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The Bible Does Not Command Government-Imposed Redistribution of Wealth

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Posted on May 14 2010 3:06 pm

Yesterday, The Huffington Post ran an article by a professor of international studies at UNC Chapel Hill, Jonathan Weiler, who claimed that

the right’s hostility to “socialism” is quite striking given its simultaneous insistence that our first duty as Americans is to pay fealty to God’s law, which explicitly calls for re-distributing wealth

Reverend Jim Wallis, the leftist preacher who is President Obama’s spiritual advisor, has gone even further in trying to link God with the progressive social justice agenda.  For example, in an interview published by the journal Mission Tracks Wallis expressed his hope that

more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes.

When Glenn Beck dared to expose Wallis’ radical views and questioned his premise that the Bible justified “social justice” as seen through the lens of progressives’ government-controlled economic and social agenda , Wallis replied:

Beck says Christians should leave their social justice churches, so I say Christians should leave Glenn Beck.

The problem with the Left’s interpretation of the Bible is that they are confusing Biblical commandments to be charitable and do good works for the poor with justification for a big government taking money from successful people and redistributing it to those whom the government deems more worthy.

Professor Weiler attempts to turn the the Old Testament into some sort of Communist Manifesto by citing a few passages exhorting those who reap the harvest from their lands to leave some gleanings for the poor.  This proves nothing more than that to be truly religious includes being charitable.

However, when it comes to administering justice, the Old Testament is quite clear in commanding equal justice that favors neither the rich nor the poor:

Exodus 23:3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.

Leviticus 19 Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly

Deuteronomy 1:17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike.

As for the New Testament, nobody denies that Jesus frequently preached the virtues of giving to the poor.  But giving to the poor was to be in service to God, not the state, and the individual who gave freely to the poor would be rewarded in the Kingdom of Heaven.  The last time I checked President Obama is not God (although some consider him the “Annointed One”) and Washington D.C.  is hardly the Kingdom of Heaven.

Perhaps Professor Weiler, Reverend Wallis and their progressive friends who think that the Bible justifies their control-and-command progressive wealth redistributive agenda would do well to ponder the following verse from Corinthians:

Corinthians 9 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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