Monday, December 9, 2013

Sorry About That

       Sorry About That
          A Jewish Apology

          Rush Limbaugh has denounced Pope Francis’s anti-capitalism as “pure Marxism”. Not exactly; it’s closer to Jesus than Marx. I’ve been astonished by hearing such irreverence towards money from, of all people, the Pope; and of course that’s naive of me. Of course a Christian religious leader might quote basic Christian doctrine; why am I surprised?

          Perhaps I am too used to papal denunciation of capitalism’s discredited rival, communism. Now that the Soviet Union has fallen, and even Maoist China has taken the capitalist road, I suppose it’s time for the pope to pivot to denouncing capitalism. It’s modernism’s biggest heresy, and the Catholic Church is anti-modernist.

          I agree, in part, with Limbaugh. Francis’s anti-capitalism is indeed related to Marx’s. Both find support in the New Testament:

          Acts 2:44-45
          All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

          Acts 11:29
          And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren that dwelt in Judea.

          Acts 4: 34-35
          Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostle’s feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

          From each according to his ability, to each according to his need! This is a plain connection between the New Testament and the “Critique of the Gotha Program”. Jesus and friends weren’t exactly what we’d call commies; they claimed the support of religion, not science. Nonetheless they did live communally, and they did despise money; so Limbaugh has a point.

          Which brings me to the main point of this post. I write to apologize to the world’s Gentiles, on behalf of my fellow Jews, for my tribe’s annoying tendency to create disruptive belief systems.

          There’s Jesus and Marx, as Limbaugh complained; more recently we’ve produced Freud and Ayn Rand. Fortunately the Freud thing has run its course; it was never more than confessionals for the rich, and it never had results better than 33% cured, 33% worse, 34% unchanged. Alas, the Rand follies continue. Unlike Sigmund, who unsuccessfully tried to heal the insanity of the rich, Ayn’s had much more success in praising that insanity.

          What Gentiles need to understand is that we Jews like to argue with each other. Judaism’s a religion of unity, to be sure; but e pluribus unum, and you need the pluribus to get to the unum. We constantly concoct absurd heresies, just in case one of them works, and for the pleasure of laughing off the ones that don’t. It’s all good clean fun, until someone takes a debating point seriously. Occasionally one of our experiments escapes from the laboratory and terrorizes the world.

          I am so sorry. We really didn’t mean it.

          A piece of advice; take us with a grain of salt. We sure do.

No comments:

Post a Comment