Friday, November 21, 2008

L.A. Times Continues to Pump Huckabee

There is something strange going on here. I recall that the L.A. Times was issuing very pro-Huckabee "news" stories even before he announced his bid for President and burst on the national scene. I consider it outside the norm for a Los Angeles newspaper to care about the doings of the governor of Arkansas.

Now that Huckabee is no longer a candidate, they continue to give him coverage like, well- like he's a candidate. See this mostly friendly story.

The story is friendly from a "moderate republican" perspective. It is designed to "take the edge off" of secular people's fear of electing a preacher like Huckabee. It does this by assuring people that he is a liberal on many issues and they are right about that.

I can't tell whether Mike Huckabee really believes that quasi-socialism is what the scripture calls for in government. But it does not matter whether Huckabee believes he really is acting according to the doctrines of the Christian faith when he calls for big government. The scripture says what it says, and if he believes the nanny-state stuff is biblical he is just wrong. If he doesn't then he is a hypocrite for posing as the Christian candidate while advocating policies that are statist rather than scriptural.

6 Comments:

Blogger F. Prefect said...

Are OT testament guidelines for government any help? Because they tend to create a welfare state.

Add that to the NT:

"Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. "

And there is a convincing case that the socialism can't be biblically condemned so easily.

You don't have to convince me that socialism doesn't work in our current world, but I can't blame Christians for their idealistic views if they have some support in Scripture.

10:50 AM, November 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F. Prefect, first, I'm not fully convinced those verses condone socialism, either.
"And all that believed were together . . ." Does that mean a family unit together, one church, or does it mean all of society? And does it include only believers? Are we then supposed to let a disabled atheist or agnostic starve to death?

"And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." Does that mean the man who has no need gets nothing? Or does it allow even those with no need to be given something? So, the main question may be who, then, defines the need of every man? The government? That seems to be working out really well for the banking, insurance and auto industries right now. Are we supposed to bail them out simply b/c of need and ignore the fact(s) they plundered, pillaged & mismanaged?

These verses, in my view, could also be interpreted to invoke charitable (need) giving, or taking care of the disabled, the sick, or the elderly. The biblical socialism of which you speak may instead be that of caring & providing for those who truly can't care for themselves, and not taking by force from the producers and giving to the able non-producers.

The verse says "And sold their possessions & goods" which implies an element of voluntariness. When government takes and then redistributes, that's not voluntary.

1:46 PM, November 21, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Anon,

You have the intreptation correct. Acts 2:44 isn't talking about Christians living in a commune or redistribution but merely holding on to positions lightly ready to use them for someone else as needs arise.

Politically you could take this verse and make an argument that the government shouldn't be feeding the poor and helping the needy but the Church should. I think there is no doubt the Church could have a welfare program more efficient than the government.

My belief is you help those who truly are in need but let those who are lazy starve. Simple!

7:13 PM, November 21, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Please illuminate us as to what Old Testament scriptures "tend to create a welfare state". Name one even.

As for the NT, it records what the church in Jerusalem did, it does not endorse that as something that Christians are SUPPOSED to do.

For the rest of the NT what do we hear about the church in Jerusalem? That it was POOR, and the other churches who did not experiment with socialism had to take up collections for them!

The Bible also says that King David committed adultry with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, but it does not command us to do that, it just recorded what happened.

Paul says in Timothy "if a man will not work, neither let him eat" and "he who will not provide FOR HIS FAMILY is worse than an infidel".

So the positive commands of the NT are anti-socialist. It records the failed socialist experiment of the early church in Jerusalem. If the redeemed can't make socialism work, it won't work anywhere for long.

Wherever Christians are getting their socialist ideas, it is not scripture. They may be reading their own bias into the scripture, but there is nothing there.

7:25 PM, November 21, 2008  
Blogger F. Prefect said...

There are quite a few verses in the OT concerning providing for the fatherless, widows, strangers, the poor and needy. Giving tithes to support the Levites, etc.

When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; (Deu 26:12)

For instance. While that, in context, may only seem to refer to a particular holiday, it isn't difficult to use these principles to support a government that has socialistic undertones.

I'm not saying these are explicit instructions for creating a socialist government, but that they are a biblical basis a Christian can use for establishing social programs in the government. It's a noble goal to help the poor and needy, the widows and fatherless, and we can't pretend there isn't an argument a Christian can use here to support socialistic ideals, no matter how much you may disagree.

11:33 PM, November 21, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

A libertarian thinker like you ought to be able to spot the flaw in that argument right away. The OT did not prescribe a CIVIL PENALTY for failure to tithe, or failure to be generous to the poor.

Government is force. Without a civil penalty, it's not government, it is something that God has commanded you as an individual to do, and if you don't you risk losing His blessing or incurring His wrath. That is not the same thing as God saying "Whoever does X shall be put to death (or beaten or fined or whatever)." THAT is an example of government, because God links a civil penalty with the act (or failure to act).

Christians already knew that they were supposed to give to the poor long before government socialism came along.

There is simply no intellectualy honest relationship between God commanding us as individuals to remember the poor and the modern welfare state. In the latter, the government decides who is going to be helped and by how much, and is willing to punish citizens who fail to contribute what the state determines is their "fair" share. Choice is replaced by coercion. Liberty by force.

6:46 AM, November 22, 2008  

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