Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012.01.18 American Dream?

The American dream of liberty and justice and all good things available to all citizens has turned to pablum, spooned out to the unawares, and the ignorant, and the too-busy-scraping-basic-livelihood-together-to-notice.

The so-called dream has become a lie.

There is less available than ever before to a greater number of citizens than ever before.

Paul Krugman in his NT Times commentary on Jan 16, Martin Luther King day, wrote: “Mitt Romney says that we should discuss income inequality, if at all, only in 'quiet rooms.' There was a time when people said the same thing about racial inequality. [They said it about women, too, and still are.] Luckily, however, there were people like Martin Luther King who refused to stay quiet. And we should follow their example today. For the fact is that rising inequality threatens to make America a different and worse place — and we need to reverse that trend to preserve both our values and our dreams.”

James Forbes, retired minister of the Riverside Church in NYC, said without hesitation years ago when asked what he thought the next great sin America would have to face: CLASSISM.

Years ago too I saw a cartoon image that stayed with me. It pictured a fat cat capitalist type with a top hat and dressed in a tux. In the top of his tipped hat were a small bunch of people cheering and waving money around, while numbers of others spilled down over his belly landing on the ground below. Splat! 99% of us is falling fast.

Studies indicate that the more economic inequality a society has the less mobile it becomes. People can’t move. And stasis is death.

The Occupy Movement has called attention to the problem most recently. I pray its fervor doesn’t fade away.

What will the Church say? Not a whole lot I’m embarrassed to note. This is no time for religious people to be squeamish about the word SIN. One of the better definitions of sin is disconnection from the good in God, self and neighbor.
Our country is living, no wallowing, in SIN. And the Church is seemingly allergic to its mention.

Republican Mitt Romney calls for a retrieval of the SOUL of America. What is that?

I only know one path to get back in touch with one’s lost soul and that is to pray, turn back or repent, and ask forgiveness of God, self and neighbor BEFORE we seek ways to change—sell a few homes, for example. But this can only be done in company with other citizens of church and society. And it starts with confession.

Please let’s STOP dreaming!