Nancy, I think we all agree with you here regarding this difference.
However, your latter description does not describe Christianity -- certainly not the majority of Christians, anyway. I'm not familiar enough with Bush's fiscal policy to respond on his behalf, but it's very possible that he has distinctive application of his beliefs, just as every Christian does. I believe it's fair to say that most Christians (certainly most of those I know) would be very supportive of the first description you give below. I certainly am. And I agree with Tom that traditional Protestantism is not against wealth, but rather warns against "the love of money," a completely different thing (I Timothy 6:10). Just as a couple of examples, Job and Solomon were considered to be the wealthiest men of their day, and both are highly regarded in Christianity.
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/03/04 01:39PM >>>
There is a vast difference between working responsibly, caring for one's
family, and helping the world be more supportive of humans (I would not
use the word "prosperous" because of its connotations) and acquiring
greater and greater quantities of wealth in fewer and fewer hands--which
has the opposite effect from what you describe.
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/03/04 1:17 PM >>>
--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> reading of what Jesus said seems to suggest that
> neither Bush nor many
> of his followers have a clue about loving their
> neighbor or caring for
> the least of us or eschewing wealth.
The idea of eschewing wealth is not universal in
Christianity. In particular, it is not universally
accepted in Protestantism or the faith of the Church
of England, which Elliot took up. There is a strong
millenarian tendency in Anglicanism. Followers believe
that by supporting their families and creating a more
prosperous world, they are doing God's work and loving
their neighbour. In doing so, they are creating God's
kingdom in this world.
This is certainly the type of Anglicanism that I was
brought up in. It was the aspect of the faith that
differentiated it from Roman Catholicism.
I have wondered how this aspect of Anglicanism fits
with Eliot's view of the world.
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