CAPITALISM AND CHRISTIANITY
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the
truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell
"Someone who lacks independent wealth
has no claim to even the SMALLEST portion of food
- David Ricardo
"And he (i.e., the "false prophet") causeth all, both small and
great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right
hand, or in their foreheads: "AND THAT NO MAN MIGHT BUY OR SELL,
SAVE HE THAT HAD THE MARK or the name of the beast (i.e., the
Antichrist), or the number of his name." (Rev. 13:16-17)
What a reaction our last newsletter ("The Deceitfulness of Riches and
the Marxist Paradigm") generated! It seems that whenever we touch the
matter of "money" and the "rich," people - especially our American
readers - appear as if out of nowhere to assail and denounce us.
[Note: this doesn't happen with our readers in Bulgaria, or in Russia,
or in Botswana, or in Zambia, or in Kenya, or in Brazil, or in Egypt,
or in Abu Dubai, or in Costa Rica, or in Peru, etc. (and yes, we do
have readers in all these places).] You would think that we had blasphemed
God - and maybe, insofar as the god they apparently serve is concerned
(i.e., money), we have. I wonder if these same people would respond
with such vehemence and fury if we had attacked the poor, the displaced,
the homeless, the outcasts, the friendless, etc. I doubt it!
We are called "Marxists," "ner-do-wells," "hypocrites," and other things
too hateful and odious to be mentioned here. It seems that nothing draws
the ire and outrage of Christians in America (not all of them, for sure,
but certainly a lot of them) against us more than when we touch the
matter of wealth.
Most of the people who attack us start out with a broad and sometimes
even magnanimous comment about the "general truth" of what we are saying,
but that usually "peters off" into an attack against our "bias" insofar
as the rich are concerned. Typical of this kind of letter is the following:
"... (Your article) is indeed full of truth and I applaud that.
However ... there seems to be a hostile thread toward those who have
money and that's sad ... In your dissertation on the dangers of having
money, you seem to elevate those with little or no money to a more
wholesome, pure and honest level of servitude, implying that those
who have been "blessed" with poverty have a less difficult path to
God than those with financial substance. I must disagree ... Blessings
to you guys as you follow the leading of our Lord - as controversial
as it may become.
A second letter reads as follows:
"I didn't subscribe to your Newsletter. It was sent to me by a friend.
I read your letter on Money and you have many Bible passages that
pertain to money and its relationship to sin. I would like to say
that generally speaking what you are saying about money in your letter
(i.e., article) is true ... However, the real problem lies in the
depraved heart of man ... Sure the love of money is the root of all
evil, but what about the wealthy man who uses his wealth to support
missions, gospel ministries and such ..."
third person writes:
"There is a consistent substance to Steven's [i.e., Stevan (S.R.
Shearer's) - editor] writings that I have trouble with. I have tried
to rationalize it away as there is a lot about Antipas that I like.
A couple of weeks ago someone posted a message that struck a cord
with me ... As I read it my thoughts were, " taking the words right
out of my mouth". [Note: we quoted from this letter in our last article;
this is the letter from "R" that referred to us as "Marxists" - editor.]
I don't want to get into a debate about this, so I am reluctant to
mention anything, but I will tell you one of the things that has consistently
bothered me. The notion that it is more spiritual to be poor ... (In)
one of Steven's newsletters he characterized the enemy as someone
reading his Wall Street Journal, driving his SUV and talking on his
cell phone. This poor vs. rich theme is in all of what he writes."
It seems that money is the "third rail of America's form of Christianity"
- touch it (i.e., "diss it," as they say where we live) and you die.
All of these people are evidently concerned at our lack of "equity"
insofar as the rich vis a vis the poor are concerned. They complain
that we seem to favor the poor over the rich - that we seem to think
that "... it is," as the first letter writer above acerbically puts
it, "more spiritual to be poor" than it is to be rich; that - as the
third letter writer above sarcastically suggests we say - "... those
who have been 'blessed' with poverty have a less difficult path to God
than those with financial substance."
