David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
May 15, 2007

Last Saturday, a $130 million dollar bond issue—to build a new high school in San Angelo, make improvements to our other high school, and build two new elementary schools—was defeated by a 2-1 vote. I do not want to give my opinion of the outcome but, rather, my opinion of a comment that was made, regarding this issue.

Our local paper, the San Angelo Standard-Times, interviewed some people leaving the polls; one person’s comments . . . well, let’s just say they hit a sore spot with me.

One of the voters, whom I do not know personally and will not name, was quoted as saying, “Anything to do with raising taxes, we’re against. Our kids go to ____ Christian School already, and there is no benefit to us whatsoever.”

I would hope that this person just had what I call a “Currie Moment.” As most of you know, if you have read things I’ve written and said for these past nearly 20 years, I have occasionally said a thing or two that I wish I hadn’t said and that, on looking back at it, I realized was inappropriate.

To me, the statement that this person made was incredibly short-sighted (I came up with that politically correct term in lieu of just calling it stupid) as well as unChristian, especially to be made by one calling oneself Christian.


I suppose the first statement—about being opposed to any taxes—is just a matter of opinion. None of us likes paying taxes, but I do like good highways, good schools, and police and fire protection; I like knowing that you who are reading this column just paid, via a government program, one-half of my expenses of spraying prickly pear on 273 acres at the ranch. Someone once said that paying taxes is the price we pay for a civilized society, but I do not want to argue that point.

What really bothered me was the last statement of the quote: “there is no benefit to us whatsoever.”

Wow! Where do I start?

A well-educated population is one of the most critical things imaginable for a free, democratically-governed capitalist society. Our entire economic and political system depends on people getting a good education. I find it unbelievable that anyone could fail to realize that a quality education—even for other people’s children—benefits all of us. My future, my children’s future, and that person’s children’s future depend on a well-educated America. We all have a huge stake in making sure that we have a strong public education system, because most cannot afford private school education, and public funds should not EVER be used for private education.


Even more troubling for me as a Christian, though, was the person’s statement indicating a lack of concern about anyone’s education or well-being beyond that of the person’s own family. I hate to be so blunt, but this is simply an unChristian attitude.

The Bible teaches us that every individual human being is created in the image of God. That means that children born today in Kenya, Germany, Russia, China, and on and on are just as valuable to God as Durham Sanders Brown, who is my cousin Charlie McLaughlin’s grandson, who was born on Mother’s Day in Brownwood. That means that God is just as interested in sharing life with them and partnering with them as He is with my own children. That means that their economic, spiritual, mental, and emotional needs ought to matter to us as much as our own and those of our own children. That is what we call the “whole Gospel.”

One thing being a Christian means is that we quit thinking about only what is beneficial to us personally but think, too, about what is beneficial to all people everywhere and to the Kingdom of God. We become other-centered, thinking of others as much as we do ourselves and concerned for others as much as we are for ourselves and our own families.

So I hope that my fellow San Angelo resident just had a “Currie Moment” and regrets making those statements to the paper. Otherwise, it would be best for that person to go read the Bible for a while and get a bigger picture of the Gospel and what Jesus really cares about.