I try to avoid discussions about politics with other Christians, especially when it involves economics and poverty. The reason being is that we are very quick to assign the right vs. left label. As soon as I give support for free markets, limited government and reasons not to raise the minimum wage, I get lumped in with the conservative/ right/Tea Party camp with the caricature of not caring for the poor. But let me talk about issues related to poverty and how some form of government support is needed, I get lumped in with the left and disregarding sound economic philosophy. We love putting people in boxes And once you’re assigned to a particular camp, it then becomes ineffective to have discussions around policy issues.
It’s messy and that’s where moderates like me find ourselves. So when I say a muddy mess, I don’t necessarily mean in a pejorative sense. This is where I get frustrated with evangelicals who would rather assign affiliations than talk about the issues. If we’re going to have honest discussions about solutions to poverty, we can’t let them get lost in a right vs. left debate.
I’ve been a registered independent for ages. I am a capitalist and believe in the free market system. I agree with this superb article by Peter Cove, who speaks about benefits of work, any work, to lift people out of poverty. We do need to take serious the culture of dependency that’s not only created generational poverty, but the overall failure to reduce federal expenditures. So I’ve wanted to register Republican for some time now but I just can’t bring myself to full alignment. Poverty is a complex animal involving disparities in resources and skills. But these complexities tend to get overlooked regarding the solutions needed to become independent of any type of government assistance. There’s also the working poor who fail to earn a sufficient income. Its not as simple as ‘oh they just need to get a better job’. I also find it fascinating when those who uphold total depravity are less forgiving in how that has worked itself out regarding personal responsibility. Continue reading