Yesterday, as part of my usual iPhone surfing, I checked the news on the NYTimes App. There was an article about Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Now, I usually don’t get upset by the ultra-conservatives, and I know that their views of “Christianity” are much different from mine, but this time a quote really got my blood boiling:
Becky Benson, 56, traveled from Orlando, Florida, because, she said, “we believe in Jesus Christ,” and Jesus, she said, would not have agreed with the economic stimulus package, bank bailouts and welfare. “You cannot sit and expect someone to hand out to you,” she said. “You don’t spend your way out of debt.”
How could anyone say that Jesus would not support helping the less fortunate?
I was still upset about it this morning, and even spoke with my priest about it after church today: “What can someone like me do to let others know that these people don’t speak for all Christians?”
I decided to write a letter to the editor. We will see if they publish it – the odds are miniscule. If they don’t, I will post it here. I used the allotted 150 words to point out specific Bible versus where Jesus promotes the idea of giving “handouts” to the poor:
“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor.” Matthew 19:21; Mark 17:21;Luke 18:22.
“Sell your possessions, and give alms.” Luke 12:31
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s
where Jesus pretty much says “Politics? Leave me out of it!”
I don’t like it when anyone claims to be doing “what God wants,” but if there is any litmus test for God’s approval, it would have to be LOVE, and I don’t feel a whole lot of love from people who don’t think that we should help those who are less fortunate. I’m not saying that I agree with the details any of the recent government programs, but Jesus made it pretty clear that we should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome strangers and visit prisoners. (Matthew 25: 31-46).