Turning the Tables on Wall Street: America’s Temple or Torment?
“Jesus Purifies the Temple” (John 2: 2:13-25) in an engraving
by the German Nazarene artist Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1860)
The failure of social conservative moral leadership to call into account the business practices and aggressive failures of the marketplace - to be fair and honest - is a significant contributor to the escalation of the imbalance of wealth (the 1% & the 99% ers) and the pervasive societal moral decay that comes with trying to keep up with the corporate Jones'.
The blind-eyed marriage of the church to the excessive and corrupt business practices of some corporations and the outright fraud found in so many of the slick practices of the marketplace and especially Wall Street have sold the birthright of many Evangelical Christians into a world of excessive debt, unbearable family financial pressures, and everyday stress producing anxiety created by (and compounded by) job insecurity. It is a world where loyalty and length of service are considered expendable by businesses in the search of greater profits and better bottomlines. Add in a high level of unemployment among these self-same Evangelicals and the staggering debt of their children, young Evangelicals, who have taken on student loans in quest of a step-up career.
All forms of benefits and delayed compensation are now being sucked back into their sources by a new kind of greed-Corporate Givers cum Corporate Takers.
When the church loses its prophetic role in calling the CEO/men of power to task, to account for their disrespect for the underprivileged and the planned, immoral conduct of business, the rampant dishonest practices, it loses the power to speak the truth.
“Lazarus and Rich Man” (Luke 16:19-31) from a 10th Century fresco in
the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila in Bulgaria (Reconstructed 1937-1946)
The Biblical story of the rich man and the beggar - the pauper who once was confined to scrounging the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table was eventually released from this mortal realm into paradise. His story illustrates this point.
The beggar, now in Paradise, could name his price for a drop of water to assuage the hellish torment of the eternally damned CEO named in the story. That wealthy man - upon dying - found himself suffering eternal torment in hell for his evil marketplace behavior. Now a torment-bound, abject beggar himself, he pleads for meager humanitarian aid from a higher place. He now pleads "give me just a drop of water!"
Wealth and the where-with-all to have one's way in the greater community do not substitute for character and compassion. Social conservatives would do well to remember this.
Conservative Evangelical Christians Must Divorce Themselves From Corporate Greed & Evil
Conservative Christians must return to voting in their own best economic interests, and not get caught up in clever manipulation. Evangelicals must act in light of their own history of championing social reform: speak out, and vote in light of the full weight of moral conviction and principles encompassing more than a narrow list of hot button social issues managed by the conniving Svengali mavens on the extremes who inflict on Evangelicals untold pain and suffering via the mega-wealthy, TeaPartisan and Corporatist politics destroying family values and the family itself.
On the Reader:
More on Christian Values and Greed on the Gazette.