First - Social justice and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a huge topic and onethat has often been co-opted in an order to make political gain ..... and it does not lend itself well to short sound [text] bites ... like we have here ... to fully address all the finer points.
Secondly, if a person is denied life - all other God given rights have zero meaning.
Third, we are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned and give drink to the thirsty .. the real question becomes: "How to we go about living this Gospel calling?" How do we accomplish the feeding, sheltering, nursing etc of those in need?
Some advocate that this is the primary role of the government.
Still others say that is the role of the family [the primary 'safety net', the neighbor and the Church.
IMHO: The problem with those that see this as governments role is that they have to fund this [ie taxes] and define the assistance, who receives it and how it is dispersed. And the 'social justice' arena grows and grows .... the fruit of this experiment is available. Amoungst african american families the number of chldren living in poverty is higher, the abortion rate is high, fatherless/absentee fathers are inreasing, incarceration rates are higher ... similar results among every demographic ... the great society is a failure ... our society rewards unmarried parent households and supports children in place of a 'father' in the house. Drop out rates for high school students is way to high ... and many that graduate can't read!!!
We now have multi-generations of families who have never been off welfare .. three and four generations of families have never been off the welfare roles :eek:
Porn shops seem to flourish on every corner [free speech] and parents havve no rights to know if their grand-children are eing sucked down the abortionist's sink .... and un-employment can become the 'paid' vacation for some [and yes I know that not everyone takes this attitude - I myself spent much of last year unemployed for the first time in 31+ years - and I recently found a position - Thank God:gopray2:]. Many people never seriously start looking for a job until their benefits are about to run out.
Is this new? No ... St Paul had to deal with those who sought to take adantage:
from Second Letter to the Thessalonians:
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business ofothers. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food. But you, brothers, do not be remiss in doing good. If anyone does not obey our word as expressed in this letter, take note of this person not to associate with him, that he may be put to shame. Do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.
Thus the balancing of individual responsibility and Christian charity is as old as the Church ... and there is much validity in the thought that centering the government as the 'provider' of social justice - the great equilizer as it were - is kin to deifying that government ... worshiping and paying homage to the 'being' that sustains you .. it smacks of the "Enlightenment" and "Modernism" which were condemned b the Church at the dwn of the 20th century ... it did not go way .. it just became more subtle -
Just because I don't appreciate the expansion of welfare does not mean that I am uncaring - it might mean that I care more .. that I want to help end the cycle of poverty not prolong it ...