This is a great article except that its conclusion is completely wrong.
Thatcherism: an individualistic interpretation of the Bible, a nod to the spiritual dangers of avarice, the Protestant work ethic, praise of the godly virtues of thrift and self-reliance and, finally, a divine justification for individual liberty and the free market. In short, Thatcherism always owed more to Methodism than to monetarism.
In the end, though, even she was prepared to admit she had failed in her crusade. When asked by Frank Field what her greatest regret in office was, she replied: “I cut taxes and I thought we would get a giving society, and we haven’t.” She was right. A survey conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation in 1989 revealed that those who gave the most to causes were not from the prosperous south but were disproportionately located in those areas that benefited least from the Thatcher boom.
... In private Thatcher used to rage against bankers and their bonuses. Why did they not follow the example of those in the army she would cry, which in her view was the model demonstration of responsibility to one’s fellow man.
Thatcherism laid the foundations for a culture in which individualism and self-reliance could thrive, but ultimately it created a culture in which only selfishness and excess were rewarded. Thatcher liked to quote John Wesley’s mantra, “Earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can,” and yet it was only ever the first instruction that was sufficiently encouraged. ...
... What the neoliberal experiment of the last 30 years teaches us is not that religion and politics do not mix, but that the politics of certainty is where danger lies.
It makes one feel for Margaret. She was a bleeding-heart libertarian, a contradiction in terms. I'm glad Eliza wrote it, but she's completely wrong that God is risky.
You see, it's very simple. Margaret simply didn't understand Christianity. Her "Christian" upbringing was wrong, as well-intentioned as it probably was.
Her religious education was self first and nothing, or very little, through the state. Real Christianity is others first and always and right from the start, with the "state" being Heaven (that government) come to the Earth. That's not capitalism! It's not Marxism either, far from it.
No, it's not risky to have God in economics. It's required.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
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Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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)