Inspection- The Great Foreclosure Sale on the Christian Heart

Vultures sat around the table. The head vulture of the coven spoke up…

“We have heard of followers, friends and fellow citizens losing their dwellings. The predatory practices approved by the Empire have taken their toll. Now they are living on the street amongst the rot and the filth, with friends and relatives who cannot keep them long, or left to survive beneath abandoned; broken down chariots, left behind by soldiers. They are even being rousted from underneath the rotted carcasses of Roman chariots. My father has spoken to me, ‘It’s all their myself-damned fault,’ he hath said. So let us collect our resources and buy their abodes on the cheap: for it is written: ‘let the least amongst us; those who have just lost the most, pull themselves up by their own sandal straps.’ Now, onto further matters: one of you will betray me…”

Nothing could be farther from the truth, right?

Well, given those who believe God would absolutely approve over reactions to abortion that leads to murder, nailing Gays to fences in Texas, misrepresenting Terry Schiavos condition for political gain…

Anyone want to bet when these ads encouraging us to take advantage of someone’s misfortune by buying their houses on the cheap come on TV, these folks are the first to call “1-800 take advantage2day?”

“And the Lord said, as his followers chimed in, ‘Me! Me! When people lose their homes it’s all about me and what it will do for… me!!!'”

And where are all the protests, or “Christian” concern, about the soon to be homeless? Or the predatory practices? Or the 33% rates, driven up at the drop of a feather for damn near any reason; accurate or not? Recently I shoved Chase off the nearest cliff by paying it all. I called and pointed out that my wife; who was responsible for that bill, had been paying our card on time for many years. I told them if they would drop the impossible to pay off percentage from a whopping 34%: just a hair, I would not drop them. The first thing I heard was, “No, you don’t qualify.” After arguing proved as fruitless as it always does with the greedy, the second thing, the third, the fourth and the fifth things I heard were relayed by several return calls and mailouts… as they plummeted downward like Wiley to the desert floor, “Apply again and we’ll drop it nnnnnnnnoooooooooooowwwwwwwww….”

I won’t have anything to do with Chase. Well, that’s not quite accurate. I won’t… except when that classic vehicle for legalized extortion, Uncle Sam, points his tax weapon at me and says, “Give to the rich and greedy with your taxes now!

Is that the sound of another bailout for big business I hear? “Big business,” who along with the government, either says, “screw you” to the little guy, or “you don’t qualify?”

And does any of this “qualify” as, “Christian?”

Hardly. Especially not when it comes to purchasing houses on the cheap due to disgusting lending practices.

“Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas: now get the hell out of your home and don’t let the door slam you on what looks a lot like our idea of being ‘Christian.”

It is claimed Jesus rode in on an ass. Well today all he would need to do is saddle up one of these self centered gleebs, though their braying might be a bit more bothersome. “A bit?” I under estimate.

There is little doubt amongst biblical scholars that the disciples shared their meager resources, and some might even consider that to have been a mini-version of socialism, though on a very tiny scale. Considering various teachings and the tipping of tables, one could make the case that today’s version of capitalism would seem evil to them. But that’s not fair. It was a different time. And if we could hear comments made by people in the distant future… it’s as unfair for them to judge us for who they have become, as it is for us to judge people in the distant past for who we are now. People of the distant past simply were not around long enough to affect all the changes that turned us into who were are now.

But, going back to the time of Jesus, we do know that “usury” was strictly defined and it is very hard to make the following case…

He who had “Christ” stapled to the end of his name, and also had his first name altered from something more resembling “Joshua,” would support the actions of people who claim to follow Christ, yet act like vultures. Or would be anything but disgusted by their sneering at the homeless while using the misfortune of the recent homeless to their own advantage.

No, I think Christ would have wanted us to help them; or at least not facilitate the seizure and sale.

I’m fairly sure he would consider such “followers” like I do: humans with less ethics than an over eager vulture. I often surmise some forms of Christianity have little to do with Christ, and more to do with a personal need to use the good name of its founder to excuse whatever one wants to do. I know that’s a harsh assessment, but history has plenty of examples to provide; including Hitler.

“Gott mit Uns”

While the man referred to as “Jesus” may have tipped a few tables in his time…

He went on to no bloody, brutal Crusades, though it could be claimed he was the victim of a specific “crusade” led by certain members of the contemporary Jewish clergy of the time; assisted somewhat reluctantly by the Roman Empire.

He fought no holy wars.

…or made excuses for those who bomb or shoot clinic workers, nailed no one to any cross-like fence, went great distances to make political hay out of one families personal tragedy…

…and suggested torturing no one: or went out of his way to shift the definition of torture so he might claim he will ‘rid the world of all evil…'”

…or took advantage of those tossed out of their own abodes.

I think we indeed know what Jesus would have done. And it wasn’t that. So while their actions may be legal; their very Christianity is at doubt. Not that they care, or won’t always find some excuse to claim otherwise. That’s what the very kind of people Jesus railed against do. And probably will do until the Sun goes nova, a rock hits the Earth or some other flavor of Armageddon is offered up by life’s Fickled Finger of Fate…

…one “flavor” of life’s sometimes toxic, sometimes pleasing, metaphorical ice cream that Howard Johnsons never got around to offering, thank God. Hopefully I won’t be around to taste that flavor. But I’m just unchristian enough to wish many of those who helped take advantage of those losing their homes are.

-30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.