J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 09-02-2018

Adelaide’s homeless: Calls for greater compassion from city residents and workers

SA Council of Social Service’s Ross Womersley said inner cities are a magnet for people with problems of addiction, mental health, and family breakdowns – all contributing factors to homelessness. For obvious reasons many of the facilities used by homeless people – shelters, detox centres and soup kitchens – also gravitate to the same locations. In Adelaide’s CBD that’s primarily around two spots; the Hutt Street Centre on Hutt Street in the South East corner, and the Salvos about 2 kilometres away on Whitmore Square in the south-west. Both have been there for decades, Hutt Street since the 50s, the Salvos for 147 years, both serving much the same cohort of people. Hutt Street has found itself in the middle of a storm of ‘streets of fear’ stories, with residents and business owners pointing to brawls, antisocial behaviour and begging along the popular restaurant and cafe strip. 

SA Police Superintendent Craig Wall said while there had been a spike in the fear of crime, Hutt Street had not seen a corresponding spike in crime itself. While there’s been no crime spike, Paul Coulson from the Salvos’ Whitmore Square service said around the world, facilities like his do experience peaks and troughs of antisocial behaviour. SAPOL pointed to the fact that there has been more development in the Hutt Street precinct, and it’s a longer street, meaning more ‘opportunities’ for conflict. 20 years of experience also tells him perpetual peace is never the outcome when people in crisis live side-by-side with people whose lives are on track. Owner Tony Straccia lives above the shop, so for the past decade both his working and private lives have unfolded around Whitmore Square. He believes Hutt Street has seen greater gentrification than the square, helping account for the current tensions. 

Two senior welfare advocates have told the ABC the board of the Hutt Street Centre feels under siege, describing the stories of a crime spike as a beat up. 

Keywords: [“Street”,”people”,”Hutt”]
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-28/how-we-treat-the-homeless/9702840

The Forgotten Story of Thanksgiving: Prosperity Caused By Entrepreneurship

A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. About forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford’s own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. 

Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives, and half the people weren’t carrying their weight and didn’t have to. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, and they got to keep the bulk of what they produced, thus turning loose the power of Entrepreneurship, Free Enterprise and Capitalism! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! 

The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. That’s the first Thanksgiving: A thanks to God for their safety, a thanks to God for their discovery, and a thanks to the Indians by sharing the abundance that they themselves produced after first trying what could only be called today Communism, Socialism, or Wealth Redistribution. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends! 

Keywords: [“Bradford”,”first”,”Pilgrims”]
Source: http://www.wrightbusinessit.com/the-forgotten-story-of-thanksgiving…

definition of compassionate by The Free Dictionary

Heart he pulled out his needle and thread, and sewed her together. The patriarch sent me to expostulate the matter with the King, which I did in very warm terms, telling him that we were assured by the Emperor of a reception in this country far different from what we met with, which assurances he had confirmed by his promise and the civilities we were entertained with at our first arrival; but that instead of friends who would compassionate. Our miseries, and supply our necessities, we found ourselves in the midst of mortal enemies that wanted to destroy us. Are mostly hard of heart; not so am I; For mine is tender, soft, compassionate. There was one other event in the memorable past on which he preserved the same compassionate. 

On hearing himself addressed as your Excellency, the Director of the Marionette Theater sat up very straight in his chair, stroked his long beard, and becoming suddenly kind and compassionate. Smiled proudly as he said to Pinocchio:Mrs Deborah approved all these sentiments, and the dialogue concluded with a general and bitter invective against beauty, and with many compassionate. Considerations for all honest plain girls who are deluded by the wicked arts of deceitful men. Ladislaw at Lowick, and Miss Noble made many small compassionate. Lady Lydiard closed the door again, with a compassionate. 

Since the legislative act of 1850, when she heard, with perfect surprise and consternation, Christian and humane people actually recommending the remanding escaped fugitives into slavery, as a duty binding on good citizens,-when she heard, on all hands, from kind, compassionate. Estimable people, in the free states of the North, deliberations and discussions as to what Christian duty could be on this head,-she could only think, These men and Christians cannot know what slavery is; if they did, such a question could never be open for discussion. 

Keywords: [“compassionate”,”Christian”,”Heart”]
Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/compassionate

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 08-21-2018

definition of responsible by The Free Dictionary

For the loss, but he distinctly foreshadowed the very thing that caused it. For the planet’s traffic, cannot make allowance for this kind of misfortune. For what then happened; and that I have but myself to blame for having been either unable or unwilling to defend my honour. Why, he must have thought it, unless he IS the downrightest fool in the world; because if he hadn’t thought it, he would have wanted to own the whole dog, knowing that if he killed his half and the other half died, he would be responsible. For that half just the same as if he had killed that half instead of his own. 

For this report which had reached the ears of Lorquas Ptomel so quickly, and now I recalled those portions of our conversation which had touched upon escape and upon my origin. He thought unconsciously, seeking someone responsible. For this suffering for him to punish; but there was no one responsible. Nothing can be wiser in that kingdom, than to annex to the king a constitutional council, who may be responsible. For my having become the head of the Order; they shall feel my vengeance. 

Keywords: [“responsible”,”half”,”thought”]
Source: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/responsible

Christianity vs Islam: Chart of Similarities and Differences

The final revelation of God to all of mankind given through the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad over a 23 year period. We are sinners, but God loves us, Jesus died for us; believe in him and you are saved. God is a trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is not three gods in one god, nor is it one person who took three forms. One God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

A very great prophet, second only to Muhammad. Jesus is not the son of God, not divine and was not crucified. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross whereby His blood becomes the sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God from the sinner when he believes and receives by faith the work of Christ on the cross. Heaven is the eventual and eternal home of the Christians who are saved by God’s grace. Occurs on the day of resurrection when God will judge all people. 

All people are sinless until they rebel against God. A free gift of God to the person who trusts in Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. God forgives any and all when asked, but humans must also forgive. 

Keywords: [“God”,”Muslim”,”Christian”]
Source: http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Bible/Christianity-Islam-chart.htm

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Today the Supreme Court voted, 5-4, to enable public sector workers to unilaterally withhold contributions from their unions. The principle guiding the majority’s decision is simple and intuitively appealing. When workers pay unions dues, those unions use that money to fund political speech. Individual workers may not agree with the union’s speech acts, and therefore compelling them to pay dues ties their employment to their willingness to espouse a particular kind of political speech with their wallets. The court argues that requiring workers to make certain kinds of political speech acts with their wallets to retain employment violates their free speech rights. 

