Grab a cup of coffee, this one’s going to be long, but I have to put a fine point on this one.
With the election coming and all the yammering about who stands for what about one thing and another, I submit that you consider conscience as you consider who gets your vote.
As a so-called country, we are a society. And as such, we have certain obligations which we may not sidestep. We must care for the less fortunate while allowing all to find a better life.
But meanwhile bettering ourselves must not come at a cost to others. Let’s start with a solid foundation. (First seek the counsel of the Lord, right?)
Even way, WAY back in Deuteronomy 24, God says to his more fortunate people (remember that those who owned land were the more fortunate, and were the middle- and upper-class):
6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a man’s livelihood as security.
… let the man to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you. 12 If the man is poor, do not go to sleep with his pledge in your possession. 13 Return his cloak to him by sunset so that he may sleep in it. Then he will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.
14 Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. 15 Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
….17 Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.
19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
There’s a lot of this in Deuteronomy: Be kind to those less fortunate than you, and God will bless you.
Here’s my point: as a society, it is a duty to care for those who are less fortunate, and therefore, care for all of ourselves. Duty here is not speaking of an obligation, but something we are honor-bound to do. We do it because it is the right thing to do, whether we like doing it or not.
It is our duty to provide proper education for all children, no matter how many or how few we have ourselves. It is a shared duty, made lighter by the participation of all.
It is our duty to provide police protection for all, no matter how much or how little we ourselves may require. It is a shared duty, made lighter by the participation of all.
It is our duty to provide fire protection for all, whether or not we are at risk of a fire. It is a shared duty, made lighter by the participation of all.
Is this sounding monotonous? I hope so! These functions I have named above are the functions of a properly-run government. Such functions have to have a basis at the Federal level, otherwise the State levels of government could not properly provide these services. Should budgets be increased? Maybe, but only the right ones. Should they be decreased? Of course! (What do you take me for, anyway?) But only the right ones!
What I’m saying is that we should have a humane way of looking at all of Government, and all of its associated budgets. God has given us a duty and it is up to us to carry it out.
Okay, here it comes: I submit to you that slashing these services irresponsibly and therefore dumping the load on the states (who do not have the funding or the base to properly provide them) is immoral, because it ignores our God-given duty to help those who are less fortunate.
Hacking away at Government services in a right-column manner is shirking our duty and will be at our peril. Look, I’m not saying that fire and brimstone will pour from the heavens, but let’s just consider how richly we have been blessed as a people.
Don’t you think it is laid upon us as a matter of conscience to share our blessings as we are able, with those who are in need and those who are not as well off?
This isn’t Socialism; Socialism is man-made and full of flaws too numerous to count; its biggest one is that it is not God-based.
What I’m talking about is the prayerful practice and fulfillment of our God-given duty, through the proper practice and funding of Federal Government, so as to lift up those who are less fortunate, and at the same time give all people a chance to make better lives for themselves.
And the promised blessings of God.