Social Justice, Socialism and the Hypocrisy of the Christian Conservative:
Social Justice, Socialism and the Hypocrisy of the Christian Conservative:
“Love your neighbor as yourself:” As a devout Catholic Christian, I do my best to follow the teachings of Christ…to love my neighbor as myself and to love God above all…to be merciful as God is merciful…to care for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the prisoner, the immigrant….to freely give to those in need. As a tax paying American citizen, I gladly pay my payroll taxes and am comforted to know that some of my tax dollars do in fact go to social programs intended to help those in need…to help Christ. The churches do their best, but the need is far greater than the generous donations of churches. The need is “societal, global.”
There is a social imperative, as a society, to help those in need. Americans are known for their generosity and their desire to help others in the world. A citizen of America is guaranteed the freedom to pursue happiness and to worship in whatever way they choose. It is a moral imperative for us to care for one another as citizens of this great country. So why are a great number of Christians in our society so bent on calling social programs designed to help the “least of these,” and social justice, socialism? Why have the teachings of Christ been so horribly skewed by so many? Why do so many strive for a theocracy, when the separation of church and state guarantees their very own right to freedom of religion? Why are only certain moral teachings valid and others are not? Why is one form of Christianity and moral code the only correct interpretation and must be constantly merged with government policies and law?. One needs only look to the past of Taliban ruled Afghanistan to see how a theocracy threatens freedom. One only needs to look to China to see how total government control also threatens personal freedom
Hypocrisy of modern Christians: It boggles the mind how self-proclaimed Christians can be so hate filled, bigoted, ignorant, unmerciful….so NOT like Christ at all. How can you treat the poor, the widow, the old, the immigrant…as “expendable people” who have little or no dignity? When did money become more important than human dignity?
This is what I hear from my Christian brothers and sisters who claim to be “conservative:”
- “We need to get rid of entitlements….those people are just lazy and taking our hard earned Tax money.” “Those who take irresponsibly have no dignity and should not be afforded dignity.” “If they receive my tax dollars, they must be drug tested to make sure they are not spending my money on drugs.”
- “Obama’s entitlement socialism has bankrupted our country and must be stopped.”
- “taking my tax money to fund social programs is forced charity and it is socialism….not the same as what Jesus preached.”
- “We need to just round up all of those illegals and send them back to Mexico. I am tired of them getting a free ride, while they take our jobs and get education and medical care that I can’t get on my tax dollar.”
- “I don’t want my tax dollars to go to funding illegal aliens and abortions…”
- “abortion is murder, but capital punishment is a just punishment…and self defense.”
- “everyone must have a driver’s license, even if they don’t drive, in order to vote, but do not need one to purchase a weapon.”
- “it is a constitutional right to carry a loaded weapon in public…around grandmothers and children”
- “President Obama is a Muslim and wants to instate Sharia law.”
- “We needed to go get those ragheads in Iraq because they were behind 9/11” ….” “We had to go get them over there so they wouldn’t come here.”
- “wake up people! Black people, Muslims, Hispanics and anyone who doesn’t believe the way we do are all conspirators who wish to take our money and drive us all into bankruptcy and take over OUR country.”
- “I want MY country back.
- “Let them die!” “Obama care is bankrupting our country.” “We can’t possibly provide medical care for everyone, that would be socialism and that would be BAD.”
“I don’t want MY taxes spent on ….:” Are you kidding me!? The false narrative is so difficult to listen to…
1) Your taxes going to social programs is considered forced charity and stealing, but taking dollars for corporations, nuclear weapons, capital punishment and war is not forced immorality and murder?
2) You are more concerned about social programs for the poor and the elderly than you are about the corporations who steal from all of us…pre-emptive wars paid for with blank checks haven’t bankrupted us?
3) Abortion is murder, but killing criminals and innocent women and children in the wake of wars of choice is NOT?
4) Affordable health care for the poor is bankrupting our country? Again….wars of choice have done more to bankrupt our country. What about the very rich who have lined their pockets at the tax payer’s expense? Where is your indignation and hatred toward them?
