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He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear
 (Matthew 11:15-30)
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Mandating Charity
Government forced charity through taxation.

Christian charity as directed by God the Holy Spirit:  2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.

Secular charity as mandated by god the secular government: Unbridled taxation and sharing of wealth.

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." --English statesman William Pitt (1708-1778) -- PatriotPost.us

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." James Madison, the Primary author of the U.S. Constitution

(Don't miss the ongoing inclusion of articles concerning "forced charity" below. Click here.)

In 1887, Democrat Grover Cleveland vetoed the Texas Seed Bill, stating: "I do not believe that the power...of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering... A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power...should...be steadfastly resisted... Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. Charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly... 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...among our people of that kindly sentiment...which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."

Government Entitlements - Mandating other people to provide you charity.

"Economic Justice?" Economic discrimination by forced taxation and redistribution of wealth to fund an unconstitutional national welfare.

"Spreading the wealth" - See Economic Justice

(More definitions at Progressive Politically Correct Dictionary.)

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." --Albert Camus

Insight (PatriotPost.us) - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-46 BC): "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

The Pope and Capitalism By Walter E. Williams - Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, levied charges against free market capitalism, denying that "economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world" and concluding that "this opinion ... has never been confirmed by the facts."  He went on to label unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny." Let's look at the pope's tragic vision. First, I acknowledge that capitalism fails miserably when compared with heaven or a utopia. Any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. However, mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist on earth. For the common man, capitalism is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires.
   ...Profits force entrepreneurs to find ways to please people in the most efficient ways or go out of business. Of course, they can mess up and stay in business if they can get government to bail them out or give them protection against competition. Nonprofits have an easier time of it. Public schools, for example, continue to operate whether they do a good job or not and whether they please parents or not.  That's because politicians provide their compensation through coercive property taxes. I'm sure that we'd be less satisfied with supermarkets if they, too, had the power to take our money through taxes, as opposed to being forced to find ways to get us to voluntarily give them our earnings.
   Arthur C. Brooks, president at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "Who Really Cares," shows that Americans are the most generous people on the face of the earth. In fact, if you look for generosity around the world, you find virtually all of it in countries that are closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum than they are to the socialist or communist end. Seeing as Pope Francis sees charity as a key part of godliness, he ought to stop demonizing capitalism.

Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism By Michael Youssef - The headline of the full-page ad asks, "What Would Jesus Cut?—A budget is a moral document." The text continues, "Our faith tells us that the moral test of a society is how it treats the poor." The ad was produced by Sojourners, a self-described "evangelical" organization whose slogan is "Faith in Action for Social Justice." The ad was signed by Sojourners president Jim Wallis and more than two dozen Religious Left pastors, theologians, and activists. They urge our legislators to ask themselves, "What would Jesus cut?" from the federal budget. How would you answer that question? My answer would be, "It's a nonsense question. Your premise is faulty. Your priorities are not His priorities."
   ...In John 18, Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect, a friend of Caesar. Why didn't He give Pilate an earful about the injustice of Roman rule? If ever there was a time for Jesus to "speak truth to power" and become the "social justice Messiah," that was it! But Jesus didn't preach the social gospel to Pontius Pilate. Oh, he spoke truth to power, all right. He delivered a profound message to Pontius Pilate—and to you and me: "My kingdom is not of this world." Now, I'm not saying that Christians are never called to confront their government. God bless Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church for standing against Nazi genocide. But that's not the situation here.
   And I'm not saying there isn't a social and compassionate dimension to the Christian gospel. There certainly is! Jesus had great compassion for the poor. He preached in Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor." He sent word to John the Baptist, "The deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor." Jesus presented the obligation to help the poor as an individual responsibility, a Kingdom responsibility—not the duty of the secular government.
   Both the religious and secular Left in America seem to want government to replace the church in ministering to the poor and needy. One of Barack Obama's first proposals as president was a plan to slash tax deductions for charitable donations by high-income taxpayers. President Obama reasoned that a tax deduction "shouldn't be a determining factor as to whether you're giving that hundred dollars to the homeless shelter." Maybe so—but since private charities do so much good for the poor, why eliminate incentives for charitable giving?
   Could it be that liberals see private charities as competing with the big government welfare state? In Romans 13, Paul tells us that we pay our taxes and support the government so that we will have a just, orderly society in which law-abiding citizens are protected from wrongdoers. But the responsibility for mercy and compassion belongs to the church—not the government.  

Beware of the ‘Poverty and Justice Bible’ by Gary DeMar - The liberal folks at Sojourners have put together a Poverty and Justice Bible that’s being published by World Vision and Bible Society: “The publishers of the Poverty and Justice Bible went looking and highlighted almost 3,000 verses in the scriptures to show that God has something to say about injustice and oppression. With bright orange highlighting, a quick glance is all you need to see that God cares about the poor — a lot.” True enough, the Bible has a great deal to say about poverty and justice.
   Unfortunately for the folks who put this Bible together, there isn’t a single verse that says that civil governments should tax the prosperous so the money collected can be given to the poor. The Bible does not support the idea of a welfare State. This is not to say that the Bible is indifferent to the poor. Not at all. It’s just that there is nothing to support the transfer of wealth through confiscatory taxing policies.
   There are biblical gleaning laws, but gleaning required work, hard work: “When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 23:22). Private charity is the biblical model. The modern-day welfare State has made more poor people and made those who are poor even poorer, and this doesn't say anything about what government anti-poverty programs have done to everybody else.
   ...Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to sell all he had to give to the poor (Matt. 19:16-22). Jesus did not tell him to vote for Caesar to tax the rich to redistribute their income to the poor. Notice that Jesus told the rich man that one of the commandments was “You shall not steal” (v. 18). That includes voters who elect people to tax the prosperous so poor people can get some of their income. If a person has made an idol out of money, like the Rich Young Ruler, then that’s a sin problem not a political problem.
 

When Jesus didn't help the poor By Dan Popp - Does need constitute a demand? Awhile back I wrote about the time when Jesus refused to feed a group of hungry people. There are only two possible explanations for that: Either the Lord didn't care whether those folks went hungry, or there's something worse than hunger. Now I'd like to look at an incident in which Jesus rebuked disciples who wanted to give to the poor. If Jesus cares about the poor, the only remaining conclusion is that poverty is not an absolute demand on the resources of others. (Mark 14:3-9 – Read parallel accounts in Matthew 26:6-13 and John 12:1-8)
   ...John identifies Judas as the one pretending to be offended, and adds, "Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it." (John 12:6) That's a pretty good description of Congress, it seems to me. Jesus says to those who dream of all the good they could do with other people's money, You're scolding this woman for seeing what you don't see. Something greater than the poor is here.  
   ...No amount of robbery and redistribution will prevent people from being poor. Anyone who tells you otherwise is calling Christ a liar. ...Perhaps the harshest condemnations in the Bible are directed at those who turn grace into law.  ...Jesus taught us that the purpose of almsgiving is to please and honor Him. "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" (Matthew 25:40, emphasis mine) This aligns perfectly with Old Testament passages like Proverbs 14:31: "He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him."
   In the Judeo-Christian model of giving, the cause is God. "Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD'S contribution...." (Exodus 35:21a) "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7b) because the gift is the natural result of the cheer, the overflowing gratitude of the heart. It might be well to remember at Thanksgiving-time that gratitude is grace's reflection. Where there is envy there is no gratitude, and grace is turned away.
   ...The picture of Christian giving is the woman with her perfume – not Caesar with his tax. Christian giving is prompted by the Holy Spirit; consists of an act of free will; insists on accountability; results in gratitude; and fulfills the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ. Government redistribution, on the other hand, is motivated by lust for power; consists of dividing the spoils of a robbery; is indiscriminate; fosters covetousness, resentment and dependency; and glorifies man. The name for this is "idolatry."   

