The United Nations Children’s Fund reports that: “For the first time since record keeping began in 1960, the number of deaths of young children around the world has fallen below 10 million a year.” In 1960, 20 million young children died, now that number is 9.7 million, which shows that there is still plenty of work to do.
What’s making the difference? Education on how to avoid diseases such as malaria and measles, and stronger economies, especially in China and India. Africa still lags the rest of the world, especially in the south and war-torn countries like Sierra Leone and Congo.