Only Media Matters can bury the lede of their latest Christian-bashing missive five graphs down into a story. After starting one story on Tim Tebow, the article plunges headfirst off the cliff into insanity by switching gears and blaming poverty in America on … Christians:
… but as the network exaggerates the threat to Christianity in America, it simultaneously downplays — even mocks — the very real plight facing those whom Christian teachings demand be shown compassion: the poor.
Poverty in the U.S. is on the rise. Incomes are decreasing. According to the Census Bureau, right now there are over 46 million Americans in poverty, more than there have been at any time since they started publishing poverty estimates. Fifteen percent of U.S. households are “food insecure,” meaning they lack money to properly feed themselves on a daily basis. They face a host of problems, both quantifiable and not: lack of access to health care, chronic underemployment, disrupted family life, and so on.
But to hear Fox News tell it, the poor don’t have it so bad. Earlier this year, the conservative Heritage Foundation released a report on how the ownership of household appliances demonstrates that “most of the persons whom the government defines as ‘in poverty’ are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term.” Seizing on Heritage’s laughably superficial assessment of poverty, Bill O’Reilly asked: “How can you be so poor and have all this stuff?”
I love when progressives pause their Bible-bashing long enough to pose as sudden experts on Scripture. Oh please, let’s do this. (You’ll see my reason why at the end.)
1) “Poverty in the U.S. is on the rise. Incomes are decreasing. According to the Census Bureau, right now there are over 46 million Americans in poverty, more than there have been at any time since they started publishing poverty estimates.”
And when did this start exactly? The answer: with this administration. Remember when Newt Gingrich called Obama the “food stamp president?” While the Dixified minds of dog whistle progressives are certain that “food stamps” is code for “black people,” the reality is that more white Americans are on food stamps–in fact, more Americans, period, are receiving government assistance now than ever:
A record 18.3% of the nation’s total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010. Wages accounted for the lowest share of income — 51.0% — since the government began keeping track in 1929.
The income data show how fragile and government-dependent the recovery is after a recession that officially ended in June 2009.
Americans on the government dole received an average of $7,427 each in benefits in 2010, up from an inflation-adjusted $4,763 in 2000 and $3,686 in 1990. Thus, benefits have more than doubled in the last 20 years! Keep in mind that the federal government pays about 90% of these benefits.
How can this be? Under the Obama administration, families have watched jobs disappear, incomes shrink, food and gas prices rise, and the economy downgraded for the first time in a century. Ace of Spades with the numbers:
All while government spending increased at a record pace:
Don’t you think this has something to do with the increased poverty rate? And while we’re waxing poetic on Scripture, what say you of this racket presented in the graph above, of the astronomical increase in non defense federal spending?
The act of looting the American public and reducing them to a record level of government dependence while government spends billions on its friends’ failing energy companies and drives Christ from culture — for the public good — reeks of the scene above. Don’t commit a logical fallacy by demanding conservatives embody beliefs you are working hard to eradicate from popular culture while inadvertently validating said beliefs as necessary for a thriving economy. Durr.
Who tries to make up for this discrepancy, an income decrease brought on by a reckless and greedy government? Christians do:
When you look at the data,” says Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, “it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more. And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money.”
Finally, Brooks says one thing stands out as the biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable: “their religious participation.” Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money — four times as much.
But doesn’t that giving just stay within the religion?
“No,” says Brooks, “Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street.”
I’ve long said that big government is the failing of man. Government exploits the lack of voluntary citizen stewardship and uses it as an excuse to increase itself. If more people, not just Christians, stepped up, government would find no weak links.
Progressives wish to redefine as the desire to self administer the fruits of your labor instead of giving them to the government, who pays for free progressive radio and free progressive television and gives “free” money to fraudulent organizations like ACORN and spends even more money on ending human life. It’s easy to be “compassionate” with other people’s money for self glory. Progressives talk of money in reference to accumulating it; Scripture warns of it becoming your master. (Fun fact: money is mentioned more than prayer, faith, and love in the Bible.)
Expecting your fellow man to subsidize your way of life is the very definition of greed. It’s not “compassion” when you’re spending someone else’s capital. All throughout the Gospels Christ makes it clear that charity is to be a voluntary act of individual compassion necessary for spiritual edification. The act of ministering to your fellow man not only serves to bring glory to God, but also to grow one’s relationship with God. Removing such an opportunity neuters this, in effect, and places government in the role which God should, Scripturally, “occupy.” It’s easy to shrug off stewardship to the government and consider your job to your fellow man complete, but in reality, it’s lazy and a demonstration of selfishness with one’s time and emotions. It’s nothing if everyone does it; it’s something if you have to work to be like others to do it.
While Media Matters is approaching Scripture from a petty and uneducated perspective (and attempting to use the spectre of knowledge to shame conservatives for not following a Marxist and decidedly anti-Christian ideology) I sincerely hope it turns into a genuine curiosity. If they must first mock it just to step a foot over the threshold, I’ll accept that, too, but I consider the issue a victory simply because they’re even discussing it.
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
– 2 Thessalonians 3:10