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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 06:06PM

In a now-closed thread, RfM poster "Phazer" indicted excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn as being a "self-admitted socialist" who has nothing to offer but "half-baked intel[ligence]." He further attacked Quinn for being "very handicapped" and "hampered" in the presentation of what he decried as Quinn's "stale" views on the history of the Mormon Church.,2050449,2050449#msg-2050449

I know Quinn personally, know how he thinks and know what he believes. (But that's a discussion for another day). "Phazer," on the other hand, don't know squat.

Allow me to cut to the chase:

Clearly, "Phazer" is working with a malfunctioning taser that falls far short of focusing like a laser. His biggest "handicap," if you will, is his failure to educate himself about, or admit to, the Bible lore that serves up a Jesus the Christ who is a Savior the Socialist. (The thunk you just heard was my granddaddy, Ezra Taft Benson, falling off his throne and hitting his head on a food storage shelf in Mormon heaven).

When I pointed out, for going-through-a-phase "Phazer's" benefit, how he showed his blind side when it comes to Jesus' socialism-saturated political and theological ideology, the only response he mustered was to rail against "leftist anti BS talking points" (meaning that leftists were expressing anti-BS? Perhaps "Phazer" committed a typo). Anyway, he didn't cite any specifics from the Gospels that placed Jesus in his capitalist corner. How could he? Ignoring entirely Jesus' track record of preaching in behalf of a god-based, socialized redistribution of wealth, "Phazer" grumped that "[t]he tax burden is . . . very, very high in Denmark and Sweden," then complained that the "U.S. Government hasn't been a very wise spender of money and seems to be defrauded everywhere it goes," then concluded that "the idea of being taxed more for quality services seems like hopeless idea because of very poor money management.",2050449,2051969#msg-2051969

Hmmm. I don't recall Jesus taking on sinful future tax rates in Denmark and Sweden. I do recall, however, that Jesus was an enemy of greedy money managers doing business in his temples and drove them out with a whip.

The bottom line, so to speak: "Phazer" chose to totally ignore the fact that the Bible's Jesus is a hefty lefty socialist. Even self-admitted atheists like Charlotte Schnook accepts this as the official scriptural storyline on the Master's mindset (assuming, of course, that Jesus even existed, which is also a topic for another day).

In her analysis, "Jesus the Socialist: Why Christian Conservatives are Massive Frauds," Schnook writes the following [original emphasis included]:

"As a scholar of religion, it never fails to amaze me that despite there being over 2,000 Biblical verses in which scripture demands Christians tend to the needs of the poor, I am hard-pressed to find Christians who actually vote with this most imparted teaching. On the contrary, I find zealots who blame the impoverished for their misery, and take delight in the knowledge that such squalor allows their own family to have economic superiority. . . . I have been hard-pressed to find ANY right wing policy which genuinely aided in alleviation of misery which poverty causes, but I find endless promises for continual war & tax cuts for the already wealthy. [Such advcates] are often Christian enough to take away your civil liberties by trying to enforce their INTERPRETIVE ideas on abortion & homosexuality (yes, I said interpretive, because one is hard-pressed to make a SOLID case on these issues, for the Bible is contradictory on them) yet [they are] NOT Christian enough to do the duty Jesus MOST commanded: taking care of the poor. . . . So how is it that the Republican party (and pretty much the Democrats now as well) can claim themselves to be based on 'Christian Values' when the repeatedly violate what Jesus says? And what is it exactly that Jesus did say?


"In America (and in all capitalist countries), people assume their wealth is their own. It's a bedrock belief, we are taught to admire those who build wealth, attain impressive houses, cars, clothes, and retire early to Florida. We are told by the Christian . . . right wing & conservative left that the wealthy worked hard for their money and deserve to reap the benefits. But the Bible tells us differently.

"Luke 12 displays a Jesus delivering parables of a successful businessman. He is so successful that he cannot find enough room for all of his harvest. So the wealthy business man undertakes a massive building project to protect his wealth and plan an early retirement. The 'Christian' culture of America would say this man is a success, for the man did what we are told to do all the time: expand, invest, and use for personal benefit. So, why does Jesus in his parable consider this an antithesis to success? He instead says God considers this man a !fool' BECAUSE he only used his wealth for his 'own' benefit. Jesus goes on to admonish the selfishness and lack of communalism of the businessman. In ultimate renunciation of the man, Jesus advocates the man should have redistributed his wealth to the poor!

"There are countless Biblical stories that match the evil 'socialist' economic ethic, such as the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector, which, so illuminating, is found in Luke 19:1-10: Zacchaeus gives half of his wealth and pays back four times what he has defrauded. He has put his own wealth and honor in jeopardy in order to benefit his neighbors and his community. Additionally, Luke 16 contains the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man eats wonderful food and dresses in the finest clothes. Lazarus sits outside of his gates and waits for the scraps from his table. Both men die. The rich man lands in torment and Lazarus at Abraham's side. The rich man's sin, was ignoring the suffering of the poor. He thought of his wealth as his own and the poverty and suffering of others as having no connection to him. This view of the world lands him in torment. How can anyone read these things and then claim Jesus would back a system that propagates a personal/private view of wealth? Both characters in these stories are punished because they only thought of themselves and their wealth!

"'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.' - Luke 6:20-26

"'Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that will come upon you. Your wealth will rot, and moths will eat your clothes. For your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You who have hoarded wealth in the last days!' - James 5:1-3

"'How terrible for you who are rich now, for you have had your easy life and will get no more...' - Luke 6:24

"'But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.' - Luke 14:13-14

"'If someone takes away your coat, let him have your shirt as well.

"'In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.' - John 2:14-15. This story which shows Jesus' rage against what is essentially Corporate Greed, merging money with state & theological power, is also repeated in Matthew 21:12 (summed here essentially): Jesus walks into the temple courtyard and sees how merchants there change money, they have built their business up around what is supposed to be God's temple. Jesus is horrified by the idea that God's home could be profaned with money and the desire to be wealthy, he loses it, making a whip and begins turning over the tables the merchants are trading upon, he drives out the cattle being sold and screams a ton of insults at the people in the courtyard. Jesus was filled with righteous indignation at the idea of Church being involved with business, he was horrified that it could be used as a network for making money.

"Why do [conservatives] not feel even a twinge of this divine rage? Why do they say the liberal idea of keeping church separate from state or economics is demonic, when clearly Jesus himself was of the idea?!?!? How do we rectify this with [their] Christian revulsion to [the] discussion of taking 'In God We Trust' off of our money?

"'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.' - Luke 12-15.

"'Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.' - Matthew 19:23

"'Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.' - Matthew 22:21. [Conservatives] would have us believe that paying taxes is a horrific idea, they don't want to pay into social benefits because it violates their 'freedom,' but what of their God's commandment to pay taxes?!?!

"'Give to everyone who begs from you . . . .' - Luke 6:30

"'And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."' - Luke 12:19-21

"'So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.' - Matthew 7:12 or 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' - Matthew 22:39. This is what Jesus said is the sum of his law. Yet, does [Conservative government] policy (or even modern [liberal]!policy embody that? Does the person who assigns 18,000 Americans to die a year from lack of health care, 'love his neighbor'? Does the American who back the war for oil and allowed over a million innocent Iraqis to die, 'love his neighbor'? Is a society that doesn't provide free education a display of love for community? Is a society that takes money from the working class to pay for the insane bonuses of wealthy CEOS an act of love for ALL neighbors? Or only an act of love for the rich? And what is it Jesus would say about that?

