Are You Giving Or Mocking?
Posted by cann0nba11 on October 11, 2011
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” — Stephen Colbert
I don’t watch Stephen Colbert, but he is popular for a reason. He is an experienced comedian with a stellar career that started at the famous Second City. He has paid his dues and climbed to the top of his field. That’s what happens in America when you work hard. Lately he has been enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to his mocking of conservatives, an easy and safe target for liberals to attack. Since Colbert’s quote has become quite popular as of late I think it merits further analysis. To me it provides a concise summary of how many on the left think and act.
For starters, the quote begins with a false premise, as do many liberal talking points. It is direct and emotional.
“If this is going to be a Christian nation”
Who is saying that we are going to be a Christian nation? The founding of America was based largely on Christian beliefs, but we are not a theocracy, nor are we a Christian nation. According to various sources more than 80% of Americans consider themselves religious with about 75% considering themselves Christian and 5% other religions. Roughly 15% consider themselves irreligious, and 10% refuse to answer the question.
So what exactly is a “Christian nation?” By definition it would be a country that uses the Bible or other religious documents as its legal system. This is not the case in America. Where is it the case? Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are all based on Islamic law. Their religious documents determine your fate in the courts. Are there any Christian nations in the world? None that I can find, feel free to send me an example.
“that doesn’t help the poor”
These are the words that I think completely invalidate Colbert’s message. America is generous in so many ways. We give when disasters strike. We give to help eradicate hunger and disease. We give to counties that hate us. The overwhelming majority of religious-based international aid is Christian. And let us not forget those that give the ultimate sacrifice in blood to help other countries gain their freedom.
So I have to wonder, what the hell is Colbert talking about? Does he think that we are neglecting the poor in America? Has he ever been to a truly poor country and witnessed starvation or human rights violations? When obesity among the poor in America is problem, we have to reconsider how we define poor. If you can afford to buy Twinkles or a Happy Meal, you are not poor. If you have a cell phone or cable television, you are not poor. Step down from your faux moral high ground and step into reality.
America does have poor citizens, but they are a much smaller percentage than many of the left will admit to. And they can get help at any time if they choose to. At the end of the day we all make our own decisions. Those that have legitimate mental health problems need to be taken care of, and those that refuse to work need to change their attitude. Last time I checked, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s are hiring. No jobs in your area? Move. I’ve been there, and I’ve done it.
I understand that there are those that will dig up per capita studies and say that America gives less than other countries. So what? The poor don’t care about ratios, they care about food and shelter. If you think America needs to give more then give more yourself. If you think the rich need to pay more taxes, pay more taxes yourself. There is no law that says you can’t pay more than what you owe.
“either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are”
Perhaps he is speaking for himself. What percentage of his millions does he share with the poor? Personally I give money and time to help others, as an individual and through both my church and my employer. Given that Colbert is a practicing Roman Catholic I would expect him to recognize how much the church gives in time, people and donations to the poor. I would also think that he gives while at church. Making $3.5M a year he can certainly afford to tithe. He could easily give just 1%, which would be $35k, which is roughly the cost of a plate at an Obama fundraising dinner these days. Maybe he is referring to those that don’t pay their taxes? As a self-proclaimed Democrat Colbert should be well aware of those politicians on his team.
“or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition”
I think more people acknowledge this than he realizes. The important word in this line is “needy.” We help the needy without condition. We help the not-so-needy with condition. Unemployment insurance is supposed to be a temporary relief program. Student loans are loans, as in “you have to pay them back, you knew that when you signed the paperwork.” Welfare is supposed to be a temporary support system, but our government has turned it into a lifestyle. Do you give a homeless man on a street corner food with any conditions? Do you put the envelope in the collection basket with any conditions attached to it? Do you volunteer your time to help others, or to receive praise? Americans give without condition, I wish more Americans received without expectation.
“and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
By now the point has been repeated enough. We DO want to do it (help the poor) and we actually do it. We just don’t run around trumpeting how generous we are unless someone steps up and claims that we aren’t doing enough.
So what is Colbert’s point? To me it is obvious, he is simply appealing to his audience and mocking an easy target. It is “hip” to mock conservatives and religious people, even though three in four Americans consider themselves religious. The quote is popular among anti-corporate anti-capitalism lemmings, and is popular among Obama supporters. Why? Because it is shallow and baseless, very much like our president and his policies. It is another “I can see Russia from my house” soundbite that appeals to the politically ignorant. I believe if you cornered Colbert and could get him to speak honestly he would admit that his quote is just another piece of ratings bait or shock value. I understand that, after all he is an extremely successful entertainer. I just wish his followers would think as much as they mock.