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We weren't founded on a class system

November 03, 2007

To the editor:

I don't quite understand why some people argue so hard for a class system. With freedom, we can be free to care about others as we care about ourselves, using a humble mindset that avoids scratching and clawing our way to the top, or defining some as less valuable then ourselves.

Our Founding Fathers, mothers and children were people willing to throw aside economic and administrative systems established for centuries to try a whole new system based both on equality and freedom according to the Declaration of Independence.

Yet I don't think that they believed freedom, designed to enhance the life of people, was more important than the people themselves.

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The class system is already a make-believe economy, as it now exists. It is not pieces of paper or metal, or an imaginary number system that physically fuels our bodies and minds to perform our work each day. The stock market is proof of the make-believe as monetary "values" worldwide change daily.

When did a medium of exchange that merely represented a verbal agreement between parties to exchange sheep, land, crops or work become an entity in itself that people use to devalue other people? When did having power positions become more important than other people who are deemed less worthy because of a job they hold or neighborhood they live in?

Why do we want to keep a system where at times administrative leaders can discard people they deem less valuable on their work crew, regardless of what impact it has on the families deemed inferior and on society as a whole? How do those in control justify their own pride, apathy or selfishness to continue this degrading and barbaric system? Do we want America to be a nation represented as this?

Who should justify the more rigidly defined caste systems in some nations that keep people trapped in poverty because the system structure actually indicates that the people on the bottom are inherently inferior?

Some may point out that "wrongful behaviors" make others inferior. But outward behaviors have deep-rooted causes and God alone is the only judge who fully understands why people do what they do.

God actually did provide material blessing in the Old Testament, and the New points out in writings to Timothy God's desire for us to enjoy "things." We can use material things to enjoy life, to give pleasure to others and to wonder at the marvels of God who made the concept of developing and enjoying things. The purchasing of material things, which we need to do if others are to earn income in this make-believe economy we live in, is a necessity.

G.K. Chesterton, to my knowledge, was still a human being, vulnerable to being wrong in some of his beliefs and sayings. Even materialism and greed are only symptoms of the main problem. The main problem is our choice to devalue someone else and put them at a lower value than ourselves, a lower value than our group. Is this what we want to be represented as? Selfish people who devalue others and use them to get to the top?

I doubt that is what the founding people of America wanted this nation to become. We are all interdependent on each other.

If the Bible truly is God's word, 2 Corinthians chapter 8 sets the goal for economic equality as a concept of God, and Jesus commanded that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Let's reach beyond any anemic aim for three classes. Even if we can only accomplish that in our individual hearts, we can make a difference for those around us.

This July, an e-mail circulated that, if historically accurate, indicated most of the founding families ended up in poverty because of the conceit of an over-dominating rich class. I doubt our founders would set the aim for three classes.

Sharon Womack

Hagerstown

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