Posts filed under ‘Social Justice’

Inauguration (over) spending

Peter Overby of NPR reported yesterday that the Obama inaugural committee is some $50M short. I was half-heartedly listening to the radio on my way to work but this report got my attention. I know that in the grand scheme of the economic crisis and budget deficit $50M is a drop in the bucket. But if they’re $50M short what is the total ticket for the entire inauguration? It’s a rhetorical question – I don’t really want to know.

I am an ardent Obama supporter. However, this seems the perfect opportunity for him to ‘put his money where his mouth is.’ We need to celebrate his inauguration, no doubt. It’s a historic, healing episode in American history. For some (me included)  it’s also a celebration of the end of an autocratic, divisive regime. But there’s so much that we could do with $50M, starting with housing, feeding and clothing those in need. Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but waste is waste when there are those who need. Barack, take a stand for change and keep the partying reasonable – donate the rest to charity.

January 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm Leave a comment

The Emanuel Brothers

A discussion about healthcare with Ezekiel, Ari, and Rahm Emanuel. 

Charlie Rose interviewed the Emanuel brothers this last June. This video clip is getting renewed interest since Obama named Rahm Emanuel his chief of staff. It’s a fascinating look at three brothers and how their family shaped who they’ve become as adults.

Brilliance is fostered by passion to do the right thing and dedication to making the world a better place. Apparently, Benjamin and Marsha (their parents) know that! If neocons really want to know what family values are, here’s lesson 101!

November 24, 2008 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

A question of love

Keith Olberman for president!

November 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm 1 comment

Rosa, Martin, Barack

“Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so our children could fly.”

Thanks to Lisa Colton, Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, and whoever wrote this

October 29, 2008 at 2:46 pm 4 comments


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being on a panel for a joint conference of the Indiana Muslim Alliance and the Islamic Society of North America. The topic of the panel was social justice from the perspective of the three Abrahamic faiths. My Muslim and Christian colleagues both gave eloquent, passionate speeches about our respective edicts to help the poor, feed the hungry, take care of widows and orphans, etc. All three Abrahamic faiths have strong social justice components – in both Islam and Judaism to do so is mandatory.

After our presentations we took some questions from the audience. The first question posed to us was ‘can you relate your faith’s social justice perspective to the war or politics?’ My colleagues were thoughtfully quiet, but I jumped t the chance to speak about something that’s been bothering me.

During this election season (which is thankfully almost over) I’ve heard much said about taxes – how both candidates will cut taxes for me (a middle classer). At the same time I hear the voices of supposed ‘people of faith’ saying we need to take care of others, but at the same time they refuse to pay more taxes. My question is, if we cut taxes, how do they suppose we take care of those who have less?

I admit, I’m a liberal, at least when it comes to social justice issues. My faith teaches me that it’s not an option to provide for those who are needy – it’s an obligation. I also understand that government is not always the most reputable source of aid and I agree with those who say we need to hold social programs accountable, both fiscally and programmatically. But what I cannot reconcile are those who purport to be ‘good people of faith,’ (especially in my own state) who uphold ‘family values’ and then flat out refuse to financially support programs that aid those in need.

Many say we need to rely on our faith communities to provide this aid. I agree. But the reality is they cannot do it and we have ample evidence of their lack of success. If churches, synagogues and mosques could provide all the aid necessary, we wouldn’t still need government programs. We do.  

The Republican principle of less government is not a bad idea except when it becomes exclusionary, particularly for those least able to advocate for themselves. When it does it is elitist, exclusive, self serving and discriminatory. If that’s what people want, I advocate their right to say so. But don’t call it an expression of any faith – it’s not.

I can hear conservatives labeling me a bleeding heart liberal. If that’s so, I gladly accept their critique and will paint myself pink. When did caring for others, doing the right thing, and loving justice become a weakness or a shortcoming?

October 28, 2008 at 11:50 pm 1 comment

Ron Howard’s Call To Action

October 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Don’t Vote!

OR, don’t be an idiot and make a difference!

October 1, 2008 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

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