Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Difference Between the Rich & The Poor

When Jesus says "the poor you will always have with you, "  what he was trying to say was that as long as we have a system of money, we will always have a system that allows some to have all and others to have nothing.

The theology of money is economics, of course, of whom Adam Smith is considered to be the Abraham of American Capitalism, and Milton Friedman is the Messiah of the "Money Changers" in the temple of Wall Street, who politicians everywhere worship like a golden calf.

Wealth and poverty demark the boundaries between Heaven and Hell, with a "middle class" that languishes in the purgatory of always fearing the one and hoping for the other. But they do not constitute immutable objective realities, like gravity or the seasons, but are wholly man made. And they are wholly man made out of a clever means of power and control, which is based on nothing but a "belief" in money.

 Make no mistake, there is no real "god" that humanity truly "trusts in," serves more devoutly, and is ultimately willing to kill and die for, more than money.

The difference between the rich and the poor can only be assessed by having an awareness of the difference between the two. Or, to put it more simply, a 3 year old child does not know what it means to be wealthy or impoverished any more than a ten year old, or even an 80 year old, if they have only ever known their own experience.

This is also true of ethnicity or even religion and culture in general. If a person has no knowledge that there is anything other than what they have experienced every day of their life, they would have no reason to suspect there was anything different from themselves anywhere in the world, and that their own experience with reality was therefore no different from anyone else's. In fact, it is this very assumption that so often leads two people to argue, since both may be assuming the other's experience with reality is just like their own, even though it never really is.

But money allows for a mingling of realities, with great wealth and poverty being separated in some neighborhoods in America by nothing but a street or a set of train tracks.  Like fields clearly lined on a farm, so rich and poor neighborhoods are mostly divided into different sections across America. To assume that those sections are simply the result of city planners or zoning restrictions, is to assume that cities may be man made but money is divine (or at least divinely distributed). And that's largely what people like Joel Olsteen and Mitt Romney want you to believe.

In truth, the only difference between the rich and the poor is the belief (i.e. delusion) that some people have a (perhaps "divine") right to having more of something, or having better access to something, than others.

The "birds of the air do not worry," as it says in Matt 6:25-34, because they do not depend upon money to buy food, but instead take their food directly from the bountiful earth, without a middle man betting, taking a commission, or collecting interest on the transaction. And that's why, unlike the "birds of the air" and "the flowers of the field," everyone is forced to "worry about" having food to eat, clothes to wear, a place to live, and access to healthcare, "tomorrow."

Indeed, the "poor" we will always have with us, as Christ said, because we all have a great deal to "worry about tomorrow," thanks to that God in which we so dearly trust - money.

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