President Obama seemed to suggest that in his message last week: “I believe in God’s command to love thy neighbor as thyself. And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills, to shoulder the burden alone.”

The Pastor of Saddleback Church (and author of The Purpose Driven Life), Rick Warren, was asked to comment: “Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There’s over 2,000 verses in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation. The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You rob them of dignity. The primary purpose of government is to keep the peace, protect the citizens, provide opportunity. And when we start getting into all kinds of other things, I think we invite greater control. And I’m fundamentally about freedom. You know the first freedom in America is actually the freedom of religion. It’s not the second, third, fourth or fifth.”

Advertisements