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Free speech — for some: Uncle Sam is joining in efforts to crack down on Islamists’ critics
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to the Council on Ameri- can Islamic Relations (CAIR), there is a grave threat to America that must be suppressed at all costs. The threat is that Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin might be allowed to exercise his constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.
This proposition is bizarre on multiple levels. For one, Gen. Boykin, who is a friend and greatly admired colleague of mine, is one of the United States’ most accomplished and decorated military heroes. He served in and led our most elite Special Forces units for decades, including in many of our most dangerous recent combat operations. He also held a number of senior positions in the intelligence community, including as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
For another, Gen. Boykin is also an ordained minister. The sorts of events CAIR has insisted that he must not address include prayer sessions convened by the mayor of Ocean City, Md., and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
What makes the suppression of Gen. Boykin’s right to express himself – and, for that matter, to enjoy freedom of religion – all the more outrageous is the nature of the organization demanding that he be silenced. Four federal judges have affirmed that CAIR is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and was spawned by one of its American affiliates, the Islamic Association for Palestine. Indeed, we know from wiretapped conversations at the time of its founding that CAIR was established by Muslim Brotherhood operatives as a political arm and fundraising mechanism for Hamas, a designated terrorist organization and the Brotherhood’s franchise in “Palestine.”
Unfortunately, CAIR and its fellow Muslim Brotherhood fronts are not simply trying to muzzle Gen. Boykin. They have gone after a number of other truth-tellers about the doctrine the Brothers seek to insinuate into this country – the totalitarian, supremacist politico-military-legal program the Islamists call Shariah.
For example, another colleague, former Rep. Fred Grandy, was removed from his position as one of Washington’s most popular talk-radio-show hosts when he refused to allow Muslim critics to dictate who could appear on his program and what they could say.
In the fall, Stephen Coughlin, one of the nation’s foremost non-Muslim experts on Shariah, similarly was subjected to a CAIR-led effort to deny his ability to speak. In that case, he was denied by the Obama administration the opportunity to provide training to CIA personnel about what impels our enemies to engage in murderous and stealthy forms of jihad, namely Shariah.
More recently, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been subjected to a campaign of vilification by CAIR and its friends. His offense? Mr. Kelly gave an interview to the makers of a superb documentary, “The Third Jihad,” and allowed that film to be used in training his officers.
CAIR’s desire to suppress this film is not hard to understand. After all, “The Third Jihad” brilliantly exposes what it and other Muslim Brotherhood fronts are up to in this country. In the words of the Brotherhood’s own strategic plan, that is “a kind of grand jihad … in destroying and eliminating the Western civilization from within” by our own hands.
The movie’s narrator and central figure is Zuhdi Jasser. Dr. Jasser, a physician, happens to be one of the most prominent and courageous of American Muslims who oppose political Islam and its use of Shariah to justify the subversion and destruction of our Constitution, form of government and society.
Obviously, it is difficult to pillory Dr. Jasser the way CAIR et al. attack such non-Muslims as Gen. Boykin, Mr. Grandy, Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Kelly, namely as “Islamophobic.” The Brotherhood and its official, multinational counterpart, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), brandish this term as a means of intimidating, smearing and silencing those who understand what they are about and oppose them effectively. In fact, the more effective the opposition, the more intense are the Islamists’ efforts to silence those mounting it.
Dr. Jasser’s right to free expression is being subjected to a similar kind of suppression. As he put it recently in the New York Post, “One of the chief ways that radical Islamists across the globe silence anti-Islamist Muslims is to publicly push them outside of Islam, to declare them non-Muslims, not part of the community [ummah] and so subject them to takfir [declaring them apostates]. That is what the vicious distortions about this film do to my work and the work of so many others within the House of Islam who are trying to publicly take on the American Islamist establishment.”
Of particular concern is that the U.S. government is effectively encouraging what amounts to free speech for some – and abetting it. Team Obama has begun according Islamophobia the status of a serious problem. Worse yet, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has joined forces with the OIC in trying to find ways to suppress this fictitious problem by treating instances of what should be protected free speech as prosecutable “incitement.”
To paraphrase the famous German pastor Martin Niemoller, first they are coming for the “Islamophobes” and for Muslims who oppose Shariah’s political agenda. How soon will they decide that you have no right to speak freely either?
From Jewish World Review at: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/gaffney013112.php3
Found at The Mad Jewess
From The Mad Jewess at: http://themadjewess.com/
Once the burqa ban passed by the Dutch conservative coalition on Friday is approved by parliament, police will be obliged to enforce it.
