It all started with a quote I recently read, attributed to comedian Stephen Colbert:
If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus is just as selfish as we are or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition … and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.
Without condition? This got me thinking.As some of you may recall, the last time we caught Patrice thinking, she reflected on how the Pill caused women to "rut like cattle," admonished men to "keep their wicks zipped" and ladies to "keep their bloomers buttoned," then wrapped up by telling us she was off to give her cow an abortion.
Now it always amuses me when people with no apparent interest in Jesus as a Messiah will try to pigeonhole Him into supporting their own socialist agenda in the name of “compassion.” But the question here is whether or not Jesus would approve of entitlement programs.Like his modern followers, Jesus believed in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps; and he would have led by example, too, except he wore sandals.
Progressives like to claim Jesus was a socialist. They say welfare is morally equivalent to the teachings of Jesus, who urged us to have compassion on the poor and destitute. Liberals, from their position of lofty superiority, say we “must have no personal wealth beyond our needs.”That doesn't actually sound like any of the liberals I know -- certainly none of the ones I've voted for -- and for a second there I thought Patrice was propping up a strawman, but then I noticed she used quotation marks, so it must be true. I would have liked a link, or a citation, or even just a name, but even I know that any liberal who confided our ulterior agenda to a gun-toting cow-milker would only do so on deep background.
To prove their point, they cherry-pick various Bible verses to support their logic. But of course the devil can cite Scripture to his own purpose.Lately he's been strip mining Leviticus for good gay-bashing quotes.
Progressives long for a utopian society of complete equality, a land of neither rich nor poor. Human nature being what it is, such a utopia can only be accomplished and maintained through centralized economic management and forced income redistribution. Thus, what progressives ultimately want is communism.Well, they're pretty sneaky about it, because the "progressives" in the current Administration and Congress don't even seem to want single payer health care. But the bigger question is, now that progressives want communism, what's left for communists to want? I haven't had a chance to ask one, but if I had to guess, I'd say either "catabaptism," or "toaster pastries."
But the historical track record of communist societies isn’t too good when it comes to charity and mercy. Communism has killed 100 million people in the last century. Trust me, 100 million dead people is not compassionate.Unless they all simultaneously broke a leg while running at Pimlico and had to be shot.
And that’s why conservatives oppose entitlement programs … because they lead to socialism.Which leads to communism, which is why Christ's weird injunction that the wealthy give their worldly goods to the poor in order to store up treasure in heaven inevitably turned the late Roman Empire into a egalitarian hellhole that was only rescued from oblivion by the meritocratic job creators of feudalism.
First, welfare creates a dependent class of voters who are guaranteed to vote for more entitlements. Second, entitlements don’t help the poor. Indeed, they cause poverty, not cure it.Food Stamps allow people to live -- indeed, to wallow -- in poverty, whereas the traditional method of forcing the poor and destitute to starve to death or emigrate to America put a efficient period to their misery, although it occasionally led to public health problems (e.g., dozens of dead Little Match Girls rotting in alleyways after the Spring thaw, or severe Irish infestations).
The proof is in the pudding. If the trillions of dollars we’ve so far spent on entitlements cured poverty, we would have no poor people in this country. None.Poverty is like chickenpox -- once you've had it you can never catch it again. Unless there were, say, a major economic downturn, with high unemployment and a widespread housing crisis, but really, how likely is that? Anyway, this is why I never give money to the homeless, because they'll just use it to buy tapioca.
Jesus did not come to influence the government leaders of the day. Rather, he came to offer salvation and guidelines to the individual.The rugged individual. So I guess this means you guys don't want to elect Christians to office, or legislate morality anymore? Because it's too collectivist?
We – not the government – have the responsibility to care for the poor and destitute. Jesus’ message was not one of forcible seizure of individual wealth and unchecked redistribution of that wealth. It was a message of personal charity and compassion.Yes, there was that whole "render unto Caesar" thing, and some might say "We the People" means we are the government, and are delegating certain tasks to it which we can't easily perform ourselves, such as issuing Social Security checks to widows and orphans, but in reality, Jesus was only interested in private altruism. He was like a personal trainer for your soul and his message was simple: Let the Poor go to Bally's.
But liberals don’t see it that way. They look at Acts 4 and conclude that because the early Christians adopted a communal lifestyle, then communism is the biblical ideal. But this entirely misses the point. The early Christians voluntarily engaged in communal living as an endurance mechanism against prosecution. It was not forced by government mandates; in fact, it was a survival tactic against a hostile government bent on their destruction. Savvy?I am, indeed, hip to your lingo. And of course, once Christians finally did get control of the government, they gave up that hippie shit and devoted themselves to private enterprise and the destruction of their enemies, just the way Jesus would have wanted it.
Social justice, one of the buzzwords of the progressives, is not the same as caring for the poor. Forced redistribution of wealth is not charitable. It’s easy to get the government to do your “charitable” work for you.Yeah? Try raising taxes. Hell, try raising the debt ceiling. (Argument not valid in cases of corporate welfare, because I freely admit, I've never had a hard time getting the government to handle that for me.)
Government programs of theft and entitlement do not make someone compassionate.However, Title XII, a government program of wire fraud and emolument has been shown to make participants increasingly puissant.
Those who advocate the theory that Jesus was a socialist point to the rich man who was instructed to sell everything he owned and give his money to the poor, and then to follow Jesus (Matthew 19:21-24). The man went away crestfallen because he loved his wealth more than God. Jesus said, “It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Progressives read this and then somehow make the extraordinary leap of logic that the government must seize and redistribute all wealth (while conveniently ignoring the “follow me” part).Actually, I think they read this paragraph and think, "Was that the quote? I thought it was something really catchy about a camel and the eye of a needle..."
Of course, Jesus was talking to an individual and suggesting an individual course of action.It's unfair to infer a larger meaning from any of his words, because that's not how parables work. They're very surgical.
He didn’t tell the rich man to pass a government program to take everyone’s money and give it to the poor. He didn’t hold a gun to the rich man’s head and tell him “donate or die.”Although if the Gospels contained credible reports that Jesus pulled a Glock .380 on the moneychangers, even progressives would have to admit that was a legitimate miracle. Or at least a really cool episode of The Wire.