Saturday, October 10, 2015

Myth Buster: Welfare is charity

There is little doubt that the Bible teaches one to give freely to those in need. I have written about it on this blog, and it's called charity. However, there are political and religious figures of late who seem to confuse charity with welfare.

The most recent to fall victim to this was Ohio governor and republican presidential candidate John Kasich. He has been a supporter of Obamacare, and has even allowed for Obamacare welfare expansion in Ohio. 
On October 10, 2015, at an appearance before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he responded to his critics:
"Look at Medicaid expansion. Do you know how many people are yelling at me? I go out to events where people yell at me. You know what I tell 'em? ... I say, there's a book. It's got a new part and an old part; they put it together, it's a remarkable book. If you don't have one, I'll buy you one. It talks about how we treat the poor. Sometimes you just have to lead."
So, essentially he said that welfare is charity. He is saying that you should be willing to give of your well earned money to the government because the government is doing with your money what the Bible preaches, and that is to give it to those in need.

But he is wrong. To understand this, let's look at a couple definitions.
  • Charity:  Giving freely to those in need some of what you have. 
  • Welfare. The government mandating that you give some of what you earn to others in need.
You see, charity is when you give by your own choice, and welfare is you give because you have to. So welfare, by definition, is not charity. 

Still, there are those, like Kasich, who want you to think welfare is charity. This is how they get large corporations to agree to support big government programs.  This is how get people who work so hard for their money to support the expansion of government.

This is how you get 52% of Catholics to support characters like Bernie Sanders.

Look, Pope Francis has used the myth that charity is welfare to justify his calls in support of government regulations to prevent man made global warming and to help the poor. In response to critics, he said, via the National Catholic Reporter, that...
Focusing on poverty and sacrificing for the poor are the heart of the Gospel, not signs of communism.
The truth is, when God created Israel, he did not tell the people to give money to the Romans. What he did was tell people to leave some of their crops so that the hungry could work to get them. The Bible preached we should help the poor, but that the poor should work for what they get.  In other words, the Bible preached that if you don't work you do not eat.

In this way, the Bible preached charity, not welfare. 

Further reading: