Tuesday, October 17, 2006

God and Moses Against Minimum Wage?

There's an ad running in Colorado in which God and Moses campaign against minimum wage. Like Missouri, Colorado has a constitutional amendment on the November ballot which would raise the minimun wage and tie it to annual increases based on inflation. You may view the ad here.

The script reads:

MOSES: Hello!

GOD: Can you hear me now?

MOSES: We need divine intervention. They want to chisel Amendment 42 into Colorado's constitution where it doesn't belong.

GOD: What on earth are you talking about?

MOSES: An annual minimum wage increase in stone for eternity!

GOD: When inflation and recession come, it will be a catastrophe!

MOSES: It's a plague we'll face every year.

GOD: We can't let the people make this mistake. Go. Spread the word. Vote no on 42!

It shows Moses talking to God while holding two stone tablets. "Stop 42" is carved into one tablet, which Moses smashes at the end of the ad.

Seems rather odd, and perhaps sacriligeous, to use this dynamic duo to try to influence anyone to do anything. Perhaps that's why we haven't seen a similar ad here in Missouri. But I find it especially hypocritical that anyone would use Moses and God to try to stop an increase of the minimum wage.

Moses, the writer of the Torah, wrote many passages (inspired by God) in the Torah dealing with the treatment of the poor and needy. For example:
You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. - Leviticus 19:15

To vote against a minimum wage would violate this passage of scripture.

And this verse:
For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, `You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.' - Deuteronomy 15:10

So how is withholding a much needed increase in the minimum wage consistent with this scripture? We are commanded by God and Moses to open our hand wide to the poor and needy in our land. But instead, this group in Colorado and similar folks in Missouri would rather close their hands to the poor and needy and open it wide to the rich and powerful.
You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. - Deuteronomy 24:14

To those barely surviving while working for minimum wage, an increase in the minimum wage is necessary. To not increase the minimum wage would be oppressing them. So why would this group, Stop 42 in Colorado, decide it was prudent to use God and Moses as spokesmen for a campaign to stop the raising of the minimum wage?

And why would any Christian be against increasing the minimum wage? Doesn't everything in scripture point to our responsibility to help the poor? Oh. Wait. That would also mean Christians should be against cutting Medicaid for the poor. But Gov. Blunt and the Republican legislature (including Aunt Norma) voted to do that. And Gov. Blunt, Aunt Norma, and Republicans all claim to be Christian. Aunt Norma even "teaches" at a Christian university.

Seems the "Religious Right" is neither.