Friday, June 10, 2005

Reasonable People

For the last few days, I have been pestering Steve at Thy Grace is Sufficient about The ONE Campaign. I want to thank him for giving this issue more thought. He has been doing some heavy reading and some heavy lifting and has now posted his latest thoughts in his piece: The One Campaign, Pros and Cons.

I never meant to imply that AIDS and poverty in Africa were simple issues or that The ONE Campaign was too simple of a solution. I love this cause, but I reject many of the methods of this campaign. Sometimes doing something, even with good intentions, is the wrong thing to do when it causes more harm than good. Free people taking advantage of free markets is a solution that works every time to reduce poverty. The redistribution of wealth through force is a temporary band-aid that creates a long term great big fat festering sore everywhere and every time it has been unleashed on a population of people.

"... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." is the rationale Steve is using for supporting the campaign. Reasonable people can always find disagreement about certain methods. However, every proposal made by The ONE Campaign will definitely hurt someone without even knowing if someone else will be helped. Some of the “someone’s” that will be hurt are “the least of these”. Don’t we also have a minimal obligation to at least not cause more harm and more suffering?

I hope Steve will forgive me for being such a pest.


Steve said...

Home sick today, so time to post comments. I find it interesting that Jesus used the word "whatever" you do.....

I really want to know now what exactly the Greek word for "whatever" means....which lead me to this:


David M. Smith said...

Hi Steve,

The commentary was not as clear to me as the passage itself. It seems clear to me that Jesus expects us to treat everyone as if they are Jesus himself. I teach my girls that they get to choose their friends, but they don’t get to choose how to treat their classmates. I expect them to be kind to all of their classmates and they know it because they have been punished when they were not kind to their classmates.

I wouldn’t think that Jesus would be happy with me if I beat or starved a prisoner, but I think he would be happy with me if I needed to shoot a murderer or an enemy soldier before they killed someone else. I think Jesus expects me to share everything I posses. However, I don’t think he would be very happy if I forced you to share your car with my daughter.

I hope you feel better soon.