The argument is internally valid-it makes sense, given a particular conception of individual freedom. The trouble is that this conception of individual freedom is destabilising the labour market in a politically dangerous way, and in consistently choosing to interpret this principle in this way the court is threatening the legitimacy of the state. 

Keywords: [“speech”,”unions”,”workers”]
Source: https://benjaminstudebaker.com

Condemnation versus Conviction

A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some believers even think it’s God telling them these things. My friend, nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it! Condemnation comes from Satan and is meant to tear you down. 

Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution. God’s Word tells us that Godly sorrow is what leads us to repentance. Conviction shows you the blood of Jesus that wipes away your sins! Conviction shows you the answer, while condemnation shows you the problem. 

Condemnation shows you the problem, but conviction shows you the answer. It’s so important to understand the nature of God’s forgiveness and His desire to wash us clean from our pasts. The Forgiveness of Sins is a great teaching that will show you the nature of God’s forgiveness. 

Keywords: [“God”,”sins”,”show”]
Source: http://www.greatbiblestudy.com/condemnation_conviction.php

Define Compassionate at Dictionary.com

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com adjective. Having or showing compassion: a compassionate person; a compassionate letter. Granted in an emergency: compassionate military leave granted to attend a funeral. SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com. I know there are police officers who are kind, compassionate. 

People were attracted to early Christianity by its compassionate. Such is the Sierra Leonean way, the most tolerant, compassionate. Historical ExamplesOur Government must at the same time be both competent and compassionate…Were you to know how I have suffered, you would be compassionate…He was quite incapable of any compassionate. Not one to save her,-not one of all the compassionate. The others looked at him and smiled with an air of compassionate. 

British Dictionary definitions for compassionateadjective. Showing or having compassion.compassionate leave. 

Keywords: [“compassionate”,”leave”,”Granted”]
Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/compassionate

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 07-30-2018

Uncharitable: Dan Pallotta

A courageous call to free charity from its ideological and economic constraints. Uncharitable goes where no other book on the nonprofit sector has dared to tread. Where other texts suggest ways to optimize performance inside the existing paradigm, Uncharitable suggests that the paradigm itself is the problem and calls into question our fundamental canons about charity. Author Dan Pallotta argues that society’s nonprofit ethic acts as a strict regulatory mechanism on the natural economic law. These double-standards place the nonprofit sector at extreme disadvantage to the for profit sector on every level. 

While the for profit sector is permitted to use all the tools of capitalism to advance the sale of consumer goods, the nonprofit sector is prohibited from using any of them to fight hunger or disease. Capitalism is blamed for creating the inequities in our society, but charity is prohibited from using the tools of capitalism to rectify them. Ironically, this is all done in the name of charity, but it is a charity whose principal benefit flows to the for-profit sector and one that denies the nonprofit sector the tools and incentives that have built virtually everything of value in society. This irrational system, Pallotta explains, has its roots in 400-year-old Puritan ethics that banished self-interest from the realm of charity. Pallotta has written an important, provocative, timely, and accessible book-a manifesto about equal economic rights for charity. 

His book provocatively challenges traditional views of how charities should operate and provides a thought-provoking alternative. He explains in graphic detail how these values undercut what charities are trying to do and prevent them from accomplishing all that they might. DAN PALLOTTA founded Pallotta Team-Works, the company that invented the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events, which raised over half a billion dollars and netted $305 million in nine years-more money, raised more quickly for these causes than any known private event operation in history. 

Keywords: [“charity”,”Pallotta”,”sector”]
Source: http://www.upne.com/1584657231.html

‘Dietland’ Review

AMC’s Dietland would still be culturally notable if it were merely a timely and trenchant drama about fat acceptance. Plum’s fate isn’t to look like a Disney princess, but to help all women feel like one – through whatever means necessary. Dietland is a riveting whirligig of a show: a tale of self-discovery, a manifesto about sizeism, a screed against consumer capitalism and a mystery about a radical feminist terrorist cell that uses vigilante violence to punish rapists, pedophiles andmagazine editors. For a series that’s mostly set in a picturesque cafe, a glamorous magazine headquarters and an unrealistically nice New York apartment, Dietland begins with a gritty montage. Dietland’s boldest assertion is that milder forms of sexism – like being judged for being plus-sized or catcalled on the street – are on a spectrum with more brutal acts at the extreme end. 

It just might be that pattern-finding – that grouping of diverse but related acts of transgression – that gives Dietland its significant emotional power: There’s no end to the variations that misogyny will take. The two strands of Dietland – Plum’s journey toward self-acceptance and the payback murders in the background – don’t quite seem like they belong on the same show, and thus make for an intriguing package. Plum tells us in voiceover that she’s in a happier future, and that what we see is the beginning of her quest. It’s still unclear whether Nash’s slightly numbed performance is her interpretation of Plum’ fearful and ascetic lifestyle or a reflection of the actress’ talents. In its early going, at least, Dietland satisfies through its incisive satire of fat phobia, as well as its compassionate exploration of how low self-esteem can circumscribe not just one’s life, but one’s dreams for one’s self as well. 

Being pressured to look a certain way is bad enough, but being made into a pariah for veering so far from the beauty ideal is a living nightmare. There’s a weary relief in being reminded that, yes, femininity can feel like a psychic hellscape sometimes. 

Keywords: [“Plum”,”Dietland”,”being”]
Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/dietland-review-1114756

Can Capitalism Be Compatible with Christianity?