"'He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich - both come to poverty.' - Proverbs 22:16

"'If someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back again...

"'For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.' - 1 Timothy 6:7-10

"'All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need....' - Acts 2:44-45

"'But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.' - Luke 6:35

"'Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.' - 1 Corinthians 10:24. That comment REEKS of 'redistribution' that idea that [conservative] Christians LOATHE. If it is such an evil concept, why does the Bible say we should do it? Moreover, the Bible doesn't claim we should do it in favor of the rich, like we did with the bail-outs. On the contrary, it claims we should forgive the debt of the poor and let the rich fund it!

"Take a look at the story about debt in Luke 7:36-50: We find Jesus eating with a Pharisee, who would be an 'elite.' a part of the richest in society. Pharisees often threw banquets to show off their wealth, it was a status display in ancient Jerusalem that gained them honor in the eyes of their peers. The Pharisee invited Jesus, but at the party a sinner woman comes in and begins weeping at his feet, washing them. The Pharisee thinks to himself how Jesus must not be a prophet for the woman is of low class & Jesus, if he had divine powers, should have known so. Jesus understands the man's thoughts and counters them with a parable about who would love a wealthy man that forgave debt more, someone who owed 50 pence or one who owed 500. The answer is of course the one who owed 500 and then a long diatribe begins about how the more sinful or impoverished a person is, the more they love who forgives them. He is sure to point out that the pharisee in no way treated him with the same honor as the woman at his feet, because he did not understand the need of the impoverished.

"Imagine if [conservatives] who pretend to be Christians REALLY acted like one and instead of authoring bailouts used the 700 billion to buy out the debts of the poor who were in foreclosure. How would that affect our society? We are now in a situation where the rich have MORE money and the working class are MORE IN DEBT, to the point where 1 out of 8 Americans is now facing homelessness! How much crime & threat of violent revolution will we be facing in another three years when we continue on this trend of bailing out rich and we reach the projected number of 50% of families facing homelessness? It stands to reason there Jesus deliberately taught us to pray: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." I&ts a reiteration of the law God gave to the Jews, the law that was ignored so Jesus had to come. There's a ton of debt theme verses from the Bible, and yet [Those who claim] to embody Christian values say people who advocate giving bailouts to American workers & not American CEOS are 'evil socialists.' So, the question rises: What does Jesus advocating redistribution make him? Are the [conservatives] saying Jesus is a socialist? Or are they implying Jesus is evil? You can't answer that question without revealing . . . conservative[s] . . .
. for what they are: liars!

"In further reassertion, take one simple glance into Matthew 19:21-24: 'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also [. . .] Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."'

"Clearly, those who have possessions of value then are not 'perfect.' They are deliberately ignoring Jesus' teachings, because they care more about their wealth than they do their Jesus. Knowing this, . . . conservative[s] . . . really have NO right to call themselves Christian.

"'Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?@ He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me."' - Matthew 25:41-45. And so we have Jesus promising to treat . . . conservative[s] EXACTLY how they treated the poor. I may be an atheist but scriptures like this make me WISH this theology was true just so I could see the day of justice.

"'He is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.' - 1 Timothy 6:4-5

"And there it is, those who think godliness leads to financial gain do not know the 'truth.' Why does the 700 Club never mention this verse?!?!? Whenever I turn that [expletive deleted] show on I see them claim, 'give to us and god will return your wealth ten fold' (theteby also implying the opposite: the poor are supposedly sinners which is why they have no favor from God). What a [expletive deleted]scam!!!! And these Christians fall for it CONSTANTLY, because they are too [expletive deleted) lazy to read their own Bibles, it's so shameful!

"And this isn't the only such verse which absolutely buries the idea that money does NOT equate to divine favor: 'When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, 'Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' Peter answered: 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!'" - Acts 8:18-20

"'Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.' - Ecclesiastes 5:10

"And, finally (at least for this essay because there are thousands more of such stories in the Bible), we have Matthew 27:3-8, which really encapsulates Jesus' life & teachings on money. Judas had told the where abouts of Jesus to the Roman soldiers for a measly 30 [pieces of] silver. When the Romans condemned Christ, Judas had a fit of remorse and, trying to at least do SOMETHING positive out of the terrible fiasco, . . . he sought out the priests and tried to give them the 30 [pieces of] silver. But not even the corrupt priests, who Jesus was always screaming at, would take the money because it was dirty. So, Judas, out of sheer desperation, threw it on the ground and ran off to hang himself. The priests, knowing they could do nothing with the money related to their church but knowing they had to do SOMETHING of Christ's teachings with it, bought a plot for poor foreigners to be buried at. And what is it I see in this story? That even Judas, the biggest betrayer in all of history, didn't lack the apathy to see he spilled innocent blood. Yet, Christians have that apathy all the time. The [conservative] American Christian feels nothing about the fact that for every 6 Americans, a human being has to die to support their wealth. We are only 5% of the human population and we consume 40% of the world's resources. Take, for instance, how many people starve to death in Indonesia because we move our corporations there in hopes of paying slave labor so we can get cheaper prices at Walmart. We live in a world where 34,000 children die EVERY DAY from starvation. Judas had the morality to kill himself for the blood money he took, American [conservative] Christians ask for more coin & more blood. And this is why I say that if Jesus were to come back, he'd be called a communist and assassinated again by the cheering right & conservative left. . . .

"The honest Christian HAS to admit that Jesus was a liberal. The word is defined by an having an open mind, by seeking to 'liberate! beyond the status quo. Jesus abandoned the orthodox rules of the Jews, he admonished [against] the status quo of economic and political hierarchy. He rejected greed. He often admonished [against] violence. He hated the glorification of power, despised the amassing of wealth and hated social injustice. Jesus spoke against the personal judging of others. He repeatedly asked his followers to live a life based on ethics that, for his time, were absolutely revolutionary concerning compassion, love, tolerance and generosity. Jesus was against those who wanted to 'conserve' things as they were, and its amazing to me that 2,000 years after he supposedly lived, those who claim to be his beloved still try to conserve the capitalist system which they KNOW is responsible for so much poverty & repression. If someone wants to be a capitalist, that's fine, but I won't hear from them how they are simultaneously a Christian, because, 'No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.' (Matthew 6:24)."

("Jesus the Socialist: Why Christian Conservatives are Massive Frauds," by Charlotte Schnook, at "Atheists Concerned for America: Refreshing Looks at Politics, Religion and Social Problems;" google it)

But wait, here's more on Jesus the Savior for Socialism. Peter Dreier, professor of politics at Occidental College and author of "The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame" (Nation Books, 2012), makes the case for a Leftist Lord, as spoken from the Holy Horse's mouth (then backed up by notable religious, secular and political leaders who came along later with socialism movements of their own):

"The idea of Christian socialism has a long and proud tradition. As capitalism emerged in the mid-1800s, many of its fiercest critics based their ideas on Jesus’ teachings.

“'No one can serve two masters,' Jesus says in Matthew 6:24. 'Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.'

"In Luke 12:15, Jesus says, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’

"Jesus not only urged people to be kind to others in their everyday lives. He was also talking about those in government who ruled over others, including the priests who ruled Judea for Rome and the rulers of the Roman empire.

"Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)--often called the 'workers’ pope' — echoed similar ideas. His 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum ('On the Condition of Labor') focused attention on the dehumanizing conditions in which many workers labored. He affirmed workers’ rights to just wages, rest, and fair treatment, to form unions, and to strike if necessary. He called on governments to promote a more equal distribution of resources and said, in particular, that the poor 'have a claim to special consideration.' He did not espouse socialism, but his attacks on capitalism for its endorsement of greed, its concentration of wealth, and its mistreatment of workers had a major influence on the emerging socialist movement in Europe and America.

"Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), an American Baptist minister, was a leading Christian socialist. Like Pope Leo, he championed the rights of working people and a more equal distribution of wealth and income, which he believed reflected Jesus’ teachings. In 1891, Bellamy was fired from his Boston pulpit for preaching against the evils of capitalism and describing Jesus as a socialist. But he’s best known as the author of the 'Pledge of Allegiance,' which he wrote in 1892 as an antidote to Gilded Age greed, misguided materialism, and hyper-individualism, reflected in those radical words 'with liberty and justice for all.' (Ironically, Bellamy did not include the words 'under God' in the original Pledge. They were added by Congress in 1953 at the height of the Cold War).

"Many of America’s leading socialists--including labor leader Eugene Debs, settlement house founder Jane Addams, Rev. Walter Rauschenbusch, and Helen Keller--rooted their views in their Christian faith, which became known as 'social gospel.' Indeed, many of the leaders of America’s socialist movement, including Norman Thomas (1884-1968)--who ran for president five times on the Socialist Party ticket and was often called 'America’s conscience--were Protestant clergy.

"Throughout American history, some of the nation’s most influential activists and thinkers, such as philosopher John Dewey, sociologist W.E.B. DuBois, scientist Albert Einstein, poet Katherine Lee Bates (who wrote 'America the Beautiful'), muckraking writer Upton Sinclair, labor leaders A. Philip Randolph and Walter Reuther, civil rights crusader Martin Luther King, feminists Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, and Dorothy Day (founder of the Catholic Worker movement) embraced democratic socialism.

"In the early 1900s, socialists led the movements for women’s suffrage, child labor laws, consumer protection laws and the progressive income tax. In 1911, Victor Berger, a socialist congressman from Milwaukee, sponsored the first bill to create 'old age pensions.' The bill didn’t get very far, but two decades later, in the midst of the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to enact Social Security. Even then, some critics denounced it as un-American. But today, most Americans, even conservatives, believe that Social Security is a good idea. What had once seemed radical has become common sense.

"Much of FDR’s other New Deal legislation--the minimum wage, workers’ right to form unions and public works programs to create jobs for the unemployed--was first espoused by American socialists. Socialists have long pushed for a universal health insurance plan, which helped create the momentum for stepping-stone measures such as Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s.

"Socialists were in the forefront of the civil rights movement from the founding of the NAACP in 1909 through the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

"[Baptist pastor] King believed that America needed a 'radical redistribution of economic and political power.' In October 1964, he called for a 'gigantic Marshall Plan& for the poor--black and white. Later that year, after he he traveled to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, he told friends that the U.S. could learn much from Scandinavian 'democratic socialism.' In fact, he told his staff, 'There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.'

"During the Cold War, many Americans confused democratic socialism with communism. In fact, democratic socialists opposed the totalitarian governments of the Soviet Union, China and their satellites. That’s because democratic socialism is about democracy--giving ordinary people a greater voice in both politics and the workplace.

"[Bernie] Sanders’ version of democratic socialism is akin to what most people around the world call 'social democracy,' which seeks to make capitalism more humane. This is why [he] often said that the U.S. should learn from Sweden, Norway and Denmark --countries with greater equality, a higher standard of living for working families, better schools, free universities, less poverty, a cleaner environment, higher voter turnout, stronger unions, universal health insurance, and a much wider safety net

"Sounds anti-business? Forbes magazine ranked Denmark as the #1 country for business. The United States ranked #18. European social democracies put greater emphasis on government enterprise, but even most Americans favor government-run police departments, fire departments, national parks, municipally-owned utilities, local subway systems and public state universities.

"Today’s democratic socialists believe in private enterprise but think it should be subject to rules that guarantee businesses act responsibly. Banks shouldn’t engage in reckless predatory lending. Energy corporations shouldn’t endanger and planet and public health by emitting too much pollution. Companies should be required to guarantee that consumer products (like cars and toys) are safe and that companies pay decent wages and provide safe workplaces.

"Democratic socialism also means reducing the political influence of the super rich and big corporations, increasing taxes of the wealthy to help pay for expanded public services like child care, public transit, and higher education, reducing barriers to voting, and strengthening regulations of business to require them to be more socially responsible in terms of their employees, consumers and the environment. That means a higher minimum wage, paid sick days and paid vacations, and safer workplaces.

"A poll earlier this year found that among Americans under 50, a majority are critical of capitalism. Although the word 'socialism' has often been demonized, public opinion polls show that a vast majority of Americans agree with these ideas. For example, 74% think corporations have too much influence; 73% favor tougher regulation of Wall Street; 60% believe that “our economic system unfairly favors the wealthy;” 85% want an overhaul of our campaign finance system to reduce the influence of money in politics; 58% support breaking up big banks; 79% think the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes; 85% favor paid family leave; 80% of Democrats and half the public support single-payer Medicare for all; 75% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12.50, while 63% favor a $15 minimum wage; well over 70% support workers’ rights to unionize; and 92% want a society with far less income disparity.

"There’s a great deal of pent-up demand for . . . candidate[s] who articulates Americans’ frustrations with the status quo. . .. [fpr] . . . candidate[s] who can channel those frustrations in a way that inspires hope rather than fear can build on the long tradition of Christian socialism and social democracy."

In other words, for candidates like Jesus.

(Peter Dreier, "Jesus Was a Socialist," in "Huffington Post," 26 December 2016,


Sorry to use my light saber as a liberal laser, "Phazer," but allow me, as a gawd-forsaken atheist, to suggest you put that in your anti-socialist, anti-evidence, anti-Quinn pipe and smoke it,

And may all ungodly socialists burn in hell--including Jesus.

Edited 14 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2017 06:16AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Felix ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:32AM

Do you have a condensed version?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:40AM

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2017 04:44AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 05:54AM

Great post Steve.

It seems to me we are victims of culture, kind of like when we were TBMs. Today’s business culture makes self interest a virtue and an entitlement. People are brought up that way, and then in most cases refuse to change their minds.

For example, Typhoid Mary refused to wash her hands after using the bathroom, even after being taught the germ theory of disease. It just wasn’t part of her culture. If she’d been taught that when she was little, scores of people wouldn’t have contracted typhus.

Is culture a benefit or a hazard? I suppose it’s both. It ebbs and flows with the generations. Culture is the detritus of being. Science is so successful because it’s a self-cleaning animal, like a cat.

Mormonism is a prime example of what can go wrong. The crap kept building up and nobody could be bothered to clear it out. Now it’s become a mountain. It’s not that Mormonism is all bad. It’s just not worth it.

The culture of the US, as with the culture of Mormonism, will always have a core of die-hard believers. It can either come clean or wait for its Google moment. I’d expect the latter, and when it comes it will be as fun as TSCC’s Google moment.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 06:20AM

Mormonism, take note.

The Net is going to net you.

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Posted by: jebusII ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 11:06AM

socialism - a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

where did jebus advocate for this theory?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:04PM

And, in doing so, try to break out of your 21st-century language that you are pathetically using as an excuse for not acknowledging the socialist principles taught by Jesus.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2017 12:06PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: jebus1 ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:50PM

anything about government forcing christianity on individuals.

rendering unto government doesn't equal believing government should force compliance with it's idea of charity

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 03:19AM

Unless you have access to your own inspired version the Bible, I don't believe Jesus worked for the Brookings Institute or Heritage Foundation or drafted policy paoers in their behalf.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 03:51AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Tocket ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:21PM

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 12:25AM

@jebus1, exactly. Jesus didnt say the Government should compel anything. The point Jesus was making is that loving your neighbor as yourself is what matters.

