Skip to comments.Democrats Hijack Christianity - (Kerry, Dean, Pelosi trying to appropriate Bible for politics)
Posted on 05/29/2005 2:29:02 PM PDT by CHARLITE
With increasing regularity, leaders of the National Democratic Party are seeking support for their economic agenda in, of all places, the Bible.
Failed presidential candidate John Kerry, for example, persists in appealing to the New Testament book of James. "Faith without works is dead," he intones, suggesting that "works" here includes the works of lawmakers as they spend other people's money.
In like manner, Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, is wont to quote the teaching of Jesus that "[i]nasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." According to Pelosi, doing unto the least means raising more taxes for entitlement programs. Even DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who kicked off President Bush's second term with the outburst "I hate Republicans," more recently accused the ones he hates of violating the biblical command to "love thy neighbor as thyself." He believes Republicans commit this sin by resisting efforts to enlarge the tender-loving federal bureaucracy.
Leaving aside speculation about motives, one thing is clear. Democratic leaders, by citing scripture in their condemnation of fiscal conservatives, have acknowledged the Bible as a relevant authority in matters of public policy. It is only fair, therefore, to consider the liberal economic agenda in light of the same authority.
The passages selected by liberals invariably relate to God's love for those in material need. Missing from their understanding, however, is any appreciation of God's primary emphasis on the spiritual needs of the giver, and potential giver. Indeed, the Bible-quoting Democrats seem utterly unacquainted this central theme of the Bible.
Jesus, who freely sacrificed his own life to save others, said, "it is more blessed to give than to receive." The teaching reflects Christ's deep knowledge of the human need to love and be loved through free-will giving.
Paying taxes, of course, is not a gift. It is required under penalty of law. The payment of taxes confers on the payer none of the spiritual blessings that flow from charity. With respect to the billions of dollars conscripted to fund entitlement programs, the government actually precludes the possibility of the "more blessed[ness]" promised by Christ.
It is not simply a matter of reducing the income available to potential givers. Welfare including the welfare for the middle class known as Social Security also taxes the purpose and the incentives for voluntary giving. When retirement is financed with money taken from the wages of strangers, and when aging parents are systematically relegated to state-funded nursing homes, a child's incentive to honor his parents with personal resources is greatly diminished, as are, of course, the resources themselves.
The government dole taxes not only income but also the impetus of neighbors, the church and other charities to lend a hand to unemployed individuals in their midst. Entitlements thus interfere with familial relationships and, contrary to Dean's invective, dampen the impulse to love one's neighbor.
Though we might wish this truth to be self-evident that love cannot be legislated it has been lost in the haze of our addiction to entitlements. Voluntary sacrifice, made on behalf of someone in need, is, like Shakespeare's quality of mercy, "twice blest." It blesses the one who receives and, even more so, the one who gives.
But entitlements, and the impassive spirits they arouse, diminish a good part of both of these blessings. By depleting the impetus and the purpose for voluntary sacrifice, the welfare state ultimately imposes a tax on the greater blessings that, according to Christ, flow from free-will giving.
Fiscal conservatives have explained many of the burdens of welfare burdens on individual freedom; on the economy; on beneficiaries themselves. Despite the unassailable logic, and perhaps because of it, these arguments also contribute to the stereotype of conservatives as uncompassionate. Even the argument that entitlements visit harm on those they are designed to help, while demonstrably true, has not helped conservatives shed their reputation for being penurious and mean.
Largely unarticulated, however, is the way the entitlement system serves to obviate individual good will. Misguided government efforts to constrain the quality of mercy have a chilling effect on charity, resulting in an increasingly uncompassionate society.
The absurd implied premise of the Bible-quoting liberals is that bigger government is a way to "love thy neighbor." In fact, government programs encourage a life profoundly centered on self, and make us increasingly spectators to the plight of our neighbors.
The incongruity between big government theology and the teachings of the Bible is thus readily apparent. Entitlements place primary importance on material needs. Christ teaches his followers to "seek ye first the kingdom of God ... and all these things [food, clothing, etc.] will be added unto you."