I am a natural born U.S. citizen; I am practically a natural born Christian, too. At Vacation Bible School, we pledged allegiance to the United States and Christian flags with absolutely no sense of irony. It was made clear to me that good Christians supported their country, even if its actions ran counter to the teachings of Jesus. That’s just one example of the tensions that can arise for someone trying to be both a faithful Christian and a faithful U.S. 

citizen. Over the years, I began to try to think seriously and critically about those tensions; specifically, I began to think about how I and others could appropriately live in the United States as Christian citizens. Take, for example, the matter of a Christian’s stance toward U.S. economic policies and practices. I am neither an economist nor the son of an economist, but we all know that the heart and soul of the U.S. 

economic system is capitalism. If I am a Christian operating a business, then ideally grace, love and generosity will be churned out along with profits. Still, it is difficult to make a case that capitalism is a Christian system or is even particularly compatible with Christian practice, given that it is based on competitiveness that all too often degenerates into making a profit at any cost – even if that cost is a human one – and into an atmosphere of greed and selfishness. It seems to me, too, that many professed followers of Christ who put capitalism ahead of their Christianity do not take seriously enough the very clear bias of God – as God is revealed in the Bible – toward the poor and the helpless. I’m not convinced that we couldn’t have it both ways – that is, that we couldn’t foster a robust business climate that still finds a way, through the combined efforts of government, churches and nonprofits, to protect and care for the poor and helpless among us. 

I furthermore believe that Christians could and should be in the forefront of such an effort. 

Keywords: [“Christian”,”way”,”us”]
Source: https://www.ethicsdaily.com/can-capitalism-be-compatible-with…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 07-23-2018

Inequality, Race, and Remedy

The value of equality, democratic voice, physical and economic security, social mobility, a shared sense of responsibility for one another, and a chance to start over after misfortune or missteps – what many Americans call redemption – are the moral pillars of the American ideal of opportunity. Many Americans of goodwill who want to reduce poverty believe that race is no longer relevant to understanding the problem, or to fashioning solutions for it. In 2000, after a decade of remarkable economic prosperity, the poverty rate among African Americans and Latinos taken together was still 2.6 times greater than that for white Americans. From 2004 to 2005, while the overall number of poor Americans declined by almost 1 million, to 37 million, poverty rates for most communities of color actually increased. An analysis by The Opportunity Agenda and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council found that while the percentage of Americans of all races living in high-poverty neighborhoods declined between 1960 and 2000, the racial gap grew considerably. 

Similar research in California found that Asian American and, especially, Arab American résumés received the least-favorable treatment compared to other groups. In addition to identifying barriers facing African Americans and Latinos, this research found significant levels of discrimination against Asian Americans, and that Native American renters may face the highest discrimination rates of all. In the case of Native Americans, a quarter of whom are poor, our government continues to play a more flagrant role in thwarting pathways out of poverty. High levels of Native American poverty derive not only from a history of wars, forced relocations, and broken treaties by the United States but also from ongoing breaches of trust – like our government’s failure to account for tens of billions of dollars that it was obligated to hold in trust for Native American individuals and families. While the Asian American poverty rate mirrored that of the country as a whole, Southeast Asian communities reflected far higher levels. 

Americans’ complex attitudes and emotions about race are crucial to understanding the public discourse about poverty and the public’s will to address it. In a more detailed analysis of TV newsmagazines in particular, Gilens found a generally unflattering framing of the poor, but the presentation of poor African Americans was more negative still. 

Keywords: [“American”,”poverty”,”poor”]
Source: http://prospect.org/article/inequality-race-and-remedy

The Trouble With Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature

Wilderness fulfills the old romantic project of secularizing Judeo-Christian values so as to make a new cathedral not in some petty human building but in God’s own creation, Nature itself. The trouble with wilderness is that it quietly expresses and reproduces the very values its devotees seek to reject. Only people whose relation to the land was already alienated could hold up wilderness as a model for human life in nature, for the romantic ideology of wilderness leaves precisely nowhere for human beings actually to make their living from the land. To the extent that we celebrate wilderness as the measure with which we judge civilization, we reproduce the dualism that sets humanity and nature at opposite poles. To do so is merely to take to a logical extreme the paradox that was built into wilderness from the beginning: if nature dies because we enter it, then the only way to save nature is to kill ourselves. 

The tautology gives us no way out: if wild nature is the only thing worth saving, and if our mere presence destroys it, then the sole solution to our own unnaturalness, the only way to protect sacred wilderness from profane humanity, would seem to be suicide. From such a starting place, it is hard not to reach the conclusion that the only way human beings can hope to live naturally on earth is to follow the hunter-gatherers back into a wilderness Eden and abandon virtually everything that civilization has given us. Without our quite realizing it, wilderness tends to privilege some parts of nature at the expense of others. Any way of looking at nature that encourages us to believe we are separate from nature-as wilderness tends to do-is likely to reinforce environmentally irresponsible behavior. To the extent that wilderness has served as an important vehicle for articulating deep moral values regarding our obligations and responsibilities to the nonhuman world, I would not want to jettison the contributions it has made to our culture’s ways of thinking about nature. 

The romantic legacy means that wilderness is more a state of mind than a fact of nature, and the state of mind that today most defines wilderness is wonder. If wilderness can do this-if it can help us perceive and respect a nature we had forgotten to recognize as natural-then it will become part of the solution to our environmental dilemmas rather than part of the problem. 

Keywords: [“wilderness”,”nature”,”place”]
Source: http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html

The End of Charity: How Christians are to ‘Remember the Poor’

Longenecker’s careful analysis of the ambiguities surrounding Paul’s commitment to the care of the poor is not meant to challenge the general presumption that Paul and the early church in general did not assume that Christians had an obligation to care for the poor. One of the reasons I am intent to address questions surrounding what it means to remember the poor – or, in other terms, why charity is at the heart of Christian living – is I do not think I have adequately dealt with the challenge that Christians must be a community of the poor that cares for the poor. The poor are poor for numerous reasons, but the bottom line is the poor got left out of the development of advanced economies and there is little one can do to rectify that reality. One of the most interesting questions raised by Lupton – a question, as I noted, also explored by Longenecker – is how the poor are identified as well as what makes them poor. To be with the poor means one must first learn to listen to the poor and, by listening, to discover that the poor are not without resources for survival. 

Rather than focusing of individual acts of charity, now Christians tried to imagine social policies that would make the poor no longer poor. There is nothing wrong with thinking it important to be on the right political side, but lost in that way of trying to fulfil our obligation to the poor is how we find in the face of the poor the face of Christ. To listen to the poor is an exercise of great discipline, but such listening surely is what is required if charity is not to become a hatred of the poor for being poor. Of course, listening, being with and working with the poor are not mutually exclusive activities, but I fear we often want to help the poor without getting to know who the poor may be. I suspect we do so, not from some ideology against the poor, but rather I suspect we prefer to do for the poor rather than be with the poor because the poor scare the hell out of us. 

