Were Early Christians Socialists or (gasp!) Marxists?

I was reading one of the conservative blogs and noticed a phrase that the blog owner had given by Marx:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

I thought that this phrase sounded familiar (I haven’t read Marx directly before).  Sure enough, I found something very similar to this in the New Testament:

Acts 4:32-35: "4:32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.4:33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.4:34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.4:35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."

 

So does this make Jesus a Socialist or a Marxist?  Well, Marx said pretty-much the same as Jesus and the disciples—each person got what he/she needed.  And Socialism is the spreading of wealth (which these Tea-Partiers really hate!) and here you have people who did not own anything—they sold all and gave it away.  If this isn’t spreading the wealth, I don’t know what is.  So yes, Jesus and the Disciples were both Marxists and Socialists.

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Exodus and Its Ties to Gay Hate in Africa

Most people know about the part that Exodus, run by the ex-gay Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas.  Some of their ‘henchmen’ were in Africa recently and not surprisingly, soon after they left there has been a wave an anti-gay violence spreading through Africa.  This company should be investigated by the government and if found guilty of spreading hate, they should be disbanded.  At least that is my opinion of it.  It is no different if a company sent people to Africa and spread an anti-Christian message, which led to Christian persecution. 

Anyway, I see the anti-gay violence has now spread to Kenya.  Back when I moved to Australia, the university found a hotel for me (they didn’t pay for it, they just sent me a name of one).  My first day there I met a woman from Kenya who was about to start her education at Macquarie as well.  She seemed very nice and when she didn’t have any Australian money, I lent her some.  When I found an apartment right across the street from the University, she asked if she could stay with me until she found a place.  Of course I said yes.  On about the 4th day she was reading the paper and there was some news about gay activism in Sydney.  She told me that she couldn’t believe it.  I asked her what exactly she couldn’t believe, and she said that gays and lesbians were actually trying to get their rights!  I told her that I was gay (and I talked about Doug quite a bit, but apparently she wasn’t listening) and that there were gay people in Kenya and she said no, there weren’t.  Needless to say she moved out pretty quickly and I never heard from her again. 

You would think that Africa has enough of its own problems.  But Exodus is pushing their ‘freedom from homosexuality’ onto Africa because the climate in the US is quickly moving to a point where picking on the glbt community is not right.  Maybe Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas should pack their bags and move to Africa.  Then again, being ex-gay (and Alan Chambers STILL admits to having gay feelings) would put them into a dangerous position.  And it is this position that they helped create. 

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A Home-Grown Terrorist

I see today that an American guy crashed his plane into the IRS building in Texas where over 200 people were working. 

The article in the S.F. Chronicle states that he:  “ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America’s "thugs and plunderers."

"I have had all I can stand," he wrote, adding: "I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother’ while he strips my carcass."

Hmm.  That sounds like Tea-Party language, if you ask me.  It will be interesting to see what groups he hung out with, both online and in person.  You have so many people whipped up into making statements that Obama is a Marxist, Communist, Socialist thug and some people actually believe it.  So instead of dealing with it rationally, he tried to murder 200 people.  He is a terrorist, pure and simple. 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today Doug and I will be celebrating our 18th anniversary.  It is hard to believe it has been 18 years!!!  It is good to see that over these 18 years many things have changed in this country.  We were there at U. of M. when the Regents allowed benefits for couples.  We registered as domestic partners in 1994 in Ann Arbor Michigan, even though we knew it was purely symbolic.  We were still living in Michigan when President Clinton signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and he promptly received a letter, in the largest font I could get on a page, telling him that I was gay and to don’t even think about calling me up in case there is a war.  Doug finished his Ph.D. in Algebraic Geometry in 1997 he joined me in Berkeley where I was working on my M.A. in early Christianity.  We also signed up as Domestic Partners at City Hall in Berkeley even though it was still symbolic.  We moved to Sydney in 1998 so I could do my Ph.D. at Macquarie University.  We moved back to San Francisco in Sept. 2005 and registered as Domestic Partners.  This time it actually meant something.  Then on July 18, 2008 we got legally married in California.  It was pretty amazing.  I wanted to get married on the first day that the State Supreme Court would allow, but luckily Doug talked me into waiting so we could plan out the wedding. 

Then we had a very up and very down night in Nov. 2008 when the federal election was held.  President Obama won but Prop. 8 also won (by a very slim 51%).  We didn’t know if we were even married at that point.  We had to wait a couple of months to hear that the State Supreme Court said that religious bigotry could be acceptable and that a majority of people could vote to take away the right they had given us.  Luckily the State Supreme Court also said that those of us who got married would remain married. 

So here we are.  Still fighting for our rights.  We are still hoping that Prop. 8 will be thrown out at the Federal Court level.  My guess is if that happens, a stay will be issued which means other gay and lesbian couples will not be able to get married until the case goes to the Supreme Court (with the way the Court is made up, I am not looking forward to that!).  But who knows.  Support for gays and lesbians is growing by leaps and bounds each year.  Federal Hate Crime Legislation is now the law of the land.  Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be overturned in the next year or two.  The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will hopefully be passed as well.  And then, in the not too distant future, it will be the law of the land that states cannot discriminate, AT ALL, against gays and lesbians and transgendered people.  The way I see it, state and federal discrimination against GLBTs is the same as state and federal discrimination against African Americans in the past. 

Anyway, have a nice Valentine’s Day!

 

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Medical Insurance Premiums

So it looks like an insurance company wanted to raise premiums between 25% to 39%!  According to the newspaper, this would affect about 700,000 people.  If this isn’t a reason for a public health plan, then I don’t know what is.  The California state government got Anthem Blue Cross to postpone this rise until May 1 when the state has the chance to examine why exactly it needs such a giant rise in rates. 

One wonders how people living on minimum wage (at the federal level it is just $7.25 an hour) can afford any health care at all.  It is pretty disgusting if you ask me.  Of course, those who bitterly complain about health care for all have health care themselves…

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Should a Gay Judge Excuse Himself in a Gay Trial?

According to the anti-gay crusader, Matt Barber, he should.  Of course, that is totally ridiculous.  If he did, just because he was gay, that would mean that all straight judges should excuse themselves whenever they deal with heterosexual issues.  If that happened, there would be no judges.  I don’t expect genius from Matt Barber, but at least a bit of common sense would be nice!

It turns out that the Prop. 8 Trial judge is gay.  And that judge is going to determine whether or not Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.  That is what is throwing Matt Barber into hissy fits.  Well, at least Matt Barber and the anti-gay crowd can point to that if Prop. 8 gets flushed down the toilet, because they certainly can’t blame their poor legal performance and their utter homophobia if they lose!

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Governor’s Hateful Veto Overridden by the Rhode Island House

I’m not sure if you remember, but the Rhode Island governor vetoed legislation that would have allowed partners to take care of the remains of their dead partners.  The governor thought this was an attack on ‘traditional’ marriage.  Well, today, the R.I. House overrode the veto with a vote of 67-3!  It isn’t over yet—the Senate still has to vote to override.  Hopefully they will do the same as the House. 

Thanks to Joe Brummer to pointing this out!

 

***UPDATE***

I see that the Senate has voted to override it as well!  They voted 29 to 3.  Yeah!!!

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