Conversation Corner
God In Our Midst (Is It O.K. to Be Rich?--October 2003)

Is it O.K. to be rich?


Date: 10/19/2003 1:11:18 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Oscar
Subject: Bishop Gumbleton

One of the leading voices today in the peace movement is Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, auxilary bishop of Detroit. He recently gave a sermon over the very Gospel we’ve been discussing, and his conclusion is that aquiring any wealth is sinful. Statistically speaking, the wealthiest 400 people in America have more income than millions of people in other countries - and in Gumbletons’s opinion this is sinful. But Gumbleton goes on to say that all Americans are rich and are guilty of the same sin.
America is by far the richest nation in the world, and our success has made us dull, materialistic and downright selfish to a degree. One could easily fall into the mistaken notion that it is due to the monetary success of the United States that has led other countries into poverty - but such a notion is short-sided and one dimensional. Our way of life has been the source of our success; a way of life that began over 200 years ago, for which many made the ultimate sacrifice. It took time and dedication and many changes to get where we are. And the dirty little secret that liberals, communists, and radical activists don’t want to focus on is this: There is nothing to prevent other nations from being just as successful as the US. Do the research - most poverty stricken nations around the world embrace some kind of socialist or communist ideology.
Mexico is just one example. The primary political party in Mexico for years has been the PRI - a communist group. Mexico’s history is rich and full of heroes, but has taken a turn for the worse in the last century. Mexico was once almost entirely Catholic. Today’s Mexico is much like our Church. As people have embraced liberalism, membership in the Catholic Church has declined. Mass attendance has fallen. Attitudes seem to have changed whereby it is now the United States that should be responsible for employing jobless persons from Mexico.
Bishop Gumbletons message can be appealing to many - afterall, which of us doesn’t want to help? But we can do far better than criticize the United States. Rather than throw a few fish in the direction of the poor, we can teach them to fish.
Have you ever wondered why you believe in the Gospels? How do we know that the Apostles actually wrote them? And how do we know that the miracles ascribed to Christ actually occurred? We accept on Faith that such is the case, but not blind faith. We have the character of the men and woman who have gone before us, whose doctrine was sound and in harmony with all of the other historical and liturgical evidence. In short, we believe because we have been impressed with those who wrote them, and those who put them together as one body of work.

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