29 June 2011

What the Bible says about Liberals (and why Todd Akin should become one)

Congressmen Todd Akin (R-MO) recently said this about liberals:

At the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.

So I thought I'd check to see what the Bible says about them. Here's what I found.

  1. God makes liberals fat.
    The liberal soul shall be made fat. -- Proverbs 11:25

  2. And since being fat is is sure sign of righteousness in the eyes of God, liberals are righteous people.
    The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree ... they shall be fat and flourishing. -- Psalm 92:12-14

  3. Liberals are not lying, churlish, vile, villainous hypocrites that steal from the poor and hungry. (Guess who that would be.)
    The vile person shall be no more called liberal ... For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy ... to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words. -- Isaiah 32:5-7

  4. Liberals distribute wealth from the rich to the poor.
    For your liberal distribution ... unto all men ... Thanks be unto God. -- 2 Corinthians 9:13-15

  5. And lastly, liberals devise and stand for liberal things.
    The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. -- Isaiah 32:8

God loves liberals. Todd Akin should become one. Then God would love him, too.

31 comments:

Rob said...

Clearly this didn't come from the Republican rewrite of the bible!

skepticmatt said...

Good call going with the KJV.

Dan said...

Talk about strange bedfellows, Steve your defending liberalism with a book that usually stands for the opposite of what you think? I personally think Christianity bears some of the blame for an entitled culture.

Without a true barter system we have removed ourselves from the effort it takes to produce food, clothing, and shelter to such an extent that the last couple generations think they should be given these things just because they exist. As in every publicly funded "good" someone has to pay for it, therein lies the disconnect.

We can thank Christianity and its emphasis on giving, for a culture that believes it can simply have what it believes is owed them. Now we are being led to believe that higher education, health care, and condoms should go on the free side of the ledger as well.

As a fiscal conservative I have gradually come to see liberalism and Christianity as cousins that feed at the same table; their plates are piled high with guilt. Thanks Steve, I have some more verses that back that up, verses I had no idea existed

Derek said...

Steve,

Your entire sarcastic argument falls apart because you are utilizing the fallacy of equivocation. You are equivocating the term "liberal" in reference to a person of a particular political leaning with the term "liberal" in reference to a person who is generous with their wealth and belongings. You are attempting to twist what the Bible says to mockingly make your point, but your "logic" utterly fails. You would be better off taking the time to stop and think clearly, producing a valid argument with valid premises and presenting that, rather than this foolishly deceptive and entirely worthless one.

Dan,
I disagree with your assessment that Christians are to blame for the state of our culture. I agree that Christians place a large emphasis on giving, but that in no way means that Christianity supports the idea that people automatically have the right to these things. The Church should provide services for the poor, providing food and shelter when it can, but these things are not privileges that every person is entitled to because they exist. The wealth of our country and the mindset that people are valuable, along with an entire list of other factors has lead to a government that thinks that providing for the unfortunate is its responsibility.
Christianity is in some ways responsible for this mindset, but I disagree that "its plate is piled high with guilt."

I also dislike the state we are in as a country, where we have people on welfare who feel it is their right to have food and shelter. I believe that all human life should be valued, but it is not the governments right or responsibility to provide people with these things, especially at the expense of the taxpayer. Giving should be a conscious choice, and having the government provide these things through welfare and other public aids disconnects us as individuals from the state and mindset of giving, and it disconnects the person receiving the gift from the humility it requires to accept a handout from another person. People should work and earn their living, and when they can't provide for themselves or their family I think it is the Church's responsibility to take them in and take care of them when it can, but it is not the government's responsibility or place to do so.

Steve Wells said...

Derek and Dan,
I'm not arguing anything here, I'm just saying what the Bible says about liberals. You don't have to agree with the Bible if you don't want to. (But for me, as a godless liberal, it's fun to agree with the Bible now and then.)

Derek said...

