Lazy Poor Pt.1

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Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com

 

 

The Lazy Poor in America

Pt. 1

 

by 

 

Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.

 

 

 

America has become the land of the free –

free food, free housing, free medical care, free . . . . 

 

America has become a nation of freeloaders.

 

In II Thessalonians, Paul writes: 

“For even when we were with you,

this we commanded you,

that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

 

The lazy poor oppress hardworking Americans.

 

 

Now a farmer gave his sons charge over his field.  And some sons went into the field to labor daily.  And other sons refused to labor in the field and spent day after day in drunkenness, reveling, and idleness.  The father went to his slothful sons and admonished them:  “Go ye also into the field, and when the harvest is reaped, you will be rewarded for your work.” 

But the wicked sons said among themselves:  “We will not go and labor in the field, and we shall still share in the harvest.”

Again, the father went to his slothful sons and admonished them:  “Go ye also into the field and labor, and when the harvest is reaped, you will be rewarded for your work.” 

But the wicked sons said among themselves:  “We will not go and labor in the field, and we shall still share in the harvest.  For our father will not let us go hungry.” 

And the good and faithful sons labored in the field: plowed, sowed, and tended the crops. And after much labor, the harvest was reaped. Now the slothful sons came and said to their father:  “Father, we’ve come for our share of the harvest.” 

And the father said unto them: “My sons, is it just that you should share in the harvest when you have not worked in the field?”

And the slothful sons said to him:  “Father, we are unable to work because of our many afflictions.  We are afflicted with drunkenness.  And we are afflicted with a disposition for sleep, not labor.”

And the father said unto them: “It is written, ‘Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.’ And it is written, ‘For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.’”

Then the sons said unto him: “Father, we are poor and have no bread to eat. Have compassion on us, Father, give us our share of the harvest: for it is written,  "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.  And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger.' "

And their father answered and said unto them: “You wicked and slothful sons.  It is also written, ‘if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ You neither plowed nor sowed nor tended.  Since you would not labor in the field, you shall not share in the harvest. Depart from me.”

My dear friend, this parable of the slothful sons illustrates the wickedness of those who demand to share in the harvest when they refuse to labor in the field.  Rewarding the lazy with the fruits of those who labor is not only absurd; rewarding the lazy with the fruits of those who labor is unjust! But that is exactly what is happening in America today. America is an asylum for all who refuse to labor. 

Yes, America’s work ethic – rooted in Christian culture – is being uprooted.  In an attempt to hasten the downfall of Christian culture, America has become the land of the free – free food, free housing, free medical care, free . . . . 

America has become a nation of freeloaders.

To illustrate, Tuan has lived in the United States for over 30 years and has never worked.  Instead, he and his wife have lived off welfare for over 30 years.

Tuan told me his story of how he and his wife came to America when the communists took over Vietnam in the 1970’s.  In Vietnam, Tuan was a government clerk, and taught himself English by reading books.  He was a valued worker and made money enough to hire servants to run his household.  But when the communists took over, he and his family fled to America.

Upon arrival, Tuan looked for a job similar to the clerkship he had in Vietnam.  However, he found that women generally hold secretarial positions in the States.  And his spoken and written English was too bookish for employers.  Tuan says that he is an “intellectual” and will not stoop to manual labor.  And, so, for over 30 years, Tuan and his wife have lived off welfare.  Simply put, for over 30 years, Tuan and his wife have lived off our hard work because he refuses to do manual labor and assimilate into our American culture.  And, in broken English, Tuan constantly complains that he is not given money enough to live on. 

On the other hand, when Tuan’s relatives arrived in America, they got jobs in a local manufacturing plant, learned to write and speak English, and assimilated into our American culture. 

Today Tuan is a bitter man.  Even though he has not worked one day in 30 years and has lived off welfare, he feels Americans failed him.  The truth is Tuan has failed himself, his family, and us.  Tuan failed to avail himself of the opportunities to better his life; Tuan failed to provide for his family; Tuan failed to contribute to the public good.  Tuan makes selfish and unreasonable demands on us.

Long ago, immigrants did not make such unreasonable demands on Americans.  When the Irish, Germans, Italians and other immigrants came to America seeking a better life, they came here with the intent to work and become Americanized.  They did not come to live off welfare.

