Judeo-Christian Principles and “Socialism”

If you believe that the United States is built on Judeo-Christian principles, why would you oppose the redistribution of wealth?

I saw this quote in an article on the elections by George Packer.

A Republican poll watcher who only gave her name as Lorna said, “I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not ever approve of distribution of wealth, and I am not a socialist, this country is not socialist, we are founded on Judeo-Christian principles. [emphasis added]

And I have to admit that I’m baffled that so many of the same people who claim that the country is built on Judeo-Christian principles are also opposed to the redistribution of wealth. Because generosity to the poor–including redistribution–is very much a Judeo-Christian principle.

For example, from the Book of Acts, Chapter 4:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

The Old Testament is even more full of commands for the state that fall under what a lot of the Tea Partiers would consider “socialist”, from gleanings to the Year of Jubilee to prohibitions against the charging of interest.

Then, of course, there’s this famous story:

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,'[a] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'[b]”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The Bible is many things, but it’s not particularly pro-capitalist nor is it anti-redistribution.

This is not to say that a good Christian can’t support a secular state, or think that redistribution is bad politically, even as he himself gives to private charity. But generosity to the poor is a fundamental Judeo-Christian principle, and it’s nonsensical to simultaneously believe that the country’s government is based on Judeo-Christian principles and then be opposed the government operating on those principles.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Religion, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. JimmyCracksCapricorns says:

    I was always confused as a child about what I was taught in SUnday school and CCD, and even as I got older and was in Church on Sundays how such teachings conflicted with almost all business practices and the anally retentive attitude about taxes, and govt. spending, but then a willingness to unbridle your wallet to build more ships, planes, bombers, and other far out weapons systems.

    The abject, out front and center hipocrisy of the evangelical right just blows me away sometimes. They confuse those with real needs with those sluffers who are nursing from the teet or committing fraud. Many of those committing fraud are the very wealthy, or the rich criminal element committing fraud in billing the govt. for services (no bid contracts, medicare/medicaid fraud, subsidies) who they chit chat with on Sundays….

    All 3 religions to come from the middle east are a great fraud on the collective human soul. Judaism + Christianity + Islam = Axis of Evil Against the Soul of Mankind.

  2. Mark says:

    Giving to and helping the poor are foundations of a Christian life. We are supposed to do it. The difference is, we’re supposed to do it of our own volition and choose whom we help. I don’t think the Bible advocates government forcing us to give up income to be redistributed as how it sees fit.

    1
  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    *** and it’s nonsensical to simultaneously believe that the country’s government is based on Judeo-Christian principles and then be opposed the government operating on those principles.*** come on man………..

  4. george says:

    “I don’t think the Bible advocates government forcing us to give up income to be redistributed as how it sees fit.”

    Hm, pretty sure the Bible says we are to give onto Caesar …

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    I don’t think the Bible advocates government forcing us to give up income to be redistributed as how it sees fit.

    Re-read Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

  6. B. Minich says:

    I would point out that the two New Testiment examples are where people voluntarily do these things. Jesus asked one guy to sell his belongings. Plus, this was in reaction to his claiming to have kept the law since his youth: kind of a practical test. “Let’s start at the first commandment, and see if you have any other gods before me.” In Acts, this describes the Christian community within the Roman state.

    That being said, the Old Testiment describes a state which does intervene in more socialist ways. But I’m OK with that. I don’t see it as socialist, but there are some “social welfare” type of things. To make a long story short, I’m uncomfortable with the unthinking acceptance of most Christians of GOP policies.

  7. anjin-san says:

    Bottom line is that it is a lot easier to slap a bumper sticker that says “I love Jesus” on your SUV than it is to actually practice what he taught.

  8. Eric Florack says:

    One point you’ve missed, Alex… at what point in any biblical reference was government at the force thereof, a requirement?

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    @Eric – Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
    25
    A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
    Proverbs 11:24-25

    1
    “Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2
    “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
    3
    But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
    4
    so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    Matthew 6:1-4

    13
    But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
    14
    and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
    Luke 14:13-14
    17
    If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
    18
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
    I John 3:17-18

    In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
    Acts 20:35

    Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    II Corinthians 9:7

    Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
    Ecclesiastes 5:10

    Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
    Hebrews 13:2

  11. Alex Knapp says:

    @G.A. – you’re just underlying the point that generosity is a Judeo-Christian principle.

