Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Social Justice
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #16  
Old Feb 3, '12, 2:18 pm
AJC's Avatar
AJC AJC is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2004
Posts: 129
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by runningdude View Post
I don't follow. The government has a right to tax its people correct? Christ scolded political-religious leaders for not caring for the poor, correct? How does using tax dollars paid by the wealthy to care for the poor contradict the teachings of Christ?
While one might argue Jesus scolded religious leaders of His day show me in scripture where he scolded government. In fact He told all to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's. Our Bishops would do well to understand the difference. As they are the religious leaders of our day. This idea that Jesus preached government social-welfare spending is ludicrous and repugnant. You may look to a community organizer, I look to a savior. In my opinion when our Bishops, Priests,and other religious look to government to care for the poor it is because they are afraid to tell the members of Christ's Church, you and I, what our obligation, not the government's obligation is to the poor. Your statement about taxing the "wealthy" to care for the poor is totally illogical. Why? The less the government taxes anyone the more they can fulfill their Christian obligation to the poor. Let's face it, I do not know where you live, but I will presume you live in North America, Western Europe or perhaps Middle or Eastern Europe. You my friend would be "wealthy" to most people living in Asia or south of the equator. Please stop changing our Savior, who came to redeem sinners, into a street organizer in 1st century Israel. His life is our example to the poor, not some presupposition about "Jesus would want our government to do this or that." He came to welcome in a new Kingdom, not of this world.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Feb 3, '12, 2:45 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
Account Under Review
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 5,674
Religion: Cradle Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, AJC,



God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by AJC View Post
While one might argue Jesus scolded religious leaders of His day show me in scripture where he scolded government. In fact He told all to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's. Our Bishops would do well to understand the difference. As they are the religious leaders of our day. This idea that Jesus preached government social-welfare spending is ludicrous and repugnant. You may look to a community organizer, I look to a savior. In my opinion when our Bishops, Priests,and other religious look to government to care for the poor it is because they are afraid to tell the members of Christ's Church, you and I, what our obligation, not the government's obligation is to the poor. Your statement about taxing the "wealthy" to care for the poor is totally illogical. Why? The less the government taxes anyone the more they can fulfill their Christian obligation to the poor. Let's face it, I do not know where you live, but I will presume you live in North America, Western Europe or perhaps Middle or Eastern Europe. You my friend would be "wealthy" to most people living in Asia or south of the equator. Please stop changing our Savior, who came to redeem sinners, into a street organizer in 1st century Israel. His life is our example to the poor, not some presupposition about "Jesus would want our government to do this or that." He came to welcome in a new Kingdom, not of this world.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Feb 3, '12, 5:05 pm
turtle18 turtle18 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2007
Posts: 968
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJC View Post
Because the Church sends mixed messages, that is why. What do I mean by that, before the 1960s, as an institution the Church built Cathedrals, Hospitals, Orphanages, Universities, etc. But, that was then, now it builds nothing and our Bishops spend a good deal of their time lobbying western governments to increase Social Spending. All this under the banner of "social justice." So in the eyes of many Jesus becomes community organizer who's main function during his earthly ministry was to see that the rich were forced to give to the poor. Sounds like Socialism and/or Communism to me. Of course our Savior understood that the Gospel message would turn hearts, result in charity, and the Church could welcome in the Kingdom. That part of His story seems to have been lost to much of our leadership.
Excellent, excellent point. Sums it up very nicely
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Feb 4, '12, 5:13 am
Monte RCMS Monte RCMS is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 9, 2008
Posts: 8,987
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by runningdude View Post
I don't follow. The government has a right to tax its people correct? Christ scolded political-religious leaders for not caring for the poor, correct? How does using tax dollars paid by the wealthy to care for the poor contradict the teachings of Christ?
The "right" of the government to tax is not an open-ended "right" with no limits.

The consent of the governed also enters into it.

