Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rabbi Rightly Divides the Gospel, Rev. Jim Wallis and Karl Marx

President Obama has been calling Rev. Jim Wallis his adviser on "spiritual" matters and chooses him precisely because Wallis comes to most political matters with a well known and decidedly leftist outlook regarding the economy, healthcare and the environment, and with anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Western tilt, voguish in leftist circles, especially religious leftist circles.

In some ways, he is Rev. Wright toned down.

Wallis teaches that "redistribution of wealth is what the Gospel is all about."

And the President says, Amen!

Wallis decries the greed on Wall Street, and rightly so, but never mentions the greed and abuse by leftist union leaders and their organizations.

The President and Rev. Wallis teach doctrine that more closely relates to Marx, than to the gospels.

I've been planning to write about this for the past couple of weeks, however yesterday I changed my mind. At least for now.

No,no not my belief, but my plan to write about it. Yesterday I read a column that says what I was planning to say--except it's better than mine would have been.

And it was written by, of all things a Jewish. rabbi. Rabbi Aryeh Spero.

If you read nothing else today, please take a moment and read the following column:

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Obama's Liberal Clergy Confuse Karl Marx With The Holy Books

When it suits him, Barack Obama, who keeps reminding us this is not a Christian country and is against retaining In God We Trust on our coinage, trots out liberal ministers quoting from the New Testament and offering “what Jesus would have done” to sell his socialist political agenda to the American people.

Last month, was the second time Rev. Jim Wallis beamed while leaving the White House singing the President’s march, Onward Leftwing Soldiers. The President calls the Reverend Jim Wallis his adviser on “spiritual” matters and chooses him precisely because Wallis comes to most political matters with a well-known, decidedly leftist outlook regarding the economy, healthcare and the environment, and with the anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Western tilt voguish in leftist circles, especially religious leftist circles.

Wallis has stated that “redistribution of wealth is what the Gospels are all about. Absolutely.” He is also urging an “economic leveling of society.” The Rev. Wallis shares some of the views of Barak Obama’s previous “advisor”, Rev. Jeremiah Wright – they’re just toned down a bit.

Wallis cites the extreme poverty in many parts of the world as a need for us to redistribute our wealth not only domestically but also across the globe, as a way to achieve what he calls “biblical justice.”

But, if Wallis wishes to alleviate poverty, why would he choose the very redistributionist plans that have caused poverty in those areas and, worse, wish to institute them here, on us? Instead of depleting ourselves of wealth, why not teach others how to achieve their own prosperity?

I suspect Wallis knows all this, but, like so many on the left, is bothered by the fact that some live better than others and that constitutes “inequality.” Rather than lift others, it seems “fairer,” to the left, to bring us down. It is easier, quicker and provides the redistributionist with a sense of moral superiority.

Besides, there’s much more glitter in indicting the successful of one’s own country.

Like many in the left-wing clergy, Christian and Jewish, Wallis arrived at the seminary with a leftist view of the world, which subsequently colored his reading of Scripture.

No doubt, it is hypocritical for the Left to accuse conservative clergymen of mixing religion into politics when they ever more frequently cite religion to justify their leftwing politics. But, in a curious way, it reveals a hidden truth: their understanding of religion is rooted in their political beliefs and, thus, they are but mixing politics with politics.
Conversely, our reverence for religion is intrinsic and sees the goal of religion apart from political paradigms and utopias. Naturally, then, we are accused of being “too religious.” I, actually, take it as a compliment.

Though a Democrat, Wallis says, “God is not a Democrat or Republican.” That is true, but neither is He a left-wing ideologue, and it would seem that a loving God would desire prosperity for as many of His children as possible and not wish to penalize those who live by the virtues of hard work, sacrifice, discipline and responsibility that He has bequeathed to us. It only makes sense that God favors a system that provides his children with the greatest opportunities and avenues for economic prosperity and its concomitant condition of human dignity, uniquely sponsored in the Judeo-Christian outlook upon which America’s economic system is fashioned.

The social justice that God expects of us is handled not through statist redistribution of wealth but through acts of charity. In the Old Testament, there are constant calls for giving charity – but, none for statist redistribution of wealth, nor calls for an economic leveling of society or for a lack of distinctiveness and differences among individuals. Doing so runs contrary to the notion of the individual as a unique and distinctive being, which is the meaning behind “human created in the image of God”, i.e., singular beings.

The Bible calls for acts of charity from the individual, for in being direct and personal, charity has the ability to elevate and ennoble both the giver and provider. The direct act of giving changes the person and involves and partners him with God. Unlike Marxism, the Bible emphasizes the individual, not the state, the personal and not the “masses.”
Those who receive charity are taught the virtue of gratitude. When given everything by the state, however, through redistribution of wealth, recipients are taught not gratitude but a sense of entitlement.

Imbibing a sense of entitlement negates and corrupts the virtue of work that God himself announces as something good for man: “Six Days Shall Ye Work.” But, the leftist egalitarian is unwilling to accept the notion that there are benefactors and recipients, since it seems so “unequal.”

That the Bible never called for redistribution of wealth is obvious when considering that it required from its citizens only a tithing, a 10% giving. It mandated another 5% or so toward functionaries in the temple as a compensation for work they did on behalf of the citizenry, like civil servants. And while government certainly has a safety-net role, the state should eschew policies that enlarge dependency and certainly not manufacture conditions, as is the Obama Administration, that make redistribution of wealth inevitable.

