Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw-away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion
did he, like, give this equality/inclusivity speech from his gold-plated popemobile or his jewel-encrusted throne?
perhaps he who thinks people should be equal should start paying taxes all equal-like, first.
Donut, if you had followed the news instead of relying on Rush and Fox, you would know that Pope Francis has shunned the rich life of former popes and lives in modest arrangements, drives an inexpensive car, and often works directly with the homeless and poor in Rome after hours. He has reprimanded bishops who have used their positions to accumulate wealth instead of their mission to serve all, including the poor. Even you, with your jaded view of the world, should be able to recognize that he is a good person who seeks a better condition for the poor. Rush was way out of line calling the Pope a Marxist, as are American conservatives who call President a communist. As far as taxes go, that is dependent on the country. Many European countries provide a tax for the church, but, on the other side of that coin, it may be that the lack of taxes on churches may be an American only law. I don't have any reliable information on the latter although there are groups that advocate taxing churches. Historically the wealth of churches has always been a source of irritation and led, for example, to the burning of Catholic Churches in Scotland 400 years ago.
So using Pope Francis as your model, what have you done for the poor where you live? Besides making jaded, mean spirited posts, what have you done to make this a better world?
If we lived in a world where everyone voluntarily lived according to biblical principles, then such a egalitarian society might be possible, but we don't. It really is the height of arrogance for those of us who are Christians to think others can or would be willing to live according to principles we mostly fail to live by ourselves. On a theoretical level Pope Francis is correct. On a practical level he will only find frustration in trying to convince others. The best think he could do right now is to show what he means by making the institution he leads live according to the principles he espouses.
Tigger, I doubt if you are a Christian, although I'm sure you believe you are, and I doubt you understood what Pope Francis was talking about at all. You went off on the tangents of arrogance, principles, implying that Pope Francis is arrogant and not principled, and you assert that Pope Francis is not practical. It is almost as if you never read what he wrote. Are you claiming that the economics of greed is a practical principled economics? The economics of thugs are principled? Are you claiming that we don't have social responsibilities to the poor? You don't seem to have the principles you want people to believe you have. A constructive response would look for ways we can have a more equitable society that doesn't allow a growing gap between the rich and poor. If we allow this disparity to continue growing and not reverse it, that will have only one possible horribly violent end, that is avoidable by principled politics. If you have principles where among them is the principle of preventing the violence? Is your answer to turn America into a police state? Is that your principle?
In other words, in spiritual and ethicall matters he/she leads best by example, eh? 'Course...the same can pretty much be said about all walks of life though in our hyper-frenzied media saturated "look at me me ME" narcissistic culture this is not much countenanced. ;-)
Petrosky, you obviously have not read obama's propaganda sheet, supplied here by his sycophants. In it, they list off every "accomplishment" except where he shot 12 holes in one on his first golf outing, besting the previous record of 11 in one round set by Kim Jong-Il on his first-ever golf foray. They also neglected to tell you the unseen impacts of every policy decision and executive order he's made, none of which are good. But why should they trouble themselves with facts when they have this amazing list of even more amazing "accomplishments". I don't believe they included the one where the sea levels recede and we all become post-partisan and post-racial, as he so eloquently begged us all to believe in his miraculous powers of persuasion against the elements and against human nature, all while stifling debate on his ridiculous assertions and his ludicrous "accomplishments". Only a brain dead idiot would read all of these and fail to look at what really happened as a result of these supposedly great "accomplishments". But that's what we're left with. A brain dead group of progressive useful idiots.
These supposed people (all sharing one ID with multiple aliases, reminiscent of obama's 19 million twitter bots) are prime candidates for Just Another obama Failure Of The Year award.
1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems.
2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.
3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide “living wills” to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.
4. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.
5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 91,000, with 23,000 slated to leave by the end of summer 2012. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the combat mission there will be over by next year.
6. Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was ki