Politics & Society
December Wed 05, 2012
Don't worry; I'm not going to give you my analysis of the fiscal cliff from which we are all supposed to fall on January 1 unless the Republicans and Democrats reach some kind of compromise involving taxes for the very rich, military spending, and the reduction of entitlement programs. This search for agreement has been going on for four years since the day President Obama was inaugurated and it goes nowhere because both sides are afraid they will succeed and then be clobbered by their ideological base. But now another election has taken place and Obama has clearly won with a respectable majority of votes, both from the Electoral College and at the national popular level. Unfortunately, in spite of meetings at the highest level, everything seems the same. Some financial gurus are seeing some cracks in the wall separating the two sides, while many others are pessimistic. It has been suggested that the impasse is a plot by Obama to expose the bonds between the Republicans and the very rich. The Tea Party is still around with the strength of the true believer, preparing for the Congressional mid-term elections in two years. The moderate and conservative Republicans look on TV as if they were still trying to figure it all out. Well, I said I wouldn't write about the fiscal cliff anyway, and the main reason is not that I don't want to reveal my political affiliation; it's that I don't want to show my ignorance. I have myself fallen over many financial cliffs and somehow survived, up to now anyway. Other things were of interest this week, but what caught my attention the most was the decision of the New Yorker magazine to publish an article on hell. The article is about an Evangelical Minister, pastor of one of those mega churches, named Robert Bell, who has come to the conclusion that Scripture does not affirm the certain existence of hell. This reminded me of the cover article on Time magazine on heaven a few weeks ago. In that article, a scientist offered his thoughts on what led him to the conclusion that heaven existed and this can be shown scientifically. In both cases, everyone seems to be focusing on the end.
Why this interest in the "last things?"
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