Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Wise May Bring Their Learning, The Rich May Bring Their Wealth

a few days ago, my wife attended a meeting with some other women at our church. in the discussion, the occupy wall street protests came up. one woman commented that what the protestors didn't understand was that the wealthy were responsible for most of the giving in the country, and therefore should be allowed to keep more of their wealth so that their generosity would be encouraged. another agreed. my wife and the others said nothing, because these remarks had diverted the discussion from the topic of the meeting, and they returned to the topic at hand.

when my wife came home, we discussed what had been said. we were both astonished at the attitude of the two women who had used this occasion to condemn the "occupy" movement. this hit home to me so soon after reading about Jesus' comments concerning the giving of the poor widow in comparison to the giving of the wealthy and my post about my thoughts. again, i was reminded of the great division in our country between those who have so much and the remainder of the people. i cannot understand why there are those who cannot see that the current situation will not sustain our democracy. we must not allow an economic system that concentrates more and more of the wealth of the nation in the hands of fewer and fewer people. we have witnessed a great transfer of resources from those who produce the wealth to those who control the economic system. when huge salaries are paid to speculators and those highest on the corporate ladder are paid salaries and bonuses far beyond what they deserve at the expense of those who have produced the resources for those salaries and bonuses, our economic system is broken, and its brokenness must be repaired.

obviously, i am in sympathy with the "occupy" protestors and admire their efforts to call attention to the economic inequities in our country. my prayer today is that those in power will heed the call of the protestors to make the american dream possible once more, to restore the confidence of our people in the promise of our democracy, and to lead us to address the common good rather than the good of the wealthiest few. the way i read it, the gospel demands that we do so.

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