Was Jesus a socialist?

Jesus teaching

Times change. People’s concerns change. Once the worst accusation a christian could make against another christian was that they were a heretic. But now there is a greater sin than heresy among first world christians.

It is the sin of socialism!

Why is this socialism such an evil in some christians’ minds? What should christians believe about this?

Was Jesus an anti-socialist and capitalist? Was he a socialist?

Let’s look at the evidence.

From his own mouth

I am a follower of Jesus, which means I try to follow his teaching as best I can understand them, and as best as I am able to apply them to my life today.

So I need to know what Jesus taught, from his own mouth.

Attitudes to money and wealth

In the Old Testament, wealth was often seen as a sign of God’s approval. For example, Psalm 112:2-3:

The good man’s children will be powerful in the land;
    his descendants will be blessed.
His family will be wealthy and rich,
    and he will be prosperous forever.

But Jesus seems to have taught against this idea. Time and time again he told stories and sayings that illustrated a negative attitude to the wealthy and support for the poor.

In Matthew 13:22 & Mark 4:19, Jesus talked of “the deceitfulness of wealth”.

In Luke 21:1-3 he remarked favourably on a poor woman who have a modest donation to the temple.

In the parable of the rich man & Lazarus (Luke 16:16-31), the rich man ends up in hell while the poor man ends up in heaven. (Note, this is a parable. I don’t think it is a true picture of the afterlife and who goes where.)

In contrast, I cannot recall any teaching of Jesus that shows a positive view of wealth.

Warnings to the wealthy

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

Luke 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13

“Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”

Luke 12:15

“Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19:23,4, Mark 23-25, Luke 18:24-25

“Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them.”

Luke 12:33

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

Revelation 3:17

Encouragement for the poor

“Happy are you poor; the Kingdom of God is yours!”

Luke 6:20 (Matthew 5:3 says “spiritually poor”.)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed.”

Luke 4:18

“Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor.”

Luke 7:22

So it is clear that Jesus spoke very strongly against the wealthy and in favour of the poor. It makes us feel uncomfortable, but they are all his teachings.

Nevertheless we have to be careful in applying these teachings. For Jesus’ ministry was also supported by several wealthy women (Luke 8:1-3).

We may therefore believe that Jesus’ strong statements should be interpreted as overstatements to emphasise his teaching. But however we interpret them, they stand as a strong warning of the perils of seeking wealth, especially if it leaves others poor.

Jesus’ brother James got the message!

Jesus’ brother James’s teaching is so strong, we might mistake him for a Communist if it wasn’t in the Bible.

Listen, my dear friends! God chose the poor people of this world to be rich in faith and to possess the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. But you dishonor the poor! Who are the ones who oppress you and drag you before the judges? The rich!”

James 2:5-6

“And now, you rich people, listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days. You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty. Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent people, and they do not resist you.”

James 5:1-6

Not only …. but also

The rest of the New Testament continues the theme.

  • Mary in the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) says God: “sent the rich away empty”.
  • And Paul warns: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” 1 Timothy 6:9-10

Care for the poor, the suffering and the marginalised

The whole Bible is full of instruction to care for the poor, the suffering and the marginalised.

The prophet Amos spoke over and over against those who oppress the poor. Isaiah did the same, and said God wanted to see his people sharing their food with the hungry and providing the poor wanderer with shelter (Isaiah 58:7).

Jesus echoed this in his famous, and terrifying parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), where entering into a joyful or bitter afterlife is based on treatment of the poor and suffering. (Again, this is a parable. But the message is very clear.)

When the apostles welcomed the new convert Saul, they urged him to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). And when an angel opened up a new world to the centurion Cornelius, it was in part recognition of his “gifts to the poor” (Acts 10).

Paul we should aim at equality in resources (2 Corinthians 8:13) and James insisted on equality in treatment (James 2:1-4).

What do we do with all this?

There is a delicate balance here. The Bible teaches God’s immeasurable love, his amazing grace, his willingness to forgive and restore. We don’t have to try (futilely) to earn our salvation.

