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September 22, 2005

More on Worldviews

There's been a lot of said over the last few years about the Christian worldview, its positives and its excesses. Let me offer this piece as a means of detailing where I agree and where I disagree with the prevailing worldview and its implications. The catalyst for this was this piece by the Internet Monk, Michael Spencer. I'm not in total opposition to Spencer's viewpoint, but I want to offer my own slant on the topic.

To begin, let me offer this much: A great deal of the worldview thinking has gone overboard. I think the Worldview Weekend is lame. It goes to ridiculous lengths to endorse the GOP as God's Party. I'm not on board with that. I think Nancy Pearcey takes some absurd leaps when she tries to suggest that rock music is inappropriate for the Christian believer. While I respect Francis Schaeffer's work, I also think he drew some unnecessary philosophical lines that labeled lots of things as "dangerous" when they needn't be, i.e. anything influenced by Kirkegaard or Barth. I didn't say we had to agree with it, mind you, I'm just saying that those ideas aren't immediately dangerous in the way that Sartre or Camus are.

Having said that, and I hope to revisit my criticism of Pearcey soon enough, let me detail where I am on board with the notion that Biblical orthodoxy can lead to certain social, economic and political beliefs. It's true enough that there is no Scripture arguing for the creation of a capitalist state, but I can look at the Bible and see a basic endorsement of personal freedom, the right to private property, and the freedom to ply one's craft without any sort of major interference from an oppressive government. Scripture suggests that we should maintain communal bonds, caring for one another and those who cannot care for themselves. The New Testament doesn't go a long way in suggesting that we care for others by taxing ourselves and then practicing a generic redistribution of wealth. My point here is to suggest that some degree of free-market economics can easily be justified by Scripture. Can free market economics be abused? Absolutely, and I reject any idea that says the market rules above all. Christians in business and government must be fair and euitable in all their dealings.

Now as it relates to specific government proposals, of course the Bible doesn't offer an opinion on health care. But I can look at the problem of socialized health care and see that it leads to ridiculously high taxes, a lack of choice for the individial and, typically, a decrease in the quality of health care. That may not be explicitly Biblical, but it sure is common sense. We might call it natural law, no? And like Aquinas, I believe that natural law was instituted by God, and any government program that consistenly tries to kick against natural law and first principles just isn't going to work. And yes, we're fallen humans, so nothing is going to flourish forever, but there's a significant difference between an idea that has problems and an idea that is an unmitigated disaster.

So what then does the Christian think about tax policy and welfare? Specifically, I don't know that a believer could argue for the Reagan tax policy as opposed to the Bush policy. But given the intentions of the government, I do think one could make a case that the Reagan policy was better than the LBJ policy or that Margaret Thatcher's ideas were better than Tony Blair's. Why? Well, not to sound too pragmatic, but they worked. And I don't mean that God's on the side of the winner, but I mean that Thatcher and Reagan worked (while LBJ and Blair haven't) because they've adhered to first principles of natural law when developing their economic policies, believing that individuals and communities know best, that government should stay out of the way and that private charity is most effective. Is that the Christian position? I don't know. I don't want a sermon on it this Sunday, but at the same time, I don't want us to pretend that God hasn't laid down certain natural precepts that will lead to a smoother (not necessarily perfect - totally depravity and all that) flow in the economy. To suggest that a Christian can be for any old party is to suggest that those parties don't take a stance on these matters and that perhaps God doesn't either. That's just plain false.

If what I've endorsed sounds an awful lot like conservatism, well, so be it. The simple truth is that the major American conservatives of the last fifty years have, on the whole, been both orthodox Christians and Jews (with a few agnostic exceptions), meaning that they held to certains understandings of natural law that are easily extrapolated from Scripture. Likewise, a brief perusal of the Conservative Reader shows a fair number of Christians, Lewis, Eliot and Muggeridge included, within its ranks. If that makes some people uncomfortable, then so be it. I don't want the church to wave the banner for the Republican party, but on this aspect of politics, I'm generally persuaded that the traditionally conservative position is the more defensible one for the Christian tradition.

Consider this part one of a series. I will return, hopefully tonight or tomorrow, with my thoughts on where the Christian worldview is perhaps off on matters of art and where, despite some terrible Evangelical public relations, is still pretty much right on matters of family and marriage.

