As a Silicon Valley resident I have a front row seat to some of the greatest financial disparities in the country. CEOs commute to work in their luxury cars on the same freeways as their vanpooling, underpaid workers. Here, some live as kings while the majority are exploited. Greed's theater. It's a world surely envisioned by the enemy and sculpted by human greed.
But even if I didn’t live here, per se, judging by how it’s going in other places of the country, I would argue that in many aspects of our culture, greed is the most pervasive sin of our time. Here’s why:
Greed keeps people quiet, noses to the grindstone…if those people are lucky enough to have jobs, that is. Are you sad the Millenials still can’t find work? I’m sure our parents aren't happy about it either, but it perplexes me that so few have vocally protested. But then again, they seem to be the only ones working, if not in the best financial positions of their lives… and they’re staying very, very quiet about it.
Greed leads to corruption in schools, churches and charities. Why is Fr. Liturgical Dance driving a luxury car while only one percent of his parishioners can afford his parish’s private school? Why is Catholic School now for the wealthy (is this really what we want, Church)? Why do charities and universities have six and seven-figure salaried leadership? There sure is a lot of money to be made as an administrator of a tax-exempt organization. Speaking of taxes...
Greed leads to the misuse of your taxes. I live in a state with almost the highest taxes on absolutely everything. Where does it go? Oh to things like this, this, and this. Thanks for nothing, Sacramento.
Greed leads to the spreading and acceptance of more greed. Is it not in the interest of the greedy to lower social mores and encourage greed in everyone else? Trust me, even the poor can become greedy. We’ll march off and get our birth control, kill our babies, kill our own bodies so long as the uppers of society will keep us employed. Don’t forget to tell us our decisions are somehow ‘empowering.’ The manufacturers of liberation are sure profiteering as the serfs buy their propaganda.
Greed insulates against having to feel any responsibility for anyone else and fools you into thinking you are just being practical. Money Insulation. This is the condition wherein plenty of comforts can be purchased to distract you away from truly caring about the state of the world. What else do you need? Just a 401K, right? Practical. Just like, say, building barns to store surplus wealth. Oh, wait…(and no, I'm not saying retirement plans are evil).
Greed delays true maturity. Why do people put off marriage, kids, and growing up, i.e. real life? Many may be desperately trying to establish themselves, which is honorable. However, there is a wisdom in starting a family “before it’s too late” because of its positive effect on you.
The family is where you learn to sacrifice, share, to let go of worldly treasure and of course, raise kids. Starting young-ish means you are not too old or too set in your ways to change. Many who delay starting families even for practical reasons (see above) inadvertently risk never growing up, and getting stuck pursuing prosperity as an end unto itself (i.e. greed).
|Good ol' Rover.|
Greed makes you compete for handouts instead of fixing the system. All of my friends who voted for Obama did so based on just one thing, “He’s going to get us free health care.” I sympathize. When your rent increases hundreds of dollars in one month, as it is like to in the Bay Area, you are desperate not to die. Free healthcare should be something the Church provides… justly. But we don’t, do we, Church?
And now Generation Desperation will elect whatever corrupt politician promises them what they need FOR FREE. This politician or series of them, will stay in office until the Church finally figures out that if we don’t fix problem of the uninsured, someone else will, and it will probably come at the expense and persecution of the sitting-on-our-hands Church.
So to sum up, greed is the most pervasive sin of our time because it is responsible for an era where a working class remains silent in the face of injustice, of over-inflated salaries for administrators, misuse of taxes, lowering of morals, indifference, immaturity, materialism as a substitution for children, and it keeps people clawing for handouts and electing corrupt politicians who promise to fulfill their needs for FREE. (Side note: murder-for-hire organizations such as Planned Parenthood are thriving in this environment.)
Hmmm…sounds like my generation. Have I missed anything?
What the Holy Father has to say about greed.
What the Holy Father has to say about greed.