The Enititlement Polka

First a hurricane, then I spent a good part of this past week fighting a virus. What next? Well, how about a rehash of a couple of 2011 posts I did on government entitlements? What with all the recent talk of "tax reform" and government aid for people in Texas, Puerto Rico, and right here in Florida (though not in my neck of the woods so much), it's still an issue on our doorsteps. And it's still a reminder that the church at large is not doing it's job, which is why the feds are doing it instead.

There's a minor exception to the trend in things like MediShare. But last I looked into that, it was worthless for people who need such things as maintenance prescription drugs. I hope that has changed.

**

Ruminations by various parties in the news over the current financial crisis have focused on the alleged importance of what are termed "entitlements" -- things like Social Security and Medicare. I have certain views on the practicality of such programs and whether they'll survive, but that won't be the subject today. The subject will be why they came about as a result of our failure.

Proponents of these entitlements describe them as sort of social contract. To my recollection this language goes back to their origins in Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Perhaps they go back even further. But the social contract they describe is actually the sort of thing the church was supposed to be enacting all along.

Here's what I mean. In the manner of the ancient collectivists, the church was supposed to pool members' resources for the greater good. If we had this today, the upshot in practical terms would be as follows: Have you been diagnosed with cancer, and need treatment you don't have the money for? Your brothers and sisters in Christ would pool their resources to help you pay for the treatment. Or even better, the community would have already pooled resources beforehand, anticipating that someone, someday would need some expensive treatment.

Were you in an accident? Did your house get destroyed in a fire? Yes, again, that shared pool of resources would be your supply. Now imagine what this would have meant. We'd never have needed any such things as health, life, or property insurance. We'd never have needed Social Security or Medicare. We'd also have a much better sense of community as we shared in each others' sufferings.


Of course, this all assumes that the church has enough members, and enough willing and able to share this way. I think we do have the numbers even now. But willingness -- doubtful. Especially since the government took away that role in part because we weren't fulfilling it. Any contribution would amount to a double dip.


In a nutshell, the Body of Christ was (is) itself a social contract -- a covenant. It included in its terms pledges of mutual assistance within that Body, and then, by extension of missions, enacting that pledge in the broader world as well. By now, though, it's probably too late. We've lost our chance to the government, and the sense of entitlement for entitlements is so entrenched that it wouldn't be easy to change.


We probably don't want the government entitlement system to collapse, but there are times when I get the sense that such a crisis might be the best thing for the church to get it off its backside. A little persecution and suffering of that sort would be great way to shake Western Christians out of their SUVs...and their sense of complacency.



As a follow up to [the above], a reader sent me this quote:

...I am willing to-believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return of an unfortunate blight.

And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

The author: President Grover Cleveland. The date: February 16, 1887, in a response to the House of Representatives.

Try to imagine Barack Obama (or even George Bush, for that matter...or now, Donald Trump) sending this out as a response to requests for funding for entitlement programs, and you'll have a good idea where and why we've failed -- and also get an idea why the Feds were never supposed to run as much as they do. Too many conflicting interests lead to compromises where no one is happy -- and then everyone turns out a bunch of the folks in office and the whole thing resets, leaving behind no one except the likes of Robert Byrd who serve the self-interests of their constituency.

Comments

Joe Hinman said…
yea that's not topological at all is it? this has nothing at all to do with apologetically
Joe Hinman said…
this is a clear violation of The agreement about no polices.


Matthew 25:31-46New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
james hobbs said…
Hello,Mr Holding thank you for your message!I just wanted to say that I think a lot of the problems we face today are to do with our modern way of living! The industrialisation of the world and our many inventions that has come about over the past 150 years coupled with the huge increase in population,where's in biblical times none(most)of these inventions existed! For instance today one farmer with a tractor can do the work of 100 individual Farm labourers would have done in biblical times! We keep on making machines to do the work for us and this house moved us to live in a very unsustainable way(I don't drive I cycle and walk and where I live It Is a Never Ending mass of trucks vans and cars and tarmac and concrete and plastic garbage everywherer)and I think this is completely unsustainable and Madness)!I think it would be very difficult to apply the collectivist way of life in biblical times to now without having to go back to living as they did in biblical times and that would mean turning our backs on the modern world and all it's inventions and going back to a simpler way of life of organuc farming,horticultural,animal husbandry and naturally community would come back and no doubt the church would function and flourish again!and I personally wish we would and maybe we will one day go back to living like that again! but until we do it is going to be very difficult to put into practice the collectivist lifestyle while living in the modern industrial world with machines ever being invented to do the work for us(and vast areas of countryside being paved over and built on)the problem is only going to get worse as we are ever on the quest of creating labour reducing devices,(which is a good thing in many ways) the environmental pressures this way of life coupled with the huge increase in population didn't(or to a match lesser extent)exist in biblical times! In short our modern world is causing a lot of modern problems they didn't have to face 2000 years ago and I think God expects us to use common Sense and good reasoning two come to the aid and confront these new problems! if we were to stop the welfare system Now we certainly would have to divide up the big agro intensively farmed Fields into plots for the unemployed to create jobs revolved around agriculture and horticulture and that no doubt will create small local communities as was in biblical times and perhaps Christianity would flourish there as a microcosm of a biblical way of life!thank you very much for your time and your great ministry God bless and take care. James Hobbs. Uk
Joe Hinman said…
this is just the kind of right wing propagandist clap- trap (wanted to leave off of this site. Everyone would starve to death to death waiting for the crops to come in, no one has the skills to farm the way you are talking about. Millions would die.

