March 30, 2017

It may be that I am out of touch. It may be that I am naïve. It may be that I am misinformed. It may be that I have completely misread the situation. Regardless, I am disappointed, disgruntled and, even though it is not a term I use very often, it may be that I am disgusted.

This is what I am talking about. In recent years I have often said that because both liberal and conservative Christians learned as children in Sunday School to love the biblical stories of Creation, as well as the parable of the Good Samaritan, they should be able to agree on the importance of policies that promote care of the environment and programs that provide medical care. However, this seems not to be the case.

Instead of supporting policies that insure that we have clean air to breath and clean water to drink (in theological terms – exercising our God-given dominion over creation), many Christians on the right are supportive of efforts to defund the Environmental Protection Agency saying it kills jobs and usurps power that should rightly rest with local governments. Give me a break. Many of the energy jobs the EPA is accused of killing are going away because there is little coal left to mine or oil left to pump. Further, if I live in Town A which is downstream from Town B, I want some protection when Town B decides not treat its sewage but simply dump it in the river and send it my way. I have a hard time reconciling these positions with “In the beginning God created.” Maybe these well intentioned folks were on vacation the Sunday Daisy Funderburk taught that lesson.

Further, instead of supporting programs like the Affordable Care Act which, despite its well documented imperfections, gave 22 million Americans health insurance they didn’t previously have (programs that reflect the caring efforts of the Good Samaritan), many Christians on the right argue that these programs should be “repealed and replaced.” Give me a break. Are the millions that stand to lose medical insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed not their neighbors? Did the Good Samaritan say he shouldn’t have to help the beaten traveler because everyone knew traveling on the Jericho Road was so dangerous? I have a hard time reconciling the positions of the right with Jesus’ praise of the Good Samaritan. Did the representatives of the right have a soccer game the day Winnie Rovetta taught that lesson?

I guess I am heading into bitter territory so I better stop. I trust that you get my point. All of us would be well-served to take to heart some of the world shaping stories we learned in Sunday School.

Peace,

Jim H.

P.S. I hope this missive reminds us to say a prayer of gratitude for all the Sunday School teachers in our lives.