Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shall Support the Welfare State


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“The cultural effects are profound. Before Social Security was created in the late 1930s, it would have been equally crazy to suggest that the government provide a secure and stable income for the aged by siphoning from their paychecks in the early years. Indeed, the program has had a profound effect on the way we view the role of government in society.

“Just as parents care for their young now, it was once well understood that the middle-aged have a moral responsibility to care for their aging parents. This establishes a social link between the generations, an interdependency which is essential for the continuity of values and habits of a mature people.

“Social Security has also contributed to the crowding out of private charity, an old and very serious problem associated with all state benefits. Why should private associations bother to solve social problems widely understood to be the responsibility of government?

“The great tragedy of our age is that we have forgotten how to imagine the practical workings of a free and virtuous society. We have lost faith in our ability to solve difficult social problems on our own and have instead transferred our faith to public officials to solve our problems for us.”

In 1957, the Rev. Francis Mahaffy questioned the religious argument for Social Security in “A Clergyman’s Security.” He, too, called Social Security morally unjust: “The government through its Social Security legislation uses force as a means to its ends. Can coercion on the part of the government except for the purpose of restraining evil ever be countenanced by the Christian citizen as in accord with God’s law? Compulsory taxation by the government for any other reason than to obtain funds for the proper function of government cannot be sanctioned as in accord with the moral law.”

In 1900, according to the Tax Foundation, government — state, local, federal — took 6 percent of the people’s income. Today, when one puts a price on government-imposed regulation, the amount taken by government is over 40 percent. And this ignores the real cost to society — that of turning over to the state a function that could, should and would be done more efficiently and humanely by people helping people.

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  • Andy

    Well done , the same arguments can be applied to my own religion – Buddhism.

  • southwood

    I really don't get why America is so against any kind of national health service except that you see it as a socialist practice. In Europe we have free health care and it is, overall , a good thing . Most people, for example, in the UK, value it highly and wish to retain it. This includes the conservative section of the population. Churchill said he was glad to see its introduction.

    • Ghostwriter

      From what I've heard of socialized medicine,it doesn't really work. It's a lot like the government tell you how to fix your car. They're not very good at it.

    • JTLiuzza

      First of all the health care is not "free." Things don't just fall out of the sky. Somebody has to pay for them.

      A private system free of government meddling can provide those services much more efficiently.

      And how many innovations in pharmacology and medical technology are coming from Europe or anywhere else where government runs health care?

      • southwood

        "First of all the health care is not "free." Things don't just fall out of the sky. Somebody has to pay for them."

        I know that..Don't be silly.

        "A private system free of government meddling can provide those services much more efficiently."

        Really ? Evidence, please. We hear of people being turned away from hospitals in the USA because they don't have insurance. That doesn't happen in the UK.

        "And how many innovations in pharmacology and medical technology are coming from Europe or anywhere else where government runs health care? "

        Well, then, have a look at this article :
        http://www.policymed.com/2011/01/pwc-medical-tech

    • RUI

      So in Europe we have "free" health care, do we? Newsflash: it isn't free! Health care is a comodity and somebody has to pay for it and It's being payed out of your taxes. Did you notice the high taxation you pay for no representation? Oh wait, maybe you don't pay taxes, that's why you think it's free.
      Pardon my language but f*** socialism, f*** comunism, f*** welfareism, f*** anybody who thinks those are better to spending your hard earned money the way you want, to buy the things you want and not being shoved the stuff you don't need and didn't ask for.
      My wife has been in the "free" dentists that the NHS provides here in the UK for about a year, for nothing. Every time she had an appointement, she went for a few hours of pain for no gain. And then, we decided to go private dentists and voilá… what a difference it made. Better service, less agony and a job well done. Socialized medicine fails.

  • Vintage

    Uncle Sam has replaced the family and has broken the intergenerational obligations. Obama is paterfamilias to all the unwed mothers, and so they feel obliged to the Father and would vote for him again. This is what happens when people create an idol. The men are turning their children over to the state.The MSM touts the virtues of singlehood, especially single motherhood. Connection to one's parents is now viewed as outdated. "Honor thy father and thy mother" no longer applies in our society.

    But the commandment specifically states that one should honor thy parents "that THY days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth THEE"–the emphasis is on the benefit to the children. I weep for them.

  • George

    Suppose the fund of compassion in a society is not enough to assist all people who need help. Then what would happen? State will and should then necessarily intervene, according to Christian values of loving the neighbor/poor/helpless.
    So, it is the Christian values which are to be blamed for forcing a state to become welfare-oriented!

    • JTLiuzza

      Wrong. It is the perversion of Christian values, even amongst bishops, that have produced the welfare state.

      Charity and care for the poor are demanded of us, me and you, personally, by the Lord. But a third party (government) confiscating money from one person in order to give it to another who hasn't earned it (in order to earn the receiver's political favor and support) is NOT Christian charity. It's the leftist perversion of it.

      In fact, that leftist version of "charity" is UN Christian in that only serves to enslave the recipient.

  • Ronald Johnston

    If we keep up with this welfare state, it will eventually die! All the welfare and social programs are going to disappear! We will all have to go back to work if we want to survive!!!!