Jim Wallis: Biblical Perspectives on Idolatry, Poverty, Abortion

You asked for specific issues from a Biblical perspective.
Let’s start with idolatry. I agree with your definition that it is “setting up moral authorities in competition with, or to the negation, of God.” But you then turn it into a partisan polemic against the Democratic Party, and what you call its “aggressive secularism” and “classic pagan hallmarks.” I do not agree that the “chief crisis that any would-be political leader today needs to address” is the idolatry of secularism. The far greater crisis is those who call themselves Christians (or Jews), but put other loyalties ahead of their loyalty to God
The reality is that the idolatries that rule in the U.S. include nationalism, materialism, racism – ideologies that compete with the rule of God and for the loyalties of people of faith.


I’ve told the story many times about when I was in seminary, and our group of students did a thorough study to find every verse in the Bible that dealt with the poor. We looked for every reference to poor people, to wealth and poverty, to injustice and oppression, and to what the response to all those subjects was to be for the people of God We found several thousand verses in the Bible on the poor and God’s response to injustice. We found it to be the second most prominent theme in the Hebrew Scriptures–the first was idolatry, and the two often were related.
On Bush’s “idolatries.” I recount in God’s Politics how often George W. Bush has confused the American nation with the people and the purposes of God in his use of Scripture, hymns, and his calls to arms in his war against terrorism. I do believe that Bush’s theology has led to disastrous consequences and has embarrassed American Christianity and damaged our image around the world.
On same-sex marriage. I believe in equal protection under the law in a democratic, pluralistic society for gay people and everybody else. Some would debate whether civil unions are necessary for that, or whether other legal protections are adequate. And that’s a fair discussion. But, I have consistently said that I don’t think the sacrament of marriage between a man and a woman should be changed.
On abortion. I have repeatedly said that I believe abortion is wrong and always a moral tragedy. The number of unborn lives that are lost every year is alarming. But I also do not believe that the best way to change that is to criminalize abortions and just force them underground. The question is how can we actually prevent unwanted pregnancies, protect unborn lives, support low-income women, offer compassionate alternatives to abortion, make adoption much more accessible and affordable, carefully fashion reasonable restrictions, and thus dramatically reduce the shamefully high abortion rate in America? You say you want to respect the will of the people. Well, every opinion poll shows the same thing – substantial majorities think that there are too many abortions and that we should pursue measures to reduce and restrict the number, but they do not support overturning Roe v. Wade.
Finally, on poverty. You say that we can agree that some needs should be addressed by government. But in your book, you say that “I can find nowhere in the Scripture where the state is commanded to extend generosity to the impoverished.” I suppose it depends on how you define “the state.” It was very different in ancient Israel before the monarchy, but the Bible is full of laws that govern leaving the corners of fields unharvested, not shaking olive trees and grapevines a second time, the Jubilee year of redistribution – all aimed at compelling those who “had” to hand over some of their plenty to those who did not. And there are laws governing fair wages (think minimum wage), unfair interest rates (think outlawing payday lending), and other ways of ensuring some degree of economic justice. It’s the gap between the rich and the poor which seems to most concern the prophets and reducing the economic chasm is a priority for them.
Then, in perhaps the most outrageous statement in your book, you say that “It is debatable whether the Bible’s many admonitions to care for the poor really apply today, in the United States, other than to a relatively small group of people.” Do you really believe that trying to support a family of four on $20,000 a year (the official poverty measure) isn’t really poverty? Thirty-seven million people living below the poverty line is not a small group. I couldn’t believe your statement when I read it this week. And it tells me that you have never lived in a poor neighborhood or had any poor people as your friends. Do you see the news these days, with stories of families having to choose between paying the rent or buying food, between keeping the electricity on or buying needed medications? And what about all the children who are poor, and even hungry, in America. Do you think that it is all just their fault? Do I need to tell you the heartbreaking stories of what happens to families in the poorest neighborhoods in Washington DC where I have lived for three decades? There is real and painful poverty in the U.S. today, David, and the Bible’s admonitions certainly do apply. And frankly, most all the rabbis that I have been blessed to know over many years would completely disagree with you on this. Your incredible statement about the biblical imperatives not applying to the poor in your country makes me think that we will never agree on very much about what the Bible says about politics.
Finally, who I personally vote for is not the issue. In our work, we have successfully worked across the aisle on a number of issues. On TANF (welfare reform) reauthorization, we convened a group of senior Republican and Democratic staff to work on a bipartisan approach. We worked with former Republican Senator Rick Santorum on the CARE Act, supported the direction of his Republican anti-poverty platform, and several other measures. My closest friend in the U.S. Senate for many years was former Senator Mark Hatfield, Republican from Oregon. Sadly, I have not been very enthusiastic about the voting choices we have had in many recent elections. But what says more about my politics are the causes and movements which have compelled my time and energy. It’s not who I may vote for, but who I work with as allies toward common ground and common goals.

