The second Calvinist thrust promoted capitalism. In his classic, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, German sociologist Max Weber observed that not only did the protestant work ethic promote capitalism but also worldly success became a measure of the likelihood of one's salvation. "He who has the most toys, wins."
Given the strong influence of Calvinism on Republican politics, it's not surprising the GOP favors the rich, opposes new taxes, and continues to support Reaganomics with its myths of "trickle down economics" and "self-regulating markets."
Nonetheless, American Calvinism has become so extreme that it no longer deserves to be called Christianity.
Jesus' first commandment was to love God. But his other teachings are about loving those around us. His second commandment was "love thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus amplified this in his Sermon on the Mount: blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
Jesus was not a Calvinist or a capitalist. He disdained worldly possessions: "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Republican policy no longer represents the teachings of Jesus. The GOP favors the rich and ignores the poor, disadvantaged, sick, elderly, long-term unemployed, and other unfortunates. Republicans may be religious, but they're not Christians.
Blue, it's scary just thinking about how much religious fanaticism has slowed scientific progress over the centuries. Starting with Aristotle and his completely wrong synopsis on how the Universe works, as he claimed that the Earth was the center of the Universe, and that none of the planets or sun were in motion, they just sat there. And with the help of the christian church his incorrect scientific theory stood for 2,000 years, until Copernicus came along and scientifically proved differently, but he waited to release his finding until he was on his death bed, knowing he released it earlier in his life the church would try him for heresy and blasphemy then burn him at the stake. A few years later Galileo proved Copernicus findings to be correct and he to was close to being burned at the stake by the Catholic church, but because he had some friends in the church heirarchy they instead sentenced him to home jail for the remainder of his life.
NOTE: It is true that the church pushed for higher education and for exploring science, but God help you, if your findings differed from the scriptures.
So tell me where Jesus was in favor of taking people's earnings and giving it to the government? All things considered, i cant believe that Jesus would have been a fan of "The Man." Would Jesus truly been against the progress that mankind has made over these centuries? What system, but a capitalist system would have allowed such progress? To say the the GOP ignores the less fortunate and needy is plain garbage
I know that this kills the Libbies. Excerpt from a NYT editorial.
"Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.
Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.
Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so."
bluecloud: You are mostly correct about this but it is more Puritanism than Calvinism, which was very self-mortifying. A good read is "The Puritan Ethic" about how they were the first really successful colonists because they used strong planning and action. You might also choose to get and read a book by Marcus Borg, "Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary", just published. Marcus Borg is a pre-eminent Jesus scholar and I think you will discover how far Christianity of every stripe has come from his original teachings, which were, and still are, truly revolutionary. Borg does a masterful job of separating the pre-Easter Jesus from the post-Easter Jesus. We would do well to do the same. It would change the world.
As for salvation, Weber was actually reflecting the Jewish ethos of the time that if you were wealthy, then you were right with God and if some massive misfortune befell you, it was because you had sinned greatly. The story of Job is certainly an example of the hubris of man and God puts him in his place with the questions that he asked Job. However, if you believe Romans at all, then you are already 'saved' because your soul is forever loved and part of God. Romans is a very revolutionary book, too.
If you love God, then you may do as you please. Does that shock you? Well, consider, IF you truly love God you will do what God wants you to do because you will be in direct communication with Spirit. What does God ask, but to be merciful (compassionate), to love your neighbor, and to help the unfortunate. Jesus was clearly in direct communication with Spirit. Which is why he was so threatening to the Jewish system, the conventional wisdom of the culture, which was based on ideas that Weber brings forth about wealth and 'rightness' with God. Which, of course, were completely erroneous. All have sinned and come short of God's glory. Sin, in it original meaning, was "separate from", not some action.