Ok Fred,Lets say that you are 100% correct. And that we all agree
with you.Now, lets talk about a separate issue.People
without food or health care.There will always be some in society
that are not making it. Yes, maybe they are lazy, or crazy, or stupid, or sick,
or hurt. Surely you understand that "charity" does not cover all these
people.What do we do as a society? I mean that as a completely
serious question. I am talking about the people (children included) that dont
have access to their church welfare program or friends and family that can help
them out. Do we let some starve to death? Or die because they cant afford a
routine medical procedure?Now, many will say that we are too
generous with our government help, and I would agree. Government help should be
reserved for those who are truly in need. Those that wont make it otherwise.
Until we get out of the ALL or NOTHING mindset, ideas just look
crazy. And to those of you who carp about what the constitution
does and does not allow for, you may want to re read. Supreme court perhaps?
My father diesd in 2010 at the age of 90. He grew up in the midst of the Great
Depression. Over the years, we enjoyed many philosophical discussions about the
country and our obligations as citizens. I'm sure my father would never
have wanted a return to the Depression, but when he talked about those times he
almost spoke with fondness about the community he grew up in where nieghbors
looked out for each other and, despite those challenging times, no one went
hungry. It was a small community which probably had a lot to do with how they
lived. Today urbanism has replaced rural life and some hardly know the names of
their neighbors just two doors away, let alone whether or not they need help. I
think it was probably that communitarian spirit that John Florez was writing
about.A favrite scripturwe says "And the Lord called his people
Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in
righteousness; and there was no poor among them."Those are lofty
goals. So the question is how to attain that condition in our modern lives?
So is Christianity a part of the constitution or not? Because when it comes to
social issues, repubs love to insert religion into the constitution. Just look
at mike levitt's comments at Uvu a few days ago. But when it comes to
health care or edu, all of a sudden religion is yanked out. Why?Make
up your minds repubs! Y'all can't have it both ways!
Charity is an essential element in our society, but it must be done freely, in a
way which elevates both the giver and the receiver.If the giver is
forced to give, it's not charity. If the receiver feels entitled to take,
it's not charity. Our current programs fail in both regards. Federal
bureaucracy is a horrible way to provide charity, even laying aside
constitutional considerations.We need to revive the concept of civil
society, which includes all of the diverse ways in which citizens freely
organize in order to provide charity for those less fortunate. Churches, clubs,
fraternities, schools, families, professional organizations, philanthropic
foundations, trade unions, and sports groups are all examples of organizations
which make up civil society.I disagree with the headline. I believe
charity *is* freedom. We can't have one without the other.
Fred, have you ever read the Sermon on the Mount?It came from some
guy named Jesus. Ever heard of him?
I would love to hear Fred parse the phrase from the preamble to the Constitution
that one of the functions of our government is to "provide for the general
welfare". No religion mentioned or inferred. Straightforward and easy to
understand. I am puzzled how he missed this clause as it comes prior to the
second amendment in the document.
Excellent letter Fred. Thank you.
Fred, one purpose of our constitutional government is to "promote the
general welfare". Why in your view are public "moneys" excluded as
a means to accomplish that constitutional goal?
To me, everybody who makes this argument sounds selfish.
For the billionth time, the Founders DID NOT intend a limited federal
government. They already had one, in the Articles of Confederation. They hated
the result. The central Constitutional doctrine is NOT limited government,
it's separation of powers. In other words, government was intended to be
big enough, and powerful enough, that it required decentralization. Get this
principle right, people.
The Government does not provide "Charity", it provides
"Welfare".There's the problem.Not using proper
definitions, or twisting them to suit an agenda.BTW - Charity
is the pure love of Christ.So, I can give money to a church [an
organization] that helps those in need, or I can give money to a
government [an organiation] that helps those in need, The
underlying factor is: Are you helping your neighbor or serving mankind? Who CARES who's name is on it.I'm obeying God
regardless.It's really a mindset.It all depends on where
your heart is.
