Some time has passed since the Gosnell story broke the news. Even more time has passed since the Gosnell trial began. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you can read about the murder, scissors, feet, and blood here.
You can read about how conservatives took to Twitter and called the mainstream media out on its non-existent coverage of such a horrific story and subsequent murder trial. I was a part of the #Gosnell tweet fest and I won’t lie: it felt a little bit like what I imagine it might have felt like to dump cargos of Tea into the Boston harbor. Except tweeting is legal and so far hasn’t led to a war. Now, before you dismiss the #Gosnell media revolution, let’s realize that it’s possible that we, through mediums like Twitter, might be the new watchdog of the watchdog (media). Especially if the media continues to insist on such strong liberal bias.
The Gosnell story hit me in the gut – like really hard. I confess that I cry at the drop of a hat where abortion is concerned. The babies. The mother! The BABIES! The MOTHER! I go back and forth in a blubbering mess, unable to decide who I cry more for. But this? I had to step away from the computer to get a hold of myself. Anyone who has had a baby knows that feeling of instantly personalizing it (or maybe that’s just a woman thing?) But when I see a baby corpse laying in a tray, it’s my baby. I see my Jonny usually, because he’s my most recent baby. Maybe I am weird.
But maybe I am on to something.
These are our babies. Our fellow Americans at the very least. And as much as the pro-choice movement wants to demagogue about it, saying that if only abortion were legal under any and all circumstances to every woman with just the snap of her finger, there would be no Gosnells. Yeah, not buying it. Why? Well because at the end of the day, the abortion procedure will still stop a life. Even if it’s sanitary and hush-hush. And we are talking late second and third trimester lives where Gosnell is concerned. The horrifying thing about abortion is that it is murder. More access to it doesn’t make it less gory.
And where does Obama stand on Gosnell? Well, he won’t say. But we have only to look at policy and history to know. Obama supports partial birth abortions (WAY different than what Gosnell was doing, of course, because the partially birthed and aborted baby isn’t totally out of the birth canal.) <inject sarcasm.> It doesn’t stop there, either. Obama opposed Born Alive Infant Acts which would protect a baby who survives a failed abortion. Nope, we can’t have that, Obama and his progressive cohorts want unwanted babies dead. We at The Civic Arena have, at great length, shown arguments in favor of abortion to be illogical and at times, silly.
Yet, here we are still. Logic doesn’t seem to matter to the abortion supporter. What matters is our “right” to terminate life growing in the womb. Doug Wilson gives this analogy:
“It is as though some horrible event happened in Canada that caused a stream of refugees to head for our border, and someone with very precise legal reasoning skills developed the schizophrenic policy of shooting the refugees on their side of the border, but demanding the ultimate in medical care for them if they managed to make it across the border alive…Gosnell’s problem is not with what he was doing, which countless progressives have defended with their special kind of passionate malice, but with where he was doing it.”
America, it’s time to stop covering our eyes and humming a loud tune to deafen the sound of aborted babies screaming for help. And thanks to Gosnell, we now know that they do actually scream.
I am ending on an unnerving note. But I think it’s appropriate if we are a little bit unnerved by this. It’s horrific. I hope it continues to be exposed for the terror that it is.
”Obama says abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Unfortunately, it’s only legal.” - Alveda King
**Updated** It has been pointed out to me that the State Dept. HAS called for Saeed’s release back in January. Even so, I stand by my statements in this post and counter that they should do what it takes to bring Saeed home. And there remains some ‘splainin to do about the contrasts I point out regarding the Obama Administration.
If you are from around here, you have most likely heard the urgent call to sign petitions and spread the word about a pastor — a US Citizen — who is being held in one of Iran’s most horrific and bloody prisons, Evin, located in Tehran. His crime? Well, we don’t really know. He is ethnically Iranian and re-entered the country lawfully, to help start a non-sectarian orphanage. Being a convert to Christianity from Islam has made him a target, and he is now in prison for “threatening the national security of Iran.”
(As an aside, if only we could cause Iran to shake in their boots merely by sending a baby-faced pastor there to start an orphanage! Smell fishy to anyone else?)
Here is the “threat” in all of his scary glory:
I hope you have heard about this even if you aren’t from Boise, where Pastor Saeed Abedini was living before his imprisonment.
I hope you have heard about him if you aren’t a Christian and don’t totally care what other countries do to Christians.
