googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Rendering to Caesar the things that are God's

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rendering to Caesar the things that are God's

Concerning health care, John Edwards said, “What we're going to do is cover every single American, including the 47 million who don't have coverage.” You know, I’ve always been puzzled by this: by what political theory can people justify our government giving people anything?

I don’t want to pick on Edwards because social medicine seems to be a theme among the Democrats. Clinton said, “While I will be requiring all Americans to have health care, I will be calling on employers to do their part as well.” Kucinich said, “A not-for-profit health care system is not only possible, but H.R. 676, a bill that I introduced, and a number of Congressmen, the Conyers-Kucinich bill, actually establishes Medicare for all.” And the list goes on - Biden, Dodd, and Obama all seem bent on getting more people on the public dole.

National health care is probably born out of a “helping people” attitude. OK. I agree it’s good to help people. Still, why do you think this is the duty of the government? In Mark 12, Jesus made the often cited quote, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” We live in a society today where people seem perfectly content to let Caesar do the work of the Church. Personally, I have a problem with letting the state become a charity.

Dr. Walter E. Williams has talked a lot about government involvement in benevolence and has a good list of quotes from some of the founding fathers and other leaders of our country which speak to this very issue. Consider President Franklin Pierce’s quote from that page, “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.”

When you have someone seizing the assets from one person for the benefit of another, it’s ordinarily called “stealing.” It’s not benevolence, it’s despotism. Charity is not charity at all when it’s done under threat of arrest. It doesn’t matter how worthy the cause might be - the government should stay out of it.

Alas, there are people who absolutely refuse to see the wrong in government sponsored “charity.” I believe this is evidence of the truth in that old saying, “When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul.” Perhaps there are a lot of people who believe there should be national health care. Maybe it is a “good” cause. But if we allow one “good” cause, we’re saying it’s OK for the government to compel us to do whatever it thinks is “good.” So perhaps the government might think it’s OK to have federally funded abortions. Oh wait, it already does that. How about allowing embryonic stem cell research? And what about federal funding of the arts? Does anyone remember the “artwork” of a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung? The government still supports the National Endowment of the Arts to the tune of $121 million annually. They do all these “good” things with our tax dollars. Heck, why don’t we just let the Feds raise our kids while they’re at it?

To have a government, we give up a certain amount of our rights to them. One thing we give up is some of our money in the form of taxes. I pay taxes because I want the government to do those things it should be doing: having an army, protecting our borders, building roads, catching criminals, having fire departments, etc. But I don’t want the government to take care of every citizen from cradle-to-grave.

Some people are just plain lazy. Perhaps others think if they leave good work to “the people”, it just won’t get done. Still others might believe they know what’s best for everyone else so they’re just going to make everyone be charitable whether we like it or not. But this attitude that the government should take care of us is just plain wrong. I'll take care of my own family when they're sick. By the way, I'll also take care of my kids' college, my own groceries, and my retirement too. Thanks anyway.

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