Helpful (and Unhelpful) Links

So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

President John F. Kennedy, Commencement Address at American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963

This page is not my blogroll, but I do invite you to suggest blogs to me I should cross-promote. Rather, this page is an ongoing effort to collect important websites to a discussion about wealth and faith, together with my sometimes-informed opinions on each. Please use the comments section below to expand this list or to rebut my opinions.

Religion and Class Issues

  • UUA Commission on Appraisal Preliminary Report on Classism
    It’s hard to know what this was preliminary to, because the CoA hasn’t published minutes in a year and a half, and those congratulate the CoA on accomplishing so much within four days of meetings without actually enumerating accomplishments or minuting material discussions. I won’t comment on the report and its numerous inadequacies and logical fallacies itself here; that’s what the blog posts gradually address.
  • UUA Class Consciousness curriculum
    I didn’t attend General Assembly in 2015. I have a hard time reconstructing what this workshop talked about from these materials. I have had a few nice conversations with one of the authors via Facebook, though. Make of this link what you will.
  • Unitarian Universalist Class “Conversations”
    I added the air quotes because a blog without comments isn’t even a conversation, let alone its plural. That this site doesn’t meaningfully consider the other margin of exclusion created by upper-middle-class mores and attitudes is what inspired this blog in the first place. Not a fan
  • Quakers and Class
    It’s what it sounds like. I’m not sure how active this effort is.
  • Quadragesimo Anno 
    A Catholic teaching from 1931. What’s wrong with 401Ks being the way the middle-class save for retirement? Ask Pope Pius IX: “[I]t is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure.” The rise of the PMC, y’all, 1931.
  • Caritas in Veritate
    A Catholic teaching from 2009. Benedict XVI  wrote, “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity.” Emphasis His Holiness’.
  • Tikkun
    A Jewish organization’s bi-monthly publication. Tikkun means “fixing or rectifying,” this progressive/liberal Jewish magazine is mostly about economic justice, and frequently tackles classism.

Class Stories, Research, and Advocacy

  • The New York Times’ Class Matters
    I read everything that they publish. Good interactive charts, NYT-standards reporting, there’s always something worth reading there.
  • Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends: Socioeconomic Class Hard data on class, socioeconomic divisions, politics, and how that’s all changing in the USA
  • United for a Fair Economy
    UFE is an advocacy group that works toward ending wealth concentration. Unlike most groups doing this work, though, they actually invite and include and try to understand the elite. Recommended.
  • Class Action
    Purports to be about ending classism. I’d like to be able to like this site, I really would,  but there’s almost nothing I have ever seen on their site that fits how classism hurts from my side. Plenty of screeds about the 1%, though. An example from their FAQ:

    How does classism hurt wealthy and owning-class people?
    Everyone is placed at a disadvantage when they have a limited interaction with their world, no matter how much money or material wealth they have acquired. Existing within gated communities, real or assumed, which chronically over-shelter owning-class people, can prevent them from obtaining a secure sense of place or purpose within a dynamic human community. Many owning-class people remain largely unaware of their economic privilege, which can inhibit them from satisfying their basic human desire to experience an authentic life. And upon becoming aware of their economic privilege, wealthy people can suffer from the guilt, shame, and depression often associated with the realization that they may not feel like they deserve what they have, and that much of what they have may have come at the expense of other people.

    Right now, I’m living in New York City. It ain’t gated. And I ask you, do I sound unaware, depressed, ashamed or guilty about my situation? Really? I find a lot of joy and meaning in what I am able to do because of my good fortune and my fortune. What hurts is when it’s taken as a starting point that I’m a reclusive, hateful, unhappy miser conspiring to oppress impoverished masses.

    Not surprisingly, UU Class “Conversations” describes Class Action as a “partner.” There are a thousand smungs in a clue. UU Class Conversations hasn’t got a smung. Which leads us to the best that I saved for last:

The 1% who are for the Other 99%

  • Resource Generation
    RG organizes young people with financial wealth to leverage resources and privilege for change. It’s a membership organization for people who make $125,000 or over or who have $250,000 in net worth and are younger than 35. Everyone in my generation of our family belongs. They have a really great annual conference called “Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy.” This group helps challenge people to find or found charitable purposes that are meaningful, and to raise their giving to a point of effectiveness on social change and personal growth. I love this organization. Currently, I love it much more than the UUA, which is very sad to me.
  • We Stand With the 99 Percent
    It’s a dead blog but take a look anyway. It was a project of RG (did I mention loving them?) during the Occupy era.
  • UFE’s Responsible Wealth Project
    As mentioned above, UFE is a different organization from others in this field. Responsible Wealth is a good example of how.
  • Patriotic Millionaires
    This group only recently came to my attention. I think it began as a group of peers supporting the Buffett Plan.
  • Wealth for Common Good
    “We are “the 1 percent” that wants an economy that works for everyone. Our membership includes entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, engineers and elected officials of all backgrounds and from all over the country.”

Photo: Entrance gate to John F. Kennedy Park, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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