It’s the uncontested opinion of a very small circle of my friends that we will never take a Christian leftist to the zoo. Aside from the fact that Christians have had a historical tendency to be thrown to the lions, there have been a few cases in which Christians have thrown themselves into the lion’s den. But this grisly reason aside, the reason we never take a Christian leftist to the zoo is purely selfish. It’s because he’s more likely to throw you to the lions, and then praise the Lord for making him better than everyone else.
This latent brand of leftism most usually makes an appearance when you’ve got to make a serious decision about your country’s survival. Then all of a sudden the un-neighborly neighbor begins spouting all kinds of scandalous things on Facebook about how God has not given us a spirit of fear and pretending to risk his life in reckless causes with minimal payouts at maximum expense. And there’s almost always a catch. The reason God hasn’t given him a spirit of fear because He’s given you one. And He has given you one because you are the person who’s actually being endangered.
For instance, you can find a liberal Christian worrying about the people in prison – but not about the people they harmed to get there. You can find him clamoring to spend more on the poor – but not with the money that’s taken from him (it’s most usually stolen from children). He frequently tells us not to judge – but only the things and people he personally feels comfortable around. He always wants to house illegal immigrants and hostile refugees – but never in his own home. He wants us to get rid of our weapons because of the children, and wants us to get rid of our children because of the mothers, and he claims that he who loses his life shall find it. We applaud him in the last measure – we give him liberty to lose his life. We want him to pack up and evangelize to ISIS. We do not give him liberty to lose ours or anyone else’s.
The liberal Christian is pitiable because he lives a life full of contradictions. His own morality isn’t even really moral, because it isn’t even really possible. He says, on the one hand, that the mark of the Christian is a wild and irrational charity, which means letting go of everything you ought to hold dear and grabbing on to everything you shouldn’t. On the other hand, he feels the need to lock his front door. He says that dying for Christ is admirable and then wonders whether living is moral. And he wonders this because once he’s decided that he’s responsible for the people he isn’t responsible for, every Christmas tree is purchased at the expense of an African’s meal and every hour of leisure spent at the expense of a soup kitchen. He gives so he can make the world a better place. When a part of the world is a better place, he quickly tries to make it worse. The moment he feels he’s helped you on your feet is the moment he will try to knock you off them.
The strange appeal of Christian altruism comes from the fact that it isn’t really altruism. Not only because there isn’t any such thing as altruism (which everyone with any sense already knows), but because Christians believe there isn’t anything to lose. In a certain sense they believe they have everything, which is why they appear to be ready to lose everything. The difference between liberal Christians and intelligent Christians isn’t that one has Heaven and the other one doesn’t. It’s that one of them knows the difference between giving everything and taking everything.
There’s a reason why “altruism” is so appealing, and it’s because the person who gives things gives without asking. It’s the same reason we avoid people who take without giving. At its core, we love altruistic people because we love being around people who benefit people (because we are people); and we love committing acts of altruism because we want other people to love us as much as we love ourselves. The people who say altruism is unselfish are ignorant of their interests, which means they’re also ignorant of yours. Altruism is an indulgence of our instinctual pity and an expression of our sociability. In Christianity, as in the rest of life, it is God’s means of glorifying Himself (Heb 12:2). All respectful acts of self-interest are moral, which is why Jesus spent the overwhelming majority of his life as a working man. An act of altruism is an attempt at endearment and a monument to self-worship.
The great beauty of the Christian religion is found not anywhere in Christian morality, but in the one thing liberal Christians are worse at than anything else – which is biblical theology. It lies in the fact that if there really is a God out there who knows you at your worst and gave you His very best, then everything we could suffer on Earth is only for a moment, and everything really great about life is going to last forever. It’s why Christians sing the sappiest love songs ever written. Christians love their God because He first loved them at His own expense. And herein lies something crucial. Had Jesus never been a member of the Trinity, the Gospel would have been a very different story – which is why Christians have been willing to kill each other over the doctrine. An intelligent Christian is a moral Trinitarian, and wants to give himself. A liberal Christian is morally Arian and wants to give someone else. And the someone else he wants to give is you.
What Christian leftists have forgotten is that altruism is a beautiful thing until it becomes mandatory – which is when it becomes murderous. And the moment we cross the line between giving without a reward and forcing others to give without a reward, we have left the realm of altruism entirely. There is a very specific name for the kind of people who view the lives, liberty, and property of their neighbors as nothing more than a means to a personal end – even if it is a “spiritual” end. We call them robbers, murderers, and tyrants. The liberal Christian robs and endangers Christians to enrich the world’s barbarians and losers, and he does it to glorify himself at minimal personal expense. The Apostle Paul said a man who refuses to take care of his family is worse than an infidel. It has yet to be heard what he’d say of a man who robs the body of Christ.
Written by Jeremy Egerer.