Friday, January 3, 2014

Societies can commit sin, too


Let’s talk about sin.

Not the garden-variety kind: Personal violations of the 10 Commandments get plenty of attention in sermons and confessionals.

No, I’m referring to what’s been called social sin – perfectly legal societal systems that tend to dehumanize and abuse the poor, minorities and others.

This kind of sin has been very much in the news.

When Nelson Mandela died Dec. 5, we were reminded of his lifelong battle against apartheid in South Africa. His struggle against laws that enshrined racial discrimination was also dramatized in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," a powerful new film now playing in Charlotte.



Most white South Africans went to church and considered themselves good people. But they accepted a sickeningly sinful system that relegated the black majority to second-class citizenship and resorted to state-sponsored brutality to enforce inequality and racial separation.

If that example seems foreign, replace “apartheid” with “segregation” and “South Africa” with “the United States,” and you should get an idea what social sin can look like.

Because of the bravery of many people – black and white – apartheid and legal segregation have joined Nazism and Soviet Communism (other deeply sinful systems) on the ash heap of history.

So, are we now free of social sin? Pope Francis doesn’t think so. In recent writings, he discussed the ways an unrestrained market economy put money ahead of people, the environment – and God.

The pope, Time magazine’s choice as Person of the Year, lamented the growing gap between the rich and everybody else. And, he wrote, “in this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile … is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.”



When you take on social sin, you get critics. Rush Limbaugh accused the pope of mouthing Marxism. That charge reminded me of what another Catholic leader, Archbishop Helder Camara of Brazil, one said: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist."

Is Pope Francis overstating things? I leave you with the case of Doretha Johnson, who was evicted from the Charlotte home she'd rented for four years by a Wall Street-backed investment firm.

“The house’s new owner, Invitation Homes, raised the rent by a third, beyond what she said her fixed income could afford,” the Observer reported in November.

In the shuffle of ownership, Johnson went ahead and paid the old rate of $650 when the rent was due. She got an eviction notice. When she then offered to pay $875, the new rate, for a month or two while she looked for a new place to live, the answer was no and she was forced to leave.

“They don’t care about people,” she said. “They just care about money.”

-- Tim Funk


23 comments:

Clay said...

Creationism is a social sin.

Teaching kids that the planet and humans are 6000 years old, and that God created everything in 4 days is absolutely pathetic and should be considered child abuse.

Anonymous said...

Would a society that has over 50% of children born to unmarried women, 75% in parts of that society, be sinful?

Anonymous said...

Tim, this is a slippery slope you are on. Only people can be sinful. Not nations, nor corporations. The nation does wrong things because the people in them do wrong things. Jesus did not come to redeem a nation, nor a corporation, He came to redeem people individually. The nations and corporations are made up of people. What the people do results in what the country or corporation does. The individual people in these entities are responsible for their actions individually. Unless a nation, individually, recognizes the need to reform, it won't happen. Today no one knows what the right thing is - even to do it. No moral compass any longer.
We operate under capitalism. Those who work should be rewarded for it. We do not operate under communism, yet. We are headed to a socialistic, wealth redistricting mandate from our President. You have seen that communism does not work. The government never gives out what it doesn't take first from its citizens. To take from those few who have and give it to those masses who have not without any requirement of responsibility of the receivers is communism. That only works as a national mandate in a perfect world. Greed shows us we do not live in a perfect world. Certainly we should help the less fortunate. Give them a hand, not a handout. Teach them how to fish, instead of giving them free fish at their leisure. Those who are able should be required to work for their support. Our government has been so short sited that they gave corporate permission to send all our jobs overseas, and now we are being asked to support the jobless from the government tills. Double whammy. Take the jobs away, yet keep paying the jobless anyway. Eventually it will be like Detroit all over the country. No need to worry about invaders, we are doing the job for them in the takeover of our country-we are a debtor nation and growing more so every day.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 11:27 PM is so wrong I don't even know where to start. Perhaps the synopsis would simply be to remind him / her that speaking of sin can't really be accomplished by mouthing nothing more than platitudes.

