Christian financial hypocrisy in politics

I try not to get too political on this site. But, I wanted to share some research I recently did. While crushing a moron trying to tell me that Stalin killed millions of people because he was an atheist, I pointed out to him how Jesus was much more a communist that a capitalist. Which, makes me wonder, how are there so many blind Christians who support the Republican Party (fiscally) when the bible clearly commands them to do otherwise?

The extension of the Bush Era Tax Cuts has been in the news a lot lately. I happen to be one of those people that think extending them for the middle class and cutting them for the richest 2% is ok… and the financially responsible thing to do considering our economic struggles as a country. Even is you disagree with me, please read on. We all know that the majority or Republicans identify as Christian and the politicians try very hard to keep the evangelical vote, which is very strong in the United States. These same people constantly vote to bailout big banks with tax payer money, give giant tax breaks to major corporations, and keep the tax rate for the richest 2% of Americans lower than it’s been in decades! It begs the question… HWJV – “How Would Jesus Vote”?

Let’s look at some verses and you tell me:

Bible:NT:Mat:19:23-24 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Bible:NT:Ja:2:5-6 “Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court?”

Bible:NT:Ja:5:1 “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.”

Bible shows that if you want to be real believer, you must resign your possessions to poor and have common property, like communists and planned:

Bible:NT:Lu:12:33 “Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”

Bible:NT:Mar:10:21-22 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

Bible:NT:Ac:2:44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.

I think the evidence is pretty clear. Jesus would support high taxes on the rich and a much more socialist agenda than the GOP claims Obama is trying to push. However, many right-wingers (including my mother) still vote Republican based on moral choices like abortion. Realistically, neither party is going to do anything for or against abortion anymore. Any person voting Republican purely on the hope that they will be making ALL abortions illegal is wasting their vote. So, what can they affect while in their terms as Congressmen and Senators? Well, a lot… mostly financial!

If Christians would just read their bibles a little closer, and vote based on taxes and wealth distribution, they could only make one choice – NOT REPUBLICAN. For the rest of us non-believers, we just want to help people and do as much good as we can while we are here. Allowing the rich to keep so much more of their money than they need while people around them suffer for lack of a few hundred dollars seems inhumane. It’s easily fixable… it just floors me that the ones that get in the way of change the most are the ones who base their lives off the teachings of a man (or a myth) who was so much more compassionate than they pretend to be!

  • Amanda Brown

    I don’t care about Stalin and all this other BS… the point of this entire blog post is this: WHY THE FUCK ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO CARE THE MOST ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE CARING THE LEAST??!!!??? By allowing the rich to keep more money than they need and letting children starve at night in the freezing winter because the family has to choose between food and heat that’s what hypocrisy Adam is talking about. IT IS ABSOLUTELY ridiculous to have someone making over $250,000/year paying such small percentages in taxes while the lower and middle class are suffering trying to make ends meet. Food pantries are receiving less food. Shelters are receiving less clothing donated and less hygiene materials for people who don’t have a dollar to go and get soap so they can take a bath in the sink at the public restroom.

    I can’t believe people are so heartless that a 3% tax increase is so detrimental to them that supporting people in the government who are only interested in helping banks, big business, and the wealthy are winning in our society where the poor are told to suck it up, work harder, die earlier, and have more children to continue to work in the same shit their parents did everyday. That is what Adam is trying to point out. The humanity that has left our society in a huge hurry and yet there are people who call themselves “Christians” and wouldn’t give the shirt off their back to a person in need because that would be asking too much. It’s winter right… I need my shirt. That’s all I hear and see anymore from these so-called “Christians”. The lack of love, respect, dignity, and humanity has left this country. And it takes people like me to point it out and try to remind everyone to stop this bullshit and start helping out your neighbors. Give until it hurts. You can’t take all that money with you when you die so help every human being, animal, insect, plant, etc. that you can. That’s how you make a difference. That’s how you become important and that’s how civilization is meant to be. Not this communism vs. capitalism vs. socialism. Human beings were meant to live as social beings taking care of each other. NOW GO FUCKING DO IT ALREADY!!!

  • Adam

    @ Grady: No one here ever said that the teachings of the biblical Jesus were ALL bad. Many of them are fantastic lessons about how to treat each other. We just don't think that he said them. They were most likely written by normal folks like you and me throughout history and attributed to "the son of god" to make them seem more important. There is significant historical evidence to show that the biblical Jesus never existed but was simply a compiled myth shoved into historical accounts… hence the errors in the bible and the lack of first century writing about him (but I know you won't bother reading any evidence for that… it would create too much cognitive dissonance for you).

