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Topic: Charity, Matches 4 quotes.



Helping One’s Neighbor

It has been my observation and experience everywhere I have lived that almost everyone is willing to help his neighbor who is truly in need—if the receiver respects the giver’s right to do it voluntarily and in his own way. So far as I can now recall, no person has ever refused any sincere and logical request of mine for help, whether my need was medical, legal, spiritual, financial, educational, or whatever. In fact, so many hundreds of persons have given me assistance at various times and in various ways that I cannot now possibly recall all their names!

There are many sincere and charitable persons who truly want to help their less fortunate fellow men; but they want to perform their charitable acts on a large scale with other people’s money, instead of on the basis of their own individual capabilities and with their own money. Their sincere but misguided idea of helping people is to pass a law to force everyone to contribute to government which, in turn, will distribute the money “to those who need it most.” This concept is sometimes called the “service state” or “welfare government.” The people who hold this concept are especially dangerous because their intentions are so good. The purity of their motives tends to obscure the ultimate evilness of their acts.

Source: Dean Russell
“Equality and Security” (1952)

Topics: Charity; Welfare



No Special Privileges

It is definitely not the function of government to take positive action in aiding or sustaining or lending assistance to any person or group or segment of society. Such “help” can only be given to one person or group at the expense of others. The only principled role of society’s agency is negative; government should restrain anyone from doing injury to others. The law’s job is to codify the taboos or the thou-shalt-nots and enforce them; that is, it should invoke a common justice and keep the peace.

Any time and in every instance in which government departs from this negative or purely defensive role, avarice is released in the citizenry. Government can do all of us a service by warding off intruders; but when government pretends to “help” us, government itself thereby becomes the colossal intruder.

I am quite aware that to most people this way of drawing the line seems cold, heartless, and without pity. But pity, unless spiced with common sense, is what’s heartless. Providing people with governmental feeding stations not only kindles the vice of avarice but it renders them helpless. The process results in an atrophy of the faculties from which recovery is next to impossible. Helping people to become helpless is no act of kindness. Nor is self-pity in order, that is, feeling sorry for ourselves as taxpayers. Such sympathy as is within us should be extended to the recipients of this largess, for they have stooped and may not be able to straighten up again.

No doubt a world in which matter never got out of place and became dirt, in which iron had no flaws and wood no cracks, in which gardens had no weeds, and food grew already cooked, in which clothes never wore out and washing was as easy as the soapmakers’ advertisements describe it, in which rules had no exceptions and things never went wrong, would be a much easier place to live in. But for purposes of training and development it would be worth nothing at all.

It is the resistance that puts us on our mettle: it is the conquest of the reluctant stuff that educates the worker. I wish you enough difficulties to keep you well and make you strong and skillful!2

2. Henry Van Dyke.

Source: Leonard E. Read
To Free or Freeze, pp. 60-61

Topics: Charity; Social Programs; Welfare



The Law and Charity

You say: “There are persons who have no money,” and you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside the society. Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.

With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.

Source: Frederic Bastiat
The Law

Topics: Charity; Law



Peace Achieved Through Unselfishness

And now, in the name of Him who is our only King, Jesus the Son of God, let us as members of the Church and as citizens of this great nation, unite in an appeal to our heavenly Father, with whom nothing is impossible, to bring to us and to all mankind that glorious blessing of peace, good will and understanding, for which righteous people all over the world these days are so devoutly praying. And when making these our heartfelt, prayerful appeals may we never forget that only by living unselfish lives, by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and extending to all men their God-given liberty, can we hope to secure joy and happiness and everlasting peace.

Source: Elder Richard R. Lyman
General Conference, October 1940

Topics: Charity; Peace; Virtue

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