But equally strongly, the scriptures make it clear that generous and caring behaviour is required of those of us who follow Jesus. Our faith is dead and useless if we don’t (James 2:17).

Am I over-reacting?

I don’t think so. In my life, I am probably under-reacting. These things are difficult.

So, was Jesus a socialist?

I’ll leave you to be the judge.

But let’s remember that caring for the poor, being wary of wealth, seeking equality and seeking first the kingdom were christian virtues long before socialists took some of them up.

What I’m not saying

I’m not saying how we should vote, and what government programs we should support.

I am saying that christians should take these teachings of Jesus seriously and apply them in our lives, including how we vote, and in deciding our priorities.

Listen

For the same teaching in a different form, listen to the Alpha Band’s Rich Man. I became a fan of the Alpha Band after the three musicians toured with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue back in 1975/76.

Graphics: Free Bible Images

14 Comments

  1. I don’t think Jesus would be voting for a “Thatcherite” response to covid. 🙂

  2. Here are 3 definitions of socialism according to the Merriam Webster definition of socialism:
    “Definition of socialism
    1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
    b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”

    If you think Jesus was advocating one of these which one?

    If you are defining socialism as something different than the three definitions offered by Merriam Webster then please say what you mean by socialism.

    Jesus did not say everyone should give all their property to Caesar and have Caesar redistribute it.

    I think the entire notion of material charity depends on private property. And I think that is very important. We are not Christian because we are forced to give property to the government – or else be imprisoned. No that is not christian charity. Christian charity is giving what we have to others. If we have nothing material then Christian Charity involving giving alms to the poor would be impossible.

  3. Hi Joe, that’s a helpful and interesting response.

    So you use the word “socialist” in one of the above ways – essentially government or collective ownership of production and goods. And I presume you would use the word “Marxism” to mean much the same, but perhaps undertaken more forcefully?

    So my questions to you are these …

    1. When you wrote your blog posts on the European economy, why did you use the word “socialism” over and over again to describe European governments, especially Scandinavian governments? Do any of those governments practice “government or collective ownership of production and goods”?

    2. So does this comment indicate that you agree that Jesus wasn’t socialist, and that people who follow Jesus’ teachings shouldn’t be thereby labelled “socialist” unless they advocate “government or collective ownership of production and goods”?

    3. How do you define the more nebulous terms of “Leftist” and “liberal”, which you have also used a lot?

    Depending on your answers, we may be able to decide whether Jesus was socialist, leftist, liberal, or something else again. And that I, as a follower, am trying to be likewise. Thanks.

  4. “1. When you wrote your blog posts on the European economy, why did you use the word “socialism” over and over again to describe European governments, especially Scandinavian governments? Do any of those governments practice “government or collective ownership of production and goods”?”

    First I do not think it is especially the Scandinavian countries that are more socialist. I think Greece may have had more socialist influences than many Scandinavian countries. I think Europe as a whole is “more socialist” than the US and it is unfortunate that all the debate is centered on only a few tiny countries in Scandanavia. Why should Americans think adopting these policies will yield the results of tiny Norway as opposed as the economy we see in the United Kingdom or Italy or Spain?

    I have no issue with the Merriam Webster definition.

    I also think it is fair to say we can to some extent think in terms of capitalism on one end of a spectrum and socialism on the other. And so when Europe has more of the economy controlled by the state it is more socialist than the US. Not just Scandinavian countries all of Europe. ( BTW when I say “Europe” I am just talking non- former soviet bloc countries not because I think the soviet bloc countries aren’t part of Europe but because it is just cumbersome to keep making that clarification)

    Here is another point. Europe is not just more socialist when sectors of the economy are entirely owned by government. It is also more socialist when government takes “more control” over parts of the economy.

    Just consider what it means to “own” something – say a piece of land? Generally it means you control what happens with it. So if someone else has an easement on that land then your ownership is diminished. If you rent that land to someone else you still “own” it in a sense but you are also giving up quite a bit of your “control/ownership” in exchange for the money. If someone paid you to rent the property for 1,000 years we might say you gave up “ownership” for all practical purposes. So where we draw the line on “ownership” can be a bit more blurry than people initially might think.

