Politics and Charity: The State and the Church in Recovery Efforts
Only in America–maybe not, but it sure feels that way–can we politicize anything. Just days ago, Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Storm Sandy hit the northern eastern seaboard of the United States. North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, et al were damaged by the wind and rain resulting from Sandy. Americans, political to the end, have already politicized the event.
We’ve turned this into a global warming problem, and are endorsing presidential candidates on who will be best for global warming. See NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Obama, for example.
We’ve turned this into a test for who will be best to handle storm clean-up. Some arguing that NJ Gov. Christie has handed Obama the election with his praise for Obama’s handling of the storm.
We’ve turned this into a labor dispute, with volunteer crews from unaffected states being turned away because the volunteers aren’t union members.
This is why the Church is so important. The Church reaches out in love for neighbor to help the destitute, poor, and afflicted. The Church does so with no claims for glory or praise. The Church does so with no benefit to politics or political rhetoric. The Church, even within her own internal disputes, helps and loves without the charity being proof of one denomination’s love being greater than another’s. The Church does it because it is right.
Even when our politicians are trying to do “right,” we politicize it and make it a fight. We do so because we’ve elevated the importance of the State to unnatural levels–levels they will fight to maintain. If we repent, and turn from our dependence on the State and to the Church, we might find love that is worth receiving. And, we might find the State begins to act like a State should, because it is being viewed the way it should.