So these last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of people talk about charity and generosity in reference to it being Christmas. And a lot of what I’ve been reading on the internet and seeing in the media shows to me that once again people do not really understand charity (or any virtue for that matter…but that is a much larger undertaking which I will put off for the moment).
Now I’ve already gone over the psychological and spiritual benefits of Peter giving to Paul vs. the detriment that comes from robbing Peter to pay Paul in Republicans and Reincarnation, so I’m not going to go over ground I’ve already covered and bore you with that.
But I was doing my daily reading of news and op-eds on the net and ran across this little moment of insanity and evil “Christmas means the redistribution of wealth” by Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo . It’s a fascinating if not horrendously perverse and monstrously evil article because it goes beyond the usual Robin Hood clap trap (because if you actually read the stories Robin steals from tax collectors and gives back to the people who earned the money in the first place). It’s sad that liberal papers like the Washington Post have to dig so low just to fill their rags that they take the ranting of a guy who also argues that Queen Isabella, the one who created the Inquisition, be up for sainthood and defends Pope Pius XII, also known as Hitler’s Pope, as being “maligned” . Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with this article if it wasn’t for the fact that I have heard shades of this argument for the last few months…and this article just puts all of these arguments in one big spot.
Obviously this twit is supposedly coming from a Catholic point of view (I use supposedly because there are many Catholics who don’t pervert the words of the Bible in the way this idiot does) and I’m coming from a New Age point of view, so I will be attacking a few of his premises on grounds of religious difference…on these points I ask that you only listen to my points before dismissing my side based on any religious beliefs you may have. (Also there are going to be a few tangents because this man makes such random justifications for his beliefs that I have to also go all over the place to point out what a moron he is).
He starts out with:
“Jesus came to save the world.”
It’s a problem when I disagree with the first words you put to paper (it’s like reading the first words in Kant where you make the most preposterously idiotic, mentally retarded, and morally bankrupt statement that life isn’t about Happiness…when you start out with a false premise you know it’s all downhill from there.) Why do I have a problem with this…well because if you actually read the Bible, and certainly if you believe in Christianity with its concept of Hell and eternal damnation, you have a view that he came to save some who would hear him and, eh, the rest of you know where you can go (John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”…and those of you who don’t believe…Also you might care to remember that it is “peace on Earth to men of good will” not “good will to [all] men”). Also I thought he came to save souls, not the material world. But this guy justifies his belief that the whole world is defined by quoting that famous passage of the Bible, “He’s got the whole world in his hands” (okay he admits it’s from a “spiritual” as he puts it, not the Bible…but really, “spiritual” might even be a bit too complimentary. ) Really? That’s the best you have? He’s got the whole world in his hands.
Is this really a problem? Yes and no. I do believe that all the enlightened beings of history, Jesus of Nazareth included, came to save ALL humanity by helping them choose to free themselves from the delusions of this world and raise us to a higher spiritual level so he would be right if he meant save our souls. But like most liberals he is a rank materialist who can see no value in anything other than the physical world around him and thus to him “save the world” means make our lives in the physical world, here and now, perfect (not to mention just ignoring the whole free will thing suggested by the condition “whosoever believes in me”).
And thus, for this crazy author, this means that we must have income in equality…because as he states
“Christmas 2011 comes on the eve of an election year when Catholic America is confronted with an escalation in society’s class divisions and a concentration of wealth worse than under the Roman Empire.”
(And I don’t even know where to start with that one…if you track his links back you’ll eventually come to an article that calculates the wealth of the elite in Rome (the city) versus the poverty of Rome (the empire), utterly forgets that there was a trading class of merchants throughout the empire which are more or less equivalent to the middle class, ignores the vast amount of patronage and welfare programs in the empire…and completely forgets that Caesar has more money than all the Senators and Equestrians put together…I am still trying to put together all the data, and finding data on inequality in Greece, Rome, and the Dark Ages is near impossible, but distribution of income has never been more equal than the last 50 years of human history. Also something to consider, the bottom 10% in America probably lives a life that Alexander and Augustus would have envied).
