Monday, August 29, 2005

Why I'm all about the "death tax"

So I was listening to the radio on my way home this evening and I heard a senator talking about how unconstitutional the "death tax" is. For those of you who don't know, the estate or death tax as it is known basically says that if you have over 1.5 million dollars when you die, then the government gets half. What those opposed to it are saying is that it goes against the capitalist system that our country is founded on. First of all, even if this were true, I would have no problem. But I think that the estate tax is very much keeping with capitalist economics. If you made over 1.5 million dollars then great, your kids can go and do the same thing. If you were to keep the money and give it to your kids, then you are creating a socialist system just as much as if the government took it. The only difference is that you have made a small communist system that only the rich and thier brood get to be a part of. So here is a completely fictional conversation between an estate tax protestor and a lower class 6th grade kid.

"So lil' Franky, do you have any questions for me?"

"Yes sir, what is the death tax?"

"I'm glad you asked. The death tax is a evil tax that takes money away from the rich so that they can't give it to their families, mistresses, or what have you."

"So they take away all their money? That is mean."

"No not all of it, just half of it."

"But they won't be rich anymore."

"No, they're still rich."

"oh...I guess that would be bad if they took the money and they needed it for something like their business."

"Well, actually the government doesn't take the money till the person is dead."

"So what do they need the money for?"

"Well, they may want to give it to their children so that people like Paris Hilton can go on living their lives anyway they want without having to contribute to society at all. Tht's the American way."

"What's so bad about the government using that money?"

"The government would just waste that money on welfare."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Those people need to work for their money instead of just leeching off the welfare system."

"But isn't that what the rich people are doing?"

"Well_ its different."

"Why?"

"Because rich people use their money for good things like expensive cars, jewelry, and exotic pets that make America beautiful."

"my mom uses welfare for food."

"See, that doesn't make America beautiful does it."

"I guess not"

"So Franky, as you can see the death tax is evil. By the way, we are cutting the music program from your school so I'm going to need that violin back. But don't worry, we are keeping gym. It's important that we force all you akward and easily embarassed kids to compete in arbitrary physical activity then walk around in a room naked. That'll build you character better than a music program anyway."
Dan, 8:02 PM | link | 2 comments |

Friday, August 26, 2005

God hath willed His truth to triumph through us

It's been a while since I posted, but I've been busy recently and a lot of cool stuff has happened. I'm all setup for classes this semester and financial aid seems to be working out nicely. I have a huge work work next week (57 hrs) and so I have a good cash flow. And most importantly, Sara, my brother, sister-in-law, and friend Tim met with our pastors to talk about some new ministry ideas.
The meeting was fantastic. we all met up at Passtimes (a Valpo bar) had some beer and just talked for like an hour to start off. There's nothing more reassuring about meeting with church leaders than having a beer and talking about MC5 and church tradition! Anyways, we met with them to talk about starting a new Bible study (actually moving our current into the church) and opening up new expressions of faith (I've been using this term instead of worship. Not for any theological reason per se but just because "worship" has connotations these days that I think are misleading). First off, we are going to start having a cofehouse open mic thing (I know it sounds cliche but hear me out here) where people can come and share their music, art, poetry, theatrical works etc. when there's no performances going on we will have a table discussion open to anyone who wants to join about art, politics, theology, or whatever. This will be a spring board for concerts, art shows, and the like from members of the church. Next, we are planning on having concerts of prayer where we will pray for the church, the community, the nations_ really just whatever needs prayer and have different worship styles and such. We also will be starting a social justice group that will meet and discuss_ well, social justice and them go out and do service projects. Really cool stuff. Basically, we are trying to open up some new doors for people to let their cup runneth over into the arts and acts of service.
We talked about everything for over an hour and the pastors were really supportive and excited about it all! It was really great. What really made it such a fruitful meetings is that the church is already heavily involved in these areas. Music and art are a staple of our congregation and the are so many different ways that they serve the community. So this wasn't a meeting of conviction or trying to tell the church they are doing something wrong. It was a group of people who have been fed by their church and who the Holy Spirit has called to join and expand an already blessed ministry.
Needles to say i am really excited. Especially since lately i've found my love for music waning. That's not to say that i at any point disliked music, it just didn't give me the same thrill that it did a couple years ago. This had been a problem since about 2003 or so and has been slowly getting worse. Music just didn't move me like it used to (with the exception of church, Stuff like It Is Well With My Soul or A Mighty Fortress is our God always brings up good stuff). But after this meeting and thinking about the possibilities of making music with this group of people, the love is back. I made a Violet Burning mix CD today and was listening to it all day just letting the full palate of emotions pass through me. it was really refreshing.
So in closing, I'm moving my music equipment over to Valpo to be closer to church and my co-musicians and hopefully I will have some music samples on myspace sometime soon.

That God fella, he's good people.
Dan, 9:48 PM | link | 2 comments |

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This is the church, this is the steeple

Ok, so i have recently been discussing various aspects of the church in modern society with some interesting folks on another blog. basically the discussion covered a lot of different terrain and reveal several different opinions within our group. So i was inspired to move some things here. To start, an individual known (at least to me only as Iggy has placed some interesting thoughts on his blog so go check it out.
What i want to discuss here is what needs to change in the modern church for it to become more "authentic" as some would say or more...well, Christian i guess. i think Iggy's post is a good starting point.before we change "church", how do we define church?

A good article that addresses the question at large is called talking to generation X

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9902/hinlicky.html
Dan, 8:51 PM | link | 11 comments |