    Do you agree that the U.S. government is based on Judeo-Christian principles?

    Then this would count, right?

  12. Herb says:

    “I don’t think the Bible advocates government forcing us to give up income to be redistributed as how it sees fit.”

    I don’t think the Bible has that “your own volition” condition either. Of course, maybe it’s in the original Greek.

  13. ponce says:

    In America “Christian” is just shorthand for greedy, judgmental and bloodthirsty.

  14. Drew says:

    Whether your religion is worship of the State or worship of the Invisible Ghost who Created the Universe as a Practical Joke (the merciful!), religiosity and critical thinking have ever tended to be mutually exclusive. Even the great geniuses of the sciences have wasted astonishing amounts of time and effort trying to find room for God in the space they have claimed from superstition (Newton and Einstein come screaming to mind.) Its a shame that they have never had the courage to admit there isn’t any.

    One of the most dogged confusions that exists in the conventional wisdom of the Average is the conviction that Judeo-Christian “principles” have anything to do with the philosophical foundation behind the Constitution of the United States. Its perseverance has myriad reasons, its dramatic negative consequences are just as manifold.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***Do you agree that the U.S. government is based on Judeo-Christian principles?***

    yes. was.

    ****you’re just underlying the point that generosity is a Judeo-Christian principle.***

    No, I think you need to re read what I posted, it is not merely generosity and is mostly what you do on your own.

  16. anjin-san says:

    conventional wisdom of the Average Republican is the conviction that Judeo-Christian “principles” have anything to do with the philosophical foundation behind the Constitution of the United States.

    Fixed that for you.

  17. Alex Knapp says:

    @G.A.-

    But the U.S. is a democracy, right? Which means that everybody votes for what the government does, right? So if you agree with J/C principles, shouldn’t that mean that you should vote for a government that promotes generosity to the poor?

    @Drew –

    As it happens, i agree with you that the U.S. government is not based on Judeo-Christian principles. Unless there’s a book in there describing a limited government of enumerated powers, elections, individual rights, and separation of powers that I missed.

  18. McGehee says:

    Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

    Well, congratulations: you know the names of two books of the Old Testament.

    Unless there’s a book in there describing a limited government of enumerated powers, elections, individual rights, and separation of powers that I missed.

    Maybe not a book, but the whole passage that includes “render unto Caesar” also says “render unto God,” in such a way that only someone without a bgrain can fail to read as distinguishing between the two.

    Christians worthy of the name recognize this as the foundation of Christian opposition to theocracy. Which does not mean opposition to a nation founded on Christian principles — but which does mean opposition to using the tools of state to enforce Christian practice.

    Your post demonstrates the truth of the aphorism, “A little of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Leave theology to the theologians, Alex.

  19. anjin-san says:

    > Christians worthy of the name

    Not sure that that is a call we get to make down here.

  20. James says:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

    Seems John Adams though Christianity was necessary.

  21. anjin-san says:

    Let’s take a look at the Treaty of Tripoli:

    > As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

    Now be it known, That I John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said Treaty do, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof.

  22. anjin-san says:

    >“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

    Seems John Adams though Christianity was necessary.

    Tell us James, where exactly in that sentence does Adams mention “Christianity”? Please don’t put words in the great man’s mouth.

  23. Drew says:

    “Not sure that that is a call we get to make down here.”

    If you declaim the irrelevance of mankind’s judgment, you have no business arguing with anyone about anything.

    But I’m sure that hasn’t occurred to you and my pointing it out won’t make any difference.

  24. Drew says:

    “Seems John Adams though Christianity was necessary.

    Tell us James, where exactly in that sentence does Adams mention “Christianity”? Please don’t put words in the great man’s mouth.”

    Good lord, when can we retire this tedious ancestor worship? The people who founded this country should not be revered as gods themselves, nor quoted as though their souls were made of white marble and their logic and reason as pure as this computer’s. It’s ridiculous.

    They were people. Great people, sure. But this leaden and hidebound reverence is just…abject and degrading.

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***shouldn’t that mean that you should vote for a government that promotes generosity to the poor?***I Did:)

  26. anjin-san says:

    Drew.. I said Adams was a great man. He was. Than’s hardly worship. Try not to wet yourself.