As an alternative, I think as Christians we need to know how to be with the poor in a manner that the gifts that the poor receive do not make impossible friendship between the giver and the recipient. Charity so understood surely has some chance of being with the poor in a manner that avoids the dishonesty and dependency associated with charity aimed at doing something for the poor. 

Keywords: [“poor”,”charity”,”Christian”]
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/02/10/3941760.htm

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 04-16-2018


Compassionate Capitalist – When should an entrepreneur get a patent

What is Compassionate Capitalism and Why We Need it in These Times of Planetary Crisis ?

In recent years, there has been much talk about Capitalism evolving into a model of economy wherein corporations ensure that communitarian and people oriented business models are embraced so that profit is not the only criterion or reason why they are in business. This form of capitalism which is sometimes called Compassionate Capitalism or Capitalism with a human face is finding many takers both in the developed Western world and in the developing and emerging world in Asia and Latin America. Compassionate Capitalism means that corporations have to account for the costs that they impose on the environment, the communities that lie in the vicinity of their factories and plants as well as offices, their employees whom they have to treat with more kindness, and the consumers and other stakeholders to whom they must be accountable. In other words, corporations must practice a variety of capitalism that is more humane, compassionate, and just and fair. Thus, Compassionate Capitalism not only needs a complete rethink of the existing paradigm of profit before people but also needs a retooling of the principles underpinning it to place people before profit. 

While this might seem idealistic and Utopian, it needs to be mentioned that in these times of planetary crisis where the Climate Change is threatening the very existence of civilization, where gross income inequalities and the obscene wealth gap is leading to social unrest, and where the ever accelerating technological change threatens the social contract on which our relations with the world are based, Compassionate Capitalism is no longer an abstract and remote concept, but something that we need on an urgent basis. Having said that, there are those and who are in the majority at the moment, who dismiss all this talk of Compassionate Capitalism as Hot Air or Bombastic and Ideological nonsense that does not take into account the ground realities of how capitalism and business work. Thus, in one stroke, the debate is dead in the water as the dominant view is that markets take care of all the problems that arise from capitalistic tendencies, and the self-correcting nature of markets is such that sooner or later, business finds a way out of the crisis. When one compares and contrasts the arguments for and against Compassionate Capitalism, we find that there is much Hubris among those who oppose this form of capitalism, and much Naivet, among those who support it. The point to be noted is that we are now at a stage where a New Narrative has to emerge that can hopefully reconcile the differences between the dominant model and the minority view that espouses Compassionate Capitalism. 

This means that we need the case for Compassionate Capitalism to arise from within the ranks of those who practice capitalism and not from those who are well meaning but not in a position to change the Status Quo. Already, this is happening to a certain extent in the West and East as well with prominent Technology Sector business leaders such as Bill Gates, N R Narayana Murthy, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg, espousing some or more of the strands of Compassionate Capitalism ideology and coming in support of Basic Income for All, Protecting the Environment, Reducing Inequality, and batting for more Gender Inclusivity. 

Keywords: [“Capitalism”,”business”,”Compassionate”]
Source: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/compassionate-capitalism.htm

The Compassionate Way to Combat Creationism

In a world where blank-slatism, anti-vaccine rhetoric, myths about the effects of parenting, and climate change denial persist and even thrive, it should come as no surprise that a contingent of creationist Christians continues to believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth in modern American society. In 2015, the Pew Research Center released the latest national data from another study which, since it was launched in 2007, has provided remarkable insight into the shifting demographics of American Christian culture. This change in attitude, which now represents a remarkable majority of American Christians, has occurred by differing but consistently positive degrees across the broad spectrum of Christian faith, including those most historically opposed to homosexuality. Evangelical Protestants, who constitute a sizeable chunk of white southern fundamentalists, have increased in acceptance of homosexuality from 26 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in 2015. Some have argued that it is even more difficult to maintain an internally consistent set of beliefs as a Christian who accepts homosexuality than as a Christian who accepts evolutionary science. 

Let us contrast this attitude to the perspective taken by Daniel Karslake’s 2007 documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, which aims to provide a rich and emotional exploration of attitudes towards homosexuality in contemporary Christian American society. In short, the cultural campaign against the traditionalist Christian views on homosexuality has largely been one of compassion, empathy, and reason. 2 The effect of contact on attitudes towards homosexuality has been found in college settings, has been found to be a better predictor than any demographic variable, and has been found to correlate positively with the total number of homosexuals contacted. Creationist Christians largely occupy demographics that have little positive contact with scientists and evolution educators, many of whom react to deeply religious people with, if not outright condescension, intentional segregation and wilful ignorance. Rather than demean, mock, and ignore what creationist Christians believe, we intended to tackle some of the specific lines of creationist reasoning in an extraordinary amount of depth-such as their arguments against radiometric dating and the evolution of birds from dinosaurs-and to do so from a place of compassion and respect, and from an understanding of human nature. Our five authors represent two Christians, a deist, and two atheists, but together we share a powerful history: we were all raised in creationist households, and each of us later rejected this ideology in favor of a scientific worldview. 

My hope is that this understanding of human nature-perhaps together with a dash of compassion and sensitivity-can be valuable to both the Christians and the non-theists among us. 

