In the last few days there has been a swirl of coverage and conversation about comments made by Governor Romney about people who "who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."
I think it was when he disparaged people who thought they were entitled to food that I'd finally had enough.
Mr. Romney professes to be a man of faith. I don't know enough about the Mormon religion to know if they use the Bible the same way Catholics and Protestants do.
I don't know if Mr. Romney believes as I do that the central teaching of Jesus Christ as that we do unto other as we would have done unto us. That our highest purpose in this life is to love one another as Christ loves us. To feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Visit the prisoners.
A teaching so simple and so elegant it can be the guide for an entire life.
And God knows we will fall short in achieving that. We try knowing we will fail.
But one of the great things about government, about OUR government, is that it IS us. That it can act in our stead. It can make one person mighty. It can do what we alone can not.
I can not feed a hungry man in New Orleans. My government can.
I can not clothe a man devastated by disaster in Colorado. My government can.
I cannot help a child imprisoned by poverty in the rural west. My government can.
Because I believe that faith without works is hollow, I am glad to support the government doing what it is beyond my power to achieve.
Will there be mistakes, waste, fraud, downright chicanery in the allocation of resources and planning of priorities? Without a doubt.
I accept that risk. I would rather do something than nothing. I would rather try and fail, I would rather my government try and fail, than do nothing.
I pray that Governor Romney is so caught up in the craziness a campaign becomes that he said things he doesn't mean and does not believe. I pray he has a blinding moment on the road to Damascus and realizes what he said wasn't what he knows in his heart. Christ does not call us to feed the hungry only if they deserve it; to clothe the naked if they failed through no fault of their own. To visit only those imprisoned unjustly.
Christ calls us to love all of God's people. There are no ifs ands or buts. No clauses, dependent or otherwise.
It is a difficult and holy calling.
But if you ask me if I can vote for a man who says hungry people are not entitled to food I can not.