Does God Hate Trains?
Tampasphere does not really know where to start with this news item: Hillsborough light rail foe seeks ‘to seal the coffin’
The basic thrust is that some opponents of rail want “a proposed amendment to the county charter to prohibit spending county money on rail.” Of course, this would inhibit (but not kill) future planning. (Maybe one of the reasons Tampa Bay is always playing catch-up is because of such distractions.) Tampasphere just finds this proposal silly because what can be changed one way can always be changed back. It just becomes more of a pain to get things done in the future.
Something Tampasphere has long been curious about is why some people are so vehemently opposed to rail, period. Tampasphere can understand if someone opposes a specific plan, but oppose all rail, in all circumstances, for all time? That appears a bit odd, considering that rail is, like so many other things, simply a means to an end. Well, according to the advocate of the permanent ban on county funding, it appears we were mistaken:
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“You have to ask the question, why not just go ahead and approve an ordinance?” Caton said. “You have to believe the intent is to cloak the bureaucracies and the businesses who stand to make a lot of money on this.”
Tampasphere finds the last one interesting, because it assumes there is no fairness in the referendum process. Now we are critical of many processes, but, obviously given the vote on the rail tax referendum, there was no funny business other than most of the things done by the “pro-rail” forces that were extremely and predictably counter-productive to their cause. But that is for another day.
We return to the question of hatred of rail and rail’s immorality. At this site, we learn that the basis of this critic’s philosophy is biblical principles. Now, Tampasphere is not concerned with arguments of religion and believes in pluralism. (To put it more bluntly, Tampasphere has great respect for the Bible. As far as the issues discussed here go, we don’t care what people’s religious beliefs are – unless they happen to oddly come into an issue in which we are interested – and we have no idea why they would, but they have . . .)
In any event, consulting a concordance and as much biblical scholarship as we could, Tampasphere could locate no biblical references to rail transit, or really any transit, save boats, donkeys, chariots, and the like. (for instance, see this, this, and this)
So Tampashere decided to consult more contemporary authorities on the morality of rail:
Apparently, Billy Graham is ok with trains. In fact, his Crusades seem to like subway stops (see here, here, and here – probably because he understands that good transportation allows him to speak to more people and get out his message.
And here is a Charlotte preacher’s wife taking her kids on the train in Charlotte.
This year, the Southern Baptist Convention has their annual meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center – which has a light rail stop. The SBC annual meeting site references Phoenix’s rail system. The SBC Executive Committee is based in downtown Nashville (and see this, which has commuter rail.
For that matter, even Jerusalem is getting light rail.
Tampasphere is led to conclude that rail is not immoral and does not need to be banned, but if you can provide us proof that it is immoral, we will consider it (but please include an explanation of your exegesis and hermeneutics).