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Social justice?

The government is my shepherd:

I need not work.

It alloweth me to lie down on a good job;

It leadeth me beside still factories;

It destroyeth my initiative.

It leadeth me in a path of a parasite for politic's sake;

Yea though I walk through the valley of laziness and deficit-spending,

I will fear no evil, for the government is with me.

It prepareth an economic Utopia for me, by appropriating the earnings of my own grandchildren.

It filleth my head with false security;

My inefficiency runneth over.

Surely the government should care for me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in a fool's paradise forever.

-Author unknown

I heard this in a sermon on "Christianity and the Federal Deficit" given by Dr. D. James Kennedy in the midst of the economic challenges of the 1980s. Nothing new under the sun. For decades we have been witnessing the rise of the welfare state, the squandering of our great inheritance, the robbing of our children, the curbing of fundamental human rights, and the erosion of individual liberty. A lifetime of "progressive" social engineering has led to malignant mutations in what was once a mostly free meritocratic society. Today we reap the fruits of substituting lobbyism and redistribution for prayer and effort.

Alas, a generation born into prosperity, with superficial understanding of religion and little interest in history or economics, fails to recognize the source of its plenty. In contrast to the Bible, it looks at private property as theft and preaches the New Deal idea of entitlement. Inspired by the politics of guilt, it mixes justice with compassion. Dr. Kennedy argued how America, misunderstanding the nature of both concepts, has embraced the Utopian leftist notion of "social justice." Equality before the law (the virtue of justice) is dumped as dead weight in an effort to equalize the outcomes of market interactions. But as we know too well from history, societies not based on justice are not sustainable.

The gravest danger for both taxpayers and welfare recipients comes from replacing the religious obligation to help the needy (the biblical tzedakah) with a coercive secular mechanism of "spreading the wealth around." Delegating to the state our Christian duties to love our neighbor jeopardizes much more than the political survival of America. It endangers the virtue of charity (agape), the significance of which the Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 13:13, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love."

Alex Tokarev Alex is a former WORLD contributor.


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