Steve,

The problem is, what you have presented is not what the Bible has to say about liberals, as I pointed out previously, you are committing the fallacy of equivocation. The term "liberal" used in the Bible is not the same term you are using to describe your political leanings. They are not the same thing, so you are wrong when you say that you agree with the Bible, because the Bible is not saying what you are attempting to state that it says.

Dan said...

Steve this is forcing me to split up this comment:

Derek since Steve was just having some fun agreeing with the bible for a change, maybe you and I can discourse on Christianities contribution to the welfare system.

The largest part of human history involved developing societies to meet the two basic needs of shelter and hunger. It would follow that the strongest and fittest among these groups were able to meet these needs under the most difficult situations. The idea that there was leftover to feed the weaker members would have been foreign. The strong would have shared their resources with those closest genetically (their children first, then brothers, sisters, etc.) If you doubt this check out who is able to obtain basic resources when protective governments disappear. This system remained in tact through the feudal system in Europe, which rewarded the most powerful fighters with cities to overlord when they returned from war. It mattered little that they were highly skilled rapist, torturers and killers. Most of the revolts in Europe and Russia were sparked by a reaction to the injustices that the peasants were forced to survive under. In England the Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered because he stood up to this unjust system and called for reform.

Dan said...

Part 2
Anyway, Communism came out of the same yearning to escape the tyranny of the strong over the weak. It was corrupted by the idea that man would ultimately work for the common good if given the chance. It is possible that the seed of this thinking came from the Gospels and the book of Acts. In the end the idea that man would suddenly become altruistic if presented with the right environment goes against thousands of years of evolution. Not even Jesus could accomplish that. Since Jesus’ time man became more hostile to the idea of a godly kingdom of peace. The Catholic Church propagated itself by making examples of (evildoers) by skinning them alive, burning them with green wood that would smolder for days and torturing them until they pleaded to be burned alive. They would still be hard at it if it hadn't been for the enlightened thinkers that appeared on the scene. Many of the men and women who stood against the church and its power paid with their lives and still would be if enlightened thinking had not spread. Men like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would have been tortured and killed had it not been for the spread of enlightened thinking. Horrific consequences awaited a rational thinker that challenged any ordained practice of the church. One example would be that of bleeding a person if they were sick. If you stood against bleeding the Church needed simply label you as a witch and you were burned alive. It didn't matter if bleeding that person hastened their end or not, data did not count. The Church still has a strong distrust for science and data gathering.

What did enlightened thinkers give us that the church could not? Among other things, it gave us capitalism. No longer could a person claim ecclesiastical exemption. No longer could a person claim poverty through victimization. It was simple, if you didn't work you didn't eat. That is 180% in the opposite direction from Christianity. Jesus never held a job that we know of, never taught you should hold a job. (1) He told parables such as the prodigal son that made the hard worker in the family the villain. Eternal reward was by far more important then earthly reward. (The Mary and Martha story) (2) "Lay up treasure in heaven not on earth" Gold was viewed as something that is owned by (3) Caesar not his disciples. (4) Judas is considered evil for worrying about money and took the awful stuff to betray Jesus. I think it would be easier for me to come up with a top ten anti money slogans from the NT then you could ever come up with ten pro money slogans. Modern day faith teachers work overtime to convince their congregations that giving them money will generate wealth for the givers, after all (5) God loves a cheerful giver. The horrendous results of cultures that naively adopt communal type sharing based on first century Christians are legion. It is a dangerous premise to assume humans will look out for one another. They will only function fully when they are looking out for their own well being. In the end altruistic thinking will be the undoing of our culture. Capitalism has for some time been held in low esteem and much of that is generated from Christianity. Think about it just for a minute, isn't the person who gives their life to a charitable cause held in higher esteem then someone who builds a business and becomes wealthy? Dan>

Derek said...

Dan,

I was delighted to see this last comment! I will gladly engage in a discourse on this topic as best I can. I do not have the time this minute to do so, but within the next few days I will do some research and critical thinking about what you have said, and I will likely get back to you within a few days after this holiday weekend.

I look forward to mulling over your thoughts here, and will get back to you.

