The island nation of Cyprus sits in the Mediterranean Sea less than a hundred miles off the coasts of Syria and Turkey.  Since they are part of the European Union (EU), they must yield to the authority of EU leaders.  Last Sunday, EU Union officials demanded that Cyprus seize up to 10 percent of privately held bank deposits in exchange for a 10 billion Euro bailout.   Most of the money in these banks is not even from their own citizens because the leaders of Cyprus have long made their banks a safe haven for foreign investors.  Unsurprisingly, this unprecedented seizure of private funds set off a firestorm of controversy because it goes well beyond simple taxation.  Normally taxes are levied on new income or profits.  This is basically a seizure of people’s property, a significant chunk of many people’s life savings.  Now, there is nothing wrong with some taxation by government on one’s earnings or the profits of a company, but taking someone’s savings is an inherently unjust act that strikes at the very foundation of orderly civilization. 

I have written about Natural Rights in previous columns.  Natural Rights are those rights which derive from God and are bestowed on every human being on the planet, although governments across the globe and throughout history have often violated or unfairly taken away those rights from the people.  This seizure of private funds is a clear violation of the property rights of the people.  One of the main principles that God established in His Scripture is the respect of one another’s property, possessions, and relationships.  In the 10 commandments, we are told not to steal, not to even desire the possessions of our neighbor.  It is in the sinful envy of what others have that Satan spins some of his most dangerous mischief.  When people start looking enviously at the possessions of others, this sin then leads to more sin.  When people are jealous of the possessions of others, they then begin to justify their subsequent theft, violence, deceit, or whatever they can dream up out of a sinful heart.  They imagine themselves deserving of much more than they have and believe that they have been cheated somehow by life or the powers that be, so they feel justified in any and all actions necessary to "re-balance" the scales of justice. 

A certain segment of our society has built their politics upon envy and subsequently believe that this justifies government seizure of property and “redistribution” of that wealth to those that they believe have been exploited.  Socialists, such as the liberals/progressives in our society who subscribe to Marxist doctrine, believe that they have the right to take away property, an idea which they got from writings of Carl Marx, the father of communism.  In Marx’s writings, he poses the theory that the struggle between class groups underlies all politics.  Moreover, he reasons, that those who are in power will inevitably take advantage of the lower classes just because they can.  Subsequently they owe all their gains of wealth to the exploitation of the lower classes.  You may remember President Obama’s comment about businesses and their profits, saying, “If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”  Of course, when he said that, he meant that it was primarily the government which enabled everyone's success. 


This statement reveals what is in the heart and mind of the man and is a clear reference to Marxist doctrine.  He tried to sugar coat this statement by noting that there were helpful people along the path of every person’s success that made some contribution to your life, and consequently they deserve all the credit for your success.  While it may be true that we all have been influenced or helped by people in our lives, it is a gargantuan leap of logic to then conclude that you didn’t earn any of what you possess.  His statement does not make sense in our Judeo-Christian morality, but it makes perfect sense in communist morality.  Anyone that is thinking clearly would realize that this is not true.  You wouldn’t have to think too hard to point to something in your life which you accomplished completely on your own, certainly with some influence or assistance by others, but their efforts constitute a very small percentage of the work. 

You did the back-breaking labor or worked the long hours or sacrificially deprived yourself somehow on the road to your success.  It was your money, blood, sweat, and tears that got you there, not the enablers who simply assisted you.  To a communist or socialist, though, everyone who  is successful owes their success to the exploitation of others.  This is why they are so intent on soaking the rich and taking away their wealth.  It is a very warped way of thinking, but that’s where you go if you have a sin-darkened mind, untouched by God and His Truth.

I pray that you have a blessed day walking in fellowship with Our Lord.

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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