I heard a horrifying account on the radio Saturday. It's a show called This American Life and it hosts story-tellers. The theme was tax cuts, and the story was about Colorado Springs' rejection of the common good.
The question anchor Ira Glass asked was: Is this the kind of country we want, one where government gets smaller? Or should we all pay higher taxes and keep government bigger?
The Colorado Springs answer was resoundingly for smaller government. When sales tax income declined two years ago, the city turned off street lights. Wealthier neighborhoods paid to turn them back on while poorer neighborhoods remained dark until the economy improved a little. The city would not vote for a tax increase.
Most fascinating, 15 years ago, This American Life did a story on prayer in Colorado Springs, where Pastor Ted Haggard had a project to pray in front of the home of every person in the city.
Colorado Springs is known to be a center of Christian faith. And it is known to be a center of conservatism. But this rugged individualism where the poor neighborhoods go dark seems to me to be a flat contradiction of the teachings of Jesus.