>Godly Economics

>[UPDATE]:

Pastor Bob has more to say on the subject here: “Economic Principles: Gleanings from Genesis”

——————————
I know a lot of folks don’t think God belongs in any discussion of economics and that’s fine, but we live in a country where snake-oil salesmen (and women) peddle a bastardized version of Christianity in which we all worship Free Market Jesus, and they think this is appropriate public policy.

You know, people like crackpot Gary North (let’s hope he knows more about economics than he does theology). Or Ralph Reed and his “Faith & Freedom Coalition,” which touts free markets right along side limited government, lower taxes, aid to Israel and oh, yeah, helping the poor among its founding principles. Dude, that don’t ad up.

(And why are these groups always coalitions? Coalitions of what? Idiots?)

Indeed as some astute observers have noted, the GOP’s sole idea for pulling us out of the economic abyss they placed us in seems to be prayer for Divine intervention.

Excuse me for calling these phonies out by name, but it just seems to me that so few of these people have actually read the Bible–and I mean the whole thing, not just the parts that conveniently support their politics. So for this I turn to my friend the reverend, aka Pastor Bob, for a look at what a Biblical economic plan really looks like.

Do read the whole post for an education on what the Bible says about how nations should run their economies. And then look at our supposed “Christian nation,” and the policies that right wing Christians have espoused for decades, and see if you don’t notice a wee bit of an inconsistency. I do:

First of all, the entire land belonged to God: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” Pious, empty-sounding religious words? No, an economic principle: All land, and its produce, belong to God. No property is private. It was God who made sure each family had an inheritance on it. In acknowledgement of this, they were called upon to offer tithes. Not only that, they were forbidden to fence off their lands, and were not allowed to go over their fields a second time after harvesting, and the same was true of the grape vines: “you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: for you were aliens in Egypt.”

Wonder what Sarah Palin or Ralph Reed would say to a Washington economic policy which looked like that? They’d cry “wall of separation” so fast your head would spin.

Pastor Bob goes on:

Next came the matter of debt, and here the rule was very simple: All debts were to be forgiven every seven years. Period.

Many years and much watering down later, we now begrudgingly allow some debts to be released, maybe once in a person’s lifetime, with that event a blot on their economic record that lasts at least seven years. And I am willing to bet that a lot of “Bible-believing” Christians are pretty sure that anyone who takes advantage of this provision is a victim of his or her own moral failure, and ought to be ashamed.

Now, along with requiring all creditors to release the obligations of all debtors once every seven years, without exception, the biblical law also expressly prohibited the accumulation of extreme wealth:

“Woe to those who add house to house, and field to field!”

Christian America, are you listening? To implement this, there was a provision that once every fifty years (seven periods of seven) any family who had sold their own homestead to pay off debts would have that property returned to them, free and clear. This was expressly to prevent the accumulation of wealth by some at the cost of the permanent impoverishment of others.

Wow, we sure don’t hear that economic policy espoused by the so-called Christians in the Republican party.

Gee, I wonder why.

As Pastor Bob says, he’s just reading his Bible. Maybe some other folks who claim to espouse Biblical beliefs should do so as well.

18 Comments

Filed under Bible, economy, poverty, religion

18 responses to “>Godly Economics

  1. >i'm still waiting for an explanation of Touchdown Jeebus, myself. where in the bible does it say "blessed are the teams that go for it on 4th and inches, for they shall inherit the Superbowl?" it's gotta be in there somewhere.

  2. >I really enjoyed reading this this morning. You know some economists have strongly hinted at morality in business, but most often they are ignored. Most people who use the Bible as a hammer to beat others with have not read the whole Bible, and then there are those who pick parts so that they have an excuse for their behavior. How many eyes do you suppose have been plucked out because of one verse?

  3. >Interesting post. I came back to re-read from your link to the prayer for Divine intervention but was linked to the Oh Crap, I have a crush on Sarah Palin site. This wasn't the original link, was it? Or, am I having a senior moment?

  4. >Seems like most are CINOs….My mom and sister are members of a Southern Baptist mega church in the Houston area that raises money for settlement expansion in Palestine…part of their belief that God's plan is for Israel to expand it's borders to biblical boundaries . Israel carpet bombing Palestine is celebrated as God's work ….my mom has told me "God doesn't like those people". It breaks my heart…If they're going to do the Christian thing…I wish they would have found someone like Pastor Bob.

  5. >Judi:Oh Crap was the intended link, that's the name of the blog. Read the whole post over there … it's good stuff.

  6. >SoBe, super interesting article, the one you wrote; and the link provided by kanna (above) was also an eye-opener. One question that keeps nagging, where is our vaunted MSM? For example, Judson Phillips, the organizer of the Nashville Tea Party, turned the supposedly grassroots event into a for-profit business to enrich himself. Melissa Cloutier and TPM covered the story but none of our major news media.About the Baptists arrested in Haiti for trying to cross the border with 33 children, it appears a Dominican lawyer named Jorge Puello (wanted in El Salvador for alleged "white slave" trafficking) is trying to represent the accused. Again, no MSM coverage of this backstory.It seems the only good reporting of stories behind the stories is now on the Internet … and what does this tell us about information access when our major news outlets are partitioned along partisan lines?

  7. >Mr. Octopus, Sir:The MSM has been tirelessly covering Jennifer Anniston's 41st b'day bash and other momentous stuff like that.

  8. >Chicago Dyke:Touchdown Jesus used to live down in South Bend, but he seems to have gone on an extended vakay for about the last eight years.

  9. >SoBe, I really liked this article. It reminded me of a couple things from my youth. First being when and why I actually sat down to read and understand the Bible, as best I could. It was (try not to laugh) after watching Porky's 2. Watching the school principal go toe to toe with Rev Bubba Flavel. I knew then and there I had to know my stuff about the Bible to counter others that try to use it to suit their means. The second thing it remind me of was a song from the 80's by the Hooters called Satellite.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lwYK8EHd_M

  10. >Octopus, I did see a front page story in the NY Times about Jorge Puello this weekend. And there has been *some* coverage of the for-profit Tea Party, since that is the reason Michelle Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn pulled out.But I've seen no coverage of the fact that the tea party candidate in MO lost, and little coverage of the NY Times/CBS News poll that shows Obama and the Democrats with higher favorability ratings than the Republicans.The MSM builds a narrative, they derive a piece of "accepted wisdom" from places like Drudge, and then when facts prove how false that "accepted wisdom" is they ignore it.We saw this tendency of our media most tragically in the run up to Iraq. They just bought the line that Saddam had WMD and that was that.This is why most surveys show the American people have lost faith in the news media.

  11. >I am interested in this election you write of…. Please.

  12. >The address did not work… I don't need an address just a name or… I am not disputing. I am looking for good news or a little sign of intelligence somewhere.

  13. >SB – check out the latest on Jorge from one of my blog parents, Bastardette. LOTS of amazing info though I think she went down the wrong path with the "Crypto Jews" bit. MSM/infotainment is bad enuf but sometimes the alternative is not better, or even worse.BTW, just posted something about "lamestream media".

  14. >Thomas,Jason Gregory is his name.Check out the St Joseph, Mo news.

  15. >Don't you know…real Christians don't follow Old Testament (unless it comes to the gays). I've gotten into debates with Christians, and when I point out something in the Old Testament, they'd say, disdainfully, "Oh, that's the old testament. We only follow the New."