Monday, December 14, 2009

Orestes A. Brownson 2

According to the Christianity of Christ no man can enter the kingdom of God who does not labor with all zeal and diligence to establish the kingdom of God on the earth; who does not labor to bring down the high and bring up the low; to break the fetters of the bound and set the captive free; to destroy all oppression, establish the reign of justice, which is the reign of equality, between man and man; to introduce new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, wherein all shall be as brothers, loving one another, and no one possessing what another lacketh - no man can be a Christian who does not labor to reform society ... no man can be a Christian who does not refrain from all practices by which the rich grow richer and the poor poorer [EXPATRIATION], and who does not do all in his power to elevate the laboring classes, so that one man shall not be doomed to toil while another enjoys the fruits; so that each man shall be free and independent ...

We grant the power of Christianity in working out the reform we demand; we agree that one of the most efficient means of elevating the working men is to christianize the community, but you must christianize it; it is the gospel of Jesus you must preach, and not the gospel of the priests ... let it be the genuine Gospel [the communitarian way] ... and not the pseudo-gospel, [the gospel of men; worshipping in vain; commandments of men] which lulls the conscience asleep, and permits men to feel that they may be servants of God while they are slaves to the world, the flesh and the devil ... we must preach no Gospel that permits men to feel that they are honorable men and good Christians, although rich and with eyes standing out with fatness, while the great mass of their brethren are suffering from iniquitous laws, from mischievous social arrangements, and pining away for the want of the refinements and even the necessaries of life -- we speak strongly and pointedly on this subject, because we are desirous of arresting attention
... the redemption of the world is understood to mean simply the restoration of mankind to the favor of God in the world to come; their redemption from the evils of inequality, of factitious distinctions, and iniquitous social institutions [in the present world] counts for nothing in the eyes of the Church and this is its condemnation [the Mammon systemic, the origins of the evil; band-aid solutions provide temporary relief but no cure; you cannot use evil (the systemic) to propagate the good, in doing so you negate the good]. -- [Orestes A. Brownson (1803-76), The Laboring Classes, 1840 [with additions]].


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