    “Ownership” can be on a sort of sliding scale. And Europe regulates/controls what people can do with their businesses significantly more than the US and so it is fair to say they are at least somewhat taking “ownership” of those businesses from individuals because they are taking more control over their businesses.

    I call this “soft socialism” in that it is moving in the direction of full on socialism but doesn’t go all the way.

    “So does this comment indicate that you agree that Jesus wasn’t socialist, and that people who follow Jesus’ teachings shouldn’t be thereby labelled “socialist” unless they advocate “government or collective ownership of production and goods”?”

    Yes that seems fair. Again “ownership” can vary. So I would say having the government take more control over private businesses through regulation is moving in a socialist direction, just like more obvious cases where they take over entire sectors of the economy like health care.

    “How do you define the more nebulous terms of “Leftist” and “liberal”, which you have also used a lot?”

    I will admit I can be sloppy in the terminology. I consider myself a liberal. I used to be a “card carrying member of the ACLU” and I don’t I changed in the ideals I held then. I think their positions changed and are no longer “liberal.” Stalin was not a liberal but he was a Leftist. Sanders is clear he is not a liberal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv7iflHYx_E

    And I agree he is not a liberal. Perhaps he is a “progressive” but that depends on how you define that and that is even more murky. But I think by saying he is not a liberal he is making it clear he is more inclined to take powers from individuals and give it to the government.

    My issue is not with liberalism. I embrace liberalism especially in the classic sense. My issue is with socialism which is the economic position of leftism. So to my thinking “the right” is capitalism. Of course, the problem is Stalin and Hitler really tried to paint the other as the opposite of themselves. That was, of course, a lie but it stuck. So many people think of the right as being not capitalism (which both Hitler and Stalin rejected) but some form of fascism. So I would say leftism (at least in an economic sense) is a move to socialism and I would say the opposite direction is capitalism.

  5. Hi Joe, I am happy with this. So let’s stick with what you say here:

    Eric: “people who follow Jesus’ teachings shouldn’t be thereby labelled “socialist” unless they advocate “government or collective ownership of production and goods”?”
    Joe“Yes that seems fair.”

    Since we can agree on that, hopefully you won’t reject anything more I say as being “socialist” unless I advocate “government or collective ownership of production and goods”, which I generally don’t.

    So now we can discuss (in other current discussions) whether it is christian or not to give greater or lesser assistance to the poor and marginalised, and how far that may or may not extend, without using the word socialism? And whether western European countries are better or worse off than USA, when they sacrifice GDP wealth for community wellbeing. You may want to use a phrase like “moving in the direction of socialism”, I think that would be legitimate, but it would be necessary to argue why that might be a bad or good thing, not just assume the argument is clear.

  6. So how do we interpret the parable of the talents as far as socialism is concerned ?

    One could conclude that if the servants gave their talents to the poor they would be punished !

  7. “Since we can agree on that, hopefully you won’t reject anything more I say as being “socialist” unless I advocate “government or collective ownership of production and goods”, which I generally don’t.”

    Then you agree Jesus is not a socialist?

    Your blog asks the question “Was Jesus a Socialist.” But then you seem to suggest a “socialist” is someone who gives to charity or someone who focuses on his spiritual life more than his materials life. But that is not socialism at all. Some people are socialists because they think it will lead to them getting *more* stuff or free stuff. So their support for socialism is very much due to a focused desire to get more material possessions. You seem to misunderstand what socialism is when you offer quotes from scripture suggesting we should be charitable and not focus on material possessions. This is beside the point of the capitalist socialist debate.

    A socialist is some who pushes for socialism. I gave the merriam-webster definition of socialism as I think it is indeed what socialism is. And yes it is terrible. Just like Jesus may not have specifically argued against an authoritarian state but I think that state is also horrible. Many of the reasons I reject socialism are not only because people often literally end up starving but because you also end up with corrupt authoritarian states that are very hard to undo.

