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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Religious right looks to Calvin, not Christ
I want to question the Christian ethic of work being a passage to heaven. It was Calvin, not Christ, who proposed that work was the turnstile to paradise. Christ rightly said that heaven is in your heart.
In other words, you don’t need to do a thing to be right with your creator, and to love your life, except love. Which, in these strange days, is quite a political statement.
Because, of course, Republican-led corporations are counting on poor Republican workers to do all of their work for them without raising the minimum wage, or seeing health benefits or minding if their young go to war to “protect their foreign interests” — and end up coming back in a box, or with a metal limb and their head all messed up.
Families are working two or three jobs per parent and losing their farm, with kids away at war, and are still voting Republican.
My suggestion? Work to feed your soul, and vote to aid your country. Voting for the political right supports corporations and the military. The left is more for everyday folk. Where do you place your trust?
Reagan’s challenge gave more than hope
The article “What a difference 50 years makes” (July 14 Travel section) was correct in crediting John Kennedy’s 1963 speech with giving Berliners hope. But, interestingly, it did not mention the contribution of another American chief executive whose Berlin speech was even more important historically.
From 1946 until 1980, the United States dealt with the Russian communist threat with a mix of threats, defeatism, floundering and waffling, and Kennedy himself showed indecisiveness and lack of resolve that led to a humiliating defeat during the Bay of Pigs invasion.
President Ronald Reagan issued the challenge of the ages, and fired the most important salvo of the Cold War, in 1987, while standing beside the wall the communists had constructed. Reagan called on the Soviets to “tear down this wall!” Because of the forbearance of the Western republics, the strength of our economies and our military prowess, the Soviets threw in the towel a few years later.
When the Berlin Wall did come down, millions of citizens of lands formerly ruled under Iron Curtain dictatorships were freed from communist enslavement. Kennedy made efforts to place communism in check, but it was the Gipper who checkmated our foe.
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