Today, a friend posted a satirical argument from the Borowitz Report, Republicans Propose Replacing Social Security with Groupons. The article was of course hilarious, but I couldn't help but respond:
The Amish advanced the argument that Social Security is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and I think they were exactly correct. I have been saying for some time now, that egalitarian redistribution of wealth in general, as part of "welfare", violates liberty of conscience and freedom of religion. The Amish merely applied that argument to Social Security specifically.
To quote the Amish themselves:We, as representatives of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church, do herein express our deep appreciation, and with grateful hearts do we recount the favors and consideration accorded our forefathers in the past...
We believe in a supreme being and also the constitution of the USA, and we feel the Social Security Act and Old Age Survivors Insurance [OASI] is abridging and infringing to our religious freedom. We believe in giving alms in the church according to Christ’s teaching.
It has been our Christian concern from birth of our church group to supply those of our group who have a need, financial or otherwise... Our faith has always been sufficient to meet the needs as they come about, and we feel the present OASI is an infringement on our responsibilities; as a church we feel grieved that this OASI has come upon us...
We Bishops, representatives of the Old Order Churches of the USA are appealing to you to prayerfully consider and reconsider this favor. In God we trust.
After this exchange, pondering the subject of Social Security, and thinking about a letter of support to the Amish from a writer in Dallas, Texas, reading,
May I congratulate you on having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for your beliefs. While I am aware that your action stemmed from a love of your religion rather than from defiance, I hope that your example may serve to point out to some of us just how far our benevolent Government will go to reach its goal of making dependents of us all. There seems to be no place for a person who asks merely to be left alone, and to provide for himself and his family.
...I was reminded of Isaiah 42:7, "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house."
Meanwhile, I was listening to Cat Stevens sing "Here Comes My Baby", and I realized that one could listen to the song, as if it were God singing it to humanity, echoing the immediately following verse from Isaiah 42, namely verse 8, "I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images."
So without further ado, I offer, as a religious-political expression, Cat Stevens's "Here Comes My Baby", accompanied by Isaiah 42:6-8:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and have taken hold of thy hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.
אֲנִי יְהוָה קְרָאתִיךָ בְצֶדֶק, וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ; וְאֶצָּרְךָ, וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם--לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם. לִפְקֹחַ, עֵינַיִם עִוְרוֹת; לְהוֹצִיא מִמַּסְגֵּר אַסִּיר, מִבֵּית כֶּלֶא יֹשְׁבֵי חֹשֶׁךְ. אֲנִי יְהוָה, הוּא שְׁמִי; וּכְבוֹדִי לְאַחֵר לֹא-אֶתֵּן, וּתְהִלָּתִי לַפְּסִילִים.