Welfare State: Immoral and Irredeemable

Welfare state: Immoral and irredeemableby Walter E. Williams –
Benjamin Franklin, statesman and signer of our Declaration of Independence, said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” John Adams, another signer, echoed a similar statement: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Are today’s Americans virtuous and moral, or have we become corrupt and vicious? Let’s think it through with a few questions.

Suppose I saw an elderly woman painfully huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. She’s hungry and in need of shelter and medical attention. To help the woman, I walk up to you using intimidation and threats and demand that you give me $200. Having taken your money, I then purchase food, shelter and medical assistance for the woman. Would I be guilty of a crime? A moral person would answer in the affirmative. I’ve committed theft by taking the property of one person to give to another.

Most Americans would agree that it would be theft regardless of what I did with the money. Now comes the hard part. Would it still be theft if I were able to get three people to agree that I should take your money? What if I got 100 people to agree – 100,000 or 200 million people? What if instead of personally taking your money to assist the woman, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take your money? In other words, does an act that’s clearly immoral and illegal when done privately become moral when it is done legally and collectively? Put another way, does legality establish morality? Before you answer, keep in mind that slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi’s Nuremberg Laws were legal; and the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal. Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people. The moral question is whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong.

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

Don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation. Some people call governmental handouts charity, but charity and legalized theft are entirely two different things. But as far as charity is concerned, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” To my knowledge, the Constitution has not been amended to include charity as a legislative duty of Congress.

Our current economic crisis, as well as that of Europe, is a direct result of immoral conduct. Roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of our federal budget can be described as Congress’ taking the property of one American and giving it to another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly half of federal spending. Then there are corporate welfare and farm subsidies and thousands of other spending programs, such as food stamps, welfare and education. According to a 2009 Census Bureau report, nearly 139 million Americans – 46 percent – receive handouts from one or more federal programs, and nearly 50 percent have no federal income tax obligations.

In the face of our looming financial calamity, what are we debating about? It’s not about the reduction or elimination of the immoral conduct that’s delivered us to where we are. It’s about how we pay for it – namely, taxing the rich, not realizing that even if Congress imposed a 100 percent tax on earnings higher than $250,000 per year, it would keep the government running for only 141 days.

Ayn Rand, in her novel “Atlas Shrugged,” reminded us that “when you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.”



25 thoughts on “Welfare State: Immoral and Irredeemable”

  1. So the Government must not interverne to assist the poor and the sick but it must intervene to assist the unborn using taxpayer dollars?!

  2. What part of: “assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation.” did you not understand?

  3. Try to explain it this way…

    “It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

    People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

    Penn Jillette

    Put another way you only get credit for Matthew 25 for what you do, not for voting to have someone do it on your behalf.

  4. May I be allowed to chime in with an old post of mine?

    There seems little point that I should have any continuing involvement in this debate since you are arguing it on American premises and not Christian ones.

    I am speaking as an outsider, as one who is not American, and while you have the notion that your principles on these matters are grounded in Christianity, they are not. They are grounded in the mindset and ideas peculiar to your local culture. What you write has no necessary connection (apart from your membership of the Orthodox Church) with Orthodox Christianity. It has every connection with the American mindset.

    That is not meant to be an affront to you or to any other Americans on list. After all, my own ideas on this are themselves grounded in my own New Zealand culture which is derived from that of Great Britain, but I would contend that my country’s way of dealing with issues of poverty and the like is a much better outworking of Christianity than the American way. In other
    words Christian principles are more deeply embedded in New Zealand’s social and political structures than they are in the US.

    This country, and many Commonwealth countries, is orientated towards the common weal. We see the duty of Government as primarily that of managing the country for the common good of the entire populace. In order to achieve this common weal we cheerfully hand over our taxes. And while there is nothing to prevent a man becoming immensely rich there is, thank God, a
    government policy which protects a man from becoming obscenely poor.

    But this is *not* the view of American government, at least among those who hold to the original founding of the US. Your Declaration of Independence specifically states, “…Governments are instituted among men to preserve these rights…” In other words, you did *not* see government as managing the country or imposing a blue print; you saw it as the means to guarantee
    people liberty. It is a very different concept.

    Neither concept of government is in and of itself Christian, but I would argue that government established for the common weal is more Christian than government focused on personal liberty.

    It is a major mistake however to assume that the American abhorrence of Government involvement and the even greater American abhorrence of Government taxation (whether in general or for poverty relief) has anything to do with Christian principles, and it is really very distressing to find people looking for scriptural and patristic argumentation to justify their own culturally conditioned attitudes towards it. Perhaps a meditation on Romans 13 and Saint Paul’s teaching on taxation would be useful?

    Now the NZ and Canadian approach is all based on a legacy of English church/state established relationships with a dollop of 19th century Methodist good works thrown in and this has spread out to the Commonwealth. I can see how the American culture of separation of Church and State can be horrified by the thought of actively putting someone on welfare.

    But for us social security provision as a safety net to help the most needy, and a free health care system for all is a Christian response and a Christian use of our taxes.

    Now as Church and State drift further apart it remains to be seen if that partnership will continue but I still argue that we in New Zealand (and perhaps slightly less now in the UK) enjoy a culture where people have invested into the state the outworking of its Christian principles(getting more and more diluted of course but still there) as the basis of its law and care for its citizens.

    In my experience, the people who extol the dignity and sense of self-worth to be found in grinding labour for miserable pay, no health care and no future have themselves experienced none of those things.

    For days now we’ve been locked in this debate about economics,health, welfare and the poor. But, as this is a site dedicated to Orthodox Christian spirituality, I think both sides should make more reference to Scriptural and traditional moral teaching on the topic. Do the principles and values advocated by the Neo-classical Capitalists here (self-reliance, entrepreneurship, success as the achievement of wealth, etc.) mesh with what we read in Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and the Saints? Or do they contradict the sources of our faith?

    Can one be a true Christian and a social Darwinist?

    Fr Ambrose

  5. Dear Robert, As I have pointed out elsewhere Orthodox Christians are the worst in the world, at least in some parts of the world, in responding to the needs of the poor. They even leave their own priests without adequate nutrition, without medical insurance, etc.