Not along ago on CNN, a commentator said our concerns about the Hispanic immigrants flooding our country are unfounded because large numbers of immigrants flooded America in the past. Essentially, he was saying the immigrants of today are like the immigrants of yesteryear.  But he intentionally ignored the following facts. . .

The immigrants of yesteryear did not demand that the government provide them with free food.

The immigrants of yesteryear did not demand that the government provide them with free medical care.

The immigrants of yesteryear did not demand that we speak their language instead of their learning English.

The immigrants of yesteryear did not demand that our schools provide special programs to meet their “special” needs.

The immigrants of yesteryear did not demand that we . . . .

You get the idea.

The immigrants of yesteryear were not a social, political, and economic burden to American taxpayers.  Today the lazy poor oppress hardworking Americans. Immigrants come to America for handouts, and we hand it over even though they refuse to live and work for their own good; and refuse to live and work for the good of our nation.

And it’s not just the lazy immigrants who want a handout.  America is an asylum for all who refuse to labor, including Americans.  And, unfortunately, laziness among the poor is publicly encouraged by the government and the Church. 

The truth is there is no reasonable or Biblical basis for government welfare or charity to the lazy. Foolish generosity is solely based on emotional appeal – it makes us feel good about ourselves.  Priding ourselves on giving to others – even the undeserving - makes us as self-righteous as the Pharisee in the parable of those who are self-righteous about their own goodness and despise others (Luke 17:9 –14).  Again, there is no reasonable or Biblical basis for government welfare or charity to the lazy.

Do you remember the television sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show?  Well, in the 1961 episode “Opie’s Hobo Friend,” Andy and Opie are going fishing when they meet a hobo. The hobo impresses Opie with his good humor.  The hobo and Opie begin to form a friendship and the hobo tells Opie that he lives off his wits, rather than work. The hobo’s laziness begins to influence him; Opie begins to avoid work and plays hooky to go fishing. Consequently, Andy runs the hobo out of town. 

What’s my point? The slothful live off their wits instead of their work. And they have outwitted us into letting us do the work, and they live off of us through government welfare and church handouts.  And while the financial and social burdens get heavier and heavier for the hardworking American, the moral burden gets lighter and lighter for the freeloader.  The lazy poor force their moral responsibilities and duties onto those who work. The lazy poor oppress hardworking Americans.

When I was working as an attorney at a workers’ compensation law firm several years ago, one of the lawyers walked into the office one morning and commented on a bumper sticker on a client’s pickup truck:  “Work is for people who don’t know how to fish.”  The lawyer commented to us:  “Now, we think we’re smarter than our clients because we graduated law school and are lawyers.  Who’s really smarter?  We’re stuck in our offices working hard every day, and they’re going fishing.”  By the way, because of the large number of fraudulent workers’ compensation claims, I quit after two months. Many clients feigned injuries because they were unwilling to work.

Look, my dear friend, even the early church demanded that every man fulfill his duty of work. In II Thessalonians, Paul writes: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (3:10).  Paul didn’t suggest it, he commanded it:

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

 8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=60&chapter=3&version=9

Paul commanded us not to encourage the lazy.  In fact, he says that we should have no company with him, that he may be ashamed!  And we must admonish him as a brother.

But in America, we don’t admonish the lazy – we comfort and encourage them!  We comfort and encourage the lazy by giving them free food.  We comfort and encourage the lazy by giving them free housing.  We comfort and encourage the lazy by giving them free medical care.  And the lazy often eat better food, drive better vehicles, and wear better clothes than us.  And we pay for it! 

Of course, anyone who professes to be a Christian is forbidden to live off welfare – living off of the work of others. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). 

Did you hear that my friend?  The Bible declares that if any man refuses to work and provide for his family, he is worse than an infidel!

We have been hoodwinked into believing that our “good works” of handing out undeserving charity makes us a righteous nation.  Politicians seeking political power bribe the lazy for their votes with promises of more free living.  And religious leaders seeking religious power and the praise of men deceive Christians into believing that our “good works” of handing out undeserving charity makes us righteous.  And the ambitions of political and religious leaders for power, praise, and money lead America toward socialism. 

