Inspirin’ Words from the Reverend

I was listening to the radio yesterday. Amazingly, the question of whether Mormonism is a cult is getting much more attention than the question of how we are going to get Americans back to work. I think it’s because the ‘cult’ thing has entertainment value, while unemployment is really scary and depressing. Among the interviewees was a Christian minister who conceded that Mormonism is not a cult in the ‘Jim Jones’ sense. Talk about faint praise! Then he said that Mormons have Christian values like being against abortion and gay marriage.

I thought of the New Testament and wondered how the Christians manage to overlook all the words of Jesus about giving to the poor, loving our enemies and abandoning wealth and status for a greater goal. Jesus never said anything about abortion or gay marriage. How did these issues come to define the core message of Christianity for so many?

This Sunday, in my Unitarian church, I heard an inspiring and challenging sermon, and one that I think connects with our best values, both religious and secular…

John Steinbeck summarized our collective problem, when he observed how; “socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” Let me be clear. I’m not against Capitalism. As Mae West and others, who would know, said, “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. And, honey, rich is better.” I’ve been poor and I’ve no brief against making money.
But, there is a shadow to Capitalism, and it is a big one, a really big one; that is the business of business is business, and left to its own capitalism becomes monopolistic. Twenty percent of the American population control eighty-two percent of its wealth, and the majority of that is concentrated in the hands of one tenth of one percent of our population. It has been a very long time since we’ve seen such inequality in this country.
Capitalism is about accumulation of wealth, and nothing else. Think child labor, sweatshops, unsafe mines and meat painted to disguise its corruption. To be useful to people in real life, Capitalism needs regulation. As we’ve learned Ronald Reagan is said to have said, “free enterprise is not a hunting license.” And, and this is so important, there is no force other than government to attend to regulating businesses, to keep them from their own natural inclinations to excess, to the constant concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

Read the rest here, at Rev. James Ford’s MonkeyMindOnline.

7 thoughts on “Inspirin’ Words from the Reverend

  1. I,like Ronald Reagan,and others with common sense,agree that some regulation is necessary and even good-I’d not like to see no standards in industries concerned with such things as food,drugs,toys,automobiles,etc.
    What bothers me is the “cap and trade”mentality,where in the name of unproven theories,US industry,particularly,manufacturing,has been forced abroad or out of business.
    The Sierra Club be damned-there are few steel making plants left as an example.
    No-we buy from countries that burn crap like lignite to make power and then feel so smug and “green”Sheesh!!
    There is only one sky over the world,and if we buy from “don’t give a damn” polluters what have we gained by forcing millions out of work in the name of environmentalism?

  2. that’s a good point, that we shouldn’t buy from polluters. we should pay attention to who makes the cheap stuff we buy– and think twice about buying stuff we don’t need.

  3. Well,we do and we don’t.
    Some “low tech”(not necessarily low skill)jobs can’t be replaced.
    How about cooks or landscapers?

  4. And I quote:

    …What bothers me is the “cap and trade”mentality,where in the name of unproven theories,US industry,particularly,manufacturing,has been forced abroad or out of business….

    This is just simply wrong. Completely wrong. Rush Limbaugh wrong.

    Corporations have moved overseas for one reason: To Increase Profits.

    That is the only reason.

    A lot–and I mean a lot–of non-polluting firms–insurance companies, for example have gone offshore. Because of the Sierra Club?

    No. No. A thousand times, no.

    Repeating claptrap like the quote above is a huge part of the problem. People do not see what is happening because enablers and apologists parrrot the Company line.

    This isn’t about regulations, or laws, or anything else.

    It’s so the guys in the corporate offices can increase their bonuses.

    That is the only reason.

    And capitalism does not mean the god-given right to dump your crap into a public waterway, or into the air that I breathe. There is a cost to such behavior. These are what economists call ‘externalities’. Someone pays for them, whether the company producing it, or the general public, in the form of higher medical bills, more sick time lost, lower production due to bad health.

    So how is it somehow socialist to expect a company to clean up the mess they make? Can I go dump my garbage in a public park? No. So why should a manufacturer be able to dump its garbage in a public waterway–like the Bay? For years, jewelers dumped their excess mercury and lead into the upper Bay, and now the levels prevent quahogging there. That is a cost. And who pays? Not the people who made the mess, but the quahoggers who can no longer fish there.

    We know what mercury does to the central nervous system. How is this an ‘unproven theory’? That is what pollution does. That is what carbon emissions do. Breathe the stuff, develop lung problems. How is that ‘unproven’?

    1. Made your little ranting speeech at me again?”Rush Limbaugh”-you’re a joke.
      I didn’t suggest dumping toxic waste is ok-if you bothered to read,we still get our goods from polluer much worse than we were.
      The Sierra Club /cap&trade mentality just goes too far.
      Maybe you look forward to much higher electricity rates-I don’t.
      How’s life in the little home office these days,anyway?

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