Way back near the beginning of this school year, I remember Prof. Northcott recounting to our class a recent debate in Durham, NC, that he’d been invited to participate in, a debate with Calvin Beisner, whom he aptly termed “a cornucopian dominionist.” With humored incredulity, he shared with us the astonishing fact that Beisner thought it was “theft” for the government to take people’s money through taxes and distribute them to others through programs like Social Security or the debated healthcare initiative. Could we believe he said such a thing? he asked. I timidly answered that almost everyone I’d grown up around would’ve employed that rhetoric. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since--is this really a rational criticism? If it is rational, it certainly isn’t self-evident. And not being self-evident, and being a rather harsh and provocative accusation, it seems that, if there’s any weight to it, it ought to be carefully argued, not casually thrown around without a shred of argumentation, as it often has been, particularly during the healthcare debate and in its aftermath.
“The Bible says not to steal. I have quoted Margaret Thatcher on this before. As she put it, the problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money, and this aphorism highlights two of the problems. But the moral problem is foremost, the part that sees that this racket depends on "other people's money." No benefit can be given to one person without it being first removed from another person. What is the basis of the removal? We threaten that other person with jail time in order to extract a sufficient amount of money from him. It is not a "contribution." In order to defend Obamacare, you have to be in favor of raw extortion at raw levels. This is a moral failure, and the difficulty that many professed Christians have in seeing it as a moral failure represents an even deeper level of moral failure.”
Every society has some public and obligatory contributions to justice. The plain fact of the matter is that man is both individual and social, and there are social obligations which may be enforced by law. We live within a framework of institutions, and these institutions are always imperfect, and will imperfectly deliver justice to all the participants. Hence the needs for charity, both social and individual....Certain services must be socialized, and those who object to all forms of socialism should not pull that socialist lever in their homes, the one that carries away their wastes into the socialized sewage system.