THE POOR AND THE BIBLE
But that's what the Bible indicates! That's exactly what the Bible
suggests: for example, Jesus didn't say "It is easier for a camel to
go through the eye of a needle, than for a poor man to enter into the
kingdom of God;" but He did say that about the rich:
"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through
the eye of a needle, than for a RICH man to enter into the kingdom
of God." (Matt. 19:24)
And He said this not once, but twice in the same passage of Scripture:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That
a RICH man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt.
Moreover, the Bible doesn't speak about the "deceitfulness of poverty,"
it does say that, however, about wealth and riches (Matt. 13:22 and
Mark 4:19), specifically, it suggests that riches choke the efficacy
of the Word of God in our hearts -
"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth
it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was
sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
"But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he
that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
"Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when
tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by
he is offended.
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth
the word; and the care of this world, and the DECEITFULNESS OF
RICHES, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (Matt. 13:18-22)
The Bible doesn't tell the poor "woe unto you that are poor." Nowhere
does it say that! Nowhere! But it does say that to the rich:
"But woe unto you that are RICH! for ye have received
"Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that
laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep." (Luke 6:24-25)
The Bible doesn't say, "Go to now, ye poor men, weep and howl for
your miseries that shall come upon you. Your poverty has corrupted you
..." But it does say that about the rich:
"Go to now, ye RICH men, weep and howl for your miseries
that shall come upon you.
"Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be
a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye
have heaped treasure together for the last days. (James 5:1-3)
The Bible doesn't say, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples,
and said, Blessed be ye rich: for yours is the kingdom of God." But
it does say that about the poor:
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed
be ye POOR: for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20)
The Scriptures don't say, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not
God chosen the rich." But it does say that about the poor:
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God CHOSEN the
POOR of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom
which he hath promised to them that love him?" (James 2:5)
THE BIBLE IS AN AFFRONT TO THE RICH
What are we to say about all this? - Yes, the Bible very evidently
does favor the poor over the rich - VERY CLEARLY IT DOES!!
And, moreover, it doesn't beat around the bush about its favoritism;
it says it very plainly and openly:
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that NOT MANY WISE MEN
AFTER THE FLESH, NOT MANY MIGHTY, NOT MANY NOBLE, are called:
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound
the things which are mighty;
"And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath
God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things
that are." (1 Cor. 1:26-28)
Obviously, rich Americans will find this offensive. Why? BECAUSE
THEY ARE RICH! - at least in comparison to those living in the
rest of the world. Obviously, they would be offended by our comments
concerning SUVs. It's not the poor who parade around in them pretending
to be on Safari in Kruger National Park or in the jungles of the Amazon
- it's the rich! They're the ones who read the Wall Street Journal;
not the poor; the poor aren't following the stock market, it's the rich
who are. They're the ones who talk on cell phones and the ones who live
in Yuppie Land. They are the ones who invest their money in the stock
of companies who treat their employees like slaves in Indonesia, El
Salvador, Thailand, etc. - maybe not so much the ones who subscribe
to our website, but certainly the ones who attend the services at Crystal
Cathedral in Southern California, or at Capital Christian Center in
Sacramento, California, or at Thomas Roads Baptist Church in Lynchberg,
Virginia, or at James Robison's church in Texas, or at James Kennedy's
church in Florida, or at Tim LaHaye's church, etc., or who tune in to
Paul Crouch at TBN and Pat Robertson at CBN.
Naturally, all these people will reject what the Bible has to say
about the rich; of course they will complain bitterly that "This poor
vs. rich theme is in all of what he (i.e., S.R. Shearer) writes." But
the very real fact of the matter is, THIS IS ONE OF THE GREAT THEMES
OF THE BIBLE: THE OPPRESSION OF THE POOR BY THE RICH:
"Do not RICH men OPPRESS you, and draw
you before the judgment seats?" (James 2:6)
Moreover - and much more ominously - the Bible says that in making
such an ostentatious display of their wealth and in oppressing the poor,
they (i.e., the rich) are storing up God's wrath against themselves
(Rom. 2:5). That's the truth of the matter - and only Western Christianity
(and especially the Christianity of America) would miss this point.
