Lunchtime mail brought my April copy of The Dominion, “News of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.” The front page leader was by my local prelate, The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island. Titled “Budgets, Leadership, and Public Service,” it is an angry broadside against the cutting of public services — any public services.
The approach to addressing the fiscal crisis in New Jersey and in a host of other states across the country appears to be to assault those who do the public’s work as state employees, to imply that they receive benefits and salaries that go far beyond what they deserve and that they immorally avail themselves of these benefits.
His Grace recommends that his parishioners join in a new initiative from the religious left under the slogan “What Would Jesus Cut?“ If you join in, you can get a WWJC bracelet!
Would Jesus cut Head Start — a bureaucratic extravaganza of no proven value whatever? Would he cut foreign aid — correctly described by Peter Bauer 30-odd years ago as “The transer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries”? Where would the Saviour have stood on defined-benefit vs. defined contribution pension plans? We know what he thought of tax collectors (e.g. Matt. 18:17), but where did he stand on tax payers vs. tax eaters?
We hear so much about the Religious Right, far too little about the Religious Left and its maleficent works — it is, for example, the main motive force behind the refugee resettlement rackets. From the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the Right Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, what I mostly see in the pulpits are lefties.
The pity of it is that elsewhere in The Dominion and its national-level equivalent, Episcopal Journal, I read of good and commendable works by church groups in, for example, relief for victims of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan.
Do these Christian lefties not see the contradiction between encouraging voluntary charity and demanding that ever more of the work of comforting the afflicted be transferred to government functionaries whose benefit packages are written into their state constitutions?