Mosaic Liberalism: Returning to Our Beginnings

Pulitzer Prize winning Novelist Marilynne Robinson:

“The law of Moses puts liberation theology to shame in its passionate loyalty to the poor.”[When I Was a Child I Read Books, Location 1479]

“At present, here in what is still sometimes called our Calvinist civilization, the controversies of liberalism and conservatism come down, as always, to economics…There is clearly a feeling abroad that God smiled on our beginnings, and that we should return to them as we can. If we really did attempt to return to them, we would find Moses as well as Christ, Calvin, and his legions of intellectual heirs. And we would find a recurrent, passionate insistence on bounty or liberality, mercy and liberality, on being kind and liberal, liberal and bountiful, and enjoying the great blessings God has promised to liberality to the poor.” [Ibid., Location 1227]

Yahweh’s prophet Moses:

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that theLord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother,but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be…10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” (Deut. 15:7-8, 10-11)

“You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9)

 

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