Happiness, it seems, can sometimes come from unexpected sources

Pastor Paul J Bern
9 min readNov 15, 2018

How We Can Make God, and Each Other, Happy by Ending Poverty

by Pastor Paul J. Bern

Today in the early 21st century, and with 99% of the wealth in America in the hands of 1% of the population, the US has a bigger and wider gap between the richest 1% of American money earners and big business owners and the remainder of working Americans than there is in many supposedly “third world” countries. The widespread and systemic unemployment or underemployment that currently exists in the US job market (including those who have given up and dropped out of the job market) is no longer just an economic problem. It has become a civil rights issue of the highest priority. The US job market has been turned into a raffle, where one lucky person gets the job while entire groups of others get left out in the cold — sometimes literally. I am vigorously maintaining that every human being has the basic, God-given right to a livelihood and to a living wage. There is no such thing under God’s laws that say any given person should be unable to support themselves and their families! Anything less becomes a gross civil rights violation. Based on that, I would say those jobless individuals are victims of systemic economic discrimination. And so I further state unreservedly that restarting the civil rights era protests, demonstrations, sit-ins and the occupation of government buildings, or whole city blocks, is the most effective way of addressing the rampant inequality and persistent economic hardship that currently exists in the US.

Fortunately, this has already started here in the US, with the advent of the protests for so many unarmed Black men being killed by police officers. But these protesters are actually somewhat behind the curve. Because, before them there was Occupy Wall St., “we are the 99%” and Anonymous. And before those there was the Arab Spring in Egypt, the summer of 2011 in Great Britain and Greece, plus Libya, Syria and Gaza in the Middle East. So from a political standpoint, the current crop of protesters here in the US have some catching up to do. And yet, that was before the rest of the world got on board protesting globally for the many murdered Americans in Florida, Missouri, New York and elsewhere. So now, like an echo from the fairly recent past, the protests over police violence has echoed across the globe and is still reaching a crescendo.

Pastor Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium, Wordpress and others. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor, coach