TED Conversations

Doc Hancock

This conversation is closed.

Why do many politically conservative American Christians oppose social welfare programs when the Bible calls on Christians to help the poor?

It seems that there is a disconnect between the secular mindset of many conservative American Christians who oppose welfare programs and the call to help the poor. Why?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 9 2013: The association between political conservatism and christianity has always intrigued me. From an aetheists point of view the New Testament reads like a socialist manifesto.
    • thumb
      Aug 9 2013: Hello, Peter. Thanks for joining the conversation. Would you mind elaborating on "socialist manifesto"? Thank you.
      • thumb
        Aug 11 2013: You replace Jesus with the authors name and "lord" with state and you have a group of people who are duty bound to do what they can for the good of everyone and as long as you follow the teachings of the author, all your needs will be provided by the state.
        • Aug 11 2013: Sounds reasonable. So are you saying that all politicians and government leaders need to repent of their sins, confess Jesus is Lord and be baptized first? I didn't think so.

          The Bible compares good deeds to menstruous clothe. You can wipe up the blood but now you have a sinner with a bloody clothe. You are going to give the charitable donations of Americans to sinners, as a result the money will be stolen and everyone will be jaded about giving.

          Judas was the man holding the money bag. This sounds like an idea that Judas would love.
      • Aug 12 2013: Peter Lindsay, I am both most Politically conservative, a Christian and studying for ministry work. And here's the disconnect that confuses most people who do not believe in a higher being.
        I believe that Jesus was God in human form. Being God he was truly willing to die for humans all humans. Even the one who betrayed him and sent him to his death.
        It is this type of whole hearted selfless love that is required in order for socialism to work. We Christians aren't Christians because its cool, or lucrative or a creed we follow blindly (true Christians) we do it because we feel compelled for everyone to feel and know the love we have from our God every day.
        I don't believe that the government welfare system works. I give and volunteer in nonprofit organizations and would give more if I had more to give. I have put my money where my mouth is by leaving a six-figure career to go to Seminary.
        And so I do follow Jesus' teachings but as with all of Christianity it's all voluntary. The closer you are to God the more you want to share His love. Sometimes that's financially, sometimes it's listening, sometimes it's providing a service like a car ride to a doctor's appointment. I do not believe the government which is a bastion of waste, greed and corruption does "helping the poor" right.
        • thumb
          Aug 12 2013: Thankyou for the eloquent reply. My position regarding government welfare is that it is necessary but should be minimalist. If your government is a bastion of waste greed and corruption, maybe you should try to fix the government so they can run a good welfare program.
        • Aug 13 2013: What you believe and have been taught about Jesus may not be anything like what Jesus taught. If you believe in the old testament, you are what he was fighting against. If you believe in an eye for an eye, you are opposed to his teachings. He never states that it is wrong for the people to provide for the poor through the government, does he? He never taught spare the rod and spoil the child, did he?
          Perhaps he is not the lord you are worshipping, but some later day invention of your church or of politicians who actually oppose his teachings. He never taught that it is wrong to borrow or lend or that men should beat their wives, did he? What does your church teach that contradicts him? What does it teach that he never taught?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.