So, if I decide I do not want to be taxed, then I have the right to not consent and to take my activity and to elsewhere ... unless YOU believe you have the right to exercise compulsory service onto me.

The command and the obligation is on the giver. So YOU need to take care of the poor. Directly.

The command to take care of the poor requires me to use my money and for me to use my time and for you to use your money and for you to use your time.

There is no command for me to take your money, use your money to pay a roomful of clerks to count and recount the money and then dole out ten cents on the dollar to the poor ... several months after the need was first identified. For example.


Taxation is also a political issue ... especially when so many advocates of high taxation are focused on socially re-engineering our society ... taxing one form of situation more heavily than another, for example. Or directly subsidizing one form of situation more heavily than another, for example.

The fact is that people are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. If the "community" votes to take that money, then questions need to be asked about their motives.

And there is the story of the golden goose that laid the golden eggs, where excessive "taxation" ruined the situation for everyone.

If people are taxed ... to the degree that they consider unfairly ... then they will "vote with their feet" ... walk away to somewhere that is more conducive to their economic activity. Or they will just retire to avoid hassles. Sometimes, you can just ask too much.

If you look at The Ten Commandments, there are a number of LAWS against both taking the property of others AND against even having merely the DESIRE to take the property of others ... REGARDLESS of your motive.

Does the money really go to the poor? For example.

Or does the money first pass through a salaried bureaucracy that keeps most of the money for itself? And does the salaried bureaucracy impose rules and regulations on the recipients ... that create an incentive for immoral behavior, for example.



In real life, it is not uncommon for a government agency to call a church group where immediate needs need to be met ... because the government agency just cannot respond in an appropriate way quickly enough.
__________________
Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy Divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You will renew the face of the earth.

Last edited by Monte RCMS; Feb 4, '12 at 5:33 am.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Feb 4, '12, 8:42 am
runningdude's Avatar
runningdude runningdude is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2010
Posts: 3,374
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJC View Post
While one might argue Jesus scolded religious leaders of His day show me in scripture where he scolded government.
The High Priest sentenced Jesus to death. How could he have done so, if he were not a political leader?
__________________
Only the Holy Spirit can move a heart to penance; Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, then, is refusing his call.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old Feb 4, '12, 9:32 am
tqualey tqualey is offline
Account Under Review
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 5,674
Religion: Cradle Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Monte RCMS,

A very thoughtful response

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte RCMS View Post
The "right" of the government to tax is not an open-ended "right" with no limits.

The consent of the governed also enters into it.

So, if I decide I do not want to be taxed, then I have the right to not consent and to take my activity and to elsewhere ... unless YOU believe you have the right to exercise compulsory service onto me.

The command and the obligation is on the giver. So YOU need to take care of the poor. Directly.

The command to take care of the poor requires me to use my money and for me to use my time and for you to use your money and for you to use your time.

There is no command for me to take your money, use your money to pay a roomful of clerks to count and recount the money and then dole out ten cents on the dollar to the poor ... several months after the need was first identified. For example.


Taxation is also a political issue ... especially when so many advocates of high taxation are focused on socially re-engineering our society ... taxing one form of situation more heavily than another, for example. Or directly subsidizing one form of situation more heavily than another, for example.

The fact is that people are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. If the "community" votes to take that money, then questions need to be asked about their motives.

And there is the story of the golden goose that laid the golden eggs, where excessive "taxation" ruined the situation for everyone.

If people are taxed ... to the degree that they consider unfairly ... then they will "vote with their feet" ... walk away to somewhere that is more conducive to their economic activity. Or they will just retire to avoid hassles. Sometimes, you can just ask too much.

If you look at The Ten Commandments, there are a number of LAWS against both taking the property of others AND against even having merely the DESIRE to take the property of others ... REGARDLESS of your motive.

Does the money really go to the poor? For example.

Or does the money first pass through a salaried bureaucracy that keeps most of the money for itself? And does the salaried bureaucracy impose rules and regulations on the recipients ... that create an incentive for immoral behavior, for example.