It appears that the letter writer does not want his tax dollars to go toward
these sorts of things. I think we can all point to many things that we do not
want our tax dollars to do. But providing, in some small way, for those that our
society leaves behind falls dead last on the list of wasteful spending in my
The purpose of government is to do those things for people citizens that they
can’t or don’t want to do for themselves. There are no golden
or laws from God that put limits on what those things can do. In
America, under the Capitalistic economic system, people who profit from the
needs of people don’t want government to fill those needs. Because the
government can always do it better and cheaper than the private businessmen it
cheats the businessmen of their profits. Business is a necessary
and proper element in our society, it provide the transfer of wealth and goods
through out the society. Private charity is a business that takes wealth from
the people and returns a portion thereof but never destroys the need for
charity. Only the government has the authority and ability to fix the problems
that charity feeds upon. But if it did, it would eliminate the need for the
@Eric Samuelsen "[T]he Founders DID NOT intend a limited federal
government."I'd like to see your explanation of the Tenth
Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states
respectively, or to the people."It is clear that the Founders
intended to delegate some powers to the federal government, and withhold others.
The entire Bill of Rights enumerates individual rights which cannot be infringed
by government.They intended a stronger government than was provided
by the Articles of Confederation, but they still created it with limits.@Ultra Bob "[T]he government can always do it better and cheaper
than the private businessmen."On which planet?
The distain for having to provide for societies poor, sick, homeless, needy
[those not willing or able to contribute to society] -- was the primary driver
for Nazi gas chambers.That, and the continuing distain for
non-Christians, homosexuals, liberals, communists, and immigrants.sounds to close for comfort to me...
Fun posts to Fred's letter. I get a kick out of Eric's tirade of the
correctness of his opinion, or else. Those who would not have government be
"charitable" however it may be defined are vilified, those who would
have government do everything but turn down the bed and leave a cookie seem to
see themselves as one rung below angels. How about this: Life isn't fair,
not charitable nor evil it just is. We as carbon based life forms can make a
difference by our actions. If we want charity then we should individually fund
it. Agree to increase withholding taxes earmarked for charitable giving by your
favorite entity be it government or private. Or, donate to Shriner's
hospital, PCMC, Fourth Street Clinic, etc. and allow others the same privilege.
We can all start by taking care of our own back yards, and when
that's done we can focus on our neighbor's ills.
" I have a plan, it will save every man. I will force them to live
righteously. They won't have to choose. Not a one we will lose and give all
the glory to me. This is the way, not a thing you will pay. Any problems and
pain will not be. No wars and no strife, a wonderful life and give all the glory
to me. Follow me this is the way it should be. Nobody needs to be free."Satan.
God will not force any man to Heaven.
I find it hilarious that some deluded people who shall not be named, actually
believe the Government helps people. They take everything for themselves and
give the people they are supposedly helping the table scraps leaving them
dependant instead of teaching them a trade of any kind. Most of
these other "charity" organizations take all of the money for themselves
and give the people they are supposed to be helping the pocket change.
Fred illutrates the big difference between conservatives and
progressives/liberals. Fred believes the government is a foriegn body that
needs to be controlled - the enemy. Liberals believe that "we the
people" are the government - and that there is no third party called the
"government".Back when the concstition was written, big
government was not an over bloated democracy. It was a monachy rulled by birth
right. They were not talking about anything like we have today - because what
we have today did not exist - anywhere - in society at that time. They
couldn't have been talking about it... they didn't know what
"it" was.Now, I do agree, government, and government
spending needs to be contained. We the people have been given access to the
piggy bank, and it is very hard to control that urge to spend beyond our means.
I fully support "limited" government in this context.But
there was no "Big Government" as Fred illudes at that time.... when
applied to todays defnitions. It didn't not exist.
Anti Bush-Obama,Lucifer didn't propose to force people to live
righteously. He knew as well as we do that you can't force people to be
righteous. What he proposed was to destroy people's agency by removing the
consequences for their actions, a ploy that is still very popular today, on both
the right and the left. It's an apolitical gambit.
Eric,For the trillionth time, the Founders DID intend a limited federal
government. Perhaps not as limited as existed under the Articles of
Confederation, but limited. They wanted the power to reside in the states,
closer to the people. Nate,Don’t try quoting the
constitution to Eric; liberals have no use for the constitution.LDS?
lib,Do you GIVE money to the government to take care of the poor, or do
they TAKE it from you?What percent of your fast offerings and
humanitarian offerings go to the poor? What percent of your tax dollars
actually help the poor? And you are REALLY comparing the two????
