Hating the Poor but Loving Jesus?

Hating The Poor But Loving Jesus

A popular praise song – among my favorites – pleads, “Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord. I want to see you.” Do we really? Apparently the hearts of many Americans are darkened, making them unable to see. That appears to be the finding of a Princeton University study.

Well, the study actually didn’t have to do with hearts and it wasn’t expressly about seeing God. It had to do with the working of brains. The study revealed how the poor are seen…or not seen. More precisely, using neuroimaging researchers found that the very poor are viewed with such distain that they were dehumanized in the eyes of the beholders. Brain activity suggested that the very poor were viewed more like repugnant piles of garbage than as people.

“Americans react to the poor with disgust,” said Susan Fiske, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and the originator of the neuroimaging tests. She has studied attitudes toward the poor for a dozen years. “It’s the most negative prejudice people report, greater even than racism,“ Fiske stated.

No doubt part of that response is aesthetic. Some of those who are very poor – especially those living on the streets – smell bad and are unkempt and shabbily dressed. But a deeper part of the response is moral. The poor are stripped of value in the eyes of many. They are seen as useless, and not just useless, but an actual drain on the more productive and affluent members of society. Not only do they fail to add anything positive to the world, they actually subtract value, like trash piled on a lawn.

How can we see God while despising the needy among us? Scripture declares that it is impossible. “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20). Spiritual blindness is the inevitable consequence of hating the poor.

Related: Criminalizing Christ, The Love Wins Incident and the Nationwide Targeting of Homeless – by David R. Henson

As Zarah Teachey, a formerly homeless woman from Philadelphia who now counsels people in need, said about how most people seemed to view her when she was on the streets, “You’re looked at like you’re trash. It’s like they think you want nothing out of life. Like you’re not still a person.” Once people are dehumanized, it is easier to ignore their misery and even oppose efforts to help them.

Elsewhere scripture tells us that “the rich have many friends. Those who despise their poor neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor” (Proverbs 14:20-21). Yet many have been convinced by the despisers of the poor that kindness toward the less advantaged is counter-productive.

The haters of the poor look at poverty and claim that the moral character of the poor is so deficient that the very programs designed to help them further entrench them in poverty. According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken in June of this year, the single most frequently given reason for the continuing problem of poverty was “too much welfare that prevents initiative” (24%). In contrast, only 4% answered that the “lack of government funding” for poverty programs was the major reason for poverty. Somewhat more recognized the “lack of job opportunities” was the culprit (18%). This poll implies that many think the best way to help the poor is by cutting off what is by far the major source of help for the poor.

This poll shows the effectiveness of an often repeated Big Lie: government poverty programs are just throwing money into a rat-hole. “We have more poor people now than before the so-called War on Poverty. It was a lost cause,” or so many have asserted. But in terms of percentage of the population it is not true, despite the claims of many on the Right. The U.S. poverty rate was at 21% when the War on Poverty was initiated in 1967. Ten years later it was near 11%. Forces on the Right have chipped away at the programs ever since that time. Nevertheless, poverty rates have never climbed back to pre-War on Poverty rates.

The poll also reflects another Big Lie: the poor don’t work hard and don’t want to work. The truth is that most of those who receive food stamps (SNAP) work if they are able. The most reliable source of information states, “Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work while receiving SNAP — and more than 80 percent work in the year prior to or the year after receiving SNAP. The rates are even higher for families with children. (Almost 70 percent of SNAP recipients are not expected to work, primarily because they are children, elderly, or disabled.)”

Not laziness but job loss or being stuck in low paying jobs and the inability to find work with a livable wage are the real problems, not the character flaws of the poor. Those who hate the poor refuse to recognize that America is no longer the “land of opportunity” it was at one time. Rather the nation has become both the most unequal among the developed nations and also the rich nation where climbing from poverty to prosperity is the least likely. The poor are generally stuck in poverty or near poverty, not because of a lack of effort, but because of a lack of opportunity.

Some haters of the poor claim that substance abuse is a major cause of poverty. In fact there is little evidence to support such a claim. After reviewing the evidence for widespread substance abuse of those receiving government aid, researchers came to a conclusion that is not particularly damning: “On every measure we examine, SNAP recipients are only slightly more likely than non-recipients to display substance use disorders.” Yet there are politicians who insist that all who receive aid through SNAP should be tested for drug use, adding both costs and administrative burdens to the program.

Claims that government programs that help the poor are plagued with fraud perpetrated by the recipients of aid are just another way to express hate of the poor. In fact there is very little cheating that is done by those benefitting from these programs. Rather the main fraudsters are those administrating or providing services, largely managers and executives, studies show. But those who want to inspire hate for the poor don’t draw attention to where the problem actually resides, instead they point to the “welfare queens” and other recipients of help. Over all, the fraud level by whatever means is exceptionally low.

Also by Craig: Flag Extremism and Christian Practice

The viciousness of the hatred toward the poor can be seen in the desire of some leading politicians to cut off food aid for those who are unemployed. Billions of dollars a year would be reduced from the budget of SNAP. The most desperate people in America would be hurt the worst by such an action. Yet those who cannot find a job and who do not have children would be limited to three months of food stamps every three years and all waivers would be abolished by the barbarous policy proposal.

Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is “theft” and “using other people’s money,” they argue. Oddly, they don’t seem to think that using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, surveillance apparatus or weapons systems constitute theft. The hypocrisy is clear.

Scripture asks, “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” (1 John 2:17). Not just as individual Christians do many of us have “the world’s goods.” As Christian citizens we “have the world’s goods” as well. Withholding help for the poor suggests an absence of God’s love, whether we withhold help as individual Christians or as Christian citizens. God is never glorified by withholding aid for those in need. Nor is God glorified only by helping as many of the poor as can be reached through private means and allowing the others to suffer for lack of help. A philosophy which supports such action is just another mask behind which haters of the poor hide.

Jesus was clear in his identification with the hungry, hurting and needy people of the world. How we treat them is how we treat him. Our Lord did not detail how the help should be done but simply that it should be done. Jesus said, “Just as you did – or did not do – to the least of these, you did – or failed to do – for me” (Matthew 25:31-46). And if we don’t see him in the poor and needy and value them, we don’t really see him at all.




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  • jonathan starkey

    Not going to lie, my wife, son and I were in Denver in July, there are
    ton of homeless people downtown, and I had a very low opinion of people.

    I would agree, I looked at them like trash, but I recognize it.

    I’m challenged by this article in 2 ways: 1) Being the information presented, and 2) being how it was presented. I think I wish it were presented without bias. I mean obviously Craig is angry, but the material is convicting buy itself. So I find myself on one hand wanting to look at the information seriously, and on the other want to attack what he is saying.

    Hating the poor, but loving Jesus?
    I know we are people of action. But there was only one who loved the poor the way they needed to be loved, and he even criticized them at times in a harsh way about only coming to Him to get their bellies fed. I could be accused of that.

    Or Judas saying why didn’t you sell this fragrant oil, because we could have given the proceeds to the poor. Hating the people who waste their time on Jesus in the name of Social Action.

    Who can be worthy, who can love the poor in the right way? Jesus. Jesus did it.

    I can only love the poor in Jesus Christ, by seeing he was the only one worthy to love the poor without manipulation. Even in my best efforts I miss the mark.

    As Christians we shouldn’t put the How before the Who.

    Thanks for the reminder of the iniquity. I am convinced more than ever of my need for a savior.

    • jonathan starkey

      Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I give to you I give to you freely.

      • jonathan starkey

        I mean what I have, I give to you freely.
        The only thing I have to give freely.

        Do you find that Christians are more concerned on “How” to take care of the poor?
        Than to present them to the “who” we worship?

        Or Vice versa I feel so much that much salvation lies on How I treat the poor, that I forget to worship the One “who” can and did all things.

        Serving the poor can be moral and legal repentance. If I love the poor then God will love me. If I love my brother then God will love me.

        So I set out to find “How” to love my brother, and it becomes based on my own actions. Isn’t scary that this is when he could say, depart from me I never knew you.

        But Jesus we cast out demons in your name. We served the poor in your name. And he says I never knew you. Is it because we’re more concerned with the How than the Who?

        We find that the only thing we have to offer is Jesus. I don’t serve the poor on my own efforts, I only serve the poor “through” Jesus.?

  • 22044

    Some potentially good points & challenges in this post get undermined by another rant against politicians whom Mr. Watts disagrees with. Will he ever learn to disagree respectfully?

    And why does he expect Jesus to come from Washington? That’s like asking a cobra to heal people.

    • 22044

      Ranting against unaccountable politicians may cleanse the palate, but did it feed one hungry person or provide a roof for one homeless person?

      • Dennis L

        22044… Good point… I think it’s hard not to rant about the politicians because so much of our resources are going to them. They are sucking us dry while doing so little for the people who actually need help. And the lack of accountability is rampant in the system. The more we give to government the less trickles down to the poor. It’s really frustrating to hear people tell you you hate the poor if you don’t support some government program when you know that program will do little or nothing to help, and quite likely will have some really horrific unintended consequences.

        • 22044

          Dennis, good points, I agree.
          To use numbers to illustrate my point, if your annual tax bill ends up being several thousand dollars…and I remember a comment on another blog that someone prayed for her tax payments to provide assistance to the poor, which if that’s how you want to pray, that’s fine…however:
          If you wrote a check for $10 to Feeding America or another responsible charity, that $10 was probably more helpful than the four-digit total of tax payments you sent to Washington.

