No Man Shall Profit from Another Man’s Labor

“No Man Shall Profit from Another Man’s Labor”

The concept of rugged individualism is an American thing. Starting with the Puritans who preached “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and coming through the great depression when Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked that Americans “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” the combination of Christianity and diligence has been one of the guiding forces in what made the United States of America the great country it has been.

But a wider reading of the bible (narrow readings range form Jehovah’s Witness to Church of Christ to Seventh Day Adventist, and are also lumped under the title “fundamentalist” Christian) like the one the Quakers adhere to, and most Presbyterians and quite a few Methodists runs counter to the popular, yet ill-informed teaching of most Baptist churches, especially in the south of the United States.

George W. Bush, raised Methodist, had to switch affiliations to Baptist when the Methodist Church of the United States came out against his Iraq war. He was notably, the only U.S. President to switch religions mid-term.

So how does this apply to the rise of Christianity, mainly in the cities, of South Korea, and how can we learn from the title of this article, how the Christian church, ostensibly an offshoot of the teachings of Jesus himself, has been warped in many cases, to the point where the guiding principles (including the ten commandments) of the church have been ignored, and tolerance of, especially GREED, has been whisked under the altar carpet, with all sins absolved by the stroke of a Sunday prayer.

Recall the seven deadly sins:  The currently recognized version of the list is usually given as Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

Religions should be graded based on how well their followers follow their “bibles” or Korans, or Bhagavad Gitas or Old Testament, etc. Since World War II United States Christian political leaders have been miserable at following their own book, often led astray by fundamentalists who promise to round up many votes in trade for an increasingly religious government, one Jefferson warned about when he inscribed the principle of separation of church and state.

The Sermon on the Mount, as written by Matthew, says that “Jesus condemns the “good works” of fasting, alms, and prayer, when they are only done for show, and not from the heart.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sermon_on_the_Mount

Love thy enemy as thou love thyself is in there, and the Golden rule “treat others as you would have others treat you,” is also in there, and when slapped, “turn the other cheek” meaning offer your aggressor another slap, as, perhaps you deserve it, but in no case should you raise a hand to hurt anyone else. This is a condemnation of war, is it not?

So if a Christian leads his country into war, or is greedy or commits adultery, and then shows up at church to get these absolved, that in itself is condemned by Jesus.

The Quakers are certainly the most peace-loving Christians, and, as the “Prince of Peace” Jesus condemned war, and though the bible says war may at times be inevitable it NEVER condones war, and Jesus sure didn’t. Then what are Americans and Koreans to think of the inexcusable, unnecessary and horrific wars the United States has been involved in since 1960? The only President who resisted these wars-of-greed was a Catholic, John F. Kennedy, and it is no coincidence that he was assassinated BECAUSE he was against fighting a major war in Vietnam.

Kennedy was the only Catholic ever elected President, and it is also interesting to note the huge majority of US presidents who go to church, but who were also Freemasons. Starting with George Washington himself, this band of earth-controlling “gentlemen” have wielded great power, and been inadequate Christians, especially when held to the standards Christ himself ascribed.

Christ was a left-wing radical… a man who suggested rich people give to charity, greed is a sin, and that, in effect, no man should profit from another man’s labor. This makes him, in today’s world, a socialist. He was also an environmentalist, and, were he alive today, might be requesting people to stop driving cars for the sake of future generations.

Thus, any church that flies conservative values in the name of Christ should break away from Christianity and form their own religion. The only hint of a conservative value coming from the Bible comes from the Old Testament’s 10 commandments (thus predates Christ). #5: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you,” fits nicely into the Confucian principles Korea has followed since “the first century after the Chosun dynasty was founded (when) the volume of legislation that was concerned with social issues was unusually high.” (“The Confucian Transformation of Korea” Martina Deuchler, P.3) This means that Confucian principles were being made into LAW. It is this long-held tie to Confucianism that made it easy for fundamentalist Christians to get a foothold in Korea. The Seventh Day Adventist church in particular has found its way to control, some people estimate, as much as 30% of the Korean food supply.

