COMMENTARY: Cuts to food stamps flout the gospel message

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(RNS) Remarkably, at a time when one in four Americans say they have struggled to put food on the table, Congress has chosen to slash one of the most effective anti-hunger programs in the country, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps.

  • Earold Gunter

    I really don’t get how some people consider themselves Christians, but believe in the “Free market”, “Greed is good”, “Look out for your own damn self” message of the far right “Ultra Conservative” Tea party faction of the Republican party. A party that appears to be making moves to distancing themselves from it.

    Me, I’m not a believer, more accurately an “Anti-theist”, but believe it or not, I have morals and ethics that most would agree are in line with what most Christians purport to have, although not obviously not those who consider themselves right wing; I’m more centrist than left wing though.

    I’ve read their book several times, and if you throw out the OT horror story, and narrow it down to different versions of the books of the NT, I just don’t get the conservative right wing message in it.

    In fact, I get a message that is quite opposite of it. Just one example; In Mathew 14:12-21 (not written by Mathew by the way), Jesus rejected the use of the free market his disciples urged him to use to feed these people, but instead set up what some would call a socialist food giveaway program, supposedly feeding the masses with bread and fish. He didn’t call any of them “takers”, and he didn’t insists that watchdogs be put in place to insure no one took without needing. He just gave, freely, with love, and without conditions, or hesitation. How can you reconcile your beliefs with these teaching actions and still call yourself a Christian?

    I see such great divide in the Catholic church because of political opinions, and am torn by it. In one sense I am thrilled as I would love to see the demise of all stupidstitious (add that one to the lexicon as well, please) institutions, but in another sense I recognize the financial power this church has. Financial power not only because of its massive wealth, but financial power in that it can influence its membership into action as well; action which could be used to help the poor.

    I offer only one more example, and recognize this example is concerning only followers, which hopefully will resonate with some of you even more. In Acts 4:32-37, 5:1-11, with Peter & John, not only did everyone share everything, even going so far as to sell all their property and put it in a common pot (socialism), but when Ananias and his wife Sapphira got greedy, your God killed them.

  • Duane Lamers

    Earold, I suggest another take on the entire welfare issue. You cite Scripture, but keep in mind that the commandments from Scripture are for its believers. You’ll find nothing in the Bible that suggests the State is responsible for taking care of us. None of the words of Jesus support this, either. The commands are that we as individuals act with charity.

    No, I do not rule out the citizenry giving the state some role in this. The problem is that the state under the liberal/socialist agenda continues to expand its power in order to make all of us dependents of the state, and the state expands its power without consulting the citizenry.

    I am amused when non-believers wish to use the Bible to support their own agenda but want nothing to do with a creche in the public square at Christmas.

  • Duane Lamers

    The editor-in-chief recently asked for examples of a liberal bias in RNS. I invite him to look at the headers and substance of many of the columns presented today. I have noted before, however, that liberals cannot see their own liberalism on display and, thus, cannot acknowledge it. Conservatives have no such problem.

  • Earold Gunter

    Duane, I suggest you may want read what I wrote again. The very reason I cited scripture was for the believers who think that food stamps for those who need them to eat is somehow not in concurrence with how your Christ acted in the book they believe is the words of your God. Nothing I wrote remotely suggests anything about the state being responsible for this, but since no other entity has enough money to do this, it is the only way currently possible. Also, I mention his aversion to the use of the free market,but you didn’t respond to that, but twist, twist away.
    I disagree the agenda of the state is to make citizens dependant on them. Two things would have to exist for this to be true, the “state” would have to work in harmony, and not even one political party can do this, and two there would be a logical objective for it, and I see none. The facts are that the last decade has resulted in a disparity between rich and poor unseen in modern times. Economic factors having to do with global competition has left many out of the American dream. Even your Pope has spoken about CEO’s making 5000% more than the average worker, which is nothing short of obscene.
    As a former believer I know that the majority of those who believe only do so because of childhood programming and that for the most part, have not actually even read this book from start to finish for themselves, even once. Instead they are lazy and rely on their clergy to not only cherry pick verses, but interpret what they think it means as well; a perfect recipe for keeping the flocks docile and in line. I was one of them, lost, until I started studying for myself, but now I am found, was once blind, but now I can see…sorry, force of habit.
    Finally, I was under the distinct impression that you, at least consider yourself to be, a patriotic citizen of this country. That you would support the display of a religious icon on property owned by all of the citizens, when not all of the citizens support the beliefs of the specific religion violates the separation of church and state. If any religious believers is so weak in their faith that they need to see this displayed publically, they need to question their beliefs.

  • Earold Gunter

    Duane, That last part was meant to be a joke right? If not, then you are so far right you have fallen off.