Blessed are the poor…?


From a TED Conversation

Question: Why do many politically conservative American Christians oppose social welfare programs when the Bible calls on Christians to help the poor?

Spring responds:

What you believe and have been taught about Jesus may not be anything like what Jesus taught. If you believe in the Old Testament, you are what he was fighting against. If you believe in an eye for an eye, you are opposed to his teachings. He never states that it is wrong for the people to provide for the poor through the government, does he? He never taught spare the rod and spoil the child, did he?

Perhaps he is not the lord you are worshiping, but some later day invention of your church or of politicians who actually oppose his teachings. He never taught that it is wrong to borrow or lend or that men should beat their wives, did he? What does your church teach that contradicts him? What does it teach that he never taught?

As a constitutional conservative, I follow the founding fathers in absolutely opposing all laws that support or protect religious organizations. That includes tax-free status and letting members get away with child abuse or neglect, which are welfare for religions.

I support welfare, socialized medicine and food stamps for people. Why? Because sickly, ignorant, ill educated kids become poverty stricken, unemployable, sickly adults.

American political conservatives oppose religious laws, such as those restricting birth control, and tax preferences for religions and religious practitioners and schools, but support a healthy, strong, well-educated population. Those kids are the soldiers, fire and police forces, teachers and doctors and chefs of our future.

Social welfare is not granted to punish or reward good or lousy parents who have too few or too many kids, depending on religions position, but because healthy, smart, educated kids grow into healthy, strong, employable adults.

This is thinking long term.

All the kids in this country are our kids. They will be our citizens. We will have to rely on them.
That is why we should not allow our children to go hungry, be sickly, ill nourished and poorly educated regardless of the circumstances of their parents, which are not the fault of the kids.

All Americans pay the price of neglected kids.

It has nothing to do with religion or do-gooders. This is based on capitalist long term thinking of the good of the country as a whole.

Remember, the founding fathers provided us with free public libraries. They also invented copyrights and patents to encourage business, but you don’t hear much about denying businesses these protections because they are welfare, although they are.

Photo credit: from a painting by Spring Bright

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