Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pursuing John Galt

Laura at Pursuing Holiness is going John Galt (via Instapundit). She says the following about her spiritual reasoning (emphasis in original):
Do I want Obama to fail? Aren’t I, as a Christian, required to pray for our president? I do pray for him. But I don’t pray for his success, where his success means implementing policies which harm the country’s security, kill babies, increase poverty, and decrease freedom.
I agree with her; however, my theological reasons for going John Galt are a little different. First, I feel that socialism violates the ten commandments. And, second, I believe socialism damages charity.

The socialist argument for redistribution requires a populace that actively violates the tenth commandment and a government that abets them by violating the eighth. Here's a refresher:
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
Leftist politicians promise to steal for their covetous constituents and call it charity. That is the pernicious evil of socialism.

The Christian tradition often references Christ's response to the question: which is the greatest commandment? His answer is found in Matthew 22:36-40 and it makes no reference to a government role for loving your neighbor:
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Your obligation to love your neighbor as yourself cannot be fulfilled if the government is doing it for you. In other words, socialism erodes our civic charity. Exhibit A is Joe Biden. Over the course of ten years he earned $2,450,042 and donated $3,690 to charity—about 0.15%. That's about one seventh of one percent.

Note: A valid Judeo-Christian criticism of going John Galt is contained in the fourth commandment (emphasis added):
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
This doesn't bother me because I'm a stay-at-home dad so I've chosen to do work for which I will not be paid. Nonetheless, I think this could lead to an interesting theological discussion.

Update: Dr. Helen is looking for people going Galt to interview for PJTV.

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