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BY REV. BENJAMIN PERRY

November 6, 2019


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Then: Donald Trump, Person of the Year in 2016. Now: Donald Trump, President under impeachment investigation in 2019.
This morning, as news from the impeachment hearings grows steadily darker, the President tweeted, “Stock Markets (all three) hit another ALL TIME & HISTORIC HIGH yesterday! You are sooo lucky to have me as your President (just kidding!). Spend your money well!”
“Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches…they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.”
– Amos 6:4;7

The first thing to remember, whenever the President or anyone else touts the stock market as an indicator of success, is that only 50% of Americans are invested in the market at all, and 80% of all shares are owned by the wealthiest 10%. Particularly at a time when 140 million Americans are poor, it measures only the margins of wealth, not our national economic health.

Moreover, even if the stock market did accurately measure most Americans’ pocketbooks, Scripture makes clear that growing wealth is not God’s chief concern. A thriving economy built upon sin and iniquity is still an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. As Christians, we are called to elect politicians who pursue communal justice in the true biblical sense, not focus on which policies would benefit us personally.

But, given widespread poverty, the President’s choice to divert attention from his own wrongdoings by praising the money he’s making for the wealthiest among us is particularly despicable. It represents plutocracy at its most blatant: The President is openly saying that it doesn’t matter if he breaks the law, lies for personal gain, and wantonly abuses the power of his office as long as it makes lots of money for himself and his friends. This is precisely the kind of public corruption that Amos prophesied against; we are likewise called to curse those who celebrate their ill-gotten gains.

For a true sense of economic conditions around the country, take a moment tonight and read The Souls of Poor Folk, the national audit conducted by the Poor People’s Campaign and the Institute for Policy Studies.
God, you sent your prophet Amos to speak your truth against leaders who had forgotten they were beholden to the people they governed. We see today that our own rulers have grown prideful, and brazen in their contempt for your Word. They steal money from the public and celebrate their theft with lavish festivals! Put an end to this lawlessness; may your justice roll down like waters, your righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
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