  27. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Knapp, your ignorance on this topic as well as most others leads me to believe you were educated by idiots. It serves well as no intelligence was wasted. Your arguement is bunk and you know it. It warms the cockles of my old cold heart to see the Donks with fewer than 200 reps in the house. Alex, I’d be willing to bet you know less about religion than you do about politics. I would like to see what you donate freely.

  28. anjin-san says:

    > If you declaim the irrelevance of mankind’s judgment

    Actually, it is by the use of mankind’s judgement that I know that one of the core tenants of Christianity is “Judge not lest ye be judged”. Telling someone that they should practice their professed values is hardly an abdication of reason.

    But I’m sure that hasn’t occurred to you and my pointing it out won’t make any difference.

  29. Alex Knapp says:

    @McGehee

    Well, congratulations: you know the names of two books of the Old Testament.

    I was asked where in the Bible government was direct to obligate giving to the poor. It does so in both of those books.

    Maybe not a book, but the whole passage that includes “render unto Caesar” also says “render unto God,” in such a way that only someone without a bgrain can fail to read as distinguishing between the two.

    That was in the context of whether it was lawful for Jews to pay taxes to Rome. The problem with the taxes was twofold: (1) Many Jews did not believe the Roman occupation was lawful. (2) The coins involved a graven image of someone who purported to be a living God.

    Jesus’ answer is that it was acceptable to pay taxes to Rome. That has nothing to do with limited government, enumerated powers, individual liberty, etc.

    Christians worthy of the name recognize this as the foundation of Christian opposition to theocracy.

    So I suppose that Aquinas and Augustine weren’t worthy of the name Christian?

    Which does not mean opposition to a nation founded on Christian principles — but which does mean opposition to using the tools of state to enforce Christian practice.

    I don’t think this statement is reconcilable.

  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***Judge not lest ye be judged***? We will all be judged some of us will be represented some of shall and have refused representation.

    Why do people who do not believe always bring this up with out understanding it?

  31. G.A.Phillips says:
  32. tan says:

    You want Biblical economics? How about abolishing the current tax codes and implementing a flat 10% tax across the board? God’s mandate was a 10% tithe, while our government has an insatiable appetite for higher and higher taxes.

  33. sam says:

    Nietzsche was right, of course, the last Christian died on Calvary.

  34. sam says:

    So, tell me, GA, how much Christian charity do you have in your heart when you hurl your spittle-flecked denunciations at liberals? Be honest, now, how much of this do you actually follow?

    Matt 7:2-5 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged [if we judge with an evil heart or dark intent, His judgment of us will reflect it; if we judge nobly with honesty and justice, His judgment of us will reflect that, too], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if we use extremes or exaggerations or other ignoble means, our judgment will reflect it and judging with fairness and compassion will garner likewise in His judgment of us]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye [point out his sins, “minor” in Jesus’ example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [our own sins, even and especially those we will not admit, magnified by our selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ [tell him of his “minor” sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in our own lives which we do nothing about or think we are above]? You hypocrite* [pointing out the sins of others while by pretense thinking of ourselves as above sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn and live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother’s eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin].”

    From what I see of you around here, not very damn much.

  35. Michael says:

    James, Adams was not among the authors of the Constitution, nor one of the authors of the Federalist papers. And yes, Adams was one of the more religious of our founders.

    Alex, I disagree with your contention that someone who supports J/C principles should also support a government that enforces them. Just as involuntary faith is not truly faith, involuntary generosity is not truly generosity. If the state is making you give money to the poor, then you are not righteous in doing so. Generosity comes from being able to say “no”, but saying “yes” anyway.

  36. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***From what I see of you around here, not very damn much.*** lol, what do you want, a hug?

    I believe I have apologize many times for being stupid of the mouth, asked for forgiveness, and said I loved you regardless of the things you say and believe.

    But I am only a true believer that has much trouble keeping his foot out of the world and out his mouth, sorry that I have let you down Sam. I fear that I may never make you proud.

