Commendable Charity


Good will towards men has been a key characteristic in history to the present day. Kindness, charity, and love all abide in every virtuous atmosphere. However, there is a significant difference between freely giving and being coerced to give.

Consider these three stories: one man works continuously to provide for his family, and always graciously lends a helping hand to his neighbors. He selflessly gives some of his income to a friend who recently fell ill. Gratitude, appreciation, and virtue abound in everyone’s lives in this scenario. Meanwhile in a different community, there lives a man who works to provide for his family and comes home to then hear a knock on the door. With handcuffs at his side, another man demands payment from him for an ill neighbor. With threats and warnings, the man unwillingly submits some of his property. From this- the second working man despises the taker and the receiver of his property. In the third community, it is customary for all workers to send all of their earnings to a collector who then distributes it at his or her will. The working man knows the collector will give some of his earnings to those who are in need- resulting in a satisfaction that he is helping and therefore finds no reason to give any more.

By definition, charity is voluntary. It is a sacred blessing to choose to assist your fellowmen. Taking from your own wallet is charity, but “taking” from other’s wallet is not “charity.” If we don’t have the right as people to take from others, then the government that the people created has absolutely NO where near the power to do so either. James Madison stated, “…The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Government was not created to regulate the fruits of our labor. The Constitution lists the outline of their power- forced charity is not one of them. Tennessee representative Davy Crockett affirmed, “We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress, we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

Furthermore, Americans are known to be some of the most generous people on Earth. British philosopher and fierce advocate of liberty, Richard Price stated, “When [Americans] are asked as freemen, they hitherto seldom discovered any reluctance in giving. But, in obedience to a demand, and with the bayonet at their breasts, and they will give us nothing but blood.” Coming from an English citizen during this time period, this phrase is pivotal. He recognizes Americans are willing to give without any reluctance! But as liberty is denied to them in doing so, they have no tolerance.

My fellow patriots, it is important to distinguish between selfless charity, and forced “charity theft.” Self-controlled charity is one of the most powerful virtues there is, but there is no virtue in others distributing your hard-earned property. Assuming that you’ve contributed through the government’s regulations is only teaching passivity. One, they have no power to do that; two, people are becoming less inclined to be charitable. However, there is no need to despair. Personal virtue is the first step. Silvia H. Allred exhorts, “… As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand, let them be enlarged towards others! …”

One thought on “Commendable Charity

  1. Very well written and presented, Aletha. I specifically like this quote: “When [Americans] are asked as freemen, they hitherto seldom discovered any reluctance in giving. But, in obedience to a demand, and with the bayonet at their breasts, and they will give us nothing but blood.”


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