Fire above - flood below. Tax dollars at work.
|Should we let this place burn because of poor location?|
I have been following the fires in the Colorado mountains for a couple reasons. My sister and her husband live up there and I am relieved that their home has been spared.
The second reason is slightly more complex. I recall reading several posts on Facebook from people who lived in Colorado, specifically in the mountains, when Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. I am not referring to only those remarks about the judgement of God falling on NOLA from the fundamentalist organizations like Focus on The Family and others with HQs in Colorado Springs. Those are enough on their own to foster comments about what God might be judging Colorado Springs for, but I remember reading remarks where mountain dwellers were chiding (and I am being polite by using "chiding") the residents of NOLA for not taking care of their own problems. These statements ran along the lines of "Hey, what do you expect - you live below sea level. Floods are going to happen." and "When we get hit with big snowstorms we don't go crying to the Federal government for help, we just get our shovels and dig ourselves out."
First, the comparison between a big snow and losing one's home and belongings, pets, and in some cases family members to a flood was one helluva stretch. How ridiculous. I also found it slightly to very hypocritical for people who build houses onto the sides of mountains to be bad mouthing anyone for their choice of neighborhoods.
Fast forward to the fires of 2012 hitting those very mountains and the residents thereon. I have yet to read any news stories about homeowners turning away all those Firefighters being paid by the Federal government to battle the flames. One report said over 50% of all the firefighting crews were in Colorado.
10.11.12 Update: This article here demonstrates that the people building in the "red zones" in Colorado do NOT want to assume financial responsibility for their own fire protection - they let all of us taxpayers do it! (Follow the link below and scroll down a bit - very eye opening.)
I have two points:
First, is it time for fundamentalist Christians
to stop assigning blame yet? (The Book says "with the same
judgement you use, you will be judged.")
Secondly, can we admit the fact that part of what a good government can do with our tax dollars is to help people when the shit hits the fan? Be it fire, famine, or flood - there is nothing wrong with our tax dollars (ALONG with our donation dollars) being used to help people when circumstances and natural disasters kick them squarely in the teeth.
In my mind, that IS the American way.
Funny, people will get all excited about providing food and shelter for some poor folks in a faraway land, while the family down the street goes without. There is nothing wrong with relief for kids in Africa - the same as there is nothing wrong with helping a family who lost everything to a flood because their house was below sea level or for brave men and women to risk their lives while being paid with tax dollars to save the lives, homes, and property of people who chose to build them way off the beaten path in the beauty of the mountains.