    See Fr Lebedeff’s article on the miserable poverty of many of ROCA’s priests.

    “The fact is that with very few exceptions the clergy of the Church Abroad receive a salary that is so far below the poverty line, that all of these clergymen and their families would be easily eligible for welfare….”

    To hope that they will rise up, organise themselves and create programmes anywhere near adequate for social welfare needs is just unrealistic.

  6. Wow, who knew that the state using the sword to confiscate others wealth to redistribute to whom the state considers to be needy was more in keeping with the Christian faith.

    I was always under the impression that as St. Paul said…

    “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    2 Corinthians 9:7

    So, man has a God given right to his property, as most of the law is about not stealing what isn’t yours. God clearly didn’t believe that property was theft as Marx clearly did.

    I for one have never had the displeasure of having to live where the clergy have been in bed with the state, usually, as history has proven again and again, that they tend to produce really ugly children.

    I know it is in keeping with the teachings of Jesus that the state be able to confiscate the property of non believers, drown and burn heretics and essentially treat non Christians as second class citizens. Islam didn’t come up with the idea themselves, they simply to chose to put into practice what was the norm of the Christian empires at the time.

    I know the protest is that that that was then, things have changed. Oh, so where the Fathers wrong then when they didn’t decry such actions? Hey, when the emperor is getting you some prime real estate to build your temple on the ruins of a former pagan temple, you don’t complain. After all, who are you to argue with God and His anointed servant?

    I have never known why people who have lived in countries where they have from cradle to grave social welfare programs have scrimped and saved every penny to come and live in a country such as mine where they have no assurances. Simple, people in your countries may have more access to medical treatment, they don’t have the same outcomes as people in my country. Metaphorically passing out band aides for gunshot wounds isn’t help.

    I worked for years as an EMT in an ER and on the city streets. I have picked up homeless people soaked in urine and reeking of alcohol and taken them to ER’s where they got medical treatment that would rival anything to be found in your country or Europe and they were not charged a dime. The hospital simply ate the cost. People in my country don’t get put on waiting lists to see specialists for treatments that end up costing them their lives as people I have met who came to the US to have heart surgeries for conditions that prove fatal in left untreated. Sure, they could have been treated in Canada…..if they wanted to wait 9 months.

    The problem you leftists have is that you simply want to argue that it is either Central Planning or Nihilism. Either the government is providing free healthcare or people are dying in the streets. Well, the American government isn’t providing free healthcare and people here are not dying in the streets. (Also, the American government does provide free health care and the American Medical Association reported that the Feds denied 6.85 percent of its claims, higher than any private insurer ((Aetna was second, denying 6.80 percent of its claims)), and more than double any private insurer’s average.)

    American (visiting foreigner or even illegal) can walk into any ER and get free treatment. I know, I was an EMT, I have triaged thousands of patients and not one was ever turned away. It’s against the law.

    People who do not have health insurance are sent to billing where they are placed on a sliding scale for payment. I have seen people who were simply asked to pay $5 a month and they couldn’t be bothered.

    I think America and its system of Capitalism (Not crony Capitalism as American socialists are so cozy with and always seem to be involved with.) has been very much in line with Christian teaching. America was founded where man could use his God given freedom for either good or evil. People in America have made themselves very rich and American’s are the most charitable people in the world. I know it may not be in keeping with your idea of Christian teaching that man is not, in fact, property of the state. I know life can be scary not living as property of the the king and his court of puppet Bishops and clergy who don’t have the wisdom to tell him that when God said loves those who oppose you, yeah, He really ment that and murdering heretics and tearing down alters of pagan really isn’t pleasing to Him.

    You can judge wisdom by her children. Has all this social Darwinism been healthy for Europe and countries that practice it? Depends on who you talk to I suppose. If you’re an Atheist, yes it has. If you’re a Christian, no it hasn’t. Studies and polls show that religion is headed downward and secularism are headed upward. Church attendance in these countries is tanking.

    Guess where religion is strongest in the world? Yep, the very same country who’s citizens give until it hurts and then they give more.

    I left the Orthodox Church after it became clear to me that I really shouldn’t trust my spiritual health to a group of people who celebrate the feast of holy innocents and fail to see the irony that they then turn right around a vote for and put in power the very same people who do everything to ensure the butcher of the innocents anytime from conception to birth for any reason.

    Talk about Roses are red, Violets are blue, I’m Psychitzophrenic and so am I.

    I have become convinced that a majority of Orthodox Christians (not all as the website testifies) would fight to put into power the most brutal, sadistic and evil ruler provided he spoke flowery words of alturism, egalitarianism and compassion for the poor.

  7. Robert, ALL tax is taken at the point of a sword – in the sense that if you refuse to pay taxes for the military, for education, for roading, etc, the State will put you in front of a courtroom. I would take you more seriously if you really refused to pay your taxes.

  8. Dear Robert, Here is the voice of the Russian Orthodox Church (my Church) in its important 2000 Declaration on the Social Basis of Society.

    “Continuing on earth the service of Christ Who identified Himself with the destitute, the Church always comes out in defence of the voiceless and powerless. Therefore, she calls upon society to ensure the equitable distribution of the fruits of labour, in which the rich support the poor, the healthy the sick, the able-bodied the elderly. The spiritual welfare and survival of society are possible only if the effort to ensure life, health and minimal welfare for all citizens becomes an indisputable priority in distributing the material resources.”

    So THERE we discern the Orthodox Church’s teaching regarding the poor and economic policies and sharing/redistribution of wealth.


  9. Robert, ALL tax is taken at the point of a sword – in the sense that if you refuse to pay taxes for the military, for education, for roading, etc, the State will put you in front of a courtroom. I would take you more seriously if you really refused to pay your taxes.

    I am not against paying taxes, I am against paying taxes to support social welfare programs that do nothing to help people to better themselves, that create a culture of dependence on government.

    I am against a system of government that attempts to balkanize people into social groups and pit them against one another.

    I am against your ideal of social justice and rather prefer equal justice.

    To summarize, under a system of “equal justice” you are born with rights and the government exists to protect them; you and the fruits of your labor belong to you. Your independence and freedom are respected. You are free to give, or not to give, even St. Paul said as much when he said that God loves a cheerful giver.

