First, read this story from the Korea Herald.
After months of political dispute, Seoul citizens will decide on free school meals in a vote on Wednesday. The referendum will ask voters to choose between providing free meals to all school students regardless of income straight away, as favored by Seoul City Council, or gradually covering students from the poorest 50 percent of households, as backed by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. At least one third of the electorate must vote for the result to be valid.
The road to this point has been fraught with controversy and division. In protest of Seoul City Council’s decision to implement a universal meals program, Oh earlier this year boycotted council meetings for six months, prompting the council to accuse Oh of a “dereliction of duty.” On Tuesday, Oh put his political career on the line, promising to step down as mayor should his proposal fail. For Oh and many conservatives, the vote is a last bid to safeguard the city’s finances from welfare populism. To many liberals, the referendum demonstrates more about Oh’s political ambitions than his principles. Where their conservative peers see waste in a universal program, they see inclusiveness that avoids stigmatizing poorer children. But in the end, the voters’ voice will be the one that matters.
The article features two opinions, pro and con.
Here is the pro excerpt:
We cannot stand by and watch classmates be divided between the well-off and the less well-off, nor can we stand idly by as some children feel ever more left out, branded “poor” by their own peers, and all because of school meals. The constitution of Korea is very clear in its declaration that compulsory education ought to be free as well.
And here is the con excerpt:
Kwak begins: “If we harbor the idea of universal welfare …”
This justifies suspicions that the goal is to establish a universal welfare program, not just to help poor kids. “Welfare populism” has defined the current election cycle, with Korean politicians pushing and shoving each other out of the way to announce the latest “free” or “half-free” proposal: “Free” school lunches, “free” medical services, “half-tuition,” “free” childcare.
I obviously agree with the second opinion. These hard-cases are regularly used as a way to push through full-blown socialism. Even many Christians fall for this, and have been tricked into voting for left-wing activists who went on to enact many objectionable things like taxpayer-funded abortion, taxpayer-funded sex changes, taxpayer-funded day care, taxpayer-funded IVF, etc.
Why would Christians support government-provided meals?
Recently I was listening to an interview with an apostate on the Unbelievable radio show. She is a pastor’s kid, listened to Christian music, went on short-term mission trips to Haiti to help the poor, (but no apologetics conferences – eww, yucky!), and did all kinds of Christian activities that would not help her to pass my screening questions at all . I don’t think she was ever a Christian, because I don’t think this happy-clappy pastor’s-kid sing-in-church stuff is any indication of having a Christian worldview.
Anyway, her stated reasons for her apostasy were as follows:
- I don’t like that people aren’t equal financially (she said she annoyed her father by wearing a pin that said “Jesus was a socialist”, which, of course, he isn’t – unless you decide these questions based on feelings not facts)
- I don’t like that people are not happy (she talked about the problem of suffering, and was annoyed that God was failing to give people happiness, which she assumed was his job because of her impressions of God from her happy-clappy worship music view of Christianity)
- I don’t like the idea of a God who could punish people in Hell for disrespecting his existence and character (because knowing God as a real person and caring about his character when you make decisions is such a drag on her autonomy and her need for peer approval)
- I don’t like some things that Jesus says that are mean (her examples were all misinterpretations of the text that a preschooler could solve)
- I don’t like where the Bible says that men and women have different roles (she claimed to be a feminist in the interview, which provides a clue about what really happened)
This reminds me of when Lewis Wolpert said in his debate with William Lane Craig that God didn’t help him find his cricket bat so he became an atheist. What sort of investigation of the truth of Christian theism is possible for people who became atheists in their teens? None. They do it because they don’t like rules, and don’t like how the real world doesn’t fit with their emotions and intuitions about what God should be like. They don’t want answers, they want emotions and intuitions.
Often, when people say “God doesn’t prevent suffering”, what they really mean is that God didn’t meet their personal expectations for making them happy. And when they say , “God doesn’t prevent poverty”, what they really mean is that God didn’t give me lots of money for acting irresponsibly. They believed that they could act recklessly and that God would make their emotional flights of fancy work out somehow. Just read my post on Dan Barker: this is not at all out of the ordinary.The air of intellectualism and critical thinking that atheists put on come much later after the wounded narcissism.
Atheism starts with wanting to be popular or a missing cricket bat. Dan Barker sang songs for most of his life – he was an uneducated man. He was in no position to become an atheist for intellectual reasons. As a young man, he invented a God in keeping with his fundamentalist praise and worship songs, and then he expected his golem-God to make him happy – which it didn’t. He rejected his caricature of God because it didn’t produce the expected benefits. If God can’t be what they want – happiness provider, money provider – then they quit. They are not in it to serve – but to be served.
I see this a lot where people choose to have romantic relationships with non-Christians, and it doesn’t work out. Instead of taking responsibility for breaking the rules while trying to get happiness, and realizing that Christianity isn’t there to make them happy, they blame their Santa Claus caricature of God for not giving them what they want.
And that’s why Christians support government-funded meals. They have this idea that God ought to be in the business of providing for our needs. Many of them fall away from the faith and become socialists when those expectations about God fail to prove out. So they look to government to change the world into something it isn’t. They have an intuition that the world should conform to their happy expectations. When God fails to deliver, they become atheists and turn to government as the solution to their problem. But is happiness really the goal of life?
Do Christian socialists really understand what Christianity is about?
But back to the government-provided school meals. Undoubtedly, this apostate socialist feminist from the radio show would favor the government taking over the duties of parents to feed their children.