JESUS WAS A CAPITALIST TO HIS CORE - By BRYAN FISCHER - Despite the best efforts of liberals, including liberal “evangelicals” like Jim Wallis, to turn Jesus into a flaming socialist, his own words tell a different story. In fact, the stories that Jesus told could have only come from a capitalist’s capitalist. Jesus was, in fact, a capitalist to the core.For instance, in one of his most famous stories, the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus commits a number of grievous and politically wicked sins according to the worldview of progressives, who try to recast Jesus in their own image as the Karl Marx of Christendom.
   A talent was not an inconsiderable amount of money. In fact, one talent represented about twenty years of wages for the average laborer, let’s say around $600,000. So the first employee is being handed a cool $3 million to invest. In other words, the hero of Jesus’ story is a rich, rich guy. The horror! The humanity!
In Jesus’ story, this rich businessman called his servants together and “entrusted to them his property.” Hold it right there! It was his own property! He owned the means of production – it did not belong to the village or the government! The capital used in economic exchange was totally, entirely in private hands. And what he did with his wealth was clearly nobody’s business but his own. He, and not some government bureaucrat, decided who would be entrusted with his economic resources.
   How can all this be? This makes the hero in Jesus’ tale a criminal in the fevered imagination of social liberals, guilty of greed and exploitation, and of grave offenses against an enlightened social order. Further, the businessman distributed the talents “to each according to his ability.” Egregious sin number two, for here Jesus directly, flagrantly, flatly and unambiguously rejects the fundamental tenet of liberalism.
   According to liberals, Jesus should have had this man distribute his resources “to each according to his need.” He should not be entrusting money to people based on ability, but rather should be extracting it from them based on ability. After all, in liberal land, the rule is supposed to be “from each according to his ability.” Jesus turns that completely on its head by giving “to each according to his ability.” You could look it up. Perhaps Rev. Wallis and others need a remedial grammar lesson on prepositions as well as the Bible.
   Even worse, the business enterprise in Jesus’ story is a meritocracy from start to finish. Responsibility is awarded based on ability, not on some kind of ethnic or economic quota system. And promotion and pay raises likewise are based squarely on achievement. The man with five talents earns five more, and is given more responsibility and authority as a result. Likewise with the servant who took two talents and turned it into two more. In other words, Jesus shows zero concern for income inequality. In fact, in his story the hero actually makes income inequality worse, not better. The guy at the top went from a portfolio of $3 million to well over $6.6 million, while the sluggard at the bottom went from $600,000 to zero.
   There is not a breath here in this story of the equality of outcome as any kind of operating principle. In fact, quite the reverse. Jesus had no intention of having everyone wind up at the same level of income, authority or responsibility. This businessman believed in equality of opportunity but not in equality of result. Outcome was not dictated by government regulation but rather determined by individual initiative and skill. Accountability in this story does not rest with some government agency. Rather it remains in private hands, with the entrepreneur who called his servants together upon his return and “settled accounts.”
   Jesus’ businessman would surely agree with the Founders who said that one of our unalienable rights is the “pursuit of happiness.” Note that nowhere did they say that any of us has an unalienable right to the achievement or possession of happiness, only to its pursuit. The promise of America is the freedom to chase your dreams. There is no guarantee that you will catch them. That’s up to you, with God’s help. Government, in the view of the Founders as well as the New Testament, is there to create a stable and just society in which each of us, with minimal bureaucratic interference, can pursue happiness based on ability, hard work, good judgment, perseverance, education, training and ambition, all of which will vary significantly from one individual to the next.
   And last but not least in Jesus’ story, when the master returns and finds that one of his servants has buried the money in his backyard rather than investing it, he calls him “wicked and slothful.” He does not get food stamps and unemployment benefits. And rather than taking money from the productive workers and giving it out of phony compassion to this man in the form of welfare, he takes the one talent the indolent worker has and awards it to the most productive member of his team.
Jesus’ businessman had no intention of rewarding or subsidizing irresponsibility. The lazy servant had no right to anything he wasn’t willing to work for. What Jesus taught is that the redistribution of wealth is to be entirely voluntary, motivated by personal generosity and compassion and directed to the worthy poor. There’s no hint in Christianity of any kind of support for the involuntary transfer of wealth through government coercion.
   So let’s sum up. In this story, capital is in private hands. The owner of the capital is free to invest it as he chooses, and to entrust his private resources to anyone he wishes. Economic gain comes through investment, risk-taking and smart choices. The enterprise is based on ability and there is no quota system of any kind in place. Achievement rather than mere effort is rewarded. Accountability rests in the hands of private enterprise rather than in the hands of government. Laziness is punished rather than rewarded, and resources are not involuntarily transferred from the producers to the non-producers but the other way round. Bottom line: Jesus, as much as liberals hate to admit it, had capitalism in his DNA. 

The Road To Serfdom By Fredrich A. Hayek - In his introduction to the American edition ...published in 1944, economic historian John Chamberlain wrote that "this book is a warning to the British and by implication to the Americans: Stop, look, an listen...'full employment,' 'social security,' and 'freedom from want' cannot be had unless they come as by-products of a system that releases the free energies of individuals."
  ...Many socialists have the tragic illusion that by depriving private individuals of the power they possess in an individualist system, and transferring this power to society, they thereby extinguish power. What they overlook is that, by concentrating power so that it can be used in the service of a single plan, it is not merely transformed, but infinitely heightened. By uniting in the hands of some single body power formerly exercised independently by many, an amount of power is created infinitely greater than any that existed before, so much more far-reaching as almost to be different in kind.
   ...Who can seriously doubt that the power which a millionaire, who may be my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest bureaucrat possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends how I am allowed to live and work?

Milton Friedman – Freedom vs Tyranny & Misery (Video 8m24s) - EarsToHear.net summary: America started with a new government, a Declaration of Independence, a Constitution, where people were unrestrained and had freedom and full personal rein. However, although with good intentions, which are flawed none the less, restrictions and regulations were introduced, which are always easier to implement, but almost impossible to remove. It is easier to pass a law than to repeal a law. These restrictions and regulations become chains of restraint, laws we imposed on ourselves, mostly with good intensions. but still flawed. The initial objective is always good, but that doesn't mean the outcome is. ...Until 1928 total government spending, federal, state and local never exceeded 10% of its income, except in the Civil War and WWI. 
   ...We've substituted individual responsibility for a false belief of social responsibility. Even though it may have been good people trying to do good, but trying to do good in a fundamentally flawed way. The welfare state is a prime example. It is one thing to help people out of your own pocket, but another thing to help people out of government's pocket. The fundamental flaw of the welfare state is the idea to do good with somebody else's money. Why is this wrong? Two ways. Nobody spends money as carefully as he spends his own.
   New York City for example. An article said NYC could solve it's problems by doubling its money. Well, NYC has since quadrupled its money and the problems have gotten worse. That's cause and effect. You say spend more money. Whose money? All the money NYC gets from citizens. So you have more money being spent carelessly and less money being spent carefully. In the second place you cannot spend more money unless you get it. So the idea of helping others has the flawed means of force and coercion in obtaining that money. So the idea of doing good is destroyed by the flaws of waste and coercion. (Search YouTube for Milton Friedman to learn about economy and more.) 

Milton Friedman - What's wrong with welfare? (YouTube 1hr)

Benjamin Franklin, Political Observations:  "It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights." 

Policy based on envy: "We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules." --Barack Obama

Social Justice: How Good Intentions - Undermine Justice and Gospel - by E. Calvin Beisner - Publication has been co-published by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council. - When God commands justice, we are to do justice, and the state is to enforce it. When He commands grace, we are to exercise grace. But it is precisely because grace is not justice, and because God ordained the state to enforce justice, that the state is never to enforce grace. Indeed, “forced grace”—the real meaning of Progressive “social justice”—is a contradiction in terms.

Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

It is apparent to anyone who has ears to hear, that "progressives" have successfully misused the phrase "general welfare" and "We the sheeple" have fallen prey to their deceptive tactics.

James Madison - Federalist 41: “But what color can the objection have [that the phrase ‘general welfare’ is not specified by particulars], when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? . . . Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars . . . .”  (More from the primary author of the Constitution below...)

Random Thoughts By Thomas Sowell - What do you call it when someone steals someone else's money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else's money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else's money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.

Winston Churchill - "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."

Dr. Adrian Rogers - "What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving." 

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935) - "I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy -- I don't disparage envy but I don't accept it as legitimately my master."

o FIVE RULES CONSERVATIVES REALIZE & LIBERALS CANT UNDERSTAND: (The Liberty and Freedom Foundation)
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, it is the beginning of the end of any nation.
5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
 

To those who are bent on ignoring history...

"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalize everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalization, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people." --former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --British author C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power; but they cannot justify it, even if we were sure that they existed. It is hardly too strong to say, that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intention, real or pretended. …Human beings, we may be assured, will generally exercise power when they can get it; and they will exercise it most undoubtedly, in popular governments, under pretences of public safety or high public interest. It may be very possible that good intentions do really sometimes exist when constitutional restraints are disregarded. There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters.” Daniel Webster (1782-1852) Author, Lawyer and Patriot

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." --British Prime Minister William Pitt (1759-1806)

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone." --French economist, statesman and author, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin

"Tyranny I had always hoped that the younger generation receiving their early impressions after the flame of liberty had been kindled in every breast...would have sympathized with oppression wherever found, and proved their love of liberty beyond their own share of it." Thomas Jefferson (1814 letter to Edward Coles. Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America [1344-45])

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." Thomas Jefferson (1816 letter to Joseph Milligan Category: Reference: Vindicating the Founders, West [136]; original Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Bergh, ed., vol. 14 [466])

"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary." --philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

"I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand 'I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!' or 'I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!' 'I am homeless, the Government must house me!' and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate." --Margaret Thatcher

In 1979, Milton Friedman was asked by Phil Donahue on his show whether he ever doubted capitalism when he looked around and saw a world of inequality. (YouTube 2:24) The complete video is strongly recommended. Excerpt: Friedman responded to his question by reiterating how essential free markets were to prosperity for all people: “The only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear: that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system."


Consider these statements from James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the United States:

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

...“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

…“It broaches a new Constitutional doctrine of vast consequence, and demanding the serious attention of the public. I consider it myself as subverting the fundamental and characteristic principle of the government; as contrary to the true and fair, as well as the received construction, and as bidding defiance to the sense in which the Constitution is known to have been proposed, advocated and adopted. If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

..."The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”

..."Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government."

..."I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."


Consider these statements from Thomas Jefferson:

“Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money."

“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... Giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”  

"I believe the states can best govern our home concerns, and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the constitution for the limitation of both, and never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where further withdrawn from the eyes of the people they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.”


"A Republic ma'am, if you can keep it." Ben Franklin

Not all citizens of America are also citizens of the Kingdom of God and it is only the citizens of God's Kingdom, as His citizens and according to His Word, provide charity to the poor. We are not to mandate that charity to non-citizens, for that is not freedom, but coercion and slavery.

"As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others." --Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

"The economic welfare of all our people must ultimately stem not from government programs, but from the wealth created by a vigorous private sector." --Ronald Reagan

"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity. [To approve this measure] would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." --President Franklin Piece (1804-1869)

"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation [for charity relief] 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." --President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)


Benjamin Franklin, letter to Collinson, 1753 - "Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them."


Not Yours To Give by Mark Alexander
 
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." —James Madison, Primary author of the Constitution
 
…According to the Register of Debates for the House of Representatives, 20th Congress, 1st Session on April 2, 1828, Davy Crocket stood to challenge the constitutionality of one of the earliest welfare spending bills, a benevolence distribution to the family of a military officer after his death. While the exact text of his speech was not transcribed (not the practice in those years), the spirit of his words in regard to those proceedings was captured in an 1867 Harper's Magazine article entitled "Not yours to give" by Edward Ellis.
 