    However in your system based on “social justice” the government grants, restricts or withdraws your rights according to its needs. You and the fruits of your labor belong to the community and can be redistributed as needed. Your independence and freedom take a backseat to the “general welfare or greater good” as defined by the government.

    In America, charity is something that occurs naturally, not by the force of government.

    So THERE we discern the Orthodox Church’s teaching regarding the poor and economic policies and sharing/redistribution of wealth.

    No, there you discern a church already presupposing a socialist Paradigm. The quote can never do justice to…

    “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    2 Cor 9:7

    God wants you to give cheerfully and if you can’t then don’t, the Russian Church believes you should give regardless and couldn’t careless how you feel about it.

    The scriptures speak a lot about the poor and how they should not be oppressed. No one would argue with that, but what seems to be left out of these leftist bible studies are not all poor people are victims. Just because a person is poor is no more proof that they are a victim than a person being rich means they have swindled someone, as if wealth is a zero sum game. Someone can only get rich IF someone else gets poor.

    What are we told to do? Practice equal justice, or social justice?

    Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
    Leviticus 19:15

    What are American Capitalists like? Look at Haiti..

    Here is what was donated by governments…

    The U.S. government is making an initial $100 million relief effort and is sending ships, helicopters, transport planes and 2,000 Marines.

    Canada is sending $5 million Canadian (US$4.8 million) and matching contributions by individual Canadians to eligible charitable organizations up to a total of $50 million Canadian (US$47 million).

    The World Bank is providing a $100 million grant, and the U.N. is sending $10 million.

    Britain is sending $10 million. A four-person government assessment team and 71 rescue specialists along with search dogs and heavy equipment arrived Thursday.

    Australia has pledged $9.3 million; Norway, about 30 million kroner ($5.3 million); Japan, up to $5 million; Italy, euro1 million ($1.46 million); and the European Commission, euro3 million ($4.37 million).

    The Netherlands and the Italian bishops’ conference have each donated euro2 million. Denmark has donated 10 million kroner ($1.9 million) and Finland is giving euro1.25 million ($1.8 million). South Korea has pledged aid worth $1 million.

    Irish telecommunications company Digicel said it would donate $5 million and help repair the phone network.

    Spain has pledged euro3 million ($4.37 million), and sent rescue teams and 100 tons of equipment. Germany gave euro1.5 million ($2.17 million) and sent an immediate response team.

    India and China will each donate $1 million and China is sending a 60-member relief team with sniffer dogs.

    Sweden has offered 6 million kronor ($850,000), along with tents, water purification equipment and medical aid. It is also sending a team to build a new base to replace the U.N.’s destroyed headquarters.

    Venezuela has sent doctors, firefighters and rescue workers. Mexico will send doctors, search-and-rescue dogs and infrastructure experts. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said 400 staff from the public security authority are being sent, as well a ship with two surgical operating units, 50 beds for injured and earth-moving equipment.

    Iceland and Portugal are each sending more than 30 rescue workers. Taiwan has sent 23 rescue workers and two tons of aid and equipment.

    Israel plans to open a field hospital and is sending 220 rescue workers.

    A Swiss rescue team is arriving overland from the Dominican Republic. A flight carrying 40-50 tons of aid goods is planned for Friday.


    So, governments from around the world combined sent approximately $321 Million dollars.

    How much did American citizens donate to the relief of Haiti?

    Despite the economy, donors opened their wallets to give more than $1 billion in the first four months of the relief effort in earthquake-devastated Haiti, a generous response for an international disaster.

    The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University estimates that donors contributed $1.3 billion – about the same amount raised for the 2004 Asian tsunami – to 96 private charities like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund.


    If you think that American leftists who are so consumed with the well being of the poor donate to charity, think again.


    Here is a link from the far right wing New York Times which says the same thing


    The world can’t afford for Americans to become Europeans socialists.

  10. No country has achieved such broad-based prosperity as has America, or invented as many useful things, or seen as many people achieve personal promise. This is not an accident. It is the direct result of centuries lived by the free-market ethos embodied in the Judeo-Christian outlook.

    Furthermore, only a prosperous nation can protect itself from outside threats, for without prosperity the funds to support a robust military are unavailable. Having radically enlarged the welfare state and hoping to further expand it, President Obama is attempting to justify his cuts to our military by asserting that defense needs must give way to domestic programs.

    Both history and the Bible show the way that leads. Countries that were once economic powerhouses atrophied and declined, like England after World War II, once they began adopting socialism. Even King Solomon’s thriving kingdom crashed once his son decided to impose onerous taxes.

    At the end of Genesis, we hear how after years of famine the people in Egypt gave all their property to the government in return for the promise of food. The architect of this plan was Joseph, son of Jacob, who had risen to become the pharaoh’s top official, thus: “Joseph exchanged all the land of Egypt for pharaoh and the land became pharaoh’s.” The result was that Egyptians became indentured to the ruler and state, and Joseph’s descendants ended up enslaved to the state.

    Many on the religious left criticize capitalism because all do not end up monetarily equal—or, as Churchill quipped, “all equally miserable.” But the Bible’s prescription of equality means equality under the law, as in Deuteronomy’s saying that “Judges and officers . . . shall judge the people with a just judgment: Do not . . . favor one over the other.” Nowhere does the Bible refer to a utopian equality that is contrary to human nature and has never been achieved.

    The motive of capitalism’s detractors is a quest for their own power and an envy of those who have more money. But envy is a cardinal sin and something that ought not to be.

    God begins the Ten Commandments with “I am the Lord your God” and concludes with “Thou shalt not envy your neighbor, not for his wife, nor his house, nor for any of his holdings.” Envy is corrosive to the individual and to those societies that embrace it. Nations that throw over capitalism for socialism have made an immoral choice.


  11. Dear Robert, you speak of “presupposing a socialist Paradigm.” The Orthodox do not have to presuppose such a thing because we only have to look back at the City of Constantinople, the greatest city created within Christianity and we see its programme for the poor and needy. There is our paradigm and it begins in the 4th century from the very day when Christians became a social and political force within society.

