Broken Dawn and the Chain of Consequence
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Broken Dawn and the Chain of Consequence • Posted: Mar 05, 2012 10:30:39Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Severe weather has begun to strike the rural midwest again. Reports of more than 38 dead and entire small towns demolished across southern Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Alabama headline the news. A 2-year old girl was found alive and alone lying in an open field near the wreck of her Indiana mobile home. She remained for a while in critical condition, then died last night of brain swelling. Her parents and siblings did not survive either.

Meanwhile, violence and assassination continue in Afghanistan over the destruction of Qurans at the hands of misguided unthinking U.S. soldiers. Investigations are not complete, but early indications are that concerns over handling of the volumes were not heeded, or fell through the cracks. The question for all of us: are replaceable symbols really worth the destruction of irreplaceable lives? The answer might be yes, if one has little else but symbols to help maintain meaning in one's life.

And the story in Syria continues. Obstructing China has, at long last, decided to attempt offering a potentially viable pathway for ending the unfettered slaughter of citizens by the Syrian government. China's plan will undoubtedly fail. And, then what? Will that be their only token contribution toward responsible global citizenship?

Interestingly, the EU has begun exploring alternatives to their continuing debt crisis beyond doubling down on hard-nose austerity that has unavoidably precipitated slowing of their economies, rising unemployment, and riots in the streets over elimination of pensions. Everyone wants to get paid, but no one wants to take responsibility for previous investment schemes that disregarded consequence and sustainability.

A similar lesson has yet to be learned by U.S. conservatives hell-bent on dismantling government in the guise of balancing budgets and saving taxpayers money. This week's This American Life on NPR gives a peek at what is in store for us should conservatives hold sway and blindly continue forcing us down that path. One story details blithe budget cuts that have significantly shrunk New Jersey police forces resulting in rapid increases in crime that further threaten to erode the tax base as citizens flea. And more blithe budget cuts are in the works. A second story features Colorado Springs CO experimenting with à la carte pay-as-you-go privatized city services that appear to be furthering the divide between haves and have-nots as workers take home less but entrepreneurs take home more. Open, inclusive, everyone pitch in for the common good community is gone. Medieval walled exclusivity with hoards of rioting poor at the gates would seem to be the direction current conservative thinking is pushing us. Is that really the kind of future we want for ourselves?

The stark reality is that we no longer live in a world where individual actions have limited repairable consequence, like pebbles falling into oceans. Severe weather, bad economic conditions, rioting poor, murderous tyrants on the loose, and self-serving politicians and corporate leaders are all the result of choices we have made. They are our chickens come home to roost. God will not save us from suffering the destructive consequences we have irresponsibly initiated or neglectfully failed to manage. And, neither will corporations serving their own motives for profit.

A gift has been given us and we are responsible for what comes of that gift. There is no wall or gate or gun or cushion of cash or even prayer that will protect us from suffering the consequences of our own arrogant ignorance and neglect. That is the clear physics of existence. Nothing happens without consequence. To not consider the implications of that reality, that truth, in deciding what action to take next is nothing less than irresponsible foolishness.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
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