On a church sign this weekend:


This, in a state with 10% unemployment, 14% of its population living below the poverty line, one of the highest rates of personal bankruptcy in the nation, and the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the nation—more than 15% of homeowners in Indiana who have a mortgage are in arrears or in foreclosure.

Having been raised in a Christian tradition, I know the sign, which had no other content or context, was about the "wealth" of god's love and how it doesn't matter if you lose your house in this life because you'll have a mansion in the clouds someday after you die—but not everyone is a god-believer, and not every god-believer is a Christian, and not every Christian subscribes to that particular flavor of Christianity, which leaves a whole lot of people for whom a sign declaring "You're Wealthy!" won't exactly resonate as a celebratory exclamation.

I'm not saying that congregation doesn't have the right to believe they're wealthy, or to put that shit on their sign out front. I'm just saying it strikes me as a rather spectacularly unkind thing to do, given the fact that a hell of a lot of people who pass it will not read it as a declaration of eternal triumph as much as a hostile, taunting reminder of their dire financial circumstances in the here and now.

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