RNW & RNW “The minister expects police to enforce the ban in accordance with the law”, Mr Opstelten’s spokesperson emphasised. The statement comes in response to criticism voiced by the National Police Union and the central works council of the national police force that is currently being set up.
A ban on wearing the full-face veil in public as proposed by the anti-Islam Freedom Party is included in the coalition agreement. But in a TV interview Mr Welten said his force would not arrest women for wearing the burqa or niqab. He admitted this was a form of “civil disobedience”.
On the website Al-yaqeen.com, the (Radical fundamentalist) Salafist As-Soenna group praises Mr Welten’s “courageous” remarks, adding “Evidently the Netherlands still has people in prominent positions whom it can be proud of.”
However, Mr Welten has come in for fierce criticism from the coalition parties, the VVD and Christian Democrats. A majority of MPs agree that he should withdraw his remarks and offer an apology.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders responded via Twitter that Mr Welten “has to enforce the law, and thus the pending burqa ban too, or pack his bags, either voluntarily or involuntarily”. The head of the Amsterdam professional organization for police officers, AVP, described the police chief’s remarks as “unwise”.
The chair of the police works council, Frank Giltay, had said there is no need for a burqa ban, which, he added, is unlikely to have any practical benefits. Burqas, he underlined, do not pose a threat to public security. (Giltay needs to be fired for his ignorance)
Green Left leader Jolande Sap also denounced the intended ban as a symbolic measure. Speaking on radio on Saturday morning, Ms Sap argued that women’s emancipation required different measures, such as education and language courses. (They have all the education and language courses they need and they still want to dress like chattel)
From Bare Naked Islam at: http://barenakedislam.com/
HOORAY for The Danish People’s Party (DPP) that is publicly declaringing it wants to put a halt to immigration from Muslim countries. The party says Muslims don’t integrate and cause big problems with shariah zones, parallel societies and social control.
Islam in Europe The announcement followed the release of marriage figures for immigrant groups.
According to the new figures, just 20% of non-Western 2nd generation immigrants marry Danes. Among Pakistanis and Turks the figures are less than 10%.
“We must work towards bringing down the immigration from Muslim countries to zero.
There can naturally be some exceptions, but there’s a need for political ambition to bring Muslim immigration close to zero,” says the party’s integration spokesperson Martin Henriksen.
“The 24-year old rule is now no longer enough. We have to deal with people who consciously decide to opt out of marrying Danes.
It’s problematic. If we are to hope these families will be integrated in the future, we must introduce new and significant restrictions on immigration from Muslim countries,” says Henriksen.
By stopping immigration from Muslim countries, the Danish People’s Party hopes to stop the influx into the parallel societies, and eventually dissolve them.
“It will increase the possibility that young people will be able to break out of the parallel societies,” says Martin Henriksen.
Q: what is the figures are because people fall in love with people they have more in common with?
“Naturally there are those somebody with Turkish background who fall in love with others of Turkish background.
But it’s well known that Muslim communities are very skeptical of – and look down on – if, for example, a girl goes out with a Danish boy or man. It can lead to sanctions and we should end that,” says Henriksen.
The DPP wants to stop Muslim immigration by stopping the new government’s rollback of the point system, tightening asylum laws and giving priority to Western labor immigration.
Thanks to Bare Naked Islam at: http://barenakedislam.com/
Mainstream media avoid using the “M” word in reporting the verdict on the (Muslim) Honor Killings in Canada
It is the religion that dare not speak its name…at least on NBC News and at the Associated Press among other politically correct circles. Both media outlets reported on a verdict in an ‘honor killings’ case in Canada while managing to avoid mentioning a certain religion whose name starts with ‘M.’
NEWBUSTERS (H/T Dan M) To watch or read both reports, you would think that “honor killings” was some sort of bizarre ritual limited to the family in question or perhaps a few other members of an unidentified “patriarchal culture.” First the AP report on the MSNBC site which does mention a religion but not the one you think:
KINGSTON, Ontario — A jury on Sunday found an Afghan father, his wife and their son guilty of killing three teenage sisters and a co-wife in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor.”
