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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:47 PM

WaPo Guest Columnist - "From Jesus’ socialism to capitalistic Christianity" - Great Read!

The phenomena of how Christianity became pro-capitalistism is rarely discussed. Instead, it is taken as canon by the mainstream media that Evangelical Christians and free marketeers happily co-exist under the Republican banner. However, if anyone has read the Bible, as I was required to do as a child, was is amazing is how socialistic many of its passages appear to be. I am not even talking about the passages that slam the rich such as those saying it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.

My take is that Republican ownership of the religious right is classic case of folks making god in their image, rather than the other way around. How else can the right wing happily embrace the contradictory views of Ayn Rand, who was an outspoken atheist, while also currying favor with the religious right. I would love to see Christian reclaim the Bible from those who use it defend capitalism and the exploitation of the poor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/from-jesus-socialism-to-capitalistic-christianity/2011/08/12/gIQAziaQBJ_blog.html

Jesus is no free marketeer. Improving one’s earthly financial circumstances is not nearly as critical as preparing for the end times that will arrive at any minute. He does offer substantial encouragement for the poor, and warns the wealthy that they are in grave danger of blowing their prospects of reaching paradise, as per the metaphor of a rich person entering heaven being as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of the needle (a narrow passageway designed to hinder intruders). This caution makes sense: sociological research is confirming that the more securely prosperous individuals and societies are, the more likely they are to lose the faith. A basic point of core Christian doctrine is that the wealthy have no more access to heaven than anyone else (and in fact may have less), offering hope to the impoverished rejected by cults that court the elites. This remains true in Catholicism, in which being poor does not constitute evidence of a personal deficiency, and church authorities decry the excesses of unrestrained capital at the expense of social justice.

But to understand just how non-capitalistic Christianity is supposed to be we turn to the first chapter after the gospels, Acts, which describes the events of the early church. Chapters 2 and 4 state that all “the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need… No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…. There were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

Now folks, that’s outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx - who likely got the general idea from the gospels.

The pro-capitalist Christians who are aware of these passages wave them away even though it is the only explicit description of Christian economics in the Bible.

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Reply WaPo Guest Columnist - "From Jesus’ socialism to capitalistic Christianity" - Great Read! (Original post)
TomCADem Nov 2012 OP
jody Nov 2012 #1
regnaD kciN Nov 2012 #2
jody Nov 2012 #3
TomCADem Nov 2012 #5
jody Nov 2012 #6
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #7
deutsey Nov 2012 #8
jody Nov 2012 #9
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #14
jody Nov 2012 #16
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #17
jody Nov 2012 #18
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #20
regnaD kciN Nov 2012 #43
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #19
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #21
TomCADem Nov 2012 #22
regnaD kciN Nov 2012 #42
pnwmom Nov 2012 #44
libdem4life Nov 2012 #4
regjoe Nov 2012 #10
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #11
jody Nov 2012 #12
regjoe Nov 2012 #13
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #23
regjoe Nov 2012 #30
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #32
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #24
regjoe Nov 2012 #27
KatyMan Nov 2012 #29
regjoe Nov 2012 #31
KatyMan Nov 2012 #34
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #36
regjoe Nov 2012 #38
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #39
regjoe Nov 2012 #40
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #15
regjoe Nov 2012 #28
pnwmom Nov 2012 #45
Union Scribe Nov 2012 #25
Oldfolkie Nov 2012 #26
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #33
liberalhistorian Nov 2012 #35
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #37
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #41

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:51 PM

1. Please cite statements attributed to Jesus regarding socialism vs. capitalism. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:22 PM

2. Which ones do you want cited?

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:37 PM

3. Just one will be sufficient. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:58 PM

5. Here is a sampling...

First, there are several Biblical quotes that directly endorse collective ownership, which are often ignored by the evangelical Christians:

And all that believed were together, and had all things in common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.


Acts 2: 44, 45

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.


Acts 4:32-37

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Romans 13:1-7

Second, in direct contradiction to those who preach the prosperity gospel, i.e., that being rich reflects the Lord's favor and being poor reflects God's disfavor, the Bible contains numerous provisions expressing hostility to the rich:

"Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves."

