Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tony Perkins Says That Christians Shouldn't Give to The Poor...Or Not...Maybe

Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, recently went onto Janet Mefferd's radio program to talk about some article.  During the interview. Perkins had this to say:
Not only do we have a privilege in this nation to be involved in shaping our government's a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, I think, as Christians, we'll be held responsible for the policies adopted by this government's us!
This view isn't anything new to Tony Perkins, the FRC, and the rest of the Religious Right.  They believe that America was founded upon overt Christian principles, nay, Christianity itself, insomuch that the government is obligated to follow the laws of their god.  This is part of the doctrine of Dominionism, where Christians are to take possession of the earth.

To bring Tony's words into focus, he was speaking about the government helping the poor and the needy with respect to food support and other types of aid.  Thus, if we take the above quote by itself, it would seem that he was saying that all Christians have the privilege of showing the love of Jesus Christ by helping the poor through the government - because Christians ARE the government.

But sadly, this wasn't the case.  Prepare yourself for a mind twist.  It will hurt.  Tony Perkins, again:
Does the government have the responsibility to care for the poor?  That's not what the scripture says. Scripture hands that responsibility to you and I, as members of the faith - the followers of Jesus Christ. That's who he gave that to. Not to the civil government.
Wait.  What?  Hang on!  I thought you just said that Christians have the privilege of shaping government policy because "IT'S US!"  How then do you make the jump that the government is not you, but is just the government and somehow the Scriptures say something about the government not giving to the poor when it's a government that isn't you, when it really is you, so thus you should be giving to the poor through the government, even though you shouldn't because...

I guess I'm confused.  Tony Perkins continues:
He never said to the Romans, "Hey, you guys need to make sure that your taking out of one person's pocket to put into another." 
Huh?!  Where did that come from.  Okay, Tony.  Now you're just spouting Republican talking points.  In fact, Jesus DID say to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" with respect to paying taxes.  So, these are taxes that you are paying and Caesar (the government, according to most interpretations) can do whatever he wants with them.  

But!  Thankfully, you live in America, land of a representative government, giving you the unique ability to control Caesar!  Yet you complain that this government, which you claim is in fact you, is somehow not supposed to do what you are supposed to be doing in the first place.  

Finally, Perkins proves that he has absolutely NO IDEA what his own Bible says:
[Jesus] said, "No, you sell all that you have and give to the poor. You take that responsibility."
Yeah.  A Bible story about a rich young ruler that asked Jesus what he must do to be saved.  Jesus told the bloke to sell everything and follow him after telling him to follow all the commandments.  This story had everything to do about a man and a mission that Jesus was giving him and absolutely NOTHING to do with a narrative on government distributing income to the poor in lieu of the rich young ruler doing so.  Nothing.

But, conveniently, the narrative can be extrapolated for the purposes of the FRC to try and beat their lousy interpretation of the Bible over the head of those who are supposedly supposed to follow what it says, even though it doesn't even say what they say it says.

But it doesn't really matter.  Tony Perkins doesn't give to the poor as Jesus told him to sell everything and give it away.  Neither does the Family Research Council, more interested in muddy politicking than anything worthwhile.  

So who does?  I'm not sure the right person to ask is Tony Perkins.  He's simply full of hot air.

1 comment:

  1. Great article!! It also really gets my goat to hear Christians use, "If he does not work, he should not eat," to support dismantling welfare while completely ignoring verses such as you use above.