“Only about two percent of the Asian population is Christian, and while Christians are to be found in virtually every Asian country, it is South Korea that has witnessed the most spectacular and historically significant Christian expansion, particularly over the past three decades, the period of the country’s remarkable modernization.” http://www.tparents.org/library/religion/cta/korean-christianity.htm

Because CONSERVATIVE values run throughout Confucian and fundamentalist teachings, it has been relatively easy for fundamentalist churches, and others to synergize the two beliefs and gain great strength in South Korea. But Jesus was NOT conservative in any way. He instructed his disciples to welcome believers of all religions into the prayer service…something many fundamentalists wipe out by their continual harping about how only followers of Jesus will go to heaven. Hmmm, the Ten Commandments say that people should follow ONE GOD, not ONE JESUS to be able to float upward upon death. Thus why wouldn’t a Jew or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist also be able to pray their way into heaven?

In South Korea, but even more so in the United States, Koreans use their church service as a full-service religion, discount-rate country club and place to do business at the lunches that characteristically follow the services. This is an excellent use of the Christian church to the extent that it promotes brotherhood, but is a kind of strange use when it comes to deriving profit from fellow parishioners.

In a “correct” reading, one would find Jesus to place people over profit, which puts him in direct opposition to most capitalist practices, if not all. So how do card-carrying capitalists, rich ones, greedy ones, manage to hold their heads up without embarrassment in church? Because so many of the ministers are up on the altar condoning their behavior! Cleanliness is next to Godliness, the most Puritanical of beliefs, is in effect, a code for the fact that rich people are closer to God than poor people. How is this? Because in colonial times in New England, USA, the only people who could keep a clean house, were in fact, rich people. The “Puritan work ethic” was instilled so that the WORKERS at the small manufacturing plants would work very hard in order that the church leaders and owners of the business could make a large profit. This “original sin” of American religion has been passed down and quoted often by such notables as President Ronald Reagan.

The Catholic belief that birth control is a sin is directly linked to their belief that a huge underclass helps the rich guys stay rich, and it is those folks who, after all, donate to the church, as they should, if they believe their donations will create the type of prayers that will get their ilk into heaven.

In these tricky economic times, it is of immediate concern that we re-learn how to help our fellow men and women because a new depression is not a futuristic horror story, but has already begun. In the 1930s my mother’s father, a carpenter who walked 8 miles or so each way to earn 25 cents a day, raised four children on that somehow. He also had a mark on his house that meant that nearly every night a “hobo” from the nearby train tracks would be visiting them for supper. Delmar Spellman knew his house was marked and, slightly poor as they may have been, they never removed the mark, and never turned anyone away from a meal. It’s my firm belief he made it to heaven.

What worries me is that the all-or-nothing, fire-and-brimstone, black-and-white with no shades of gray churches that dominate the Christian (and at times Muslim) worlds will, instead of instilling the brotherhood once trumpeted by Jesus, cause further rifts, and make way for a new depression-era criminality that no church should condone. If we do not find ways to become friends on a local level now, then the ill-fated politicians and the big money that controls them will throw us into one war after the other to try to bail out their economies…and we will have to decide whether to bear arms against one another, or lend each other a hand.

This diatribe is not meant to get people to quit their churches, temples or synagogues or mosques, but is written in the hope that we can have enough friendship at the local level to outweigh (somehow) the horrors that are increasing at the global level.

And for those keeping score at home, here are the Ten Commandments, ever so misquoted:
1. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

IMG_4780

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

We cry for the slavery that led to such wealth,

This is not just  the land of the free.

We witness genocide all over this earth.

What can we do to end greed?

We cry for the land, full of modified crops

We must work to save human life.

What will our grandchildren have to live through

Since our appetite causes such strife?

The oil wars that started a decade ago

Have moved toward the Caspian Sea.

We are the dissidents, loud, without fear,

Even if we are cut at the knees.

We cry for the news they keep off TV,

The grapevine could snap any day.

Disinformation is the age we live in,

So who’s going to show us the way?

The answer is simple, we grow as a team,

A new brotherhood in the light.

