The American Paradox

We’ve written many times in this blog about the competing forces of Christianity and capitalism, particularly in this country. I stumbled across this piece by Cahir O’Doherty and I couldn’t agree more. He talks about our war on a national healthcare system and our inherent disgust with helping poor people who get sick:

“Screw that, says America, toss ‘em out on the street instead. Don’t give us any of your bleeding heart liberal compassion about our fellow citizens. It’s sink or swim here, and it always was, and it always will be, and just why should it be any other way? No one helped me, I’m helping no one.”

That’s really the crux of the matter, isn’t it? We Yanks believe in pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and if you don’t have any bootstraps to begin with, well, tough luck. Problem is, so many in our midst call our country a Christian Nation, founded on Christian principles. Hence the paradox.

The solution? Look no further than Stephen Colbert:

“If this is gonna be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition – and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

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