He seems to have forgotten that God judged all of Israel as one for their collective actions in Sinai. (There weren't any individual free passes given out after the golden calf incident.)

And to speak of capitalism / communism in an article on sin? Seems to completely have forgotten that the most perfect definition of "communism" ever seen is found in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts.

"Give them a hand, not a handout?" Forgotten that Jesus himself said simply, "Give to everyone who begs from you?" (Matt. 5:42 ande Luke 6:30)

National Christianity is such a pale imitator of the real thing.

Anonymous said...

http://www.adherents.com/misc/hsk.html

Do not kid yourself as these sociopath psycho emasculated atheist homosexual/pedophile sicko perverts have committed all the serial murders throughout history as studies have proven.

From white homosexual Jeffrey Dalhmer who killed homosexuals and cannibalized them to black homosexual Wayne Williams who murdered 25 or more black teens in Atlanta to clown homosexual John Wayne Gacy in Chicago who murdered 35 vagrant teen the list is massive.

Everyone knows what the Boy Scout homosexual approval will lead to with pedophilia as what occurred countless times before they were banned in the 90s.
There is a brand new boys organization formed although.

Keep your kids away from all homosexuals, pedophiles and predators or their organizations if you are intelligent.
Liberalism is a scourge.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/3/bible-based-boys-group-springs-over-boy-scout-nod-/

http://gopthedailydose.com/2013/05/26/mom-of-murdered-obama-gay-lover-speaks-up/

Anonymous said...

POPE FRANCIS IS UNQUESTIONABLY A MARXIST AND A HOMOSEXUAL PEDOPHILE ENABLER.
NOT GOOD FOR A LONG TAINTED BRAND.

SEND HIM BACK HOME AND FIND ANOTHER JOHN PAUL II WHO WAS THE REAL DEAL.

MARC

Anonymous said...

POPE FRANCIS IS UNQUESTIONABLY A MARXIST AND A HOMOSEXUAL PEDOPHILE ENABLER.
NOT GOOD FOR A LONG TAINTED BRAND.

SEND HIM BACK HOME AND FIND ANOTHER JOHN PAUL II WHO WAS THE REAL DEAL.

MARC

Anonymous said...

Maybe self righteous all holy one Tim Funk can explain why nothing is ever said in the media about other places on the international scene besides always picking on South Africa where a 1st world mdern nation has been transformed in short order to 3rd world status with the highest crime rate on the planet. 10s of millions of Africans were given excellent pay jobs for 100 yrs in the mines by the old government who founded and created the nation. Mandela was a communist anyway.

Dont even mention Rhodesia formelly called the "bread basket of Africa" feeding 75% of the entire continent under white rule and now Zimbabwe where a 1st world Brit colony under tyrant Mugabe took it to 3rd world in no time flat and now they eat large animals to survive in wretched poverty.

What about the 1.5 billion in China who only allow native Chinese to become citizens, same as Japans 100 million or N Korea or most of Asia?

What about the 1.5 billion muslim nations who only allow muslims to be citizens including 50% of muslim Africa?

He who is without sin let him cast the first stone?

Get a life Funk ...

Anonymous said...

All of these posters can't see the forest for the trees. If you don't think society has a problem deifying money, you must be doing the same. Even I do a lot of times so I'm not preaching on a perch. Capitalism has become something completely different and a grotesque transformation to what it was first intended to be. Forgotten is human decency, mercy, and humility. Replaced by greed, conceit, and apathy towards others. No I don't want what I work hard for taken with forced distribution, but I also understand that I'm blessed beyond my dreams compared to the majority of our city, state, country, and world. Most of us able to post our opinions are. So don't ever forget that, and don't ever think its ok to trample on others because your 'maximizing shareholder wealth''.

Shamash said...

