Does the Church expect us to pay for those who use their Free Will choices to engage in behavior that makes them dependent?


Does the Church expect us to pay for those who use their Free Will choices to engage in behavior that makes them dependent?


Yes, of course.

Christ died for us, even though we each have the free will to commit the sins that He had to pay for.

Likewise, Christian charity is extended to all people, regardless of whether their own choices or external circumstances have lead them into poverty or other forms of dependency.

How can anyone say to their neighbour “it’s your own fault” but then turn to Christ and accept His forgiveness?


But what if the behavior was intentional, they are not sorry, and don’t believe the behavior is a sin?


Well, I was speaking generally. On a meta level the Church and its members, and hopefully society as a whole, cares for the needs of everyone, regardless of how they got into difficulty.

On an individual level, any given situation needs to be considered on its own merits, with regard to what responsibility you have towards the person in question, what impact their behavoiur is having on you and other people, etc.


It seems that collective morality is disappearing, in favor of individual morality.


I’m not sure what you mean. We each have individual moral obligations, but society as a whole has obligations to protect the vulnerable and poor.

Since your question is vague I can’t really offer a more detailed response that what I have.


The Church teaches ‘‘Poverty’’ Chastity and Obedience. If peoples choices or circumstance has lead them into ‘‘Poverty’’. Is that not Pious for them ?


Excellent point.


When they came to the place called Calvary, they crucified him there …] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

I guess that answers your question.


There is supposed to be such a thing as personal responsibility. If you make irresponsible choices, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of taxpayers to bail you out.


With respect to drug addicts, I like the Japanese method of dealing with it. The addict is locked up, and not given any palliative treatment to ease the pain of withdrawal. All that is done is insure that they don’t die during withdrawal.
This seems to have a high degree of success, because where drugs are concerned they have a very low rate of recidivism.
They are particularly harsh with drug dealers… Marijuana and Hashish are considered to be in the same league as Heroin and Opium. Upon apprehension, a drug dealer, even so low as a street pusher, is given a life at hard labor without possibility of parole sentance.
The net result is a much lower degree of drug addiction than in the US.
In Malaya, any trafficing in illegal narcotics (which is any form of “recreational drugs”)results in a death sentance, and they execute within 90 days of conviction. There currently is a middle-aged English woman awaiting execution for being caught smuggling less than one kilo of Cocain into Singapore.


Understand…but your sentiment is presumptuous…literally…because you are making a final judgement on “a person(s)”…that they can’t and won’t change (remember the “…70 times 7…” exhortation…mandate by Christ). You are also saying God’s grace for that person’s conversion…is ineffective…and they will never change or experience conversion. Two incredible positions…taking God’s Judgment seat on a person…and telling God you know that that person is unchangeable…His graces have limits.

Look at it this way…you are a fireman…a house is on fire…you rush to the scene…its the house of a guy who smokes in bed and has set his bedroom on fire before…you answered that previous call put out the fire and warned him to stop smoking in bed…this time he drinks himself into a passing out-sleep and sets the whole house on fire…are you going to say he will never change and let the house burn down with him in it? Not a chance…you save his life regardless of how he got in that position. Also…you and authorities are going to get him into some kind of AA and quit smoking classes (some kind of therapy)…and maybe even some jail time for reckless endangerment of his family or neighbors…but you don’t make a final judgment that he can’t…that he will never change…and give up on him.

Just because you and I may not behave that same way…that causes us to be in need…its only because of the graces of God…sure our free will cooperation is a key part of our working with God’s graces…but our circumstances: …physically…mentally…culturally…environmentally…are probably quite different from those in need. In other words…we need to avoid patting ourselves on the back because we acted differently…"…there but the grace of God…go me…"!

Lastly…look at this para from the COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH…it will sing a great truth to your ears/heart…on…the duty to work…but notice the words on solidarity (a key principle of our social doctrine) and on responsibility to care for the needy (with no qualifications…except that they are in need)

**c. The duty to work
264. The awareness that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31) is not an exoneration from being involved in the world, and even less from work (cf. 2 Thes 3:7-15), which is an integral part of the human condition, although not the only purpose of life. No Christian, in light of the fact that he belongs to a united and fraternal community, should feel that he has the right not to work and to live at the expense of others (cf. 2 Thes 3:6-12). Rather, all are charged by the Apostle Paul to make it a point of honour to work with their own hands, so as to “be dependent on nobody” (1 Thes 4:12), and to practise a solidarity which is also material by sharing the fruits of their labour with “those in need” (Eph 4:28). Saint James defends the trampled rights of workers: “Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (Jas 5:4). Believers are to undertake their work in the style of Christ and make it an occasion for Christian witness, commanding “the respect of outsiders” (1 Thes 4:12).