The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case that shocked and riveted Canadians from coast to coast. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
The prosecution said her parents found condoms in Sahar’s room as well as photos of her wearing short skirts and hugging her Christian boyfriend, a relationship she had kept secret…
Here is a partial transcript:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: ”A verdict has been reached in a murder case that’s gotten a lot of attention because it involved so-called honor killings of family members by family members. In this case an Afghan family living in Canada. It is a culture clash getting a lot of attention to our north. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles has the story.”
KEVIN TIBBLES: “Three teenage sisters murdered because of how they wanted to live their lives. Dress like westerners, use the internet, meet boys. Also killed, their father’s first wife, by a strict religious family that felt it had been disgraced.”
A “strict religious family” yet Tibbles bizarrely neglects to mention that religion. How much does anybody want to bet that if there were such a thing as Baptist honor killings that “Baptist” would be prominently mentioned in every NBC News or AP story about such a crime?
The NBC News broadcast of this case also managed to avoid mentioning the taboo M-word as you can see in this video:
From: Bare Naked Islam at: http://barenakedislam.com/
Found at Atlas Shrugs
From Sadhill at: http://sadhillnews.com/
Islamonausea, not Islamophobia
by Nicolai Sennels
We should stop using Muslims’ self-chosen word — “Islamophobia” — by which they paint themselves into a corner of being feared: it destroys communication. Instead of such a divisive term, we should insert a more approachable and factual word that preserves opportunities for bridge-building and learning: “Islamonausea.” This does not render communication impossible, but enables visitors to our Western cultures to notice aspects of their behavior that make us sick.
It’s no wonder that Muslims use the word “Islamophobia” so often. Lacking convincing arguments, charm or constructive contributions to their surroundings, being feared is the only way to gain at least some kind of respect. The term Islamophobia, fear of Islam, points to what Muslims want, not to what non-Muslims feel. Who is afraid of Islam, anyway?
“Xenophobia,” an irrational fear of that which is strange or foreign, also doesn’t work. Aversion to Islam doesn’t come from unfamiliarity with the religion; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There’s no reason to fear being called a racist, either, since neither Islam nor Muslims are a race.
Our language needs a term that describes what many critically thinking people feel about Islam according to their own terms, not according to what Muslims wish us to feel or what the PC establishment diagnoses to scare us into allowing more voters for the Left into our countries. We need a term that simultaneously invites Muslims to realize what they need to change about their behavior and religion if they wish to advance from an embarrassing last place in the evolution of civilizations and to earn some real respect among the world community.
As in many other nauseating situations, Islamonausea is a normal and natural reaction to something abnormal, not vice versa.
The nausea reflex is innate, and it is biologically natural and healthy to experience emotional and bodily discomfort with anything that is unpleasant, unhealthy or harmful.
There is nothing phobic or racist in feeling nausea when hearing about the Islamic massacres performed by Muhammad and his many devout copycats through history and all over the world today. The same goes for Muhammad’s sexual relationship with a nine-year old girl, and the cutting off of limbs and stonings in the name of Allah and his Sharia laws.
Thinking of Muslims’ epidemic practice of forced inbreeding (which damages intelligence and increases the risk of psychiatric diseases) — often many generations in a row — one may also experience unpleasant feelings in the abdomen. There is also no shame in feeling nausea when hearing about the extreme social control, violence and murderous examples made to keep and scare hundreds of millions of their women from enjoying their human rights to chose their own sexual partners, clothing and lifestyle.
The many calls for hatred, violence and killing of non-Muslims commanded by the faultless Koran are outright disgusting. Imagining the pinnacle of evolution being a planet-sized Islamic caliphate is not only a complete embarrassment to the human race; it may also make one lose one’s appetite.
The first use of the word that I have been able to trace, is from 7 July 2005, in a comment on this website, Jihadwatch.org.
Here, a person calling himself Sheik Canuck, writes in a comment to an article on Muslims’ positive reaction to the Islamic suicide bombings in London that same day:
“I don’t have islamophobia, I have islamoNausea, I’m sick of them all.”
The first time it occurred in a Danish newspaper was in a letter by this writer in Nordjyske Stiftstidende on December 30th 2011, entitled “We have nausea“.
The term attracted some attention when the comedian, atheist and Islam critic Pat Condell used it in a video from 2009 called “Apologists for evil.”
Islamonausea deserves its own article on Wikipedia. Help get Islamonausea into our dictionaries by using the word on blogs, in articles and in Letters to the Editor, and in everyday speech.
From Gates of Vienna at: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2012/01/islamonausea-not-islamophobia.html#more
These four older ladies who lived in Italy
Always sat outside together near the church
And chatted about when they were younger.
