The Bible & Welfare Reform


President Clinton was quoted the other day as saying, before signing the so-called "Welfare Reform" bill passed by Congress, "I just don't want to do anything that hurts kids". This disingenuous remark was all the more amazing in that he was not vetoing this bill but, rather, embracing it solely to appear to be doing something to keep his promise of 1992 to "end Welfare as we know it" and to enhance his re-election possibilities.

Well, with a fifth (that's right, one out of five) children in America currently living in poverty and one out of eight receiving Welfare, this bill will doom at least (and I stress At Least) another million children to life below the poverty line. Yet, in some unintelligible way, this fact is ignored in Clinton's headlong push to run for election as a New Democrat while acting like an Ultra-Conservative Republican.

Welfare as we know it is truly dead or dying, as of this act. Since the measure calls for mothers to work after very specific time limits but offers no assistance in this quest either financially or through law, it won't work. The states utterly cannot afford to fulfill their required expenditures which will only greatly limit the availability of these funds even more. Even the food stamp program is in some cases weakened to the point of being a joke, if not completely dismantled . The end result will simply be a vast expansion of those women and children living in poverty but now without the safety net of a federal welfare program.

I have been especially astonished at the number of Christians involved in this charade while professing their deep faith in their God and Bible. With even a cursory examination of this avowed "perfect word of God" I found many more questions than answers as to how these folks can express belief in one thing while acting quite the opposite.

For instance, Proverbs 14:31 says "He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth Him hath mercy on the poor". Perhaps Proverbs 19:17 will ring a bell, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again"? Then there is Proverbs 21:13, "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard". Or Proverbs 22:16, "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want". Or Proverbs 31:9 which says "Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy". Or Acts 20:35 which states "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than receive". Or, possibly best of all, Matthew 25:40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me".

These are just a very few of the scriptural quotes I found addressing the transcendent Christian ideals regarding those children of God's who are poor and needy. Why such a vocal preponderance of the believers in these words ignore them is beyond my comprehension, though. While I admit that I certainly do not profess faith in any religious orthodoxy other than the mere tenet of God's love for all of his creations, it still is puzzling why anyone would proclaim their faith in a system of beliefs they apparently have no intention of following. If this Bible is your guide to a life of serving your God, why do you ignore its teachings and demands? And, finally, why, oh why, do you so hate the poor and needy children among you?

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