Posted by Matt at September 22, 2005 12:42 PM

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The Jesus who invoked the (some might say socialist and not exactly in favor of private land-ownership) Jubilee Laws in saying he'd come to "proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord's year of favor...", the Jesus who warned "Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort," the Jesus found in the bible with prophets who told us, "Cease to do evil, learn to do good; Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow" and who warn repeatedly of accumulated wealth and power...THIS Jesus would endorse conservative economics?

Part of the difficulty here is that Jesus was not in a democracy or republic where the people had any voice. But we are, and it seems to me that our voice and vote ought to reflect values that Jesus taught, not the dominant capitalist paradigm of the day.

Now, if you can make arguments that Reaganomics or other conservative doctrine help the poor and oppressed, then you might have me on board.

But with the poor getting poorer in both the Reagan and Bush years, I don't know that you can make that argument (unless you wanted to go for the cynical, "They helped the poor avoid the trappings of wealth by keeping them from it" approach...). Thoughts?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 22, 2005 01:34 PM

Two points:

1. I'm talking about an idea of conservatism that goes far beyond Reaganomics. Read Russell Kirk and it will start to make sense.

2. I outright reject the idea that it is the role of the government to make people "un-poor." The early parts of the Reagan years were still dealing with the Great Society and disasterous Carter policy. The oppressed - in terms of human rights - aren't an economic issue in America. Additionally, we live in a federalist republic and no president can change the corrupt and unfair practices that lead to poverty in the Mississippi Delta and certain urban centers.

Posted by: Matt at September 22, 2005 01:46 PM

* Jesus preached to the people, not to the Roman Senate. When He gives commandments about what I should do with my time, talents and money, he's talking to me, not my Senator, and He didn't tell me to take the money from my neighbor and be generous with it.

* It may be easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven, but it's not an automatic death sentence. Ask Job. Your single line about "Woe to your rich..." sounds like you believe having money is evil. I would hope your view of the rich is more nuanced than that. The Bible talks about not becoming a servant to money, but rather to master it and realize from Who it came and Whom it should serve. Everything is a matter of priorities.

What would Jesus...prefer? Me forcibly getting taxed $1 so that the poor get 25 cents, or instead me voluntarily giving it to the Salvation Army so the poor get 85 cents?

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 22, 2005 03:00 PM

Speaking of Kirk, I just started a series on my blog dealing with his Ten Principles. The main conceit is that I don't know that I nor any progressives disagree with most of his points. The principles (with maybe some exceptions) are principles that would apply to progressives as well.

The difference is how they're lived out in the real world, it seems to me.

As to gov't's role: My point is that, if I'm a Christian or someone who believes in the responsibility we all have towards one another, then I'm not opposed to fiscally responsible means to assist one another.

That is, if we have x million homeless children who, without some form of assistance, might grow up to live on the poverty rolls or in jail, that it makes moral and fiscal responsibility to assist them. Not only for reasons of faith, but also for reasons of economics: It's cheaper and better for our society to have gainfully employed adults than to have prisoners or unemployed folk.

And I could use a bit of Carter energy policy right now, myself.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 22, 2005 03:04 PM

Sorry, I posted that last message at the same time brother Doug was and I hadn't seen his message.

You do know that there's not just one verse in the bible that warns of the dangers of wealth, don't you? (Read James and Isaiah for some radical, concentrated warnings on wealth.)

On the matter of assisting via the gov't or assisting via private orgs, I'd agree (qualified agreement) that sometimes private organizations can do a better job (my wife is a church social worker at a faith-based homeless agency). Sometimes, a MUCH better job.

The problem is, there is more poverty than our charitable and social justice organizations can "fix" on donations. Where shall the safety net come in? Do you think that if the gov't quit taxing us to pay for welfare that an equivelent amount will be turned over to non-profits?

You know, there was a time when we didn't provide assistance on the government level. Try reading some Charles Dickens sometime. "Are there no prisons, no poorhouses? I pay my taxes." -Scrooge

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 22, 2005 03:20 PM

I do know that there are plenty of verses in the Bible that warn of the dangers of riches. I alluded to one myself. But to suggest (by the inclusion of only one side of that issue) that Jesus condemned all rich people is just wrong. Again, ask Job.

