“Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
-Isaiah 56: 11
“Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.”
-Isaiah 10: 1-2
God’s great prophet Isaiah brings us messages that our leaders would do well to heed. We all fall short in the sight of God but those of us who do not believe know that human beings have failings and that greed operates among the faithful and those without faith: especially those without faith or without the ability to heed the words they profess to believe in. How many Republicans in the House and Senate would claim belief in Christ and the words of the Christian scriptures? And yet, how many disregard those teachings? For those free thinkers and non-believers who come and are welcome at Struggles For Justice we all know the truth of what Isaiah is telling us even today so many thousands of years after the fact of his warning to Israel about the conduct of its leaders and judges.
The huge fight between Democrats and Republicans over extension of the Bush tax cuts not only exposes the naked greed of Republicans, defining in sharp relief who they consider to be of greatest importance to them, but it is actually a non-partisan human rights issue of the greatest import. In this particular case it is the Democratic Party which places the extension of unemployment insurance to those still seeking work after so long a time and to protect the Social Security and Medicare benefits of those who are differently-abled, poor, and elderly among us first and above the needs of the wealthy and powerful. This must be made crystal clear: the Democrats are heeding the words of Isaiah and the Republicans are not. Americans of all faiths, philosophies, parties, factions, and interests must heed this and know this.
This is a great human rights issue and not just a petty partisan fight. However much Nancy Pelosi uses this fact to partisan advantage she is right: Republicans are prepared to take the nation into seven hundred billion dollars of debt to benefit the top two percent of us while they howl at the very thought of spending twenty billion that Democrats are prepared to fund with tax dollars to help people who are feeling the pain and hardship of unemployment. The President’s debt commission is about to report that Social Security and Medicare must be cut, even as the wealthy obtain more for themselves.
This is not a difficult question for a moral man or woman to decide. Even should President Obama compromise and give Republicans what they want again and again for the sake of national unity they will be compromises with the Devil plain and simple. They will be compromises that obscure the truth. Let us know the truth and proclaim it everywhere and take up the cause of the elderly widow, the poor, the child, and the oppressed.