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Of Workers and Wealth

Pope Leo XIII: Whether we have wealth or lack it makes no difference. What matters is to justly use what we have, especially if we are rich.


The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth.

Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity.

Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvellous and manifold. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice.

Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.

The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers – that is truly shameful and inhuman.

Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings.

Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this – that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one’s profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine.

To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. “Behold, the hire of the laborers. . .which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen’s earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred. Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?

But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death.

Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery.

The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation – that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place.

As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned – it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. . . .

Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ – threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord – and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess.

– from Rerum Novarum (1891)

VIDEO: The Todd Starnes 2016 Christmas Show

Celebrating the reason for the season! FOX News Radio presents Christmas performances by Jason Crabb, Meredith Andrews, The Mylon Hayes Family, and the Bellevue Singing Christmas Tree Choir from Memphis Tennessee!

The Todd Starnes Christmas Show is sponsored by “The Case for Christ” in theaters April 2017, and Brim’s Snack Foods.

A Doctor’s Prescription for Risky World Views and What Some Think is Christianity

Don’t let what you think you know prevent an honest look at a broader picture.

A PhD in math acknowledged that even the smartest person cannot know even 1% of all knowledge, so what’s the possibility that God could exist in the other 99%? And some things don’t fit into words—we can know the flavor of chocolate, but we can’t explain it to someone who never tasted it.

The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” The parallel to chocolate suggests it is impossible for someone to know if this is so without an honest (even scientifically fair) trial. In science, there is talk of a controlled experiment where you test something in one group compared to another group without it.

The wonderful thing about life is that we are not like animals, but have highly developed powers of reason. We can think it through and choose which side of belief we are on. We can say “No” to Intelligent Design and the Designer who gifted us the computer between our ears and our marvelous bodies that repair the wear and tear and even reverse diseases that we brought on ourselves by what we put in our mouths, if we repent—a good example that also applies to the spiritual dimension.

Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” It was hard for Gandhi to sort the claims of “Christian” political powers from the claims of Christ who said His kingdom was not of this world. Muslims see a similar problem with the Great Satan that brought alcohol, tobacco, drugs, crime, sex, violence, Hollywood, TV, perversions and rock music to their lands. They think this is Christianity.

Nevertheless, the ‘controlled experiment’ to discern the difference between faith in God and none might be seen in the huge social experiment called America. When a medieval church proved Gandhi right and controlled governments in the Dark Ages, people hid Bibles in their homes at the risk of being tortured or burned at the stake. No wonder thousands braved death at sea or from Indians or starvation for freedom.

Founding fathers gave America a Constitution that was second only to the Ten Commandments as a basis for self-government. And if we governed ourselves wisely, there is NO need for government to tell us what to do. Lincoln said the Bible is the greatest gift that God has given to man. Without it, we would not know right from wrong.  He liberated the slaves. The US also gave women the right to vote.  Christianity has elevated women and we rose to greatness as we defeated Hitler and Japan in WW II.

But since the United Nations began in 1945, the world has turned against Gandhi and Christ with a fabrication of Catholic and Communist countries to strategize for global government by men who can’t govern themselves as the billions spent on lawsuits to defend against pedophilia suggest—never mind homosexuality that’s said to be rampant in the priesthood.

Instead of America being a shining light on the hill, the truth of God and His goodness can only be seen when the judgments He pronounced against sin will fall on America for killing millions of infants and the redefining of marriage. God (not the priest) can forgive any sin, but He cannot look the other way on it. Calvary was too costly and our forgiveness must include a desire for a clean heart that even King David prayed for in Psalm 51.

Saying no to this, is like accepting the 99% of consequences that we don’t understand when those who have tasted of God’s goodness will say it is far better than chocolate.

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EDITORS NOTE: For readers who may be interested, Dr. Ruhling recommends a short book, translated into 125+ languages, and can be read online here. For those who aren’t ready to go there, how about another look at some scientific questions, here.

He has Risen!

Jesus Christ died. He died quivering on a cross, after receiving a horrific public thrashing that would have killed any other human. He died after carrying His own instrument of death, the top part of the cross, to Golgotha where He was brutally and efficiently nailed to the beam He carried. He died after hanging between heaven and earth for about six hours in unexplainable agony. To make certain of His death, the order was given to pierce His side with a spear which released the very last drops of His blood. The professional soldiers who carried out the crucifixion detail were seasoned veterans with many crucifixions on their resumes; these hardened men were so certain of Jesus Christ’s death they did not even take the time to break His legs, as it was quite plain to see He was dead, He was finished. Pilate, the Temple High Priest, and all of the religious leadership in Jerusalem were also certain of this fact, and rested in the knowledge that they had successfully killed an uprising, as well as this so-called King of the Jews, this Son of God. It is done! It is finished! As the afternoon sun faded and the late day shadows began to grow so did the shadows of hopelessness and utter dismay and gloom by Christ’s disciples. Such brooding sadness appeared that only dazed looks with puzzled grief that knew no words were exchanged among those who had been the closest followers, and may I say, “Believers.” Utterly crushed, beaten, and most likely Wanted Men…these men had just hours prior sat at table with the man they came to know as The Son of God; the long awaited Messiah! These men now scattered in an attempt to pick up any remaining pieces of their lives interrupted a little over three years before.

Jesus was confirmed dead, but Pilate was reminded that this strange, troublesome religious Dreamer (Nut) claimed He would rise on the third-day. So to make certain that no theatrics could be accomplished a Roman Guard was set at the tomb. The tomb was sealed with the Official Roman Seal to make certain no one would enter (or leave) the burial chamber thereby beginning a new round of zealotry. Even if an attempt was made to tamper with the seal, the soldiers standing post would prevent a successful conclusion, as well as bring instant death to anyone attempting such an act. There would be no more talk about His kingdom being established. There would be no more statements that He could summon twelve legions of angels to His assistance. There would be no more Messiah…He will trouble us no more!

Then came Sunday morning.

