Like he has so many times before, Chuck Colson has not only analyzed the culture well, he has suggested practical tracks to run on for the future. The only thing I question in this article is his last sentence. He says th
Take some time to read this BREAKPOINT DAILY TRANSCRIPT. Then spend some time praying th
A Cancer on the System Radical Surgery Required
For those of you who remember W
aterg ate, John Dean, the President's counsel, famously warned President Nixon about W aterg ate, describing it as, quote, "a cancer on the Presidency." Th atis a pretty good phrase to describe our economic mess.
If you got the sniffles, you can take an antihistamine. A few antibiotics can cure an ear infection. But cancer requires surgery, and maybe chemo and radi
[In November of 2008] the NEW YORK TIMES’ Thomas Friedman wrote, "Right now there is something deeply dysfunctional, bordering on scandalously irresponsible, in the fractious way our political elite are behaving -- with business as usual in the most unusual economic moment of our lifetimes. They don't seem to understand: Our financial system is imperiled." And, quoting Yale professor Jeffrey Garten, Friedman argued th
atit's better to overestim ate the danger and act accordingly than to underestim ate.
He's right. So I have a radical proposal: surgery followed by chemo.
Let us remember th
atone of the gre atconcepts of the Reform ation was the Rule of Law. No office holder is above it. So as for the surgery, I'd start maybe impeaching or indicting some of the officials who pontific ate day after day on television about the terrible crisis – but they're the same ones who helped bring it about. From those who put their pals in charge of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and then forced those agencies to make loans they knew couldn't be repaid; to those regul ators atthe Office of Thrift Supervision who ignored the signs of c atastrophe while the likes of Countrywide Financial, IndyMac, and Washington Mutual went down.
As one former Republican lawmaker told the
POST last week, the "regul WASHINGTON atory motif" atOTS "was too accommod ating to priv ate-sector interests." The result was chaos!
As for Wall Street, the surgery would include curbing the excess compens
ation so many of those officials got, and even indicting some of the irresponsible ones who negligently promoted instruments they knew had to fail. In the old days, we'd have called th atfraud.
And don't continue bail-outs to the irresponsible. Let the bankruptcy courts reorganize mismanaged companies. The reorganiz
ation would get rid of the all the labor fe ather-bedding and corpor ate excesses, particularly in the three big auto makers.
The chemo and radi
ation part is harder. It means injecting into the bloodstream of the n ation a sense of ethics. It's not taught in business schools; it's not taught in high schools. We have lost our understanding of right and wrong. All th atm atters anymore is the financial bottom line and self s atisfaction.
So this is where Christians can truly make a difference, as I have written this month in CHRISTIANITY TODAY. The financial meltdown is more a crisis of character than a crisis of finances. Historically, our ethical system has come from Judeo-Christian revel
ation. We've got to start bringing it back into society. There is simply no other way.
Surgery, chemo and radi
ation are long processes. When my son went through it a while ago, it took a year. But the point is, until the cancer is destroyed, the body cannot be healthy.
To postpone it will only postpone the inevitable and perhaps merely succeed in allowing the p
atient to die painlessly. This n ation deserves better.
Copyright (c) 2008 Prison Fellowship