PART I: Death Wish 2014


imagesTruly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

When the GOP shut down the government in 1996 and 1996 I was ticked with them. It backfired, big time. As a Republican, I was furious because I knew it was the kiss of death. It was. This time, if the GOP is allowed to get away with what they have begun, it is going to be even worse. This time, the end result is not only going to be the loss of the House, and further losses in the Senate, but basically the end of the Republican Party, as we known it. It’s basically over. The elephant is dead.

North Dakota Congressman, Keven Cramer says he is an evangelical Christian.  That’s nice.  Evidently he doesn’t give a damn about the teachings of Christ.  He also claims to be a far right, tea party conservative.  Funny thing, his comment ‘If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat,” is one of the lynch pins of socialism. According to Lenin, it is necessary principle of socialism.  In fact, the 1936 Soviet Constitution says that “in the USSR work is a duty and a matter of honor for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle:  “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.”

In 1877, John Bengle wrote that the verse from 2 Thess 3:10 is a Jewish proverb.

“...If any would not work, neither should he eat – This is a just maxim, and universal nature inculcates it to man. If man will work, he may eat; if he do not work, he neither can eat, nor should he eat. The maxim is founded on these words of the Lord: In the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread. Industry is crowned with God‘s blessing; idleness is loaded with his curse. This maxim was a proverb among the Jews. Men who can work, and will rather support themselves by begging, should not get one morsel of bread. It is a sin to minister to necessities that are merely artificial….”

It is based on Proverbs 10:4 The blessing of the Lord is upon the hands of him that labor.  I do enjoy throwing John Calvin back at far right evangelicals.  Calvin wrote:

“ is certain that indolence and idleness are accursed of God. Besides, we know that man was created with this view, that he might do something. Not only does Scripture testify this to us, but nature itself taught it to the heathen. Hence it is reasonable, that those, who wish to exempt themselves from the common law,  should also be deprived of food, the reward of labor. When, however, the Apostle commanded that such persons should not eat, he does not mean that he gave commandment to those persons, but forbade that the Thessalonians should encourage their indolence by supplying them with food.

It is also to be observed, that there are different ways of laboring. For whoever aids  the society of men by his industry, either by ruling his family, or by administering public or private affairs, or by counseling, or by teaching,  or in any other way, is not to be reckoned among the idle. For Paul censures those lazy drones who lived by the sweat of others, while they contribute no service in common for aiding the human race. Of this sort are our monks and priests who are largely pampered by doing nothing, excepting that they chant in the temples, for the sake of preventing weariness. This truly is, (as Plautus speaks,) to “live musically.” …”

In other words, so-called ‘Christians’ like Cramer, who are using one of the basic tenants of socialism to damn those who need help, well, Paul was basically going after members of the church, in a community made up of gentiles.  In many ways, it contradicts the teachings of Christ.  One of the problems with this verse that catches people and makes fools of them is the fact that the early Christians, including Paul, were expecting Christ to return at any minute.  There were early Christians who figured they didn’t even need to support themselves.  Why bother?  We’re going to heaven, soon, so just enjoy life.

“...Scholars believe that Paul came to Thessalonica fleeing persecution and fell in with a group of laborers (most likely leatherworkers, which is presented as Paul’s profession elsewhere in the New Testament). They formed a close bond, and Paul was able to win them over for the gospel. The occasion for the first letter to the Thessalonians arose when one of the leatherworkers apparently died. The remaining members were concerned that this person would miss out on the Second Coming because he had died slightly too soon — but Paul clarifies in the letter that actually the dead will be raised first, and then “we” will be taken up to join them. Obviously the situation envisioned here is that the End will be coming sooner rather than later, certainly within the readers’ lifetime. This letter is one of Paul’s most deeply felt writings — it is palpable that he really loves these guys and doesn’t want them worrying….

Two points stand out to me. First, this letter is almost certainly addressing a community of able-bodied men with a set profession. Second, it is responding to a scenario where people are voluntarily refraining from work out of what the author (whether Paul or someone else) believes to be a misguided apocalyptic enthusiasm. Given these facts, it seems deeply questionable to extract this verse as a general principle for public policy, much less to cite it as somehow overriding the clear priority of helping the poor that is pervasively attested throughout the Hebrew Bible and New Testament….”

Yet, in Romans: 13: 13-14 Paul wrote: 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. 14 You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

It is absolutely fascinating that the one individual who is most guilty of destroying the GOP is Valdimir Lenin. No wonder the far right is now in love with Russia, the ultimate Randian Capitalist Paradise.

Political Theology
Political Theology

One of the great ironies here is that the far right is basing their anti-anti- poverty, dump foodstamps, no nationalized health care, and up by the boot-straps, do it yourself, don’t work don’t eat. Well, they are using the Bible as their bases for their tough love. The problem is they are basing their tough love on one verse. Of the entire Bible – one verse. ONE VERSE

Matthew 25: 34-46

34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?”

40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?”

45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

It is absolutely fascinating that the one individual who is most guilty of destroying the GOP is Valdimir Lenin. No wonder the far right is now in love with Russia, the ultimate Randian Capitalist Paradise.

Political Theology
Political Theology

TOMORROW:  We discuss the squirrely nuts of the far right.