Thursday, October 13, 2005

rich christians

I've been reading a fascinating book by Ronald J. Sider called Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. I came across it as I was researching the Jesus People Movement. It's kind of a classic of radical 1970s Christianity. I'm really enjoying it. It lays out reallly strong, easy to understand case. And it's just as revolutionary as can be, though in a refreshingly friendly, Golly gee! sort of way.

This part really resonated with me:
THE JUBILEE PRINCIPLE Leviticus 25 is one of the most radical texts in all of Scripture. At least it seems that way for people born in countries committed to laissez-faire economics. Every fifty years, God said, all land was to return to the original owners -- without compensation! Physical handicaps, death of breadwinner or lack of natural ability may lead some people to become poorer than others. But God does not want such disadvantages to lead to greater and greater divergence of wealth and poverty. God therefore gave his people a law which would equalize land ownership every fifty years.

A number of things come to mind here. For one, whenever I hear Leviticus I think about all the religious-political hoopty-doo over gay marriage. Anti-gay folks seize on one queerly worded line of text in that book to build entire political campaigns around. Yet here's this long, very specific passage that's essentially Marxist, and nobody says shit about that. What gives?

Of course, it also makes me think of Native Americans. And affirmative action. And Enron.

No comments: