- While often overlooked, there is a strong Christian case for their coexistence
- Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic
Elizabeth Stoker, The Week
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We're all responsible for helping. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
April 10, 2014 | The role of private charity versus that of state-sponsored social programs remains a hotly contested issue in Right vs. Left politics, with the Right typically favoring a heavy or total reliance upon private charity, and the Left typically calling for a more robust emphasis on state-provided programs. What is often presumed, however, in this political discourse is that Christianity, like conservatism, requires a total reliance on private charity to deliver services to the needy. This could not be more wrong.
The reason the political debate is back in the news is a recent essay in Democracy Journal concerning the conservative premise that voluntary charity could or should supplant state programs aimed at addressing joblessness, illness, accident, and old age. In the article, Mike Konczal labeled such conservative ideation "the voluntarism fantasy," pointing out that in the American context, "complex interaction between public and private social insurance… has always existed in the United States."
Elizabeth Stoker writes about Christianity, ethics, and policy for Salon, The Atlantic, and The Week. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, a Marshall Scholar, and a current Cambridge University divinity student.
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Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic, Bill Boyarsky, TruthDig
- The hardship of families and children is an overlooked national disgrace.
- The National Center on Family Homelessness has chronicled the toll such conditions take on children.
- Work Until You're Dead?
- Senator Spends Day Off With Homeless Man For A Lesson You Can't Learn From An Office