REJECTING THE COUNSEL OF GOD
Again - why do the rich rage against all this? Why do they call this
"class warfare?" BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES AGAINST WHOM ALL THIS
IS DIRECTED! Duh! (to put it in the vernacular) - what else
would one expect from those against whom these verses are directed?
This is how the Pharisees (i.e., the religious establishment of Christ's
day) reacted to Christ when He spoke against them and called them "serpents,"
"vipers," "poisonous snakes" (Matt. 23:33), and "whited
sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full
of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matt. 23:27).
Moreover, this is precisely how they (again, the "religious establishment")
reacted to Christ when He asked them, "HOW CAN YE ESCAPE THE DAMNATION
OF HELL?" (Matt. 23:33):
"And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak
unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness
for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
"But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment?
Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately,
are in kings' courts.
"But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you,
and much more than a prophet.
"This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger
before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
"For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is
not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least
in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
"And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified
God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
"BUT THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS REJECTED THE COUNSEL OF GOD
AGAINST THEMSELVES, being not baptized of him. (Luke 7:24-30)
WE HAVE NO PERSONAL INTEREST IN
OFFENDING THE RICH! - WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?
It is only natural for people to reject criticism that is directed
against themselves. But I implore you - especially those of you who
have money, i.e., who "drive the SUVs," who "talk on cell phones," and
who "read the Wall Street Journal," please do not take offense
at what we are saying; please don't reject it as simply the blather
of Marxist ideology. I can tell you that our intention in discussing
money has not been to purposefully offend you or anyone else. THERE
CERTAINLY IS NO GAIN IN THAT FOR US! Indeed, every time we discuss
the issue of money, it seems to drive people away from our website.
What's in that for us? One brother writes:
"I think highly of ... the brothers ... at Antipas. I just can't
support this ministry (financially) any longer for the reasons I have
mentioned (i.e., our stance with regard to the rich and money - editor).
I hope its clear that I agree with much of the message you are spreading,
but I have very serious concerns about a few things I have mentioned."
Again, I ask you, what's in it for us if we drive people like this
away? - and this particular brother has actually supported the ministry.
What do we get out of offending supporters like that? If money is what
we cared about, we would never mention it again! - that's for sure!
But that's not what we care about. What we care about is YOU!!
We would rather have you angry at us now and, as a result, suffer the
loss of your support in this present life, than "water down" our message
to you in order to gain your financial backing, and have you offended
at us in eternity because we failed to preach to you an unadulterated
Gospel. The very real fact of the matter is, that's what the "end of
days" is all about - MONEY! That's what Rev. 13:16-17
very clearly indicates. Unless we come to grips with the hold money
has on our lives, and quit kidding ourselves about it, we'll never make
it through the "Deception of the End of Days." It's unbelievable how
blind we are to the matter of wealth! How utterly hypocritical we are
when it comes to our money.
THE INCONGRUITY OF IT ALL
For example, why is it so difficult for Christians in America to see
the incongruity of being "right" insofar as abortion, homosexuality,
militant feminism and so forth are concerned while all the while refusing
to acknowledge the rapacious, greedy and even predatory character of
the corporate allies they have chosen to ally themselves with in their
battle to "take America back for Christ," to say nothing of the money-grubbing
and avaricious life-styles many of them have adopted on a personal level?