According to Ellis, Crockett objected to the expenditure: "Mr. Speaker; I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
 
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

See also: SOCKDOLAGER - A  TRUE STORY ABOUT DAVY CROCKETT  This is a newspaper reporter's captivating story of his unforgettable encounter with ...Davy Crockett. By Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1884)


Is this position "mean spirited" as the "progressives" would have you believe?

Where do you draw the line? By what means would you determine who gets what from the government? What elected official (politician) will have the power to say what possessions are deemed a "need" vs. comfort or convenience?
 
Was Jesus mean spirited when He said: “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:60) or “For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.” (John 12:8) when asked: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5)
 
Did Jesus force anyone to give? He doesn’t force people to enter the Kingdom of God. Choice equals freedom. Liberty from God. Government is not God, although "We the sheeple" seem to want it that way. "We the people" do not want government to mandate forced charity through taxation. It goes completely against the Constitution and violates the liberty that comes from God. Taxation also inhibits charity as you also pointed out by mandating unconstitutional regulations.
 
"Progressives" have a politically correct dictionary and the words Boundaries, Maturity, Discipline, Responsibility, Commitment, Integrity are now obsolete.  Socialism is akin to slavery. Capitalism is letting a free market naturally provide the needs and wants where each individual freely chooses to give and take or just take.
 
Socialism did not make America the wealthiest nation that gives more than any other nation, especially when tragedy occurs. If not for taxation World Mission Evangelism, Samaritans Purse, and others would be receiving more donations, not to mention local charities and personal charity.
 
I do though contend, if preachers preached the Word of God vs. what they believe they need to preach, then we would see an increase. (1 Cor. 3) It is not the preacher’s call to convict and convince, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. The preacher’s work is to preach the Word of God which is the basis for the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 4:17)


What Our Constitution Permits By Walter E. Williams - Here's the House of Representatives new rule: "A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution." Unless a congressional bill or resolution meets this requirement, it cannot be introduced. If the House of Representatives had the courage to follow through on this rule, their ability to spend and confer legislative favors would be virtually eliminated. Also, if the rule were to be applied to existing law, they'd wind up repealing at least two-thirds to three-quarters of congressional spending.

You might think, for example, that there's constitutional authority for Congress to spend for highway construction and bridges. President James Madison on March 3, 1817 vetoed a public works bill saying: "Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled 'An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,' and which sets apart and pledges funds 'for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,' I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States and to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated."

Madison, who is sometimes referred to as the father of our Constitution, added to his veto statement, "The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers."

Here's my question to any member of the House who might vote for funds for "constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses": Was Madison just plain constitutionally ignorant or has the Constitution been amended to permit such spending? What about handouts to poor people, businesses, senior citizens and foreigners? Madison said, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

In 1854, President Franklin Piece vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill, saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity. (To approve the measure) would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

President Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill for charity relief, saying, "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."
Again, my question to House members who'd vote for handouts is: Were these leaders just plain constitutionally ignorant or mean-spirited, or has our Constitution been amended to authorize charity?

Suppose a congressman attempts to comply with the new rule by asserting that his measure is authorized by the Constitution's general welfare clause. Here's what Thomas Jefferson said: "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

Madison added, "With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
John Adams warned, "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." I am all too afraid that's where our nation stands today and the blame lies with the American people.

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.  


Further references:

  • Capitalism Saves and Communism Kills - By Paul Dowling - The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions - From the start in America, the Pilgrims discovered the power of free enterprise.  But they also discovered the deadliness of putting into place the wrong economic model. The Pilgrims’ communal organization was founded on good intentions, but it would prove deadly.  It was based on Platonic, collectivist notions antecedent to Marxism.  The main idea was that equal sharing of wealth was the best means to care for everyone.  But the Pilgrims discovered that collectivist sharing would only prove to be a recipe for disaster.
       The Pilgrims discovered the most humane results were actually brought about when members of the community pursued their own self-interests.  Initially, this was counterintuitive to the Pilgrim way.  And it is knowledge that would be purchased at the cost of human lives. During the Great Sickness of 1620, the Pilgrims were dying.  Without an abundance of food, the community found it difficult to nourish the bedridden.  Many more succumbed than would have been the case in an environment of abundance.
       The Pilgrims’ Lesson - When raising crops, the communal approach just did not work.  It was not only counterproductive but rendered consequences that proved to be deadly. Since workers received equal shares of the crops, no matter how hard they might work, people started to avoid work in the common fields.  It is not surprising that the crop yield sank to dangerously low levels.  And this exacerbated matters, once many in the community had grown ill.
       The communal idea was that everyone should participate according to the best of one’s ability, but that everybody should receive an equal reward.  This meant working harder would not bring higher pay, and working less would incur no penalty.  Given such a policy, there was no incentive to work hard.  Thus, sharing wealth, in reality, only spread poverty.
       The food shortage created by this socialist economic experiment was severe enough to cause people to starve.  The solution came in 1623, when Governor Bradford wisely decided to give every family its own plot of land to work, the harvest of which would be retained by the members of the household to eat or to trade. Governor Bradford “assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number. . . . .  This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted. . . .  The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability. . . .”
       Replacing What Sounds Good with What Works - Long ago, Aristotle, while criticizing Plato's Republic, wrote that no one feels the responsibility that comes from ownership, if “mine” does not actually mean “mine.”  Greater abundance results from private ownership of the fruits of one’s labor and the freedom enjoyed in how those fruits might be disposed of.  This is the freedom of the free-enterprise system.
       As early as 1624, the Pilgrims were far from starving, producing a surplus that could be exported.  Governor Bradford's decision to go with private ownership and a free-enterprise economic model was literally a lifesaver. Beyond enabling survival, such free-market enterprise eventually brought about wealth creation and the ability to build a richer and better community for all.  Unwise policies could only promote problems of material and motivational scarcity, bringing about the Tragedy of the Commons.[1
  • The hip-hop guide to liberalism: It’s free to swipe yo EBT [VIDEO] - Written by Allen West - I happened upon this satirical video from late 2011 and sadly there is still truth in its essential message. Now, if you want to call me a racist, feel free, but this is what the welfare nanny-state creates. Just remember that under the Obama administration there has been an explosion of food stamp recipients — who get an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. We’ve seen an incredible expansion of EBT card acceptance and usage — far from the original intent of the Food Stamp Act.
       You see, this is how liberal government works. A program is begun with good intentions, then politicians realize they can leverage the benefit for votes. It is the ultimate bribery scheme. Subsequently, fear and coercion is used against opposition – as we saw Republican Senator Thad Cochran do to his opposition in Mississippi — to scare blacks into believing these benefits will be taken away by those “mean ol’ Conservatives.” The safety net has truly become a hammock, all at the expense of hardworking American middle-income families who are watching their wages dwindle and small business owners who were told, “you didn’t build that.”
       To paraphrase Lady Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” With a misconceived sense of benevolence, progressive socialists make the populace believe they truly care, when in all actuality this is about the subjugation and destruction of the individual will. Why work? After all, as the singer says, “all you gotta do is ooh-ooh and nine months later, you got the big bucks.”
       This is one of the fundamental differences between progressive socialists and constitutional conservatives: economic enslavement vs economic empowerment. This week as you’re driving around, make a mental note of how many places where you see EBT cards accepted – I doubt they are many in Martha’s Vineyard. The progressive socialist vision is to create more victims. The American way of life is about making victors.
  • Spending and Morality - By Walter E. Williams - Is it moral for Congress to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another? I believe that most Americans would pretend that to do so is offensive. Think about it this way. Suppose I saw a homeless, hungry elderly woman huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. To help the woman, I ask somebody for a $200 donation to help her out. If the person refuses, I then use intimidation, threats and coercion to take the person’s money. I then purchase food and shelter for the needy woman. My question to you: Have I committed a crime? I hope that most people would answer yes. It’s theft to take the property of one person to give to another. ...The bottom-line question is: Does an act that’s clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?
       ...James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, Madison stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today’s Americans would crucify a politician expressing similar statements.  
       There may be nitwits out there who’d assert, “That James Madison guy forgot about the Constitution’s general welfare clause.” Madison had that covered, explaining in a letter, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.” Thomas Jefferson agreed, writing: Members of Congress “are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare. … It would reduce the (Constitution) to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”
       The bottom line is that spending is not our basic problem. We’ve become an immoral people demanding that Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another. Deficits and runaway national debt are merely symptoms of that larger problem.
  • 'Great Society'? The War on Liberty and Self Reliance - By Mark Alexander - “We must make our election between economy and Liberty, or profusion and servitude.” –Thomas Jefferson (1816) - The human tragedy of LBJ’s soul-crushing “welfare” programs, however, is incalculable. A rapidly growing permanent underclass, one utterly dependent on the state for its day-to-day existence, now constitutes the Great Society. ...By all rational measures, Johnson’s Great Society was, and remains, anything but. It has proven a tragic failure on all counts, unless you are counting Democrat votes. His War on Poverty quickly morphed into a war on individual responsibility and self reliance, a war on free enterprise and ingenuity, a war on family and faith, a war on education and accountability, a war on inner city and rural achievement alike, and a war on economic sustainability and financial solvency. That all combines to form a multi-front war on the foundation of Liberty – Constitutional Rule of Law – by largely superseding the former with unconstitutional political mandates.
  • Krauthammer on why Dems have to 'run away' from CBO report - (EarsToHear.net note: See the video to learn how Democrats cheery pic what the CBO reports, when it is in their favor, and how they call the CBO ”irrelevant” when not in their favor. Of course “we the sheeple” remain ignorant of these DNC tactics and continue to vote for these Marxist, seemingly unaware of the factual harm they are doing to their own descendants, because they are blinded by the “liberal” mantra of mandating charity through what they’ve been duped into believing that “tax the rich” is the answer to the world’s problems.  
  • Concealing Evil By Walter E. Williams - Evil acts are given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions, such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution, caring for the less fortunate, and the will of the majority. Let's have a thought experiment to consider just how much Americans sanction evil. Imagine there are several elderly widows in your neighborhood. They have neither the strength to mow their lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks nor the financial means to hire someone to help them. Here's a question that I'm almost afraid to ask: Would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbors to mow these elderly widows' lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks?  Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as fines, property confiscation or imprisonment? I'm hoping, and I believe, that most of my fellow Americans would condemn such a mandate. They'd agree that it would be a form of slavery — namely, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
       ...This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals — namely, helping one's fellow man. Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation. Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty.
       ...The bottom line is that we've betrayed much of the moral vision of our Founding Fathers. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who had fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." 
  • Dependency, Not Poverty By Walter E. Williams - There is no material poverty in the U.S. Here are a few facts about people whom the Census Bureau labels as poor. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, in their study "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor" (http://tinyurl.com/448flj8), report that 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning; nearly three-quarters have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes.
       Poor Americans have more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives aided and abetted by the welfare state.
       The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 35 percent and among whites at 13 percent. The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent, and among whites it's 30 percent. A statistic that one doesn't hear much about is that the poverty rate among black married families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8 percent. For married white families, it's 5 percent. Now the politically incorrect questions: Whose fault is it to have children without the benefit of marriage and risk a life of dependency? Do people have free will, or are they governed by instincts?
  • Equality Versus Liberty By John Stossel - President Barack Obama says income inequality is "dangerous ... the defining challenge of our time." The pope is upset that capitalism causes inequality. Progressives, facing the failures of Obamacare, are eager to change the subject to America's "wealth gap." ...Bill Gates took a huge slice of pie, but he didn't take it from me. By starting Microsoft, he baked millions of new pies. He made the rest of the world richer, too. Entrepreneurs create things.     Over the past few decades, the difference in wealth between the rich and poor has grown. This makes people uncomfortable. But why is it a problem if the poor didn't get poorer? Progressives claim they did. Some cite government data that show middle class incomes remaining relatively stagnant. But this data is misleading, too. It leaves out all government handouts, like rent subsidies and food stamps. It leaves out benefits like company-funded health insurance and pensions, which make up increasing portions of people's pay. And it leaves out the innovation that makes life better for both the rich and poor. Even poor people today have access to cars, food, health care, entertainment and technology that rich people lusted for a few decades ago. Ninety percent of Americans living "below the poverty line" have smart phones, cable TV and cars. Seventy percent own two cars.
       ...Is it fair that models are so good-looking? Why is it fair that some men are so much bigger than I, so no one will pay me to play pro sports? It's hardly fair that I was born in America, a country that offers me far greater opportunities than most other countries would. We Americans should be thankful that life is not fair! ...Opportunity is much more important than equality, and there is still income mobility in America. People born poor don't necessarily stay poor. Pew research shows 58 percent of the kids born to the poorest fifth of families rose to a higher income group. Six percent rose all the way from the bottom fifth to the top fifth. Sixty-one percent of kids born to the richest fifth of families fell from that group, and 9 percent fell all the way to the bottom. Opportunity requires allowing people to take risks and make changes. We won't always like the outcomes. But over the long haul, we're still better off if people are free to strive and fail, or maybe -- reap big rewards.  
  • Five Myths About Inequality By John C. Goodman - In a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis, David Henderson found that there is a big difference between families in the top 20 percent and bottom 20 percent of the income distribution: Families at the top tend to be married and both partners work. Families at the bottom often have only one adult in the household and that person either works part-time or not at all: In 2006, a whopping 81.4 percent of families in the top income quintile had two or more people working, and only 2.2 percent had no one working. By contrast, only 12.6 percent of families in the bottom quintile had two or more people working; 39.2 percent had no one working. ... Having children without a husband tends to make you poor. Not working makes you even poorer. And there is nothing new about that. These are age old truths. They were true 50 years ago, a hundred years ago and even 1,000 year ago. Lifestyle choices have always mattered.

