Jesus and Howard Stern: what do they have in common? (Besides being Jewish.) Stay with me, I haven’t turned heretic, I’m going somewhere with this.
An outsider looking at the watercolour-Kinkaid corridors of Christian sub-culture would never guess that Jesus was really raw. He was forever (intentionally) saying the wrong thing in a party… pointing at the elephant in the room, and asking “What’s that?”
Jesus (to describe him in modern terms) was a first-century shock-jock. Jesus would never need or want to stoop to the lewd and crass gimmicks of today. But we have done violence to his real message by “domesticating” it. Jesus had an uncanny ability to tell the truth in a story, but not just any kind of story. When Jesus told a story, it was a comfort to those willing to learn, and a fist in the face to all the rest.
We’ve lost that edge somehow. Which is why I absolutely loved the Louder With Crowder take [i.e.paraphrase, not an exact retelling] on one of his most famous parables. It breathed life back into the original offensiveness, but in our own modern context. By the end, Church Ladies and Rainbow Gestapo alike will want to throw a punch at the authors. Great stuff. That’s one way to know you told a proper parable.
The question they addressed (No spoilers here. You’ll have to read it yourself.) touches on the morality of money. Social Justice Warriors like to climb on their high horse and finger-wag about helping the poor. They claim Jesus as one of their own “progressive” tribe, and try to shame everyone else into cheering government-managed wealth distribution programs.
This is an issue I’ve addressed elsewhere but let’s break it down again.
They claim it is a moral good for the government to take money from [the rich], and use that money to benefit the many. They point to benefits like free education and healthcare, and tend to throw around words like human rights a lot. Bible verses about helping the poor are liberally cited by the people who loudly reject any other biblical moral imperatives, especially concerning sex or idolatry.
The counter-claim is that Jesus never said to send our money to Rome, so Caesar and Herod could help the poor. The “helping the poor” mandate was supposed to be personal, directed, intentional, and selective — helping those who needed help, but not those too lazy to provide for themselves. (My book covers this in greater depth, including several reasons why offloading care for the poor onto government is morally inferior to the direct 1:1 assistance of those in need.)
But let’s pretend we accept the Bernie Sanders Socialist logic, and hypothetically apply the ETHICAL IMPERATIVE he is trying to foist on us. Let’s focus our thought experiment on schooling.
Premise: free education is a human right. And the evil 1% should have to pay for it.
Alright-y then, Occupy crowd, who is this damnable 1%? According to Oxfam, anyone making over $32,400 a year is the world’s wealthiest 1%. Therefore, by your own logic, if you earn that much, it is up to you (not just your rich uncle) to forfeit a substantial portion of your income to help the 99%. It’s up to you to provide an education to those who do not have their basic educational human rights met.
Remember — Rule One of Socialism: “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” You don’t get to claim your need for university tuition is more legitimate than some illiterate kid’s need for his A-B-C’s. (Just like the businessmen who can’t claim a right to the money they’ve earned.) And there is a lot of educational need out there. Ten countries haven’t even reached a 50% literacy rate, let alone, say, a 5th grade education or GED. Why should you get to have a Master’s degree (or heck, even an Associate’s degree?) when so many others have never even held a pencil?
Sure, the Socialists will hit back with some complaint that we can’t be expected to educate everybody. But they’re fine with global imperatives on issues like refugees and environmentalism. That’s ok, hypocrites don’t need to be consistent.
It’s like Bernie publicly denouncing corporate cronyism, but using campaign funds, and positions of influence to the financial benefit of friends and family — he’s willing to give money away, so long someone he knows can benefit from it.
What benefit can he get from Socialism? Isn’t it obvious? The benefit is as old as politics itself: give away free stuff in exchange for political power. In his case, the free stuff doesn’t even cost him anything. The taxpayer foots the bill. So it’s win-win!
But not to worry, The American public would never fall for such a thing… (Oh look, is that an Obama-phone?)