Rush Limbaugh Says We're Socialists

On his December 16, 2013 Rush Limbaugh expanded the scope of his inflammatory comments about Pope Francis to include my denomination:

“And yet all these churches are socialists. The bishops, the monsignors, the popes, they’ve all… Well, not all of them, but the Episcopalians, the Methodists, my church, they’re worse than ever — and why? Because they were able to get away with saying that the redistribution of wealth, socialism, was charity; that the only reason government was taking money was to give to the disadvantaged.”

First of all, I would like to address the statement that “all these churches are socialists.” The word socialism has a definite meaning. It’s not just an epithet to be cast upon anyone or anything you don’t like. To quote Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Secondly, Rush Limbaugh is a United Methodist? My first instinct was that anyone that hateful should be thrown out of the church, but then I reminded myself that the United Methodist Church is a broad church (Sandra Fluke is also a United Methodist), and that’s (usually) one of the things I like about it. After that I remembered that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. Rush and I both need that hospital for sinners.

Thirdly, and finally, I remembered the words of Jesus in Matthew 5.11-12:

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (NRSV)

Maybe my beleaguered but beloved United Methodist Church is doing something right after all.