[, poverty and riches](“, poverty and riches”)

We all probably feel that we** don’t deserve **to have to put up with peoples ineptitude…bad behavior and laziness…but like the “great theologian” William Munny (Clint Eastwood) said in Unforgiven: “…deserve’s got nothing to do with it…”!

Pax Christi




Those who wish to obtain handouts rather then earn their own way (if they are capable) are lazy, thief’,s, immoral, selfish, individuals. Lets STOP beating around the bush here. We are talking about the many government handouts, including welfare. Millions of people have taken billions of government aid when they can work and support themselves. Love, kindness, helping those who are unable to make it on their own is a noble thing to do. But people have taken advantage of all this assistance and have changed it into a national
disgrace. And we have a political party and President that buys votes by giving everyone goodies. This formula, if continued, will be a major step in destroying the future stability and strength of our country. Of course we should help ALL the needy, through prayer, food, clothing, shelter, and education, BUT those who abuse these Christian values are nothing less than perpetual, willful sinners, and they know what they are doing. God intended for us to love one another, He did not intend for neighbors to steal, lie, and deceive, their neighbors. We should all give faith, hope, and charity to those in need. Those who deceive the givers for personal benefit must face God to be judged for their actions.


The bolded part is what I am referring to. The problem is that people are not given love and kindness when they receive government aid. They are simply given money. For those who just need a bit of encouragement, well, they won’t get it. For those who need role modeling in how to live more stably, nope, they don’t get that either.

And welfare is not a hand up, either. For those who want to work their way out of welfare, it’s extremely difficult, because their are gaps. Earn a few dollars above the limits and you lose hundreds in benefits–which one might think is ok until one sees that Section 8 programs have raised the rents so much it is impossible to afford with only a few dollars more. I don’t know what will happen with Obamacare, but until now, if there was a really ill person in the family, they couldn’t afford to earn a little bit more because they would lose their entire insurance and not be able with the extra they earn to afford the health care costs. Even earning some extra money on a temporary basis can make a recipient lose out, so they won’t take on extra work, they won’t try to get ahead; in short, the welfare system actually traps people.

And our current system (US) is not so great for the rest of us, either, bit that’s a different story…


Portugal’s path has also worked to a large degree and is a wee bit less violent than Singapore and Malaysia.



"When you see on earth the man who has encountered the shipwreck of poverty, do not judge him, do not seek an account of his life, but free him from his misfortune … The poor man has one plea, his want and his standing in need: …but even if he is the most wicked of all men, let us free him from hunger. We show mercy on him not because of his virtue but because of his misfortune, in order that we ourselves may receive from the Master His great mercy." - Saint John Chrysostom

But what if the behavior was intentional, they are not sorry, and don’t believe the behavior is a sin?

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” - Saint Paul


It sounds like you’re trying to fit Christianity into Ayn Randian/survival of the fittest philosophy and it just isn’t going to work.

Follow the example of our Holy Father and the way he serves his flock. We’re called to serve one another-and how do you know that the experience of having someone help unconditionally won’t change someone’s life? What if that example leads them to seek the unconditional love of Jesus…and then He works in their live to bring change so that they become new creations in Him?

Whatever you do to the least of these…


Take the example of an unmarried woman who has 4 kids for the purpose of receiving a higher amount of money in her welfare check since each child increases the amount. She can claim she thought the biological father was going to help after the first child was born, but she can’t claim ignorance that the father might abandon her the second, third, and fourth times. She doesn’t think she sinned. Taxpayers played no role in her decision to have no man to help out, yet taxpayers will be forced to pay for 18 years of health, education, and welfare of her kids. When it comes to college, her kids will probably get grants or scholarships because she’s a poor single mother, even though she free willingly chose to have more kids with no man to help. How does the Church see this?


[quote="Seeker1961, post:18, topic:322386"]
trying to fit Christianity into Ayn Randian/survival of the fittest philosophy and it just isn't going to work


Attributed to Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan: "Satanism is just Ayn Rand's philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added."

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