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posted June 20, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I went to elementary school in an impoverished part of this country and the poor in the US live a lifestyle the Old Testament Jews couldn’t dream of. “Electricity on or buying needed medications”, certainly such a choice seems extravagant to those who struggle for access to clean water and experience abysmal rates of infant mortality coupled with short life expectancies.
If you want poverty of Biblical proportions (numbers of people and degree of poverty), look abroad to those who actually live in it. In historical terms being born in America is like wining the lottery, living a lifestyle King David (or even the Pharaohs) couldn’t dream of.
Speaking of Jubilee, that’s when we have to free our slaves, right Jim?

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posted June 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

David is being quite naive when he suggests that Jim is committed to voting for at least one republican in the recent past. The entire point of Jim’s writings is to encourage you to transcend the simple democrat/republican paradigm, refuse to define your worldview by such silly terms as “liberal” and “conservative” (as if there are only two options), and actually think for yourself.
It’s most likely the case that such a transcendent political view makes each election difficult, since all the candidates espouse some views compatible with your own and some that are incompatible. You can’t cast .6 votes for Candidate A and .4 for Candidate B, so you’re stuck putting all your vote to one candidate, which doesn’t fully reflect your thoughtfulness. As such, it can’t be the case that voting for Candidate A indicates that you agree with every last point of their platform. Instead, voting for Candidate A can *only* indicate that you think that A’s policies, on the whole, would better benefit the country (or serve God’s purpose, or serve your pocketbook, or whatever your motivation) than the policies of Candidate B.
As such, it is naive to expect a centrist to have a certain “fair” split between the parties (like 50/50, 25/75, or anything else). Elections aren’t about parties – they’re about candidates (unless you’re a blind partisan, which is morally and civicly irresponsible). It may be the case that for the past 30 years there have been a lot of tough choices, but each time the Republican candidate was a little more favorable than the Democrat. Thus, it could reasonably turn out that the sophisticated centrist votes Republican in every Presidential election for the past 30 years. The same argument supports a sophisticated centrist voting democrat in every election for the past 30 years. It’s not inconsistent for them to do so.
There should be no affirmative action in voting. Just because the sophisticated centrist voted for a Republican for the last 30 years doesn’t mean they should vote for a Democrat this time “just to be fair” or to “show their centrism”. Each candidate in each election should be taken on their own merits, and not the previous voting history of the voter. It would be tragic to think, “Well, I think (Obama/McCain) would be great for this country, but I’ve voted for the (Democrats/Republicans) for a long time now… It’s time to give the other team a chance!”

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posted June 20, 2008 at 2:11 pm

America has a “new god” and it’s name is Money. The rich get richer and the poor are poorer. Soon we will be a country of serfdom and vassals.
Prosperity Gospel has risen its head again not only in America but in Africa and South America. I remember the Rev. Ike from my youth and I see that his mind set has returned to our churches once more. These are the villains of our society along with the corporate greed that raises prices just so that the average man and woman has to suffer.
I would like the CEOs of our oil companies try to live for four months on just $6,666 (1/3 of $20G.). I get that they would be broke in just one week.

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posted June 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm

“The question is how can we actually prevent unwanted pregnancies, protect unborn lives…”
–How do you protect unborn lives without laws? Why have you opposed such laws?
“Do you really believe that trying to support a family of four on $20,000 a year (the official poverty measure) isn’t really poverty? Thirty-seven million people living below the poverty line is not a small group.”
–You know the real question. It’s what percentage of this group of 37 million go hungry or are homeless, which is what “poverty” meant back in Biblical times. Your average person living under the poverty line in the US lives in a home, owns a car, and has many other material comforts (e.g., air conditioning, heat) that were non-existent in material times. There no doubt are genuinely poor people in the US, though it is a much smaller number than the 37 million you cite.
I think a genuine debate over what constitutes “poor” in the Biblical sense would be very good to have.

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posted June 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm

“were non-existent in material times.”
–Non-existent in BIBLICAL times, I meant.

