I don’t think I’d be reaching too far if I said that Christians who belong to the Catholic Church are divided between capitalism and modern socialism, and Christians who belong to the crowd called the Evangelicals are almost all full-blown, 100% to the bone, capitalists. One of our more prominent evangelicals, sometimes pastor and sometimes secular television owner/talk show host, Brother L. Wade, recently posted a story about a plane on his Facebook page that drew quite a commentary.
This plane story, it was put out there to show the virtues of the capitalist system. I suspect the reason that the author of the story (not L. Wade) used something as fantastic as a plane to sell his wares has to do with a need from that corner to deflect an ugly glare on two evangelical stars, Pastor T. Jakes and Pastor Joel Osteen, who have their own jet planes. If I’m not mistaken, recently another pastor who has a jet plane looked very silly trying to justify his super jet to an inquisitive reporter.
Now, no one will argue that there is any system that produces material wealth as efficiently as capitalism does. In God’s perfect physical design, which we see in the animal world, it’s a story of “dog eat dog and survival of the fittest.” There isn’t much room for laziness in the animal world. There is little room for those that aren’t so smart. And there is absolutely no room for kindness.
In the plane story which the pastor reproduced as his flagship argument, we see capitalism at its efficient best. In the sphere of the plane story, there is something for all. The top dog, who is a member of a group that includes some pastor boys, has accrued some fabulous wealth and he buys one of the things the rich and famous people die for — a plane. The good story about the purchase of the plane is that the company that made it got paid, and so the company was able to pay all its employees and all the small suppliers of electronics and fixtures.
We’ll give the devil all his due. The company will pay taxes and so will all the others down the chain, which means that the government will be able to pay its employees and carry out basic services.
We will report on these taxes, some good and some not too good. If the form of capitalism we are talking about is the kind that members of the Democratic Party in the USA like, the taxes on profits will be sizable, so the government will have sufficient. If the form of capitalism we are talking about is the kind the members of the Republican Party in the USA like, the taxes on profits will be minimal, so the government will have lean coffers. There, we’ve just described the good form of capitalism, and the bad. We must report that some of us would say that the softer form of capitalism is not far from modern socialism.
Brutal capitalism is God’s design, so we could have expected that Jesus the Christ would have endorsed it. He did not. Most of the prophets, including the major ones and all the minor ones in the Old Testament, were sold on capitalism. Jesus was not.
The capitalist’s dream is to have material wealth, great amounts of it so he/she can buy a super jet plane, or a luxury yacht. Jesus was a gifted brother, and the Devil could see that he was trouble because he wasn’t panting after Mammon. He was the kind who would sell a message that a camel had a better chance of gaining heaven than a rich man. Remember, it’s the Devil’s mission to get us to fall feverishly for the things of the earth, so he can grab our souls.
Jesus must have been made out of some real stern mettle, because when the Devil took him and showed him all that would be his if he just bowed to the love of lucre, Jesus told him to get way to the back because he served God, not material goods.
Capitalism is the story behind slavery. Men seeking a competitive advantage stole their brothers and sisters, our ancestors, put them in chains and put them through a hell of a journey across the ocean and then put them to work, under the whip and the barrel of a gun, so they could become rich. I don’t think we need to discuss all the hell that slavery was. Going on two hundred years after Emancipation we are still suffering from that inhuman system, imposed by a man who lusted for gold, and had become top dog because of his deadly weaponry.
Capitalism is the story behind the genocide in the Americas, in the North, in the Central, and in the South. Millions and millions of our Indigenous American people, our ancestors, were killed by European guns and by their diseases, because they wanted the increase they could get from our lands. They took the gold, they took the fertile lands. I don’t think we have to discuss all the hell of the genocide. Five hundred years after Christopher Columbus landed here and decimated the peoples of the Americas, they are still not recovered, all because a man who lusted for material wealth had become top dog because of his weaponry.
Capitalism is the story behind the gun trade. These guns that are being used in the streets to kill our brothers, and even our sisters, they were manufactured by people who are making a mint from their sales. All these wars around the world, wars that bring so much sorrow to so many people, are being waged by persons who know that there are people who are getting rich, and richer as they are prolonged.
Capitalism is the story behind prostitution. There are women who don’t mind, but there are certain women, the vast majority, who would like to have the dignity of earning a living while standing on their feet. But the children have nothing to eat! These women have no hope and so they become easy prey for people, mostly men, who see their potential to help them grow rich. Profiting off pain produces no anguish in the capitalist.
Capitalism is a system that makes the rest of the Americas the USA’s playground. Jesus said that lies are of the Devil. Capitalism is DISHONEST. Capitalism insists on describing communism and socialism as the same, even though those terms were separated long ago.
The Cuban Revolution was necessary because the US had made that country into a getaway for their super-rich playboys and gangsters. Fidel and his band decided Cuba would have dignity, and so they overthrew their leader (Fulgencio Batista) who was selling his own people.
Cuba was forced into full-blown communism, but for years that country has been trying to move more to the right, toward modern socialism. But the brutal capitalist wing in the US refuses to allow them to do so. That US wing rejected Jimmy Carter, as they now reject Barack Obama.
Modern socialism is capitalism with fetters. In modern socialism, pastors do not dream about owning jet planes. In modern socialism the church can use the pulpit to preach about the ills of marijuana smoking, but it cannot get the political clout to prohibit its use, as they did with rum.
Jesus the Christ preached; he did not muster political clout to call 10,000 angels. He preached. If He was Osteen or Jakes, he would have bought a jet plane. He wasn’t greedy. He broke the bread and shared it.
The Democrats in the US are related to modern socialists, and the Republicans are brutal capitalists. The Republicans want to do away with the welfare system, and they want to do away with all the socialist features in their medical system. The Democrats want to improve these systems so that ALL their citizens have First World medical care, like the citizens in Europe and Cuba and Canada have.
Some in Belize believe that caring systems produce laziness, but Belizeans in the USA turn that idea on its head. There are moral (sexual) issues that divide the USA, but on the matter of the economic system you will be hard-pressed to find Belizeans over there that support the brutal Republican model. Belizeans in the USA work hard and they support a more caring form of capitalism.
That system has its merits, but in its brutal form, for example where greedy pastors who purchase jet planes are held up as virtuous, it is an ugly thing that fostered slavery, genocide, war, prostitution, and poverty.