Sometime prior to dawn, in a borrowed burial tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, there was a stirring, a fluttering of unseen forces…the presence of angels, and the unexplainable breath of God moving through the garden and into the tomb. Immeasurable forces poured life back into the dead body that laid on the cold stone slab in that tomb; and the dead man rose and came out of the grave, and out of the grave clothes, and into life just prior to Mary’s arrival as she came to grieve and stand watch. But Mary stood in shock and awe in front of the tomb as the massive stone had been rolled away, and now the sepulchre was empty except for the two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. As Mary cried-out asking, “What have you done with Him?” she heard her name spoken as only her dear, dear friend, Jesus could speak it, only this time all of heaven was in His tone. And she knew. She simply replied to Him, “Rabboni,” which is to say, “Master.” Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and a few other women then ran and got the disciples, but they ran with the news that “Christ has Risen…He has Risen indeed!” The disciples did not expect this to happen no matter how much they wanted it to be true. How about you? Would you have expected this, regardless of Jesus spending a little over three years sharing and revealing His purpose on earth, and the will of His Heavenly Father? How about today? Right now? Do you believe Jesus of Nazareth died for you, was buried for your sins and deeds, and then rose on the third-day? Do you believe? The disciples will understand your doubts, your hesitancy. So does the Lord who was actually in that tomb, but came out! He understands.

Eight days passed, and the disciples were together. Suddenly Jesus was with them. These men, who just a very short-time prior were in deep mourning and bewilderment were reported by thousands to be “lights to the world” with their faces and manner, joyous and rejoicing in the good news of Christ’s Resurrection. Ignorant men? Self-serving? An invention by a group of men hoping to cash in? And would you or anyone you know invent such a story so as to be crucified upside down, like Peter? How about stay with such a story causing your head to be chopped off, like Paul, or to be stoned to death like Steven? Each of the disciples, save John, met with a horrible death at the hands of church and government authorities who years later still could not afford to have the Resurrection Story of Jesus Christ shared, much less believed by the masses. Today the forces of darkness, division, confusion, and humanism do NOT want you to learn, much less accept the truth of Christ’s Resurrection from death. Maybe even more today than thousands of years ago, the powers aligned against God’s Word do NOT want you to come into the saving knowledge and grace of the Risen Christ, the Begotten Son of God who surrendered His Crown in Heaven for a Crown of Thorns on earth; His Seat at the right hand of the Heavenly Father for the rugged and splintered wooden cross that became His seat of death on earth.

Look again at the picture above my remarks. You are looking from inside an empty tomb across the land to an empty cross. The same cross and tomb Jesus Christ occupied for a short-time before ascending into Heaven for all time, for all eternity. Jesus is not dead! The tomb is empty! Jesus has risen from the dead…He has Risen indeed!

RELATED ARTICLE: Maclean’s Easter cover asks “Did Jesus Really Exist?”

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Young Alchemists Make a Patriotic Invitation to All Presidential Candidates

HOUSTON, TX /PRNewswire/ — The Young Alchemists Foundation, a patriotic nonprofit organization for planetary healing, has written a letter to the President and to all presidential candidates inviting them to join their global movement to plant the seed of patriotism in the hearts and minds of our youth. The American children are losing their culture and no one is doing anything to prevent it.

This patriotic campaign has been initiated by the Young Alchemists, a group of extraordinary teenagers that in a fun way will educate, protect, inspire and entertain the youth of America!

young alchemists logoTo the President and all Presidential Candidates
United States of America

Dear Mr. President and Presidential Candidates,

The Young Alchemists Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for planetary healing-guardians of our youth, protectors of the planet and defenders of World Peace, has initiated a global movement to educate, inspire and entertain the youth of planet earth in a fun way. This movement was born in the United States and it is for this reason the first mission of the Young Alchemists Foundation is to help revive the American spirit and restore the Spirit of God and Patriotism in the hearts of all American children without distinction of race, culture or religious affiliation.

The young Alchemists are here to remind Americans and immigrants from all over the world that they live in this land of freedom.  As parents and citizens of this nation, their duty and responsibility is to teach their children to love and respect God and the ideals, culture and traditions that made the United States of America the greatest nation in the world. The Young Alchemists Foundation has created this patriotic movement because the American children are losing their culture and we must educate and protect them from negative influences determined to win their hearts and persuade them to betray their country, themselves, their families and all humanity.

As president and presidential candidates of the United States of America and role models for the American children, with much love and respect, we ask you to join our cause and become Alchemist Knights and American patriots; support our movement and help the Young Alchemists Foundation to teach our American children respect for their country, its culture and for the American heroes and martyrs that have contributed to make our nation the greatest nation in the world. 

If you agree with our movement, help us to remind the world that the American Spirit is alive in our hearts and in the hearts of our children our future leaders and our only hope for a better world.

Remember, it’s great to help children around the world; however it will be a great disgrace for the future of this nation if we neglect our own.

Sincerely,

Norma Pastor
Founder, Young Alchemists Foundation
WWW.TYAF.CO

The Young Alchemists Foundation
2135 Hill Canyon CT
Sugar Land Texas 77479
Tel: 281 781 4385

The ‘Same God’ Question — Part 1

Why the wrong answer is killing the West, including America

Larycia Hawkins

Wheaton College Professor Larycia Hawkins, poster-girl for the Same God Question.

Introduction: An Epistemological Malady

In his 2010 book, Revelation: Do We Worship the Same God? [1], Mark Durie addresses what is at stake when it comes to the “Same God Question”:

The traditional Islamic view is that if you want to know what the God of the Bible is like, then read the Koran. Not only must Muslims believe that ‘we worship the same God’, but this message is always a central component of the presentation of Islam to Christians and Jews.

[This ‘Same God’ message] provides the lynchpin of Muslims’ efforts to convert the ‘People of the Book’ to the faith of Muhammad. In addition, this belief, once accepted, can lead Christians to support Islamic perspectives in ways other than conversion. For example, embracing this Islamic doctrine wins a measure of respect and even support for Islam from Christians.

