The landscape of news has been littered with Al Sharpon and Jim Wallis (as well as others), telling us that people of faith must endorse:
1. Immigration reform (whether it respects the rule of law or not)
2. Environmental initiatives (even though Steven D. Levitt author of SuperFreakonomics and friend of Clinton notes that none of the suggested “solutions” actual solve anything except lining government with more slush money),
3. Socialism (though Socialism has killed 90-110 million people throughout history).
When Ted Cruz’s pastor correctly warned this week about the historic dangers of socialism and compared it to the path the United States is on, many freaked out -calling this kind of faith-based analysis inappropriate. I say, “Way to go!” We don’t need less ideas, but more voices arguing for what’s right. While God is clearly not an elephant or a donkey, he is a lion who warns us about political porkers who take from one group and give to another. As a note in my new book Godonomics, the story of Reheboam is ripped from today’s headlines as Israel’s leader wrestles with lowering government taxation, decreasing government spending and returning liberty to the people. The king rejects God’s plan and does what dictators and government inteventionists have done for centuries, he chooses spending, taxing, and his own agenda over the rights of the people. A civil war breaks out for the entire back half of the Old Testament. And yet, pastors think God advocates for social ownership of property and industry by taking from one to give to another?
When I hear the Reverand Al Sharpton say, “The goal was to make everything equal in everyone’s house,” I must pause and ask myself, “What exactly is Al a reverand of?” Because those comments have more in common with the Communist Manifesto than the Holy Scriptures. When Jim Wallis advocates government interventionism in the name of Jesus, I wonder if most people know that as editor of Sojourner’s magazine in 1982-1984, his magazine recommended “Max and the Bible” as a great way to understand his magazine’s perspective. I address the dangers of socialism, it’s opposition to the Bible and history in two chapters entitled, “What Would God Say to Jim Wallis?” Since political, religious, and economic freedom are always intertwined in history, should we be surprised that pastors and people of faith have spoken up against centralized power throughout history? Moses’ affirmation of property rights contrasts a faith-based perspective from all three isms (communism, socialism, and marxism which agree on the need to abolish private property). Dietrich Bonhoeffer argued with progressive pastors who didn’t want to speak up against the increasing government intrusion of Hitler. Christianity has always had pastors with voices warning that socialism is evil, inefficient, and always takes more than it gives.
Our culture only heralds the voices of pastors who agree with their presuppositions, but demonizes men of faith who actually articulate a Biblical and historic assessment of socialism. One of the rights given to us by our Creator is the freedom of speech. Let everyone speak up and let’s assess their ideas carefully. Unfortunately, most people know just enough of the Bible to be dangerous. When I hear most pastors advocate socialism, I think of the principle in Billy Madison:
“What you’ve just said;… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
Capitalism is not just a good idea; it’s God’s idea. Jesus was no more a Marxist than he was a murderer.