Today\’s Ritchie

The requirement is clear: that we dedicate our work as Christians to Christ – not the making of money. Thsi puts all Christian teaching at odds with neo-liberalism, per se

And those who have skills must use them in pursuit of the creation of Chsritian ideals – including relief of poverty

WTF?

Let\’s agree, for the moment, with Ritchie\’s oft stated contention that the last 30 years have seen the rise of this \”neo-liberalism\” stuff.

OK, so what else has been happening in the past 30 years? The largest reduction in poverty that our species has ever seen. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, rising up out of the destitution of peasant agriculture into a middle class lifestyle.

To thus claim that neo-liberalism is incompatible with the Christian injunction to reduce poverty is thus, umm, well, odd….or should we perhaps go a little stronger and say barking lunacy?

17 comments on “Today\’s Ritchie

  1. I think I remember that somewhere in the Bible Jesus said ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s’.

    This is generally taken by Christians to mean there is a divide in life between you responsibilities to God, and to life in general. Ie you don’t have to live your life in the Muslim way, where everything has religious meaning, and there can be no action without considering whether it is compatible with your religion.

    This principle has, in my view, been the principal reason the Protestant Christian economies were so successful as economic powers, as they allowed people to put their energies into trade and business, and not to be suppressed by religious zealots who disapproved of anything new.

    If RM wants to live in a theocracy, where every action must be measured against (presumably) his ethical rulebook, I think he’s gone potty.

  2. As a Christian and a libertarian I find his view especially repugnant; Christians are called to be good stewards of the resources God has bequeathed us; that doesn’t give us licence to plunder others success at producing more from their “talents”.

    Am Reading essays from the late Rev. Edmund Opitz at the moment who illustrates this particularly well, including a firm kick-in to the concept to “riches” being a bad thing; if anything the concept Jesus was talking about was rent-seeking at the bosom of Israel’s then occupiers, the Romans. Good stuff.

  3. Is this is not now heading in the direction of Murphy, the man of action, declaring he is the Messiah ?

    I fear the time has now been reached where Murphy has stopped being a source of amusement, and that he is now just plain dangerous.

  4. That’s comedy gold John, really , don’t waste it .Solzhenitsyn cracked a similar funny about Democratic Socialism , he said it was like cooked ice

  5. I take it for granted then that the gentleman donates his income to poor relief, keeping only the minimum wage for himsef, just as I assume the TUC requires this of everyone associated with it.
    He is a paid mouthpiece for the TUC- the best it could get one supposes- half of whose members are held back by excessive regulation and the other half are the regulators . They have negligible membership in finance or banking so they attack the banks.

  6. Yeah, john b, what are your grounds for saying that Christianity and Libertarianism are necessarily incompatible?

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    I don’t like being forced to do things, so I don’t force others. I don’t support force at one remove by the state, either.

  7. Natalie, there is no incompatability between Christianity & Libertarianism: both are based on flawed philosophy.

  8. Why such inhibition about saying, simply and straightforwardly, that Christianity is contemptible witless drivel?

  9. Tim,

    I cannot recall the Gospels containing any injunction to abolish poverty – if anything, Our Lord made it clear that the poor will be with us always. What is most certainly there is a divine command to relieve poverty, for sure; but it is incapable of abolition, and anyone who says it can be abolished, and who cites Scripture to that end, is either being intentionally wrong or misleading. Relieving poverty is not the same as reducing it, either.

    In this respect, I would recommend reading Benedict XVI’s encyclical of 2009 ‘Caritas in Veritate’ – in many ways a very challenging document

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html

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