One month ago they pooled their money together
And bought a laptop.
They just happened to click on St. Augustine , FL.
They read about the “Fountain of Youth” claimed by
The Spaniards when they arrived there.
They collected up all they had left and sent for four
Bottles of the water. As soon as it arrived, they drank as directed.
Here they are today……………….
Would We lie to you?
We have a limited supply of this water available at an
Seriously ..HURRY BEFORE THE INVENTORY RUNS OUT!!!!
Make checks payable to:
“Democratic National Committee”
(You can trust us, we would NEVER lie to you!)
Found at: Ann Barnhardt
Violence solves a lot
by Kirby Ferris
© Copyright Jews For The Preservation of
Firearms Ownership (www.JPFO.org) 2012
One of the more insidiously deceptive lines of the socialist-liberal agenda is the banal phrase: “Violence doesn’t solve anything.” How much retrospection is required to understand that Hitler wasn’t stopped by peace marches, negotiations, or “conflict resolution” sessions? It is a horrible, disgusting task, but evil acts, whatever shape they take, must eventually be countered by a superior, violent force.
The liberal doesn’t seem to understand that the threat of counter violence is perhaps the most effective preventative of actual physical conflict. Liberal pacifists in modern times mocked the phrase “peace through strength” as though the pragmatism contained within such an idea were rooted in some atavistic, macho, testosterone-poisoned psychosis that had been propagated by alpha males throughout history.
Can’t the liberal understand that bad people are prevented from committing evil acts by their fear of punishment? Perhaps at a childhood level, the threat of adult disapproval or the disapproval of one’s schoolyard peers keeps the behavior of the youngster in some kind of conformity to morality. But it doesn’t take long for the criminally-minded teenager to realize that he really doesn’t care what other people think. Crime pays. Evil is profitable. Bullying works. Unless, that is, you are harshly confronted with the realization that your malicious behavior will be rewarded by a beating, a bullet, or a prison cell.
A peaceful, free society, of which America (even with its flaws) is the most outstanding example in all of recorded history, is preserved by the willingness of its people, either singly or as a group, to commit decisive acts of righteous violence to counter evil activity.
Hebrew scholars agree that one of the Ten Commandments has been mistranslated. “Thou shalt not kill” is more accurately translated from the ancient Hebrew as “Thou shalt not murder.” The punishment for murder in ancient Israelite communities was stoning. Murderers were killed by the citizens. They were executed. And stoning was the most effective way to spread the responsibility for the execution through the mass of individuals who were willing to pay the price for living in a peaceful, moral society. Because of its face-to-face horror, the compassionate individual would, one might imagine, actually cast the first stone …to make sure it knocked the murderer immediately unconscious, in much the same way the ethical hunter or fisherman puts his quarry out of its misery as quickly as possible. The ancient Hebrews forced personal responsibility on each individual via the group act of stoning.
It comes down to individual responsibility. It comes down to the individual being willing to act with righteous force when confronted by certain criminal behaviors. How many of your would idly stand by and watch a man torture a helpless pup? You would first yell at him to stop. If he continued, you might grab at him or throw yourself between him and the bleeding, cringing animal. What if he slaps you aside and continues his barbarity? You look around and see a two-by-four on the ground. How many of you would not take that two-by-four to the man with a clear conscience? Sorry, there are no cell phones around. You can’t call the cops or the Humane Society. You have to act now! What do you do? Are you really going to stand by and watch the travesty, all the time telling yourself that “violence doesn’t solve anything”?
If you would club the animal torturer with a two-by-four, how much quicker should you come to the defense of a human victim? I grew up in the Marxist-Socialist, namby-pamby Bay Area, and I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard some pompous person tell me “I could never kill anyone!” I even said it a few times myself during my naive teens and 20s. It felt so good to utter that unctuous homily. But I don’t feel that way anymore.
I would kill another human being. I would do it to save my own life or the life of an innocent victim. The act would probably make me physically ill. I might have to live with it in my mind for the rest of my life, but I pray I would have the courage, yes, courage, to stop consummate evil with whatever means became necessary.
And it is for this reason that I am a fervent advocate of the right of the law-abiding and sane individual to possess and carry a firearm. The right to self-defense is not only a right guaranteed to us by the Constitution, it is a duty, a command of “Nature and Nature’s G-d” (to quote Jefferson) that each of us must confront if we are to preserve freedom and moral civilization in our communities and nation.
