Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lord of the Rings Helps Those Who Help Themselves

As our thoughts turn toward the real meaning of Christmas, Bill O'Reilly puts the thoughts of Jesus into words that even Fox viewers can understand.
"Jesus was in favour of charity for deserving cases, but the cold hard facts are that we cannot afford to help everyone. Jesus was not self destructive. The Lord helps those who help themselves."
I may have mixed up some words, from this video here:

One comment left by a viewer, defending Bill O'Reilly:

"To be fair every year people DO abuse ALL government programs, and that HAS to include welfare. Or do you people not remember Ol' Dirt Bastard collecting benefits while also having a gold record on a TV show years and years ago?"

I replied with this
"It is a misuse of the phrase "to be fair" if you only mention one type of abuse. To really be fair you need to give equal time to abuse of faith based charities, and abuse of corporate subsidies. Mentioning only one type of welfare abuse is not what I call fair."

Selective examples, such as welfare abuse, distort the truth. For example, to be fair to Hitler, some Jews did murder some Germans. Just because something is true, does not mean it is actually fair to mention in an argument, without any context.

The phrase "The Lord helps those who help themselves", (which is not in the bible), can be used it to "prove" poor people are not helping themselves. Because if they were helping themselves, the Lord would also be helping them, and if the Lord were helping them, they would not be poor. The only conclusion we can come to is that the poor are not helping themselves.

I suspect that this phrase is a favourite of rich conservatives, right up there with "Charity begins at home". I think both phrases are self serving, and I try to avoid using them myself.

A truer slogan might be "The Lord does not always immediately help those who help themselves." or "The Lord gives us an opportunity to help those unable to help themselves."

So is there a real meaning of Christmas hidden somewhere in the Bible? We sure are not going to get this message by watching TV, if Bill's speech is typical of the most popular TV news network in America.

1 comment:

  1. O'Reilly: 'Jesus was in favour of charity for deserving cases'

    That's certainly not how I read The Bible.

    Here are the words of Jesus, speaking of charity ...

    Matthew 25:35-36: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Matthew 25:40: 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Matthew 25:45: Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    If Jesus had intended what O'Reilly contends, Jesus would have said: 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto any of the really deserving, and unto those willing to help themselves, of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    But, of course, that's not what Jesus said, is it?