Blessings,
Derek

skanksta said...

Derek,

Can you tell us what meaning of the word 'liberal' god ACTUALLY meant, when inspiring the bible ?

twillight said...

This was as fantastic that I almost went and checked if Steve not made it up himself.

Steve Wells said...

Yikes, Dan! It sounds like you are a true believer in the nastiest religion of all time: Ayn Rand Libertarianism.

Derek,
You say that the Bible isn't saying what I say it's saying. But all I've done is quote it and agree with what it says. You seem to disagree with the verses that I've quoted, which is fine with me. You don't have to agree with the Bible if you don't want to.

Maybe you should consider the religion of Ayn Rand. You seem like a guy that would enjoy devising wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words (Isaiah 32:7). I think there's a place for you in the churlish Tea Party.

Derek said...

Skansta,

Your sarcastic, (and I assume rhetorical) statement aside, it is not hard to understand what is meant by the word "liberal" in this passage (Proverbs 11:25). In the original Hebrew, the word is בְּרָכָה which is transliterated as berakah (pronounced ber-aw-kaw'). It basically translates as blessing, and in this passage
"Liberal soul" translates as "the soul that blesses," i. e., gives freely and fully. The term liberal in this passage in no way refers to the political leanings of certain individuals, and therefore in no way refers to a Liberal as Steve is deceptively attempting to equivocate it.

Steve,
as you can see, and as I have previously shown, the Bible is not using the term liberal in the same sense you are meaning it. You are quoting the Bible, but you are then ascribing a false definition of the term liberal to the Biblical passage, and therefore any agreement you are having with this false definition is meaningless. I do not disagree with the verses you have used, I disagree with your assessment of their meaning.

Dan said...

Steve, I can see why this part of my comment could be inspired by Rand:

"The horrendous results of cultures that naively adopt communal type sharing based on first century Christians are legion. It is a dangerous premise to assume humans will look out for one another. They will only function fully when they are looking out for their own well being."

Explain the part of that that compares to any religion you know of. Actually my primary inspiration is Dawkins book "The Selfish Gene".

Steve Wells said...

Dan,
So I was wrong about you being an Ayn Rand devotee. Sorry about that.

You say your views were inspired by Richard Dawkins' book, The Selfish Gene. Here's a quote from the book.

"We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism -- something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world. We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators."

You seem uninterested in "nurturing pure, disinterested altruism" or in rebelling against the tyranny of your selfish replicators. Maybe you should look for another source for your claimed inspiration.

Dan said...

If you look closely at this statement it very powerfully makes my point. We shall see who wins...the code or positive thinking. It is possible that as the brain evolves we can change. I am willing to give it 30,000 years or so.

"We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism -- something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world. We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators."

Steve Wells said...

OK Dan, I guess I completely misunderstood you.

When you said, "In the end altruistic thinking will be the undoing of our culture," I thought you meant that you thought that altruistic thinking will be the undoing of our culture. But I guess not.

Because now you say that you agree with, and, in fact, are inspired by Dawkins when he says that we can (and should) nurture pure, disinterested altruism and, thereby, defy our selfish genes.

So I guess we all agree! Isn't it wonderful? I guess you're a godless liberal, too.

Dan said...

This has actually become entertaining, I look forward to how you are going to respond. It's like you totally ignore what I just wrote and continue where you left off on your previous one. That's OK though because you prefaced all this by saying "it's fun to agree with the Bible now and then." But seriously, this isn't about me, it's about whether an entire culture can group think their way out of thousands of years of evolution. It would be interesting to know how much hope Dawkins holds out for a society as a whole to overcome the code. Dan

Steve Wells said...

Yes, it is entertaining, isn't it Dan? Still, it would be even more fun if you would just say what you actually believe, rather than pretend that your views are inspired by Dawkins when they clearly are not.

But that's OK. Forget Dawkins and Rand. What was your point again? Something about the virtue of selfishness and raw, ruthless, unrestrained Capitalism, perhaps?