And all this in contravention to the lifestyle of Christ - the Lord
of all the universe, the One who dwells in "unapproachable light" -
who chose a life of poverty in His sojourn on this earth, and so much
so that He could say of Himself:
"... Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the
Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)
Is it so difficult to see the utter hypocrisy of speaking out against
the SLAVERY of drug addiction, while all the while investing money in
the "high-return" stock of corporations that enslave poor peasants in
virtual "SLAVE-labor camps" in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines,
El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. in order to make the products that make
life comfortable in the United States and Western Europe.
This is what drives ordinary people on the Left crazy! This is what
makes the Christianity of the Western World out to be the sham it has
become. THE RELIGION OF THE RICH! The religion of the
"Master Race" (i.e., the whites of the so-called "First World")! Yes,
abortion, homosexuality and all the rest are wrong! - very wrong! But
so are the predatory economic policies that the "Christian West" perpetrates
on the poor of the world. Jesus said:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe
of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters
of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done,
and not to leave the other undone.
"Ye blind guides, WHICH STRAIN AT A GNAT, AND SWALLOW A CAMEL
And isn't that exactly what the Religious Right is doing here in America?
They harangue Americans about abortion, about gays and lesbians, about
sexual sin, about "family values," and all the while statistics by the
Gallup and Roper polling organizations - to say nothing about any number
of other studies on the subject, many of them commissioned by Christian
organizations and published in journals like Christianity Today - reveal
that there is as much drug addiction, divorce, and sexual sin among
so-called "born-again" Christians as there is in the general population.
"... why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
"Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out
of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
"THOU HYPOCRITE, first cast out the beam out of thine
own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out
of thy brother's eye." (Mark 7:3-5)
"Thou HYPOCRITE!" That's what Jesus said to the scribes
and Pharisees. You say one thing, and do another! - isn't that what
the Religious Right is doing when they condemn the Left for the very
same kind of immorality that they practice? - only the Left does
it out in the open and boasts about it, while the Religious Right
does it under the table and tries (mostly unsuccessfully) to keep
it a secret.
Isn't that what Newt Gingrich - who was for a very long period of
time the "darling" of the Religious Right - was doing during the Monica
Lewinski affair: condemning Clinton for his sexual dalliance with Lewinski
while all the while he was carrying on the same kind of sordid affair
with one of his secretaries in the offices of the Speaker of the House
of Representatives? This is to say nothing of the shameful way Gingrich
dumped his first wife, Jackie, in 1980. According to insiders, Gingrich
came to his wife of 18 years while she was hospitalized for cancer.
He announced that he wanted a divorce, and handed her a yellow legal
pad with a list of provisions for handling the split up; he then badgered
her to sign the hand-drafted document; and after she did so, walked
out on her never to see her again. And what was it that she had done
to deserve this kind of treatment? Lee Howell, a former friend who had
asked Gingrich to be the best man at his wedding in 1979 offered an
explanation. According to Howell, "Jackie was kind of frumpy in Washington,
and she was seven years older than he was. And I guess Newt thought,
'Well, it doesn't look good for an articulate, young, aggressive, attractive
Congressman to have a frumpy old wife'."
And then there is the matter of Rep. John Livingston (R) of Louisiana
- the former Speaker designate of the House of Representatives and the
author of the federal "Three-strikes law." Livingston was "outed" for
having a "love child." Livingston's supporters claim that his sexual
indiscretions were "ancient history," but the fact of the matter is,
reporter Allan MacDonell appeared on the syndicated television news
show Extra and charged that Livingston's "indiscretions" had
continued well into the present.
And that's not the end of it. Take Rep. Henry Hyde (R) of Illinois.
Hyde, another favorite of the Religious Right, called his sexual faux-pas
a "youthful indiscretion." Trouble was, Hyde was 46 at the time he took
up with Cherie Snodgrass - a married woman half Hyde's age who had three
children - often keeping her up all night and away from her children
"nightclubbing." Fred Snodgrass, Cherie's ex-husband, said of Hyde's
seduction of his wife, "All I can think of is, Here is this hypocrite
who broke up my family."