In real life, it is not uncommon for a government agency to call a church group where immediate needs need to be met ... because the government agency just cannot respond in an appropriate way quickly enough.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old Feb 4, '12, 9:34 am
Bobby Jim Bobby Jim is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2004
Posts: 1,937
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Luke 18:18-23:

An official asked him this question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother.’” And he replied, “All of these I have observed from my youth.” When Jesus heard this he said to him, “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when he heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich.
This is followed immediately by the part about how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, it easier for a camel to pass through the needle's eye, etc. But what is impossible for man is possible for God.

From this I would take it that Jesus doesn't support involuntary or forced redistribution of wealth. Rather Jesus wants us to voluntarily redistribute our own wealth. Furthermore, we should want to to redistribute our own wealth. If we feel like we're somehow justified in holding onto our wealth, then we've lost sight of what really matters.

Of course the first century economy was different, and these days we generally understand that earning money and spending money and economic activity improves the economy as a whole, and directly or indirectly helps everyone, including the poor. What concerns me is that maybe some people reflexively use that as a sort of "dodge" to avoid their individual responsibility for helping the poor.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old Feb 4, '12, 11:29 am
kbwall kbwall is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2010
Posts: 506
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Jesus was also a Jew and against gay marriage. He however, did not command the government to ban gay marriage.

Jesus also did not command that the government should force morality or religion on people, in fact, he stated that His kingdom is not of this Earth.

Either your little rules apply everywhere, or they apply nowhere.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old Feb 4, '12, 12:33 pm
Hadrianus Hadrianus is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2011
Posts: 381
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

To my knowledge, Jesus made no direct pronouncements on forms of government or economic policy. The subject matter is one for moral theologians in so far as it touches the common good of society. Thus for example in Ireland in the late 19nth Century, land reform laws were introduced in order to reduce the size of the great estates and give the tenantry the possibility of land ownership as it was a healthier way of ordering society for the good of all. This was something of a belated response to the terrible potato famine when Ireland was actually exporting food for profit, while people were starving.

In practice such redistribution must be done in accordance with the principles of justice, and outright confiscation of private property is not permissible, without some compensation being given. Taxation is a somewhat different matter. Governments always possess the right to tax in order to maintain the common welfare, maintain defense, infrastructure etc. They must however do so with the consent of the governed. the object is the common good. It would be immoral however, to use taxation simply as a means of reducing the population to one, probably low, economic level; thereby destroying liberty.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old Feb 4, '12, 12:55 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
Account Under Review
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 5,674
Religion: Cradle Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Kbwall,

Let's be honest, 1st Century Rome did not have 'gay marriage' - there was an abundance of homosexual activity going on - but, no one was claiming rights to do unnatural deeds. Christ did not command the Roman government to pave streets, put out fires and build buildings - they were doing this all on their own.

But, there is morality that comes from the government - there really are laws that prohibit stealing and murder and false witness. And, yes, the government can enforce the laws that specifically apply to the morality we consider to be from God in the Ten Commandments. And, this is done because there is a secular reason behind having such a law.

Your dismissive remark, "Either your little rules apply everywhere,or they apply nowhere" totally misses the point. Even some of the Commandments have exceptions - Christ spoke about getting an ox that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, there is the use of lethal force to save your own life, stealing food to keep from starving ... ah... but, I just can't think of an exception to the 6th or 9th Commandments!

In my opinion, Bobby Jim and Hadrianus made valid statements - and erecting a straw-man argument really won't do much to further your position.

God bless




Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwall View Post
Jesus was also a Jew and against gay marriage. He however, did not command the government to ban gay marriage.

Jesus also did not command that the government should force morality or religion on people, in fact, he stated that His kingdom is not of this Earth.

