"Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The constitution was made to safeguard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster.
Of course, captains of industry are not subject to such tendencies, and need nothing like the constitution to limit them. Their benign concern for those subject to their power is more than sufficient.
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The only socialized medicine model I have seen in the United States with full centralized government control is the Veterans Health Administration system.
No one I know currently considers Medicare "socialized medicine," although its detractors used this epithet in 1965 when it was being created.
It is a form of insurance that you and I pay for out of our own pockets.
And here we go again...
Actually, the so-called "socialized medicine" in use in places like the British NHS or the Canadian healthcare system is ALSO a form of insurance, or at worst, HMO, that is paid for out of the pockets of the citizens and legal residents of those nations, for the use of same.
It appears to me that the early Christians in the book of acts,
"shared all things in common"
As Melby said (Hi BTW) is this not a form of socialism? or dare I even mention Communism?
And if it is what is a person to make of the "right" decrying socialism?
nope, what one does in an individual community has no bearing on the make up of the society at large
Uh, David, a community IS a society.
you can live communally in Oneida, New York or the Amana colonies, Iowa and still participate in the free market economy
Which says nothing about whether the sharing of "all things in common" meets the definition of socialism the way that it appears to be applied, even by the right wing, to the present-day discussions we're all hearing so much about (ie. not in the "state ownership of the means of production" sense, but rather in the "we're all in this together" sense).
living communally in a religious community or even a Kibbutz in no way negates your participation in the free market economy
Which completely overlooks the fact that you can have both socialism with regard to many things AND a free market economy in the larger sense. Example: an early Christian goes out and buys food in the free market, and then goes back and shares that food with all of his Christian community. For that matter, in China today you've got socialism and a free market coexisting (at least to some extent).
only if the early Christian community forced its ways on the greater Roman world would it have been socialism
So now there's a minimum size requirement before something can be considered socialism (or, one would extrapolate, any other -ism)? So, exactly how large does a community have to get before it can be considered to constitute a society for the purposes of its members? How large does a society which shares its goods or resources in common have to get before it qualifies as socialist in the sense described above? How much territory or population does it need to have? Does it have to have "forced" itself on another society first, or not? And on a related note, how large does an economic system have to be before it can be considered a free market, or anything else?
Where do you draw the threshold between a community and a society?
Actually the chief difference between socialism or even communism as politico-economic philosophies and the sharing of the early Christians is the element of compulsion. The State compels you to share via taxes or even State ownership while the community of believers may expect or request but it cannot compel. The State can imprison or even execute those who do not comply while the community of believers can only ostracize at worst.
"Not all who wander are lost" J.R.R.Tolkein You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain." Friedrich von Schiller
The Church needs to place its energies in being the Church; to become an extension of the State or to dominate the State is to lose its "prophetic zeal", as Martin Luther King writes in Strength to Love,
"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority."
I wonder how this Prophetic Zeal would be expressed? Like the Prophets in the old testament? I think of Jeremiah for example would that style of preaching or communication even work today.. I mean outside the church.. It sounds pretty hardcore to me and I am in the camp. So perhaps the style of speaking Jesus used? Yet he was not addressing the government? I think of these town halls where people start getting very vocal, yet it appears when this has been tried in past like for pro-life the American people are not that responsive? It does appear to have some effect on the health debate in the current circumstance.
I think MLK in his quote already defines what he means by "prophetic zeal" by speaking of the Church as a "guide and a critic". The Prophets, if nothing else, were social critics speaking out against the abuses of the powerful. The Church in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom is speaking prophetically, when we speak out against injustice and reach out with compassion toward your impoverished and hungering neighbor we are engaging in prophetic and evangelistic ministry.
This begs the question is the Gospel for freedom of religion? I mean if it is not... that seems a big problem in this context.
Freedom of religion is, in a word, secular. At least I would argue. The Gospel is neither for or against freedom of religion, it's simply the Gospel. The good word which we are to speak to the world both through the things we actually say and the things we do. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "the good news to a hungry person is bread."
Writing letters , email and phone calls, is one way but has it ever been enough? What of a march would that work? And what would be the topic "return to God" or "turn to God" would that go over? Maybe lobbyists? Does not the Christian right have those now?
I have a hard time getting this idea to fit right.
To what degree Christians should participate in the democratic process is an excellent debate, last year I heavily wrestled with the question over whether or not I should vote during the presidential election. The reason for which has to do with the fact that such participation or non-participation does have serious ethical consequences and should be evaluated seriously by thinking Christians.
At the very least Christians ought to be socially engaged. That people are suffering in our own backyards should be a serious issue which should singe the Christian's conscience even if for no other reason than because Jesus said that the way in which we treat "the least of these" is the very way we are treating Him. When Christians do engage directly with politics the only good reason I can really think of is not to make America more "Christian" but that we are first and foremost for "the least of these" to whom Christ has commissioned us to serve and to love.
Well thats the deal, engagement. Level of engagement and rules of engagement for a Christian and Government ... If I thought only to help the needy I guess I would be voting democrat (even they have dropped that though). But the Pro-Life issue (really helping the needy IMO) is a big filter on that. It appears a person has to raise some trouble to be heard now days or am I mistaken?
Even here if you want a lot of posts raise trouble?