June 3, 2008
June 5, 2008

June 4, 2008

FAITH/POLITICS: CAN WE GET A MULLIGAN?

The Washington bureau chief of the Boston Globe has done this insightful analysis of how religion and politics have mixed so badly in this presidential campaign. He makes the valid point that the clergy members who have leaped into the fray have come out looking much worse than the politicians. So this campaign may have made an ongoing and reasonable discussion of faith and politics more difficult, but it hasn't made it less necessary.

* * *

FAITH IN BURGERVILLE

I love reading or hearing about people in business who put their religious faith into action in ways that benefit people without demanding anything in return.

Mears-full

One such person is Tom Mears (pictured here), CEO of a small fast-food restaurant chain, Burgerville, in the Pacific Northwest. The magazine Presbyterians Today recently did a feature story on Mears. And although that issue's cover story about modern-day slavery is available online, the story about Mears is not. Still, let me tell you a little of what Anitra Kitts wrote about this Presbyterian elder.

Mears asked the managers of Burgerville's 39 outlets what good it does to offer health insurance to employees if they can't afford the premiums. The managers, however, noted that if they offered a solid health care plan at steeply discounted rates to employees, it might well eat up all of the company's projected profits for the first year it was offered.

Mears' answer: Let's try it anyway.

So employees on the job for six months or longer who work at least 20 hours a week can get health care coverage for just $15 a month. The result, once implemented, was that the reduction in employee turnover costs more than made up for the extra costs to Burgerville for the health plan.

Here's what Mears' associate pastor, Bruce Anderson of Columbia Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, Wash., is quoted as saying about Mears: "Here is a man who follows Christ in his life and takes that into his work life, and is a very successful businessman."

As you can see if you go to the Burgerville link I've given you, the company also is committed to using local produce, cage-free eggs and organically raised cattle. And it engages in plenty of "green" activities and practices.

No one, of course, is forced to eat at any Burgerville restaurant. And no one who eats there gets preached to by Mears of his employees. But Mears is an example of someone whose faith informs his values and whose values get implemented in ways that make life better for those around him. And if faith can't do at least that much, what good is it?

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.

Comments

Just Thinking

One of the worst ways that politics and religion mixed in the last couple of elections is to elect the most disastrous President we've ever had, bar none. The Bushman was always given a pass because he was "Christian," even though he was a consistent liar and deceiver, especially when it came to the Big Iraq Attack.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22794451/?GT1=10755

And under Bushie's presidency, we've moved to a point where it is no longer possible for someone to run for President without passing the test of their 'faith' or 'religion.' You're just not going to make it in that political arena any more unless you will answer such questions 'correctly.'

The Bushman dragged us into a war on false intelligence, mostly cooked up or spun by his Administration, as Scott McClellan recently confirmed. Bush now offers the new lie that he had all the same intelligence as everyone else. They were were fooled too, says the liar--so how could he be to blame? That is just his latest lie in his long line of deliberate deceptions. He COOKED the intelligence, and there's ample proof.
But "Christians" refuse to believe their President was a liar and traitor to this country.

Just Thinking

Now Bush claims that his Administration had all the same information about WMD's as everyon else, but that's not true. Bush had information from the highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe that the stories of WMDs were false, but Bush simply chose to ignore the intelligence.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/23/cia.iraq/index.html

Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. DELIBERATELY ignored unfavorable intelligence: Georgie started off saying that OUR intelligence community was concerned about WMDs, but later cited "unnamed British sources" when our CIA would not endorse his statements claiming that Iraq was trying to acquire fissionable material. In fact, the CIA told Bushies that they believed the intelligence to be FALSE, not just that they did not believe it to be true!

Other retired CIA officials confirmed this point-of-view as well. For example, Paul R. Pillar published a damning article in the prestigious journal "Foreign Affairs" in which he explained that he, Pillar, was in charge of Near East intelligence, and Bushies never once requested information from Pillar:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/10/iraq.intelligence/index.html
Pillar saw this as ample confirmation that Bushies "used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made." Pillar wrote, "It went to war without requesting--and evidently being influenced by--any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

Remember how the Bushmen such as Rumsfeld claimed to 'know' about large stockpiles, including locations? Rumsfeld later denied ever saying such a thing. But it's all part of the record. Rumsfeld also repeatedly try to connect Hussein with al-Qaida. In Sept 2002, Rumsfeld publicly asserted that Bushies had "bulletproof" evidence linking Saddam and al-Qaida. But in Oct 2004, Rumsfeld changed his mind: "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."

McClellan correctly tagged it all as a propoganda campaign for war. Intelligence was used to deceive, not inform.

Dolores Lear

What does GOD/God Faith and Politics/Government, mean for All God's Children? Fallen Humans cannot be True to Both Equally.

Humans will either Love and Follow: 1. their Religious God, the One GOD Creator of the Elements, or the Multiple/Trinity Creator Peace God, our High Ancestors that Colonized Equal Life on Earth, or 2. Fallen Man-Made Governments. Humans cannot have two Masters, GOD/God, and Man-Made Governments.

In Genesis, All Humans were Created Equally in a High Tech Womb, Male and Female Clones. They were to be the Caretakers of All Life Created/Colonized on Earth. Their'Faith' was in High Tech Science Eternal Physical Life After Birth.

I am not trying to rewrite Genesis, this Truth Knowledge is there, with a High Tech Translation.

When the Equal Male and Female Birth Clones, began Human Brother/Sister Heterosexual Body Birth, Unequal Mis-bred Genetic and Physical Humans were born. Then Human Dividing began, into Families, Races, Governments and Religions, Hate and Killing; this process continues today.

In America, there are few Humans, that realize they put Government above Religion/GOD/God/Faith. All Killing is Against the Rules of the Creator GOD/LIFE of the Elements, and, our High Tech Ancestors, the Peace Creator God of Life on Earth.

Eternal Physical LIFE is for the Living Humans, not for the Dead Humans whose Elements return to GOD/LIFE. Our Ancestors and Jesus do not die, they Live Eternally in Physical Bodies.

So the religious teachings of Dying, and Going to Heaven to be with the Father and Jesus, are proved wrong with High Tech Science Knowledge.

President Bush also put Government Above the Peace GOD/God.

Mary Behr

Thanks for the linc to the thoughtful Boston Globe article on Faith/Politics. I had been thinking that the responses of the various Pastors were simply an embarrassment to those who took their faith seriously. Values that proceed from religion certainly have a place in political discourse. Trouble is that too many of us are emotional adolescents. It may be that some of the ministers involved were out of their depth and did not realize how their comments would be received. That never occured to me before. Maybe we need some ground rules before engaging in faith/political discourse. But who will set the rules? :) And who will Bell the Cat?

Dolores Lear

Playing politics with the Democratic primaries, will not reflect in the voting for the Presidental Election.

Rush Limbaugh and his group, did influence some Republicans to cross over to vote for Hilary, to try to beat Obama.

In the General Election, I do not think the Democratic numbers for Obama, if they are less, to be blamed on Hilary's people that voted for her, as I think her numbers in the primaries, were not all from Democrats.

I am for Obama, and in our Missouri primary election, I voted for Romney against McCain, so I know these actions are viable, but were not used by many, early in the campaign.

I had heard about Republicans voting for Hilary, so I crossed over to do this also. So I do not blame Republicans for their vote for Hilary, as I was swayed also to this act.

In the General Election, I hope each person votes for their conscience, not for revenge.

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