Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently said America should be guided by “the Christian values that this country was based upon.” Even though Article 11 of the John Adams-endorsed Treaty of Tripoli states “the Government of the United States of America, is not in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,” I’m sure it warmed the hearts of Christian voters in the room. However, Rick Perry is the absolute worst model of a Christian leader.
The scriptures are clear about the necessity of helping the sick and the poor. Proverbs 3:27 instructs those to not withhold good from the deserving when it’s in their power to do so. Jesus defined the Christian’s role of aiding the needy in Matthew 25: 35-41, adding that those who deny the needy the help they need do it to him also. Jesus also warns, speak out against religious hypocrites in Matthew 23. The idea of wealth redistribution isn’t new – Luke the Apostle actually advocated for it in Acts 4, in a passage called “Believers Share Their Possessions.”
Yet, Rick Perry instead chose to deny public healthcare to tens of thousands of his fellow Texans with reckless cuts to Medicaid. 4.6 million Texans are living in poverty, with a poverty rate three percentage points higher than the national average. After Governor Perry cut millions from volunteer firefighter and forest service budgets, Texas’ wildfires are raging to this day.
Instead of redistributing wealth, Perry’s friends in the capitol denied help to struggling people in his state in the midst of a $27 billion revenue shortfall, and chose to reward owners of $250,000 yachts with a generous tax break. Perry, who constantly criticizes federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare as “unconstitutional,” apparently feels entitled to $600,000 in taxpayer money to spruce up his rented mansion.
Not to be outdone, Ron Paul recently hinted during the CNN-Tea Party debate that allowing the uninsured to die was “what freedom is all about,” before finally relenting and saying churches and charity could likely pay for life-saving healthcare for a hypothetical uninsured patient in intensive care.