Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today's Bible Verse: "Listen, You Rich People, Weep And Wail Because Of The Misery That Is Coming On You"

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty."

---James 5:1-4, The Bible, New International Version.


One of the great political mysteries to me has always been how on earth the money-worshipping, screw-the-poor Right Wing in today's America have somehow managed to convince many people that the Bible supports their twisted beliefs.

In reality, the Bible is full of hard-core socialist messages as radical as anything I've ever written on this blog. To be sure, I've blasted America's greedy rich on a number of occasions on this site. But I've never said that, simply because one is rich, one will almost certainly burn in hell (like Jesus did).

After all, the rich who I target are those who (like the Koch brothers) who seek to destroy organized labor and America's already skimpy social safety net, simply so they can pad their already fat pockets. But I don't condemn all rich people. For a start, I admire George Soros.

Anyway, back to the Bible. It's one thing for deluded Right-Wingers to wrap themselves in the Scripture and to claim that the Bible somehow supports their beliefs. But what disappoints me far more is that the Progressives allow them to get away with this.

The fact is, the vast majority of the Bible is full of archaic, obscure verses that only a fool would claim to understand. However, the Bible does contain a number of verses that are quite clear and unambiguous.

James 5:1-4 is a good example of the latter. This passage doesn't beat around the bush: it very clearly issues a warning to rich oppressors. It condemns the greedy, exploitative rich ever bit as much as anything Marx ever wrote.

The problem is that Bible verses like this languish in obscurity. Right-Wingers carefully tip-toe away from such explosive verses that they no doubt find deeply disturbing. Instead, they dig through the Old Testament, looking for passages that seem to validate their homophobic, bigoted views. And Progressives, as always, sit around passively and allow the Right-Wing to get away with it.

We Progressives need to reclaim the Bible from the bigots, the hate-mongers, the money-grubbers and the supporters of brutal dog-eat-dog "capitalism."

Every time one of these bigoted money-grubbers claims that the Bible supports their views, we need to take crystal-clear Progressive Bible verses like James 5:1-4 and throw it into their faces.


Jack Jodell said...

Bravo, Marc, for a post well done! What you say is absolutely true, and scripture tells us that the conservative Republican way of penalizing the poor and showering the rich with even more cash is actually ANTI-Bible and ANTI-Christian. For, in examining the teachings of Christ and by following His example, it is easy to see that Jesus Christ was a LIBERAL!

mud_rake said...

One of the great political mysteries to me has always been how on earth the money-worshipping, screw-the-poor Right Wing in today's America have somehow managed to convince many people that the Bible supports their twisted beliefs.

Mystery? Perhaps not at all. The BS that they spew becomes easily intermingles with all of the other BS in the Bible and so it is hard to distinguish one horse's ass fro the other.

the talking dog said...

This will be a tough sell, because in their hearts, the real elite of the Republican establishment, like their real ideological forbear, Ayn Rand, don't really believe in God to begin with, as Dave Johnson brilliantly suggests here [for a bonus noting that their seemingly psychopathic streak has a basis in Rand too]:

Sure, the electoral legions the Republicans are counting on to win elections actually do take their Bible seriously (which is why a Mike Huckabee does better among rank and file, but is utterly anathema to the corporatists), but the unholy alliance between business elites and God-fearing poor Whites... has to do with that very, very last word there (between "poor" and "has"...) the potency of a movement that quite literally gets the peasants to storm the castle demanding more privileges for the aristocracy, because the aristocracy has brilliantly convinced them that their interests are pitted against darker skinned peasants.

Of course, as noted, the "other party" has pretty much been captured by the corporatists as well.

Perhaps the James passage is right, and God will sort all this out; I wouldn't count too much, however, on the government for that.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment. I'm convinced that if Jesus came back today, he'd be condemned by the wingnuts as a pinko commie. It's just as impossible to argue with these deluded types as it is to reason with a Kool-Aid-drinking Rush listener.

Hi Mud Rake: you make a good point. The Web site, The Skeptic's Bible, does a good job of illustrating just how much bullsh*t is in the Bible.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Talking Dog, I appreciate your comment.
Good point. I strongly suspect that the likes of Rush and GWB only cynically view "Christianity" as a tool to distract the ignorant masses. They're about as sincere in their "Christianity" as P.T. Barnum was in ensuring his customers got their money's worth.

xulon said...

Thanks for this. The religious right-ish people apply "right to life" to exactly and only one issue. To confront them with more unified Bible application is a tough sell. Upon reading this verse they universally salivate "well, that is James' rich he's talking to, not ours" and move on.

Anonymous said...

You seriously think the moneyed power brokers believe in God? Ayn Rand didn't, and she's the Mohammed-like hero to all these ultra-right-wing, profit mongering, kill-the-poor lunatics that are grinding us peasants into the dust. God to them is just a tool to get the Bible Thumper vote to keep their corporate lobbyist agenda in office. Sorry to say it, but Jesus was a Progressive, not a Republican. That's why all these Repukes try to avoid the 2nd Testament with all that helpful, charitable, compassionate stuff and whip out the Old Testament social Darwinism. I think of Jello Biafra when he said the rich would kill us with neutron bombs if they could, but then who'd work for rock-bottom wages and pump out more wageslaves for them to exploit?


Marc McDonald said...

Hi WageslaveZ, thanks for your comment.
>>You seriously think the moneyed
>>power brokers believe in God?

No I don't. But they do, of course, believe in using religion to keep the proletariat down.
And for that to work, they need to cynically re-write what the Bible says. They've managed to turn Christ's message of love, peace and forgiveness into a religion of bigotry, hate, and intolerance.
It's no mystery why GOP bigot Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," didn't spend ANY time taking a look at Christ's message. The whole two f*cking hours was nothing but sick, twisted violence porn---but not one word about Christ's actual teachings.

rimefashion said...

some rich people have the tendencies to take advantage of the needs of beings not privilege enough.i believe its a challenge for wealthy men to extend financial assistance or somehow be an instrument of Gods love by being a provider to one's basic needs.

Anonymous said...

The Bible is not a bigoted book. When it speaks against homosexuality it does so on holy and righteous grounds not bigoted grounds.