(Mark Durie, Revelation: Do We Worship the Same God?, pp 75-76; emphasis added.)

Durie’s clarity on the importance of answering properly the “Same God Question” makes our study of this question essential. In fact, I would argue that the “Same God Question” is equally important for atheists and agnostics to ponder. Some are understanding this, in spite of their predisposition against Christianity. For example, the high-profile atheist Richard Dawkins recently expressed his concern over the decline of Christianity, stating “Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.” His analysis will almost certainly cost him some allies on the Left. Consider these observations:

“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”

In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.

Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.

The flip side to Dawkins’ point is that Western Civilization might indeed be warranted in protecting Christian culture against Islam and jihad.

This is such an obvious set of considerations and conclusions — all of which stem from a correct answer to the Same God Question — that it is astonishing to be confronted with the writings of those who have never considered this issue, or who have answered The Question incorrectly.

Perhaps nowhere do we find a better expression of  the general lack of awareness — and even admission of lack of interest — concerning this pivotal question than in Rod Dreher’s December 17, 2015 post, “Muslim God, Christian God”. I am thankful for his honesty in this article, even if I am deeply disturbed by it.

Dreher’s grappling with The Question was prompted by Wheaton College’s suspension of a professor over this very issue. Dreher cites Wheaton’s statement (emphasis added):

On December 15, 2015, Wheaton College placed Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins on paid administrative leave in order to give more time to explore theological implications of her recent public statements concerning Christianity and Islam…

[Her] recently expressed views, including that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, appear to be in conflict with the College’s Statement of Faith.

And so, we launch into the theological deep-end, with the “Same God Question” finally being brought out into the public square. You can read the whole thing, which for all its obvious sincerity is hopelessly muddled, but I think that’s part of Dreher’s point.

I commend Dreher for his public honesty, especially this section (emphasis added):

To be honest, I’ve never thought at all about whether Muslims pray to the same God as Christians. The Catholic Church teaches that they do, and that was my belief when I was a Catholic, though I never gave it a minute’s thought. I don’t know what I believe now, to be honest. We know that Muslims do not pray to the Holy Trinity — but this is also true of Jews.

Don’t Christians (most Christians) believe that Jews pray to the one true God, even if they have an imperfect understanding of His nature? If this is true for Jews, why not also for Muslims, who clearly adhere to an Abrahamic religion? This is why my tendency is to assume that Muslims do pray to the one true God, even though they have a radically impaired view of Him.

But how far do we go with that?

How far indeed!

The early Christian Church fathers would (and did) have plenty to say about this, including a vigorous denial — based on the Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures — of the statement that Islam is an “Abrahamic religion.”

More from Dreher:

I’m not sure what I think. I mean, I assume, in charity, that people who intend their prayers to be to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are praying to the true God, whatever they lack in theological understanding. But again, I’ve not given this much thought.

How about you?

Again, I appreciate Rod Dreher’s honesty, and I think a great many people are in the same boat as he. They don’t know what they think, and have never given it much thought.

Dreher confesses one or the other epistemological malady five times.

Five times. In three paragraphs.

In our age of genocide against Christians by Muslims in Africa and the Middle East, the global war on Christians by Islam, the collapse of Christianity in Europe, and the global rise of Islam and stealth jihad everywhere, for sincere Christians to not have ever thought about the “Same God” issue, and to not be sure what they think about it, is deeply, deeply troubling.

Yet as we see from the constant stream of statements from Christian bishops, leaders and writers urging “greater solidarity with Islam<“, embracing Muhammad as “a prophet” who “brought love, peace, and much more” to the world, and similar affirmations, the avoidance of The Question is an epistemological malady not merely of the average Christian in the pew, but of church educated, elite and shepherds as well. Political leaders look to such positions as grounding their policies towards Muslims and the religion of Islam in general. And the public policies justified by such Islam-embracing pronouncements provide an open door for Islam to advance its influence and control throughout the West. Indeed, this has been going on for decades now.

This must be addressed, and reversed, if Western leaders are to stand a chance of articulating a coherent policy to protect and preserve our civilization, and see it through the new century.

Dreher asks on his blog, “How about you?”  Therefore, I decided to put some effort into this, especially as my own 2010 book deals with the “Same God” question at some length.

The answer to this question has, I believe, not only temporal but eternal implications, which is why I opened Chapter 1 of my book, Facing IslamOn Religious Dialogue — with this quote:

“Can any one of us be silent if he sees that many of his brethren simultaneously are walking along a path that leads them and their flock to a disastrous precipice through their unwitting loss of Orthodoxy?”  — Metropolitan Philaret of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 1969

Of course, in the context of this article I am speaking of Christian “orthodoxy” with a lower-case “o”. So, from a theological position, I will be appealing to traditional Christian foundations common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Coptic Orthodox (and shared by Oriental Christians), and Islam’s position vis a vis Christianity.

Next up, Part 2: Allah’s Theological Jihad against Christianity

[1] Alas, Revelation is out of print (with used copies fetching prices of $160 and up on Amazon!), but Dr. Durie has updated his presentation on this issue in a new book, Which God?: Jesus, Holy Spirit, God in Christianity and Islam, in which I was unable to find the quote I selected for my opening citation.

Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.

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Lawsuit filed on Behalf of Marine Dad who Objected to Islamic Indoctrination of Daughter

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday afternoon, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of former Marine, John Kevin Wood, and his wife, Melissa, who refuse to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school World History class.  The lawsuit was filed against the Charles County Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the Principal and Vice-Principal of La Plata High School located in La Plata, Maryland.

Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit On Behalf of Marine Dad Banned from School Property After He Objected to Islamic Indoctrination of Daughter

The Woods’ daughter was forced to profess and to write out the Shahada in worksheets and quizzes.  The Shahada is the Islamic Creed, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”  For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam.  Moreover, the second part of the statement, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader.  The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.

Charles County Public Schools disparaged Christianity by teaching its 11th grade students, including the Woods’ daughter, that: “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”

The Charles County Public Schools also taught the following:

  • “Islam, at heart, is a peaceful
  • “To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”
  • The Koran states, “Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”

Read the two exhibits containing Student worksheets here.