Here’s why: Today I have learned that when Saeed’s ferociously brave wife showed up to testify before the State Department regarding the life of her husband, again I remind you, a US Citizen, somebody just couldn’t find any time to show up.
Too busy procuring $250,000,000 to deliver to Egypt?
The sad truth unravels: The people we have chosen to represent us on Capitol Hill may or may not have a minute to represent us when it really counts. I speak of the Obama Administration, specifically the State Department. I know we don’t directly elect those in the State Department. But we elect the president, and we trust him to choose people who have our best interest in mind.
The European Union has spoken up and called for Pastor Saeed’s release. But not the country he chose to be a citizen of. You know, the country that requires ten truckloads of red tape in order to become a “citizen.” Saeed was honored to put in the hours of study and tests in order to have the privilege of calling the USA his home.
But the feelings apparently are not mutual.
Here is a picture of Naghmeh before testifying in Washington DC. She holds a flag that the US gave Saeed upon receiving his citizenship. This picture is very touching. She is smiling warmly, she’s dressed up and looks very classy. And I am certain I see a glimmer of pride in the way she is holding that box with the flag.
We are so thankful to be US Citizens. We want Saeed to come home to us (he has two small children as well). Please, USA, can’t you speak up and help us bring Saeed home?
They are not demanding any entitlements. They are invoking the right as US Citizens to be protected and defended abroad. Yet, Secretary Kerry and his cohorts have no time. No time to send anyone to the hearing.
President Obama claims to not favor Muslims over others, and to not have any special admiration for Iran. Yet an opportunity arises for him to prove his own claims true by demanding Saeed’s release and he chooses silence. I must ask, why?
President Obama claims to put the interests of America, and by extension, her citizens, first. Yet while Saeed is being beaten in prison, rumored to be on the verge of death itself, Obama is busy sending $250,000,000 to Egypt. I ask, why does he have time and money for Egypt, but cannot find time — merely minutes — to call for the release of one of his own?
President Obama supports the rights of illegal immigrants to live, work, study, and die in this country. Yet by his silence he lets Americans assume that an immigrant here illegally is more precious than one who has earned citizenship and is about to die abroad. I ask again, why?
This is why every American should care about the fate of Pastor Saeed. And it is why every American should take note of the response of a progressive ideology to the cry of an individual.
I am not one for Obama conspiracy theories, in fact I detest them because they are usually based in speculation and fear. But there are times when this administration makes it very hard to not think that the darker forces are at work.
President Obama, some of us want to think the best of you, but you make it extremely difficult. Could you throw us a bone this time? Call for Pastor Saeed’s immediate release.
Is there ANYONE out there who benefits from Obamacare?
I’m asking in all sincerity.
I have not read the 1400 page bill. I am not an expert on the politics of health care. However, I am a partaker of our health care system, and have used it fully. I also realize that we won’t see the full benefits of Obamacare until next year. But from what I have seen so far, it scares me.
I had the opportunity to meet with my health insurance agent recently. What an eye opener! When she sent us our new rates for this year, it did not compute. I thought they would go down. My medical risk went down (by three points!) and Obamacare surely would provide some relief! But instead, my rates went up. I immediately set up an appointment (with my agent, unfortunately President Obama wouldn’t see me).
There seems to be this strange assumption that health insurance is the same as health care. Obamacare does not provide affordable health care to anyone (except those few extra people who now qualify for Medicaid). Obamacare mandates health insurance.
Don’t think for a moment that just because you have health insurance, that you automatically get health care. I have found that paying for an expensive family policy provides me with very little health care coverage. And with the new Obamacare guidelines, I am actually provided with even less than I had before Obamacare.
Tell me this: Does a policy that has a $7000 deductible before it pays for anything other than a minimal number of doctor’s visits considered to be health care? If I still have to pay for my medication, additional doctor’s visits, any tests I need and most surgeries, is it really accurate to say that having insurance also means that I have health care? And if I spend almost $700 a month for this policy, how in the world am I supposed to be able to afford to go to the doctor and get “health care.”
I will say that this policy provides fantastic insurance that comprehensively covers all of my health care needs IF I meet the $12,000 max out-of-pocket (up 20% from last year). So, to get great health care, it only costs my middle-class family $20,000 per year (premiums plus max out-of-pocket). What a deal!
