Despite what either side of the political spectrum may say about the other, many Democrats and Republicans claim to be Christians. Republicans claim to be the Christian party because they (are supposed to) take more conservative–or, Christian–stances on social issues, while Democrats claim that God has a heart for the poor and would be on their side because they engage in state philanthropy. Actually, this and the Iraq War are the primary reasons Leftist Christians claim they voted for Obama, despite the fact the Obama’s stances on social issues are diametrically opposed to anything portrayed as righteous in the Bible. So how can anyone tell if their stance is legitimate?
First of all, you can always recognize a legitimate Christian because they claim a couple of things: that the Bible is divine revelation, and that dependence upon Jesus Christ alone grants salvation. If a claimed Christian won’t agree with this, then drop them like they’re hot: you’re dealing with an illogical heretic. But if they agree with those statements, we can rest upon God’s divine law as presented in the Old Testament. The reason we can say this is because Jesus commanded us to love one another, He said that loving interaction is defined by His divine law, and those laws were presented by Yahweh Himself for His covenant people.
One of the most useful aspects about a historical theocracy instituted by Yahweh Himself is that it removes a lot of speculation about the implementation of Christian beliefs into the political spectrum, as a holy and constitutional political system has already existed according to the Bible upon which Christians base their beliefs. So what does His law say about protecting the poor?
Well, Democrats are completely right when they say Yahweh isn’t interested in having the rich trample the poor, and we can also rest assured that God’s theocracy wasn’t entirely libertarian. For instance, He commanded the Israelites to:
-Free slaves and release debt every seven years (Deuteronomy 15:1-6).
-Return land to all sellers every fifty years, unless the property was a house in a walled city. Property lost through hardship could be repurchased for same price it was sold. (Leviticus 25:18-34).
-Help a person who becomes poor as you would a temporary resident or foreigner, and you must not make profit on the food you sell them or the money you lend them (Leviticus 25:35-37).
-Pay wages to the poor immediately (Deuteronomy 24:14-15)
But aside from ensuring a landed population and eliminating long-standing debt, we don’t see divine law causing any sort of national debt, inflating any sort of money supply, or even having a progressive tax scale. Aside from the priestly tribe of Levi, we don’t see legislation to profit specific national groups, and no ideas about regulating opportunity. And if God’s own personal–yet incompletely stated–law of love involved very specific provisions for the welfare of the poor, what we should be asking isn’t whether or not His stance wasn’t right, but rather why He set the boundaries there.
This next portion is absolutely indispensable. While the Old Testament had very strict laws about protecting the poor, it was backed by a full-fledged war on individual behaviors responsible for creating poverty. Liberals have a hard time with this because they illogically believe that the only time Christ’s law applies to modern society is when taking someone’s money. In theocratic Israel, however, you simply couldn’t putz illegitimate children out and expect payment for them, because you and your lovers would be killed. You couldn’t divorce your wife and leave your children for another woman for the same reason. Moochers couldn’t fare well for too long because welfare housing was temporary, and only so much “free” food available for consumption which the poor picked for themselves.
Thus, because Yahweh commands that justice should never favor the poor (Exodus 23:3, Leviticus 19:15), the hard-working Israelite middle class was never forced into debt to subsidize an easily defined immorality or laziness. Israelites also never had to pay for an AIDS epidemic because they didn’t allow homosexuality, or for social security because people could save their goods and not have the value diminish due to monetary inflation, and they had obedient and responsible children to take care of them when they became old. By contrast, liberals promote the spread of AIDS, devalue the dollar, punish stern parents, and rabidly protect sexual liberties while stirring up the class-resentment to pay for it. By purposely banning social standards while promoting extensive welfare, what liberal Christians promote is a lopsided and incorrectly applied form of unGodly egalitarianism.
So in light of these divine boundaries for national egalitarian policy, we find that the meaning of justice is quite different from social justice, as Godly justice involves a human restoration from interpersonal wrongdoings and fairness of legal application, guided by the clear boundaries God set. Social justice–frequently claimed by the Christian Left to be a divinely backed cause– offers something quite different: the distribution of the advantages and disadvantages of social groups within a society. Social justice demands that people not be specifically punished or rewarded due to their personal behavior, but rather to an unclear extent for their subjectively and unclearly defined circumstances (are all Blacks disadvantaged?). The reader can also rest assured there has never been a recorded case of social justice which has been for the benefit of anyone other than the poor or “marginalized,” making it fundamentally unjust according to Biblical standards. It is a cause which demands an already predefined loser, not fairness for all involved.
