Letter: Misguided Compassion Destroying Society
Misguided Compassion is part of the woes of this county. In fact “Few things have done more harm in the world than disproportionate compassion,” wrote William Lecky in The Map of Life. Examples of misguided compassion can be multiplied many times over, against which common sense as well as God’s Word continually warn us. For this reason, our founding fathers made unconstitutional any transfer of monies from one segment of society to another portion of the populace. Instead, all public monies were to be for the “general welfare” (Preamble to Constitution) which was defined as the well-being of all the people. Casting this sage advice, as well as LAW, behind their backs, the progressives have led us into the abyss of financial and moral collapse in America.
Beginning in earnest in the days of Franklin Roosevelt and continued with a vengeance by Barack Obama, our ungodly welfare state is beyond mammoth proportions. Per NBC Business News 15% of Americans (46+ million) are on food stamps. CNN Money reports more than 1 in 7 citizens receive expenditures from the Department of Agriculture. Under Obama they are advertizing for more. The Huffington Post tells that dependence upon the government is at “an all time high.” Heritage Foundation statistics show that from the time of JFK when federal spending was distributed to 21.7 million Americans it is now 1 in 5 citizens! More than 67 million receive this aid. Of the federal budget, more than 70% goes to pay for housing, food, income, student aid, farm subsidies, etc.
Some “conservative” pundits continue to argue that the federal government “needs” to provide a “safety net” for the poor or disadvantaged. This is compassion, we are told. But how are we to define “who” needs assistance? Where is the line to be drawn? How are we to reckon charity? In truth, any government (forcible) transfer of wealth from one person or group of people to another is not only unconstitutional, it is not even compassion. It is, what might be called, in the words of William Lecky, “misguided compassion” that erodes society.
How Does Misguided Compassion Destroy Society? First, consider the penal code. The Apostle Paul shows us in Romans 13 that the government (“powers that be”) are ordained of God for the specific purpose of doing good. “For rulers are a terror, not to the good, but to the evil” (13:3). “For he is a minister of God to thee for good; but if you do that which is evil; be afraid, for he bears not the sword in vain” (4). To promote a civil society that rewards the good, God has ordained government. But this must also punish the evil, which is depicted here by “the sword,” indicating capital punishment. But as Lecky points out, “It is no exaggeration to say that the death of an interesting murderer will often arouse much stronger feelings than were ever excited by the death of his victim” But we must be on guard here, for “The humanitarian spirit is a perfectly right thing as long as it does not diminish the deterrent power of punishment as to increase crime, and as long as it does not place the criminal in a better position of comfort than the blameless poor.” If this becomes the case “compassion” becomes misguided and becomes more evil than good.
Second, consider legislation protecting people from themselves. God demands work (2 Thess. 3:10) and that we must make a living by the “sweat of our brow.” But politicians, seeking to protect men from excessive labor (from themselves) and by “surrounding them with costly sanitary precautions, may easily, if they are injudiciously framed, so handicap a sex or a people in the competition of industry as to drive them out of great fields of industry, restrict their means of livelihood, lower their standard of wages and comfort, and thus seriously diminish the happiness of their lives.” Our staggering American economy testifies to the truthfulness of this statement.
Third, consider the discipline of children. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” was revealed for a reason. “The parent who shrinks from inflicting any suffering on his child, or withholding from him any pleasure that he desires, is not laying the foundation of happy life, and the benevolence which counteracts or obscures the law of nature that extravagance, improvidence and vice lead naturally to ruin, is no real kindness either to the upright man who has resisted temptation to the weak man whose virtue is trembling doubtfully in the balance.”
Fourth, consider state welfare. Biblically based benevolence is always freewill compassion, dependent upon the charity of individuals who have the option to give or not to give. Redistribution, however, (socialism) flying under the false flag of charity, is actually the “insidious growth of selfishness” and is a “disease against which men should be most on their guard.” Socialism is, at root, a deception. In truth, many and great evils spring from ill-considered charities. For this reason, the framers of our nation warned us of the socialistic state into which we are now plunging. Paying no heed to biblical injunctions, greedy progressives have made America a shambles by causing wickedness to grow. Compassion is Christ-like. But “misguided” or “unthinking” compassion is really not compassion. It is a destructive force in society.
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