I have little patience for those of any ideological bent, who use the Bible to try to justify their partisan political views.
But MDJ columnist Kevin Foley took this deceptive practice to a new and shameful level in his column from last Friday.
He cited the biblical story commonly referred to as the story of the rich young ruler, to try to persuade us that Jesus Christ would approve of our government, with all its coercive power, taking (without question or scrutiny) the fruits of its citizens’ labors and redistributing them to those it perceives as needy. Any and all who call for such question or scrutiny are then branded as untrue to their faith by Mr. Foley.
But, even a cursory examination of the story puts the lie to this creepy deception.
As Foley quoted in his column from the Gospel of Mark, our Lord challenged the young man to “go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, then come, follow me.“ Nowhere did He say: “Sell what you own, take the proceeds to the local tax collector so that the government may distribute it as it sees fit.“
No, Jesus’ command was for the young man to act, individually, to ease the suffering of the poor. It was an individual mandate, if you will (a concept that liberals, like Mr. Foley, have lately applauded as it pertains to the onerous package of laws and taxes known as Obamacare).
Government certainly has a role in providing aid to those who are in need through no fault of their own. But, we should not see government as the main proxy through which we provide this aid. Government is, truly, a poor channel for demonstrating and distributing our compassion, especially when you consider the large percentage of dollars that go to bureaucrats to administer benefits and how much of the remainder is spent to buy votes in the next election cycle.
Of course, Foley ignores this logic in a lame effort to deny votes to Mitt Romney in next month’s election. He would have us believe that Romney is Ebenezer Scrooge in the flesh who cares nothing for the plight of the less fortunate.
But this is contradicted by how Romney spends his own money (or what is left of it after he pays his taxes). The inconvenient truth is that he gave about $4 million to charity during 2011, according to his federal tax return — a little more than 28 percent of his taxable income. Barack Obama, on the other hand, gave $162,000 dollars to charity last year — roughly 20 percent of his taxable income.
Foley is certainly entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts. I suggest that he be more energetic in seeking all the facts before writing such partisan baloney in the future.