    As for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I answered that elsewhere already. You can't show me anywhere that he (or any other reputable writer/historian) says Stalin was an atheist.

    As Mohandas Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    Quick question… You say communism wasn't a choice. I completely agree with you. It was a good idea that got into the hands of corrupt men who used it to gain power and oppress people. Do you think that could happen again with religion? It did several times in history. The Catholic Church is still the single largest land owner on Earth. America was founded because the Church of England became too oppressive. If religious rule was FORCED on citizens in America like communism once was in Soviet Russia, would you fight against it, or embrace it… since you would believe god was behind it? I would fight against any forced belief. It would be hypocritical of you to not say so too. You can't call out the atheists and not call out the religious oppressors too.

  • Ali Free

    Grady,

    Atheists are not a monolithic entity. Yes, Stalin may well have been an atheist. Yes, his version of communism–a form that wasn't communism, of course, but totalitarianism, which communism does often lead to–was against freedom of religious expression. He punished people for it.

    Most atheists that I know personally and am aware of are NOT against freedom of religious expression, so long as it follows the humanistic principle of do no harm.

    We are, however, also for the total separation of church and state. We support governments that do not take religion into consideration when enacting policy. Stalin did take religion into consideration, in a very big way. I am against persecution of people of religion. That is a violation of the establishment cause.

    Stalin's atheism was a tool for oppression, just as we can see that often religion is a tool for oppression. Both are wrong. Neither is excusable. Atheism does not inherently lead to oppression or murder.

    As for the bit about Jesus…I am all for following some of Jesus' teachings, just as I am all for following some elements of other philosophies such as Zen and secular humanism. There are a lot of excellent teachers in history. I choose which of these to follow based on my own moral sense, not because they are part of a religion or philosophy. I have a feeling Adam does the same thing and isn't worried about making an argument for following any teachings, because agreeing with some of what Jesus says absolutely does not necessitate a belief in Christianity. You can be good without a god, and we sure try.

    …of course, none of this was about the actual point of the post. Well, maybe. You can be good without a god, and you can be bad with one. If people were to follow more humanistic principles of justice and equality and increasing quality of life–principles that transcend religions and are not based in religion–they might be less tempted to fall on the crutch of some dogmatic beliefs promoted by some religions, such anti-gay bigotry and abortion. They'd be less tempted to follow equally dogmatic politicians who are hypocritical and horribly manipulative about religion to gain power.

    Nice post, Adam. You continue to impress :)

    Ali

  • Jacob

    Jesus was NOT a socialist. His teachings were directed at what we each as individuals choose to do with what we are given. He did NOT teach that we should force others to do what we think with what they are given.

  • Daniel

    Jesus taught that we should give and help our fellow man. He did NOT teach that we should force others to or steal the money of others. The argument you make indicates that you do not want to contribute as much to help others but you want the government to steal the rich folks money at gun point. You and others like you with this opinion are nothing more than petty thieves. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Abby

    Have you even read the verses you posted? They very clearly tell people the attitude they should have regarding their own possessions. He instructed people to sell their own possessions, not those of others. He did, however teach about coveting what others have. He taught that we are to be content with what we have. He taught that we are not to steal. No matter what slant you put on it, the tax rates on higher income Americans are downright thievery.

    Jesus taught individual liberty and self responsibility. The silly nonsense you are spouting shows a complete lack of understanding of scripture. You pull specific verses out of context to try to prove your point. Taking passages in context is a good thing.

  • Adam

    Seeing as I don't believe in Jesus, I could care less about the teachings associated to him. But, since Christians seems to care so much about him, I figured they could take a closer look at what he says. To even think that Jesus didn't want people to share their wealth is absurd.

    I used to be a Christian and know the bible quite well. I've read it 3 times, had once memorized over 300 verses, and trained to be a missionary. I'm sure you don't live your life exactly like the bible states anyway… I've yet to meet one that does.

    It isn't "stealing from the rich" when they are now paying the lowest effective tax rate in 50 years and the wealth gap in this country is bigger than ever. I guess you can just pray harder for the poor… it's worked great so far.

  • Debbie

    @Abby. Since the rich already pay a lower percentage of personal income in income taxes how can higher taxes on higher income be considered "thievery"? I would say that the thievery happens when the higher income people expect the lower income people to pay more in taxes and also to bail the higher income people out whenever they make a "mistake", when the higher income people used the lower income people's investments and retirement accounts (401Ks, etc.) to play a fantasy finance game just so they could get more money in their pockets. You should read "The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed our Jobs, Pensions, and Properity", by Les Leopold. And also read, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", by Naomi Klein, to see what these same rich people did to many other countries and are now trying to do to the USA!

