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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Svensen on September 18, 2021, 10:58:45 PM

Title: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Svensen on September 18, 2021, 10:58:45 PM
The spring 2021 issue of LF includes a provocative article by John B. King on Lutherans and socialism. It seems that the linchpin of King's argument is that Lutheran pastors are obligated to preach against socialism because it violates the Ten Commandments, especially the seventh:
Quote
From Luther’s exposition of these commandments, we can identify the subtle operation of thievery and covetousness within a socialist system. Through the intervention of the state, person B takes person A’s money and property rather than helping person A to protect his property and income. According to Luther, this transfer is stealing. Likewise, through the intervention of the state, person B takes person A’s property by claiming to have a legal right to it rather than helping person A to keep what is his. The false idea here is that person B has a moral and legal claim on person A’s property simply because person B needs it. Socialists call this claim economic justice; Luther calls it covetousness. (p. 56)
Incidentally, this reminds me of Robert Benne's claim that when he was trying to find a dissertation topic at the University of Chicago, he wanted to write on how the Nordic welfare state was a product of Nordic Lutheran culture. When he looked into the main sources, he found that the thesis was unsupportable. I wonder what an objection to the welfare state – and socialism more specifically – might look like for Lutherans who agree with King, in the main. It might parallel some of the objections registered by Nordic Lutherans in the recent past to the expansion of the state into the church's own work on behalf of the poor.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 19, 2021, 03:38:51 PM
I'll look forward to reading King's article. I suppose there may be forms of socialism where the members of the society agree to centralize decisions about property and income. In that case, such agreement would not violate the commandment. I suppose that as often as Americans vote to socialize aspects of our property and income, we move towards such a socialist society.

Luther might take issue with modern economics since he complained against usury, which is foundational to modern society. As a medieval person, he might not have anticipated modern economics just as the apostle Paul wrote for a society that perpetuated slavery, which became objectionable to modern western societies.

To be clear, I don't favor socialism. However, I do pay into social security willingly even though I may not see the benefits when I retire. The system existed before I became a worker and I grew up with it.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 19, 2021, 05:16:14 PM
I'll look forward to reading King's article. I suppose there may be forms of socialism where the members of the society agree to centralize decisions about property and income. In that case, such agreement would not violate the commandment. I suppose that as often as Americans vote to socialize aspects of our property and income, we move towards such a socialist society.

As soon as one person disagrees with centralization, then it's back to violating the commandment again?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 19, 2021, 05:53:36 PM
I'll look forward to reading King's article. I suppose there may be forms of socialism where the members of the society agree to centralize decisions about property and income. In that case, such agreement would not violate the commandment. I suppose that as often as Americans vote to socialize aspects of our property and income, we move towards such a socialist society.

As soon as one person disagrees with centralization, then it's back to violating the commandment again?

The Seventh Commandment
You shall not steal.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.

The "take" does not include practices like taxation (cf. Table of Duties, Romans 13). So legitimate government might take a portion of one's income for governmental purposes without violating the commandment. Just because someone objects does not make the taxation wrong. The question then becomes, Is socialism a legitimate form of government?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 19, 2021, 06:29:32 PM
I'm wondering if we have any commentary on Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35 by Luther; or by Lutherans.


I'm also wondering if such commentary on these texts would differ from Lutherans in Scandinavian, Germany, America, Africa.


As I think about it, I have a commentary on Acts of the Apostles by Hans Conzelmann in the Hermaneia Series. Quotes follow:

[2:]44 The κοινωνία, "fellowship," is depicted as the sharing of property. A proverbial Greek expression says: κοινὰ τὰ φίλων, "the belongings of friends are held in common."1

45: The distinction between real estate and goods is not stressed. D2 has again attempted to tell the story in a more realistic manner; instead of "they sold their possessions and goods," it reads "as many as had possessions or goods sold them."

1 Plato Rep. 4.424a; 5.440c; Aristotle Eth. Nic. 8.9, 1159b 31; Philo Abr. 235; Cicero Off. 1.16.51; Ps.-Clem. Recog. 10.5; strongly modified, Barn. 19:8.]


2 My comment: "D" is a manuscript from the fifth century. Metzger (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament) suggests that the adaptation was introduced to avoid giving the impression that all Christians were property-owners.

Excursus: The Sharing of Property
This picture of sharing property is idealized. The material was furnished by: (1) information handed on by tradition, such as 4:36-37 or 5:1-11; (2) knowledge about communistic groups, whether real (Essenes and the Qumran community: Josephus Bell. 2.122-23; ant. 18:18;22; Philo Prob. 75-87; 1QS 1.11-12 and 6:2-3) or ideal (for example the original "community of Pythagoreans"). Idealized communal portraits are associated with utopian dreams or accounts of primeval times. In Pergr. mort. 13 Lucian reports of the Christians: "Therefore they despise all things indiscriminately and consider them common property" (καταφρονοῦσιν οὖν ἁπάντων ἐξ ἴσης καὶ κοινὰ ἁγοῦνται). Some of the characteristic ancient catchwords are missing in Luke: ἰσότης, "equality," and the designation of the community as φίλοι, "friends." Despite the existence of communistic groups in the vicinity of Jerusalem, Luke's portrayal should not be taken as historical (some sort of organized means of support would have been necessary, as in those groups). Thus we cannot speak of a "failure of the experiment," nor can we draw conclusions for a primitive Christian communistic ideal. Furthermore, Luke does not present this way of life as a norm for the organization of the church in his own time. It is meant as an illustration of the uniqueness of the ideal earliest days of the movement. [pp.23-24]


[4:]34 Compare Deut 15:4. The earlier summary is supplemented by information about the use of alms. Votive offerings were laid "at the feet" of the divinity (Lucian Philops. 20). Philo Hypothetica (Eusebius Praep. eu. 8.11.10) reports concerning the Essenes that the administrator receives the wages which each hands over: "He takes it and at once buys what is necessary and provides food in abundance and anything else which human life requires" (λαβὼν δ᾽ ἐκεῖνος αὐτίκα τάπιτήδεια ὠνεῖται καὶ παρέχει τροφὰς ἀφθόνους καὶ τἄλλα ὧν ὁ ἀνθρώπινος βίος χρειώδυς) [p. 36]


Since he brought it up: here is Deuteronomy 15:4: "But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess – [ESV]


Comments on these verses by Will Willimon in his commentary on Acts (Interpretation Commentaries):


When you think about it, the quality of the church's life together is evidence for the truthfulness of the resurrection. The most eloquent testimony to the reality of the resurrection is not an empty tomb or a orchestrated pageant on Easter Sunday but rather a group of people whose life together is so radically different, so completely changed from the way the world builds a community, that there can be no explanation other than that something decisive has happened in history. The tough task of interpreting the reality of a truth like the resurrection is not so much the scientific or historical, "How could a thing like that happen?" but the ecclesiastical and communal, "Why don't you people look more resurrected?" (pp. 51-52)


Luke was not a Marxist, but he was enough of a realist to know that there is a good chance that where our possessions are our hearts will be also. … Wealth is not, for Luke, a sign of divine approval. It is a danger. [p. 52]


The power which broke the bonds of death on Easter, shattered the divisions of speech at Pentecost, and empowered one who was lame now release the tight grip of private property. [p. 53]


Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 20, 2021, 01:17:32 PM
I'll look forward to reading King's article. I suppose there may be forms of socialism where the members of the society agree to centralize decisions about property and income. In that case, such agreement would not violate the commandment. I suppose that as often as Americans vote to socialize aspects of our property and income, we move towards such a socialist society.

