Shame: Red-Letter Christians Tout Socialism in Response to Harvey

The Red-Letter Christians organization is based upon the dangerous heresy that the Christian Scripture is at war with itself. The concept is that there is a higher Christian ethic to be found in following the “red letters” of the Bible, often used to denote the actual words of Jesus. Without saying it directly, the implication is that the remainder of the Bible canon is less reliable, less trustworthy, or less honorable than the direct quotations of Jesus. Yes, that would be the same Jesus that affirmed the rest of those “God-breathed” Scriptures.

So when the entire organization is constructed around a concept diametrically at odds with orthodox Christianity, it should hardly be surprising when its leaders issue tragic and abominable statements like they did in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

After a radical left activist named Nate Lerner, founder of the Democratic Coalition and creator of the #BoycottTrump app, commented that disasters like Harvey demonstrate why government should not be run as a business that focuses on profit, the Red Letter Christians re-tweeted his statement and added this unconscionable comment:

“Natural disasters: when we all become socialists.”

What does that even mean? And why would any pseudo-Christian organization say something so tone-deaf to the misery socialism has inflicted and is inflicting on the Earth’s poorest. Isn’t Christianity a faith that exhibits concern for the less fortunate? Aren’t those “red letters” full of admonitions to care for the least of these?

Yet here are professing believers approving and applauding an ideology that has trapped more human beings in poverty and despair than we can count. Utterly mindless and morally bankrupt.

It only made it worse that their foolish tweet came just days after the Guardian ran a sickeningly detailed report about what is currently happening in one of those places where the ideology touted by the Red Letter Christians is imposed on the masses. The title of the piece was enough to bring utter shame on these privileged activists: “Hunger eats away at Venezuela’s soul as its people struggle to survive.” The article is one tragic tale after another, beginning:

Hunger is gnawing at Venezuela, where a government that claims to rule for the poorest has left most of its 31 million people short of food, many desperately so. As night falls over Caracas, and most of the city’s residents lock their doors against its ever more violent streets, Adriana Velásquez gets ready for work, heading out into an uncertain darkness as she has done since hunger forced her into the only job she could find at 14.


She was introduced to her brothel madam by a friend more than two years ago after her mother, a single parent, was fired and the two ran out of food. “It was really hard, but we were going to bed without eating,” said the teenager, whose name has been changed to protect her.

Later in the piece:

Nearly three-quarters of Venezuelans have lost weight over the past year, and the average loss was a huge 9kg, or nearly a stone and a half, according to a survey by the country’s top universities. For many that is simply because food is too expensive. Nine out of 10 homes can’t cover the cost of what they should eat.  And 10 million people skip at least one meal a day, often to help feed their children.

Yet here sit well-fed Americans in the Red Letter Christian movement turning a blind eye to the suffering engendered by the very economic system they tout. Where’s their compassion? Where’s their love? Where’s their sense of justice?

It seems remarkable that the activists at RLC, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, and others, make their living railing against the “privilege” of white Americans, juxtaposing it with the struggles faced by disadvantaged minorities…all while they sit in privileged positions and promote economic systems that lock the disadvantaged in misery.

It’s shameful. To answer their contemptible tweet, natural disasters are bad enough. A Christian would have no desire to add the grief of the man-made disaster of socialism to it.

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Peter Heck

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