Socialization NOT Socialism: “Conservative” viewers radio listeners are being socialized to believe that people who are poor and in need are the problem. You are told lies about who receives public assistance. While it is true that the system is far from perfect and that people DO abuse and are not honest, the vast majority of folks in need are legitimate and they do hurt, they are in pain, they are poor, they have dignity and they need social programs to help them. Many of us have paid into Social Security for our adult lives…this is not a handout, we earned it and saved it.
You, my friends, make erroneous assumptions….you listen to false prophets and “news” meant to manipulate facts and to cloud the truth. http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm
- Most of the people on welfare are NOT drug addicts or “black.” Check out the statistics for yourself.
- Most people on welfare are white and are legitimately below poverty level because they are old, disabled, widowed with children, unemployed, or lack the socioeconomic benefits to get out of their current situation.
- President Obama is an American citizen. His mother was born in Kansas. He was born in Hawaii.
- President Obama has said, “Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” Why is his word not believed, but men like Newt G. and John M., who are adulterers and claim they have repented, are believed?
- Not all immigrants are illegals from Mexico. Many are from other countries and are here legitimately and are buried in an unjust, unfair, bureaucratic system that takes their money and buries them in paperwork.
- Less than one percent of the people in this country became richer through the worst recession since the great depression, yet you are angry about social programs that help ordinary people afford to see a doctor?
Do you not see the hypocrisy and injustice of your words?
All human life, regardless of stage of development, socioeconomic status, nationality, religion, race, political leaning, sex or sexual orientation, is sacred, has dignity and is loved by God. We are all children of God…all flawed…all special….all possessing dignity….ALL loved by God.
- God’s Kingdom has NO boundaries. God’s Love has no boundaries. God’s mercy falls on the just and the right. God’s mercy has NO boundaries.
- We are all called to treat others as Christ would treat them. We are called to be merciful.
- Social Justice is not Socialism!!! “The fear of socialism begins with a fear of losing one’s identity and material wealth, as well as the ability to experience economic upward mobility. The mission of social justice begins with honoring the identity of each human and realizing the mobility of one depends upon the mobility of all.”
“Socialism is defined as economic or political theories that advocate collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. The threat perceived by socialism is that it threatens the identity of the individual because it merges the masses into one common goal or voice.
Social justice isn’t an economic or political theory, but an outlook that seeks to strengthen the identity of the individual because it sees that human dignity derives its meaning from being made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26). In God’s image, no one is worth more than another. All are deserving of life and whatever is needed to adequately sustain it.
The Catholic church’s mission is derived from the words and actions of Jesus. Jesus reached out to those living on the margins of society because they had as much value in God’s eyes as those living in the center with their power and comfort. Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed in Caritas in Veritate, “If we love others with charity then first of all we are just towards them. . . . Justice is the primary way of charity.”
Social justice means living in right relationship. We must live justly not only with God, but with our neighbor and all of humanity. How we treat the least among us becomes a measure of how well we honor our relationship with God. By honoring the least, we are challenged to look at how they are denied the chance to sustain their own life. If our actions, our consumption, or our materialism make it difficult for others to simply live, then we are not loving our neighbors as much as we love ourselves….” Fromhttp://www.uscatholic.org/church/2010/07/social-justice-same-socialism
I don’t have all the answers; I just know that what I am hearing during this election year and every election year is deeply troubling. I am a self-professed centrist. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats. I loathe the current political systems and the increasing ugliness and gridlock in the U.S. government. What troubles me the most are the Christians who are allowing their own fears to cloud their ability to love as Christ taught us to love.
Refuse to listen to the media: My advice is to turn off the TV. Read the bible. Pray for discernment. Pray for all who are suffering in poverty and pain. Praise God for all the good things you have in your life, including a magnificent country where freedom of the individual is treasured above all else. Thank God we are free to speak our minds, to pursue our dreams and to worship God as we choose…most of all Praise God we are free to LOVE.
In Christ’s Love,
C. Dianne Phillips