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Charity by Force: Jesus vs. Marx (dispute between Rush Limbaugh and Pope Francis)
AMERICAN THINKER ^ | December 12, 2013 | Jonathon Moseley

Posted on 12/12/2013 7:04:25 AM PST by Moseley

It is fascinating that the recent debate over poverty, starring Rush Limbaugh and Pope Francis (maybe, translations subject to disagreement) reveals one central dispute: (a) compulsory "charity" by government force, on the left, versus (b) the freedom of each individual to voluntarily donate to charity and make one's own decisions about his or her life, on the right. Forget what either Rush or Francis said. The raging debates that followed are most revealing.

Liberals have consistently abused Christian teaching to attack free enterprise and spread socialism. These are not just Catholics, of course. In fact, most -- or all -- of them are not really Christians at all, but rather only leftists hoping to fool enough Christians to tip the balance politically.

How can anyone give anything to the poor without earning money first? Without capitalism, free enterprise, and markets, charity suffers. Capitalism is the engine that makes giving to the poor possible. In other words, liberals who wrap themselves in Christianity concoct a false choice, insisting that charity and capitalism are polar opposites.

Initially, should it matter what Jesus thinks about whether the United States should pursue liberal or conservative politics? If citizens want their government to set up safety nets, can't societies provide government charity for purely pragmatic, non-religious reasons?

Well, it depends, of course.

If discussing Christianity favors a liberal philosophy, then it counts. If Christianity contradicts liberals, then it doesn't count. And how dare you mention it? Jesus should be involved in American politics only if that helps advance a governmental agenda of bigger government, ever-expanding regulation, borrowing $17 trillion of national debt, and redistribution of wealth.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: capitalism; popefrancis; rushlimbaugh; socialism
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Also, let us get one thing straight: at least Catholic Pope Francis is trying. Bravo. That's much more than can be said for a lot of Protestant pop-culture celebrities.

But in public debate, it just happened to be Pope Francis who sparked a firestorm in November with an "Apostolic Exhortation" titled Evangelii Gaudium, which translates into "The Joy of the Gospel" or "The Joy of Evangelism." The Vatican generated further controversy through its translation into English. Rush Limbaugh lit the fuse by sharply disagreeing with it.

Of course, the first Pope, Peter, was a capitalist. Peter and Andrew ran a fishing business. Peter had investment capital -- boats, which were expensive, and large nets. They had to catch a lot of fish just to pay back their investment. Peter's and Andrew's house was large and in wealthy Capernaum. The Bible suggests that it was Peter's house where a very large group stayed all together, even though Jesus could slip out unnoticed to pray.

Jesus Christ was a carpenter -- a capitalist, in actual practice. Jesus's father, Joseph, had a carpentry business. As the firstborn, Jesus would have learned his father's trade. Wood was harder to come by for construction back then. It was often a luxury imported from Lebanon. So Jesus had to master great skill and own valuable tools to run his small but high-end business.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/charity_by_force_jesus_vs_marx.html#ixzz2nH0CGxXu Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

1 posted on 12/12/2013 7:04:26 AM PST by Moseley
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To: Moseley

Also, let us get one thing straight: at least Catholic Pope Francis is trying. Bravo. That’s much more than can be said for a lot of Protestant pop-culture celebrities.
..........................................................
Hey, Obama’s trying too! Doesn’t mean what he’s doing is good.

...one cheap shot deserves another.


2 posted on 12/12/2013 7:08:22 AM PST by bramps (Mark Levin: Would Christie, McConnell, and Boehner repeal obamacare? Not a chance!)
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To: Moseley

Great post.


3 posted on 12/12/2013 7:10:20 AM PST by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
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To: Moseley

I’ve lived briefly in Latin America and my husband’s family has a lot of time there. There is not the tradition of the middle class. The so-called democracies are hardly that. The oppression of the Indians by the conquistadors is still well remembered. I remember being caught in the middle of a celebration in Cusco where there were mobs of the local Indian population wearing masks of the conquistadors. They were all drunk and/or stoned and many were shooting off guns. I realized that being of European origin was not something that was going to get me any points. Mr. Mercat and I ducked into a church and hung out there for about an hour until the mob moved on or disbursed. There is very little in the way of a social safety net. That’s one of the reasons so many come here illegally. It’s why liberation theology took hold down there. Francis fought liberation theology. That’s not who he is.