And what about Rep. Dan Burton (R) of Indiana, another Religious Right
favorite who had a long-lasting sexual fling with an ex-model named
Claudia Keller whom he set up in an apartment and paid $40,000 a year?
Then there is Tom Delay (R) of Texas, another "dear" insofar as the
Religious Right is concerned, who is alleged to have had countless numbers
of sexual encounters with prostitutes (in fact, Newsweek Magazine is
reputed to have in its possession a picture of Delay locked in a sexual
embrace with a Mexican prostitute), and who is also to be rumored to
have a grown daughter not by his wife.
And did any of these men come clean on their own accord? No! - not
one of them! They were all "outed" by Hustler Magazine's Larry
Flynt. In other words, they were "forced out into the open." Their professed
shame resulted not so much from their sexual peccadilloes, as it did
from being caught. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, NONE OF THESE MEN
ARE OBSCURE "NOBODIES!" THEY ARE ALL EXTREMELY PROMINENT POLITICAL FIGURES
STRONGLY SUPPORTED BY THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT! Moreover, every
single one of them has campaigned on a platform of "moral values."
And what about those in the Religious Right itself? What about Jimmy
Swaggert? What about David Hocking? What about Ralph Wilkerson? - well,
you know all of them. It's a shame to even name them, and not just the
leaders of the Religious Right, but the congregates and the "pew sitters"
as well? Don't you think that unbelievers and the Left notice these
things? These inconsistencies? Of course they do! - and it is precisely
for this reason that the name of Christ is blasphemed among the gentiles
(i.e., the unbelievers). The Bible says:
"Behold, thou art called a Jew (in our case, a Christian) ... and
makest thy boast of God,
"And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent,
being instructed out of the law;
"And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a
light of them which are in darkness,
"An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the
form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
"THOU THEREFORE WHICH TEACHEST ANOTHER, TEACHEST THOU NOT THYSELF?
thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
"Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit
adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
"Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law
dishonourest thou God?
"FOR THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES
THROUGH (i.e., because of) YOU ... " (Rom. 2:17-24)
DISDAIN FOR THE POOR
All this is to say nothing about the way the Religious Right slavishly
mimics its corporate sponsors in its obvious disdain for the poor; for
example, the manner in which the Religious Right begrudges the poor
any kind of real welfare assistance while all the while saying nothing
about the billions and billions and billions of dollars of "corporate
welfare" that its secular allies in the corporate world receive, which
is many, many times greater than the total of all the welfare programs
of the poor combined. IT SEEMS THAT WHILE WELFARE IS OKAY FOR THE
RICH, IT ISN'T FOR THE POOR. And what about the support the Religious
Right lends to the "free trade" economic policies of its rich corporate
sponsors which ship millions and millions of American jobs out of the
United States to the "slave-labor camps" they have set up in the Third
World? - policies that, incidentally, are largely responsible for the
poverty of today's "working poor" in this country.
And then there is the matter of today's "workfare" programs that the
Religious Right supports at the behest of Corporate America, programs
that in "temperament and philosophy" resemble the hideous "workfare"
programs that the Rev. William Wilberforce and his Calvinist-like cohorts
in England forced on the starving Irish during the Great Potato famine
of the mid-1830s, and which forever earned the enmity of the Catholic
Irish over and against the Protestant English; "workfare" programs which
today force poor, single mothers up at 5:00 am to leave their children
with "whomsoever," while they embark on a two and sometimes three hour
bus ride across town to work at minimum wage jobs that pay no benefits
and not enough money to pay for rent, utilities, food and a cheap car.
These are the kind of Christians who want to live safely in their
gated communities, preach to the Left a Puritan moral ethic (that they
themselves don't even keep), and blame the poor for their own poverty
while they - whether they realize it or not - support elite economic
policies that strip the poor of the very "living wage" jobs they need
to support themselves with. Is it really that difficult to see the
utter hypocrisy in all this? Is it really that impossible to recognize
the shallow display of virtue in a kind of Christianity that seeks to
enforce personal morality on the poor while all the time it pushes mean-spirited,
selfish, and sordid economic policies designed to grind the poor into
And this is not a new phenomenon in the so-called "Christian West"
of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It's been going on
for a long time.
