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wiramc 
Posted: 22-Jul-2010, 01:02 AM
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I do not mix religion and politics, but the origin of my political beliefs was formed upon my understanding of religious responsibilities. I believe that the government has a social responsibility to help those who need help whether they be homeless or sick or uneducated or unemployed or in other major distress that they they need help with. Am I a socialist? I don't know. I do not believe in government ownership of private businesses. I do believe in the rights of individuals to own property and to make money, but I also believe that those who have are morally obligated to help those who have not. Private charities and organizations do a fine job, but they do not ensure the universal availability of or uniform distribution of that help that the government can provide.

So where do I get this belief in social responsibility. From Mathew 25, 35-45:

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'


Even as we do unto the least of these. I believe that will be one of the basis for a judgement that we will all face one day. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is where my political beliefs originate.
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 22-Jul-2010, 12:08 PM
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QUOTE (wiramc @ 22-Jul-2010, 02:02 AM)
I do not mix religion and politics, but the origin of my political beliefs was formed upon my understanding of religious responsibilities.  I believe that the government has a social responsibility to help those who need help whether they be homeless or sick or uneducated or unemployed or in other major distress that they they need help with.  Am I a socialist?  I don't know.  I do not believe in government ownership of private businesses.  I do believe in the rights of individuals to own property and to make money, but I also believe that those who have are morally obligated to help those who have not.


Brother William (if I may be permitted to call you Brother),

"Religious responsibilities", and even salvation, are voluntary. So if that is true how can government be used to "force", through taxation and other means, people to support the "social responsibility" that you say the government has because of those "religious responsibilities"?

QUOTE (wiramc @ 22-Jul-2010, 02:02 AM)
Private charities and organizations do a fine job, but they do not ensure the universal availability of or uniform distribution of that help that the government can provide.


Life isn't fair. I think I should have a couple million dollars. If I can convince the majority of the American people that we all deserve that amount of money and that it's not fair that money is not uniformly distributed should we be able to "obligate" the government to redistribute the money (gee, that sounds like something a certain politician says)? If you believe charities are not distributing their goods or funds uniformly then you and other like minded people should work to change those charities or form new ones.

QUOTE (wiramc @ 22-Jul-2010, 02:02 AM)
So where do I get this belief in social responsibility.  From Mathew 25, 35-45:

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Even as we do unto the least of these.


Many members of this forum do not share our belief in the God revealed by the Bible. Should they be compelled by force of law to accept and support obligations (voluntarily or involuntarily) created by that God and that book?


QUOTE (wiramc @ 22-Jul-2010, 02:02 AM)
I believe that will be one of the basis for a judgement that we will all face one day.  Maybe I'm wrong, but this is where my political beliefs originate.


Mark 12:14-17 (King James Version)

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.


The Government as formed by the founders through the Constitution was designed specifically to separate an individual's rights, morals, and personal obligations from the authority and responsibilities of that Government. Believers have their obligations to God. Citizens have their obligations to their Government. We get in trouble when we confuse the two.


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wiramc 
Posted: 22-Jul-2010, 03:35 PM
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I didn't say the government's responsibilities should be biblically based, but rather was say that was what formed by views of what a government's responsibilities should be. In other words, if asked why I feel about social programs the way I do, it is because of that religious background. I do not expect everyone to have my religious convictions, I just express the reasons I feel as I do.

I'm sure we all would like a few million dollars, but that doesn't come under the heading of helping folks who need help now does it. I'm sure there is fraud in the entitlement programs and it should be rooted out and prosecuted to the fullest. But what do you have against who are in true need.

I suppose it boils down to, do we project our own feelings of what is right and just onto the government or do we sit back and accept less than what we feel our government should be? I know full well that many disagree with me and that is why we have elections and a representative form of government to hash out just where those responsibilities lie. I gather that you would urge your representatives to oppose social programs. I would urge mine to support them and I just wanted to explain why I feel that way.
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englishmix 
Posted: 22-Jul-2010, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (wiramc @ 22-Jul-2010, 01:02 AM)
I do believe in the rights of individuals to own property and to make money, but I also believe that those who have are morally obligated to help those who have not.  Private charities and organizations do a fine job, but they do not ensure the universal availability of or uniform distribution of that help that the government can provide. 

