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ETpro's avatar

"What would Jesus take, and from whom?" ¹?

Asked by ETpro (34461points) April 25th, 2011

Not my question. Reference 1 is Rush Limbaugh, in his radio program of today, Monday, April 25, 2011. But since Rush has asked, I really want to help him get his answer. Let’s take him up on providing that answer. After all, Jesus did have some very definitive things to say about the question Rush posed today.

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24 Answers

WasCy's avatar

It seems only fair to state what he also said after that (thanks for the link, or I wouldn’t have known): “Jesus Christ would take nothing.”

filmfann's avatar

He said a lot on this. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Matthew 22:21
There are many more.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy Indeed Rush did say that. Of course, that is not what Jesus said. It is possible to be an Ayn Rand Objectivist, which Rush is and which the far right is. It is also possible to be a practicing Christian who takes the words of their Master seriously. Lots of people on the far right claim to be that too. But it is not possible to reconcile political objectivism and regressive tax cuts or trickle-down economics.

@filmfann I can think of some scripture far more relevant that that. I hope some of my fellow Jellies can do so as well. If we have all forgotten that, then it explains how the Christian Right can justify regressive policies with such ease.

WasCy's avatar

Well, let’s don’t wait for someone else to fill the void, what did Jesus say we or he should “take”? I seem to recall that he thought people should “give” a lot, but that’s not at all the same thing.

filmfann's avatar

“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.” Matthew 19:24
Come on, am I the only one who knows this stuff?

filmfann's avatar

More from Matthew 19:
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 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.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

There is still a lot more. The thing is Rush should have known all this as well. That man just talks out of his ample Ass.

WasCy's avatar

Admonishments to “render unto Ceasar” and to follow the commandments of the Bible are not “takings”. No one seems to have answered the question yet.

bkcunningham's avatar

Jesus would take nothing except death and replace it with eternal life. Jesus doesn’t say, “Go sell all your possessions and give it to the government.” It is easy to cherry pick scripture to make a point for whatever you are saying. You have to look at the entire context.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy & @bkcunningham Jesus had a great deal to say about giving or your wealth. Recall the story of the poor widow who received his praise for giving her one penny?

If GOP Objectivist succeed in transferring all wealth and opportunity to the clever and connected John Galt’s of the world, does anyone seriously think that Christian giving will replace the social safety net and that we will have no poor? According to objectivism, all those that are not Altases are leeches and might just as well be left to starve.What I said is you cannot reconcile Objectivism and Christian theology. Rush can keep his $50 million a year and fight to raise taxes on the poor so we can cut his. That’s fine. But he can’t do that while simultaneously claiming to represent the teachings of Jesus and retain any credibility

Here is the parable of The Sheep from the Goats from Mathew 25.
31 — “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 — All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 — He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 — Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 — For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 — I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
37— Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 — When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 — When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 — The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
41— 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.
42 — For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 — 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.
44 — 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?’
45 — He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
46 — Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

bkcunningham's avatar

That’s right @ETpro. In your example, the individuals did these things Christ asked of them. People. Individuals who make up their own individual minds by freewill to be followers of Christ(sheep) or people who feed upon anything and everything and get spiritual nourishment on everything except the true word of God (goats). “Whatsoever you did…”

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham And when the individuals vote for politicians who will tax the poor to give to the rich (themselves) that is something they as voters did.

bkcunningham's avatar

You don’t know, and neither do I, the personal beliefs of the “voters” @ETpro. The same with who gives or does what for others with their money. That is where judgement comes into play. What you (or me) did for the least of these.

Matthew 6

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham If it is impossible to discern from the teachings of Jesus what anyone should do or support, then there isn’t much point in Christianity, is there.

I know reverse Robinhoods when I see them in action. I don’t persume to judge any voter. But I can see what it is that they vote for. So can they. Most would not vote the way they do if they realized they are voting to have themselves demoted to second class citizenship and assure a tiny handful of oligarchs perpetual wealth

ucme's avatar

….the piss outta the pope’s accent?

WasCy's avatar

@ETpro

Exhorting “to give” is not “taking”. But I expect that this distinction is totally lost on you, as usual.

thorninmud's avatar

The Mosaic law did impose a tax in the form of a tithe. Nothing voluntary about that. Whether or not one thinks that obligation is incumbent on Christians, presumably Jesus wouldn’t have thought the Father had been wrong to impose that tax.