The Pope is sitting on a huge stash of loot.

Let him sell all that and give it to the poor before commenting about the evils of "capitalism".

Shamash said...

Hey Pope,

How about that BEAM in your eye?

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/08/wealth-of-roman-catholic-church-impossible-to-calculate/

Practice what you preach, buddy...

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

Mussolini sends his "thanks"...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/21/vatican-secret-property-empire-mussolini

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/01/01/why-demographics-are-still-a-concern-for-some-israeli-jews/


Ironically jews in Israel have the same problem as white Afrikaners in South Africa had yet never had the same scrutiny in order to maintain its identity and power.

To keep Israel a majority jewish state there is apartheid since 1948 when Truman and Churchill allowed for the new Hebrew nation to come into existence in Palestine after ww2.

There were never any more than 22% or 5 million in South Africa out of a 50-60 million population who had endured a staggering influx of 10s of millions of illegal alien Africans invade who lived in squalor in squatter camps trying to get good jobs that have almost vanished since the early 90s. This is still an unending problem.

Israel with 6 million jews has had to fight 3 major wars against 150 million arab muslims to survive in order to retain its idenity as a western state and erected a wall for security.
Meanwhile Palestineans are 22% of the population at 2 million and growing.

If Israel did not use aparteid it would be another South Africa and be swallowed whole likewise sinking into 3rd world status.
Very precarious position thus it has to maintain its military on high alert and a nuclear arsenal.








Anonymous said...

Funny how lefties talk about "apartheid" in Israel, but are completely silent about ethnic cleaning of Jews in the rest of the Middle East.

The blog post here is pretty pathetically leftist as well. There's really not much question that the current pope is both a hypocrite and economically illiterate (bordering on Marxist). And the best thing that can be said about Mandela the leader is that he avoided becoming another Mugabe (though his his successors are showing increasingly unfortunate tendencies in that direction).

If we're going to talk about group sins, though, why don't we look at those of the Dem party - the party of Andrew Jackson, slavery, segregation, racial internment during WWII, abortion, and so on? What about those of American progressives - Prohibition, forced sterilization, eugenics, and so on?

Clean up your own house before complaining that someone else needs to vaccuum.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Tim Funk. It is clear you've hit a nerve from many of the comments here. The outraged and outrageous comments are meant to shut down real conversation, and we don't have to let that happen. The most frightening aspect of the Holocaust was not that Germans are evil by nature, but that they are as human as the rest of us, and they could let such devastation, brutality, and hate take over every aspect of their society. The most frightening aspect of our own segregation and forced impoverishment of African Americans in the US, and before that, slavery, was that ordinary people who had freedom and privileges in these societies let this go on, day after day after day for so long. We can change this, but not by praying to a "deified market." I think we will change. I'm so thankful the new pope has opened up this conversation around the world. It's wonderful.

Anonymous said...

While everyone is free to express themselves I find the tone and tenor of many of these comments to be saddening. It seems the notion of civility has been lost in our society. Consider for example, the crass comments made by MSNBC regarding the Romney grandchildren. On the other end of the spectrum, read Senator Rucho's blog. Not encouraging for our society.

Anonymous said...

I think the pope is just upset he lost money in the market.

John Swift said...

Great column, Tim. It's a shame so many of these posters completely missed the message. Calling Mandela and the Pope marxists because they champion the disadvan taged, because they speak out against economic oppression? How pathetic, how myopic, how decidedly un-Christian.

They've been so brainwashed by the unending propaganda onslaught by the Right-Wing-Echo-Chamber which perpetuates the very evils the Pope spoke against, they have lost their very humanity.

Unfettered capitalism, untempered by any concern for those left behind in the headlong rush to consolidate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, leads directly to fascism. That's what's waiting at the end of this road. The irony is that many of these hateful posters will end up as economic roadkill, unaware that they fueled the very trucks that ran them over.

Anonymous said...

