Helping the Poor — Conservative Hypocrisy & Christian Charity

Recently, a letter to the editor appeared in the local paper blasting those who want to keep extended Unemployment Benefits going here in the USA. The argument of the letter writer is that the unemployment benefit was a disincentive to work, that the unemployed had no reason to find a job while getting this payment because it was so close to the gross pay at minimum wage.

Those who think unemployment compensation gives the unemployed a reason to stay unemployed because it is close to minimum wage payments
1) do not know how little the payment is here in TN;
2) do not know how many people drawing it made much, much more than minimum wage before they lost their jobs;
3) do not know how many people need this payment to keep from losing their homes and contributing to even more foreclosures on the market, thus delaying the recovery;
4) do not know how many people drawing this payment actually are in school, trying to learn a new trade or skill set so they can get back out into the workforce despite shrinkage in their old line of work; and
5) they are putting fiscal conservatism above the actual lives of actual people NOW but ignored it when they or causes they supported were benefiting. This is hypocrisy, pure and simple.

We would not have the deficits we have today had it not been for actions taken by previous Administrations, which actions broke the economy. You broke it & now you want to be mean-spirited about paying for it? How is that conservative?

As almost no one makes arguments based on economics like this except conservatives (and libertarians, who are actually a very small group), I suspect the author of this letter is a conservative — which, here in Memphis, also means most likely a Christian.

And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (The Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 40-42, New International Version, Holy Bible).

Christians, especially Conservative Christians, claim to be following the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. Many have done remarkable acts of charity and kindness based on these teachings. Some just do not seem to understand what is plainly being said in the teachings.

Why is it that so many Christians just do not understand what their Lord (God) and Messiah (King) has taught them to do? Read Matthew (or any other account of the Sermon on the Mount) — helping the poor without counting the cost is a major theme of Jesus’ sermon.

In another passage, He said that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. All those who believe that Christianity is about getting rich and having a prosperous life must either not have read the Bible — or they believe what a preacher tells them over the Bible, a preacher who prefers to tell what the congregation wants to hear, rather than the radical notion that “by their actions you shall know them” and those actions should show the charity (love) the believer feels toward everyone.


I posted the above originally as a Note on facebook on July 4, 2010. So, the “recently” referred to was around that time.


About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed. Mobile Notary Public and Signing Agent, Freelance Writer, and Ordained Minister. Willing servant to cats. Science fiction and fantasy fan, avid reader, Founder of the Darrell Awards. Author of _Getting Started As A Notary Signing Agent_ (available from Please be kind to one another.
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