I know, you might be thinking, “These aren’t typical prices. She had cancer.” Silly me, I thought it was people like me that Obamacare was going to help. But to put it in perspective, this year our rates went up $100 per month. Not because of me. The rates of our children went up, our perfectly healthy, non-income generating, dependent children.
My agent explained it this way; Obamacare dictates that the rates for the most expensive (high risk) policies cannot be more than THREE TIMES the rates of the least expensive (low risk). That might make you think that means the high-risk rates (mostly elderly) would decrease, and perhaps they have, just a teeny bit (although mine didn’t). But what that really means is that rates go up for the young and healthy.
As a nice little bonus, I now have a $1000 prescription deductible. Yes, you read that right. Before I get any prescription coverage, I have to pay $1000. This is not included in the $7000 deductible. This is in addition to that. Once I meet my $1000 deductible they pay a whopping 50%. But don’t worry, I’ll meet that deductible before we are half way through the year.
The problem is, Obamacare makes little rules that are supposed to help us – like eliminating caps on prescription benefits. The insurance companies have to make that up somewhere. “How?” By raising our prescription deductibles.
Tell me President Obama, where is the relief to the middle class? Isn’t that what you promised? No more excuses!
I now have to make a choice: Pay my mortgage and feed my family OR buy a health insurance policy that costs more than I can afford and still requires me to pay for almost all of my health care. Hmmm…
I innocently asked my agent, “With rates like these, there must be a lot of people who just don’t buy insurance. What is the penalty if we don’t have insurance.”
Yes, that’s right. Just NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS. Per year.
Sign me up for that! I can’t afford $20k a year. I already had to pay almost that much. Twice.
I’m pretty sure that as long as I don’t have a cancer recurrence, we won’t come even close to that amount if we just pay for all our health care ourselves. If the cancer did come back, I’m pretty confident that all my medical expenses would be covered even without insurance. I’ve seen it happen over, and over, and over: hospital write-offs, grants, etc.
Although, perhaps as part of the sinking middle class, we may not be poor enough to qualify for many of those benefits. It really does pay to be poor. And it is just getting way too expensive not to be.
Once again I ask: Can anyone out there tell me how Obamacare benefits anyone, especially those who need the benefit?
Let’s look at some of my friends who make quite a bit less money than my family. Surely it will help them.
Some are on Medicaid. In some states (not mine) some will benefit from the Medicaid expansion. I confess, that will help some families.
The bulk of them don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it. They also don’t go to the doctor because they can’t afford it. Obamacare will now force them to pay money they don’t have for an insurance policy that will still require them to pay to go to the doctor, once again, with money they don’t have. How is that a benefit?
Instead, they will pay the miniscule $95 penalty and not have insurance. The only thing that changed was that they now have $95 less and still, no health care.
Forcing people to buy health insurance does not provide affordable health care. It seems obvious, although perhaps overly simplistic: the only way to make health care affordable is to reduce the cost of health care. This can only be done by confronting the giants that compromise the basic economic principle of supply and demand.
I won’t even get into what Obambacare is doing to businesses that are already under the heavy load of a tough economy.
It seems to me Obamacare is just making everyone pay a whole lot more money for a whole lot of nothing.
I’d love to know how Obamacare has affected you this year (good or bad). Please respond and share your stories!
How did our generation get stuck with such a raw deal when it comes to Social Security? I’m not bemoaning the fact that my mother and grandmother get it; I’m sick of the way government handles our money! There wasn’t a whole lot of foresight in the creation of SS.
Is it really wise to let our government take our hard earned money and put it into a fund for the use of generations ahead of us to retire, masked as a ‘due’ for our own retirement, no less?! Did anyone ever think that maybe the birth rate would decline immensely? Did anyone think that maybe people would live longer and longer? How about a bad economy and high unemployment on top of that? Let’s think that through.
The Social Security taxes you now pay go into the Social Security Trust Funds and are used to pay benefits to current beneficiaries. The Social Security Board of Trustees now estimates that based on current law… In 2017 (it) will begin paying more benefits than it collects in taxes and… in 2041, the Trust Funds will be depleted. Because people are living longer and the birth rate is low, the ratio of workers to beneficiaries is falling. Therefore, the taxes that are paid by workers will not be enough to pay the full benefit amounts scheduled. So, according to the SS Administration, our generation will pay the tax but won’t be able to collect on it when we retire.
