"For many of us, those values are part of our way of life — to care
for the poor, care for each other and respect the dignity and worth of every
individual."Thank you Mr. Florez. I think we can find areas of
agreement. I admire the work Catholic Charities does for the poor. On occasion
it has been embarrassing to me when my church has "cut-off" aid to one
of its own but then is able to get food from a Catholic organization. The
Catholic Church seems to recognize that it takes a "village" to help the
needy, the disabled and children. Govt. can't do it alone and neither can
private charity. I do what I can on a personal level to help others, I
contribute money to various charities and I pay my taxes. While some look at
the taxes they pay to go to welfare programs with disdain--I choose to look at
it differently, such is our agency. I can't find anywhere in
the scriptures were Jesus talked about taxes being evil. When the ruling class
collected taxes where did they go? Probably most went to raise armies and into
the ruler's pockets.
It turns out that my background is not much different from John Florez'. I
grew up relatively poor on the Salt Lake westside. I learned patriotism from
cub scouts, and the memory of doing the pledge of allegiance remains with me to
this day, as does the need to take care of those less fortunate. I got all of
this from LDS cub scouts. I think Florez' heart is in the right place, but
I think his Republican politics is a confusing issue and makes his presentation
less credible. Nevertheless I appreciate what he says here.
Well. No question, values are formed in childhood for better or for worse.
It's in adulthood that we have to figure out how to put them into practice
and teach them to other youths. Or we have to correct them if we've been
misled by our parents, teachers or mentors. Does patriotism come
from marching to Sousa or pledging allegiance to a flag? Does caring for the
poor equate to flooding them with government largess? Mr. Florez will not say
but seems to imply as much. Those are values with which I very much disagree.
John, again, is confusing individual charity with collective government welfare,
something that has nothing to do with serving the poor.
Very nice story, but just which department of the government did Mr.
Floez's religious leaders work for? Just which part of the Constitution
allows any government official to use general revenues for personal welfare?
For that matter, when did Christ ever instruct his followers to appeal to the
government for anything? Each of us has the responsibility to take
care of our neighbor, but not one of us has the right to demand that the
government force us or our neighbors to be "charitable".
"Charity" is between us and the God whom we worship. The government has
not been "ordained" to collect "charitable offerings" from the
citizens and then to redistribute those "donations" to others.Our elected officials had better know the difference between agency and forced
charity and they had better not cross that line or they may soon find out just
what the Lord meant when he warned us about taking the Lord's name in vain.