If the Government has to come to your home to take your food and give it to someone else then that isnt an act of love. That is force.

What Jesus was advocating was charity towards others.

If you are forced to give to charity then it is no longer charity.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 03:20AM

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 07:31AM

@steve benson, the Government isnt a charity. Taxes arent charity either. You can deduct contributions to actual charities from your taxes but taxes still arent charity.

You cant call a payment that is obligatory (required by law) giving to charity. That isnt what charity is.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 04:21PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 04:49PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:03PM

@steve benson, you are clearly misinterpreting the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said we should be led by the Holy Spirit not a Government agency.

You are just trying to read current political movements into the text to misrepresent his teachings. That is intellectually dishonest.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 08:35PM

Mormons solemnly swear that the "Holy Spirit/Ghost" tells them Jesus is a Republican.

"My Holy Spirit can out-spirit your Holy Spirit."

Really? Is that all you've got?

Maybe you need to call up Santa to testify in your behalf. One mythological Power Ranger is just as good as another.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 08:36PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 10:14PM

@steve benson, and you just showed how you are unable to have an actual intellectual discussion. When your beliefs are challenged you act like a child on a playground. You can chuckle all you want but that ISNT an argument.

There is no "Holy Spirit card". I was just explaining what Jesus ACTUALLY taught as opposed to your ABSURD interpretation.

Jesus clearly taught that the Holy Spirit is the guide for Christians in their daily life.

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 11:21PM

@steve benson, when Jesus was asked if he was a King, Jesus replied that his kingdom is not of this world. Clearly Jesus saw himself as the head of a spiritual organization not a worldly one.

John 18:36
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 12:11AM

that there really is a "Holy Spirit" and that it doesn't play cards. Hmmmm. I didn't know your "Holy Spirit" was a Mormon.

But you went ahead and played your "Holy Spirit" card anyway because it was the only you had. It didn't help your hand to then quote Bible scripture. To use a bit of card-playing lingo, it only helped your full house get royal-flushed.

Chuckle. You are such a card.

Now, if you were actually playing poker with your socialist Jesus, everyone would share equally in the pot. I bet he even played cards with the publicans and sinners. According to the official storyline, Jesus liked to hang out with them. Hell, the Bible says he drank wine--and when he didn't have it around, he conveniently and miraculously made it out of water (and, no, it wasn't Mormon grape juice). I bet when he got tipsy, his solemn sermons on socialism really started to flow.

Dear God, save us from your followers--especially those who obviously need to get out and socialize more.

Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 02:50AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 10:20AM

@steve benson, you arent even responding to what I am saying to you. You are just talking to yourself at this point.

I dont have a socialist Jesus. You are the one who is claiming Jesus is a socialist not me.

I dont have a Mormon Jesus either. I am not advocating Mormon thinking. If you didnt notice Mormons dont follow what Jesus taught. I am not talking about a Mormon Holy Spirit either. If you read the New Testament you would see that it isnt anything like what Mormons say it is.

All your rambling about cards and petty insults are just more childish behavior.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 01:50PM

This is what happens when you rely on a book that is internally inconsistent and replete with serious contradictions. I would be wary of a playbook that runs plays against itself.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 04:52PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: isthechurchtrue ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 06:32PM

Claims the Bible doesnt make sense then claims to know what the Bible teaches without question...

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 11:22PM

It's a Liz the author, girl, need me to get a story straight

When I also said was that Jesus espoused many fundamental socialist principles and cited many references as provided in the two articles in the OP that back my assertion.

If you don't like my position on the matter, then go to your "Holy Spirit" for consultation, then return and report.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 03:52AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 03:54AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 02:30AM

As to "Tocket's" participation on this Recovery from Mormonism discussion board (covering all dates, all messages and all authors), a site history search shows only one post.

And guess which one that is?

You got it: The one in this thread.,search=,author=Tocket,page=1,match_type=ALL,match_dates=0,match_forum=2,match_threads=0

Welcome aboard, you little Mormon munchkin.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 02:51AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:07PM

This "phazer" person cannot even define socialist.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:14PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2017 12:14PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Visitors Welcome ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:22PM

steve benson Wrote:

> Hmmm. I don't recall Jesus taking on sinful future
> tax rates in Denmark and Sweden.

Indeed, to the contrary, Jesus was in favor of high taxes and big government. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's..."

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:24PM

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:17PM

Thanks Steve. You have given significant substance to an aspect which really annoys me. I don't mind people being for or against "socialism". Political opinion is free where you live and where I live and I wouldn't want it any other way.

What gets me is all these people who claim to be Christians when their actions and pronouncements are the opposite of christianity. I was brought up christian and, although I've been an atheist for more than 40 years, most of my moral framework is still based on christianity with a humanist slant because it's a good set of morals (although I think that sex should not be governed by them ;-) but that's a different topic).

The "Christian conservatives" in the US, like the hard-core catholics in France, do not follow christian principles and should therefore shut up.

Thanks for the reminder

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: Tall Man, Short Hair ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 02:09PM

Steve, thank you for this insightful and certainly indisputable commentary on Jesus the Socialist. I've often read these passages and am dismayed that your take as an atheist is unlike any I've heard from most who claim to be scholars of the topic. Sometimes scholars can be so stupid.

Since you clearly have a superior knowledge on this topic, will you help me understand some of the finer points?

1. Is America a Christian nation?

I think I've seen you object to this notion, and that's something we agree upon. We were founded as a secular nation with no allegiance to any specific religion. Have you reversed your stand on this? If not, why should we value Christian religious teachings over that of any other faith?

2. You seem perturbed that some Christians express displeasure with the growing social welfare spending in our country. Is it your position that atheists, Hindus, Muslims, and any non-Christians should be free to object or refuse to contribute to the Christian notion of socialist welfare? If we're going to use the New Testament as our guide for these policies, aren't we declaring ourselves a theocracy if we force non-believers to abide by these rules?

3. Can you show me where the New Testament passages about giving to the poor were intended to apply to anyone except believers? Is there somewhere in the New Testament where it says, "Go into all the unbelieving communities and force them to contribute for the benefit of the poor?" This is an important question, because if the New Testament was written as instructions for believers, it seems only a theocracy would attempt to enforce that globally upon non-believers, right?

4. Are you okay with each citizen paying taxes to the government according to the dictates of their own conscience without any compulsion or pre-set rate? That what was the rule for the New Testament Christians:

2Cor 9:7 "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

5. In your form of socialism, are you okay if we starve any able-bodied person who refuses to work? That's what was taught to the New Testament Christians:

2Thess 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.'”

6. Since you are now viewing the New Testament as an authoritative guide for the formation and operation of government, can we resume the resume paying clergy from community funds like they did in the New Testament (1Tim 5:18) and have our elected leaders declare that we all should embrace Jesus as Lord(Rom 10:9)?

7. Wait, maybe I'm reading you wrong. Are you saying "America is a secular nation with no allegiance to any faith, but there are times when the government will do things that Christians should support, and in those instances the Christians are hateful hypocrites for expressing any reservations about completely supporting these things?"

8. And here's a somewhat unrelated question: What group of Americans contributes more as a percentage of their income to private charities than any other: Religious or non-religious?

