Blessed are the Spongers?
That's not what St Paul said, Archbishop
The following article was written by Peter Hitchens, a man whose work I don't normally read, but this touched a nerve, especially the highlighted parts below.
Rowan Williams ought to be espousing Christian values
not those of the Lib Dems
Why is it so bad to draw a line between the deserving and the undeserving poor?
I have searched the Sermon on the Mount for the words ‘Blessed are the Spongers’ and I cannot find them – or anything remotely like them.
So why does the Archbishop of Canterbury speak as if it was obvious that we should treat people who can work, but won’t, in the same way as we treat those who are truly in need?
As Dr Williams has decided to take up political commentating, I think I shall do a little bit of Archbishoping. Here beginneth the first lesson: In St Paul’s first epistle to Timothy, Chapter 5, we read: ‘If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’
And in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, St Paul rubs it in, in that way he has: ‘This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’
This seems pretty clear to me, and a dozen generations before my own knew these words by heart and lived according to them. They gave to charity and supported the helpless and needy with all their might.
But they scorned those who sought to live off others when they had no need to. Our Welfare State took much the same line until Harold Wilson ‘reformed’ it in the Sixties.