Christian Socialism

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Agnapostate, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Agnapostate
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    When we examine Scripture, it can certainly be noted that Jesus promoted some variety of egalitarianism, and the Bible generally prohibited many practices which function as standard capitalist business practices today (i.e. usury).

    But perhaps most importantly, we can note that a specific endorsement of libertarian communism as a Christian lifestyle comes from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, which should obviously better be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the apostles, as the apostles could not act were the power of God not in them. I noted both Acts 2:44-35, where it is written, "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need," as well as Acts 4:32, which states "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."

    With this in mind, how can we conclude anything other than that Falwell, Robertson and others who supported the expansion of neoliberalism under the regimes of Reagan and Thatcher are acting primarily in the service of the flesh rather than in the service of the Lord? One cannot serve both God and mammon, and while it has been a tendency to condemn specific individuals that acted contrary to that principle in their own personal dealings (i.e. Jimmy Swaggart), it may also be enlightening to examine the ideological principles of men claiming to act in the service of God but only serve to uphold regimes that promote actions contrary to Biblical principles.

    Moreover, Christians can reasonably oppose authoritarian forms of Marxism, in that they promote state atheism and state capitalism, and Marxism's anti-religious element directly descended from Feuerbach, but we must also examine whether it would be acting in the Lord's will to promote libertarian forms of socialism or more humane forms of socialism affiliated with the liberation theology movement.
     
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  2. Sky Dancer
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    What?

    Reagan and Thatcher promoted liberalism?
     
  3. Agnapostate
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    They promoted neoliberalism, which is an expansion of the economic theories of classical liberalism (which is erroneously called "libertarianism" today.
     
  4. Diuretic
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    Surface Christianity, the veneer without depth. The tele-evangelists for the most part - I'm willing to give Schuller a break - are materialists, they're in it for the money. But I'm not going to lel the Vatican off easy, have you seen their stuff????

    I suppose Christianity has come a long way from its origins. A long time ago, probably Constantine, it became entertwined with secular power and authority and one reinforced the other to their own benefit.
     
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  5. Agnapostate
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    One of the most critical things noted by Bill Maher in Religulous was the fact that Jesus would likely disapprove of the ornate and sophisticated nature of the Vatican and other elaborate churches and temples, and would likely have more sympathy for the surrounding slums.
     
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    Very probably. I have to tell you my mouth fell open when I was inside St Peter's I just couldn't believe what I was seeing . And I suppose, like a museum, you only get to see a small portion of the total holdings.
     
  7. Sky Dancer
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    Thanks for clarifying that. Reagan and Thatcher were not liberals.

    Anti-union, free market and free trade are classic conservative Republican positions. The conservative Republican party is the party of corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy and big business greed.
     
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  8. Agnapostate
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    Small government is a classic conservative position, but it hasn't been a Republican position since the hijacking of the GOP by the Christian Right and the neocon interventionists, in my opinion.
     
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    By pairing the classical big business/corporate greed model with socially regressive, conservatve evangelical religous base, the Republicans tricked poor people into signing on with them.
     
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    Terminology issue. What Americans call "liberals" the rest of us in the west call "left" or "centre left". In economics "liberal" is somewhat aligned to "laissez-faire". Because Americans have conflated "liberal" with "left" there had to be a new word for them and so "libertarian" was borrowed from the Anarchists. It's very confusing.
     

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