Keywords: [“Christian”,”homosexuality”,”religious”]
Source: http://quillette.com/2017/10/28/combating-creationism/#comment-10664

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 03-16-2018

The Compassionate Way to Combat Creationism

In a world where blank-slatism, anti-vaccine rhetoric, myths about the effects of parenting, and climate change denial persist and even thrive, it should come as no surprise that a contingent of creationist Christians continues to believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth in modern American society. In 2015, the Pew Research Center released the latest national data from another study which, since it was launched in 2007, has provided remarkable insight into the shifting demographics of American Christian culture. This change in attitude, which now represents a remarkable majority of American Christians, has occurred by differing but consistently positive degrees across the broad spectrum of Christian faith, including those most historically opposed to homosexuality. Some have argued that it is even more difficult to maintain an internally consistent set of beliefs as a Christian who accepts homosexuality than as a Christian who accepts evolutionary science. Let us contrast this attitude to the perspective taken by Daniel Karslake’s 2007 documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, which aims to provide a rich and emotional exploration of attitudes towards homosexuality in contemporary Christian American society. In short, the cultural campaign against the traditionalist Christian views on homosexuality has largely been one of compassion, empathy, and reason. Creationist Christians largely occupy demographics that have little positive contact with scientists and evolution educators, many of whom react to deeply religious people with, if not outright condescension, intentional segregation and wilful ignorance. Rather than demean, mock, and ignore what creationist Christians believe, we intended to tackle some of the specific lines of creationist reasoning in an extraordinary amount of depth-such as their arguments against radiometric dating and the evolution of birds from dinosaurs-and to do so from a place of compassion and respect, and from an understanding of human nature. Our five authors represent two Christians, a deist, and two atheists, but together we share a powerful history: we were all raised in creationist households, and each of us later rejected this ideology in favor of a scientific worldview. My hope is that this understanding of human nature-perhaps together with a dash of compassion and sensitivity-can be valuable to both the Christians and the non-theists among us.

Keywords: [“Christian”,”homosexuality”,”religious”]
Source: http://quillette.com/2017/10/28/combating-creationism

Buddhism under Capitalism, 3: AAR seminar/2015/Atlanta

ABSTRACT: The Seminar on Economics and Capitalism in the Study of Buddhism has been established to provide a venue for examining the ways in which late capitalism and its globalization are impacting both Buddhism as an institution with diverse local forms, teachings, systems of authority, and styles of practice, and Buddhism as an object of scholarly inquiry. The topic for this first year’s meeting of the seminar focuses on the effects of the rapidly expanding adoption of Buddhist practices, particularly mindfulness in its secularized interpretation, into health care settings. Of particular interest is the effects of the commodification of practice as a kind of therapy for mental and physical disorders on the many dimensions of Buddhist practice. Four papers examine Contemplative Studies Centers, psychotherapeutic adaptations, the marketing of mindfulness and Reiki to hospitals and hospices, and the extension of mindfulness into the well-being programs of corporations. DESCRIPTION: The Seminar on Economics and Capitalism in the Study of Buddhism has been established to provide a venue for examining the ways in which late capitalism and its globalization are impacting both Buddhism as an institution with diverse local forms, teachings, systems of authority, and styles of practice, and Buddhism as an object of scholarly inquiry. Once analyzed into isolable constituents, these have utility both for producing knowledge about the mind, brain, and behavior, and for determining ‘best practices’ for mental and physical health. The axiomatic utility of such methods propels the exhortations to incorporate spiritual hygiene – most obviously ubiquitous mindfulness practices – into daily routine for the sake of personal and professional self-improvement. Once described as a new popular trend, these practices should now be considered an established feature of the mental health economy in the United States and beyond. Drawing on new ethnographic data, I observe these same lines of commentary within psychotherapists’ public discourse about their use of mindfulness practices and its relationship to U.S. political economies. Psychotherapists have incorporated the interpretations of Buddhologists and commentators for decades in ongoing processes of construction and reconstruction of contemporary mindfulness practices.

Keywords: [“practice”,”mindfulness”,”Study”]
Source: https://rkpayne.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/buddhism-under-capitalism…

Capitalism, the Free Market, and the Duties of Property and Contract

Socialism and anarchism advocate no respect for private property; and even when rights to private property are conceded, there is dispute about just what such rights are. Contracts, especially concerning employment, now tend to be heavily regulated by law, usually on the paternalistic principle that contractors cannot protect their own interests through free agreements, or perhaps don’t even know what their true interests are. Duties of property and contract have developed historically, where at some time most things counting as property or concerning contract didn’t even exist. Jussive moral duties are based on respect for property and contract even as imperative moral duties are based on respect for persons. According to F.A. Hayek, the morality of property and contract is falsifiable, i.e. its principles are not self-evidently true but must be pragmatically evaluated as to their effect on the autonomy of persons and the promotion of general wealth and well-being. The principles of property and contract are the functioning morality of capitalism, which is based on private property and contract without any special obligation to advance the interests of others or abridge one’s own interests for the benefit of society. In the free market any taste can be catered to; and no one in political power need ever even ask what people want. No one ever believed Russia’s own statistics, but its economy was never as large as even the CIA thought it was – some anti-American critics now even claim that the CIA did that deliberately, in order to exaggerate the Soviet threat and perpetuate the Cold War. Property and contract, commerce and industry are what alter the natural condition of humanity thanks to the enterprise and imagination – the hortative virtues of prudence – of those who create the products of technological society and hire the people to manufacture them. The openness of the society consists in the limitation of the authority of those with political power and the provision of the free market for the exchange of value for value as everyone provides or seeks out all the different kinds of goods that imagination and taste can conceive and prefer.

Keywords: [“even”,”society”,”market”]
Source: http://friesian.com/capit-1.htm

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

The Impact of Christianity

“Christianity is responsible for the way our society is organized and for the way we currently live. So extensive is the Christian contribution to our laws, our economics, our politics, our arts, our calendar, our holidays, and our moral and cultural priorities that historian J. M. Robers writes in The Triumph of the West, ‘We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.'”. Christian missionaries were a major influence in stopping these century-old practices and ideas. According to historian Glenn Sunshine in his book Why You Think the Way You do, “Christians were the first people in history to oppose slavery systematically. Early Christians purchased slaves in the markets simply to set them free.” It is also true that slavery was ended in great measure by Christian activists. Two-thirds of the members of the American abolition society in 1835 were Christian ministers. While there are good charitable efforts outside of the name of Jesus, Kennedy and Newcombe argue that Christian charities stand out. Many of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries in order for people to read the Bible. While America’s constitutional government is not specifically Christian, it can be argued that its roots are taken from biblical doctrines. “Here we see, in its embryo, the idea of limited government. This idea derives from the Christian notion that the ruler’s realm is circumscribed and there are limits beyond which he simply must not go….Our modern idea of limited government takes the Christian notion of space that is off-limits to state control and extends it to the whole private sphere….The separation of the realms should not be a weapon against Christianity; rather, it is a device supplied by Christianity to promote social peace, religious freedom, and a moral community. If we recovered the concept in its true sense, our society would be better off.” Capitalism satisfied the Christian demand for an institution that channels selfish human desire toward the betterment of society. The Christian faith has influenced literature in such Christian writers such as Dante, Chaucer, Donne, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, Milton, etc. While much modern art seems to debase the human spirit, classical Christian art tries to bring out the best of mankind-pointing us to a higher plane. “In every case in which Christians are blamed for violence, a closer look largely exonerates Christians.

