For years I have debated with myself if perhaps I am on the wrong side. Why does this country seem so divided? How can so many people be at odds in how to run a prosperous nation? Based on each partyís platform, I have always sided with the Republicans, though I do not consider myself one, nor am I a registered Republican. Capitalism and the free market works. It cannot be denied.
So then why does the Democratic Party have such a strong and loyal following?
I recently began volunteering at a downtown Christian mission in Portland, OR that, among other things, provides meals for the homeless. This charity does not take government assistance. This program is a social safety net for those who are needy and they do it without public tax assistance. The people who choose to donate and keep this fine organization afloat do so on their time and their dime.
My wife and I are animal lovers at heart. Animals and pets are Godís creatures and we both see a need to care for Godís lesser creatures. After volunteering for just a week, I saw a number of homeless with dogs. I donít think the homeless should have dogs considering they cannot adequately care for them and if youíre homeless why are you caring for a dog when you canít care for yourself? But that being the case, a large number of homeless have dogs. So I asked some folks at the mission if the dogs get care. The answer was No. This particular homeless mission does hand out dog food but as far as vaccines and other veterinary medical care there is none.
So I came up with the idea of providing a clinic for these dogs. This is a way to reach out to the homeless and perhaps show them that someone cares about them, their dog and their condition as to why they are on the street. After being turned down by a local veterinary organization I emailed a very popular, opinionated and right wing radio talk show host. Full disclosure Ė he was one of my favorite radio hosts and I for the most part agree with him on everything. Though he does have a national show, he is very well known in the Pacific Northwest. It was a shot but I emailed him about my idea. Considering he claims on his radio show to be a Christian and I would think that our non-profit, never-take-taxpayerís-money organization, might appeal to him, I thought heíd be open to helping me find a veterinarian whoíd be willing to volunteer his or her services and provide a vaccine/medical clinic for the dogs of homeless.
This was his response:
"How about thisÖif you canít feed yourself, you certainly canít provide for a pet."
To say I was shocked is an understatement. In fact, I was broken-hearted. I am an NRA card-carrying member, concealed weapon permitted, gun-loving conservative who believes illegal immigration is destroying our country. I donít believe the government should be in the business of providing our health care, food stamps, social security or any number of the dozens and dozens of social justice welfare handouts that are run extremely inefficiently, wrought with fraud and has brought this country to its knees.
My fellow conservative just proved to me why the Democratic Party will always exist. In this age when Christianity is on the ropes, when every big shot conservative is professing his faith, decrying that Barack Obama is not a Christian, this radio hostís Christianity is as shallow as the presidentís.
For something as small and trivial as helping out the dogs who keep the homeless company, the response I read in that email was a pretty big ďF*** ĎEM.Ē As long as arrogant, faithless and survival of the fittest conservatives rule the airwaves and get elected to congress, the Democratic party, liberalism and the push for socialism will not die. Did you read what I just said? Who is it in this country that is arrogant, faithless and embraces Darwinism? The Democrats! Give them credit for not hiding behind the veil of Christianity, like as I have found out, people who profess to be Christian and push for smaller government.
The Democrats are right. Republicans care more about enriching themselves then enriching the lives of the downtrodden. Donít get me wrong. I am not going to become a Democrat. Democrats donít care about the downtrodden either. They care about power and control, which is why they promise the world but once elected canít deliver and they know they canít deliver.
Who is going to take care of the poor, the widows and the uninsured? If the people wonít the government will. And as long as we have politicians promising to end poverty by handing out other peopleís money, those same politicians will be elected over and over and over again. The Democratic Party has been promising to abolish poverty for 50, 60 years now. When you donít give people an incentive for the money you throw at them, people wonít bother to better themselves as long as a check arrives each month with no strings attached. (This is a very strong argument for not allowing people on welfare the right to vote.)
But if the rest of us canít be bothered to help those who want to better themselves, then most people resort to government handouts in order to survive.
According to the Barna Group, Christians are the most giving segment of the American population. Not surprisingly, segments of the population that typically support Democrats (atheists, agnostics and liberals, among others) represent one percent or less of people who donated their income. The Barna Group discovered a few years ago that only 5 percent of adults tithed. But more than four out of five evangelicals gave at least $1000 to churches and non-profits in 2007.
However, according to generousgiving.org, the IRS reports that since 1975 only 1.6 percent and 2.16 percent of taxpayersí income went to charitable concerns. (Certainly, the argument could be made that since the government takes about 50 percent no one has money to give any more, but I digress) From 1977-1997, GivingUSA reports that range to be between 1.7 percent and 1.95 percent of personal income. Generousgiving.org also states that in 2000, 17 percent of Americans claimed to tithe, meaning 10 percent of their income to church, but only six percent actually did. And, only three to five percent who do give to church, tithe 10 percent.
So, what does this say about Christians and their faith? The ills of the country, I am convinced, would be cured if just every Bible-believing Christian gave 10 percent of their gross income back to their church. In 1996, 37 percent of adults who attended church regulary did not give any money to the church. Clearly, not every Christian gives and not every Christian gives back 10 percent. Itís hard but the Bible says just 10 percent!
Most Democrats I have met look to the government for their savior, their hope. The zeal for and deification of Barack Obama was proof of that. He was the savior for the 21st century. But we donít need government to make this world a better place. We just need better people.
As I drove in to the mission this morning I was listening to another talk show host lament over the recent beatings and shootings in this country. He nailed it. Humans donít love each other anymore. They donít care about the human condition or their neighbor. On the surface, the Democratic Party portrays itself as caring and concerned for humans and the human condition. As long as they have a national media platform on TV and cold-hearted, soulless right wing talk show hosts are on the radio, they will never cease to exist.
Congratulation on seeing the light. The Republican elite are greedy people. I agree with you and I now call myself a radical moderate. Like you we are dog lovers and what you suggested was a great idea. You have taken the warning of not being deceived seriously. Keep up the good work.