Class warfare could lead to civil unrest

“Class warfare” is heard a lot now as the economic gulf widens between the rich and the poor. During a former recession, a visitor who owned a family business educated me on the subject. She talked about their religious life and church connections, and she surmised that God had really blessed them because their business was thriving when many others were failing. She felt people would not be poor if they were closer to God.

I mentioned that Jesus’ early ministry was among the poor and recalled some scriptures, and the rich man who had kept the law from his youth but came to Jesus asking the way to eternal life. Jesus said he lacked one thing — sell all he had and give it to the poor so he would have riches in Heaven, and then come follow him. The man went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. The lady was silent, so I mused that perhaps that was why he said it is as hard for a rich man to go to heaven as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

That struck such a nerve that she cried out, “I can’t agree with that. We are rich! And we always hire poor people most in need of a job.” I couldn’t apologize for Jesus, so I remained silent until somewhere out of the blue she asked, “What do you think of the Kennedys?”

I had not been thinking of them, so to my silence she continued, “we don’t like them, for some of our best employees quit working for us because they could get more money on welfare.”

I could only wonder if this rich woman heard what she had just said. And what did they pay their average employees? Very few get rich by work of their own hands, minds or skills. It was the working-class, the middle-class citizens and their boys who joined the service to defend the capitalist system that made it work for all Americans.

But corporations wanted more, and moved to Third World countries where dictators are easily bought off to keep wages low for their people. Those jobs will not come back until wages here are Third-World level. When politicians promise jobs, jobs, jobs, we must ask, what kind and for what wage?

If capitalism exalts the wealthy while wages of the masses are suppressed, could not turmoil break out in America’s streets as it has in so many streets of so many countries? Could not socialism become a more just system as it has in so many other countries? How about more “Christlike”?