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Is Jesus On Board with Obama
Townhall.com ^ | February 4, 2012 | Austin Hill

Posted on 02/04/2012 3:18:30 AM PST by Kaslin

“Jesus would back my tax-the-rich policy.”

What a cynical way to characterize President Obama’s address at the recent National Prayer Breakfast. Yet CNN Money – and a bunch of other media outlets – described the speech precisely this way, after the annual event last week.

Christian faith, the President noted, compels him "to give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy."

Perhaps most interesting about the President’s speech is what people are NOT saying in its aftermath. For example, President Obama’s admission that his understanding of the Bible is his basis for his economic policies has not drawn any public concerns about the so-called “separation of church and state” (Barry W. Lynn – where are you?).

Likewise, there seems to be no apprehension about President Obama’s remarks from the ranks of religious leaders. Here was the 44th President of the United States claiming to have the support of Jesus of Nazareth on his proposed changes to the I.R.S. tax code, and the only raised eyebrows have come not from a Pastor, Priest or Rabbi, but from a lone U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

So in the absence of meaningful dialog on the matter, how about if we consider this question: was President Obama right? Is it true that Jesus Christ, were he physically among us today, would stand with President Obama and support the elevation of effective tax rates on high-earning Americans?

The subject at hand is deeper than what a single editorial piece can address. But let’s understand that viewing economics through religious lenses is not new, nor is it something that begins and ends with Barack Obama.

For centuries, philosophers, economists, and theologians have reflected on the intersection of morality and economics. Many theological works, including many of the teachings of Jesus Himself, take-on economic concerns and can serve to inform our view today of the world’s various economic systems.

It is also true that the world of the New Testament (the world as it was when Jesus walked the earth) and today’s globalized society are dramatically different. In the world of the Bible, for example, most people made their living exclusively from the land—in agriculture, or in some sort of a modest trade (we know that Jesus himself worked as a carpenter, and His disciples’ worked in the fishing business).

We also know that back then, it was usually difficult to get ahead financially. The idea of “upward mobility” in society was essentially non-existent, and most people remained in the socioeconomic category of life into which they were born.

On this point, Historian D.E. Oakman of Pacific Lutheran University in Washington insists that “for the majority of the population, after they had paid their taxes, there was barely enough to eat.” There were few “rags to riches” stories in the ancient world, Dr. Oakman has noted, and most of the rich became wealthy through inheritance, patronage, or corruption. Thus, if you were “rich” back in biblical times, people were automatically suspicious of you because you probably got that way by oppressing the more vulnerable.

This “rich versus poor” dynamic remained in place throughout the world for several centuries. Even for several hundred years of England’s history, society consisted of the rich land owners (the “Lords” who owned the territories) and the poor (the “serfs” who were essentially enslaved to the land owners). This didn’t change, until the ideas of giving every citizen the opportunity to own property, and to sell their skills on the open market, became a societal norm.

These ideas were central themes in philosopher Adam Smith’s work “The Wealth Of Nations,” which, interestingly, was published the year our nation was founded- 1776. Likewise these ideas of individual liberty are also at the epicenter of our United States Constitution. And after almost two hundred and fifty years of American history, we now know this: while neither “upward mobility” nor a “middle class” existed when Jesus walked the earth, today our American-styled economic system of capitalism has enabled both of these possibilities to become realities, and to flourish.

So would Jesus support Barack Obama’s “tax the rich” policy? He would likely call on all Americans to be more caring of the poor. He might also remind us that, the last time he was on earth, government tax collectors were a source of oppression (anybody remember the story of Zaccehus from Matthew Chapter 5?).

Charity is not the same as government wealth redistribution. And if Jesus were on earth today he might urge all of us – President Obama included – to stop repeating the same old mistakes.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: prayerbreakfast

1 posted on 02/04/2012 3:18:34 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
President Claims “Jesus Would Vote for Me”

For a different take on the taker in chief...

2 posted on 02/04/2012 3:24:30 AM PST by null and void (Day 1111 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Kaslin

NO


3 posted on 02/04/2012 3:32:07 AM PST by The Wizard (Madam President is my President now, and in the future)
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To: Kaslin

There’s no uproar when Obama starts talking Jesus because everyone knows he’s full of shit.


4 posted on 02/04/2012 3:36:43 AM PST by youngidiot (Hear Hear!)
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To: Kaslin

What did JESUS do to the corrupt money changers that infected the Temple? I think you have your answer.

LLS


5 posted on 02/04/2012 3:54:38 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Hey repubic elite scumbags... jam mitt up your collective arses!)
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To: LibLieSlayer
What did JESUS do to the corrupt money changers that infected the Temple? I think you have your answer.

Yep - and he called those who professed to be faithful followers of God "hypocrites". I think He would have spittle flying when he said it to Obama...

6 posted on 02/04/2012 4:08:37 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: Kaslin
“Jesus would back my tax-the-rich policy.”

Misusing a biblical passage is not justification for oppression, or government wealth redistribution. Furthermore, what about the Obama Administration policies in connection with protection of the unborn? Or, following the law of the land such as our Constitution?

Promoting the culture of death; taking away individual responsibility and dignity; and forcing taxpayers to support gay marriage, and birth control may be on the wrong side of the teaching of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

7 posted on 02/04/2012 4:09:59 AM PST by olezip
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To: Kaslin

CROOCK APOSTATE LIAR.

Hope that christians will not be fooled by the demagoguery of that totalitarian snake.

Republicans need a wise and tough candidate to crush that kind of snake


8 posted on 02/04/2012 4:16:35 AM PST by Ulysse
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To: olezip

BTW teaching of muslims are not my reference.

