Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world -- James 1: 27 (ESV)
We have chronicled for some time now the deepening of the apostasy from Charisma News. Once highly regarded in the Charismatic world, today it is reduced to a puppet for politics, worshipping America, and unbiblical NAR teachings. One of their editors is the exceptionally silly false prophetess Jennifer Leclaire, creator of the "sneaky squid spirit." One of their regular bloggers is NAR gatekeeper, Dr. Michael Brown. Sprinkled throughout their opinion pages are political operatives thinly disguised as Christians. They promote the seven mountains mandate of the NAR, which believes the church must conquer the seven cultural mountains in order to facilitate the second coming of Jesus Christ. One of these mountains is government, which leads to the dominionist teachings of people like Larry Tomczak and Michael Snyder. Mr. Snyder ran an article recently that may as well have been written by the White House, completely devoid of facts and vacuous to the heart of true Christian beliefs.
Yes, can't you just see Jesus writing an article entitled, "Handout Nation: Combined Enrollment in America's Top 4 Safety-Net Programs Hits Record High?" Me neither. Let us reason together beloved and keep in mind that this is supposed to be a Christian website. Snyder is supposed to be a Christian writer. As we will see, this is just a political advertisement from the heart of Satan, not Christ.
"As you will see below, the combined enrollment in America's four largest safety-net programs has reached a staggering 236 million. Of course, that doesn't mean that 236 million people are getting benefits from the government each month because there is overlap between the various programs. For example, many Americans who are on Medicaid are also on food stamps, and many Americans who are on Medicare are also on Social Security." -- Michael Snyder
Let's start with the fact that Social Security is not an entitlement program. It is an agreement kept by the recipients while they worked, so that they would have money when they were older. The people who are collecting money through social security paid into that system while they were of working age. To pretend that somehow these are just parasites living off the country now is factually wrong and intellectually bankrupt. What however is the point Snyder is trying to lay as his foundation? That there are needy people in America? As we will soon see, no.
"But even accounting for that, most experts estimate that the number of Americans who are dependent on the federal government month after month is well over 100 million. And now that so many people are addicted to government handouts, can we ever return to a culture of independence and self-sufficiency"? -- Michael Snyder
Notice the heartless language employed. People too poor to afford healthcare or food are "addicted to handouts." Yes Michael, you nailed it. Unlike Mr. Snyder I have worked with the poor for 35 years and I can say that his perspective is not based upon reality but upon political talking points. Do you know the maximum cash assistance award in NYC? It cannot exceed $68.50 every two weeks. Yes, that is quite the amount to become "addicted" to.
"On Wednesday, CNN ran an editorial by Bernie Sanders in which he called President Trump's proposed budget "immoral" because it would cut funding for government aid programs. But is it moral to steal more than $100 million from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day to pay for these programs? Of course, the answer to that question is quite obvious." -- Michael Snyder
You are right. It is quite obvious. The answer is stop make asinine comparisons. Here is how the NAR Republican mind thinks. People who need help are addicted and the money it costs to feed their addiction and balloons the deficit so therefore, it is stealing from the next generation. Except entry level economics will teach you that while there is an expense side to consider there is also a revenue side. For the government, that revenue comes in the form of taxes. We accept as a civilized society that the needy should not be dying on the street, so the government needs to make sure they are taken care of. That costs money and the government primarily gets money from taxes. But to Republicans, any form of tax increase is anathema so the only solution is to not take care of the neediest in society. Do you know what the top personal income tax rate was in 1960? The richest kabillionaires paid a 91% tax rate in 1960. Do you know that currently, that rate is less than 40%? Do you know that President Trump has proposed lowering it to 15%? Now I am no mathematician, but that's a heck of a lot of revenue missing from the government that could easily pay to take care of people. So those are the choices. Tax the rich more or cut services to the poor. Now I wonder what would Jesus do?
For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. -- Romans 13: 6-7 (ESV)
There is zero biblical instruction to insist on lower taxes. These are the instructions -- pay your taxes. Why? Because the governing authorities are the ministers of God. Snyder would continue:
"There will always be some Americans who are unable to take care of themselves, and we should want to help them. But as millions upon millions of Americans continue to jump onto the safety net, eventually we are going to get to the point where it will break." -- Michael Snyder
We should want to help them? No Michael. Jesus did not teach us in the key verses today that we should want to help people in need. He said if we want to consider our religion pure and undefiled we must help them. The callous nature of Snyder becomes more and more evident as the article goes on. To his thinking these people are just jumping into the safety net. As if it is fun for them. As if people do not actually collapse onto the safety net, often times for reasons beyond their control. As for the relative strength of the net there remain two choices. Pay to strengthen it or burn it to the ground. This alleged Christian already has the torch lit and we wonder why the world thinks Christians are hypocrites.
"Approximately 44 million Americans are on food stamps. And even though we are supposedly in an "economic recovery," this number is still dramatically higher than the 26 million Americans that were on food stamps prior to the last financial crisis." -- Michael Snyder
Well, first of all there are 30 million more people now but why let pesky facts get in the way of political demagoguery? The larger point is so what? Exactly what Christian point is Michael Snyder trying to make? There are too many people to help? I do not recall Jesus putting limits on how many people He was willing to help. Maybe Michael has not considered that giving back 320 billion dollars over ten years to the top one percent of one percent through the Estate Tax repeal should not be part of any budget, let alone this one, during these difficult times. That is 32 billion a year alone! This is the reality that Michael Snyder keeps hidden. He trots out numbers that sound astronomical like 236 million dollars per year but doesn't reveal that out of the other side of his mouth he is advocating to hand back 32 billion to the most obscenely rich in this country.