  • Disproving Liberal Economic Theory in One Chart  Katie Nielsen - In early December, President Obama gave a speech on the economy. He blamed “the rich” for slowing economic growth by concentrating their wealth in savings and investment rather than spending it on consumption. Heritage Foundation economist Salim Furth explains why the President’s claim is misguided: The President apparently believes that consumer spending, rather than savings and investment, drives economic growth.    But, as this chart shows, personal consumption is at a post-war high as a share of national expenditure. If consumer spending really did drive the economy, it would be booming. All that consumption comes at the expense of net investment, which shows a clear downward trend since the 1950s. Net savings tracks investment closely. The President also blames income inequality for the decline in growth, but Furth concludes based on the literature that “there are much stronger forces in the economy.    The President’s theory does not account for the basic macroeconomic facts.” What is proven to contribute to a healthy economy is fairer, more open, and more dynamic competition in the American economy. The new edition of Heritage’s new Index of Economic Freedom, to be released later this month, will show how America stacks up against the rest of the world on this front.

  • Newt Gingrich Verbally Blisters Robert Reich in Discussion of ‘Income Inequality,’ Responds with “Every Major City Which Is A Poverty Center Is Run By Democrats”

  • CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: (See video at link.) The great irony here is that Obama has decided he's going to dedicate himself and the rest of his time in office to fighting inequality. He has created the greatest inequality because of zero interest rates, because the Fed has put a trillion dollars which had to go into higher assets, meaning the market. It's the rich have gotten richer and its left everyone else behind. And that's why you get the mass discontent in the sense of the economy not improving. He is the cause and now he's going to redeem us from the misery that he has contributed.

  • America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great By Ben Carson - (Excerpts) Not only did Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and several of the other founding fathers speak out against government redistribution of property, but in 1795 the Supreme Court of the United States declared, "No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact.... The legislature, therefore, has no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without a just compensation. It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of social alliance and every free government; and lastly, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution."
       ... Many of the founders make it very clear that they were extremely opposed to the concept of wealth redistribution, which is a basic tenet of socialism... they were very much opposed to the concept of a large, intrusive central government, which they felt was really no different than the European monarchies they were trying to escape. Consider the United States' rapid acceleration to pinnacle status by means of a system rewarding hard work and vigorously protecting individual assets while encouraging compassion and charity -- why would we want to change unless there is historical proof that another system will work better?
       In a socialist society, the government has the right to tax whomever it wishes for whatever amount it deems necessary, whenever it wants. This leads to abusive, unchecked power that can... deprive many of the people of their rights... to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The insidious nature of socialism, cloaked in a facade of compassion, makes it very dangerous to an uneducated and trusting populace. And as socialism creates dependency, it is well on its way to eliminating freedom of choice and incentives for high productivity and innovation (Ben Carson, M.D., America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great Chapter 6, "Socialism: Whose Pot of Soup is It?" pp. 90-92).  

  • Antonin Scalia: Capitalism Requires 'Traditional Christian Virtues' To Succeed The Huffington Post By Nick Wing - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made an appearance at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas on Friday, where he claimed that the success of capitalism was deeply tied to the nation's religious values. "While I would not argue that capitalism as an economic system is inherently more Christian than socialism ... it does seem to me that capitalism is more dependent on Christianity than socialism is," Scalia, a devout Catholic, said during his speech, according to the Houston Chronicle. "For in order for capitalism to work -- in order for it to produce a good and a stable society -- the traditional Christian virtues are essential." Scalia went on to suggest that expanding government involvement in charity came at the expense of the power of Christian churches. "The governmentalization of charity affects not just the donor but also the recipient. What was once asked as a favor is now demanded as an entitlement," he said. "The transformation of charity into legal entitlement has produced donors without love and recipients without gratitude. ... It's not my place or my purpose to criticize these developments, only to observe that they do not suggest the expanding role of government is good for Christianity."

  • Lessons of evil By Linda Kimball - In "The High Cost of 'Free," Lloyd S. Pettegrew and Carol A. Vance report that in the Denver arena where Mr. Obama gave his DNC 2008 acceptance speech, "...a woman in the audience became overwhelmed by the speech and said that she no longer needed to worry if she could make her car or mortgage payments because he would take care of it for her. In Cleveland, a woman claimed that she was going to vote for President Obama again because he gave her a free cellphone (along with a litany of other entitlement giveaways)." (Ludwig von Mises Institute, June 5, 2013)
       There is no 'cash tree' growing in Washington D.C. yielding the millions of dollars handed out by politicians for 'free' cell phones, 'free' house payments, 'free' education, 'free' condoms, 'free' abortions, 'free' healthcare and other 'entitlement' giveaways. Money doesn't grow on trees – it has to be earned the hard way by people who work. The allure of "free" is so powerful, so overwhelmingly seductive that an alarming number of people, both citizen and noncitizen alike, willfully choose to become wards or 'slaves' of Big Brother's entitlement/welfare state rather than captain their own destiny:
       "Economist Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute believes that Americans have become a nation of takers, threatening the self-reliance that has long characterized our national psyche. Eberstadt (2012, p. 4) presents data showing that entitlement payments to Americans, since 1960, have risen annually by 9.5 percent..... This has resulted in 49 percent of American households receiving one or more government transfer benefits (Eberstadt 2013); this amounts to 18 percent of all personal income and a burden of $7,400 for every American." (ibid)
       Under the pretense of compassion, fairness, equality, 'rights,' fighting poverty, protecting the environment, and granting 'choice' to abortion activists our'broken' law forcibly takes property from one person and gives it to another. It takes the wealth of the many and gives it to a favored few.

  • Income Inequality Not Necessarily Inequitable Favoring redistribution ignores the fact that there is no way to make the poor richer without making the rich poorer... Contrary to the popular contention that a heavy concentration of income at the top is harmful, the 1 percent can increase their income so long as it is Pareto efficient. Consider a scenario where 99 percent of the population makes $10 and the top 1 percent makes $100. In the second scenario, 99 percent of the population makes $12 and the top 1 percent makes $130. Though the income gap increases in both absolute and relative terms, everyone is better off in the second scenario.
       ...Indeed, it seems that regulation and taxation actually serve to make everyone poorer. President Obama has proposed to increase taxes on the wealthiest and raise the minimum wage. Instead, the best economic approach to benefit the middle class would involve flattening the income tax and deregulating labor markets. Source: Richard Epstein, "In Praise of Income Inequality," Hoover Institution, February 19, 2013.  

