Ken Blackwell, the far-right former secretary of state from Ohio and now a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, gleefully endorsed the House Republican bill to cut $40 billion out of food stamps over ten years, saying there is “nothing more Christian” than those cuts.
“I think through empowering others and creating self-sufficiency…there within lies the path to sense of worthiness,” Blackwell told CP. “When I was growing up, there was fundamental belief, that there were times in people’s life when they needed a hand up…there were temporariness to hose programs, where they were structured so that they didn’t breed so that they didn’t breed dependency.”
Blackwell also suggested that there was “nothing more Christian” than “not locking people into a permanent dependency on government handouts, but making sure they are participants in their own upliftment and empowerment so that they in fact through the dignity of work and can break from the plantation of big government.”
Ah yes, that old paradise lost myth. “When I was a boy, food stamps were a temporary thing.” Guess what? They still are for the overwhelming majority of recipients. He also says that the churches will make up the difference:
In contrast, Blackwell argued that charity, not policy, would be the driver that kept the poor fed.
“America is such a compassionate nation, nothing in history that suggests that churches and communities and our families would let people die of hunger, there is absolutely nothing,” said Blackwell.
Except that the numbers are nowhere close:
Cook’s biggest worry though, was that the food stamp cuts would offset the thousands of hours and dollars that these very church ministries spend annually supporting their communities through soup kitchens, bread lines, and food pantries.
“What churches do in terms of the kind of generous giving to poor, hungry people is amazing,” said Cook. “But their work is worth $4 billion dollars annually, which is essentially equal to the annual cut Congress is proposing in food stamps.”
Blackwell reads the wingnut’s Bible, where Matthew 25:35 says “For I was hungry and you
gave me something to eat declared how Christian you were by making sure I didn’t have anything to eat.”