This week, a former Google
executive asked President Obama to raise his taxes so that more people will
have the chance to succeed as he has. It was nice to hear the president defend
the idea that individual wealth is built in part by collective investment--even if he didn't state it as forcefully as Elizabeth Warren, and even if he mostly
avoided the word "taxes" itself.
Twenty years ago the churches in Latin America were viewed as playing a major role in resisting military dictatorships and in developing new revolutionary social models. Recently, attention has shifted to the remarkable growth of Latin American Pentecostal churches. In Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and elsewhere, as many Protestants as Catholics may be in church on any given weekend.
Outside Paradise, government will never be perfect. But that's no reason to give up
on it—any more than the fact that we can't love our children perfectly entails giving up on loving them as well as we can.
Most of us are aware of North American–based Christian organizations doing relief and development work in various parts of the so-called Third World, World Vision being the largest and perhaps the best known. Some of us are aware of North American–based Christian organizations dealing with one or another form of injustice in the Third World, International Justice Mission being the largest of these.The Honduras-based Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa (Association for a More Just Society) is different. ASJ is indigenous to Honduras. It has chosen not to do relief and development work but to engage in the struggle against injustice, and it has crafted its struggle against injustice to fit the particulars of Honduran society—particulars that are very different from those of North American society. In particular, it has developed a distinct understanding of the task of the state in bettering the lives of the poor and of its own role as both a critic and an advocate of the state.
The frightening downturn on Wall Street has caused even some staunch antigovernment pundits to begin rethinking their assumption that all government regulation is bad. That is a rethinking this country desperately needs.