The problem is that government has elbowed out other charities on the premise that it could do better. Based on financial effeciency, that's obviously not true. I guess the question is; do you believe, especially after seeing the money, goods and time donated by the American people following the tsunami and Katrina, that you really don't think they'd step up to the plate and deal with the need around them? I believe you are correct, that our current charitable and social justice groups can't fix the problem, because too much is expected by the government. "Why should I give to X charity if they're just doing the same thing the government would?" And so the poor get that 25 cents instead of the 85 cents, because the government has crowded out private charity.

I have a less-cynical view of the American people of 2005 than apparently you do. I believe most people are more enlightened these days about the need around them, communication being what it is. Harkening back to Old England and a fictional character who was an obvious extremist as your example of what would happen suggests a rather low view of humanity in general. (Although I do find it interesting that he chooses not to give to charity because...he paid his taxes.)

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 22, 2005 03:37 PM

Perhaps you do have a less-cynical view of the world than I do. But I thought that was part of religious conservative doctrine: The depravity of humanity?

But okay, ignore my example of Old England. Can you cite for me a nation - any nation, any time - that took/takes care of her poor by charity alone in a successful manner?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 22, 2005 03:59 PM

The religious conservative "doctrine" of depravity does not preclude voluntary charitable works. Again, the tsunami and Katrina show this to be true. While the tendency of man is toward sin, God's creation can still recognize need and respond to it, whether or not they recognize Him. This is obvious. The Bible talks about our good works being of no eternal worth without Him in the mix. Hence good works can exist without Him, but they don't ultimately last, are futile from an eternal point of view, and are not amplified with His power.

You've got me on a historical example of charity. My geo-political history is pitiful. It's just that I see such outpouring of compassion during tragedies, whether inside or outside our country, and realizing that we're so much wealthier as a nation since the New Deal started, and I see how modern communication has allowed us to both seek out those to help and reach out to them, I just think that we'd do so much better that you believe. If tomorrow the government stopped taking money to provide for the poor, I think the American people, and the churches and charities that they already support, would step up to the plate. It's a different country than 70 years ago.

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 22, 2005 04:47 PM

On whether or not churches would step up, it will remain to be unseen, I suspect, for the time being. I agree with you that during times of obvious tragedy, the people of the world tend to step up, and the US is probably outdone by few if any.

However, given the everyday nature of the tragedy of poverty AND given a church and a nation who tend to view poverty as a sign of personal weakness, I seriously doubt that enough help would be forthcoming.

I mean, there are serious needs out there right now - homeless families, a shortage of affordable housing, lack of education, etc, and the faith-based orgs are struggling worse than ever, at least here in Louisville and no one is stepping up in the numbers needed to meet the demand.

But let's suppose that Bush cut off welfare tomorrow, 100%. Gone. How long do you think it would take the church and society to step up to the plate? Do you think they'll take on all 3 million homeless people in the US? Tutor all the children in homes with inadequate parenting? Be role models for all those parents who need it? Assist all the mentally ill and disabled?

Again, I don't know that we can know, but I must say that I seriously doubt that the church is able to step up to the plate. I don't have the slightest problem in the church trying, I just don't think they would or could. As I said, they're not doing so now.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 22, 2005 09:18 PM

Well, you just need to look at the right churches, if you really think most consider poverty a sign of weakness. No church that I've been to considers it as such. There are many causes of poverty, but it would be simple prejudice to consider all poverty due to character flaw.

Did you know that the Salvation Army is a church? Think they're stepping up?

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 22, 2005 09:41 PM

I have always felt that God's preferred instrument to care for the poor and widowed is through Christian charity. But, when that doesn't cut it (perhaps because Christians and their churches are stingy), God doesn't seem to have a problem with using the instrument of government subsidy.

When I say that Christians and their churches are stingy, I mean it. I can't tell you how many churches I've visited as a tour sound engineer for a Christian band that clearly spend their tithes serving the already rich body. They have a few token pictures of "missionaries" on the wall that they support and perhaps host a rotating homeless shelter one week per year, but the dominant mission is clear by the quality of their place of worship and variety of programs aimed at their body. I've been in churches that have multimillion dollar audio-visual systems alone! Absurd.