Thanks again for all your work assembling this post and answering my questions.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 12:34AM

. . . has gotten under your Tall Man Thin Skin again. Tell him to repent and come to you for a good, capitalist, salvationsl cleansing.

And please don't bear your revival-tent testimony here again. You've done it far too often already. For those here who may have missed those altar calls of yours, they are organized and republished below, verbatim, for another good chuckle:

1. Preaching, but not Practicing, the Tenets of “The Teacher”

"Tall Tales, Short Facts” offers up, in his own words, an example of how he has put on his own “big boy pants” by condemning those who “ridicule and criticize the beliefs of others. He then offers up an example--in his own word--that demonstrates how he is rather loose in what he practices vs; what he preaches when it comes to Jesus's admonitions. He then goes on to declare that he follows Jesus’s admonition to turn the other cheek against his foes, but, in the very next sentence, proceeds to contradict that less-than-faithful allegiance to the teachings of Christianity's Son of God, as he invokes Jesus in comparing enemies of God to venomous non-human creatures:

Quote: “. . . I do embrace turning the other cheek, but when you promote a discredited anti-intellectual farce to support your atheist ideology, you're more in the 'brood of vipers' camp. Jesus had no patience or mercy for that crowd.”

Hallelujah. Hilarious hypocrisy. :)

2. Invitation to a Jesus-Saving RfM Tent Revival

"Tall Tales, Short Facts" calls upon RfM to come to the Lord:

-Quote: “Jesus always stands ready with a welcome embrace, but you won't see it or benefit from it until you turn in his direction."

But wait! There's more:

"If you come to believe in God, you can grapple with the source of his power. . . . I'm just asking for a bit more honestly and less propaganda in our science."

(SOURCE: /read.php?2,1923001,1925230#msg-1925230; and,1956550,1956706#msg-1956706)

Whatever. An entertaining Amen and Amen. :)

3. Summation:

--Claim to follow Jesus's command to “turn the other check,” but decide to disobey Jesus by admitting to not turning the other cheek.

--Call RfMers to repentance via a tent revival-style testimony delivered to readers of RfM. Do so in violation of RfM board guidelines: “Please--no preaching!! This is not a forum to convert others to another faith. The focus here is on recovery.”


Wrap it up and put a bow on it. Once again, thanks for the laughs. :) :) :) !

Edited 17 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2017 01:20AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Tall Man, Short Hair ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 01:09PM

Steve, this is spooky. I almost went back in and edited my post to add one more question:

9. Will you please respond to my post without addressing any of my questions, but show our community your amazing prowess at schoolyard taunts combined with your usual example of an ad-hominem fallacy?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 03:24AM

. . . by framing my reply to address your testimonial beliefs which, in violation of board policy, you have repeatedly proselytized on this site. If you expect people to understand the basis for your rejoice-in-Jesus posts, they need to know the context in which you create them. That information is critical in helping to determine whether or not your posts about Jesus are worrh reading, given that you are anything but an objective observer.

That duly noted, I also notice that you did not deny or dispute anything I said in my response. That's because I quoted you directly. That's your problem, not mine.

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 02:55AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 03:36AM

Thanks for that, Steve. I think there are some errors in the articles you reproduce but the bottom line is undeniable: Jesus and his followers advocated the sharing of resources in a way that would be considered leftist today.

One revision I'd suggest to the authors, though, is the word "communist" instead of "socialist." The reason is that over the last 200 years the two terms have taken on precise meanings, with socialism defined as a government-managed system. It's pretty clear that Jesus did not understand economics or politics and that he wasn't really concerned with the government's role in the economy. Rather, he was teaching his local community and advocating mutual care and, to the extent he commented on economic matters, communal management of resources. In today's terms, therefore, Jesus was more a communist than a socialist.

That is why so many versions of Christianity have attempted variants of communism, or communalism, from the early centuries through the 19th and 20th centuries. We of course see the danger in such experiments: it's almost inevitable that someone or some group will assume management of the communist system and transform it into a dictatorship or cult. I see no indication in the scriptures that Jesus ever considered that possibility. But in any case a mutually beneficial communal sharing of wealth was clearly the original Christian model.

The version of Christianity that supports the remnants of the Tea Party, Trump, and Moore, substituting some asserted capitalistic or libertarian interpretation of the faith is remarkably ahistorical. There are no gospels, canonical or apocryphal, or other early descriptions of Jesus's teachings and followers that support that view. The great teacher would not even have understood the words "capitalist" and "libertarian" or the theories underlying them.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 04:33AM

such as the former USSR and the present PRC, where voter control of elections and governmental operations was/is a sham.

Socialism is seen in certain countries, such as are found in continental Europe, where their governments are democratically chosen and controlled.

While both systems feature centralized governments that, in their own ways and degrees, manage the means of state production, communist countries do so by brute force and the denial individual liberty, as opposed to socialist countries that are governed by the vote and will of their citizens.

As for Jesus, he was certainly, as a matter of general principle, more of a socialist than a communist--at least in this life--although he taught that those who rejected the message of God the Father would eternally burn in hell (unless, of course, one chalks that up to metaphor, to myth or to the various authors of the Gospels who, after Jesus's death, wrote their own religious views into the New Testament in the name of Jesus).

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2017 04:57AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 11:10AM

I thought you'd understand the point.

Socialism is neither of the right nor the left. It refers to state control of the means of production and hence can be Soviet or Swedish or Nazi. The USSR and China never claimed to be communist. They claimed to be socialist--and they were, since government controlled the means of production.

Communism, according to Marx and Lenin and Stalin and Mao, is in some senses the opposite: it is the absence of government, it is communal control of resources. Socialism is the "vanguard of the proletariat"--the paradoxical organization of command-control system that would enable backward countries to catch up with and surpass capitalist societies, leading to a situation in which the state would wither away and communism emerge.

Democracy, or the absence thereof, is not a relevant consideration. Whether a country has elections or a constitution has no bearing on how its economy is set up; there have always been socialist dictatorships. Nazism was a socialist dictatorship; it gave nearly unlimited power to Hitler and enabled him to mobilize the country in extreme fashion. The United States (and Japan) became relatively socialist during the second world war because they needed the ability to mobilize their economies to fight on such a huge scale. So socialist economic organization operated across the board. The fact that both the Nazis and the Bolsheviks named their countries "socialist" is instructive: no one was hiding the ball.

Today there aren't many socialist dictatorships left. That is probably a short-term trend. But the countries in Western Europe that you are terming "socialist" are really mixed economies: they use capitalism to generate wealth and socialism to distribute it. "Socialism" is something of a misnomer for them because the private sector is very important.

The term "communism," with its root in "commune"--is a lot older than "socialism." Indeed, it was only since Mill that people started analyzing the role of government in economics systematically. Jesus never thought in terms of how the government should organize and run a command-and-control economy, so he never considered what today is called "socialism." He did, however, think about communities and their economic organization in the absence of a strong state: that is communism, not socialism.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 11:11AM

I reiterate that I get, and agree with, your main point about Jesus as a philosopher of shared, communal creation and use of resources.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 01:49AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 03:29AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:06AM

If you think the USSR and China were communist and not socialist, you do not understand either of those concepts.

There has never been a communist state for the simple reason that communism presupposes the "withering away" of the state. That phrase is from Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Engels elsewhere says that the proletariat "will abolish the state." Lenin says the same thing in State and Revolution, and Stalin adopts Lenin's reasoning.

Socialism was the vehicle to create the proletariat that would eventually destroy the state. The Bolsheviks accordingly claimed to have formed a socialist state, the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. Likewise, the founders of the PRC never claimed to have formed a communist government. The official ideology was--and in CCP charter remains--"socialism with Chinese characteristics."