  • Debbie

    @Morrison. Nobocy is trying to "soak the rich", we are just trying to get them to pay a fair percentage of their income to taxes, because we are tired of the rich "soaking the poor"!

  • http://www.themindofmatt.com Matt Butts

    @Daniel: Levying taxes is not stealing. It is a function of the government. Which brings me to a point Adam neglected to point out. They tried to get Jesus to speak out against taxes. His response was, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s" (Matthew 22:21)

  • Tara

    I really don't understand why is it so wrong for the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. Who is going to pay for the 700 Billion it will cost to extend the tax cuts? All this fuss because the government wants to go back to the Clinton era tax rate give me a break.I have yet to see a brinks truck riding behind a herse you can't take it with you. If this was a job maker where are all the jobs at now? It Jesus was to come to this earth today a lot of so called Christians would not even follow him. He would be among the needy not the greedy!!!!

  • Atablarasa

    I first wrote a big long comment addressing the folly of some of the commenters here, but the problem is one of communication. To use the abortion example, what a “Pro-Life” person means by being pro-life and what I mean by being pro-life are not the same things.

    When higher taxes are defined by some as stealing, when people see the role of government as only “war and pork”, when expecting the rich to pay a fair rate is considered coveting, then there’s a failure to communicate. When Jesus’s story of the Good Samaritan is turned into “individual liberty and self responsibility”, there’s no basis from which to have a rational discussion.

  • Jessica Lynn

    If talented producers of goods or services, who often spend years gaining the skills necessary to be able to produce those services, are going to be no better off than the person who just finished a GED, and had four children by four different men, etc., then you are going to destroy initiative and society will suffer in that way too.

    Whoever said that ‘talented producers of goods or services’ should ‘be no better off than the person who just finished a GED…’??

    The fact is, over the past 40 years, the gap between the average wage of an entry-level worker and that of a corporate executive has grown to immoral proportions. Back in 1970, the average CEO made approximately 40 times the income of a new worker. In 2010, CEOs made over 1,000 times the income of the average new laborer. There is no good justification for this explosion in wages at the very top, while the wages of the men and women who actually produce companies’ goods and services have stagnated.

    In short, what progressives are asserting is that pay SHOULD be requisite to the value of the goods and/or services one produces… and that right now, it clearly is NOT.

  • Mario from Charlotte, NC

    The eye of a needle is a passageway used at night to get into an ancient fortified community, easy for people, camels not so much, but possible.

    I believe in the teachings of Jesus, and the 10 commandments as rational laws to guide ones life to heaven on earth, that’s the message.

    Those that wear the book and cross but behave otherwise and think that heaven awaits are in error. You don’t have to believe in God to know what’s right.

    Don’t forget Confucius, to be rich is glorious.

    • Adam

      @ Mario: Unfortunately, the 10 commandments left out slavery, rape, and child molestation… I guess god thought the first 4 were more important (and all about him). Somehow, worshiping idols, saying his name in vain, and working on Sundays were bigger deals than genocide. I'd rather appreciate Hammurabi's code. It came first and didn't need a divine author for people to realize it was a good idea. The 10 Commandments stole most of the good stuff from there anyway: http://www.blah3.com/article.php?story=2006071220…

  • Mac

    Why don't you read and sort through this and get back to us:

    "The Bible mandates free market capitalism. It is anti-socialist. The proof is here: 10,000 pages of exposition, verse by verse. Free."
    http://www.garynorth.com/public/department57.cfm

  • Beth

    Adam, I have two words that explain this apparent contradiction: PROSPERITY GOSPEL. Prosperity gospel teaches that God blesses those who serve him (and who “sow seeds” with donations to the preacher, of course). The corollary to this is that people who are rich must be good people, because they have been blessed, while people who are poor are clearly running afoul of the Lord and deserve contempt. This is the philosophy propounded by the most mega of the megachurches in the land, including Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and Eddie Long. The movement is estimated to have tens of millions of adherents in the US, it is growing at a rapid clip, and it scares the hell out of me. The affect of this religious philosophy on our culture and politics has already been profound, all the more so because most people have never even heard of it so they can’t hear the plentiful dogwhistles Republican politicians give to the true believers. They continue to think, as you stated, that evangelicals are cobbled onto the Republican Party because of gays and abortion, when in fact it’s because their economic morals are also completely aligned: they think poor people suck.

