Labor Day Sermon

Dear Kmareka friends,
I’m cutting back on writing to spend more time with my family, who need me now, so I’ll be posting more good words from other people.

Rev. James Ford delivered this sermon at First Unitarian in Providence. Inspiring and exhorting words for Labor Day, the Reverend always wishes us peace with a little unease…

We need to organize and restore the dignity and authority of our communal responsibilities. William Cohen, Unitarian Universalist, former Republican senator from Maine and Bill Clinton’s longest serving Secretary of Defense said it eloquently. “Government is the enemy until you need a friend.” Today we desperately need a friend. We need to organize and reclaim our social connections and to see how they come together within our social organization, within our governments.

To do this we need to reframe. We need to reclaim the title citizen over the title taxpayer. And we need to challenge the idea that taxes are a necessary evil or worse that they are theft. Taxes are not theft; they are the mother’s milk of society. We need to advocate for a fair and progressive tax system, and to fund what needs doing. To do this we need to organize.

You can read the rest at MonkeyMindOnline, Hanging Separately–Hanging Together.

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7 thoughts on “Labor Day Sermon

  1. Its good that someone with at least some audience is willing to publically stand up to the selfish anti-tax zealots and defend government services. The mainstream media never even gives this view a voice, its always about “investors” or “taxpayers” and even on Labor Day the morning news that I sampled had no voices of or for working people included.

    This is not to get a blank check to government, American democracy has always been a balancing act between our libertarian and communitarian impulses. But recently the balance has tipped to the former and the result is deterriorating infrastructure, the safety net shredding, increasing environmental threats, rising homelessness etc. But with copororate interests almost out of control in so many ways, I don’t see how we can reasonably hope to restore a balance.

  2. Referring to taxes as “mother’s milk”begs the question of whether it’s okay to pour mother’s milk on the ground.
    My main objection to rising taxes(state and local)is that they are wasted-it is all around-sweetheart jobs for cllege dropout punks who happen to be related to union officials,a statehouse full of such parasites in fact.
    A woman running a large heroin ring who owns a Harley and an Escalade receiving welfare and food stamps when maybe someone who really needs it gets turned down.
    I got a raise in rel estate and auto tax this year-the real estate tax pays for services-I get that and am not complaining,BUT-I got no COLA on my retirement,soocial seurity,or VA disability payments for two years now and maybe a third coming up.It’s not like I’m running General Motors.
    I am really angry over the auto tax-I’m now paying tax on a 12 year old car that hadn’t been taxed in two years.What do i get for that?bad roads.I am in the process of replacing four struts on the vehicle-can’t wait to see the bill-I’ll be lucky to get out under a thousand dollars.Why bother/The car gets 30 mpg on the highway with a six cylinder engine-I believe in conservation by maintenance.
    Okay-if some multi millionaire gets a tax increase,I’m not calling that socialism-I’ll never see a six figure income and never have(my wife and I combined)and I frankly don’t need it,but it seems these tax increases on the “wealthy” always rain sh*t on middle class people.
    Maybe you forget easily,but Chafee,a filthy rich lucky sperm,cheated on his auto tax AND his real estate tax-yet not a whisper here.If it were Carcieri,the bloody shirt would be waving.
    Your minister could’ve addressed waste and fraud as well as social justice,but apparently it slipped his mind.
    It wouldn’t hurt if we stopped these wars we’re engaged in-I’m no pacifist and I’ve been under fire in a war,but what are we doing pouring thousands of lives and billions of dollars into propping up regimes run by warlords and drug dealers?
    BTW our ill-conceived foray into Libya has resulted in the mass roundup of Balck Africans in that contry by rebel forces based on the fact that Ghaddafi used SOME sub-Saharans as mercenaries
    and now mostly innocent migrant workers are being detained and who knows what is being done to them?
    And if Libya is ok to invade,why not Syria,where more are being killed?See where this can go?
    And it IS a tax issue,so it’s not off topic.
    A simplistic approach that says poeple calling themselves taxpayers is somehow evil is aan approach with little validity.

    • I drive a year 2000 toyota echo and just paid my $53 quarterly installment. yeah, it’s a tax, but I also pay property taxes for the city, and with hurricane Irene it must have cost for the cleanup trucks and traffic cops.
      I think the readers and writers on this site agree with you that we are opposed to waste and corruption and wars of choice.

      • My whole point was that property tax on my house is something I expect as an obligation of being a property owner and assuming police,fire,sanitation,cleanup,and other services will be provided.
        The car tax is nothing but a reassessment of sales tax year after year.
        Can you imagine the government coming into your house and taxing your personal possessions every year?That would start another revolution.
        I never paid car tax in Illinois-each town had a road use sticker that had to be purchased annually-one per vehicle,and the fee was the same for all vehicles.It wasn’t excessive either.
        And-we had batter roads in spite of the harsh winters.
        I try to approach taxation with common sense,not ideology.

  3. “Government is the enemy until you need a friend.”

    What a great quote. The other thing we all need to do is keep on bringing up the Elephant In The Room: multinational corporations, and their burgeoning power.

    Tea Party is just a shill for Shell Oil….

    • A shill?are you serious?I don’t belong to the Tea party,but know a lot of people who do and they’d be amazed at your statement.You want so desperately for it to be true because it would validate the erroneous thesis of the left that the right can’t originate grass roots activist movements unless they’re “racist”,which is slanderous.
      Maybe big oil companies benefit from the Tea party movement,I wouldn’t know, but that’s not the purpose of the organizing effort.
      I don’t belong because I don’t care for a lot of the candidates they field-like O’Donnell and Angle-they are gifts to the left in an election.

  4. I just read in the Projo online that there is a serious proposal afloat to reduce the homestead exemption from 50% to 10%-this is taxing the rich?
    Especially when filthy rich Chafee cheated by claiming he lived in Providence but voted in Warwick.
    Degrading the homestead exemption is regressive and insane-this so city workers can get cut rate medical insurance and compounded COLAS?
    They ought to be Federal retirees for awhile and see the “Cadillac”plans we get-more like “Yugo” and the premiums go up every year.
    How many elderly homeowners will be taxed out of their homes?
    Maybe they can all go to communal hives or something-is that good government?
    I guess the veterans’ exemption is next on the table to be looked over by people who wouldn’t serve in a war if their life depended on it.

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