CHARLES FULLER: AN EXAMPLE
OF WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
Take Charles Fuller, for example; Fuller was a great Christian philanthropist
of the 1930s and 40s, and underwrote many Christian projects of that
era including Cam Townsend's Wycliffe Bible Translators, Lewis Sperry
Chafer's Dallas Theological Seminary, Bill Bright's Campus Crusade,
and a myriad of Henrietta Mears' evangelistic projects at UCLA. He was
also the founder of Fuller Theological Seminary in Southern California
(to which he gave his name), and the prime mover behind the establishment
of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is held up today as
a model for all good Christian businessmen to shape their lives after.
But a closer examination of Fuller's life might lead to another conclusion.
The fact is, Fuller's philanthropy RESTED ON A FOUNDATION OF HUMAN
MISERY of the worst kind! - the kind that was forever immortalized
in John Steinbeck's heart-rending novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
Fuller's wealth derived from his immense citrus grove holdings in
Southern California. He was director and leader of the California Orange
Growers Association in the 1930s, a group of farmers whose neat white-fenced
farms and Christian churches rested on a foundation of CHEAP LABOR.
Fuller also owned a chain of department stores in Santa Ana and Riverside.
During the Great Depression, a steady stream of displaced farmers from
the impoverished "dustbowl" states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas
(known derisively as "Oakies" and "Arkies") trekked across the deserts
of west Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to find work as "day-laborers"
in the citrus groves of Southern California and California's San Juaquin
and Sacramento Valleys.
There they ran smack into the "slave labor camps" of the California
Orange Growers Association and other assorted grower organizations.
The camps the growers provided their workers with - and for which they
charged a small fortune, sometimes up to half their worker's paychecks
- often had no toilet facilities (laborers were forced to dig holes
in the ground) or if they did, they were totally inadequate to the number
of laborers who had to use them. In addition, the camps often had no
running water (laborers had to get their water from polluted creeks
in the area), and no electricity of any kind. All the workers received
from the growers was a patch of empty ground - all that for half their
paycheck! In other words, Fuller and his cohorts were charging workers
for a plot of dirt to put their tents on - and that's all. Laborers
who gave the growers trouble or who complained were labeled "communists"
FULLER AND THE STRIKE OF 1936
In June 1936, 2,500 of Fuller's citrus workers went on strike in Orange
County for a wage increase. They wanted to increase their wages from
twenty-five cents to forty-cents an hour [and here one needs to be clear,
the actual wage many of Fuller's workers received was only half this
amount (i.e., about 15 cents) - the other half Fuller deducted from
their paychecks for the little bit of ground the workers pitched their
tents on]. The California Orange Growers Association, which Fuller headed,
refused to bargain.
Supported by local Protestant clergy and the Associated Farmers of
California - a grower's organization financially backed by Standard
Oil of California - the growers instead pointed to the supposed presence
of Communist party members among the organizers of the farm-workers'
union. That was all Fuller needed to justify calling in the Orange County
sheriff. Four hundred armed deputies descended on the farm-workers'
shantytowns with tear gas and clubs. Men, women and children were mercilessly
beaten and gassed. Santa Ana, the quiet town where Cam Townsend had
biked to high school as a child, was transformed into the site of a
"concentration camp," where hundreds and hundreds of workers were herded
into a stockade that Fuller had built BEFORE the strike
commenced. Fuller, it seems, had actually planned for his use of clubs,
guns, tear gas, and his use of concentration camp-like detention centers.
The strikers were then marched into court and summarily found guilty
by judges and juries who had been "bought and sold" by the growers.
