Published: Friday, March 2 2012 5:00 a.m. MST
Of course Jesus wants us to care for the poor. But he never said that government
is the best way to do it. We all know government is full of inefficiency, waste,
and corruption, and provides perverse incentives, such as the incentive to have
kids out of wedlock. A lot of Catholic bishops found out the hard way: they
supported Obamacare on humanitarian grounds, then found out that too much
government comes back to bite you. The law of consecration -- and similar faith
based charitable efforts -- works differently. It is not by coercion, has very
low overhead, and provides only good incentives. Liberals are usually
well-meaning, but it is not only the intention that matters, it is the results.
What might be the biggest threat to religion is its politicization. Being
identified with any particular political party is bad for the religion and bad
for the fabric of the nation. Beware. This does not have to be formal or overt
by the Church. A de facto identification is essentially the same and is equally
There's only one view the evangelicals agree on: The Mormons aren't Christian.
Re: EsquireHow is it bad for "for the fabric of the nation",
when religious people participate in the political process? If you say not the
people, just the institutions, then that is a cart before the horse argument.
It isn't surprising that people of like mind and values might also have like
political views. And since I assume you are referring to the LDS Church,
remember, the Church never officially endorses any party or candidate. They
make that clear frequently.
Mayhem Mike - Many (most?) Evangelicals don't consider Catholics Christians
either. They really want to have a very tightly restrictive club...which is
fine with me. I'm comfortable with my religion and I don't need those people to
tell me what I am or am not.
RG it is not just the government that is full of wasteful spending in the name
of helping people out churches do as well. I am the ward financial clerk and
write checks every week for fast offering payments that I am sure you would
agree are wasteful (large cell phone bills, cable television bills etc).
Leaving welfare into the hands of the churches is not the way either.
To Michael JI agree that church welfare can waste money. I am the ward
clerk and I write the checks too. In fact this is the 2nd time I've been a ward
clerk. The first time was when I was a very poor grad student in another state
15 years ago, and I wrote checks for peoples' rent that lived in nice
apartments that cost far more than our trailer that was falling apart. But I
still say church welfare is far less wasteful than the government because it is
overseen at a closer level, and all done by volunteers, so no overhead costs.
I strongly object to the statement that "her Christian upbringing motivates
her to vote Democrat, because of Jesus' teachings to care for the poor and love
all people."Jesus' admonitions were for individuals, NOT a
prescription for government policies. In practice, conservatives demonstrate
their care for the poor and love for all people by giving substantially more to
charities than do liberals.
LockeRexburg, IDI strongly object to the statement that "her
Christian upbringing motivates her to vote Democrat, because of Jesus' teachings
to care for the poor and love all people."-------------How can YOU object to what motivates another person? It might not motivate
you, but you cannot object to how it affect another, can you?That is
a personal interpretation and she is justified in believing in it.
Religious belief does not fully inform or govern political views. Good people,
of honest heart and full faith and fellowship within their religious
denomination do disagree on political matters and belong to different
parties.On a similar note, the First Presidency has said:
"Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who
will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible
with the gospel may be found in various political parties."If we
try to make our personal political opinions seem somehow endorsed by the church,
we do both ourselves and the church a disservice.If the Lord feels
the need to expound His political preferences, then we will hear about it from
the current First Presidency.Absent that, we can safely assume we
are to guide ourselves based on their last statement (see above).
There is nothing in Christian teaching which requires the use of the government
as a mechanism for FORCING people to help the poor, especially if it results in
generations of dependency.I find it interesting that for liberals to
consider themselves "Christian," taxpayers have to foot the bill.
The political philosophy most closely aligned with the Gospel is libertarianism.
It states that people should be free to do as they please as long as they do
not harm the person, property or rights of others. We may not agree with the
choices people make with their freedom/agency and we are free to use kindness,
gentleness, meekness and love unfeigned to encourage righteous
choices/behaviors. People should be free to reap the natural consequences of
their choices and be free from others interfering (good or bad) in their
receiving those consequences.Other parties (GOP, Democrat,
Constitution, Green, Socialist, etc...) all believe in using the force of
government to impose their subjective ideas upon the population and punishing
those who disobey. We must always remember that using force to obtain obedience
is what Satan proposed. Libertarianism is the only one that rejects Satan's
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