The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Koran explicitly instructs Muslims “to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.”  (Sura 9-5)

When John Kevin Wood discovered the Islamic propaganda and indoctrination of his daughter, he was rightfully outraged.  He immediately contacted the school to voice his objections and to obtain an alternative assignment for his daughter.

The Woods, as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our Savior, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and that following the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal salvation.  The Woods believe that it is a sin to profess commitment in word or writing to any god other than the Christian God.  Thus, they object to their daughter being forced to deny the Christian God and to her high school promoting Islam over other religions.

The school ultimately refused to allow the Woods’ daughter to opt-out of the assignments, forcing her to either violate her faith by pledging to Allah or receive zeros for the assignments.  Together, John Kevin Wood, Melissa Wood, and their daughter chose to remain faithful to God and refused to complete the assignments, even though failing grades would harm her future admission to college and her opportunities to obtain college scholarships.

Adding insult to injury, in an effort to silence all pro-Christian speech in her school, La Plata’s principal, without a hearing or any opportunity to refute the false allegations against him, issued a “No Trespass” notice against John Kevin Wood denying him any access to school grounds.

Wood served 8 years in the Marine Corps.  He was deployed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and lost friends to Islamic extremists.  A few years later, Wood responded as a firefighter to the 9-11 Islamic terrorist attack on the Pentagon.  Wood witnessed firsthand the destruction created in the name of Allah and knows that Islam is not “a religion of peace.”  The school prevented John Kevin Wood from defending his daughter’s Christian beliefs against Islamic indoctrination, even though as a Marine, he stood in harm’s way to defend our nation, and the Charles County Public Schools.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “Defendants forced Wood’s daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the Shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader. Her World History class spent one day on Christianity and two weeksimmersed in Islam. Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another.”

Thompson added, “The course also taught false statements such as “Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians, and Islam as a “religion of peace. Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism.  This is happening in public schools across the country.  And they must take action to stop it.”

The Woods’ lawsuit seeks a court declaration that Defendants violated their constitutional and statutory rights, a temporary and permanent injunction barring Defendants from endorsing Islam or favoring Islam over Christianity and other religions, and from enforcing the no trespassing order issued against John Kevin Wood.

Read entire Federal Complaint here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Maryland High School Under Fire Over Islam Curriculum

Christmas in History: First Media Reports of Nativity Story

How did the ancient mass media report the alleged birth of Christ?

The People’s Cube prepared the following compilation of quotes from the Roman and Judean sources, which should help our readers to form an unbiased opinion of what really happened in the days surrounding the so-called Christmas…

© 2007 Directorate of Historical Revisionism, Karl Marx Treatment Center.


Click here for a larger image

OTHER STORIES:

Judea Today

Another Consumer of Nature’s Resources Born in BethlehemAn international scientific consensus has been reached, and it’s not in Mary and Joseph’s favor. Had the parents of Jesus been more proactive in raising their awareness, they may have considered such important factors as Judea’s fragile environment and air pollution that only increases with every newborn child. No matter how amusing a set of small carbon footprints around the house may seem initially, potential parents should always remember that the footprints will only become bigger as the child matures and turns into yet another indulgent consumer of nature’s limited resources.

The Daily Pharisee 

Scrutiny Tightens On Three Magoi’s Lobbying Operation

BETHLEHEM, December 28 – House Ethics Committee Chair Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Judea) urges congressional ethics probe into gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh by three Magoi – who are the focus of criminal investigations by the Justice Department.

The ethics panel said in a statement that a special subcommittee would try to determine if two Nazoreans violated the law by accepting “gifts, travel benefits, contributions to religious committees and organizations, or any other items of value” from the three Magoi and their lobbying operation.

The Nazoreans who were identified by name as the focus of the committee’s investigations – Joseph and Mary – have said they are innocent of wrongdoing.

Samara Post Intelligencer

Suspected Religious Cultists Exposed in Bethlehem

A homeless couple claiming that an “angel” had declared their infant child “the son of God,” was caught red-handed while apparently trying to engage in some ritual involving animals behind a local inn. Despite his young age, the unplanned and undocumented child whom they referred to as “Jesus” had already acquired notoriety in the religious underworld, operating under several aliases including Immanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace. Authorities are investigating a possible link to the highly profitable smuggling of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The police arrived at the scene after a call made by a local PETA activist who complained that the couple and the mob that followed them had inconvenienced the resident animals and “displaced handfuls of hay” in order to make a bed for the infant. “What sort of people are these that would invade a peaceful manger, disturb the animals in their home, deprive them of sleep of nourishment, and do YHWH knows what else with them?”

Prosecutors are considering charging the couple as accessories to an unauthorized light show that terrorized area shepherds who happened to be tending their flocks at night. No charges are currently being considered against the infant, though authorities have made clear that he will require careful observation and possibly therapy as he grows up.

The Nazareth Post (Lifestyle Section)

Mary: A Pregnant Teen Failed By The Government

Despite the homeschooling, the abstinence-only education, and her determination to save herself for that special someone, Mary Davidian, 15, still found herself pregnant. Neither her former resolve to remain chaste, not the fact that she was known by all and sundry as “The Virgin Mary,” prevented her from becoming yet another statistic in the growing problem of unwed teen mothers throughout the Roman Empire, particularly in poorer provinces like Judea.

Mary’s been betrothed for some time to Joseph Nazareth, 18, who operates a struggling lumber fabrication business out of his own home. But Joseph – and Mary, too – both agree he’s not the father.

When asked about the father’s identity, Mary raves incoherently about angels and dreams, and someone whom she can only identify as God, a likely gang-related alias.

“We don’t know who this God is, his age, if perhaps he’s so much older than young Mary that he might be guilty of statutory rape,” said a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Nazareth. “Notwithstanding, the fact that Mary conceived even though she’s still a virgin is all the proof anyone needs, that teaching abstinence to our children is totally unrealistic and ineffective. Can’t the right-winged religious extremists see that even when they remain virgins, young people are still going to go out and have sex?”

