Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jesus was selfish?

But the trick is discerning what it is that actually helps the poor. Too often we wind up treating them like pets rather than people who are, and should be related to, as responsible moral agents on their own.

And unfortunately, churches are frequently targets of what I call the "professional poor," people who make most of their actual living in scamming charitable givers. In fact, the actual majority (by far) of the supplicants who come to my church are that category.

It's no wonder that many people are tapped out and suffer from compassion fatigue.

In the biblical model of helping the poor, the primary responsibility always rested with blood kin, then with the clan, then with the synagogue (later, church), but was never seen as the responsibility of the government. We have utterly reversed that today so that most people see primary responsibility for assistance resting with faceless government agencies.

But whenever someone wants to lower government spending to leave more money in the hands of private citizens, with which they could then increase personal assistance to the needy, well then then we are told we hate the poor and have no compassion.

So Colbert's cute quote wears a little thin. Paying taxes does not equal Christian compassion.