Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Does Christian Compassion Require the Nanny State?

Religious statists like Wallis equate the Welfare State with Christian compassion. But common sense and statics indicate that government programs are often least effective in combating poverty, sometimes even perpetuating it. Shouldn’t Christians and others of good will seek maximum effectiveness in helping the needy rather than just further increasing Big Government?

In this illuminating article posted by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Kristin Rudolph and Barton Gingerich demonstrate how it is leftist ideology rather than an accurate reading of American culture that drives Jim Wallis' wagon.

On several occasions, Sojourners chief Jim Wallis has insisted that the private sector could only provide for 6% of charity and poverty alleviation in the U.S. He uses this frightening number to defend an unlimited federal Welfare State as the chief focus of Christian compassion.

Wallis assumes that government is competent in handling poverty and merits even greater funding. But Christians should examine his claims. A look at the habits, statistics, and finances of government welfare programs paint a grim picture. The limits of governmental welfare contrast strongly with the comparative effectiveness of private charities.

Very good stuff here, especially for those who have young friends who believe Christian compassion equates to the welfare state.