Charity or Welfare

I have always considered myself a charitable person and I hope you have too.   True charity is one of the most appealing of our human characteristics.   Charity goes back to biblical times.  The Bible is filled with examples of charity and the Sermon on the Mount is a classical exposition of the charitable heart.   Mother Nature is not charitable.  Outside the human realm the concept does not exist.   Beyond our reach it is truly the law of the jungle that prevails and nothing but the survival of the fittest.   I believe our soul and spirit are lifted to their highest levels when we reach our hand down to help somone struggling below.   Over the last decades our charitable spirit has been challenged by the policies of Government.

The Government now has made charity a welfare program of entitlement.  I posit that such severe intervention by the Government into the social life and fabric of the nation does much more harm than the promised good if delivers.   True charity is voluntary because one’s heart is moved by the needs and circumstances of another.   It enobles the donor and the donee.  We have all had a difficult moments in life and wanted the comfort of another and even the help of another.   You never get a “warm fuzzy” feeling in dealings with the Government.   Take the classical example of one family delivering a basket of goodies and food to another in their community that they know is in need with the use of food stamps by that same family.   Who feels good about the issuance of the food stamps?  The Government clerk administering the program doesn’t care, it is just a paycheck to them.    The recepient has no one they can identify that really cared about them.   It is all impersonal and cold.  It is welfare and Nanny Government at its finest.  

I believe we are a charitable people by nature.  Our history is mostly filled with countless examples of personal charity at work until the New Deal.   I know charities still receive substantial monies each year but I believe they could receive so much more if the Government programs were curtailed or eliminated.  Welfare should never be viewed as a “entitlement” but for what it is–charity.    If you get something from your fellow man that you know was given purely from their heart I believe you would be more grateful and feel better about it anytime than taking the Government’s handout.

Remember that the Government took that money from someone else who earned it with the sweat of their brow or for a risk they took  (At least before the Age of Bailout).  If our taxes were reduced I have no doubt in my mind that there would be an increase in the amount of giving and our society would be the better for it.  Many people now resent the Government taking their money for the various welfare programs in existence.   We like to decide for ourselves who is deserving of charity and not simply gaming the system.   One of the problems with the Government being in charge of our chariable giving is that politics gets involved, rather than the true caring for another human being, votes become the goal, not aid to one in need.  The Government is in control and the definition of charity gets twisted into all shapes and forms.  I mean do you want ACORN to be a recepient of welfare payments or it advocates or supporters?  True charity is a straight line from donor to donee, not a triangle with the Government diversion.   My heart and sympathy goes to those who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own and  even to the extent of allowing a second chance to my fellow man but my heart does not go out to a Government program.

I have never been hurt by what I did not say”  Calvin Coolidge.   Not bad advice for all of us.  Our tongue is our own worst enemy.  Think about it.

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Filed under Culture, Economics, Politics

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