BD # 21

Brain Dropping #21

 
At this point in time I want to reiterate that the title of this series “Brain Droppings” is taken from a book of sardonic observations by George Carlin.  My use of the title is an homage to his courageous dissections of  the hypocrites who hold power over us.
 
I’m reading Senator Elizabeth Warren’s book “A Fighting Chance”, and share her frustration at the failure in getting meaningful oversight and.  reform of the financial gangsters.  The conundrum has always been why American society, intellectuals, the middle class and especially the working class respond so passively to egregious acts of thievery and criminality by corporations and the banks?  In this so-called Judeo-Christian society how does the ethic of “maximizing-the-bottom -line” square with the biblical injunctions against such flagrantly acquisitive behavior.  How does this putative Christian nation justify usurious  interest rates on credit cards and student loans?  Remember, the only time Jesus used violence was against the bankers in the temple.
 
The great German sociologist and political economist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Max Weber in his “The Protestant Ethic And The Spirit Of Capitalism” of 1905, gives us insight into the viral effect of a particular religious doctrine in how each of us treats his neighbor.
 
 Calvinism’s Doctrine of Predestination put forth in the Westminster confession of Faith states:
 
                                   “God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace while leaving the remainder to receive
                                    eternal damnation for all their sins!”
 
This is called ‘unconditional election’ – hence the ‘elect’ – that group of people who are predestined for salvation to the exclusion of the billions of the unwashed and unworthy.  According to this bullshit, God has a list of those who are in a ‘state of grace’ and if you ain’t on that list – no matter how decent a human being you may be – go fuck off!  The kicker is that no one knows who is a member of the ‘elect’ and so wild speculation begins.  Surely, if you are in a state of grace in the eyes of God he would smile benignly down upon you and afford you all the comforts of your earthly existence?  And those who are destined to be damned will be stricken with pestilence and poverty.  What proceeds from this deranged thinking is contempt for the poor and an almost awestruck respect for the filthy rich.  It is this pernicious distortion of Christian ethics that  allows Congress not to lose any sleep after cutting food stamps for poor children, allowing housing foreclosures on working families who have been scammed by banks and criminal mortgage lenders, not batting an eyelash at the growing number of the homeless, and for our Justice Department to allow the bandits of Wall Street to go free.
 

Al Salzman

 

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