My father picked cotton in east Texas, at the was five, and did not have electricity in his house as a child. The only thing I know how to pick is buggers. I know from hearing him talk anyone raised imn the modern world would die trying to go back top the way he was brought up.

The Alaskan bush people are fakes, The Browns are fake the Killchers are fake, None of those people read books or think a out things,they know almost nothing. You want to live like that move to Alaska. I am a product of the 20th century I demand that progress continue.
Joe Hinman said…
my political commentary

here
Jennifer Wyllie said…
Joe Hinman, I also have reservations about JP's conservative approach but for the love of bajiminy LEARN TO WRITE PROPERLY. Half the time I can't figure out what you're saying. And if you can't put care and attention into how you write, how can I trust you that you put care and attention into your thinking? If you don't have time to proofread your posts then you don't have time to properly consider the substance of your post!
J. P Holding said…
Joe (and Jennifer),

I think Joe may have been talking to James Hobbs, not me. But for the record, I'm as far away from right wing/conservative as you can get without being Hillary Clinton. I read a lot of progressive political stuff and find it appealing (I mainly can't stand the pro-choice crap they dish out). I can't stand the GOP and I originally wrote most of that in response to Tea Party rhetoric here in Florida that cost my family a lot of money when Mrs. Holding's state job was sold to a corporate bidder who had contributed to the GOP governor's campaign fund.

I also do not agree it's simply "political". I regard it as social and religious commentary on the church's proper role. And to that extent, also relevant to apologetics in the same way many think a personal testimony would be. If we don't live the Gospel, why should anyone believe in it? We act like it isn't true when we do things like that.
Joe Hinman said…
Jennifer Wyllie said...
Joe Hinman, I also have reservations about JP's conservative approach but for the love of bajiminy LEARN TO WRITE PROPERLY. Half the time I can't figure out what you're saying. And if you can't put care and attention into how you write, how can I trust you that you put care and attention into your thinking? If you don't have time to proofread your posts then you don't have time to properly consider the substance of your post!

give me an example.
Joe Hinman said…

LEARN TO WRITE PROPERLY

Go to hell stupid ass. did you figure out what I said stupid?
james hobbs said…
Hello Joe Hinman, I was just making a point of how the modern world and the Way We Live necessitates having some sort of welfare system that wasn't necessary in biblical times as there was plenty of work available then especially agriculture based work and tractors and combine harvesters have gone a long way helping save us from that backbreaking labour intensive work! But we can only go so far as eventually machines will take over doing everything for us and we will all be jobless and a capitalist economy that seems to rely on never-ending growth more more more cars houses throw away Society plastic involution isn't sustainable and isn't looking after the planet God has given us for future generations! and the way they lived in biblical times may have been hard but it was sustainable and didn't put any pressure on the local environment there just needs to be a balance of technology mixed with a simpler sustainable way of life which would perhaps include local communities growing some of their own food on plots of land. Also the West has brought about the vile intensively farmed animals and any Society keeping animals like that should be ashamed of itself(Christians should speak up for animal welfare a lot more)!free-range animals would have been a natural thing back in biblical times and of course everything was organically grown.
Joe Hinman said…
James, I believe have some good points.I apologize for calling it right wing,I've been pretty, I guess paranoid would be a good term,since last November. Actually the ancient Hebrews had something of a welfare system, they had worker rights and women's rights. On the other hand we could create productive important jobs if we were willing to spend the money.

No one has as of yet gotten serious about infrastructure, lots of jobs there.

o, Jennifer, do you understand what I said here? let me know if you don't I'll try to exploration it.


Joe Hinman said…
JP I understand your views are liberal. I agree with you about how the church should be doing it but we both know they wont. I also agree social consciousness does have a place in apologetic, The problem is we have Republicans in the group and if we do our think we have to be fair and let do theirs.I know it would degenerate into a topological contest.

