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Monday, February 15, 2016

Christians and the Socialist Democrat

Here's a new one to me. "Christians who take Jesus's words seriously would support Bernie Sanders for president." As it turns out, there are those that argue that this is true.

Looking at how he plans to pay for his proposals, here's where Bernie Sanders stands. "The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time." Thus, he will tax corporations on offshore tax havens (estimated at near $100 billion annually) to pay for the $1 trillion plan to rebuild infrastructure because Jesus favored taxing companies to make jobs. He would tax Wall Street speculators to pay for universal free college education and reducing college loan debt because Jesus opposed Wall Street speculators and favored free college education. If there had been demonstrations in Jesus's day calling for free education, Jesus would have been right there with them, we're pretty sure. He would expand Social Security by making the wealthy pay a higher percentage because Jesus favored forcing rich people to pay for the needs of the poor. He would create a $5.5 billion youth jobs program by closing a tax loophole on billionaire hedge fund managers because ... well, we already established that Jesus favored forcing rich people to pay for the needs of poor people. (Isn't it funny that in one breath Christians will argue that God doesn't want puppets and true obedience must be voluntary to be of any value, then in the next they will favor heavy taxation of the wealthy in order to force them to be more "generous" toward those with less?) He will protect pensions by closing tax loopholes on inherited money because Jesus both despised inherited money and favored pensions. "Charity begins at home," they say, and by that they mean "At the homes of people who make much more than I do" and "By force if necessary." Other expensive plans of his would include a required 12-week paid family leave for all workers and universal healthcare for all Americans paid for by, you guessed it, more taxes. But, don't worry, this time it's much more expansive. The paid leave would just cost ever working American about $85 (more) a year in taxes and the universal healthcare is a simple 6.2% for employers and 2.2% for workers along with "progressive income tax rates, taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work, limiting tax deductions for the rich, adjusting the estate tax, and savings from health tax expenditures." Because Jesus certainly favored paid family leave and universal healthcare. In the mind of a country that has declared "Believe what you want, but keep your God out of the public square", these are divinely-granted human rights, don't you know? At least, Jesus would have said so.

I don't understand any of this. Some may surely see these things as "good" or "wise" (I don't really know how, but that's okay -- I'm tolerant), but in what world is it "Christian", as in, "what Jesus taught"? When did Jesus favor taking from the rich to give to the poor? When did Jesus address income inequality, education, a living wage, climate change, or tax reform? Without even addressing the truth, reasonableness, or wisdom of such things, when did it become about Jesus? Because as far as my Bible reads, there isn't word one about any of that stuff.

They complain that Christians like me think that homosexual behavior is a sin (without actually suggesting that anyone pass laws to change it) or that marriage is between a man and a woman (without actually arguing that people who engage in homosexual practices shouldn't be allowed to be in a relationship) or that males are males and females are females and never the DNA shall meet (without actually demanding laws that prevent people from believing they are a gender other than they are) and worry that we are a threat to society. They want to undercut the people that make jobs for people, force those with money to give it to those they deem do not, and gut the free enterprise system. And we're the threat? We hold "this is right and that is wrong and we would like to introduce you to Jesus who will save you from your wrong" and they wish to determine your income and your values and we're the threat?

Vote for a socialist democrat if you like, but, please, don't equate it to anything like "Jesus's words". It just says that you don't know what Jesus was all about. The church -- most of us, at some time or another -- often makes the mistake of making moralism their cause. You know, making bad people into good people. That was not Jesus's aim. He did point out what was right and wrong, but not to get people to be right. His message was "Repent" and His call was "Come to Me" and His concern was redeeming sinners, not moralism. He said, "You must be born again", not "You've got to be good little boys and girls." When people make income inequality, free education, or taking from the rich to give to the poor a reflection of Jesus's words, they miss the point.
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Postscript: When Sanders' "real family values" include liberal abortion policies and strong LGBTQ rights positions and hinges on "family leave", you have to wonder what those words mean -- "real family values". Kill babies at any point of life prior to passing through the birth canal, erase the meaning of marriage and the natural family in favor of some other version, and call it "real family values" because at least you can get some time off for sickness or vacation. (Yes, vacation.) Favor Sanders if you will, but do not call it "real family values" or "like Christ".

1 comment:

Marshall Art said...

They confuse me when they speak of what Jesus did or didn't say.