As soon as one person disagrees with centralization, then it's back to violating the commandment again?

The Seventh Commandment
You shall not steal.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.

The "take" does not include practices like taxation (cf. Table of Duties, Romans 13). So legitimate government might take a portion of one's income for governmental purposes without violating the commandment. Just because someone objects does not make the taxation wrong. The question then becomes, Is socialism a legitimate form of government?

That's not the question.  The question is if the centralized decision making about everything is a violation of the commandment as soon as one person disagrees with the centralized decision making agreement posited in your first post.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 20, 2021, 05:49:23 PM
If that is your question, why not provide your answer?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 20, 2021, 10:44:11 PM
If that is your question, why not provide your answer?

Because I'm curious about YOUR answer.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 21, 2021, 06:24:15 AM
If that is your question, why not provide your answer?

Because I'm curious about YOUR answer.

James, I humbly suggest that you reread the post since I actually did answer your specific question. You may have missed it.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 21, 2021, 08:02:16 AM
If that is your question, why not provide your answer?

Because I'm curious about YOUR answer.

James, I humbly suggest that you reread the post since I actually did answer your specific question. You may have missed it.

I suppose there may be forms of socialism where the members of the society agree to centralize decisions about property and income. In that case, such agreement would not violate the commandment.

I read this as describing a one-time agreement that you can't escape later - even if you were born long after the agreement was made.  That is why I was seeking clarification.  I'm used to hearing this argument from those who are claiming that everyone born in the US today has agreed to our system of government (Your parents agreed for you.  So they could get out of it?  No, their parents agreed for them.  And so on.)
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 21, 2021, 09:05:08 AM
Social security taxation is an example of socializing an aspect of our economic system. We pay in and a centralized authority determines how the benefits are distributed. However, there is a possibility of exemption based on religious objection. This was offered to me when I finished seminary. I suppose it is still offered to clergy. We were advised to pay into the system rather than opt out. So I pay social security tax.

Generations had the decision made for them when that socialization was voted into law. It could be overturned at some point, which illustrates the freedom we do have as Americans. Other countries have gone much further toward socializing their economies.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 21, 2021, 10:32:21 AM
Every form of government and every economic system is subject to exploitation and corruption. And just about any system can be made to work well if the people involved are willing do well. Over time some systems have proven more robust and able to resist or limit the worst corruption and exploitation.


Socialism is not an inherently evil system. In theory it should be ideal. In practice it has proven exceedingly difficult to balance the needs and wants of the group and the needs and wants of individuals. It has also proven quite corruptible by strong selfish leaders.


Neither is capitalism an inherently evil system. It also is subject to corruption and exploitation. Here in America we have evolved a system that has features of both systems.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on September 21, 2021, 12:54:35 PM
The real issue for any proposed or actual "system" is the presuppositions regarding human nature.  Is human nature purely good or at least perfectible...or are we all predisposed to selfishness and aggrandizing our own power/position.  Any system that idealizes human nature and does not take into account our potential for evil will ultimately end in either tyranny or chaos.   If we recognize the reality of original sin, then it's a matter of checks and balances, granting enough authority to make the system work but steadfastly opposing the concentration of absolute and unaccountable authority in the hands of any individual or group. 
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 24, 2021, 07:29:19 PM
Acts 4:34 uses an hapax legomena for "needy person:" ἐνδεής. According to Lowe & Nida, this word's "focus seems to be more upon a severe lack of needed resources rather than upon a state of poverty and destitution." This is its only occurrence in the Greek New Testament.


A retired minister who wintered in our town was a refugee from Latvia. His family had escaped the Russians by going to Germany, and eventually, the U.S., then Canada. He talks about experiencing real hunger; something greater than not having enough money to buy food; but living in a famine where there wasn't any food for anyone. My impression is that is more like what this word is about: the lack of resources, e.g., the thousands of people who are still without electricity after the hurricane. Having a lot of money in the bank isn't going to make the power come on at your mansion any more than having no money in the bank.


A meme on Facebook illustrated different mindsets: the person who takes five cookies because he thinks that there might not be enough to go around; and the one who takes only one because he thinks there might not be enough to go around.



This word is used in 25 verses in the LXX. Most notably in Deuteronomy 15 (4, 7, 11 (see also v. 9); 24:14) where God commands his people to make sure that there are no needy people among them.


If people are obeying God's commands to make sure that there are no needy people among them; that everyone has enough food, shelter, etc. is that socialism? In my understanding, it is. The community (society or social organization) is doing what is best for the whole community (society or social organization). The government does have to "take" from the wealthy, because the wealthy are willing to give for the good of the whole society.


"Noblesse oblige" is a French phrase used by the English to talk about the nobles' obligation to the people around them.


We are a greedy people. We will think about taking the five cookies for ourselves rather than sharing them with others. If a purpose of the Law is to curb our sinfulness; couldn't laws that require us to share be curbs against the sin of greed?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Richard Johnson on September 25, 2021, 06:46:32 AM

We are a greedy people. We will think about taking the five cookies for ourselves rather than sharing them with others. If a purpose of the Law is to curb our sinfulness; couldn't laws that require us to share be curbs against the sin of greed?

I was just listening to a podcast talking about an experiment done with children where they are offered one treat, or told that if they will wait 20 minutes to eat it, they can have two treats. (I'm oversimplifying, but you get the point.) The percentage of children in African agrarian countries who waited the twenty minutes was consistently much higher than in America or Europe. One theory is that people in agrarian cultures have learned to be patient, waiting for weather, crops, etc., while people in industrialized nations have lost that ability because they think everything is instantly and inevitably available.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 09:17:08 AM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Coach-Rev on September 25, 2021, 09:21:14 AM
I was just listening to a podcast talking about an experiment done with children where they are offered one treat, or told that if they will wait 20 minutes to eat it, they can have two treats. (I'm oversimplifying, but you get the point.) The percentage of children in African agrarian countries who waited the twenty minutes was consistently much higher than in America or Europe. One theory is that people in agrarian cultures have learned to be patient, waiting for weather, crops, etc., while people in industrialized nations have lost that ability because they think everything is instantly and inevitably available.

you mean like this?  https://www.ignitermedia.com/products/7227-the-marshmallow-test
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on September 25, 2021, 11:26:57 AM
Here is a different perspective on generosity:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-us-is-the-most-generous-country-but-americans-say-debt-is-keeping-them-from-giving-more-to-charity-2019-10-18
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: DeHall1 on September 25, 2021, 11:34:23 AM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dave Benke on September 25, 2021, 12:13:30 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 25, 2021, 12:24:37 PM

We are a greedy people. We will think about taking the five cookies for ourselves rather than sharing them with others. If a purpose of the Law is to curb our sinfulness; couldn't laws that require us to share be curbs against the sin of greed?

