Today\’s Ritchie

I\’d forgotten he was a Godbotherer.

And it also quite contrary to the message of Luke’s gospel. In Luke 4, starting at verse 18 Jesus says:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

This is the clearest statement of Christian duty there is. Support for progressive taxation fulfils that duty.

How easy it now is to be a Christian! As long as you support the taxation of the rich bastards you\’re done!

16 comments on “Today\’s Ritchie

  1. Sorry I meant to say

    Jesus did not mean “relatively poor”.
    And to say that meant tax should be raised is not an obvious intrepretation.

  2. I doubt it’ll pass moderation, but:

    “The duty to pay tax was clear in Jewish law and in Christian teaching.”

    As I am neither a Christian nor a Jew, I trust that I am absolved of such duty. If not, you need to find some other source for this alleged duty. If there happens to be such a source, the appeal to authority, particularly such a spurious authority as you have claimed, is irrelevent.

  3. Nowhere in what this maroon quotes does there seem to be a necessity for government to do the things JC says are his mission. In any case, apart from ‘letting the oppressed go free,’ Jesus offers only to bring good news, and to proclaim various things, not actually to do anything. Unless the proclaiming is to be done by producing ‘The Holy Freesheet’ with taxpayers’ money, there seems no need for government money to be spent.

    And in some cases, not even the NHS can restore sight to the blind; a miracle is what’s required. This is also what it takes to get economically literate arguments out of Ritchie.

  4. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

    Seems to rule out tax on those Property, Employment, investment and purchase.

  5. Erm. Right. I’ve heard some interesting interpretations of scripture, but this one takes the biscuit.

    1. The only time Jesus ever talked about taxes, it was in the context of respecting authority figures and being a law-abiding citizen. There was an interesting monetarist element as well: Jesus shows his friends a token emblazoned with the image of Caesar, that his disciples by the law of the land must be able to exchange for goods and services and tells them that it is not truely theirs — it’s value is whatever Caeser deems it to be.
    2. Whenever Jesus spoke about charity it was always voluntary: “Take all that you have and give it to the poor” not “My friends and I will come into your house with big sticks, take most of what you have and give most of it to the poor”
    3. Everyone’s favourite Jewish scholar outlined the eight types of charity, with the best being to give a fellow Jew a loan or a job, so that he could make a living honestly and beg no more, and the worst being to give unwillingly, or to be coerced to give, when neither the giver nor the recipient knew who the other was.

  6. Edit: This seems to be another fine example of people twisiting the words of a long-dead guy in order to justify something they already want to do.

    We’re also forgetting Jesus’s admonishon to the soldier: “do not initiate force, coercion, the threat of force, or extort from any man”

  7. As I am neither a Christian nor a Jew, I trust that I am absolved of such duty

    But you are a member of a democratic society that uses taxation to fund the state. And in that respect there is nothing unique or exceptional in this country using taxation to do that. If you wish to be absolved of that duty, I suggest you move to a desert island.

  8. Are the statists going to embrace all Christian scripture (smiting, smoting, cleaving, the lot) -or- just cherry-pick the ones which re-enforce their shakedown tactics?

    I do recall reading that JC disliked hypocrites the most….

  9. Money, Greed And God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not The Problem.
    http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061375613

    You can hear an interview with the author on the Cato Daily Podcast of 13 November.

    http://www.cato.org/dailypodcast/podcast-archive.php

    Its well worth a 10 minute listen especially as he explains the difference between selfishness and self interest as well as discussing what he calls the Piety Myth – believing that intentions is all and not caring or understanding about outcomes.

    Also, what Georges said – the bible/koran/torah et all can be quoted to mean all things to all men.

  10. If Murphy wishes to adduce Christian theology in support of his argument then I am going to go out on a limb and predict that, buried down among the microkelvin ripples in the cosmic microwave background, and only subject to our most sensitive discriminators, after extensive noise-filtering, will be read the message left in the Cosmos since the Big Bang: “RICHARD MURPHY IS A CUNT. IGNORE HIM. SIGNED, GOD.”

  11. Stephen, Murphy was basing the duty to pay tax on Judeo-Christian scripture, not on any secular grounds. I invited him to offer such but, as my comment has not passed moderation, I can only assume that he failed to find any. In any event, a legal requirement to pay tax is not the same as a duty to do so, particularly in the context of Murphy’s arguments.

  12. Gary North, a libertarian who has written 10,000 pages of economic commentary on the bible would say otherwise

    http://www.garynorth.com/public/department57.cfm

    “The Bible is an anti-socialist document. Socialist propagandists for over four centuries have claimed that the Bible teaches socialism, but we have yet to see a single Bible commentary written by a socialist. If the Bible teaches socialism, where is the expository evidence?”

    “No one before me had ever attempted to write a Bible commentary on a specific academic discipline. I hope mine becomes a model for others.

    I have continued working on this project ever since. I limited my writing to one essay per month from 1973 to 1976. Beginning in the summer of 1977, I began working 10 hours per week, 50 weeks per year on this project.

    I have needed every minute.”

  13. @ David Gillies: I laughed out loud. It wasn’t very Christian of me, but I’m sure he’ll forgive me won’t he?

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