Name me one New Testament example for whom God's will was to be comfortable. I can't think of any. All Christians I know are supposed to give till it hurts and spend their lives in service, stretched beyond comfort. I don't see where Christians think it is His will that they show up to a plush church on Sundays, have coffee and tea, smile when the Pastor talks about their token missionary in China or somewhere, and then go home to their comfortable mansion and send their kids to private school.

I do think you can be a good Christian and rich, but it is difficult. If you are rich and comfortable, you likely aren't living according to God's will. Well, if you are comfortable, you are without precedent in the New Testament, as far as I know. Heck, even the OT examples had major problems that could be attributed to their complacency, arguably due to their wealth.

Posted by: Rick Brady at September 23, 2005 07:54 AM

Rick, I think I agree with much of what you said. I'm not condemning wealth. However, I have a healthy fear of it given the Bible's repeated and repeated warnings on it. (And for the record, while only middle class or lower middle class by US standards, I certainly consider myself wildly wealthy by global comparison. This is a message for me as much as anyone.)

And I certainly agree that there is no biblical prohibition against gov't assisting the poor. My concern is that we would assist the poor in the way that Joseph and pharoah assisted the poor during the famine, which, of course, led to the enslavement of the Israelis.

And, yes, Doug, I did know that the Salvation Army is a church. As I said, my wife is a church social worker and I'm fairly informed on the genre. And I'm telling you, these organizations are struggling. Even moreso since Bush's great tax rebate.

As you may have heard, while the economy struggles upward slightly, the poor continue to get poorer. THIS is exactly the sort of result that the OT prophets condemn repeatedly.

If you're not familiar with his writings, I'd strongly recommend Ched Myers' stuff on Sabbath Economics. He makes a very strong case that the Bible is as much a book on economics as it is anything else. If you google his name and that topic, you'll find some of his essays.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 23, 2005 08:42 AM

Rick, you're right but that's a thin line to walk.

I stand with Doug in saying that's establishing the government as a means of charity is difficult because it alters public perception in a serious way.

Posted by: Matt at September 23, 2005 10:52 AM

So, what if we discontinued gov't welfare and the private sector was either unable to or just plain didn't step up and manage it all, then what? Then would it be okay for the gov't to step in?

How long would we wait to see if the private sector was going to come through? A year? A generation?

Have y'all seen George Lakoff's view of the difference between conservatives and liberals? It's his take that both group views society with a family model. The conservatives have a Strict, Disciplinarian Father model (think James Dobson) and liberals have Nurturing Parents as a model.

I think it's a fairly interesting analysis.

These models explains why "conservative" doesn't quite fit many on the Right today. Because they believe in Punishment as a means to create "good" people, they'd not allow, for example, money to go to educate prisoners because prisoners NEED to punished for their wrongs, not sent to school (that'd be rewarding their bad behavior).

Some on the Right would think this EVEN IF it's cheaper/more fiscally responsible to educate the prisoners because that reduces recividism and leads to a more productive citizen. Hence, they're not strictly speaking fiscal conservatives. They're Father-Disciplinarians.

Yea? Nay?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 23, 2005 02:39 PM

(I think you're over-genralizing Dobson, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

You make it sound like it would be some enormous failure as a given fact, but we went 150 years with a less wealthy nation, and we still survived and grew to be a great nation. I think that we could have remained without a public dole and still made it to where we are today. If the private sector was unwilling or unable to handle that, do you really think we would have come that far?

The Lakoff model is indeed a very interesting, view of this, but the question is, who should be administering punishment or nurturing? Should it be a one-size-fits-all national government, or should it be local solutions to local problems? And again, if it's the government who is the main "nurturer", that crowds out more efficient groups and causes less aid from the individual because "I pay my taxes". People nurture. Governments rule.

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 23, 2005 05:18 PM


The government cannot tax and give without stealing from some and giving to others. Regardless of how poor I am or how poor I become, as a believer, I do not want stolen property given to me. Taxing for public use is one matter, but taxing for redistribution is a completely different and immoral matter altogether.

Dan and Rick may have good intentions, but God did not make an exception to the 10 Commandments for any government.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 23, 2005 05:47 PM

David, hmmm. "Render unto Ceasar" was not explicit enough on the issue of taxation? Them were Jesus' words. I take any commandment of Jesus to be greater than the original 10. Rememember - new covenant. New covenant. The law convicts me of my sin and drives me to Christ. Christ says to render and Romans 13 says to submit to government. So, that is what I do.

