Recently we have been seeing more and more Religious Right activists like David Barton asserting that the government should play no role in assisting those in poverty. We had been chalking that idea up to the general right-wing hatred of the government and desire to drastically reduce its size and influence.
But on today’s broadcast of “Wallbuilders Live,” the American Center for Law and Justice’s David French explained that the primary reason the Religious Right opposes government assistance to the poor is that it means those in poverty do not need to rely on churches for help:
French: The fact of the matter is that in many circumstances, particularly in this country, poverty is the result of an awful lot of bad choices. A lot of our poverty is the result of behaviors that often require heart-level repentance to change.
Medicare, Medicaid , and food stamps are not going to get you to turn away from behaviors that are destroying your life, but the Gospel will.
Rick Green: Doesn’t it make them more dependent on government, which makes them less likely to come to the church that used to be the epicenter of the community where people would come and meet?
French: That’s exactly right. It used to be that if you were hungry, if you needed help, you would go to the church and as the church was feeding you, as the church was providing you with the physical sustenance that you needed, it was providing you also with the much more important spiritual sustenance.
And right now what we’re doing is we’re saying you’re going to be able to have the television, all the food you need, the roof over your head, everything that you need without any intervention from the church at all.