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  1. #71
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Actually, the Old Testament does include laws -- government laws -- that enforced giving to provide for the less fortunate. When it says 'give an offering' in the Old Testament -- that is not just the religious law, that is the law -- period. When it says 'leave some grain in your fields for the poor and the wild animals' or 'let your fields lie fallow ever seven years' -- that is the law. When it says 'do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien' -- it's the law. There was no separate secular law. It was the government as much as if it was something passed by the legislature, signed by the president, and enforced by the courts.
    Christians aren't bound by Old Testament laws, though, and Jesus was not a political figure. How does this enter into the discussion at all?


    You are not a believer, so it isn't inconsistent for you to say you don't believe in it. For a someone who claims that the Bible is the inspired word of God to say that they believe it is wrong for their tax dollars to be spent on helping the poor -- it just seems inconsistent to me.
    It's not, though. There is nothing inconsistent about it in the least.


    Sure, Christians have a religious obligation to give voluntarily charity, but they don't have a religious obligation to oppose helping the needy via taxes. Christians are commanded by Jesus to pay taxes and submit to what was an oppressive, sometimes hostile, and idolatrous government. If that is not contradictory to Christianity, it's an awfully big stretch to me to believe that I'm supposed to be outraged about a poor person receiving tax-funded help for their basic physical needs.
    You're not "supposed" to be anything. We're talking about whether early Christians were socialists, and they were not. Jesus DID teach to help the less fortunate, but that is a MORAL command, not a political one. Thankfully, we do not have a theocratic system in place. Besides, if you are paying your taxes (only SOME of which go to help the indigent; much of which goes to kill them around the world) simply out of fear of prison, then there IS no moral component to that. It's not charity if it's at gunpoint. Who does more to help the poor: the wealthy man who exploits tax loopholes to play less to the government, but donates a large portion of his income to charitable causes, or the average man who pay his taxes but has never fed a homeless person or donated time or effort to anything?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #72
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Christians aren't bound by Old Testament laws, though, and Jesus was not a political figure. How does this enter into the discussion at all?

    It's not, though. There is nothing inconsistent about it in the least.

    You're not "supposed" to be anything. We're talking about whether early Christians were socialists, and they were not. Jesus DID teach to help the less fortunate, but that is a MORAL command, not a political one. Thankfully, we do not have a theocratic system in place. Besides, if you are paying your taxes (only SOME of which go to help the indigent; much of which goes to kill them around the world) simply out of fear of prison, then there IS no moral component to that. It's not charity if it's at gunpoint. Who does more to help the poor: the wealthy man who exploits tax loopholes to play less to the government, but donates a large portion of his income to charitable causes, or the average man who pay his taxes but has never fed a homeless person or donated time or effort to anything?
    Those are not the points I'm making. You have to understand how Evangelicalism works to get this, probably.

    My point is this -- God has Moses up on the mountain giving him the law for his people to live by -- it's a direct pipeline from God to Moses and when God tells Moses how he wants the government to be -- the ideal, no shit, direct from God (the God that all the little Evangelical kids learn about in Sunday school) government that government includes charity by force of law. Now explain to me how that same God is against charity enforced by law. Chapter and verse, if you please.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #73
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Is the following quote an indication that I'm completely discounting the practical aspect of whether sending our money to the federal government for them to help the poor is an efficient, effective, and/or moral system?
    Nope. I was responding to just that one post because it caught my eye. Sorry for not reading your earlier post carefully.
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  4. #74
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Whiny, egotistical, white upper class people? Who would have known?
    this
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #75
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    Nope. I was responding to just that one post because it caught my eye. Sorry for not reading your earlier post carefully.
    No worries. We're in a similar situation to yours. Doing pretty good now, but have been on assistance in the past and some of it is beyond messed up.

    The WIC program is a prime example. We spend a tiny fraction of WIC (taxpayer) money on breastfeeding education and support despite the fact that there is no question that breastfeeding is nutritionally superior, can reduce instances of illness, etc and FREE. Most of the money goes toward purchasing infant formula, which is nutritionally inferior and most certainly anything but free. I think we spend, like, billions a year on formula, but I had trouble finding clear figures. The only way this makes any sense is that somebody with lots of power is making lots of money.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix13 View Post
    "All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need."
    -Acts 2:44-45

    "There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means 'son of encouragement'). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. " -Acts 4:34-37

    Damn athiest communists!
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  7. #77
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Those are not the points I'm making. You have to understand how Evangelicalism works to get this, probably.

