Are Corporations People? Part II April 26, 2011
I have another observation to be added to my Corporations post. And it’s kind of a compliment, incidentally, on the work of corporations and business in general in creating wealth.
In John 6:15, Jesus, after feeding the five thousand, “knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”
Are we seeking to make corporations and businessmen ‘kings by force’ in this way? Is a lot of the pressure for ‘corporate philanthropy’ and the like [and our fascination with ‘business leaders’ who can’t lead outside of their own area of competence, and in corporate backgrounds are often so conformist that the idea of their ‘leading’ anything is an absolute joke] a sort of: “Let’s make these corporations king by force, so that they might make loaves and fishes for us?” Why should we appoint the business class as our saviors and messiahs?
The biggest oxymoron in America is ‘corporate business leader.’ I have seen the recent thesis of James Hunter misused in certain Christian circles that think cultural leadership is held in this culture by businessmen, entrepreneurs, and owners of and players for sports teams. Michael Barone declared years ago that the actual meaning of the term ‘the rich’ in American politics is ‘not me.’ That means the love-hate relationship that Americans have with corporations, and with ‘the rich’ in general, is likely enough based not so much on envy and hatred as on fantasy; that since there is a Santa Claus of abundant resources up in the corporate suite, we the common people can be relieved of our burdens. To me, the principle of the tithe argues against all that. Rich people are, in the Bible, hardly discouraged from generosity, but philanthropy is everyone’s game.