Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Is Christian Social Justice Christian?

Of course not. But, I'll let Laurence M. Vance explain.

The Myth of the Just Price
Laurence M. Vance

But here is Robert L. White, a Christian, in Biblical Economics: Economic Myths versus Biblical Values, published just a couple of years ago:

The working of the market economy over the last 20 years has resulted in increasing inequalities, persistent poverty, chronic unemployment, and more persons without health insurance.[49]
These increasing inequalities are "far beyond what could be considered fair and just according to historical standards."[50]White holds master's degrees in economics and divinity, and has worked as both a pastor and an economist. He was actually one of those 4,800 government economists I mentioned previously. I hope that White's Gospel preaching was more biblical
than his economic pronouncements. Here is some more of White's "biblical economics":

If some have too much and others have too little, the answer from the Bible is that nobody should have too much and nobody should have too little. Everyone should have enough.[51]
There is enough to go around so long as each of us takes only what each person needs.[52]
The concept of fairness is that people are obligated to give back in proportion to what they have received.[53]
Social justice requires that a just society be characterized by a continual improvement in the prospects of the least advantaged.[54]
There is no theoretical or empirical reason to expect all of society's economic objectives to be met systematically by the market. In other words, justice, equity, and fairness cannot be assumed to occur automatically, and therefore need to be intentional goals and objectives in the realm of public policy.[55]
According to White, the free-market economy is an "idol."[56] There is a cultural war waging "between the prevailing 'free-market' ideology and biblical values."[57] Today's "prevailing economic ideology" promotes "greed and consumerism over the common good."[58] The lesson we are supposed to receive from Jesus' feeding of the multitudes is that "if bread is broken and shared, there will be enough for all."[59] Because he believes that "the rich have been getting richer and the poor poorer,"[60] White deplores reductions in tax rates.[61] He rightly decries increased defense spending, but only because it diverts the funding of social programs.[62] He favors national health care and environmentalism.[63] He is also very concerned about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.[64] In short, he rejects laissez-faire in favor of government intervention.

White, of course, is not alone. When noted Christian economist Donald Hay proposed eight biblical principles relating to contemporary economic life, he not only specifically excluded private property rights,[65] he also stated that "the government should not hesitate to use the traditional tax and transfer mechanisms to ensure that those without the means to acquire the basic necessities of life are provided for."[66] But White is typical. His trinity is the state, the earth, and social justice. He is a statist through and through.

read the whole article here.

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