  • Generation Brainwashed: Charity is Not Redistribution of Wealth By Andrea Roltgen - “…The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” -James Madison
       “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”  Unfortunately, most Americans today believe it is the responsibility of the US government to provide for the general welfare, and then some, to all people.  Notice I did not say citizens?  We also have the issue of believing that our general welfare should sustain and support millions of illegal aliens.  It’s billed to us as charity.  However, as is always the case, words have meaning and their meaning impacts how words are utilized.
       English author and Oxford professor C.S. Lewis coined the term “verbicide”, meaning the dangerous situation of exchanging true meanings of words for the false.  It was recognized to be incremental, or immediate.  The understanding that there is deep value in the true nature of words was understood by Confucius, who stated, “When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty.”
       Ancient men, and the Founding Fathers of the United States clearly understood that word meanings, when written in the context of their original language, should be kept in the context of their original language.  Inventing new phraseology to give acceptance to socialist efforts today, does not change the original language of the Founding Documents and the Constitution and the intent therein. 
       Changing the definition of “murder” to exclude stopping a beating heart within a woman, does not change the original definition of murder by the Creator God and continued in understanding by the Framers of the Constitution. 
       Changing the definition of “marriage” from a man and a woman in a life-long covenant before the Lord God, to include whomever has emotional or sexual feelings and wishes to join as if they were man and woman, does not change the definition. Likewise, changing the original meaning of the clause of “general welfare” to include the provision for a government run entitlement society, does not negate the intent of the wording, given it’s original understanding.

  • How Government Handouts Create Life-Sapping Dependency By Daniel J. Mitchell - Now, courtesy of some first-rate journalism by a local television station, we have a powerful example exposing how the system operates. We learn the story of Kristina, who chooses to earn less money in order to keep the taxpayer-funded gravy train rolling. We’ve all heard the line that America is becoming an entitlement society or welfare state, with half of U.S. households now receiving some type of government benefit.

       But a CBS 21 News investigation has taken that stat one step further to show you how much people are actually getting for free. A few years ago, reporter Chris Papst worked with a single mom who had two children. She turned down a raise because she said the extra money would decrease her government benefits. It was hard to understand why she did that, until Chris started working on this story. “You do what you have to do as a single mom,” explained Kristina Cogan. “And that’s what I did.” ……she admits living a life off the government can be comfortable. “If you’re going to get something for free, are you going to work for it?” Cogan explained. “It kind of like sucks you in.”    Here are some of the horrific details. For this story, CBS 21 researched what government programs are available to a single mother of two making $19,000 a year. What we found was incredible. Our family would be eligible for $14,976 in free day care, another $13,400 for Head Start and Early Head Start, $7,148 in housing vouchers, $6,500 for weatherization projects, $400 to pay heating bills, $480 a year for a cell phone, with an extra $230 for a land line, and $182 in free legal advice. The family would get more than $6,028 in food assistance and another $6,045 in medical assistance. The mother is eligible for $5,500 in Pell Grants for school with an additional $12,000 for the Education Opportunity Grant; SMART Grant; and TEACH Grant. Our family would also get $6,800 in tax credits, and $1,900 in withholding would be returned. Add it up and this family can get $81,589 in free assistance. There’s nothing in the story to suggest that Ms. Cogan is utilizing all these programs, but the plethora of available goodies certainly helps to explain why so many people decide it’s easier to be moochers rather than producers.

  • Thanksgiving, The Pilgrims And Their Failed Experiment With Collectivism - By fyork - Many of our modern politicians who seem so enamored of communal living and “shared responsibility” could take a lesson from the Pilgrims, though it’s unlikely they will. They’re blinded by their Marxist ideology. The Pilgrim communal experiment began in 1622 or so and involved approximately two dozen families. The system prohibited private property and everyone shared equally no matter how hard they worked. As a result, they nearly starved to death. The lazy took what they wanted and the productive became disheartened. Very soon, even the productive citizens weren’t producing food.
       Governor William Bradford described what happened when the Pilgrims finally rejected their experiment with communism: “At length after much debate, the Governor, with the advice of the chief among them, allowed each man to plant corn for his own household, and to trust to themselves for that; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. So every family was assigned a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number with that in view, — for present purposes only, and making no division for inheritance, — all boys and children being included under some family. This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction.
       The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability; and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression. “The failure of the experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, — that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.
       “For in this instance, community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit and comfort. For the young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength in working for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice. The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labour, food, clothes, etc., with the humbler and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them. As for men’s wives who were obliged to do service for other men, such as cooking, washing their clothes, etc., they considered it a kind of slavery, and many husbands would not brook it.
        “This feature of it would have been worse still, if they had been men of an inferior class. If (it was thought) all were to share alike, and all were to do alike, then all were on an equality throughout, and one was as good as another; and so, if it did not actually abolish those very relations which God himself has set among men, it did at least greatly diminish the mutual respect that is so important should be preserved amongst them. Let none argue that this is due to human failing, rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself. I answer, seeing that all men have this failing in them, that God in His wisdom saw that another plan of life was fitter for them.
       ...The communal experiment failed because it violated basic human nature and the value of private property and rewards for individual initiative. The indolent seized what they wished and the productive became disillusioned and stopped producing. It sounds like a description of Barack Obama’s vision for America.   William Bradford saw first-hand how devastating “communal” policies are to the lives of men, women, and children.

  • Enduring Ignorance, Part 2 By Arnold Ahlert - Conservatism can thrive without progressivism. Progressivism cannot survive without conservatism. In short, a progressive worldview built on redistributionism, must have something to re-distribute. Without the efforts of the makers, the takers and their enablers are dead in the water. The most remarkable aspect of this last election is that Democrats ran on a platform that amounted to biting the hand that feeds them, and still prevailed.

  • New Record: Almost 9 Million Receiving ‘Disability’ Checks From Taxpayers The number of American workers collecting federal disability insurance benefits hit yet another record high in October, according to the Social Security Administration. This month 8,803,335 disabled workers are collecting benefits, up from the previous record of 8,786,049 set in September. In February 2009, the first full month after President Barack Obama took office, there were 7,469,240 workers collecting federal disability insurance. Thus, so far in Obama’s term, the number of workers collecting disability has increased by 1,334,095. That works out to a net increase of about 29,646 per month (1,334,095 divided by 45 months), or an average increase of about 975 per day (1,334,095 divided by 1,369 days). During George Bush’s eight years as president, the number of workers collecting federal disability insurance increased by 2,375,258, rising from 5,067,119 in February 2001 to 7,442,377 in January 2009. That equaled an average net increase of about 24,742 per month and 813 per day. In Bush’s second term alone, the number of workers on disability increased by 1,198,575, equaling an average monthly increase of about 24,970 and an average daily increase of about 820.

  • Obama’s Goal: An Entitled, Dependent Majority by David L. Goetsch  - Here is a widely accepted rule of thumb in politics: Government entitlements, once conferred, can never be taken away.  Government entitlements, by their very nature, tend to be permanent.  A corollary to this rule of thumb is that people who become addicted to government handouts will automatically vote for candidates who promise to feed their habit.   No politician understands this rule of thumb and its corollary better than Barack Obama.  In fact, President Obama not only understands the principles of entitlement and dependency, he is using them in a concerted effort to keep himself in office and to ensure that the radical left will maintain power in Washington, D. C. long after he is enjoying the substantial perquisites of being a former president.
       If it were not such an unscrupulous, unconscionable, deceitful undertaking, one could almost admire President Obama’s single-minded determination to achieve his nefarious goal.  And what is that goal? It is nothing less than an entitled America populated by citizens who are so dependent on the government that Democratic victories in future congressional and presidential elections are guaranteed.  But in their zeal to create dependency, what President Obama refuses to acknowledge is that when our country reaches the tipping point where more people are taking than giving, the economy will fail.  When this happens, it won’t matter how large a majority the Democrats enjoy in Congress, there won’t be enough dollars in the federal treasury to pay the entitlements demanded by their dependent constituents.

  • Random Thoughts By Thomas Sowell - Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic. ...Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to "spread the wealth" -- and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts. ...If you believe Barack Obama and others who oppose what they call "tax cuts for the rich," you might want to consider what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." If you want to see some documented facts about tax rates and tax revenues, there is a box titled "Tax Cuts" on my web site (www.tsowell.com). Click on it.

  •  Depending on Dependency By Thomas Sowell - The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another -- and that Republicans don't want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless. All of us should be on guard against beliefs that flatter ourselves. At the very least, we should check such beliefs against facts.
       ...When an empirical study of the actual behavior of American conservatives and liberals was published in 2006, it turned out that conservatives donated a larger amount of money, and a higher percentage of their incomes (which were slightly lower than liberal incomes) to philanthropic activities. Conservatives also donated more of their time to philanthropic activities and donated far more blood than liberals. What is most remarkable about this study are not just its results. What is even more remarkable is how long it took before anyone even bothered to ask the questions. It was just assumed, for centuries, that the left was more compassionate. Ronald Reagan donated a higher percentage of his income to charitable activities than did either Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ted Kennedy. Being willing to donate the taxpayers' money is not the same as being willing to put your own money where your mouth is.  
       ...The time is long overdue for optimistic Republicans to understand what FDR understood long ago, and what Barack Obama clearly understands today. Dependency pays off in votes -- unless somebody alerts the taxpayers who get stuck with the bill. The Obama administration is shamelessly advertising in the media -- whether on billboards or on television -- for people to get on food stamps. Welfare state bureaucrats have been sent into supermarkets to tell shoppers that food stamps are available. The intelligentsia have for decades been promoting the idea that there should be no stigma to accepting government handouts. Living off the taxpayers is portrayed as a "right" or -- more ponderously -- as part of a "social contract." You may not recall signing any such contract, but it sounds poetic and high-toned. Moreover, it wins votes among the gullible, and that is the bottom line for welfare state politicians.

