robotics

I watched a disturbing video the other day. You can find it on youtube listed at the end of this article. It is called, “Humans Need Not Apply.” The video paints a troublesome future as the world turns more and more to robotics. Near the end of the video the presenter lists thousands of jobs that will no longer exist as machines grab more of our work. He suggests that we could experience unemployment at the rate of 45%. If you think it is only lower paying blue collar workers who will suffer, you are wrong. Significant numbers of doctors, lawyers, composers, mathematicians, and writers will also experience the shock.

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Young-teens-by-Fort-Meade-Creative-Commons

At a recent circuit picnic, I was talking with Pastor Mike Saylor about a recent trip he and a number of his parishioners made to Cleveland to work with Building Hope in the City. He talked excitedly about the impact which their several days had on the people and places where they had served, but also about the impact the trip made on the people he brought with him to Cleveland. The paint job they gave the school at St John, South Euclid, spruced the place up just in time for their open house. The school saw 12-15 new families register. Some fatherless pre-teens received some positive male-bonding from the visiting teens. That inner city life is different from rural northwest Ohio struck one adult as he remembered the response one little girl gave when instructed to make something with the ball of clay set before her: “I think I’ll make some cocaine.”

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church-tax-exemption

The federal government gives financial breaks to whomever it wills. Often those benefits go to industries which it wishes to foster, or to those industries it wishes to protect from foreign competitors. Agriculture has often been on the receiving end of such breaks. So has the petroleum industry. For some time churches have received favors from local, state, and federal governments in the form of tax-exemptions. The rationale was that these organizations help society in a variety of ways that otherwise might not be possible if taxes were imposed on them.

We may be moving into a new day in which governments hungry for revenue take a second look at their policies. One reaction on the part of churches would be to roll over and pay. When outsiders ask, “Why should the church get tax breaks?” this group is ready to swallow hard and bring out the checkbook without uttering any defense.

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