Progressive Revival

In a now famous exchange with Joe the Plumber (aka Joe Wurzelbacher), Senator Obama said: “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”  This quote has been the rallying call of the McCain campaign for the last week.  McCain is currently on a “Keep your Wealth” bus tour around Florida in an effort to make it clear to all of America that Obama is a socialist and is about to ship all of us out to work on a farm cooperative.

Obama is not a socialist.  Any dogmatic economic system wouldn’t sit well with his pragmatic soul.  He is not a socialist, but he is a Christian.  Obama believes that as a society we do have an obligation to love our neighbors in need and that this is a spiritual mandate upon which we will be judged.  Perhaps Obama takes the Bible seriously when he reads the example in Acts 2: 44-45 which recalls the early Christian community: “All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold
their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man
had need.” 

Money is a tricky thing for those who take Jesus seriously.  Keep Your Wealth would not be a tour that Christ would be able to get behind as he told the rich man that he could not love both God and Money; and instructed the rich man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor.   My great grandfather Walter Rauschenbusch was also not a Socialist, but he did have a healthy suspicion of those who wanted to horde money while the poor starved.  In his book Christianity and the Social Crisis, released in 1907 he wrote:

Wealth – to use a
homely illustration – is to a nation what manure is to a farm.  If the farmer spreads it evenly over the
soil, it will enrich the whole.  If he
should leave it in heaps, the land would be impoverished and under the rich
heaps the vegetation would be killed.

Sounds like when you spread Money, and manure around, it is good for everyone. 

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