Rome News and World Report

Senate Ratings At All-Time Low As Occupation of Judea Continues

ROME (Associated Papyrus) The Senate voted today to continue the funding of legions in the Middle East under the threat of a dictatorial veto if they passed a bill that would have denied the funds. The move further alienated the Senate’s base, which vented its anger with posts on The DailyStylus.

“We voted to put them in office with the promise that they’d bring the legions home before Saturnalia. Well, it’s Saturnalia and they’re not home. I’m never voting again!” wrote Alvamus Goldscroll, an unemployed lyre player from Woodaquaduct. “I’m so angry, I’m getting a mallet. Stop the illegal occupation of Judea!”

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire (a.k.a. politically correct) column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

National Greatness Begins With The Fear Of The Lord

If you have ever taken the time to ponder upon the state of education in America, perhaps you may consider the process of eliminating the influence of the Christian Bible.  The book of Proverbs reminds us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (1:7) Despite the often repeated lie of bigoted progressives and some libertarians, the Founding Fathers realized the importance of providing and maintaining the needed influence of biblical absolutes upon the future direction of the republic.

In 1776, the future president John Adams said, “statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the very principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”  Of course, contrary to misguided popular opinion, that worthy mindset was widely held among the founders who helped shape the political, educational, and legal foundation of the United States of America.

Such luminaries like Daniel Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Adams, and the father of our country, George Washington and many others echoed those same sentiments.  They wisely believed that the strength of the republic was dependent upon the morality of “We the People.”  They also believed that religion (I would say Christianity) must undergird it.   The founders clearly understood and saw the proper education of young minds being near the center of positive American progress.

All one has to do is objectively look at the process of decline in the quality of life in America that is in line with the reduction in the worthiness of government school education.  Many might say that what is called education is actually progressive government school, Saul Alinsky inspired indoctrination of students against all that is good. Also at the same time the standard of information regarding the quality of information regarding American history, math, science, etc. via common core and other deviant programs.

I for one have interviewed both high school and college students regarding subjects like American history, political science and civics.  Needless to say most of them had no concept of what civics is. I must say that it was very disappointing to witness the lack of any knowledge about authentic American history.  Yet they all could recite pro Muslim, anti-American, and anti-Christian bigotry.  Many students even displayed a level of hostility against our constitution, capitalism, Christianity and even Fox News.  All in All there was very little substantive evidence of intellectually stimulated sovereign individuals looking forward to building a good life in this great republic.

My concern is if these attitudes are not broken by truth and common sense, the United States of America has already seen her last days as a great nation.  One of my other disappointments with the results the Godless, constitution free indoctrination is the inability of students to discriminate the crucial differences even concerning current events.  For example, recently many American government school students gnashed their teeth and railed against presidential candidate Donald Trump.  Why?  Because he had the audacity to say “America should temporarily stop letting in Muslims until we can sort things out.”  But yet, they hardly expressed a care in the world about the recent and not so recent Muslim terrorist attacks against our republic.  There are few things more vulnerable than a nation who’s citizens are brainwashed against her defense and are clueless concerning authentic history, patriotism, and the importance of a strong moral fiber.

Unfortunately, because of a philosophical shift that took place in America which opened the door to the erosion in the quality of education and then moral standards­, our beleaguered nation could soon suffer tragic consequences.  It is as if the wisdom that America was once known for has taken wing and flown back to our heavenly father.  Thus the United States open to the decisions and evil plans of the progressives like President Obama to fundamentally change America.

It is abundantly clear that the founding fathers were correct in noting that the United States would fail, if she lost her religious (or Christian) foundation.  It is primarily incumbent upon Christian believers to stop being politically correct wimps and apathetic creeps.  Christians and so-called conservative republicans like those in congress must stop bending over to please the progressives and their Islamic terrorist allies who are pouring into our nation by the tens of thousands.  You can thank president Obama and Congress for not standing by their constitutional duty to protect this nation, the next time terrorists murder more American.

If the United States of America is to once again be truly great, with the set goals of Liberty and Justice for All, then we must reestablish the intestinal fortitude to boldly stand and battle against those who are either to stupid or simply evil enough to endanger our nation through a variety of horrendous blunders.  Some of which are incompetence, or corrupting compromise of Christian moral, Constitutional and educational standards.

Finally, to reestablish authentic freedom and liberty, Americans must be motivated to be morally disciplined and self-controlled.  Then we can totally wipe out any reason, real or imagined for the abusive control of an anti Bill of Rights, Agenda 21 leaning government that is hell bent on controlling us from cradle to grave.  The choice is up to you dear reader.  I for one pray to God almighty that you make the right one.  God Bless You, God Bless America and may America Bless God.

Revisiting the Rapture — Is It Imminent?

This topic is like a minefield with many hazardous conclusions drawn from texts taken without context. This article offers a broader spectrum of ideas and contexts than most Christians have considered.

If you Google “Rapture September,” more than a million results suggest this is on people’s minds. Some are even having dreams about it. Others ask, Does not knowing the day or hour apply to the 2nd coming or to the rapture?

The idea that Christ would suddenly take Christians to heaven before the end-time period of tribulation was unknown before John Darby promoted it in the 1830’s. William Miller began preaching then and the “Great Disappointment” in 1844 was a result, but this does not mean the idea is un-Biblical.

The book of Revelation shows the last of seven churches in a deplorable state: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

If we can believe the “true witness,” this diagnosis suggests we are not ready for a rapture which its  supporters say occurs in verse 1 of the next chapter when John is told ““Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Rev 4:1.

But if we are honest, we must admit that it’s a jump to conclude that means a rapture of the wretched group that we saw a few verses earlier. It’s true that the word “church” is not found later in Revelation, but the “watershed” event that initiates end-times that separates the past, present and future may mean that the church era is over and we move, either to becoming the Bride of Christ, or if unfaithful, to being part of the harlot who rides the beast of New World Order, Rev 17:1-3.