Just to push your ideas a bit more. The LORD Jesus is speaking to His disciples (not to everyone and certainly not to governments) who are to do these "social good" things out of their new lives and in His name. It would be correct to say that the Government does not do any "social good" in Jesus' name. And I, and I beleive the LORD, doesn't want the governments of this passing world doing things in His name. Jesus wants newborn individuals doing them, because they want to and chose to - not because they have to or are compelled to do.

The government's main mandate is to curb outward evil and provide for the physical safety and defense of its citizens and to acknowledge God who has given or permitted their authority.

I think this is what you are saying in that Christ's Kingdom is not one of sin and death (all these temporal kingdoms of this dying cosmos) but of holiness and life (in this realm only a Kingodm of His Word and the Spirit and for the new heavens & earth yet to be reveal).

It just might be that if the government was not trying to be the Christ-less patron saint of all charity by compulsion, then individuals (be they Christian or not) would have more resources (no longer confiscated from them) as well as the ability to freely give.

But I see no Biblical mandate or wishlist for governments to provide for every need of the citizenry and "the aliens within their gates" by social platforms forced upon everyone. Pax Romana (Roman "Peace") and socialized health care are not God's will. God's attitude is of the Ephesians 4: let the thief that stole steal no more but working that which is good and let he who will not work, not eat.

Are we on the same page? Perhaps. Anyway, I look forward to your response and that of others. Thanks for the post!


I think I am kind of dittoing MacEoghainn.

PS
Fortunately there are many who regard the Holy Trinity and His Word as well as there are those in these forums who do not. I don't think this thread precludes anyone from joining in. The goal isn't "I'm right and you're wrong" (but of course I am smile.gif ), but exposing one another to different viewpoints and perhaps strengthing or tweaking our own for the better. Its hard to express concretely what one often truly means.
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 22-Jul-2010, 04:20 PM
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The reason we have a Constitution, and it includes a Bill of Rights, was so that people who believe in "what ever" could not form permanent or transitory majorities that could compel the minority to fund or comply with those majorities pet projects and/or issues (no matter how exemplary those projects or issues may be). Both your and my representatives are supposed to be restrained by that Constitution from following the will of their constituents when that will is in conflict with the Constitution. It needs to be noted by everyone the oath all members of Congress and the President is to the Constitution, not the people.

I recommend everyone practice charity in all things they do, but just as I would have a problem with a thief pointing a gun at me so he can rob me (no matter how great the thief may feel his/her needs are) as a Government pointing a gun at me for the same purpose. Forced or compelled charity is not charity under any concept I can find in the Bible.
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Jillian 
Posted: 27-Jul-2010, 09:42 PM
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Very well said Englishmix. It is important to understand the context of scripture.

Jillian


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 28-Jul-2010, 10:47 AM
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Ahhh yes, so many good verses to choose from.

"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matt. 7:6).

I think about this verse any time I'm shopping at the grocer during the first week of the month. There they come, like wolf packs, running 5 carts in tandem. They fill their baskets to the brim with the finest meats and name-brand goods, pay for them with the people's money, and load them in their Escalade. Generations of families have learned to "work" the system, and to live off the fat of the lamb with zero energy expended.

Charity is a wonderful thing. However, we have enabled, and have arguably encouraged, people to be shiftless and lazy in our noble efforts to be charitable. Someone pass me the barf bag.



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Jillian 
Posted: 29-Jul-2010, 06:37 AM
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As a clinical social worker, one of my old jobs was going into the home to do case management and counseling. Early on and poor as a church mouse, I worked 2 jobs to make squat. Lived on Ramen noodles and hotdogs...but alas...I would go into these homes and they would have the huge TVs, video games, stereo systems...and all on welfare. It used to tick me off because here I was working 2 jobs and still couldn't afford what they had. But, I did have my pride and the knowledge that I was doing the right thing and not sucking off the teet of they system.

The families that utilized the system until they could get on their feet were a small percentage compared to the families that abused the system. This was my experience...and I heard the same complaints from other social workers. There needs to be regulation w/teeth. UAs need to be enforced so that those using drugs and ETOH can be offered help w/their addictions and if they refuse--are subsequently refused welfare. Charity accompanied by family responsibility...what a novel concept!

