As always, we tend to steer clear of op-eds here at GetReligion, since we are all about news. But Colbert King at The Washington Post has written the theologically appropriate column of the day, whether he knows it or not. This is excellent and I hope lots of MSM editors and network producers read it.
Let me get out of the way and King can speak for himself:
It all goes to show what happens when some people get it in their heads that they can take things that don’t belong to them without getting caught. All it takes is a time and place where authority is absent. Bring on such a scene for those predators and opportunists always lurking in our midst and, bingo, you have your looters. . . .
First, to state the obvious: The people caught stealing on camera in that majority-black city weren’t doing it because they were black. Just as raiders of corporate treasuries don’t do it because they are white. Skin color has nothing to do with the urge to take what doesn’t belong to you. Poverty also isn’t the reason liquor gets stolen in a storm-ravaged city.
The looter on Canal Street in New Orleans and the corporate looter on Wall Street have a similar motive: greed. That is their taproot. And greed is no respecter of pigmentation, income, status or social class.
To paraphrase Father Andrew Greeley — the progressive Catholic sociologist and gadfly — “original sin” is one of the easiest theological concepts to prove in the laboratory of real life. The condition is universal. Angels and demons come in all colors. That’s the good news and the bad news.