For those on the soup line, or almost on the soup line, or who were on the soup line.

Not mentioning any names, but I know at least a few people on Atheist Nexus who aren't doing so well financially... and I don't mean that they had to sell their third home
and rent out their yacht on weekends.

This discussion is dedicated to you. Sometimes I think it helps to know you aren't the only one in the boat.

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My parents and grandparents were never very good about talking about themselves. Sadly, I didn't get past our dysfunctional family follies until after they were dead, so a lot of family history is down the tubes. However, I do remember my maternal grandmother telling me about her and my grandfather having one egg sandwich to share between them one day. I suppose that wasn't uncommon during the Depression of the 1930s.
Ani DiFranco & Utah Phillips : 'Pie In The Sky'

I suppose one of the consolations of being a non-theist is knowing that there is no pie in the sky.
In a capitalist society, it is thought unseemly to express classist sentiments when discussing such things as the disparity between the haves and have-nots, which unfortunately grows wider as I speak. While not exactly a socialist, I have come to the conclusion that something is seriously wrong with 2% of the population having 90% of the wealth, an obscenity that would make anything in Donatien pale by comparison. Reading Chomsky convinces me that the only viable economic system -- viable in resolving such gross disparities -- is a form of anarcho-syndicalism. For one thing, sales of anti-depressants would go down.

Capitalism breeds depression (and, yes, at least once in our nation's history, Depression with a capital D). Capitalism is the natural system in a Judeo-Christian society -- the evangelicals' "Prosperity Gospel," obviously the antithesis of what their Prophet taught, nevertheless allows the congregants to smile smugly as they accumulate shekels. Having money becomes a class distinction, our Yankee equivalent to being titled, with the super-rich filling in for feudal royalty. Not having it leads to suicidal thoughts. Take my word for it. I've been there. This is the single most dehumanizing evil inherent in the capitalist system.

Like the late filmmaker, Pier Paolo Pasolini, I admit to having a nostalgia for religion. Perhaps this allows me to enjoy watching Alastair Sim as Scrooge each X-Mess (and on X-Mess Eve at that). I harbor no illusions. I know that today's Ebenezer isn't going to see the error of his ways upon visitation by a trio of spooks. But I can revel in my nostalgia for religion, just as Pasolini reveled in it by making The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, which presented the Prophet as a communist agitator (lower case c), yet exhibited none of the filmmaker's atheist views.

I escape to such fare as I escape from the madness outside my doors. All of this gift-buying, packing the mall parking lots, lunacy. I saw a woman in an Escalade go into a convenience store and buy a case of soft drinks and enough sugary candy, gum, and other sweets to keep the American Dental Society in business for years, plopping down $60 for things she could have bought in a supermarket or, better, a Family Dollar, for a third of that. Why couldn't she send $40 to a charity?

Well, just an old curmudgeon's thoughts on your thread....
Also read Chomsky and I totally agree with him.
I'm in the have not category, something that stresses me out if I think about it,so I don't.
Capitalism breeds depression (and, yes, at least once in our nation's history, Depression with a capital D).

So true.
Capitalism breeds depression...

I know from experience.
Capitalism breeds depression...

...and bad teeth.

You pretty much summed up the sort of internal dialog I have every time I walk through my neighborhood at night, or have to hold my nose on the bus.
It may be news to some that Mother Teresa - despite her reputation - didn't actually help the 'dying poorest of the poor' get better, or suffer less. She gave them a clean place to 'suffer with dignity.' She actually believed that the whole story of the cruxifiction was a lesson that suffering was somehow noble.(Even as a Catholic I never understood this 'crucifixation' when the ressurection seemed to be the point. Whatever) Much of the money sent to her 'cause' was sent under a false understanding that she was actually, somehow, mitigating suffering and, perhaps, providing medical treatment. She was not.

Honestly, just as a large amount of bigotry is Biblically justified by people, so is a fair amount of sadism and masochism.

Another crime of Religious missions is the extortion perpetrated by offering the poor food in exchange for listening to the sales pitch. It's kind of like a needs based time share seminar.

Howard, could you provide me with some resource for the Mother Teresa thing? I'm in a Muslim environment but they like her. I don't know much about Christian details, I would like to clear this misunderstanding discussing them.

Hitchens said it best...

I'm broke. Cancer.




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