I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately…
There’s so much talk about the government infringing upon the rights of churches. As a Catholic, I am acutely aware of the impact that Obamacare (<– Obama himself has stated he likes the term, so I’m in no way trying to offend there) may have on Catholic-run institutions. I also think it’s important to realize that this is NOT “just about the Catholics.” It’s an entire change in precedent. A dangerous one, in my opinion.
But, even more than that, I’m thinking of roles the government is trying to fill that used to be filled by churches.
I think those with “conservative leanings”, shall we say, often get accused of not caring about the poor. Not looking out for the needy. Having no social conscience.
I don’t think that’s true. At least, I don’t think that’s true across the board. I don’t think a party line can be drawn on a desire to care for the struggling. Could we all just agree that there are idiots of all political persuasions?
What I’m witnessing, however, is a shift in responsibility.
Whereas, at one point, the burden to care for the needy among us rested on the shoulders of churches and neighbors, it is now somehow the responsibility of the federal government. While there was a time that second collections would be quietly taken up to help a struggling family buy groceries, the expectation is now that that family will go to a government office and apply for assistance.
While I’m not even close to suggesting that there is no need for social assistance programs, I am starting to question whether the criss-crossing of church and government lines is really ideal and, just as importantly, HELPFUL to the people who truly need the help.
I have no answers. Sadly, I have not solved the problems of the world or even our country.
But I do have questions. Questions that I think are important. Questions that I don’t think are asked often enough. What do you think? Is blurring the line between church and government a GOOD thing for the masses? Is it a critical step in ensuring equal help or are we setting up needless bureaucracy?
Let me know your thoughts.