        • Amos

          As Watts pointed out, the claim that government programs “will do little or nothing to help” is pure bunk. They have worked to reduce poverty. Yes, hurting the poor by reducing or destroying these programs is hating the poor.Your philosophy is getting in the way of your ability to discern the evidence.

          • Dennis L

            Yes Amos, and unless someone discerns the evidence the way you do, they are always incorrect and hurt / hate the poor. Now that’s bunk!

            The massive growth of government programs the last 30 years has created an ongoing cycle of poverty that is unrelenting. It would continue to do so even if we spend 100% of every tax dollar on it. The system needs changing at it’s core.

            I was at my coffee shop this morning. It’s a market, coffee and tackle shop. I a couple load up on junk food, lattes and candy — paying with their EBT welfare card. 5 min later I see this same couple headed out on a guided salmon fishing boat…. $175 a day per person.

            The system we keep getting pushed and guilted into feeding is not working.

          • Snommelp

            “I was at my coffee shop this morning. It’s a market, coffee and tackle
            shop. I a couple load up on junk food, lattes and candy — paying with
            their EBT welfare card. 5 min later I see this same couple headed out
            on a guided salmon fishing boat…. $175 a day per person.”

            Genesis, chapter 18, verses 22-32

            The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

            The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

            Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

            “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

            Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

            He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

            Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

            He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

            Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

            He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

            Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

            He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

            You present an example of two people taking advantage of the welfare system. For the sake of just two, will you destroy those who have never abused the system? Statistics are hard to find, but as best I can determine, no more than 2% of welfare recipients are involved in any sort of welfare fraud, most of that being recipients forgetting to report additional income. So, for every two like the ones you speak of, there are at least 98 using the system the way it was meant to be used. For the sake of the two, will you condemn the 98?

          • Dennis L

            Snommelp and Amos, thanks for the “clarity”. Your 2% theory is very touching, yet so well researched and reliable. Maybe you found it on one of Amos’s “talk show’s” he uses as his way of saying “I got ya now” or pulled it out of whoever he accused me of…

            Easy does it fellas. If you haven’t seen it, you simply need to get out into the retail market. It’s going on all day in every store. Take 5 minutes and speak to any grocery clerk. They can go on and on all day about the abuse of welfare dollars. Go live in the inner city for a week and serve the poor. The system is a abject failure. But of course you don’t think so so you’ll drag out some scripture to proof-text and bully someone so you can feel intellectually and Spiritually superior – since you are obviously the ones who care more about the poor.

            Now back to reality… Government programs are failing the poor. I am not condemning anyone. There needs to be a total overhaul of the system which includes accountability. I’m not even saying the government shouldn’t help the poor. I am saying throwing even 1 more penny ay the present system is a waste.

          • Snommelp

            I’ve been that retail worker, Dennis, and my experiences are clearly different from yours. That’s why statistics make for a reliable point and personal experience does not.

          • Dennis L

            Snommelp…Do you always talk down to people? It’s amazing. If I took the time to show you the research declaring how much fraud and waste there currently are in the system, you wouldn’t budge an inch. You’d say, “Well my research says differently and ignore the evidence anyway.” That’s how it works here isn’t it? Because it’s about pride and winning an argument not about the poor. You just like to argue.

            If you cannot see that the current system needs overhauling so it actually helps the poor then no statistic available will move you.

          • Snommelp

            You’ve already determined that I wouldn’t be moved by research that supports you, before you’ve provided any such research. It’s astounding that you’re able to see into my soul like that. It’s also astounding how you can complain of people talking down to you while, in turn, talking down to them. Take the log out of your own eye, Dennis, then you can help me with what’s in mine.

          • Dennis L

            Good point Snommelp! Log duly noted, I can see it blocking my view. I did exactly as you stated. I’m sorry. I should not have talked down to you and used the same rhetorical snarkiness which has been used towards me. Please forgive me! I will try not to respond in kind in the future.

            Are you willing to concede that the present system is broken? For me this is the core issue. I’m interest in change not abolishment of government programs. It’s a given we spend entirely too much on our present military and other programs like farm subsidies. Without spending hours showing you every study and every article on the fraud and waste, can you please tell me honestly that you do not see it and haven’t seen it even though you said you recently worked in retail markets? I have not heard you say we need to change anything. Maybe we just live on different planets and have 100% different experiences. I see it almost all day every day. I live in a poor community. The fraud is rampant to the point of people actually bragging in public about how to get away with it.

            Without hint of sarcasm, thank you for calling me out on my hypocrisy, I deserved your rebuke.

          • Snommelp

            It’s forgiven.

            Broken? No, I don’t think I’d be willing to concede that much. Perhaps it’s a semantic issue, but to me “broken” implies that it doesn’t work at all. Less effective than it could be, I could agree with. Able to be improved upon, I could agree with. In response to your request, I can honestly say that yes, I have seen welfare misused, but I personally have only seen maybe one in every thousand welfare recipients misusing it (hard to gauge exactly at such a low rate). That’s why I’m so keen on the statistics. I believe you, that in your context the misuse is rampant. I hope you believe me, that in my context it is not. But if both of our accounts are true, and yet lead to radically different conclusions, then they can’t be the whole picture. Hence, statistics.

            I would like to see change, yes, so that the 2% I quoted is dropped down as close to 0% as it can get. However, I would like to be assured before signing on that the change will be effective. That’s another area where I believe you and I agree – that government spending is already too high, and we’d rather not have a tax increase for the sake of an overhaul that won’t actually change anything. So I’d be interested to hear what ideas you might have. Part of the reason I am not personally advocating for change right now is that I haven’t heard any plan that seemed feasible.

            Thank you for being so kind in your response. Though (with only good-natured sarcasm) I wish you hadn’t been, because then I could’ve just written you off as a bully and been done with all of this 😛

          • Kelli Hernandez

            Dennis,

            Those utilitizing services do not like doing so. It is the most frustrating thing to have to do, particularly when jobs are scarce and are low waged and part time. I received a list of jobs from my community college in my area, and ALL but one (dog grooming) were retail positions that were PART TIME..ALL of them.

            My daughter, desperate for work and a college honors graduate with a degree, now works in retail position, unable to locate a job with her degree. Now she is 60.000 in loan debt and is trying to pay this off while working close to full time–after three years at the same job. She can barely pay rent, let alone feed herself. She has no health care and health problems that desperately need attention.

            This is HALF of America, Dennis. HALF, if not more and there WILL be more…and it’s because government is providing nothing…no opportunity, no jobs training programs (the state I live in has CUT them for those on assistance), and very few jobs. You don’t realize what it’s like to feel so frightened and desperate, fearing losing your independence.

            And many have. And those in power, exploit Jesus and those who believe to advance their agendas and scapegoat and shame those least deserving of it, but needing the most help to get on their feet again. It just isn’t there, Dennis.
            People are not malleable, easily manipulated and controlled if they are happy, independent and making a good living and providing for their children. OUr government does not support this. They cannot have control when people can feed themselves. This is the MOST evil government I’ve ever seen in my life. Ever.

          • Snommelp

            Just FYI, you responded to one of my posts, not to Dennis. Not sure if you misclicked.

          • Dennis L

            ” This is the MOST evil government I’ve ever seen in my life. Ever.”

            You must not have traveled much… even our poor have it 100X’s better than many people in other countries who have jobs.

          • John

            The comments section needs more of this. Thank you, Dennis, for displaying some genuine humility. We can all learn from this.

          • Kelli Hernandez

            Agreed. I ask forgiveness too, Dennis

          • Dennis L

            Hi Kelli, I wasn’t attacking you. You were the one who went on and on attacking me and saying my stories are not true and attaching motives I do not have. Calling me a hater. It’s very sad. When I asked for forgiveness from Snonmelp I specifically told him what I did that was wrong and that I would try not to do it again. Why are you asking for forgiveness? Snonmelp and I have differing views, but I do not attack his motives… because I believe he has the exact same motives as mine, he cares about the poor and wants solutions. We may TOTALLY disagree on what the problems are and how to resolve them, but I know he cares about the poor, as do I. Kelli, you went on and on calling me a hater and a lair simply because you disagree with me. Sorry, but that’s terribly unfair and cruel. Try thinking about how you want to be treated when you have an opinion that differs from others. DO you really believe I was trying to personally attack the poor or offend you?

          • Kelli Hernandez

            Dennis,

            The fraud and waste is from the entities that you described. Not the poor or the programs the poor utilize for survival. When taken together, fraud and waste from social programs are an extremely miniscule amount compared to corporate and OTHER government entities such as the military, however, the GOP need to exploit the most vulnerable so that the sheeple turn a blind eye to what is really going on and who is creating it: THEM.

          • Kelli Hernandez

            He’s a narcissist sno. People without empathy are a waste of time…

          • Dennis L

            I can see your empathy by your kind words and judgmental misstatements. Thank you for your fine example.

          • Mike Lawson

            Oh I can’t wait for this answer…. tell us how to overhaul it so that it “actually helps the poor.” This should be fun.

          • Kelli Hernandez

            Then why not post, Dennis? Is it from Faux News or Heritage? Yes, very reliable, the hating machine.

          • Snommelp

            Also, that evidence is in the original article. That’s where we found it. Perhaps you should read it more thoroughly.

          • Kelli Hernandez

            You’re assuming the poor are not ‘accountable’.

            The government needs an overhaul all right–corporation subsidies need to stop, agricultural subsidies need to stop, fraud by banksters and wall street, needs to stop. The rich need to pay MORE taxes and there needs to be JOB CREATION and opportunity. There’s your ‘overhaul’ Dennis, but I suspect that there is some pathological behavior within you, given your hard lined insistence that how you say it is, is how it is. I’ve never once had a narcissist change their uppity hatred or exploitation of those whom they consider “beneath” them….given all the lack of empathy, I’m pretty certain that your hate is pathological..

          • justaguyonhere

            I’m curious, do always pay attention to how people choose to pay for their purchases? First, how people pay for their purchases is NONE of your business. Do you also watch people enter their PIN numbers?

          • Snommelp

            …wow… you really missed the point I was making, didn’t you?

          • Kelli Hernandez

            This is such a great post. And he doesn’t know if they were frauding the system and really? What business is it of anyone to tell the poor what they can and can’t eat or drink that is ALLOWED by Snap? I guess because I buy Folger’s on sale…oh wait….I don’t have the RIGHT To drink coffee, do I?

            I’m betting that most of these stories are FALSE and NEVER happened. Give me a reliable STAT and then we’ll talk about the program as a whole. 72% of those on SNAP are working families.

          • Amos

            The difference between you and someone like Watts is that you just make assertions pulled out of your…whatever and he points to real studies to back up his claims. Your evidence: “I saw somebody who…” Anecdotal dribble. Massive government growth creating poverty? A huge amount of that growth was in the Department of Defense, the biggest employer in the world. Taxes are at a historic low. Growth in government spending in the last few years is lower than it has been for fifty years. Fewer people are on the government payroll than under Bush. Want to know where poverty is coming from? Wages are the smallest portion of the economy than they have been in many decades while corporate profits are setting records. But keep spewing that stuff you learned from some talk show host.

          • tmb

            Anecdotal evidence!! So every EBT card carrying person must be like “that one person” I saw!!

          • Kelli Hernandez

            If I had a dime for every time I heard these stories I wouldn’t need assistance. Your “I know someone’ or “I saw someone” or whatever is the ‘line’ of BS that people like you spew endlessly, PROVES your hatred. There are a hell of a lot of haters in this world who ASSUME to know the very people that they accuse of frauding the system. Tell me, how many tax breaks do you get and for what Dennis? Or should I assume you’re one who is wealthy and would be ‘hurt’ by a HUGE tax cut?

            What about ‘government’ programs that support JOBS? Most of those were cut in my state but that’s what you can’t BEAR to hear. Do your research and wake the hell up.

          • Kelli Hernandez

            agreed, one hundred percent. I’ve learned that people have many ways to disguise their hate. MANY…you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig..

            So is hate. Hate is hate no matter how it is masked…

        • asw

          Are you responding to YOURSELF with “Good Point’? Because it looks like you’ve responded to yourself about 5 times now.

          • Dennis L

            to 22044

          • 22044

            Hey Dennis.
            Just found this post/comment on another site…how well it seems to apply to Democrats in power, and perhaps to their apologists like our friend Amos.

            “I’ve posted this before, but it is as true today as when it was first conceived.
            ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.’ Proverbs 16:18
            The Democrats, since the election of 2008, have demonstrated such
            hubris, such complete arrogance, and even a smarmy hatefulness toward
            their fellow citizens, that this turn of events was inevitable.
            Anyone who proposes to know everything, to always be right, who
            derides those who disagree with them for being ignorant and stupid
            simply for offering disagreement, is bound to make catastrophic mistakes
            sooner or later.
            There’s another old saying that springs to mind relative to the behavior of the LEFT since the last election:
            Be good to the people you meet on the way up, because you’ll meet the same people on your way down.”

            Sad that some people who call themselves Christians meet this description. So predictably as well.

          • Snommelp

            That seems unnecessarily antagonistic.

          • 22044

            Sorry. I’m sticking by it…when someone comments and takes just one part of someone else’s comment and throws out unneeded & inappropriate accusations just to “win an online battle”. He’s done this before, by the way.

            If you have better ways to engage him to make peace, by all means, go for it, though.

          • Snommelp

            Unneeded and inappropriate accusations appear to be everywhere here, 22044. If you don’t see it in Dennis’ posts, but see it in Amos’, then something is wrong. Of course, it’s easy to forgive the unneeded and inappropriate accusations when they come from the person you agree with. And apparently I’m guilty, as well, because I don’t see Amos cherry-picking from Denis’ post, but rather referring Dennis to the fact that Craig has cited research that Dennis was totally ignoring – is still ignoring, even after it has been pointed out to him multiple times.

            And so I say again that you’re being unnecessarily antagonistic by claiming that someone who is pointing to actual statistical evidence is guilty of hubris, arrogance, and smarmy hatred. And, frankly, you are ignoring his (and my) words when you comment that we “deride those who disagree with [us] for being ignorant and stupid simply for offering disagreement.” Neither Amos nor I have claimed that Dennis is “ignorant and stupid simply for offering disagreement,” but rather we have pointed out that he is ignoring evidence.

            Perhaps if you had not already determined that Amos was just baiting Dennis “like he’s done before,” you would have seen this.

          • Snommelp

            Also, you wrote earlier: “this post get undermined by another rant against politicians whom Mr. Watts disagrees with.” What, pray tell, is this bit about Democrats that you have posted, if not a rant against politicians you disagree with?

          • 22044

            I regret that you keep defending Amos. You have no knowledge of a couple of ignorant & accusatory posts he made on a previous thread that I am well aware of.
            Perhaps I didn’t need to make the last post, since it ended up not enhancing understanding.
            When you write a long response trying to sort it all out, that’s probably best for us to let this be.
            If you care to re-read the posts, Amos starts with the personal attacks. Dennis, for the most part, criticizes systems but not anyone on this thread. His final comment is enlightening, I recommend that it be considered.
            If not, that’s OK as well.

            Have a good night.

          • Snommelp

            His final comment is enlightening… do you mean the one where he calls me a bully for trying to keep Scripture in mind, and out of touch with reality for being mindful of statistical evidence? Is that the one I should be considering?

            I think we’re agreed at least that it’s pointless to continue, so I bid you a good night, as well.

          • 22044

            Looks like you and Dennis made an effort to reconcile. I must applaud you guys for that. At the end of the day I think the three of us are sincerely seeking what is right.

          • Snommelp

            It’s a common glitch in the commenting system. Unregistered user names don’t always appear correctly right away, instead appearing as the name of the last unregistered user to comment.

  • Dietrich Kessler

    “Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is ‘theft’ and ‘using other people’s money,’ they argue. Oddly, they don’t seem to think that using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, surveillance apparatus or weapons systems constitute theft. The hypocrisy is clear.”

    Well how about this for an idea… all taxation is theft! First of all, an entity taking money from one person and giving to another group, is not moral because a.) taxation is force, and thus b.) the person whose money was taken didn’t make the moral choice to give freely to the poor what he prospered. And the entity which took the money from said man to give to the poor also wasn’t making any sort of moral choice, because the money wasn’t their loss. They took something that belonged to someone else and gave it to the poor. Hardly sacrificial.

    Furthermore, you make a very good point. Why indeed is it okay to forcefully take money from others to provide funding for wars those people may/may not agree with (i.e. “defense”)? Why indeed is our money used for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, and (my personal favorite) surveillance that erodes our civil liberties and threatens the privacy of everyone in the world?

    Instead of attacking people who don’t believe that taxation is the moral way or even an effective way to care for the poor, perhaps consider questioning the validity and legitimacy of the concept of taxation… perhaps consider questioning the Nation/State. People are fleeing the Religious Right in droves because of their state worship and nationalism. Don’t be surprised if the same happens to the Religious Left should they go down the same path. Oh and by the way, a little tidbit: On average, 70 cents out of every dollar donated to private charities is spent on programs. Only 30 cents out of every tax dollar in government aid goes to programs.

    The Religious Left has its use when it comes to Christianity and social issues (war, marriage equality, pro choice/pro life debate), but is completely and utterly clueless when it comes to economics, and many would never know what to tell you if you brought up Keynesianism vs Austrian economic theory.

    • Eric

      Here an idea: taxation is the price of civilization. And the notion that taxation is theft is loony-tunes. It is based on an idea of property that has no bases in any constitution in the world. More importantly, it is at fundamental with scripture, which is filled with limits on private ownership and mandates about how the poor are to be cared for. Just a note: the Austrian school is an ideology without empirical basis. The same can’t be said for Keynesianism, however you might disagree with aspects of it.

    • 22044

      The truth is somewhere in the middle: some level of taxation is necessary, but excessive levels of taxation are legalized theft. We even see the latter worked out in the Gospels, when Zaccheus repented of his sin of collecting excessive taxes. Additionally, it was a poorly kept secret that tax agents in that time & place collected more than they were supposed to – but did so without consequence or punishment because corruption was tolerated by the government in power at the time.
      Contrary to Eric’s view, the Austrian view of economics is a good system, because it connects to the natural human right to own & manage property.

