Conservative Michael Ramirez did the May 18 cartoon above, which led to responses like this:
Ramirez’s May 18 cartoon of Pope Francis and the so-called gospel of Marx is evidence that [he] is ignorant of the difference between Christ’s love of the poor and Marxist communism’s philosophy, which espouses not only atheism but oppression of all, poor and wealthy. Another very important point is that Christ invites us, does not force us – as communism would do – to share our goods with the poor and treat them with love and respect. (E.A.)
See Drawing wrong conclusion – Spokesman Mobile – May 27, 2014. (See also Another view of Jesus feeding the 5,000, on getting “normally-greedy people to share what they had.”)
But sometimes the best response comes right from the Bible; in this case, as found in the Daily Office Readings (DORs) for last Saturday, August 9, at The Lectionary – Satucket.com.
The New Testament reading was Acts of the Apostles, 4:32-5:11. The New Century Translation included the headings “The Believers Share” and “Ananias and Sapphira Die:”
The group of believers were united in their hearts and spirit. All those in the group acted as though their private property belonged to everyone in the group. In fact, they shared everything. . . And God blessed all the believers very much. There were no needy people among them. From time to time those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the money, and gave it to the apostles. Then the money was given to anyone who needed it. (E.A.)
This happened right after Pentecost, when the number of Believers in the new Church jumped from about 120 to over 3,000. (See Pentecost – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
So anyway, the 8/9 reading went on about Joseph, “a Levite from Cyprus,” who sold his property and gave the money to the Apostles. In contrast, Chapter 5 had Ananias and his wife Sapphira trying to snooker the Apostles (and by extension God – which by the way is never a good idea).
Ananias sold some property and gave some money to the Apostles, but held some back with his wife’s approval. (They may have been conservatives “but I’m just guessin’ you understand.”) Somehow Peter figured it out and asked Ananias, “How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” At that point Ananias literally dropped dead.
They had just carried his body out when his wife Sapphira came in, and Peter confronted her:
Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.
All of which supports my theory that it’s never a good idea to snooker God, and – come to think of it – maybe it’s not such a great idea to call the Pope a Marxist either.
On a related note the Gospel had Jesus cleansing the Temple with a whip of cords, as illustrated in On “chutzpah”. Which leads me to wonder if it was all Jewish People or just the conservatives who were so dead set against Jesus. (See also On Jesus: Liberal or Fundamentalist?) So just for laughs let’s substitute “conservatives” for “Jews” in this portion of the August 9 Gospel:
And he [Jesus] told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade. . .” The Conservatives then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Conservatives then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. . .
(Hmmm. We may be on to something.) And by the way, the point of Liberal or Fundamentalist was that Jesus was neither conservative nor liberal, but “right there ‘in the middle of the road.’”
Which leads to the point of this post: It seems some Conservatives are still opposing the message of Jesus.
The upper image is courtesy of Gospel According to Marx by Political Cartoonist Michael … For more on this cartoonist see Michael Ramirez – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The lower image – just to show how fair and balanced this blog is – is included in the web article Drawing wrong conclusion – Spokesman Mobile – May 27, 2014, which had a number of interesting comments on the Conservative/Christian dichotomy. See also On Thomas Merton, which asked the musical question, “If Jesus was ‘orthodox’ why aren’t we all still Jewish?”
For purposes of clarity, as defined here a conservative is simply a person with a predetermined set of “one size fits all” answers for all life’s questions. A liberal is different only in having a different set of predetermined “one size fits all” answers. But what such people up doing – metaphorically – is keep pounding square pegs into round holes, but we digress. . .
Another point of this blog is that in contrast to having such a predetermined set of answers, the better approach is: “Mind like parachute; work best when open.” See Some Bible basics from Vince Lombardi and Charlie Chan. In turn, as defined herein someone with an open mind can’t be either a true conservative or true liberal, but rather an conservative-leaning moderate (for example).
The reader may also be interested in Was Jesus a Jewish Liberal or a Liberal Jew? – Patheos.