By Randa Morris | 17 December 2013
Republicans claim that caring for poor is best left to the churches and to ‘Christian charity,’ not the government. They also claim that debt is a sin. Given these claims, it might just blow your mind to learn that according to Church Finance Today, “68% of churches in the West-South Central U.S., and 64% of churches in the East-South Central U.S. have expenses exceeding income.” What’s worse, according to the same source, “these are the best regions in the country.”
Republicans want us to believe that Christian charity is sufficient for taking care of the poor. Yet it’s obvious from these figures that Christians aren’t even able to handle taking care of their own churches.
The Christian Right tells us we should be angry at the government for running up debt. Yet, now we find out that more than 60% of their own churches are in debt? They rail on about how the government shouldn’t be spending more than it brings in. So, how do they justify the fact that more than 60 percent of the country’s churches are doing the same?
How can churches and Christian charity take care of the poor when they can’t even pay their own bills?
How can we possibly believe that churches, which can’t even pay their own bills, are going to be able to care for the nation’s poor? We’re supposed to believe that these churches will be able to provide for huge numbers of poverty stricken Americans, because of Christian charity? What Christian charity? Churches are already on the verge of bankruptcy, because Christian charity obviously isn’t enough to even keep their doors open. Yet we’re supposed to believe that churches can fill the void, if government programs like SNAP, WIC, welfare and housing assistance were to suddenly cease?
And what about debt? I thought debt was slavery. I thought it was supposed to be a sin. How can debt be a sin for the government, but not a sin for a church? The government is not supposed to be bound by religious doctrine, but the church is. What ever happened to ‘practice what you preach?’
How does this work, exactly? Republicans say that spending more than you make means you have cut back. With more than 60 percent of churches spending more than they make, you’d think the right would be demanding spending cuts in the churches. Balancing the budget is top priority, right?
But no. Republicans are not talking about how the churches need to start cutting back on spending. Even though it’s clear that churches are already running up debt, republicans are pushing for them to take on a whole new realm of programs and Christian charity activities.
In other words, they are pushing for the churches to spend more than have, to provide programs they obviously can’t afford.
But wait, that’s what they say the government shouldn’t be doing…
How can right-wing Christians be obsessing over the government’s budget issues, while totally neglecting their own? And where are all those charitable givers, giving to Christian charity? Aren’t they supposed to be giving money to the church, in order to keep it out of slavery and debt and sin?
Right wing Christians aren’t being realistic or honest about their own financial issues. The majority of them would be the first to quote the proverbial “charity begins at home.”
Obviously Christian charity does not begin at church. If it did then churches wouldn’t be facing a financial crisis of this magnitude. The right wing has been deceptively quiet about the churches financial woes. It seems they deliberately side step the topic, in an effort to keep up the utterly false impression that Christian charity will fill the gap, as more and more people are turned away from government assistance.
What happens when Christian charity fails, as it surely will?
The truth is the right wing is not concerned about the poor, the sick or the elderly. The whole idea that churches could ever hope to provide the kind of services that struggling American families need is just laughable. But if enough people can be fooled into believing the opposite, many programs can be eliminated, before the reality sets in.
People are not voluntary givers. No matter how Christian they claim to be, when left to their own devices, most people will choose to be selfish, rather than charitable. Talk to any Tea Partier or libertarian, they’ll tell you that. They think that they shouldn’t have to contribute anything that they don’t want to contribute. Keep talking to them and you’ll soon find out that they don’t want to contribute anything, period.
This is why we must have taxes. It’s why contributing to your country and your community can’t be as optional as contributing to your church.
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