There were certainly early Cristian groups that lived as communes, with all property in common:
“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:44, 45) When Ananias and his wife held back a portion of the proceeds from selling their property, they got a royal scolding from Peter that put Ananias in an early grave.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro my friend, actually it isn’t impossible to discern from the teachings of Christ what anyone should do or support.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy You conflate one discussion with another as a argument tactic as usual. In citing what Jesus had to say about giving, I was not suggesting that he meant to say taking and just forgot. I said that in all his instructions about chairty he made it clear what it means to be a true Christian. You cannot be a true Christan and at the same time vote for policies that take from the poor to give to the rich, as the American right is doing today. The claim to being Religions Right and the Claim to being a Political Objectivist are mutually exclusive was my argument.

In specific to the state taking from citizens, he siad only Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s Matthew 22:21. And when challenged as to what was Caesar’s, he asked to see whose head was on a coin the questioner had in his pocket. Whose seal and emblems are on the dollars you earn? Jewish law provided for an income tax. No modern state can operate above the level of Somalia without taxation or revenue of some form.

WasCy's avatar

So Jesus was a tax collector, then? My, my. No wonder I got out of that religion as fast as I could.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy Now you want to set up a straw man? Don’t you have soe fallacious arguments that aren’t so commonly deployed by the far right in trying to beat down any opposition to their plans to transfer wealth to the rich?

WasCy's avatar

@ETpro

I don’t suppose you’ll ever realize that it’s because government keeps growing that it also helps to grow the institutions that surround and feed off of it and keep your oppressors in riches and in power, both in government and outside of it. Paying more to government ensures that we’ll have more of the problems that you rail about. It’s in their best interest to grow the problems and sell themselves as the counterforce that has to grow bigger to fight the problems. You’ll never get it, I know, but a few do. Too few still, I’m afraid, but maybe enough.

But directly to your point, I haven’t conflated any discussions here. You took RL to task for a quote he made on his show, took it out of context, and then couldn’t provide a decent argument in response to your own snarky comment about “what Jesus would have taken”. My only fault was getting involved in another tedious argument with you about your own misunderstanding and attack dog policies. Mea culpa.

It amazes me that while you can correctly criticize someone like Bill O’Reilly, Coulter and others for never finding fault with the Republican Party (which I criticize all the time, though not in these pages since I don’t want to simply ‘join the crowd and drink the Kool-Aid’), but you seem to never, ever find any fault in the Democratic Party. I don’t recall a single actual criticism from you about anything any Democrat ever did – unless it was simply to fail to oppose a Republican strongly enough. You decry hypocrisy in others… quite hypocritically, it seems to me.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy I probably understand a lot more about government than you think. For one thing, while government has grown in the last century, so has the USA. Also, the challenges it faces today are very different than those it faced in the late 1800s. As you can see here government employument as a percent of population has not increased dramatically in the last 60 years. Given the changes in transportation, industry, pollution problems, warfare and technology, government today is perhaps small compared to population growth over the same time.

Also, total federal revenues as a percent of GDP is lower today than in 1950, but the demands on Government have grown out of necessity in the past 61 years. http://pileusblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/us_taxgdp12101.gif

Meanwhile, we have spend 30 years now cutting revenue as a percent of GDP. Where all corporations once paid taxes, now ⅔rds of US Corporations pay none, and many others get by with a tiny sum. Only small companies like mine are unable to take advantage of all the loopholes that leave a corporation tax free. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/component-tax-revenue1.png

Tax brackets are down over the past 60 years. http://www.kentwillard.com/photos/graphs/highest-federal-tax-bracket-by-year.html Likewise, personal income tax revenues as a percent of GDP have plummeted for the top 10%. Note that the top 1% pay substantially less and the top 400 earners WAY less. http://www.kentwillard.com/photos/graphs/individual-tax-rate-by-income-percentile.html

We’ve given Voodoo Economics 30 years to work. We now have $14+ trillion dollars in debt to show for it. Where are the jobs?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think he would be justified in taking his religion back… in disgust.

ETpro's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Amen to that. I’m pretty sure what he’d say about the gospel of greed.

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