I was just listening to a podcast talking about an experiment done with children where they are offered one treat, or told that if they will wait 20 minutes to eat it, they can have two treats. (I'm oversimplifying, but you get the point.) The percentage of children in African agrarian countries who waited the twenty minutes was consistently much higher than in America or Europe. One theory is that people in agrarian cultures have learned to be patient, waiting for weather, crops, etc., while people in industrialized nations have lost that ability because they think everything is instantly and inevitably available.


Mark Allen Powell writes about his experiences with the Parable of the Prodigal Son in regards to the younger son's problem(s). When 100 American students were asked to retell the story from memory, only six mentioned the famine. All 100 mentioned the squandering. The story still makes sense when the famine is omitted.


When he did the same experiment with Russian students, a majority (84%) remembered the famine; while less than half (34%) mentioned the squandering. Going further, he asked the Russians, "Aren't we supposed to think that the son did something wrong?" Their answer (as Powell tells it): "… the boy's mistake was not how he spent his money - or how he lost it. His mistake was leaving his father's house in the first place. His sin was placing a price tag on the value of his family, thinking that money was all he needed from them. Once he had his share of the family fortune, the family itself no longer mattered. In a phrase, his sins was wanting to be self-sufficient." (What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap Between Pulpit and Pew, p. 18, italics in original).


He did something similar with Tanzanian students. After reading the story, he asked them to write down: "Why does the young man end up starving in the pigpen?" He writes: "I was curious to see how many would write 'Because he wasted his money' and how many would write 'Because there was a famine.' A few did write responses like that, but the vast majority - around 80 percent wrote something completely different: 'Because no one gave him anything to eat.'" (Ibid. p. 26)


He hadn't expected that answer! (Nor did I when I read this.) He relates more of what the Tanzanians told him:


I pressed the matter with them. I asked, "Why should anyone give him anything?" Wasn't it his own fault - squandering his money like he did?" They told me that was a very callous perspective. The boy was in a far country. Immigrants often lose their money. They don't know how things work - they might spend all their money when they shouldn't because they don't know about the famines that come. People think they are fools just because they don't know how to live in that country. But the Bible commands us to care for the stranger and alien in our midst. It is a lack of hospitality not to do so. This story, the Tanzanians told me, is less about personal repentance than it is about society. Specifically, it is about the kingdom of God. It contrasts the father's house with the far country. The father's house is the kingdom of God that Jesus keeps talking about, but the far country is a society without honor. Everyone who heard this parable would be shocked by his depiction of such a society, a country that would let a stranger go hungry and not give him anything to eat. And a central point of the parable is that the scribes and the Pharisees are like that. Jesus tells the parable as a response to the scribes and Pharisees, who are grumbling that he welcomes sinners and eats with them (15:2). The parable teaches that the kingdom of God is a society that welcomes the undeserving, and it puts the scribes and Pharisees to shame by showing them that they are like a society with no honor, that shows no hospitality to the stranger in its midst. (Ibid. p. 27)


These stories are in a chapter called: "Social Location: A Matter of Perspective." While some of us see the Nordic countries as having democratic socialism; others see them as not socialists at all. Whatever it is called, it is more like the model that the liberal Democrats are talking about rather than Russia, Cuba, or Venezuela.


Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 25, 2021, 12:28:03 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad)

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke


Perhaps where the rubber hits another road is:


The happiest countries:
1. Finland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Iceland
5. Netherlands
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. New Zealand
9. Canada
10. Australia


https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/ten-happiest-countries-in-the-world/?utm_source=paidsearch&utm_medium=usgrant&utm_campaign=verizon&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkbuKBhDRARIsAALysV6oNj70IaVxyNd2O8BzlA5GNQXrxsMJHWL6ExBZsdgTsfaV4nmz6egaApGBEALw_wcB

Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: DeHall1 on September 25, 2021, 12:30:41 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke

Free markets + high taxes ≠ socialism.

The capitalist economic model relies on free market conditions for the creation of wealth; the production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market.
In a socialist economic model, the production and consumer prices are controlled by the government.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 25, 2021, 12:33:26 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad)

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke


Perhaps where the rubber hits another road is:


The happiest countries:
1. Finland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Iceland
5. Netherlands
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. New Zealand
9. Canada
10. Australia


https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/ten-happiest-countries-in-the-world/?utm_source=paidsearch&utm_medium=usgrant&utm_campaign=verizon&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkbuKBhDRARIsAALysV6oNj70IaVxyNd2O8BzlA5GNQXrxsMJHWL6ExBZsdgTsfaV4nmz6egaApGBEALw_wcB
Hmmmm. I’m wondering how that list could be any more lilly white. You may as well rank nations by percentage of the populace with blond hair.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: DeHall1 on September 25, 2021, 12:48:04 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad)

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke


Perhaps where the rubber hits another road is:


The happiest countries:
1. Finland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Iceland
5. Netherlands
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. New Zealand
9. Canada
10. Australia


https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/ten-happiest-countries-in-the-world/?utm_source=paidsearch&utm_medium=usgrant&utm_campaign=verizon&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkbuKBhDRARIsAALysV6oNj70IaVxyNd2O8BzlA5GNQXrxsMJHWL6ExBZsdgTsfaV4nmz6egaApGBEALw_wcB

Again, these countries aren't socialist.

From the same article, 3 of the top 5 "least happiest" countries are either socialist or former socialist (now Marxist) countries.   
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 25, 2021, 12:49:07 PM
The Scandinavian countries seem to be doing fine with their type of Socialism.

Which ones?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/?sh=71c5715b74ad)

"To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs."

But hey, if you don't believe me, ask former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The bolded phrase is where the rubber hits the road. 

Dave Benke

Free markets + high taxes ≠ socialism.

The capitalist economic model relies on free market conditions for the creation of wealth; the production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market.
In a socialist economic model, the production and consumer prices are controlled by the government.


In my understanding, the production and consumer prices are controlled by the community or the state. Socialism does not have to be controlled by the government. A farmers co-op that controls production and prices is socialism.


Wiki includes this description under Socialist State:


A socialist state is to be distinguished from a multi-party liberal democracy governed by a self-described socialist party, where the state is not constitutionally bound to the construction of socialism. In such cases, the political system and machinery of government is not specifically structured to pursue the development of socialism. Socialist states in the Marxist–Leninist sense are sovereign states under the control of a vanguard party which is organizing the country's economic, political and social development toward the realization of socialism. Economically, this involves the development of a state capitalist economy with state-directed capital accumulation with the long-term goal of building up the country's productive forces while simultaneously promoting world communism. Academics, political commentators and other scholars tend to distinguish between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Soviet Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general, among others.

