It is time we asked the question.
A few months ago a Facebook friend posted one of those meme things that said, “Why when Jesus talks about feeding the poor, his Christianity, but when a politician does it, his socialism.” I responded with a brief comment : “Jesus = charity, government = coercion.” I got a lot of “Amens” and the discussion ended.
Wikipedia defines socialism as follows:
Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy that encompasses a number of economic and social systems characterized by social property and democratic control the means of production and self-management of workers by workers. It contains the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social property can be public, collective (cooperative), or just. While no single definition encompasses many types of socialism, social property is the only common element shared between the various forms.
I understand that the pandemic was handled very differently in different parts of the country, but all responses were based on the assumption that there is some social ownership (“flattening the curve”) of health care, which is the use of authority by the Governments Justify Some cases force us to force our “sharing” of responsibility.
I have no small problem with the fact that my behavior can harm others and that I should do and sacrifice a lot out of charity, but I have a big problem with being forced into these behaviors. I am also very tired, so very tired of being accused of being an idiot for preferring to act out of charity, and I am against coercion. I admit my view is skewed, California and maybe New York were the most compulsive places in the nation, but that divide and debate was just national to varying degrees.
I honestly can’t think of anything that more fundamentally shows how far our nation is from the Christian standpoint. The Bible’s meta-narrative says that God tried to make the world better through the use of the law – that’s what the Old Testament is about. God eventually decided he was getting stuck that way and changed course in doing things to fundamentally reshape humanity so that we would be what He intended out of the goodness of our hearts, not the compulsion of Law.
The problem with socialism is not sharing, but coercion.
My father, the accountant, used to say, “You get what you measure.” I have already quoted him on this in these rooms. If you are relying on coercion to achieve your goals, measure non-compliance to know where to apply the coercion. So, as my father said, you lead to more violations. Conversely, when you appeal to charity, you will generate more charity. California, which has taken the most compulsive approach in the nation, has the biggest coronavirus problem, proving the wisdom of the father’s adage.
If God can change his course away from coercion and toward charity, some governments may want to consider.
Are we socialist now? first appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show.