Whereas the biblical standard requires the gift of faith, welfare subsists on fears that voluntary giving alone would be insufficient. Welfare proponents also worry about the unfairness of voluntary giving, as many choose not to give. The God of the Bible satisfies material and spiritual needs simultaneously, by conferring blessings on those who give voluntarily and sacrificially.
Christ's vision is indeed radical as radical today as it was in the ancient world and liberals might sincerely reject his doctrine as a basis for public policy. But intellectual honesty would require leaders of the contemporary left to admit that the Christian faith is incompatible with the ideology behind entitlement programs.
This article was first published in the May 25 edition of the Washington Examiner.
Roger Banks is an attorney and author in Washington, D.C. E-mail: email@example.com
And so they support the ACLU's war against religion and oppose faith-based charity, vouchers to parochial school, or any spiritual view of human life from conception to natural death.
Sorry .. You can't fake Christians out (at least most of the time). You can't talk the talk and then not walk the walk - which is what the dems do. While they continue to support ABORTION .. no Bible talk will remove that stain.
Ping to self for possible pingout?
Ohhh, I'm impressed. Even the devil can quote scripture.
The fact that it appears to be covered up, or at least deeply ignored - along the lines of FDR's inability to walk, is, to me, representative of the depth of the cynicism of the Left and tells me a lot about the sincerity of the Left in their protestations of deep faith.
I hope these democrats remember that GOD is not to be mocked.Bad thinks seem to happen to people who do.But since they don't seem to fear GOD,and just twist his words to serve their own purposes-HE may teach them a harsh lesson.
" In the six months following that election Ive noticed a lot more visitors pretending to reach out and fit in."
Hillary was one of the first to suddenly start talking about her "faith." Remember when she made a speech shortly after the elections, which had this unbelievably clumsy line in it?
One wonders exactly what she ever prayed for, other than one day ruling the planet; - a glorious "golden age" for the Killster, when she would be able to "take things away from you." . . such an endearingly "Christian" approach to ruling "the great unwashed," milling about under her feet.
Thanks for your excellent remarks, AD.
"But intellectual honesty would require leaders of the contemporary left to admit that the Christian faith is incompatible with the ideology behind entitlement programs."
Exactly. I do not doubt for one moment that there are actual, real, live, breathing, thinking, feeling Democr@ps out there that really DO love the Lord and want to do his bidding.
But their warped LEADERSHIP throughout the years has negated any strides they may have made toward actually giving people a helping hand and then sending them on their way which, I believe IS what social programs in their truest sense of the word are designed to do in the first place.
Sorry. As Conservative as I am, I DO believe that there are SOME amongst us that truly do need assistance...the disabled, Veterans, widows and widowers with a passle of kids to raise on their own, etc.
However, any Good Deeds have been so b@stardized by the Liberal Leadership that they're now useless. It's our money down a rathole, which seems to be my "theme" for the day, LOL! ;)
John Kerry needs to read the rest of what the apostle James wrote following that verse and apply the test.
We have two famous millionaire families with homes in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A is worth close to a billion, B is only worth a few million. A married most of his money. B earned it. A is a skilled talker. B is a skilled doer. In fact, he earned most of his money competiting with the best in his profession. A is quite niggardly with charity-- what few dollars given to charity by A is mostly to foundations and causes which do little to releive the plight of the less fortunate and much to further his political agenda. B, despite having less to give, has financed everything from a commercial airport in his hometown to a hospital wing to care for cancer patients. It is not opinion, but fact that B has done far more to help those in need despite far fewer resources than A.
Now for the question. One of these is a staunch Republican, the other a staunch Democrat. Which is which?
And, for a bonus pont, name them.
It was Kerry's father or grandfather that converted, not Kerry himself.
B is a Christian
Pray for W and Our Troops
Obviously, Kerry, Pelosi et al still seem to think we are all stupid. I thought the last Presidential race would have disabused them of that misconception.
"Paying taxes, of course, is not a gift. It is required under penalty of law. The payment of taxes confers on the payer none of the spiritual blessings that flow from charity."
Bump for a great article. I have read that in nations where the government gives charity, people tend to give less. I don't know if that is because they have less to give or because they figure someone else is taking care of them - probably a combo of the two.
Mt 7:20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Re 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
GODBLESS OUR TROOPS,VETS,THIS COUNTRY AND OUR PRESIDENT!
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