The Vatican Bank (IOR):

http://world.time.com/2013/10/09/time-explains-the-vatican-banks-treasure-chest/

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-vatican-bank-20131211,0,5848596.story#axzz2pTGIDPFA

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-30/vatican-bank-to-publish-2012-annual-report-in-transparency-drive.html

"IOR will shut down about 900 accounts, including all of those held by foreign embassies, Corriere della Sera reported today without saying how it got the information. The decision was taken after viewing large cash transactions by diplomatic missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to the newspaper"

Funded by Fascists and friends of terrorists and money-laundering criminals worldwide.

Anonymous said...

HEY YO,

CRY ME A RIVER ...

KARL MARX WAS A CHAMPION OF THE SO CALLED POOR AND DISADVANTAGED .. WHAT A JOKE ...

IN THE END MARX IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 500 MILLION DEATHS WORLDWIDE SINCE 1848 WHEN HE AND ENGELS PUBLISHED THE MANIFESTO

MARXISM IS DESTRUCTION OF ENTIRE NATIONS INTO POVERTY DEATH DISEASE HELL ... THAT IS THE LIBERAL OBAMA SCUMBAG CROWD WAY ..

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST RING A BELL????????? UNLESS THEY ARE REALLY REALLY DISABLED AND NOT FAKING OT FOR FREEBIES AND NOT WORK ...

THERE ARE WINNERS AND LOSERS ...

HEAVEN AND HELL ...

BEGGARS MOOCHERS AND WORKERS ...


RICH AND POOR ...

GOOD AND EVIL ...

GO TO THE BACK OF THE BUS IDIOT ..

"THE POOR YE HAVE WITH YE ALWAYS"

MARCUS

Anonymous said...

Cut the shouting idiot ...

Pre pc archaeologists and scientists have always classified the 3 races on earth based on the 3 sons of Noah with oldest Shem (white caucasoid European jew arab race), middle son Japheth (red yellow mongoloid Asian race), and youngest son Ham (black negroid African race) who with their wives repopulated the earth after the great flood with the clean land animals. It was the New World Order of the Creator.

And Creator didnt like diversity? He invented it.

According to the ancient divine inspired Torah the original single human race failed and was wiped out in a world flood and apparently the dinosaurs met the same fate explaining why their remains are all discovered in mud with tracks. This supposedly all occurred 4500 years ago with the 6000 year timeline based on the Torah book of Genesis.

What atheist pc scientists are not telling you is ancient human remains also found today using flawed carbon 14 dating are of the original single(liberal)human race that was wiped out. Evolution by Darwin is a joke and he didnt even believe it on his 5 yr south seas cocaine excursion in the late 18th century. He was a ministers son and buried in London church cemetary. Intelligent design creationism is the only truth.

They wont tell you that ancient human remains found today are most definitely of the original single human race pre-flood that would expose them as liars and the truth of the Torah and that evolution is bogus. Forget the ape bones found in Africa they called humans. Lie.

The Garden of Eden or cradle of civilization is located in todays Iraq not Africa at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of ancient Mesopotamia or Ur.
Iraq is centrally located between Europe, Asia and Africa in what was called Asia Minor.

This is simplistic but the ancient Issac Jacobite jew mentality was simplistic after 400 yrs of slavery to their Shemite/Semite half blood brother arab Ishmaelites.


Anonymous said...

"What atheist pc scientists are not telling you is ancient human remains also found today using flawed carbon 14 dating are of the original single(liberal)human race that was wiped out. "

Craziest thing I've heard in a while...

Well, next to the weird rant against MARXIST ATHEISTIC HOMOSEXUAL SERIAL KILLERS IN ALL CAPS.

Yep, everything more than 6000 years old is a lie.

And we know this because of what some Jews wrote down as the "history" of the world.

Yep. Sounds like a winner.

Given a choice between modern science and fairy tales, I'm going with the ancient fairy tales for "Truth", too.

Only make mine Babylonian...