Category Archives: larry james

John Edwards: Hope for the Poor or Hypocricy and more?

Phil Wilson and I were talking earlier this morning about Larry James’ post on John Edwards and his announcement that he was running for President of the United States.

 The gist of the discussion was whether or not Edwards announcement in the Katrina ravaged Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans was a political stunt or a true showing of solidarity with the poor. Larry believes that Edwards rhetoric of late shows that he is truely an activist for ending poverty in this country, and that his choice of locale for his big announcement is proof of that. I beg to differ.

John Edwards did grow up impoverished, as the son of a millworker in rural South Carolina. He was the first in his family to attend college. He then went to law school and became a successful trial attorney, or what others call, an Ambulance chaser.

Edwards makes his multi millions of dollars through class action lawsuits against companies, doctors, etc. In case you don’t know much about class action suits, just turn on the tv during Jerry Spring or Maury Povich and you’ll get a glimpse. You’ll see the occasional commercial with dark music and a voice over asking if you’ve ever taken a certain medication or used a certain product. If you have, and you have certain symptoms, you may qualify to participate in a class action suit against Company X. This suit is filed by a few lawyers who advertise to people that may not even have any true adverse effects. The suit goes to court and, depending on how many people are involved, they may get a negligible sum at the end of the case. I mean, if 10,000 people took Phen Phen and got heart problems and they sued the company, the monitary damages are divided amongst those people (likely numbering way more than 10 thousand). The people probably don’t get enough to cover all their medical bills, but guess who gets a fat pay check. That’s right. John Edwards. And through these suits, many companies who may or may not have known that their product had any ill effects, will go out of business, putting many probably lower middle class people out of work. Good job John.

 I’m gonna leave a couple of links about John Edwards, just so you can check them out.

Eidelblog

The Vaguely Dissatisfied Rich

Rhetoric vs Record

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Changing Theology: What to do when your viewpoint freaks your parents

Actually, I don’t really have an answer to this. I’m hoping some of you out there have some ideas.

My parents have been moving along with me on a lot of issues from a theological standpoint. The emerging church stuff and postmodern thought, they are totally onboard. They dealt with my move from Republicanism to Libertarianism pretty well. I think they are having more issues with my shift towards Christian Pacifism/Anarchy (otherwise known as the Kingdom of God).

Understandably, my parents have issues with my relinquishing of support for any war waged by any country. It doesn’t make sense. I understand that. It didn’t make sense to me before, and it doesn’t make complete sense to me now. But I know its right. Its the way we’re supposed to behave if we really believe that Jesus means what he says.

Could one involve himself in government without the involvement becoming idolotry? Absolutely. But the temptation is always there. The temptation in voting is to say my ideology is best for the country because I know what God wants for us, so its actually what God wants for the country. How many of us are guilty of saying that? Or thinking it? I know I did. I did it when I was a Republican. I did it when I was a Libertarian (for the year that I was one). Its easy for me to say that because God wants us to be free, we should have the government that gives us the most freedom. Its easy to say that since Jesus rejected the idea of using the government to bring the Kingdom of God, that we should reject involving Government with Kingdom things.

But the problem is, for everything that its easy for me to say, its easy for someone to see it a completely different way. And that divides the Kingdom. When I want a Libertarian Government, and Larry James wants a Democrat controlled Government, it makes it harder for us to be brothers. If we stopped arguing politics and started being the Kingdom, things would be better.

Anyway, this was a big random “musing”. Thoughts anyone?

Government and the Kingdom Part 2

Apparently, socialism isn’t bringin the Eutopia that it always seems to promise for the poor in France.  Homeless are being given tents by a private group in order to show their plight to the government. The Socialist Party “wants them moved” while the conservatives “want them gone. The group paying for the tents is trying to call attention to the problem and is saying they will take back a tent for every permanent house given to a homeless person.

I have an idea. Why don’t these people raise money and buy houses for the homeless themselves?

I’m so frustrated by this whole… I don’t know what to call it, arrogance on the part of those that think wealth redistribution through the government is how we should help the poor. I’ve been involved in a discussion over at Larry James Urban Daily, wanting to know more about poverty since James is involved with the poor on a day to day basis. However, my opinions are pretty much not welcome there. Any time I comment, I am talked down to. I’ve been told in so many words that the only reason I believe what I do is because its what my parents and church taught me, that I am a rich kid who doesn’t understand poverty, and that I’m a racist.

In all honesty, it hurts my feelings. I do want to know more about what I can do, and I think Larry’s ministry is doing great things, but just like when he spoke at Memphis Workcamp last year, whenever I read his responses to me, I feel as if he’s talking down to me like he’s the only one that really understands how to fix poverty.

I realize this is a little incoherent, but I’m just frustrated and wishing I had a little support.