    You only have to look at the commenters on this very thread to see this philosophy in action: poor people are petty thieves who soak the rich and should be ashamed. They should be content with what they have and not covetous. They are promiscuous and ignorant. They pay no taxes and contribute nothing. Rich people, on the other hand, are talented producers with years of skill who support the lazy non-contributors. That is prosperity gospel in a nutshell. Once you understand it you see the pattern everywhere, especially in every speech given by a Republican politician during this recent tax debate. Basically, a slick trick dreamed up by Oral Roberts as a way to get suckers to make him and his family rich and thereafter adopted by countless other scam-artists-cum-preachers is now determining the long-term economic future of America.

    Anyone else getting chills?

  • Adam

    @ Beth: I agree with you. The other on here won’t see this and will think we are “delusional” yet they believe that prayer heals. Of course prayer heals – I got a cut on my finger, applied an antibiotic, clean bandaids, and waited three days – then prayed for my finger to be healed and voila’ – it was healed! the problem is that i prayed to god, Zeus, Athena, Thor, the lamp, and a paper clip that was bent in half… so now I don’t know who to thank. Please help!

    They also believe that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…
    Makes perfect sense!

    And we are the ones living our “fantasies” with no proof?

    @ BELIEVERS: Stop saying we don’t have our own morals. What is right and wrong is mostly innate. It doesn’t take god to keep us on the “straight and narrow”. Tens of millions of people live in this country without religion… yet it’s the religious trying to tear it apart – not us.

  • joseph montemayor

    Would Jesus Be a Democrat or a Republican?

    Republican Christians certainly would not think that Jesus would be a Democrat, yet — as with most things — they are wrong.

    We are given some hints in the Bible and the Catholic Church’s teachings about whether Jesus would be a Democrat or a Republican:

    · In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus proclaims that how you treat the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and other “least of these,” is how you treat Jesus himself. And if you fail to help the “least of these,” Jesus promises, he will send you to Hell.

    · Catholic social doctrine holds that the resources of the earth, and the output of man’s work, are meant to be shared equitably by all.

    · The Catholic Church calls for a “preferential option for the poor.”

    · An overwhelming concern for the poor and for economic justice permeates the Old Testament.

    · There is the redistribution of wealth injunction of the Old Testament Jubilee Year, when slaves were released and land returned to its original owners. [67]

    · And last but not least, do I even have to bring up the clarion words of Jesus repeated in virtual identical fashion in three of the Gospels:

    Mark 10:25

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. [other translations] [68]

    Such a teaching directly out of the mouth of Christ does not indicate a favorable attitude towards the type of unbridled accumulation of wealth celebrated by Republican right-wing pseudo-Christians. [69]

    To hear the Republican pseudo-Christians, the Messiah’s real name must have been Jesus “Adam Smith” Christ. Could someone please tell me where Jesus extols the effectiveness – let alone the morality — of trickle-down economics? Or the genius of the “free market”? Or where Jesus indicates even in the slightest way that the Matthew 25 suffering “least of these” should not be helped?

    The average Democrat, at least in his or her concern that the world’s goods be distributed equitably and that the suffering “least of these” be helped, seems a lot closer to the words of Jesus, the entire Bible, and Catholic Church social doctrine than does the blind, idol-level market-worship of Republican pseudo-Christians. [

  • Robbie

    @Grady

    Please, don't tell me that Jesus is the only source of morality that one has to derive from while growing in America? There are Muslims (who have Jesus as a prophet but a minor one), Buddhists, Shintoist, and Native Americans with their own belief systems. How about immigrants to the US from contemporary "pagan" societies in Africa? (an interesting book "African Gods: Contemporary Rituals and Beliefs"). I think I can hear next argument from you that the only god out there planted seeds in these false gods of the Africans who derive their morality still through Jesus who is part of the only true god.

    We can go on about this till we are blue in the face. By the way, check out the cover of this book, there are blue faces on it.

  • colon cleansing

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  • CNA Training

    Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

  • James Z Despain

    Thanks for the great post. Page Bookmarked

  • Pingback: linxxx – a news roundup so you can avoid your family for the holiday by telling them you’re catching up on world events | The Ladies' Guide to the Apocalypse

  • Pingback: linxxx – a news roundup so you can avoid your family for the holiday by telling them you’re catching up on world events - The Ladies' Guide to the Apocalypse

  • Pingback: linxxx – a news roundup so you can avoid your family for the holiday by telling them you’re catching up on world events - My Blog