They were then jailed: husbands were separated from their wives, and
children torn from the arms of their mothers and placed in "receiving
homes" where many of them were later "adopted out," despite the anguished
cries of their mothers and fathers who had no one to turn to for help.
Fuller repeated this process throughout the 1930s and '40s, not only
in his citrus groves, but in his chain of department stores in Santa
Ana and Riverside. For example, in the late 1940s Fuller ruthlessly
put down a strike at one of his department stores, and after successfully
winning the strike against the workers, he sent that portion of the
strike fund (about $3,000) that he had not used to Wycliffe as a "Thank-Offering"
to God for his success against the workers.
CHRISTIAN PHILANTHROPY AT THE
EXPENSE OF THE WORKING POOR
Christian philanthropy founded on the bashed heads of workers - many,
if not most of them, fellow-Christians? What an unbelievable disgrace
and shame to the NAME of Christ! And this is not some
process that ended in the 1930s and '40s - this heartless and cruel
system is presently going on now in the "slave-labor camps" established
by the corporate elites (and supported by their minions in the Religious
Right as well as Protestant missionary groups like WYAM and Wycliffe)
in the Philippines, Thailand, Saipan, El Salvador, etc.
Is that where our form of Christianity has taken us? Is that what
we are engaged in? - building up the Kingdom of God based on the misery
and anguish of the poor? Many CHRISTIANS TODAY SEEM TO FIND NOTHING
WRONG WITH THIS - THEY BELIEVE THAT IT'S OKAY TO BASH PEOPLE'S HEADS
IN FOR THE SAKE OF CORPORATE PROFITS SO LONG AS THE ONE DOING THE BASHING
IS NOT A HOMOSEXUAL, IS AGAINST ABORTION, AND IS FOR "FAMILY VALUES."
God help us all if that's the kind of Christianity that we are involved
CAPITALISM: IS IT REALLY "GOD ORDAINED?"
The Religious Right claims, and their secular allies in the corporate
elites similarly believe, that capitalism is God's ordained economic
system for this world - almost as if Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and
Thomas Malthus were Biblical figures on a par with Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Nehemiah, and so forth; and that the system they devised -
i.e., capitalism - finds its origins in the Bible and should be adhered
to with as much ardor and ebullience as one would adhere to the injunctions
of Holy Writ.
But that's utter nonsense! No where in the Bible can one find even
the smallest suggestion that the "Dismal Science" of Adam Smith, or
the dreary and gloomy economic system that Malthus and Ricardo contrived
are biblically based.
This evil and pernicious world of Oliver Twist that Smith, Ricardo
and Malthus conceived is entirely a man-made system; it has NOTHING
to do with God or the Bible! NOTHING!
The repugnant and even vulgar thought - central to the system of capitalism
- that the world should be divided into a management class of "haves"
(i.e., the rich) and a laboring class of "have nots" (i.e., the poor)
simply does not exist in the Bible. The very real fact of the matter
is, the severe and cold "Calvinistic" economic system of Ricardo, Smith
and Malthus - based as it is on the Darwinian maxim of "survival of
the fittest" in which the most productive are supposed to rise to the
top of the economic pecking order and the least productive are supposed
to fall to the bottom - is utterly repudiated by the Scripture.
How you say? - through the device of the "Jubilee,"
a God-ordained mechanism aimed at preventing the untoward accumulation
of wealth - central to the system of capitalism - in Old Testament Israeli
society. You never heard of this? - well, I'm not surprised! It's not
something that the elites of this world or their "toadies" in the Religious
Right would find it convenient to talk about too much.
THE YEAR OF JUBILEE
In the Old Testament (in the Book of Leviticus) the land of Israel
was to be divided EQUALLY in perpetual allotments to its
citizenry. Each family was to receive a roughly equal share of the land.
Now the Bible envisioned that in the course of time, some would not
do as well as others and, as a result, would have to sell their land
and their houses. But every fifty years, the Bible established a "Year
of Jubilee" in which everything had to be restored to its original
"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty
throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall
be a jubilee (i.e., a time of rejoicing") unto you; and ye shall return
every man unto his possession ... (in other words, everyman in Israel
would have his former possessions returned to him).
