Could it work?
In the game of life, as in Monopoly, there are penalties and consequences.
The man who knows
he has enough
- Lao Tsu (Confucius)
The pain of Fancis and his social justice philosophy runs deep in the Right's backside. You might even say it's downright hemorrhoidal. Of course, Francis has never intended to be a pain in anyone's rear, but his economics and quest for compassion have caused shock waves among the high and mighty of capitalism.
"One truth shines out from the Bible: Jesus spoke to the individual, never to government or government policy. Jesus was a capitalist, preaching personal responsibility, not a socialist."
Yes, that bit of eschatology was from World Net Daily trying to prove that Jesus was against redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, WND never touches upon the quandary of a rich man, a camel and the eye of a needle. They never talk about the poor inheriting the kingdom of heaven. They may covertly grieve over the wealthy man being asked to give all of his worldly goods to follow Jesus. And capitalism's cheer leaders routinely neglect to site an important passage from Acts of the Apostles:
"The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles,
There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. . ." (emphasis mine)
Of course, Karl Marx wrote it instead of Luke, so it certainly can't be in any sense Scripture. In fact, a husband (Ananais) and wife (Saphirra) were struck dead because they lied about their greed. Nope, can't possibly be Scripture.
Joel Watts (Huffington Post)
"Jon Moseley, a Tea Party member, declares Jesus Christ is a capitalist. He writes against Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel. Jon sells vacation packages to the Bahamas. The Holy Father is a trained theologian, chemist, and philosopher who is the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church standing in the line of St. Peter. One of these is not like the other. Which is why I was surprised with the Holy Father started to sell vacation packages, er, I mean when Moseley started to spout off against the pope's theological position."
Mandating Compassion Through Scripture
There are many reasons the Right's Christian Right gives for one's soul going to hell, but being rich isn't one of them. Even greed isn't given the status of other "Hell and Damnation" sins which today are Abortion and Homosexuality. Theft and murder are even given short shrift (both can be justified and easily repented, unless you're in Texas). Greed? Greed is a sin, to be sure, but it's never been touted as serious enough to send one to eternal damnation. A Wall Street denizen might be thought of as evil, but if he donates money to a university, he can't be all bad - it exonerates him in a way. Al Capone founded a successful school milk program in Chicago, so he couldn't be as greedy as everyone thought, right? So greed as a sin is, ah, somewhere down the line. Anyway, if it's capitalism, it's not greed.
But what if greed were made one of the uppermost "Hell and Damnation" sins? What if any semblance of greed were to be treated as a capital crime, eschatologically speaking? What if Biblical exhortations against greed were, like the Ten Commandments, enshrined in public places? What if religious leaders like Francis were to make it more than just a "deadly" (meaning harmful) sin and make it THE road to hell? What if wanting more than enough ostracized one from the community, like wearing a large letter "G"?
Enough Is Not Enough
Of course, we live in a country where "enough" rarely exists. America's 1% has proven that: prosperity preachers abound, televangelists travel in private jets, bishops build "retirement" mansions. Politicians have off-shore investments, sports gods have vast estates, movie stars have hi-tech villas. If "enough" really existed, Beverly Hills would not.
Go To Hell: Greed Is The Definitive Sin
Making Greed the definitive sin is, of course, a ridiculous dream since it is impossible in our world. Demonizing greed to extinction just can't be done. Sure, it's always fun to think of greedy people being emptied of their wealth and made equal and forced to admit to what is really "enough." But greater compassion, greater charity, and greater financial equilibrium are not impossible.
Francis is opening our eyes to the fact that his variation of Monopoly may in fact be the "Game of Life."