KNIGHT: Chicago does mean corruption
Real charity cultivates virtues such as generosity, gratitude and responsibility. The giver learns the joys of voluntary munificence while the recipient can respond with genuine thanks and aspire someday to become a giver. At the Salvation Army, for instance, aid recipients learn not only that God loves them but that they have responsibility themselves for changing destructive behaviors. This contrasts sharply with the cold, contractual exchange of a government-issued check.
Welfare, in fact, replaces virtues with two vices: resentment from those forced by law to give, and entitlement on the part of recipients. These two vices lead to envy, class warfare, competing interest groups and the destruction of marriage and civil society. The result is more and more spending, more and more government, and a society unanchored by strong families with fathers.
It’s no coincidence that after decades of liberal governance, the mean streets of the city that shall not be named now teem with murders at a rate four times greater than New York City’s.
Chicago just sailed by Los Angeles, long considered the most gang-ridden city, in total gang membership with as many as 150,000 street thugs, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor. It’s a safe bet that not many of those young men bought Father’s Day cards in June. Surveying the social and fiscal damage in Chicago, you might honestly conclude that sworn enemies of the United States could not have done a better job of sowing the seeds of internal chaos.
The next time liberals try to intimidate you with the usual epithets, you could do worse than invoking the name of the City of the Big Shoulders and asking them why they don’t have more compassion.
It also wouldn’t hurt to pray for the deliverance of the people there living under the heel of “compassionate” liberal government.
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.
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