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Believing in needed government assistance doesn’t make a person a socialist.
There is a consensus among many Americans that a person is a socialist or has socialist ideas when there is mention of government help for a person or a family who truly needs financial assistance.
A major illness or a prolonged loss of employment has the potential of forcing high-income, well-educated, super religious, ultra liberal—and even my fellow conservatives—to seek assistance from the government or other agencies when survival is at stake.
Based on my lifestyle and moral views, most people place me in the conservative camp. I live a very modest life, and I am a firm believer in budgeting and fiscal responsibility.
Those who have read my articles know I am pro-life. I am pro-marriage and believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am against sex outside of marriage, and I am not a smoker or drinker.
There were no situational ethics in my upbringing; behavior was either right or wrong, there was no middle ground or gray area.
But on the flip side, I fully understand everyone did not grow up in an environment where the lines between right and wrong were clearly distinctive.
My old-world values and morals are intermingled with a new-world passion for computers and technology. Those who are computer savvy can appreciate my enthusiasm for designing linear and non-linear PowerPoint presentations.
My love for the Internet and other electronic devices rivals my oldest son’s love of technology—an N.C. State graduate and a computer program analysis who works in the Research Triangle area.
I am as conservative as they come when it comes to Christian values. Those who attend my church hear sermons on morality, and most people will tell you I am an old-fashioned preacher who preaches about the joys of heaven and the reality of hell.
The difference in my conservative’s views and those of some of my fellow ultra conservatives is I have no problem helping others who really need help.
I believe every person has a responsibility to work hard to reach their personal goals and a person should avoid seeking help from the government unless there is no other alternative.
I believe most goals can be achieved by prayer and hard work. But there have been times when well-qualified, highly educated people have been unemployed for an extended period of time, and under those circumstances they sought help from others.
I believe in assisting those who genuinely need help, but I do not believe in assisting people who try to beat the system through fraud and deception.
I am writing this article because the socialist label is being unfairly placed on many who believe there are times when the government needs to temporarily step up to plate and assist those who may truly need some assistance.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, two of my personal heroes, were labeled as having socialist ideas. They were men who had a true sense of compassion for the less fortunate. They did not ask for a total redistribution of America’s wealth; they simply asked for justice and help for those who were really in need.
Many conservatives have assumed the role as the moral police of America. Unfortunately, many of the so-called moral conservative policemen have been exposed as living more flawed lives than those they have investigated or scrutinized.
Conservatives who label people as being socialist when there is mention of government assistance should take a close look at the life, the actions, the behavior and the words of Jesus
They will discover Jesus preached personal responsibility, but at the same time he personally met the needs of those who needed help and assistance. He called on his followers to do likewise.
Jesus was not against giving to others. As a matter of fact, he said, “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.”
micheal darby of Supply has master's degrees in divinity and religious education. He is the pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church.For more information, visit his Web site at http://bigceousa.org.