recognize that a ‘rant’ is not the best way to get one’s point across, but aren’t there times when all you can do is rant? Or, at least it feels that way.
I understand that some people believe that we were founded as a Christian nation. While I disagree (and the reason for that disagreement can be a future blog post), let us for the sake of argument go along with that proposition. What does that mean – to be a Christian nation? My somewhat logical answer would be that the nation agrees to adhere to Christian principles. What might those be? Love God, love your neighbor.
Yet another question. What does love your neighbor mean? Are neighbors only those who think like you, make as much money as you, are as healthy as you, are as educated as you, and are the same religion, the same nationality, the same ethnic background? If you read the New Testament, the answers to the above conditions are no. It unconditionally says love your neighbor whomever your neighbor is. And, when you love someone you want that person to live a life free from hunger, free from illness, free from worry about where they will sleep. A Christian nation should take care of its people. A Christian nation would understand that when much is given, much is expected. A Christian nation would do what is necessary to be sure that no child goes without…without an education, without food or clothing or warmth.
Admittedly this Christianity is not based on a specific denominational theology with a set of rules about other-worldly salvation. No, this Christianity is based on the here and now and caring for the common good. Christianity would promote the miracle of common cause understanding that God loves us all…universally. Our value is not based on our economic status; our value is based on our humanity.
Hence, my rant. My rant is about the fact that we do not seem to love our neighbor. Our political culture at least seems to favor those who have much and wish to share little. There seems to be an idea that there is never enough wealth to truly share. I know there are exceptions, some incredibly generous, kind individuals giving much as a way of paying back for all they have received. BUT, we have a system that says – because we can not ask for the wealthy to share in their wealth, we must ask those without to suffer more than they already are. How can we ask disabled individuals to do without health care? How can we ask ill people to do without their medications? How can we ask people to not have heat and hot water because there is no money for fuel? How can we not help those who have no place to live or will soon be forced out because there are no meaningful jobs to be had (currently there is one job opening for every four who are looking).
Because one is wealthy does not mean that they are by definition bad people. And, I honestly don’t want to ‘bring down’ the rich. I am just asking them to share – fairly share in what they have.
I also feel basically helpless. I have a somewhat public voice, but still do not feel that my impact against the all-mighty-dollar is great…it is miniscule. I want to raise my volume, I want to raise my effectiveness, I want my words, my thoughts, my heart to matter. I sincerely want this nation to live the values upon which it was purportedly founded – to love – to care – to share. Is that asking too much?