• This Saturday from 1-2pm, I'll be out at the new Tustin Lifeway Bookstore (link) on El Camino Real in the Market Place near Tustin Ranch and I5, to sign copies of my book Shattered. Love to see you there!
400-408 – • Gregory Paul (Washington Post, 8/12/2011) From Jesus' socialism to capitalistic Christianity.
A truly strange thing has happened to American Christianity. A set of profound contradictions have developed within modern conservative Christianity, big and telling inconsistencies that have long slipped under the radar of public knowledge, and are only now beginning to be explicitly noted by critics of the religious and economic right.
Here is what is peculiar. Many conservative Christians, mostly Protestant but also a number of Catholics, have come to believe and proudly proclaim that the creator of the universe favors free wheeling, deregulated, union busting, minimal taxes especially for wealthy investors, plutocrat-boosting capitalism as the ideal earthly scheme for his human creations. And many of these Christian capitalists are ardent followers of Ayn Rand, who was one of - and many of whose followers are -- the most hard-line anti-Christian atheist/s you can get. Meanwhile many Christians who support the capitalist policies associated with social Darwinistic strenuously denounce Darwin's evolutionary science because it supposedly leads to, well, social Darwinism!
Meanwhile atheists, secularists and evolutionist are denounced as inventing the egalitarian evils of anti-socially Darwinistic socialism and communism. It's such a weird stew of incongruities that it sets one's head spinning. Social researchers like myself ask, how did these internal conflict come about? And why are not liberals and progressives doing the logical thing and taking full advantage of the inconsistencies of right wing libertarianism by loudly exposing the contradictions?
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.
To get just how central collectivism is to Christian canon, consider that the Bible contains the first description of socialism in history. Anti-socialist Christians also claim that the Biblical version was voluntary. Aside from it being obvious that the biblical version of God was not the anti-socialist Christian capitalists commonly proclaim he was, some dark passages in Acts indicate how deeply pro-socialist the New Testament deity is. Chapter 5 details how when a church member fails to turn over all his property to the church "he fell down and died," when his wife later did the same "she fell down… and died… Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events."
Dear readers, does this not sound like a form of terror-enforced-communism imposed by a God who thinks that Christians who fail to join the collective are worthy of death? Not only is socialism a Christian invention, so is its extreme communistic variant. The claim by many Christians that Christ hates socialism is untrue, while no explicit description of capitalism is found in the Bible - not surprising because it had not yet evolved.
// And finally, if you don't like socialism and communism stop blaming atheists and other secularists for concocting egalitarian collectivism backed by fear of death. It got its start long ago in the Good Book.
• • Jay Richards (Washington Post, 8/15/2011) Should Christians be socialists?
428-438 – Calls –
443-452 – Peter Crescenti, was a combat Naval Officer for 25 years, before retiring just 2 years ago. At 46, he was told he had a high PSA. Then on April 20th, just 3 weeks after his 47th birthday, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He made the decision that he would compete in the Vineman Ironman 70.3, in Sonoma, in July, then return home for surgery at the City of Hope. He wanted to compete in order to raise awareness and raise money for ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer (zerocancer.org). His website is teampc.org.
458-508 – Calls –
• The Blaze (8/17/2011) IS JESUS CHRIST A SOCIALIST?
• David French and Jordan Sekulow (Washington Post, 8/16/2011) The impossibility of a socialist Jesus.
512-523 – Calls – Ron challenges me on Romans 13, i.e., that I'm being unbiblical for not supporting higher taxes and therefore bigger government.
• Thomas Sowell (NRO, 8/18/2011) For Whom the Bell Tolls: Elites have tried to solve our social degeneration with politically correct bunkum.
• Victor Davis Hanson (NRO, 8/18/2011) Young Westerners — Deprived or Decadent or What? The recent lawlessness is the product not of too little government, but too much.
TH 523 – Don Rohde @ Galpin Ford (818) 262-2092 (galpin.com) For the past 39 years, Don's been sales manager at Galpin, the #1 volume Ford dealer in the world for the past 21 years. Solar Focus?
528-539 – Calls – Zach, a business owner, weighs in on why higher taxes are not the answer to the deficit.
544-554 – Calls –
558-608 – Calls –
612-623 – Calls – How do you minimize poverty? Marriage, education, responsibility.
628-639 – Calls –
644-654 – Calls –
• WSJ Editorial (8/18/2011) Perry's Public Service: Behold, a hard-money Texas politician.
• Fox News (8/18/2011) New Video Surfaces Showing Unprovoked Attack by Philadelphia Teens.
• The Blaze (8/18/2011) JANEANE GAROFALO WONDERS: IS HERMAN CAIN BEING PAID BY RACISTS TO RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY?
• Detroit News (8/17/2011) Muslims denounce bill to ban 'foreign laws'. Community leaders call state rep's plan divisive, unnecessary.