Monday, December 19

Me Give or Force You to Give?

In the wonderful spirit of Christmas giving, Nancy Pelosi and Dave Obey are worrying that they won't be able to give your money away. You know if I took my brother's Christmas gift and gave it to my Dad as my own gift would you call a kind-hearted Christmas giver? Yet that is what Pelosi wants me to laud her for.

"As the Bible teaches us, to minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship, to ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "Let us vote no on this budget as an act of worship and for America's children."

I agree that giving to the needy is an act of worship, but forcing others to give???

Let me just encourage you to really give, instead of worrying if our Congressmen are making everyone give if they want to or not.


Ben Brothers said...

This is a very strange argument to advance, Lucas. Are you against taxation in general? Or if we grant that taxes are necessary for a civilized society, do you feel that there are no moral imperatives when it comes to government spending?

Because if taxation is necessary, and if there are moral imperatives that are binding on the government, why isn't insuring adequate spending on social uplift an appropriate action for Christians in public life?

Jake said...

Blah, blah blah...Lucas you seem like a nice kid but your constant fight against peace and help for the poor will surely send you to hell. Rub your magic WWJD bracelet and meditate on it please.

Lucas said...


Taxation is necessary for the mutal protection and general welfare (not be confused with poor-aid) of the nation.

Second, yes I do believe there are moral imparatives for gov't spending.

On three: wrong conclusion. From my own personal Christian point of view (as you address me and I'll address you) I believe that social uplifting (as you call it) is better done through the church. The Church can deal with the deeper problems of the soul like the gov't can not and shouldn't.

From the gov't's perspective, poor aid doesn't work. It encourages people to stay in poverty by not addressing the roots of the problem.

So in the end, yes, I think Christians should be involved in helping the poor but they don't need the gov't to do it and do better without it.

You give me only one choice. For example I could also ask you: do you think murderes should be punished? Why don't you shoot them or lock them up in your basement whenever you find one then? Of course I know that you think the gov't should do this and not indiviuals just as I think the church of individuals should help the poor and not the gov't. Isn't that fair enough?

Lucas said...



Ben Brothers said...

Lucas, thanks for the repsonse. You seem to agree with me that, if social spending can alleviate poverty and achieve social uplift, we should commission our government to spend that money. Am I correct in assuming your objection to social democracy is based on its alleged ineffectiveness ("poor aid doesn't work"), and not on any moral problems with taxation?

I don't believe that poverty is typically caused by the "deeper problems of the soul", and in addressing such soul-based problems I agree that the government has no role. Poverty is caused by many things: a lack of education, a lack of health care, parents who are poor, racism, sexism, and environmental destruction, to name a few. Endemic poverty is not caused by individual apathy. Individuals are sometimes poor because they are unmotivated or lazy, but any conversation with (or statistical evaluation of) the millions upon millions of Americans who work full-time jobs for poverty-level wages, who pour the sweat of their brows into jobs that don't provide them with material security, who try again and again without success to be a part of the American middle class, will make it clear that laziness is not the real problem here. You may be interested in a post I recently wrote about raising the minimum wage, in which I talk about this issue with more supporting numbers.

Any student of history will be forced to acknowledge that private charity did not work on a societal level, and that dire poverty was a typical condition of western society until the advent of progressive government. Medieval monasteries were legendary for their hospitality and charity, and yet, for all the good they did and the souls they saved, they were unable to provide economic security to the peasants they sought to care for.

The things that did alleviate poverty for tens of millions of Americans are the very things you deride as "poor-aid": public schools, clean water, the CCC, the WPA, Social Security, Medicaid, the FDA, government-sponsored research into new medicines and technological advances, home loans through the FHA, the GI Bill, the minimum wage, the NLRB, and so on and so forth. If you want to claim that these programs don't work, can you provide some supporting evidence to back up your claims?

Lucas said...

-I agree that all poverty is not the cause of the individual.

-All those programs you mention are not what I would consider poor-aid (e.g. public schools, clean water, gov't sponsored research) because they are for Americans in general not for only the poor (altho that doesn't mean I support them either).

-Private charity doesn't work on a societal level? Since when? Take a look ( at the private US donations that went toward the tsunami victims: 1 billion private; 95 million public. I think we can say the same about Katrina. Private not only has worked (it was the only thing America had before the 1930s and they did better than the rest of Europe) but still works and would work better if we let it.

Ben Brothers said...

Are you seriously contending that the America of 1929 (or 1878, or 1845, or whatever) was better off than the America of 1968 or 2005? That the poor of 1929 were more adequately provided for? That there was less poverty? That things worked better then? I detect a lack of substantive response on the specifics here. Would we be better off without the FHA? Without Medicaid? Can the local Methodist church really replace Social Security? Would our national health system be improved by putting the Christian Scientists in charge of it? Would we be better educated without public schools?

The reason we have a New Deal in the first place was because the old system was not working. It failed in a comprehensive and total way to deal with the realities of industrial and modern society. It didn't work then, and it wouldn't work now, and in any event, no one is "not letting" private charities work today. Indeed, we encourage them through our tax code more than any other country in the world.

Jake said...

What's so SAD Lucas? The fact that you choose to hide behind christianity rather than live it? I think we have already gone over your selective reading of the bible. Also you have absolutely no regard for anybody else's point of view other than how you can use it to rant on about your own christian dogma. I have not seen a post yet were you concede to any facts or evidence that a person might use no matter how universally supported it might be, but find one half-cocked wingnut who has some twisted "theory" or interpetation that supports some position of yours....well you're all over that! Now that is SAD.