4 posted on 12/12/2013 7:12:13 AM PST by Mercat
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To: Moseley

Did the Pope really say “unfettered” capitalism or is that what the media says he said?


5 posted on 12/12/2013 7:12:25 AM PST by frogjerk (We are conservatives. Not libertarians, not "fiscal conservatives", not moderates)
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To: Moseley

Amen. High time this was discussed!

the socialist’s seemingly unknowingly depricate Jesus and capital with thier false premise


6 posted on 12/12/2013 7:13:02 AM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Visit http://icantenroll.com/ In Glitch We Trust....;o})
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To: Moseley
The Pope is not backing off from what he said a couple weeks ago...in fact he seems to be doubling down and is using the same rhetoric Obama has been using lately.
7 posted on 12/12/2013 7:16:00 AM PST by what's up
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To: Moseley

Isn’t a pity that the pope does not consult the Bible?

For ye have the poor with you ALWAYS, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
Mark 14:7

Capitalism is not the issue. The lack of willing spirit to help those who are truly poor ( not the bums playing the system) is. Why doesn’t the Catholic Church selloff some its vast wealth and give it to the poor? And while they are at it, Excommunicate Nancy Pelosi and her Capitalist husband?


8 posted on 12/12/2013 7:21:20 AM PST by Bullpine
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To: frogjerk
He bashed the "absolute tyranny of the marketplace" which is the same as "unfettered capitalism.

And he implied that the state has no control. In fact, the state has an unprecedented amount of control presently. The Pope is either disingenuous or not real smart.

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control.

9 posted on 12/12/2013 7:22:38 AM PST by what's up
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To: Moseley
The disciples then debated with Jesus about the dangerous entanglement of wealth and sins of greed. Jesus warns against the trap of wealth. But Jesus ends up suggesting that the rich young ruler will nevertheless be in heaven, concluding, "All things are possible with God."

No, He did not suggest the rich man would be in Heaven but that the rich man could be in Heaven.

10 posted on 12/12/2013 7:28:45 AM PST by frogjerk (We are conservatives. Not libertarians, not "fiscal conservatives", not moderates)
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To: Moseley

Social Justice: “We’re telling you to do what we say Jesus said and having the government make sure you do it.”


11 posted on 12/12/2013 7:29:19 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: Moseley

This is all rather straightforward: charity at gunpoint isn’t charity. It is theft. End of conversation.

I’m with Ayn Rand on this one.


12 posted on 12/12/2013 7:38:51 AM PST by Noumenon (What would Michael Collins do?)
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To: what's up

“He bashed the “absolute tyranny of the marketplace” which is the same as “unfettered capitalism.”

Could he not be implying that capitalism, without moral guidance, can lead to tyranny of a market place.
That capitalistic operations are still operated by individuals making choices on how their companies or corporations influence not only their bottom line, but on society as a whole.
Capitalism without a moral compass will lead to tyranny. Crony capitalism?


13 posted on 12/12/2013 7:44:25 AM PST by WILLIALAL
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To: Mercat
This may explain a great deal about the cultural outlook of many South Americans: The Pakistani-Peruvian Axis

It's a real eye-opener.

14 posted on 12/12/2013 7:45:26 AM PST by Noumenon (What would Michael Collins do?)
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To: Bullpine

“Why doesn’t the Catholic Church selloff some its vast wealth and give it to the poor?”..............

OK, I must ask you a question. Who do you recommend purchase the Pieta, or the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Library, etc.?

The above statement is so silly. Yes, there are some things that the church could use which are less audacious. Still, the RC Church is the holder of many of the world’s most sacred and valuable art - which means it has the responsibility to not only safeguard it, but to also allow the public to view it. That is an enormous task. Just who do you think would do a better job of safeguarding St. Basilica and its contents?


15 posted on 12/12/2013 7:51:34 AM PST by Gumdrop
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To: WILLIALAL
Capitalism without a moral compass will lead to tyranny. Crony capitalism?

Only if government is involved. Without government involvement, no capitalist or business or "corporation" can use force to make you do anything you don't want to do.