Modern-day “gun control” is not something invented in America by Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Adolph Hitler used firearms and ammunition registration to create the paper trails that facilitated the eventual confiscation of the firearms of his opponents in Nazi Germany. America’s Gun Control Act of 1968 bears such an amazing resemblance to the Nazi German law that every school child should be made aware of the similarity. Or perhaps we should all think about a very simple fact: slaves can’t own guns.
Perhaps the world isn’t the way we wish it would be. We all might wish that evil men could be persuaded from their vile behavior with bleeding heart entreaties, a kiss on the cheek, or proper toilet training. But it ain’t that way, folks, Pacifism is a sickness, an actual moral perversity, and dangerous when its effects spread to anyone else beside the pacifist. You may choose to walk to the cattle car, but damn you if you let your children be led up the ramp. You must never allow any group or government to steal your right to exercise armed lethal force in a just situation.
One of the greatest instructors in the defensive use of firearms used to say to his graduating classes: “May you never have to use what you have learned here.” And in that spirit I would like to see an American citizenry that is armed to the teeth and as skilled in the use of pistols and rifles as we are in the driving of automobiles. Am I insane? Somehow, looking at the tragic lessons of history, I don’t think so.
NOTE: This is a reprint of an article Kirby Ferris authored for the Coastal Post Newspaper of Main County, CA in 1998; minor updates and edits have been made for JPFO.
Frequent JPFO contributor and strategist, Kirby Ferris, collaborated intensively with Aaron Zelman over the last two years of Aaron’s life. Ferris is currently the Research Director of JPFO.
From JFPO.org at: http://jpfo.org/kirby/kirby-violence-solves.htm
Found at American Digest
Katrina Fernandez has pictures from yesterday’s March for Life, and she promises that more are coming.
Watching yesterday on EWTN, I heard estimates of nearly half-million people marching peacefully and cheerfully, in the freezing rain, in support of life, which is — at its core, as Tim Muldoon writes — a march in support of love:
In our experience, the metanoia of loving has meant seeing orphans not as problems to be solved, but as beloved children who will gladden adoptive parents. If you are pro-choice, or if you are someone who has had an abortion, perhaps it may help to imagine what gives fire to the pro-life movement. Each pregnancy we see as a new opportunity for love, an irreplaceable gift that challenges us to love anew. We see abortion as an interruption of the potential for love, the opportunity for love, and so we hope to build a society in which those opportunities are welcomed. Our hope is both simple and profound: to treat human beings through the lens of love, rather than primarily through the lens of reason.
In the big picture, love is the far more powerful way of looking at the world.
Unfortunately, the “big picture” is hard to come by, particularly if you’re looking for “big pictures” of this well-attended march. We have reached a remarkable era of photojournalism, as demonstrated by the once-noble Washington Post — one where a half million people can march, the headlines can call it “thousands” and the pictures show you none of it.
Someone asked me on Twitter, “why don’t they just report the truth” and I thought, “because they have given themselves wholly over to a lie, and they fear the truth. Having built up the lie for so long that it’s become their foundation, they know they cannot withstand an assault by the truth.”
So they have become truth-phobics, our mainstream media. They can’t tell you the truth about anything, anymore — they can only do whatever it takes to sustain the narratives they’ve constructed.
That’s why you hear no reports about Fast and Furious, or a member of the DOJ pleading the Fifth about that. It’s why you don’t hear about Solyndra and the “green jobs” myth it’s why you hear no caterwauling from the press about the fact that we are 1000 days into this administration without a budget.
You want the truth? You think you deserve it? The press can’t handle the truth; they can’t bring it to you. The New York Times just ignores inconvenient truth, entirely.
That’s why 250 people camping out in a park gets thousands of stories, while half-a-million marching on Washington does not get reported at all, or if it does, the pictures are cropped; the attendees are caricatured, mis-named and under-represented while their opponents are over-represented.
The Washington Post’s ombudsman is Patrick Pexton, and you can contact him, here, if you want to point out to him just how badly his paper skewed the story away from the truth, and into the designated narrative.
You can try to hold them accountable, but they probably won’t think they need to be accountable to you.
From The Anchoress at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2012/01/24/pro-lifers-and-the-truth-phobic-press/
Jesus and the Rich Man: A Call to Radical Individualism
Christ and the Young Rich Man by Heinrich Hofmann (1889)
Discussions of earthly systems almost always come down to disagreements over the use of capital — how it is distributed, created, or managed. Therefore, if we are concerned with the heavenly implications of our earthly systems, we must come to terms with how God views our earthly wealth.
