Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status, and although there was always a wealthy elite class living in luxury and a disenfranchised class living in poverty, between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, America was on its way to becoming closer to an egalitarian society than at any time in its history. All that ended with the election of B-movie actor Ronald Reagan in 1980 that began America’s march away from egalitarianism and on a path toward oligarchy that, thirty-three years later, is reaching fruition due to Republicans’ success at convincing the masses to give up all their possessions to the rich to get on the path to prosperity.
Crucial to Reagan’s insane trickle down economic theory was the so-called “moral majority” Christian movement whose support continues to enable the Republican transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the richest Americans. It is doubtful that what Americans regard as Christians, either then or today, have any knowledge of Jesus Christ’s teachings regarding the rich having no chance of entering the kingdom of heaven, or that he instructed the rich to sell all their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. If today’s so-called “followers of Christ” had paid attention in Sunday School or read a few verses in three of the Christian bible’s “Gospel Accounts,” so-called Christians would reject Republicans if for no other reason than their preferential treatment of the very people Christ said had about as much hope of getting into Heaven as a camel passing through the eye of a needle.
It is now standard conservative policy for Republicans to condemn Americans as greedy and envious for the mortal sin of expecting to keep what little they have, and over the past five years particularly expect Americans to worship and pay tribute to the rich by giving up basic necessities of life. Jesus never instructed his disciples, and there is nothing in the Gospels, remotely resembling Jesus Christ instructing anyone to revere the rich or kiss the ground they walk on, but Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association thinks that is what Jesus wanted and counselled Americans receiving government services to “kiss the ground beneath the feet of the one percent.”
Fischer, as director of Issues Analysis for the extremist Christian American Family Association (AFA), said on two weeks ago that people who used welfare and other government services needed to “kiss the ground beneath the richest 1 percent of Americans.” Fischer also said Americans who paid into Social Security retirement and Medicare throughout their working lives had no right to collect, or expect to collect, on their benefits when they retire. According to the “follower of Christ,” Americans are laboring under a “myth” that they had a right to collect on their so-called “entitlements” or “earned government benefits” he claimed were socialism.
Fischer, ever the good Christian, scolded the poor and middle class and explained that “rather than the poor, the low income and the middle class being resentful of these rich people, they should be kissing the ground on which they walk! They ought to be given ticker-tape parades once a week in all of our major cities to thank them for funding welfare for everybody.” However, Fischer’s blasphemy against Jesus Christ and apostasy against his teachings did not stop with demanding that the 99% fall down and prostate themselves before the rich. He also railed against the government and “the involuntary transfer of wealth through taxation” he asserted “makes us a socialist country. This is Marxism on display.” In 2012, another Christian extremist, mega-church preacher Rick Warren, said via Twitter that “HALF of America pays NO taxes. Zero, so they’re happy for tax rates to be raised on the other half that DOES pay taxes.” Jesus likely wept.
According to Fischer who adheres to Republican conservatism as if it is a religion, President Obama is guilty of using the Internal Revenue service to “go after the 1 percent;” a claim Republicans imply by defending income inequality and protecting the rich from any tax reform. Fischer and Warren can bemoan and label taxation whatever their bastardized Christianity informs them, but Jesus commanded his followers to “render unto Caesar what is Caesars,” and their Christian bible says “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” Even a half-wit bible-thumper from the bible belt can comprehend those simple directions and that Jesus commanded the rich to sell all their possession and give to the poor; instructions that are contrary to conservative Christian ideology demanding the rich be held up as idols.
The state of the conservative movement, and increasingly the Christian conservative movement, has become a religious testament to oligarchy and the philosophy that the masses exist to serve the rich; including giving them all their possessions. Republicans have become so blatantly pro-one-percent that despite their weeping and gnashing of teeth over “crushing deficits” for the past five years, that they had the temerity to blatantly and without apology pass an unfunded $310 billion tax cut for the rich and corporations to increase the deficit they claim is an affront to “our children and grandchildren’s economic future.”
Like the so-called Christian right, Republicans are not even couching their idolatry of the rich and hatred of the poor and middle class they claim are greedy and envious for objecting to conservatives taking from the poor to enrich the wealthy that is the new Christian conservatism. One wonders how long it will be until the Christian conservative movement joins with Republicans to support a law mandating “the poor, low-income, and middle class” fall to their knees, prostrate themselves to the ground, and “kiss the ground beneath the one percent.” At the rate America is rushing toward oligarchy as theocracy, refusing to worship the rich will be akin to apostasy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.