    In the Byzantine Empire there was cooperation between the Church and State. Churches founded and ran hospitals, welfare homes and such things. The State took an active interest in the welfare of others, especially the poor, widows, orphans, reforming prostitutes, etc.

    The Byzantine State used taxes to run

    Gerocomeia – homes for the aged

    Xenotapheia -provided funerals for poor citizens and strangers

    Orphanotropheia – orphanages

    Ptocheia – homes for the poor

    Don’t know the Greek word for homes/refuges for prostitutes getting out of the game.

  12. Dear site owner/moderator,

    I do not know your identity but I want to offer my thanks that you are allowing this thread to continue. It is very interesting to interact with Robert.

  13. In the Byzantine Empire there was cooperation between the Church and State.

    No, it was not a “cooperation” between between the Church and the State, the Church and the State became one. (What other option did you have? Standing up for the truth? Telling the emperor that we are called to love our enemies and the gospel doesn’t need the threat of the sword for people to believe it?)

    A tree is known by its fruit.

    What was the fruit of that merger?

    314 Immediately after its full legalization, the Christian Church attacks
    non-Christians. The Council of Ancyra denounces the worship of Goddess

    324 The emperor Constantine declares Christianity as the only official
    religion of the Roman Empire. In Dydima, Minor Asia, he sacks the Oracle of
    the god Apollo and tortures the pagan priests to death. He also evicts all
    non-Christian peoples from Mount Athos and destroys all the local Hellenic

    326 Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys
    the temple of the god Asclepius in Aigeai Cilicia and many temples of the
    goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenicia, Baalbek, etc.

    330 Constantine steals the treasures and statues of the pagan temples of
    Greece to decorate Constantinople, the new capital of his Empire.

    335 Constantine sacks many pagan temples in Asia Minor and Palestine and
    orders the execution by crucifixion of “all magicians and soothsayers.”
    Martyrdom of the neoplatonist philosopher Sopatrus.

    341 Constantius II (Flavius Julius Constantius) persecutes “all the
    soothsayers and the Hellenists.” Many gentile Hellenes are either imprisoned
    or executed.

    346 New large scale persecutions against non-Christian peoples in
    Constantinople. Banishment of the famous orator Libanius accused as a

    353 An edict of Constantius orders the death penalty for all kind of worship
    through sacrifice and “idols”.

    354 A new edict orders the closing of all the pagan temples. Some of them
    are profaned and turned into brothels or gambling rooms.

    Execution of pagan priests begins.

    A new edict of Constantius orders the destruction of the pagan temples and
    the execution of all “idolaters”.

    First burning of libraries in various cities of the empire.

    The first lime factories are organized next to the closed pagan temples. A
    major part of the holy architecture of the pagans is turned into lime.

    357 Constantius outlaws all methods of divination (astrology not excluded).

    359 In Skythopolis, Syria, the Christians organize the first death camps for
    the torture and executions of the arrested non-Christians from all around
    the empire.

    361 to 363 Religious tolerance and restoration of the pagan cults is
    declared in Constantinople (11th December 361) by the pagan emperor Julian
    (Flavius Claudius Julianus).

    363 Assassination of Julian (26th June).

    364 Emperor Jovian orders the burning of the Library of Antioch.

    An Imperial edict (11th September) orders the death penalty for all those
    that worship their ancestral gods or practice divination (“sileat omnibus
    perpetuo divinandi curiositas”).

    Three different edicts (4th February, 9th September, 23rd December) order
    the confiscation of all properties of the pagan temples and the death
    penalty for participation in pagan rituals, even private ones.

    The Church Council of Laodicea (Phrygia – western Asia Minor) orders that
    religious observances are to be conducted on Sunday and not on Saturday.
    Sunday becomes the new Sabbath. The practice of staying at home and resting
    on Saturday declared sinful and anathema to Christ.

    365 An imperial edict from Emperor Valens, a zealous Arian Christian (17th
    November), forbids pagan officers of the army to command Christian soldiers.

    370 Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all
    the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the
    ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed.
    The philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is
    decapitated. All the friends of Julian are persecuted (Orebasius,
    Sallustius, Pegasius etc.).

    Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire.

    372 Valens orders the governor of Minor Asia to exterminate all the Hellenes
    and all documents of their wisdom.

    373 New prohibition of all divination methods is issued. The term “pagan”
    (pagani, villagers, equivalent to the modern insult, “peasants”) is
    introduced by the Christians to demean non-believers.

    375 The temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus, Greece, is closed down by the

    380 On 27th February Christianity becomes the exclusive religion of the
    Roman Empire by an edict of the Emperor Flavius Theodosius, requiring that:

    “All the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation
    should continue in the profession of that religion which was delivered to
    the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter.”

    The non-Christians are called “loathsome, heretics, stupid and blind”.

    In another edict, Theodosius calls “insane” those that do not believe to the
    Christian God and outlaws all disagreement with the Church dogmas.

    Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, begins the destruction of pagan temples of his
    area. The Christian priests lead the hungry mob against the temple of
    goddess Demeter in Eleusis and try to lynch the hierophants Nestorius and
    Priskus. The 95 year old hierophant Nestorius ends the Eleusinian Mysteries
    and announces “the predominance of mental darkness over the human race.”

    381 At the Council of Constantinople the ‘Holy Spirit’ is declared ‘Divine’
    (thus sanctioning a triune god). On 2nd May, Theodosius deprives of all
    their rights any Christians who return to the pagan religion. Throughout the
    Eastern Empire the pagan temples and libraries are looted or burned down. On
    21st December, Theodosius outlaws visits to Hellenic temples.

    In Constantinople, the Temple of Aphrodite is turned into a brothel and the
    temples of the Sun and Artemis to stables.

    384 Theodosius orders the Praetorian Prefect Maternus Cynegius, a dedicated
    Christian, to cooperate with local bishops and destroy the temples of the
    pagans in Northern Greece and Minor Asia.

    385 to 388 Prefect Maternus Cynegius, encouraged by his fanatic wife, and
    bishop ‘Saint’ Marcellus with his gangs, scour the countryside and sack and
    destroy hundreds of Hellenic temples, shrines and altars. Among others they
    destroy the temple of Edessa, the Cabeireion of Imbros, the temple of Zeus
    in Apamea, the temple of Apollo in Dydima and all the temples of Palmyra.