The paragraph includes the following footnotes:


 Barrett, William, ed. (1 April 1978). "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: A Symposium". Commentary. Retrieved 14 June 2020. "If we were to extend the definition of socialism to include Labor Britain or socialist Sweden, there would be no difficulty in refuting the connection between capitalism and democracy."
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 25, 2021, 01:23:50 PM
Brian, by your definitions every government is by definition socialists, as is every family, church, and club. Everybody is in favor of voluntary socialism. It is involuntary socialism, I.e. imposed by the coercive power of state that is contrary to liberty. 
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: DeHall1 on September 25, 2021, 01:31:13 PM
In my understanding, the production and consumer prices are controlled by the community or the state. Socialism does not have to be controlled by the government. A farmers co-op that controls production and prices is socialism.


Wiki includes this description under Socialist State:


A socialist state is to be distinguished from a multi-party liberal democracy governed by a self-described socialist party, where the state is not constitutionally bound to the construction of socialism. In such cases, the political system and machinery of government is not specifically structured to pursue the development of socialism. Socialist states in the Marxist–Leninist sense are sovereign states under the control of a vanguard party which is organizing the country's economic, political and social development toward the realization of socialism. Economically, this involves the development of a state capitalist economy with state-directed capital accumulation with the long-term goal of building up the country's productive forces while simultaneously promoting world communism. Academics, political commentators and other scholars tend to distinguish between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Soviet Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general, among others.

The paragraph includes the following footnotes:


 Barrett, William, ed. (1 April 1978). "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: A Symposium". Commentary. Retrieved 14 June 2020. "If we were to extend the definition of socialism to include Labor Britain or socialist Sweden, there would be no difficulty in refuting the connection between capitalism and democracy."
  • Fleming, Richard Fleming (1989). "Lenin's Conception of Socialism: Learning from the early experiences of the world's first socialist revolution" (https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-7/lenin-socialism.htm). Forward. 9 (1). Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  • Jump up to:Lenin Collected Works (https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/cw/volume27.htm). 27: 293. Quoted by Aufheben (http://www.geocities.com/aufheben2/auf_6_ussr1.html). Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20040318182051/http://www.geocities.com/aufheben2/auf_6_ussr1.html) 18 March 2004 at the Wayback Machine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayback_Machine).
  • Jump up to:Heilbroner, Robert L. (Winter 1991). "From Sweden to Socialism: A Small Symposium on Big Questions". Dissident. Barkan, Joanne; Brand, Horst; Cohen, Mitchell; Coser, Lewis; Denitch, Bogdan; Fehèr, Ferenc; Heller, Agnès; Horvat, Branko; Tyler, Gus. pp. 96–110. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  • Jump up to: Kendall, Diana (2011). Sociology in Our Time: The Essentials. Cengage Learning. pp. 125–127. ISBN 9781111305505. "Sweden, Great Britain, and France have mixed economies, sometimes referred to as democratic socialism—an economic and political system that combines private ownership of some of the means of production, governmental distribution of some essential goods and services, and free elections. For example, government ownership in Sweden is limited primarily to railroads, mineral resources, a public bank, and liquor and tobacco operations."
  • Jump up to: Li, He (2015). Political Thought and China's Transformation: Ideas Shaping Reform in Post-Mao China. Springer. pp. 60–69. ISBN 9781137427816. "The scholars in camp of democratic socialism believe that China should draw on the Sweden experience, which is suitable not only for the West but also for China. In the post-Mao China, the Chinese intellectuals are confronted with a variety of models. The liberals favor the American model and share the view that the Soviet model has become archaic and should be totally abandoned. Meanwhile, democratic socialism in Sweden provided an alternative model. Its sustained economic development and extensive welfare programs fascinated many. Numerous scholars within the democratic socialist camp argue that China should model itself politically and economically on Sweden, which is viewed as more genuinely socialist than China. There is a growing consensus among them that in the Nordic countries the welfare state has been extraordinarily successful in eliminating poverty."


it's my understanding that "Wikipedia is not a reliable source for citations elsewhere on Wikipedia. Because it can be edited by anyone at any time, any information it contains at a particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong."   Of course, my source for this is Wikipedia, so.....it may not be reliable.

A farmers co-op (in the US) can decide what and how to produce, can retain the profit from selling whatever they produce (no matter how it's divided internally), and can sell the cooperative to ANOTHER owner, if they chose to do so.

That's typical capitalism, not socialism.


With regard to Sweden, I defer to former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, not Wikipedia.    Sweden, of course, has more billionaires per capita than the US. 

To each his own.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 02:17:38 PM
The Scandinavian countries And some countries on the European continent have had, for a long time, a relatively homogeneous population, and a reasonably good, sometimes booming economy. Furthermore, they have virtually made the decision to pay the high taxes, realizing what it gets them. Education through college. Healthcare. Employment security. Special benefits for children and people in special needs.
And of course, they are dealing with much smaller numbers in terms of population than we are.
What has always bothered me, even from an early age, is the fact that we in this country have enough resources to provide proper care for people in special needs and for the population in general, for instance, with regard to healthcare. We have, sort of, done a reasonable job with public education. But what if we done for healthcare? What have we done to provide the kind of support that people in dire and persistent poverty need? What have we done and retraining the unemployed for work with their previous industries no longer exist? What have we done for working mothers, especially single mothers?
What are we done in providing non-college vocational training?
It’s foolish to think we will give up free market capitalism as a basis for this country. But it is insane to look at efforts to provide needed help to our fellow citizens and get all bent out of shape because we fear it might be “Socialism.“
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 02:27:49 PM
Peter’s phrase:
‘…imposed by the coercive power of state that is contrary to liberty.”

I ponder:
And just what is this “coercive power”? Passing laws? Federal regulations on such things as safety and health? Any kind of taxation, especially on businesses and industries? Exactly how is this “coercive power” exercise?
And “contrary to liberty”. What kind of liberty? To whose liberty, the liberty of people with money? We all want some “liberties”that are not good or healthy for our neighbors.
If one chooses to reside in this country, is one not voluntarily accepting how this country decides it will order itself?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 25, 2021, 02:57:46 PM
In my understanding, the production and consumer prices are controlled by the community or the state. Socialism does not have to be controlled by the government. A farmers co-op that controls production and prices is socialism.

Once again, Brian, words have meanings.  A farmers' co-op is nothing more than a organization with investments from its members.  Each member profits in proportion to their investments.  Hmmm...  Sounds more like capitalism to me.

