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Hannity vs. Moore: Politics, Capitalism and Jesus

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This past week I caught glimpses of Michael Moore’s media promotion of his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, and I heard Sean Hannity was going to interview Moore on his Fox News show. As I anticipated this interview, I thought I was going to get a boxing match with some shocking political blows, but instead of Evander Holyfield versus Mike Tyson I got the Blues Brothers, on a mission from who I don’t know. You know the story; Jake Blues (John Belushi) is just released from prison and he hooks up with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd), to reunite their band to raise money to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised — they were on a mission from God.


What we learn from this interaction is that Hannity and Moore are both Catholic and Hannity lied about going to Mass on Sunday. Hannity pays 60% of his income to taxes and Moore doesn’t want to reveal his true net worth. Moore blames capitalism for the mortgage crisis, while Hannity thinks it is more complex and there is shared blame to go around. Whereas their political stance was quite obvious, one for capitalism and of course, Moore against, it wasn’t clear at what point they were going to see the light, put on their dark sunglasses, and together “save the Catholic orphanage”. In between all of the political hoopla there was plenty of discussion as to “what Jesus would do”, of which I’m very grateful we haven’t yet come to “what would Obama do?”

As a Christian, who like Moore and Hannity was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, I struggle with that question in my personal life and even when it comes to political policies. Is helping the poor and the sick a moral issue? Yes, but should this issue be dealt with entirely by the government where others are forced to pay, or is this something that our charities and faith-based organizations should be handling — maybe both? In my mind, this is a very complex issue that only generates more questions than answers; like what about our own individual responsibilities (and that of our family) to our finances and our health? And does capitalism harm or help the poor and sick?

Without turning this article into a sermon, the teachings of Jesus are rooted in love for God and others and we are called to care for the poor, sick, the fatherless and widowed. I couldn’t help but notice when Moore tossed some scripture at Hannity, “…the first will be last, and the last will be first”. Hannity hurled back with, “Well, you’re rich, so you’re going to be last.” Moore’s counter, “Well, if I don’t do good with what blessings I’ve received on this earth, that’s absolutely right. So…but we’re going to be judged, you would agree with this, by how we treat the least among us.” Hannity’s response, “I totally agree.” And I too concur, but there is no place where Jesus taught that this was the role of the government — it is an individual responsibility and we, as believers, will be held accountable for how we treat the needy, sick and our neighbor. While Moore is also accurate in Jesus’ cautions to the rich, he failed to remind us that Jesus was not “Robin Hood”; he worked, paid taxes and encouraged his followers to do the same. I wonder if Moore read the lessons in the Bible about work ethics and the perils of laziness as wells as lifestyle and dietary laws for good health. I don’t remember Jesus lobbying for government run programs, special interests groups, or big business; instead He came to “lobby” for God — to win hearts and minds, yet always with choice; free will.

Many, like Moore, the progressive movement, and this current administration, want to denounce capitalism and “redistribute the wealth.” Is capitalism evil? Only if it lacks morality, integrity and restraints. But judging capitalism on morality alone is quite tricky because these days morality is relative. And yes, there are winners and losers in this system, as there are in sports and political races. I’m sure plenty of atrocities have been left in the “wake” of capitalism and greed abounds today, but does the good in this system outweigh the bad? Most definitely, yes, so why “throw the baby out with the bath water?” Shouldn’t we fix what is broken? And what is our option — Socialism? Safety nets and a “hand up” for those in need are one thing, but breeding an entitlement mentality is quite another. I have followed politics long enough to know that corruption, greed, and incompetence are running rampid in our government; thus an America controlled solely by government would truly be our demise.

I am no fan of Michael Moore and see his new target, capitalism, as somewhat hypocritical — didn’t he get ultra-rich using the capitalistic system? However, I did find this interview (viewed in two parts — ROUND ONE and ROUND TWO ) entertaining as well as thought provoking. Moore did score quite a few good points and I look forward to seeing his film. But has Moore changed my heart and mind? Do I want to kill capitalism and promote socialism? Auhh, let me think…hell no!

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About Christine Lakatos

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Interesting personal perspective on this. I find both Hannity and Moore irritating for different reasons. They’re like two sides of the same coin with Bill O’Reilly somehow sandwiched between them.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Yeah, Dave, I hear ya. I think they are both irritating, yet I found something interesting I could analyze and criticize and even learned a few things.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Plus, during this interview they were actually civil and seem like they are nice guys. Maybe they went to Mass this past Sunday..together?

