Note: I was elected recently to the position of “Church Advocate” for the Church of the Gardens. It is a new church, which hopes to join with other churches, in growing spiritual resistance to rampant materialism and the vast economic disparity of wealth and resources between the peoples and nations of the world.
Church of the Gardens is different than many churches in that part of its mission and faith requires its members to become engaged politically, socially, and economically to achieve its spiritual and religious goals. Church of the Gardens is a 508(c)(1)(a) “Free Church.” It is not a 501(c)(3) organization.
WHEN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS FAIL US…
Many people, including at least one candidate for President, acknowledge that our government is not working for most of us.
When we look around it is difficult not to notice that millions of people have lost their homes to the banking-servicing industry based on documents which are well known to have been fabricated. Students and former students owe the same banking industry colossal debt which Congress has declared is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Millions of our citizens (mostly black and hispanic) are incarcerated, working more or less as slaves, for private prisons which have contracts with State and municipal governments guaranteeing to keep their facilities stocked with prisoners.
The disparity of wealth and resources between the 1% and the 99%, as well as between the industrialized nations and poor nations, is grotesquely disproportionate to the point of being unconscionable.
So how can those of us who view these inequities as intolerable as a matter of conscience do anything to change the course of materialism, which now interferes with most people’s ability to exercise their God given natural rights?
The answer may surprise you.
America’s Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …
The unalienable rights referenced by the Declaration of Independence were enshrined in our Constitution by the Bill of Rights. The first right mentioned therein is freedom of religion. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Why was freedom of religion put first; before freedom of speech, press, assembly, the right to bear arms, etc? Because our founders recognised that freedom of religion, conscience, and thought were essential to the meaningful exercise of all other natural rights.
Today we see before us on a daily basis a world so out of kilter that a few individuals control over 90% of the earth’s resources simply because of their accumulation of large amounts of money. Shall we continue to watch those around us suffer and starve, while the rich unlawfully claim ownership of most of the planet’s food, water, natural resources, and infrastructure?
Is now the time we should engage our collective conscience as the world’s people to determine whether the present disparity of wealth in the world is an evil which must be spiritually and religiously opposed?
The members of the Church of Gardens believe so.
The Church of the Gardens agrees with Pope Francis that uncontrolled materialism is the “red dragon of evil” that has caused the loss of those unalienable natural rights which belong to all the world’s peoples and nations. Now is the time for each of us to search his or her own conscience to determine whether he or she wants to commit spiritually as a matter of conscience to resist the accumulation of wealth and resources by the 1%