By: Jeff Dunetz
This article originally appeared on The Lid and is reprinted here with permission.
People of faith must reject the Socialist philosophy and the elimination of our individual freedoms espoused by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and today’s Democratic Party as it is antithetical to our “Judeo-Christian” traditions. The only way to prevent its implementation is to re-elect Donald Trump.
We are at a breaking point. While the MSM claims that Biden is moderate, the leftist policies he’s endorsed to gain Bernie voters’ support are socialist, and the politics of his VP pick is to the left of Bernie. Look at what she issued this past weekend.
Sounds just like Karl Marx.
A century of history has shown where that path leads.
We all embrace equal opportunity, but government-enforced equality of outcomes is Marxism. https://t.co/76GRFhl34X
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 1, 2020
The US version of democracy insists that (with some exceptions), the rights of the individual are superior to the rights of the collective or the government.
One of those individual rights is the freedom of religion. And before they go to the voting booth in November, people of faith should understand that Socialism opposes religion. Karl Marx famously said, “Religion is the opium of the people.” Following Marx’s lead, Socialism wants a socialist Government to supersede God. But that is only part of the reason why people of faith should be rejecting Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Socialism destroys principals that are basic to both Judeo-Christian and American traditions, such as limited government, individual responsibility, and traditional morals.
Wanting to be accurate, this post will focus mostly on my area of expertise… the Judeo part of America’s Judeo-Christian tradition.
Let’s start at the beginning, or in the beginning, the creation narrative in Genesis explains that man is created in God’s image. But we also taught that our maker has no bodily form, so how can that be? The Bible is not telling us that we are all dead ringers for the “big guy upstairs.” If that was the case, the picture on everyone’s driver’s licenses would be the same, no one would be able to get a check cashed, all of those TV shows about using DNA to solve crimes would be very boring, and I might be on TV.
“Created in God’s image” is supposed to teach us that just as God acts as a free being, without prior restraint to do right and wrong, so can man. God does good deeds as a matter of his own free choice, and because we are created in his image, so can man. Only through free choice can man indeed be in the image of God. It is further understood that for mankind to have real free choice, he must have inner free will and an environment in which a choice between obedience and disobedience exists. God thus created the world such that both good and evil can operate freely; this is what the Rabbis meant when they said, “All is in the hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven” (Talmud, Berachot 33b). God controls all the options we have, but it is up to man to pick between the correct or incorrect choice.
When it comes right down to it, free will is the divine version of limited government. God picks the correct direction and even gives us holy scriptures as a guide book to follow, but he does not pick winners and losers—it is up to each of us to choose the direction we want to proceed.
As we all are created in God’s image, then “all men are created equal.” What that means from a faith perspective is we all have the same ability to be infinitely good or wicked and to forge a relationship with God regardless of intellectual capability, social background, physical strength, etc. It does not mean, as Socialism ascribes to when it comes to talents, predilections, or natural abilities, we are all equal. If that were the case, we would all be recognized as scholars at the level of the Einstien (to people other than our moms). It also doesn’t mean that everyone should have the same big screen TV, wireless internet, or savings account balance.
Just as Jefferson meant when he wrote those words in the Declaration of Independence, we all had the same right to be as good as we can be with the cards we have been dealt with. As opposed to Socialism, which teaches that everyone has the right to an equal amount of “stuff.” Except, of course, for party leaders, they get exclusive benefits.
In Socialism, everybody gets the same outcome no matter what they get done, which is also contrary to religious teachings.
Have you ever noticed that in Genisis, after five of the seven days, God “saw that it was good”? The two exceptions are Mondays and Tuesdays. Monday (day #2) doesn’t have an “it was good,” Tuesdays gets called good twice. On first thought, one might think that God hates Mondays (like much of mankind), but that doesn’t seem right, and it doesn’t explain why Tuesday gets to double-dip. The difference is that God is teaching us that we get rewarded based on what we accomplish.
Per the text, only part of the job of creating oceans gets accomplished on Monday. Genesis 1:6 says water is separated on Monday, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water.” But the next day, God does something else with the water, “Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. “God called the dry land earth, and the gathering waters He called seas.” Genesis 1:9-10.
The text said that on Tuesday, God finished the water job. So, Tuesday got rewarded, and Monday got bupkis because it didn’t finish. This is contrary to Socialism, which teaches that everyone is given what the government thinks they need, not what they earned.
The Tanach (the Jewish Bible) respects economic success, so long as it is obtained honestly and proper respect is shown for the social responsibility that comes with it. That social responsibility is an individual duty and a job for the community led by its religious leaders, but not by the government. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for the federal government to provide a safety net, but the primary responsibility is the individual and the local community.
That’s why the Hebrew word for charity, “tzedaka,” has in its root the word “Tzedek.” Tzedek means righteous because we are taught that personally giving charity is one of the keys to being righteous. Leviticus (25:23) says, “If your brother becomes impoverished and his means falter in your proximity, you shall strengthen him proselyte or resident so that he can live with you.”
Leviticus 23:22 says farmers should eave some of their fields unharvested for the poor to feed on. When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely remove the corner of your field during your harvesting, and you shall not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. [Rather,] you shall leave these for the poor person and for the stranger.” Again a personal responsibility.
Socialism takes away that free choice given to us by God. They believe that left to their own devices, mankind will do the wrong thing (or at least what socialists think is the wrong thing). So socialist governments take over the role of God. Ignoring the meaning of created in the image of God, they step in to control our decisions. Socialism takes away our personal choice and gives it to the government, thus retarding our spiritual development and not letting us get closer to our maker.
The Bible also teaches us that we cannot rely on God to bail us out all of the time. The responsibility to act falls upon each and every one of us.
Read the rest at The Lid.