Never confuse theft with charity

Kent McManigal

Kent McManigal

I’m as far from being a Republican as I am from being a Democrat — as far as east is from west.

But when I see misguided criticisms and flawed comparisons aimed at the wrong target, I feel the need to address them.

Recently I witnessed someone scolding Republicans for their “opposition to socialism,” as demonstrated by their use of the Obamacare boondoggle for political theatrics.

“Opposed to socialism?”

Republicans are enthusiastic socialists in most everything they advocate — but their favorite programs differ from those of the Democrats. Therein dwells the friction.

This particular Democrat was claiming Jesus was a socialist, as evidenced by his handing out free medical care, food, and other such necessities, therefore Republicans shouldn’t be so hostile to socialism.

But there’s a gaping hole in this comparison, overlooked by the commenter.

Socialists’ “generosity” comes through giving away things that didn’t belong to them to begin with, and were not voluntarily given to be handed out. In other words, socialists steal from others and then feel superior when they distribute the stolen property.

Never confuse theft with charity.

You can’t be generous with other people’s money, time, or labor, but only with your own. When you try to do so, you are just a common thief.

Anyway you look at it, that’s not nice.

If theft were one of the virtues advocated by Jesus, I must have missed that part.

Anytime you take something that doesn’t belong to you, against the wishes of its rightful owner, you are stealing. Even if you promise to use that property for good. Even if you say the victim of your theft is getting some necessity in return.

Even if you make the claim that the person has implicitly consented through some non-voluntary “social contract.”

It doesn’t matter if your uses for that property are “progressive” or “conservative.”

Once again, it comes down to the difference between sharing and being robbed.

Go ahead and advocate whatever policies or programs you like, but don’t pretend those you look up to would have supported whichever big-government welfare program you happen to love, in an attempt to make your position seem moral.

That applies to those who would claim Jesus would have supported the war on politically incorrect drugs, the war on terror, torture, immigration control, government schools, police checkpoints, NSA spying, or anti-gun laws. In this case you are clearly misrepresenting everything Jesus stood for.

What was that about bearing false witness?

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:

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