The use of the word "communist" to describe the leftist socialist dictatorships is a misuse born from the Cold War, when people were throwing around words like communism and fascism as thoughtless pejoratives. What became known as "communist" countries, and are still described as such by such masterminds as Donald Trump, were in fact socialist monstrosities. Their founders and governments never did, and never claimed to have, created communist countries.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 04:26PM

They were/are theoretically utopian but, in practice, imperfect systems that nonetheless represent hard-core totalitarian models of communism where, among other things, free speech and multi-party participatory governance were not, or are not, tolerated. (P.S.-–I was a TA poli sci major, cum laude).

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 04:53PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:25PM

Steve, there is no such thing as a "hard-core totalitarian" form of communism since communism by definition does not have a state.

I realize you have a background in political science, but what you are saying is not what Marx, Engels, Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin or Mao ever said. You are making a mistake based on a common misperception that gained currency in the 1950s and 1960s, one that I am sure was taught as doctrine at BYU back in the day. That was not an environment in which politics and economics were taught objectively.

In any case, you are surely right in your characterization of Jesus.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:47PM

The Soviet model of communism did not match up with the Marxian state-shall-fade-away high ideal. But it was still communism, in imperfect, totalitarian, Stalinistic form. Get out of your obsessive dictionary mode and enter the real world.

Now, where were we? Oh yes, Jesus was a socialist.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 12:34AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 08:32PM

You rightfully reject the idiocies of Wilkinson and Skousen and yet stick with their lexicon. That is curious.

This is an apple. . .

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 08:40PM

This is apples and oranges.

And when you don't have an argument, compare me to your political enemies. That is hilarious. You get your undies in a twist over this discussion of a socialist Jesus, but then go political yourself to try and make your point.

This is getting better by the minute. :-)

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 12:55AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 06:38PM

You apparently didn't get my reference.

This is an apple. Someone may tell you it is a banana; they may put banana in all caps. But it is an apple.

You are rightly critical of Mormonism, of BYU, and of the intellectual errors in those institutions. Yet here you insist on using the Mormon political dogma of the 1960s even though it is patently wrong.

Wilkinson and Skousen are not my enemies. They are silly people who spouted the same philosophy as your grandfather, whose silly philosophies you rightly ridicule. And yet here you adopt the John Birch society view of your grandfather and the others with a remarkable insistence.

Why is that? Could it be that once you have espoused a position, you don't feel safe retreating? Steve, you are smarter and stronger than that.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 11:10PM

My position historically stands. Yours remains hysterically floating in the fairy tale mist of Utopian La La Land.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 11:11PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 11:16PM

Sometimes you surprise me, Steve.

You learned your poli sci at BYU during a period of right-wing frenzy. Your models have zero predictive capacity; in fact, they lead in the wrong direction. And yet once you've committed yourself on a bulletin board you apparently can't acknowledge any errors.

That detracts from the significant value of your posts.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 11:32PM

Your stubborn and ill-informed insistence that the former Soviet Union and the current Peoples Republic of China were or are not totalitarian communist states flies in the face of most respectable historical analysis. You've got "Lots" of learning to do.

But, then again, once you espouse a faulty position, you don't let the facts get in the way of backtracking from it.

By the way, I got your "this is an apple" reference to CNN's ads now running in behalf of factual reporting. You could obviously benefit from listening more carefully to those ads.

(P.S.: I did not earn my Pulitzer Prize from BYU. Nice try).

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 11:38PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: esias ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 12:47AM

Yes, we are marking Jesus' report with a four out of ten with the comments 'Must do better: must stop cursing fig trees and throwing herds of piggies off the cliff.'

The list of Jesus' omissions rambles longer than the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus neglected to mention Rate Default Swaps, give advice on the Rescheduling of Public Debt, nothing on Derivatives or Tax breaks for the rich, not even a 'Thou shalt set corporation tax rates at pennies on the pound.' No racing tips, no lottery number results - 'Blessed are the peacemakers' is of no use to man nor beast. (Except if you're Henry Kissing-butt, then you get a Nobel Prize for the coup in Chile and the bombing of Cambodia).

Nope, this New Testament is a gross-tax disappointment. What Jesus needs to do is get that hippy beard and hair cut, get himself a sharp three-piece suit, red specs and a filofax, open a few concessions selling relics, start charging for those miracles on a sliding scale, and cash in on turning water into wine - now, that is one marketable skill and clearly the Lard has spotted a market opportunity.

Let us pray: Our orange controller, who are in his ivory tower, hallowed be thy corporate name, thy will be done in the boardroom as it is on the shop floor ...

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 02:13AM

I agree that as with most things in life, conservative Christians are not as they appear.

Most of them are not conservative or Christian, as they support trillion dollar wars. (I gave up my career as military officer after witnessing the waste).

The ones I know who claim to be anti-socialist support the socialist money pit called our public 'education' system which we're forced to pay for, even if we don't have kids. (My wife quit teaching after a few years due to the disaster she witnessed).

Essentially our entire country has been indoctrinated to believe the only way to offer charity is through government. It is the new religion.

Which of course, benefits big money interests in bed with politicians and bureaucrats. Throw money at healthcare and education while claiming to care about the poor, the result of which is to drive up prices and make it all unaffordable, so more government aid is needed.

"The great teacher would not even have understood the words "capitalist" and "libertarian" or the theories underlying them."

This comment supposes that a libertarian who opposes forced charity through government, must be against private charity. Again, we've been indoctrinated in government schools that only through government can we help people.

Early in his medical career, libertarian Ron Paul worked in charity hospitals where they cared for the poor. Then government programs took over, along with the fraud, waste, abuse and high prices.

Here's a story about how he practiced. How is it possible that he was a libertarian?

Eventually Paul got so busy he took on a partner. Jack Pruett, who was then fresh out of his obstetrics/gynecology residency, says when he first sat down in Paul's office, he was told there were two stipulations he would have to agree to before joining the practice.

"He said, 'No. 1 is we will not perform any abortions.' And I said, 'That's fine; I can live with that. What's No. 2?' " he remembers.

No. 2, says Pruett, was that the practice would not participate in any federal health programs, which meant, as Paul described it, "that we will see all Medicare and Medicaid patients free of charge, and they will be treated just like all of our other patients, but we're not going to charge them and accept federal funds."

Still in debt from his medical training, Pruett said that was a little harder for him to swallow. "But I liked Ron, so I decided that I would agree to that, too. And in all those 20 years, we never accepted one penny of federal money. We saw all those patients for free, delivered their babies free, did their surgeries free; whatever they needed we did, and we didn't charge them."

Of course, Lake Jackson being a small town, occasionally Paul would get paid in other ways.

"Some of the people would bring chickens, or they would bring vegetables from their garden if they couldn't afford to pay for their obstetrical fee," recalls Richard Hardoin, a pediatrician who used to care for the babies Paul delivered.

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 02:26AM

Some think these government programs are okay because people get to vote for them. So I can have ten kids I can't afford, get on every socialist program, and vote for my childless neighbor to pay for them, right?

Theft through government. Tyranny of the majority. Mob rule, in which 51% can vote to rob from the 49%.

We once had a Constitution to prevent that, but it is considered outdated. Government is now to provide for our every need.

Amazing how many think they are charitable by voting for social programs.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 03:01AM

. . . his beliefs, not yours.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 03:31AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:15AM

Free Man quotes me as saying: "[Jesus] would not even have understood the words 'capitalist' and 'libertarian' or the theories underlying them." I did indeed write that.