Lapidation , polygamy , collectivist and totalitarian violent religion have nothing to do with J.Christ and his Gospel....


9 posted on 02/04/2012 4:23:32 AM PST by Ulysse
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To: Kaslin
"IS JESUS ON BOARD WITH ZERO?"

Not the Jesus I know. . . . . .
Hey Zus (spelled the same) from Guadalupe Mexico might be.

10 posted on 02/04/2012 4:40:43 AM PST by DeaconRed (Cold War Veteran. . . . US Army Security Agency 1964-1968)
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To: null and void
WWKMD.... What Would Karl Marx Do

that is zer0’s GOD...

...Marx and Mohammad

the M&M boys

(apologies to #7 and #9)

11 posted on 02/04/2012 4:51:23 AM PST by Vaquero
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To: LibLieSlayer

John 2:15

And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;

12 posted on 02/04/2012 4:56:29 AM PST by EBH (God Humbles Nations, Leaders, and Peoples before He uses them for His Purpose)
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To: Kaslin

Next he’ll be saying that Jesus endorses his abortion policy.


13 posted on 02/04/2012 5:11:43 AM PST by SC DOC
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To: Kaslin
Here was the 44th President of the United States claiming to have the support of Jesus of Nazareth on his proposed changes to the I.R.S. tax code, and the only raised eyebrows have come not from a Pastor, Priest or Rabbi

You don't "raise eyebrows" to the demented ravings of a blaspheming apostate lunatic.

14 posted on 02/04/2012 5:21:07 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Ulysse
Hope that christians will not be fooled

In an attempt to answer your concern, I offer this:

The passage referred to by Obama is Luke 12:35-48. The verse he quoted is the last verse of the parable, verse 48.

This is an especially unfortunate passage for Obama to quote. The chapter opens with a scathing rebuke of the religious leaders of Israel, "Beware of the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy" (12:1). Next, verses 2-12 describe God's knowledge and care for His people.

Obama should take careful note of verse 13-14, "Someone in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.' But He said to him, 'Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?'"

Verses 15-34 deal with how people are not to trust their riches, but to trust and rely upon God to supply the things they need.

In verses 41-48 Jesus contrasts two kinds of slaves--the wise, diligent, and faithful (vv. 41-44), and the wicked and unfaithful(vv. 45-48).

The rewards for the faithful slaves are listed in verse 44, while the punishment of the wicked slaves are listed in verses 46-47.

Verse 48 is an example of the fair treatment the slaves will receive from the master's hand at the time of accounting. The slave who did not know his master's will, but did things worthy of flogging, will receive few lashes (v.48). But the one who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act in accord with his master's will, will receive many lashes (v. 47).

Obama's use of this parable and its closing verse is really not the best one he could have used to support another confiscatory tax increase.

First, the Master/Slave motif is not really a good one to model our tax code after.

If Obama and the govt. are the "master" and rich people are the "slaves" the interpretation of the parable would go something like this:

1. The issue is the proper treatment of fellow slaves (v. 42).

2. The slaves all belong to the master (v. 42).

3. The issue in v. 48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." is the issue of faithful service and a good accounting of the responsibility entrusted in the servant. There is no mention of "money" in the parable.

4. The assets the slaves are to administer are the possessions of the master. The fellow slaves do not belong to the slave put in charge.

Obama's use of this verse is wrong because he does not own the money he would tax from the rich. The greed for other people's money is denounced in this same chapter, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed . . ." (12:15).

I know this is getting long, but stay with me.

As applied to our country the parable would mean:

1. The people are the master's

2. Obama is the slave who has been put in charge by the master. He as been given the responsibility to properly serve the master's (the people)interests by the faithful administration of his duties

3. The master's will is spelled out for him in the Constitution.

4. The axiom of verse 48 is a direct admonition to Obama that he is accountable for how he governs the people. "To whom (Obama) much has been given (by virtue of his election to the office of President by the masters [the people]), much is required.

Obama is failing miserably in his service to the master and also in his interpretation of Scripture.

15 posted on 02/04/2012 5:27:52 AM PST by good1
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To: good1

He always has to look at his notes when quoting scripture.
He doesn’t fool me! Thank you for your post.


16 posted on 02/04/2012 5:33:34 AM PST by FES0844
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To: Kaslin

The worst part of this whole kerfuffle is that Zero is teaching a misinterpretation of the Gospel to millions who don’t know any better.


17 posted on 02/04/2012 5:37:43 AM PST by firebrand
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To: SC DOC
"Next he’ll be saying that Jesus endorses his abortion policy..."

Count on it!!!

18 posted on 02/04/2012 5:44:35 AM PST by OldEagle
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To: EBH

Amen Brother... Amen!

LLS


19 posted on 02/04/2012 5:47:31 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Hey repubic elite scumbags... jam mitt up your collective arses!)
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To: Kaslin

Jesus disguised as Mohammed is on board with Obama


20 posted on 02/04/2012 6:05:36 AM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: Kaslin

Jesus disguised as Mohammed is on board with Obama


21 posted on 02/04/2012 6:05:49 AM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: ronnie raygun

reverse that please


22 posted on 02/04/2012 6:06:44 AM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: Kaslin

In ‘politics and Christ’ type conversations. I usually say that God is in no way, shape or form a Republican and couldn’t care less about ‘our’ politics other than using them to advance his purposes. This mollifies my liberal critics and softens them up for the blow...

He has, however, condemned about 98% of the Democratic Party’s agenda.


23 posted on 02/04/2012 6:51:34 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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