    ***Nietzsche was right, of course, the last Christian died on Calvary*** Talk about spittle-flecked denunciations 🙁

  37. TG Chicago says:

    I always thought the most well-known Biblical example of redistribution of wealth was the parable of Loaves and Fishes. I guess everybody gets hung up on the “miracle” aspect rather than the “everybody help each other” part.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    Most here seem to agree that forcing someone to give is not the same, morally, as that person giving voluntarily. Fine. To me that seems to be saying that our government should not institute Judeo-Christian principles. And that’s what Alex seems to be getting at. What exactly does it mean when someone says our government should be modeled on J/C principles, if it doesn’t mean using it to take care of the poor (amongst other things)? Making laws against gay marriage? OK, there is a one mention in the old testament about it and one mention in the new (by an apostle, not Jesus). But what about all the other stuff mentioned alongside that prohibition? Not making clothes from a poly/cotton blend? (seriously – there’s a prohibition in there about mixing threads in one fabric) A lot about not eating pork or shrimp or lobster. Should the government be involved in discouraging that? Institute a sin tax on pulled pork sandwiches? In fact, in the NT, where homosexuality is condemned, celibacy to the point of castration (!!) is posed as the ideal. Should the government encourage self-castration? Discourage marriage?

    I don’t think any here support such things. But some say (angrily and self righteously) that our government is founded on J/C principles and it must get back to them. So, I’ll ask it straight out – Which principles? And who gets to pick?

  39. Alex Knapp says:

    @MarkedMan,

    Most here seem to agree that forcing someone to give is not the same, morally, as that person giving voluntarily. Fine. To me that seems to be saying that our government should not institute Judeo-Christian principles. And that’s what Alex seems to be getting at.

    Thank you. That was my point exactly.

    @Michael,

    Alex, I disagree with your contention that someone who supports J/C principles should also support a government that enforces them. Just as involuntary faith is not truly faith, involuntary generosity is not truly generosity. If the state is making you give money to the poor, then you are not righteous in doing so. Generosity comes from being able to say “no”, but saying “yes” anyway.

    I think you might be misunderstanding my point a little bit. I’m not saying that someone who supports J/C principles should support a government that enforces them. However, I *am* saying that someone who claims that a government based on J/C principles cannot turn around and complain when that government enforces them. As it happens, I do not believe that the U.S. government is based on J/C principles.

    However, someone who opposes redistribution AND claims that the government is based on J/C principles is contradicting themselves. To break it down:

    1. Assume: the U.S. government is based on J/C principles.
    2. Generosity to the poor and redistribution are J/C principles.
    3. Therefore: the U.S. government should enforce generosity to the poor and redistribution.

    @tan –

    You want Biblical economics? How about abolishing the current tax codes and implementing a flat 10% tax across the board? God’s mandate was a 10% tithe, while our government has an insatiable appetite for higher and higher taxes.

    Actually, the tithe was specifically what was set aside for the priests and temple. Taxes to the Israelite kings were over and above the 10% amount.

  40. Not going to read through all the comments, but I do remember something about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesars. What the Bible strongly recommends is a moral duty to care for others. What the Bible absolutely does not do is say that the state should be responsible for forcing you to carry out this moral duty or confiscate your wealth and do it for you.

    Is it that hard to distinguish between those last two precepts?

  41. Alex Knapp says:

    @Charles –

    Not going to read through all the comments, but I do remember something about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesars.

    That is, specifically, a reference to the lawfulness of paying taxes.

    What the Bible absolutely does not do is say that the state should be responsible for forcing you to carry out this moral duty or confiscate your wealth and do it for you.

    Wrong again. The books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy were the laws that Israel to follow, enforced by the Judges and later, the Kings. Those laws included distribution to the poor and needy. Moreover, the Bible explicitly condemned those Israeli governments that did not care for the poor. Indeed, that’s pretty much the entirety of the Book of Amos.

  42. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    The problem with the “redistribution of wealth” is the use of the compulsive power of the government to accomplish it. The government decides what is to be taken and to whom it is to be given. That pretty much removes my concept of charity from the exercise. What I earn by the sweat of my brow should be mine to “redistribute” if I am to be truly charitable.

    There is a scene in the second “Godfather” movie in which the godfather, at the beginning of his criminal career, is approached by the local, white-suited mafioso who tell him that he just wants to “wet his beak” like a little bird, in the godfather illicit earnings. Our government has a similar philosophy, it just wants “to wet its beak” in our earning under the guise of calling it charity. “Redistributing the wealth” is just another hustle, all be it on a grand scale, to line the pockets and build the power and influence of our rulers.

  43. Brett says:

    Alex, this post reminds me of how much I would love to have a bumper sticker that reads “Jesus was a communist”, with that particularly Acts verse listed.