    “So now we can discuss (in other current discussions) whether it is christian or not to give greater or lesser assistance to the poor and marginalised, and how far that may or may not extend, without using the word socialism?”

    Why not use the word socialism when it is appropriate and not use it when it is not appropriate. If the policy is one that tends to give ownership of property to the state then it is socialism or at least going in that direction as opposed to capitalism. But if it is just charitable giving done freely by an individual as Christ seemed to ask us to do then it is not socialism. Can socialism have an effect on this? Yes I think it does. That is why you see more individuals doing more of the uncoerced charitable giving in the US than you do in Europe.

    https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/caf_wgi_10th_edition_report_2712a_web_101019.pdf

    Would Americans still have more non-coerced christian charity if they adopted a socialist system? I don’t think so. I tend to think as the state starts to take more and more from people they tend to think they are discharging their responsibility to others. Chrisitian americans definitely do not think that way. And indeed it is because Christians would rather give to charities that are much less likely to squander their money they would prefer to not pay higher taxes.

    Not only that but socialism is taking power from individuals and giving it to government. Often times this means government power/influence tends to overshadow other institutions such as churches. Notice how 6 of the 10 least giving countries have had either full on socialism. Greece is second to last (China beats it out for last place) and it has had perhaps the most soft socialism of any non- soviet block European country.

    “And whether western European countries are better or worse off than USA, when they sacrifice GDP wealth for community wellbeing. You may want to use a phrase like “moving in the direction of socialism”, I think that would be legitimate, but it would be necessary to argue why that might be a bad or good thing, not just assume the argument is clear.”

    My argument against moving in the direction of socialism is that the evidence bears out everyone is much poorer when that happens. In evaluating economic models I think looking at the economic outcomes makes the most sense. It is not anti-christian to choose an economic model that will reduce the amount of absolute poverty in your community. I think it is anti-christian to try to increase your communities poverty because you think you will end up with more free stuff. And it is also anti-crhsitan to stir up feelings of jealousy by arguing that wealthy people are automatically immoral.

    Trying to argue that economic models have other effects gets more speculative. I mean health has more to do with diet and exercise – and perhaps genes than it does anything specifically economic. I think it is a hard sell that by adopting socialism and thereby making all Americans economically less prosperous we will have improved health.

  8. “So how do we interpret the parable of the talents as far as socialism is concerned ?”

    Hi, it is generally accepted that parables are designed to make people think rather than give clearcut answers, and that we shouldn’t get too caught up in the details of what is just a story. So I don’t think the parable says anything about socialism. But it would be interesting to see Jesus’ answer to your question. My guess is he would have said something like: “you are not far from the kingdom of God”.

  9. Hi Joe, I think rather than give my own response to your comments, I’ll offer you a newspaper article to read – How the Pandemic Defeated America.

    The article is in The Atlantic. I don’t know what side of politics The Atlantic is, but since the article is critical of Trump, I’m guessing you would call it “leftist”. I also know you have used Fox as a source. I don’t watch US TV or read US newspapers (I saw this Atlantic article on Facebook), but I do know that in Australia, the Rupert Murdoch newspapers cannot be trusted. I used to work as a civil engineer and an environmental manager, and on areas where I have some small expertise, I have found again and again that the Murdoch press tells outright lies, misrepresents references, and ignores well-established facts if that helps its political agenda. I would be very surprised if it was any different over there.

    So I hope you read the article. It highlights a number of problems that we have been discussing, and says it better than I can. Thanks.

  10. Hi Joe, I should clarify this for you.

    “Then you agree Jesus is not a socialist?”

    No, I don’t. There weren’t any socialists back then, though there may have been some governments that had some similarities, so he couldn’t have been one. I used that title the way Jesus used parables, to pose a question for others to answer.

    Since you don’t think he was a socialist, then when I do or recommend things that he taught, then I am not being a socialist either.

