...a note from Michael Moore
October 4th, 2009 [source link]
I'd like to have a word with those of you who call yourselves Christians (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Bill Maherists, etc. can read along, too, as much of what I have to say, I'm sure, can be applied to your own spiritual/ethical values).
In my new film I speak for the first time in one of my movies about my own spiritual beliefs. I have always believed that one's religious leanings are deeply personal and should be kept private. After all, we've heard enough yammerin' in the past three decades about how one should "behave," and I have to say I'm pretty burned out on pieties and platitudes considering we are a violent nation who invades other countries and punishes our own for having the audacity to fall on hard times.
I'm also against any proselytizing; I certainly don't want you to join anything I belong to. Also, as a Catholic, I have much to say about the Church as an institution, but I'll leave that for another day (or movie).
Amidst all the Wall Street bad guys and corrupt members of Congress exposed in "Capitalism: A Love Story," I pose a simple question in the movie: "Is capitalism a sin?" I go on to ask, "Would Jesus be a capitalist?" Would he belong to a hedge fund? Would he sell short? Would he approve of a system that has allowed the richest 1% to have more financial wealth than the 95% under them combined?
I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what's left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother's and sister's keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you'd have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.
I guess that's bad news for us Americans. Here's how we define "Blessed Are the Poor": We now have the highest unemployment rate since 1983. There's a foreclosure filing once every 7.5 seconds. 14,000 people every day lose their health insurance.
At the same time, Wall Street bankers ("Blessed Are the Wealthy"?) are amassing more and more loot -- and they do their best to pay little or no income tax (last year Goldman Sachs' tax rate was a mere 1%!). Would Jesus approve of this? If not, why do we let such an evil system continue? It doesn't seem you can call yourself a Capitalist AND a Christian -- because you cannot love your money AND love your neighbor when you are denying your neighbor the ability to see a doctor just so you can have a better bottom line. That's called "immoral" -- and you are committing a sin when you benefit at the expense of others.
When you are in church this morning, please think about this. I am asking you to allow your "better angels" to come forward. And if you are among the millions of Americans who are struggling to make it from week to week, please know that I promise to do what I can to stop this evil -- and I hope you'll join me in not giving up until everyone has a seat at the table.
Thanks for listening. I'm off to Mass in a few hours. I'll be sure to ask the priest if he thinks J.C. deals in derivatives or credit default swaps. I mean, after all, he must've been good at math. How else did he divide up two loaves of bread and five pieces of fish equally amongst 5,000 people? Either he was the first socialist or his disciples were really bad at packing lunch. Or both.
Gosh, where does one start?
I'm also against any proselytizing; I certainly don't want you to join anything I belong to.
Oh? Your movies aren't proseltyzing?
Would he approve of a system that has allowed the richest 1% to have more financial wealth than the 95% under them combined?
Sure, if the net result was that everyone is better off. See, there are complexities to modern life that the Bible doesn't address! Who says a fiscal conservative has to be a fundamentalist?
It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what's left for everyone to fight over.
What pie? What if I make a bigger pie?
I'll be sure to ask the priest if he thinks J.C. deals in derivatives or credit default swaps.
Jesus never said anything about derivatives or credit default swaps.
Do you think Jesus told everyone "Hey, I'm the best carpenter in town, but you don't have to pay me better than everybody else?"
"Sure, if the net result was that everyone is better off."
Gosh, Sidney, where does one start?
I’m absolutely sure you believe what you wrote.
Conservatism is about preserving and enhancing the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful by keeping the playing field tilted. Period. Progressives are trying to level the field.
Conservatism is a five-story building in the Cayman Islands home to 18,857 American businesses. Conservatism is growers refusing to provide water to field workers in 100 degree temperatures. Conservatism is rescinding health coverage as soon as the coverage is needed. I don’t see the influence of Jesus at work here.
Conservative Christians who believe in the prosperity gospel see a world of clearly defined winners and losers. George W. Bush pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. A guy I know named Eddie, a legal immigrant and a Catholic, works three jobs to support his family, and sends money back to his mother in Mexico. He has no health insurance. He clearly has failed to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. If only the minimum wage were abolished and we enact more tax cuts for the rich, Eddie would have a chance.
A kid in a public school classroom, in which Caesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall have been removed from the text books, and intelligent design is being taught, is being proselytized. No one is required to watch Michael Moore’s films.
Post a Comment