    • SamHamilton

      When you say “all taxation is theft” and therefore immoral do you distinguish between taxation that goes towards “common goods” like infrastructure, the court system or programs in which everyone participates (Social Security) and wealth transfer programs (SNAP, etc.) that are directed to one segment of the population?

      I’m trying to wrap my head around the “all taxation is theft” argument and get an idea of what people mean when they say this.

      • Dietrich Kessler

        Great question Sam. There are a lot of ways to answer why “All taxation is theft”, and it was difficult for me to know which explanation to go into, because they’re all from different angles. However, perhaps the initiation of force argument would be the best because I think it covers most angles. One must first see government for what it is: force. Disobedience to government is never a route you can choose and there be no consequences. Prime example: taxes. Failure to pay your taxes will result, ultimately, with men carrying guns raiding your house, pushing you to the floor, and locking you up in a cage. Now, what gives government this right to do these things to people because such people refuse to give said government their money?

        Let me put it another way: If I approach you and say that I want to improve the road in the neighborhood you and I live in, and I order you to give me some of your money to pay for this “road improving project”, is my commanding you to give me your money, moral? To make this more interesting, let’s say if you refuse to give me your money, I pull a gun out and point it at you and take your money for the project. Let’s say I did this to the whole neighborhood. Would that be right? Because the improvement of the road would better the quality of lives of those in the neighborhood, does the positive end justify my violent means? “But,” you say “that’s different!” How so?

        What if it were not just me holding a gun up to you and taking your money? What if it were me and 10 other people with guns? Would that make the actions okay? Even better, what if me and 20 other men with HOLSTERED guns, set up offices in your neighborhood and printed out sheets of paper demanding that you give your money to improve the neighborhood road? Would that be acceptable? Even more interestingly, if we did this and called ourselves a government, would it be acceptable then? The argument that taxation isn’t theft is asinine. It doesn’t matter what “social good” you tout as the reason for taking people’s money… you’re still forcefully taking people’s money!

        If I wouldn’t initiate force or violence against you for your money, and you wouldn’t initiate force or violence against me, then why on earth would you or I think it rational to step into the ballot box and ask for a third party to do it to the other person? It’s stupidity.

        Regardless of what Mr. Watts or Eric may think, other people are not your property. They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labor are not yours to dispose of. It doesn’t matter how wise or marvelous or useful it would be for other people to do whatever it is you’d like them to do. It is none of your business whether they wear their seat belts, worship the right god, have sex with the wrong people, or engage in market transactions that irritate you. Their choices are not yours to direct. They are human beings like yourself, your equals. You possess no legitimate authority over them. As long as they themselves do not step over the line, and start treating other people as their property, you have no moral basis for initiating violence against them, nor for authorizing anyone else to do so on your behalf.

        And the Religious Left dare not tell me or anyone else that we’re not “good Christians” if we question the nation-state. That’s the same garbage the Religious Right does and quite frankly it’s bullshit.

        • SamHamilton

          So it sounds like you truly mean all taxation is theft and immoral, not just taxation that goes towards wealth redistribution programs (welfare, etc.). That being said, how do you expect the government to get the resources it needs to do what it’s constitutionally authorized to do without engaging in immoral activity like taxation, or is the U.S. Constitution itself immoral because it authorizes taxation?

          • Dietrich Kessler

            I would actually suggest that if there is a market for something (i.e. a need for something) people will come together and fulfill that need without an authoritarian entity telling them they have to. A common question many people ask is “Without government taxing its people, who will build the roads?” Of course the answer to such a question does not only apply to roads, it is simply that “roads” is being used as an example for any need that may arise.

            Many people have a difficult time imagining a world where needs are met without taxation. This is because we have never known that sort of reality in our lifetimes. That doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t be done. I propose this: government doesn’t build roads. Government contracts a company to build roads and pays that company with our tax dollars. My argument then, is simply to cut out this unnecessary middle man. People can come together, put their money together, and pay a company to build roads (voluntary exchange for mutual benefit or something very similar basically).

            I guarantee you there will multiple special interests who will want roads if government doesn’t use our tax dollars to pay for them. Store owners would want roads to their stores, real estate companies would want roads to their houses, etc., and who’s to say that these companies wouldn’t come together under an agreement to fund the building of roads?

            Again, I know you didn’t ask about roads specifically, but roads are just one example of how a system with no taxation could still lead to a functioning (and dare I say more peaceful) civilization. Now, indeed, you raise a good point: government is authorized by the constitution to use taxes for the benefit of society to a certain extent. My question is, while the constitution certainly has proven to be one of the best documents of governing, and has allowed us to live a quality of life unparalleled to most in history and even to most people today, why necessarily do we assume that the constitution is “the bible” of sorts on how to achieve freedom?

            Might we conclude that the constitution can be wrong on some things? In fact, perhaps the entire premise of the constitution– that government could be permanently limited and forever under the control of its people– is a false premise. Perhaps it is inherent in the nature of governments to grow and crave control. Maybe “limited government” and “small government” are like saying “limited cancer” or “small cancer”.

            Of course I would never be so presumptuous as to say that Jesus would feel the way I do, or that if you or anyone else were a true Christian, we would all be Austrian economists who hate taxation. I understand that Christians are people whose views vary based on experience, learning, influence, environment, etc. Jesus was not a Capitalist, just like Jesus wasn’t a Socialist, or a Republican, or a Democrat. Jesus transcends our “solutions” to problems.

          • kevinkray

            Uh, when people “come together and fulfill that need” it’s called government. You know, of the people by the people, for the people? That’s why you get to vote.

          • Dietrich Kessler

            Wow, um… where to begin with that startling display of ineptitude… I suppose that when the government sent Blackwater over to Iraq to commit their atrocities, that was us as a people coming together to fulfill a need? I suppose we all, as people, came together with warm hearts and willing wallets to “be a government” that willingly allowed Abu Ghraib and to this day allows Guantanamo to remain open?

            I suppose it is a strange bout of amnesia then, us being shocked that the NSA is collecting all of our communications… you know, since according to your daft logic, government is us and hence we should have known about what the NSA has been doing all along. Never in a million years, would a body of politicians act out of self-interest despite the wishes of the people, and enact legislation against our best interest, no not ever. I mean dear God, you really believe that our government is still a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? Thanks for the laugh. I remember when I believed in fairy tales.

            But hey, you are right about one thing: once every two years, I get to drive my happy ass down to the local polling station, stand in line for an hour or so, and punch a hole in a piece of paper for candidates that have already by that time, been well filtered and bought-off.

            “Uh, when people ‘come together and fulfill that need’ it’s called government. You know, of the people by the people, for the people? That’s why you get to vote…. Goldman Sachs, what???”

          • Steven Geller

            You still believe in fairy tales. They’re called Libertarianism. One of the principal reasons that Communism has never worked like any of its theoretical models is that the models assume that everyone will buy completely into the philosophy, doing as much work as they can for the collective bounty and taking only as much as they need. This could work with a small handful of people who are all fully committed, trust each other and are responsible (like on a kibbutz), but for a larger population, too many acts of human nature are always going to sink such a system in abuse and selfishness.

            And Libertarianism is the same way. Some industries might be responsible parties and properly self-regulate themselves for both the greater good and for the long-term payoff of not having bad publicity if they are caught in nefarious behavior. But other industries won’t. They’ll cut safety corners and just take their chances about getting caught. The reason we have a large amount of the crime in the world is that people are not deterred by the possible negative consequences they could face. In the case of, say, Goldman Sachs, which you mentioned, the decisions there aren’t undertaken by the shareholders, who may have some real concerns about the sustainability of an entity that they partly own. Those decisions are made by the executives, who receive 8-figure bonuses regardless of what happens to the bank or to the customers’ money. If the bank collapses based upon a risky trade, a trade that is deemed “acceptable” by the biased “self-regulation” of the people who stand to make money off of it, the lives of thousands of people could be ruined, but the executives might be so rich that they can just retire (with only the penalty of being frowned upon by the industry and perhaps the media for a little while). In the case of an unscrupulous oil company, yes, they might eventually face lawsuits from the fact that chemicals from their operation have poisoned the water supply and made people sick, but those sicknesses might not become apparent for years (and the cause of them might take more years, even assuming that they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt). And, again, the people who made those decisions not to use environmentally safer (and slightly more expensive) chemicals are going to be making huge amounts of money for that entire time, and virtually no one is going to voluntarily change. And no one without the most clinical, sociopathic view of our economy as solely an experiment in game theory would conclude that people dying as a result of unregulated negligence (or of willful calculations toward a producer’s “bottom line”) is a better system than demanding preventative regulations, even if you do consider the funding for those regulations “theft.” It isn’t moral to live in a society where someone must say that his wife has just died of unsafe restaurant food, and his most compelling recourse is to write a bad review of the restaurant, under the hope that maybe eventually others will stop eating there. His wife is already dead–who cares if the restaurant gets shut down later?

