- Religion and Philosophy
Jesus and socialism
It has been noted by some proponents of leftist ideology that Jesus was one of the first socialists. This accusation is based on the admonition of the savior that the rich should give to the poor otherwise they could in no way inherit the kingdom of heaven. The scripture states; "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." -Matthew 10:25 I'm thinking that someone didn't do very much research when they came to the conclusion that the only effective way to give to the poor was through the dismantling of the free trade market and usurpation of power by government officials.
The distortion is that the savior advocated government mandated redistribution of wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. in fact there is a fundamental difference. On the one hand you are using your agency to give to the poor which is an admirable thing, and on the other hand the government takes your money by force. I recently heard Michael Moore say that he was a true Christian because he is looking out for the poor and wants to see them get a fair share. I would first off like to see Mr Moore lead by example by giving all of his money to the poor just as Jesus advocated. I however do not believe this will happen. I think he likes money more that he lets on. It is the same with him as it is with every other rich socialist who hypocritically believes that everyone else's money should be taken away from them. Another famous rich person, Mat Damon, said he could stand to be taxed a little more, But far be it for him to give away that extra money to a responsible charity, lets just give it to the government because they really know how to properly spend money.
The principle flaw in socialist thinking is that you are not asking people to exercise their free will to give to the poor according to the dictates of their conscious, rather you are making it a law that forces them to give away their money. Jesus would never implement this kind of force upon people. if we have learned nothing through a sad history of oppression and tyranny the world over, we should at the very least take away the learned fact that you cannot force people to believe something, you cannot take away their property without a fight, and you cannot make anybody love you or your God by force.
Those who wish to give to the needy through the pocketbooks of the unwilling can take no credit for moral charity, nor can they assert that this form of theft is a Christian value. When the savior spoke with a wealthy young man he told him to give all that he had to the poor. The man walked away in sorrow because his heart was affixed to his abundance of worldly possessions, and Jesus let him go with all his riches in tact.
In this scenario a Socialist would have gone into the man's house and taken away that which the man possessed and distributed it to the people. In this scenario socialist such as Mr. Moore have overlooked a principle commandment, "Thou shalt not steal."
It seems to be a fundamental fact that when socialism is implemented on a society two things happen; mass genocide, and the rise of a dictator. It goes without saying that bloodshed will always be a factor when individual freedom is on the line but what about God? Is he a dictator? I find it difficult to believe that anyone can compare the murderous ideology of socialism to the tenants of Christianity. The very words of Jesus advocate true charity, faith, and hope, where as the ideological despot Karl Marks talked of religion as an opiate for the masses, as though there is no hope
In a socialistic world everyone puts their share into the pot and the government gets to distribute it equally to every household regardless of their contribution, and otherwise dictate where the money gets put for other societal uses. There comes a point however when the people don't want to work as hard as the next guy because they get paid the same no matter how good or bad they are at their job.
As the bar becomes increasingly lower and lower so does the standard of living, and no matter what you do a single person can not change it unless an incentive is provided by the government to work harder so the people on the whole can get a little more. Once the government realizes that the people are not going to change for the better due to this unmovable standard of work ethic the need arises to rid the society of the useless factions that are weighing it down. This is the part where murder comes into play.
In contrast one of the most basic factors of our existence is free will, the ability to choose one's destiny. God gave us a mind to exercise our own judgment and to decide for ourselves weather to make righteous decisions or to work iniquity, the choice is ours.
One of the enemies of socialism is the church. The church is in competition with the government, it provides an alternate means of support for the people. The people support the church in it's finances and decides where to send aid to those who are struggling. But in a socialistic world there is no extra money to give to the church and it would be ineffective at performing this major function to help the needy, and as the savior said "ye have the poor with you always" -Mark 14:7 we can't just get rid of them.
Historically socialist governments have used the church to manipulate their people. They hired clergy men who were government workers and put them in place to spy on their own people. They taught the faithful that their allegiance is to the government and that God and the afterlife are a distant second.
Though only regarded as a mere premise of thought, the two clashing ideologies of capitalism and socialism are constantly at odds and it is these ideas that are always under question. The question arises, was there a time when the people stood with a unanimous voice that the United States would not succumb to the tenets of social justice. It seems to be that in hindsight this is true, but even in the conversationalist days of God fearing, freedom loving, American antiquity there has been an opposition movement, and some form of ideology which on the surface seemed like an easy fix for the economic woes of the country
"We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening." Ronald Regan