  • Charity Not Allowed Unless Okayed by Government by Giacomo - ...one of the tenets of a socialistic government is that charity comes from the government.  Socialism wants everyone to believe that the people owe their existence to the government and when they find themselves in need, the government is the one to turn to.  Under socialism, all other charitable organizations are squashed.  They even will do everything in their power to end private charity as well.  Charity can only come from the government and there is no other option. More and more I’m seeing signs of how our socialistic government under Comrade Obama is implementing the socialistic views of charity.

  • Liberals Spend Other People’s Money and Call it ‘Caring’ By Gary DeMar - From 1986 to 1990, ALF aired on NBC. The title character is a friendly but opinionated extraterrestrial nicknamed ALF (an acronym for Alien Life Form), who crash lands in the garage of the suburban middle-class Tanner family. ... In an early scene from the 1986 episode “I’m Your Puppet,” ALF had ordered a ventriloquist dummy, but used Willie Tanner’s money to pay for it. Willie’s daughter Lynn confronts ALF’s cavalier use of other people’s money to pay for things he wants: Lynn Tanner: “You’ve got to stop spending other people’s money.” ALF: “People like it when you spend their money. On Melmac, that’s how you said ‘I care.’”

  • Food Stamps: Let's Provide a Safety Net, Not a Mattress By Ken Connor - In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” -Acts 20:35 (NIV) Government provision of food stamps has become the second-largest welfare program in the country and is expanding rapidly. Rich Lowry shares the latest statistics, and they are troubling to say the least. Through the combined efforts of Presidents Bush and Obama, the number of people on food stamps has almost tripled in the last 12 years, growing from 17 million in 2000 to 46 million today! When the program began in the 1970s, only 1 in 50 Americans participated—now the number is 1 in 7. As a society, we have an obligation to reach out and help the poor and needy. At the same time, it is important to strike the right balance—we should provide for those in need without blunting their initiative to provide for themselves. Government programs—however well intended—should not foster a culture of dependence.    ...Forced "charity" that takes from the successful and merely redirects it to the unsuccessful provides the wrong kind of incentives. Our tax and welfare systems should reward thrift, entrepreneurship, and industry, not indolence, timidity, and profligacy. ...Those who believe government more capable of shouldering the burden of poverty often ignore the unintended consequences of government welfare. All too often government poverty programs perpetuate poverty by encouraging the poor to remain poor through perverse incentives. And they give possible benefactors of the poor the easy excuse, "Well, they can always go to the government."

  • Missing: $400 Purse Holding $800 Cash, Plus Food Stamp Cards By John Hayward HumanEvents.com A traveling friend sent me an item clipped from a Georgia newspaper that reads, in its entirety: A woman said she noticed her purse missing from her car just before 5 P.M. Sunday. The car was parked at her residence on Hornet Drive. The woman said the car had been locked, and the purse was in the back seat. The purse was valued at $400, her wallet was valued at $200, and she said there was $800 cash in the purse, according to the police report. Also missing were the woman’s food stamp cards.

  • How Government Monetary Policies Hurt the Poor and Turn them Into Slaves of the State by Gary DeMar - The Bible maintains that inflation has its greatest effects on widows and orphans: “Your silver has become dross, your drink diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels, and companions of thieves; every one loves a bribe, and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them” (Isaiah 1:22–23). The very policies instituted by politicians to help the poor created the massive debt that now has turned on the poor and made them even more dependent upon government assistance. To deliver the promised programs of prosperity, the federal government took our nation off the gold standard and inflated the dollar with more and more paper “currency,” since the gold standard prohibited our political leaders from tampering with the money supply. When the official protector of weights and measures, the civil magistrate, disregards commandments regarding sound money, what stops the general populace from gouging the poor as well?

  • How America Spends Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty -- and Fails Total welfare spending in constant 2011 dollars (including state and local funds) has risen from $256 billion in 1965 to $908 billion today... ...The answer to this gross inefficiency is that programs should not focus on making poverty more comfortable. Instead, they should focus on helping the poor to climb their way out of poverty. To this end, they should emphasize: Education -- high school dropouts make significantly less money and are much more likely to live in poverty. Not having children out of wedlock -- roughly 63 percent of all poor children reside in single-parent families. Sticking to a job -- only 2.6 percent of full-time workers and 15 percent of part-time workers are poor. Source: Michael Tanner, "The American Welfare State: How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty -- and Fail," Cato Institute, April 11, 2012. For text: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA694.pdf

  • The Left’s Presumption of Superiority By David L. Goetsch - After listening to my snooty colleague repeatedly refer to business majors as “baby capitalists” and engineering majors as “glorified auto mechanics,” I interrupted and asked him two questions: 1) What is wrong with capitalists and auto mechanics? and 2) Next time your car breaks down, why don’t you call a philosopher?  The audience enjoyed the intended humor in my questions and laughed accordingly.  But my colleague was greatly offended that someone would dare question his obvious superiority.  He responded that I was “stupid” and stomped off the stage in a huff. This debate took place in an academic environment where righteous indignation permeates the very bricks and mortar.  College professors and their liberal counterparts outside of the academy are what Thomas Sowell once referred to as the “perpetually indignant.”  When liberals cannot rebut conservative ideas with logic or reason, they simply brush them aside and call them “stupid” or “unworthy.” When a conservative gets under their skin with an argument based on those inconvenient little things known as facts, liberals quickly resort to name calling.  For example, make a cogent, well-reasoned argument against any of President Obama’s misguided economic policies and see how long it takes before liberals call you a “racist.”

  • Is Liberalism Immoral? Why we must save the American work ethic. By Mona Charen - The best advocates are often converts. So it is with Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks has an important forthcoming book, The Road to Freedom, which I’ll discuss in a minute, but it’s worth pausing over the unusual career of Brooks himself, because it says much about happiness, free enterprise, and the unique American spirit that Brooks has spent the last decade attempting to save. The son of two liberal college professors, Brooks writes that when he was growing up in Seattle, “No one in my world voted for Ronald Reagan. I had no friends or family who worked in business. I believed what most everybody in my world assumed to be true: that capitalism was a bit of a sham to benefit rich people, and the best way to get a better, fairer country was to raise taxes, increase government services, and redistribute more income.”

  • Liberal Ignorance and the Entitlement Mentality by David L. Goetsch - By promoting an entitlement mentality, liberals in Congress and the White House are sowing the seeds of America’s destruction.  Because of an ever-growing list of social programs, subsidies, and entitlements, more than half of all Americans now look to the government for at least a portion of their sustenance.  As a result, many American’s have come to view government as the solution to their problems rather than the cause of them.  The principles of limited government that undergirded Ronald Reagan’s Republican Revolution are being steadily undermined by the seductive allure of government handouts. This dangerously misguided trend promotes an entitlement mentality in a country that has long been known for its positive work ethic.  The entitlement mentality, in turn, encourages the growth of government and the cycle continues, creating a downward spiral toward disaster. America became an economic superpower not by accident, chance, or luck but because it was established with a free-market economy and people who thrived in an environment of economic freedom.  These two pillars of America’s economic success—a free-market economy and economic freedom—hold the key for reversing America’s descent into insolvency.

  • All You Need Is Gov: A Response to Obama's "Biblical" Economics By Wesley Gant - First, substituting taxes for charity is like switching apples for oranges. The taking of one's property to relieve someone else's discomfort has significant implications for how we view property rights in the first place. Do such rights exist, as the Declaration of Independence says? If so, do they come from God? The right to one's property is sacred because it is tied to our natural responsibilities as decision makers and stewards of our resources. Like the parable, God grants us gifts and talents, and it is up to us to make them produce fruit and share it voluntarily as we are moved to do so. But let us assume that taking property through the vehicle of pseudo-democratic legislation is fair game in certain conditions (after all, I may be tempted to steal if it meant I could save someone's life). It is then necessary to ask whether there is any point at which this justification is lost. I might steal to save a life, but would I steal to satisfy a less urgent need, like cleaner water or minor medical care? What about healthy food, exercise and education? We are currently doing all of these. But at what point do we say "no," and insist that individuals take responsibility for their advancement and comfort? That is the question up for debate. I cannot conceive of what tax rate Jesus Christ himself would be calling for. There is, of course, the standard 10 percent tithe, but would he raise that to 50 or 75 on wealthier Christians? He is not silent on the issue—when asked his thoughts on taxation his reply was to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." It turns out, Jesus is not concerned with tax rates; he is concerned with that which is God's—our hearts, where government cannot go. In God's design, helping one's neighbor is perhaps more a matter of personal sacrifice than welfare assistance. The miracle is not that someone is a degree more comfortable, but that someone gave of himself or herself willingly. The IRS is no substitute for a generous soul, but the more we place social welfare on the shoulders of the state, the more we abdicate one of our most sacred responsibilities.

  • Obama Calls It Fairness. The GOP Calls It Class Warfare. Scripture Calls It Envy By Doug Giles - Obama, in his State of the Union address and during his initial five-state, multi-million dollar taxpayer funded re-election jaunt has stated repeatedly that his platform and policies are not about class warfare, which means, of course, that his ticket is all about class warfare—or “fairness,” as he likes to call it … or as the Scripture labels it, envy.