Of course, I have heard the argument that this is a simple math problem to be fixed with increasing taxes. When does that line of thinking ever stop?! And how much do you have to raise the taxes to compensate for all of the changes I just mentioned? Let’s learn from history and our mistakes. Quit having the government take things over that are too important to mess with. Do we really want to give the US Government the opportunity to make us relive the Social Security mess with our healthcare?
Will our children be asking us, “Why did you get us into such a healthcare mess we can’t afford, when you knew how Social Security failed?”
I didn’t realize how emotional I was about the whole gun issue until I had a discussion with someone who was touting how good our President was to at least be doing something.
She admitted that what he was doing would not help (I think we all know it won’t help), but she felt he was to be admired for at least trying.
I beg to differ.
Doing something is not the same as finding a solution. When you do something that promotes your gun control agenda but has nothing to do with the actual problem that needs addressing, I’m leery that your motives are pure. I hadn’t allowed myself the connection of my children in a gun free zone to them being in danger. After my discussion, (maybe more like an emotional outburst that I’m not proud of), I realized the depth of my feelings when it comes to my children’s safety and guns.
Every day, millions of parents drop their kids off in these supposedly “safe” places of learning where not one of the caring, responsible adults in charge have any means of protecting the kids they are so diligently caring for. The emotionally disturbed and mentally deranged know these are the easiest targets. Here’s the solution: have teachers and administrators (those who are willing) go through classes and training so they can carry a firearm for the protection of our children and themselves. I would trust any one of the wonderful teachers and administrators at our school to responsibly carry a weapon for protection.
My children would be much safer for it, and then we can call our schools “Gun Safe Zones.”
I know the thought of a teacher carrying a gun gets some people’s hackles up, but they would soon realize this will cut these school massacres down to nothing newsworthy except that a crazy got stopped by a hero teacher. It is easy to have our peace-loving ideologies until it hits home in the most deplorable and grievous way. When that happens, we want a solution that works and we want it implemented now! There will always be evil and wicked people who will not abide by the law but at least give the good, law-abiding citizens a chance to prevail and win without adding grief to it.
So I ask again: Are guns the problem or the solution?
Recently, Hobby Lobby made known that they have no intentions of acquiescing to the dictates of the HHS Mandate and they are willing to face the fines that will likely follow. To the tune of over a million dollars. A day.
A corporate giant refusing to kowtow to government dictates at their very own expense should inspire in us courage and awe. At the very least it should renew our faith in Corporate America. Maybe there are some wealthy and powerful white men who aren’t the spawn of Satan? The jury is still out on that one as there are folks who still find fault with Hob Lob’s stance, nevermind their apparent absence of monetary greed.
So Hobby Lobby is being accused of “forcing their beliefs on others.” Let’s give a collective shout: “What in the world???” It’s true. Some people actually think that because Hobby Lobby won’t include provisions for the abortion pill in their insurance policy, they are “forcing” their beliefs on America and the next logical conclusion we must reach is that Hobby Lobby will single-handedly usher in a new era of forcing all Americans to be Christians “just like them.” Wow, who knew southern folk who have a penchant for sewing fabric and picture frames could lead such a revolution?! It really brings new meaning to “domestic threat.” We better keep an eye on the Pioneer Woman, I am sure she has a hand in this revolution too.
As Christians, I highly doubt the Green family (owners of Hob Lob) expect to be treated with the same respect that a minority religious group might receive from the liberal steamroller that authored Obamacare, including the HHS Mandate. Truth be told, they know the Bible tells Christians to expect to be hated because Jesus was hated. Yet, we live in America, and America is supposed to be free. Meaning business owners are supposed to be free to run their business, secular or not, how they want to run it.
Yet over the years we have seen religious freedom become replaced by religious tolerance. And when it comes to Christianity, there is just no tolerating it. Why, you may ask? Well, because Christianity is INTOLERANT, duh! So we have a family who would like to quietly be allowed to run their business according to the dictates of their conscience, not telling anybody what to do, yet they are shot down hard by the oh-so-tolerant Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
It’s really a liberal problem.
If a company that offers employment to people chooses not to offer a certain controversial and unnecessary medical procedure to it’s employees, how is that the same as “forcing” beliefs on anyone? What about supporting tolerance of Hobby Lobby’s religious conviction?