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posted June 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm

The reality is that the idolatries that rule in the U.S. include nationalism, materialism, racism – ideologies that compete with the rule of God and for the loyalties of people of faith.
Really? These are “the idolatries that rule in the U.S.”? I assume by “nationalism,” Wallis means “excessive patriotism, chauvinism” (definition 3 at Well, I see people who are happy to be Americans. And I hear conservatives talk about American exceptionalism. But isn’t the U.S. and exceptional country in world history? As Jonah Goldberg once said, Americans are not nationalistic, they are patriotic. They like ideas, like “All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights.” But they are not particularly attached to race or land.
As for materialism, it is the Left that is guilty of this. The Left wishes to teach ONLY the materialist idea that human life came about through accidents in nature rather than even allowing for the possibility that a non-material force perhaps guided evolution. It is the Left that believes that the root of crime, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and all sorts of other societal ills is poverty. This is a PURELY materialist explanation for bad behavior! And the materialist solution is to redistribute income. The non-materialist solution would be to change the deviants’ values.
As for racism, it is the Left that has historically been the strongest in favor of applying different standards to different races. It is the Left that claims that blacks learn differently than whites, who learn differently than Hispanics who learn differently than Asians, etc. The KKK and other racist groups have been pushed so far out of the mainstream that you can hardly say that racism is an idolatry that rules in the U.S.
As Ann Coulter once said, you can always tell what liberals are up to by what they accuse you of.

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Gregory Wonderwheel

posted June 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm

The chief crisis today is the idolatry of God of the kind that Klinghoffer represents. They turn God into a virtual Golden Calf to be slavishly worshipped as the one who asks them to build up riches in this world. They turn God into an idol who speaks to them and they claim to have the sole ability to interpret for the people what their idol says. It is pretty hopeless talking to idol worshippers like Klinghoffer. They can’t see past the painted face of their idol to the true God.
The chief crisis in religion is not the negation of God but the objectification of God that turns God into an idol. God cannot be seen with human ideas nor grasped with human concepts. Klinghoffer clings to his ideas about God and fails to meet the one true God that can’t be described or grasped.
When the Bible is set up as a moral authority and its spiritual guides are turned into human laws, that too is an idolatry that is an idolatry of God that both objectifies a phony God and negates the living God.

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Gregory Wonderwheel

posted June 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Look, the Bible says a woman isn’t supposed to leave a house if she is in her period. It says noone is supposed to leave their house if they have a runny nose. It says so many things that we ignore on a daily basis today, who in the world and why would anyone say that the Bible has anything to say on a literal basis today. In other words, who is the decider about which of thd rules in the Bible we are supposed to follow today and which we are free to change to suit modern circumstances? I have never heard a non-arbitrary rational argument on this point.
Really, the Bible is completely silent on the issue of abortion. Every Bible passage used to support the anti-abortion laws are s far stretch of interpretion using metaphor and imagery to support their arguemnt while they deny that the Bible uses metaphor and imagry in other cases against their positions.
If anything the OT (Exodus 21:22-23) is clear that when a pregnant woman is physically harmed, if the mother dies it is murder punishable by death but if the baby dies it is only a fine for the lost economic income. Thus the Bible is clear that a fetus is not the same as a born human being and does not warrant the same penalty as the mother’s death.
The rightwing fundamentalists have twisted the Bible with pretzel logic to say the Bible considers the fetus to be equal to a fully born peson when there is no support for their position in the Bible itself. Nothing in the New Testament says a fetus may not be aborted.

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posted June 20, 2008 at 9:29 pm

My problem with Mr. K, as with most people who take the Bible as God’s infallible word, is that it is not. It is a human document, written by people(s) who has a spiritual experience, and it is full of contradictions, errors, and downright cruelty. It is sacred, yes, but not dictation from God. To try to apply it word for word as directions from God endows it with an authority it does not have.
What’s more, it is mostly narrative. It is odd in the extreme to take narratives and extract from them precise directions on taxation, poverty levels, economics, etc.
I find it strange, and dangerous, that there are people out there who would prooftext the Bible this finely, and literally. It does no justice to us, or even the Bible.

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posted June 21, 2008 at 6:21 am

Maplewood, my thoughts and sentiments exactly.

