LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Column by pastor welcome and refreshing

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I want to acknowledge the U-B for printing a recent column by Pastor Mark Koonz on our looming national debt. It is welcome and refreshing when our clergy help us connect the dots between our actions and their moral implications.

Some find the high road of moral action a call to continued funding of our entitlement programs ... without regard for curtailing our country's spiraling debt. But what passes for enlightenment and the call to collectively intercede on behalf of the less fortunate is often party to the diffusion of personal, moral obligation.

Certainly there is a time and place for collective action for the poor - but not when we reach into others' pockets to pay for it. We can set up trusts, we can set up charities, we can look to formulations and organizations and reorganizations, slogans and creeds, but "love your neighbor as yourself" will always be a personal imperative.

To ask our government to spend a future generation's capital to settle our own moral obligation seems a bit disingenuous.

We need more, not fewer, exposs of policies that may ultimately contribute to the suffering and hardship of future generations.

The intrusion of "religion" onto the public stage is seen by some to be uncomely and an invitation to the tragedies brought on by religion unleashed. Our day's spate of backpack bombers would seem to make their point.

But it was the acquiescence of the church in Germany that was party to the horrors that followed.

And what about Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire?

Or the death of 360,000 during the Civil War to free our brethren?

And what about our early history? Our independence and establishment as a nation is rife with examples of clergy intimately involved in the decisions and inspiration of what became the United States of America.

What was written in the Constitution was first shouted from the pulpit. Would we have had our clergy refrain from political commentary at that juncture?

Yes, Pastor Koonz' article was not normal fare in the religion section. To redress that grievance, perhaps Pastor Koonz could rewrite and retitle it: "Taxation without representation: Is long-term debt constitutional?" and trust its new placement to the discretion of the U-B staff.

This is a siren call to justice that I personally would do well to hear again.

Robert Gordon

Walla Walla

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