            It is an easy cop-out to blame every ill on the government, just because the government doesn’t work ideally for your needs. The most prominent reason that the government doesn’t represent the majority of citizens is that it is structured around politicians seeking money for their ads and infrastructure, and then needing to maintain those sources of money to get re-elected. You speak about people working in their own noble self-interest, and one of the best investments possible is to bribe (via campaign donations) a politician to pass legislation that will favor your own interests. Since it is much easier to fund-raise for one huge check from someone wealthy than it is to solicit $10 from thousands of people, politicians are always going to try to please the people with lots of money, and those interests are always going to be held in higher regard than ordinary people whose meager contribution can be easily replaced. And since there are always, in any Capitalist system, fewer people with lots of money than people without, legislation will always favor the affluent minority.

            And it will always be the same with a Libertarian system. No market can ever be truly free–there always need to be rules to prevent fraud or collusion or racketeering, etc. And those rules will always need to be enforced by some collection of people working in concert with one another so that the penalties for wrongdoing can be uniform. And those people will always be subject to corruption by whoever can offer them enough to satisfy their needs, in exchange for some market benefit that other producers don’t receive. And soon you are describing a corrupt government just as the one you despise. And if other aspects of human nature also creep in (like certain products not being purchased because people don’t like the behavior or or the political stance or the religion of the producer), then that person is forced by the market to conform to amenable norms–just like a government would force that person to conform to theirs. I do not personally have the resources or skill to build my own road leading to my business. Even if there are 3 companies that could theoretically build my road, thus allowing me to make a competitive “market decision,” I’m still at the mercy of whatever company decides they want to help me. Maybe none of them do, and then my business closes and I starve. Maybe only one of them has an interest in working on my side of town, and then I have no choice but to hire them. It’s not as though I am going to start my own road-building company and take months or years off of work to do so. If the company that I choose does a poor job, it is even harder to recover from–am I really going to pay a second time for another company to rip out the existing road and redo it? Everything involves some level of force, be it scary men with guns and cages or just the fact that you need a service and must comply with the only company that can provide it. (And sometimes those companies have scary men with guns also). Your fantasy world of everyone being peaceful and happy only lasts until two or more people refuse to cooperate on an issue, and then whoever is the most powerful “wins.” Not exactly what the Bible condones.

          • Mike Lawson

            And Jesus was surely not an “every man for himself” libertarian, either. Funny thing about libertarians, they’re a group without a country on this earth save for lawless places like Somalia, and can’t point to a single libertarian government functioning with their twisted theories on this planet. Ayn Rand was not a prophet, she wrote fiction.

          • Dietrich Kessler

            Mike, Ayn Rand wasn’t a libertarian. She established her own philosophy known as Objectivism. Some libertarians are fans of Ayn Rand, but others (like me) are not. Get your philosophers and movements straight. Concerning Somalia, I find it hilarious that this spot of the world is held up as a place without governance, and thus a place where libertarianism and/or stateless society has failed. For starters, religious fundamentalists control many parts of Somalia which is what makes it so shitty and dangerous. Specifically Islamic extremists– Al-Queda is said to have a strong presence there.

            What’s so funny about this, is that I argue for a system where everybody has a right to self-ownership– the very antithesis of a place like Somalia, dominated by fanatical nutjobs who think they act on behalf of god. I find myself debating now, with religious fundamentalists of a leftist stripe, as I have debated many religious fundamentalists of the Right. The Right of course, makes the case that one cannot be a Christian and not be a social conservative. I find here the same zealotry, except what the Religious Left seems to be saying is that I cannot be a Christian if I don’t support Keynesian economic policy (in a post you deleted, very cowardly might I add, you even called me “satanic” for not supporting Keynesianism).

            Young people are leaving churches in droves because of the Religious Right’s idiotic push for a “Christian nation”. The Religious Left, thick as they are, don’t seem to understand that in time, the same will happen to them.

            It would be absolutely horrible, if the Christian Right gained majority power in the US government. It would be just as horrible if people like yourself ever gained majority power in the US government. But GOD FORBID, that the Religious Right and the Religious Left ever both rose to prominence at the same time, and had to share power: Morality police would be arresting and punishing people for who they chose to sleep with, and at the same time, their wallets would be empty from all the “social justice” and redistribution. Poor AND repressed… sounds dandy!

          • Mike Lawson

            As I said, “Funny thing about libertarians,…… can’t point to a single libertarian government functioning with their twisted theories on this planet.” Four paragraphs and you still didn’t point to one. God bless the USA, warts and all.

    • Mike Lawson

      You are free to move to a country where taxes are not collected and you won’t be subject to this horrid “theft.” Somalia comes to mind.

      Wow, what a bunch of raging, stinking hyperbole. Again, what part of “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” don’t you folks understand? Did Jesus say, “No, all taxes are theft, so don’t pay your taxes!” Nope, he didn’t. Taxes are the price of civilized societies functioning for the betterment of the people. That some of you get your drawers in a bunch because $0.10 a day in taxes might go to keep millions of children, elderly and disabled people eat is frankly, satanic, at its core. Its a complete “screw you, to thine own self be true” attitude and its disgusting. Feeding the poor is part of contributing to the common good. If private charities and churches could accomplish this, under their tax-free status, these government programs would never have been needed to begin with. Many of today’s churches are more interested in mega-church buildings, TV and Radio “ministries” and pursuing the bizarre prosperity gospel. You think Jesus is bothered that a tiny portion of the money Caesar collects goes to feed the poor? Really?

  • DBrown

    Craig, you are Washington material. Demonizing the opposition and accusing others with different political views than yours as “haters of Jesus” is just what Capital Hill is looking for! In no way should we ask the question, “how can we work together to fix this problem that we both care about but have different views of how to approach.” This would be a sign of weakness in our paradigm and our pride. We need to crush them like a serpent! Partisan politics are exciting and fun when we get Jesus involved! I’m sure He would appreciate this article because He too believed that the burden of welfare programs fell on the government, oh wait, that was Roosevelt wasn’t it? What did Jesus say about giving to the poor? That Caesar and Herod needed to get their heads out of their rear-end and allocate more shekels to Social Security? Or was it that the rich young ruler should pay his government-owed taxes or contribute less to his 401K or at least have a modest savings account “just in case.” Or did He ask for more than that? Yes, it’s easy to get Jesus involved in politics when we exchange His political views for our own and say things like “Jesus is a Democrat” or “Jesus is Pro-Life” when, in reality His only sociopolitical view is this, “Love YOUR neighbor.” The ownership of social justice falls on the individual. Jesus set a standard when the ruler asked, “what must I do?” No, I don’t believe that anyone who doesn’t “sell all they have” is going to hell (heaven would be very lonely in that case.) But I do believe that Jesus doesn’t want us to go around pointing at others and the government saying, “he’s not giving enough,” or “she’s not doing it right.” Jesus wants to know what we are doing, and wants us to look within and say, “what must I do?” And please for the love of God, don’t accuse others of “hating” Jesus. Yes, it makes for a sexy and provocative commentary, but what would be the next editorial? “Is It OK to Hate People Who Hate Jesus?”

    • Eric

      In fact Watts didn’t just make an unjustified accusation or engage in name calling. He made a case based on external evidence and scripture. He was a lot less partisan than his critics in the comment section who regurgatate standard rightwing about how the poor shouldn’t be helped through the government because it never is effective. Watts provided evidence and the critics stomp their feet and cry, “No! No! No!” rather than offer similar substance.

      • DBrown

        You’re perpetuating my point of partisan politics, plus you’re right, he does use scripture, the same way soapbox preachers condemn others who don’t see eye to eye with them. Listen, if someone wants to express a Left-wing or Right-wing opinions, that’s fine, just don’t get Jesus involved. During His physical life on earth, the Roman tax rate was way higher than what we pay the IRS and when asked to challenge the government, He still didn’t toe a line because He knew it was futile and just a distraction from the real issues He came to address.

        • Amos

          We are called to be “salt and light.” The way that is done depends upon the options available to us. To say, “Jesus didn’t do…” and then name an option that wasn’t even available is nonsense. Was Jesus involved in politics? Absolutely! If you can’t see it in scripture because your lens are clouded by your assumptions, Go and read John Howard Yoder’s classic The Politics of Jesus. We have some options he didn’t have to feed the hungry and cloth the poor. To refuse to take those options because Jesus didn’t have them is not an expression of faith but partisan foolishness. You try to paint Watts as a partisan Democrat. I’ve read some of his other articles. Never found one time where he compliments Democrats but I’ve seen where he’s criticized them. Fact is, he’s made his case here and named haters for their fruits.

        • Grand1

          Read the words of Christ and only the words of Christ. Don’t read the narrative or the Old Testament. When you take those words to heart (and head) then you may call yourself a Christian. In your life, practice what those words mean and you will be fine. If all who claim to be Christian do so, then the poor, the sick, and the sinner will be just fine.

      • 22044

        Too bad you only see what you want to see, Eric.

      • klhayes

        Jesus told the Pharisees to “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and Render unto God what is God’s” when the Pharisees asked about paying taxes. Even in Jesus’ day, the wealthy pious ones did not want to pay.

        If the government should not help, then all churches are going to have to pledge to step up. Guarantee every food pantry, clothing drive and promise to provide job training and prove that them doing the same thing is more effective than govt.

    • klhayes

      Funny how you feel Christians are being demonized. Many Christians think non-Christians are the ones possessed by demons.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    For the past 40 years, we’ve been taught by our government that to be poor is evil and to have children you can’t afford is worthy only of the death penalty. This attitude has been taught for so long it is ingrained.

