Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama and Wealth

Much has been written and screamed about lately about Barack Obama and 'socialism'. The fact that Mr Obama wants to spread around the wealth of our society is viewed as a Marxist evil while greed and the concentration of wealth are viewed as "American" and "free". Keeping ones money is a mantra for the Republican candidate. Most of the self professed Republicans are "christians". What that means we do not really know? But we know what Jesus had to say about what he demands from his followers on this score. Does what Jesus demanded jive with what McCain is proposing?

Matthew 25, 31-46 New Jerusalem Bible

31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.
32 All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome,
36 lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me."
37 Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?"
40 And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."
41 Then he will say to those on his left hand, "Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink,
43 I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me."
44 Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?"
45 Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me."
46 And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.'

Does it sound like Jesus would vote for John McCain and the monied class? Or Barack Obama? What would Jesus do? It seems to me that this answer is clear. The world Christian is used by scoundrels throughout history. But in fact the "christians" who have run the Republican party are truly Goats to use Matthew's words.


Michael Rew said...

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7 KJV).

Jesus would encourage people to give willingly and cheerfully, not grudgingly because they need to pay taxes. Jesus did tell the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give to the poor; but then He also told the rich man to follow Him. Maybe the government should force people to follow Jesus, too? And after the rich young ruler went away sorrowing, Jesus confronted Zacchaeus, who, a tax collector, gave half his goods to the poor and returned fourfold all he had cheated from people. Maybe IRS agents should be required to go and do likewise.

Providence said...

Perhaps the separation of church and state is an idea worth revisiting, as the interpretation of sacred screed might be a less timely guide to the distribution of resources than the contemporary needs of society as it is actually lived. Mind that resources ("wealth" or by any other name) are always distributed/redistributed. The choice is and could never be as the bulk of Republican rhetoric pitches it: between keeping one's own and submitting it to the whims of an elite "decider."