Dan said...

In your mind is it possible to individually make the "Dawkins decision" but be incapable as a culture?

In order to be clear, I am a proud capitalist and I can only assume your final comment was made to try and make me cower in a corner. This is often how capitalism is portrayed "selfishness and raw, ruthless, unrestrained Capitalism" I would change selfishness to "self interest" and if you think your local Mom and Pop stores that sell coffee and donuts are raw and ruthless then yes raw and ruthless it is. Dan

Derek said...

Dan,

you wrote, "It's like you totally ignore what I just wrote and continue where you left off on your previous one." in regards to Steve. I think I am inclined to agree with you, as I have written to Steve three times about his equivocation of the word Liberal from the Bible with the anachronistic definition he is trying to impose on the passage. I am not sure Steve is interested in truth. It seems to me he is only interested in being heard, regardless of the rightness or wrongness of what he is saying.

Steve Wells said...

Derek,
I think the Bible and I agree, more or less, on the meaning of the word "liberal". A liberal is a person who opposes vile people that speak villainy, work iniquity, practice hypocrisy, and devise wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words (Isaiah 32:5-7) -- that is, a liberal person is a person that opposes Tea Party Republicans and Ayn Rand Libertarians.

Are you an Isaiah 32 liberal, Derek?

Steve Wells said...

Dan,
I don't understand your question: "Is it possible to individually make the "Dawkins decision" but be incapable as a culture?"

Do you mean to say that you believe that each of us should try to revolt against our selfish genes by being as altruistic as possible, but that our society should encourage selfishness?

Dan said...

Steve, Prior to this conversation I naively thought you were above putting people into boxes and labeling them.

"Tea Party Republicans, Ayn Rand Libertarians, Isaiah 32 liberal," Also the sarcasm surprises me in that it squashes adult discourse in a big way.

Your question "Do you mean to say that you believe that each of us should try to revolt against our selfish genes by being as altruistic as possible, but that our society should encourage selfishness?" shows me you gave my concern some thought.

If our genetic code has been honed to a fine evolutionary state that enhances our survival, we are playing with suicide thinking we can suddenly reverse it. For example: If the majority of our evolution was based on eating meat and we thought it would be trendy to stop eating meat we could cause all hell to break loose in our physical structure. I would argue that the same could be said for our mental evolution. If as individuals or whole countries try to ban "acting in our own self interest" all hell could and has broken loose. You seem to think I am making some weird moral point that disagrees with Dawkins. I am not, the intent of his book was to point out that the gene is only interested in survival, it has no right or wrong and if something threatens survival it will over time change. He is hopeful that someday our mental evolution will be able to supersede the non-altruistic gene. That will only happen if it enhances our ability to survive as a specie. Otherwise our genes will change in some other way that will insure survival. Dawkins, Ayn Rand, Dan, Derek, Steve Wells, and Todd Akin can have their opinion, but the genetic code doesn't care. It adapts and changes endlessly and will continue to change long after we are gone.

To answer your question directly I think Dawkins was exercising his right to express some wishful thinking. I personally think we all live in a state of self interest even when we appear to be altruistic. If you see self interest as a good thing you see no reason to alter it.

Derek said...

Steve,

First, you must realize that the Bible passages you are quoting from were originally written in Hebrew. Just because the King James Version (read: translation) of the Bible uses the word liberal in both Proverbs 11:25 and Isaiah 32:5-7 does not mean that it is referring to what you are saying that it says.

Second, The Hebrew word that the KJV translates as liberal in each verse is different. see my previous posts for the meaning of the word in Proverbs. In Isaiah, the word translated as liberal is נדיב (naw-deeb)which properly means voluntary. In this sense it means a generous person (that is liberal with what they have) and hence refers to a magnanimous person.