    • SamHamilton

      …to have children you can’t afford is worthy only of the death penalty

      You’ve been taught this by our government? Hmmm…

      • TheodoreSeeber

        55 million dead so far in the United States from this new found sin, and any attempt to stop it is met with cries about Christian Taliban taking over. A genocide of the poor, right under our noses- the way out is obvious, but not even those who are against the genocide are willing to do what it takes- assure every pregnant woman and her child 18 years of food, clothing, and shelter.

        • Eric

          Ah! Abortion. And the baseless assumption that laws against it stops it and the absence of laws against it causes it and even promotes it. No real evidence to support that view in the real world. There actually have been extensive international studies on such matters. Banning abortion doesn’t insure lower abortion rates. Want to reduce abortion? Look at the nations where abortion is the lowest and impliment social policy similar to those nations.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Exactly my point- if we love the poor, we reduce abortion. If we hate the poor, the result is naturally more abortion- which is primarily a genocide of the poor. The way out isn’t law, but charity.

          • Frank

            In states with parental consent laws, the abortion rate declines by 23.1 percent for 17-year-olds, by 19.9 percent for 16-year-olds, and by 16.6 percent for 15-year-olds.

        • SamHamilton

          I see. I didn’t get the reference to abortion.

  • Digger

    Haters of the poor? Wow. I would say the Haters of the poor are those who want government–the single least efficient spender of money–involved. For every dollar the government spends, thats multiple dollars less that a citizen can spend.
    You want to see REAL hatred? Read the RedLetterChristian website. These people HATE Christians. These people HATE the word of God. These people HATE anyone who suggests that they can’t or shouldn’t do whatever they want. These people actively draw people away from Christ. These people are doing Satan’s work. These people hate God. Now THAT is hatred.

    • Eric

      Nice little baseless rant. Not even one sentence is true. Congratulations! Well, actually, I can commend one line: “Read the RedLetterChristian website.”

      • 22044

        Sorry Eric. Maybe Digger’s language is a bit strong but some of the posts on this site support his perception. If your point should stand – you’d make an effort to respond in love, instead of sarcasm.

        • Snommelp

          A bit strong, and a bit hyperbolic. And entirely unhelpful, too. Condemning the entire website like that, one has to wonder why Digger continues to read and comment here.

          • Digger

            That’s a valid point. I actually do find myself reading less and less often, and commenting even more seldom. While my comment may be a bit hyperbolic, I truly do believe that the authors and editors of this site are false teachers, are leading people away from Christ, and are jeopardizing the salvation of many of Christ’s children. I also truly believe that most commenters have genuine hatred toward conservative–or evangelical–Christians.

          • Amos

            I’ve read the above article a couple times and can find nothing suggesting hatred toward evangelicals or anything directly opposed to orthodox Christianity. Nothing. Does he criticize conservative politicians who want to reduce food aid, especially any who would do so in the name of Christian faith? Absolutely! Nothing about “false teaching” in that action.

          • Dennis L

            Sorry Digger, I disagree! There are very few people on this website who hate anyone. There’s plenty of sarcasm and snarkey one sided super preacher talk from both sides. Very little discussion and learning happens when we get sarcastic and forget that changing hearts and minds involves time and education, and plenty of patience. The only thing I would say that disappoints me about this website is some of us, including me, say things in ways we’d never use in person. The topics are fantastic… this is stuff you’ll never hear in church except in a one-sided, mostly unenlightened sermon with little or no discussion afterwards. The preacher carpet bombs the crowd with “this is how you should think” and that settles it. This site provides a marvelous forum to actually learn, grow and change. We don’t have to agree on everything or anything, but if we’re wise we can listen and contribute. The name calling and accusations is creating an antagonistic environment and probably lessening the readership. That’s a shame!

          • John

            Amen, Dennis. Amen.

          • SamHamilton

            I agree Dennis.

        • Eric

          Seriously, 22044? You habitually criticize and bash RLC writers, and start pissing contests. When other respond, you whine, “Unfair! I’m getting wet!” I would have responded with less sarcasm and more substance if Digger said anything of substance.

          • 22044

            Quit making excuses and bellyaching, Eric. What are you going to do to defeat this perception that there are haters here instead of Christ-followers?

            Sure I criticize ideas. I try not to make personal criticisms. I try to present to present other ideas. I try to connect them to Christ.

            Sometimes I post compliments or thanks. If someone replies to me with respect, I like to return the favor.

          • Oswald Carnes

            You fail utterly. I’d much rather be a mahometan than a christian after reading the horseshit goons like you write.

          • Mike Lawson

            We know you by your fruits.

    • Snommelp

      If the entire site is as bad as you claim, then surely the appropriate response would be to leave? After all, by saying that the contributors to this site “HATE anyone who suggests that they can’t or shouldn’t do whatever they want,” you’re suggesting that you don’t think they will ever be convinced that they are in the wrong. So your presence here will not guide them to your side, and will also inflate their numbers. Why stay?

    • John

      These people? Hi, my name is John. I don’t fit your description. You can go and check everything I’ve written here. It’s all there. Free and available. No hatred.

      My name is John. Not “these people”.

    • John

      These people? Hi, my name is John. I don’t fit your description. You can go and check everything I’ve written here. It’s all there. Free and available. No hatred.

      My name is John. Not “these people”.

    • SamHamilton

      Calm down. There are some posts on this site that I think are way off base and poorly written, but for the most part I think most of the posts are thoughtful and have some decent points in them.

  • Frank

    I won’t even bother pointing out how the good stuff in this post gets buried and nullified by the authors clear bias as others have done a great job doing so.

    What gets me is does this site actually want things to change or are they just interested in getting pats on the backs from those that already agree with them?

    If anyone is paying attention they would realize that they need the people they demonize to actually get the change they speak about.

    • Amos

      Is Watts letting his bias show? Thank God, yes! And it is divine bias. As Bishop Tutu says, “It is quite exhilarating to speak about a God who has an incredible bias, a notorious bias in favor of the downtrodden. You look at Exodus and the Israelites’ escape from a bottomless pit. God is not evenhanded. God is biased up to his eyebrows.”

      • Frank

        Talk about missing the point.

        Carry on.

  • SamHamilton

    Some good points here, but can we please top using the words “hate” and “haters” to describe anyone who comes to different political conclusions than the users of the word? The same points can be made without using these words.

    • Kelli Hernandez

      That’s a nice way of saying, “Look, I want to hate, but I don’t want to believe that my agenda of oppression and greed is a genuine problem. The narcissism in this society is unbelievable and repulsive. It is CLEAR through policy represent and it is the FURTHEST thing from Jesus that anyone can be.

      Don’t excuse your hatred. It is manifested in many ways, and government is number one. It advances their greedy agendas and profits. They readily exploit and those who believe their garbage are going to be those ultimately betrayed.

      • SamHamilton

        Kelli,
        When you walk by a homeless person on the street when they want to talk to you, are you “hating” them? Does that make you a hater? If someone wanted to write a blog post discussing what the proper response to such a situation is, do you think it would be helpful to refer to people who walk by the homeless person as a “hater” or would that not really advance the point much?

  • Holden Blue

    It always surprises me how many Christians teach that taxation is the same as compassion.

    • Ben

      Compassion isn’t the point in the article. Helping the poor rather than making excuses for despising and neglecting their needs is the point. It always amazes me how some Christians think celebrating an internal attitude is more important than than promoting the alleviation of hardship and pain.

  • Toria

    My husband works hard to provide for us, I have 2 daughter 3 and 1, So I babysit on the side to try and make extra money so we can afford to pay rent, car, electric……we still do not make enough to buy groceries or pay hospital bills, so sadly we had no choice but to apply for food stamps and medicaid. Imagine a world where we get what we work for, if our “tax return” was just left to us in the first place throughout the year, then we’d have that extra money to buy what we need. But we don’t so we do what we need to so we can provide for our family.

    • Amos

      If you were paid a living wage you would not have to struggle as much as you apparently must do. The places where you work are robbing you so you have to look to the government for help. Your problem is not that you have to wait for a tax return. The problem is that the growth in wages for the last 30 years has gone to the top of the economic heap. The minimum wage must be significantly raised to reduce exploitation.

      • Kelli Hernandez

        AMEN!!!! And I’d like to add that even though people will SHAME and exploit you, don’t listen to it. Know in your heart you are doing what’s right for your children. The shaming that is being done to those who genuinely need the help is….well, shameful…

      • MB

        How many people do you currently employ Amos? I would guess none. If minimum wage were raised in the business I am in, most of the 50 people I employ would be unemployed. I work 7 days a week and I give back to our employees when we reach targets. Raising minimum wage usually takes money from those who deserve a raise and gives it to the ones who are just starting.

        • Axehandle

          Everybody needs a living age to pay their bills, put food on the table, and pay for the gas that gets them to work. I’m sorry that your business can’t succeed without denying your employees those basics, but maybe business just isn’t your calling.

          • 22044

            You probably need to get some real education about business & commerce to replace your speculative viewpoints.

          • wordsonfire

            I have some “real education about business & commerce.” His point is well-taken. What other part of business expenses would you be allowed to offload onto the rest of society to cover? If a business owner needs to ship things, they are required to pay for the fuel and maintenance costs. Only with low-wage humans do we pretend that these laws are suspended in some way. It costs a certain basic amount for a human body to run.