16 posted on 12/12/2013 7:53:26 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Moseley
Liberals have consistently abused Christian teaching to attack free enterprise and spread socialism. These are not just Catholics, of course. In fact, most -- or all -- of them are not really Christians at all, but rather only leftists hoping to fool enough Christians to tip the balance politically. How can anyone give anything to the poor without earning money first? Without capitalism, free enterprise, and markets, charity suffers. Capitalism is the engine that makes giving to the poor possible. In other words, liberals who wrap themselves in Christianity concoct a false choice, insisting that charity and capitalism are polar opposites.
"Since the origins of modern capitalism around 1780, more than two-thirds of the world’s population has moved out of poverty. In China and India alone, more than 500 million have been raised out of poverty just in the last forty years. In almost every nation the average age of mortality has risen dramatically, causing populations to expand accordingly. Health in almost every dimension has been improved, and literacy has been carried to remote places it never reached before.

Whatever the motives of individuals, the system has improved the plight of the poor as none ever has before. The contemporary left systematically refuses to face these undeniable facts."
-- Robert Novak, from the thread Economic Heresies of the Left (Novak on Caritas in Veritate)


17 posted on 12/12/2013 7:53:35 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Moseley

Pope Francis speaks much like Jesus would if he were waking the earth today.

It is a scandal that some folks have such enormous wealth while others have nothing. BUT — and that is a big caveat, The sinfulness of this disparity is when those with wealth do not share it, or try to help others. Greed is a sin! So is sloth.

IMHO, the best solution to the world’s troubles is a Christian way of life which includes charity and hard work. It includes the willingness to earn our own living and to help others become independent too.

By-the-way, Pope Francis has stated clearly that personal charity and good works is the best solution to alleviate poverty in neighborhoods, and that big government is NOT the solution.

I think TIME Mag did not realize that PF is actually anti-big government and for more Christian charity.


18 posted on 12/12/2013 7:58:16 AM PST by Gumdrop
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To: MrB

“Only if government is involved. Without government involvement, no capitalist or business or “corporation” can use force to make you do anything you don’t want to do.”

Not to be too critical, but there is no place on earth where there isn’t some form of government, it is an unavoidable characteristic of human nature.
Since it is something that has to be dealt with, morals will end up being the determining factor in how a government effects its citizens.
History is replete with examples of governments not restrained or guided by morals.
Pope Francis is expressing his concern that Christian values have taken a back seat to strictly economic influences.


19 posted on 12/12/2013 8:09:25 AM PST by WILLIALAL
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To: bramps
Jesus was certainly NOT a Socialist.

There are no red words in the Bible that say,
“Thou shalt force people to give up their wealth at the point of a weapon and kill 200 million people to coerce them to obey the government”

In fact, God was upset that the people demanded to have a king in the old testament.

Anyone who says that God endorses Big Government is a liar.

20 posted on 12/12/2013 8:11:52 AM PST by PATRIOT1876
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To: Moseley
Charity by force is a tax.

Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to donate to charity... so the State could ‘do good’ (by the State's definition of doing good).

Kinda changes the story...

21 posted on 12/12/2013 8:17:30 AM PST by GOPJ ("Remember who the real enemy is... ")
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To: Gumdrop

I’d like to broach another aspect of this topic...

those who are wealthy and claim the name of Christ should be under the chastisement of His church if they refuse to be charitable,

but what of those who do not claim to be Christian?

Sure, they’re ultimately under judgment, but the church has no authority over them, and empowering government over them would, I think, be outside of the charge of the church.


22 posted on 12/12/2013 8:20:56 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Gumdrop

Who said anything about Pieta, or the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Library, etc, except you. Catholic church should sell of real estate in the U.S.. Start in Manhattan.


23 posted on 12/12/2013 8:24:36 AM PST by Bullpine
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To: Gumdrop
IMHO, the best solution to the world’s troubles is a Christian way of life which includes charity and hard work.

Should this be enforced by government?


24 posted on 12/12/2013 8:31:58 AM PST by Moseley (http://www.MoseleyComments.com)
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To: frogjerk
Did the Pope really say “unfettered” capitalism or is that what the media says he said?

Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation said many, many things which you have to take all together. I don't recall him talking about unfettered capitalism.

But what he did say is far worse. Pope Francis wrote that the concept of letting unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market -- the definition of free enterprise instead of government management -- is POISON.

Francis condemned as "tyranny" and sinful ideologies that argue against government management of the economy.

