I just wrapped up a new chapter — a BIG chapter — on my Christianity vs. Capitalism series. This is some serious “inside baseball” for Christians debating the merits of Pope Francis’ anti-capitalist pronouncements. Casual and non Christians might want to stick with the summary, which is this:
The Old Testament has many promises of material rewards for the faithful. The New Testament has many admonitions against seeking riches. The two themes might be connected in a subtle manner. Suppose the Pharisees of yore treated promises of Divine Providence as nearly identical to karma. The logical conclusion is that the poor and unlucky are poor and unlucky because of sin, and that the rich and powerful are enjoying their wealth and power by virtue of their righteousness.
Perhaps Jesus was berating the wealth-seeking (and having) Pharisees for this incorrect view and the resulting hardness of heart.
Karma vs. Christianity is a lengthy meditation of such matters. I explore how the Old Testament picture of Divine Providence differs from karma and thus the Pharisees were accountable for their theonomical error they believed otherwise.
This meditation may be also useful for Christians wondering whether it is moral to practice capitalism. It is also a partial admonition against the opposite: the Prosperity Gospel.
Ah, subtleties…I wonder if I am wasting my time getting subtle on a web site. Maybe with tablet computers long reads of Internet materials are now feasible. But maybe this should be a book…
With Pope Francis making lefty pronouncements on a fairly regular basis, it’s worthwhile to review what the Bible has to say on the matter. On the static site, I have a new 2000+ word article on Capitalism vs. Biblical Law. The Old Testament Law is rather more lefty than most people give it credit for, but it is not an endorsement of modern socialism. So I take both libertarian Christians and the Religious Left to task a bit.
Of course, the Law of Moses applied to the Holy Land — a particular place and set of circumstances. The ancient Hebrews had witnessed miracles firsthand, and were given a special mission to be a lesson to the rest of the world.
Furthermore, the climate in Israel is ill suited to raising pork. Shellfish are a dangerous food in a high population area which lacks modern sewage plants. So whether these ancient prohibitions apply today/outside the Holy Land is uncertain to me, though I currently follow them myself just in case.
So I am not suggesting that we apply the Law strictly today. Nor do I claim certainty as to which elements of the Law apply to modern Christians.
But the ancient lessons should at least be studied by modern Christians. Given the messes we have seen from both modern capitalism and socialism, so lessons are in order.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, a rather long article on just when motherhood begins: Toward a Democratic Consensus on the Start of Life. If you care at all about the abortion question, read it. It’s big, but important. You will learn:
- Why the Court was correct to demand more than mere legislation to outlaw abortion.
- How we can meet this demand and legally do something about the casual disposal of humans.
It’s over 2000 words, a rather large time investment, but if you care about Life, it is required reading.
A few tidbits:
Suppose we were to outlaw abortion based on a mere majority vote. And suppose half the population was strongly pro-life and nearly half strongly pro-choice. Would such a law be enforceable?
Not if we had randomly selected juries! It takes a unanimous jury to convict an abortionist. If roughly half the available jurors are pro-choice, then the odds of getting a unanimous pro-life jury is 0.512=0.024%. Hardly worth the effort.
Only by non-random juries and/or intimidating juries to vote against their conscience could convictions practically be obtained for laws for which only half the voters support. Where the general population is interested and divided, a stronger consensus is required. On this the Supreme Court was correct.
In many states we probably have such a strong consensus. And that is the subject of my rather extensive article: how to measure the level of consensus to provide hard data to the courts. And yes, given my close reading of Roe v. Wade, such measurements could sway the courts given the correct arguments to go along with the data.
Read more and come back here to comment.
Things have been quiet here on the blog, but I have recently added a honkin-big study on the main site: A Fuzzy Workaround for Roe v. Wade. If you are pro life, it could be the most important article you read this year, or even decade. It outlines a legal strategy for restricting abortion which doesn’t require overturning the core logic of Roe vs. Wade! In other words, we need not wait until the Republican Party successfully elects five conservative presidents in a row in order to do something about a practice which has a disturbing resemblance to genocide. We might get a useful victory through the existing court.
I say “could” and “might” as I am not a lawyer and don’t play one on TV. Read the article yourself and ponder the implications. Come back here and comment or use the Disqus comments on the article page proper. If you are a lawyer, I would absolutely love to hear your opinion, either via comment or email.
Let’s save some lives — soon.
I haven’t made enough political enemies yet. So I guess it’s time to take on the most rancorous, divisive issue of all: the abortion question.
I jest, slightly. Part of me wishes I could avoid the issue entirely, as it divides both the liberal, conservative, and libertarian camps. And it will divide the new Upper Left alliance should it ever get off the ground as well. So should that new political party ever get off the ground, I would enjoin the membership to keep the issue out of the platform entirely — or have an explicit statement that individual candidates vary on the subject. This is an issue where I will ally myself with the social conservative Republicans, the Blue Dog Democrats, and whatever fraction of the Upper Left turns out to be pro life.
But I cannot leave the issue alone, because if legal abortion continues much longer, natural humans may become an endangered species. (And this is without factoring in any supernatural wrath.)