BLESSED ARE THE RICH

As anyone who has read the New Testament knows, Jesus spent most of his life among the poor and the shunned, rather than hanging out with the rich. Indeed, he frequently blasted the avarice of the wealthy elites of his day, even declaring that, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."

As anyone who has read the New Testament knows, Jesus spent most of his life among the poor and the shunned, rather than hanging out with the rich. Indeed, he frequently blasted the avarice of the wealthy elites of his day, even declaring that, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

But, gosh, if Jesus visited our country today, surely he would feel the pain of the modern rich – wouldn’t he? For example, consider the tragic agony of “wealth status.” Let’s take the case of some swell who’s sitting on $999,999,999. Are you aware that this poor wretch does not even make the Forbes list of America’s 400 richest people!?!

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In this year’s ranking, it took a billion dollars just to be number 400 on the list. Sure, such ultra-richies as Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and all five Wal-Mart heirs easily acquired Forbes status, but what about Martha Stewart, Steve Case, and others whose incomes fell short his time and were unceremoniously dropped from the list? Forget about fishes and loaves for the masses – what about caviar for the Forbes rejectees?

Also, what many of us ordinary riff-raff fail to understand is that while the rich have so much money, it costs them so much to live. Were you aware, for example, that there was a 10 percent hike last year in the price of a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter with VIP options? No, I dare say you were not. Also, the price of six-passenger Lear jets is by up to $350,000 this year – and you don’t even want to know about the cost of housing in the Hamptons!

This is Jim Hightower saying… While Jesus focused on the poor and the wretched, he also kept a wary eye on those who chose to serve mammon. And so should we. Blessed are the rich, for they will inherit the fate they so richly deserve.

Sources:
“The Forbes 400,” Forbes magazine, October 9, 2006.

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