Is Collectivism Moral?
Copyright 2011 Susan Stamper Brown
British author Graham Greene so aptly wrote in his novel “The Power and the Glory,” ”There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Rather than one moment, for me, it was a collection of moments growing up in a home in which my folks did not divvy out weekly allowances unless they were earned, and encouraged us to attend college but did not pay the bill. Never letting us perceive our situation as unfair, Dad taught us the value of hard work by the example he set working overtime in order to make ends meet.
Recently, after reading a few articles in Sojourners magazine, written by President Obama’s spiritual advisor, Jim Wallis, I was reminded how far away from these basic values we’ve strayed as a nation. An October 20, 2011 article, “The Un-Economy,” which can be read online at http://blog.sojo.net depicts the economy as “unfair, unsustainable, and unstable,” and made the spiritual case for resolution through collectivism. “If you search the scriptures,” Wallis wrote, “you’ll find that God not only cares about poverty, but especially, unfairness and equality.”
Of course, God cares about poverty. Taken at face value, Wallis’ statements are harmless enough to those who have no knowledge of his background. Like Jeremiah Wright, Wallis has been preaching the “gospel” of collectivism for more than 30 years, convincing many that it is morally acceptable to deploy American tax dollars to alleviate suffering the world over. And now, Wallis’ has both a bully pulpit and the ear of our president to further his anti-capitalism cause.
In another article, “An Open Letter to the Occupiers from a Veteran Troublemaker,” Wallis referenced a “moral economy” and told Occupy Wall Street protestors they had created “new safe spaces” for Americans to examine “who we are, what we value most, and where we want to go from here.”
I’m not a theologian like the good reverend, but I dare say the same God who cares about poverty and inequality provided an effective way to administer remedy by way of a small, four-letter word: WORK. Since Wallis began the conversation about mixing the toxic brew of church and state, I thought it would be an opportune time to mention the Bible he references makes it quite clear in II Thessalonians that each person has the responsibility to care for himself, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” It also specifically charges the church and not government with the responsibility of caring for the poor, widows and orphans.
The same Bible Wallis uses also encouraged “reverends” to live exemplary lives by supporting themselves in lieu of receiving financial support. The apostle Paul was a tent maker. Jesus was a carpenter. Times have obviously changed. According to the online source dynamodata.fdncenter.org, in 2009, Sojourners, Inc. gross receipts were over $5 million, and as an executive director, Wallis received $196,244 in compensation plus $21,918 in other compensation.
According to Christianity Today, George Soros’ organizations “bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004,” and “received at least two more grants from Soros’ organizations later on.” On October 14, 2011, a blackchristiannews.com article claims Sojourners received an additional $150,000 from Soros’ Open Society. The article said Sojourners “is a useful tool in reducing evangelical support for conservatives.”
Three years ago, I was taken back over the number of so-called evangelical Christians supporting Obama, but came to realize that well-funded organizations like Sojourners were able to convince badly informed Christians that Obama was some sort of global savior sent here to solve all the world’s problems. Secular leftists such as atheist George Soros obviously jumped at the opportunity to take advantage, using the “religious left” to help elect Obama.
Wallis’ heart seems to be in the right place, but fails to understand that prodding young Occupy protestors toward what he perceives as one of those open door moments Graham Greene wrote about, would usher in a future none of us will recognize, not even Wallis.