Quote from: https://www.freethesaurus.com/co-op
Noun   1.   co-op - a jointly owned commercial enterprise (usually organized by farmers or consumers) that produces and distributes goods and services and is run for the benefit of its owners

Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Steven W Bohler on September 25, 2021, 04:52:01 PM
The Scandinavian countries And some countries on the European continent have had, for a long time, a relatively homogeneous population, and a reasonably good, sometimes booming economy. Furthermore, they have virtually made the decision to pay the high taxes, realizing what it gets them. Education through college. Healthcare. Employment security. Special benefits for children and people in special needs.
And of course, they are dealing with much smaller numbers in terms of population than we are.
What has always bothered me, even from an early age, is the fact that we in this country have enough resources to provide proper care for people in special needs and for the population in general, for instance, with regard to healthcare. We have, sort of, done a reasonable job with public education. But what if we done for healthcare? What have we done to provide the kind of support that people in dire and persistent poverty need? What have we done and retraining the unemployed for work with their previous industries no longer exist? What have we done for working mothers, especially single mothers?
What are we done in providing non-college vocational training?
It’s foolish to think we will give up free market capitalism as a basis for this country. But it is insane to look at efforts to provide needed help to our fellow citizens and get all bent out of shape because we fear it might be “Socialism.“

Of course, these countries can do these things because they rely on the US to provide military protection.  That frees up a lotta moola.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 05:00:38 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Of course, these countries can do these things because they rely on the US to provide military protection.  That frees up a lotta moola.
Me:
Well, tell me who is mad at Sweden or Norway or Denmark? We have a national interest in helping our NATO partners. Do you want to put them in danger from the Russians, like your guy, the Ex?
And we could save a whole lotta moola if we didn’t waste money on defense spending by building planes we don’t really need, ships we don’t really need, and over-paying the favored defense contractors for all kinds of things.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Steven W Bohler on September 25, 2021, 05:57:30 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Of course, these countries can do these things because they rely on the US to provide military protection.  That frees up a lotta moola.
Me:
Well, tell me who is mad at Sweden or Norway or Denmark? We have a national interest in helping our NATO partners. Do you want to put them in danger from the Russians, like your guy, the Ex?
And we could save a whole lotta moola if we didn’t waste money on defense spending by building planes we don’t really need, ships we don’t really need, and over-paying the favored defense contractors for all kinds of things.

Yeah, I really want to put them in danger from the Russians.  Come on, don't be stupid.  But what is your problem with asking them to pay for their own protection, or at least a more reasonable share of it?  Why do you think it is the responsibility of Americans to not only risk their lives but also money to defend others (from the Russians OMG!) just so those other nations can have more to spend on themselves?  Maybe THAT'S why they are so "happy".  Because they have found a way to have their cake and eat it too.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 25, 2021, 06:21:27 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Of course, these countries can do these things because they rely on the US to provide military protection.  That frees up a lotta moola.
Me:
Well, tell me who is mad at Sweden or Norway or Denmark? We have a national interest in helping our NATO partners. Do you want to put them in danger from the Russians, like your guy, the Ex?
And we could save a whole lotta moola if we didn’t waste money on defense spending by building planes we don’t really need, ships we don’t really need, and over-paying the favored defense contractors for all kinds of things.
Yeah, our guy, the Ex, really honked off our NATO allies so that one of them, France, recalled their ambassador, the first time that they have done that in decades. (First time ever?) Oh wait, that wasn't "our" White House Occupant but "yours."
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 06:38:04 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Why do you think it is the responsibility of Americans to not only risk their lives but also money to defend others (from the Russians OMG!) just so those other nations can have more to spend on themselves? 

Me:
Because we support freedom. Because they are our friends. Because we have pledged to do so. You don’t like it? Lobby for new treaties. Or do you favor us walking away from our commitments?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Terry W Culler on September 25, 2021, 07:28:12 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Why do you think it is the responsibility of Americans to not only risk their lives but also money to defend others (from the Russians OMG!) just so those other nations can have more to spend on themselves? 

Me:
Because we support freedom. Because they are our friends. Because we have pledged to do so. You don’t like it? Lobby for new treaties. Or do you favor us walking away from our commitments?


We support freedom, but as John Quincy Adams noted, we are guarantors only of our own.  Germany doesn't bother to guarantee its freedom by keeping its promises of military spending.  It lies over and again and we buy it.  Our allies are not our friends, they are nations which have a national interest served by allying with the US.  If their national interest is not met by standing with us, they don't.  We often seem to be the only people who are expected to be johnny on the spot whenever they need something.  If Europe has no interest in effectively defending itself against Russia--a country which is weaker than those which make up the EU, then I'm not sure why we should be expected to take up their defense.  For all of Putin's obnoxious bluster, the likelihood of his actually doing anything is very low.  We pledged to assist a weak Europe from an aggressive potential enemy, neither situation continues.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 25, 2021, 07:40:00 PM
Peter’s phrase:
‘…imposed by the coercive power of state that is contrary to liberty.”

I ponder:
And just what is this “coercive power”? Passing laws? Federal regulations on such things as safety and health? Any kind of taxation, especially on businesses and industries? Exactly how is this “coercive power” exercise?
And “contrary to liberty”. What kind of liberty? To whose liberty, the liberty of people with money? We all want some “liberties”that are not good or healthy for our neighbors.
If one chooses to reside in this country, is one not voluntarily accepting how this country decides it will order itself?
If you can’t tell the difference between voluntary and coerced, you have a serious problem. I can quit the church, or a club, and stop contributing. I can’t do that with the state. That means the former is voluntary, the latter is coerced.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 08:08:13 PM
Peter writes:
If you can’t tell the difference between voluntary and coerced, you have a serious problem. I can quit the church, or a club, and stop contributing. I can’t do that with the state. That means the former is voluntary, the latter is coerced.

I comment:
No, you are wrong. You could emmigrate to a state where conditions are more to your liking.  You could move. People do it all the time, I hear. Nothing forces us to continue as citizens of the United States. But so long as we are citizens, we are obligated to obey its laws and we owe it our proper loyalty.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 25, 2021, 08:33:29 PM
Peter writes:
If you can’t tell the difference between voluntary and coerced, you have a serious problem. I can quit the church, or a club, and stop contributing. I can’t do that with the state. That means the former is voluntary, the latter is coerced.

I comment:
No, you are wrong. You could emmigrate to a state where conditions are more to your liking.  You could move. People do it all the time, I hear. Nothing forces us to continue as citizens of the United States. But so long as we are citizens, we are obligated to obey its laws and we owe it our proper loyalty.
Do you honestly see no difference between the coercive power of the state and voluntary collective action? You genuinely can’t tell whether you’re making a voluntary donation or paying mandatory taxes? If so, you are a nincompoop. The fact that you say I am obligated to follow the laws gets at the truth. I am obligated, and they will coerce me into prison if I don’t. The state coerces obedience. Nothing else can. That’s every state, by definition. That’s why the state should be kept strictly to it’s necessary functions. Coercion is a necessary evil that is best minimized, not maximized.

Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 25, 2021, 08:41:58 PM
Peter writes:
If you can’t tell the difference between voluntary and coerced, you have a serious problem. I can quit the church, or a club, and stop contributing. I can’t do that with the state. That means the former is voluntary, the latter is coerced.

