Co-founder of Home Depot Worried that the Pope Don’t Like Rich People

Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration mass on 19 March 2013.Another billionaire stuck his foot in his mouth– tried to extract it and then succeeded in sticking it further down his throat. The co-founder of Home Depot is upset and worried that the Pope don’t like rich people and he thinks that Pope Francis should quit dissing them. Ah, I’ve heard what Pope Francis has been saying and I agree with the Pope on this one and he’s not dissing rich people, but he is telling anyone who will listen that Jesus and Christians as in general we should be taking care of the poor and maybe not sharing all your wealth with them but doing things with your riches that helps enrich the lives of the less fortunate.

What’s wrong with that? And how is that dissing the rich? Jesus said, “What you do unto the least of mine (which to me means the poor and disadvantaged among us) you also do unto me!” That’s a pretty clear indication to me that he cared about the poor and that he expected if you were one of his followers you too should care about them and their plight. Which would mean, at least to me, that you should do what you can to help them rise above their lot in life, like maybe pay your employees a living wage?

But, I understand rich people (and again we are hearing from another cranky old rich guy who donates a lot of his millions to the GOP) have feelings too and not all of them are cranky old guys; some of them may be old but they do often do good deeds and make charitable donations with some of their riches. Whether or not the Home Depot guy does I don’t know but I assume since he is a personal friend of Cardinal Dolan he probably does. But a lot of them donate not because they are generous in their richness but because they simply want to hedge their bets.

If they just wanted to make things better for the poor and disadvantaged they could easily accomplish that by paying their employees in their far-flung companies like say Home Depot a living wage and give them a fair and decent benefit package to help protect their families and not be so suddenly religious when the Pope takes umbrage with them and their actions. Like say Mr. Green of Hobby Lobby fame who don’t want his company’s religious views to be trampled on but who doesn’t mind trampling on the views and concerns of the women who work for him. And Mr. Green doesn’t mind investing in companies who sell the same such contraceptives he is objecting to providing coverage for of his female employees. Hypocrite springs quickly to my mind here.

Yes they are entitled to their crankiness and they are entitled to their religious views just so long as it doesn’t trample on the religious views of someone else. And they are entitled to their riches, but remember what Jesus said about the eye of a needle? Most of these cranky old guys (maybe not all white) couldn’t fit their bodies inside of a sewer pipe much less the eye of a needle. But their religious ideas and views I have no problem with until they feel compelled to foist them upon society as upon women and school children who are at a very impressionable age and need not to be told how to believe as Mr. Green seems to want to preach to them in school about his religious views.

Mr. Green and Home Depot Guy you are entitled to believe as you desire and you can like the Pope or not your choice but don’t start threatening him because he doesn’t quite have the same views about the poor and disadvantaged as you do. Be as religiously conservative as you please it’s still a free country but don’t threaten and don’t try to impose your beliefs on everyone else just because you have one-thousand times more money than over 60 percent of the rest of us. It’s not what America is all about. We are about freedom of religion not about being able to foist someone else’s religious ideas upon the rest of us.

Believe as you want to just don’t use your money to override the separation of church and state. What the Pope is saying is do good with your money and help others, not try to tell them how to think!

Bob Bearden


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