  44. floyd says:

    Alex ;
    Just another “heretical idea”?.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    It never ceases to amaze me when a discussion goes on like this. Alex makes an observation (people who say our government should be based on J/C principles don’t actually want the government to implement those principles). The responders completely ignore his observation and go on and on about something else (why a government which enforces J/C-P is not possible/desirable) and then pat themselves on the back for showing up Alex for teh fool. All the while completely oblivious to the fact that they are actually making Alex’s point for him. And none of them address the key issue: if you feel our government is founded on J/C-P and we should “get back” to them, exactly what J/C-P principles should our government enforce? And who decides?

  46. wr says:

    The Bible says to take care of the least of us. It doesn’t say “because that will make you feel good about yourself.” It doesn’t say “find a person or two, or a church that agrees with you, and give them some of your money.” It doesn’t advocate charity for the sake of the giver. It advocates charity because poor people are poor and need help.

    All the justifications against the government helping the poor — yes, that’s what happens under what you call “redistribution” — are nothing more than ways to pretend righteousness while you’re really just shouting “it’s mine!”

  47. Michael says:

    @Alex, It’s your jump from #2 to #3 that I disagree with. Just because it is good for me to do something, doesn’t mean it is good for me to be forced into doing something. Indeed, the bible often makes if very clear that the voluntary nature of the action is what makes it good, not the action itself. By taking away the voluntary nature, you also take away the part that is good about it.

  48. Alex Knapp says:

    @Michael –

    Then I suspect your real issues isn’t with the jump from 2 to 3, but rather with 1.

    Just because it is good for me to do something, doesn’t mean it is good for me to be forced into doing something. Indeed, the bible often makes if very clear that the voluntary nature of the action is what makes it good, not the action itself. By taking away the voluntary nature, you also take away the part that is good about it.

    The Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, commands givng wealth to the needy. In particular, it mandates that the State enforce those commands.

    The New Testament doesn’t override the Old Testament commandments — it says that to be perfect, you need to go over and above them. But it doesn’t invalidate the Law.

    Now, if you want to argue that a secular state and the free exercise of Christianity are compatible, go nuts. But if you want to argue that (1) the U.S. government is based on J/C principles and (2) the government shouldn’t force redistribution, then I think you’re wrong on the merits, because the Bible does command the state to do so. And it goes above and beyond that, economically. A state based on J/C principles, for example, would be a state that bans credit cards.

  49. wr says:

    Michael — That’s saying that the purpose of charity is to make the giver a good person, which is of course ludicrous, except as a way of justifying selfishness. The purpose of charity is to do good for others.

    There’s also the question of voluntary nature. We are our government, despite the whining of childish teabaggers to the contrary. We make decisions as a nation and as communities how our collective wealth will be used. Libertarians believe this is confiscation, because to them the only action that counts is that of the individual. People who have actually matured out of adolescence see this a little differently…

  50. “The books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy were the laws that Israel to follow, enforced by the Judges and later, the Kings.”

    Hmm…, did the author mean for this to apply to Gentiles?

    But seriously, if you are going to demand adherence to the Bible, does that mean your next post is going to condemn homosexuality By what authority do you get to pick and choose which parts to ignore while criticizing others for doing the same?

  51. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    But seriously, if you are going to demand adherence to the Bible, does that mean your next post is going to condemn homosexuality By what authority do you get to pick and choose which parts to ignore while criticizing others for doing the same?

    This. Is. My. Point.

    If you claim that the U.S. is built on J/C principles (which I would contend that it is NOT), it doesn’t make sense to pick and choose!

  52. Michael says:

    @Alex, I do take issue with #1, but that’s beside the point here. Can you point out where in the OT it says that government should be enforcing charity? I don’t recall this, though admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve read it.

    @wr, I’m saying that it’s only charity when it’s voluntary. There are two goods here, one is the good to the poor, and the other is the good from the giver (this is the part that goes to God). Taxes and welfare programs, while maintaining the good to the poor, take away the good from the giver.

  53. MarkedMan says:

    Alex said:
    This. Is. My. Point.

    Alex, you’re fighting the good fight here, but no one is listening. They have an argument, a good one, and they are going to make that argument and have no realization that what they are saying only supports your point. They ‘know’ what you have said, and by god they are going to give you what-for over it, never mind what you actually said. There is nothing you can do about this. It’s like the birther discussion.

