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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

America's Sin: A Lack of Civic Virtue

My friend, Kerry, who has the excellent blog A Writer's Journal posted the following: "There are currently over 30,000 homeless people living in Detroit, Mi. But worry not America--most of the homeless citizens have been rounded up and housed in the old Tiger Stadium where they are being feed and kept off of the streets of Detroit until the Super Bowl XL festivities cease."

I have read other reports of the economic devastation that has been brought upon Detroit and other parts of Michigan by corporations who would rather race to the bottom in search of cheap wages than face up to the fact that they employ real men and women and not just marks on a business ledger. The following was my response to her blog:

"Detroit is the carnary in the cage that miners use to warn themselves that the air becoming poisonous. We are creating "3rd World America" in our major cities though an economic policies that trades our long term economic health for short term luxuries and conviences.

The most disturbing trend of our time is our lose of our sense of civic virtue: the feeling that we have a responsibility for the well-being of all our citizens.

You and I, we all, have a responsibility to live our lives so that everyone benefits. We must ask ourselves the question, "how does the way I live affect the lives of others? Can I say that by my actions, others are able to live better than they would otherwise be able to?" No other life is worth living."

As I have always said, the Bible speaks not only of our need to repent of our personal sins, it speaks of our need to repent of our social sins: the sins of prejudice, intolerance, and above all, exploitation.

Hear the words of the prophet Amos:
This is what the LORD says:
"For three sins of Israel,
even for four, I will not turn back {my wrath}.
They sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals
. (Amos 2:6)

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