Lately I’m struggling with my liberal contingency. I’m hearing the same “liberal” rhetoric of improving social services, education and civil rights. I’m hearing the anti-war, anti-oppression and pro-choice messages that separate “us” from “them.” And we fervently bond on those issues, but the fight for justice ends at the point where any degree of sacrifice becomes necessary in order to promote environmental, social or economic justice. Someone tell me I am wrong here! I have heard many conservative religious folks preach and teach that God rewards the blessed/good with wealth, health and prosperity. It is that God-is-love theology gone bad. God loves me. God is all-powerful. God is just. So God will reward me for my goodness by keeping me from suffering and making me luxuriously comfortable in this human life (perhaps to prepare me for the even more lavish abundance that I will experience in heaven). Why are we buying into that belief? With a short-sighted view it might appear to be good for us (we get to FEEL good anyway with our material possessions, free access and a soaring (if not self-sustaining) ego; we can eat what we want, when we want and in as high a quantity as we want; we get new clothes, new cars, all kinds of stuff; we can buy disposable everything so as to avoid cleaning or bothering with re-use). With a more far-sighted view though don’t we (liberal folk) all agree that gluttony is bad. Isn’t it that simple? A chronic sense of entitlement, greed and privilege leads to oppression, violence, war, neglect, fear and other results that I think we acknowledge are negative for us individually and also in our local, national and global communities. Right?