@Anti Bush-ObamaWashington, DCGod will not force any man to
Heaven.11:26 a.m. April 11, 2013Ironic then that those
who claim to be the followers of God - keep passing laws limiting Free
Choice then, isn't it?========== BTW - While
watching the Lamanites casting women and children into a fire, Amulek
pleads with Alma to use God's power to stop them.Alma then
instructs Amulek a profound lesson -- that the wicked must be allowed
their wickedness, that by taking away Free Agency THEY would then be the
advocates of Satan's plan.That is why I'm a Liberal.That's why I'm Pro-Choice.And why I fight
unber-far-right-wingers daily.-----For the most precious
gift we have been given, Next to life its self, is the power to direct
that life.We must have the opportunity to choose, And there must be
the possibility of wrong choices.~ Jesus[also from the play -
My Turn on Earth]
lost in DCWest Jordan, UTLDS? lib,Do you GIVE money to
the government to take care of the poor, or do they TAKE it from you?========= I filed the W-4.I filed the 1040.I made out
the check.No jack-booted thug "Forced" me.No Ghestapo
surrounded my house with lights and sirens.I WILLING paid my taxes,
Just like reader of the New Testament and true follower of Christ would
do.Without reservation.You know - I'm a pretty tolerant
person for the most part -- But over the last several years, I'm growing more and more "intolerant" of all these
Anti-Government Anti-Government haters. I'm almost to the point
of Captain Moroni and his resolve with the Kingmen - If you don't
stop the trouble making and stirring up the hearts and minds of this people into
contintion - perhaps we will have no other option than to make each one of us
swear an oaoth of allegience by the sword.Is that where this is
To "ECR" it is easy to achieve the "Zion" described in the
scriptures. As the verse you quote says, "they were of oneheart and
one mind". We can never achieve Zion through government mandate because you
will never get the hearts and minds of the people through force. Zion can only
be achieved through a free society that chooses it, anything else is tyranny and
communism.To "Eric Samuelsen" you are wrong, the founders
did intend to limit the government. Look at the Constitution, it clearly states
what the government can do. They set it up within a tight fence. It is the
Progressives that have ignored the fence and have grabbed at powers never
intended for the government to have.To "UtahBlueDevil" big
governments should be feared. Look at the number of people killed by Nazi
Germany, the USSR, China, Sadam Hussain, and countless tyrants around the world.
They have killed millions of people all in the name of ideology.To
"LDS Liberal" if you are "pro-choice" why do you support all of
the gun legislation, overturning Prop 8, and the countless other freedom
limiting measures that Obama has implemented? Hypocrisy they name is
So private citizens will step in and chip in a couple hundred billion annually
to replace Medicaid? Not gonna happen. Heck, a lot of you agree with
Romney's 47% comments that people are moochers, why would I think you all
would then turn around and voluntarily give money (or things bought with that
money) to people to make up the gap if welfare or food stamps were cut if you
think that way about a sizable chunk of those people?
UtahBlueDevil,You forget though, most LDS believe that the founding
fathers were infallible and prophetic. While I agree they were inspired, I am
not sure at what point we started to worship them and quote their words as if
they were gospel truths.
@lost in DC "Don’t try quoting the constitution to Eric; liberals have
no use for the constitution."I know, I know. Here's the
thing: they keep telling me about the social compact, which supposedly compels
me to help build their utopia. And I'm saying, the Constitution is our
atl134 is unfortunately pretty accurate in his assessment of our propensity to
give charity to those in need. That is why I can't decide which name the
GOP really deserves, the Let Them Starve Party or the Let Them Die Party. In the
end, though, they are the same. This is really what their ranting boils down to.
Forced suffering in the name of freedom.
I'm all about free agency and wicked Government suppresses that because
they believe being law abiding isn't enough.I try to be as
charitble as I can but I don't have to boast about it and nobody has to
force me to be charitable.
