Ok, I had to get a little Jeremiah Wright off my chest because the disgusting behavior of Wall Street while our economy crumbles has made it tough to maintain equanimity.
The rip off disgrace of Bernie Madoff, the spa adventures of government bailed-out AIG, the $100,000 office antics of Merrill Lynch's John Thain, - these have been enough to wish for some good old fashioned Divine judgment. But now the New York Times recently reported that hefty bonuses were awarded on Wall Street:
"Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year.
That was the sixth-largest haul on record, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York State comptroller."
The sixth largest haul in what people are called the next great depression! What exactly have the Wall Street employees accomplished for which they should be awarded bonuses? There is a complete disconnect between the bubble of downtown Manhattan and the rest of the country which faces foreclosures, rising poverty, and unemployment figures that will likely reach double digits in the coming year. It is time for some deep soul searching among those who just got these fat bonuses in this time of crisis.
I do not pretend to speak to people of any other faith, but as a pastor I encourage any Christians who got a bonus this year to give 100 percent of your bonus to the charity of your choice. Maybe a job center, a foodbank or a public health care facility. Like the rich young man, you are loving money too much and your greed is a stumbling block to your own salvation. This is your opportunity to respond to Jesus' teaching in Matthew 25 and help those who are hungry, sick, captive, and naked. Repent, before it is too late. Save your soul, and help your fellow citizens while you are at it.
Cross posted from Beliefnet's Progressive Revival Blog
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