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Monday, March 07, 2011

Blow the Trumpet in Zion

The first lectionary reading appointed for Ash Wednesday will come from The Hebrew Scripture: Joel 2:1-2,12-17.

It begins:
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near--
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
It is anticipated that, this week, Congress will end negotiations on the budget. Republicans have proposed that billions be cut from vital programs that millions of Americans depend on. Meanwhile, tax-cuts for the richest will be protected.

The good folks at MoveOn.Org (their founder was a college classmate of our youngest daughter) have sounded the trumpet and sounded the alarm, calling us to pay attention to the specifics of what those cuts will mean, exactly, for many Americans.

When you read the list below, there can be no denying that "a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and think darkness" fast approaches.
Top 10 Worst Things about the Republicans' Immoral Budget

The Republican budget would:

1. Destroy 700,000 jobs, according to an independent economic analysis.

2. Zero out federal funding for National Public Radio and public television.

3. Cut $1.3 billion from community health centers—which will deprive more than 3 million low-income people of health care over the next few months.

4. Cut nearly a billion dollars in food and health care assistance to pregnant women, new moms, and children.

5. Kick more than 200,000 children out of pre-school by cutting funds for Head Start.

6. Force states to fire 65,000 teachers and aides, dramatically increasing class sizes, thanks to education cuts.

7. Cut some or all financial aid for 9.4 million low- and middle-income college students.

8. Slash $1.6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, a cut that experts say would "send shockwaves" through cancer research, likely result in cuts to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research, and cause job losses.

9. End the only federal family planning program, including cutting all federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to support cancer screenings and other women's health care.

10. Send 10,000 low-income veterans into homelessness by cutting in half the number of veterans who get housing vouchers this year.
I trust this list will catch your attention.

I'm willing to bet that there isn't a demographic on this list that doesn't include you or someone you know.

I hope MoveOn.Org inspires you to move your eyes away from watching Charlie Sheen's very public meltdown, the latest update on Lindsay Lohan's rehabilitation process, and wondering whatever will happen to whatever contestant on American Idol.

It's time to pay attention to what is going on in this country.

It's time to pick up the phone and call your representative or senator in Congress and register your outrage.

And, if you're not outraged, you need to pay closer attention.

Someone is blowing the trumpet. Someone is sounding the alarm. Someone is calling our attention to the immorality that is written into almost every line of the proposed budget.

It's important to listen to the call. It's important to pay attention. It's important to take some action.

Before we're all covered in sack cloth and ashes.

I'll let Joel and Moses have the last word:
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
assemble the aged;
gather the children,
even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her canopy.
Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep.
Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD,
and do not make your heritage a mockery,
a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
`Where is their God?'"


PseudoPiskie said...

I'm wearing an orange plastic bracelet which is causing people to ask why. I never wear anything on my wrists. It says What Would Jesus Cut?
Got it from Sojourners. 8-)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for the tip, Piskie.

Bateau Master said...

We have a $1,400,000,000,000 deficit for this year alone out of a 3,000,000,000,000 budget. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Many of those buying our debt are not our friends.

The Republicans at least proposed a start at rectifying the situation ... they stuck their necks out and took the lead. The other side and the Whitehouse look like sequestered timid turtles with their lack of at least proposing something!!!

Which is the greater evil?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hmmm.... let's start with taxing the rich FAIRLY and I'll bet you'll find that we don't have to balance the budget on the backs of the neediest in this country.

I am convinced that Jesus is deeply ashamed of the things some Republicans are trying to do in His name.

Bateau Master said...

Well we had that chance in December ... and it would of needed no Republican support. In fact, it needed no Democratic support or Whitehouse support. It was going to happen! There is plenty of shame to go around!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

The Republicans ran a false campaign. They said they were going to focus on employment and the deficit.

Ain't seen none of that. Won't, I'm thinking. They are writing Obama's win, even as we speak. And, their defeat in four years.

Giving tax breaks to the rich, declaring war on women and balancing the budget on the backs of the poor is how they always lose and then scratch their heads and wonder what the hell happened.

Ronald Regan couldn't be a Republican today.

Bateau Master said...

Non-Sequitor penalty - 5 yards, replay the down.

The Republicans are not in charge ... they don't have the Senate, they don't have the Presidency. It was the last Congress that voted for a continuation of current tax rates at the President's request. And it was a continuation for all of us -

If these are not the things you wish eliminated - lets see a different 2% slice proposed - lets see something that resembles leadership from President Obama.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Back field in motion. 10 yd penalty.

Bateau, we are going to have to agree to disagree or this is going to lead to a much more violent game than football.