A Quick Word About Welfare

As a fairly die-hard libertarian you might think you know where I stand on the welfare issue. I have stated before in this blog, one of the primary pillars of my political ideology is summed up in the statement, “When the government does something that we should be doing for ourselves it makes us a weaker nation.”

How does this relate to welfare? First let me define the term. By welfare, I am mean financial support for a parent who is the full-time primary caregiver for a child without sufficient support from a spouse or the child’s other parent. Traditionally this would be the child’s mother, and I will assume this generalization for the remainder of the post.

When the situation of the single parent without adequate outside support is examined in light of the statement regarding government action in the first paragraph, the exception becomes obvious. The full-time mother is not supposed to be providing the financial support for the family unit. The role she can best to fulfill is providing nurture, protection, and guidance for her children. Ideally, the financial support would come from a husband, the children’s father, family members, or private charitable organizations, but with the explosion of single parent homes and the failure of fathers, the private scenario is not nearly as prevalent as most of us would like it to be.

Bottom line, I want our government to provide financial assistance for the full-time single parents even though the incentives it creates may not be ideal. My heart tells me that a child should not be taken from a mother, and my reasoning tells me that most often the mother has the instinct and incentives to best raise their own children. I just don’t see another solution.


ctrain said...

I think you are forgetting your presuppositions here. Inside a Christian worldview we would naturally accept that the best role for a mother is to be "providing nurture, protection, and guidance for her children". And by doing so you could assume that would leave her home most of the time. However, in a situation where the government is going to be the provider you can not reason from the Christian worldview and be consistent. If there is a deficiency in the home, we first need to recognize that this is not a natural family situation. Then the question of how to fix what is unnatural is posed. We cannot assume that the best option is for the government to be involved solely for the reason that by doing so we are negating the Christian responsibility. Even when there is no correct Christian response to poverty or a broken home, it is never the right answer to replace a void with the wrong solution just because it is available. As much as it is our desire to see families whole and no one suffering, we cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into that secular humanistic mind frame that says that the happiness of an individual is more important than doing the right thing.
Also, the outcome to this type of thinking can already be seen. In a world where the mothers are intrinsically good and left without a means of provision, the charity would be a blessing and the situation would not multiply. But again, we know that these families are largely fallen and that this type of charity will only beget more of the same situation that caused the need for charity in the first place. If a mother can have a child and not have to work, then she can have another child and not have to work. The problem will multiply until there is a vast majority of people that are dependent on charity and not on work. This is the state of our STATE. In light of all this, the fact that a mother should be the one to nurture and teach is negated by the fact that the natural order of the family has been broken. We cannot continue to reason from what should be. We have to look at each situation in the reality that God's plan has been broken and that each action from that point cannot fix the actual problem. Right and true religion is to help the widow. But it is not the job of the state. And in cases of a broken family, the only real help is restoring that family to its natural order. Food is good. Shelter is important. But if the hearts remain hard and the family remains broken, then no help has been given at all. That is why government assistance is in fact an evil thing. While humanistically it proves helpful, it only gratifies the needs of the flesh and hinders the ability to find God. These are just broken situations and truly sad. But the church needs to be accountable for this. And we will be. It will be a sad day when God points out all that we let the government do in its own name that we should have been doing in HIS.

Brandon said...

You're argumenst are a little shaky, but the last line brings everything into focus perfectly. Yes, Christians are being robbed of opportunities to meet these needs, and in my theological framework being robbed to the eternal blessing/rewards that we would have received if these needs were being met. I just can't justify removing the support from a mother & child who aren't responsible for the lack in the first place.