- Matthew 21:12

"On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,"

- Mark 11:15

"In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

- John 2:14-16

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

- Mark 10:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

- Luke 18:25

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
- Matthew 19:24

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

- Luke 18:25

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

- Matthew 19:24


“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”

- I Timothy 6:10

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:15 PM

6. The quotes from Acts were not from Jesus. The others were not comments pitting socialism vs

 

capitalism as you know.

I await your answer to "Please cite statements attributed to Jesus regarding socialism vs. capitalism."

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Response to jody (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:23 PM

7. Every time he said to sell all one had, give to the poor, and follow Him.

That's why the Early Church lived in a commune--they were following His dictates to the letter. Capitalism is based on greed and getting all one can for oneself. That is in direct opposition to what Christ preached.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:34 PM

8. Right

The early faith community described in Acts was a direct application of living the way Jesus and his original disciples had.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:48 PM

9. OK but Jesus also taught invest money for a profit and that's capitalism.

 

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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Response to jody (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 PM

14. You do realize he wasn't talking about money there, right?

He was talking about the gifts our Father gives us, and what happens at Judgment Day if we haven't used our gifts from God the way we're supposed to. He used money as a metaphor because all of his parables are metaphors for the Kingdom of God. The Parable of the Sower isn't actually about farming, either.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:42 PM

16. Apparently you don't know that the talent used in Jesus' time amounted to about 130 pounds of either

 

silver or gold.

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Response to jody (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:50 PM

17. Yes, I did.

I grew up an evangelical and went to Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. I am well aware what a talent is, what a cubit is, and all of it. That's also how I know that Jesus used metaphors to get through to the people listening, though his disciples had to ask a few times, such as in the Parable of the Sower, what the metaphors stood for.

The Gospels taken as a whole are definitely not on the side of capitalism. We are not told to go out and get rich but the opposite. Capitalism is about greed and getting rich, so it's against Christ's teachings. It's telling that you have to ignore what the parable is really about in order to twist it to mean what you want it to mean.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #17)


Response to jody (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:16 PM

20. Interesting.

You're losing the debate, so you end it and hope a smiley will make it okay? Odd.

I'm now Eastern Orthodox, thank you, and I have never heard an Orthodox priest say that we have to take the parables literally, and neither have I read anything by the Church Fathers saying that Jesus wanted us to get rich based on the Parable of the Talents. Is it worth pointing out that Jesus didn't use the word "usury" because he didn't speak English?

So, are you one of those who also thinks that the streets in Heaven will be literally made of clear gold (Rev. 21:18)? Jesus spoke in metaphors that He sometimes then explained. The parables were not meant to be taken literally, not even when he used words like "usury."

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:17 AM

43. IMHO, it takes a special kind of obliviousness...

...to look at that parable and conclude that it's about making smart financial investments, rather than as a warning about the need to use whatever gifts God allotted to each of us to serve God by reaching out to others.

The fact is, on one level, the parable wouldn't be so challenging and even frightening if it were about literal gold or silver, because my answer could, at many times, be "that's fine, but since I haven't been gifted with any 'talents' of gold or silver, it really doesn't apply to me." But, of it's a reference to any gifts, aptitudes, or skills which I've been handed, I have no excuse for neglecting to use them, do I?

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Response to jody (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:27 PM

19. Strictly speaking . . .

. . . None of the sayings in the Bible that are attributed to Jesus can, with any certainty, be deemed to have actually been said by Jesus. The earliest of the four Gospels was written nearly 30 years after Jesus' death, and human memory being what it is, there can be no certainty that the memories of the writers was correct.

Acts, however, is a fairly contemporaneous account of the early Christian Church's communal life, based on that community's understanding of Jesus' teachings. As such, it is a pretty reliable guide as to what the early Christians believed, based on Jesus' teaching as they understood it.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:17 PM

21. Oh, don't burst his bubble.

He probably doesn't understand the Bible's provenance, how it came together, Gospel X, or any of the history of the various texts in the Gospels.