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Steven Kippel

posted June 21, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Mr. Wonderwheel,
You cannot use the dictionary to define philosophical terms.
Nationalism is not excessive patriotism, but is the adoration of the nation above all else. It sacrifices lives, family and all else to the nation. It’s what compels otherwise dedicated Christians to support murder, lies, deceit, theft, and other sins under names such as “national security” or the “national interest.” Nationalism thanks the state created equality and rights for everyone, instead of God, the source of all things. Instead of simply appreciating the state’s role in preserving these rights, they say the rights are granted by the state. And then they make programs such as “Hannity’s America.”
I think you’re confusing the philosophy of materialism with economic materialism. It is the latter that Wallis is citing. Materialism is the desire for wealth and the accumulation of property. Materialists are the ones who buy stuff to show off their wealth. It’s the “love of money.”
You also have no idea what the highest contributing factor to crime is: poverty. The man who doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal will come from doesn’t feel obligated to steal. You should look into social engineering if you want to talk about this issue without looking like a fool.
You’re also poorly versed in racism. You must also be out of touch with society to think racism isn’t a factor in this country. When over 20% of the country _admits_ that race is a factor in the upcoming election, it’s hardly a non-issue now.
Also, Jim wasn’t accusing the Right of anything, he was explaining what three social idols were. He didn’t attribute them to any specific political agenda.

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posted June 22, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I am very tempted to “flame” David Klinghoffer as it is because of foolish people like him that Christians have a bad reputation.
GOD is neither democrat nor republican; in fact both parties are far from GOD and are in danger of losing His favour (if they even have it).
A biblical basis for lower taxes? Bull! He is trying to use the bible to benefit his rich constituents who wouldn’t know what mercy is even if they were shown the dictionary definition!
The Republican party is one of the most scummy parties in the western hemisphere (the Liberals of Canada are close behind and the Conservatives too). The Republicans actually make Fidel Castro look good (no I am not in favour of Castro and his Marxism).
There is no biblical basis for this war in Iraq because it is based upon lies by the administration. The only good thing about the Republican party is the animal they chose as their symbol.

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posted June 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm

The question is, ejgindo and jesse, would you like to trade places with them, with people trying to support a family of (at least) four on $20,000/year or less? I highly doubt that “your average person living under the poverty line” owns both a home and a motor vehicle. I would like to see statistics on that, on what percentage of those below the poverty line own their own home and own a car. It would be all but impossible to know this, but it would be interesting to know how reliable and how old their vehicles are. I would also like to see if those of low income who do, or did, happen to own their own home are the ones being hit the hardest by the current mortgage crisis. If I were a betting person I would put money on the bet that they are.
What being poor is about in the Bible is not merely a lack of money, though it certainly includes that. It’s about being helpless and powerless, the “widows and orphans”, those who have no voice, those who can’t pull themselves up by the bootstraps because they have no boots. The main issue is justice, not just money. Dick Gregory expressed the difference between having no money and being truly poor quite well when he wrote of his childhood in his autobiography: “We wasn’t poor, just broke.”
Are the poor in the US better off than the poor in developing countries? For the most part, yes, of course. But that doesn’t mean they’re not poor, in the way the Bible speaks of poverty. And we go back to our original question: Would any of us want to trade places? Some of us have been there; would we want to go back? Maybe some of us are there; would we want to be like those who are better off, or is it more fun to stay as we are?

