When it suits [the Left], they’ll talk about Jesus Christ. When they can convince or try to convince everybody that Jesus Christ is the patron saint of liberalism, then they will herald Jesus Christ… “He was the first liberal. He was a great socialist. Jesus Christ. He knew who to punish. Jesus Christ knew it was the rich who were the targets. stood up for the downtrodden. Jesus Christ stood up for the slothful.”…The question is not, “What would Jesus do?” The question is not, “What would Jesus cut?” The question is, “What would Jesus take?”…Taxes and budget cuts, what would Jesus do? What would Jesus take? That’s the question people need to ask to put this in perspective. Well, the answer? NOTHING! – Rush Limbaugh, 4/27/2011
These are ideas that he got from Ayn Rand, of course.
Rand: The powers of government are strictly limited. They will have no right to initiate force or compulsion against any citizen, except a criminal. Those who have initiated force will be punished by force. And that is the only proper function of government. What we will not permit is for the government to initiate force against people who have hurt no one – who have not forced anyone. We will not give the government nor the majority nor any minority the right to take the life or the property of others.Wallace: When you say, “Take the property of others,” I imagine you’re talking now about taxes.Rand: Yes.Wallace: Now, you believe that there should be no right by the government to tax. You believe that there should be no such thing as welfare legislation, unemployment compensation, regulation during times of stress, certain forms of rent control and things like that.Rand: That’s right. I’m opposed to all forms of control. I’m for laissez-faire, free, unregulated economy. Let me put it this way: I’m for the separation of state and economics.
Towards the end, O’Donnell may give Limbaugh’s listeners too much credit for knowing the bible. They may know a lot about certain theologies of the bible – and the verses that back up those gnostic/dualistic viewpoints – but they don’t seem to grasp the ‘here and now’ elements of the bible. So, the stuff about the widows and orphans and prisoners may be kinda important, but not so important that it trumps the rantings of a multi-millionaire blaming those folks for their own suffering.
The authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. (vv 3-4. New Living Translation)
This is, it should be noted, a general rule. There are several times when Christians rightly find themselves on the wrong side of the law – including Jesus and the author of Romans himself, Paul. But in general, the passage says that government generally keeps the peace. And a reading of only this passage will lead one to think that government’s main objective is to punish bad people.
What this passage doesn’t mention directly is who some of those bad people are. If we think that they are merely thieves or rapists of one stripe (usually poor, often misidentified), then we simply do not know the bible very well. It is filled with warnings about cheating merchants and corrupt judges and those who steal from widows. In other words, white collar criminals are those who, due to their greed, stand in the way and on the backs of the poor.
Exodus 23:6; Deuteronomy 15; 24:14, 15; Leviticus 25:35; Job 20:18-20; 2 Samuel 12; Psalm 10:2; 37:14; 72; 82; Proverbs 13:23; 18:23; 22:22-23; 28:15-16; 29:7; Isaiah 3:13-15; 32:7; Jeremiah 2:34-35; 5:28; Ezekiel 18; Daniel 4:27; Amos 2; 4; 5; 8
1 God presides over heaven’s court;
he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
2 “How long will you hand down unjust decisions
by favoring the wicked?
3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
5 But these oppressors know nothing;
they are so ignorant!
They wander about in darkness,
while the whole world is shaken to the core.
6 I say, ‘You are gods;
you are all children of the Most High.
7 But you will die like mere mortals
and fall like every other ruler.’”
8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to you. (NLT)
Isaiah 10:1, 2
What sorrow awaits the unjust judges
and those who issue unfair laws.
2 They deprive the poor of justice
and deny the rights of the needy among my people.
They prey on widows
and take advantage of orphans.
Amos 84 Listen to this, you who rob the poor
and trample down the needy!
5 You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over
and the religious festivals to end
so you can get back to cheating the helpless.
You measure out grain with dishonest measures
and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales.[a]
6 And you mix the grain you sell
with chaff swept from the floor.
Then you enslave poor people
for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.
7 Now the Lord has sworn this oath
by his own name, the Pride of Israel:
“I will never forget
the wicked things you have done!
8 The earth will tremble for your deeds,
and everyone will mourn.
The ground will rise like the Nile River at floodtime;
it will heave up, then sink again.
9 “In that day,” says the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth while it is still day.
10 I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning
and your singing into weeping.