LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Individuals need to help the needy

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I found Susan J. Day's letter, "Being called a liberal is a compliment," in the July 22 U-B interesting.

Labels can be misleading. I consider myself a conservative Christian and a Republican. However, I am liberal in some ways.

Susan capped her letter by indicating that being a bleeding-heart liberal is scriptural. She is right. I assume the Scripture she refers to is the Holy Bible.

Both the Old and New Testaments admonish those who have the means to help those in need. But the error that many liberals make is that the government should do that.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the government is to provide for the needy. No one should be forced to help the poor through taxation. That is the job of individual followers of God. It is a voluntary thing.

Individual citizens of the United States of America are the most generous people in the world. This stems from our Judeo-Christian heritage. When we see a need we donate time and money to take care of the need.

Government welfare programs are terribly inefficient. I understand that by the time the taxpayer's money filters through the myriad bureaucracies and the fraud less than 40 percent of it gets to the needy.

Right now in Walla Walla we have a dire need for housing and food for the hungry. The Christian Aid Center has an excellent transitional program to help people get on their feet. It has plans for a 14-unit building for housing that is sitting on the shelf waiting for funds to build and manage it.

Two churches have adopted houses the CAC owns. They need more churches to adopt houses.

Gail McGhee at the BMAC food distribution center tells me that 1,139 families received food from the food banks in June. Usually it is 800 to 900 families in the summer. In June they distributed 34,950 pounds of food. The food and money that comes in from donations goes out as fast as it comes in. The shelves are beginning to look like Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

If every Christian in the Walla Walla Valley would give one item of food or $1 each week to the BMAC food distribution center or one of the three local food banks the need could be met.

Victor R. Phillips

Walla Walla

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