He then characterizes my view as "suppos[ing] that a libertarian who opposes forced charity through government, must be against private charity."

I do not suppose that at all. You are imposing your own biases on my words.

Furthermore, none of this has anything to do with what I said about Jesus. I merely said that an uneducated Palestinian rabbi would not have understood the first thing about macroeconomics or modern political philosophy.

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 09:45AM

Actually, the reason that government got involved with charitable work was that the problems were too big for churches and charities to handle by themselves. In fact, if you were to ask most church leaders now (and I'm not talking about the evangelical right), they would strongly state that the situation remains the same or may even get a lot worse, particularly if the current tax reform proposal passes.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 08:27PM

He ain't heavy, he's my Big Brother.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 08:43PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 09:18AM

As with most other issues on which the Bible touches, Jesus does say some contradictary things about the poor (though on balance, the OP is correct--there are more New Testament quotes supporting the wealthy giving to the poor than not).

The two contradictions that immediately come to mind are the "Render unto Caesar" and the parable of the talents (the latter is in the synoptic gospels but I'm not going to look for the exact passage now). Religious conservatives often argue that the "Render unto Caesar" quote means that government should stay out of the business of helping the poor and that that is solely a providence for churches and charities. The parable of the talents (where three men are given 10, 5, and 1 talent respectively) is often used by religious conservatives to argue that Jesus did support the concept of businesses and business investment as a means for gaining wealth.

On the other hand (and the OP doesn't mention this because his focus is entirely on Jesus and the New Testament), the Old Testament (which some conservative Christians give more weight to than the new) actually has passages that support what we now call socialism (or even democratic socialism). Though I cannot quote exact chapter and verse citings here, the books of the prophets Daniel, Jerimiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah contain passages that warn the Jews that the promised land of Israel would be taken away from them if they continued to not support their own orphans and widows. From a non-religious perspective, these warnings make sense. If societies through their governments do not support their widows and orphans, how loyal are these widows and orphans likely to be to those societies when their governments are attacked by outside forces.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 09:22AM by blindguy.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 04:28PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 04:29PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 10:30PM

Not even Gandalf was perfect.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 11:06PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 11:06PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 12:32AM

Coming soon to a superhero comic book near you.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 04:39AM

. . . that the United Order wasn't communistic.

(For background on Clark's well-documented rabid, Jew-hating bigotry, see:,1518335,1518376#msg-1518376)

From Clark's First Presidency counselor-sermon entitled, "The United Order vs. Communism," delivered at the second session of General Conference, October 1942:


" . . . There is a great deal of misapprehension among our people regarding the United Order. . . .

"There is a growing--I fear it is growing--sentiment that communism and the United Order are virtually the same thing, communism being merely the forerunner, so to speak, of a reestablishment of the United Order. I am informed that ex-bishops, and indeed, bishops, who belong to communistic organizations, are preaching this doctrine. . . .

"Early Deviations

"I may say to begin with, that in practice the brethren in Missouri got away, in their attempts to set up the United Order, from the principles set out in the revelations. This is also true of the organizations set up here in Utah after the Saints came to the Valleys. . . .

"The basic principle of all the revelations on the United Order is that everything we have belongs to the Lord; therefore, the Lord may call upon us for any and all of the property which we have, because it belongs to Him. This, I repeat, is the basic principle (D&C 104: 14-17, 54-57).

"One of the places in which some of the brethren are going astray is this: There is continuous reference in the revelations to equality among the brethren, but I think you will find only one place where that equality is really described, though it is referred to in other revelations. That revelation (D. & C. 51:3) affirms that every man is to be 'equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.' (See also D&C 82: 17; 78: 5-6). Obviously, this is not a case of 'dead level' equality. It is 'equality' that will vary as much as the man’s circumstances, his family, his wants and needs, may vary.


"In the next place, under the United Order, every man was called to consecrate to the Church all of the property which he had; the real estate was to be conveyed to the Church, as I understand the revelations, by what we would call a deed in fee simple. Thus, the man’s property became absolutely the property of the Church. (D&C 42:30; 72:15). Then the bishop deeded back to the donor by the same kind of deed, that is, in fee simple, and also transferred to him by an equivalent instrument, so far as personal property was concerned, that amount of real and personal property, which, the two being taken together, would be required by the individual for the support of himself and his family 'according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.' This the man held as his own property (D&C 42:32; 51:4-6; 83:3).

". . . There is nothing in the revelations that would indicate that this property was not freely alienable at the will of the owner. It was not contemplated that the Church should own everything or that we should become in the Church, with reference to our property and otherwise, the same kind of automaton, manikin, that communism makes out of the individual, with the State standing at the head in place of the Church.

"Now, that part of a man’s property which was not turned back to him, if he had more than was needed under this rule of 'equality' already stated, became the common property of the Church, and that common property was used for the support of the poor of the Church. It is spoken of in the revelations as the “residue” of property ( D&C 42:34-36).

"Land Portions

"Furthermore, it was intended, though apparently it did not work out very well, that the poor coming into Zion--and by Zion, I mean, here, Missouri--the poor coming into Zion were to have given to them a 'portion! of land, which land was to be either purchased from the Government . . . , or purchased from individuals, or received as consecrations from members of the Church. The amount of this 'portion' was to be such as would make him equal to others according to his circumstances, his family, his wants and needs.

"The land which you received from the bishop by deed, whether it was part of the land which you, yourself, had deeded to the Church, or whether it came as an out-right gift from the Church as just indicated, and the personal property which you received, were all together sometimes called a !portion' (D&C51:4-6), sometimes a 'stewardship' (D&C 104:11-12), and sometimes an !inheritance.' (D&C 83: 3). . . .


"I repeat that whatever a steward realized from the portion allotted to him over and above that which was necessary in order to keep his family under the standard provided, as already stated above, was turned over by the steward to the bishop, and this amount of surplus, plus the residues to which I have already referred, went into a bishop’s storehouse (D. & C. 51 13 and citations above), and the materials of the storehouse were to be used in creating portions, as above indicated, for caring for the poor (D&C 78:3), the widows and orphans ( D. & C. 83 6), and for the elders of the Church engaged in the ministry, who were to pay for what they received if they could, but if not, their faithful labors should answer their debt to the bishop (D&C 72:11 ff).

"Other Institutions

"Now, as time went on and the system developed, the Lord created two other institutions besides the storehouse: One was known as the Sacred Treasury, into which was put 'the avails of the sacred things in the treasury, for sacred and holy purposes.' While it is not clear, it would seem that into this treasury were to be put the surpluses which were derived from the publication of the revelations, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and other similar things, the stewardship of which had been given to Joseph and others. (D&C 104:60-66). The Lord also provided for the creation of 'Another Treasury,' and into that other treasury went the general revenues which came to the Church, such as gifts of money and those revenues derived from the improvement of stewardships as distinguished from the residues of the original consecrations and the surpluses which came from the operation of their stewardships. (D. & C. 72:11 ff)

"The foregoing is the general outline as it is gathered from the revelations of the law of the United Order which the Lord spoke of as 'my law' (D&C 44:6; 51:15). There are passages in the revelations which, taken from their context and without having in mind the whole system, might be considered as inconsistent with some of the things which I have set out [regarding the ownership of private property], but all such passages fall into line if the whole program is looked at as contained in all of the revelations.