            We created “business” and “commerce” as tools to make our lives better. We as humans have allowed a practice to spring up and take hold that doesn’t make much sense in the long run.

            The fact is, most people maintain that their businesses can’t succeed, but they are demanding that others help them build up their private ownership in something while not providing equal value to their employees. It is a functional problem in our economy that gets laughed away and put down by those who believe in the exploitation of humans for personal gain.

            There are other ways of doing business. If you look at the divergence of Costco and Walmart you understand that this underpaying of the poor is a merely a choice and not the only way we could be ordering our community.

          • AL I. C. R. Pharisees

            Or perhaps MB needs to run his business 100% by himself in order to learn and acknowledge the value & worth that his 50 employees’ labor provide in creating his wealth.

        • MB, assuming that your business is unable to pay an increased minimum wage is primarily the fault of the Wallmart type business putting pressure on you by exploiting humanity in an unfair work environment.

          You should blame the exploiters for this rather than trying to compete w/them and sinking to their level?

          If you have 50 employees and still cannot pay a livable wage? Maybe there are too many people competing for the same service you provide and you should seek another business venture or improve your business model?

        • wordsonfire

          I employ 15 people. I pay them all substantially more than minimum wage. Most of them are deep poverty youth under the age of 18. Because they are valued they provide great value to my company. As one of them said “because you treated me as though I had value, I learned to value myself.” As a moral imperative you don’t run a “successful business” if you need to pay the people who work for you less than what it costs to maintain their bodies in order to provide the labor. That we tolerate this is flabbergasting to me. You wouldn’t be able to utilize a vehicle to grow your business that you didn’t pay for the fuel and the maintenance costs in order to benefit from that service, you’d have to pay the value you actually received. Only with low wage humans do we believe that somehow this requirement of paying for what you need and use is suspended. Why is it up to the rest of society to subsidize your business through paying for maintenance and upkeep of the labor you need?

      • Axehandle

        I agree, but in fact there seems to be no growth in wages except for the very rich, who get richer every year and make it less and less possible for people like Toria and her children to even dream of getting on that train.

    • Axehandle

      In a country where money flows like well water I feel for your situation. I think you are representative of the new middle class.

    • JBubs

      I am sorry for your financial stress. I don’t mean to sound cynical but I find it ironic that after all your combined wages, when you do not have enough money to buy groceries, that your money seems to have been spent on a computer and that you are using the internet to share your story. I assume you pay a monthly internet bill? Do you own a TV? Pay cable? Dish? For the record, I choose not to own a TV. I use my (free) radio for news and entertainment. I drive a 16 year-old used car that I paid for with cash. I share wifi connection with a room mate. Point is, there is always a way to save money if you are willing to analyze and make choices. And, no I do not consider you or myself “poor”. I consider myself wealthy and am very thankful I live in this country. See my post above.

      • Bazza

        So… you’re not actually trying to raise a family are you? You’re living with a room mate.

        Nice. But maybe, just maybe, people with children face an additional burden particularly if they wish to raise their children to have a good start in life. These days that would mean a computer and internet to give them access to better educational outcomes. It also probably means two cars. It also means that between maybe one and a half incomes they’re having to pay for 4 people. Two of them young children requiring plenty of extra costs.

        You may consider yourself lucky, but perhaps it’s just that you don’t need all that much money to live the way you do and that others may not have the ability to make the choices that you have.

        I’d also say the increasing wage inequality suggests that the American Dream is well and truly dead – less and less people are likely to be able to make good from a poor start in life.

        • JBubs

          “You may consider yourself lucky…others may not have the ability to make the choices that you have” is utter nonsense. Any adult that thinks “a good start in life” for a child means a computer with internet and 2 cars is morally depraved. There has been income inequality ever since man first walked the earth, and there always will be. Get over it. Yet, those deemed “poor” here are seen as wealthy by the vast majority of the world’s population where being poor is the chronic lack of food, shelter, and clothing. And let’s not forget the continued history of brutal dictatorships and genocide in those places where the death count has been estimated 100 million people in the 20th century alone. Have you ever noticed that its the US that has an constant immigrant flow, but that it is never the reverse? You have a computer and internet, why don’t you educate yourself first and get real? And again yes, I consider myself lucky and I thank God almost every day that I was born in this country.

          • wordsonfire

            In the US, having a computer and access to the internet is ABSOLUTELY 100% required to achieve an education. It simply is. That you don’t know this says more about your lack of paying attention that it does the “moral depravity” of people attempting to raise children now.

            I realize that you wrote these comments a year ago. I hope you grew humility, wisdom, empathy and insight. But you are the perfect example of what this article is talking about.

            Yes, communities identify if they are well-off or not based on their context within their own society

            You are mixing apples and oranges and by your last response to me it is clear that you haven’t grown any wisdom. You are doing exactly what the article says people do . . . considering those who are poor (and by that standard I mean poor in THIS country at THIS time in history and not another country under a brutal dictatorship) to be “morally depraved” or somehow unfit.

            At least recognize how much disdain you are demonstrating. You want it both ways. You want to be regarded as a good guy while at the same time condescending and looking down on anyone who doesn’t share your values.

            I’m not impressed with your reasoning at all.

      • Dawn Garling

        For all u know, she could have told her story from a library computer or friends house, ect….you shouldnt ASSUME so much!!!!

        • JBubs

          Aren’t YOU assuming?

          • Brianeweis

            Note: Dawn writes, “for all u know, she could have…”. That means she is not assuming anything, but rather showing examples of other options available.

          • JBubs

            Dawn was assuming that I was assuming, and I was not assuming anything. I initially asked probing questions to help explore options available, which Dawn apparently missed. Butt out.

          • Brianeweis

            I can’t argue with that….lol

          • Brooke

            Really? I can. I live in an apartment complex where my internet service, cable television and laundry facilities are free. I have an old computer that is refurbished and I have been using it for years. How is what I’m not paying to send a message (if I am Toria, which I’m clarifying right here that I’m not) on the internet effecting my ability to feed my family?

          • Brianeweis

            I was being sarcastic.

          • MoMmYoF2

            Awww, no need to get all butt hurt….lol

          • MoMmYoF2

            Im sorry but you CLEARY stated “that your money seems to have been spent on a computer” she never said that…so there for,u are assuming.and your other statement “I ASSUME you pay for internet” that one says it all.i was very grateful in getting a laptop as a birthday gift, and the wifi service I also happen to share.

          • MoMmYoF2

            Thank you!!! Well said.perhaps I should have worded it differently.

      • mel

        I am poor but use internet, as it does not cost me any more than I paid for just a phone. I am out of work and so use the internet daily as a means of looking for an applying for work.

      • Brianeweis

        JBubs, you make a lot of assumptions about Toria and her family. How do you know that they don’t in fact drive a 16 year old car or even older? Why do you assume they have a monthly internet bill? She could very well be at the library for all we know or at her neighbor’s. She may or may not have a TV. If she does it may be second hand, who knows? She could be paying for the most bare bones cable. Or like you, is only using the radio. My point is, you know nothing of her situation, and instead decided to vilify her, based on no knowledge of her situation at all. If you are struggling the way you describe, you of all people should understand what this family is going thru. Talk about missing the point of this article.

      • JS

        Judge not lest ye be judged

        • JBubs

          Aren’t you judging me? Read the rest of that scripture dude, and you will learn the proper way to judge someone. You know, superficial knowledge is really no knowledge at all.

          • wordsonfire

            We can only know you by your words. Your words demonstrate that you are doing exactly what this article suggests . that you immediately assume and had the gall to call it “ironic” that she couldn’t live on her meager wages. Immediately feeling a need to talk down to her and give her advice because you immediately assumes that she must be wasteful and not know how to manage money.

            The true irony of your post was that you were engaging in the very same assumption of moral failing described in the article.

      • wordsonfire

        You believe a family can be economically viable without a computer in 2015? Really? Not every 16 year old car is reliable. It’s not “ironic” it’s the sad fact for too many. It’s great that you can penny pinch. But someone working that hard shouldn’t have to live on the bare basics. That’s kind of the point that you seem to be missing. You don’t sound “cynical” you sound like someone who doesn’t know very much about the world and has had the great fortune to never need emergency medical care or to have had a basement flood or a roof fly off or a car breakdown or all those things in the same month when there wasn’t already any excess.

        You are one of the people being described in the Princeton Study, the disgust and revilement you feel when hearing someone’s real story. The need to blame them and explain to them that if they were just more like YOU, more virtuous, more willing to go without. See how you make their hard work seem like a moral failing in some way?

        It’s a perfect example of what is being described. You are so certain that she is doing something to have “earned” her place in poverty that you can’t recognize that someone working that hard SHOULDN’T BE IN POVERTY and having to make a choice between having an item that costs $300 once and even with internet should cost $7.99 (for netflix) a month. Why shouldn’t she be able to afford an essential piece of home equipment in the 21st century.

        If you got the disdain out of your eyes you could see more clearly.

        • JBubs

          My extent of my argument was and is “..there is always a way to save money if you are willing to analyze and make choices.” Period. That IS the reality of the world.

          • Kristine Rowland

            No, there really isn’t. Not when you’re raising kids. It’s not nearly as simple as you seem to think it is.

          • JBubs

            You seem to be saying that when a person has children her God-given mind, heart and will become impaired..