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Response to jody (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:10 PM

22. You do know that Jesus pre-deceased both Adam Smith, Robert Owen and Karl Marx...

...are you literally demanding Biblical references where Jesus discussed capitalism and socialism as espoused by Adam Smith, Robert Owen or Karl Marx ? If so, I think you are missing the point that it is a mistake for Republicans to push the notion that there is some natural or even consistent relationship between free marketeers and Christianity. Indeed, the actual quotes of Jesus seem to border upon the "class warfare" that Republicans so strongly condemn. Don't you agree?

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Response to jody (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:07 AM

42. With all due respect, you're just playing games...

The terms "socialism" and "capitalism" post-date the time of Christ by centuries, so he wouldn't have used those words. However, the concepts behind them existed long before the terms were coined, and Jesus repeatedly speaks of the need to "love your neighbor as yourself" and "sell all you have and give to the poor" and so on, while condemning those who only strive after money and possessions, while ignoring the needs of those around them (the parable of Dives and Lazarus is as good a place to start as any) -- in other words, the essences of socialism and capitalism, respectively, in a nutshell.

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Response to jody (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:20 AM

44. The words "socialism" and "capitalism" didn't exist yet.

But -- among other things -- Jesus told a rich man that if he wanted to follow him, he needed to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. That's a socialistic concept, even if he didn't use the word. Also, the Apostles themselves held everything in common.

Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

This is what was supposed to happen in heaven:

Matthew 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."

Another after-death parable:

Luke 16:19-25 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.

Mark 12:41-44 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."

Luke 12:16-21 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:00 PM

4. Here are a few ...

"am going to start with Mark Chapter 10:21-25 21

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ "

He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”.

Obama is not a Socialist. Jesus however was the first Socialist."

http://valentinelogar.hubpages.com/hub/Jesus-was-a-Socialist

These are the same people that will readily quote the Levitical Law against homosexuality...the rather barbarian set of laws Jesus came to replace.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:21 PM

10. Argument isn't valid

 

Voluntarily giving to another is charity, not socialism.
Jesus was preaching on an individual level, not a governmental level.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:37 PM

11. You didn't read the article, did you?

Nice knee-jerk response, however.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:01 PM

12. Perhaps regjoe read and studied the bible instead. nt

 

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:07 PM

13. Why yes, I did read the article

 

And there is nothing in it that proves Jesus wasn't speaking on an individual level.
Fear and propaganda about what would happen if you as an individual choose not to give? Yes.
Punishment at the hands of others for not complying? No.

Nice dodge though. Beats having to offer an answer that doesn't fit in ones self created little box.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:19 PM

23. So individually we're supposed to follow Jesus' teaching...

but as a group, we can tell Jesus to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

Okie Dokie....

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:12 AM

30. Don't we as Democrats promote religion on an individual level?

 

Don't believe in abortion? Don't have one.
Don't believe in gay marriage? Don't marry someone of the same sex.

We don't need religion to justify our platform and ideals.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:34 AM

32. Nice Tangent...

Whatever.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:45 PM

24. Jesus told people to do these things

not because he wanted his followers to feel good because, "Hey! I gave to charity! I'm a good person!" No, he told people to do these things because we are supposed to change the world and make it a better place for our fellow man. Government has a much farther reach than any individual person or community of believers. We are charged with helping the poor, and if we can help them through our civic action, by erecting social programs that allow them to have dignity and help them to rise above their situation, then that is doing the work of God in this world.

If you can "know them by their fruits" then let's look at the fruits of unregulated capitalism: money consolidated in the hands of the few, workers exploited and given depressed wages, safety precautions cut to save a few dollars, pollution that threatens the entire world community, the encouragement of greed and envy among the consumer class so that they will buy your goods, and selfishness at every turn. Truly, "the love of money is the root of all evil."

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:47 AM

27. Work of God in this world?

 

Do you honestly believe that subjugating one man in order to "make a better place" for another man, is the work of "God?"

Jesus did not teach socialism and spinning his teachings for ideological gain does not work. We as Dems are better served keeping them out of our arguments.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:08 AM

29. How is capitalism not subjegation of one man to another?

Why must the workers be sacrificed for the good of the shareholders?

