Saturday, November 01, 2008

Helping the poor and sick

When it comes to helping people who are poor, Barack Obama seems to think that this is the government’s job, while John McCain leans more toward personal responsibility. More and more Christians are siding with Obama.

Actually, from a Christian perspective, you can find support for both in the Bible. For example, Ezekiel 34 presents God as lashing out against the rulers of Israel for not taking care of His people; for not helping the hungry, sick or injured. On the other hand, the Apostle Paul wrote that if anyone was not willing to work, he shouldn’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

These two perspectives are really not as contradictory as they might sound. For example, as far back as the books of Moses, land owners were required by Jewish law to leave part of their harvest behind for the poor to pick up. But the poor actually had to work by going out to the field to glean what was left over! It was not delivered to them!

The principle seems to be that government was expected to help those who could not help themselves.

Unfortunately, some Democrats--with their unbiblical optimism about the goodness of man--fail to distinguish between those who are in poverty through no fault of their own, and those who are in poverty because they are lazy and will not go to school, or will not get a job, or those who are jerks and can’t keep a job, or those who fail to learn from their mistakes and continually make poor life choices that keep them in poverty.

When the govenment continually gives handouts to people who will not help themselves this just "enables" those people and perpetuates not only their poverty, but their children's poverty as well. It even causes some people who might otherwise be self supporting to think, “If I don’t have a job, the government will provide me with public housing, food stamps, and medical care. Why should I work?”

This is what President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society did for us. It sounds to me like Barack Obama’s nearly-socialist plan to redistribute the wealth is LBJ on steroids.

But we haven’t even figured out how to fix Social Security yet. How are we going to pay for all of Obama’s proposed entitlement programs—programs that will go to the “poor” without distinguishing those who can’t help themselves from those who won’t help themselves?

At least Bill Clinton--to his credit--tried to make this distinction when he began removing able bodied people from the welfare rolls. Bill Clinton now supports Barack Obama, in my opinon, because he is putting party loyalty--and maybe his wife's future Presidential aspirations--above principles. But I think President Clinton was far closer to John McCain than he is to Barack Obama.

Anyway, I want my tax dollars to help those who cannot help themselves. I'd rather have charities work with people who will not help themselves. I certainly do not want Barack Obama redistributing the wealth to those who won't help themselves.


St.Lee said...

I'm sorry Dennis, but I have to disagree with you a little bit. Israel was a theocracy, the United States is not. I think God's rebuke of the leaders of Israel would apply to the Church today, not the state.

Ditto your comments about tax dollars going to those who CAN'T help themselves. Shouldn't that be the role of charities and Churches? As for those who WON'T help themselves, I am not sure that is anyone's role.

Dennis said...

St. Lee,

You make a good point. There was no separation of Temple and state in Israel so applying Ezekiel 34 to today's situation is problematic.

But in Ezekiel 34, I think God is addressing the leaders as national leaders (not as priests or prophets).

Another problem is that the Ezekiel 34 was addresed specifically to the leaders of Israel, and not to the United States or any other country, so we have to be careful about just assuming that there is any application at all to the U.S. today.

But on the other hand, God is the same yesterday, today and forever and I can't help thinking that if it was so important to Him that Israel's national leaders take care of thsoe who couldn't take care of themselves, that probably means that he expects the national leaders of other countries to do the same.

And I agree with you that I'm not sure it is anyone's responsibility to take care of those who will not take care of themselves.

My thinking was that as churches, Christian missions and Christian charities provide physical help to such people, they can sometimes reach them with the gospel and bring about real change in their lives. That is something that government can never do.

mnotaro said...

It's funny how Obama keeps claiming he's not a socialist, but yet he agrees with all the definitions of socialism. But he and the liberal illuminati who work for him, just continue to skirt around the questions on socialism and will even lie if they have to. Beware.

knowitall said...

No one is against helping those who can't help themselves because of physical reasons. But those lazy bums who sit on their behinds and collect welfare checks that the socialist illuminati give them are not part the deal.

knowitall said...

There's a difference, and the elitist illuminati know. The sick can't work, but the welfare recipients can.