Laarman, Peter

Sober and Responsible Public Leadership: Is It Too Much to Ask?

By Peter Laarman

Hard times should, and sometimes do, bring out the best in us: shared sacrifice, creative solutions, and a sense that we’re all in this together. It’s very clear that people in our state and across the nation crave that kind of leadership as they struggle with the worst job market in memory, falling home prices, and even the very grave question of whether they can provide a leg up for their own children.

But it now seems like expecting a certain subset of our political leaders to act soberly and responsibly has become a fading dream. Instead of real leadership, this group gives us reckless and irresponsible politics driven by a hard-right ideology. In Washington, this group has been ready to shut the entire federal government down unless it gets very specific cuts in programs it doesn’t like: environmental protection, women’s health, etc.

Church and State: How Bad Religion Gets It Wrong on Government

By Rev. Peter Laarman
Progressive Christians Uniting

Competent journalist friends of mine have been doing good reporting lately on the unholy intersections between conservative religion and conservative political ideology within Tea Party and Republican circles. Whereas lazy corporate media types tried to convince us that the Tea Party marks a break with Religious Right dominance inside the GOP, it was always obvious to serious observers that an anti-tax gospel has been a major feature of Religious Right teaching for decades. And thus it was equally obvious that the smarmy Ralph Reeds of this world would surely find their place in any new Grand Coalition of anti-government activists.