I comment:
No, you are wrong. You could emmigrate to a state where conditions are more to your liking.  You could move. People do it all the time, I hear. Nothing forces us to continue as citizens of the United States. But so long as we are citizens, we are obligated to obey its laws and we owe it our proper loyalty.
I suppose in the same way laws that restrict abortion are not coercive. People who want less restrictive laws could always move to States or even country with laws more to their liking.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on September 25, 2021, 09:09:33 PM
Peter writes:
If you can’t tell the difference between voluntary and coerced, you have a serious problem. I can quit the church, or a club, and stop contributing. I can’t do that with the state. That means the former is voluntary, the latter is coerced.

I comment:
No, you are wrong. You could emmigrate to a state where conditions are more to your liking.  You could move. People do it all the time, I hear. Nothing forces us to continue as citizens of the United States. But so long as we are citizens are obligated to obey its laws and we owe it our proper loyalty.

As citizens of a constitutionally based democratic republic, we have the option, right, and privilege to organize politically and elect those govern and make and enforce the laws in accordance with the Constitution.  That includes the right to oppose by our constitutional processes (including the elected federal legislative branch and POTUS, and the constitutionally appointed SCOTUS) the attempts by other citizens to impose socialist obligations and structures upon us.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 10:29:40 PM
Peter:
That’s why the state should be kept strictly to it’s necessary functions. Coercion is a necessary evil that is best minimized, not maximized.
Me:
Can you explain the “necessary functions” of a state, preferably our Constitutionally governed state?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: pearson on September 25, 2021, 10:43:17 PM

No, you are wrong. You could emigrate to a state where conditions are more to your liking.
 

As soon as Pr. Speckhard is done explaining the "necessary functions" of a state (and I'll bet his list is even longer than my fingers-on-one-hand list), could I ask you to direct me to a contemporary political state where I won't be coerced by the governing authorities if I emigrate there?  Thanks.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 25, 2021, 10:54:04 PM
Peter:
That’s why the state should be kept strictly to it’s necessary functions. Coercion is a necessary evil that is best minimized, not maximized.
Me:
Can you explain the “necessary functions” of a state, preferably our Constitutionally governed state?
Yes. The state necessarily defends the nation, protects individual rights, regulates international trade, etc.. Your problem is that you make everything all or nothing. If the state legitimately does x, then y is a legitimate function of the state. To argue against y is to argue against x. Either statist totalitarian rule is theoretically acceptable or else pure anarchy is necessary. The idea that the government must govern, but that a government governs best that governs least is lost on you. We should be trying to minimize forcing anyone to do anything while doing so firmly when absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 25, 2021, 11:02:03 PM
Peter:
Yes. The state necessarily defends the nation, protects individual rights, regulates international trade, etc..
Me:
And there is much mischief and disagreement in that “etc.” that will not be resolved here.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 26, 2021, 01:51:22 AM
Peter’s phrase:
‘…imposed by the coercive power of state that is contrary to liberty.”

I ponder:
And just what is this “coercive power”? Passing laws? Federal regulations on such things as safety and health? Any kind of taxation, especially on businesses and industries? Exactly how is this “coercive power” exercise?
And “contrary to liberty”. What kind of liberty? To whose liberty, the liberty of people with money? We all want some “liberties”that are not good or healthy for our neighbors.
If one chooses to reside in this country, is one not voluntarily accepting how this country decides it will order itself?


If one doesn't like paying taxes, stop earning so much money. Move to a state that doesn't have sales tax.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 05:27:04 AM
Schools. Roads. Bridges. Police. OSHA. FDA. CDC. Courts. Local health departments. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. Coast Guard. Building codes. Fire departments. EPA. And, among still more things, the mechanics needed to put our constitution into action. All - and probably more - “necessary functions “ of government. (Including, I believe, the responsibility to mandate vaccines in a pandemic.)
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 26, 2021, 08:29:57 AM
School are not a necessary function of government. Listing all the branches of the military separately indeed gives you a longer list, but is still just defense. Many fire departments are volunteer. Some of things on your list, like the EPA, didn’t exist for a good deal of our history, so they cannot be said to be necessary functions of government other than that if you’re going to have one, it has to be government. Why? Because without coercive power it can’t do its job.

There are a lot of good things government can do. But they all require coerced participation. Therefore, those who value liberty tend to prefer the government forgo doing unnecessary things even if they are in general beneficial. People who value material security tend to want the government to do more even at the cost of liberty.

Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 08:56:40 AM
So Caring for our natural resources when they are in danger is not the job of the government? And yes, the EPA was not necessary in 1789. Does that make it invalid today? In 1860, people died of phony medication. Does that make the FDA unnecessary today?
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 26, 2021, 12:30:18 PM
School are not a necessary function of government. Listing all the branches of the military separately indeed gives you a longer list, but is still just defense. Many fire departments are volunteer. Some of things on your list, like the EPA, didn’t exist for a good deal of our history, so they cannot be said to be necessary functions of government other than that if you’re going to have one, it has to be government. Why? Because without coercive power it can’t do its job.

There are a lot of good things government can do. But they all require coerced participation. Therefore, those who value liberty tend to prefer the government forgo doing unnecessary things even if they are in general beneficial. People who value material security tend to want the government to do more even at the cost of liberty.


"coerced participation"? You make it sound like it's a bad thing. Did Luther coerce people into receiving communion by stating that if they didn't desire it at least three or four times a year, they weren't Christians? How often has the church coerced people into participating through guilt? Is guilt a bad thing? Isn't guiding people into righteous behaviors a good thing?


Our infection of original sin will always misuse our freedom, e.g., like the first humans. We require curbs and guidance whether they are both seen as under the first use of the Law or the first and third uses.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: D. Engebretson on September 26, 2021, 01:06:49 PM
Schools are not a necessary function of government.

I know we have discussed and debated the idea of the public school system before.  In principle I am not against it.  My three children when to a public high school. A lot of good people teach at these schools, and a lot of good people send their children there.

But I am fearing that the public school system, as well as the public university system, is becoming more and more an extension of the government with regard to indoctrination of social mores and accepted social constructs. And I'm not referring to the usual mores and constructs that required civil behavior that did not engage in physical harm or verbal abuse.  We are clearly a divided country on a long list of issues, and the government more and more seems intent in closing that gap of division by enacting laws of social conformity and through an educational system of indoctrination.

And this is already having an impact on the educational choices families are making. Many families are looking to alternatives such a home schooling and church-based schools. There is an annual homeschooling growth rate of 2%-8%. By the end of last year as many as 9 million children were being homeschooled. For more statistics, etc. see: https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/ (https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/)

If the government is considered ultimately responsible for the pre-college education of our youth, this has implications, as well, on how they are going to treat these alternative forms of education.  For if the U.S. Department of Education considers it their duty to not only set academic standards, but also social standards, then it's only a matter of time before greater control in that area will extend to home schooling and religious schools.  I'm not sure how they would do it in the former case, other than demanding documentation that certain instruction takes place with submitted reports/tests, etc.

