Recently in the United States we have heard talk of a “Green New Deal” that is being rolled out and proposed as new legislation. In fact, it’s not just talk, there is substantive specifics to it, though the specifics are not substantive. As the details of the proposal have been revealed, there is scarce a portion that is not deeply disturbing. Virtually the entire deal is built upon either immorality or utter economic ignorance, that would, if enacted and enforced, result in the utter ruin and destruction of the federal government of the United States as our national economic system would crumble, resulting in chaos at home, and greatly weaken us militarily to a vulnerability we have not known. To be sure, such an outcome is speculation. However, historical examples and all logic would certainly point to disaster.
Optimistically thinking, I do believe that were the economy and federal government of the United States to come crashing down, it would not necessarily mean the ruin of the American people. I could very well see a return to local and state governance which could result in varying degrees of flourishing or disaster from state to state, region to region. But enough speculation.
There are as many things I could discuss about the Green New Deal as are contained in the Green New Deal. Nevertheless, I wish to hone in on one particular aspect of the deal. In the deal it states that it would build upon FDR’s second bill of rights (certainly there is a great ignorance of what constitutes a “right”). Among the list of new “rights” proposed (all of which are not actual rights and in fact violate the actual rights of others if enforced) is “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.” In what world do those who are unwilling to work have a right to economic security? I wish that were a rhetorical question, but unfortunately we live in a world in which the people have so rebelled against nature and nature’s God that natural revelation, or common sense is utterly lacking.
I could spend thousands upon thousands of words pointing out the economic impossibility of such a “right.” In a nation that is over 21 trillion dollars in debt, where does this “economic security” (money) come from? (As the great practical philosopher, Uncle Rico taught the valuable lesson to Napoleon that “money don’t grow on trees”). What do you think will happen when you remove the natural incentives to work (by guaranteeing economic security for anyone unwilling to work)? Et cetera, et cetera.
But rather than spend any further time on the economic side of this (as well-spent as that time would be), I want to pin-point this issue in regard to the question of morality. I have two pin-points to make.
First, (and I will make this point in brevity) this is nothing more than extreme wealth redistribution, which is a politicized way of saying that you are stealing from one person to give to another. Stealing is not a right. And for those who say that the government could just print the money, please oh please, read a book.
Second, and most importantly this “right” of economic security for those unwilling to work is disobedience to God. Please read what God has told us through the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12:
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
For those who would point to verse 8-9 where Paul says that it was not because they did not have the right to eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, as evidence that we do have a right to economic security while being unwilling to work, that is not what Paul is saying. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, labored in the gospel ministry while they lived among the Thessalonians, thus would have earned the right, by working, to receive the bread of the Thessalonians, without working another job as it were. But Paul says that they decided to go ahead and earn money outside of their gospel work, in order to set an example to the Thessalonians, who had those among them who refused to work. As Paul says in verse 10, “…we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” And again in verse 12, “Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”
This is a direct refutation of the idea that those who are unwilling to work have the right to economic security. The Green New Deal is not new and progressive; its the same old sin of the Thessalonians. It’s the sin of shirked responsibilities that God has placed on every man. It’s the sin of laziness, a false sense of entitlement, and covetousness. God gives us able bodies in order to provide for our families. An unwillingness to do so is rejection and discontented-ness of the lot God has given man. I am all for charity and mercy but the enforcement of a government system that promotes sin and sins to do so is immoral and self-destructing.
As Christians we are to honor God and show thankfulness for the lot He has given us by putting our hands to work, that we might reap the fruit of our labor, which is the good gifts of God that provides for our families.
But let us always remember that we earn a living, not to earn eternal living. Spiritually speaking, every person has failed to be pure and spotless workers of righteousness, ever since our first parents were discontent with the lot they were given to work the garden. The slithering snake fooled them to think they were owed more from God, and those lies are still slithering today, though the serpent’s head has been crushed. It was the seed from the woman, who came to crush the head of laziness and entitlement, and did every work necessary to make sinners right with God. In short, through the gospel, we receive what Christ has earned for us, that we might live here and now as approved workers of God.