Keywords: [“Christian”,”Jesus”,”Christianity”]
Source: http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/the-impact-of-christianity

Awakening Compassion at Work, by Immanual Joseph

Immanual Joseph interviewed Jane and Monica on their lessons from decades long research on workplace compassion, and their new book Awakening Compassion at Work. The book is grounded in compassion in organizations research, and it really tries to make that research accessible to people who want to change their own organizations and create more compassion in their own work lives. MW: One more reason that I think we don’t associate compassion and work sometimes is that when you ask people about compassion in the workplace, they may be may be thinking about really grand scale moves. Maybe they’re thinking about whether their organization has compassion training or a chief compassion officer or something like that that’s very formal. One of the important things that happens to people in the course of their careers often is that they encountered some kind of significant pain or suffering and they receive compassion from unexpected sources and they realize that this compassion that they have received has been so important and that’s in fact they need to challenge those fears and beliefs that they’re holding until they may significantly change their outlook over time to become more open to the importance of compassion. JD: I think our belief is that part of the problem with having people recognize the value of compassion is that there’s much more articulation of the cost and the fear of compassion as opposed to articulation and appreciation of the benefits of compassion. So one point I want to make is that I think we focus a lot more on potential downside of compassion and we don’t feel fully recognize the full spectrum of the benefits to compassion. MW: For any person taking stock of compassion in their work life they can ask themselves to think the last time they experienced compassion in their work. Just calling to mind and sharing of stories of giving receiving and witnessing compassion are really powerful ways of taking stock of where compassion is around you and your work and of actually building it and sharing it by remembering the story and reminding yourself of the presence of compassion. IJ: What do you think of incentivizing compassion in the workplace? Larger organizations are capable of highlighting and rewarding compassion, and have formal programs around compassion. MW: A lot of the symbolic things that organizations can do like naming a role Chief Compassion Officer are really important signals that the organization values compassion. Leaders can be modeling compassion as they lead, or not modeling compassion as they lead. That is as a powerful form of modeling for the rest of the organization’s about what’s valued and what’s appropriate and what’s going to be supported.

Keywords: [“Compassion”,”organization”,”People”]
Source: http://www.dailygood.org/story/1677/awakening-compassion-at-work-immanual…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Late Night Health – Compassionate Capitalism Part 1

Slavery and capitalism

I recently decided to explore the literature about the relationship between slavery and capitalism. After reading Seymour Drescher’s history of abolition a few months ago, I became convinced that, despite the widespread belief to the contrary, slavery wasn’t in fact economically on the decline when abolition happened and that, if you ignore the negative externalities it had, it was economically very efficient. Recently a bunch of historians, especially Edward Baptist from Cornell in a book he published in 2014, have made some much more radical claims, which have become extremely popular on the left. In particular, according to them, slavery played an essential role in the industrial revolution in the US and elsewhere. Not so long ago, I heard Chomsky – who has praised Baptist’s book elsewhere – assert on Democracy Now that much of the US wealth today derived from slavery. To be clear, having read the critiques of Baptist’s book and looked at the evidence, there is not. The upshot is that, despite what Baptist and other historians recently claimed, slavery didn’t play a major role in the industrial revolution and economic growth in the US. Baptist’s argument to the contrary is based on estimates he makes without any evidence and a pretty shocking confusion about the concept of GDP. When you do the math correctly, you find that slave-grown cotton in the US made up less than 6% of the GDP. It’s also not the case that slavery was causally responsible for the industrial revolution in Great Britain, as David Eltis and Stanley Engerman show conclusively in this paper. Of course, this is hardly surprising, if you just think about it for a second: if slavery was so good for the economy, Portugal and Spain – whose economy depended much more on slavery than the UK or the US – would probably not have remained economically backward for so long, at least compared to countries such as France, the UK and the US. It would also be hard to explain why the economy of countries that didn’t benefit from slavery, such as Germany, have developed so fast during the 19th century. The CHE article is particularly misleading on that, since when you read it, Baptist’s reply doesn’t seem unreasonable. At the dinner after the debate, Olmstead challenged the historians to defend Baptist and none of them was willing to do so. This begs the question: given that Baptist’s claim, and similar claims made by other historians, is so clearly not supported by the evidence, how come they have been so well received by many other historians and in the media? The answer is pretty obvious: both history departments and the media are dominated by liberals and that the wealth of the US is the product of slavery is exactly what American liberals want to hear, so they will accept that kind of claims uncritically no matter how implausible they are. What makes that even more absurd is that, as Olmstead and Rhode note, the fact that slavery wasn’t necessary for the industrial revolution to happen only makes it worse: had it really been essential to the development of capitalism in the West, one could at least have said that something good came out of slavery, because the development of capitalism in the West was undoubtedly one of the best things that ever happened.

Keywords: [“Baptist”,”slavery”,”evidence”]
Source: https://necpluribusimpar.net/slavery-and-capitalism

History Research Paper Christian Economies: Towards a More Compassionate Capitalism

