Mudcat Café message #1420857 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77771   Message #1420857
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
25-Feb-05 - 01:20 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Religious Left
Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
But he doesn't say that. Nowhere does he say that.

What he does do is stress the importance of ensuring "the necessary support to the mother and child in poverty after birth". His point is, surely, that while voluntary and private charity is enormously important, for all kinds of reasons - it does not in fact ensure that this necessary support is available wherever it is needed, and at the level needed.

If I misunderstood Jim T to be suggesting that people on the left do not actively get involved in helping people who need help, that was because of that comment about "the deafeningly silent response", to the question about personal direct helping, together with his remark about how people on the left believe that government programmes are "the only means by which one would express their care for the poor".

The important thing is that people should be able to have the support and help they need in order to be full members of society. There is disagreement between those on the one hand who might think that main help should be as of right from benefits of one sort or another, with private charity filling the gap, and those on the other hand who see it as the other way round, with official benefits filling the gap - but that is not such an enormous difference, and in practice it can be bridged. There are plenty of examples where public resources have been channeled through voluntary organisations, and where volunteers have layed a vital part in public aid programmes.

The real gap is between those who agree with that first sentence in that last paragraph, and those who do not, and who are content to leave the gap I mentioned unfilled, for ideological reasons. And unless we keep a close eye out, that kind of thinking can get in the way of making sure that we care for our neighbours. And that can happen both on the left and on the right.