Some call socialism the redistribution of wealth, or social justice. It is not social justice; it is social injustice. It is robbing those who work so the self-righteous can unjustly comfort and encourage the lazy.  Again, this is social injustice. The lazy poor oppress hardworking Americans. Listen, my dear friend, the Bible declares: “this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

Our Christian forefathers obeyed the Biblical command against idleness. For example, godly men met at Jamestown in 1619 to establish a new government for Virginia.  This body, the first representative assembly in the colonies, enacted laws against acts detrimental to the public welfare.  These men wisely discouraged idleness:

    First, in detestation of idleness, be it enacted that if any man be found to live as an  idler, or runagate, though a freedman, it shall be lawful for that incorporation or plantation to which he belongs, to appoint him a master to serve for wages till he show apparent signs of amendment.

         John Pory " The Work of a Colonial Legislature," Annals of American History.
            <http://america.eb.com/america/print?articleId=385140>

 

And historian John Smith gives an account of how Virginia colonists would do as little work as possible while they were all fed from a common storehouse:

 

   When our people were fed out of the common store and labored jointly together, glad was he who could slip from his labor, or slumber over his task he cared not how; nay, the most honest among them would hardly take so much true pains in a week as now for themselves they will do in a day. Neither cared they for the increase, presuming that howsoever the harvest prospered, the general store must maintain them, so that we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty as now three or four do provide for themselves.

                John Smith " Starving Time in Virginia," Annals of American History.
                <http://america.eb.com/america/print?articleId=385145>

Look, my dear friend, wise men simply do not tolerate the idle living off the labor of the workers.  It is time for Christians to reevaluate their charity to the poor. They must evaluate charity according to Biblical principles and give to the deserving poor only. So, who are the deserving poor?

In a letter to Timothy addressing the Church’s duty to support widows, the apostle Paul explains the Church should give money to deserving widows only.  And he specifies the qualifications: First, the widow should be elderly and not young enough to work.  Second, she must not have been married numerous times.  Third, she must be known for her good works.  Paul admonishes Timothy to turn away young widows because their idleness will lead to no good – busybodies and tattlers.  And, if the widow has living relatives they are to support the widow – not the Church!  “If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed" (I Timothy 5:4,16). In other words, if a person is in financial need, it is the responsibility of their family to help them, not the Church!

So, who is deserving of charity?  According to Paul, the elderly widow who meets the qualifications set forth in his letter to Timothy is deserving of our charity.  And the Bible tells us orphans are deserving of our charity (James 1:27).  Also, when we meet a man or woman who claims to be in need, we must pray for discernment.

Several years ago, I was standing in line at a fast-food restaurant.  A woman standing behind me started a conversation:  “I’ve been walking all over town today asking churches for money for my mother’s medicine.  I only lack $5.00. I’ve applied for several jobs, but haven’t heard anything yet.”

At first, my immediate reaction was to ignore her.  Well, I thought, if she lacks just $5.00, what is she doing in here?  So, I waited and watched to see what she ordered.  She ordered a plain baked potato for under a dollar and a free cup of water. 

As I watched her haggard face and thin worn body sitting at a table across the restaurant, the Holy Spirit prompted me to give her the $5.00.  I walked over to the table where she sat and handed her the money and said,  “Here’s the money so you can buy your mother’s medicine.”

Her face lit up and she cried out:  “Thank you so much.  Give me your name and address and I’ll repay you when I get a job.”

“No,” I replied.  “Don’t worry about it.”  Then I walked away.

Several weeks later, when I went to eat at that restaurant, she was working behind the counter.  So, I knew that God gave me discernment to help an honest woman in distress.

My dear friend, as Christians, we may not waste our money either from defect of judgment or other causes.  We must pray for discernment.  In the parable of the talents, Jesus warns us to be good stewards of the money He gives us.

It is right and good to give charity to the deserving poor.  However, to give charity to the undeserving poor is to destroy the work ethic – rooted in our Christian culture.  And the destruction of the Christian work ethic is an attempt to hasten the downfall of Christian culture in America. 

Listen, my dear friend, the Bible declares: "this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."