News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. March 27, 2020: Summer has come very early to the Hamptons and the other playgrounds of the very rich this year. And it may continue long past Labor Day if necessary.
If only it was just a bit warmer on Long Island for those who only have outdoor pools on their property. They will just have to suffer until late May.
COVID-19 does not treat us all equally, far from it. There is COVID-19 for most of us – a deadly threat that is horribly disrupting our lives maybe forever; and then there is COVID-19 for the very rich – a luxurious vacation.
And virtually ZERO chance of ever getting COVID-19 if you have a Gulf Stream. All you have to fly away from COVID-19 is lots of $$$$$$.
Could there be a better parable for our times? Absolutely not.
What there is, is, a very, very useful lesson; a powerful all important lesson whether you put it in religious or secular terms, if we are to emerge from the greatest crisis of our time far better or worse than ever.
You decide; think of me as The Preacher this episode. Maybe even preaching from the pulpit at Trinity Wall Street. Wouldn’t that be something? And for my Gospel text, a story in Thursday’s New York Times. Please be seated.
Rather than those ridiculous ancient texts that mean nothing at all that are read Sunday after Sunday at Christian churches – a reason why so few even go to churches any more – rather I will use as my Gospel passage for my sermon: “The Wealthy Flee Coronavirus. Vacation Towns Respond: Stay Away.”
Let me begin with this passagefrom the Times: “In the Hamptons, the famous playground for the rich on the East End of Long Island, locals are angry that an onslaught of visitors has emptied out grocery store shelves.”
Shouldn’t the locals be grateful that the rich and famous love the Hamptons so much they are coming now in March? And do they expect them to SUFFER when they have so, so much money and not buy anything they want?
Parishioners ask yourself what would Jesus say?
“Mayors, town supervisors and the governors of at least two states have warned part-time residents of tourist destinations to stay away.”
Really? Is that very Christian castigating the rich and powerful they are our brothers and sisters too. They are all God’s children and have a right to enjoy their many luxury homes, their big jets, all that money they have – so, so much.
“Across the country, similar tensions between locals and seasonal visitors are bubbling to the surface as efforts to confront the pandemic have led the nation to navigate uncharted territory.”
How unfair. Everyone knows we need the SUPER Rich that our society would collapse without all they contribute to the general good. All they get in return is what God knows they deserve for all their good works for all of us.
The very rich are just doing what we would if we were as good as they are.
“The cancellation of schools most states and work-from-home edicts have left many families unfettered by offices or primary residences, free to work wherever they can find Wi-Fi.”
Amen to that.
Yes of course “the influx has drained local supermarkets, and fueled fear that a continued onslaught could cripple towns with tiny police forces and few hospitals.”
But that is the price we must pay, as we are all God’s children.
“At Red Horse Market, a gourmet food shop in East Hampton, part of Long Island’s East End, some customers are phoning in to ask for personal shoppers or for delivery to their cars, so they don’t have to walk through the store, said Jeff Lange, one of the owners.”
God bless them and their personal shoppers!
“We had people showing up to buy a lot of meat,” Mr. Lange said, “and there were moments where we had to step in and say, ‘That’s too much.’ There’s no hard line on the meat, for example, but if it seems like more than what is fair, we say so.”
See the rich will be reasonable if you just ask them to be.
A liquor store in Sag Harbor, another Hamptons town, is selling cases of wine and spirits through a half-opened door. “It’s like the Fourth of July out here,” said Robin Farnam, a clerk at the store.
LIKE 4th OF JULY! Glory Be!
PRAISE the Lord. Why is this happening? Only one reason. It is The RICH!
“On Long Island, private plane and jet traffic increased at East Hampton Airport, with everything from single-engine Cessnas and Piper Cubs to Gulf Streams and Falcon jets landing. We’ve had helicopters, seaplanes, corporate planes,” said Jim Brundige, the airport director. A little bit of everything.”
Think of all the private jets and helicopters appearing over the skies of East Hampton as God’s Angels bringing his rich children where they belong.
“Stores there have also been stripped. Some people are even buying extra freezers, residents said. “They want to make sure they have enough for a year,” said Jonathan Amaral, the house manager and chef at a gated estate on Southampton’s Main Street. “The shelves were bare. For us locals and middle-class people, that hurts.”
Stores have been stripped. People buying extra freezers. The shelves are bare. Stop complaining locals. If this was not good, God would not allow it!
“Jay Schneiderman, the supervisor of Southampton, an area comprising more than a dozen hamlets and villages on eastern Long Island, said the population had soared in the last two weeks to nearly 100,000, up from 60,000.”
FANTASTIC! 40,000 more people in Southampton, ALL of them RICH! And let’s pray many them would be in local churches on Sundays – that is if churches were still open on Sundays or anytime. Sorry, pray at home Rich People.
So, my sisters and brothers in Christ, allow me to offer you two very different lessons you can choose to take away from his week’s “gospel” taken from The New York Times here in Trump’s America.
Lesson One …
The very rich have earned all they have and they are far better than you and me or we would be rich like them and as God’s children they are just as much as all the rest of us the 99% God’s children and we should embrace them as we do ourselves and be joyous they have the ability to flee COVID-19 for safety on their big jets to their vacation mansions and buy up everything they can get their hands on to enjoy themselves. Be strengthened by their wealth!
Lesson Two …
COVID-19 must be our wake-up call to embrace Jesus’ message of fairness and equality and that we should all contribute our fair share to the common good. If Jesus was alive today, he would not sit by silently as he witnessed the incredible and ever-increasing inequality of wealth and power all around him.
How we are seeing the Super Rich responding to the COVID-19 crisis? By spending and enjoying themselves as much as ever tells us they are certainly not paying their fair share while all the rest of us are paying far too much.
Yes, let some have more than others that will always be natural, but it is UNNATURAL when a few have so, so, so much more and so, so, so many others have little or nothing at all. All the rest of us must UNITE to create a far fairer and better nation in the wake of COVID-19. That is what God wants!
Members of the congregation – it is YOUR church ….
You decide which lesson to embrace! Amen.
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)