      • Kristine Rowland

        ” I don’t mean to sound cynical”

        Reading your other comments, it’s clear that that was precisely your intention. You’re right though, you’re not cynical. You’re worse. You’re an asshole. And you claim to be Christian. Point to me a scripture where Jesus told someone to “get over it.” Could you be any more dismissive? What is wrong with you?

        • JBubs

          Truly you were moved by the Spirit when you wrote this. And yes, now I do mean to sound cynical.

  • Eric Swanson

    Craig,

    Great article! I agree, I’ve seen and heard so many of those similar comments about poor people from my past and current social networks. Thanks for identifying these subtle ways that we say one thing in a certain social circle and then say something completely opposite in our actions and other social circles. I pray more Christians will be able to look themselves in the mirror that you have built and realize there needs to be a better way to serve the least of these.

    Keep up the good work,
    Eric

    • Duane

      Okay….Eric…..you applaud a hypocrisy exposed. And then….you pray more Christians will be able to look themselves in the a mirror some guy built so as to be a tool to convict them of their shortcomings.
      I am just curious….and of course only you and God know the truth to this question….but, Eric….when was the last time you gave to the poor in a manner that would reflect biblical teachings? When was the last time you invited a homeless man to your home for a meal? When was the last time you gave of your time to help someone learn a trade, or a skill…..or perhaps how to read and write? In your life…..who do you serve?

      • Eric Swanson

        Duane, Great questions! That was my point. I hope more people ask those type of questions to themselves, honestly, and be challenged to do (sacrifice) more for Him. Keep up the good challenging questions to your community.

        –Eric

  • Paraphrase of this article: “If you don’t support tax funded government programs to aid the poor that is because you hate the poor.”

    This is not fair and is not true.

    The Bible has many exhortations to help the poor, but I still haven’t seen one that says to help the poor with other people’s money (i.e. “tax one group to give to another”).

    Of course, Mr. Watts would just say that I am saying that because I “hate” the poor. If he really believes that, there is not much point talking to him.

    How can I persuade you, Mr. Watts, (and anyone else reading) that the Bible addresses helping the poor, but not via a centralized coercive government system??

    We need the percentage of Christians who believe this kind of worldview in this article to shrink to something near 0%.

    Then we’ll be able to unify and really help those in need.

    Although, on one small side note… I would not be surprised if there are folks who lack compassion for the poor, but that has nothing to do with the “tax/theft government program” vs. “Voluntary implementation of a Biblical Worldview” debate.

    Mr. Watts has done this discussion a great disservice.

    • Mike Lawson

      Jesus clearly said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” Are you telling me that following that commandment disgusts you, in no short part, because you are disgusted with some of what you have to pay in tax to Caesar, goes to help the poor? REALLY?

    • Steven Geller

      Churches have always been able to give charity to the poor. Unlimited amounts for as many people and as many causes as their constituents deem necessary or beneficial. But there are still millions of impoverished people in the country. If the government didn’t fund any welfare programs at all, what percentage of people would voluntarily give that extra (i.e. untaxed) money to charity? Would it be as much as is collected in taxes now? Would it be more? Almost inconceivable. With few exceptions, people who would be willing to donate more money for voluntary charity than they are already donating collectively through taxes are mostly already giving more. The bottom line would be that, while a few people would give a similar amount to the amount they are taxed, most people would just keep their money. It is a slightly freer system for those people who would have the choice about whether to voluntarily give their money or not. That tiny amount of extra freedom is small consolation to the people who are starving.

    • Eric

      Really, you used that lame “other people’s money” line?! What Watts said in the article clearly applies to you: “Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is “theft” and “using other people’s money,” they argue. Oddly, they don’t seem to think that using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, surveillance apparatus or weapons systems constitute theft. The hypocrisy is clear.”

      • Taking from some to give to others for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, etc. is as much like theft as taking “other people’s money” to “help” the poor. So… You are wrong, I am not inconsistent or hypocritical about this.

        As far as defense / weapons. I’d love to see America head towards a “citizen militia” system for defense with voluntary funding instead of the current tax system.

        You assumed I would be inconsistent. You were wrong.

        You can mock the “other people’s money” line as “lame” if you want to, but is exactly what is going on.

        You missed it on this one, Eric.

  • Great article with lots of evidence, statistics, and Scripture to support it. Now, for experiential evidence. I am a Christian missionary working among the poor of Albania, specifically the Roma. It saddens me to see more Christians than non-Christians become calloused and unsympathetic to the plight of the poor. Aren’t we Christians to be the most sympathetic to the cause of the poor? After all, it is “the least of these” where we find Jesus. I am saddened when I see fellow brothers and sisters in Christ use excuse after excuse to not help the poor. They even use Scripture to back their case (i.e. “the poor will always be among us”). It sickens me to see Christians act and behave this way. Sadly, a few of us are in the minority when it comes to serving the poor. But, I have hoope and pray that God will use each of us to reach out, serve, and be a light to “the least of these”.

    • Kristine Rowland

      I always thought of you as some crazed drum playing mad…muppet(?) But that was really sweet, Animal. You’re awesome

  • Wendy30

    To ThirstyJon, who wrote: “The Bible has many exhortations to help the poor, but I still haven’t seen
    one that says to help the poor with other people’s money (i.e. “tax one group to give to another”).

    Actually, the Old Testament tithe did exactly this. This Israelites were compelled by Mosaic law to tithe 23.3% of their increase, a third of which went to assist the poor, the needy and the stranger. People who say “taxation is theft” should probably try taking up this argument with God, since the idea of taxation seems to have originated with Her/Him.

    • Brooke

      Moreover, Jesus didn’t assemble the people in Matthew 25:32, he assembled the nations. It is a mandate to care for the poor both at an individual level and at a national level.

  • WhiteBikerTrash

    Okay let’s make sure I’ve got this right.
    The Government TAKES money, under the premise of feeding the poor, they line their pockets with over 80% of those monies and dole out under 20% to the poor (20% is a high estimate). Now I’m to be dunned for not being Christian because I don’t support this theft by fraud?
    I’ll check again, but I don’t seem to remember The Christ telling his followers to give to the Government (Rome, Caesar) to provide for the poor. Could someone please point out where I’m missing that verse?
    As I recall The Christ was pretty much anti Government and anti Temple.
    I also see an irony in that the people that fights to keep Religion out of Government are the same ones that insist that I accept Government theft as Christian charity.
    Have you read Alinsky? I have.

    • Ben

      Let’s get this right: you didn’t read this article. Or you read it through the very cloudy Beck/Limbaugh/FoxViews lens. No source of any credibility supports the waste and fraud you claim in government programs for the poor. In fact these programs do more with less than many private charities. But you have done no research on this because your unquestionable ideological prejudices require on research. And the same verse where Jesus told his followers to give to the government to help the poor is the one where he said to give to the government for roads, schools, police, fire departments, bombs, courts and all the rest. Get serious! The Bible offers no blueprint for government but it affirms the need for government. We work out the details. To wipe out government aid for the poor is to deny them 95% of the help they give. There is nothing Christlike in supporting such a thing. And about Jesus being ant-government at the Temple…strange view on what was going on. The moneychangers were businessmen, not agents of the government. So if you want to draw a broad lesson from the cleansing of the Temple, it is not that Jesus was anti-government, it is that he was anti-business. But that is as silly as your claim. And have I read Alinsky? Yes. And I’ve taken classes in community organizing. So? Taxes=Theft=Ridiculous.

  • Franki

    The real problem is that we have put this burden on the shoulders of our government and not on the Church. Feeding the poor, helping the needy, caring for the widow and the orphan are all jobs that belong to the Church, and the Church is doing absolutely nothing. But what do you expect from the “Harlot.”

  • ellenry

    Substance abuse is not really found a lot in the poor…they would usually rather buy food. You do eventually find upper mids falling into poverty because of their all consuming addiction..but they didn’t start out poor. It seems to me that substance abuse is prevalent among our politicials…who firmly believe that the laws do not inclued them and they are truely the “entitled”.

  • Mel

    I live in the UK and find that there is a similar attitude to the poor in most places. Those who have not lived in real poverty do not understand and sympathize. They seem to think that everyone has or should have as much as they do. There has always been an attitude of blame towards the worst off.

  • Stephen Clay

    Every Christian should read this article.

  • Jennifer Marie Hudgens

    I agree!!! I am sickened by people I meet who speak of the poor in such hateful terms calling them garbage, trash , “let them work or starve” , “not MY problem” etc. Then these same people claim to be Christians and go to Church weekly. To be a Christian you must walk in the path of Christ and the example he set for us. and Jesus was very clear to love one another and care for those in need. I think if Jesus came back today and ministered to the poor, the diseased, the drug addicts, etc many “Christians” would run him out of town on a rail. So sad how many of us are still blind to his message

  • Sergio Urias

    Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to write this article. I have a great desire to help others realize how great of a problem inequality of goods We have in our nation. I’m so tired of living life as if nothing is wrong and as a Christian, I’m tired of hypocracy. May we fight for meaningful issues such as this.

  • Mancala Parakin

    Developed nations don’t exist. There will always be an uneven distribution of money and familiar human struggles in this faulty world. Yet, helping people through issues such as poverty and showing them respect over neglect is the Godly way of telling the needy that we care.

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