Tuesday, March 06, 2007

John Edwards, Jesus, and Selfishness

Today democratic candidate John Edwards said, "I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually."

I think, on this, Edwards is spot-on. Just read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for Jesus' views of money and personal kingdom-building.

This being true, how can Edwards justify living in a 28,200 square foot home that's the largest in the county he lives in, and valued at $6,000,000? "The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”"

I understand and agree that I am not to judge other people. I also don't view myself as the example of Christlike handling of possessions. Yet Edwards, as a public figure, should be careful about quoting Jesus on "our own selfish short-term needs" while living in a home 80% the size of a football field.

In this regard Thomas Merton was correct when he asked the question as to why we need to live in mansions when the Son of Man didn't even have a roof over his own head.