The purpose of this paper is to educate Christian leaders about the relationship between the history of Christianity and the Church’s relationship to markets, economic systems, and the development of global capitalism. More specifically the audience is economic decision makers in old-line Protestant churches, such as those on denominational finance and administration boards, foundation and pension fund boards, and social and economic justice commissions. Throughout history there have been dominant and subaltern Christianities and economic systems. The author’s experience working in economic justice in order to invent a more compassionate economic system brings with it paired beliefs in Christianity and Capitalism, along with a clear perspective of how important it is to temper free-markets with compassion. If God rules the world, what are we to make of economic injustice? The images of God contained in the Hebrew Bible range from a God who encourages the seizure of land 1 Many, but not all, of the more compassionate counter-cultural economic systems were motivated by subaltern Christian or religious communities including communities of women. 9 Although history often claims that the Christian crusades as religious wars to gain control of sacred places, the underpinnings were motivated by economic reasons. 3 Robyn Morrison IDS 1022 Christian Economies April 18, 2007 Through a practice of continually moving towards the periphery of society, monasticism was a force for spreading Christianity beyond the territory of the Christian Empire. Including Max Weber, linked the rise in capitalism to the influence of Protestant Christianity, it was more a failure of Protestant Christianity to offer a sufficiently influential counter-cultural force to resist the unfettered greed of capitalism that allowed the negative conditions of capitalism to thrive. 37 Weber himself believed that “Unlimited greed for gain is not in the least identical with capitalism, and is still less its spirit.”38 With the declining influence of Christianity in the dominant European and North American industrial age economies, the impetus for a more just and compassionate economic system came primarily from outside of mainstream Christianity. 41 Varying responses to 19th Century Capitalist Christianity The movement of Christianity into the Pacific Islands was an experience of clashing economic world views, a contrast of the island communitarian subsistence economies with 19th Century Christian materialism. Hitler neutralized the Christian Church and motivated German Christians to engage in violence promoted as “The salvation of Germany from the chaos of Bolshevism and the destruction of Christian Europe.”44 Hitler appealed to the economic suffering of the middle class, and stimulated the economy with nationalism and military spending. Going much further than John Wesley did with the doctrine of the preferential option for the poor, Gutierrez and others have taken Christianity back to 43 Support for the Social Gospel movement was widespread. According to David Chidester a 1930’s in a survey of 20,000 clergy, only 5% favored capitalism as an economic system; 28% favored some form of socialism; 75% supported the socialist party candidate for President.

Keywords: [“economic”,”Christianity”,”Christian”]
Source: http://www.academia.edu/4823396/IDS_1022_History_Research_Paper_Christian…

JR Test Site News for 01-23-2018

Enlightenment Revolution

Catherine II ruled Russia from 1762-96, during a period of unprecedented growth of empire. Born in the German city of Stettin, Catherine was sent to Russia at age 15 and betrothed to the heir to the throne, the Grand Duke Peter. When Empress Elizabeth died in 1761, Peter was proclaimed Emperor Peter III, and Catherine became empress. Catherine exploited the situation for her own purposes, rallying the St. Petersburg garrisons to her support in June 1762, then declaring herself sovereign ruler of Russia. With ambitious plans for domestic reform, Catherine realized Russia needed prolonged peace and stability, if proper change were to be effected. As an “Enlightened despot,” motivated by the ideas of the Enlightenment, Catherine came to believe that a wise and benevolent ruler, acting according to the dictates of reason, could ensure the well-being of her subjects. In this spirit, Catherine undertook the first major reform, that of Russia’s legal system, which was based on the inequitable, archaic and inefficient Code of Laws, dating back centuries. Many interpreted this declaration as an indication of Catherine’s intention to abolish serfdom, something abhorrent to the provincial gentry. Dependent upon the latter for political support, Catherine backed off. Sheer frustration and heightened anxiety about Russia’s security prompted Catherine to suspend the meetings. The conflict rapidly spilled over into Turkey, which declared war on Russia in the hopes of increasing its influence in Poland and Eastern Europe. With Turkish defeat, Russia gained permanent access to the Black Sea in the 1774 Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji. Even prior to the conclusion of peace with the Turks, Catherine faced an internal challenge to her rule in the form of a revolt led by Yemelyan Pugachev. Several large-scale military expeditions finally crushed the rebellion, and Catherine became more attentive than ever to security issues. Following the Pugachev uprising, Catherine directed her attention once more to domestic matters.

Keywords: [“Catherine”,”Russia”,”Instruction”]
Source: http://enlightenment-revolution.org/index.php/Catherine_II,_the_Great

The Reformation and the Enlightenment: From Revolt to Paganism

The period of philosophical history known as the Enlightenment lead to a return to the paganism of a much earlier generation. One major event which preceded the Enlightenment and had an enormous impact on the future of Christianity was the Protestant Reformation. In order to see the connection between the Reformation and the Enlightenment it is essential that we spend a few minutes reviewing the history of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther. The followers of the Enlightenment did not simply limit the role of God in one’s life, but denied that God has any direct involvement in our lives. 2 Religious thought during the Enlightenment attempted to destroy traditional religion, Christianity, and build a new religion based upon an earthly foundation. While Martin Luther challenged the value of good works to “Earn” God’s love, those who supported the Enlightenment bought into the Pelagian heresy and went to the other extreme. The undermining of authority during the Enlightenment caused more problems than it solved. This paganism of the Enlightenment has had a profound impact on both our culture and Christianity. The Enlightenment taught that salvation was a future stage of human development. The Enlightenment explanation of virtue is articulated best by Immanuel Kant when he states, Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Sapere Aude! “Have courage to use your own understanding!”-that is the motto of enlightenment. According to the Enlightenment, God reveals Himself not through the Book of Revelation, but the Book of Nature. The Enlightenment taught that mankind is not totally corrupt. While the Enlightenment turned to the Greeks for their classical notion of virtue, the Church also returned to the Greeks for their philosophical thought. The seeds of rebellion, which were sown in the sixteenth century, were reaped in the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century in the form of the Enlightenment and we are still feeling the effects of that “Harvest” today.

Keywords: [“Enlightenment”,”Church”,”Luther”]
Source: http://lifeissues.net/writers/gro/gro_041refenl.html

Is Capitalism Christian What does the bible say about capitalism?, what does the bible say about capitalism? does the bible support the concept of a capitalist ecomony? How christianity created capitalism acton institute, capitalism, it is usually assumed, flowered around the same time as the enlightenmentthe eighteenth centuryand, like the enlightenment, entailed a diminution of. Is capitalism christian? opposing views, by kelly boggsalexandria, la fifty three percent of american adults believe capitalism is a better economic system than socialism, a recent rasmussen reports. Why capitalism is christian wnd a free press for a , brian russell, phd, jd, mba, is a psychologist, lawyer and co host of “Fatal vows” on the investigation discovery network learn more about russell and his. Capitalism, community, christianity the american , i certainly disagree with much of mr cross blaming “Capitalism” for the decline of the neighborhood, but his clarifying remarks in the comment section definitely. Capitalism wikipedia, capitalism is an economic system and an ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit characteristics central to. Religious views on capitalism wikipedia, christian views the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism ethic influenced large. Gods and profits: how capitalism and christianity aligned , how capitalism and christianity gods and profits how capitalism and the disparity between the christian ethos and the spirit of capitalism is now little. Capitalism and the common good christianity today, two young girls sit on the front porch of an idyllic suburban home, staring at the wonder that is the modern smartphone after one girl lists all the things the. Is capitalism biblical? premier christianity, let me give you two specific examples of the kind of capitalism that is being championed here as biblical one author defends as sound economics a businessman who.