  • Pinning the Tail on the Donkeys By Burt Prelutsky - In the case of Leftists, if you point out that socialism doesn't work any better in Wisconsin or Ohio than it did in the Soviet Union or does in Greece, they argue that it simply has never been done correctly. In the wake of such bloody failures as China, Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, only a certifiable lunatic would even consider defending socialism on such shaky ground. However, when it comes to unequivocal devotion to failed attempts at social engineering, those on the Left could give collies and cocker spaniels lessons in blind loyalty. If I haven't yet convinced you that those who inhabit the ranks of the Left are dangerously self-righteous and unbelievably stupid, consider that they not only elected Barney Frank to Congress, but then kept doing it 15 more times. Consider, too, that they hold the unholy likes of Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore and Michael Bloomberg, in high regard. Finally, never forget that one of the intellectual heroines of the Left, Susan Sontag, once declared, 'The white race is the cancer of human history,' and, as usual, she was being deadly serious; and that Barack Obama, after once acknowledging that America was the greatest nation on the face of the earth -- no doubt with his fingers crossed behind his back -- went on to announce that, as president, he intended to radically transform it!

  • Margaret Thatcher Debunks the Leftist Agenda on Income Equality By Daniel J. Mitchell - he statists are making a big issue out of income inequality, hoping to convince ordinary Americans that redistribution is their only hope for a better life. I’ve explained with a pizza analogy that this is horribly misguided because it falsely assumes the economy is a fixed pie. Simply stated, it doesn’t make sense – or help anybody – if inequality is reduced by policies that hurt everyone, but happen to hurt upper-income people more than lower-income people. Moreover, redistribution tends to create a “poverty trap” as people get seduced by dependency. That’s why I’ve argued that economic growth is the best way of helping the less fortunate. But I have to admit that Margaret Thatcher does a much better job of eviscerating the left’s agenda on this issue. While it’s inspiring to watch Thatcher in action, it’s also painful to realize that the current crop of GOP presidential candidates seems generally incapable of making similar arguments. Can you imagine, for instance, Mitt Romney making these remarks? Last but not least, Thatcher’s remarks remind me about Churchill’s famous quote, which is very appropriate for this discussion. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. And if you want real-world examples, look at this chart comparing North Korea and South Korea, or this chart comparing Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela. Now ask yourself a simple question: Which societies have generated more prosperity and higher living standards for ordinary people?

  • Government Charity Isn't Charity By Hadley Heath - Consider that right now, there are more than 70 federal means-tested welfare programs. If these programs are supposed to lift Americans out of poverty, they are failing. In 2010, there were 49 million Americans categorized as impoverished, and this number is going up. One problem is that government is simply inefficient. If we were to divide the roughly $950 billion spent on anti-poverty programs in 2011 by the 49 million Americans who are poor, we'd have nearly $19,400 per person. That's $77,600 for a family of four, which would clearly surpass the federal poverty line ($22,350 for a family of four). Of course, instead of going directly to the poor, government money passes through the pipeline of federal, state and local-level bureaucrats paid to administer welfare programs. These additional costs mean fewer resources go to the people in need. ...The biggest difference between charity and the welfare state isn't efficiency or costs: The biggest difference is the holistic approach private charities can take to bettering the lives of individuals.

  • Walter E. Williams - If a person without health insurance finds himself in need of costly medical care, let's investigate just how might that care be provided. There are not too many of us who'd suggest that we get the money from the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. That being the case, if a medically indigent person receives medical treatment, it must be provided by people. There are several possible methods to deliver the services. One way is for people to make voluntary contributions or for medical practitioners to simply treat medically indigent patients at no charge. I find both methods praiseworthy, laudable and, above all, moral. Another way to provide those services is for Congress to use its power to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another. ... I'd personally find such a method of providing medical services offensive and immoral, simply because I find the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another, what amounts to slavery, in violation of all that is decent. ... I share James Madison's vision, articulated when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees in 1794. Madison stood on the floor of the House to object, saying, 'I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents,' adding later that 'charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.' This vision of morality, I'm afraid, is repulsive to most Americans.

  • Sesame Street Muppet Pitches Government Dependence: Free Food at School By Eric Scheiner - December 9, 2011 (CNSNews.com) – A “food insecure” Muppet is helping to promote a national “Food for Thought” campaign that teaches poor families to seek out nutritious food and to eat on the taxpayers’ tab.

  • Christian giving: Family first --- Christian giving: Saints, then strangers --- Christian giving: Concluding principles By Dan Popp

  • Why Is Class Hatred Morally Superior to Race Hatred? By Dennis Prager - Non-leftists who cherish the American value of liberty over the left-wing value of socioeconomic equality, as well as those who adhere to Judeo-Christian values, do not regard the existence of economic classes as inherently morally problematic. If the poor are treated equally before the law, are given the chance and the liberty to raise their socioeconomic status and have their basic material needs met, the gap between rich and poor is not a major moral problem. Of course, if the rich got rich through deceitful or violent means, they must be prosecuted. But America is a place where the way in which 'poor' is defined renders most poor Americans materially equivalent to much of Europe's middle class. America is also a place where the rich by and large legally acquired their wealth through hard work and entrepreneurial enterprise. So here, the existence of rich and poor is not a problem that demands governmental action.

  • “Share Your Profits” And “Sue Your Boss” Are Not Job Growth Strategies by Austin Hill - Think back a long time ago. Stretch your mind, and go all the way back to January 21st, 2011. On that day, the President of the United States spoke to an audience at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, NY and said, among other things: "We're going back to Thomas Edison's principles… We're going to build stuff and invent stuff..(thunderous applause)." Yes, President Barack Obama said that. And never mind that one of Thomas Edison’s most profound inventions, the light bulb, is about to be outlawed by the Obama Administration. In a rather uncharacteristic moment of enthusiasm and support of for-profit American enterprise, the President made an appeal to American ingenuity and ambition and seemed to conclude that right now we need more of both. But fast-forward a bit to last Monday, February 7th. That’s when the President addressed an audience of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (again) and had a rather different attitude towards American success. Speaking of the improving balance sheets at many American companies, President Obama stated: “The benefits can’t just translate into greater bonuses and profits for those at the top. They have to be shared by American workers, who need to know that expanding trade and opening markets will lift their standards of living, as well as your bottom line…” “Share the profits” in 2011 sounds eerily like “spread the wealth around,” circa 2008. In both cases, the President was speaking the language of economic collectivism – “socialism” being the more loosely defined term of choice for this type of rhetoric – and it should be disturbing to every American.

  • Charity In America by Harris R. Sherline - Americans are the most charitable people on earth. This is not just some self-serving assessment. It has been repeatedly demonstrated over time, not only by our response to the many disasters that occur in other parts of the world, but also by the extent of charitable giving by both individual Americans and institutions alike. Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks examined charitable giving in America and found, among other things, that conservatives give 30% more to charity than liberals do, despite the fact that liberals have higher incomes than conservatives. ...However, secular liberals are 90% more likely to give sanctimonious Senate speeches demanding the forced redistribution of income (up from 7% last year).

  • In her first State of the State address, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that "as government expands, liberty contracts" and that governemnt was "never intended to be all things to all people."

  • How Government Helpfulness Breeds Dependency by Robert Weissberg - To be blunt, government is infantilizing its own people, creating a nation of well-dressed, well-spoken beggars seeking endless handouts. It is thus futile to place all the blame on free-spending elected officials; they are rationally satisfying entitlement addicted constituents, though to be sure, government helped manufacture this entitlement addiction.

  • Free Isn't Freedom - Handouts to the Healthy Only Hurt by Ralph Peters ...My mother’s family first enjoyed indoor plumbing when the boys came home from the Second World War with money in hand, and a family of twelve had crammed into a two-bedroom house—but no one begged for anything, not ever. You went hungry first. Then came the well-intentioned, disastrous programs of The Great Society. By the end of the 1960s, the miner’s pride lay shattered and the dream of the able-bodied blue-collar worker back home was to qualify for “total disability,” while retaining sufficient health to do some illicit work on the side (for cash payment) to supplement the beer budget. Lawsuits came into fashion, too. The Great Society’s message was “You’re entitled.” It was the most-seductive, most-destructive and most-pernicious message our government had sent since the Dred Scott case prolonged slavery. Instead of giving us a more-equitable society, it destroyed the urban-black family; erected dependency walls around ghettos, barrios and rust-belt company towns; vanquished the blue-collar work ethic in innumerable communities; and put us on the road to our present state of whining, demanding, parasitic, morbid obesity. Congratulations. Again and again across the decades, I witnessed the narcotic, enslaving effects of a government-provided “free lunch” for able adults: Members of my own family wondered who they could sue for imagined injuries; obese military wives paralyzed health clinics by treating them as social hubs—dragging in their children for every minor affliction, since there was no cost to do so (a mere five-dollar-per-visit fee would have cleaned out those waiting rooms rapidly); and working-age folks back home employed their considerable reserves of ingenuity to beat the system any way they could.   In the historical blink of an eye, we went from a self-reliant and spirited society to a nation of cattle satisfied with a government-filled trough.

  • Promises and Riots By Thomas Sowell - Nothing is easier for politicians than to play Santa Claus by promising benefits, without mentioning the costs -- or lying about the costs and leaving it to future governments to figure out what to do when the money runs out. In the United States, the biggest and longest-running scam of this sort is Social Security. Fulfilling all the promises that were made, as commitments in the law, would cost more money than Social Security has ever had. ... All the incentives are for politicians to do what they have done, namely to promise benefits without raising enough taxes to pay for them. That way, it looks like you are getting something for nothing. When crunch time comes and politicians are either going to have to tell people the truth or raise taxes, the almost inevitable choice is to raise taxes. If the people think they are already taxed too much, then the taxes can be raised only for people designated as 'the rich.' If 'the rich' object, then demagogues can denounce them for their selfishness and 'greed' for objecting to turning over ever-growing amounts of what they have earned to politicians. ... The scams inherent in welfare states are not only economically counterproductive, they turn group against group, straining the ties that hold a society together.

  • Why Socialism Always Results in Tyrannical Rule

  • Is Socialism Christian?