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posted June 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Nationalism is not excessive patriotism, but is the adoration of the nation above all else.
Um, I don’t see a difference: “adoration of the nation above all else”=”excessive patriotism.” I don’t see this as a huge problem. Sure, many Americans appreciate the opportunities that the US gives us, and they understand that the US is unique in that it offers more freedom to its citizens than any country in the world. But we are not nationalistic in the sense of “my country, right or wrong.” Even while they appreciate the good the US has done, conservatives still see our flaws (i.e., Klinghoffer, Dinesh D’Souza).
It sacrifices lives, family and all else to the nation.
Which party wants to “sacrifice lives, family and all else to the nation”? Hillary Clinton once said (and I’m paraphrasing), “We have to get past the idea that there is a such thing as someone else’s child.” In some cases our government subsidizes abortions because one party is in the pocket of lobbyists from groups like Planned Parenthood. Wouldn’t this constitute sacrificing lives and family? In general, it’s the Democrats who, instead of having you take care of your poor, sick, or elderly relatives, want the government to take money from me to give to your poor, sick, or elderly relatives.
think you’re confusing the philosophy of materialism with economic materialism. It is the latter that Wallis is citing. Materialism is the desire for wealth and the accumulation of property.
So, Wallis thinks that a “desire for wealth and the accumulation of property” is idolatry? The Bible does tell us to give 10% of our earnings to charity, but it never says that we should not be allowed to accumulate propertry. Wallis’ view that wealth is bad contradicts the Bible, as Klinghoffer has shown. The Bible says that a 20% tax amounts to surfdom and, later on, a 10% tax amounts to slavery.
You also have no idea what the highest contributing factor to crime is: poverty. The man who doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal will come from doesn’t feel obligated to steal. You should look into social engineering if you want to talk about this issue without looking like a fool.
Correlation does not imply causation. There is a non-material explanation for both poverty and crime: sin. This does NOT mean that every poor person deserves to be poor. Some people get bad breaks in life, which is why the government should provide some sort of safety net to help unlucky people get back on their feet. People with strong families won’t need the government’s help anyway, which is why the Bible is so pro-family (see Levrite marriage). Also, children with fathers present are much less likely to become criminals. It is easy to stay out of poverty: don’t get pregnant before you’re married; get a job, any job!, and stick to it; and stay out of jail.
You’re also poorly versed in racism. You must also be out of touch with society to think racism isn’t a factor in this country. When over 20% of the country _admits_ that race is a factor in the upcoming election, it’s hardly a non-issue now.
Just because race is a factor, does this mean racism is a huge problem in America??? Race IS a factor, for the good and for the bad. For example, if a black conservative ran against a white conservative, and they agreed on every issue, I would vote for the black conservative. If it had been Colin Powell versus John McCain for the Republican nomination, I would’ve voted for Colin Powell simply because he is black. In my estimation, a black conservative president would be better for our country than a white conservative president. So, race is a factor for me, but this doesn’t mean I’m a racist.
Racism does exist, but the fact that race is a factor in the election does NOT prove that racism is mainstream.

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Rev. Debra Haffner

posted June 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm

What Rev. Wallis isn’t telling you is that the abortion rate is at its lowest since 1974, a year after Roe v. Wade. Abortions are coming down in the U.S. The abortion rate is down 10 million since 2000, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
What Rev. Wallis isn’t telling you is that a majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and that 62% of mainline Christians and 84% of Jews believe that.
What Rev. Wallis isn’t telling you is that according to the Guttmacher Institute, placing retrictions, whatever “reasonable restrictions” might be, doesn’t make abortions rarer, it makes them less safe.
And despite my reading his paragraph over and over again lest I missed it, what Rev. Wallis isn’t calling for is hope for young women for productive futures through quality education and job opportunities (as was missing in last week’s stories on the so-called pregnancy pact), sexuality education, and high quality family planning services. Rev. Wallis, as a pro-choice feminist and minister, I will do everything I can to work with you on assuring adoption services and high quality prenatal care and parenting support — when will we see you working to assure women AND men have access to the means to prevent pregnancies in the first place?
Rev. Debra Haffner

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Dan Hollander

posted July 1, 2008 at 6:53 am

I guess it is official: Jim Wallis supports Roe v. Wade and is opposed to the legal protection of the unborn.
I hope this clears things up.

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posted July 2, 2008 at 5:41 am

Jim Wallis and Sojourners have a verifiable history of working with people in both the Republican and Democratic parties (even GWB, at least in the beginning of his first term), and I think he would like to see himself more as an Independent, prophetically above partisan politics; however, his comments about abortion are what really establish the fact that he is a minion of the Democratic Party, first and last.
He admits that unborn human lives are lost. How are they lost? Certainly not spontaneously. We call that miscarriage. They are killed in a premeditated fashion for various reasons–that’s the sad truth. Yet, he does not seem to want to take legal action to prevent the killing of the innocent.
Why not?
If African-Americans were still being lynched in the South, would he want laws against it, prosecution of the lynchers, and an end to tolerance of this practice, or would he instead want to take a soft approach focusing on education, economic improvement, etc. etc.?
I doubt it.
If Mexican illegal immigrants were being shot by skinheads with night scopes on their rifles, would he want the long arm of the law to clamp down?
What do you think? One guess.
If the severely handicapped were being euthanized involuntarily in government hospitals, how do you think Jim would respond?
Again, one guess.
But, somehow the killing of the unborn (otherwise known as babies), the most totally voiceless and helpless in our society, is different.
My guess is that, post-Mondale, the Democratic Party has gone overwhelmingly “pro-choice,” so that’s the way Jim has to go, because he has to cheer for his party.
It’s a pity. There’s a wonderfully long list of left-wingers who still think birth-control abortion-on-demand is unjust and would like to do something about it, i.e., take down Roe vs. Wade. (Unfortunately, Obama is not part of that crowd.)

