An issue I have with liberalism, Christian or otherwise
Posted by Chance on January 27, 2010
I think many Christian liberals have their hearts in the right place when it comes to helping the poor and so on. But after a particular sermon I heard at my church, I realize the wrongness of a certain attitude that I perceive when I have talked to some of them on the blogs. They see “rich people” as “somebody else”.
The idea of the sermon is that we see God’s stern warnings toward the rich and think “whew”, those richies better watch out! But here’s the issue, most of us are rich. Maybe not compared to the rest of America, but definitely so in comparison to the rest of the world, and the rest of time up until now.
To illustrate this point, the pastor visited the website http://www.globalrichlist.com/.
Seeing the rich as “other people” is not a problem exclusively experienced by liberals, I think all Americans do it to some degree. But for liberals, it is a more foundational issue of their philosophy – class warfare, us vs. them. It’s the top 90th percentile against the top 99th percentile. For the Christian liberals it can take a more scary and self-righteous tone. To the Christian left, many times the rich people are seen as the bad guy. Jesus directs his stern warning toward these “other people”, not at us. One blogger I used to visit stated that “wealth is evil”, which is comical considering he owns a computer and a house, something beyond the reach of many in the world. Let me guess, the amount of wealth you have is fine, but much more than that is evil? I’m so glad that God informed you what the right amount of money is.
This doesn’t invalidate liberal philosophy; there are still problems in this country related to economic issues, such as the job market and rising health care costs. Just because we live in the most prosperous nation doesn’t mean these should be ignored. But I think it is important to have a philosophical perspective informed by the reality that really, just about all of us are rich.