If this version of events doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’re probably a Godless, socialist-leaning lefty who could stand to get yourself some religion. By religion, I mean capitalism, which seems to trounce all Christian dogma in the minds of conservatives like Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who last week made headlines after invoking a Biblical quote to slam the impoverished. Cramer was responding to constituent (and probable Satanist) who opposed his calls to drastically cut food stamps for the young, elderly, and poor.
Cramer, who I presume is Christian, or at least, claims the title in order to assume elected office, told the constituent, ”If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Oh, yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deceit and density asininity, I will fear no disingenuous simpleton.
I’m surprised a conservative Republican would even quote from the New Testament. They’re more of an Old Testament, stone your perverse, hedonist self to death sort of group. Kind of like those Islamists they’re always raging about. Then again, Vladimir Lenin, also loved this little Thessalonians quote that Cramer cited. I wonder if Cramer knows that?
No matter, though, because like most arguments framed by way of a Biblical citation, there’s more than likely several parts of scripture that can be employed to form a counterargument.
With respect to the idea of the poor fending for themselves, here are a few:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
“Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’”
“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.”
Do you know what this is called by the GOP today? “Distribution of wealth,” “socialism,” and “nanny state.” Perish the thought, y’all. Meanwhile, this quote, which has been quoted by other Republican members of Congress, pertains to people who stopped working in anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ.
Still, Cramer’s overall point is that the poor don’t want to work, and thus, need to be kicked off of aid for their own good. The idea that the poor don’t want to work is a long perpetuated falsehood from Cramer’s ilk. To wit, in an op-ed posted on his site, Cramer echoed the “We cut your aid to help you!” sentiment by asserting, “Our reforms to food stamps also address the larger benefits of work and its value to the human spirit.”
He also asks, “When did America become a country where working for benefits is no longer noble?” I’ll take “Republican policy” for an EBT card full of money, Alex.
Cramer doesn’t know a whole lot about theology and appears to need an Amber Alert to find his ability to understood context while reading.
Won’t you pray for him?
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick
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