As this nation moves loses freedoms in a move toward global government, “one taken and another left” may mean taken to a FEMA camp because when the disciples asked “Where,” Christ said, Where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered,” Luke 17:36,37. The dinner of the birds in Revelation 19:17,18 is not about a rapture—we don’t want to be “taken,” contrary to a popular fictional series of books and movies.

The oft-quoted text that Christ will keep us from the hour of temptation that shall try the world does not necessarily mean a rapture to avoid the tribulation. The hour of temptation might mean the short period of time that Satan impersonates Jesus, working miracles to deceive the whole world because they “received not the love of the truth.”, 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10.

We might be poor Bible students to conclude that being kept from the hour of temptation means we get a waiver for the tribulation when the Bible says, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22. This is said different ways in different passages, but it’s about our character development.

After diagnosing our “pitiful” condition, Christ says to buy of Him “gold refined in the fire.” Rev 3:17,18. It’s been said that most of Revelation is a synthesis of previous Bible passages that meet and end in the Revelation. Our familiarity with the whole Bible tests our ability to interpret Revelation without jumping to conclusions.

The gold tried in the fire comes from Malachi 3, the last book in the Old Testament where we see God’s intent to purify or refine us as gold, a passage sung in Handel’s Messiah at Christmas. The information comes from the “messenger of the covenant whom [we] desire,” Mal 3:1-3.

What does that mean? We’ve been dancing around the topic, but rapture or no-rapture depends on our understanding of the wedding parables. We can become the Bride of Christ by making a covenant, but how?

Christ’s parable of the 10 virgins who are asleep with their lights out suggests that we don’t understand this topic. Their being out of oil for their lamps means they can’t see how to get to the wedding. Maybe that’s us.

Oil comes from the two olive trees representing the Old and New Testaments in Zechariah 4. Christians who are short on oil may be lacking an understanding of the Old Testament.

God afflicted Egypt for their many gods, their oppression of God’s people, and for their murder of infants. America has many parallels to Egypt as the greatest nation, a bread-basket for the world in time of famine, but its murder of the unborn and the oppression of Christians may be just beginning.

God attacked the gods of Egypt like the Nile—their economy depended on it like we depends on the dollar. We are about to see God’s judgments on America, in a re-run of Exodus 5-12. Then God took Israel to a covenant and later said, “I am married unto you,” Jeremiah 3:14, KJV. That’s how we marry Christ!

God regarded the covenant relationship as a marriage and Paul includes the Exodus in “all those things happened to them for examples…ends of the world.” 1Cor 10:1,11.

God got an ignorant bride at Sinai—they worshiped a golden calf 40 days later, but their trials in the wilderness proved what was in their hearts. “The heart is deceitful” Jer 17:9. To believe we are ready for heaven may be wishful thinking. It’s been said that a couple is never really married until they have their first serious disagreement and survive it.

When Christ discussed end-times, He said to understand the book of Daniel which has potential life or death situations in chapters 1-6. Daniel 1 is about the king’s healthcare that Daniel wisely declined. Dr. Ben Carson said Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery. If we study Daniel, we are able to see other parallels to what’s coming.

It does look like the image in Daniel 2 (representing the kingdoms of this world), is getting ready to fall financially and “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom…” Dan 2:44.

How will He do it? “God declares the end from the beginning,” (Isa 46:10) and in the beginning when God took Israel to a covenant, He said, “If you will keep My covenant, you will be to me a kingdom,” Exod 19:5,6.

Now we can understand the disciples’ question, Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? and Christ’s  reply, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons,” They were looking for an external kingdom and He linked it to times and seasons, a phrase used only once more in the New Testament King James. It’s when the 2nd coming is imminent.

Paul says we which are alive will be caught up when Christ comes with the “trump of God.” 1Thess 4:16,17. He further shows this “at the last trump” in 1 Cor 15:52, We are about ready to start the 1st of seven trumpets in Revelation 8. We expect economic collapse because the grass decodes to riches, comparing Rev 8:7 with James 1:9-11 in the King James. This means we are “caught up” at the 2nd coming “at the last (7th) trumpet.”

Paul continues…“But of the times and seasons,…the day of the Lord [the end-time apocalyptic period as seen in Joel 2:10,11] comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” 1Thess 5:1-4. Most people would agree that the US-Iran nuclear deal is ‘Peace and safety’ talk.

We could expect economic collapse and martial law to put us into bondage like Egypt from which God will deliver us with labor pains as He did with Israel, His “firstborn.” Exod 4;22. He took Israel from sudden, destruction to a covenant and Paul included that history of the Exodus for us in 1 Cor 10:1,11.

That’s it!  That’s how we become His kingdom. “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom” and by making a covenant signaled by calamity that causes a midnight cry, (Matt 25:6; Exod 12:29,30), we also become His Bride.

But the covenant is not some new deal. It’s the same law, but God promises to give us a new heart so we will want to do what it says. Ezek 36:25-27.

Christ said, “Till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” We are thankful that He fulfilled the animal sacrifices of the law. We don’t have to kill animals. But He also magnified the law to say if we are angry with our brother, we may be guilty, or if we lust after a woman, it’s like committing adultery in our heart.

Maybe we can see now that the church isn’t ready for rapture until we have had the New Covenant Promise fulfilled to us. Until then, we can all say with Paul, “the good that I would, I do not…” Romans 7.

What’s coming will drive us deeper into the things of God or, if bent on our own way, they will harden us as Pharaoh. The Good News is that God has a plan and we can be included if we are seeking to understand His ways and conform to His will as we claim His promises.  HalleluIA.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling is author of The Alpha & Omega Bible Code, an ebook that’s had mostly five-star reviews on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010CFNMCU, but readers can get a pdf with a bonus for visiting his website at http://TheBridegroomComes.com

CLICHÉS OF PROGRESSIVISM #42 – “Jesus Christ Was a Progressive Because He Advocated Income Redistribution to Help the Poor”

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the deceit in this canard. You can be a person of any faith or no faith at all. You just have to appreciate facts.

