Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not just an economic crisis

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
September 22, 2013

Luke 16:1-13

"You cannot serve God and mammon." These words of Jesus can't be forgotten at this time by those of us who are his followers since they contain the most serious warning Jesus left to humankind. Mammon ["Money"], converted into an absolute idol, is the great enemy to building that more just and fraternal world desired by God.

Unfortunately, Wealth has become in our globalized world an immensely powerful idol that, to survive, is demanding more and more victims and further dehumanizing and empoverishing human history. In these times, we find ourselves trapped by a crisis generated in large part by the desire to accumulate.

Virtually everything is organized, moves, and is energized by that logic -- seeking more productivity, more consumption, more well-being, more energy, more power over others...That logic is imperialistic. If we don't stop it, it could put human beings and the planet itself in danger.

Perhaps the first thing is becoming aware of what is happening. This is not just an economic crisis. It's a social and humanitarian crisis. These days, we already have enough data around us and in the world vista to perceive the human drama in which we're immersed.

It's increasingly obvious that a system that leads a rich minority to accumulate more and more power, abandoning millions of human beings to hunger and destitution, is an unbearable folly. It's useless to look elsewhere.

Not even the most progressive societies are able to guarantee a decent job to millions of citizens now. What progress is this that, while we're all throwing ourselves towards being well-off, leaves so many families without the resources to live with dignity?

The crisis is ruining the democratic system. Pressured by the demands of Money, the rulers can't attend to the real needs of their people. What is politics if it's no longer serving the common good?

The reduction in social expenditures in various fields and the self-interested and indecent privatization of public services such as health care will go on striking at the most helpless, causing more and more exclusion, shameful inequality, and social breakdown.

We followers of Jesus can't live enclosed in a religion that is isolated from this human drama. These days, Christian communities could be a space of consciousness raising, discernment and commitment. We are to help one another live with clarity and responsibly. The crisis could make us more humane and more Christian.

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