R A N D O M R
A N T S|
SHOULD NATIONS HELP
THE SICK AND POOR?
Apparently to justify their undying support of the Republican so-called 'free' market agenda, Evangelical and other conservative Christian leaders have invented an axiom seemingly taught religiously to their congregations, that only individuals and, not nations collectively, should help the sick and poor.
Fortunately for the sick and poor and, unfortunately for those who promote such nonsense, various prophets in the Bible and God himself seem to have the opposite opinion. Rather than debate with folks who apparently believe Jesus was a capitalist, let's see what the Bible actually says about this:
In Leviticus 23, God commands the nation of Israel: "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger. . ."
From Wikipedia: "On one of the two occasions that this is stated in Leviticus, it adds that in vineyards, some grapes should be left ungathered, a statement also found in Deuteronomy. These verses additionally command that olive trees should not be beaten on multiple occasions, and whatever remains from the first set of beatings should be left. . . Deuteronomy commands that it should be left for widows, strangers, and paternal orphans."
Imagine if in the modern United States, 10% or even 5% or even 3% of all taxation was devoted annually to house and feed the poor. Soon enough, there would be no poor people left to house and feed. Or, imagine if 10% of all monies collected by religious organizations was earmarked annually for helping the poor. Likely the same result would soon occur.
In Exodus 22, unlike the Trump and Biden administration, God says: "you shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him. . ." And, God is strongly against charging any interest to the poor, rather than the 30% plus often charged by modern capitalist banks.
Jesus in the New Testament, teaches us to take the stranger in, rather than build a wall to keep poor refugees out and far worse, deliberately separate immigrant children from their weeping parent's arms. And in the so-called "dark" ages, it was considered barbaric to charge more than 5-6% interest.
According to the prophet Ezekiel (16:49), God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they were proud and haughty people who refused to help the poor and needy. Virtually all of the prophets were angry with political leaders and the nations of Israel and Judah for not helping the needy, poor and oppressed and, for often making their lot worse, like the Republican agenda does in modern-day America.
In Nehemiah chapter 5, Isaiah 3 & 10, Jeremiah 7 & 22, Amos 6 & 8, Michah 2 & 3, Zephaniah 3 and Habakkuk 2, the prophets are angry with political leaders and the nations of Judah and/or Israel for not helping and worse, often harming the poor. Moses likewise admonishes the children of Israel as a collective nation, to open their hand to the poor and needy.
In the New Testament, early followers of Jesus shared all things in common, distributing to each according to need. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the foundation of socialism is "to each according to need". Conservative Christian leaders call socialism "evil", even though the real followers of Jesus seem to have believed giving our excess to the poor is Godly, moral and correct.
Early "churches", that is groups of people, not buildings or religious organizations, often took up collections for the sick and poor. They seem to have forgotten to take up collections to build temples made with hands or for anything else that modern so-called 'churches' typically do.
It's rather difficult to imagine Jesus deliberately attempting to take healthcare away from the sick and poor, like Republicans have repeatedly tried to do. And, rather than attempt to list the myriad of places where Jesus teaches in both word and deed to help immigrants, the sick, the poor and the otherwise oppressed, it is perhaps wise to check out the four biographies of Jesus in the New Testament for ourselves.
|Click Here to Go Back to Contents|
Click Here to eMail the Author
Copyright © by Richard Aberdeen. Copyright © by Freedom
No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the
author. For inquiries, please contact Freedom Tracks Records. The essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced
and distributed as desired.