Friday, September 25, 2009

Fitness, God, and Politics

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Does God want you to be fit and healthy and a non-smoker?

Should politicians be judged on their weight as well as the weight of their words?

Should sugary soft drinks be taxed?

Probably. Nobody likes a scold. But elections won't change Memphis much or fix health care. Neither will the Dalai Lama or President Obama or Congress. The only thing that's going to do that is policies that encourage changes in individual behavior.

Preachers and teachers and politicians and media types should keep saying that. But if you want to get elected or make news you have to play to the crowd, blame somebody, and promise to do all sorts of things for people that we should do for ourselves. Fighting lung cancer and diabetes and obesity — in other words, national health care reform — by self control is too boring and simplistic.

So we dwell on fist bumps and protests and political horse races and prayers in public meetings and debates in which candidates try to outdo each other's claims to fix crime, education, and health care.

Take care of yourself. Pretty simple message. Kudos to the Church Health Center and the Krocs and the YMCAs and Memphis Athletic Ministry and the secular humanists who say that and provide opportunities to do something about it. End of editorial. It's this darn sore foot that's keeping me off the courts, but I'll be back on them and off this high horse by the next post.

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