Of course, liberals would also claim that Jesus’ arrival changed the nature of welfare. When Jesus arrived, much of His teachings centered around perfect love, and the idea that we should personally ensure the well-being of those around us. But since these teachings and the law of the Old Testament are both from Him, what we can conclude is that while the law dealt with clearly-defined and mandatory redistribution, Christ’s commandments were for everything the law didn’t cover, and was understood to be for those who love Him and recognize God’s generosity in their lives. This kind of love is given because we are loved by God, not because we must force others into sacrificial love whether they like it or not.
If Christ’s kind of complete love should have been mandatory, it would have already been; and if it should be enforced, logic tells us that the state would be granted the legitimate right to enslave and sacrifice others without their permission for the sake of the needy. And furthermore, Christ and His law both state that the poor–regardless of what the Left may say–will always be with us. Thus, a war on poverty which seeks to eliminate need at any cost is inherently un-Christian. So if you want to give, then give; but be careful not to cross the line from holy justice to totalitarianism, endless retribution, slavery to debt, and class-envy.
Last, wanting a good thing doesn’t legitimize the pursuit thereof, as every evil act is the pursuit of some tangibly good outcome. Christ even once said to the apostles that they were going to be martyred, and that they weren’t only going to die horrible deaths, but that the people who killed them were going to think they were doing God a favor. So simply put, there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, two different moral paths can never be equal, and God’s way is always the right way regardless of how you feel about it. So do not accept the argument that “we just want the same things” under the premise that trying to do good is the same thing as doing good. Taken in this light, since the Left fails to implement Christian social standards and misapplies philanthropy, we can objectively say that voting for Leftists is a poor–if not morally wrong–choice for a Christian to make.
Being fair though, if what you really want is God’s way, then what we need to understand is that neither Left nor Right is completely Biblical, even though the Left transgresses far worse against God’s universal truths. Rather, we would see some sort of a combination between the two. As such, here are some changes Christians should consider making to our current political system, if indeed they are serious about being politically Christian. These are all subject to discussion, as we’re not living in a theocracy. But they point in the right direction.
-End revolving credit’s legality, and establish a national boundary for the length of time a person can be indebted in any particular consumptive lending contract (seven years is the most preferable length). This will protect people from paying interest on interest, and curb consumptive debt.
-If a person loses their means to pay for their food and shelter, give consensual workhouses specific amounts of money up to a certain limit for every person they put to work. Nobody should be able to get welfare for more than a month without having to work. Workhouses in rural areas should be given tax breaks to buy farm properties so that people without work can make their own food and receive pay from what’s sold. Workhouses should be able to fire people for poor performance.
-Drug tests for everyone receiving minimal welfare, along with mandatory marriage upon pregnancy. End cohabitation’s legality.
-Heighten lending standards for mortgages, and provide for some sort of city/town-distributed insurance to protect the poor from losing their homes over a period up to four months. The people will elect officials to investigate and see if the loss was due to poor performance, and fire the officials for distributing insurance foolishly. If a shortage of insurance funding occurs, the officials can decide who deserves coverage most. Foreclosure due to medically-related bankruptcy would hold priority and cover the policy holder for a longer amount of time.
-Allow all families residing in the same property for fifteen years, outside of city limits (cities with over 30,000 people), to have the same property protections available to Israelites, wherein the owner’s property will revert back to him at the end of 50 years (waivable by the three oldest males in the family line). This will keep agricultural corporations from dominating Americans. End eminent domain.
-Establish a gold standard to ensure that people can save their money for retirement. This will protect people’s investments, keep them from having to gamble with 401k’s, and allow us to balance our national budget.
-No federal or state funding for AIDS research.
-End all “justice” programs aimed at favoring any groups of people over any others. All discrimination legislation must go, along with hiring quotas, college applicant quotas, and redlining legislation.
-Make federal philanthropy illegal except in cases of diplomacy. Only cities will be allowed to engage in philanthropy, and this will keep charity personal while keeping leaders accountable for any debts.
-End a “progressive” tax scale that taxes certain people at higher rates.
-End hate crimes legislation, as all people deserve equal protection under the law.
-Allow high schools to teach classes on the Bible, and get rid of the Department of Education so that people can decide what’s best for their local schools. End prayer bans and teachers unions, repeal Kitzmiller vs. Dover.