I first heard something similar to this cliché some 40 years ago. As a Christian, I was puzzled. In Christ’s view, the most important decision a person would make in his earthly lifetime was to accept or reject Him for whom He claimed to be—God in the flesh and the savior of mankind. That decision was clearly to be a very personal one—an individual and voluntary choice. He constantly stressed inner, spiritual renewal as far more critical to well-being than material things. I wondered, “How could the same Christ advocate the use of force to take stuff from some and give it to others?” I just couldn’t imagine Him supporting a fine or a jail sentence for people who don’t want to fork over their money for food stamp programs.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Didn’t He answer, ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s’ when the Pharisees tried to trick Him into denouncing a Roman-imposed tax?” Yes indeed, He did say that. It’s found first in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 22, verses 15-22 and later in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verses 13-17. But notice that everything depends on just what did truly belong to Caesar and what didn’t, which is actually a rather powerful endorsement of property rights. Christ said nothing like “It belongs to Caesar if Caesar simply says it does, no matter how much he wants, how he gets it, or how he chooses to spend it.”

The fact is, one can scour the Scriptures with a fine-tooth comb and find nary a word from Christ that endorses the forcible redistribution of wealth by political authorities. None, period.

“But didn’t Christ say he came to uphold the law?” you ask. Yes, in Matthew 5: 17-20, he declares, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” In Luke 24: 44, He clarifies this when he says “…[A]ll things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” He was not saying, “Whatever laws the government passes, I’m all for.” He was speaking specifically of the Mosaic Law (primarily the Ten Commandments) and the prophecies of His own coming.

Consider the 8th of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not steal.” Note the period after the word “steal.” This admonition does not read, “You shall not steal unless the other guy has more than you do” or “You shall not steal unless you’re absolutely positive you can spend it better than the guy who earned it.” Nor does it say, “You shall not steal but it’s OK to hire someone else, like a politician, to do it for you.”

In case people were still tempted to steal, the 10th Commandment is aimed at nipping in the bud one of the principal motives for stealing (and for redistribution): “You shall not covet.” In other words, if it’s not yours, keep your fingers off of it.

In Luke 12: 13-15, Christ is confronted with a redistribution request. A man with a grievance approaches him and demands, “Master, speak to my brother and make him divide the inheritance with me.” The Son of God, the same man who wrought miraculous healings and calmed the waves, replies thusly: “Man, who made mea judge or divider over you? Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s wealth does not consist of the material abundance he possesses.” Wow! He could have equalized the wealth between two men with a wave of His hand but he chose to denounce envy instead.

“What about the story of the Good Samaritan? Doesn’t that make a case for government welfare programs, if not outright redistribution?” you inquire. The answer is an emphatic NO!” Consider the details of the story, as recorded in Luke 10: 29-37: A traveler comes upon a man at the side of a road. The man had been beaten and robbed and left half-dead. What did the traveler do? He helped the man himself, on the spot, with his own resources. He did not say, “Write a letter to the emperor” or “Go see your social worker” and walk on. If he had done that, he would more likely be known today as the “Good-for-nothing Samaritan,” if he was remembered at all.

What about the reference, in the Book of Acts, to the early Christians selling their worldly goods and sharing communally in the proceeds? That sounds like a progressive utopia. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that those early Christians did not sell everything they had and were not commanded or expected to do so. They continued to meet in their own private homes, for example. In his contributing chapter to the 2014 book, “For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty,” Art Lindsley of the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics writes,

Again, in this passage from Acts, there is no mention of the state at all. These early believers contributed their goods freely, without coercion, voluntarily. Elsewhere in Scripture we see that Christians are even instructed to give in just this manner, freely, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). There is plenty of indication that private property rights were still in effect….

It may disappoint progressives to learn that Christ’s words and deeds repeatedly upheld such critically-important, capitalist virtues as contract, profit and private property. For example, consider His “Parable of the Talents” (see one of the recommended readings below). Of several men in the story, the one who takes his money and buries it is reprimanded while the one who invests and generates the largest return is applauded and rewarded.

Though not central to the story, good lessons in supply-and-demand as well as the sanctity of contract are apparent in Christ’s “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.” A landowner offers a wage to attract workers for a day of urgent work picking grapes. Near the end of the day, he realizes he has to quickly hire more and to get them, he offers for an hour of work what he previously had offered to pay the first workers for the whole day. When one of those who worked all day complained, the landowner answered, “I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?  Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

The well-known “Golden Rule” comes from the lips of Christ Himself, in Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In Matthew 19:18, Christ says, “…love your neighbor as yourself.” Nowhere does He even remotely suggest that we should dislike a neighbor because of his wealth or seek to take that wealth from him. If you don’t want your property confiscated (and most people don’t, and wouldn’t need a thief in order to part with it anyway), then clearly you’re not supposed to confiscate somebody else’s.

Christian doctrine cautions against greed. So does present-day economist Thomas Sowell: “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Using the power of government to grab another person’s property isn’t exactly altruistic. Christ never even implied that accumulating wealth through peaceful commerce was in any way wrong; He simply implored people to not allow wealth to rule them or corrupt their character. That’s why His greatest apostle, Paul, didn’t say money was evil in the famous reference in 1 Timothy 6:10. Here’s what Paul actually said: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Indeed, progressives themselves have not selflessly abandoned money, for it is other people’s money, especially that of “the rich,” that they’re always clamoring for.

In Matthew 19:23, Christ says, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven.” A progressive might say, “Eureka! There it is! He doesn’t like rich people” and then stretch the remark beyond recognition to justify just about any rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scheme that comes down the pike. But this admonition is entirely consistent with everything else Christ says. It’s not a call to envy the rich, to take from the rich or to give “free” cell phones to the poor. It’s a call to character. It’s an observation that some people let their wealth rule them, rather than the other way around. It’s a warning about temptations (which come in many forms, not just material wealth). Haven’t we all noticed that among the rich, as is equally true among the poor, you have both good and bad people? Haven’t we all seen some rich celebrities corrupted by their fame and fortune, while others among the rich live perfectly upstanding lives? Haven’t we all seen some poor people who allow their poverty to demoralize and enervate them, while others among the poor view it as an incentive to improve?