Either your little rules apply everywhere, or they apply nowhere.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old Feb 4, '12, 5:43 pm
mark a mark a is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2004
Posts: 7,203
Religion: Catholic, Roman Rite, religious not spiritual but trying
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by timotheos View Post
A priest I know says there is no grace for helping the poor through forced redistribution. Hence it also makes sense that those who would force this redistribution of other people's money are no champions of the poor either. If they would encourage rather than mandate it, well that would be a different story.
Brilliant!!
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old Feb 5, '12, 6:50 am
Tenofovir Tenofovir is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2010
Posts: 2,649
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by timotheos View Post
A priest I know says there is no grace for helping the poor through forced redistribution. Hence it also makes sense that those who would force this redistribution of other people's money are no champions of the poor either. If they would encourage rather than mandate it, well that would be a different story.
Is it ok to fight pornography then? Is there grace in fighting pornography? If there is some grace or at least it is on the right path, why is it wrong for the government to tax people for those who are not being helped? If everyone was being helped by charities, there would not be a need for government help, but it seems that there are still people who don't get charitable help because charitable help need not be consistent and depends on the kindness of strangers.

Now I'm not saying one should take from someone who has and give to the poor but I think there is a middle way here, between pure libertarian capitalism and socialism. "What you do for the least of these you do for me", and if we want to save peoples' souls from pornography, why not also help them by making charitable donations more convenient too? Right?

We also fight abortion, right? Why have government recognise it as murder? Why not just let Christians recognise it as murder and avoid it? Surely the government bit is not important? Should we be consistent across all these issues?

Have government recognise that pornography is undesirable and have it fight it.
Have government recognise that abortion is murder and have it outlaw it.
Have government take care of those who slip through the cracks of the Catholic/Christian/Secular Charity machine? Because surely even if one person suffers, (say goes without a home or goes to bed without food etc) and you as a Christian are enjoying something extra (a bigger McDonalds burger than you really need to nourish your body), you are damming yourself for not helping someone out there? And purposefully ignoring those who suffer out there, is not an excuse. At least with a government body, by law, dedicated people would be there to help those who are suffering the most.

What do you think? Perhaps such a body could be staffed by religious people who are less dedicated to being lazy bureaucrats and hold genuine dedication to use of the tax as efficiently and fairly as possible.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old Feb 5, '12, 7:09 am
Tenofovir Tenofovir is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2010
Posts: 2,649
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Jim View Post
From this I would take it that Jesus doesn't support involuntary or forced redistribution of wealth. Rather Jesus wants us to voluntarily redistribute our own wealth. Furthermore, we should want to to redistribute our own wealth. If we feel like we're somehow justified in holding onto our wealth, then we've lost sight of what really matters.
By giving your government the mandate every x (is it 4 in your country) years to protect those who slip through the cracks of individual effort and charity, you are giving money voluntarily. Also I agree that governments are terribly inefficient. Perhaps some form of private enterprise could help the poor instead? Maybe politicians could realise this? Or perhaps religious people devoted to God could oversee the use of funds. You after all trust people to oversee national defense or reading or constitution, right?

Also individual giving may be good but is it always efficient? Would giving money to a beggar always be the best thing, if he runs to the liquor store with it every day? A charitable organisation would have the expertise to both know the beggar and know the type of problem and best way to deal with it. So they can provide him a shelter, cooked meals and access to AA. But YOU can't do that. For one you're working 9-5 or longer hours yourself, you have a family to support and you have children to raise.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old Feb 5, '12, 11:17 am
kbwall kbwall is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2010
Posts: 506
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by tqualey View Post
[color="Navy"][size="3"][font="Century Gothic"]But, there is morality that comes from the government - there really are laws that prohibit stealing and murder and false witness.
Yesh, because those acts interfere in the lives of others, they are there for the safety of citizens. Or, in the case of bearing false witness, it is to make the legal process go more smoothly. In any case, the law is there to protect and serve citizens, it says so on any police badge. It is not to enforce a moral code which people may or may not even agree with.

