Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a Facebook group discussing the soon-to-be released book by Ken Wytsma, The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege. The group was called “The Myth of Equality: An Honest Dialogue on Privilege.” As I read through a number of the author’s posts, and the subsequent conversations they spun off, I realized two things: first, that most of those who were part of the group and commenting were already predisposed toward the author’s perspective (which probably explains why they were interested in the group in the first place; full disclosure: I am not), and second, that those who disagreed were not well received. Predictably, the group became a mini groupthink, or, if we prefer modern parlance, an “echo chamber.” Continue reading “Beware of “Honest” Conversations”
On the eve before the 2016 presidential election, America is simultaneously expectant and exhausted. This election cycle has felt longer than most because of the character of the front-runners, their dirty campaigns, and the myriad of questions their candidacies have sparked. I have already voted, but I’m not here to debate that; if you know me, you know where I stand on this issue. Instead, I want to pause and step back, and consider a more foundational issue for American Christians who want to be politically informed and engaged, but who are struggling to understand the relationship between their religious beliefs and their American citizenship.
Income and wealth inequality is a hot topic in political and economic conversations today. Just recently Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics, came out with a book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which has as its main thesis that capitalism as an economic system naturally tends toward extreme income inequality, that, if not checked, will result is catastrophic social consequences. He proposes a world-wide global progressive tax that would levy higher taxes on the rich in order to subsidize the poor. The belief that income inequality is a major problem in society is ubiquitous and ever-increasing. Continue reading “Richard Epstein on Income Inequality”
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (ESV)
A Basic Confusion
The above verses are from 1 Tim. 6:6-10. Many people who have read this passage have come away convinced that money is evil and that being rich is wrong. Who would want to fall into such temptation and risk so much? Who wants to face ruin and destruction? Yikes! It’s probably best to just stay away from money altogether, right? Well, no of course not. If we read Paul carefully, we note that he says that the love of money is the root all kinds of evil, not money qua money (and the desire to be rich is wrong, not simply being rich). Hmm, this makes things more complicated doesn’t it? Perhaps money isn’t intrinsically wrong, but we definitely shouldn’t love it. But just what is money anyway and why do we need it? If the love of money is so risky, wouldn’t it be better just to do away with money altogether? Is this possible?
Sometimes I have random thoughts that I want to write down and develop a little bit, but they aren’t substantial enough to expand them into their own respective posts. So instead I’ve decided to put them together into one post. These do not necessarily relate to each other (unless somehow you, the reader, see some fantastical connection that I don’t). It’s possible that cognitively processing these little issues will help me sort them out so that I can develop them into more substantial articles in the future. Your thoughts or comments are welcome. Enjoy! Continue reading “Random Thoughts: St. Augustine, Leadership, & Discrimination”