Posted by: Rick at September 23, 2005 05:54 PM

...what is Caesars!

I would never advocate withholding taxes since withholding taxes is also stealing. However, just as individuals reject Scriptural principles, so do governments. Redistribution is clearly taking from some (stealing) and giving to others.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 23, 2005 06:04 PM

I still don't understand your logic. If the government is stealing from you through redistributive taxation (all taxation is redistributive to a degree), how then is it stealing for you to withold payment?

Posted by: Rick at September 23, 2005 06:18 PM

I’m Sorry Rick, I should have been clearer.

Someone who withholds taxes is stealing from the government since they legally and morally owe the tax bill to the government, which in America, is fellow citizens.

Governments that use tax dollars to defend the country, to build infrastructure, to administer the courts, etc… are not redistributing wealth since the services are for all of the citizens.

When a corporation or individual is given a tax break that is not available to other corporations or individuals, the government is stealing from some and giving to others. When an individual is given money from the government without having to provide a good or service to other citizens, the government has acted as a middle man in legalized theft. While not legally the same as illegal theft, the two are morally equivalent.

Are you the Rick Brady that posted above? If you are, I agree with the rest of your post.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 23, 2005 06:51 PM


Render unto Caesar does not mean to just take whatever Uncle Sam tosses at you.

Posted by: Matt at September 24, 2005 02:33 AM

On the gov't redistribution is morally equivelent to stealing front: Do you also oppose giving moneys and incentives to corporations?

How about paying for streets for motorists with taxpayers money - are you opposed to that? That's taking from us poorer folk who tend to get by without cars to those who do own cars, right?

How about paying for a military that I, as a Jesus-follower, do not wish to pay for? I don't want a military acting in my name and yet we spend half a trillion+ on it each year.

Money IS being redistributed. Thru the gov't and thru the economic system. And for the most part, it's being distributed from the poor and middle class upwards to the wealthy. That's why they're wealthy.

I'm suggesting that there are no biblical examples to support that. The bible, in fact, tends to warn about the wealthy taking from the poor. The ONLY national model endorsed in the bible is the Jubilee Laws and they were written to guard against the rich getting richer on the backs of the poor.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 25, 2005 04:39 PM

Hi Dan,

I thought I addressed most of your questions. Let me try again.

There is a difference between a principle and an application of a principle. Principles are usually clear. Application of principles is much more nuanced.

Can we agree that the Bible doesn’t just teach it is wrong for the rich to steal from the poor, but the Bible also teaches it is wrong for the poor to steal from the rich? Maybe you could make the case that for a short period of time it is acceptable for the poor to steal food from the rich to prevent starvation, but then you would also have to agree it is acceptable for the rich to steal food from the poor for a short period of time to prevent starvation.

Can we also agree that the rich will be judged on how they treat the poor? This principle can mean different things to different people, but it certainly doesn’t’ mean it is acceptable to take from someone and give what you took to someone else, with the possible exception of food to prevent starvation for a short period of time. Just because the government is the entity doing the taking and giving does not make the transfer of wealth any more morally acceptable.

Social Security is an example of a government transfer of wealth often from some of the least well off to some of the most well off. As originally designed, it is morally acceptable because it was supposed to use a trust fund to finance future entitlements. However, the way it currently works by taking from those entering the job market and giving to those who have had a whole life to save, it is morally reprehensible.

If the collective will of the people is to build a road, the road should be financed in a way that is fair to everyone who would be affected by the road. A tax on gas is the fairest way to pay for a road. Those who use the road pay for it.

The application of this principle gets a little cloudier in other areas. I am sympathetic to taxpayers who disagree with the war in Iraq. I wish we had a tax system where protestors could at least direct their tax contributions away from the war in Iraq. The same would be true of family planning and other questionable uses of government dollars.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 26, 2005 11:53 AM

I reckon one problem I have (although I'm sympathetic to what you're saying, as well) is to call taxation "stealing." I just don't think that is accurate - except as an allegory, perhaps.

Because we agree with the notion that taxation for common interests is acceptable, even if we don't agree with how it is being used. It is not really stealing. As much as I loathe seeing my money used to build an ever-increasing number of roads and weapons, I don't literally think of it as stealing.

