Is Socialism God’s Preferred Form Of Government?

By Art Gallagher

Michael Riley, a Baptist minister and member of The Asbury Park Press editorial board says “Jesus was a card-carrying socialist” in his Only Human column in today’s print edition.  The column is not yet on the app’s web site.

Someone better inform Barack Obama who insists that he is a Christian, that he is not a socialist, and that he was born in Hawaii.

But Riley is not writing for Obama.  He’s writing to Republicans:

“I hate to break it to the far-right wing in this country (or as it is more commonly called these days, the Republican Party), but Jesus was a car-carrying socialist.  Or, he would have been, if cards had been invented, and if pockets to carry the card had been around and if the word socialism had made it into the language in the first century.

I have no doubt about it.”

I have doubts about what Riley understands about Jesus, government and freedom.   That there will be a slew of cancelled subscriptions to The Press as a result of Riley’s column, I have no doubt.

The first thing that struck me about Riley’s column is that he is talking about Jesus in the past tense.   Even a Jesuit trained lapsed Catholic like me believes in a Living God.  Why is this Baptist minister telling The Press’s remaining readers that Jesus is dead?   Didn’t we just celebrate His resurrection two weeks ago?

Riley paraphrases the Gospel of Luke and Karl Marx to make his case.

“One thing you lack,” Riley quotes Luke quoting Jesus talking to the rich, “go and sell all you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

“But Jesus was a conservative compared to those who followed him,” Riley continues in the past tense again, “In the book of Acts, we read, ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common,  They sold property and possession to give to anyone who had need.’

No one claimed that any of their possession were their own; they shared everything they had.

That is right out of the Marxist playbook: ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his need.’  And woe to anyone who tried to wiggle out of the deal.”

Without getting all theological and politically scientific on Michael, the Nudnik of Neptune, let me just point out two key words from his paraphrase of Luke paraphrasing Jesus that hopefully will set him straight:

Sell and Give.   Both involve a concept that is fundamental to Christianity and foreign to Marxism: Choice.

Never mind that Christians believe that God created Man (and Woman) and that Marxists believe than Man created God.  Let’s look at selling and giving.

In order for Jesus’s followers to sell all of their possessions, they first had to have them.  Hmmm, how would that happen in a Marxist socialist society?

In order for the rich to give to the poor, someone would have to buy those possessions.  More than likely someone else who was rich.

While Riley starts his column with no doubt that the dead Jesus was a socialist, he seems to have some doubt as he concludes:

Obviously, human sin makes this kind of socialistic/communist economic system unworkable over the long haul and in large groups.  But capitalism is a sinner’s banquet as well, full of abuse and greed and loopholes that turn into nooses for the poor.

The point here is that socialism is not necessarily a dirty word.  It seems to be sort of what God was hoping for as a model for his people.  So let’s not get all high and mighty about using it as an epithet.

How about we do get high and mighty about Liberty, Choice, Charity and Responsibility.

How about the preachers and ministers do their jobs and spread The Word and convert the sinners so that capitalism, the only system that has ever worked and creates genuine sharing and empowerment as opposed to the compelled sharing and mediocrity of Marxism, can work better for the rich and the poor.

Riley’s heart might be in the right place, but his head is a dark place.

Posted: April 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

16 Comments on “Is Socialism God’s Preferred Form Of Government?”

  1. Tom Stokes said at 3:46 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    Faith in God allows you to receive God’s Grace of Hope.

    Matthew 8 (the faith of the centurion) and Matthew 9 (the woman with the issue of blood) clearly explains how faith allows one to be healed (Lord I am not worthy that thou should enter under the roof of my house, but only say the Word…).

    Faith in Men (like B.O.) give you no hope and leave you no change.

    Of course, those who are rich and who worship not God, but the almighty dollar or gold, will have a very hard time reaching heaven.

    A helping hand voluntarily reaching out to assist those in need is truly Christian. (Or truly Jewish, or truly Islamic)

    Having the government pick your pockets to “spread the wealth” only serves to grow the government plantation where the people are kept by their new master, the “benevolent” government and their “bureaucrats”.

    Of course, as we watch the GSA scandal unfold, our tax dollars seem to have taken a slight detour on the way to help those in need. The people need jobs, not clowns and mind readers.

    By the way, the “entitlement” society has never, and will never, create wealth nor will it create jobs and opportunity. We need entrepreneurs to create jobs, not more government bureaucrats.

    We desperately need sincere faith in God, real hope and a change in leadership starting with electing a new President.

    God help us all if B.O. is re-elected.