    Thousands of innocent pagans from all sides of the empire suffer martyrdom
    in the notorious death camps of Skythopolis.

    386 Theodosius outlaws the care of the sacked pagan temples.

    388 Public talks on religious subjects are outlawed by Theodosius. The old
    orator Libanius sends his famous epistle “Pro Templis” to Theodosius with
    the hope that the few remaining Hellenic temples will be respected and

    389 to 390 All non-Christian calendars and dating-methods are outlawed.
    Hordes of fanatic hermits from the desert flood the cities of the Middle
    East and Egypt and destroy statues, altars, libraries and pagan temples, and
    lynch the pagans. Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, starts heavy
    persecutions against non-Christian peoples, turning the temple of Dionysius
    into a Christian church, burning down the Mithraeum of the city, destroying
    the temple of Zeus and burlesques the pagan priests before they are killed
    by stoning. The Christian mob profanes the cult images.

    391 On 24th February, a new edict of Theodosius prohibits not only visits to
    pagan temples but also looking at the vandalized statues. New heavy
    persecutions occur all around the empire. In Alexandria, Egypt, pagans, led
    by the philosopher Olympius, revolt and after some street fights they lock
    themselves inside the fortified temple of the god Serapis (the Serapeion).
    After a violent siege, the Christians take over the building, demolish it,
    burn its famous library and profane the cult images.

    392 On 8th November, Theodosius outlaws all the non-Christian rituals and
    names them “superstitions of the gentiles” (gentilicia superstitio). New
    full scale persecutions are ordered against pagans. The Mysteries of
    Samothrace are ended and the priests slaughtered. In Cyprus the local bishop
    “Saint” Epiphanius and “Saint” Tychon destroy almost all the temples of the
    island and exterminate thousands of non-Christians. The local Mysteries of
    goddess Aphrodite are ended. Theodosius’s edict declares:

    “The ones that won’t obey pater Epiphanius have no right to keep living in
    that island.”

    The pagans revolt against the Emperor and the Church in Petra, Aeropolis,
    Rafia, Gaza, Baalbek and other cities of the Middle East.

    393 The Pythian Games, the Aktia Games and the Olympic Games are outlawed as
    part of the Hellenic “idolatry”. The Christians sack the temples of Olympia.

    395 Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against
    pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of Emperor Flavius Arcadius
    directs the hordes of baptized Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the
    Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many
    cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura,
    Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable
    gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down
    the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the
    hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).

    396 On 7th December, a new edict by Arcadius orders that paganism be treated
    as high treason. Imprisonment of the few remaining pagan priests and

    397 “Demolish them!” Flavius Arcadius orders that all the still standing
    pagan temples be demolished.

    398 The 4th Church Council of Carthage prohibits everybody, including
    Christian bishops, from studying pagan books. Porphyrius, bishop of Gaza,
    demolishes almost all the pagan temples of his city (except nine of them
    that remain active).

    399 With a new edict (13th July) Flavius Arcadius orders all remaining pagan
    temples, mainly in the countryside, be immediately demolished.

    400 Bishop Nicetas destroys the Oracle of Dionysus in Vesai and baptizes all
    the non-Christians of this area.

    401 The Christian mob of Carthage lynches non-Christians and destroys
    temples and “idols”. In Gaza too, the local bishop “Saint” Porphyrius sends
    his followers to lynch pagans and to demolish the remaining nine still
    active temples of the city.

    The 15th Council of Chalcedon orders all the Christians that still keep good
    relations with their non-Christian relatives to be excommunicated (even
    after their death).

    405 John Chrysostom sends hordes of grey-dressed monks armed with clubs and
    iron bars to destroy the “idols” in all the cities of Palestine.

    406 John Chrysostom collects funds from rich Christian women to financially
    support the demolition of the Hellenic temples. In Ephesus he orders the
    destruction of the famous temple of Artemis. In Salamis, Cyprus, “Saints”
    Epiphanius and Eutychius continue the persecutions of the pagans and the
    total destruction of their temples and sanctuaries.

    407 A new edict outlaws once more all the non-Christian acts of worship.

    408 The emperor of the Western Empire, Honorius, and the emperor of the
    Eastern Empire, Arcadius, order all the sculptures of the pagan temples to
    be either destroyed or to be taken away. Private ownership of pagan
    sculpture is also outlawed. The local bishops lead new heavy persecutions
    against the pagans and new book burning. The judges that have pity for the
    pagans are also persecuted. “Saint” Augustine massacres hundreds of
    protesting pagans in Calama, Algeria.

    409 Another edict orders all methods of divination including astrology to be
    punished by death.

    415 In Alexandria, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyril, attacks a
    few days before the Judeo-Christian Pascha and cuts to pieces the
    famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried
    around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally
    burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron.

    On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the pagan priests of
    North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive. Emperor
    Theodosius II expels the Jews from Alexandria.

    416 The inquisitor Hypatius, alias “The Sword of God”, exterminates the last
    pagans of Bithynia. In Constantinople (7th December) all non-Christian army
    officers, public employees and judges are dismissed.

    423 Emperor Theodosius II declares (8th June) that the religion of the
    pagans is nothing more than “demon worship” and orders all those who persist
    in practicing it to be punished by imprisonment and torture.

    429 The temple of goddess Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis of Athens is
    sacked. The Athenian pagans are persecuted.

    435 On 14th November, a new edict by Theodosius II orders the death penalty
    for all “heretics” and pagans of the empire. Only Judaism is considered a
    legal non-Christian religion.

    438 Theodosius II issues an new edict (31st January) against the pagans,
    incriminating their “idolatry” as the reason of a recent plague!

    440 to 450 The Christians demolish all the monuments, altars and temples of
    Athens, Olympia, and other Greek cities.

    448 Theodosius II orders all non-Christian books to be burned.

    450 All the temples of Aphrodisias (the City of the Goddess Aphrodite) are
    demolished and all its libraries burned down. The city is renamed
    Stavroupolis (City of the Cross).

    451 Council of Chalcedon. New edict by Theodosius II (4th November)
    emphasizes that “idolatry” is punished by death. Assertion of orthodox
    doctrine over the ‘Monophysites’.

