I am Not My Brother’s Keeper

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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 In fact, this is the second great commandment, superseded only by the ultimate commandment to love God.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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9 Responses to “I am Not My Brother’s Keeper”

  1. American Says:

    As simple minded as I may be I aske you this. Are we “past the point of rescue”… I am a person who have been wondering why I do not believe in a God….yet I capitlize it while writing it, so in this action alone, maybe, just maybe, I do believe and am lying to myself…..I was raised a catholic, a private school, I again am breaking with your format, nonetheless, I seem to be believing more, or at least pondering more, on God…..this has come about lately mostly from your writings about our present situation of America.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      No, we are not past the point of rescue. I have great hopes in the American people. Yes, times are dark, things are bad and getting worse, and the trend seems to be toward ultimate ruin.

      However, this is how I see the American people. We are a hardy people. We are a freedom-loving people. We also like to leave other people alone. We are patient, and we truly live the “turn the other cheek” philosophy. However, when we run out of cheeks to turn, we stand up, arm up, move out, and fight like lions to preserve our freedoms and our future. You are seeing some of that now.

      Make no mistake, President Obama and those who would rule over us fear us. We cannot be pushed over like most other nations can be, by powers foreign or domestic.

      As long as we worship God and only God and the ideals He embodies, this will always be the case. Once we start worshiping something other than God and the ideals He embodies, we will become weak just like all the other idol-worshiping nations out there.

      We still worship freedom.

  2. American Says:

    I thank God we still have this option, the option of “freedom of worship”…..

  3. American Says:

    By worshiping freedom do we not then “sin”, as the Bible indicates that we shall put no false gods before Him. Some would say that our basic instint of survival itself is the driving factor. I struggle daily to find in myself the strength I guess I might say, but the strength to find Him as I feel I do not deserve Him…..I have lived my life a lie and I cannot find the belief that He will forgive me and allow my life not to be changed………..many Americans feel this way I believe, these Americans, like myself, should find that spark needed to revive America that God built. I believe this also, I wish I could find the right oration of words to inject all Americans with a clear picture of what we are becoming and how important it is to STEPUP………..maybe if we could convey Americans how we, those that wish to save America, having the knowledge that our feelings are close to if not the same as our Founding Fathers.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      God is love, God is knowledge, God is mercy, God is freedom, God is life, God is all of these things. If there is anything good, then it is God. By worshiping the highest ideals of good we are worshiping God. By studying the nature of good, logic, reason, even freedom, we are studying the nature of God.

      The fact is that there is more than enough, and to spare, in this world for God’s children, if we simply live according to the laws He gave us. “Thou shalt not steal”, and yet out Federal Government PLUNDERS the people to take what is not theirs and give it to those who they have no authority to give it to. That’s the reason why we are barely able to make ends meet while our ancestors lived in mansions and dined on massive meals that frightened the Europeans. Our laws are so far removed from the basic Law of Nature that we are suffering dearly for it.

      The way back to God is the same way that the Israelites and every other nation of men has ever used: To personally repent, to turn yourself back to God, and then God will turn back to you. The question is, and always will be:

      Are we, as individuals, educated enough and virtuous enough to be free?

      There is no other way. Individual education combined with individual virtue is the recipe for America’s greatness.

      We know from scripture that it only takes a few righteous individuals to keep a nation alive. A few more, and an entire nation can be turned back to righteousness. Let us be the seeds of a great movement of righteousness. Let us sow individual righteousness, setting our example before the world, so that we can reap individual prosperity and freedom.

  4. John Says:

    I am pretty sure no where in bible “love yourself” is put in between “love God” and “love your neighbor”.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43, 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; James 2:8:

      “Love thy neighbor as thyself”

      If you don’t love yourself, then it reads “don’t love thy neighbor”. If you do, then it reads “love thy neighbor”. Since I assume God meant the latter, you must first love yourself.

      Please, before making ignorant comments like this, take some time to read the Bible and understand the most basic doctrines.

  5. katrice900 Says:

    Wow you have made a big leap in stating the command to Love your neighbor as you love yourself simply requires you to “acknowledge people’s rights as God-given we are loving our neighbors and our God.”

    ‘For (I)I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; (J)I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

    36(K)naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you (L)visited Me; (M)I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

    37″Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

    38’And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

    39’When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

    40″(N)The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, (O)to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

    Jesus was compassionate and demanding of individual accountability. He was able to perfectly balance these concepts. Your comments below demonstrate you lack that capacity.

    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.

  6. Jonathan Gardner Says:

    I’m glad you quoted scripture.

    Note that Jesus didn’t say:

    “For I was hungry, and you taxed other people to feed me;

    “I was thirsty, and you took their money to give me drink;

    “I was a stranger, and you used taxpayer money to build community centers to invite me in;

    “naked, and you used the public treasury to buy me clothing;

    “sick, and you wrote laws to punish people who don’t buy health insurance and punish doctors who refused to work for free, and used public funds to make a massive health insurance program to compete with the private sector.”

    You can’t force people to be charitable. It isn’t charity unless it’s your money.

    If you feel like you need to help these people, write a check, get out of your house, and find them and help them.

    Don’t make yourself feel good with MY money. That’s my right to help the poor in my own way. And if you deprive me of my money and wealth, how can I possible answer the Savior’s call to help the poor and sick, if I am poor and sick myself?

    I don’t know why people insist on being charitable with other people’s money, and yet refuse to lift a finger to do something themselves.

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