Pope Francis' sections on economics have nothing to do with theology, Christianity or spirituality. They read like a conversation copied down from a secular left-wing college faculty lounge.
25 posted on 12/12/2013 8:35:45 AM PST by Moseley (http://www.MoseleyComments.com)
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To: frogjerk
No, He did not suggest the rich man would be in Heaven but that the rich man could be in Heaven.

This is technically true, and the emphasis is on God as Supreme in both power and making the decisions. However, the context was the angst expressed by the disciples about whether rich people could be saved.

PETER AND ANDREW WERE RICH -- THEY LIVED IN CAPERNAUM, a rich community. They were business owners. Matthew had been a tax collector, which was a rich profession.

So in context to the questions asked, Jesus seems to reassure them that being rich would not keep the rich young ruler -- or them -- from heaven. Remember that the rich young ruler claimed to have obeyed all the other laws of God perfectly, and Jesus does not dispute this.

We should remember that Jesus was constantly CHALLENGING people to come closer to God. He was not necessarily presenting a light switch, on / off, but challenging people's stumbling blocks, misunderstandings, and distractions. Yes, if one is not born again they cannot be saved.

But I see no contradiction between Jesus giving the rich young ruling a grilling and a hard time about his attachment to wealth and challenging him to increase his focus on God and decrease his focus on the things of this world, while still accepting the rich young ruler into heaven in the end.
26 posted on 12/12/2013 8:41:37 AM PST by Moseley (http://www.MoseleyComments.com)
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To: PATRIOT1876
I hope you didn't misunderstand my post. You're preaching to the choir. I was just ticked at an unnecessary shot at protestants.
27 posted on 12/12/2013 8:43:08 AM PST by bramps (Mark Levin: Would Christie, McConnell, and Boehner repeal obamacare? Not a chance!)
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To: Moseley
But I see no contradiction between Jesus giving the rich young ruling a grilling and a hard time about his attachment to wealth and challenging him to increase his focus on God and decrease his focus on the things of this world, while still accepting the rich young ruler into heaven in the end.

Exactly it's the attachment to things of this world, like great wealth, that is the stumbling block. Not the object but the attachment to the object.

28 posted on 12/12/2013 8:45:09 AM PST by NeoCaveman (DC, it's Versailles on the Potomac but without the food and culture)
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To: TurboZamboni

Liberation Theology or What Would Jesus Do If He Was Stalin.


29 posted on 12/12/2013 8:45:31 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Moseley

I was watching Fox a few days ago and some business leader said big companies are moving into the cities and out of the suburbs because the cities have a younger/ out of collage work force and it would be cheaper to hire them then the older worker who is married and has kids.

That’s the kind of capitalism that hurts. When companies pull the rug from loyal workers with families to support and go after the younger group just to save a buck, mean while their CEO’s get millions or their companies get big hand outs from the government.

But saying that, I’m not in favor of socialism or government hand outs for anyone. I just hate to see older workers get bumped out of their jobs for some college kid.


30 posted on 12/12/2013 8:53:39 AM PST by dragonblustar (Psalm 37:7)
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To: Alex Murphy

“”Since the origins of modern capitalism around 1780, more than two-thirds of the world’s population has moved out of poverty. In China and India alone, more than 500 million have been raised out of poverty just in the last forty years. “


That dates the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So maybe it was technology—which capitalism was happy to use—which lifted so many out of poverty.


31 posted on 12/12/2013 8:56:22 AM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: Moseley
Well, in an organization where NOBODY is responsible for anything, there sure does seem to be a love of capitalist dollars for redistribution. There is nothing TeaParty about this organization ... that means NO taxation/mandates without representation. Why look who is majority religious representative in this liberal/progressive government. One does not get much higher up than Saint Biden... Why even the republicans in the people's House is led by the wailing, hailing Bohner. People get a clue. Now have these that use US to fill their bank accounts shunned capitalism? Ha ... Floods of hypocrisy.
32 posted on 12/12/2013 9:06:01 AM PST by Just mythoughts (Jesus said Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: dragonblustar

“That’s the kind of capitalism that hurts. When companies pull the rug from loyal workers with families to support and go after the younger group just to save a buck, mean while their CEO’s get millions or their companies get big hand outs from the government.”


With no political party in place to staunch the greed (some might call it treason) of our corporations, this greed may ultimately face the point of a gun....or the bottom of a guillotine. Corporations, and their political allies in both parties, have done their utmost to turn us into a third world nation, so they shouldn’t be shocked when the population turns to third world solutions.