Keywords: [“Capitalism”,”christianity”,”Christian”]
Source: http://www.dazeatsea.com/i/c/is-capitalism-christian.pdf

JR Test Site News for 01-19-2018

Clinton to Nudge Enlightened Capitalism Along

WASHINGTON – Both nettled and intrigued by Patrick J. Buchanan’s unexpected strength in the Republican primary campaign, President Clinton and his aides are debating how to appeal to voters angry about stagnant wages and corporate layoffs-and whether to propose new programs to encourage good “Corporate citizenship.” Democrat Bill Clinton would rather run as a champion of enlightened capitalism. So although some Democrats-including his own secretary of Labor, Robert B. Reich-have proposed a novel corporate tax break for firms that treat their workers well, Clinton is keeping the idea at arm’s length for now. In an interview with The Times, Clinton said he had “Encouraged” Reich to explore tax breaks and other means of encouraging good corporate conduct, but added carefully that he has not decided whether to pursue the idea. Instead, Clinton said, he plans to “Highlight” companies that pay their employees well, share their profits, provide good benefits and offer retraining for laid-off workers-in hopes of inspiring other firms to follow suit. “How do you keep the good things about this economy and still try to restore some sense of common obligation, some sense of the social compact, some sense that there is a covenant between the working people of America and those who employ them?” he asked rhetorically. “There are many successful companies that go out of their way to give their employees continuous education and training so that if anything ever should happen to them, they’ll be more prepared to get a good job if they have to change jobs.” As a result, White House aides said they are preparing a series of visits by the president to companies with exemplary benefit and training programs-including United Technologies Corp., the Connecticut defense contractor that has funded large-scale retraining for displaced workers, and Starbucks Corp., the chic Seattle coffee roaster with an innovative employee stock-ownership plan. Clinton is likely to invite chief executives to a White House conference on “Corporate citizenship” later this year, patterned loosely after his meeting with television executives last week to discuss ways to reduce violence in children’s programming. The issues also share another factor: In an era of budget-cutting, Clinton is looking for actions he can take without spending federal money. In the case of job retraining, a central part of the president’s original economic program, he is asking corporations to spend more of their money because the Republican-led Congress cut his request for $5.2 billion in funding this year almost in half. Aides said Clinton is reluctant to move beyond jawboning too quickly, for several reasons. One is a desire to avoid any hint of “Corporate bashing,” which the president sees as a sure political loser for a Democrat trying to capture the political center. “Corporate bashing doesn’t take you anywhere,” warned Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, general chairman of the Democratic Party. Another is concern that by responding too visibly to the wave of blue-collar anger that has buoyed Buchanan, the president might appear to give the Republican credit for a theme that Democrats-including Clinton-have sounded for years.

Keywords: [“Clinton”,”corporate”,”President”]
Source: http://articles.latimes.com/1996-03-03/news/mn-42558_1_enlightened-capitalism

Gods and Profits: How Capitalism and Christianity Aligned in America

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the pastors and politicians Kruse profiles, the disparity between the Christian ethos and the spirit of capitalism is now little more than a periodic left-Christian cri de coeur. What happened to the anti-capitalist Christianity of yesteryear? Consider the robust Christian socialist movements of the late nineteenth century, which flourished under Victorians like John Ruskin and William Morris. It’s a question worth pursuing because, as Aschoff demonstrates in her new journalistic set of case studies, the narratives that prop up capitalism are not stable. Narratives, both critical and supportive, are necessary for capitalism, because criticism forces it “To evolve and temporarily resolve some of its contradictions … thus preserving it as a system for the long haul.” “Indeed,” Aschoff notes, “Capital’s ability to periodically present a new set of legitimating principles that facilitate the willing participation of society accounts for its remarkable longevity despite periodic bouts of deep crisis.” Capitalism is a system that is in a constant state of re-explaining itself, producing stories that present it as necessary despite its failures and stories that cast it in a positive light despite shifts in popular sentiment. Each of them, Aschoff argues, tells a different story with the same outcome: to patch up leaks in capitalism and advance its shuddering bulk for one more day. In each of Aschoff’s careful considerations of capitalism’s storytellers, glimmers of the past pro-capitalist Christian crusades shine through. Capitalism’s narratives, Aschoff implicitly reveals, always cannibalize their predecessors, repackaging old stories to shore up discontent. In other words, the prophets of capitalism have a way of using the workable parts of older pro-capitalist narratives to meet the needs of changing audiences, while shedding the vestigial bits. As religiosity drops off in the United States, replaced either by faithlessness or individual spirituality, capitalism will have to reformat its defenses to match those proclivities, rather than catering purely to committed Christians. If the Christian ethos has suffered any great harm from its recruitment in support of capitalism, it has been the tamping down of a uniquely anti-capitalist, revolutionary sentiment in the Gospel. Within the Catholic tradition, criticism of capitalism is perfectly common: It is only in the U.S. context, beset by a curious interlude of manufactured hypercapitalist Christianity, that the Pope’s economics seem jarring. If the Christian story is the latest to be shucked aside by capital, then Christianity might find itself slipping the grip of a rather oppressive relationship. American Christians would then be free to offer up a genuinely revolutionary Christian politics: one that neither seeks to bolster capitalism blatantly nor offer meager patches for its systemic problems. Having a historical perspective on the ways in which Christianity was co-opted in service of each of those purposes could help new Christian activists avoid the pitfalls of the recent past. Perhaps Christianity’s long rendezvous with capitalism has been a necessary crucible, and one that may be sputtering toward its end.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”Christian”,”Aschoff”]
Source: https://newrepublic.com/article/121564/gods-and-profits-how…