Let’s start this blog with a basic algebra problem…
X = 12
Now, let’s assume that X is 15. That means that 15 = 12.
Using the Algebraic Properties of Equality, we find that we can add, subtract, multiply or divide both sides by the same number. So based on the premise that 15 = 12, we divide both sides by 3 to discover that 5 = 4. By adding 20 to both sides, we find that 25 = 24. Multiplying both sides by 2 gives us our final answer, that 50 is equal to 48 according to real and verifiable laws of mathematics.
But of course, 50 doesn’t equal 48. Despite using logical and reasonable steps the whole way, we came to a false conclusion based on a false premise. You can’t simply insert 15 for X, because X is not 15 in this case. Wrong assumptions ruined the whole problem.
I’ve heard Obama called a Socialist many times. This is generally by people who dislike him, and they use the word as slander. After “googling” Obama and Socialist/Socialism I found not a single article that used the term positively (even when added with words such as ‘good’ or ‘positive’). I’ve never heard Obama praised for being a Socialist outside of the internet, either. This is because a growing number of Americans equate Socialism with evil. Other political theories have also been seen by the majority as evil – including Communism, Fascism, and Nazism – as well as governments like Dictatorships and Theocracy.
What is evil? The dictionary describes it as morally objectionable or as something that causes harm. These definitions leave room for individuals and societies to define morals, and change them with time. For instance, slavery has existed for thousands of years in multiple societies. It is a lot rarer today as the modern world almost universally defines it as evil. Two hundred years ago, when our own country was still a part of the slave trade, most of Europe and Asia was also. Slavery was, at that time, almost universally seen not as evil but rather as just a part of society. The same is true about things like drugs, prostitution, and corporeal punishment. Society defines morals, and this is known as society’s “Zeitgeist”.
Christians define evil by using sin as a standard – if the bible says it is sinful, it is also evil. I made a case in my last blog that even though the bible concludes that ignoring the holiness of Saturday is sinful, modern Christians don’t see it that way. I said tradition trumped the bible’s actual words. What I mean is that even Christians define sin by Zeitgeist. To take the example of slavery, you’ll find even the bible is filled with plenty of cases where slavery is found to be common and acceptable*. Another good example is polygamy (marriage to more than one wife) which is never condemned in the bible but commonly practiced in it.
I don’t believe that Obama is evil. I think that when Obama is called evil “because he’s a Socialist” it is simply because those who do the name-calling immediately recognize that many Americans equate Socialism with evil, and so they know that their listener will probably equate Obama with evil by use of the enthymeme. Socialism is not necessarily evil. After all, the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have saved our country from a depression.
I don’t believe Obama’s a Socialist, either. He hasn’t seized any business for the government – even health care, which was already within the province of our federal government before him. The latest example of Socialism, the one listed above, was actually committed under the leadership of Bush. As to whether the Health Care bill was an act of Socialism – my opinions on this are in my next blog.
*For example, the book of Philemon is a letter written to a slave owner named Philemon about taking back his slave Onesimus as a “brother” – suggesting Onesiumus and Philemon are Christians. There are no words of unkindness or correction for Philemon. Also common knowledge is that the founding fathers, many of whom were Christian, were also slave owners.