Most people are now probably tired of hearing about the politics as the elections are very close and the campaigning has been too long. What I am tired of hearing is whether this election is about either ‘social issues’ or the “economy”? Is there a real difference between the two?
The social issues that the political analysts, media and the voters are raising are issues of women’s health, gay marriages, contraceptives, abortion, equal rights and equal pay for women, health care among others. These issues seem to be dividing the voters into two very different camps. As voters and analysts are arguing that the key factor or issue is the economy, I ask, “How are these social issues separate from economic issues?”
Every time someone has to pay out of their pocket for contraceptives or any other health issues, it affects their personal household economics. It may mean a decrease in other spending because they have to cover more out of their pocket for health care. When a woman makes a decision whether to bear a child or to abort the child, it has huge economic issues for her, her family and her society.
When gay and lesbians who are in committed relationships want to get married, it has huge implications on their income taxes, spousal benefits and inheritance taxes. How can gay marriage not be an economic issue?
When a woman is seeking equal pay for equal work, how can this not be an economic issue?
Americans need to recognize that social and economic issues are all intermingled and intertwined within our society. Americans need to recognize the importance of these social issues and how it impacts our own personal and national pocket books.
We need to recognize the strong implications of the presidential candidate who is elected this November and how his perspectives on so-called social or women’s issues, will affect our personal, national and world wide economy. Don’t let anyone fool you that social issues and economic issues are two different and distinct concerns within this election.
They are both and the same issue. Please vote wisely.
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Grace Ji-Sun Kim is Associate Professor of Doctrinal Theology and the Director of the MATS program at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is the author of The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology (Pilgrim Press).