Amazingly, this past week I had two conversations. In one, the other conversationer (I made that word up) emphasized his HATRED of corporate America. In the other, the other conversationer emphasized his LOVE of liberation theology. One conversation about love and one about hate. A pretty well-balanced week of conversing. Both demonstrated misplaced “affections.”
First, liberation theology. Liberty and liberation seem rather appealing. It is especially appealing to those who relate to a heritage of oppression. However, identifying abuses that produce oppression and identifying healthy and reasonable solutions are two very different things. It’s great to say, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” but you better have a plan upon their arrival. Marx saw problems; he offered no viable solutions. A liberation theology that filters the teachings of Jesus through a Marxist lens will fail to help the victims of unjust economic, political, or social conditions. In fact, they will often fail to distinguish between victims and people suffering from an oppression of their own making. God sees problems and offers understanding about the nature of the problem and the solution. God and Scripture (properly interpreted and applied) lead to liberty in a healthy, well-balanced, discerning manner. Liberation theology and various humanistic efforts to produce liberty, justice, peace and equality are insufficient and short-sighted. Though our culture is obsessed with such things, it does a very poor job of defining, dealing with and advancing such causes. Our ill-informed general public is easily tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming as political puppeteers pull the strings of media, masterfully manipulating the masses like gangling puppets mindlessly jerking into position with life-like twitches.
In the other conversation, “Corporate America” was seen as the enemy. Once again, I agree there are problems within corporate America. I believe, however, we must distinguish between corporate America and the corruption and greed that too often characterizes those comprising corporate America. One might say that those who make up corporate America ARE corporate America. However, I would say it is possible to have corporate America without corruption and greed. It is necessary to combat corruption and greed within corporate America without eliminating or fighting against corporate America. Again, manipulators use every advantage possible to push their agenda forward. Marxists and big-government Keynesians would love to leverage destructive pressure against capitalists. The system known as Capitalism is not the problem, corruption and greed in the hearts and lives of those associated with the system are the problem. On the other hand, we cannot say that the only problem with Marxism or Keynesian economics is corruption and greed, they are flawed systems, with or without corruption. As well, replacing capitalism with Marxism or various forms of government-run “solutions” without addressing corruption and greed, we should immediately see, is just the same problem in the hands of different players. We have a moral breakdown that needs a moral solution.
Ladies and gentlemen, I confess that I am not the sharpest tack in the pack, but I am convinced that bringing health back to the various components of our society will involve making important distinctions to stand firm against the schemes of ideological manipulators. There is too much spin, twisting and emotional manipulation taking place, proving to worsen our condition. Reasonable solutions require reasonable people. Moral solutions require moral people. My two conversations remind me that careful thought is needed if we are to identify problems correctly and offer viable solutions. We must exercise wisdom and discretion when deciding what we love and what we hate.
“…while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.” (Mt.13:25)
 Emma Lazarus