Class Envy is not a Virtue

Dennis Prager has written an excellent column illustrating the left’s horrid distortion of social justice.

He notes with accuracy why leftists seem so comfortable with the likes of Castro, Chavez, Ortega and other left-wing communists or socialists who in the name of “worker equality” or “income redistribution” or “sticking it to the man”  or  “racial equality” have killed or imprisoned thousands or even millions (Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, Che).

See my article on the murderer Che for more on this.

Prager argues, I think successfully, that the left, (from the saner Democrats to the insane Michael Moore and Jeremiah Wright types) actually think they possess the moral high ground but do not show the same moral indignation when it comes to “class hatred.” When it comes to class hatred or class envy hatred is considered virtue.

Off with their heads!

In other words, while these dictators are given to some excess (killing, murdering, imprisonment, confiscation of property, etc) in the end it’s okay because in some insane way they have the moral high ground.

The question is why do these whacked ideas have an audience when it should be an apparent  moral contradiction, yet is not.

To achieve wide-spread acceptance of class warfare or class hatred as virtue the baser aspects of human nature have to be tapped into, namely, envy and covetousness. When envy is legitimized and made into a virtue the moral high ground can be seized and just about any atrocity justified.

Let’s examine for a moment just one of the commandments that says something from God about the moral high ground:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:17 ESV)

The first observation that I’d like to make is that the Bible assumes private property. The neighbor owns a home, is married (to a woman) has some employees (servants), some animals (a source of income) and apparently some other goods that others could  envy.

It sounds as if God is endorsing some pretty basic rights and he does not make any distinction as to how the person accumulated his wealth.

God simply says to Israel (and Bible believing Christians today), you are not to envy any of that. You are not to covet any of that and it does not matter how the person obtained their wealth. Perhaps they worked for every last shekel; perhaps they inherited every last shekel or perhaps they invested what shekels they earned to earn even more shekels. It doesn’t matter says the Lord; don’t envy or covet any of that!

Covet is not a word we tend to use so it’s useful to define it as a dictionary would.

To covet means to desire wrongfully or without regard to the rights of others. For example, to covet another’s home, wife, employees, source of income or anything else belonging to another is morally wrong. Coveting is not the moral high ground. It’s an immoral swamp when coveting and envying are made into virtues.

The person who covets or desires wrongfully ends up defining their relationship with the person they are coveting from in terms of resentment, anger, hatred and class hatred. I am jealous of what they have; therefore, I hate them. When coveting is endorsed or sanctioned or sympathized with by the government it leads to no regard of the property owners rights.

This is what makes it so dangerous when the Democrats led by President Obama openly sympathize with the OWS movement. Coveting and envy are legitimized and it begs the question of what is the next step? Does the government forcibly seize the private property of those who have over $200,000 like one OWS protester suggested?

I watched one interview when protestor suggested that the property and money “of the rich” be seized and “spread around” to use Obama’s election phrase.  This guy was claiming the moral high ground and did not bat an eye with his apparent envy and coveting. The interviewer asked him what do you do if the property owner resists? The protestor responded by saying “kill them” but quickly added he was kidding as he walked away.


Perhaps without knowing it the protestor expressed the logical conclusion consistent with his version of having the moral high ground.

It’s not fair or right (for the rich to have so much); therefore, it needs to be seized by force to make it right by redistribution; and if the rich resist they will be punished (re-education camps, imprisonment, torture, killing).

This how the masses can be led into the horrid abuses of communism and socialism (although technically speaking most socialists do not espouse violence to achieve their ends).

In the New Testament Jesus tells us where coveting and envy come from:

For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 ESV)

In this passage Jesus is talking about the inherent depravity of man-the baser things that defile us. By turning covetousness and envy into virtues the left makes a mockery of what social justice truly is.

What concerns me is so many young evangelicals are being taken in by the false gospel of social justice that is based on class envy.

3 comments on “Class Envy is not a Virtue

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