  54. XD says:

    LOL at godless libs invoking Jesus Christ to justify their statist garbage.

    *points and laughs*

    Sorry Alex, you don’t even understand what the argument is in the first place about America being founded on Judeo-Christian principles (nor do many of those who take the view opposing yours). Western Civilization, not just the US, is grounded in J/C values. It is part of who we are as Americans and as western people. It doesn’t mean “The Constitution is lifted from the Bible.” The founders weren’t Buddhists, or Hindu, or Muslim, and their worldview/philosophy/education/everything was shaped by their world, which was very much “Judeo-Christian,” Western Enlightenment-age society. They were far more religious than we as a people are today, and this nation was shaped by that.

    But that’s okay, I understand the need to pretend Jesus Christ was a socialist. LMAO

  55. XD says:

    Also, invoking Nietzsche in this context is the ROTFL irony of the week. *rolls eyes*

  56. G.A.Phillips says:

    **Alex, you’re fighting the good fight here, but no one is listening** I did, ALex makes good arguments with what he has for information….

    ***If you claim that the U.S. is built on J/C principles (which I would contend that it is NOT), it doesn’t make sense to pick and choose!***

    The SCOTUS researched this for ten years and disagreed with you, It also called this a Christian nation.

    I think we all pick and chose here. And im all for giving for giving more of the taxes that are taken by force to J/C organizations to help the poor and needy vs. the public contraptions if you want to go that rote:)

    Shall we hold to the principles, except that they are in our fabric, or make argument about old kingdom laws, mixed with liberation theology, to get Christians to question their understandings, of the Gospel and The commandments and what they hold dear and sacred about their country.

    I am pretty sure God believes in property rights from what I have read, also that He seems to be a strong supporter of work for welfare.

    Did you figure this in?

  57. Alex Knapp says:

    XD –

    First of all, don’t assume my religious beliefs.

    Secondly, many of the Founders were not Christians. Jefferson and Paine were Deists. John Adams was a Unitarian who denied the divinity of Christ.

    Third, the Enlightenment was, in many ways, a reaction against Judeo-Christian principles, not an extension of them. (Indeed, many enlightenment thinkers, such as Locke and Voltaire, were influenced by Greek and Roman philosophers, not to mention Averroes — a Muslim Judge and experit in Sharia!)

    Fourth and finally, Western Civilization is much more than Judeo-Christianity. It’s Greek and Roman. It’s Celtic. It’s Muslim. It’s Zoroastrian. It’s Nordic. It’s even — yes! — Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu! (19th Century philosophers such as Emerson and Thoreau were positively enamored with Buddhism and Hinduism.) And much, much more. To say that Judaism and Christianity are the end all be all of Western Civilization is myopic in the extreme.

  58. wr says:

    GA — Pretty remarkable that God happens to share your political beliefs. Was it you who convinced him, or did he speak to you on the subject?

  59. Brian Knapp says:

    Indeed, the bible often makes if very clear that the voluntary nature of the action is what makes it good, not the action itself.

    Jesus says that good action is not good but merely evidence of a good person, one who’s treasure is God’s law. Matthew 12:33.

    Maybe not a book, but the whole passage that includes “render unto Caesar” also says “render unto God,” in such a way that only someone without a bgrain can fail to read as distinguishing between the two.

    Yes, and giving to God has nothing to do with giving of earthly possessions. God has nothing to do with the State’s currency. God will provide whether you have money or not. Luke 12:22.

    Give your possessions and money away because your heart is with your treasure, and if your heart is with earthly possessions, than it is not with God. Luke 12:32

    So, yes, render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and to God what is God’s. And what is God’s is obedience to God’s law (treasure). What is God’s law? “love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 7:12.

  60. floyd says:

    Great to see so much interest.

  61. John says:

    Just catching up on my OTB….
    So, if the govt is operating on Judeo-Christian values, can I get the ACLU to oppose all these programs based on the Constitutional basis of separation of church and state?

  62. James says:

    Constitutional basis of separation of church and state?

    Bulletin: There is no Constitutional Basis.
    Myth: That is a Myth 🙂

  63. john says:

    But james! Shirley, there is a Constitutional Basis! We all know that Christine O’Donnell is an idiot!! 😉