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1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.

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  • Carl

    Well, based on this verse, clearly Paul was against programs to assist the working poor and in favor of a reduction of taxes on the rich. After all, what else could it mean?

  • Ken

     Jesus’ position on capital gains taxes is just as explicit as his positions on abortion and gay marriage.

  • flat

    No it doesn’t mean that.
    Nobody can solve those problems on his own, you also need other people to do that, here Paul gives advice how you should work with other people to solve those problems.

  • Chris Algoo

    I can imagine a conservative reading like Carl’s being used to justify cutting programs. However, they’d have to choose to ignore the phrase right before (mind your own affairs), and conservatives would never cherry-pick the Bible like that.

  • friendly reader

    It would also choose to ignore the entire context of the letter, where Paul is explicitly talking about people who quit their jobs because they were certain the world was ending tomorrow. They’re not unable to find jobs, they had jobs, and they’ve quit and are mooching off others. Paul was telling them to go back to their old jobs (which still existed) because you don’t know the day or the hour etc.

    This is about the people who gave up their whole lives last year for that one preacher who expected the world to end in May, not the millions of unemployed in America.

  • Dash1

    Well, as my old-style evangelical father would have pointed out before he became a Fox Geezer (TM), verses like this are always directed to those who are meant to follow them; they don’t tell others, “make sure people act this way.” (He was actually wrong about this–the verses restricting women are directed to the men, “Let the women keep silent…”)

    So it’s sort of a “keep your own house in order” thing. And, since I’m channeling my father, he’d certainly have pointed out that the verse is about a goal (“aspire”); it’s not a command about outcomes.

    I miss that type of evangelical! They used to be a lot more common before the evangelical movement as a whole cast its lot in with the fundamentalists.

  • hapax

    Paul here quite obviously endorses “Going Galt.” 

    So when are the one percent headed for the Gulch, already?  Jamie Dimon, I’m looking at YOU…

  • shadsieblue

    I *could*

  • Nenya

    What strikes me here is the “live quietly” part. I’d say that includes not stirring up your compatriots to deny other people their civil rights, eh?