Both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke include a story where Jesus addresses this topic directly. In the story, Jesus asks a wealthy man to give all that he has to the poor. Since plenty of people use the story as an excuse to demonize wealth and the creation of it, I wanted to clarify my thoughts on the matter.
The wealthy man begins the conversation by asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, to which Jesus answers with this:
You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’
When the rich man explains that he has done these things since childhood, Jesus responds with this challenge:
One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will havetreasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
Upon hearing this, the rich man becomes very sad and turns away, effectively rejecting the call of Christ. After the man leaves, Jesus explains the situation to His disciples with this now-popular refrain:
How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
It is here where most people end the story. The moral, they tell us, is that wealth is bad and sacrifice is good — for if it is so difficult for the rich to get into heaven, certainly Jesus would advocate a diminution or eradication of wealth.
But that is not what Jesus does.
The disciples seem troubled by Jesus’ response and ask, “Who then can be saved?” — to which Jesus responds by telling them that earthly challenges do not preclude Kingdom pursuits:
“With man this is impossible,” Jesus says, “but with God all things are possible.”
I have previously discussed the way God values obedience over sacrifice, and this is a similar lesson. Jesus was not bombarding the rich man with a list of good deeds to show him where he was going wrong. Jesus was pinpointing a weak spot in this man’s heart. He was testing this man’s obedience, and the rich man failed.
At a fundamental level, this story is not about money or riches or even the poor. It’s about keeping our hearts aligned to God’s will. It’s about listening to the voice of God and doing what He says no matter how foolish it appears in earthly terms.
The rich man had done his homework. He had gone to Temple. He had read his Scriptures. He had figured out his salvation. But what he hadn’t done was get his heart to a place that put God’s vision before his own. When Jesus told him to do something uncomfortable, he was not willing to follow through.
But even if the wealth itself is not the problem, Jesus is still saying that having more earthly possessions makes it more difficult for us to enter the Kingdom of God. Here is where the Christian socialist would note that equalizing poverty is preferable to maximizing prosperity, which is where I think we find the most pertinent element for our discussion.
As I mentioned earlier, Jesus is specifically honing in on the fact that earthly challenges do not preclude Kingdom pursuits. You can have all the wealth in the world, but with the grace of God and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit you have the ability to overcome such challenges and use your resources for God’s purposes.
Taking up such a challenge zeroes in on the very essence of Radical Individualism.
For those who would say that the rich man is the embodiment of individualism, they would be confusing self-interest with worldliness, for when we look at the rich man’s decision we see a drastic misalignment of self-interest. After all, Jesus put the initial challenge forth in the very context of individualism: “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
It seems then that the rich man either lacks the wisdom or the faith to actually believe that obeying Jesus will bring him treasure in the long run. The ironic part of all this is that Jesus goes on to imply that the rich man would have had more of a reward because of his enormous wealth.
In Luke, Jesus puts it this way:
Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.
In Matthew, he puts it this way:
[E]veryone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
This is a point far too often missed by Christians. God is not calling us to a life of poverty or despair or isolation, just as he is not calling us to a life of masochistic libertinism. He is not asking us to cut ourselves off from the world and shield our lives from every earthly thing. He is telling us that we must strive to pursue earthly greatness in a heavenly context, despite the challenges that such a pursuit will throw our way.
The fundamental challenge? Staying true and obedient to God.
He may ask you to give up your wealth. He may ask you to leave your comfort zone. He may call you to a third-world nation. And if you’re rich, it will probably be more difficult. But that is an opportunity to show your love for God, not a danger to cower from.
Whether rich or poor, what we need to realize is that following God’s voice will always bring more fulfillment than what the world offers.
This is properly aligned self-interest.
All of this is somewhat difficult for us to understand, particularly because God’s ways are higher than our ways. Our human viewpoint is vastly limited, even though we’re tempted to think it’s profoundly comprehensive.
In Matthew, Jesus ends the story by reminding the disciples of the counterintuitiveness of the Christian pursuit: “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
It is this understanding — the upside-down economics of Christianity — that should drive our pursuit of God and our stewardship of earthly resources. It’s a difficult journey, so let’s not confuse foolishness with self-interest along the way.
From Remnant Culture.Com at: http://remnantculture.com/?p=1221