For Those of You on Your Way to Church This Morning

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Friends,

I’d like to have a word with those of you who call yourselves Christians (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Bill Maherists, etc. can read along, too, as much of what I have to say, I’m sure, can be applied to your own spiritual/ethical values).

In my new film I speak for the first time in one of my movies about my own spiritual beliefs. I have always believed that one’s religious leanings are deeply personal and should be kept private. After all, we’ve heard enough yammerin’ in the past three decades about how one should “behave,” and I have to say I’m pretty burned out on pieties and platitudes considering we are a violent nation who invades other countries and punishes our own for having the audacity to fall on hard times.

I’m also against any proselytizing; I certainly don’t want you to join anything I belong to. Also, as a Catholic, I have much to say about the Church as an institution, but I’ll leave that for another day (or movie).

Amidst all the Wall Street bad guys and corrupt members of Congress exposed in “Capitalism: A Love Story,” I pose a simple question in the movie: “Is capitalism a sin?” I go on to ask, “Would Jesus be a capitalist?” Would he belong to a hedge fund? Would he sell short? Would he approve of a system that has allowed the richest 1% to have more financial wealth than the 95% under them combined?

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what’s left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you’d have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.

I guess that’s bad news for us Americans. Here’s how we define “Blessed Are the Poor”: We now have the highest unemployment rate since 1983. There’s a foreclosure filing once every 7.5 seconds. 14,000 people every day lose their health insurance.

At the same time, Wall Street bankers (“Blessed Are the Wealthy”?) are amassing more and more loot — and they do their best to pay little or no income tax (last year Goldman Sachs’ tax rate was a mere 1%!). Would Jesus approve of this? If not, why do we let such an evil system continue? It doesn’t seem you can call yourself a Capitalist AND a Christian — because you cannot love your money AND love your neighbor when you are denying your neighbor the ability to see a doctor just so you can have a better bottom line. That’s called “immoral” — and you are committing a sin when you benefit at the expense of others.

When you are in church this morning, please think about this. I am asking you to allow your “better angels” to come forward. And if you are among the millions of Americans who are struggling to make it from week to week, please know that I promise to do what I can to stop this evil — and I hope you’ll join me in not giving up until everyone has a seat at the table.

Thanks for listening. I’m off to Mass in a few hours. I’ll be sure to ask the priest if he thinks J.C. deals in derivatives or credit default swaps. I mean, after all, he must’ve been good at math. How else did he divide up two loaves of bread and five pieces of fish equally amongst 5,000 people? Either he was the first socialist or his disciples were really bad at packing lunch. Or both.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

2 Comments

  1. Terri Owens

    October 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    “Timely article :)

    It will deceive many people who don’t understand that all economic systems are capitalist systems. The difference between free enterprise capitalism and monpolistic state controlled capitalism is who owns and controls the means of production (capital). The former is characteristic of private ownership and control.

    Michael Moore is arguing against a strawman. The economic system we have in America now, is not as it was designed to be – a free enterprise capitalist system. So that is not the “capitalism” to blame for the problems we have.

    We are now somewhere between fascism (private ownership, but state control of capital through taxation and regulation) and socialism (private and state ownership of capital, with all the same state controls).

    We’ve been steadily moving left on the economic spectrum for a century.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/overviewofamerica

  2. Lorn Mullenix

    October 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Michael Moore is the world BIGGEST hypocrite. And I DO mean biggest, in the biblical sense.

    He says, “I’m also against any proselytizing; I certainly don’t want you to join anything I belong to.” But this is exactly what he tries to do in all of his one-sided jokeumentaries- he preaches his psuedo-socialism, encouraging everybody else to jump off the bridge while he watches and giggles.

    He does then blither on, “…please know that I promise to do what I can to stop this evil — and I hope you’ll join me in not giving up until everyone has a seat at the table.” All the time he is really just spitting in the face of the USA- the generous “table’ that provideis his bread and butter (and plenty of it, judging by the looks of him). As if he has some better idea than the Founding Fathers did. And exactly what has he ever really done to help? Sorry, I don’t see him doing much of anything except whining and acting like a self-serving buffoon.

    He needs to read the constiution of the United States of America, and try to comprehend the ideas therin which clearly state that local solutions to poverty (et. al.) will always be more effective that the “I-don’t-want-to-get-my-hands-dirty” attitude that has resulted in this mismanaged Federal mess of red tape and even redder balance sheets. I’d rather be dead than RED!

    Moore’s twisted interpretation of biblical precepts only goes to show his very real lack of true understanding. He is using these sacred teachings to bolster his own selfish ends, just like he uses every other thing he exploits for his own grandiose gain.

    Don’t watch him. Don’t listen to him. Don’t read him. And for goodness sake, don’t give him any money! Maybe he will just go away…

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