Columnists at 'The Nation' Pervert the Bible's Views of Work to Justify Guaranteed 'Basic Income'
The ways in which liberals will trample all over actual literary analysis in order to make the Bible serve their leftist purposes never ceases to amaze me. I mean, I'll reach the point where I think that leftist underhandedness regarding the Bible has reached its limit, but then they'll manage to pull another dishonest rabbit out of their anti-Christian hat. This time, my disgusted eye-rolling is prompted by Fred Block and Frances Fox Piven writing for The Nation in defense of the guaranteed basic income. In their article, the two claim that the reason why Americans resist a guaranteed basic wage for all is because they believe the "myth of the Garden of Eden."
Simply put, wage work has become one of the most elemental pillars of our civic religion. It is not just an American religion, although Americans tend to be especially fierce devotees, but virtually a world religion. Remember the myth of the Garden of Eden, shared by all the Abrahamic creeds, Christian and Muslim and Jewish traditions alike. Once upon a time, the story goes, God was generous. He created Adam and Eve and gave them a garden of plenty in which to live. But although there were many trees with many fruits, they were tempted by the serpent and disobeyed God’s warning not to bite into the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For this sin they were cast out of the garden and made to struggle for their subsistence. They had sinned, and so ever after they were made to work for their livelihood. Work is our punishment, the story goes, and our redemption.
The writers go on to explain that throughout history the dominant social groups used the "myth of the Garden of Eden" to justify their exploitation of the workers and to shame the workers into obeisance. Because, according to those who owned property, "the drudgery and the abuses of wage work now became the fate to which humankind was consigned for the sin in the Garden of Eden."
According to Block and Piven, Americans believe that the reason people should work for their wages is because they are being punished for their sins. Possibly worse, the pair also claim that redemption is found in work. I don't know what kind of theological background Block and Piven have, if any, but whatever that background is, it did a very poor job of preparing the two to write about Christianity.
According to the Bible, work is most decidedly not a punishment. In Genesis 2:15, God reveals to us that He "took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it."
Right there, as plain as day, it's clearly stated that work was instituted by God well before sin ever entered the world. Adam and Eve were created, in part, to care for God's garden-temple. That was part of the condition for them being there.