First, taxes are not charity. Period. They are not forced charity (a near
oxymoron) or any other kind of charity.Second, yes the Constitution
is the governing contract for our society. As to its limits - unless one of us
here is actually a Supreme Court Justice, the truth is we don't get to
decide. The arguments put forth, both liberal and conservative, have been
batted back and forth by the Supremes since the beginning. But whether our
Constitution is "living" or not, the interpretation of it surely is
(and, whatever we might think of our favorite justices, it all has a political
hue to it).Third, unless and until the Supremes tell us that govt.
cannot engage in certain activities, they are constitutionally allowed. You and
I can think otherwise but the Constitution is much more about process than
ideals (it is the process that limits the powers). If the process has been
followed, it is constitutional even if heinous in our view.Fourth,
whether or not charity can be sufficient to meet people's true needs is not
evident in history. Yes, it was in small, tight knit religious communities
(such as the pioneer LDS). But read Dickens.
@UtahBlueDevilToqueville visited America in 1831, and wrote his
famous comments on "soft despotism" in 1835. If he could anticipate the
dangers of Big Government at that time, I'm sure the Founders were capable
of it a generation before.
Sorry, to my constitutional scholar critics, but you don't know what
you're talking about. The tenth amendment does preserve the states as
laboratories of democracy, but the powers reserved to the states are the ones
that are seriously limited. You suggest that I don't care about the
constitution. I do care about it. I just understand it differently than you
Why should we continue to pay more and more for public health care
(medicare/medicaid, and soon Obamacare) when we know full well that there are
greedy businessmen (drug companies, doctors, hospital administrators, and
government bureaucrats) who have their fists in the pot taking out way more
money than the value of the services they give. Until that issue is
addressed, all we are doing is caring for the greedy on the backs of the middle
class, leaving the poor under-cared for. I thought liberals hated
lining the fat cat's pockets, yet here is one example (there are many
others) where what they are promoting does exactly what they say they are
against. Makes it kind of hard to believe anything they say they stand for.
" I have a plan, it will save every man. I will force them to live
righteously. They won't blah, blah, blah. . ." - SatanProviding quotes from non existant people, Anti? Very cool, perhaps next you
will give us a quote from the Easter Bunny, or maybe the Sandman. But all the same, I don't see what your quote has to do with the topic at
hand. Nobody is talking about forcing people to do good or anything else. We are
talking about how taxes should be spent. If tax money should be spent to help
people in need. Uh. . . Strider, who is talking about government
turning down the sheets for people? How did that become part of the discussion?
Great letter. Well said.
"What percent of your fast offerings and humanitarian offerings go to the
poor?"Lost, I'm sure he has absolutely no idea what
percentage of his fast offerings go to the poor, and neither do you, nor do most
people. You realize this, right? If you don't think that's true,
please point me to a copy of the LDS Churches books. "What
percent of your tax dollars actually help the poor?" Well, go
look it up and figure it out, Lost. It's all public record.
@Eric Samuelsen: "[T]he powers reserved to the states are the ones that are
seriously limited."Okay. Wow. Let's read the Tenth
Amendment again."The powers not delegated to the United States
by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the
states respectively, or to the people."If I understand your
argument correctly, you are saying that the powers delegated to the federal
government are many, leaving relatively few powers for the states. Is this what
you're saying?Now I'm curious to know how you read the
phrase "or to the people" in this context. Do the people also have
relatively few powers, when compared with those delegated to the federal
government?In what way can this point of view be described as
liberal?"I just understand it differently than you do."I'll say.
Neither Jesus or King Benjamin authorized charity with someone else's
money. Both said to do it willingly.
Grover, you need to read the preamble a bit closer. It is not listing functions
of the government, but listing reasons why the Constitution was written. Article I, Section 8 talks about raising funds through taxes and duties,
and does mention using those funds for "the common Defense and general
Welfare of the United States;". I seriously doubt the Framers envisioned
the Constitution being construed to mean that 47% of US citizens should be
supported in whole or part by income taxes paid by 50% of the citizens.
That's what we have today because of the "progressive" view that
the government alone is responsible enough and intelligent enough to provide for
people's needs.I don't for a moment propose that there
should be no safety nets, but something has to change. We are heading toward
the situation many European nations now face, where the government has promised
far more than it can provide with its citizens' money.We owe
the world nearly $17 trillion. There is no explanation or rationalization that
makes that good in any way. The government needs a spending diet, and I say
that as a Federal employee.