    457 to 491 Sporadic persecutions against the pagans of the Eastern Empire.
    Among others, the physician Jacobus and the philosopher Gessius are
    executed. Severianus, Herestios, Zosimus, Isidorus and others are tortured
    and imprisoned. The proselytizer Conon and his followers exterminate the
    last non-Christians of Imbros Island, Northeast Aegean Sea. The last
    worshippers of Lavranius Zeus are exterminated in Cyprus.

    482 to 488 The majority of the pagans of Minor Asia are exterminated after a
    desperate revolt against the emperor and the Church.

    486 More “underground” pagan priests are discovered, arrested, burlesqued,
    tortured and executed in Alexandria, Egypt.

    515 Baptism becomes obligatory even for those that already say they are Christians.

    The emperor of Constantinople, Anastasius, orders the massacre of the pagans
    in the Arabian city Zoara and the demolition of the temple of local god

    523 Emperor Justin I outlaws the Arian heresy and campaigns to suppress
    Arianism everywhere.

    528 Emperor Justinian outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch.
    He also orders the execution-by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild
    beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails-of all who practice “sorcery,
    divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the pagans
    (“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).

    529 Justinian outlaws the Athenian Philosophical Academy and has its
    property confiscated.

    532 The inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus, a fanatical monk, leads a crusade
    against the pagans of Minor Asia.

    542 Justinian allows the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus to forcibly convert the
    pagans of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia in Asia Minor. Within 35 years of this
    crusade, 99 churches and 12 monasteries are built on the sites of demolished
    pagan temples.

    546 Hundreds of pagans are put to death in Constantinople by the inquisitor
    Ioannis Asiacus.

    556 Justinian orders the notorious inquisitor Amantius to go to Antioch, to
    find, arrest, torture and exterminate the last non-Christians of the city
    and burn all the private libraries down.

    562 Mass arrests, burlesquing, tortures, imprisonments and executions of
    gentile Hellenes in Athens, Antioch, Palmyra and Constantinople.

    578 to 582 The Christians torture and crucify Hellenes all around the
    Eastern Empire, and exterminate the last non-Christians of Heliopolis

    580 The Christian inquisitors attack a secret temple of Zeus in Antioch. The
    priest commits suicide, but the rest of the pagans are arrested. All the
    prisoners, the Vice Governor Anatolius included, are tortured and sent to
    Constantinople to face trial. Sentenced to death they are thrown to the
    lions. The wild animals being unwilling to tear them to pieces, they end up
    crucified. Their dead bodies are dragged in the streets by the Christian mob
    and afterwards thrown unburied in the dump.

    583 New persecutions against the gentile Hellenes by Emperor Maurice.

    590 In all the Eastern Empire the Christian accusers “discover” pagan
    conspiracies. New storm of torture and executions.

  14. Sure, so what, maybe a lot of people were mistreated and killed…..but at least they had free health care! Well, at least the Christian citizens did.

    I’m not saying this disproves Christianity and the truth of God reconciling the world to Himself through His incarnation. I am just saying that again, when the Church and the State climb into bed, they create some really ugly children and history bears that out time and time again from Calvin’s Geneva, Luther and the Anabaptists etc etc.

    That being said, from the things posted above, the faith still exists…not because of you, but in spite of you.

  15. Dear Robert, it is not the decent thing to take the efforts of someone else and present them without attribution. The lengthy “timeline” you have sent to this thread is by Vlasis Rassias in his book “Demolish Them!”, published in Athens 1994.

    An interesting fellow! Vlasis Rassias wants to see Greece and the Mediterranean returned to the worship of the ancient gods. He accuses Christianity of the cultural genocide of the ancient Greeks.

  16. If citizens choose, and we have in many nations, to embody Christian principles of care for the poor and needy in social and governmental policies, that is perfectly well and good.

    Speaking as a man born and bred in a society which has invested in social and governmental policies a comprehensive care for the poor, the sick and the elderly, I really cannot imagine any other society. Indeed I would fight strenuously against those who wish to demolish this, and against those who hinder it, against those who would reduce aid to the poor to the inadequate efforts of Christians. Deep down in my soul I feel that their fight is not against government but against Christ Himself and against God’s poor.

    Here is a world map showing all the countries around the globe which provide Universal Health Care


    We note that this is provided by virtually all Christian countries – except for the United States.

    It’s surprising that the richest nation on earth and (some say) the most Christian cannot work out how to provide such health care for its citizens..

  17. Dear Robert, it is not the decent thing to take the efforts of someone else and present them without attribution.

    I will write him an email and confess. I didn’t realize I was writing a paper to be submitted for peer review.

    He accuses Christianity of the cultural genocide of the ancient Greeks.

    He pretty much has the history, and edicts from Christian emperors to back him up. Or, did all those temples just smash themselves and the worshippers just magically vanish? It’s you history, own it. Are you ashamed of it? Why are you ashamed or it? I mean, after all, it was as if Jesus Himself were leading them in their atrocities, or were all the Bishops wrong?

    Now, granted, that was ANCIENT history, but lets look at more modern history. Let’s use you own Holy Mother Church as an example.

    In the former Russian Empire, slavery was the norm of life for the vast majority of the population for centuries. Until 1861, all peasants were officially serfs, in bondage to their landlord (or to a monastery). They had to pay very heavy taxes to their lords, and also to work several days a week on their lords’ land. They could be bought and sold. They had no right to move anywhere. The attitude towards them was worse than the attitude towards beasts of burden (they were often cheaper on the market). Any girl or woman could be raped by her lord, without any consequences to him. Horrible punishments were daily routine. Sometimes the landowners behaved like real sadists, inflicting these punishments: for example, the notorious Mrs. Saltykova (“Saltychikha”) would ask her serf girls to scub the floor, and then, always finding some fault in their performance, had these girls beaten in front of her with rods to death. After a couple of dozen serf girls murdered in this way, Saltychikha was charged and convicted to life in prison, because it was obvious that she had human beings killed deliberately, with premeditation. However, if a sef died after a flogging, usually no one was held responsible because it ‘just happened.”

    Since you believe that Church/State is so grand, where was your Holy Mother Church standing up for the serfs and the slaves?