  • Doug Hunter

    With the past exception of Rush Limbaugh I’ve found few political talkers of any persuasion to be very entertaining. Rush always seemed a bit more tolerable because of his tongue in cheek delivery style mixed with a bit of humor. Hannity always seemed rigid, humorless, and confrontational to me and anyone that takes themselves too seriously is irritating.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “Capitalism is a wonderful system. Okay, a few billion people get nothing. But still, think of all the people that get lots.” - Everything is Okay

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, very funny video. I did not say that capitalism was perfect and I did ask what is the option, Socialism, or worse, Communism?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You really want to know? I’ll tell you if you want to know. But, only if you really want to know, Christine.

    (P.S. “Forget about the Chinese who have to work for 50 cents a day. Who cares? They’re just Chinese. There’s a billion of them.”)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Sure, Cindy, is it something you can explain here or do you need my e-mail address?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Actually Christine, I just thought I would mention an option, since you didn’t have it down there in your list of communism, socialism, etc. You could check it out, if you are interested, as you wish. Here are some references.

    Something I got from a wonderful Christian person.
    Something written by a wonderful Christian person.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Careful though, Christine. When Gandhi and MLK read that second one through, it changed their lives.

  • Atheist

    ““Well, if I don’t do good with what blessings I’ve received on this earth, that’s absolutely right. So…but we’re going to be judged, you would agree with this, by how we treat the least among us.” Hannity’s response, “I totally agree.” And I too concur, but there is no place where Jesus taught that this was the role of the government — it is an individual responsibility and we, as believers, will be held accountable for how we treat the needy, sick and our neighbor.”

    Wow! What a relief! Since I’m an atheist I can do whatever I want and your christian government won’t intrude!

    It’s all voluntary!

    Whoopee!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, I skimmed through the first one and it proves my point from my article, “I don’t remember Jesus lobbying for government run programs, special interests groups, or big business; instead He came to “lobby” for God — to win hearts and minds, yet always with choice; free will”.

    And as I stated, I don’t trust or put my hope in our government!

    2 Tim. 2:3-4
    Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs; rather, they try to please their commanding officer.

    My translation says, “affairs of this life”, meaning in the greek; business, negotiation. And this scripture has do with the Christian teacher .

    Following were two other metaphors; the soldier, athlete and the farmer, to give examples of: endure hardship, strive lawfully, and the farmer includes remuneration and maintenance.

    So while there are some good points in this article, Kingdom first, CONTEXT IS KEY.

    Have to go to work, so will get to the rest later…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    #11 Atheist, good news huh!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    PS, Cindy, By that articles standards Martin Luther King Jr. fight for civil rights would of been seen as going against God’s Word. Auhh let me think…I don’t think so! Chat later, love your input…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I’m having some trouble understanding. You say:

    And as I stated, I don’t trust or put my hope in our government!

    You oppose govt ‘redistribution of wealth’ from the wealthy to the poor. Yet, you support govt to enforce the system of Capitalism, which is a system of redistribution of wealth from the bottom upwards to the rich. It is not simply, leftists,or Marxists, or progressives who say this is so. The govt itself says this is so. Alan Greenspan says this was so. (He even said he was wrong in what he believed. Imagine that.) But even more importantly–in a system where all these individuals are supposed to be engaging in arms-length competition–the wealthy themselves say this is so, and here is a discussion of the Citigroup report* to its wealthiest clients as evidence of their attempts to stop the average person from knowing this, so that they can take advantage of this effect to increase their own wealth at the expense of everyone else.

    We have a system in place where ‘the least among us’ are not okay, when in fact, there is enough to go around. That is an acceptable success–there is nothing amiss in the tenets our distribution system follows?

    Have you ever wondered, with Jesus doing all this stuff you say he did to support the govt, why then the govt needed to kill him?

    *This report appeared in Moore’s film. It is available in its entirety within the discussion at the link.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    14- I’m not quite sure what you mean.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, sorry but we will have to have this debate another time due to the fact that I need to help my teenage daughter study for her history test about the American Revolution. Being a single parent doesn’t give me much free time and since I my hobby is politics…I am sad. I never get to have any fun. LOL

    I do think you have much to offer so I always want to keep the door open to chat!

  • http://home.comcast.net/~andersonandrew/site/ Cheryl (SwineInsanity)

    I scan your article and think about the temple tax in the bible. I also think about the scripture to not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.. I think about the rich tax collector and what he said do before the Lord to who he owed and who he took advantage of…. I think about a lazy man shall not eat… I also remember seeing churches allow tithes on credit…. Churches with ATMs… Then I think about the scripture about pulling the plank out of our own eye… Shall I share my mirror…

  • CAMXposure

    TO POST’er truly you speak of your own view , an opinion, and you neglect to back up your review on the interview- by giving the image as you perceived it. It’s exactly like giving your opinion on a movie you watched and telling others it sucked, when your own personal feelings (as abstract as they might be to others) obscure the possible impact it may have on another-
    People- Stop being lazy- FIND OUT for yourselves- get the REAL message with your own eyes and eyes- stop relying on others point of view
    Thank you MPoV