Here in America

The speaker began with these words, “Regardless about your political leanings regarding health care, here in America we privatize profits and socialize risk.”  He was referring to the recent government bailout of banks that are “too big to fail.” His comment has been rolling around in my head ever since.

It is interesting to think of socialism as a system designed to keep the rich wealthy.  Many people see socialism as a system designed to give lazy people a free ride.  Come to think of it, that may be true.  Wealth is no more an indicator of hard work than poverty is an indicator of laziness.

I suspect that when we get to heaven folks will not be debating the merits of capitalism verses socialism.  I find it hard to believe that Jesus would even have an opinion on which is the better system.  From what I can tell, the only question that will matter is, “How did you treat the least of these?”

When we create systems that exclude and devalue our fellow human beings, we are crossing to a place that is in opposition to the Christian faith.

Laws that deny strangers and immigrants hospitality are at best wrong and at worst evil.

In the parable of the sheep and the goats, those who gain access to heaven are the ones who included the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the prisoner.  I am not sure that this is easy to do.  Occasionally, people in lists like this can be scary and dangerous.  They might even threaten our security and personal safety.

In spite of all the potential pitfalls, we are not call to build walls of protection around ourselves.  We are called to step out in faith and do the difficult and uncomfortable thing.  We are called to welcome, to feel, to create a space at the table and to be hospitable event if the intention of the other is evil.