We must build the village, invite all your friends,

This is no time to give up the fight!

They have all the bombs, the juntas abound,

Monsanto is spraying the poor.

We must dig our hands into arable land

Or genetics will foul every spore.

Profit mongers have sucked the earth dry,

We must reclaim all that we can.

Industrial China, the last frontier,

Soon money will own every man.

The kids on the streets are locked-down together,

Push a bike, and you could get ten years!

All this is forced because we stopped caring,

Yet some offer blood, sweat and tears.

We couldn’t stop bosses from shipping our jobs,

The replacement is for-profit jails.

Our schools are rotting, so teach if you can,

Where it counts, not Harvard or Yale.

The time is upon us, united as friends

We can make anything grow.

Come join the party, sing and dance all the day,

Tomorrow we get out the vote.

We cry for the genocide, slavery, greed

That persists after thousands of years.

It’s late, but there’s time, if we really work hard

We can stop the torrent of tears.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2003. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We can stop the torrent of tears.

Fog portends

Scottish Fog

 

 

 

Fog portends hot day
at harvest in Korea.
Some lose, some
win; the best share crops.
The worst take without working.

There is no
limit on mother’s
endurance for her
children, likewise men’s
penchant for war. Churches tote

the conservative
line, thus expanding greedy
rationale,
inadvertently
infusing evil their flocks

can live by.
Just as many still
retain peace, love and
understanding, so
brotherhood itself fights as

hard as the
abused mothers, choir boys and
acutely
aware children who
work, beg, plead, kill

to survive
without sanctuary in
overrun
villages torn by
drought and starvation.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You attempt to explain

You attempt to explain to people how greed on the part of
some causes misery for others. This, in a world gone mad
for profit, and away, far far away from nature, the force that
sustains us, even as we abuse it.

You are inspired by new friends to find new ways to direct
attention to the wonders of nature over the wonders of moving pictures, advertising, propaganda, government.

Human contact created this installation. Human contact with plenty of seeing, full doses of touching, collaborative magic,
and the balls to take the time to make a stand. To realize your dream is the greatest homage to the creator. Inner faith is the most direct line to the creator.

You try to tap this line during the creative moment. Once discovered, it makes no bad art. Few have the nerve or time to start to find their inner faith. You imagine a time when art and friendship lead the whole clan to this direct link.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

This time a solitary wren perches on
power lines that divide purple-blue sky,
slicing rhombi, diamonds, thin rectangles,
pushing geometry into a regular autumn
morning. This makes you wonder how birds
keep their feet warm in countries with no
power, or how people survive on a hundred
bucks a year, or where refugees go when war
hits. Our wren flies, a speck, ever smaller
as she finds her way. Given our superior
brain capacity, how is it we cause misery
across the planet while creatures so small
live, content to take their share peacefully?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oil Droplets (Barf Bag Poem # 17)

Oil Droplets
(Barf Bag Poem # 17)

Since when do countries shoot to kill
for no apparent reason?
And how do liars get away
with what amounts to treason?
Since when does cheating in full view
give cheaters greater power?
And how many souls among us know
how to turn grain to flour?
Sing it Yossou, scream it Bruce,
Paint it pink, help lead the truce.
Since when is greed the proper mode,
Compassion put on hold?
Was it 1980 when all decency
was traded permanently for gold?
Medical advances: only for the few,
workers work for less out in Katmandu.
Quick, let’s move more jobs,
and float the products overseas!
Imagine what’s in store for us
as the oil droplets cease.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Takae (Barf Bag Poem #4)

Takae
(BB Poem #4)

Frowsy ne’er-do-wells, agitated tennis fans, nervous
businessmen and large-rimmed ladies angle for seats
on an overbooked flight to La Guardia. Takae enjoys art,
travels from her post in Tokyo to tour the U.S., perhaps willing
to yield to a man with strong character, but not in a hurry
to give up her homeland, her dreams, her loves, or her smile.

