One of the basic purpose of Christian faith is to encourage people to be less self-centered, despite the fact that this is often degraded or deformed. That appears to be especially needed right now as America attempts to work its way out of the financial hole it has slid into. Much of the negative reaction to plans to bail out the banks, the auto industry, people having their mortgages foreclosed, etc., revolves around the fundamental notion, "Why should they get some of my tax money?"
This is a selfish motivation and under the circumstances it could destroy us all. All of the references to "your tax money" and "my tax money" are fundamentally dishonest. Tax money (no matter if it is too high or too low) belongs to the country, not to me or you. If you live here, you have an obligation to help pay for the legitimate cost of being a nation or community. Americans actually pay lower taxes than almost all industrialized nations. We consume far more than our fair share of every resource on the planet, even when the comparison is based on share of wealth instead of population or other bases.
Greed and selfishness has got America into the predicament it is in and if selfish continues to guide our attempts to work our way out of it, we will fail! Unless preachers, devotional authors, religious teachers,theologians and other religious leaders focus in on this reality right now and push their people away from selfish attitudes, they contribute to this potential failure. In the 1930s many preachers pointed out that the Depression was a kind of "punishment" for the excesses and vices of the 1920s. It is time for the same kind of prophetic voice to be raised for the good of America.
Do Evangelical pastors have the spiritual grounding and prophetic vision to raise the needed prophetic voice? Or, have they been bought off by the system? Have they given in to the self-centered values that motivate both conservatives and liberals in America today? Is God allowing America to suffer because His people have so completely drunk of the wine of greed and narcissism that they are no longer able to discern truly Christian ethics?