Well here’s the clincher. The tolerance gig only goes one way. If what I am doing is agreeable to liberal progressives, they are tolerant and encourage tolerance. If it goes against said ideology, tolerance is not the issue, my intolerance is the issue. And it becomes a crusade filled with hate speech – er, I mean, “reasons” why my ideology should be crushed. (Yes, I know, nevermind that just by saying that Christianity is intolerant and shouldn’t be allowed to be expressed against the wishes of liberal ideology, the say-er would be found guilty of intolerance. It doesn’t matter that they be consistent or intellectually honest, only that they be passionate and loud.)
In the name of tolerance, liberal progressive Americans are happy to snuff out others – business owners for now – because it forwards with their own ideology. The issue is silencing opponents of the liberal agenda and the end justifies the means, as always. So the same intolerance that has liberals worked up into a foamy lather does not apply to them. Makes perfect sense right?
Americans of good, moral conscience, please wake up to the foul odor of circumstantial ethics. The end does not justify the means and we must start holding the preachers of tolerance accountable for their hypocrisy. Let’s just start by simply and kindly pointing it out and asking them to defend their intolerance. They might say we are intolerant, but guess what? I am not the one claiming to be the messenger of the gospel of tolerance, so I don’t care. Jesus didn’t preach tolerance of all behaviors, he preached love of all people. They are not the same thing.
Oh, and OBVIOUSLY, if you want free access to the abortion pill, don’t apply for a job at Hobby Lobby. Seriously?! How is this complicated?
It’s still America. And America is still a free country. Stand down, Hob Lob haters, and go preach your violent message of tolerance to someone else, we are busy fighting to keep our freedom.
Is it “more Christian” to be principled in the realm of politics? Being a Christian, I am very much for principles in general. Biblical principles, specifically, guide my daily life and have brought me much joy. Even while facing horrible circumstances, when I follow these principles and I am able to keep walking in joy. That is supernatural and only possible through Jesus Christ.
But what about being “principled” when it comes to politics? The best example I can think of to illustrate my point is the 2012 election.
Many Christians who would normally vote Republican felt that they could not vote for Romney for whatever reason. He was just like Obama, he was Mormon, he wasn’t staunch enough on social issues. There were a lot of reasons that Christians did not vote for Romney. Many of these voted instead for Ron Paul, some other candidate, or they refrained from voting. I want to look at the two approaches and analyze them to ascertain what a Bible-believing Christian like me should do next time I am faced with this dilemma.
Christians who voted for Romney were the pragmatics. They realized that while Romney wasn’t their first choice, it was all about strategy and reality; he was the only option to truly defeat Obama. And defeating Obama was the biggest goal on November 6th 2012 for a pragmatic.
Christians who voted for a secondary candidate or didn’t vote, were the principled. They claimed that it didn’t matter how everything shook down between Romney and Obama, they couldn’t cast their vote for Romney because it would violate their conscience to do so. (Plus Romney and Obama were pretty much the same anyway.) They truly believe that if all people voted based on principle, and not based on pragmatics and strategy, Ron Paul would have had a chance.
Pragmatics tried to convince the principled that “not voting for Romney or not voting at all was in fact, a vote for Obama, who is surely much worse than Romney.” But the principled argued back, “Only a vote cast for Obama is a vote for Obama.” The principled voter’s conscience stood clear of being guilty of voting for Obama by omission.
So, using this very heated issue between Romney and Paul/not voting supporters and the 2012 election, which way do you think is best supported by the Bible? I realize any time we try and synthesize the Bible and politics it is not perfectly seamless. There are cultural considerations to be made. But for those of us who believe that the wisdom of the Bible applies to everyday life, there is a place for this discussion.
I am in earnest when I say that although I sided with the pragmatics last fall, I don’t know for sure that it was the most biblical thing to do. It felt to me more like trying to stop a destructive flood (another four years of Obama.) This to me, was the biblical thing to do in light of the abortion issue which could be a whole separate four part series, from which I will spare you (for today!)
Clearly, neither the pragmatics nor the principled won last November.
What can we learn from all of this and how can we avoid working against each other in 2016?