Sewer gas diffuses from the “innocent” stitcher who claimed
the last seat on this bird full of humans, so close, but so far
apart in the way they respond to this life. Unattainable goals
rule the minds of most yankees; gold is religion, nature is
hostage. Instincts suppressed for ten generations, supplanted
by profits then cleansed every Sunday by parochial Baptists.

It’s the time of starvation and gross atrocity, when
genocides play out due to no food, when clubs formed
at Yale control the whole world, when one country’s
debt causes collusion resulting in deaths to thousands who
have no idea why the bombs explode. Internal resistance is
labeled “insurgent,” while TVs spread lies to zombies back home.

The scuffle ends at Detroit’s Metro Airport when NWA 427 finally leaves.
Precious life fades behind us no matter our fate. Takae slumbers, maybe
dreaming of Kawabata’s “Snow Country” cherries, soft spring blossoms,
nature’s offerings plentiful, but how many see? Our stitcher, whose
art is Santa, hollowed be thy name, thy shopping comes, thy
economy hums, the slaughtered allow all these gains.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2004. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

 

We cry for the slavery that led to such wealth,
This is not just the land of the free.
We witness genocide all over this earth.
What can we do to end greed?

We cry for the land, full of modified crops
We must work to save human life.
What will our grandchildren have to live through
Since our appetite causes such strife?

The oil wars that started a decade ago
Have moved toward the Caspian Sea.
We are the dissidents, loud, without fear,
Even if we are cut at the knees.

We cry for the news they keep off TV,
The grapevine could snap any day.
Disinformation is the age we live in,
So who’s going to show us the way?

The answer is simple, we grow as a team,
A new brotherhood in the light.
We must build the village, invite all your friends,
This is no time to give up the fight!

They have all the bombs, the juntas abound,
Monsanto is spraying the poor.
We must dig our hands into arable land
Or genetics will foul every spore.

Profit mongers have sucked the earth dry,
We must reclaim all that we can.
Industrial China, the last frontier,
Soon money will own every man.

The kids on the streets are locked-down together,
Push a bike, and you could get ten years!
All this is forced because we stopped caring,
Yet some offer blood, sweat and tears.

We couldn’t stop bosses from shipping our jobs,
The replacement is for-profit jails.
Our schools are rotting, so teach if you can,
Where it counts, not Harvard or Yale.

The time is upon us, united as friends
We can make anything grow.
Come join the party, sing and dance all the day,
Tomorrow we get out the vote.

We cry for the genocide, slavery, greed
That persists after thousands of years.
It’s late, but there’s time, if we really work hard
We can stop the torrent of tears.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Genocide Slavery Greed, Copyright 2002, Doug Stuber

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

We cry for the slavery that led to such wealth,
This is not just the land of the free.
We witness genocide all over this earth,
What can we do to end greed?

We cry for the land full of modified crops
We must work to save human life.
What will our grandchildren have to live through
Since our appetite causes such strife?

The oil wars that started a decade ago
Have moved toward the Caspian Sea.
We are the dissidents, loud, without fear,
Even if we are cut at the knees.

We cry for the news they keep off TV,
The grapevine could snap any day.
Disinformation is the age we live in
So who’s going to show us the way?

The answer is simple, we grow as a team,
A new brotherhood in the light.
We must build the village, invite all your friends
This is no time to give up the fight!

They have all the bombs, the juntas abound,
Monsanto is spraying the poor.
We must dig our hands into arable land
Or genetics will foul every spore.

Profit mongers have sucked the earth dry,
We must reclaim all that we can.
Industrial China, the last frontier,
Soon money will own every man.

The kids on the streets are locked-down together,
Push a bike and you could get ten years!
All this is forced because we stopped caring,
Yet some offer blood, sweat and tears.

We couldn’t stop bosses from shipping our jobs,
The replacement is for-profit jails.
Our schools are rotting, so teach if you can,
Where it counts, not Harvard or Yale.

The time is upon us, united as friends
We can make anything grow.
Come join the party, sing and dance all the day,
But tomorrow we get out the vote.

We cry for the genocide, slavery, greed
That persists after thousands of years.
It’s late, but there’s time if we really work hard
We can stop the torrent of tears.

 

2002 Doug Stuber