Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is God a socialist?

Today's Detroit News contained an interesting op-ed from Doug Bandow, author of the book, Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics. I haven't read the book so can not comment on it, but his op-end, Is God a Socialst?, contains an interesting perspective on people, religion, and politics--specifically Christians.

The version appearing in the Detroit News is an edited-down version of a longer piece published in The American Spectator on January 9, 2009.

Rather than dilute his commentary with mine, I'll simply quote my favorite sections below and encourage you to read either the short version or the long version for yourself. I've only written two related articles to his points below. They are; Thou shalt not covet or graduate your neighbors' taxes and Christ among the partisans.

To understand the context of his comments and why I like them it is important to know the sections below were preceded with examples of churches, church leaders, and religious people praying and demonstrating to influence public policy. The implication being that some people's faith creates a desire to model public policy after their interpretation of scripture. But more importantly that compassion must be connected to consequence. Good intention are not enough and we should remember where the path paved with good intentions leads.

"However, applying Christian principles requires more than a little humility. The Bible tells much about man's relationship to God and man, but very little about the role of government. That is, Christian principles yield no specific legislative agenda.

"For instance, one cannot read Scripture without a profound appreciation of our duty to help our neighbors. However, we are commanded to give, not to make others give.

"The welfare state is a matter of political prudence, not religious principle. That is one reason why the Apostle James encouraged us to ask God for wisdom. Christians are expected to be compassionate, but God does not detail how we are to give compassion practical effect. The point is, compassion is not enough. Consequences matter.

"Should the government further bail out the auto industry? Channeling scarce resources into failing industries will divert needed money from existing companies and potential new enterprises, destroying even more jobs.

"Attempting to freeze the housing market would merely prolong the agony of many people who borrowed too much. Artificially propping up housing prices also will penalize potential buyers -- especially low-income and new purchasers.

"A Christian's walk in the political world will never be easy. But Christians should never forget that their principal duties have nothing to do with politics."

1 comment:

  1. No.


    When Jesus returns and sets up the millennial reign we'll be looking, essentially, at Plato's "philosopher king."