I had a look at the most recent version of the project (Mark's gospel anyway), and some of the hyper-conservative redactions have been changed. 'Liberal' is back to 'Pharisee', for example. A lot of it is simply trying to put the King James' version in a more modern and more American idiom (in the process depriving it of all poetic quality).
The quote above is now:
quote:Jesus looked around and said to His students, "How unlikely it is that those who have a lot of money will enter the kingdom of God!" The students were astonished to hear this. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is for them [who trust in money] to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for an idle miser to enter into the kingdom of God."
So, strangely, they've gone back to the original sense with verse 23 ("those who have a lot of money") but then moved even further away with verse 25 ("an idle miser"). I suppose that's the sort of incoherence you get with open editing, though.
You simply cannot get around this fundamental point, though - sticking the boot in to the poor and needy may, in Republican minds, be a sensible economic policy, but in their wildest, most fevered dreams, can they seriously believe that it's what Jesus would have done?
From the conservative viewpoint, the justification is quite simple. Jesus' words about giving away wealth and helping the poor are an exhortation to personal charity, but don't justify using the power of the state to enforce such behaviour.