Tuesday, December 10, 2013
In the Rev. Jeremy Hiltz's letter to newspaper ("Obamacare exemplifies the way of Satan," Aug. 3), once again we see the Bible misrepresented to forward a political agenda. By way of rejecting Obamacare, the reverend tells us that Judas "wanted to force Mary to sell her private property to give to the poor," when in fact all he does is ask if the money spent on an expensive ointment could not be better used to help poor people (John 12:1-8.) True, Jesus says the poor are always with us, but he does not say that means we should do nothing to alleviate poverty. Indeed, in Matthew 19:21-22, he tells a rich man to sell all he has and give the money to the poor, a command the reverend wrongly ascribes, as we've seen, to Judas. Jesus continues, "A rich man will hardly enter the kingdom of heaven." The reverend also says, "Conscripted giving at the point of financial or criminal penalty" is not virtuous, and "Taking another person's earned wealth by force and redistributing it hardly exemplifies the Christian way." But in Acts 5:1-11, when a married couple hold back half of their wealth from St. Peter, they are instantly stricken dead. You can't use much more force than that. The text continues, "And great fear came upon all the church and upon as many as heard these things." So "taking another person's earned wealth by force" was "the Christian way" right from the beginning. Being a good Christian means accepting all of the New Testament and not ignoring or altering select passages to support a special agenda.
David H. Mills