Rev. John Thomas Decries Our Culture of Extortion

The Rev. John Thomas has posted a timely reflection on his blog at Chicago Theological Seminary.

He describes an African Methodist Episcopal pastor who defines his vocation as being “a good ancestor.” “An ancestor… considers not just himself, or her household, but generations yet to be born and forever unknown to us.  Central to this orientation in life is the notion that life ought to be about inheriting and bequeathing, not merely consuming.  It is to be profoundly communal rather than fiercely individualistic.”

What a contrast to our Culture of Extortion.

Rev. Thomas is writing, of course, about the states that have chosen to deny Medicaid Expansion to people who desperately need health care and about the debate in Congress that has shut down the federal government.  He also describes the kind of corporate extortion that demands amazing perks for the location of a business in one or another state or municipality.  While demands by corporations for tax breaks and other perks are always described as mere nickles and dimes when spread over a number of years, Rev. Thomas declares, “to the poorest public schools in Illinois watching state funding cut… the nickles and dimes are important.”


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