On the other hand, when we read Jesus saying, "What you've failed to do for the least of these, you've failed to do for me," and other similar passages in the Bible, some of us do tend to agree philosophically with Basil the Great, where he said:

"When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor."

I think we both may agree that a case could be made for some manner for folk to direct their tax moneys away from areas where we have serious conflicts with the morality of its use. The problem is, that would be a hell of a way to try to run a gov't, with everyone having a line item "vote" on every part of the budget. Maybe a compromise would be when it comes to war, abortion and death penalty taxes?

I think we could both perhaps agree that a more representative gov't would further our republic. I don't know about you, but my belief community's interests have not been representated in my lifetime, at least on a national level.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 26, 2005 12:51 PM

Hi again Dan,

The problem I have, and I think the problem our country has, is that more people don’t see some of what our government does as stealing. It is clear to me that taking from some and giving to others is stealing even when the one doing the taking is the government.

Everything I posses does belong to God and is therefore available for any and all of his uses. However, that still does not give me the moral right to take food from your cupboard and it does not give you the moral right to take food from my cupboard.

Very, very, very, few of the poor in America do not have food, clothing, and shelter. I’ve heard that over 95% of those classified as poor have more than one television in America. Throughout the world, poverty has much more to do with corrupt governments and the restriction of freedoms, not the hoarding of wealth. In America, most people want to spend, invest, and give; all of which help the poor along with everyone else.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 26, 2005 01:48 PM

I don't think it helps to alter word definitions. Words have meanings. Stealing has a specific definition. Taxation is part of an agreement and is categorically NOT stealing, no matter how often I disagree with it.

Does it piss me off that I'm taxed without representation? Yes. But it's not stealing.

And yes, very few of our poor are starving. The reason for that is gov't directed welfare. For all of its positives and negatives, people in the US are not starving. I'd posit that's a good thing.

I'll save the causes of international poverty and your last couple of comments for another day but suffice to say that I disagree with your summation.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 26, 2005 05:32 PM

What's this about Sartre's ideas being "immediately dangerous?" Read the section of Being and Nothingness where he describes the look of the other. Sartre is a closet Calvinist(!), at least in his understanding of human moral corruption.

Posted by: joel hunter at September 27, 2005 02:37 AM

Hi again Dan,

Words definitely have meaning. I never wrote that taxing is stealing. I wrote that stealing is stealing.

Stealing is not a hard word to decipher. Taking something that does not belong to you is stealing. Just because it is done by the government does not change the meaning of the word.

People were not starving to death in America before government directed welfare and they won’t starve to death if government directed welfare is ended.

Corporations in America were able to compete before they started being subsidized by the government and they will be able to compete if government subsidies were ended.

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 27, 2005 10:36 AM


So you're seriously saying that the gov't is stealing from me by taxing me to give my money to Halliburton, Raytheon, et al? Will you join me in bringing a lawsuit against the feds? Or is it only stealing when the money goes to a program with which you disagree?

As to life in the US before the New Deal, here's an interesting story from PBS:

Our longer and healthier lifespan today must give some credit to the care we give our poor, whatever its shortcomings.

I will gladly agree with you that we ought not be subsidizing corporations. On that much, we can agree.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 27, 2005 12:57 PM

Hi Dan,

I am seriously saying that when the government gives a tax break to an individual or a corporation that it does not give to all individuals or all corporations it is morally equivalent to stealing. It has nothing to do with whether I, you, or anyone else agrees with how the money is used. My Bible and my God does not allow me to steal for a worthy cause anymore than an unworthy cause.

We do not have legal grounds to bring a lawsuit, but we do have our vote and our ability to persuade other Christians that Biblical principles also apply to government policies.

I think it is most probable that welfare leads to a shorter lifespan for the long term recipient who does not get up an go to work every morning (except Sunday).

Posted by: David M. Smith at September 27, 2005 01:55 PM

David wrote:
"I am seriously saying that when the government gives a tax break to an individual or a corporation that it does not give to all individuals or all corporations it is morally equivalent to stealing."

Fine, then the gov't is stealing my money and giving it to the military and Halliburton and the road builders. I want it back, thank you.


Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 27, 2005 03:16 PM