Saturday, April 2, 2011

Social justice vs charity

Commentator and comedian Glenn Beck began a dialog over the differences between "social justice" and "charity." On the surface, both terms would seem to refer to the same concept. A bit of study shows otherwise.

Social justice is man's (and Satan's) law -- forcefully imposing somebody's sense of "fairness" upon the people in accord with Marx's vision:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Social justice is always managed by an entity outside the individual. That is not charity! When social justice is effect, the recipient increases in selfishness, the person from whom wealth is taken increases in bitterness, and the entity managing social justice increases in power over both the recipient and the person who is taxed. Social justice suppresses man's spirit.

Charity, on the other hand, is God's commandment to believers to freely, selflessly, and privately give of one's time, talent, and wealth to those in need -- with the principle of individual free-agency in full effect. When charity is in effect, both the giver and the recipient grow and benefit. Charity feeds man's spirit.

Charity usually involves groups (churches and other charitable organizations), but the foundation remains the free-will giving of the individual's time, talent, and wealth. The concentrated power of charitable organizations can be more effective in many cases than the lone efforts of the individual. This concentrated and organized power of charity is a good thing -- as long as the individual giving remains a personal and private choice and no one in the organization exploits the individual's charity or need to enrich himself or to gain power over others -- something which invariably happens when social justice rules.

As far I can tell from the Scriptures, God never commanded any government or collective entity to ensure everyone has a fair portion of society's wealth. His commandment to care for those in need was, is, and always will be directed to individuals.
Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment (D&C 104:17–18)
How in the world did we arrive at the point where we self-described Christians believe that charity originates from the tax collector?

Progressives and politicians hate charity. Why? because they have no control over how you give. Oh, how much they crave to control you and your money! They can only control your money after it is extracted from you in the form of taxes -- they lose power.

They gain power building notoriously unconstitutional, inefficient, corrupt, wasteful, and ineffective government bureaucracies staffed largely with like-minded progressives who will vote to keep them in office.

They gain power by making the beneficiaries of government largess (or whatever is left over after bureaucratic overhead is skimmed off) permanently dependent of that largess. These dependents also vote to keep the gravy train running.

Progressives and politicians hate charity because private charitable institutions typically teach and inspire ideas of self-reliance and concern for one's neighbors that undermine the liberal welfare state.

Finally, progressives also hate charity because people who give to charity tend to be selfless and cheerful people -- unlike the tiny little miserable souls that they and their chronic dependents tend to be.

Note: If you haven't already, I urge you to read all the articles to which I have linked above.

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