The Catholic Church acts in two ways to try to further its social agenda. The first is through Catholic Charities where the church acts through private donations to assist people in need. The second is by advocating government programs.
During the past few decades, Catholic voters have generally supported the Democratic Party. This is mostly because the Church has taken a position of supporting socialist policies such as welfare programs. For some reason, the Church has taken the position that the importance of helping the poor through government programs trumps the moral issues it advocates â€“ specifically its pro-life and pro-family positions. Catholics have a history of voting for candidates who promise to “help the disadvantaged” while those same candidates advocate abortions or gay marriage.
Even if helping the poor was the more important issue, history has revealed problems with relying on government to fix it.
Government assistance does not work
People who receive from the government only come to rely on the government, not God.
Churches that advocate more government welfare are undermining their own witness. Welfare recipients donâ€™t thank the taxpayers for what they receive. They come to believe the payments they get are a right and that taxpayers are obligated to support them.
The government does not hold people accountable for changing their lives. Did you know it is illegal for an organization that receives federal money to require the people they help stay off drugs? That is why groups like Step 13 in Denver who work with homeless and street people will not accept government funds. Because they require their clients stay off drugs, they change lives.
Churches should be self-reliant
By relying on the government, the church abandons its responsibilities. Europe shows that charitable giving and involvement decreases as people come to rely on the government for assistance. Look at the great Tsunami last year. Europeans criticized the size of the U.S. governmentâ€™s contribution. They didnâ€™t acknowledge the hundreds of millions of dollars private citizens donated. These contributions dwarfed those of European countries. Europeans private contributions were nothing compared to the generosity of Americans. It is a natural tendency for Europeans not to give since they believe they are already giving through the tax collector.
Reliance on government only hurts the soul. People that receive arenâ€™t grateful; they will change their behavior only reluctantly.
People that are forced to pay the taxes are not involved in the lives of the people they are supporting. They have no influence to improve the behavior of those getting the benefits.
The Catholic Church is large enough to have a great impact on the world. If it were to use its own resources instead of abandoning some of its mission to the government, it could change even more lives.