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Aggressive and whiny, billionaires like Kenneth Langone threaten to withhold donations to the church.
If anyone wonders whether Pope Francis has irritated wealthy conservatives with his courage and idealism, the latest outburst from Kenneth Langone left little doubt. Sounding both aggressive and whiny, the billionaire investor warned that he and his overprivileged friends might withhold their millions from church and charity unless the pontiff stops preaching against the excesses and cruelty of unleashed capitalism.
According to Langone, such criticism from the Holy See could ultimately hurt the sensitive feelings of the rich so badly that they become "incapable of feeling compassion for the poor." He also said rich donors are already losing their enthusiasm for the restoration of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan -- a very specific threat that he mentioned directly to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
Yet Langone has reason to worry that the Holy Father is in fact asking hard questions about people like him. Indeed, he could serve as a living symbol of the gross and growing economic inequality that disfigures the American system and threatens democracy.
As a leader of the New York Stock Exchange, he was largely responsible for the scandalous overpayment of his friend Richard Grasso, the exchange president who received nearly $190 million in deferred compensation when he stepped down. Although New York's highest court eventually upheld Grasso's pay package, it was a perfect example of the unaccountable, self-serving greed of Wall Street's elite.
Langone is not only a leading fundraiser for church projects but a generous donor to hospitals, universities and cancer charities (often for programs and buildings named after him, in the style of today's self-promoting philanthropists). Among the super-rich, he has many friends and associates who may share his excitable temperament.
While his ultimatum seems senseless -- would a person of true faith stiff the church and the poor? -- it may well be sincere. And Langone spends freely to promote his political and economic views, in the company of the Koch brothers and other Republican plutocrats.
...Langone has reason to worry that the Holy Father is in fact asking hard questions about people like him. Indeed, he could serve as a living symbol of the gross and growing economic inequality that disfigures the American system and threatens democracy.
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matthew 19:21
Threatening to withhold donations to the church unless the Pope changes his views on capitalism. Yeah I'm sure this would meet with Jesus's approval.
It makes me wonder how close to God these people really are... Even I know from their behaviour that they will have a tough time getting into paradise, and I'm definitely not Catholic
His donations don't come from altruism or a contrite heart. They are offerings that purchase personal power.
But...but...the Pope "hurt his feelings" so much that he might "stop caring about the poor"!!!
I live next to a church, which is occupied only about once every six weeks....by maybe 5 people (at least, 5 cars, TOPS)....
I was wondering the other day about writing to the 'owners' and suggesting using the building (which stands empty MOST OF THE TIME), as a warming station, or even a homeless shelter. I was thinking about the cold snap we were having - (and still are) - and wondering how many people will die of exposure during this episode of brutal conditions.....yet a church stands empty and unused by ANYONE.
Their marquee hasn't changed in MONTHS - they are "seeking disciples", but no one ever goes there, and this huge brick building remains UNUSED....even on CHRISTMAS DAY - no one was there.
It makes me sick.
reply to post by wildtimes
It was just a little too obnoxious. I tend to be overly sarcastic at times, and I felt this instance was a little overwhelming to the point of tasteless and distracting. So I made my point and moved on.
reply to post by abeverage
however you are the best judge of your intents much like some Rich capitalists...
Is there a 'subtle point' here?
Am I being overly 'judgmental' of this situation?
"such criticism from the Holy See could ultimately hurt the sensitive feelings of the rich so badly that they become "incapable of feeling compassion for the poor."
Who thinks like this???
the Pope "hurt his feelings" so much that he might "stop caring about the poor"!!!