I got this rant from the face book page of an evangelical preacher. I know him personally though not well. As far as I can tell, he is intelligent, knowledgeable and, by any measure available to mere mortals, he is a genuine Christian and a genuine good person. And yet his thoughts have been captured by the spirit of our times. There is nothing new about that. From the time that Jesus was beamed up until the present day followers of Christ have been trying to make Christ’s message reflect what they already believe. If you have ever wondered how ‘real’ Christians could have done all those bad things that the anti-Christians are always taunting us with, this is how it happens.
In the quote that follows the preacher says that farmers should have the right to save seeds. The seeds contain the intellectual property of Monsanto and a condition of using the seeds once is that Monsanto must be paid each time their property is used. The farmers who are saving seeds to grow next year’s crop are breaking patent law and contract law. How does a Christian justify such sin? By using the world’s thinking.
“ Almost late enough to post a rant about Monsanto. Wish I didn’t have friends who work there. Just saying that no corporation should be able to control seed distribution, the farmers right to save seeds, or the food supply chain… (stuff left out for brevity. You can find it if you really want to read it.) …..Frankly speaking free markets and true capitalism hasn’t existed in our countries for at least 100 years.
• “No Corporation” If you are trying to justify bad behavior it helps to de-personalize the victim. In this case calling the victim a corporation. Corporations are owned by people and it is from them that the stealing takes place. It is not stated but it is implied that the people who own the corporation are rich whereas the farmers are poor. Christians care about all people. Even the rich. Even the rich sinners. Even rich sinners who got rich by exploiting others. Like ‘what’s his name’, it starts with a Z.
• “Should be able to control seed distribution” A little implied untruth helps. This makes it sound like Monsanto controls all seed distribution. They only control their own property.
• “The Farmer’s right to save seed’s” It helps to throw in the word right. If something is a right it is inalienable. Stealing is not a right. If you don’t want to pay Monsanto don’t use their property.
• “or the food supply chain” very scary and it makes you angry that anyone would even think of trying to control the food supply chain. If you want to convince people to do something they would not normally do, in this case steal, make them angry and scared. Their higher reasoning functions shut down. It has been used many times before.
• “…true capitalism..” The writer knows the importance of capitalism to so many good things so to justify the abrogation of the rule of law and property rights he must convince himself that this is not really capitalism. It may or not be capitalism but it is still stealing.
• “100 years..” Christians are very good at long term thinking. We study events that happened thousands of years ago and we prepare for events that will take place in the infinite future. Our connection to the long term is so strong that whether something is good or bad in the long term is usually the final arbiter of goodness or badness. I would say that if you want to get people to do bad things you say something like ‘we don’t eat in the long run we eat every day’. I’m glad to see this preacher is thinking long term even if it was long term past. What Christians need to think about is what the world will look like 100 years in the future if we allow people to steal.