The equality that God seeks is not in a manufactured across-the-board parity, but in “Equality before the Law.” In matters of law and redress before the court, all are equal, be they rich or poor. A virtuous and Godly society is not one that redistributes wealth but distributes law and justice across its population.

The Rev. Wallis is correct that Wall Street exhibits “greed,” yet finds nothing wrong with the work-rules and “Cadillac provisions” of unions that are rooted in greed. Nor does he castigate the greediness of millions who, out of a sense of entitlement, do not work or pay, but demand to be subsidized from the take-home pay of other people’s labors.

Evidently, it is not greed, but achievement born of capitalism, that bothers Wallis.

A society that is leveled is a society in which all become equally disadvantaged. Yet, many liberals prefer an equality of mediocrity and lack of wealth over one of achievement and prosperity if, in the end, prosperity means some have more than others, even though the poor directly benefit and live better because of the success of others. This is not social justice but socialism, which is a political category, not a moral category.

The greater the ability to create wealth, the more money is available for charity and good works. It is America’s men and women of wealth, imbued with religious and civic responsibility, who have served as the greatest patrons of the civic infrastructure, be it hospitals, libraries, museums, the arts, or the charitable United Way. England once had those patrons, but they went away as redistribution of wealth came in.

The primary theme of the Bible is individual responsibility, not entitlement and dependency. God wants the individual to be robust. The Rev. Wallis and others like him see the Bible as endorsing pacifism, be it pacifism in national defense and security matters or pacifism in economic matters. The religious left doesn’t see man solving problems through robust free-market activity but calls for, as they do regarding environmental challenges, retreat. They lack a belief in man’s ability, in man himself.

It is ironic that men of the cloth endorse the views of Karl Marx who despised the Bible.

Marx propounded his message and political outlook almost two millennia after the Bible was written. His outlook is not of the Bible. To him, religion was the opiate of the masses. Marx offered a new opiate for the people: redistribution of wealth and the welfare state. Clergy should think twice before endorsing the views of Karl Marx.

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8 comments:

  1. Socialism profits noone.

    Fantastic post, Gary, Thanks.

    Craig in Lacey

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  2. Excellent insight from this rabbi. Fitly spoken words indeed. I will happily share this here in liberal Northwest Washington and thank you, Gary, for bringing it to my attention! Town: Lynden, Washington

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  3. I'm going to pass this on to friends. Thanks Gary.

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  4. I simply wish people and organizations would stop refering to marxist Barack HUSSEIN Obama with the false prefix of "President".

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  5. I had someone tell me that he became tired of his students drivel about spreading the wealth. They were harping on the basketball players freeze as one of their examples. My professor friend said, "It is none of you business what they are paid. What they are paid is up to the business of sports. If the market is competitive and it warrants it - that is how much they are paid." The students went on to complain that the whole league could just collapse for all they care because they are all a bunch of spoiled brats. He did not disagree with them on that but then pushed the envelope and said, "OK, let's take a look at just what that would do. There go all the jobs at the stadiums, the revenues for the city or county or landowners, and the money from the fans stopping for lunch or dinner before the game, a drink after, the local street vendors. Then what about all the balls that are made and sold, the tennis shoes, the third world workers who have jobs because of those, the limo drivers, the airline tickets and all those people who work there." He was just getting started. Even they started chiming in and then said, "Wow! we never thought about all that." To which he simply said, "No kidding!!!" Then he finished with, "I have never met a poor man who could give someone a job."

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  6. 9:18pm

    You left out the part where the students said that it WAS their business because the NBA is a sanctioned monopoly which artificially inflates the ticket prices they have to pay. The students pointed out that you could break up the pro sports monopolies because there was plenty of sports talent available from colleges for many more teams. This would increase jobs by increasing the number of players and teams while lowering the salaries to more realistic levels. Ticket prices would be lower so that even more people could enjoy the games and support local economies by stopping for lunch or dinner, etc. More communities would benefit from more teams. More games would mean more jobs at more stadiums and more sold concessions. The professor said, "Wow! I never thought about all that." To which the students simply said, "No kidding!!!" Then they finished with, "I have never met anyone who created a job unless there were already people with money to spend at his business."

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  7. 8:19 you made me laugh. I like it. But I wish it was true. I have not experienced students thinking that clearly from the public school system with it's dumbing down of our children.

    You do remember that creating more football leagues and basketball leagues was already tried .. they thought it would lead to what you suggested and it did not.

    I also agree on your point about a person starting a business needs folks who have money to spend at their business. Hence we agree...that distribution of wealth does NOT help the poor.

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  8. 6:01

    Yes, I remember that new leagues and their failures. The NFL and NBA seem to have the market wrapped up and opening competing leagues from scratch seems too much. My discomfort is the way they limit the number of teams and players within their own monopolies (essentially). It's brilliant from the business management perspective. It works for them just as it works for the AMA. It keeps profits and value incredibly high. I feel that the fans and communities would benefit from more teams (and doctors since I brought it up). There's plenty of talent. But , in sports at least, it's their deal and I lost interest in pro sports years ago anyway. I love college and CFL football (go BC Lions). But that's just me.

    No, we don't agree on redistribution of wealth. A little bit off the top (that's sitting on the sidelines right now) redistributed to the lower income levels will circulate in local economies and actually create jobs by creating demand. The problem now is that there's no demand. I've known a lot of rich people, but I've never known one to create a job just because they had extra money. They create jobs when it will make them money.

    I'm assuming you buy the argument that taxing the rich will hurt job creation. Actually, I'm ok with giving them tax breaks, so long as it's after they actually create jobs, not before.

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