Tuesday, July 24, 2007


From the Wikipedia article on accountability, Schedler gives one definition:

"A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct."

Accountability to the community served is a big thing in Catholic health care, even though the magisterium arrogantly refuses to be accountable to the people they serve. Nonetheless, hospitals are often instructed to be accountable to the community while they try to serve the community's needs. Else, a hospital could refuse to engage community members to find out what their needs are.

Accountability is critical in a representative democracy. If a leader does the wrong thing, they should face the threat of being removed from office, and possibly being subject to criminal charges. I've criticized Singapore's leaders before, who steadfastly refuse to be accountable to the public. If this does not change, the country will go down the tubes eventually.

The Bush administration, it seems, also steadfastly refuses to be accountable. Bush and co act seem to think they are above the law.

There are so many incidents of their failure to be accountable that I could fill a book, but this is the most recent. BBC reports that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is refusing to step down despite pressure from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers. There is evidence that Gonzales fired some US attorneys for political reasons - because they weren't Republican. The White House invoked executive privilege to keep some former counselors and aides from testifying to Congress on the matter.

There's any number of fire and judgment psalms I could quote that castigate the arrogant and mighty who laiugh at God, and the poor whom they exploit. The psalms promise retribution for the arrogant and succor for the humble.

But I've done a lot of those recently. So, I'm only going to say that Christians should consider very carefully whether or not members of the Bush administration are Godly men and women, or not. I think not. And whenever the time comes for us to hold them accountable, we must.

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