    My point is this -- God has Moses up on the mountain giving him the law for his people to live by -- it's a direct pipeline from God to Moses and when God tells Moses how he wants the government to be -- the ideal, no shit, direct from God (the God that all the little Evangelical kids learn about in Sunday school) government that government includes charity by force of law. Now explain to me how that same God is against charity enforced by law. Chapter and verse, if you please.
    That law required individuals to be charitable. It did not require the government itself to be charitable. There's a difference. Strangely enough under the american constitution the former is illegal while the latter is legal.

    Besides, think about Joseph's actions. He told everyone a famine was coming. He then taxed everyone preparing for the famine. When the famine came did he give grain to those that did not have any? No. He sold the stored up grain. People were warned and expected to behave prudently and save grain themselves. If they did not do so the government did not bail them out.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  8. #78
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    That law required individuals to be charitable. It did not require the government itself to be charitable. There's a difference. Strangely enough under the american constitution the former is illegal while the latter is legal.

    Besides, think about Joseph's actions. He told everyone a famine was coming. He then taxed everyone preparing for the famine. When the famine came did he give grain to those that did not have any? No. He sold the stored up grain. People were warned and expected to behave prudently and save grain themselves. If they did not do so the government did not bail them out.
    I would think that when the law tells you to bring a percentage of your harvest into town so that the Levites, widows, orphans, and aliens will have food to eat that there might have been some government involvement in the distribution process.

    Joseph was Pharaoh's slave and he was working for the interests of Pharaoh. The people were not able to save enough money for the famine. They ended up having to sell Pharaoh all their livestock and their land. He took them from the land and moved them to cities, then made them into serfs. He allowed them to plant on his land in return for a fifth of their harvests. So actually, the government did something a heck of a lot like our banking bail out -- worse, actually. The only people who were left with their own land were the priests because they had a prescribed allotment of food already in place.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #79
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Those are not the points I'm making. You have to understand how Evangelicalism works to get this, probably.

    My point is this -- God has Moses up on the mountain giving him the law for his people to live by -- it's a direct pipeline from God to Moses and when God tells Moses how he wants the government to be -- the ideal, no shit, direct from God (the God that all the little Evangelical kids learn about in Sunday school) government that government includes charity by force of law. Now explain to me how that same God is against charity enforced by law. Chapter and verse, if you please.
    YOU explain to ME how the God of the Old Testament is the Jesus from the New Testament, because that is what we were discussing: the teachings of Jesus Christ. I went to Catholic school for 13 years, and I set about reading both the Old and New Testaments in entirety. One thing that I learned quickly: fundamentalism is ludicrous. There are biblical passages about proper human conduct that are in DIRECT conflict with each other. There are strict Christians who tithe their earnings, and there are strict Christians who do not. There is no conflict there. Where is the political position taken? Why would an omnipotent God WANT government-mandated charity if He/She gave human beings free will? Why would God entrust this power to government (an imperfect, man-created institution) to guarantee this outcome? Isn't the whole idea that humans have the freedom to be good or evil, and that their final judgment is based upon their decisions during their lives? Giving time or money to the less fortunate is no longer a moral positive for individuals if they are doing because they are forced.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #80
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    YOU explain to ME how the God of the Old Testament is the Jesus from the New Testament, because that is what we were discussing: the teachings of Jesus Christ. I went to Catholic school for 13 years, and I set about reading both the Old and New Testaments in entirety. One thing that I learned quickly: fundamentalism is ludicrous. There are biblical passages about proper human conduct that are in DIRECT conflict with each other. There are strict Christians who tithe their earnings, and there are strict Christians who do not. There is no conflict there. Where is the political position taken? Why would an omnipotent God WANT government-mandated charity if He/She gave human beings free will? Why would God entrust this power to government (an imperfect, man-created institution) to guarantee this outcome? Isn't the whole idea that humans have the freedom to be good or evil, and that their final judgment is based upon their decisions during their lives? Giving time or money to the less fortunate is no longer a moral positive for individuals if they are doing because they are forced.
    Yeah. You don't get Evangelical hermeneutics. That's okay.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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