Okay, you know from reading this blog that I am a devout Christian. But, I have a huge issue with this story:
An organization of Democratically-aligned Christian leaders will launch new radio ads Tuesday attacking Republicans for neglecting Biblical lessons to care for the needy in their plans to raise the debt ceiling, according to the group.
Sojourners, a progressive Christian coalition led by Rev. Jim Wallis, will place ads narrated by local pastors on Christian and country radio stations in House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio congressional district and statewide in Kentucky, targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Nevada, in support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The size of the buy has not yet been disclosed.
The minute-long spot attacking Boehner's plan says the book of Proverbs "teaches that where there is not leadership a nation falls and the poor are shunned while the rich have many friends."
First of all, the underlying compassion is duly noted. I agree with the premise that we are taught in the Bible (many, many times) to care for the needy. However, this misguided group does not seem to understand some fundamentals of how this principle should be adhered to. Let me explain:
1) Taxes are not about compassion. They are about taking other people's money and redistributing it as seen fit by bureaucrats and partisan politicians. True giving is when an individual makes a personal decision to sacrifice for someone else. That decision is up to the individual, and therefore, so are the accompanying blessings. However, there is no sacrifice or compassion in taking someone else's money and giving it away.
2) The Bible also teaches us to be self-sufficient. The problem with government programs is they create a culture of dependency. Once the government starts to give something away, people expect it more and more, and then when we are in a debt crisis as we are now, we can't reduce these handouts. People won't have it. They've come to expect it and that is that. So, we move forward with greater and greater debt that we can't affort, all in the name of "compassion."
3) The government should be the last place that people go for charity. You are responsible for yourself. If you need help and have tried everything you can to take care of yourself, go to your family, then friends, then your church and only as a last resort, put your hands in the national cookie jar. I know that this isn't explicitly written in the Bible, but I believe that this principle is good, sound, Christian advice. And, if we heeded it, we would be much better off.
Now, I don't want to ignore the pain of those who truly are in dire need and have exhausted other options, but the idea that we are not following Christian values by not wanting to see a redistribution of wealth is absurd.