Would Jesus Be a Liberal or a Conservative?
Adapted from an article by Jack Clark (http://www.right-wing-pseudo-christians.com)
Conservative Christians certainly would not think that Jesus would be a liberal, yet -- as with most things -- they are wrong.
- In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus proclaims that how you treat the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and other "least of these," is how you treat Jesus himself. And if you fail to help the "least of these," Jesus promises, he will send you to Hell.
- There is an overwhelming concern for the poor and for economic justice permeates the Old Testament.
- There is the redistribution of wealth injunction of the Old Testament Jubilee Year, when slaves were released and land returned to its original owners.
- And last but not least, do I even have to bring up the clarion words of Jesus repeated in virtual identical fashion in three of the Gospels: Mark 10:25
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. Such a teaching directly out of the mouth of Christ does not indicate a favorable attitude towards the type of unbridled accumulation of wealth celebrated by conservative "right-wing pseudo-Christians". To hear the conservative pseudo-Christians, the Messiah's real name must have been Jesus “Adam Smith” Christ. Could someone please tell me where Jesus extols the effectiveness – let alone the morality -- of trickle-down economics? Or the genius of the "free market"? Or where Jesus indicates even in the slightest way that the Matthew 25 suffering "least of these" should not be helped?
The average liberal, at least in his or her concern that the world's goods be distributed equitably and that the suffering "least of these" be helped, seems a lot closer to the words of Jesus, the entire Bible, and Church social doctrine than does the blind, idol-level market-worship of conservative pseudo-Christians.
In short, is not "Do unto others…" the essence of liberalism's goal, and the opposite of the operating principle of the conservative Golden Calf, unregulated capitalism? Liberal vs. Conservative Jesus: The Big Picture On the overall question of redistribution of wealth and income, having rich people is fine, as long as no one is dying because the rich hoard too much of the wealth. Once everyone is at least minimally taken care of, then the super-greedy can be allowed to have more than their fair share.
The liberal case, however, is that because the rich monopolize such a grotesquely huge share of the income and wealth, there's not enough left for everyone else. The top 10% of individuals in the United States receive 46% of the income and control 71% of the wealth in this country. Globally, 25% of the people receive 75% of the income, and the richest 20% of the world's population monopolizes 86 per cent of global wealth.
In other words: 80% of humanity must try to survive on a mere 14% of the world's wealth.
To look at it in perhaps more comprehensible terms: Dividing up $100 among ten people in the same proportions would produce two people with $4.30 each, and 8 people with 18 cents each.
How can anyone doubt that such an inequitable division of the world's resources means that those at the bottom will suffer and die as the very least of "the least of these"?
Bottom line: it really isn't about liberalism, conservatism, or any other -ism. It's only about ensuring the well-being of "the least of these." The purpose here is not to argue that Jesus would be a "liberal" and not a "conservative" if he were alive today. It is to point out how ludicrous it is for people who profess to be Christians to hyperventilate solely because serious measures to ameliorate economic injustice are proposed.
At the very minimum, Jesus would be for enough regulation of capitalism to accomplish the Matthew 25:31-46 goals, not for the law-of-the-jungle, let-them-suffer-it's-their-own-fault Hobbesianism of conservative philosophy.