Third, even if you don't know Hebrew, by simply looking up this verse in another translation that more accurately uses modern words to translate what the Bible says, you would see that Isaiah 32:5-7 in the New International Version reads:
5 No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For fools speak folly,
their hearts are bent on evil:
They practice ungodliness
and spread error concerning the LORD;
the hungry they leave empty
and from the thirsty they withhold water.
7 Scoundrels use wicked methods,
they make up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.

Fourth, you are still equivocating different uses of the same word. a political liberal is one who favors proposals for reform, is open to new ideas for progress, and is tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others. The term liberal that you are equivocating it with is liberal in the sense of a person who gives freely; a generous person.

Stephen said...

@ Derek:
"Giving should be a conscious choice, and having the government provide these things through welfare and other public aids disconnects us as individuals from the state and mindset of giving, and it disconnects the person receiving the gift from the humility it requires to accept a handout from another person."

That's right. People should feel humility (read "shame") when they accept aid. Having the government acting as an intermediary also deprives the donor of that smug feeling of superiority that would normally occur, especially if a church were involved. ;-)
Steve Weeks

Derek said...

Steve,

Shame and humility are not the same thing, nor do they mean the same thing. It is wrong for you to try and equate them, and it is even worse that you attempt to make it seem that my statement equates them. To give to others for the right reasons takes just as much humility as it takes to receive from others. When I reference the state and mindset of giving, what I mean is a state of humility, and a mindset of altruism. I do not think that a person giving because they want to appear better than others is the right reason to be given, and is condemned by God, the Church, and myself. If a person, whether secular or religious gives to others in order to acquire a smug sense of superiority, they are giving for the wrong reasons and are morally wrong for doing so. Jesus Christ condemned that kind of giving in Luke 21:1-4. In this passage Jesus says that a widow who gives a tiny monetary amount of money has given more than all the other men who were giving much larger monetary amounts, because she was giving out of her poverty in humility. He condemned the smug self-righteous attitude in the pharisees, (who were the religious leaders of Jesus' day) so I believe He would condemn such behavior in those who claim to follow him today. Just because some people who claim to follow Christ give with this attitude so doesn't mean that having a self-righteous attitude is acceptable or encouraged by the Church.

Aquaria said...

Keep talking, christarders. You're making sure everyone gets a good look at what selfish, greedy, hateful, bigoted and amoral pigs you are.

servant sam said...

I disagree with your interpretion of what the bible is saying. You need to read the entire chapters 11 & 12 to understand what the Author, God is saying thru Solomon. We see that he is showing examples of opposites. Just about every text has or is followed by a text which shows the opposite, so that one can deliniated good from bad, acceptable behavior from none acceptable behavior. In the text you quote, "The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered", the liberal soul shall be made fat is referring to one who works for himself, to make himself fat. When it says he that watereth shall be watered it talks of the same philosophy that Jesus Christ shared the night before the crisifixion when the greatest of them are they that share or make themselves the least. So those who serve the most, will themselves be served.
I am but a servant of the King of Kings, do not go by what my interpretation is, but what God's word and meaning is.
As for whether or not the right or the left is the problem, the bible clearly states that the world will become as in the days of Noah, where men could no longer discern right from wrong. I believe we are in those days and that both sides are in darkness.
God bless and keep you all my brothers and sisters, and defend the faith.

servant sam said...

I hope Todd that you do not judge Christ by those who claim to follow Him. Many who claim to be Christians do not understand that the God we claim to serve is a loving God and not one who argues or debates in anger.
Even though I disagree with your interpretation if I follow Christ I still show love to the one who has that belief, for it is not my job to judge only love. It was Jesus who left us a summation of all His 10 Commandments when He said, that we love God with all our hearts and minds, and our neighbor as ourselves. Too many false prophets and false Christians today. Please do not judge my King because of thier ignorance of the character of the one they claim to serve. In the end God/Jesus is the only authority of the universe, so quibbling about the crumbs is so futile.
God bless and keep you all, and give you the Light of His love. Amen and Amen

Mike Allen said...

my NKJV doesn't use the word liberal. Ya need to stay away from the "new bibles". They are not good references when it comes to blasphemy of GODs' Word.