Christians debate: Was Jesus for small government?

Stephen Schneck, a political scientist at Catholic University, says he thinks Ryan is “completely missing the boat and not understanding the real heart, the real core, of Catholic social teaching.”

Schneck says Catholicism sees everyone as part of a mystical body that serves one another. True, the New Testament does not specifically speak to the government’s role. “But charities and individuals and churches can’t do it all,” Schneck says. “When charities are already stretched to their limit, Catholic social teaching expects the state to step up and to fill that gap.”…

Richard Land at the Southern Baptist Convention says of course Jesus paid his taxes and advised followers to do the same. But, he says, “the Bible tells us that socialism and neo-socialism never worked. Confiscatory tax rates never work.”

The Bible never mentions socialism, obviously, but Land says the whole of Scripture says that people are sinful and selfish and, therefore, “people aren’t going to work very hard and very productively unless they get to keep a substantial portion of that which they make for them and for their families.”