The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 8, 2012

Helping the poor

Daily Item

---- — I wish to comment on the ill-advised "separation of church and state" doctrine as it relates to our latest election results. I know many people are either bothered or elated at the re-election of this president, and they believe the fate of the nation hangs in the balance over it. I believe both are wrong, as our fate collectively is determined by our individual choices to honor God who holds the fate of every nation (and individual) in His hand.

The work that needs to be done by true Christian churches is far more important than any government policy. I also believe that the church's mission has been totally corrupted by political doctrine. This is no more evident than among our nation's poor. The poor should not be understood solely by their lack of funds.

This is the Democratic Party's definition of such and their solution has been to simply re-allocate funds from those who have more. They have done this with the blessings of many religious leaders. The result has been that over the last 40 years, the poor have far more access to material goods and gadgets once considered the reward for the hard work of a middle class lifestyle.

This in itself is not a bad thing. The problem however, is the lack of concern over any desire to improve oneself beyond acquiring stuff. Many church people I speak to agree there is an entitlement mentality among the poor, who have no use for anyone unless they can give them stuff unconditionally. There is increasingly little interest in taking responsibility to improve one's education, personal outlook, work ethic, or economic decision making.

Incidentally, the alternative response of the Republicans and their trickle-down economics holds no hope to the massive problems this poses to our societies future success. The sheer number of people who don't possess the skills to even take basic responsibility for themselves, or who understand self-sacrifice for their own future prosperity is staggering. We are already over a cliff. Only by reintroducing Christian work ethics, life skills, and values back into our society, especially among the poor and disenfranchised, will we find any real hope for our future as a nation.

Joseph Martin,