    Should have they have had a Ecumenical council to discuss the following passages how they they applied?

    Thou shalt not wrest the justice due to thy poor in his cause.
    Ex 23:6

    And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am Jehovah your God.
    Lv 19:10

    Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
    Lv 19:15

    If there be with thee a poor man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates in thy land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy poor brother;
    Dt 15:7

    For the poor will never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy brother, to thy needy, and to thy poor, in thy land.
    Dt 15:11

    Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy sojourners that are in thy land within thy gates:
    Dt 24:14

    in his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto Jehovah, and it be sin unto thee.
    Dt 24:15

    Blessed is he that considereth the poor: Jehovah will deliver him in the day of evil.
    Ps 41:1

    Judge the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
    Ps 82:3

    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker; But he that hath mercy on the needy honoreth him.
    Prov 14:31

    Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker
    Prov 17:5

    He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto Jehovah, And his good deed will he pay him again.
    Prov 19:7

    Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, He also shall cry, but shall not be heard.
    Prov 21:13

    Rob not the poor, because he is poor; Neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
    Prov 22:22

    As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear, So is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
    Prov 28:15

    He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack; But he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
    Prov 28:27

    Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of his people, and the princes thereof: It is ye that have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses:
    Isa 3:14

    to turn aside the needy from justice, and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
    Isa 10:2

    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
    Ezek 16:49

    The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yea, they have vexed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the sojourner wrongfully.
    Ezek 22:29

    Forasmuch therefore as ye trample upon the poor, and take exactions from him of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine thereof.
    Amos 5:11

    Hear this, O ye that would swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail,
    Amos 8:4

    So, where was the Church instructing the state that it was wrong to do to the poor what they were doing? You know where the Church was, getting fat, stupid and lazy.

    Speaking as a man born and bred in a society which has invested in social and governmental policies a comprehensive care for the poor, the sick and the elderly, I really cannot imagine any other society.

    Of corse you cannot, you have lived you whole life in a cage. Many animals would rather lived caged up than have freedom if it means you will have food, water and shelter. That isn’t living.

    It’s surprising that the richest nation on earth and (some say) the most Christian cannot work out how to provide such health care for its citizens..

    Sure we can. We have tired, but those who hold to your ideal prevent it by endless regulations. In America you can purchase car insurance from any state in the country. So, the free market being what it is, they have to compete with offering lower prices for goods and services. Competition brings down price. So, I can buy life insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance etc etc. But health insurance companies are not allowed to compete, and the government made it that way? Why?

    Again, having worked as an EMT on the streets and in the ER I can tell you that no one goes without in my country. I had a woman come into my ER in full cardiac arrest and we saved her. She was on welfare (The dole I guess you call it) and we knew we wouldn’t be geting paid. We worked with her for 8 hours until we could airlift her by helicopter to a heart specialist hospital 200 miles away. Her bill for the 8 hours she spent in our ER, $6000.00. You know how much the federal government reimbursed us for that? $365.00. The hospital ate the rest of the bill and she survived and the hospital never tried to collect from her.

    Working on the streets in Austin, Texas I picked up a homeless man in the streets who was unresponsive and reeked of alcohol. When I took his blood pressure it was 230/160. He had had a stroke. When we got him into the emergency room they immediately took him for a MRI and saw that a blood vessel had ruptured in his head and that his brain had shifted from the building pressure in his cranium. Within 15 minutes he was going into emergency surgery to remove part of his skull and relieve the pressure from the clotting blood. The homeless man survived and went into physical therapy. He had no insurance.

    How do things work in those countries with single payer systems?


    Cathy LeBoeuf-Schouten

    I was born in the same year that my government adopted socialized healthcare in Canada. I am an educated, middle-class woman and I have never known any kind of healthcare but the kind that is provided by our government-run system. It has been a nightmare for my family and me. The following stories, told in second person and based on my personal experiences with socialized healthcare in Canada, constitute my personal warning to Americans.

    Imagine that you and your spouse, and three children under the age of six move to a new city and must find a family doctor. You are told at the local clinic that the doctors there are not accepting any new patients. (Canadian price controls have created shortages of everything when it comes to healthcare). The receptionist suggests that you go through the yellow pages and try to find a physician whose practice is not “full.” You spend days, and weeks, doing this, and are repeatedly told “Sorry, we are not accepting new patients.” You put your name on several waiting lists and persist in calling doctors’ offices.

    Finally, a receptionist tells you that, while the doctor is still accepting new patients, he requires a full medical history and an interview with each family member before you can be added to his roster of patients. Based on the questions asked during the interviews, you come to understand that he is screening out sick or potentially sick people. You are all healthy, fortunately, so he takes you on as patients. Others are just out of luck.

    There is a chronic shortage of doctors in Canada because price controls on doctors’ salaries have resulted in a “brain drain” where the best and brightest practice medicine in the U.S. and elsewhere, after being educated in Canada. In addition, the Canadian government cut medical school enrollment in half in the 1990s as a “cost-cutting measure,” making the problem of doctor shortages much worse.

    Next, imagine that all of a sudden your six-year-old begins showing what seems to be signs of an appendicitis attack, shortly after recuperating from chicken pox. You take him to a hospital emergency room and carry him in because he is unable to walk. There is no one to help you as you enter the building, so you must lumber along to the reception area. A nurse interviews you for a couple of minutes, asks you for the reason for your visit, and then takes your son’s government health card and asks you to fill out paperwork while your son writhes in pain in your lap.

    You tell the nurse that your son must be seen by a doctor immediately – it’s an emergency! – as his condition is worsening by the minute. The nurse tells you, stone-faced, to go and sit in the waiting room to wait for a triage nurse. Having no choice, you do what you are told and join twenty or so others in line in front of you. You are given nothing to help make your son more comfortable – no damp facecloth, no bedpan for the vomit, nothing.

    When a triage nurse finally strolls in a half hour later your son is too weak to respond to her and you begin to panic. Finally, a doctor appears and says it’s just a “bug” and that you should not be playing “armchair doctor” by “diagnosing” appendicitis. He orders some time-consuming tests anyway, because you have shown him that you are very, very angry. Six hours later the test results come back positive for appendicitis.

    Your son is whisked away for an emergency appendectomy, after which the surgeon tells you that, had the surgery been delayed by another few minutes, he would probably have died. Your son’s appendix was gangrenous and on the verge of bursting. It reminds you of reading in the local news of three other people who were sent home from the emergency room, only to have their appendices burst and die. You are grateful that you were much more persistent and ornery than they apparently were.

    Our Soviet-style emergency rooms have waiting rooms equipped with hard metal chairs, vending machines that sell junk food, and maybe a television in one corner. There is no access to any medical equipment, beds, or even stretchers. In the emergency room everyone passes through triage and is given a code based on a nurse’s cursory evaluation of their affliction. If you are not satisfied with the “care” that is provided there is nowhere else to go, except to an American hospital if you are close enough to the border and can afford to pay cash. Canadians know that if you call an ambulance you can bypass the 10–12 hour wait in the emergency room, but this drives up the costs of healthcare even further.

    If there ever was a good fight, Americans, this is it. As we say in Canada, “Youse guys just gotta give ’er, eh!

  18. Dear Robert, swathes of what you are writing have nothing to do with social welfare, the Government and taxes. You have hijacked the topic and made it a showcase for your dislike and aversion for Christianity. I was happy discussing health care with you. I did not expect you to turn the discussion into a full scale assault on my Church and personal demands on me that I ”own my history.” Please allow me to bow out. Moderator, thank you for what bas been, in the main, an interesting discussion. Fr Ambrose

  19. Dear Moderator, I sent this a a couple of says ago but you must have overlooked it.

    Dear Robert, the horror of endless waiting lists for doctors and specialists is not true.

    On 22 February I visited my regular doctor because of pains on the right side of my stomach. There were suspicions about the state of my gall bladder.

    Two days later I was given an ultra sound.

    Three days after that I was given a CT scan.

    On 29 February I was invited to an interview with a “multidisciplinary team” of specialists – oncologist, my regular cardiologist, two surgeons, cardio-respiratory man.

    “You have cancer in your gallbladder and probably part of your liver. We want you to have a PETscan (nuclear scan) to ascertain if there is cancer elsewhere in your body.”

    This was a total of 7 days from first reporting to the doctor to undergoing two scans to seeing a group of specialists. It cost me NOT ONE PENNY..

    The PETscan took place 3 days later, on 3 March.

    This is how free and universal healthcare works in my country (new Zealand.) Admittedly it may not work as speedily for non urgent matters. But when things must be addressed expeditiously the system is quite efficient.

  20. You stated:

    Dear Robert, swathes of what you are writing have nothing to do with social welfare, the Government and taxes. You have hijacked the topic and made it a showcase for your dislike and aversion for Christianity.

    I said earlier:

    I’m not saying this disproves Christianity and the truth of God reconciling the world to Himself through His incarnation.

    So, obviously I must believe in Christianity.

    Clearly someone had his cage rattled. But then it gets frustrating and depressing trying to defend the indefensible.

    No, see, I have a problem when someone claims the moral high ground on matters, and yet has a tradition where morality has had very litter, or anything at all to do with its decisions. I have problems with an institution that claims to be guided and indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and yet have condoned and have treated people as chattel, slaves, serfs and property and then claim the moral high ground defending a system that only bears fruit of unhealthy dependence, a mentality of entitlement, class envy and secularism/humanism.

    See, you are one of the lucky ones. Yes, universal healthcare may work in NZ, you have 4.4 million people and that is small when you consider that that population of just Los Angeles county is 9.9 million. We are a nation of 310 million people, and because of socialist policies put into place less than half of the American population doesn’t pay any federal taxes at all. Here is the break down…

    The top 1% pay 22.7% of taxes.
    The top 10% pay 50% of taxes.
    The top 20% pay 65.3% of taxes.
    The top 40% pay 84.3% of taxes.

    So, when is enough, enough?

    Again, I question the morality and authority of an institution who can support a system that murders babies and promotes euthanasia, and then turn around and celebrate the feast of holy innocents.

    One last word, does God think that just because you earn more means you have to pay more?

    Every one who is counted, from 20 years old and above, should present a gift offering to the Lord. When you bring this gift offering to the Lord to pay compensation for your lives, the rich shouldn’t give more and the poor shouldn’t give less than the half shekel.
    Exodus 30:14-15

    God wants everyone to have some skin in the game, and God clearly didn’t believe that just because a person had more meant they had to pay more, and if a person was poor that that meant they didn’t have to give as much.

    You know when charity is no longer charity? When it’s demanded.

    That is why God loves a cheerful giver.

  21. Robert Wrote: “Clearly someone had his cage rattled. But then it gets frustrating and depressing trying to defend the indefensible.”

    When speaking about contemporary social welfare issues I did not expect you to launch into another topic entirely, a full-frontal assault on my Church, bringing up alleged infringements of human rights from the 4th century on. I suspect that it was not me but *you* who had his cage rattled since you were unable to address what I was saying and so you side-tracked us with great screeds about Christian persecution of pagans 1600 years ago.

  22. When speaking about contemporary social welfare issues I did not expect you to launch into another topic entirely, a full-frontal assault on my Church, bringing up alleged infringements of human rights from the 4th century on.

    Really? Alleged human rights infringements? Even though we have the history from Christian and secular historical documents the best you can muster is alleged?

    You will insist that the historical data is too sparse to know anything about the ancient world, but you then proceed to tell us what ‘actually happened’ anyway. That is Orthodox apologetics.

    When you make the case that the problem we have is that we are not like the ancient world with its mixture of Church and State, then it naturally goes to how has the fruit through out history been when the Church has been in bed with the state.

  23. Dear Robert, I still have no idea why, in a discussion on government support of the poor and needy and aged, you brought in Rassias’ long list of accusations of Christian suppression of paganism. I asked a Greek friend about him and he related this humorous anecdote from a Greek TV interview. It was pointed out that the return of the worship of pagan gods to Europe will mean temple worship and temple prostitution. When asked where the temple prostitutes will be found, Russia said that if there are not enough volunteers they could be taken from the prisons. Asked about issues of gender equality in modern paganism he said that men and boys could also be taken from the prisons. Roll on paganism!

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