Beautifully written, touching. Sigh. Someday to write so well.
“So-called charity, with its implicit assumptions of high and low, is no remedy to injustice, but its willing accomplice. Charity allows the privileged the opportunity to buy the silence of their consciences for a few coins (with the added bonus of much to-do being made of their philanthropy)–rather than wrestle with why, in a world of plenty, they wallow in pampered luxury through no particular virtue of their own, while most of the world is in rags, starving, and living in shacks. Jesus advised the rich man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. The numerous charities operating under his name ever since have set a significantly lower standard.”
Peter Kropotkin, narrater in “The Watch” by Dennis Danvers
This is what he has to say in it that I think pertains to all societies:
“Only to the extent that a society is concerned for its most disadvantaged members, can it be considered truly civil.”
Keep that in mind when some Libertarian, anarcho-capitalist or other right-wing lunatic says that society is supposed to be looking out for the rich and powerful.
Also keep note that the Catholic Church’s definition of “most disadvantaged” does not include LGBTQ or women.
…but charity has not.
Those pseudo-Christians whose budgets cut support for the poor are the followers of pagan Rome, not Christ.
The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10, New International Version)
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I think a Catholic diocese in Iowa needs a visit from God. Their historic leadership seems to have denied him pretty thoroughly:
Hypocrisy and lust for power appears to be a great barrier between those who claim to love God, and God.