In this election cycle I am wondering if it is still okay to remember tiesertain; the visions vary, except that it is not for eternal salvation,. That would be mixing church and state—something that a Mormon, a liberal Protestant, and two Roman Catholics would never think of doing, right? (Those of us who know their history thought they had mixed them before, quite a bit'; maybe they read their own histories with a special set of glasses.)
"A better life" seems to be the fall-back definition for the middle class.. For those in the MC who live on the edge of poverty, that could be three meals a day without having to depend on school lunches (or breakfasts!) for one of the meals; for those on the edge of wealth, big-screen television both upstairs and down.
The real distinction for the rest of us is not between levels of the Middle Class; it's between the Middle Class and the Poor. Here are some noticeable ways to distinguish between them.
Middle-class people lose their homes and jobs in bad times; the poor have no homes or jobs to lose.
Middle class people go to the hospital to get well; the poor go to the hospital through the emergency room when they're dying. Stays in the hospital are for curing the insured. The emergency room is the admitting desk for the uninsured.
Middle-class people buy new clothes. The poor buy used clothes or wear hand-me-downs.
Middle-class people travel. The poor stay home. -
For the middle class, an upgrade is an addition to the house; for the poor. it's getting a place to live that has a working bathroom. (I remember that one myself; I was fourteen. After seven years without hot running water, I took two baths in one afternoon, just for the fun ot if.
The Middle class spends much on their pleasure, then complain about how hard it is to get ahead in this economy. The poor buy candy for their kids because it is the only treat they can afford.
In the Bible, God tells us to remember the poor. We don't have to remember the middle class, because that is us-- people who write internet columns and read them, for example. We think of ourselves so much we don't need reminding. . God also tells us to love everybody, not only the poor. We remember the poor because of their extraordinary need. Love and help, not one without the other.
My favorite line on this subject was written by St. Paul. In the earliest years of the Christian attempt to reach the world with the love and message of Christ, two missions were orgranized: one to reach Jews and the other to reach non-Jews. There was an additional charge from the apostles to the missionaries which erased the distinctions between Jews and Christians in the church. They were all to remember the poor--people who were identifiable by their need, not their color, culture, class, or creed..
I am sure that the four good people running for the highest elective offices in our land are personally generous. But more is required of them. To reverse the usual way this is phrased, they need to put their mouths where their money is!
So let us remember the poor , as God commanded. We need to be on the Lord's side, because in the end there won't be any other side.