Besides I so politics all the time. I do activism in the anti-Trump resistance every day,I want to cleanse my brain with thoughts of God and religious ideas. I want a break from politics.
J. P Holding said…
LOL, you want cleansing from politics, Joe, that'll take a fire hose with the crap that's out there these days. I hope that works out for you. Keep up the resistance.
Jamie Robertson said…
give me an example.

How about...

"yea that's not topological at all is it? this has nothing at all to do with apologetically"

"this is a clear violation of The agreement about no polices."

By "topological" and "polices" do you mean "political" and "politics"? It's a poor advert for the Kingdom if you use words that don't actually mean what you're trying to say. As I said, if your writing is so full of mistakes, your thinking might well be too.

Go to hell stupid ass. did you figure out what I said stupid?

Yep, understood that one. As a brother in Christ, I'm correcting you and trying to help you. Unfortunately, your response speaks volumes about your character and attitude. Proverbs 12:1

PS - I'm labelled as "Jennifer" above, as I'd inadvertently logged in with my wife's Gmail account. Apologies for the confusion.
Joe Hinman said…
yes so you are so helpful! Now, thanks to your kind help I only have re visit the traumatic personal history of my dyslexia for they 10,000 and second times.

I'm sure that by ridiculing me you will cure me of it unlike those bunglers at the children's hospital. what did Doctor Weigths know he only discovered it.

Thanks "bothers" I know you are not doing it to make your self feel brilliant or anything,ridicule is teh loving Christian act.
Joe Hinman said…
let me help you out in return l, Use your brain, if dyslexia causes me to permissive what is in the text then obvious the same dyslexia will cause me to mispercoevee the edit of such mistake, so how does it help for me to edit myself?

again dear brother than you for making it necessary for me to explain this one more time ,
Jamie Robertson said…
I'm sorry to hear of your dyslexia. I appreciate that can make writing extremely difficult, and I know that it doesn't reflect on your intelligence.

However, that doesn't allow you to take that kind of attitude with me or anyone else. How was I to know that you were dyslexic? All you had to do was say "I'm sorry, I have dyslexia and this means I easily make mistakes when writing things down". No problem, end of story, we all move on. I know people who are dyslexic and I can understand how that affects them.

Instead, you told me to go to hell and called me stupid, and have since posted two comments about how apparently I'm ridiculing you because it gives me pleasure. I'm not ridiculing you or any disability you might have - I was trying to help you communicate your message more effectively. Your response was to come at me with an emotional hissy fit, like what my pre-school daughter would do. THAT doesn't sound like "the loving Christian act" to me.

I would NEVER ridicule someone for having a disability. I WILL ridicule you for behaving like an asshole, because I think your behaviour is bad for you and bad for the Gospel.
Joe Hinman said…
amie Robertson said...
I'm sorry to hear of your dyslexia. I appreciate that can make writing extremely difficult, and I know that it doesn't reflect on your intelligence.

Spelling is not a matter of intelligence. I am obviously bookish,look at my footnotes. Anytime you see someone making such mistakes it stands to reason that he is having a problem such as dyslexia, why would it be laziness? That is a foolish and pompous assertion. If I was lazy and did not care why would I put such care into my footnotes? The truth is I work y ass off to edit my posts and I am sick of it.


However, that doesn't allow you to take that kind of attitude with me or anyone else. How was I to know that you were dyslexic? All you had to do was say "I'm sorry, I have dyslexia and this means I easily make mistakes when writing things down". No problem, end of story, we all move on. I know people who are dyslexic and I can understand how that affects them.

I just told you how to know it, by learning something about learning disabilities.I don't blame you entirely because I think our society teaches or at least used to teach us to have that kind of superiority scolding blame the victim..

Instead, you told me to go to hell and called me stupid, and have since posted two comments about how apparently I'm ridiculing you because it gives me pleasure. I'm not ridiculing you or any disability you might have - I was trying to help you communicate your message more effectively. Your response was to come at me with an emotional hissy fit, like what my pre-school daughter would do. THAT doesn't sound like "the loving Christian act" to me.

atheists have used that spelling thing to try and destroy my self esteem for years I've been in the trenches day in and day out for 20 years with very little recognition but then i don't do it for that,still you made assumptions about me you have no right to make and your first contrition ot the site was that judgmental blame the victim thing,

I would NEVER ridicule someone for having a disability. I WILL ridicule you for behaving like an asshole, because I think your behavior is bad for you and bad for the Gospel.

well you did. you phrased it in such a way as to imply that you are a graduate of teh Genius Kan school of diplomacy,

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