But then I see and hear people who take the name of Jesus in vain as a means of attacking those we're supposed to be protecting, welcoming, visiting, and giving good news to. And that stirs something in me. Something baaaaad. But I just want to use this as an opportunity to show my faithful readers the kind of deluded thinking* that we're up against. This is my response to one such spewer after reading this article.
My wife is switching jobs and we're losing insurance for three months. I have many friends who cannot find full-time work (myself included) and therefore go without. It's not right. But to hear fellow Christians go around saying that we don't have health insurance either b/c we're lazy or we really don't deserve it is about as infuriating a thing to ever listen to. That makes me fundamentally aware that Christians in America do not serve Christ's emerging Kingdom, nor his values, but the values of the wealthy and the rich. It's hatred, and I want nothing to do with it. If you take it personally, well, sorry. I seriously think you should reconsider your viewpoints.
"Is taxation not stealing?"
Nope. Who gave you that idea? I know it wasn't Jesus. Or anywhere in the Bible. "Render unto Caesar." And you think OUR tax laws are stifling? Seriously, these guys were under the imperial reach of Rome. They were taxed from Jerusalem to Rome with hands reaching in at every point along the way...
"Did the government earn that money, or did we?"
Oh, now I see... Ok. I got a pretty little place for you called Somalia.
See, government protects our ways of life. That's what it does. It makes it possible for us to go to work, to have jobs, to eat, move around. Literally. Without it, the only way for you to survive, to have a decent life where you can sit down on your computer and spew your utter nonsense
"Should the taxpayers provide all families with a car, home, a 1/4 acre, a full pantry, health care, college for their kids, a livable retirement account, a cruise in the Caribbean, sports for their kids, new clothes every school year, a flat screen TV, a PS3, a laz-e-boy, two cats and a dog?"
See, that's the point, isn't it? I'm talking about basic life rights. You're concerned about overriding consumeristic materialism, the god of America. It's not a sliding scale. You can keep your pretty little teevee, Jake. I would just like to prevent deaths and work drop-offs.
"Ben Franklin said it best..."
I don't care what our Founding Fathers said. I don't worship them. I don't follow them. You can quote, misquote, rip them out of context, falsely attribute all you want to. But I follow Jesus. And Jesus said give to all who have need.
"Jesus has given us every opportunity to accept salvation and more forward in our faith. We must show that we have faith through the fruit of our deeds. Our deeds do not save us, but they do show the world who it is we follow."
Let your light so shine before all men. Yes, Jake, I know. I know the Bible pretty darn well. What I alluded to earlier about the goats, that's Jesus' litmus test, you may say. The life of following Jesus is the life of looking out for the least of these. If we do not do that, if we do not guard, protect, share, visit, aid, then Jesus says that we are no good. Trash-eaters.
I'd rather be sheep.
"It is not the responsibility of the government to meet your needs, it is the Lord's"
I don't think that you're suggesting that I sit at home and pray and then Jesus will appear with several loaves of bread and fish as well as my rent check, Jake? The Lord works through his body, and through various means. You allude to this, but seriously, what? Are you kidding me? That's your whole plan? 30 million uninsured Americans and this is your plan? Will you chip in towards this need? Will you and your church come down to inner city Chicago and make sure that we're all taken care of in all of our needs? Because we're pretty much all in the same boat here. My church is very generous, but we don't have the means for this.
No, don't worry about me, though. I'd spend more time checking your own heart. Because unless you're actually fighting the good fight amongst the least of these, your words are hollow and weak and meaningless. Again, you don't know me.
"your feeble attempts to explain why government is the solution to all of societies problems."
The reason you may see them as feeble is b/c I'm not arguing what you think I'm arguing. I'm saying one thing, while you're sure that I'm saying another because you BELIEVE that's what everybody who disagrees with you is saying.
Government is not the solution, Jake. I never said that. I don't know anybody who ever said that. But government is not the problem either. Government secures our rights. And chief among them is the right to life.
What we tend to believe, though, Jake, is that we need to fight for our neighbor's survival in every arena. That includes personal, family, social, community, church (local and universal), business, and governmental. They're all walls of protection and all of them need to be supportive.
*I have to make this clear: I don't hate those who spout these views. I do feel attacked and hurt, though. And I do tend to call them out on their views as those views are dangerous, demeaning and hurtful. But I believe that they are slaves to a system that seeks to enslave us all. Much as poor whites in the Antebellum South were turned against blacks, there are other forces at work. Oddly enough, many of those enslaving forces work under titles like "Freedom" and "Liberty."