by Anna von Reitz
Glitzy Christians and Sunshine Patriots
I was talking with a friend recently and he came up with a new description that startled me, but I knew right away what he was talking about: “glitzy Christians”. We both have met many multi-millionaires and even billionaires in the course of our lifetimes and have rubbed shoulders and noses with these men and women over the course of decades, but somehow had never discussed our mutual experiences with the wealthy Christian community.
Of course, I nodded. I knew exactly what he was saying, when he said “glitzy Christians”.
Christians who spend money on a new private jet every year, and who go hang-gliding in Nepal. Christians who wouldn’t dream of missing the winter season in Geneva. Christians who wear million-dollar diamonds on the golf course. Christians who have season tickets that the Vienna Opera, that they might use once a year.
The very best of them have “a” cause or maybe two, that they are passionate about. Saving the wild horses of the western states. Providing homes for outcast teenagers in LA. Promoting adult literacy. Saving wild parrots in Borneo.
I wondered what Jesus would say. I wondered if it is even possible to be “Christian” and “glitzy” at the same time.
Of course, it’s not my call. Of course, I am not privy to the history of their souls or the lessons they are trying to learn. But if you think about it, Jesus was the Great Leveler, the One who brought it all down to brass tacks: tax collectors and prostitutes, Roman soldiers, Samaritans, lepers, sinners, and outcasts of every kind came to him. The rich and famous stayed away.
Too controversial. Too common.
He is the one who said, “If you would be perfect, go and give all that you have away to the poor.”
It is part of His Testament that we cannot serve both God and Mammon.
So maybe being rich is not such a good thing.
Perhaps it is an obstacle to our souls’ freedom and growth, that leaves us empty and disconnected at the end of the day, as so many of my very wealthy acquaintances seem to be.
So many of them seem to be like little kids whistling in the dark, delighted that they “made it” and are so rich and powerful, and yet….
Empty. Alone. Depressed. Running hither and thither, restlessly searching for meaning.
They show up on my doorstep when they get in trouble with the government, and they presume because they are wealthy that they can buy first in line treatment. But they can’t.
They make their case about how important they are and how important their issues are, but I seldom agree. Usually, they are just like everyone else with a beef, a fight with a regulatory agency, or the IRS or a Zoning Commission someplace.
It’s not that I am not sympathetic when “the government” is in the wrong, as it often is. It’s more a matter of seeing them and their problems without the fake glory of their money, and knowing that 90% of the time, their problems are just like everyone else’s problems. They only think that they are special because they are rich.
Recently, a billionaire acquaintance was arrested for money laundering and other charges. I thought back to when he approached me for a legal opinion about his latest get-richer-scheme. I wasn’t encouraging. He left me with the tab for lunch. Now, he’s in jail.
I am wondering if he cashiered enough money with his family to pay for his defense team. No doubt the government has locked down his own resources and left his parents to pay his bail — and all this, just before Christmas.
I’m sorry he didn’t take my advice. I’m sorry he was so wrong-headed about basic things, like being grateful when someone takes time out of their day and gives you a legal opinion for free. Like not sticking “the little people” with the bill. Like using your wealth for something more and better than just accruing more and more and more….
Like caring — really caring — about the world we live in.
There’s so much that he could have done, both in terms of making money and giving back. Oh, he wanted his freedom, but he wasn’t interested in helping others achieve theirs. Contributing to the overall push to restore our lawful government wasn’t on his radar. Just tweaking things so that he could be free was enough, in his opinion.
Unfortunately, that seems to be par for the course with the rich and famous. That’s why their money actually does so little worthy work and contributes so little to the benefit of humanity.
Why invest in State Assemblies that will restore the lawful government of this country, when you could invest in mini-golf courses, instead?
So I paid the lunch tab for him and his buddies and I smiled and I walked away, knowing that I was richer than all of them.
And then today I got a note from a woman who is reduced to living on SSI, and it’s Christmastime, and she sent me a donation of $25 for our work here, and she apologized because she couldn’t afford to send more. I sat at my desk and wept.
That same billionaire could have given me $25 million, and it wouldn’t have hurt him half as much, as what she shared from what little she had.
I wrote back to her and told her that we recently hit rock bottom with all the expenses we’ve had here, all across the board. We got down to 26 cents in our account, but we didn’t go in the red. And her $25 was the first contribution after that low point.
Think about that.
There haven’t been any big donors helping us pursue the American National Credit owed to Americans. There haven’t been any “investors” backing our bid to recoup the gold FDR stole from our Great-Grandparents and Grandparents. No “glitzy Christians” have cared enough about the country to weigh in on America’s side of the issues. No Big Timers have paid our way to the Philippines or the Hague or Rome.
They seem quite content that everything go to wrack and ruin, so long as their investments run high. America? Their neighbors? The communities they live in? Who cares?
A woman who is so crippled up, she’s on SSI.
A teen in Baltimore who makes a living mowing lawns in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter.
A cowboy out in Montana who sends $20 every pay day.
A man in New York who sends a small percentage of every sale he makes…. $1.01, $2.89, $1.78……
A retired steam and boiler technician, a waitress at Don’s Diner, a Korean War Vet, a farmer in the Midwest facing eviction, a dock worker who is on Workman’s Comp, and so the list goes on. Our contributors.
Not a truly rich man among them.
If anyone has cause in years to come, to go back and look at how we survived the winter of 2019-2020, and how our effort grew despite everything against it. and they pour over our books and accounts as much as they like, they won’t be able to say that there was any political party behind us, or any rich financier.
All they will find will be “un-glitzy” people and patriots who cared.
The day will come when the rich and famous will beat a path to our door, just as they now trample the road into Washington, DC, seeking favors and pay offs and buy offs and all the rest of it. Count on me to turn a deaf ear— not to any injustice, but to any pretension of importance on their parts.
It’s clear to me who the really important people are, the ones who make the wheels turn, who wash the cars and the dishes, who feed the hungry, who do all the work and bear all the burdens. The race is not to the swift. The glory does not belong to the rich and famous.
It belongs to us, down here in the trenches, slogging along day to day and year to year, to our workmates and families, to our friends. The glory always belongs to those who think and who care — and it always comes down to us, because it is our will that finds its way to expression. It’s our dream that we, together, build.
We won’t be alone or empty or wondering what life was all about when our time comes. We won’t regret missing the ski season at St. Moritz. Or the unused season tickets at the Vienna Opera.