Jillian
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englishmix 
Posted: 29-Jul-2010, 06:54 AM
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Agreed!
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 30-Jul-2010, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Jillian @ 29-Jul-2010, 06:37 AM)
UAs need to be enforced so that those using drugs and ETOH can be offered help w/their addictions and if they refuse--are subsequently refused welfare. Charity accompanied by family responsibility...what a novel concept!

The "those using drugs" people you mention should not be on welfare. There was an email circulating last year I received a couple of times that talked about this very thing. It tells of how many of us who hold honest jobs are subject to drug screening in order to get and keep these jobs, and how taxes are taken from us that eventually make it into the hands of those who do not work. The crux was that those living off the system should be screened for drugs as part of the qualification process, and periodically, without warning, in order to remain on assistance. I agree wholeheartedly.
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wiramc 
Posted: 31-Jul-2010, 09:30 AM
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I'm back and a little behind in the conversation. It seems people have misinterpreted what I said. The verses I mentioned are what helped formed my political opinions. I do not believe that the US should be based on Biblical principles. I do not expect everyone to agree with me. I do not believe that social programs should be Biblically based. I expect that there are many non-Christian humanists whose views on social prgrams are similar to mine. To sum up, I just wanted to explain what shaped my outlook on life. I did not mean that the country should adopt any program based on the Bible, or share my religious beliefs.
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wiramc 
Posted: 31-Jul-2010, 09:43 AM
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QUOTE (Jillian @ 29-Jul-2010, 06:37 AM)
The families that utilized the system until they could get on their feet were a small percentage compared to the families that abused the system. This was my experience...and I heard the same complaints from other social workers. There needs to be regulation w/teeth. UAs need to be enforced so that those using drugs and ETOH can be offered help w/their addictions and if they refuse--are subsequently refused welfare. Charity accompanied by family responsibility...what a novel concept!

Jillian

I said the fraud should be eliminated. Those who abuse the system should not ruin it for those who need the system. Those who abuse the system should be prosecuted and sent to "a gated community" with three squares a day and bars on the windows for added security.

That said, I don't think the social programs should be eliminated because of the bad apples. Just eliminate the bad apples.
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 31-Jul-2010, 04:20 PM
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QUOTE (wiramc @ 31-Jul-2010, 10:30 AM)
I'm back and a little behind in the conversation. It seems people have misinterpreted what I said. The verses I mentioned are what helped formed my political opinions. I do not believe that the US should be based on Biblical principles. I do not expect everyone to agree with me. I do not believe that social programs should be Biblically based. I expect that there are many non-Christian humanists whose views on social prgrams are similar to mine. To sum up, I just wanted to explain what shaped my outlook on life. I did not mean that the country should adopt any program based on the Bible, or share my religious beliefs.

Taking religion and religious beliefs completely out of the picture, what article(s) in the Constitution or by what legal theory do you believe that the Congress or Society has the lawful authority to compel it citizens to support those social programs?
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 31-Jul-2010, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (wiramc @ 31-Jul-2010, 09:30 AM)
I'm back and a little behind in the conversation.  It seems people have misinterpreted what I said.  The verses I mentioned are what helped formed my political opinions.  I do not believe that the US should be based on Biblical principles.  I do not expect everyone to agree with me.  I do not believe that social programs should be Biblically based.  I expect that there are many non-Christian humanists whose views on social prgrams are similar to mine.  To sum up, I just wanted to explain what shaped my outlook on life.  I did not mean that the country should adopt any program based on the Bible, or share my religious beliefs.

Thank you for sharing your views. Just know this. In your absence or your presence, conversations like this will continue to develop and each who chooses will share his/her viewpoint. Take myself for example. I thought my inclusion of Matthew 7:6 was pure genius. smile.gif Gotta love it.
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wiramc 
Posted: 01-Aug-2010, 09:23 AM
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QUOTE (MacEoghainn @ 31-Jul-2010, 04:20 PM)
Taking religion and religious beliefs completely out of the picture, what article(s) in the Constitution or by what legal theory do you believe that the Congress or Society has the lawful authority to compel it citizens to support those social programs?

The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 8;

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"
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