Pope Francis just said from Rome that the poor shouldn’t be blamed “for their condition” because poverty is rooted in “selfishness” — a characterization that suggests that without handouts, the downtrodden would remain downtrodden.
It’s just that kind of victimhood mentality that’s killing American freedoms.
“[Don’t] saddle the poor with responsibility for their condition,” Francis said, for the 2021 World Day of the Poor ceremonies. “Poverty is not the result of fate. It is the result of selfishness.”
Such half-truths don’t build up so much as tear down, though.
Some children are born into poverty — and by that token, it’s their fate. But even these children born into poverty, at least in America, are offered the same freedoms to pursue paths that lead them out of poverty as those who were born into wealth — and by that token, it’s their responsibility.
Telling the poor they must have charity to survive is crippling. It not only creates a victim mentality in the minds of the poor, but it’s also a skewing of what charity is supposed to accomplish. True charity leads to freedom, not bondage.
This world already has enough victims who believe their circumstances are unchangeable due to a slew of unfair factors impacting their lives, and who are therefore totally reliant on the redistribution of resources from others so that they might live. This world already has enough socialists who use class divisions to create further divides — so as to exploit, exploit, exploit for personal gain.
This country, particularly, has no business advancing the idea that demographics dictate life, liberty and happiness.
“Virginia school board member tells graduates they’re entering a world overwhelmed by racism, individualism,” Fox News reported, of the recent graduation ceremony of Justice High School students in Falls Church.
There, a Fairfax County School Board member — a Muslim whose father served in a leadership position at the same mosque attended by 9/11 hijackers, by radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki and by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan — there, she told the graduating class in Arabic to remember your “jihad” and in English, to prepare for a world of “racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism [and] white supremacy.”
Not exactly words that inspire.
In fact, quite the opposite. The message is: Don’t bother. Don’t bother to reach for the stars because in this country, it’s an impossible dream.
To dream the impossible dream has turned into you didn’t build that — has turned into don’t even try to build that because you can’t.
Why do liberals hate individual accomplishment so much?
The answer is probably complicated, but one certain truth is this: Humans hate what they fear, and they fear what they don’t know. In that regard, liberals fear losing control — losing control at the ballot box, losing control of political power, losing control of people’s lives. And they don’t know how to win the hearts and minds of the public because they don’t know the inspiring messages that draw supporters — they don’t know about the sense of self-worth that comes from growing a God-planted seed of talent and seeing it bud and flourish first-hand, for example.
So liberals hate the doer. They hate the achiever. They especially hate the achiever who overcomes great odds to achieve and who then gives all credit and glory to God for the achievements. They hate because they fear the achiever will no longer need their handouts. They fear because they hate the idea they have nothing of value to offer, except for the resources of others.
They fear and hate because that’s all they have to score what they rate as successes in life.
And that’d be fine — individual choice, as they say. Except they can’t enlarge their successes without enlarging their pools of hate and fear. And that means they have to create classes of society who can be pitted against each other, taught to hate each other, trained to fear each other — the next batch of victims.
The next batch of leftist voters.
The next batch of non-achievers, non-doers and socialist whiners who will then train even the next batch to believe and think similarly. So will go the cycle of American life.
Victimhood is an epidemic that will wipe out American liberties, American exceptionalism and American individualism. The cure is a copy of the Constitution in one hand, a copy of the Bible in the other, and a determined spirit that demands individualism, not collectivism. After all, God loves the poor just the same as the rich. And He offers the same freedom and grace to all. Surely the pope would agree with that.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.