Tag Archives: poor

The Rebel Jesus – Christmas, kindness and … oh yes, the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe.

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I’ve no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There’s a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

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Full lyrics:

All the streets are filled with laughter and ligh
And the music of the season
And the merchants’ windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God’s graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by ‘the Prince of Peace’
And they call him by ‘the Savior’
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I’ve no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There’s a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

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Would Someone Just Shut The Pope Up?

Would Someone Just Shut That Pope Up?

Some on the political right are going absolutely nuts over Catholicism’s new pope, Pope Francis.

Rush Limbaugh has labeled him a Marxist and numerous rightwing conservatives want the pope to stick to moral and spiritual issues rather than discuss economic challenges of the common man, which he supposedly knows nothing about — it seems that the pope has limited infallibility powers, although Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was heavy on economics: not an economic prescription but clear recognition that there are those that have and do not work to benefit those with little, and those that are without much more than their soul through the length of their lives.

Pope Francis biography

Yet, not all American conservatives are going bonkers. The American Conservative just published a piece that takes a balanced look at what the pope has actually said and tried to consider his words in context, which is rare in almost any discussion of policy these days.

From the opening paragraphs of The American Conservative‘s story Would Someone Just Shut That Pope Up?

Since the release of Evangelii Gaudium there have been countless articles and commentary about the economic portions of Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation. Some of the commentary has been downright bizarre, such as Rush Limbaugh denouncing the Pope as a Marxist, or Stuart Varney accusing Francis of being a neo-socialist. American conservatives grumbled but dutifully denounced a distorting media when Pope Francis seemed to go wobbly on homosexuality, but his criticisms of capitalism have crossed the line, and we now see the Pope being criticized and even denounced from nearly every rightward-leaning media pulpit in the land.

Not far below the surface of many of these critiques one hears the following refrain: why can’t the Pope just go back to talking about abortion? Why can’t we return the good old days of Pope John Paul II or Benedict XVI and talk 24/7/365 about sex? Why doesn’t Francis have the decency to limit himself to talking about Jesus and gays, while avoiding the rudeness of discussing economics in mixed company, an issue about which he has no expertise or competence?

Pope Francis has done much more than just talk, the pope has made some early substantial changes both in how the church interacts with people (moving homeless centers to where the homeless are) and in how the pope personally presents himself to the public (less bling, more humility, less judgement and more embracing of people as having challenges).

Reality is that Pope Francis is not trying to prescribe economic policies. He is acknowedging that our economic lives have gone a bit of whack. Those that have seem to have much more than they did just a few years ago, and those without seem to have less. This varies based upon locale. In many areas of the world where 25-50% of work-age adults have no jobs then the pope’s message is bound to ring true. Within the USA, with its widespread affluent society, the message will seem quixotic to many as we live life in our zoned affluent neighborhoods and do not have to live with those that fall from economic grace — because when they do they move out and disappear.

Below are some ways that Pope Francis is working to portray himself as a pope of the people:

1. Uses a wooden chair instead of a golden throne.
2. Does not wear the gold-embroidered red stole.
3. Wears his old black shoes instead of the classic Prada red slippers.
4. Wears a metal cross instead of the one with rubies and diamonds.
5. His papal ring is silver, not gold — and he reused a prior design. Tradition is that each pope have a unique design created for their reign.
6. Wears black pants under the cassock, same as he wore when a common priest.
7. Had the red carpet removed.

 

Pope Francis - how he is different

Pope Francis – how he is different in personal style from his predecessors.


Note: I am not a Roman Catholic. As a Unitarian we are taught to investigate and to honor the best of thought and philosophy offered by all of the world’s religious traditions and teaching. Pope Francis seems to be off to a good start on getting a conversation going about where our society is and where it is going. In my personal belief, all actions undertaken in our lives are economic actions no matter how trivial or whether an exchange of money is involved. Economics involves the making of moral decisions, whether that is our intent or not. I look forward to hearing more from Pope Francis. Actions are more important than words.

Bill Golden
aka Bill4DogCatcher

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Balancing the Poor, the Rich, and the Bumperstickers

My good friend Wm Corzine recently pondered:

Is it morally superior for the rich to take from the poor through unfettered capitalism or for the poor to take from the rich through socialist policies? Since both involve a government-sponsored ‘redistribution’ of wealth, it is difficult to see which scheme is more ‘right’. Never mind the fact that whichever side a politician stands, his interest is, primarily, about votes and, only secondarily, at best, about what is better for the economy and the country.

My thoughts:

If all is in balance then life is good.

The less well off will always accuse the rich of taking advantage of them. And indeed they will.

The better well off will always accuse the poor of wanting to share in their acquired wealth. And they do.

One feeds off of the other. They both need each other. They both create each other.

There are tons of facts … but reality is that facts seldom matter.

As a libertarian-minded person I believe that minimal government regulation is best … and yet I know that on most days those with power, or able to buy it, will always seek to rewrite the rules in their favor while bemoaning the loathsomeness of those that they profit from. The counterbalance is that those without power have the power of numbers and the ballotbox … which they often sheepishly use.

If all is in balance then life is good.

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American Classic 2012 – Zen is what you make it.

My advice: Stop spending. Start saving. Expect worse. Work for the best.

Help is not on the way from either Left or Right. You must create your own job. The time is yesterday to evaluate your skillset.

Bill4DogCatcher.com’s outlook is that 2012 will be 2011, only worse.

Everyone wants everyone else to pay for what they themselves do not want to pay for. Yet so much is owed that it just about doesn’t matter if you or I both pay more, unless quite a bit more // the flip side is that we are mostly in this pickle because we went along with tax cuts, cheap Chinese products and all of those added benefits without a second thought — back when we had the luxury of having a second thought.

2010: 2.9 million home foreclosures. Approximately 12,000,000 changed their way of life.

2011: On par with 2010 but foreclosures are up about 30% since August 2011.

2012: 2011 continued + federal meltdown. All are to blame and it will take sacrifice by all to fix it. If you want it then it needs to be paid for.

American Classic 2012

American Reality 2012

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

Don’t look for more in 2012. Or not enough to break through our population growth level.

The jobless numbers may get better as a percentage but that is because we are no longer counting the majority of the newly jobless from 2008-2010.

Look for the raw number of Americans employed to hover around 134,000,000 on a good day for the next few years. In 2000 we had 132 million employed and by 2010 that raw number had dropped to 130 million despite 30 million new souls added among us.

2010: 75% of those jobless got some form of unemployment assistance.

2011: 48% get some form of unemployment aid; you have a lifetime limit of 99 weeks.

2012: The raw number of those employed seems to have plateaued. We are not losing jobs but neither are we gaining jobs. Population growth requires that at least 125-150,000 jobs be created monthly. Ain’t happening. WON’T HAPPEN. Technologic advances are not slowing and the truth is that much of what is still done by people with jobs now could be further automated and refined (i.e. humans no longer needed). It will be too.

So what to do? It will take a lot more thinking than just taxing the rich or telling the screwed: eat cake.

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