Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God is a Liberal, Part III

"What happened to Part II?" you ask. Well the last post was supposed to be Part II, I just forgot to title it that way. Welcome to Part III.

So God is a liberal? Well, yes. Conservatives complain about liberals trying to social engineer society through government. Did you know that the God of the Bible did the same thing? For example, the Year Of Jubilee. The book of Leviticus, chapter 25 explains all about it. When some people would become poor, they would have to sell their land in order to make enough money to survive. But every 50 years the land was returned to them -- free!!! It was a Jubilee!!! A time of rejoicing. They got to start their lives over again. If you've ever seen the movie, "Fight Club," you'll notice the same idea: They were going to blow up the buildings of the credit card companies, so that everybody's debt was erased, and they all got to start at zero, again. God had the same idea, 0nly a lot sooner, and without the hassle of blowing up a lot of buildings (though not as much fun).

Of course, this isn't all that God did to try to engineer society. He also made charity a law. Leviticus 19:9 and 23:22 explain that farmers (which was just about everybody in an agrarian society) were not allowed to harvest all of their crops. They had to leave the corners and edges of their fields for the poor to be able to gather food for themselves.

There was more: God commanded (in Deuternomy 15) that everyone's debts were to be cancelled every seven years. Whoah!!! Wouldn't most of us like to see that these days!

So obviously, God thought society should making looking out for the poor a high priority. And it wasn't just society in Israel. In Ezekiel 16:49, we are told that Sodom was destroyed -- not because of homosexuality -- but because Sodom "did not aid the poor and needy." Whoah!!! Now that's a warning we need to hear in this country! How do all the televangelists miss that, eh?

If we look throughout the prophets and Psalms, we find that justice is measured by how much the poor and needy are taken care of.

This carries over into the New Testament. Not only do we find Jesus healing people for free, and feeding them when they are hungry, but when the first church in Jerusalem is formed, it is a commune, where everyone shares everything in common, and nobody goes without (Acts 2:44-45)

So, if social engineering so that the poor are taken care of is a liberal idea, then by all means, God is a Liberal!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Implications of being in God's Image

Yes, being created by God, means that we belong to God, and if others mistreat us, they are answerable to God. However, the Bible makes clear that this goes far beyond the right not to be murdered.

First, it means that no human being has an inherent right to rule over others. God makes clear to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 17 and I Samuel 8) that only God is supposed to be their king. Their insistence on having a king, just like the other nations, is an affront to God, showing that they don't really want God to be their king. Samuel tries to warn them that if they have a king, they will be subjecting themselves to a condition of slavery that God never meant them to be in.

So then, we have a right not to be murdered. We have a right not to be subject to an absolute ruler. We can expand that: We have a right not to be subject to an aristocracy. We have a right not to be subject to a plutocracy (rule by the wealthy). We have a right not to subject to what we can call "corporatocracy" (or what Mussolini called "fascism").

What did God intend for us? Probably, God intended that we be in a loving, personal relationship with God, submitted to God, and therefore in a loving relationship with all other human beings. However, since we are not in such a relationship with God, we are obviously not in such a relationship with others.

Since we are not perfect, it is unlikely that any government by us will be perfect. But it seems that the government that will be the least bad, would be some sort of democracy, where each of us will have some say in how we are ruled. Then whatever image of God we carry within us, that originally meant that we shared in ruling this planet, we will be able to exercise in that government.

There are basic, essential things that God required of all governments. We will get to that next time.

Monday, July 9, 2007

God is a Liberal, Part I

Let's begin with the basics: Anyone who believes in the Bible should be a liberal. Why? Because according to the Bible, God is a liberal. The traditional liberal view sees every human being as having certain unalienable rights. The Bible says these rights are grounded in the very act of creation, when God created human beings in God's own image (Genesis 1:26). And not just men. Women, also, are created in God's image (Genesis 1:27).

This is an oft repeated statement, that we take for granted, but rarely consider the implications. As someone recently pointed out to me, we need to stop and consider what the first listeners of these verses would have thought. In most civiliztions of the time, the king, or members of the royal house, were the only ones considered to have a close connection to the divine. They were the representatives of the gods on earth. Or they were descendants of the gods. They were set apart from ordinary people.

So to the first listeners, something extraordinary and revolutionary was being said in Genesis: All humanity -- men and women -- were created in God's image. No human being could lord it over any other human being as having some sort of hereditary advantage to the divine. All people enjoyed the same standing with God, participating in the Divine act of bestowing It's own image in Its creation.

So from the very beginning, we see that what was considered a very liberal idea in the 18th century, already had been said millenia sooner by the author of Genesis.

What are the implications of this? To be explored next time.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Welcome to Bilbo's Blog

Welcome to Bilbo's Blog, a place for political liberals who believe in Intelligent Design.

Why would there be a need for such a place?
Because most leaders in the Intelligent Design movement are politically conservative, and they let you know it. Because many liberals leaders don't believe in Intelligent Design, and they let you know it as well.

What do I hope to accomplish here?
1) Provide topics, information, or news for discussion relevant to ID.

2) Provide topics, information, or news for discussion relevant to politics.

3) Be a thorn in the side to conservatives and liberals alike.