Forced Generosity: Government Involvement in Humanitarian Causes
In practically every lengthy abortion debate thread online, some naïve pro-abortion commenter is bound to ask a pro-lifer, “Well, are YOU willing to adopt all of the unwanted children?” This particular jab is one of just a few insults that seriously offends me, and I am likely to get a little irritated whenever I find it necessary to respond to a contentious person who flings this canned remark around in discussion. Aside from the fact that the “question” has no bearing whatsoever on the debate about the ethics of abortion, I find it personally offensive because I am particularly passionate about adoption. In a similar way, and for the very reason I care about people so enthusiastically, it annoys me to listen to proponents of the worn and ridiculous myth that conservatives tend to be selfish and don’t care about people. You’ve heard it all before: conservatives are war-mongers, greedy and tightfisted, guilty of the blood of oppressed peoples all over the world. Back in October, Leslie Marshall wrote a scathing article about “Christian Hypocrisy on the Religious Right,” saying,
Those on the religious right want to defund programs such as Social Security, Medicare, welfare, food stamps, healthcare, etc. What I want to know is: why aren’t these so called people of God offering their homes to the homeless, food to the hungry, a coat to someone who is poor and cold?
Contrary to what we keep hearing from our friends on the left, conservatives do care about people, and we act on our concern with hefty donations of financial aid to the needy and destitute. In fact, according to a study done by Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks, those who identify themselves as ideologically conservative give 30% more to charitable institutions than those who identify themselves as ideologically liberal. Religious Americans also give four times more money to charity yearly than secular citizens, and are 23 times more likely to volunteer to help people than those who never attend church. But the key word here is volunteer. We want to give our own money in our own way, and we object to being forced to fund the organizations and programs the government considers the most beneficial.
Why do we object? It’s not because we don’t want to make a few sacrifices and share the love with the less fortunate. Rather, we don’t feel that these government programs really help the less fortunate, and we think we can do better by the under-privileged, the at-risk and the poverty-stricken if we give our money to private charities that work more efficiently and produce better results.
As an example, take the so-called “welfare” system. Over the past year, my opposition to government welfare programs has increased dramatically. However, it has not increased because I am frustrated by the injustice that is being done to me when I am required to fork over a substantial percentage of my income to a government which I feel is wasteful and encroaches on my liberties. Actually, my opposition has become more earnest due to the fact that I have become acquainted with so many people who have profited temporarily from the welfare system but who have become losers in the long run, because a government handout robbed them of their initiative and ambition. I have experienced firsthand how government aid programs destroy society by artificially preventing the natural consequences of bad investments, injudicious spending, and idleness. People who are protected from their own mistakes must be expected to make the same mistakes over and over again. This is why we have generational cases of single-motherhood, poverty and educational failure. An aid program that only provides money and cannot personally know its beneficiaries, cannot truly provide long-term solutions to social problems. It is only a band-aid, pitifully taped onto a gaping wound. It can never become more than that.
Let’s take a look at another, much more inflammatory situation. I learned last week that the Obama administration has established a $3 million “Global Equality Fund” to promote homosexuality and pay for homosexual political advocacy worldwide at taxpayer expense. Life Site News explains that State Department guidelines suggest this could include everything from funding foreign political activists to campaigning against legislation that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, to hosting gay pride parades and concerts by Lady Gaga in far-flung countries. In other words, if you’re a U.S. taxpayer, you might be paying to campaign against traditional marriage amendments all over the world! Is that the type of “humanitarian cause” you want to give to?
Would you not rather donate to causes that seek to end human trafficking and child sex slavery, or to provide education for children in poverty or to help raise funds for potential adoptive parents? Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, would you not rather give to that cause yourself? Would you not rather present your money and your time to a group or a foundation that you trust and admire?
Sadly, when government takes your money away to give it to causes you oppose, they are also limiting your capacity to fund the causes you do support. Are you happy with the way that government is spending your money? Contact the State Department here to complain about your tax dollars going to promote homosexuality through the “Global Equality Fund.”
Oh, and on the subject of bleeding hearts, here’s a bit of trivia to share with your liberal relatives during the upcoming holiday week – if liberals donated blood at the rate conservatives do, the nation’s blood supply would rise 45%!
Bryana Johnson // Texas A&M University // @HighTideJournal