I have cried, I have been praying and I can’t stop thinking about it. Having lost a child myself, but under much more peaceful circumstances, I can only imagine what those parents in Newtown are going through. I will continue to pray for them. It seems a little too soon to get into this, so if you aren’t up for it yet, feel free to visit a different day to read this post. I feel an urgency to share this from my heart. Social media and the news are ablaze with blame-placing. It’s natural because people want assurance that they can be safe. And some less intelligent folks want to use this tragedy as a chance to forward their political agenda. Shame on them. In the days to come I am sure we will see blame placed on guns, the public school system, entertainment, culture, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and video games, etc. But in this moment of silence and grief, I want to share the real reason why horrendous crimes are committed and the hope that follows.
Sin is to fault for the shooting this morning.
If we are shocked that this could happen, we don’t understand the nature of sin. Sin separates us from God. That’s the worst part about it. But if you aren’t very religious and that doesn’t really motivate you because you don’t care whether or not you are separated from God, there are other aspects of sin that should push you into the arms of a loving God.
The murder of babies, for example.
The ones sitting in classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary today. That was the handiwork of sin. Sin is capable of the most terrible and unimaginable things and more.
It’s said over and over, “I just don’t understand how someone could do this!” Exactly. There is no understanding sin. There is no reasoning with it.
It’s very convenient for us all to point the finger at the Adam Lanzas, the James Eagan Holmeses, the Dylan Klebold and Eric Harrises of the world. It’s them. They are sickos. They are mentally ill. And, yep, they probably are all of those things, hands down. But do they just come that way? Are they “less evolved” than the rest of us? If their life had been perfect, would they have turned out differently? Well, that is what some people would have us believe. But the truth is that no matter what else is at play — be it mental illness or abuse — sin is at the root of it all.
The Bible doesn’t rank some sins as “okay” and others as “horrible.” All sin equally separates us from God.
Where does that put the little white lie you told your friend so you wouldn’t “hurt her feelings?”
What about quickly erasing the history on your computer so nobody knows what websites you’ve visited?
How about when you put your own desires ahead of the needs of others?
What I am getting at is that if we are shocked beyond belief that someone could murder little elementary babies, we do not understand the nature of sin and how far it can take a person down the path of destruction. Any person. We might enjoy making nice little boxes where we place mass murderers and quantify them as different than us. We can distance ourselves and thereby feel above it all. But the same leaning toward sin exists within all of us. As Christians, we have been forgiven for the sins we commit, and we have been washed clean because we have repented and turned to Christ. But we don’t get a free pass to escape that inner leaning toward sin. And as the Apostle Paul so aptly stated, we still have to wrestle with this “body of death,” doing the things we hate and don’t want to do! We cling to the cross and choose to walk in humility as much as possible and trust the Holy Spirit to show us when we aren’t doing so. (And He does!)
The best news though, is that forgiveness is more powerful than sin. When we turn from sin and receive Christ, he forgives us for all sin and He doesn’t remember it. If we don’t “feel” forgiven, we don’t understand forgiveness. There is nothing we could do that He would not forgive.
Please take this opportunity to evaluate your belief system. Jesus is the only Comforter for the the families of Newtown. He is the only Refuge for the frightened.
He is our only Hope.
By David Moberly
Recently, our President compared his concepts of wealth redistribution with his opinion of how Jesus would want him to live. President Obama is not the only Progressive to make this claim, this is a typical talking point for the Democratic Party in defense of their efforts to raise taxes on the wealthy in America. I’m all for living according to conscience; in fact, I’m all for that conscience playing a large part in affecting your legislation and politics. But let us examine whether or not his claim has merit. The premise is that the Bible (and Jesus) endorses the right of government to confiscate private wealth to re-distribute it, whether through programs or disparate taxation, to the impoverished or unemployed. Is this a teaching or concept that Christ taught or implied? This four part series seeks to describe God’s view of money and how that relates to government and everyday life.
Most would look to the story of the Rich Young Ruler as the evidence that Christ believed that wealthy people should always sell off their goods and distribute the proceeds to charity. This story certainly shows us that Jesus was in favor of sharing, giving and charity for the poor — no questions there. The real question is, does this story give us an aggregate view of Christ’s stance on wealth and charity in general, or could this be a case of personal advice given to one man, and not a blanket statement for wealth in general? Jesus concludes this story by telling the disciples that it is harder for a rich man to get into Heaven than for a camel to travel through the eye of a needle. In another example of Jesus’ teachings, He advocates giving to Caesar (government) what is due Caesar, and giving to God that which belongs to God. So we can conclude:
A) Wealth is not necessarily advantageous to eternal life (in fact, it can be a hindrance.)