In Christ’s teachings and in many other parts of the New Testament, Christians—indeed, all people—are advised to be of “generous spirit,” to care for one’s family, to help the poor, to assist widows and orphans, to exhibit kindness and to maintain the highest character. How all that gets translated into the dirty business of coercive, vote-buying, politically-driven redistribution schemes is a problem for prevaricators with agendas. It’s not a problem for scholars of what the Bible actually says and doesn’t say.

Search your conscience. Consider the evidence. Be mindful of facts. And ask yourself: “When it comes to helping the poor, would Christ prefer that you give your money freely to the Salvation Army or at gunpoint to the welfare department?

Christ was no dummy. He was not interested in the public professions of charitableness in which the legalistic and hypocritical Pharisees were fond of engaging. He dismissed their self-serving, cheap talk. He knew it was often insincere, rarely indicative of how they conducted their personal affairs, and always a dead-end with plenty of snares and delusions along the way. It would hardly make sense for him to champion the poor by supporting policies that undermine the process of wealth creation necessary to help them. In the final analysis, He would never endorse a scheme that doesn’t work and is rooted in envy or theft. In spite of the attempts of many modern-day progressives to make Him into Robin Hood, He was nothing of the sort.

Summary

  • Free will, not coercion, is a central and consistent element in the teachings of Christ.
  • It is not recorded anywhere that Christ called for the state to use its power to redistribute wealth.
  • Christ endorsed things like choice, charity, generosity, kindness, personal responsibility, and voluntary association—things that are irreconcilable with coercively-financed redistribution schemes.
  • For further information, see:

“For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty,” Anne Bradley and Art Lindsley, editors

“Socialism: Spiritual or Secular?” by Francis Mahaffey

“The Parable of the Talents: The Bible and Entrepreneurs” by Robert Sirico

“Lawrence Reed on The Platform” – a short video interview on income redistribution, the welfare state and Christianity

“Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Economics” by Doug Bandow

Cliché #20: “Government Can Be a Compassionate Alternative to the Harshness of the Marketplace” by Lawrence W. Reed

ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government. See the index of the published chapters here. As an organization unaffiliated with any particular faith, FEE encourages other perspectives on such matters. Mr. Reed wishes readers to understand that his personal perspective is not intended to proselytize for any particular faith or church but to illuminate his interpretation of the moral and economic dimension of Christ.)

Hollywood Rediscovers the Bible

When I was growing up in the 1950s there were two blockbusters, “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur.” Together they pulled in $1.795 billion in adjusted domestic ticket sales. The power of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to draw audiences is impressive and, in hard times like the present, many seek a message of hope in religion.

It’s worth keeping in mind that, according to Pew research, by the end of 2012, a large majority of Americans—77% of the adult population—identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons. Some 18% expressed no explicit religious identity and 5% identified with a non-Christian religion.

U.S. Presidents, particularly the Founders, were serious readers of the Bible. Tevi Troy, writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 14, noted that “Our earliest presidents, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all assiduous readers—of history and philosophy, and the Bible as well. Lacking many books in his earliest years, Abraham Lincoln “was among the most diligent readers of all U.S. Presidents.

I suspect that the Obama administration’s open attacks on the Catholic Church for its resistance to Obamacare’s demands that contraceptive medications be covered in healthcare insurance plans makes a lot of Americans, not just Catholics, uneasy at best, raising serious questions about the nation’s fundamental devotion to the free practice of religion.

In a statement about the National Day of Prayer, President Obama made no reference to Christianity, but acknowledged freedom of religion in its historic context. He is a far cry from his predecessor, George W. Bush, for whom his faith in Jesus was openly acknowledged and who found wide support in the nation’s evangelical community. Bush was an avid reader of the Bible.

A Marxist at heart, I doubt that Obama cares much for Christianity and his Chicago church was led by Jeremiah Wright who is most famous for having said “God damn America” and had to apologize for remarks critical of Jews. Obama has openly defended Islam and many believe he is a Muslim.

Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible these days after years of films based on cartoon characters like Batman and Spider Man. In 2014 it will release more big Biblically-based films than it has in the last eleven years combined and the trend is strong for more in 2015.

Debuting in February was “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, culled from the History Channel’s 2013 miniseries, “The Bible”, produced by Mark Burnett who, along with his wife, Roma Downey, is a devout Christian. Debuting in March is “Noah” from Paramount, starring Russell Crow and coming in April is “Heaven is for Real.” On its way to the nation’s theatres are “Mary” and “Exodus.”

Burnett believes that people are seeking messages of spiritual uplift in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and I would add the five years of Obama’s failed management of the economy with its emphasis on socialist, Keynesian government spending that has proved to be largely a waste that has added six trillion to the nation’s soaring debt.

Having attended school when the day began with a pledge of allegiance and the reading of a prayer, I am among those who lament the court-imposed ban on the latter.

As a longtime book reviewer, I have seen a trend of books espousing atheism. Among the latest I have received are “Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist” by Anthony B. Pinn, “The Original Atheists” edited by S.T. Joshi, and “The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal” by Paul Kurtz, one of the most active critics of religion with fifty books to his credit. There are, however, many books that explore faith such as “Faith Afield: A Sportsman’s Devotional” by Steve Scott and “”What on Earth Do We Know About Heaven?” by Randal Rauser.

One can only hope that Hollywood’s rediscovery of the Bible will contribute to a resistance against those groups and individuals who protest any display of religious symbols such as the Cross, notable during the Christmas holidays.

America was founded by men who were believers in religious expression and faith. And tolerance. The drift from these values harm the nation and a renewal of them are the essence of hope.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

VIDEO: Son of God movie trailer.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WcIXCok9HPg[/youtube]