There is a lot of WWJD talk being used to justify policy these days.
Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC.
While Jesus may not have specified specific tax brackets, He was the first recorded advocate of a progressive income tax.
Obviously, He [Jesus] would take from each according to their ability to pay. That is the clear, Christian, philosophical basis of a progressive income tax.
Jesus Christ's instructions to you could not be more specific. You can follow Christ's path to righteousness or you can follow the path of the damned. The choice is yours.
What would Jesus do this weekend?
In Matthew 25, which is to my recollection, I've only read the Bible four times, but, the only time when the Disciples actually sat down with Jesus and said, "How do we get into heaven?" And He said, "Here's the list. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked." The modern equivalent would be, you know, house the homeless. "Heal the sick. Visit those unjustly in prison."
Jesus taught we should sell our possessions and give the proceeds to the poor...
Are they advocating for a religious state? One that operates straight from the precepts of Jesus? A theocracy? Christian Sharia law?
Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters does a good job of deconstructing O'Donnell's sermon.
There are a few assumptions that go into these presentations of WWJD that preordain the conclusions drawn by those cited above:
- That Jesus was directing his comments to the state not the individual.
- That the state is the singular method of helping the poor and Christian charity.
- That those who don't think that the government should be the charity arm of the Christian church are mean and selfish.
- It is OK for to judge the motives and eternal salvation of limited government capitalists and the rich.
- There is no room for alternate interpretations.
- The separation of church and state is only meant for 'those other guys.'
...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Those represented in the links above might believe that Jesus mandates that the government be a branch of the church, but this strains credulity since they are all people of the left. Traditionally, those on the left interpret Jefferson's statement to the Danbury Baptists to mean that even a creche cannot be placed in front of a government building or that circumcision is a primitive religious rite that should not be subsidized. Surely, if placing a creche in front of the courthouse next to Santa and his reindeer creates church/state entanglement, using the government to carry out a central doctrine of the Christian church is problematic. In the past, the left was satisfied with merely taking the responsibility away from the church and making it their own without the pretense of religiosity. Apparently that was then and this is now.
In his discussion with Thom Hartmann, Eric Sapp notes that hypocrisy is the only "sin in the New Testament that gets the divine death penalty." One wonders if Mr. O'Donnell will spend 10 minutes Bible thumping to his fellow sojourners on the left about how hard it is to get through the eye of a needle and sure fire methods of avoiding God's wrath, including "Give up everything. Those are the words of Jesus Christ. Give up everything."
It would be the Christian thing to do.