B) God does indeed favor the idea of wealthy people giving their money of their own free will to help the poor.
C) God favors us paying the taxes we owe to our civil leaders.
None of these lead us to the obvious conclusion that re-distributive legislation is God’s will. They also do not give us a clear moral foundation that God is opposed to people having wealth. Most people in favor of taxing the rich heavily would not say that being wealthy is morally wrong, but rather that their responsibility to society is to either give more to help support those that cannot support themselves and/or pick up a larger share of the tab of government spending. They typically argue from a stance of “fairness,” since it is obvious that those who have money are clearly better with the handling of money than those who do not have money.
In fact, fairness really is the only intelligent argument for excessive taxation of the rich for the benefit of State and the Poor.
Often the arguments for social welfare attempt to show that unemployment and welfare actually benefit the economy. This is, of course, a very weak argument. Unemployment or welfare dollars may be immediately spent back into the economy, therefore creating less of a net loss of opportunity, but that is a far cry from being “beneficial” to the economy as a whole. Handout money, not unlike taxed income, has been transferred with no real production in return. Other advocates of socialist economics point to successful (typically temporary) programs that yielded successful results. Or they use arguments for countries that are not bankrupt as their reason for cling to Keynesian Economics. The argument may say something like, “If FDR hadn’t adopted socialism, America would not have recovered as quickly from the Great Depression.” Again, these arguments are very weak. For every successful country built upon re-distributive fiscal policies, there are multiple free market economies to counter the argument. To speculate that Keynesian Economics helped to climb out of the Great Depression is simply that, speculation.
So again, I would argue that the only intelligent argument for re-distributive tax policy is the argument “it’s only fair.” In the next three segments, we will explore the fairness argument in light of the teachings of Christ and of the Bible in general.
David is former of student of Boise State University where he holds an Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Economics. He is a recent graduate of Harvest International Training Center, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Theological Studies and works as a Mortgage Lender for First Mortgage Company of Idaho. David is an Idaho born, lifelong resident currently living in Boise, ID. In February of 2013 he will be moving to Meridian with his new wife, Katey. He is passionate about how politics, spiritual truths and historical philosophy all play a key role in determining, “Que Veritas,” or “What is Truth.”
I realize that I am not the first to point this out, but I have noticed a new “branding,” if you will, of an old philosophy.
1. The practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
Traditionally, this philosophy was associated with the likes of communism or fascism. It is, at the core, a socialistic principle. In the past, to be an American opposed to collectivism was like being a human who breathes air. Any mention of collectivism even a generation ago, would immediately be associated with socialism at the very least.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced the idea of collectivism in his 1762 work, Social Contract. Which inspired Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Which inspired the Nazi movement and a whole bunch of other atrocities. But what happens when an old philosophy gets a new “look?”
The same thing that happens when my grandmother’s polyester shift dress gets a new “look.” It sells for a couple hundred dollars at J.Crew and makes the same girl who scoffed at pictures of grandma wearing it 50 years ago, now drool over it.
Case in point.
Here are some lines of reasoning that I’ve heard tossed around lately. They sound so inspired, as if the person truly and deeply cares about people. But after a closer look, it is clear that there is nothing new under the sun.
“I think it’s so important for us to parent all children and not just our own.”
“Parents who aren’t capable of schooling their children well should have to put them in public school so they can receive a ‘good’ education.”
“People who have more money should pay higher tax rates.”
“Everyone should be happy to do whatever needs to be done in order to ensure that all Americans get the same opportunities.”
“We need treaties with the UN such as CRC and CRPD, because they will protect abused children and those with disabilities all around the world.”
“Government just does some things better. Like taking care of the poor.”
To each of these statements I would reply, “At what cost?” Or “Who gets to decide the standards for that?” Do you see how problematic this becomes? And instead of noticing the subtleties of collectivist thought, we just smile and nod, thinking (wrongly) that the person who just said it is so very thoughtful and caring. Perhaps these people do love others and care about the poor. But they are severely misguided if they believe collectivism is the route to happiness for all. Thankfully, today America voted against collectivism as UN CRPD was defeated! Let this send a message loud and clear that America and collectivism are forever incompatible.
Collectivism will always produce a dependent society and there will always be an ambitious person, hungry for power, who will capitalize on the dependency of such society. Just like polyester will always be uncomfortable to wear, no matter how chic it looks.