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posted July 4, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I have been poor, lived with the poor, took care of foster children who were poor, and have close relatives that are still poor. Most are poor because of horrible decisions generally made to reduce short term discomfort at a horrible long term cost. A minority is poor due to some physical or mental deficiency but they are cared for by family. The problem with liberals is that they cannot accept that people suffer for their own discretions and that money without accountability exasperates the problems. The problem with conservatives and religious leaders is that they have not been successful in teaching the morality and sacrificial discipline necessary for people to improve spiritually and economically.
One of many examples: Foster daughter age 12 cannot read or write, steals daily, has tantrums, and breaks things. Age 17, can read and write, getting average grades in 10th grade, involved in church, no longer steals or breaks things but still has periodic tantrums. She decides with liberal Christian social worker that strict family discipline is not necessary so moved out with state subsidy and social system oversight. Daughter began stealing again, incarcerated many times in many jails and finally prison. During incarceration had no responsibility, watched TV and read comics. Between incarcerations she had three babies by three different fathers. Last father was put in jail for severe child abuse. She reconnected with foster parents as sort of an anchor. No more babies or jail and got a job, apt with Salvation Army, doing okay but got tired the Army’s discipline, standing and working. Foster parents agreed to pay for schooling. Social services decided she could qualify for SSI due to her background and they could keep her as a client. Now a job would doom her to lose her perpetual income with full health care. Social service is happy she is staying out of jail and not having babies. We believe they are selling her and many of her SSI client friends very short.
This is anecdotal but not an isolated situation. Many social servants are very helpful but the system depends on the clients as much as the clients on the system. The greatest help I have seen has been from individuals serving others sacrificially with the moral anchor and support of their church. The government can help but with accountability and incentive, not as a financial benefactor or service provider. The conflict of interest and resultant mutual dependency is often very destructive.

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posted July 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm

** Pro-Birth writ large is mass-Death **
“Pro-life” ranters are not pro-life. They are pro-birth. That dogma used to be called pro-natalism. It’s an androcentric, completely misogynistic, demand that no impediment whatsoever on *births* be permitted by law.
What happens to mother and child after birth is irrelevant since the “laws” of nature will then cull weak from strong. “Pro-life” is pro-death — the death impulse of the big-3 monotheisms in full operation. They reject the ultimate ends of human life as belonging solely to culture, and posit some totally non-existent spiritual realm.
Today’s pseudo-scientific justification of pro-natalsim belongs to social darwinism (really, created by Herbert Spencer). However, that’s merely a gloss on western religious demands — 6,000 years of god damned male domination. When will it end?
Enough of ancient paternalistic tribal customs which cannot be enlarged to become a planet-wide ethos. (As Marvin Harris made very clear: reproduction will always win against food production, leading to de-facto slavery, degraded environments, and marginal living conditions. Technological intensification makes for only short-term solutions.)
It should be obvious that pro-birth is not pro-life. In fact this sick religious ideology is pro-mass-death: creating disease, poverty, and ignorance worldwide by fostering overpopulation, damning safe non-reproductive sex, and blocking responsible medical research.
© 2008

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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Nothing the Bible supports bloated welfare bureaucracies. These have been huge failures; one might say that government declared a war on poverty and poverty won. Indeed, much of the “welfare” budget goes to support the bureaucracy rather than the poor (i.e. they pimp off poverty), and even helps keeps the poor in poverty.
Private charities are also better and more in line with biblical teachings: fewer overheads, as well as direct contact with the people so they know whether they deserve a helping hand or kick in the pants. And they are likely to spring up when people have more to give because the government confiscates less.
It’s also notable that many politicians of the Left such as the Clintons, Obama, Biden and Gore are notoriously stingy with their *own* money. “Compassion” for them = **generosity with other people’s money**. Conversely, Prof. Arthur Brooks, although starting his research leaning left, found that conservatives are more generous with their own money and even with their blood donation, and published the results in his book “Who Really Cares?”.
Foreign “aid” has merely served to prop up despots and enrich them while their people remain in poverty. That’s why Kenyan economics expert, James Shikwati, pleads, Stop foreign “aid” (cited in paper with the URL at the top), while Thomas Sowell argues that it should be called “foreign *harm*”.

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posted January 26, 2009 at 8:40 am

Have you read this article?
One of the best rebuttals to the ProLife movement I’ve read..

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