In Los Angeles, the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed nine candidates for city office in the June primary. Five have either won by drawing over 50% of the vote or now take a lead into the general elections. The Democratic Socialists of America attack private property rights in LA, arguing that all rental property be operated without a profit. Though not their stated intention, the policies they espouse have hurt minority landlords according to an article in City Journal.* The electoral success of socialist candidates in LA is one sign that socialism is gaining acceptance in the United States. Another is the attention given to a few flamboyant women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. So, is socialism’s growing acceptance a problem? Well, socialism doesn’t square well with the ten commandments.
Yesterday, we looked at the definition of the word covet found in the tenth commandment. It means to desire or crave something that rightfully belongs to another. Exodus 20:17 says it this way, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (NIV)
The word belongs indicates the right of ownership. This commandment, along with the one that forbids stealing, recognizes people have the right to private property. If we want to please God by keeping his commandments, then we must respect the property right of others.
*Soledad Ursúa, “Socialists Rising in L.A., The city’s June elections herald the arrival of a new political force,” City Journal, July 15, 2022, https://www.city-journal.org/socialists-rising-in-los-angeles
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