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Charlie Rangel tries to Ride John Paul II's Coattails
Charlie Rangel was commiserating with left-wing radical commentator Chris Matthews on MSNBC, for the benefit of the 37 people who actually watch that network. In one passage, Rangel cites to the Scripture about people "trying to get into heaven" and being rebuffed by Jesus, who said, according to Rangel: "when I was hungry, when did you feed me..." He then stated that Jesus Christ was referring to Food Stamps and Social Security and other governmental programs. Right now, everyone from Bill Clinton to Jimmy Carter is trying to ride on the coattails of the late Pope John Paul II. This politicizing of Jesus Christ, however, is morally repugnant and consummately hypocritical.
As a primer, here is the relevant passage of scripture from Chapter 25 of Matthewís Gospel:
31When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, "My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.
35When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me."
37Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
40The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
41Then the king will say to those on his left, "Get away from me! You are under Godís curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me."
44Then the people will ask, "Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?"
45The king will say to them, "Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me."
46Then Jesus said, "Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life."
"Rangel invokes the Bible to try to place a Christian command upon the exercise of governmental authority to do that which we are commanded to do personally by our Lord and God."
Rangel invokes the Bible to try to place a Christian command upon the exercise of governmental authority to do that which we are commanded to do personally by our Lord and God. Back in November, I chided Hillary Clinton for espousing the identical attitude. What I said back then is still applicable now: "The left, which in its S.O.P. fails to set forth its detailed position on the issue of poverty, leaves us this this apparent policy position: The government is responsible to dole out charity to the poor, using the persuasive force of law to extract money from those deemed more wealthy, and paying it out to the poor. This should extend to free government medical treatment. food stamps, and government subsidized housing. The extractees have no say in to whom or how much they give. The left relies upon government to force people of all faiths, and atheists as well, to discharge what is, according to the Bible that Mrs. Clinton claims to wish to use, a Christian duty and privilege."
The leftists who mercilessly rip into Conservatives as stingy, uncaring, uncharitable folk, certainly do not practice what they preach. Al Gore give $231 in charity in 1999-2000, while making about $175,000. Meanwhile, the most generous state in the union is Mississippi, which is also the poorest state. Why? Because Mississipians generally believe in (watch liberals retch) God. They read the Bible, and with the "cheerful heart" it encourages, they open their pockets to those less fortunate. Meanwhile, the ultra-rich left, save for a few exceptions here and there (Bill Gatesí gigantic donations are an admirable example), are tightwads, unless they are donating money to left-wing causes (think: PETA terrorist efforts, or Greenpeace). They actually believe that they can delegate personal charity to the government, and force everyone to "give" via legislation. Itís actually an excuse to be stingy and snobbish.
"Unless you personally administer your charity, you cannot know if you are fostering dependency."
In terms of pure personal charity from a rich person, the biggest giver in modern history was John D. Rockefeller. He was also a devout Christian. He also said something interesting, which is anathema to the left: "Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it." Unless you personally administer your charity, you cannot know if you are fostering dependency. Liberals, whose state-mandated force-of-law "charity" is engineered to foster dependence and therefore to indenture the recipients to vote for their continued power, hate the idea of people getting out of dire circumstances and tasting true freedom. God wisely ignores the Charlie Rangels and dictates that we personally handle our personal charity.
Therefore, Charlie Rangel is all wet. People do not give by being taxed. But, they may think that their taxes are all the "giving" that they need to do, and then the end result is that the poor suffer. Mr. Rangel needs to get out his own wallet and pay those who need help. He also needs to get out of the way of our beloved President, who is working so assiduously to enlarge our wallet balances so we can do exactly what Jesus expects.