Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welfare is Not Evil

In regards to abortion, I'm afraid this is the sentiment of many believers:

Dear Teenage Mom,

We want you to give birth to a baby that you may not be prepared for (which, btw, was a huge screw up on your part) and NOT have an abortion because that is the right thing to do. However, we do not want the government to help you provide for this baby through housing, food stamps, or welfare because that is not their job. It is the church's job. Unfortunately, we cannot assist you at this time because our dish network bill is due and well, truthfully, we don't want our kids exposed to the likes of you.

God Bless,

Joe the Christian (not to be confused with Joe the Plumber)

Hello...ello....ello....

Anybody out there...out there....out there?

;-) Hoping that a few of you are left. I'll explain my view on this touchy topic.

There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that it is inherently evil for a governing body to provide assistance to it's people. I'm not sure that anyone would argue that point because I don't think the existence of welfare programs is the real rub. I think our dander gets up when it comes to the distribution of these services. Who gets real help and who is working the system? And let's be honest, the average white evangelical conservative believes that MOST recipients of government hand-outs are simply taking advantage of our tax dollars. The government is the ultimate enabler and the recipients are all lazy, unemployed, drug addicts.

But let's also be honest about this: the average white evangelical conservative has never personally invested in a family who lives in a government housing project; never gotten to know them; their names, their children, or their story.

Are there those who sit on their heels and collect a check every month? Sure. Just like there are those who do the least amount of work possible at their corporate job or take an extra twenty minutes for lunch on company time because the big boss is out of the office. The ghetto doesn't hold the corner market on cheaters, users, and slackers. Need I mention Wall Street?

Maybe it's true that "one bad apple spoils the bunch" and because anyone abuses the system, no one should be helped. Seriously? We all hated that philosophy in elementary school. You know the one kid who wouldn't shut his yap and the whole class gets silent lunch. blah.

As our dear friend Joe the Christian would say, "The bottom line is that the government shouldn't do the church's job." Well said. Easily said. Easier said than done. Not. being. done. My response is always the same, "Okay, which family are you willing to take into your home?" Oh, but that's where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

So, what can be done? You won't be surprised that my advice on this issue is the same as the previous topic: if you are convinced that welfare reform is of utmost priority, then vote to reflect your conviction. Then get over it. Love people the way Jesus does, serve people the way Jesus did, and invest in people regardless of politics.

8 comments:

Jenifer said...

I'm Jenifer (hopefully not the average white evangelical Christian) and I approve this message. Not that my approval means a hill of beans, but I appreciate your honesty and the way you stand by your convictions. Rock on, sista!

Blessings,
Jenifer

The 5 NC Shays said...

hey...just caught Shawn up on your most recent posts. Here's his response, lest anyone care:

"Good stuff. She should go national."

I'll be watching the news channels in case you do.

Tess said...

I just read your last couple of posts. True. True. True. Keep the conversation going.

T and T Livesay said...

Ames-
This is why I love you. And a million other reasons. So glad to have you in my life.

T.

Megan said...

I agree. I just wish our government would fund programs (along with wlfare for those who need it) that would help people learn the skills they need to secure jobs. That welfare would be a stepping stool to the next thing.

Megan said...

Teee hee hee, I should have said stepping STONE!

Ay yi yi

Caytie said...

Hey Aime,
I'm Lisa's sil and megan's sister and I too agree with you!!! I am 100% against abortion and agree that the church has got to step up and be Jesus to these people! Meg, I agree with you that Welfare should be a stepping stone..something that people are able to have for 6mos-1 year and evaluate from there on...without welfare the church and people would be forced to help out. Right now, unfortunately a lot of people (not all)do not pull up their sleeves and dig in because they in their own minds know that welfare will "take care" of these people so they need not help out. As believers we know differently, and the Holy Spirit will convict us as necessary to help out not just monetarily but emotionally invest in their lives!

Claudia said...

our pastor started a series last sunday called "what matters most" and the first thing he started with was loving God and today it was about loving others. he said in the beginning, "if everything matters then nothing matters" and it's so true. we put so much emphasis on what's being done or what's not being done and we forget the most important thing that God taught us and that is to love Him and to love others. people are just waiting to be loved, Lord helps us be the ones to love and not judge.
Claudia (Lisa's friend)