Moral Investing without Much Thought

I recently saw a statistic scrolling across the bottom of the television screen while watching some or another news show that in the last few years there has been a substantial uptick in the number of billionaires. And, because we’ve seen just how well trickle-down economics works, I suppose this means you have scads of extra dollars tucked in your underwear drawer just waiting for you to invest them.

Fortunately, I have found just the place: The Timothy Plan.

Created to invest your money in all the right companies—those who care about morals—The Timothy Fund is poised to take your money and create for you a nice return. All of the hard thinking about what is moral and where to use your obvious windfall is completely taken care of if you will simply trust the good folks at The Timothy Plan.
You will be glad to know they are addressing the most pressing moral issues of our day as well as those that figured most prominently in Jesus’ ministry: abortion, pornography, anti-family entertainment, non-married life-styles, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.

This is really terrific news because I can quit the gut-wrenching quandary I’ve been pondering lately. Just a few weeks ago while listening to Sister Helen Prejean (the nun whose book was the story for highly acclaimed film Dead Man Walking) I was encouraged to wonder how so many Christians in the South—the geographical area which simultaneously claims to be the bible belt and also kills the most prisoners—could be so dismissive of life, as long as the persons are behind bars. We (those of us who live in this bible-belt buckle and who don’t voice our opposition more clearly and consistently than we should) support court systems and judges to take lives while we also nonchalantly ask prison officials to administer life-killing drugs, giving no thought to the harm such killing does to them, or to society. Our inconsistent approach to life, depending upon its context, apparently is not a moral issue. Whew!

But thank goodness there is someone—The Timothy Plan—standing up against non-married life-styles. I mean when I read the Bible it is crystal clear about how marriages should be constructed. You know, think about our great faith hero Abraham who loved his dear wife Sarah and who listened to her, taking in not only her ideas but also her slave woman, Hagar. Or, I fondly recall the faithful paragon Jephthah whose vow to God he kept even though it meant he had to sacrifice his only daughter, who the Bible writers think was insignificant enough to mention her name.

Or, who could fail to see Jesus supporting family values when he dismisses his mother and brother while claiming instead that people who followed him were his true family? The New Testament just like the Old Testament obviously doesn’t waver in its whole-hearted portrayal of husband, wife, and two children. If I avoid most of the Bible, I can almost see how The Timothy Fund arrives at such a staunch family values claim.

Furthermore, I, for one, am glad we are going to sharpen our focus on the world’s greatest ills of alcohol, tobacco, and gambling, because these vices are tearing apart the very social fabric of our society, causing terrible morale and most likely high unemployment rates and all the rest. War and famine, an over-use of our natural resources and a reckless un-checked capitalist system keeping the world on the verge of economic disaster really pale in light of individual vices.

Besides, as long as we can support companies like The Timothy Plan with our hard-earned cash, we can rest secure knowing we are making big bucks without sacrificing our most treasured values. Lives of fetuses we will protect while ignoring the lives we kill in prison or around the world in the name of defense, or in our own states where environmental preservation is readily exchanged for corporate cash.

We can know we’ve gone to war against pornography and anti-family entertainment while we spend more and more of our time and money on electronic gadgets where superficial interaction supersedes sustained conversation and personal investment. And as long as we don’t objectify women’s bodies through pornographic materials we can keep them invisible in the workplace, refusing to pay them equally for equal work. Let’s be vigilant in decrying the ills of Hollywood (where we can choose what to watch) while ignoring the myriad ways our economic system makes it difficult for women—especially single women with children—to rise above poverty. We can concern ourselves with make-believe fiction at the same time we ignore the reality living among us.

And, isn’t it comforting to know that while we use our righteous language to dismiss the experiences and rights of others, failing to learn from our LGBT sisters and brothers the truly hard work of making it work when the odds are clearly stacked against them, we’ve done little to foster our relationships? And little, truth be told, we’ve done to seek an understanding of those who may love differently than we do.

So, locate those stashes of extra cash and turn them over to The Timothy Plan to be moral stewards of your excess, resting assured that in the final analysis, at least Jesus didn’t ask us to love our neighbor or care for our enemy or be willing to be a servant of all. Yeah; he didn’t do anything close to that.