I read with interest Ms. Sheppard’s letter regarding the requirement of the government to transfer wealth and the biblical requirement for the government to support the poor.
Ms. Sheppard’s point of view on the U.S. Constitution appears to be that of someone who believes that the US Constitution is a living breathing document. I am an originalist and believe that the Constitution says what it said at the time the Founding Fathers wrote it.
Since the U.S. Constitution is a document of negative powers for the federal government to have a power, it must be explicitly spelled out within the words of the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution does it spell out that the federal government is to take monies from one individual or entity and give it to another. I firmly believe that any redistribution of wealth from one to another by the federal government is not authorized or legal.
The U.S. Constitution in the Tenth Amendment does state; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since the power to redistribute wealth does not reside with the federal government, that power remains with the states! Only an individual state can redistribute wealth amongst its citizens.
Ms. Sheppard like many is trying to use the “general Welfare” clause to justify the redistribution of wealth. The general welfare clause is discussing the power of the federal government and its responsibility to protect the nation and the people as a group. Nowhere in the Constitution or the writings of the Founding Fathers will you find a statement that indicates that the general welfare clause applies to individuals or individual entities, it only applies to the nation as a whole.
Nowhere In the Bible can you find a verse or group of verses that requires the government to take care of the needy or the poor. The Bible places the requirement for the care of the needy and the poor strictly on the individual. The verses that Ms. Sheppard quoted strictly places the responsibility on the individual for the care of the needy and poor. Here is a verse that puts the individual responsibility much clearer: Luke 3:11 – “And the crowds asked him, ‘What then shall we do?’ And he answered them, ‘Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.
Finally the Bible requires us to work and not to be dependent on anyone and that anyone includes the government. Here are a couple of verses that support that requirement: 1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat.” 2. Ephesians 4:23 – “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
The Bible says what it says and in most cases the Bible must be taken literally.
Thank you, Ms. Sheppard, for another point of view.