Bringing It Back To . . . Well, Me.

It’s been quiet a week for memorable trips down Wilson Lane, and I’d like to switch focus here for a bit — at least for as long as it takes me to read something either offensive or ignorant on Blog and Mablog.

So I thought I’d toss out a few random opinions and even a few little-known bits of trivia about myself . . .

I am not a Libertarian. In fact, I think that many of our local Libertarians are, unlike my son, “Libertarians” who rest in that particular philosophy because in it they find abundant comfort in their disregard for the poor, a disregard that manifests as a Christian mandate to stand against any non-military taxation from the State. Nonetheless, I’ve learned that not all Libertarian economic thought is malicious in both origin and intent. I lean strongly toward a democratic social safety net provided by government for the interest of the poor; in fact, how something affects “the least of these” is the lens through which I view any socio-political issue. Poverty and the socio-economic structures that ensure it is, to me, the defining problem of this age, a problem that begins when good Christians are fed “Biblical” exegesis that excuses them from considering the righteousness of Christ toward the poor, manifested in governmental policy, as a legitimate exercise of power. For me, it’s all about caring for the poor, and I believe Christians are called to expect from the State attitudes and actions that aid them.

Put another way, if the Church spent as much energy in advocating for and serving the poor, through taxes as well as their own efforts, as it does in scouring the Old Testament for proof-texts that government is evil and the poor always complicit in their poverty, we would have the kind of revival here and abroad that truly shows the light of Christ working within us. But a cottage industry of “Christian” works promoting blame, insouciance, comfort and entitlement has sprung up, books and speeches and ministries that assure affluent believers that the poor are to be judged, feared, and ultimately ignored. In the name of Christ, of course.

I find it interesting that so many believers who strive for secular government to reflect “Christian” values and morals in public policy suddenly decide that those policies, funded through taxation and funneled to the underprivileged, are suddenly un-Godly, even idolatrous. To be blunt, I think God will judge the United States, and the Church within its borders, for our disregard for poor people — a disregard that strangely never makes it to the big leagues of social sins conservatives decry. Yes, God is troubled by pornography, abortion, and the breakdown of the family. He’s also provoked to judgment when little children are living on the streets with a mother who finds that once the Church has closed its doors on her, it continues too often to rush to the halls of government to slam shut those doors as well.

“The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus said. But that’s a sad assessment of sinful, fallen social structures — not an assurance that gives his Church a pass on giving them a hand. Until the affluent, privileged and comfortable believers who claim his name realize that, the witness of the Gospel will be like styrofoam offered to a hungry man — pretty, white, and pure-looking, but toxic, empty, and utterly useless in aiding him before it crumbles and drifts away.

And, as promised, here’s some fun facts about Keely: I can throw a football in a perfect spiral, I once rode my bicycle 135 miles from Tucson to Phoenix, I’m a member of the NAACP and a regular supporter of the United Farmworkers (UFW), I’m in love with my one-year-old Chihuahua-Poodle mix, and I would happily eat Indian or Thai food every day of my life. Yeah, I’m “all about the blog,” but I promise not to discuss the Kirk if I’m ever invited to a posh cocktail party.

I’d just have to find my formal Birkenstocks.

One Response to “Bringing It Back To . . . Well, Me.”

  1. Ashwin says:

    There is nothing wrong with advocating that people NOT depend on government handouts. It should be a thing of some sorrow for a man/woman to have to go hat-in-hand to a nameless bureaucracy for help providing for the family. This is especially true in the Land of Opportunity which America undoubtedly is.

    Furthermore it is a cause of greater sorrow that a Christian should be forced to do so. The Body should be his first recourse.

    In light of this, to oppose the payment of taxes to support a callous bureaucracy to distribute material among people it cannot love, is hardly an evil action. It is at WORST an unwise point of view – not that it is.

    Though I would agree with you that the public services available in America – schools, food-facilities, libraries – are paid for by taxes and are a great comfort to the poor, I would be careful regarding how far their effectiveness extends. The nightmare of the British “council house” families is well avoided.

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