Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Godly Social Values

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 4, 2010

You know, Jim, as I continue to reflect upon the issues about which we spoke this evening, I – being an ardent observer of politics at the national, state and local levels – can’t help but see many of the issues which you also stated were at work.

While I am agreement with what is written in our book (the USCCA), I am also keenly aware that there are other voices that would, for example, point to the text’s mention of Cesar Chavez as a “Marxist,” “leftist,” and political “subversive” because he advocated for laborers, was a union member and union organizer for farm laborers. Those whom would do so would also be using him for their agenda, just as he is being cited in this text for Christian practices and ideals.

I bear in mind also, that he was a man, whom was as fallible as I am, as is our president, governor, mayor, and every other human being.

However, with respect for the issues of good works that flow from us as creatures of a Being Whom is pure Love, I share the following:

While I was working in California, I read about the case of a farm worker who died for lack of water, because the farm owner failed to provide water to the laborers who picked the grapes that are used to make raisins, and table grapes – the Thompson seedless variety with which we’re all familiar. Every raisin and grape – well, 99.9% – of all grapes and raisins and the Thompson seedless grapes we eat comes from Fresno County California. (From here on out, it kinda’ makes swallowing raisins and grapes just a wee bit more difficult knowing that someone died unnecessarily in the process of providing raisins or grapes for our tables, doesn’t it?)

Just so you and others will know, Fresno County has been, and continues to be far and away the single most agriculturally productive county in the United States. At my last observation (which was two years ago), Fresno County alone (just one COUNTY in California) produced over $6 BILLION dollars worth of agricultural products. By comparison, the entire STATE of Alabama for the same period produced about half that. So, that means a whole lotta’ hands are needed to pick grapes, peaches, almonds, and all the goodies that we think just magically comes to our tables. (Kinda’ like the kids visiting a farm, who said, when they saw a depression in the ground into which some milk cartons had been tossed, “Look ma! A cow nest!”) And for over 10 years, California has produced more than TWICE as much milk as Wisconsin – formerly known as “the Dairy State.”

That woman died for a lack of water, because the landowner-farmer REFUSED to provide a basic need for laborers working in the hot desert-like sun of arid Fresno County California.

Was that good, right or just?

No! Of course not.

Such inhumane actions are most definitely NOT Christ-like.

Yet some might argue the landowner had the absolute right to NOT provide water. Those same voices would say, “tough luck… bring your own water. And while you’re at it, bring your own shade from the 103°F sun, too! ” They might even claim that they should NOT have to pay an honest, decent or living wage for an honest and decent day’s work. They might even point to our LORD Christ’s illustration as a proof or evidence to support or justify their position. [Matthew 20:1-15 wherein Christ is recorded to have said, “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this worker the same as you. Is is against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?” (The issue was that some worked all day, while some worked one hour, yet all received the same pay.)]

However, the Scripture is replete with examples of how to treat workers, such as in Isaiah 58:3c “Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.” James 5:4,5 “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the LORD of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.”

And then, there’s that whole ‘Pharaoh says make more bricks with less hay, you lazy Jews!’ thing. What was that called? The Exodus? (And isn’t our nation experiencing the same thing now to a great extent – the “do more with less,” make one man do the work of two, ethic?)

I also think about farm animals. Should, for example, a turkey or chicken be able to stretch its wings fully and fully stand up? Or, should it or any other animal for 24/7 be confined in a coop, cage or pen wherein it cannot fully extend its limbs? (And just so you’ll know, I’m not an animals rights activist.)

We wouldn’t dream of doing that to our pets, yet there are some whom treat their livestock and farm animals that way. In fact, California voters decided on such an issue not too long ago. Interestingly, the Scripture talks about how we should treat our animals – Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Deuteronomy 25:4 “You shall not muzzle the ox when it is treading out the grain.”

Why? Why would God have any interest in how we treat farm animals?

It’s that pesky problem of concupiscence – the propensity toward sin. It has ruined everything.

And yet, as I pointed out, many times, we go to the polls/ballot boxes thinking that we’re going to elect a man or woman whom is NOT like us, whom in some magically mysterious way is perhaps BETTER than us – almost God-like, if you prefer. We never think for one moment that the man or woman we are voting for could possibly be subject to temptation of any kind – private or public!

In our society, and in our culture, indeed in every corner of the world throughout time, there has been and always will be a war.

At one time it was Christians v Caesar’s Roman empire. (In all fairness, he did make a good salad! What should we do with his bones?)

No, “culture war” is not new. It’s not Democrat v Republican, it’s not liberal v conservative, it’s not labor v management, it’s not organized labor v big business.

God’s kingdom, as Christ said, has never been “of this world,” and hastened to add that, “indeed the kingdom of God is within you.” John 18:36, Luke 17:21

And while the talking heads on the nightly news of every “news” bearing channel prognosticate and entertain our unwholesome appetites for blood, guts, murder, mayhem, rape, robbery and bad news of all kinds, life doesn’t neatly fit into their five-second “sound bites,” which they frequently excerpt out of context to moisten our morbidly pseudo-intellectual palates. (Russian tanks rolling down I-65… details at 10! We tune in later, only to find out they were water barrels with parts made in St. Petersburg.) “I make my living off the evening news; Just give me something, something I can use; People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry. We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing; When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing; We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry. Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down. Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em all around.

But there is one small “bite,” one which I think appropriate, and which I am unashamedly borrowing from the Christian pop-rock duo of Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key (DeGarmo and Key), from their 1993 album “Heat It Up” and song by the same name:

“God good, devil bad.”

Lyric excerpts from:
“God Good Devil Bad”
(ASCAP Title Code: 370254001)
by Edward Allen DeGarmo & Dana James Key
PO BOX 5085
Tel. (615) 371-6865
“Dirty Laundry”
(ASCAP Title Code: 340222066)
by Donald Hugh Henley & Daniel Kortchmar
Tel. (310) 441-8600</h6

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