Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
|The Christian Coalition talks a good game. They speak of bringing America back to God. The founding fathers were theist meaning they believed in a creator but not necessarily the God of the Holy Scriptures to which the Christian Coalition adhere. Furthermore, previous ‘Word Courier’ entries have pointed out that America’s Christian deeds have not always matched its Christian doctrine.(see Tonto's Story July 7 2013 and Out of Egypt October 2012…..)
The organization use its God given and constitutionally protected right to evaluate candidates for public office and elected officials upon their adherence to biblical values. They typically review concerns about abortion, “gay rights” related topics and faith based disputes. In short, they would have us believe morality is a large part of their decision process.
The U.S. Senate recent rejection of increasing the minimum wage should be problematic to a Christian group that evaluates public officials through a moral lens. I say this in light of how the Republican Party to which they are largely affiliated and some of their favorites voted.
The minimum wage was first introduced in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 along with overtime pay protections and other reforms. The values expressed then were those who work in this great land deserve a wage that enables them to survive. The minimum wage has been periodically increased since to reflect the reality of inflation. The last time it was increased was 2007.
Today or better yet Wednesday (April 30th 2014) an attempt to increase the wage to $10.10 within 2 years and change of the law’s enactment was voted down by the Senate. The proponents of S.460* needed 60 votes to bring the bill one step closer to reality. The final vote tally was 54 in favor and 42 opposed. All but one of the opponents was Republican including Christian Coalition favorites Senators Dan Coats (IN), James Inhofe (OK), Mitch “my mission is to make President Obama a one term president” McConnell (KY) and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
The aforementioned specifically named Senators are Christian Coalition favorites. Accordingly, they should symbolize biblical values. I consider myself a learned bible student. Not an expert, but someone who knows the book when he sees it. I recall Old Testament prophets, Isaiah, Joel, Malachi, and Ezekiel to name a few who chided Israel for denying laborers just wages and other economic oppression. I also remember where James said (and I quote) “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.”
The resounding rejection of raising the wage floor seems at odds with Scriptural teaching particularly on the heels of their voting themselves a raise. But of course, there are biblical people who come to mind here. One is Nathan, a prophet and an advisor to King David. The other of course is King David. However, it is King David at his lowest hour, unrepentant for his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah.
Nathan told him a parable about a rich herder with a multitude of flocks who unjustly took the lone ewe owned by a poor man and his family. Nathan’s point was that God was angry about how he, David, did his fellow man a servant who devoutly followed him. God was not pleased with how the richly blessed David exploited one who served on his behalf. Similarly, the wealthy Republicans who will receive a $2800 cost of living increase in their salary in January 2015 but could not see fit to allow the people struggling to get by a simple pay raise. These are they who receive high marks from the Christian Coalition.
Ironically, one Senator who won’t receive a 100% rating from the coalition remarked about this cruel irony. Sherrod Brown, of Ohio spoke of this and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer recorded his observations. Furthermore, he of the un favored status with the “Christians” has refused the congressional health care package while the rest of us aren’t guaranteed coverage. All this from someone who went awry on the coalition’s position on the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy.
Some are materially wealthy but morally broke. Someone should remind this coalition of Christians that God is Lord of all: relationships, life and how we do those who serve us.
* S 460 is the Senate version of the proposed changes to increase the minimum wage sponsored by chiefly by Tom Harkin (D-IA) and not cosponsored by any Republicans.