I was born and raised in IL. My 8 children were born there, too. It's been just shy of two years that we moved to Madison, WI, in order to live closer to the Children's Hospital that provides health care to the critically ill youngest members of the family, and also to get the benefit of living in one of the greatest communities in the world. It was a shocking blow to us when Scott Walker was elected governor and turned this state into the Tea Party ruled nightmare it has become in just six months.
This past week, the governor of our home state of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, was convicted on 17 counts that included perjury, corruption and other charges related to attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. He is the 4th IL governor of the past 7 to be sent to jail for felony charges, making our Land of Lincoln a bit of a joke to the rest of the world right now.
But here is what the rest of the world does not quite get about IL and our understanding with the politicians we keep electing. We know the truth about ALL politicians, and perhaps we are just way more honest with ourselves in Illinois than the rest of the nation is. We know they are corrupt. Or at least they become that way. We know that they take money from lobbyists and others and that they get benefits from their positions in government. I mean, really, who wants the job of President of the United States for a measly pay of $400,000 plus $50,000 in expenses, when CEOs in this country make an average of $9.25 million? Our expectations are, therefore, not set quite so high for politicians in IL. Sure, we must flush out the most dastardly of their crimes, mainly done by the opposing party pointing fingers at the crimes discovered by the felons in their enemy's party. But it explains why nothing ever changes, including the big family names, in Chicago and statewide politics.
As for Rod, while he was busy lining his personal pockets, he also took care of a lot of the poor people of the state. It was backing of AllKids that dramatically improved the health of the poorest and sickest children of our state, assuring that all kids, no matter where they came from, received health care. Contrast THAT with the supposedly CHRISTIAN WI Governor Scott Walker--who is cutting $466 million from the state's department of health services over the next two years. Oh, and NO public hearings on any of it either. Heaven forbid the public get to express their dismay about this and that the Republicans have to face the disabled and children that they are hurting and in some cases will actually KILL by doing this. It is a profound mystery to me how Republicans, the vast majority of whom profess to be Christians, can refuse to provide health care to the disabled, the poor and to children, whether citizens of this country or not. Do they actually READ their Bibles? I'm an atheist, but I've read their "good book" several times, and the words of Jesus were even printed in RED, for easy reference, yet they seem confused by his admonitions.
"Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?" (Matt 25:44)
Oh, what's that, Jesus? When we refused to give health care to the residents of our state? When we slashed funding? When we would not even hold hearings? I think Scott Walker and his cronies had better hope that I am right and there is no God, or they are in deep doo doo. If they are right and their Lord does show up, they are getting in a world of hurt according to this next verse Jesus spoke:
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:31-46)
So, as much as I don't believe in God, I would love to see that happen. And I believe that Scott Walker would go into eternal punishment, while Rod Blagojevich would be welcomed into eternal life. Because, really, one did a lot more living like the Bible asked while admitting to being a liar and a crook, while the other claims to love the Lord and lives like someone Jesus would want nothing to do with. He even talked about these two guys.
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him. (Matt 21:28-32)
Which governor do you think has a better chance of getting into heaven? I know what I think, though I don't believe in heaven. I'm working to help people here on earth. And that means working to recall Walker. I hope Christians remove the scales from their eyes and start doing the same, for the sake of our state, and for their souls also.
As to political reform, I am less optimistic.