Looking over my recent blog entries — even going back half a year or so — I find myself a little disappointed. I’ve posted a good deal about political issues — and non-issues — and I can’t deny that I’ve had a lot of fun with those posts. Whether you’ve agreed with me or not, the conversations have been enjoyable, I’ve met some new people, and I’ve maybe even learned a little as well.
What disappoints me, though, is that I look at those posts and find it hard to determine what my motivation is. Why am I so opposed to the Democratic Party? Why are liberal or even outright socialistic politics evil?
There are a few lines I could draw in the sand, but they don’t get me anywhere politically, lines that are drawn in relation to matters of clearly defined sin, such as abortion or homosexuality.
But what makes it so wrong for a government to bail out companies, if in doing so those companies are saved from collapse?
What makes it so wrong for a government to provide universal health care to its citizens?
“It’s unconstitutional!” I can hear some of you say; well, perhaps that’s true. A government of, by, and for the people (by that definition) cannot be bound to a document, though; it must be malleable as the people are malleable, as situations are malleable.
We Christians get in quite a huff when we see the government overstepping what we believe to be its constitutional bounds, yet at the same time we have littered the landscape with churches that just barely resemble what the Scriptures model the church to be — seems as though we should be used to ignoring a document’s plan in favor of something a bit more situational.
Seriously, is there anything inherently wrong with socialism (or monarchy or whatever)? I don’t think there is.
What I do think is that we — the red-blooded, Constitution-thumping Republicans of the nation — have become spoiled (okay, you Democrats have too). Our daily life has been so strongly tied to stuff — and not just necessary stuff, but profligate items such as gigantic televisions, refrigerators that can connect to the Internet, and vehicles with not one but two video players for the kids.
All the while, there are homeless people throughout the nation. Malnutrition and scraping together the bare essentials are not limited to African slums. It’s happening everyday throughout America. If a little bit of wealth redistribution is able to provide a slightly nicer life for those families, what’s the harm?
Is your well-being so tied up in money that you are unable to part with it for the betterment of another’s life? The Lord loves a cheerful giver.
Here’s the tricky part: Government redistribution of wealth is a mandatory thing. I can’t say “no” when the tax man cometh.
Nor should I have to. Jesus said all that was needed to be said about the issue when He said to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. And last I checked, every bit of my money — when it’s not in ethereal form at my bank — has pictures of sundry American Caesars: Washington, Lincoln, and so on.
If the government wants to tax more, that is their prerogative; on the flip-side of that coin, it is our duty to pay the tax, and I believe that we should do so cheerfully.
Will the government use all the money to help those in need? Or to help everyone get the medical attention they need without having to choose between it and paying the rent? Not necessarily, but this is America, after all, and you can still vote, write letters, protest, and so on.
I guess all of this could be summarized by saying that I don’t want to be a Republican or Constitutionalist just for the sake of being one.
And let me be absolutely clear about this one thing: If every Christian in America was a cheerful giver to actual needs, there would be no homeless, there would be no hungry, and there would be no one struggling to pay their medical costs… And the nation would know that the love of Christ is in us and that we are not hypocrites.
Or we can let the down-and-out suffer. We can let the sick die because they can’t get that surgery they need. And we can let the homeless suffer the elements. All for the sake of greed.
Christians have dropped the ball in America, and it’s finally gotten to the point where men who haven’t a clue what the Bible actually teaches, are coming up behind us to pick up the ball and get it back on track.
At this point, I can’t help but wonder if we shouldn’t support them as we are able because at this point, it would literally take the earth moving to move enough Christians into such an extreme amount of giving to make a dent in the woes plaguing so many in America.
Note: April Fool’s Day has nothing to do with anything said in this post, just in case anything I said seemed “too good to be true” from whatever perspective you are coming from. :-)