So, I would obviously prefer less, not more control of the government in the area of education. 
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dave Benke on September 26, 2021, 01:08:08 PM
There's a combo of common sense and cultural acclimation that precedes or accompanies or follows coercion.  I saw a video on Tik-Tok last week taken from a meeting in Detroit in the 1960s.  A big crowd of angry people, many of them chain smoking - the room kind of wafting smoke all around the camera, and people shouting.  "Never.  Never!!!" "We ain't gonna put them xx things on no matter what and I don't care who says it's 'good' for me.  I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing even if I get a fine!"  Of course, these folks/guys were all screaming about seat belts in cars being an inappropriate governmental intrusion on their freedom. 

So those who didn't get killed or badly injured in a car crash probably died of lung cancer.  I forget now what the stats on that were, but the seat belt really dropped the number of auto accident deaths substantially.  I say that as one whose higher speed adolescent and young adult driving took place without much attention to seat belts, so - happy to be here.  Common sense accompanied coercion/fines.  Acclimation took place.

There were some outliers when it came to the polio vaccine as well, even though as a young child I remember the folks being prayerfully thankful for Dr. Salk.  Except for the true anti-vaxxers, common sense has prevailed alongside coercion/mandates from schools about vaccination charts.

So even in a more polarized time, what I think is happening is the combination of common sense and acclimation to the vaccine.  Clergy in particular can be of great assistance in that process.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 26, 2021, 02:35:01 PM
So Caring for our natural resources when they are in danger is not the job of the government? And yes, the EPA was not necessary in 1789. Does that make it invalid today? In 1860, people died of phony medication. Does that make the FDA unnecessary today?
Where do you see me saying the EPA is not valid? I didn’t. I said it is perfectly possible to have a government without one. But it is just another example of your inability to follow what I say because you deal in absolutes and without distinctions between words like necessary, valid, beneficial, etc. none of which are synonyms.

Some people would rather govern themselves even if it means being governed poorly. Other people gladly sacrifice their freedoms to experts who know better. I would be healthier eating meals prescribed by the FDA. I’d rather be unhealthy and eat what I want. If someone proposed to ban the private purchase of food and have a government program provide nutritious meals to everyone, they have public health on their side. But liberty would rightly object.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dave Likeness on September 26, 2021, 02:37:37 PM
In theory, the individual states have a department of education
and the local school districts have a board of education.  This is
suppose to be where the decisions on textbooks and teachers are
made.  Federal mandates were never intended to be part of the
process.  However, when federal money enters the picture so does
a certain amount of control.

If parents begin to see that the government is over-reaching into
areas of morality, then you will see a continued increase in home
schooling and church-based/private schools.   Hopefully, government
will not overplay its hand and interfere with encroaching guidelines
on sexuality and transgender discussions.  We are living in times when
traditional morality is no longer the norm.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 26, 2021, 03:00:20 PM
If one doesn't like paying taxes, stop earning so much money. Move to a state that doesn't have sales tax.

And there we go.  If we were not so productive, the government would not take our money.  That's twisted.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 04:59:15 PM
Peter:
Some people would rather govern themselves even if it means being governed poorly. Other people gladly sacrifice their freedoms to experts who know better. I would be healthier eating meals prescribed by the FDA. I’d rather be unhealthy and eat what I want. If someone proposed to ban the private purchase of food and have a government program provide nutritious meals to everyone, they have public health on their side. But liberty would rightly object.

Me:
And you claim I deal in extremes!
Some people want freedom to use cocaine and other deadly drugs.(In moderation of course.) Do you propose we just let them do it?
Some guys with a lot of money want to rip the top off mountains so they can get to the minerals underneath, and  to hell with the impact on the environment. Is that OK?
For some the entrance to those questions are yes, no, and maybe. That’s why our constitutional system of laws and checks and balances comes into play and collectively, in a way, we make decisions. Once, we collectively decided to ban beverage alcohol. Oops. Bad idea. So we collectively decided that we would no longer do that.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 26, 2021, 05:04:41 PM
I would be healthier eating meals prescribed by the FDA.

That’s not clear. It is now pretty well understood that the traditional food pyramid that was promulgated for about half a century is terrible eating advice (way too many carbs).

www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-pyramid/ (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-pyramid/)

So in that case the government function was not only not necessary, it was harmful.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 05:24:23 PM
And that old “food pyramid“ was partly fabricated by those selling certain food products. And at a time when we barely knew body chemistry and how nutrition truly works.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 26, 2021, 05:41:23 PM
Schools are not a necessary function of government.

I know we have discussed and debated the idea of the public school system before.  In principle I am not against it.  My three children when to a public high school. A lot of good people teach at these schools, and a lot of good people send their children there.

But I am fearing that the public school system, as well as the public university system, is becoming more and more an extension of the government with regard to indoctrination of social mores and accepted social constructs. And I'm not referring to the usual mores and constructs that required civil behavior that did not engage in physical harm or verbal abuse.  We are clearly a divided country on a long list of issues, and the government more and more seems intent in closing that gap of division by enacting laws of social conformity and through an educational system of indoctrination.

And this is already having an impact on the educational choices families are making. Many families are looking to alternatives such a home schooling and church-based schools. There is an annual homeschooling growth rate of 2%-8%. By the end of last year as many as 9 million children were being homeschooled. For more statistics, etc. see: https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/ (https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/)

If the government is considered ultimately responsible for the pre-college education of our youth, this has implications, as well, on how they are going to treat these alternative forms of education.  For if the U.S. Department of Education considers it their duty to not only set academic standards, but also social standards, then it's only a matter of time before greater control in that area will extend to home schooling and religious schools.  I'm not sure how they would do it in the former case, other than demanding documentation that certain instruction takes place with submitted reports/tests, etc.

So, I would obviously prefer less, not more control of the government in the area of education.


a liberal arts education will naturally tilt towards liberalism.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 26, 2021, 05:43:01 PM
If one doesn't like paying taxes, stop earning so much money. Move to a state that doesn't have sales tax.

And there we go.  If we were not so productive, the government would not take our money.  That's twisted.


One can be productive without earning a salary: volunteering at a food back, for example. There were a number of people, back in my day, who reduced their income so that they wouldn't be paying federal taxes in support of the Vietnam war.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 06:39:24 PM
And one of the best religion news writers I ever knew back in the day, a freelancer he, never worried about taxes. He never made enough to pay very much.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 26, 2021, 07:12:05 PM
And that old “food pyramid“ was partly fabricated by those selling certain food products. And at a time when we barely knew body chemistry and how nutrition truly works.

Yeah, so that makes the feds who propagated that nonsense as innocents.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: DeHall1 on September 26, 2021, 11:01:12 PM
Schools are not a necessary function of government.

I know we have discussed and debated the idea of the public school system before.  In principle I am not against it.  My three children when to a public high school. A lot of good people teach at these schools, and a lot of good people send their children there.

But I am fearing that the public school system, as well as the public university system, is becoming more and more an extension of the government with regard to indoctrination of social mores and accepted social constructs. And I'm not referring to the usual mores and constructs that required civil behavior that did not engage in physical harm or verbal abuse.  We are clearly a divided country on a long list of issues, and the government more and more seems intent in closing that gap of division by enacting laws of social conformity and through an educational system of indoctrination.

