Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Progressive Income Tax

American religious historian Diana Butler Bass on A Christian Argument for Progressive TaxationI agree so much that I’ll simply let Dr. Bass speak for me.

Tea Parties on tax day to the contrary (attendance was poor at most and the largest responsible estimate I’ve seen nationwide was 300,000 people–hardly a mass insurgence), recent polling shows that for the first time in decades, the majority of Americans either think their taxes are “about right” or “too low.”  And when you ask specific policy questions like, “Would you be willing to pay more in taxes for universal single payer healthcare?” the majority answer “yes.” 

But, in the face of anti-tax propaganda non-stop since 1980, it has been far too long since churches have made the kinds of arguments Dr. Butler Bass does in her brief article.  We should make  these kinds of arguments from the pulpit more often.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | economic justice, taxes, U.S. politics | 22 Comments

House Minority Leader Downplays Global Warming, re: Cow Farts!

Congratulations, Rep. Boehner (R-OH), just before Earth Day you’ve eclipsed Sen. “In Denial” Inhofe (R-OK) as the biggest idiot on climate change in Congress, and that takes some doing.  Today, Boehner called the scientific consensus (which is overwhelming and international) that CO2 from humans burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming “comical.”  Boehner’s proof that this is comical is that people exhale CO2 and cow flatulence contributes to it.  Seriously. We have the next SNL skit right there.

Look Congressman, yes CO2 is found in nature from human exhalation, cattle gas, and other sources.  But this natural amount is easily absorbed by plants in photosynthesis where it is replaced with oxygen.  Burning fossile fuels puts far TOO MUCH CO2 into the air creating the now famous “greenhouse effect.”  Check out the planet Venus for the end result.

The Supreme Court of the U.S.–which is dominated by Republican appointees, including 2 Bush appointees, ruled last year that the Environmental Protection Agency could regulate CO2 as a pollutant.  Bush’s EPA wouldn’t, but Obama’s will–especially if you good Congressfolk fail to do your job and give us a good cap and trade law on CO2.  You should WANT to use a capitalist market tool like cap and trade as a way of cutting greenhouse gasses. It is market based (isn’t that the Republican god, the market?) and it was successfully used end acid rain and to quit destroying the ozone layer with aerosols and freon.

The “trade” from cap and trade will help the economy, too, as it spurs innovation to help us heal the planet, become independent from foreign oil, and create green collar jobs.  Which one of those things is a laughing matter?

BTW,  you were trying to be funny, but METHANE from cow patties IS another greenhouse gas–one more reason why the overbreeding of cattle for beef is bad for the environment (along with clear cutting rainforests to create grazing lands, etc.).  So, I’m betting that it was the oil and coal lobbies that paid for your bad humor, and not the beef industry, huh?

April 20, 2009 Posted by | ecology, U.S. politics | 3 Comments