The Common Good

Jim Wallis on Values and Morals

Wallis has always been puzzled by the way some Evangelicals specialize in quoting the six biblical verses which refer or may refer to homosexuality, but consider it out of bounds for believers to notice the six hundred or six thousand that reference Mammon, money, riches-and-poverty. Like the ancient prophets, he names names: not Edom and Moab, Assyria and Babylon, but Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Citigroup, which, bailed out with the public's money, had rewarded themselves at the time he wrote with $8.66 billion (that's eight thousand six hundred and sixty million) in bonuses, while, Wallis adds, "the average bank teller at Bank of America makes only $10.75 an hour - just over $22,000 a year.”

He notices that the financial services industry spent $223 million lobbying Congress to fight any regulations or restrictions. (He wrote that before the recent Supreme Court decision that will allow the banking industry and others to advertise and lobby and influence Congress in amounts that will make that $223 million look like peanuts.) You get the idea. Next week Sightings may be back to appraising our moral framework from a Crypto-Capitalist viewpoint. After all, we'll now have to do something compensatory lest this column get typed as - gasp! - not "prophetic” but - sh-h-h-h! - populist.