"A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow,
neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes
in it of thy vine undressed.
"In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his
"IN THE YEAR OF THE JUBILEE THE FIELD SHALL RETURN UNTO HIM OF
WHOM IT WAS BOUGHT, EVEN TO HIM TO WHOM THE POSSESSION OF THE LAND
OF THE LAND DID BELONG originally)." (Lev. 25:10-11, 13, 24)
Hardly a system of things that would be approved today by Bank of
America and Wells Fargo, and by the "Captains of Industry." How long
do you suppose modern capitalism would survive under this kind of system?
Not very long I should imagine. And be clear here, this is the only
"system of economics" (so to speak) that the Bible ever actually set
up - and it's certainly not a capitalist system or a system that would
be very much approved by the Rockefellers, the Fords, and the DuPonts
of this world. Where is there here any chance for the massive accumulation
of wealth by the few at the expense of the many upon which the system
of capitalism is so entirely dependent? It doesn't exist! THE PURPOSE
OF THESE REGULATIONS WAS TO PREVENT THE ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
BY THE FEW AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MANY - even on a legitimate basis!!
That was the spirit behind these regulations and ordinances! - and that
is precisely what the SUV Christians of today would no doubt call "Marxist!"
Pretty hard to justify the accumulation of wealth that makes possible
the gated communities of Yuppie Land-Christians under that system of
things, isn't it?
Where is there here the opportunity for the conquest of Africa by
the European colonial powers if at the end of fifty years, the British,
the Belgians, the French, and the Spanish would have been forced to
give back to the original inhabitants of the land the possessions they
had stolen, or even legitimately bought - after all, the Bible admitted
to no difference here! The land had to be returned! Where is the possibility
that Exxon, Shell, BP, etc. could have raped the Iranians, the Iraqis,
the Arabians, the Nigerians, etc. of their wealth under such a system.
This is definitely not a system the World Bank or the WTO would very
much approve of! Certainly not Ford, or GM! Certainly not General Electric
or Microsoft! SO MUCH FOR THE THOUGHT THAT THE CAPITALISM PRACTICED
BY TODAY'S SECULAR ELITES AND APPROVED OF BY THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS
SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE!
MARXISM IS NOT GOD-ORDAINED EITHER
Now this is certainly not to say that Marxism is God-ordained either.
BUT THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT AND CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL ARE NOT "DUPED"
OR ENTANGLED IN THIS SYSTEM OF ECONOMICS. AND, MOREOVER, AS WE SAID
AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS ARTICLE, THE MARXISTS AND THE SOCIALISTS DON'T
SPREAD THEIR MISERY IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. BUT THE CAPITALISTS DO.
But if capitalism is not God-ordained, then where did it come from?
How did it get so established in the minds of Christians today - especially
the stingy and mean-spirited form of it that the Republicans are involved
Next time - an answer! Until then, please bear in mind what the "End
of the Age" is all about; to a very large extent, it's about MONEY.
Specifically, it's about our relationship with it. That's why we are
spending so much time on this issue. Our purpose here is not to get
you angry with us, but to enlighten you about things you may not want
to know about, but which, nonetheless, you need to know as the "end
of days" draws near. The Bible says:
"And he (i.e., the "false prophet") causeth all, both small and
great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right
hand, or in their foreheads:
"AND THAT NO MAN MIGHT BUY OR SELL, SAVE HE THAT HAD THE
MARK or the name of the beast (i.e., the Antichrist), or the number
of his name." (Rev. 13:16-17)
Listen, brothers and sisters, these verses are about money, don't
let anyone tell you differently!
God bless all of you.
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
YOU CAN HELP BY EMAILING
THIS ARTICLE TO
YOUR FRIENDS AND