Careless theologians might celebrate that , at last , the ABC has brought Guilt, Original Sin and Denial aback into the conversation . Perhaps not so much the word "guilt "( still forbotten ) , but certainly the feeling of it. The PM qanda
preach righteousness with an urgency unheard of in their youth . The feeling is clearly that "we are all sinners and carry a burden of guilt" ..... it is in the headlines and the words of our leaders ; " its the right thing to do " the word "should ". They want to change the word but keep the sense of it - how plagerisiic and non like author like they are
BUT ,Like the worst kind of church , its the kind of sermon where the sinners are outside and the righteous are inside . The righteous being absolved by riding bikes and recycling rubbish. The members inside claim those outside are in denial of the truth ..... but who knows . The real truth maybe not said or said openly ( why do churches have a box for confession )- it may until dealt with remain denied or hidden. It could be that the insiders are higher up some righteous ladder, but who would know ? Who cares and why ?
But , no reason for complacency or ignoring the facts - penance is no substitute for proper payment . The big theological question is not how much I sin compared to how much you sin ( typical cheap grace scenario) but whether by breathing or farting, we all sin. The key question is how to take it and deal with it .
The reality is, if carbon dioxide is the worry they say it is , we are all in the shit as it were .Original Sin is back - with a vengeance. And the return of OS is making people nervous about all sorts of things they weren't previously worried about - like eating meat and killing animals. If footprint is the issue , then we all share the blame . As for guilt ,you don't hear the word ,but you smell it in the wind .Powerful if not directional .( the reactionaries biggest problem is they can't nail the future )
The popularity of the carbon tax is understandable in this moral context . But is the CT a substitute tax , a token tax or a proper payment or purchase or redeeming tax?
One thing is clear ; there is a lot of tokenism in the temple taxes, and not much true reconciliation- of who pays. This is the dumb debilitating nature of the discussion so far - it doesn't take "meeting the mark" to its logical conclusion PERSONAL responsibility accountability and effectiveness. No other way ! Also if you go into the cul de sac one way there is no option but to back out (rep ere)
Whatever happened to the Liberals love , not of temple tax, but "user pays" - its much more truly liberal in philosophy , substance and sustainability than their dumb worship of the market.
Good theology would for clarity sake say, clearly that , "while original sin exists , the only way to tackle sin productively is to target particular sins and pay the full cost price for each of them ( only suspect economists advertisers and polys would say otherwise .....but they appear to have their sway) . A CT will not pay full price - its a token tax , and worse still it doesn't target the real sinners - only big sinners will pay ( whatever that means - biggest thing in town will be environment court) . And while maid Julia's men will rob everyone, good people will receive a handout and .....bless the pope . ( So like dream, its not really funny ....is it? ) do ( predictably it is going to build the god of government ) but which more prerogative and focused taxes like full taxes have been doing ( and should still do )
The real test of a good tax is whether it works to give both effective use of taxes and yields an acceptable level of reconciliation- but without the high and irrational cost of penance . The CT is trying to do lots of things ----including plain tokenism and irrational guilt mediation .
More people are going to church but are they leaving with a blessing!
Sound doctrine can do what its always done - set a workable framework for thinking about life and its challenges.