Barack Obama is running around, trying to use religion to turn American taxpayers into slaves of socialism. One of his arguments is that “I am my brother’s keeper”, which he claims is based on the Bible.
This is absurd, of course, because the Bible says no such thing.
But it’s also absurd because forced charity is never found in the Bible. Only voluntary charity is sanctioned.
Let’s go back to the “brother’s keeper” bit. This phrase comes from a conversation between God and Cain, who recently murdered his brother Abel in the first murder in biblical history. God asks Cain, “Where is Abel?” Cain replies, “How should I know? Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Of course, the King James Version puts it slightly differently.)
Let’s ponder for a moment what Cain was saying. Cain, a child of the devil, wasn’t being flippant. He was, however, making a logical point. “I do not own Abel. Abel is not my slave. I am not his God. He is wholly independent from me. In fact, you, God, are in charge of Abel and you, of all people, should know where he is.”
Of course, God did know where Abel was, and what Cain did, and punished Cain for murdering his brother. Since God was Cain’s keeper, along with Abel’s, he had a responsibility to do so.
Now, nowhere in the Bible does God command us to be our brother’s keeper. Instead, we are charged to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In fact, this is the second great commandment, superseded only by the ultimate commandment to love God.
If you claim a biblical foundation for your charity, then you have to do three things:
- First, love God. Worship Him and nothing else. Put Him before all else in your life, before human reasoning and science, before your family and career. All your thoughts and prayers should be directed to Him. All your trust should be in Him.
- Second, love yourself. Yes, after God, you should be loving yourself. That means you take care of yourself. Note that you are made after the image of God, and God loves you, so if you love God, you should love those that God loves.
- Third, love your neighbor as you love yourself. That is, do for your neighbor the things you do for yourself.
Herein, the principle of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is manifest.
Now, capitalism and our form of government is based almost entirely on the two great commandments. We simplify the concepts by talking about things called rights. The big rights are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights flow from the Christian and Jewish beliefs in a loving God who commands his children to love Him and love each other. By acknowledging people’s rights as God-given, we are loving our neighbors and loving our God. And that’s what capitalism and conservatism is all about: admitting that we are all equal and entitled to equal rights, and among those rights are not any rights that would destroy the rights of others, such as taking from one person to give to another.
And that’s why our government is limited. We don’t want government to intrude into our lives and dictate what we should and shouldn’t do. We do, however, like government to organize us into a military to protect our country from our enemies. And we like government to organize us so that we don’t go around murdering and robbing from each other, but instead trading and working for each other voluntarily. We also like government to respect the boundaries the people have set for it.
Now, going from the above to a universal health-care entitlement is impossible. See, you can’t give things to people unless you have it to begin with. Since government has nothing it hasn’t taken by force or fraud, it cannot give medical care to anyone. It has to either enslave doctors and nurses to the state, or enslave the people to the state to hire doctors and nurses, or some combination of the two. It has to take, and the taking is wherein our beef lies.
If you want to keep the two great commandments, then here’s what you can do. First, get insanely wealthy. Second, spend all of your excess wealth on those who truly need it. In between, advocate that others do the same.
What happens to those who cannot afford health care? They are left to beg for it. And if we do not give them what they cannot obtain for themselves, they do not get it. This is no different than a hungry mother begging for food for her starving children in a country without any food at all. There is simply no food to give, no food to be eaten, and quite simply, this shortage means someone has to suffer.
That’s what’s happening in our world today. We have health care, but we only have so much. The only way we know of creating more is to motivate people to get trained in medicine and work as hard at it as they can. And the only thing that motivates them is money, since money is the thing that allows us to distribute all the things we produce in accordance to the productivity of people’s behavior. So those who need health care the most pay for it, while those who can’t afford it or don’t value it go without. This is no different for any other industry, be it education or food, or cars and books. If you want more of something, make it cheaper or find more money to spend on it.
Rather than focusing on how the government can take and distribute, Barack Obama should be thinking of how the government can reduce the cost of government and increase the benefit of government. Not the benefits paid out to the poor, but the economic benefits of having just laws and a just enforcements system that encourages proper and beneficial behavior.