Quote:
And, yes, the government can enforce the laws that specifically apply to the morality we consider to be from God in the Ten Commandments. And, this is done because there is a secular reason behind having such a law.
Alright, this is one my biggest pet peeves. The Ten Commandments are not part of the legal system. Anybody who claims that they do either knows nothing about law, or knows nothing about the ten commandments. I will go through each and every single one, and only a handful will actually have secular backing, and are actually a law.

The first commandment, which is thou shalt not have any gods before me. Well, the law doesn't force people into Christianity, so that one is out. The second commadment, taking God's name in vain. Also not a law. It is also not a law that you have to obey the sabbath. The law also does not care how much you honor or love your parents, as long as you don't harm them or something. Fifth commandment is not murder. Fine, you get that one, and I already explained why and it has nothing to do with religion. Sixth commandment regarding adultery; grounds for divorce, but it's not illegal per se. Theft, like murder is illegal, and so is lying on anything official. The government does not care if you lie to your parents or something like that though. And the government does not care one iota about being covetous.

So, out of all ten, only the 5th, 7th, and 8th are actual laws. That's a mere 3/10, and hardly grounds to say that the Ten Commandments are part of our laws.

Quote:
Your dismissive remark, "Either your little rules apply everywhere,or they apply nowhere" totally misses the point. Even some of the Commandments have exceptions - Christ spoke about getting an ox that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, there is the use of lethal force to save your own life, stealing food to keep from starving ... ah... but, I just can't think of an exception to the 6th or 9th Commandments!
I think it's very valid in fact. You can't just say certain things that Jesus preached about should be pushed onto everybody else, regardless if they follow Jesus or not, and then turn around and arbitrarily say that certain other things should not be enforced.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old Feb 5, '12, 12:19 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
Account Under Review
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 5,674
Religion: Cradle Catholic
Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Kbwall,

A truly remarkable presentation.

So, even when the presentation is accurate - you still dismiss it because it did not meet a personal criteria you have now set - a so-called 30% wasn't good enough for you.

Tell 'ya what, buddy - just go right on dismissing and disrespecting everything you don't agree with. There are consequences for every action or every inaction - and, we all have an accounting to make for our lives. Consider this well. There is more to life than mere human laws - for all of those mortal laws will end with your last breath. And, then the other reality that you have been dismissing and disrespecting will take on a whole new meaning.

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwall View Post
Yesh, because those acts interfere in the lives of others, they are there for the safety of citizens. Or, in the case of bearing false witness, it is to make the legal process go more smoothly. In any case, the law is there to protect and serve citizens, it says so on any police badge. It is not to enforce a moral code which people may or may not even agree with.



Alright, this is one my biggest pet peeves. The Ten Commandments are not part of the legal system. Anybody who claims that they do either knows nothing about law, or knows nothing about the ten commandments. I will go through each and every single one, and only a handful will actually have secular backing, and are actually a law.

The first commandment, which is thou shalt not have any gods before me. Well, the law doesn't force people into Christianity, so that one is out. The second commadment, taking God's name in vain. Also not a law. It is also not a law that you have to obey the sabbath. The law also does not care how much you honor or love your parents, as long as you don't harm them or something. Fifth commandment is not murder. Fine, you get that one, and I already explained why and it has nothing to do with religion. Sixth commandment regarding adultery; grounds for divorce, but it's not illegal per se. Theft, like murder is illegal, and so is lying on anything official. The government does not care if you lie to your parents or something like that though. And the government does not care one iota about being covetous.

So, out of all ten, only the 5th, 7th, and 8th are actual laws. That's a mere 3/10, and hardly grounds to say that the Ten Commandments are part of our laws.



I think it's very valid in fact. You can't just say certain things that Jesus preached about should be pushed onto everybody else, regardless if they follow Jesus or not, and then turn around and arbitrarily say that certain other things should not be enforced.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Social Justice

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8244Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: janiejnb
5007CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4342Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: James_OPL
4029OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: B79
3830SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3557Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3221Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3203Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: memphian
3108Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3045For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 7:37 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.