Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We aren't greedy, says wealthy Catholic, and we may stop donations to the Church to prove it

Home Depot Founder & Republicans Decry Pope: He doesn't "Get" Rich People
by tmservo433
Daily Kos
Dec 30, 2013

In a headline so laughable that you have to imagine PR departments around the globe slapping their foreheads, the Republican assault on the new, 'potentially communist' (sic Rush Limbaugh) Pope and leader of the Catholic faith continues.

In an interview on CNBC on Monday, Home Depot founder and devout Catholic Ken Langone said that the Pope’s statements about capitalism have left many potential “capitalist benefactors” wary of donating to the Church or its fundraising projects.

According to Langone, an anonymous, “potential seven-figure donor” for the Church’s restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is concerned that the Pope’s criticism of capitalism are “exclusionary,” especially his statements about the “culture of prosperity” leading to the wealthy being “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”

Langone said he’s raised this issue with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who yesterday praised Pope Francis for “shattering the caricature of the Church.”

“I’ve told the Cardinal,” Langone said, “‘Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country.’”

The message continues that maybe, just maybe, if the Pope keeps up this talk about the poor being oppressed, why, those who are 'rich, 7 figure donors' may stop donating at all! That will show the Pope! He thinks we're greedy bastards, and demands the poor get a better shake.. why, then, we're going to withhold all charity because that seems like the way to prove him wrong!

Langone further said that, in the future, he hopes Pope Francis will “celebrate a positive point of view rather than focusing on the negative.” He does worry, though, because of “the vast difference between the Pope’s experience in Argentina and how we are in America. There is no nation on earth that is so forthcoming, so giving.”

It is often a real sign that people through out 'America gives the most to Charity!'. It's true, but it fails to address the fact that a lot of US charity is... to other US citizens. This is something that doesn't necessarily happen in the next nations on the list, like Sweden/etc because in those nations the level of direct need is less, since they have things like universal care, a better social safety net, etc... meaning that while we here in the US donate quite a bit to safety net programs like homeless shelters/etc. the level of income disparity in those countries is so considerably less that it's not comparabe.

. In explaining the high-tax/low-philanthropy (and low-tax/high-philanthropy) correlation, liberals and conservatives fall squarely on opposite sides of a chicken-and-egg debate.

On the one hand, France, for instance, has less income disparity and less poverty than the U.S. So if people are motivated to give by seeing need around them, it may simply be that the French give less because they see less need. French citizens may also feel that since they are highly taxed, it’s the government’s responsibility, not their own, to take care of the poor in their community.

The most recent attack on the Pope's message follows the words of leader Paul Ryan, who issued much the same statement a few days ago.

“What I love about the pope is he is triggering the exact kind of dialogue we ought to be having,” Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “People need to get involved in their communities to make a difference, to fix problems soul to soul.”

But he couldn’t suppress either his right-wing politics or his supreme capacity for condescension for very long. “The guy is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina,” Ryan said (referring to the pope as “the guy” is a nice folksy touch.) “They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.”

Read this and read the statement above. It's just those people 'in another country', Rich and Poor, those people are somehow bad. They do it wrong. We here in the US do it right, it's just those dirty Argentina people. We're far more OK with how we treat our poor.

"It's sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth."

In fact, Argentina was a battlefield between leftist socialists and right-wing security forces during much of Francis' early career in the country, where he was a Jesuit priest and later archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Limbaugh, who is not Catholic, said he admires the faith "profoundly." He admired Pope Francis as well, "up until this," Limbaugh said.

The talk show host also said that he has made numerous visits to the Vatican, which he said "wouldn't exist without tons of money."

"But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him," Limbaugh added. "This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope."

It is funny that this would be the attack they would take. To steal a phrase that appeared in my facebook feed this morning:

2000 years ago, a Middle Eastern man who befriended prostitutes, beggars and the sick demanded that the rich give more to their peers; he tossed those who sought money as a goal out of a church at the end of the whip, and begged men to love one another as their first commandment.

Today, for the first time in a long while, a leader of a religious group is calling for exactly those things. And the Right Wing, those reportedly Big "G" God fearing people are going ballistic with how wrong this is.

Makes you wonder how they can reach the same conclusion, doesn't it?

Maura Larkins comment: Here's what happened when poor people were given a stipend. The frequency of behavioral problems declined by 40 percent, nearly reaching the risk of children who had never been poor. Can we save middle class kids by saving poor kids?

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