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:17 AM

31. What do those things have to do with the teachings of Jesus?

 

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Response to regjoe (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:40 PM

34. You brought it up:

Do you honestly believe that subjugating one man in order to "make a better place" for another man, is the work of "God?"


Which is complete Randspeak, btw.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:08 PM

36. Actually, subjugating yourself for another man is a HUGE part of the Gospel

Mark 9:33-35
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”i But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”


Mark 10:43-45
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Matthew 20:26-28
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom* for many.”


Matthew 23:11
The greatest among you must be your servant.


Luke 22:26
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant


John 13:12-16
So when he had washed their feet put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.i Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger* greater than the one who sent him.


Matthew 25: 41-46
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

We are called to imitate Christ as servants to all, to sacrifice for the good of our fellow Man. It's incredible to me that it's the supposedly "Godless" Democrats who put their money where their mouth is to help the poor and needy by putting the full force of the government behind this imperative, while the "Good Christian" folk of the Republican party clap and cheer when someone like Ron Paul says if a poor person doesn't have health insurance, they can just die. Anyone we can help, in any way, that is what we should and must do. Socialist institutions is but one way that we make sure to aid our more unfortunate brothers and sisters.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:07 AM

38. I agree

 

But subjugating yourself for your beliefs is an individual choice, being subjugated to the beliefs of another is not.

The argument is that Jesus promoted socialism through his teachings, but in order for that to be true, evidence must be provided that shows Jesus taught forced acceptance and forced compliance of one man over another.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #38)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:30 PM

39. Okay, easy peasy:

Mark 12: 14-17
They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.” So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him.

We are instructed to pay duly enacted taxes; once that money is in the hands of the government, which, in this country, is a representative of the people, it is our moral imperative to see to it that those taxes go, in part, to protecting the most vulnerable among us, which is one of the most important instructions Christ left with his followers.

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Response to BarackTheVote (Reply #39)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:01 PM

40. Interesting

 

As I am sure you can tell, I am an atheist but I find religion very interesting. Not quite sure I agree with your wide interpretation, but I am willing to read more about the information you have provided.

BTW, I don't disagree with taxing or anything, I just don't think we need to use religion to justify it.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:38 PM

15. Yes, He did preach on an individual level.

He also said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, so why shouldn't we pay our full share of taxes?

If we all follow His teachings on an individual level, it's not a huge leap to think that our government, which is just all of us acting together, should act the same way, taking care of the least of these, loving our neighbor as ourselves, etc.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:02 AM

28. I'm not questioning taxes

 

I am questioning if Jesus taught socialism.

As far as I know, Jesus never taught that we must be forced to follow his words, but rather what would happen to our soul if we did not follow his words.

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Response to regjoe (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:25 AM

45. We live in a democracy, so the distinction doesn't apply.

What our government does, WE do -- not some king or dictator.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:48 PM

25. Great article, thank you for posting it! nt

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:06 AM

26. Maybe someone above mentioned it,,,

,,,if so, I missed it. But didn't Jesus' brother James have something to say about overthrowing the rich, even killing them? If so, that's something I never heard in Baptist Training Union. ( I haven't attended a BTU meeting since 1953).

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:38 AM

33. Religion has always been used by the PTB to justify their rule.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:53 PM

35. As a progressive Christian who is currently attending an

ecumenical, progressive seminary, I'm happy to see this as I've been "yelling from the mountaintop" these exact sentiments to my friends, family and acquaintances who claim to be "Christian" but who are conservative, individualistic and unconcerned about anything except judging others and gathering wealth for themselves, for a long time now.

While the words "socialism" and "capitalism" did not exist in biblical times, and their concepts of them at that time are different from ours, the gospel, and Christ's message, really does amount to what we would consider "socialism" in modern times, the notion that we are, indeed, our "brother's keeper", that the needs and voices of the powerless are far more imporant than the powerful, and that we are to care for the needs of each other regardless of how those needs came about. That is the way the disciples originally operated and it's been corrupted, twisted and distorted into individualistic, power-and-money-worshipping, judgmental bullshit, something it was never intended to be.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:50 PM

37. @liberalhistorian very well said +1!

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:17 PM

41. +1

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