A New Golden Calf
Why is it Headline news when the Dow Jones drops 2 %, but not Headline news when 10 000 children die from preventable causes? This Question has been asked by Pope Francis in several recent interviews. So far I haven’t heard an answer to it. Maybe it is seen as a naïve question by the ones who decide what news is and what isn’t news. However, for everyone connected to a child who needlessly dies in our world from diseases which could be treated or from starvation – the question is of paramount importance. Since no one seems to be willing to give an answer the Pope has answered the question himself in a recent interview. “We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose”. Strong words, but I wholeheartedly believe that he is right. Over and over again we see greed take precedence other human lives and the environment. Oxfam recently published a study showing that the 85 riches in the world own as much as the 3,5 billion poorest and, more alarmingly, that many of them use their money to influence policymaking and legislation in a way that allows them to make even more money.
So why is this an issue for Christians? Shouldn’t we just stay out if this and concentrate on the spiritual side of things? I believe it is an issue for us as Christians because of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 25 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people”. Martin Luther King said these words in reference to the civil rights movement in the U.S.A. during the sixties, but I beleive these words to be just as relevant today. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a responsibility to stand up for “the least of these”. To my mind this includes a firm stand against an economic system which thinks a drop at the Stock Exchange is more important than the life of a single child.