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.