The key comparison for the American dream is not among ourselves but how we compare to the rest of the world. The poorest among us in this country are blessed beyond a lot of the world's population. This is not a statement of our wisdom or hard work or even the American dream. It is a blessing of God, that someday we will not have. When we have only our own wits we will be just like the rest of the world.
1. America is just the most recent example of a long line of great nations/empires that thought they were blessed by God(s).
2. Rome, Greece, ancient Egypt and more recently the British, French, Spanish and Austrian Empires all felt that they had been selected by God to rule over other nations.
3. The American Dream is based on acquiring material success and power - somehing that would appear inconsistent with a religion that centers on an individual born in a manger and spending His life on earth ministering to the poor.
4. Based on Jesus' message to the Rich Young Ruler, wealth in the hands someone who lives a moral life, does good works and keeps the commandments is not enough to acquire salvation.
5. Christ's metaphor concerning the camel passing through the eye of the needle is not directed toward the poor.
6. What passes in America as a blessing can actually be a curse since like the Rich Ruler, wealthy individuals and nations are much more accountable in the eyes of God.
7. Whether poverty is relative and America's poor should be considered "blessed" as compared to the rest of the world misses the point - the Greatest Commandment is quite explicit when it directs us as individuals and as a nation to love our "neighbor" as ourselves. :eek: