He Who Will Not Work and He Who Will Not Eat

A saying that had its day among Republicans recently was, “He who will not work, will not eat.” As they seek to enforce their mistaken morality on America, based on their misunderstanding of St. Paul (and often attributing the quote above to Jesus), we have to look at reality in order to understand what they are perpetrating on America.

Facts are helpful in understanding reality; proof quotes don’t help there, I’m afraid. The fact is that the majority of recipients in the food assistance programs are women and children. The majority of recipients are working, but earning so little that they are still eligible for this assistance. The majority of people affected by the cut in food assistance will be women and children.

It is also a fact that many homeless Americans are veterans who have been abandoned by the support system that we erroneously believe is in place for them. Veterans have to wait for their disability claims, and they have to deal with the scarcity of jobs that has been created by Republicans who refuse to act on a jobs bill. The economy and the government have to fail, and then we will see if that is enough to satisfy Republicans who must punish America for electing the wrong president.

But aside from these facts, which are easily verifiable simply by looking up the information on the Internet, the really appalling factor in this situation is the heartless cruelty evident in the Republican Party. This is no time to be cowed by ideologues, no matter how much Republican “moderates” want to be re-elected. As a matter of fact, it is my opinion is that it is a “now or never” moment for Republicans who are still of sound mind to stand up to the extremist right.

“You don’t work, so you can starve.” Is this America, or am I in some third-world country where their incarnation of Marie Antoinette thinks that somebody will provide, or that it’s actually okay for people to starve? Look, hunger is a more agreeable word than starve, but starvation is what happens when people don’t eat. If you are of a practical turn of mind, you might also want to consider this: the damage that is being done to young minds and bodies by hunger is going to have to be repaired for years to come by educational interventions and special health programs for those whose development was stunted before they could withstand it. Would you like to cheer that America is Number One in the number of babies who die on the same day they are born?

This damage is being inflicted on American children deliberately by Republicans who can come up with nothing more than, “If they won’t work, they won’t eat.” Are poor children expected to drop out of school, go to work, and then we will authorize food for them? Their mothers and fathers are already being punished for not earning enough, which if you think about it is another appalling cruelty from Republicans who crashed the economy over greed.

There are families in the United States who are packing up and heading south of the border, for countries where you can live for far less than America and they can even enroll in national healthcare programs. Who are the Republicans going to turn on next? Well, worry about it, because it could be you. Those of us who have not yet found the courage to stand up and put a stop to these monstrous un-Christians are going to have no one to stand up to us when we go on the chopping block to provide more for the corporations who own and operate the Republican Party.

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