I am unapologetically Christian. I am also unapologetically liberal. I see no contradiction here. And I am not a "Sunday Christian"- I have been in and have lead dozens of Bible studies in the last 40 years. I have attended and been a member in mainline churches (United Methodist), evangelical churches (Baptist) and fundamentalist independent charismatic churches. I offer these credentials so that I may clearly and unequivocally state: contempt and disdain are not Christian values.
Paul Krugman said it yesterday:
He was just repeating a view that has become increasingly dominant inside the right-wing bubble, namely that a large and ever-growing proportion of Americans won’t take responsibility for their own lives and are mooching off the hard-working wealthy. Rising unemployment claims demonstrate laziness, not lack of jobs; rising disability claims represent malingering, not the real health problems of an aging work force.Wealth is not necessarily a sign of virtue or hard work. It isn't Biblical make such a claim. I know, many reading this could care less what the Bible says. May even suggest that it is backward or unintelligent to believe in God. You walk your path. I am talking to those that share my path, who speak my language. It is not a Christian message.
Poverty is not necessarily a sign of moral decay or idleness. It isn't Biblical make such a claim. It is not a Christian message. But this goes deeper for me. It is the contempt and disdain that drips from the mouths of these good Christian people.
If you suggest to the average Evangelical that their attitudes are hardly charitable, they will retort that conservatives give more to charity than liberals do and that they are the source of soup kitchens and homeless shelters. They will remind you that God loves a cheerful giver and that it is wrong to confiscate their money at gunpoint for moochers and freeloaders. That government policies just make people dependent.
But it is uncharitable to suggest that those in need must take pity and derision with their charity. If you despise those you help, is it really charity? And could it be true that people are dependent because they are hurting, or ill, or damaged? Could it be that a just society, a Christian nation, can afford to be generous because we know how weak and dependent we might be if tables were turned?
I know this is not a Christian site, but I know there are Christians in this mix. So if this does not resonate, don't treat me with the same contempt the right wing has for the poor. I am not writing this to stir up a debate about whether God exists, just whether those who claim to serve Him are shaming Him instead.