  • Leftists, Progressives and Socialists

  • Where Best To Be Poor

  • "Enough Money" …But that is wholly different from having politicians make such decisions for other people. Politicians who take on that role stifle economic progress and drain away other people's money, in order to hand out goodies that will help get themselves re-elected. Some people call that "social justice," even when it is anti-social politics.

  • Sunday School for Socialists …There are MANY reasons why using these verses to support government-enforced wealth redistribution (i.e. socialism) is really a gross misapplication of scripture.  I don’t quite have time to draft the 50-page fully-footnoted essay that is required for this, but I’ll attempt a few critical points at least:

  • Who Gives and Who Doesn't? - Liberals are said to care more about helping the poor; so did people in San Francisco give more? It turns out that this idea that liberals give more…is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election. Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money." … And he says the differences in giving goes beyond money, pointing out that conservatives are 18 percent more likely to donate blood. He says this difference is not about politics, but about the different way conservatives and liberals view government. "You find that people who believe it's the government's job to make incomes more equal, are far less likely to give their money away," Brooks says. In fact, people who disagree with the statement, "The government has a basic responsibility to take care of the people who can't take care of themselves," are 27 percent more likely to give to charity.

  • The Tale of Two Washington's – and the Myth of ‘Raising Taxes on the Rich’ by Catherine Snow - Everyone has likely heard of the folklore hero Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, renowned for redistributing wealth by “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.” As lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., next week, conservatives are not only pointing to Tuesday’s election as a sound rejection of the Democrats’ wealth redistribution strategies, but also to a defeated “wealth redistribution” ballot measure in liberal Washington state.

  • Christian Giving Holds Steady During Recession, Up For Adoption, Orphan Care (Nov. 2010) The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) announced Tuesday that charitable contributions to its members on average varied little over the past two years.

  • Conservatives more charitable than liberal Scrooges TONY LEE — While liberals often want to take other people's money and spend it the way they think is proper, liberals are, on the whole, hypocritically far less generous with their money than conservatives that they demonize are... (more)


Heritage’s Ryan Messmore on Seeking Social Justice by Catherine Snow - Ryan Messmore, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, is dedicated to examining how religious charity affects public policy – and politics. Messmore challenges the liberal vision of “social justice,” which says that government is the solution for all societal ails.  And, his efforts are helping reframe the public debate – and change hearts and minds in the process.

...A lot that is being told to college students and young people today – who are passionate about serving people in need – is a narrative about:
The “inequality” between the rich and the poor, to care for somebody who is poor is to figure out how to redistribute money from those who have it to those who don’t, the government is the means that is often presented as the most effective way to do that. A lot of young people that I’ve talked to have gained the sense that to care about those in poverty – and from a position of faith – means I need to advocate for government redistribution of wealth. They equate serving people in need with almost a Marxist approach to economics, using the government as the main mechanism. ...We feel that the best way to restore broken relationships is through face-to-face interaction –the types of relationships that are fostered through families, churches, and nonprofit organizations, rather than impersonal government.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about “Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives In Need.”
WATCH a trailer for a “Seek Social Justice” study group lesson.
Read, “Obama’s Proposal to Reduce Charitable Deductions Would Hurt Civil Society, Expand Government.”
Read, “Seeking Clarity Amidst Confusion About Social Justice.”
Read, “Civil Society Does What Big Government Can’t.”
Read, “Obama’s Faith-Based Office Shouldn’t Put So Much Faith in Government.” 


“A Republic ma’am, if you can keep it” Ben Franklin ( Republic vs. Democracy)
 
This is not 1776, when America was permeated with Biblical moral virtue. America is currently permeated with "progressive political correctness," which requires relinquishing Biblical moral virtue. In order to restore the Republic as our Christian Founders intended, requires the core Biblical foundation which was the motivating factor in how America's Founders confronted EVERY issue, whether social, fiscal, national, and international.
 
In order to restore the "American Way of Life" for our descendants, American citizens, those who are also citizens of the Kingdom of God, must begin to honor and obey their Lord's call to become the Salt & Light they are called to be as “ambassadors” for their King, by preaching not only John 3:16, but what Jesus admonished in the same breath through verse 21. Many are also only “preaching” 1 Timothy 2 but not 2 Timothy 4.
 
A Republic vs. Marxism is a free market vs. socialism. If you still believe government should be our daddy or god then consider what Samuel Adams and James Madison said:

Samuel Adams: "Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom...crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"

James Madison (1751-1836) Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the United States: "The preservation of a free government requires not merely that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority and are Tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves."


The only perfect "kingdom" is the Kingdom of God because He is a God of love, with no deceit in Him, but also a God righteousness and judgment, yet with mercy and grace everlasting.
 
There is, nor will there ever be a society that is not "broken" because....
 
Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
 
Genesis 8:21  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.
 
Now America's Founders realized this and established the Republic according to with separate States with their own ruling bodies and three Federal Branches, all according to Scripture (see http://www.earstohear.net/Separation/BliblicalFoundation.html). They also did not create a democracy, but a republic for the same reason.
 
The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. John Quincy Adams
 
“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Samuel Adams
 
“[A] Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States... as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.” Thomas Jefferson
 
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary…. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” James Madison
 
This is why our Lord not only called us to preach John 3:16, but also what He said through verse 21. This is why He commissioned His followers to be the salt and Light of the world. You cannot have righteousness without judgment. See Deuteronomy 27 & 28 for "cursed be the man" and the blessings of obedience.
 
Btw - The Kingdom of God is not a religion, but a government with a King.) You may wish to see Judging and Reproof along with What is the Kingdom of God
 
This is why even "Christians," or "Kingdom citizens" get duped into believing government can mandate a utopian state.
 
Jesus warned in Matthew 24:24:  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
 
Therefore EarsToHear.net exists...in obedience to what the Holy Spirit has revealed...not only to preach the Good News about the Lord's grace and mercy, but also as He commands....(2 Timothy 4:2-4) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 
From Dr. Charles S. Price One Freedom -- This world system in which self has waxed fat is not a planting of "the Father" but is a growth and result of the Adamic curse, under "our father the devil." We have been clothed with the wool from the back of self; wool of the production of self. We have patted self and exalted self until it has grown and spread itself like a GREEN BAY TREE! We know not that we are "wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?"


Part of our Christian call as Ambassadors for Christ has been abandoned, and which we are now witnessing the results, is to....
 
Colossians 4:5-6 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
 
1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
 
2 Timothy 2:15-19 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
 
Titus 3:9-11 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.
 
2 Timothy 3:16-4:4 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
 
Luke 11:52 - Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.


A further challenge to secular progressives

Christian Love, as exemplified by the first Christian church in their HAVING ALL THINGS IN COMMON, placed in its true and just point of light.
 
By Charles Chauncy (1705-1787) was a minister from Boston. He attended Harvard, graduating in 1721. Chauncy preached at the First Church in Boston for sixty years (1727-1787). Below is his 1773 sermon on Christian charity to the poor. The text of this sermon has been changed to reflect modern spelling.
 
A SERMON, Preached at the Thursday-Lecture, in Boston, August 3d. 1773.
 
From ACTS 4. 32. - WHEREIN it is shown, that Christian churches, in their character as such, are strongly obliged to evidence the reality of their Christian love, though not by having all things in common, yet by making such provision, according to their ability, for their members in a state of penury, as that none of them may suffer through want of the things needful of the body; and that DEACONS are officers appointed by Christ to take care of His poor saints, making all proper distributions to them in His name, and as enabled hereto by the churches to which they respectively belong.
 
Having all things in Common, explained and improved.
 
ACTS 4. 32. - “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul: neither said any of them, that ought of the things which he possessed were his own; but they had all things in common.”
 
… They begin, “and the multitude of them that believed.” – The persons here spoken of were “believers;” that is, converts to the Christian faith. And they were converts from Judaism. For the Gospel had not as yet been preached to the Gentile nations. The apostles, it is true, had, before this time, been commissioned by their Lord “to preach, in his name, repentance, and remission of sins, among ALL NATIONS,” as we read in Luk. 24. 47: But they were expressly ordered, in the words that immediately follow, to begin their ministry, in execution of their commission, “at Jerusalem; and to tarry there until they had been endued with power from on high;” [Luke 24:47-49] that is, with miraculous power from the Holy Ghost.
 
… It is further added in my text, “neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common.” The things here said to be “had in common” must not be understood as extending to a community in everything. Such an explanation of the words would be an absurdity in reason, and a direct contradiction to the precepts of revelation. They ought therefore to be limited to such things only as might, in consistency with the rule of duty, be possessed and enjoyed in common.
 
… To this purpose are those words of the apostle Peter, in the chapter following my test, ver. 4, which he spoke to Ananias with a direct reference to the sale he had made of his possession; “while it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thy own power”? Surely, he would not have said this, he could not have said it with propriety, or truth, if Ananias had been under the obligation of a command from Christ, conveyed by his apostles, to part with his possession, and put the price into the common stock. Upon this supposition, how could his possession be so called “his own” as that he might not have sold it? And when he had sold it, how could the price of it be said to have been “in his own power?” It should seem demonstrable, from this application of the apostle Peter to Ananias that the sale which these believers at Jerusalem made of their possessions was a matter of their own free choice, not what they were absolutely bound to do in virtue of any requirement of Jesus Christ.
 
… It is still further observable, the apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthian church, as “touching the ministering to the saints,” [2 Corinthians 9:1] gives them this instruction, 2 Cor. 9. 7, “Every man according as he professed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Is this an injunction that will, in the least, comport with the supposition, that the individuals of this church had nothing of their own, but had all things in common? Every man, you see, is left to give according to the free purpose of his own heart: Only he is instructed to give with cheerfulness, and liberality; and upon the encouragement mentioned in the foregoing verse, “This I say, he that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully.”
 
… It was their constant care to provide, by their charitable distributions, for the relief of their brethren in Christ under distressing circumstances, whether through poverty, or the unjust treatment of a wicked and unbelieving world. 




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