It Doesn’t Add Up

Is it just me, or does anyone else see a problem with 1% of Americans holding almost 40% of the wealth in this country?  Not only that, when a someone comes along and even mentions rectifying this imbalance, he’s immediately labeled a socialist and accused of wanting to redistribute the wealth.  All the while, the rich are working a wealth redistribution scheme of their own.  One that is of epic proportions; and it doesn’t appear that they’ll be satisfied until they have it all.  Jim Wallis and his friends at Sojourner Magazine are working hard to counter all this with petitions, letter-writing campaigns and even fasting for a moral budget.  Shane  Claiborne has written repeatedly about how the government of our supposed “Christian” nation spends 30% of its annual budget, $1,372 billion, on defense while working to cut social programs that benefit the poor.  And, Christians in this country are falling all over themselves to stick it to those less fortunate.

Somewhere, American Christianity lost its way.  A religion founded on peace, love and helping those in need has morphed into the Church of FuckyouI’mkeepingmyshit.  Do you realize that some of the people arguing the hardest against the President’s health-care reform plan do so from not just from “bully pulpits”, but actual pulpits in real churches.  Listen to me because I want you to understand this: leaders of the faith founded by Jesus, who told his followers to feed the hungry, clothe naked, care for the sick, visit the prisoner and welcome the stranger are saying “Screw the poor!  Let the lazy bastards get jobs and work like the rest of us!”  They’re saying “Don’t expect me to sacrifice any of my security so your family can have basic medical care.  That’s not my responsibility.”  They’re saying “Damn criminals.  They’re getting just what they deserve.”  They’re saying “Illegal immigrants are ruining this country and their rights don’t matter.  We need to ship them all back where they came from!”  Another thing Shane Claiborne has told us is “Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful” and we are proving him right everyday.

People in our country are starving and the church argues about orthodoxy versus orthopraxy.  47 million people in this country don’t have health care and the church feuds over the issue of same-sex marriage.  About 3.5 million Americans (including 1.35 million children) are homeless and American congressmen  fight to keep in place tax cuts for the wealthiest of us.  That same Congress desperately tries to defund a reproductive health-care provider who helps women in need all across the country in the name of “fiscal responsibility”, but they don’t even blink at spending billions to fund unjust wars.  Looking at these actions by our country and our church, I’ve come to a conclusion: it’s getting more and more like 1st century Palestine around here, with the U. S. playing the part of the Roman Empire and the church stepping up as the Pharisees and Sadducees.   And, we all know what happened to them.