A Christian Nation or a Nation of Mammon Worshipers?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Getting it Wrong, Social Issues, The Christian Church | 0 comments

You hear it all the time from the entrenched right:  “We are a Christian nation.”  That’s their excuse for taking away women’s human rights.  That’s their excuse for denying our gay, lesbian, bisexual or whatever brothers and sisters their civil rights.  That’s their excuse for denying women access to adequate and doctor prescribed health care.  “We are a Christian nation.”

Well let us just take a look at that.  What does it mean to be a Christian nation.   In Luke chapter 3 verse 11 John the Baptist said:

And he answered and he said to them, “Whoever has two coats, let him give to him who has not, and whoever has food should do likewise.”

In Proverbs chapter 17 verse 5 it is said:  Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

And also lets look at Matthew 25 verses 31 through 46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

This is what the Bible says about the nations and the poor.  This is what people who follow Christ should be worried about.  Because the below graphic (found on http://thepeoplesrecord.com/) demonstrates what America as a nation actually does to its poor.

 

It is more than shameful that in the richest nation in the history of the world we have homeless people while houses are standing empty.  That would not be permitted in a nation that followed Christ.  Not to put to fine a point on it; if we were really a Christian nation, we would not let houses stand empty while citizens went homeless.  But if we were a nation that worshiped Mammon, that is money and greed, then yes we would absolutely rather see houses stand empty than put homeless people in them.    If we were a Christian nation we would, “take the sick in and tend to their ills.”  Yet in reality we would rather see poor people die than implement health care for all.  Even though health care for everyone actually keeps us more healthy too.  http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2009/12/people_with_health_care_are_he

 The study, which analyzed data from national surveys carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assessed death rates after taking education, income and many other factors including smoking, drinking and obesity into account. It estimated that lack of health insurance causes 44,789 excess deaths annually.

Previous estimates from the IOM and others had put that figure near 18,000. The methods used in the current study were similar to those employed by the IOM in 2002, which in turn were based on a pioneering 1993 study of health insurance and mortality.

So it actually makes better economic sense too but Mammon doesn’t actually care about economic sense any more than Mammon cares about human beings.  It’s all about selfish greed with Mammon.  Which is why people in America die every day from a lack of adequate health care.  http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Hey-Mitt-Romney-Americans-DO-die-for-lack-of-insurance.html

2009 Harvard Medical School study found, for example, that “the uninsured are more likely to die than are the privately insured.” “Lack of health insurance,” that study found, “is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease.” While, you, as Mitt of 2012, claimed that the government will protect those without insurance, the same study found that “alternative measures of access to medical care for the uninsured, such as community health centers, do not provide the protection of private health insurance.”

This is murder.  To have the ability to save someone’s life and to choose not to do it for the sake of money is murder.  Not imagined murder of an imagined person growing in someone’s womb but real murder of real people.  This is what Mammon decrees.

Poverty is something that Americans have ignored for generations.  No one wants to look at it.  No one wants to face it.  The right wing has vilified poor people, demonized them for the great sin of being poor.  Jesus loved the poor.  Jesus preached hope for the poor.  There is only one god to whom being poor would be a sin and that god is Mammon.  I submit that the United States of America is not a Christian nation at all.  We are demonstrably a nation that follows Mammon.  We sacrifice our children and our women, our most vulnerable citizens on the altar of Mammon and we do so while telling ourselves we are somehow “free” and “righteous.”  Well we are not.  We are enslaved to our own greed and delusions of self-righteousness.  If we want to be a Christian nation we need to stop buying the propaganda of the Mammonites on Wall Street and start actually following Christ.

You know who is actually doing what Christ told us to do?  The Occupy Wall Street people.  http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/12/03/rolling-jubilee-aims-to-buy-and-forgive-debt  That’s right these people are actually buying up debt and forgiving it.  That is Christian.  And yet if you Google “Rolling Jubilee” the first links you get are from people, pundits who are against the idea and write about what a terrible thing it is and why.  Why would these people do such a thing?  Because this forgiveness of debts strikes at the very heart of the god they worship, it goes against everything Mammonites believe in.

You know who else is striking back against Mammon?  Is it a church?  No.  Chicago, the city of, is striking back against Mammon.  http://www.progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/01/18/chicago-lawmakers-pass-groundbreaking-ordinance-protect-employees-wage

The ordinance, which was co-sponsored by Alds. Pawar, Danny Solis (25th) and Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is much needed in Chicago considering a recent study by the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Center for Urban Economic Development found that approximately $7.3 million in employee wages are stolen in Cook County each week.

The Bible has some harsh things to say about employers who steal wages:  James Chapter 5 verses 1 through 4

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

Clearly the “Job Creators” who fail to pay their workers a living wage are not following Christ.  Wal-Mart is a perfect example of Mammon worshipers who cheat their employees out of fair wages forcing taxpayers to pick up the slack.  If the company makes a profit they are honor and duty bound to pay their employees living wages.   But you see, Mammon doesn’t care about honor or duty.  All Mammon cares about is money and how much of it can be amassed by a single person.    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net#

What is shameful is that CEO Mike Duke makes more money in one hour, than his employees earn in an entire year. Yet, Walmart – which employs millions of people in its stores, distribution centers, and warehouses – continues to abuse its employees and refuses to pay them a livable wage. The company has frequently been charged with wage theft claims by workers who point to the most common forms of wage theft: the refusal to pay proper overtime, the refusal to honor the minimum wage, and illegal paycheck deductions.

Any nation that glorifies a company that does the above to its employees is not, by definition a Christian nation.  In order to be a Christian nation we would have to follow the teachings of Christ.  To love our neighbor as ourselves.  Not as we think they should be.  Not as we want them to be but as we love ourselves.  That would mean not judging them, not terrorizing them if they do something we disapprove of (“pro-lifers” I’m talking to you).  It would mean not vilifying or demonizing people for being poor, homeless or on welfare.  Because millions of people with jobs are on welfare due to poverty wages that we as a nation have turned a deliberate blind eye to.  We have let this happen all the while clutching the tattered shawl of “we’re a Christian nation” close around our shoulders.  We have betrayed our brothers and sisters, we have betrayed our nation and we, in so doing have betrayed the god we claim to follow.

There is an excellent Chapter in the book The Shadow of the Hand of God about this very thing.  It’s worth a read.  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shadow-Hand-God-ebook/dp/B009KRLNVO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358716657&sr=8-2&keywords=The+shadow+of+the+hand+of+god

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