    “Why not use the word socialism when it is appropriate and not use it when it is not appropriate. If the policy is one that tends to give ownership of property to the state then it is socialism or at least going in that direction as opposed to capitalism. But if it is just charitable giving done freely by an individual as Christ seemed to ask us to do then it is not socialism. “

    That’s what I think. But I don’t think that is what you have done in some of your blogs and comments. Hopefully the question “was Jesus a socialist?” may have had some impact!

  11. The Atlantic used to have a good reputation but it has indeed moved to the left. That is ok I am not saying you shouldn’t read leftist material. I am saying you should read both sides. There is no more neutral reporting.

    The article flails about quite a bit with all sorts of unsupported claims. And quite a bit of monday morning quarterbacking. And of course Ed Yong talks about how the US has so many deaths when in fact we know many countries are not counting the deaths like the US. But there are some points I agree with:

    “The CDC developed and distributed its own diagnostic tests in late January. These proved useless because of a faulty chemical component. Tests were in such short supply, and the criteria for getting them were so laughably stringent, that by the end of February, tens of thousands of Americans had likely been infected but only hundreds had been tested. The official data were so clearly wrong that The Atlantic developed its own volunteer-led initiative—the COVID Tracking Project—to count cases.

    Diagnostic tests are easy to make, so the U.S. failing to create one seemed inconceivable. Worse, it had no Plan B. Private labs were strangled by FDA bureaucracy. Meanwhile, Sabeti’s lab developed a diagnostic test in mid-January and sent it to colleagues in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. “We had working diagnostics in those countries well before we did in any U.S. states,” she told me.

    It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly the testing debacle incapacitated the U.S. People with debilitating symptoms couldn’t find out what was wrong with them. Health officials couldn’t cut off chains of transmission by identifying people who were sick and asking them to isolate themselves.”

    The CDC debacle on testing was horrible no doubt. They apparently refused tests from WHO because they preferred their own tests. Is it Trumps fault? Well sort of because the CDC is an executive bureaucracy and the buck stops with the president. But really they are the experts so if he did not go with what the cdc recommended he would be criticized. On the whole I would say this is more of an indictment of Government bureaucracies that are never responsible for the mistakes they make. It is why we shouldn’t depend on government for health.

    Ed Yong makes another good point about these experts:
    “The WHO, the CDC, and the U.S. surgeon general urged people not to wear masks, hoping to preserve the limited stocks for health-care workers. These messages were offered without nuance or acknowledgement of uncertainty, so when they were reversed—the virus is worse than the flu; wear masks—the changes seemed like befuddling flip-flops.”

    This wasn’t Trumps fault that Faucci and other experts were giving misinformation.

    So I agree that was a problem. But that is about the only concrete issue Ed Yong has with how “Trump” (really the cdc) handled it. Trump reduced the red tape on testing and vaccines. Trump met with private companies to get the items the experts thought they would need like ventilators and ppe. Trump sent Navy ships to New York if they needed space for people to isolate. Etc etc. During the pandemic we didn’t hear so much about he should be doing this or that. Rather now its all monday morning quarterbacking.

    Our country is a federal system which means the federal government should have a very limitted role in the day to day laws and plans of the states. Certainly it would be inappropriate to treat Montana like New York at the beginning of this pandemic and it would have been wrong for Trump to take over New York and dictate how it was to be handled. The CDC gave guidance and assisted as it could but it is properly up to each state how to deal with this.

    Notice how later Ed Yong tries to claim the cdc is oh so wonderful. But what about the testing debacle? Are we supposed to have forgotten about that? I mean it is ok but its not great and it was the cause of the huge shortage of testing early on. So Trump is to blame when he lets the CDC make the call and he is to blame when he disagrees. Its a lose lose for the president.

    Also it is interesting that he says Germany was so much better.

    Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that nursing homes take covid positive patiencts. Some try to say they had to because there was no room for people. But this executive order was still in place when they said the Navy ship could go back because they had it under control. Obviously this was insane policy and as is typical the governors office prepared a report saying they are not to blame for any of the new York deaths. It is a real scandal and it is surprising that this obvious blunder was overlooked by his article. Could it possibly be due to political affiliation? I know I know its hard to believe. But yeah.

