Loving Thy Neighbor in 2017
Start writing a post

Loving Thy Neighbor in 2017

A Commentary on How American Society Views Government Funded Programs

Loving Thy Neighbor in 2017

I usually take Michael Moore documentaries with a grain of salt but on Wednesday night, I watched his documentary entitled "Where to Invade Next," and I cried. At first, I laughed at his comedically liberalized themes but things started making sense. The documentary explores social issues all over the western world and comparing to how America treats them. In Italy, he talked about government mandated paid vacation and paid maternity leave. In France, he met with school children and talked about school lunches where they learned the importance of healthy eating. In Finland, he explored the #1 public education system international. In Slovenia, he met with the president and discussed their free secondary education program. In Germany, he compared how Germany embraces the horrors of the Holocaust and how they are committed to learn from their past to how all America wants to do is pretend slavery did not happen. Portugal decriminalized all drugs and drug usage, and drug usage and related crimes went down; Norway treats their prisoners like people. In both nations, prisoners are allowed to vote. The common theme that I could see in each country that he visited was human decency.

Government Funded Programs and Organizations are a necessary part of a functioning society. Mark 21:31 reads, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." So many Republicans (smaller government, privatization of public services, etc.) align themselves with this belief but forget, or chose to simply ignore, or maybe don't understand, that our taxes that support Planned Parenthood, Welfare, public schools, prisons and so much more is loving thy neighbor.

There's a video that went viral early last year of a woman verbally assaults a family in Walmart who was paying for their groceries with food stamps. In a Fox News coverage of this viral video, a reporter says that the man in the video should not be relying on government programs but on his church or his family or friends for help – basically that his community should be helping him and his family survive. But in this day in age, living in this nation that is incredibly connected with each other, we are each others' community.

It's a conservative mantra, "This is my hard earned money, and I deserve to do with it as I please." In 2015, the average household paid $13,000 in federal taxes (mind you that number is inflated because of the outliers like the 1%). Included in that $13,000 is $370 for SNAP or food stamps (76% of SNAP benefits go towards households with children as of January 2016), $100 for Elementary Education, $45 for Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), $40 for the Environmental Protection Agency, $35 for the Federal Prison System, and only $9 for Homeless Assistance Grants. That averages to $1.65 a day. It takes on average $1.65 a day to serve your community – to serve those who need help the most, to serve thy neighbor.

We need to understand as a nation that if we do not do our best to lift those around us up – we as a nation will be dragged down. We cannot demonize those who need help the most; that will not bring progress. It's governmental programs that lifted this nation out of the Great Depression – a time where every hard-earned penny was precious.

In Where to Invade Next, Norway said that the purpose of the justice system being rehabilitation was an American idea that they adapted and used and aspire to. In this documentary, I witnessed success where America has tried and the next step is maybe to step away from the "old way of doing things" and the old way of view our nation and governmental spending and reapproach it with a little more compassion. Every dollar a person earns, they do deserve to repurpose that as they seem fit, but what is wrong with giving it back to our national community?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

What Memorial Day Is

The importance of Memorial Day

Haddon Heights Library

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Keep Reading... Show less
What College Girls Remember from their Summers as a Kid

Yes, summer is almost here.. so what should we remember

Keep Reading... Show less
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments