So over the past couple of days I’ve been reading this about “The Ruling Class.” It’s fascinating. For me this kind of writing is a little like bacon. I just don’t get tired of it and there is too little of it. Little bells are going off in my head telling me something is right here and “this makes sense of things.” Things which I have seen but I just was not smart enough to get my head around. Cue this article.
The question is, “Should you read it”? Well, that depends. Everyone should read it and I would like to argue that evangelical pastors should as much as anyone. But I am not sure you would like it. I mean, if you like eating at Cracker Barrel, then you will find this piece helpful. If you think those who live in the city are by default more awesomer than those who do not, this piece of writing will expose you more than your local airport’s full-body scanner. If you like Fox News then this article will make complete sense to you. If you want to pay more taxes so others can continue on welfare, you might as well quit now and go over here so you don’t hyperventilate from all the cool being sucked out your space. I meant that nicely. Really.
The following quote about how the “ruling class” feels about ordinary Americans made me stand up and clap:
…left to themselves, Americans use land inefficiently in suburbs and exurbs, making it necessary to use energy to transport them to jobs and shopping. Americans drive big cars, eat lots of meat as well as other unhealthy things, and go to the doctor whenever they feel like it. Americans think it justice to spend the money they earn to satisfy their private desires even though the ruling class knows that justice lies in improving the community and the planet. The ruling class knows that Americans must learn to live more densely and close to work, that they must drive smaller cars and change their lives to use less energy, that their dietary habits must improve, that they must accept limits in how much medical care they get, that they must divert more of their money to support people, cultural enterprises, and plans for the planet that the ruling class deems worthier. So, ever-greater taxes and intrusive regulations are the main wrenches by which the American people can be improved (and, yes, by which the ruling class feeds and grows).
Now, it is patently self-evident that these are the opinions of those who stopped reading after I mentioned Cracker Barrel. What may not be quite as evident is how much of this teaching dovetails with so much of what is now being taught in evangelical circles. Teaching which supplants the gospel of grace and steals Christian liberty is now becoming standard among evangelical heavyweights. Much of it is in the name of ‘justice’ and makes people feel guilty for not living in a crime-ridden neighborhood and for driving cars which do not need to be chained to a bike rack when you go into Starbucks and spend almost $4 for coffee.