33 posted on 12/12/2013 9:15:29 AM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: WILLIALAL

“Could he not be implying that capitalism, without moral guidance, can lead to tyranny of a market place.”


Jesus was never enamored with capitalism. See, for example, Matthew 21:12. When Jesus saw capitalism in practice, he responded with a whip!


34 posted on 12/12/2013 9:16:59 AM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: steelhead_trout
Jesus was never enamored with capitalism. See, for example, Matthew 21:12. When Jesus saw capitalism in practice, he responded with a whip!

I'd be interested to hear any FReeper's suggestions for an alternative economic system.

35 posted on 12/12/2013 9:29:16 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: frogjerk

What he is supposed to have said is unfettered consumerism.


36 posted on 12/12/2013 9:40:49 AM PST by wita
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To: frogjerk

No

I believe it was unfettered “consumerism.”


37 posted on 12/12/2013 9:43:09 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Bullpine

You first. Sell everything and follow Jesus.


38 posted on 12/12/2013 9:44:27 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: MrB

Or what about Bill and Melinda Gates who ferociously support abortion and Planned Parenthood?


39 posted on 12/12/2013 9:46:08 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Bullpine

No, we’ll start with you.


40 posted on 12/12/2013 9:47:03 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Alex Murphy

If we have any confidence that the Constitution, Declaration of Independence etc were influenced by the faith of our forefathers, and the hand of God in the first nation based on biblical principles in this dispensation of time, then it follows that the system we have that is based on benefit to all and the rights of individuals to freedom and liberty, has to also have the imprint of the almighty and until His Son returns, it is the best we know.


41 posted on 12/12/2013 9:47:33 AM PST by wita
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To: Salvation

That brings up another point, as well - we are RESPONSIBLE for making sure that our charitable giving is for good, as biblically defined, and not for evil.

Government doesn’t try to account for the responsible use of welfare charity at all, and to the contrary, vehemently opposes any attempt to hold the recipients accountable for using the charity for genuine needs.


42 posted on 12/12/2013 10:43:18 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Moseley

Love + Force = Rape


43 posted on 12/12/2013 11:44:22 AM PST by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: steelhead_trout
No dear boy, what Jesus saw was a governing body tampering with market forces.

That was why he pulled out his whip.

You see they had a nice little racket going. When you came to sacrifice, they would find something "wrong" with the animal you brought but hey, that guy over there will sell you a "perfect" animal, for a price. But you can only buy it with "holy" money so first you have to go that money changer over there and buy "temple shekels" for a mark up.

With out doing this you can not make your offering.

So what part of that was capitalism?

The temple was running the economics there.

44 posted on 12/12/2013 12:02:29 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: steelhead_trout
When Jesus saw capitalism in practice, he responded with a whip!

It appears that you equate capitalism with theft.

Jesus said, "You have made [my house] a den of thieves." He did not say, "You have made it a den of capitalists."

45 posted on 12/12/2013 12:07:09 PM PST by raisetheroof ("To become Red is to become dead --- gradually." Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

46 posted on 12/12/2013 3:33:06 PM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: raisetheroof

It appears that you equate capitalism with theft.

Jesus said, “You have made [my house] a den of thieves.” He did not say, “You have made it a den of capitalists.”


The sort of “capitalism” that went on in the Temple was analogous with much of what goes on in Wall Street every day, and what helped bring on the 2008 crash. But, no, I would never smear honest, everyday commerce with that sort of calumny.


47 posted on 12/12/2013 3:40:50 PM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: steelhead_trout

Deal with it, honey child.


48 posted on 12/12/2013 5:03:46 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

“honey child.”


I’m a man. Therefore, if you choose to address me in those endearing terms, it’s obvious that you must play for the other team. That’s fine; we all have to tolerate different lifestyles, even yours. Just wondering, though. What position do you play on your team? Tight end or wide receiver?


49 posted on 12/12/2013 6:06:00 PM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: steelhead_trout
The sort of “capitalism” that went on in the Temple was analogous with much of what goes on in Wall Street every day...

No, it was not. What went on in the Temple was more of a scam than trade in stocks, bonds and the like.

50 posted on 12/14/2013 6:57:59 PM PST by raisetheroof ("To become Red is to become dead --- gradually." Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
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