If taxes are charity then its the ONLY charity in the world that if you
don't pay your "charitable offerings" the "charitable
institution" will come and confiscate your property and put you in jail!
Charity? Not hardly!
re: 4word thinker last nightOh, goody... another thread devolved
into liberal v conservative. Its not that dichotomy AT ALL! It is as
Ned Beatty's character stated towards the end of *Shooter*... look it up.
The natural unit of society is the commune. For example, is your family a
commune? Yes, of course it is. Mine is. I don't pay my kids for doing
their chores, do you? Looked at from another standpoint, there is a
commonwealth, or in other words (2), a common wealth. For example, by Dad
worked for a general warehouse on the Salt Lake westside. This was the era of
carload freight so they unloaded a lot of box cars. One day when my father and
his mates were unloading a brand new box car, one of the guys put a space heater
on the floor of the car and burned a hole in it. My father complained to my
mother and me, "that's just not right." He said that because he
understood there is a common wealth - that is, burning a hole in that box car
floor diminished the common wealth or common well being of society, even though
it was the private property of Union PacificSince there is a commmon
wealth, it is appropriate that government be concerned with it, and provide a
social safety net, what the writer derisively calls charity.
To "marxist" actually your family is not a commune unless you have done
the following:Give your kids equal access to all household
financesKids are included on title for house and carsKids have equal
share of your retirement accountKids have equal responsibilities that you
haveAny money kids earn from mowing neighbors lawns is put into communal
bank accountI would imagine that your kids have no more access to
your finances or titles than the family dog.In reality, you and your
spouse decided how much money to spend on the kids. I would also imagine that
your kids will not be getting a cut of your retirement, and probably keep any
money they earn from mowing lawns.A family is more like a
capitalistic society (those who own the capital control its use) with charitable
giving to those that cannot support themselves yet.
Redshirt1701Deep Space 9, UtYou use those lame excuses
everytime this comes up.FAMILIES are Socialist.Out Country is
Socialist.Zion is Socialist.Heaven is Socialist.Quote
all the adhokum quotes you want but -- If it swims like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck - it's a duck....and Families are the MOST Socialist of them all.Perhaps if
Nations and the World acted more like Families [Socailist] we'd be
ushering in the Kingdom of God on the Earth and establishing Zion.Having
ALL things in Common.
Redshirt: "A family is more like a capitalistic society (those who own the
capital control its use) with charitable giving to those that cannot support
themselves yet."My family, like almost all families is a commune
because I freely support my wife and kids REGARDLESS of what they do or how well
they perform. Moreover, I don't pay my kids and wife salaries because they
are not my employees. I don't try to make a profit off of them, i.e.
exploit them. BTW, the capitalism you venerate is only about 200 years old, so
there was no capitalism in the Garden of Eden or ancient Israel for that matter.
To "airnaut" and "Marxist" you are both wrong, and digging
deeper. Neither one of you is big enough to admit that your family is not a
commune because you and your spouse control the financial and physical assets of
your households, just like all of those "evil" capitalists do with their
businesses.Again, your children have no share in your finances or
property. You, control the capital given to your children, and retain all
retirement investments and physical assets purchased with your money.To "airnaut" Zion, Heaven are not socialist. This is proven easily by
the scripture that says basically that their minds and hearts were one. The
simple fact that minds and hearts being one proves that Socialism is not part of
Zion or Heaven because you cannot be forced into Heaven and Zion cannot be
forced on people. Socialism is a system of force to achieve equality.
@Nate - I appreciate your comment Tocqueville also wrote "The
electors see their representative not only as a legislator for the state but
also as the natural protector of local interests in the legislature; indeed,
they almost seem to think that he has a power of attorney to represent each
constituent, and they trust him to be as eager in their private interests as in
those of the country." He continued elsewhere "In towns it
is impossible to prevent men from assembling, getting excited together and
forming sudden passionate resolves. Towns are like great meeting houses with all
the inhabitants as members. In them the people wield immense influence over
their magistrates and often carry their desires into execution without
intermediaries."He finally warned ""If there ever are
great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon
American soil. That is to say, it will not be the equality of social conditions
but rather their inequality which may give rise thereto." Remember, Tocqueville had the benefit of hindsight here - all but one of the
signers was dead at this point. The signers had no visionary capability to see
what might become.