Saturday, October 18, 2008

Genuine Compassion

A reader writes to comment on the post titled More on the Right to Health Care. In that post I commented that when people are encouraged to turn to the church for their needs it benefits both them and the church in ways that government is simply unable to match. She writes:

...God provides support for those who trust in Him through His body of believers. This fosters gratitude and thankfulness because it is much easier to feel gratitude towards your brothers and sisters in Christ than the government.

I have experienced this personally. This summer my Dad fell from a ladder 25 feet and landed on his head. He miraculously survived, but his journey to recovery entailed critical care, rehab, surgery, and lots of money. Although our family of eight depended on his income, we were never in want through the whole time. Our church family surrounded us and took care of whatever needs we had. Our health care covered only a fraction of the medical expenses, but the church supplied the need. If the government had had complete control over our finances and health care, our family would have missed out on the biggest overflow of God's grace we have ever experienced.

The problem is that not everyone is a Christian who has this kind of support from a local body of believers. This is where the church can reach the world for Christ. They can supply the basic human needs that a government can never fulfill, and they can do it in a way that also supplies spiritual needs.

It is true, of course, that government has financial resources that churches cannot muster and that there's a role for government to play, but churches are much better positioned to give people what government cannot - love, concern, and life skills. They can, in the case of the poor, offer them training in the virtues necessary to get and keep a job and also help them to learn how to properly raise their children. The kind of help many people need today, and which churches are uniquely situated to provide, goes well beyond finances, but people will never seek out the church's assistance, and the church will never develop its full potential to do good in the community, if the government is at the doorstep with a check every time they need it.

I mentioned Marvin Olasky's The Tragedy of American Compassion in the previous post on this subject. It really is a book that should be read by everyone concerned with the poor and the best way to help them.


Pro-Abortion Extremism

Byron forwards us a link to an essay by George Weigel of the Witherspoon Institute. Weigel offers a compelling explanation as to why Senator Obama's defense of his vote as an Illinois state senator against legislation that would have protected babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt is simply false. After having methodically stripped away any possible justification for Obama's vote Weigel closes with this:

Some of Senator Obama's supporters are now making one last, rather desperate-sounding attempt to defend his votes against protecting infants born alive after unsuccessful abortions. Their argument goes this way: Permitting children who survive attempted abortions to be abandoned is so heinous, so barbaric, that for someone to accuse Senator Obama, a decent man who is himself the father of two daughters, of supporting what amounts to legalized infanticide is too outrageous to merit an answer. There is a problem, though. In light of the documentary evidence that is now before the public, it is clear that the accusation against Senator Obama, however shocking, has the very considerable merit of being true.

It may be worth mentioning in passing that Obama has promised Planned Parenthood that his first act as president will be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

Speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Obama said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

This act would invalidate all laws regulating abortion, including laws prohibiting partial birth abortion. The National Right to Life Committee explains:

Obama is a cosponsor of the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) (S. 1173), which would nullify all state and federal laws that "interfere with" access to abortion before "viability" (as defined by the abortionist). The bill would also nullify all state and federal laws that "interfere with" access to abortion after viability if deemed to enhance "health." Because the term "health" is not qualified in the bill, no state would be allowed to exclude any "health" justification whatever for post-viability abortions, because to do so would impermissibly narrow a federally guaranteed right. In short, the FOCA would establish a federal "abortion right" broader than Roe v. Wade and, in the words of the National Organization for Women, "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies." The chief sponsors and advocacy groups backing the legislation have acknowledged that it would make partial-birth abortion legal again, nullify state parental notification laws, and require the state and federal governments to fund abortions.

Whatever his views on other issues, Senator Obama is certainly a pro-abortion extremist.