Last week I started a series titled “The Strangers Among Us.” I provided the online link, because this series is going to build, and it is important you know the foundation.
In May, Robert Scott, a regular contributor to The Edgefield Advertiser, who is also a friend and neighbor, did a two-part series titled “Welcoming The Stranger.” In addition to his articles, in Social media, he frequently utilizes Matthew 25:35-38 as the biblical reference for what he believes is our republic’s responsibility to “Welcome The Stranger” by bringing into our borders tens of thousands of Islamic Refugee’s, many of them from civil war torn Syria.
Last week, I encouraged readers to read the entire chapter of Matthew 25 to understand the context of the verses Robert and others are using to promote the idea The United States, with public funds, is obligated to bring Islamic Refugees into our republic and care for them on our soil.
The first two-thirds of Matthew 25 deals with financial stewardship; specifically, the rewards for good money management and the harsh consequences for poor money management. I believe the context for both parables is designed for the individual; however, I believe the principles of financial management apply equally to individuals, families (which is the lowest level of civil governance), institutions and governments.
The final third of Matthew 25 deals with those who will enter heaven based on their charitable actions, even being charitable to those who are unknown, “the stranger.” Clearly, due to its positioning in the chapter, it is recognized that it takes financial resources to be charitable. One could also deduce that the better you manage your financial resources, which is strongly encouraged in the earlier parables, the better you can serve the truly needy, including “the stranger.”
My article last week also referenced opium, rather OPM – Other People’s Money, and the concern that many sectors of our republic are addicted to using OPM. As this addiction grows, so does our national debt, as well as our state and local unfunded liabilities. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ is a website which vividly displays our debt dilemma. As this debt and unfunded liability burden increases, the difficulty to meet existing obligations should take priority over expanding obligations, especially expanding public fund obligations to non-citizens.
I appreciate Mr. Scott’s well intentioned compassion for the individuals he desires to serve with our public funds, and indeed I myself empathize for those individuals trapped in those situations. However, I am afraid Robert demonstrates an unwise characteristic that is common among many today. It is an addiction to OPM. While well intentioned, while motivated by compassion, it could be argued that charity with OPM really isn’t charity. It could also be argued that charity with borrowed money is extremely unwise.
We have a duty, indeed a moral obligation in our republic to get our own financial house in order. As the first two parables in Matthew 25 indicate, failure to do so will be catastrophic. The use of public funds must be prioritized according to the responsibilities of government, which are outlined in both our Federal and our State Constitutions.
As it relates to the use of public funds, the strangers that I will write about in upcoming parts to this series are not strangers from foreign lands, but the strangers among us, who are citizens of our great republic, who are sadly falling through the cracks.
I hope you have a productive week!