Creationist Wisdom — Example 69: Welfare

TODAY’s letter-to-the-editor captured our attention because of its intriguing title: Far right goes Darwinist. It appears in the Monterey County Herald, daily newspaper published in Monterey, California.

Although this letter is very short, it’s also very strange, and it took us a couple of readings to figure out what it actually says. The only reason we bothered was because of the title. After we finally understood what’s going on here, we realized that it teaches us far more about creationism than the letter-writer intended.

Essentially, the letter-writer claims that the far right (creationists all) endorse Darwinism. Strange. Then he gives a bunch of his personal budgetary minutiae, and claims that if he can’t pay his bills without welfare (which he says is the ideal of the far right) then you die (which is his definition of “Darwinism”). Clever, huh?

Today’s letter-writer is telling us that he needs (or at least he wants) a new government (i.e. taxpayer-funded) welfare program. If he doesn’t get what he wants he’s going to die, and that’s “Darwinism,” which is pure evil. But if he gets his welfare, what then? He lives — and that’s creationism — which is pure good, right?

Are we reading too much into this? The letter is almost as cryptic as a Nostradamus verse, but we think we’ve extracted the writer’s meaning.

What we found interesting about this letter is that a gut-level creationist favors the welfare state. Actually, the combination of creationism and welfare-statism isn’t surprising. Considering that the creationists’ political roots go back to William Jennings Bryan, it’s inevitable that creationists would be a mob of populists and so-called progressives.

Welfare and Noah’s Ark — quite a combo! But why are so many creationists in the Republican party?

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 69: Welfare

  1. Hate to break it to you, Curmie, but I’m in favor of all people having health care coverage. You know, kinda like they have “socialist” roads, fire departments, police departments, etc.

    Health care is a need, not a privilege.

  2. LRA says: “Hate to break it to you, Curmie, but I’m in favor of all people having health care coverage.”

    Hey, food too! You want collective farms?

    Here’s a hint at sorting all of this out: The US Constitution says what powers the Congress has. It’s a small and specifically limited list. That’s the deal.

  3. “It’s a small and specifically limited list.”

    Ban federalist highways!!! Interstates are unconstitutional! 😛

  4. Article I, Section 8 (Powers of Congress): “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads.”

    It’s not a perfect fit, but it’ll have to do. Hey, I looked, but didn’t find: “To create a national health insurance program.”

  5. Fortunately for us, the founders were smart enough to create a flexible constitution based on future contingencies. Health care is a need, and is necessary to life and liberty. Of course we can disagree. And I’ll still luvs ya!

  6. LRA says: “Of course we can disagree. And I’ll still luvs ya!”

    That’s good to hear. Hey, every blogger has his own weirdness. Mine is that I care about things like the Constitution. I know it’s quaint and out-dated, but that’s my lifestyle. I appreciate your tolerance.

  7. Well, I’ve known for a while now that you are on a different side of the political spectrum than I am. I mostly just stay tight-lipped on your more political posts, but as a person who participated in medically relevant research, I just felt I had to give my $0.02 on this one. Thanks for letting me. 🙂

  8. The function of government in a free society is to protect the ability of the individual to exercise their pre-existing rights. To whatever extent one can claim a “right” to health care exists, a legitimate government’s function is to protect the individual’s access to health care, not to provide it out right.

    Example: the first Amendment of the BOR forbids the government from interfering with your right to free speech/press — that doesn’t mean the government has to provide you with a megaphone, printing press, or an internet connection and blog account. Its role is limited to NOT interfering with you when you choose to avail yourself of your right to pontificate out loud and in word.

    Similarly, the 2nd Amendment of the BOR forbids the government from interfering with your pre-existing right to keep and bear arms. It does not obligate the government to buy anyone a pistol and ammo. Its role is limited to NOT interfering with you when you choose to avail yourself of your right to buy a gun and use it for lawful purposes.

    We all need lots of things: food, shelter & clothing foremost. In a free society, government’s function is not to provide those necessities, but rather to protect your right to pursue access to them. The same should be true of health care.

    Like they said in the Declaration of Independence, your unalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and “— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” If one tries to make government provide happiness directly, one does so at the expense of the liberty of all. A “right” that obligates others to make a sacrifice so someone can exercise that right, violates the rights of their fellow citizens, and thus is no right at all.

  9. LRA says: “Well, I’ve known for a while now that you are on a different side of the political spectrum than I am.”

    That’s also true of Ben Franklin. Yet he favored science, helped write the Constitution, and he was the original sensuous dirty old man. I’ll bet you’d be delighted to sit in ol’ Ben’s lap and tell him that he’s a great guy. If you could tolerate Ben, at least try to think kindly of me, your humble Curmudgeon.

  10. Longie says:

    A “right” that obligates others to make a sacrifice so someone can exercise that right, violates the rights of their fellow citizens, and thus is no right at all.

    You’re so relentlessly rational about these things!

  11. “I’ll bet you’d be delighted to sit in ol’ Ben’s lap”

    LOL! What kinda girl do you think I am??? 😛

  12. One of the key flaws in this letter is the identification of “Darwinism” (in the anti-creationist sense) with “social Darwinism.” The writer wryly notes that the libertarian philosophy leads to social Darwinism. That might be right or wrong — but social Darwinism is not a theory of speciation or of any other biological phenomena.

  13. comradebillyboy

    Two points:
    1. Scientific ignorance is wide spread and not limited to only one end of the political spectrum.
    2. I do not think the language of the constitution precludes ‘socialized medicine’ or other government services aimed at providing for the general welfare.

  14. The Constitution specifies which powers the Federal Government has. It then says the rest is reserved to the States or the People themselves.

    Health care is not mentioned, or “other government aimed at providing for the general welfare”, i.e. social security and others. Your welfare is your business not the government’s.

    I know that many people think the Constitution is outdated, but the whole mess right now is that a large number of people do not want it ignored.

    I am one of them.

  15. comradebillyboy says: “I do not think the language of the constitution precludes ’socialized medicine’ or other government services aimed at providing for the general welfare.”

    There is no “general welfare” power given to Congress. That phrase appears in connection with the taxation power, and it was drafted to limit taxes to those affecting the general (not local) welfare. Read Federalist #41. Madison is very clear on this. We quote:

    “Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases.

    […]

    “For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.”

  16. comradebillyboy

    Ok I admit that I want the government to take on powers and responsibilities not enumerated in the constitution.

  17. comradebillyboy writes:

    “Ok I admit that I want the government to take on powers and responsibilities not enumerated in the constitution.”

    There’s a way to do just that spelled out in the Constitution — through an amendment.

  18. The Curmudgeon wrote:

    Article I, Section 8 (Powers of Congress): “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads.”

    It’s not a perfect fit, but it’ll have to do.

    Does it stretch to NASA as well? We might need to deliver junk mail to Mars someday…

  19. It’s not a “right” to health care that is being debated now. Everyone already has that.

    It is the “right” to force someone else to pay for health care for you.

    Everyone needs to eat. Everyone needs a roof over their heads and adequate clothing. Yet for some reason we don’t have “insurance” that pays for our clothes and food, and no one is agitating for such a thing; maybe because in America obesity is a disease of the poor.

    If we as a society want to pay for poor people to get better care than they do now, we can do that without setting up a huge bureaucracy that forces people to buy things they don’t need to subsidize other people.