“The idea that the world needs to be saved – and not just individuals — is contained in the doctrine of original sin as found in the teachings of St. Paul the Apostle. How can he say that a child who has just been born is a sinner? “
Ah, the heart of the matter, the heart of all liberalism (and the mis-named social conservatism…even though there is nothing conservative about it)… That people, at their heart are evil, they have to be saved by someone outside of themselves. Now I will state that this is really the teachings of the Council of Nicaea (and a few other Council’s) rewrites and the not the words of Paul, but that’s an argument for another time.
As to his question about children and sin, well actually it’s called reincarnation genius…you know the dominant belief within Judaism at the time of Christ, the prevailing belief of every advanced civilization except post-Nicaean Christianity…might be something to that…but that’s neither here nor there really. What we really have to deal with is the preposterous view of Original sin. The idea that people are inherently evil and must be controlled. Sounds kind of like liberalism doesn’t it: you’re evil and can’t be trusted to make the right choices, you’re corrupt and need to be controlled by something bigger than you. Happy philosophy you have there. Meanwhile I choose to take the side that there is divinity in the human soul, human reason, and humans were made in the image of God with all of his potential and reason within us if we choose to use it. But I have hope for, faith in and love for humanity and you have a story about eating a piece of fruit…which sounds more like the acts of a rational God? Also the teachings of original sin are attributed to 2nd century Bishop Irenaeus, not St. Paul…but as we already established this man clearly knows nothing about history.
To save time I’m going to skim over the next paragraph where he also shows he has a great grasp of history when he says…
[…] The evil person alone prospered in the Roman Empire. […]
…Because there were no just and good people before Jesus…Cicero, Aristotle, Cyrus the Great, not to mention thousands whose names weren’t recorded by history, never existed…before Jesus all life was apparently somehow a Hobbesian nightmare but yet still somehow managed to progress. Am I the only person who didn’t get such a dark view of humanity from reading the words of Christ in the New Testament?
“But Jesus changed that imbalance by substituting for selfishness Christian love of neighbor in Jesus’ name. The world’s original sin of favoring evil over good has been wiped away for those baptized into Jesus’ life and resurrection.”
This is really sick. No educated and rational Christian seriously believes that only Christians are good people and the rest favor “evil over good” as a general rule…and the fact that a major newspaper prints this twaddle is an insult to all the good that Christianity and Christians have ever done or thought. I would like to remind this idiot that the commandment Jesus quotes from, Leviticus 19:18, commands you to love your neighbor as you love yourself (which actually is kind of selfish…rationally self interested, in between the two evils of narcissism, not caring about others, and altruism, not caring about yourself).
He then goes into, very poorly, a justification that since all individuals are sinful, society is sinful too, and that as individuals need to be saved, so does society…
“The concept of society’s structural sin that is suggested in Pauline teaching was crystallized in the theology of liberation when it appeared among Latin American theologians after the II Vatican Council. Based on a socio-economic secular analysis of history in secular academia, theologians like Father Gustavo Gutierrez spoke of structural sin. Upholding an unjust political and economic system would only perpetuate injustice, they argued. Good people could be trapped into a web of doing bad things because society fostered a way of acting that normalized immoral behavior.”
…If you need to reread that a few times, I’ll understand. It’s terribly worded and poorly thought out, so it might take you a few times to get what he is trying to say (his fault for being a bad writer and thinker, not yours). So society is evil and that causes good people to do bad things. So again we have a very liberal view that there is no free will and people aren’t responsible for their own actions. Now you probably glossed over that phrase “theology of liberation” because no explanation was given. What is it? I’ll tell you (and if you don’t believe me, go look it up yourself). It’s the theory that Christ wanted everyone to spread the wealth around, even though he was friendly with some of the rich, and to spread it around by legal force if necessary, even though Christ had a I could care less “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” policy towards politics, and though he may have advised some to give up their riches (riches made off of slavery which was the economy of the time so certainly lacking the ethical basis for profit that capitalism allows, and always as a personal suggestion not as societal policy) he never demanded or forced anyone to spread the wealth around…yes clearly Christ wanted Marxism. The theology of liberation is a belief in economic socialism, that you should worry about how much others have, rather than just doing your part to make the world around you better, you have to punish those who have done wrong…because the mote in the rich man’s eye is always more important than the board in yours…I’m sure Christ said that somewhere. It also teaches that profit is of course evil, as all socialism and Marxism teaches…because we all remember that Christ praised the servant who buried money and made zero profit and condemned the servant who made lots of money…oh wait. The long and short of it is, it’s Marist socialism dressed with a few out of context quotes of Christianity to try and get Christians behind it. Further, did you notice how not once he held up even a shred of proof that capitalism is unjust (maybe because it’s pretty much the definition of justice) unlike the government controlled economy he advocates (which breeds the very injustice he says he opposes)?
