Busted Halo
September 30th, 2008


How Would Jesus Handle the Financial Crisis?


Love and Forgiveness—Even for Wall Street
I’ve come to realize my philosophical U-turn regarding this issue stems from a deeper displeasure with the wealthy elite of this country and the rich Wall Street investment bankers who let greed take the wheel and steer the US into the ditch.

I saw these people as the enemy—a group who exacerbate the gap between rich and poor, making it more difficult for the people I help at a local soup kitchen to gain a foothold on economic stability.

Still, if I harken back to my faith-based upbringing, I must ask myself, no matter how cliché, what would Jesus do?

The answer seems clear: love thy enemy.

Whether a tax collector or Wall Street investor, Jesus would love all. What does that mean for me? It means I must support some way of helping the investment banker get back on his/her feet just as I have always supported ways of helping the less financially privileged. Love is the only way forward and for love to be true, it can’t be discriminating.

This of course does not mean that all people of faith should support any bailout package pitched to congress. There are seemingly infinite complexities surrounding every economic bill that passes through the grand, gold-encrusted halls of the Capital and all of them must be analyzed and debated. But one’s opposition to a bill can’t stem from a feeling of vengeance against the Wall Street money-maker.

It’s sad to think that people might only support a bailout package if/when they themselves are personally affected. It’s with that same attitude that the nation’s poor are continually overlooked and undervalued. With the Dow dropping by its biggest margin in nearly a decade, the economic downturn may finally be arriving at the front doorstep of most Americans soon.

Then again, that could all just be speculation, meant to scare the populace into making imprudent decisions.

Whatever the case, I think everyone can agree that we are in tough times which require tough decisions. For me, I find that when I step back and let my heart lead, I’m guided in a slightly different direction, one of love and forgiveness… even for Wall Street.

Hey, it’s what Jesus would do.

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The Author : Marc Adams
Marc Adams is a contributing editor at BustedHalo.com. He writes from Washington DC.
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  • Bridget

    Forgive me for being cynical, but when you talking about helping the investment banker that falls on hard times, I remember Kenneth Lay’s wife who, after Enron’s collapse, told an interviewer that she and her husband were “broke.” What is the investment banker’s perception of “hard times?” Driving an old car? Having to sell one of the vacation homes? This unregulated party had to come to an end, too bad we have to wait for a crisis for action to occur.

    Forgiveness? sure. But forgiveness shouldn’t come with a hand out but with lots of hard work. “Go and sin no more.”

  • Mike Hayes

    Excellent article, Marc!

    Doesn’t the bailout of the American economy also effect the world market and thus a bailout not only secures our own interests but the interests of the poor in Indonnesia, China, Japan and other world bank entities where their market stability matters much more than ours does? As our economy goes—so does others. So aren’t there are more wide ranging social justice issues at stake than we may in fact think at first blush?

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