By Jerry Newcombe
How well is President Obama doing on fixing the nation’s financial crisis? Not very, say most Americans. A Rasmussen poll notes that only 36% of Americans feel the president is doing a good job on the economy.
But now we know who’s really to blame for all this---Jesus.
The president spoke about his faith, as a professing Christian, at the National Prayer Breakfast recently, and said that it was Jesus Christ who inspired him to pursue all the big policies that conservatives would argue are hurting our economy.
For example, Obamacare---his centerpiece legislation.
President Obama said, "... when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick...or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.’"
The president went on to qualify the notion that the Golden Rule is found in other religions too. He added, "But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required."
However, before he became too non-inclusive for his progressive base, he added that Jews and Muslims essentially teach the same as well. Islam does? Tell that to the Christians being murdered in Muslim lands, as described in Newsweek’s cover story.
I won't argue about the Jewish teaching on that point. After all, "love thy neighbor as thyself," which is emphasized in the New Testament, is a quote by Moses in Leviticus from the Old.
The president is certainly correct that Jesus cared for the downtrodden and the poor and told us to do likewise. But things go astray when the government tries to do it.
The president goes on to say that all of his policies, including foreign aid, are informed by the notion of caring for the least of these. This is based on what Jesus said in His parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25---that when people care for the least of these, they care for Him. Of course, Obama doesn’t see the unborn as among the least of these. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Backing up for a moment, let’s consider the wider question of letting the Bible have a say in our government. Not too long ago, a politician derisively said that it can't be used to fashion any meaningful politics. He noted, “Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policies? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery’s ok? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its applications? [Laughter] Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.”
Who said these things?
That was Senator Barack Obama, June 28, 2006.
I disagree with his interpretations and his examples.
But based on his recent revelations, I guess the moral of the story is that if one uses the Bible to promote a liberal agenda, then that's fine. Not so a conservative one.
As I see it, the president is basically hiding behind Jesus to promote a form of big government dependency. Socialism light, if you will. The problem with socialism, said Maggie Thatcher, is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.
Did Jesus teach socialism? No.
Jesus taught the sinfulness of man. Socialism is predicated on the alleged innate goodness of man. Socialism has never worked and never will work because man is not basically good. Capitalism works because it conforms with our nature as it is. Hard work and enlightened self-interest help the poor far more than big government does. Let big government get out of the way, so more people can get back to work.
Also, Jesus put His seal of approval on the law, that is, the Old Testament. Of course, the Ten Commandments tell us that it’s wrong to steal. Implied in that commandment is private property. The Decalogue also states, “Thou shalt not covet.” Socialism is built on the twin pillars of state envy and theft.
In addition to these considerations, nowhere does the Bible say that the state (which is ultimately brute force) is responsible for taking care of the needy. That’s the family’s job, the church’s role, and individuals’ duty---all on a voluntary basis.
The Bible also condemns illegitimacy. Yet the welfare state, in the name of helping the poor, has subsidized illegitimacy---thus plunging tens of millions of Americans into perpetual poverty. The family is the key to upward mobility, but welfare has destroyed the urban family. Many people, gifted by God with all sorts of abilities, essentially waste their lives---just barely getting by on government hand outs.
We have decades of proven experience that welfare as we know it keeps the recipients down. Using the force of government to take from one citizen the fruit of his labor in order to give to another citizen is a form of theft and promotes laziness.
While a young man in Hawaii, Obama was mentored by a man he called "Frank." Research has uncovered that it was Frank Marshall Davis. History professor, Dr. Paul Kengor, author of the book, Dupes, documents that Davis was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, USA. Would that the president unlearn those heresies.
However well-intentioned, all government redistribution of wealth ends up with virtually everyone losing. No, it’s not Jesus’ fault---just misinterpretations thereof.
1 The “slavery” okayed in Leviticus is closer to indentured servitude, not anything remotely like American slavery, which was a violation of everything the Bible stands for. Also, as I understand it, the civil laws of ancient Israel went out of date when the theocracy ended, after the death and resurrection of Christ; therefore, draconian measures to keep the faith, as found in ancient Israel, no longer apply. And the Sermon on the Mount speaks to personal ethics, like turning the other cheek, not to national policy.