"Private Ownership Fundamental

"The fundamental principle of this system was the private ownership of property. Each man owned his portion, or inheritance, or stewardship, with an absolute title, which he could alienate, or hypothecate, or otherwise treat as his own. The Church did not own all of the property, and the life under the United Order was not a communal life, as the Prophet Joseph, himself said, ('History of the Church,' Volume III, p. 28). The United Order is an individualistic system, not a communal system. . . .

"Storehouses and Projects

". . . [W]e had under the United Order a bishop’s storehouse in which werecollected the materials from which to supply the needs and the wants of the poor. We have a bishop’s storehouse under the Welfare Plan, used for the same purpose.

"As I have already indicated, the surplus properties which came to the Church under the Law of Consecration, under the United Order, became the 'common property' of the Church (D&C 82:18), and were handled under the United Order for the benefit of the poor. We have now under the Welfare Plan all over the Church, ward land projects. In some cases the lands are owned by the wards, in others they are leased by the wards or lent to them by private individuals. This land is being farmed for the benefit of the poor, by the poor where you can get the poor to work it.

"We have in place of the two treasuries, the 'Sacred Treasury! and 'Another Treasury,! the general funds of the Church.

"Thus, you will see, brethren, that in many of its great essentials, we have, as the Welfare Plan has now developed, the broad essentials of the United Order. Furthermore, having in mind the assistance which is being given from time to time and in various wards to help set people up in business or in farming, we have a plan which is not essentially unlike that which was in the United Order when the poor were given portions from the common fund. . . .

"The Constitution

"Now, I would like to say something else, brethren, again by way of counsel I shall be accused, when I do, of talking politics, and perhaps on this point I may say I do not read anonymous letters. When they come in, I just throw them into the wastebasket. I only read enough of the signed scurrilous letters that are sent to know that they are scurrilous, and then they follow along. So it is useless for anyone to try to take out any personal feeling in that way.

"You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread. I do not know whether it is a thread, or a small rope by which it now hangs, but I do know that whether it shall live or die is now in the balance.

"I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes, and, as one of the brethren said today, set up so that this Church might be established, because under no other government in the world could the Church have been established as it has been established under this Government.

"I think I would be safe in saying that my fellowship with you in the Church depends upon whether or not I accept the revelations and the principles which God has revealed. If I am not willing to do that, then I am not entitled to fellowship. Anyone else who fails to accept the revelations and the principles which God has revealed stands in precisely the same situation. . . .

"The Law of Zion

"So, brethren, I wish you to understand that when we begin to tamper with the Constitution we begin to tamper with the law of Zion which God Himself set up, and no one may trifle with the word of God with impunity. . . .

"I have said enough. I believe you understand what I have said. . . .

"God grant that we may be true, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Clark protested too much.

First of all, anyone who hated Jews as much as he did doesn't deserve to be trusted or respected for a minute. It's amazing that, with a straight face, he swore his allegiance to Jesus--a Jew--but hated those of the Jewish bloodline line through which Jesus descended.

Second, try as he might, Clark couldn't wiggle and waffle away from the fact that the Mormon Church had, through its institutionalized United Order plan, established a system of common property ownership where individual land holdings and surpluses were turned over to the Church by its private owners and then redistributed back to Church members according to what the Mormon Church determined to be the individual Church members' legitimate and justifiable needs.

In short, the Mormon Jesus was a Socialist Jesus--until he wasn't.

But he's still rhe world's Socialist Savior, at least according to the Bible, as based upon Jesus' own words and teachings found therein. Like he said, you can't serve two masters, so give all your money to the poor and come abd follow him.*

(*Void where prohibited by capitalism's apologists)


Learning from the Mormons' Abandonment of the Cash-Poor Christ: How They Started Out as Eternal Egalitarians but Wound Up Throwing Jesus Under the Bus for Bottom Line Bucks

"The [Mormon Church's] United Order . . . had much in common with other communalist utopian societies formed in the United States and Europe during the Second Great Awakening, which sought to govern aspects of people's lives through precepts of faith and community organization. . . .

"Membership in the United Order was voluntary, although during a period in the 1830s [under their prophet Joseph Smith], it was a requirement of continued Church membership. Participants would deed (consecrate) all their property to the United Order, which would, in turn, deed back an 'inheritance' (or !stewardship') which allowed members to control the property; private property was not eradicated but was, rather, a fundamental principle of this system. At the end of each year, any excess that the family produced from their stewardship was voluntarily given back to the Order. The Order in each community was operated by the local bishop.

"The United Order is not practiced within mainstream Mormonism today; however, a number of {offshoot] groups of Mormon fundamentalists, such as the Apostolic United Brethren and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church), have revived the practice. The United Order was also practiced by the liberal Mormon sect called the United Order Family of Christ and the Cutlerite sect the Church of Jesus Christ. . . .

"Joseph Smith learned of a group of about 50 people known as 'the family' living on Isaac Morley's farm near Kirtland, Ohio, who had established a cooperative venture based on statements in the Book of Acts. Members of 'The Morley family' were originally followers of Sidney Rigdon, a minister associated with the Restoration Movement who later converted to Mormonism. Many of these communalists also joined the new church and several, including Isaac Morley, served in leadership positions. Levi Hancock records an early event wherein a 'family member' stole his pocket watch and sold it, claiming it was 'all in the family.' . . .

"Smith said he had received a revelation directing the Latter Day Saints to impart of their land and money to the Church. . . . Smith directed Colesville immigrants to settle in Thompson, Ohio, a few miles east of Kirtland, on a farm owned by Leman Copley. Saints from Seneca County were assigned to the Morley farm. ,
. . .

"Originally, the United Order was intended to be 'an everlasting order for the benefit of my Church, and for the salvation of men until I come.' In practice, however, the Order was relatively short-lived during the Smith's life. . . .

"Relation to Marxist Communism

"This United Order was an attempt to eradicate poverty and promote a sense of unity and brotherhood within Latter Day Saint communities. The LDS Church's view is that the doctrine and the various attempts at practicing it should not be seen as part of the 19th-century utopian movement in the United States, and is distinct from both Marxist communism and capitalism.

"LDS Church leaders in the 20th century sought to make a clear distinction between Marxist communism and the law of consecration as practiced by the United Order, teaching that the practices differed as related to the topics of free will, private property, and deity.

"The Law of Consecration and the United Order can be compared to the shared economic arrangement presented in the New Testament as practiced by 1st-century Christians in Jerusalem.

"In the 20th century, LDS Church leaders, including David O. McKay, Harold B. Lee,[23] Ezra Taft Benson, Marion G. Romney and J. Reuben Clark, claimed that communism is a 'counterfeit' version of the law of consecration. In 1942, the Church issued the following statement:

"'Communism and all other similar -isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the Gospel plan ... The United Order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency; the United Order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies.'

"Nevertheless, communal unity and equality are central tenets of the Latter Day Saint doctrine of Zion as described in Moses 7:18, 'And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.'"

("United Order," at Wikipedia,

Uh-huh. Problem is, the United Order didn't work among the Mormons because they weren't willing or able to follow the New Testament teachings of Jesus, their Socialist Savior.

For Mormons, in the end it boiled down to choosing their Money over their Messiah (made easier by the fact that their money was always their messiah).

And that's the way it remains to this day, whether you're Mormon or not. The Communal Christ takes a backseat to the Capitalist's Cash.

(It's a helluva lot easier being an atheist, where you don't have to constantly try squaring a your wholey-owned hypocritical hooey with the actions of your heavenly king who drove the moneychangers out of the temple).

Edited 14 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2017 04:46PM by steve benson.

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