But she isn’t alone. I would think that many Christian women also express delight at the idea of the government using family money to “help the poor”. I’ve heard opinions like this from a number of Christian women. They just think that Christianity is consistent with a secular government confiscating wealth and redistributing for secular purposes. Because Christianity isn’t about things like evangelism and private charity – it’s about people of all religions feeling good regardless of what they think about God. It’s also about people who make reckless and/or immoral decisions getting money from the government to make the consequences go away.
Christian socialists think that it’s better for a Christian family to give up their money and lose their ability to share the gospel as they meet the needs of others. Let government do it instead, and let government get the credit for helping the poor. The main point of Christianity, they think, is making people feel good regardless of what they believe and how they act – by means of wealth redistribution by a secular state.
Christianity is not about the equalization of wealth by government, or the elimination of suffering, or allowing people to be reckless and immoral and then feeling happy about what they’ve done. Christianity finds meaning in suffering – look at the example of Jesus – and Christianity is concerned with knowing God and making him known to others, and respected by others. Many Christians reject the real goals of Christianity and substitute alternative goals – and that’s why they are so open to socialism.
Christianity is about loving God and loving your neighbor. To love God you have to know him, integrate his values with your decision making and priorities. Loving your neighbor doesn’t mean shoveling money at them regardless of what they know about God or how bad their decisions are. Giving to your neighbor in the Bible is a private matter – not a government-run redistribution operation. You give SO THAT the recipient gets the better of your input and judgment.
The government in Canada hands out drug needles, and pays for abortions. Is that what Christianity is about? If it isn’t, then stop being suckered by extreme case sob stories and voting to hand more and more money to the government. They will never spend it as well as you will – so long as you think that how you spend money is ALSO under the authority of God. Many Christians don’t.
Are Christian socialist women ready for marriage and family?
To me, I take socialist convictions as if the woman is saying that she doesn’t want her husband to be the leader in the home, she wants to diminish his purchasing power, increase the uncertainty of his job, add to the national debt her children will pay, and to empower the government to get into the business of making more and more citizens dependent on the government instead of being dependent on parents or independent as adults. Many of these women also favor welfare for single mothers, and a whole host of other social programs.
Money that husbands earn is family money, not government money
One of my friends on Facebook who is a pro-life capitalist feminist (not a Christian) wrote this to me as a summary of how to understand what a woman means when she expresses support for government to provide meals to children so that they will be equal:
How about, “I want my husband to give his money to women who didn’t marry the fathers of their babies, rather than keeping it in our family.”
I, for one, am tired of children being used as bludgeons and shields by the Left to argue against any actual repercussions for their actions. While I don’t think that children should go hungry, and I can’t work up much anger at a state-funded (not federal-funded) school lunch for poor kids, but… reality is that parents work their butts off to give their kids advantages. My father didn’t work 80 hour weeks for someone else’s kid (well, he gives away a lot of time and money, but that’s his choice); he did it so that his four kids could have a stable life, food on the table, and college educations. Not so that some other brat he’s never met could have all of that.
Isn’t it amazing that non-Christian women actually acknowledge the importance of the male roles of father and husband more than the many Christian women? I find that amazing. Women who oppose socialism think that the results of my hard work are not better spent by Harriet Harman than by families. If families want to help the poor and to give God honor by being known to be Christians by those they help, good. If families want to share the gospel and answer questions with those they help, good. If families want to choose who to help based on their Christian worldview, good. But government does none of that, so they should not get family money.
And this is why I warn you Christian young men. Money is the fuel that you use to run your lives. It is the flour that you use to bake the bread that you will offer to God as a gift. A woman who thinks that the Christian life is about giving money to a secular government is not ready to marry. A Christian family can always spend their money better for Christ than a secular government.
Men: Do not assume that just because a woman likes baby pictures and weddings that she is qualified for marriage. Marriage is a very particular thing. Wanting it is not the same as being ready for it. Men are not sperm-donors, and they are not bank accounts. They do not exist to cater to the whims of women who want to feel good about themselves and the world. Men are there to execute their own plans to serve God, with help from women. My role is not to make a woman feel better by creating utopia here and now. I am a Christian man. I have Christian goals. Giving money that I earned to a secular government does not help me to achieve those goals. And a woman who thinks that the secular government should spend my money does not help me to achieve those goals.
Christian women especially ought to know this, but many don’t. They have completely given up on the Christian message of sin and forgiveness and reduced it to 1) being liked, 2) feeling good. Abandoning Christian particularism makes them feel liked by people in other religions, and redistributing the money of hard workers, including their own husbands, makes them feel good because government is helping the poor… to a taxpayer-funded abortion at Planned Parenthood. But that’s not Christianity.
Many, many women want this feeling of putting the world right. And since they don’t read about things like education vouchers and consumer-driven health care, they settle on the obvious, but incorrect, solution – reduce “inequality” by redistributing wealth through a secular government. They know nothing at all about the free market, and less still about how the free market works to solve social problems. They don’t read – they just feel. And then they are shocked when a bloated government starts to encroach on religious liberty, right to life, homeschooling, etc.
Christian men, listen. Just because a woman can sing hymns, prayer, dance, read the Bible, and attend church, it doesn’t mean that she has a Christian worldview. She can just be like that apostate on the Unbelievable show, having the form of Christianity, but without any real faith in God or knowledge of his character. She may not support God’s purposes of being known by all and honored by all. She may not support private charity instead of public social programs.