JESUS IS A POPULIST: ANTI-CAPITALIST
What's left of mainstream populism exists on life-support in some attic of the Democratic Party. Even the language of our second Gilded Age is hollowed out. In a society saturated in Christian sanctimony, would anyone today describe "mankind crucified on a cross of gold" as William Jennings Bryan once did, or let loose against "Mammon worship," condemn aristocratic "parasites," or excommunicate "vampire speculators" and the "devilfish" of Wall Street? If nineteenth century evangelical preachers once pronounced anathema on capitalist greed, twenty-first century televangelists deify it. Tempers have cooled, leaving God, like many Americans, with only part-time employment.
Oh, it's coming. The plutocrats have been playing with fire, and they're starting to get burned. They put themselves in charge and have driven the planet to Hell. This will all dawn on the people. They're slow to allow themselves to believe that so little has changed. They were lulled to sleep, into a hypnotic trance, called modernity, only the same spirit has been ruling all along since the very first serpent tempted people to fall to selfishness.
That's what the Garden of Eden story is about. It's a parable to reveal truisms. The moral of the story is, don't give into the lies of unbridled lust. They lead to excess and selfishness and greed, violence, and all the other forms of depravity that only come back to bite and make sick.
Now, capitalism is selfishness. It leads to unbridled greed. It leads to violence and other forms of depravity, including of course, sexual. There are individuals who can engage in capitalism who can ward off some forms of depravity. There is, however, no one who can be a capitalist and ward off all forms of depravity (harmfulness).
Of course, as I written many, many times, coercion is evil regardless of whether practiced by capitalists or their enemies. It is a form of depravity. It is harmful.
Only the real message and exemplary life of Jesus is harmless in the end.
"...would anyone today describe "mankind crucified on a cross of gold" as William Jennings Bryan once did, or let loose against "Mammon worship," condemn aristocratic "parasites," or excommunicate "vampire speculators" and the "devilfish" of Wall Street?" Absolutely someone would and has. Read this site. Of all the terms mentioned, the only one I think I haven't used is "devilfish."
Understand that the reason you don't know that people are saying these things against the greed of capitalists is because the corporatists, about whom you, Steve, have written, won't cover it. It's censorship by capitalism.
When what's right becomes popular, things will be set right.
As for Steve Fraser's article, it is worth reading. It is well written, very historically accurate, and condenses a great deal into one article. What he doesn't say is whether or not he believes that the people should rise up in violence. They should not. He also doesn't say whether the message of Jesus is right or not. It is right, but he doesn't say it.
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That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)