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Monday, April 25, 2011

What Websites Would Jesus Surf?

David Barton, the "historian" whom Mike Huckabee said he would like to force people to listen to at gunpoint, knows what Jesus would think about net neutrality. Forget about the fact that the only nets that existed in Jesus' day were for catching fish, it's pretty clear what Jesus's opinion would be.

David Barton: But we talk about it [net neutrality] today because it is a principle of free market. That’s a Biblical principle, that’s a historical principle, we have all these quotes from Ben Franklin, and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity. This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet. 

The Pilgrims? The Puritans? Haven't we always been told that they came to this land seeking religious freedom? You're saying now they came to bring free markets? Did the concept of free markets even exist in the 16th Century? "Wealth of Nations" didn't even come out until 1776. And the colonies certainly didn't operate in a free market system. They were part of Brittain and thus subject to the crown's mercantilism.

And how is the free market a biblical principle?There's no freedom  in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Israel exists as a theocracy, then as a monarchy. In the New Testament, Israel is under the thumb of the Roman Empire. When was there ever a "Free Market" in the Bible?

David Barton: This is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet, and I’ll go back to what I believed for a long time is: fair is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary. Fair has nothing to do with anything. What you want is justice, you don’t want fairness. Fairness is subjective, what I think is fair, what you think, what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair. That’s right, but we needed justice so God did that for us.

Um, what? First of all, I'm pretty sure that justice is just as subjective as fairness. In some places, it's considered justice to behead the infidel. In other places, it's apparently considered justice to hold a man in solitary confinement for months at a time if he is suspected of giving away secret information. Justice is always subjective. Slavery used to be considered just, now not so much.

Secondly, how is it justice to punish the one person who didn't do anything wrong in order to forgive all the people who did do wrong things? It definitely doesn't sound fair, and I don't see how you can say that that constitutes "justice." Also, what does any of that have to do with Net Neutrality?

See, you said it's "the fairness doctrine" and then said that fairness is somehow bad. I could say it's the "ice cream policy applied to the internet" and then say that ice cream is good and that would be just a legitimate an argument. More so, really, because ice cream actually is good.
http://www.thismodernworld.com/weblog/images/icecream.jpg 

David Barton: This is really, I’m going to use the word wicked stuff, and I don’t use that word very often, but this is wicked stuff. 

This is idiotic. I don't use that word very often, but this is idiotic stuff.


"I mean, this is crazy stuff," Barton said. "This is redistribution of wealth through the Internet and it really is redistribution. This is socialism on the Internet."

Good point. Other than the fact that no wealth is being redistributed and it has nothing to do with socialism, Other than that, though, spot on!

By the way, the Bible seems to kinda like the whole socialism thing:
Remember this verse?
“When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow” (Deuteronomy 24: 21)
That's God redistributing your grapes.
Or this verse?
"During the seventh year, let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove." (Exodus 23:11)

That's God redistributing your land once every seven years.
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 23:22)
That's God redistributing your crops.
 "At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied." (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)
That's God redistributing your food.

So honestly, I can't see how you can say that the Bible opposes "socialism" and favors "free markets."

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