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Good Friday, Socialism, and Acts 4
April 22, 2011
by William P. Meyers

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Even the heathen readers of my blog probably at least know that Good Friday is the day Christians around the world remember the death of their Lord Jesus of Bethlehem by crucifixion, the death penalty being carried out by Roman soldiers. According to the Christian Bible, two days later, on Sunday morning, this same Jesus rose from the dead.

Protestant Christian sects, once there were some that were not murdered by the Catholic Church, hold that the Bible is the best guide to Christianity. Fundamentalists hold that the Bible is literally true. Given all that, be sure to memorize the following passage. Feel free to recite it at Republican Party and Tea Party meetings, where Bible quoting is generally considered a good thing.

It is Acts of the Apostles, chapter 4, verses 31 to 37 (Acts 4:31-37). I quote from the Authorized King James Version, lest anyone accuse me of using some liberal translation of the Greek.

"32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all.

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold.

35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet."

If that is not socialism, it is communism. It certainly is not the free-market capitalism of the Christian Right. It looks like a welfare state to me. Those with property are taxed 100% and that money is used to take care of "every man according as he had need."

There have been a number of Protestant Christian sects that have tried to implement this Bible-mandated system, but apparently the Devil has whispered his free-market system in the ears of most Christian leaders. Political Christianity is nothing new. The Protestant movement was highly intertwined in the politics of the past. In the Middle Ages the economy was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church holdings and the landed Aristocracy. Starting in the 15th century Protestantism appealed to the merchants and manufacturers, who were growing in economic power and sought higher social recognition and political say.

In the struggle between those Protestants who wanted to re-create primitive Christianity, including Acts Chapter 3, and those who wanted to mold the Bible to support their own ambitions, the latter won out. Peasant rebellions (like that of 1381 in England) tended to focus on Acts Chapter 3, but peasants never gained social or economic power. Just as today Fundamentalism is obscured by the greed of those who want the literal Bible to not interfere with their hatred of immigrants and hopes of joining the billionaire boys club. (Speaking of which, read on to Acts Chapter 5).

Good Friday, too, has always been a problem for Christians. What kind of Dad has his son Crucified? Even the evil old Jehovah, tribal god of the Jews, did not make Abraham actually kill his own son Isaac. The sadomasochism of the Catholic Church, the tendency toward a homosexual priesthood, and the love of cruel punishments for heretics (especially female heretics) all. feed on the Crucifixion.

Perhaps the lesson of the Crucifixion is that Death is no big deal. For all its proclaimed Jewishness, the early Christian cult seems to have gathered more from pagan resurrection cults than from the Torah. Life and death were known to be part of a cycle. Living things must die so that other living things can eat. Life dies back in winter and returns in spring. To seek immortality is to wreck what Fate has ordained. And so Jesus is supposed to have risen from the dead, but then he vanished into thin air, like a ghost, but with the promise of returning in the spring like the daffodils.

Perhaps He never came back because Christians never took his communist social system to heart. Perhaps only when Acts 4 is instituted on a global scale will we see the true return of the god of Spring, and the establishment of the true Zion.

Me, I'll stick with the more modest democratic form of socialism. I like my liberty, but I'm willing to temper it to a reasonable degree for the general good. Maybe Jesus would not have liked that, but then while I might take his advice into consideration, I don't feel at all bound by it.

On the other hand, since the Bible demands that we hold medicine in common, I think a little preaching might turn the corner in favor of Universal Health Care.

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