Thought for the Day: How the 1% Have Helped Me

Short and sweet (or bitter, depending on which side of the Marx/Smith divide you fall on):

My seminary education would not have been possible without the 1%.  I went to Duke Divinity School, a part of Duke University, which of course was built on a tobacco fortune.  There is still massive wealth associated with the University; like it or not, such institutions, no matter how high their purpose or how much their professors despise the accumulation of wealth, rely on the highest wage-earners and their philanthropy.  As Dave Ramsey recently pointed out, the top 1% also give a vast majority of the charitable donations in America.

You can’t love the milk and hate the cow: they are connected.  Inextricably.  I’ve found it troubling that so many of my fellow pastors – whose seminaries, churches attended and churches served relied heavily on the generosity of those who made enough to give a lot – have bought into the OWS ideology utterly hook, line, and sinker.  You can hate the system all you want to, but many of you, like me, have benefited from it in innumerable ways.  To pretend otherwise in fits of pious grandstanding is nothing short of dangerously naive.

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2 thoughts on “Thought for the Day: How the 1% Have Helped Me”

  1. Just catching up on some reading here… Amen to this post. It amazes me how many mainline clergy have this visceral hatred of the Tea Party, coupled with an effusive love for the OWS movement. It’s all based on instincts, without any critical thought.

    BTW, Mr Duke wanted to give his fortune to Princeton if they would only change their name. They didn’t want to. So he founded his own school.

  2. Chris, always good to have you stop by. I agree with you, of course. Neither of these mass movements should get a blank slate from the church.

    Mr. Duke actually didn’t found his own school, he gave his money to Trinity College, which relocated to Durham for his money!

    A colleague recently told me that when the hospital was first built, he had a hard time getting people to actually come to it. Supposedly he took it upon himself to drive around poor neighborhoods and take people to hospital.

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