  2. Justified Right said at 3:50 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    Thessalonians 3:10:

    For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

    Nice try Riley.

    I did an analysis of published material by this “Minister” when I was with TCN.

    25% of the columns I found were about sex.

    He interviewed me for a story once, and kept bringing up sex.

    I think the soclialist-loving preacher has a problem.

  3. Gene B. said at 4:15 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    The capitalism that he sees is the modern day American capitalism that destroys the free market. The huge money needs of a government that is funded by modern capitalism causes a similar style of stealing from the productive to give to the non-productive as socialism.

    His fallacy is his belief that socialism is the only alternative to capitalism.

    Neither is Biblical.

    As you said, Art, freedom is a component of the mindset of Jesus – otherwise Adam and Eve would not have been allowed to eat the fruit. And there would be no Satan, no hell, and no need to talk about this subject.

    Freedom is not the basis of a group of thugs that gang up on others and turn them into slaves.

    Unfortunately, there is no sure-proof solution to escaping those who refuse to support a free market, other than dying.

  4. brian said at 4:26 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    May 1—big day for communists, which might be why the Depressed picked that day to end it’s life by charging for articles that are easily found for free in multiple other sources. Both of their remaining reporters should hang onto their Applebee’s jobs…………………

  5. Gene B. said at 5:45 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    Love is the greatest commandment.

    Providing services at the point of a gun cannot possibly be based on love. Nor does it relate to the “Blessed are the
    peacemaker” comment in the Bible.

    Someone just emailed me the following link to David Gergen trying to justify the “spread the wealth concept”….


  6. Freespeaker1976 said at 8:39 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    IMHO, there is a serious difference between ME caring out your brother helping him out as it befits the circumstances and letting the government care about your brother using OUR tax dollars for charities and government programs that we do not support, or have proven to be failures.


    The War On Poverty has cost us



    My way costs less, with my donations going to the charity of my choice that can use the money more effectively that a government bureaucracy deeply involved in social engineering.

  7. Freespeaker1976 said at 8:43 pm on April 20th, 2012:

    By The Way, Forget To Add…

    I Don’t Think Jesus Would Have Been In Favor Of Pissing Our Money Down Rat Holes Like We’ve Been Doing…

    Just Like The Governor’s New Affordable Housing Project. COAH Hasn’t Worked, So Let’s Build Another Boondoggle.


    What’s That About The Definition Of Insanity, Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Again & Expecting A Different Outcome?

  8. Ronald Reagan said at 10:49 am on April 21st, 2012:

    Jesus, God, is/was/will be a benevolent dictator.

  9. Reality Check said at 12:10 pm on April 21st, 2012:

    How ridiculous. The Bible is rife with exhortations for people to be self-sufficient. Remember, “God helps those who help themselves.” What a lame attempt at justifying the government’s confiscation of people’s hard-earned money.

  10. brian said at 12:39 pm on April 21st, 2012:

    When you are a member of the leftist dying dinosaur media and cannot compete under the rules of capitalism—blame the system—so typical. Might explain why Gannet was down 25% last qtr……………

  11. Joe Wedick said at 1:17 pm on April 21st, 2012:

    Faith, religion & opinon polls can all be manipulated to meet any agenda or any set of predetermined desired results. It’s how the individual internalizes it all that matters. ANYONE who thinks they know it all is a fool.

  12. Freespeaker1976 said at 10:55 am on April 22nd, 2012:


    Note also, that the Asbury Park Press is now making a move to charge for online content.

    Talk about a dying dinosaur, it’s about ready to eat it’s own.

  13. brian said at 12:02 pm on April 22nd, 2012:

    When a leftist media organization dies—it is like Christmas morning. Both of the OPP’s reporters better keep their jobs at Applebee’s…………….

  14. Papist said at 7:33 pm on April 22nd, 2012:

    Art, your soul is eternal; America is not. Some free advice: Spend less time thinking about politics and spend more time thinking about the poor. Christ made it very clear that we will be judged on how we treat the poor. (See Matthew 25:31-46 )

  15. a couple of wise folks have said: said at 5:17 pm on April 23rd, 2012:

    the trouble with socialism/re-distribution is, eventually, you will run out of other peoples’ money.. with our now being some 16 trillion in debt, a new 5 trillion of it under this clown who’s there now, we are quickly running out of, not our kids,’ but our GRANDKIDS’ money- THAT IS SICK, IT IS UN-SUSTAINABLE,and IT IS WRONG- period!..

  16. Your Questions About Wealth Distribution 2010 - Income Distribution | Income Distribution said at 4:25 pm on May 2nd, 2012:

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