Re: Darwinism/Compassion

Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 02:05:04 EST

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    Bob wrote,

    << Lucy,
         May I offer another perspective? I think we who are Christians should
    be cautious in embracing capitalism as not un-Christian. I think the
    earliest Christians and their early successors in the Church, espcially the
    church fathers, might have good reason to rail against capitalism. As early
    the initial community described in Acts, the believers pooled their resources
    and gave to everyone according his/her need in a manner that I think Marx
    might have approved of.>>

    And shortly thereafter, the Church in the rest of the world had to send
    donations to Jerusalem where they had tried this experiment. Socialism has
    never worked on a long term basis.

    << And he certainly would have approved of the many attacks against private
    property one may find in the writings of the church fathers. Usury was a sin
    for Christians until about the thirteenth century. Medieval theologians
    found Cain guilty of two sins, the murder of his brother and the taking of
    what belongs to all and making it private property (when he founded the first
    city). While we may have a different view of things now, it would do us well
    to ponder the church's thinking for more than the first millenium of its
    existence about what constitutes an "un-christian economy.">>

    This went hand in hand with people selling all that they had and becoming
    monks sworn to poverty. It was the Reformers who turned away from this
    mentality and taught that every occupation was holy.
     <<For all the good capitalism may have brought in raising living standards
    it has also brought great evil in exploiting classes and populations. I
    think Christians should always take a prophetic stance against any economic
    system and in particular the dominant one, as many Christians are taking
    today against Consumerism, the engine of modern capitalism and the dominant
    civil religion of America.>>

    Certainly capitalism has its evils; but, everyone, even the supposed
    communists have lived off of capitalism. Who is not living off of capitalism?
    Insofar as consumerism is materialism, Christians should take a stand, but
    this is different than opposing capitalism per se. I cannot see any way for a
    person who is picking up a paycheck or a donation to oppose capitalism
    without being hypocritical.


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