Internet memes are great. Some are funny, some are stupid, some are clever, but with every meme there’s always some people who think it is going to deliver the knockout punch to their adversary and make their head spin. Often times, whether they come from the American right or left, they’re simply wrong or misleading. However, they do give us insight into the way the meme creator, and those who share it on social media, think. I don’t like responding to memes, but I just couldn’t let this one go. It was posted by a friend of mine who constantly posts awful memes.
The guy who posted it is proudly on the left. I’m assuming he thought this was really going to stick to those Christians on the right who advocate for drug testing welfare recipients. But I have a few problems with it. First of all, as the story goes, Jesus did not stand on the beach waiting for successful fishermen and bakers to walk by, hold a gun to their head, steal their goods, then pass it out to those who caught nothing, or did nothing all day. If he did, the victims of the theft would probably want their stuff back, not be angry at Jesus for distributing “their” goods to people they don’t think should have it. For some reason tax payers constantly complain about government wasting their money.
I highly doubt Jesus would advocate using force over voluntary charity. I guess it is possible that he aimed this meme toward people who voluntarily wanted to donate their time and money to people who need it, but do not want to give it to those who spend the money on drugs, but based on his several Facebook posts, I think I’m correct to assume this is directed toward the welfare state.
The other issue with this meme is that it illustrates the catch-22 that Rollo has written about. If welfare recipients are spending their money on drugs instead of food, should the government encourage this behavior? I think most people who advocate for the welfare state want the money to go to those who really need the food, not to people who abuse the system. But, if we’re all the government, and the government cannot discriminate, how can they deny these benefits to someone who otherwise qualify?
To those who think we should drug test welfare recipients, do you think it is possible someone might get rich off those tests? Possibly a donor to the politician advocating it?
People with drug problems need help, and most of them want help. Unfortunately, since they’re breaking the law, many people with good intentions consider them to be low lives and want nothing to do with them, especially when the “charity money” was extorted.
I think the government does an awful job helping people with addictions. Maybe the two worst things you can do to help someone with a drug addiction is to give him an entitlement each month or to lock him in a cage and risk prison rape. He will often lose his job over the arrest, it will be hard to get hired with a criminal record, his family would suffer financial/emotional hardship while the father is in prison. The state is basically saying, “Drugs will ruin your life, so shut up, put your hands behind your back, and let me ruin it for you.” Would Jesus advocate either of these techniques?