We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Too often this passage is left to be some contemplation on death, or riches or literal meaning and we miss the call to notice who is in our house. The ignored. Maybe today it is the mentally ill, the working poor, the homeless .....
DEACON PAUL O. IACONO Said “How many times have we done that to men and women standing at intersections, asking for a scrap that falls from our table. We get uncomfortable at the thought that they are there. Irritated at bad government decisions that pushed them out on the street, supposedly to be helped by the social justice safety nets; nets filled with holes. I saw a woman today holding a sign that said “I need a miracle.” There was no exclamation point or happy face penned next to it.
Lazarus may be outside our front door, or, even in the house.“
This passage is a condemnation of financial inequality. And that's fine; after all, it is incumbent upon everyone to show charity under the right circumstances. But where does charity begin? In my view, charity is not just giving money to poor people. The unfortunate in this world are in need of a variety of things, not just money. The terrible financial inequality that we face in America has not occurred as a result of insufficient charity. It was created when our economy was deindustrialized; and then financialized. So now, profits come from money lending, and importing goods from other countries. Those problems will not be corrected with charity.
Also, our high taxes mean that most people don't have the disposable income which they could give to poor people. The government takes away all the "charity" money, and then claims that it is the one giving money to poor people. So Government employees take credit for dispensing funds that don't even belong to them. It's stolen money.
Not only do we need lower taxes, we also need to industrialize America again. And shut-down Wall Street. Those stock manipulators control Washington. People wrongly think the stock market creates value; but it doesn't. Insiders act on secret information months before the news is made public. The whole thing is a scam. We need to get rid of those con-men, and find honest men to run the show.
Ron, you're either ignorant or stretching things to prove your foregone conclusion.
The story in Luke is NOT a condemnation of financial inequity. It's a condemnation of lack of mercy. Read the Parable of the Talents: Jesus recognized that men are not equal - either financially or in their abilities - bu He expects us to do our best with what we have been given. He also expects those us to show mercy towards those who are less fortunate.
Looking over your last paragraph, it's obvious that you are both ignorant AND dead set on proving your theory.
We do need to lower our taxes, but the real problem is that we need to lower our spending - which is the reason the left wants higher taxes.
The US doesn't need to industrialize again - at least not for the reasons you cite. We are best off when we do that for which we have a comparative advantage (hope this isn't over your head, but I suspect it is).
"We need to get rid of those con men and find honest men to run the show."
It's about not letting a chasm appear between you and the people right in front of you, lest a deeper chasm appear between you and life. The parable doesn't suggest that providing Lazarus with a guaranteed lifetime income would have fixed his life right up. There is another story in which Jesus urges the righteous young rich man to give away all his wealth, but the point doesn't seem to be to enrich the poor but to free the rich man from the wealth he's attached to. God wants us to stop isolating ourselves from each other despite any kind of disparity, whether in wealth, luck, good looks, skill, politics, religion, or health.