David M. Keranen

David M. Keranen is a retired Bakersfield College mathmatics professor.

To quote a somewhat well-known religious person: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Yes, the 80 percent of Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals that helped to vote into office the present president and administration know not what they did. Without their support the Republicans would not be in office today; the result is becoming a disaster for the country, a disaster in our international relations, and potentially catastrophic for our planet.

According to the parable of the Good Samaritan, and contrary to Cain's question, we should be our brother's keeper when in the time of his or her need. The goal should be a just, humane, and nurturing society dedicated to the flourishing of all and being stewards of the planet.

Social justice has been a struggle since the rise of the industrial revolution. A laissez-faire economic system, with the exploitation of the working class, was considered the norm in the beginning of industrialization. This produced dozens of booms and busts, along with monopolies and trusts, that led to an extreme discrepancy between the rich and the rest of society, similar to what we are experiencing today.

Social Darwinism, the struggle for survival in the social/working environment, was hailed as natural and good; and because of this abuse unions were formed to meet the needs of the workers. Teddy Roosevelt, a different kind of Republican than today, along with muckrakers from McClure's magazine, and others, fought the trusts and instituted many needed regulations. The breakup of Standard Oil, the breakup of the railroads, the cleanup of the meat packing industry, and the necessity for pure food are some of their accomplishments.

Of course this all was fought tooth and nail by the powers that be.Unfortunately, today we have an administration that wants to take us back to a laissez-faire economic system with little or no regulation. They want to increase coal production along with a reduction of clean air technologies. They want to increase logging in our national parks and forests. They want to allow a Canadian company to mine for gold in Alaska with the resulting destruction of salmon rivers, a rich source of tens of millions of salmon.

Being somewhat anti-science, they have left the Paris Accords and consider climate change a fiction, despite all the evidence and considered opinion of most all climate scientists. They want to roll back restrictions on carbon emissions at the behest of the oil and coal industries. They have pulled the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, thus allowing China to fill the gap and reap the trade benefits of several nations in the Pacific.

Not realizing they themselves are illegal immigrants or descendants of illegal immigrants (talk to native Americans about that), they want to curtail the illegal immigrants that are fleeing wars, drug lords, and poverty. They have forgotten the lesson of the Good Samaritan. They are trying to undo the Affordable Care Act, but can't come up with a feasible alternative. A humane society would have Medicare for all and leave the greedy insurance companies to provide extra, private health care for those that want and can afford it.

The list of their destructive and regressive policies go on and on. Predictably, they now have a tax plan to increase the wealth of the already wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Corporations will have their tax rate reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent with the claim, without any evidence, that this will create more jobs. Crede aut non.

Yes, because of a few supposedly Biblically based views on abortion, same sex marriage, and homosexuality, Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals, by their voting record, fail to realize the destruction that they have wrought. They have turned their backs on a just, loving, and nurturing society and they are not being good stewards of the planet.

Some people will claim that we don't need to care for our planet since Jesus is about to return and make everything right. Don't hold your breath: the predicted return of Jesus has been made hundreds of times over the last 2,000 years, with every claimant convinced of the rectitude of his assertions.

David Keranen is a retired Bakersfield College mathematics professor. The opinions expressed are his own.