The mere fact that he has to gloss over what it really is, shows even he knows what a house of cards his argument is.
“Detractors have caricatured Liberation Theology as advocating violent revolution against White capitalists. In contrast, based on the Just War Theory, theology restricted violence to a response against violent attack, reasoning that self-defense is legitimate when measured by the countervailing force trying to take away human life and liberty.”
First off St. Thomas Aquinas, who said that not all evil should be prevented by law because more often than not they will hurt the individual in their path toward grace (Summa Theologiae, I-II Qu96 Part 2) , is probably spinning in his grave right now that you have made a mockery of Just War Theory like that (Aquinas sets out three requirements for a Just War—proper authority, just cause, right goal—liberation theology lacks all three, Summa Theologiae, II-II Qu40 part 1 ). Second, saying you follow Just War Theory and thus aren’t a violent bunch rings about as true as genocidal lunatics saying they practice a “religion of peace”…oh wait, in practice they’re a bunch of socialists too. I’m seeing a theme here.
(The Declaration of Independence was founded on that same principle: armed revolution in defense of God-given rights is “as American as apple pie.”)
And Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are now spinning in their graves that this idiot would dare put a belief that requires taking away people’s liberty and right to pursue Happiness, not to mention the sacrosanct right to property, and have the audacity to justify it by referencing the Declaration. It’s a pity I’m not a Catholic, because if I was I could rest knowing that this ass’s only time not spent in hell would be when they were deciding if his heresy against the Bible (sixth concentric circle) or his treason to the U.S. (ninth) was the deciding factor in where he would spend eternity.
“Christmas 2011 is not a call to violent revolution.”
Why be violent when Obama is trying to make this law. After all, technically you can be arrested and detained without counsel or trial if Obama doesn’t like you right now.
He goes on and on in with this drivel but there are two other quotes of his I would like to point out.
“This is the message of Pope Benedict XVI this year for World Peace. “We cannot ignore the fact that some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity,” writes the pontiff, echoing an earlier Vatican Committee’s statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movements around the world that protest laissez-faire Capitalism, the concentration of wealth and the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand. In place of these unfair social principles, the pope calls for “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”
Okay first off OWS isn’t protesting laissez-faire because we don’t have laissez-faire, haven’t had it in over a century…what they’re protesting is what is being mislabeled as crony capitalism, which I tend to call the first steps to socialism…and bizarrely enough the corruption they’re complaining about will only be helped by the socialism they’re asking for. Second, Ayn Rand, really? Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Williams, Laffer, Von Misses, Smith. The great philosophers of capitalism and you pick Ayn Rand (Rand is nice, but she is to economic theory what Dr. Seus is to reading…a good place to start but a terrible place to end. This would be like critiquing English’s ability to create great literature and using Stephen King as example of why English can’t produce good literature). Thirdly, we have an “adequate mechanism for redistribution of wealth”, it’s called capitalism, law, and merit and it says you get out of life what you put in.
“If Benedict XVI were a candidate for the presidency of the United States, his call for “redistribution of wealth” would be controversial. Can it be dismissed as left-wing socialism? No doubt enemies of Catholic social justice will tar the pontiff in this way. But the ideal “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need,” doesn’t originate with Marx. It comes from the Acts of the Apostles (4:34-35; 1:44-45).“
It is left wing socialism! The current Pope is a pathetic replacement for his predecessor who actually fought to defend liberty…and it’s not tarring him, it’s applying reason to his statement and seeing them as wrong. Hate to tell you this, but the Pope is not infallible (but then again this writing did come from the apologist for Hitler’s pope). Ah and quoting two passages from Acts written by Luke, a guy who never met Christ (and was a vicious anti-Semite to boot) in describing how early Christian communities copies their Essence predecessors in sharing everything…this was of course before Paul came and turned it from a wacky cult to an actual religion. A shame he couldn’t quote a single line from Christ to justify this as a Christian behavior.
I’m getting very tired of this moron…if you want even more detailed rebuttals go here