[Hpn] Jesus Would Be Ashamed

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Wed, 26 Dec 2007 13:01:07 -0500


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X-Mas? Jesus Would Be Ashamed

By Colin Benjamin=20

December 26th, 2007
.


http://blackstarnews.com:80/?c=3D135&a=3D4025



Every December 25, Americans profess their love for Christ by =
celebrating Christmas.=20


And for a day they pretend to be benevolent with the symbolic exchange =
of gifts, while singing Christmas carols like "White Christmas." Giving =
is perhaps the greatest virtue of all. Isn't it the essence of love? But =
the "giving" that America engages in at Christmas is, largely, just a =
shameful sham. Unfortunately, Christmas often delineates the class =
schism between the "haves and have-nots."


I often wonder if most Americans really reflect on the teachings of =
Christ during Christmas. For most that "give" during Christmas revert =
right back to their selfish ways when the holidays are over. Christ =
taught that sharing was a duty of responsibility. What would he think of =
selfish people who don't understand that giving isn't a one day affair?


All across America, many people are being neglected by the avarice that =
now lies at the heart of the American spirit. Americans down on their =
"luck" subsist invisible to the larger society. The Social Darwinist =
attitude is: if they aren't "making it" it's their own damn fault. Do =
they really think Christ approves of this kind of shallow thinking?=20


One of the most powerful Biblical stories is the narrative of Christ =
feeding five thousand hungry people, with five loaves of bread and two =
fishes. The literal reading of this story isn't overly important, since =
it's an allegorical tale. The real message here is that true Christian =
faith is embodied in the virtuous service of caring and sharing with =
others. But how many hungry people, including children, do we ignore =
every day?


According to the U.S Department of Agriculture 38 million people in =
America-including 13.9 million children-live in homes that suffer from =
hunger, or, are living on the edge of hunger. Why is this social scourge =
tolerated in a supposedly "Christian" country as wealthy as America? =
What does it say when one CEO-Goldman Sacks' Lloyd Blankfein-receives =
$68 million, as a bonus, while nearly 14 million of our children are =
starving? Did Goldman Sacks give back anything substantial to any =
charity? Unsurprisingly, Blacks and Hispanics endure higher rates of =
starvation, Blacks (21.8 percent) Hispanics (19.5 percent.)=20


America often deludes itself into believing that it is a compassionate =
nation, but given the facts, is this anything more than euphoric =
fantasy? Based on GNP per capita, America is the fourth richest country =
in the world; with a GNP per capita of $41, 440. This is surpassed only =
by Luxembourg at $56,380; Norway $51,810 and Switzerland at $49,600.

Condoning hunger and poverty would be one thing if America was some poor =
"underdeveloped Third World" nation. It isn't. Is greed the problem =
here?=20


A CEO receiving a $68 million bonus isn't an aberration. In fact, it is =
that very abomination that creates poverty and hunger in America. A 1986 =
report, done by the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S Congress, =
highlights America's wealth imbalance. Among the findings were: (1) the =
top half percent controls 35.1 percent of the wealth. (2) The richest =
ten percent owned 71.7 percent of the wealth. (2) The other 90 percent =
only receives 28.2 percent of the wealth. It should be noted that some =
authorities insist these figures are conservative, because of the manner =
in which the data was collected. They argue the imbalance is even =
higher.


This year we have witnessed many Americans losing their homes, and =
facing homelessness, in the continuing fallout from the mortgage market =
meltdown. Homelessness in America is already a severe problem. The =
National Center on Family Homelessness states there are over one million =
homeless children. They warn family homelessness is also on the rise.=20


For sometime now, lip-service has been given about "supporting the =
troops." The current price tag for this Iraq war of aggression, created =
by our "leaders," is climbing toward the trillion dollar figure. Yet, =
according to the Veterans Administration, at one point in 2004, there =
were as many as 400,000 to 500,000 homeless veterans. In New Jersey, =
there are 7,000 homeless veterans. In New York, the figure is 13,000. =
Why are there so many homeless veterans, in this "Christian" nation? Why =
can politicians find money to destroy but not to save lives?


In Louisiana, two years after Katrina most of those who were neglected =
by American elitism are now being forgotten while some stuff their =
selfish stomachs this Christmas. Many remain homeless, while the murder =
rate skyrockets in streets where the mud and debris left by the storm =
are still not cleaned.


This Christmas, as always, there will be grassroots organizations doing =
their best to feed the hungry and clothe the destitute, with little or =
no help from the wealthy. Those with a little seem to perpetually give =
their all. Christ taught "it's more blessed to give than to receive." =
America should ask itself if this is really a "Christian" nation why =
isn't it living up to this essentially fundamental Christian ideal?



Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News's Editorial Board=20


To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York's leading Pan =
African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please =
call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com


=20

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<H1 class=3Da_title>X-Mas? Jesus Would Be Ashamed</H1>
<P>
<DIV class=3Da_author>By Colin Benjamin </DIV>
<P></P>
<DIV class=3Da_date>December 26th, 2007</DIV>
<P><FONT style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 2pt" color=3D#ffffff>.</FONT></P>
<P>
<DIV><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
<P><A=20
href=3D"http://blackstarnews.com/?c=3D135&amp;a=3D4025">http://blackstarn=
ews.com:80/?c=3D135&amp;a=3D4025</A><BR></P>
<P><BR>Every December 25, Americans profess their love for Christ by =
celebrating=20
Christmas. </P>
<P><BR>And for a day they pretend to be benevolent with the symbolic =
exchange of=20
gifts, while singing Christmas carols like =93White Christmas.=94 Giving =
is perhaps=20
the greatest virtue of all. Isn=92t it the essence of love? But the =
=93giving=94 that=20
America engages in at Christmas is, largely, just a shameful sham.=20
Unfortunately, Christmas often delineates the class schism between the =
=93haves=20
and have-nots.=94</P>
<P><BR>I often wonder if most Americans really reflect on the teachings =
of=20
Christ during Christmas. For most that =93give=94 during Christmas =
revert right back=20
to their selfish ways when the holidays are over. Christ taught that =
sharing was=20
a duty of responsibility. What would he think of selfish people who =
don=92t=20
understand that giving isn=92t a one day affair?</P>
<P><BR>All across America, many people are being neglected by the =
avarice that=20
now lies at the heart of the American spirit. Americans down on their =
=93luck=94=20
subsist invisible to the larger society. The Social Darwinist attitude =
is: if=20
they aren=92t =93making it=94 it=92s their own damn fault. Do they =
really think Christ=20
approves of this kind of shallow thinking? </P>
<P><BR>One of the most powerful Biblical stories is the narrative of =
Christ=20
feeding five thousand hungry people, with five loaves of bread and two =
fishes.=20
The literal reading of this story isn=92t overly important, since it=92s =
an=20
allegorical tale. The real message here is that true Christian faith is =
embodied=20
in the virtuous service of caring and sharing with others. But how many =
hungry=20
people, including children, do we ignore every day?</P>
<P><BR>According to the U.S Department of Agriculture 38 million people =
in=20
America=97including 13.9 million children=97live in homes that suffer =
from hunger,=20
or, are living on the edge of hunger. Why is this social scourge =
tolerated in a=20
supposedly =93Christian=94 country as wealthy as America? What does it =
say when one=20
CEO=97Goldman Sacks=92 Lloyd Blankfein=97receives $68 million, as a =
bonus, while=20
nearly 14 million of our children are starving? Did Goldman Sacks give =
back=20
anything substantial to any charity? Unsurprisingly, Blacks and =
Hispanics endure=20
higher rates of starvation, Blacks (21.8 percent) Hispanics (19.5 =
percent.) </P>
<P><BR>America often deludes itself into believing that it is a =
compassionate=20
nation, but given the facts, is this anything more than euphoric =
fantasy? Based=20
on GNP per capita, America is the fourth richest country in the world; =
with a=20
GNP per capita of $41, 440. This is surpassed only by Luxembourg at =
$56,380;=20
Norway $51,810 and Switzerland at $49,600.<BR><BR>Condoning hunger and =
poverty=20
would be one thing if America was some poor =93underdeveloped Third =
World=94 nation.=20
It isn=92t. Is greed the problem here? </P>
<P><BR>A CEO receiving a $68 million bonus isn=92t an aberration. In =
fact, it is=20
that very abomination that creates poverty and hunger in America. A 1986 =
report,=20
done by the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S Congress, highlights =
America=92s=20
wealth imbalance. Among the findings were: (1) the top half percent =
controls=20
35.1 percent of the wealth. (2) The richest ten percent owned 71.7 =
percent of=20
the wealth. (2) The other 90 percent only receives 28.2 percent of the =
wealth.=20
It should be noted that some authorities insist these figures are =
conservative,=20
because of the manner in which the data was collected. They argue the =
imbalance=20
is even higher.</P>
<P><BR>This year we have witnessed many Americans losing their homes, =
and facing=20
homelessness, in the continuing fallout from the mortgage market =
meltdown.=20
Homelessness in America is already a severe problem. The National Center =
on=20
Family Homelessness states there are over one million homeless children. =
They=20
warn family homelessness is also on the rise. </P>
<P><BR>For sometime now, lip-service has been given about =93supporting =
the=20
troops.=94 The current price tag for this Iraq war of aggression, =
created by our=20
=93leaders,=94 is climbing toward the trillion dollar figure. Yet, =
according to the=20
Veterans Administration, at one point in 2004, there were as many as =
400,000 to=20
500,000 homeless veterans. In New Jersey, there are 7,000 homeless =
veterans. In=20
New York, the figure is 13,000. Why are there so many homeless veterans, =
in this=20
=93Christian=94 nation? Why can politicians find money to destroy but =
not to save=20
lives?</P>
<P><BR>In Louisiana, two years after Katrina most of those who were =
neglected by=20
American elitism are now being forgotten while some stuff their selfish =
stomachs=20
this Christmas. Many remain homeless, while the murder rate skyrockets =
in=20
streets where the mud and debris left by the storm are still not =
cleaned.</P>
<P><BR>This Christmas, as always, there will be grassroots organizations =
doing=20
their best to feed the hungry and clothe the destitute, with little or =
no help=20
from the wealthy. Those with a little seem to perpetually give their =
all. Christ=20
taught =93it=92s more blessed to give than to receive.=94 America should =
ask itself if=20
this is really a =93Christian=94 nation why isn=92t it living up to this =
essentially=20
fundamental Christian ideal?</P>
<P><BR><STRONG><BR>Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News=92s =
Editorial Board=20
</STRONG></P>
<P><BR><STRONG>To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New =
York=92s leading=20
Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, =
please=20
call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to </STRONG><A=20
href=3D"mailto:Milton@blackstarnews.com"><STRONG>Milton@blackstarnews.com=
</STRONG></A></P>
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