Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The sides we take

If I were looking to illustrate the mistake in thinking you know something about someone because of his race, religion or ethnicity, I'd mention Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow for the Family Research Council, who sees cutting the Food Stamp program as the 'Christian' thing to do. Opposing government assistance with health care as well.  Blackwell is of African ancestry and a Christian. In my opinion any Christian message ( or the equally as supported Islamic or Jewish or Buddhist message for that matter) concerning feeding the poor is lost on Blackwell, but that's just me.

Feeding the poor, or at least helping them afford something decent to eat, he explained to the Christian Post, impedes their sense of self worth and other laudable attributes I'm too disgusted to enumerate. So much for the stereotype some people would have applied to race and religion.

Rev. Gary Cook, the Director of Church Relations at Christian anti-hunger advocacy group Bread.org  seems of European ancestry. He looks a great deal like me, in fact, and like me, he disagrees.  One of the Biblicaly supported provisions for the poor, Cook mentions is ". . . the tithe, which was literally a tax, because the government was the same as the religious order, and allowed widows and orphans to eat."

Tax?  You  want to be barring the door at this point because the Tealoonies will be stampeding, but can't we at this point stop thinking we know something about someone who calls himself a Christian?
 Is it Christian to support taxing the employed to feed and clothe and house the poor and helpless?
Sure, but you don't have to work hard to find something to support anything including infanticide in the "good book"

Which one do I think is right? Well, it's true that finding a man a job that can support him and perhaps a family is better than food stamps, but any Republican would assure that the government can't and shouldn't if it could do that. History shows we always have unemployment and indeed that to avoid inflation we must tolerate some of it, so whose responsibility is it to prevent starvation as a necessary part of Capitalism?  Are we being Christian (of Muslim or Jewish) by teaching a man to fish or are we simply letting him and her and their kids die while telling them to go fish? 

But just as you are liable to find in the Bible, something to support both carnage and neglect and heartlessness as to find something to support compassion and helpfulness, you're going to find everything in everyone no matter what label you put on him and that includes Liberal and Conservative, Christian and Jew and Hindu.

No one owns decency or compassion and all the names we think up to avoid addressing our common problems seem more sinful than any apricot eaten in any garden anywhere.

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