Monday, September 10, 2012

Lunchtime, Friday, September 7, 2012

This is the day I sat face-to-face with an incarnation of evil.  I got as close as maybe 2 meters.

Gosh, that takes a lot for me to write, much less think.  I can't necessary justify or even fully articulate the reasons I know this to be true, but I do know its true.

This man was a guest speaker at a community meeting.  He self-described as an Evangelical Christian Minister now managing a non-profit center. His topic was the righteousness of capitalism and how the country was moving in the wrong direction, socio-economically.  He berated companies for "giving back" to society (Starbuck's in particular of all companies).  His speech was replete with justifications for his radical positions from the fringes of society.  Bernie Madoff, for example was cited as what happens when you "cheat".  At one point, he suggested that even illicit businesses such as human trafficking and crack dealers were moral because they were simply filling a need and "making people happy".  If people didn't want drugs, drug dealers would go away, thanks to capitalism. Nobody forced people to do crack.

More importantly, this day, this hour was when I knew that the first part of my life was nearly over.  I had all I could do to keep socially appropriate and not throw something at him.  My cup of tea was closest and I considered it.  The crack dealer comment nearly made me boil over.  I wanted to stand up and yell "blasphemer!" I was personally insulted - not just intellectually - personally.  Wholly.

The kicker was in the verse of scripture that he chose to throw God's weight behind his viewpoint.  He chose Romans 12:2 which has Paul suggesting to the church in Rome: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."   His message, thus was that in a capitalist world - one in which capitalism is not only a path to righteousness, but morally just - what you need to do is to break away and be capitalist.  Huh?

Evil and I met today and on the surface, evil may have won.  But in my soul, I won.  However, I had all I could do to stop myself from crying when I heard the questions that came from the other souls in the room.  I wanted to stay and chat, but I knew I had to run.  Away.

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