It’s one of those memes that makes you roll your eyes, but then you Snopes it and get a good belly laugh. Note to Socialist: it’s bad enough that you strongly believe in a system of theft enforced by government coercion. Yeah, that’s pretty bad. But to meme lies on top of it is just devilish, and the ignorance required to get there is pitiful. Perhaps the worst of such memes crossed my Facebook feed this week. Normally I would not pay much attention, but since this one has been shared over 108,000 times, I thought it should be highlighted and put in its place.
I think we’re all aware that former President Jimmy Carter is a professing evangelical Christian, a liberal democrat, and an advocate for the poor. You could also probably call his political views Socialist-lite. We know he has wed these beliefs and values in such a way as to make many statements in favor of liberal policies in the name of Jesus and the Bible. These always just so happen to line up with the Democrat platform and Socialist policies, and they also just so happen to be wrong, usually. But this one takes the cake: it implicitly calls all conservative Christians liars and false Christians for denying Socialism.
The meme in question has the face of Jimmy Carter and states, “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t!”
Wow! Sounds like someone needs a dose of God versus Socialism.
As ridiculous as this notion is, and as easily as it is refuted from a Biblical perspective, the truth of the matter is actually much worse. When I first saw it, I thought it sounded a bit harsh for Carter—misguided enough to be sure, but too harsh. I immediately wanted to find the source so I could read it in context and perhaps write about it. So, I Googled the whole text string, “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor,” and, “Carter.” And. . . .
I found it! Here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/carterpoor.asp
Yeah, that’s right. Sorry liberal hater and hasty memer: Carter never said this. Instead, it was a caustic leftist hack comedian. Somewhere along the line, some dishonest or mistaken person attributed it to Carter and the hot air continued from there. Well, this Hindenburg just went up in flames.
Socialism is bad enough for its covetousness and thievery, but to spread lies and ignorance just ads to the evil. Facebookers really should check their sources before they spread such things, too.
When we hear such claims as these about Christianity, we should always check to be sure. We should always check our Bibles to see, for example, whether it teaches things like using government threats of fines and imprisonment in order to take some people’s money and give it to others. I admit, it seems unlikely based just on common sense or even a wild guess, but we can have recourse to Scripture just to be certain.
And of course we should always be wary when someone wants to leverage the authority of the Bible, but they quote a liberal politician to make the point. If Scripture really teaches something, why not quote Scripture to prove it? What authority can Jimmy Carter’s opinion add beyond that? As you can imagine, they don’t quote the Bible usually because they don’t know the Bible. In this case, they didn’t know Jimmy Carter, either.
But even in cases like this, we should always establish the veracity of the claim before we consider its substance. It’s not fair to Christians to spread lies such as this, and it’s not fair to Jimmy Carter to put lies in his mouth, especially when they’re so arrogant. As much as I disagree with him, I would never want to misrepresent him or any other intellectual opponent. Even if I were on his side in any given debate, I would not want to win my point based on lies and fallacious appeals to authority.
Then again, given the nature of Socialism so stated, we should not be surprised that such lies are all it’s really got on its side.