LifeSep 05, 2018 by Marina
Jesus once told a parable about a rich man who produced a great abundance of crops. Not sure what to do, the man decided to tear down his barns and build larger barns that could store all of his wealth. But God says to him: “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” Daniel José Camacho writes a commentary for Sojourners.
I thought about this parable when I heard someone untied a $40 million yacht owned by Betsy DeVos' family last month. It’s one of 10 vessels owned by her family. The untied yacht, originally docked in northern Ohio, happened to be flying a flag of the Cayman Islands because it’s registered there, presumambly in order to avoid taxes.
Can someone who owns 10 yachts enter the kingdom of God? I’m not sure. Only God can judge a soul. What I can say is that it’s unjust for billionaires—including the wealthiest Christians in human history—to amass obscene profits while gutting the public goods and social safety nets that help ordinary people. Capitalism is so deeply ingrained in our Christianity that it is the default. Yet, this arrangement is neither natural nor inevitable.
Prioritize profit and property over people?
No government or state is perfect. But that is no reason to give unchecked power to wealthy corporations and individuals who prioritize profit and property over people. I believe Christians must re-discover the spirit of Jesus and move away from a Christianity that’s married to capitalism. This will include a re-commitment not only to the common good, but to public goods and a social safety net that truly provide better conditions for human freedom.
If Jesus were to visit our country on this Labor Day weekend, I think he might look — with horror — at the vast need that exists alongside obscene abundance. He might look at all of those hoarding this abundance, and ask: whose will it be?
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