News & Politics

Salon Lectures Republicans on Christian Charity, Forgets Welfare Isn't Charity

Luke Holley, 4, receives his gift from Santa Claus at the Savannah Elks Lodge #183 Christmas gathering Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 in Savannah, Ga.. The Elks Lodge invited 175 children and their families from Hunter Army Airfield, Ft. Stewart, Safe Shelter, Salvation Army and the local Aidmore Foster Home program out to their Southside lodge to celebrate the season. (Will Peebles/Savannah Morning News via AP)

Christianity has some very specific things to say about taking care of the poor. People of the Christian faith are charged with giving to the needy and helping the poor and sick.

Salon, however, thinks Republican Christians are ignoring their faith. Never mind that many conservatives aren’t Christians in the first place, Salon argues that the GOP is working against the Bible with their tax plan.

Yes, really.

In “Taxing the rich to help the poor? What the Bible says isn’t what the GOP says,” writer Mathew Schmalz goes into great detail on the moral failings of the GOP. In particular, he attacks opposition to welfare programs that divert money from those who earn it and give it to those who do not.

Unfortunately, he fails at every level.

It’s not charitable to spend other people’s money on the poor. This isn’t rocket science. Yet liberals continue to miss the point over and over again.

When the government takes money from people under threat of force, it takes away people’s ability to help the poor. Worse, however, is that for many people the government also takes away any feeling of obligation to help the poor. “I pay taxes. What more do you want?” they ask.

However, government is horribly inefficient at distributing much of anything.

Any program requires a bureaucracy to manage it, and bureaucracies rarely do anything nearly as well as the private citizen. And the more a government program grows, the more funds are required for the care and feeding of that bureaucracy, thus leaving fewer funds for the needy.

But private charity is something that can be monitored. We can send our charitable contributions to groups that we know to be both effective and efficient. We can punish those that aren’t a good steward of money by no longer giving them any.

With government, that’s not an option. If you fail to give them the money they crave, you get to explain yourself to people with guns. Then they take the money anyways.

None of this touches on the institutional poverty that government welfare programs create simply by existing.

Look, I get it. I want to help the poor too. Until very recently, I was living well beneath the poverty line, so I know what it’s like to be poor. It sucks.

However, while helping the poor is a priority for many of us, it would be nice if those who are yelling so loudly about helping the poor would front their own money for a change.

You know, actual charity such as is described in the Bible.