    Notice how he complains about the protests of the lock downs where people tended to socially distance but refuses to acknowledge the BLM protests even though our cases started to spike about 2 weeks after they took to the streets? The democrat mayors and governors telling everyone they cant go to church even at 1/2 or 1/3 capacity yet they are there shoulder to shoulder with protestors for their leftist causes. Americans saw this just like they heard the president but is the author going to blame any democrats? No of course not.

    Notice how on April 29th this same author wrote why the “Corona Virus is so Confusing” Of course his politics was still clear as he would dig at Trump but back then he was much more circumspect about what was going on. Now he is fully critical of Trump for not knowing with clarity back then.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/pandemic-confusing-uncertainty/610819/

    Its interesting Ed Yong is not overly critical about what the president said in that article on april 29th. But he wants to travel back 5 months ago and be critical of every word out of the presidents mouth and blame him for all the covid deaths! Great stuff.

    I gave a specific action that I think was a blunder from Cuomo – his executive order requiring nursing homes to take covid positive people. Anyone would agree that was disasterous even when it was signed. I also was critical of the cdc for refusing tests from WHO when they did it. If the atlantic author thinks Trump did some specific action that lead to more deaths then I am interested in his analysis in how it lead to more deaths. Instead this article is a long anti-trump rant linking to leftist fact checking having nothing to do with covid and pushing all the leftist buttons. He even got to talk about slavery.

    Democrats governors and mayors violated their own rules in order to march and attend funerals. Everyone saw it and it was obvious they weren’t taking their own guidance seriously. But somehow we are supposed to forget all that and be hyper-focused on everything the president said that could be construed as taking the virus lightly.

    Here is an article from a conservative source pointing out how lightly Pelosi took the virus early on but here the intent is not to say Democrats are to blame for a pandemic. That is mainly what the crazy left does. Rather the point is let’s not be so political about a pandemic. Lots of mistakes were made some worse than others but we are only human.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/nancy-pelosi-always-finding-ways-to-make-a-bad-situation-worse/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=blog-post&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=most-popular&utm_term=second

  12. Like I said on your blog, I think it is time to finish up this discussion. As I say in my Comment Policy: “It’s always helpful to know when to stop. Sometimes it becomes clear that a discussion has little constructive happening, and is likely to degenerate into going round the same points over and over. I will drop out when I think that has happened” So only a quick response.

    Firstly, an apology. In the discussion there was this exchange:

    Joe: “Then you agree Jesus is not a socialist?”
    Eric: “No, I don’t. There weren’t any socialists back then, though there may have been some governments that had some similarities, so he couldn’t have been one. I used that title the way Jesus used parables, to pose a question for others to answer.”

    My first words were the opposite of what I intended and I misled you. The rest of my answer makes clear that I DON’T think Jesus was a socialist (e.g. “he couldn’t have been one”), but those first words were confusing, I’m sorry.

    Secondly and finally, I think your response indicates we actually agree that the US response to Covid has not been as good as it should have been (you certainly raise a lot of problems), it’s just that you don’t think Trump is as much at fault as you think the CDC, Cuomo, Fauci, the state governors, Pelosi, etc, were. That may or may not be true. The question to ask is, why did countries such as yours and some others (Brazil, Sweden, Belgium, UK, etc) not do as well as NZ, Japan, Australia and others? Was it lack of good medical information in the early stages of the pandemic, or was it placing the economy above people’s lives? I don’t propose to discuss that, but that is where my interest lies.

    I’ll leave it there. I hope this post has encouraged you to think whether you call “socialist” things that Jesus actually commanded us to do. The provocative title was designed to encourage questioning. Thanks.

  13. Socialism is a political/economic construction and I think Jesus was more interested in individuals and the way they live their lives than the way the hierarchy & economy operated.

    People in politics today who follow Jesus’ teachings (there are also a lot of non Christian socialists, I wonder where they get their ideas from), may well be regarded as socialists if they believe in high taxes on the rich and income distribution to the poor but I don’t think he ever advocated legislated income redistribution, just that individuals should distribute their own assets that way.

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