And this is already having an impact on the educational choices families are making. Many families are looking to alternatives such a home schooling and church-based schools. There is an annual homeschooling growth rate of 2%-8%. By the end of last year as many as 9 million children were being homeschooled. For more statistics, etc. see: https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/ (https://admissionsly.com/homeschooling-statistics/)

If the government is considered ultimately responsible for the pre-college education of our youth, this has implications, as well, on how they are going to treat these alternative forms of education.  For if the U.S. Department of Education considers it their duty to not only set academic standards, but also social standards, then it's only a matter of time before greater control in that area will extend to home schooling and religious schools.  I'm not sure how they would do it in the former case, other than demanding documentation that certain instruction takes place with submitted reports/tests, etc.

So, I would obviously prefer less, not more control of the government in the area of education.


a liberal arts education will naturally tilt towards liberalism.

You do know that “liberal” in “liberal arts” is not a reference to any political philosophy, right?  Math is considered a liberal art”, as is any of the physical sciences.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 26, 2021, 11:03:47 PM
Really? I never took a single math course in college.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 27, 2021, 12:19:42 AM
Really? I never took a single math course in college.

Your point is...? I never took a botany course in college, but I graduated with a BA from the U of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts. And y'all have figured out that I ain't no lib! But granted, that was a couple of generations ago.  ;)
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on September 27, 2021, 12:37:50 AM
Really? I never took a single math course in college.

I truly feel sorry for you in having received a deficient undergraduate education.

I received a Minor in Mathematics...debating "fuzzy subsets" was good preparation for sparring with fuzzy theology.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 27, 2021, 05:02:11 AM
I believe one is allowed to be ignorant about two, maybe three fields. Mine are mathematics and Chinese art.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: James S. Rustad on September 27, 2021, 09:02:30 AM
If one doesn't like paying taxes, stop earning so much money. Move to a state that doesn't have sales tax.

And there we go.  If we were not so productive, the government would not take our money.  That's twisted.

One can be productive without earning a salary: volunteering at a food back, for example. There were a number of people, back in my day, who reduced their income so that they wouldn't be paying federal taxes in support of the Vietnam war.

I see you are playing word games again like Humpty Dumpty.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’"
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 27, 2021, 12:19:55 PM
If one doesn't like paying taxes, stop earning so much money. Move to a state that doesn't have sales tax.

And there we go.  If we were not so productive, the government would not take our money.  That's twisted.

One can be productive without earning a salary: volunteering at a food back, for example. There were a number of people, back in my day, who reduced their income so that they wouldn't be paying federal taxes in support of the Vietnam war.

I see you are playing word games again like Humpty Dumpty.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’"


Nope. I knew farmers and ranchers who produced a lot of crops and meat; but because the way the market goes; they didn't earn any money. The price they received for their production was less than it cost to produce it. Being productive isn't the same thing as earning money.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Richard Johnson on September 27, 2021, 08:30:19 PM
I believe one is allowed to be ignorant about two, maybe three fields. Mine are mathematics and Chinese art.

I went to a state college, and was ignorant about many fields, including my major (philosophy). In seminary at Yale, I used to propose a tavern game. I told my fellow students that I had graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy. The game was to try to name a philosopher I had actually read. You get one point for each correct answer, and if you get to five, you win. Nobody ever won.  :o
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Steven W Bohler on September 28, 2021, 08:32:34 AM
I believe one is allowed to be ignorant about two, maybe three fields. Mine are mathematics and Chinese art.

I went to a state college, and was ignorant about many fields, including my major (philosophy). In seminary at Yale, I used to propose a tavern game. I told my fellow students that I had graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy. The game was to try to name a philosopher I had actually read. You get one point for each correct answer, and if you get to five, you win. Nobody ever won.  :o

That does not speak well of the school you attended.  I too went to a state university (Univ. of Wisconsin -- Stevens Point).  My major (which I do not believe exists there anymore; I was the first -- and I think only -- person who pursued that major) was Philosophy With a Concentration in Religious Studies.  But we read philosophers (and theologians, from Eastern and Western religions).  I still have a lot of those books on my shelf in the office.  However, I can't tell you much anymore about most of them.  But then, I can't tell you much about MANY of the things I read/studied in those years for other classes either.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Dave Benke on September 28, 2021, 08:53:50 AM
I believe one is allowed to be ignorant about two, maybe three fields. Mine are mathematics and Chinese art.

I went to a state college, and was ignorant about many fields, including my major (philosophy). In seminary at Yale, I used to propose a tavern game. I told my fellow students that I had graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy. The game was to try to name a philosopher I had actually read. You get one point for each correct answer, and if you get to five, you win. Nobody ever won.  :o

That does not speak well of the school you attended.  I too went to a state university (Univ. of Wisconsin -- Stevens Point).  My major (which I do not believe exists there anymore; I was the first -- and I think only -- person who pursued that major) was Philosophy With a Concentration in Religious Studies.  But we read philosophers (and theologians, from Eastern and Western religions).  I still have a lot of those books on my shelf in the office.  However, I can't tell you much anymore about most of them.  But then, I can't tell you much about MANY of the things I read/studied in those years for other classes either.

I was a philosophy "concentrator" in the system used at Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne.  I could easily list five philosophers I read, but some to many were existentialist and therefore in the end all was deemed vanity, vanity.  Which means they were channeling Ecclesiastes.  I, too, with periodic protests from my wife, still have those volumes packed away somewhere with lots of notations.  More vanity.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Charles Austin on September 28, 2021, 10:38:15 AM
In the old LCA days, students considering seminary were expected to take a couple of extra Bible or religion courses and Greek in college. But my college, Midland, in Fremont, Nebraska, did not offer religion as a major. So all of us took other academic majors, and I’m glad we did. I took a minor in journalism, and I’m very glad I did that. On graduation, what I learned and valued in literature courses, did not serve me in a “practical” way. But the journalism courses got me a job which helped pay my way through seminary.
Title: Re: Lutherans and Socialism
Post by: Richard Johnson on September 29, 2021, 08:34:21 PM

That does not speak well of the school you attended.  I too went to a state university (Univ. of Wisconsin -- Stevens Point).  My major (which I do not believe exists there anymore; I was the first -- and I think only -- person who pursued that major) was Philosophy With a Concentration in Religious Studies. 

Ya think?
 
Actually, your major sounds similar to mine--"Philosophy and Religion," which was really just a concentration within the Philosophy department. There were two or three profs who mostly taught the religion courses. The most "famous" was Jacob Needleman, who I didn't find especially interesting. The best was Nancy Tilden, who was only part-time, as I recall (she was nearing retirement), but was one of the best teachers I've ever had. I took a course in Plato from her, and also one called "Religion in American Literature" which was fabulous--but the only actual "philosopher" we read in that course was Jonathan Edwards. Otherwise, we were really reading literature.